My first child was born 8 years ago, 2 years later...
My first child was born 8 years ago, 2 years later had another and 2 years after that had twins for a total of 4 children. This mama ain't having anymore. I love my family more than life itself, but my pregnancies wreaked havoc on my stomach and I have photos to prove it! I never imagined I would be here on a website like this for cosmetic surgery, yet here I am. This website has been my obsession and since it has helped me through the initial stages - I will write about my experience. RS reminds me that I am NOT alone in this journey and my feelings are valid & many others share the inner battle I have with myself. I feel so guilty in wanting an elective surgery. Who does that!?! I do. The time is now or never... the timing is perfect for my family. So, I am biting the bullet and going through with it. My surgery date is set for December 2nd at 7:30 AM with Dr. Shifrin.
I went with my husband for a consult and since then I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I know this sounds ridiculous but I had so much anxiety showing my stomach to Dr. Shifrin and my husband. I am so self conscious of it and there I was letting it all hang loose in front of the man I love and a stranger. Dr. Shifrin was (1) extremely professional and kind (2) explained the surgery to us in detail (3) answered all of our questions and (4) did not rush us. In order to get the results I want, he recommended that I get muscle repair (MR) & lipo to the abdomen, flanks and back. So after a couple of days of thinking it over (which was more figuring out a date that would work with our schedules, and figuring out some other logistics) we decided that Dr. Shifrin is our man and December 2nd is "THE DAY" We called and left a $500 deposit down to save the date. The rest of the money is due 2 weeks prior to the surgery.
My surgery is in 11 days and I am really anxious! I want to start my recovery already b/c time is what is really needed to heal. I went to my pre-op today (with my wonderful sister) to discuss the questions I had. Upon entering the office I was given a bunch of papers to initial & sign. I also paid in full with Care Credit. Wonderful! I have 12 months to pay $8,500 interest free. Boom!
My PS answered all of my questions & assured me I can call him if ever I have a question, especially after surgery (Dec. 2nd). The nurse gave me my prescriptions before & after the surgery (iron is the only one I am taking before). She also took my blood pressure & weight (141 lbs, 5'2") which was followed by my pre-op pictures. YUCKO! This weekend I am getting my blood work done & the results will be faxed over to the office. I requested that a picture be taken of the skin/fat that is being removed...I have to remind them the day of surgery. Call me crazy but I want to see what is being taken off my body. I want that reminder :) I was told my drains will be in for at least 7 days b/c that's the first time I will see him after surgery. He wanted to see me 3 days after TT but it was hard to find someone to take me, so he said I can come in 7 days after the TT . This was a huge relief b/c I was worried about the hassle of leaving the house only 3 days after...now I have a week to recover at home before I see him. If he is not worried then I am not worried! I am happy he can accommodate me!
1st POST appt
I have not been awful with keeping up with this update but I am willing to answer any questions you may have. I do not remember the moments after the surgery or even how I got home. My husband said I was totally out of it and that continued for about 2 days. By day 3 I was trying to get my pain under control...felt extremely tight, hard to breathe, unable to take deep breaths, kept feeling pain and burning sensation. I can compare it to the feeling of a c-section,but magnified by 20. Today I had my first meeting after the surgery (7 days) & I waited 2 hours for a 5 minute encounter with my ps. He removed the patch over my belly button & removed 1 of my drains. My other drain I was told will be removed next Friday. I am definitely improving everyday...almost standing straight, but need to remain a little hunched. My compression garment has remained on 98% of the time and he wants me to continue wearing it. My stomach feels so weird b/c I have lost so much feeling. I will attach pictures later.
Reaction to the tape!?!
I apologize for not reporting my story on a daily basis. I apologize if it seems confusing. So, it appears I have had a reaction to the tape or something that caused me to blister. I couldn't take off the original steri-strip because my skin was lifting with it so I left it, but it needed to be removed because it was bloody & gooey. Finally one of the blisters seemed to pop and I was able to remove the original steri-strip. Thank goodness my sister-in-law is a post surgery nurse and came over to clean it on 3 separate occasions. She is the one who noticed the blisters and set me up. I meet with my PS on Wednesday to remove my last drain- I will be 15 days PO. And I am curious to get his thoughts on my recovery. I have set him all the pics I have posted but he doesn't seem worried. Therefore, I am not going to worry! I have read many many reviews that express some slight depression/regret & I was ready for it. BUT I told myself I am not able to feel upset until 2 weeks PO. "Give yourself at least 2 weeks" I told myself. So far I have not lost it, but that may change :) tomorrow when I hit my 2 week mark.
Will I ever heal!?!
So, I am 15 days PO today & I cannot get excited about my TT until I heal. I worry about infection. I took this photo last night & I do see progress so I am remaining positive. I have an appt. today with my PS's assistant to remove my 2nd drain. YES!
2nd drain removed @ 15 days PO
I am sorry to admit ladies that the removal of the drain hurt like hell. It is however short-lived (30 seconds to a minute) & considering all the pain you endure in recovery it is truly nothing to fret over (I say that now that it is removed :) ). I felt the stitch being cut and pulled & I wasn't aware of how long the tube was b/c I felt it snake through. Needless to say, I am glad it's over! Just keeping it real!
I am so happy my drains are removed and I feel a freedom that I haven't had in a couple of weeks. My PS pulled me so tight to give me the results I desired & my incision is the lowest I've seen :) Remaining patient. I see progress as everyday passes. Hoping by next week I will be ready for Christmas.
4 Weeks & 4 days PO
I forgot to mention that my period came the morning of December 2nd (the morning of my surgery) & it was all fine. So, no worries if that is your situation! I feel at 3 weeks is when I truly turned a corner. But at 4 weeks I started to sleep on my side, woke up without being hunched at all, appetite in full swing. I started keeping track of what I am eating with My Fitness Pal to ensure I am not packing on the lbs., especially after the holidays. I am starting to feel comfortable in my skin with my new stomach. I started to walk on the treadmill at a 2.5 with a 2.5 incline for 30 minutes a day. Not much, but something - at least until I see my surgeon at 6 weeks. I still have irritation near the front at my incision, however it is not half as bad as it was. I am happy with the progress of my open wound & thrilled with the results of the TT thus far. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. I simply want to "pay it forward" with all the support and guidance I was given prior to my surgery :)
One more thing...
At 1 month PO, I am still faithfully wearing my binder around the clock. I have a love/hate relationship with my binder.
6 week follow-up - "INCREDIBLE"
I have officially made it to 6 weeks & loving my decision & my PS. I met with him today and he said it looks, "incredible." I couldn't agree with him more :) He cleared me for exercise and didn't give me any restrictions; so, I will listen to my body & do what is comfortable. He told me to schedule my 3 month post-op appt. where he will assess the swelling and take the after photos.