So, so much to say about all of this. The surprises, pitfalls, boons and adjustments.
In the last three years I got divorced and fell in love, my father died, sold a house, bought a house, got married, lost most of my friends, had a baby, lost my job on maternity leave, and had a tummy tuck. I should probably stop right there and quote Dicken's "it was the best of times and the worst of times". I am forty four years old.
Let me address the word 'cosmetic'. I hate it. It implies that measures are being taken to hide a flaw as opposed to enhances attributes. The word has developed its own negative connotation and infused those of us who resort to such turgid measures as cosmetics and cosmetic surgery with guilt and shame. God forbid that we should attempt to love ourselves just a little bit.
Having a baby at 44 was the best gift I could ever give my husband who (at 12 years older than me) never had the opportunity to have a child of his own. It wreaked havoc on my body. I have to girls, 12 and 13 years old. I had just begun to enjoy going out without kids again and dating my beloved spouse - dancing and dressing up and partying just a little and then my sweet baby came. He tore my abs apart - so badly, that I couldn't poop because I had no pelvic floor and I developed sciatica and bursitis in my arm because I had no abs to support the 25 lb (!) baby I carried around the house. No exercise was going to bring this back. No diet was my cure...and yes! I HATED MY GUT because I couldn't fix it myself and it made me feel frumpy and un-sexy and dammit I am a newlywed. I was married only 13 months ago and was pregnant and had an infant for most of the past year. SO, YEAH! I lost that sexy feeling as I nursed my baby, staggered around with my hunched back, and took laxitives to poop, daily.
The doctor looked at my guy and grabbed it and said - diastasis recti, fairly significant. I can make your stomach look like it did when you were sixteen. That was it. Sold. I did my research on the doctor. I did due diligience and looked at horrifying videos of surgeries gone wrong (though we've seen our fair share of them here!). I signed up for a drainless surgery and I was ready.
Ready my ass - first two weeks post op and as some of you know, the hemerroid story of the century - trips to the ER begging for morphine, four thrombosed hemerroids lanced and drugs to freeze the rectal spasm...who cared about my abs? Week three? staples out, massage and moving on.
Like all of you, I've learned to measure the healing in weeks, not days. Pulling, stretching, softness, hardness, cramps and stitches in my side...swelling in the belly, hips, thighs and ass. A constant wondering wether it is swelling or if, now that my belly is flat, I can see all the real work I have left to do with diet and exercise.
I've been frustrated by wanting to exercise and not being able to. Carrying around my 25 pound son and my back hurts again. Walking all day doing groceries and lugging the baby, being on my feet for three hours at choir rehearsal, those things...all leave me limp by 5pm and the baby doesn't go to bed til 7pm and so there's two hours where the other two kids and my husband tiptoe around as I rage about having more hours in the day than energy to carry out my duties. Sleeping - my nemesis. I am so tired by 7pm and yet when I go to bed? My hips hurt so much and I turn from side to side - waking fully each time and then getting up at 5am and 6 am for the baby...life is full, to say the least.
But then, here I am at 6 weeks. Since the first day of my surgery, I haven't needed a laxitive. I can poop normally. For those who know - this is a big, big deal. I don't take pain meds. I can't remember when I needed it last. Much of my belly is soft and has taken on a more normal appearance (except for the area under the belly button). I can sneeze and survive. I can laugh til it hurts and the hurting's good. I can take off my garment and feel secure without it on - finally. I can do up tops that couldn't fit over my bulge before and pull up pants I thought were long gone.
I still have weight to lose - maybe ten pounds, but now I can exercise. I can look down my front and see my vagina - a little tighter and smaller than before, thank you very much. I can wear sexy underwear and they don't roll under my belly. I can remember, faintly, who that sexy woman was and to quote J.T., "I am bringing sexy back".
I am still sore and tight. My tummy feels weird and I don't love touching it. The scar is freaking ugly to anyone but those of us on this page who view these things differently, but I know it will fade.
I am happier today. I can see that in the next six months, I will have the opportunity to reveal the woman I truly am inside...and that, my friends is not the magic of cosmetics covering up my flaws...that is the magic of cosmetics, revealing the truly sexy woman that lay underneath.
Bless you all on your journies. I feel for each of your setbacks, surgical or personal, but a happier future awaits. My gay friends used to say - "say it loud, say it proud". Works for us too.