I'm a 32 year old mommy of 3 - a

I'm a 32 year old mommy of 3: 2 girls who are...

I'm a 32 year old mommy of 3: 2 girls who are 8 & 6 years and a boy who is 13 months old. I'm 5'10" and 139 lbs. Pretty much the same story as everyone else, pregnancy destroyed my stomach. I gained 40-50 lbs each pregnancy and carried all belly, so lots of stretching. I was always really thin, even after having the first one (I was 23 when she was born). Then the after the second one (I was 25) I was in a bad wreck with an 18 wheeler truck. I'll warn you this is long, but I feel it's important to how I got here.

The wreck damaged my back and I spent 4 years in chronic pain. I was taking time release Morphine and Vicodin and literally could barely get off the couch. It was an awful time in my life and pain dictated my every move. I put on weight, due to inactivity and being depressed about my situation. I wanted so badly to be out of pain and to have another baby. When I was 28, I was told I would never have more children, never work again and never be 'normal' again and needed chronic pain management for the rest of my life. Talk about a death sentence. I cried and begged this doctor to help me, but they said I was at the end of the road on treatment. I had tried it all, epidural steroid injections, facet injections, nerve neurtomies, an IDET surgery, had discograms, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy and pretty much every treatment known to man and none worked. Instead I was left worse than when I first was injured and in debt.

Fortunately, this diagnosis of pain management was a blessing in disguise, as it led me to an awesome pain management doctor who told me about artificial disc replacement surgery. I did tons of research and decided that this was the best shot I had at ever being pain free or even just not in so much pain. My pain levels were 7 or 8/ 10 daily, with medication taking it down to a 4 or 5. I flew across the country to have the inventor of a particular disc do my surgery. It took a year to see major improvement.

At that time, hubby and I decided if we wanted another baby, now was the time. He was 38 and I was 30. I consulted with my back surgeon, pain management doctor, family doctor, OBGYN and pediatrician to make sure it was safe for me to proceed. Everyone gave me the go ahead! I had my last baby in March of 2011. Amazingly I had a a pain free pregnancy and felt it was less painful pregnancy than the other two. I felt amazing after the first trimester, better than I had felt in 5+ years. He was born via c-section, which was my first c-section. I chose this, as it's not uncommon for women to herniate discs in delivery and I still have 2 herniated discs in my spine and didn't want to chance making them worse. Had I known a c-section was that easy, I'd have had all 3 that way (I had horrible deliveries with the other 2.) I had thought I had a low pain tolerance after being in pain for so many years, but was told by the nurses and doctor that I had a very high threshold for pain. They said that people who live in chronic pain, tend to have very high pain tolerances. They actually had to tell me to quit walking so much the day after he was born.

So, after all of that I was left with a big vertical scar on my stomach from my back surgery (they go in through the abdomen to reach the spine) and a small c-section scar, which wasn't bad at all. Unfortunately, the last pregnancy caused me to develop a large incisional hernia where I had had my back surgery (a little bigger than my fist.) You could visibly see the hernia, the left half of my belly was larger. I was also 195 lbs at my 6 week postpartum check up. As much as I would have loved another baby, I knew my body was done. I decided it was time to get my pre-baby body back.

I started counting calories and began to drop weight. I had an original goal of 150 lbs, but reached it and was still flabby, so wanted to hit 140. I reached that and still had a poochy belly. I was also exercising 5 days a week using Jillian Michaels videos and was in great shape. I'm 5'10" so my BMI acceptable 'normal' weight range is 130-174 lbs. I was happy with every part of my body, except my belly. Initially, I just looked into hernia surgery. I was told due to the size of it, I'd need to spend the night in the hospital. I scheduled just hernia surgery. The hospital called and informed me my portion for just the hospital was $2,000+ (with insurance.) I decided to cancel surgery and look into tummy tuck and hernia repair at the same time. For years I had said I was going to get what babies ruined fixed. My boobs had also shrank tremendously. I had been a 36 C or D for years, going up to a 38DD during my last pregnancy. I was now left with a 34B. They weren't so bad that I couldn't live with it, but thought if I was getting a tummy tuck, I might as well get some boobs out of the deal.

I found the first PS I interviewed on here. He was about 30 minutes from my home. I interviewed him and was disappointed to learn that he wanted to do the tummy and breasts in two different surgeries. He theorized that the hernia repair could lead to infection in the implants and didn't want to chance it. He said no lift or lipo was needed. I also would need a separate surgeon for the hernia repair. His quote was close to $8,000 for the TT.

The second PS was one my friend was seeing and having a TT with and a repair of a previous BA. He was an hour from my house, but distance wasn't a big deal to me, to get a great result. I liked the guy and he was going to do the hernia repair, TT and BA all himself, all in one surgery. However, he said I wouldn't spend the night in the hospital and would go home same day. This concerned me as the previous 2 doctors (one just on hernia surgery and the PS) said I would definitely need to stay in the hospital, due to the hernia size. The other drawback was he seemed to want to use huge implants on me, suggesting 475 or 500cc+ I told him I wanted a natural look, with the slope on top that natural breasts have. I desired breasts that weren't obviously 'fake', wanted to look like I could have been born with them. His response "You want to look augmented, don't you?" That would be a no, I don't want to look augmented. His surgery quote was $10,900, with my insurance to be billed for hernia and possibly another $1,000+ in anesthesia costs, depending on what insurance paid (I'd still be paying $1500+ out of pocket for my deductible and co-pay.) My husband and I decided he would do surgery, that he was the best option of the two. However, we wanted to save the money and I was still very nervous about the pain control afterwards.

My friend went on to have surgery with him and had a good result. However, he prescribed her medicine down to the pill, where she had 1 pill left at her follow up and then got a new Rx. She was also in a lot of pain after and he wouldn't call anything else in for her. She is not one to take medicine, so no doubt needed it. At this time he made a comment to her that really got under my skin. He said "We get a lot of pill seekers here." I'm sorry, but if you just cut someone open, and did MAJOR surgery, they are in pain and need medicine. Now if a month down the road they are asking for medication, that's one thing. But seriously, I doubt anyone is going to have surgery just to get pain medicine. If you want it that bad, you can buy it on the street. Being that I had been on pain management and do know medications, I could easily be perceived as that person. I'm an educated patient and had to learn that lesson the hard way. I don't just trust a DR and do my homework. This just kept coming to mind and even though we were still saving to use him, I just had a really bad gut feeling about him.

Hubby and I then saved up half the BA & TT amount and all of our deductible and co-pay for hernia surgery money. I decided I wanted to see Dr. #2 one more time to discuss my pain control fears. His first appointment was a month away, but I took it. Meanwhile, I started researching surgeons in my area. I found one who is 5 minutes from my house and I loved how natural his BA's looked. I decided it wouldn't hurt to have one more consultation and scheduled one with him. However, he didn't do his own hernia repairs. I almost cancelled the appointment. I was thinking by going to a surgeon who wouldn't repair the hernia themselves, it was going to cost more $$$. I then realized that either way I would have to pay my deductible and co-pay, so really wouldn't be saving much with PS#2.

I went into the appointment thinking this would give me the peace of mind to use PS#2. I was wrong. I loved PS #3 and he really listened to me and explained why he would do what he did. Instead of picking a pre-set cc amount, he said bring a bra I wanted to fit into surgery and he would make my breasts as close to that size as possible. I thought this was pretty smart and made the most sense. I asked him what cc size he would guess to use and he said 325-350. He worked up a quote with some discounts, since insurance would be paying for some anesthesia due to the hernia. It was $11,800 for TT & BA with him. I had already decided he was 'the one' and was ready to book (which is crazy because hubby couldn't come to that appointment and had just met him, but I guess it's true you just know.)

I gave the front desk lady my care credit paper showing my pre-approval but told her the amount I requested was lower because I had planned on PS#2. Well, they asked if I wouldn't mind showing them my other quote. I said no problem and drove the 5 minutes to my house and back with it. Turns out PS#2 was board certified, but by a different board. This part is so important ladies, as I'm a very informed patient and almost had the wool pulled over my eyes. PS#2 was a DO not MD (which i did know, but didn't think it was a big deal.) It was then explained to me that while PS#2 was 'board certified', it's a board that was created for DO's and not the same one that MDs are on. It was also explained to me that The American Society of Plastic Surgeons does not allow DO's to join. So, turned out PS#2 who was triple board certified and a member of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, was not qualified the same as PS#3. I was stunned to find this out and while I don't think the guy was a quack or anything, I felt a bit deceived. I had already decided on PS#3 before learning this, so it didn't change my mind, just gave me a lesson. The ladies in the office told me that the nurses in town use PS#3. I really didn't put much weight into that comment, thinking of course they are going to say good things about him.

I told them I wanted to schedule surgery ASAP, so I could have healing time while the kids were still in school. It was originally set for early May, but then changed to April 19th. I immediately scheduled to meet the hernia surgeon that my PS worked with. I met him and really liked him, as well as his credentials. Surgery was set and I was ready to go.

So, to continue my story.... I had lost weight...

So, to continue my story.... I had lost weight after babies, was down to 140 lbs. (I'm 5'10"), a BMI of 19.9, wearing a size 2 or 4 and x-small tops, yet still had a belly that would not go away. Too bad the boobs didn't stay from weight loss and the belly shrink dramatically... no such luck. So, I scheduled my breast augmentation using silicone Mentor memory gel high profile implants, under the muscle, tummy tuck with muscle repair & hernia repair surgery. I actually didn't feel bad at all about spending the money on myself. I feel like I've earned it and deserve to feel good about myself. I wasn't scared of dying in surgery. The way I see it, when it's my time, it's my time and nothing is going to stop me from going, be it in surgery, getting hit by a bus, or choking on a chicken bone. And if it's not my time, nothing is going to take me. I also know where I'm going when I die, so no fears. I did nest like crazy. I cleaned my entire house top to bottom, the good deep cleaning. I did baseboards, blinds, fans, vents, organized drawers and everything you can think of. I then had a Craigslist garage sale. Let me tell you, this was the easiest and most profitable garage sale ever. I will never have another real garage sale. So my house was as clean and organized as can be and I was ready to go. I didn't get nervous until the night before surgery.

I had myself very worked up about how bad it was going to hurt. Even though I'm told I have a high pain tolerance, I still fret about pain management. I've always processed pain medication quickly. I've always had problems at the dentist, where they just can't get me numb enough and I have to 'tough it out.' First labor, I got my first epidural and refill that lasted all of an hour, so didn't cover my 36 hour Pitocin induced labor. Second baby, I had to get an entirely new epidural because it just quit working and he was loading it with medicine and nothing was happening. That one was also Pitocin induced, but luckily was only 10 hours. Throughout my numerous back procedures where a local was used, I remember everything and screaming out in pain. After one of them I told the nurse that hurt and she didn't believe I remembered it and said there's no way. I then proceeded to tell her exactly what her and the other nurses were gossiping about (the Dr's wife) and everything that happened. She couldn't believe it. When I had my back surgery the anesthesiologist didn't believe it would be hard to sedate me. First thing my surgeon said to hubby, "Wow, that was like trying to get a horse to go down. She just wouldn't go out." Apparently I was also talking smack to the lady who missed my vein on the IV. LOL Then when I woke up from back surgery, I literally prayed to die for 2 days, I hurt so bad I couldn't even talk. They kept telling me, we can't give you more medication, it might depress your breathing and you could die. I kept thinking, I'll take my chances. I ended up in ICU because my blood pressure was through the roof with all the pain. That my friends is 10/10, childbirth can't even touch that level of pain. My uncle who had a similar low back surgery as me and has had open heart, said hands down the back surgery was the worst pain ever. So, my motto is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

The day of surgery we got up early, got the kids dressed and took them to the neighbor's house, who took the girls to school and a friend picked up my son later in the morning. I arrived at the surgery center (it's actually a small hospital) and paid my insurance portion for the hernia (I paid for the plastic surgery part at the PS office previously.) My part for the surgery center was $1,700. The general surgeon is going to bill me, so no idea how much that will be. I then was gowned up, PS came in and drew on me. Anesthesiologist fortunately didn't have the 'I know more than you do about your body' attitude, and believed me, that I was hard to sedate and knocked me out. I don't remember anything past them starting to wheel me down the hall. I woke up to a nurse and I only remember her asking about pain and I'd say yeah it hurts a little, then I'd see her putting meds in my IV. I was in and out, but no major pain. This was the part I had feared the most, waking up in pain. She kept me very comfortable and then I went to my room (I stayed overnight) where my husband was waiting on me. The nurse came in with medication and told me how often I could receive each one, even writing the times on the board, so I would know when to call. I'm no dummy, and wasn't going to try and be tough or a hero, so I called for it as soon as it was due. They would ask my pain level and I'd say 3 or 4/ 10. Apparently 7 is the magic number for more meds (I promise you, it wasn't a 7, hard labor with Pitocin might be a 7.) I said 7 or 8 from then on out and got my drugs. I was not to get out of bed the first night, complete bed rest. I was awake about every two hours through the night. I did use my arms to change positions and moved around as much as possible in bed. I was afraid if I laid there all night, it would hurt bad when I got up in the AM. I mainly was drinking and eating some graham crackers and jello. My throat was crazy dry and I had a little nausea feeling. I was also itching like crazy from all the pain meds. I text my hubby in the AM and told him to go to CVS and buy a telescoping back scratcher I had seen earlier in the week and to bring a med I had for itching (the nurses ok'ed me to bring it and take it.) I also asked the nurse if I could get out of bed, she said yes and I got up. Not bad at all, felt like when I first got up after the c-section. I sat in the chair for awhile. My breasts really didn't even hurt, it was all incisional pain, the pulling of it. I would say a c-section is more painful, because with it you have the deep down pain from them yanking everything around in you (for me it was on the side the Dr. stood on when he did the c-section.)

I spent the day at the hospital and would move from bed to chair. I had awesome nurses and have to say that is the best hospital experience I have ever had. Earlier I mentioned the ladies at the PS office told me that nurses around town used him and I didn't think much of it, since they worked for the PS. Well, the nurse who was taking care of me had her MM with him and looked great. All of the nurses told me what a good PS I had. I told one nurse of PS1 I had interviewed and she told me she was glad I didn't use him, as he doesn't do good work. I trust the nurses as 1) they don't work for the PS, so have no reason to lie b) see firsthand the work of different surgeons and c) know behind the scenes stuff we don't. I've always heard if you want a Dr recommendation to go ask nurses at the hospital. My PS came in after 5pm and released me home. I was told that the large hernia wasn't a hernia, or was smaller than they thought, but that there was an umbilical hernia repaired. I'm unclear on this, as the Morphine was still talking. I see my general surgeon in the morning and plan on asking him exactly what that was... maybe scar tissue? It's hard to believe that 5 surgeons saw it and all agreed on a hernia (including the 2 who operated on me) and it wasn't. Anyway, I had a good night the first night home, slept in my recliner with lots of pillows. I took the highest dose of meds I could every 4 hours. I was also sent home with a catheter, as they didn't want me getting up and down to go to the bathroom. This was really nice, as I drink a ton of water, usually 14-16 8oz glasses a day. I had one drain too. I spent the next couple of days in and out of consciousness. We had been told the catheter could come out on Sunday or we could wait for PS to do it Monday. They showed hubby how to do it and by Saturday night it was driving me insane, so we took it out. I saw the PS on Monday and had my bandages removed and was released to shower. Yay! I also want to add that I was 9 lbs. heavier on day 3 after surgery. There is absolutely no way this was from eating, I had been starved for a day and a half, then was eating a diet of crackers and jello. After that I was so in and out, I was falling asleep while eating. Pure swell and bloat. I also didn't have a BM until day 3, even though I had been taking round the clock Colace and MOM. I ended up taking Miralax every hour until I went, think it took 6 doses. Not too bad, was glad to have that over and not worry about it. After my c-section I didn't worry and waited on the regular meds and lived to regret it, so I knew better this time.

My showers have built in benches, so that was nice to sit. Hubby helped and I was completely exhausted by the time I finished, but felt so much better. The kids had spent the night of surgery away and the older two stayed at the neighbors the night I came home. Hubby took care of them and me over the weekend. On Monday (day 4) I was left by myself during the day. I had halved my medicine by that point too. Throughout the week, I had my mother in law, mom, friends, school and Mother's Day Out for the baby, so no kiddos. By one week post op I was going stir crazy. My mom took me to Target and I drove the motorized cart around and got some groceries we were out of. This wore me out, but it was nice to get out and about. I saw the PS at 8 days to have my drain removed. I had worked myself up pretty good worrying about how bad that was going to hurt. I watched a YouTube video of this guy screaming when they took his out, so I was freaking out a bit. The PS said take a deep breath and I'm thinking "Oh man, this is going to hurt bad!" Then he said "Did you feel it?" I'm like "What, it's done?" Yes it was and I didn't feel a thing. Whew, all that worrying for nothing. Friday, day 8, I saw much more improvement and my friend and I went to lunch, then hubby and I went out to dinner with the kids that evening. I still was very tired and my breasts were hurting more than the tummy, felt engorged, like when your milk comes in. The hardest part was the constant of being uncomfortable. I was so ready to feel better. This is when the 'should I have done this?' thoughts creeped in. By day 14, I was down to a pain pill every other day and feeling much better. The only reason I even needed that pain medicine was because of my back hurting from bad posture and the arthritis in it. I started driving on day 14 and did fine. I'm now on day 18 and feeling so much more like myself. My breasts are still the most uncomfortable part. My PS says because the muscle was cut. When I lift my baby, that's where it hurts, nothing from the tummy. I'm trying to only lift him if I have to. I had 2 full weeks of childcare and then I was full force back on. Luckily my husband works for himself and is able to stop in throughout the day, so he can put him in his crib for me. I also have a neighbor kid coming over after school and she helps with him. I'm standing almost completely straight, still hunched a bit, mainly in the evenings when the swelling is the worst. I'm sleeping in my bed (since day 6) and only using 1 pillow under my legs at night (I did have like 3 of them!) I had slept on the couch with wedges or in the recliner before that. My bedroom is upstairs, so I just stayed downstairs for the first 6 days.

My breasts are dropping some, but still not all the way dropped. My tummy tuck incision is looking really good and has almost lost all the scabbing it had. It's wrinkled up still, but PS says that is good, so when it pulls apart as it heals, it won't be as wide as if it were straight line right now. I tend to scar well, so not too concerned about that. The main concern beforehand was how the belly button always looks more vertical after TT and some are too shallow, IMO. I decided that nothing was worse than what I had already, had been pierced pre-kids, then stretched, then re-pierced in a different spot. It looked hideous, so not like I was showing it off as it was. I also had the great idea of a tattoo when I was 18, on my right hip. I was at least smart enough to hide it back then, but didn't anticipate that it would stretch with babies and not be something I liked forever. It's gone now, farewell. I also lost my back surgery scar and c-section scar. There is a small vertical incision that comes up from my horizontal TT incision, maybe an inch or so, where my old belly button was. I guess i didn't have enough skin to remove all of it. At first I was bummed about this, but after seeing tons of before and afters on here, where surgeons took too much skin, I'm glad mine didn't chance it. I also don't have to wear compression garments and feel fine without them. Just have to wear a good supporting sports bra 24/7 for 8 weeks (maybe 10, I can't remember.) That doesn't bother me, as I usually wear a sports bra to bed anyway. I've never been big on not wearing a bra, maybe why I still had perky breasts and didn't need a lift? Not sure.

So everything was going so good, a little too good.... I started to worry about my belly button being crusty black. It had been black from the first time I saw it post op (day 4.) I called PS office at 2 weeks PO. They called back and said to come in on Saturday. I went then, day 16, and sure enough it has necrosis. Apparently, the umbilical hernia repair can cause that. I had never heard of such a thing, until earlier that day. It was ironic, to say the least. We were at the pediatrician and I was talking to a lady and it came up I had hernia surgery. She was also having hernia surgery and asked me how bad it was. So I told her, well I had a little more done, the TT & BA. She said she was having that done too. LOL She told me she had an umbilical hernia and had 6 surgeons tell her she would for sure lose her belly button when they repaired it and only 2 who thought they could save it. Then, not an hour later, I'm at my appointment and my PS tells me the general surgeon said the normal repair would have for sure killed mine, so he did it different and thought it would live. Right now, he wants to take a wait and see approach with me cleaning it with the Hibiclens and using Neosporin on it twice a day. It's only on the inside of the BB, and there is blood when I clean it, so there is a blood supply. I'm *trying* not to worry about this as it is what it is, nothing I can do about it now. I'm hoping that it will shed the dead outer skin and grow new skin underneath it and look normal. I guess only time will tell. Some of the black has come off around the BB edges to reveal healthy pink underneath, so I'm hopeful. I'm not sure what makes some repairs raise where it is just flat with no belly button, but praying that doesn't happen to me. I also found out that my step dad has a flat belly button from a hernia repair. I knew his was flat, but never knew why. It looks like this is a fairly common umbilical hernia repair problem. PS did say had they left it, it would have just gotten bigger (which I knew from research on the other hernia) and needed repair later, guaranteeing BB loss. I don't blame either Dr. as this is just one of those things that's out of their hands and had I been awake, I still would have consented to the repair, knowing the risks. I'll try to post some good pics of this later. I always forget in the morning to take pictures and then am bloated up when I finally take them. I'm still showing 3 lbs. heavier after surgery. I hadn't been counting my calories for the first two weeks, but wasn't pigging out either. I didn't have much of an appetite the first few days, then just ate normal. I'm back to logging my calories to make sure I'm not overeating and causing this. I can't fit into any of my pre-surgery pants, which is a bummer. I guess I thought by 2.5 weeks I'd be at least back to pre-surgery size.

I've also been really surprised by the responses I have received when I told people. So far all positive and everyone said good for you, even my mother in law. She asked me about a week after we told her, how much does the TT cost? I thought oh no, here it comes. No, instead she said she would love to have one! LOL I didn't tell my mom's family, because they are the judgmental type and would be all she's only small because she had the surgery and wouldn't even look at the year of hard work I spent getting in the best shape of my life. It was kind of weird, had my mom, step dad, kids and step mom come see me at the hospital the evening of my surgery. I then had the neighbors bring over a card and Get Well balloon the day I got home. I thought wow, didn't know anyone recognized plastic surgery! One of my friends is 8 weeks ahead of me in recovery, so that has given me a lot of insight as to what to expect. My sister is now begging her hubby for boobs, she was blessed with better genes than me and after 4 kids, her stomach still looks great. Even my daughter's teacher is wanting boobs now :-) (her and I are friends.) People I didn't know as well were just told I was having hernia surgery. I've noticed that most women don't notice other women's breasts, unless they are just enormously large, crazy small or we are looking into BA surgery. I had several friends have it and I never knew until I told them about mine. The tummy I don't think is super noticeable, since it wasn't awful in clothes beforehand. I even had people starting to ask me if I was eating. Like, really? Have y'all not seen me chow down, I like to eat, that's why I was overweight in the first place. I just make better choices now.... most of the time at least.

I never saw the general surgeon earlier in the...

I never saw the general surgeon earlier in the week about the hernia repairs. He was called into emergency surgery and I didn't want to wait forever, so re-scheduled for next Tuesday. I saw the PS today and my belly button is officially dead. He scheduled me for Tuesday to have surgery to remove the necrotic skin and re-create my belly button. He said they will actually close the skin and make a completely new belly button. He said it won't look like it does now and explained that's it's very complicated to create a new one. I'm glad he didn't lie to me and act like it would be great, but I'm so worried that I'll have a deformed belly button. I wanted this surgery to not be embarrassed by my stomach and now I'm still probably not going to be able to show it. All I've done all day is cry, I'm so bummed about this. I still don't regret surgery and would do it again, this is just the luck of the draw.

Just realized I never put implant size down. I...

Just realized I never put implant size down. I have 350cc in my left breast and 400cc in my right breast. They are Mentor Memory Gel and under the muscle. I knew I was different sized before, but didn't realize to that degree! They look even and great now. Dropping well, but still some dropping to go.

I don't know why I get myself so worked up before...

I don't know why I get myself so worked up before surgery. Surely the reconstruction of a belly button can't come close to the TT & BA pain??mand that pain wasn't awful. I guess I just am a worrier. I went and had my blood drawn and did pre-op at the hospital today. Paid another $1,000 for the hospital portion (20% of the allowable amount.) Still not sure what the Dr's portion is. I plan on calling them after lunch and bombarding them with questions. Will post more tomorrow after surgery (if I'm not too drugged up.)

Good news, hospital gave me the wrong amount for...

Good news, hospital gave me the wrong amount for my tomorrow surgery, it's only $360 for my portion of the hospital. I thought $1,000 seemed high for 20% of the discounted amount, especially since it's day surgery. I go in at 10:30 in the morning and am guessing surgery is at noon. I don't know what restrictions I will have, forgot to ask and the normal nurse at the PS office is out, so got someone else on the phone. They did call in my medications and it is the same as before, with refills. I hope that doesn't mean this is going to be really painful (that's the natural worrier in me.)

I had my belly button 'revision' (not sure what to...

I had my belly button 'revision' (not sure what to call it) yesterday. My PS said beforehand that he would try and save any part of my belly button that was not necrotic. Unfortunately, there was nothing to be saved left. He removed the necrosis and constructed me a new BB. I can take the bandage of tonight and shower. I'm scared to look, for fear it's going to be hideous. From the online research I've done, there is only so much they can do to a BB reconstruction (there were some really good PS posts in the question section of this website.) I'll try and post pictures tonight, if I don't chicken out and make hubby look and clean it, so I don't have to. I'm still pretty drugged up and in and out of it all day and night. Will post more when I'm more coherent. Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes.

So, to review my surgery yesterday... I went in at...

So, to review my surgery yesterday... I went in at 10:30, went through the usual prep. My PS wasn't able to save any of it and made a new one. I've been bracing myself for what lies under the bandages, expecting pretty bad. I just took them off and a shower and it's not near as bad as I expected. It's not as deep as before; but I had a super deep BB before. The stitches are definitely scrunching it more than it will be in the end. In the end, I'm happy with it and think down the road, when I'm healed, I may do the marble trick if I'm not happy with it. Posting some new pictures of it.

I'm swollen up all huge again, I was up 6 lbs. this morning from yesterday at the hospital. On a happy note, I've been up a pound or two, ever since the MM surgery. Usually you go to a doctor's office and they weigh you 5 lbs. heavier than your scale. Yesterday, they had me at 141 and that was what my scale said too! It's still 2 lbs heavier than before; but at least I know it's just swelling. I will keep drinking tons of water to help with that.

As far as the surgery itself, I knew when telling the anesthesiologist about my sedation issues, that he wasn't believing me and would have to learn for himself. He kept giving me the usual know it all of why his would work and others didn't. I can't stand doctors like that, it's like I really do know MY BODY and how it works. I also told him he could pull my chart from when I was there 3 weeks ago and in years past, to see what they used on me. Nope, he had it. Last time I remember nothing beyond being wheeled out of the room (that Dr believed me and acted accordingly.) This time I remember getting to the OR, getting on the table, them talking, my PS coming in and them tying my arms down. I then woke up from surgery in awful pain (this is usually caused from them under medicating while under the general.) I was in more pain than after the TT & BA, no way this should have hurt that much. They were giving me Dilaudid every 5 minutes and it took all of 7 or 8 doses to get relief. It was like they were putting nothing in the IV, then finally it started to work. Once it got under control, I was fine. They gave me another 3 or 4 doses and then I went to the step down area. I got dressed and was ready to go home. I'm disappointed in the anesthesiologist and plan on telling my PS about it. It's unreal to me that I would have more pain after a simple BB surgery than I did after a MM, which should have been prevented since it was clearly indicated in my medical records that I had this problem.

Back to yesterday, I took a dose of my oral pain medicine as soon as I left the hospital. I do hurt more than I expected, but not as bad as the MM did. They did have to mess with the muscles, which I didn't anticipate, so assuming that is where the extra pain is coming from. I've been taking my meds on a schedule and doing good. I'm able to move around well and be up for 10-15 minutes at a time. Mainly trying to rest before all the mom duties are back on me. Time for me to konk out again. :-)

When I started this and read all of your helpful...

When I started this and read all of your helpful reviews, I prepared, mentally, for the pain, possibility of infections, wound opening and so on. I realized there was a wide range of "normal." however, I was super naive in thinking the emotional roller coaster wouldn't happen to me. I thought because I had wanted this for so long, that it would be painful, but emotional bliss. Lol Boy was I WRONG! I feel like I'm bi-polar from day to day, heck, hour to hour! I wasn't expecting to feel like crap, after this much time. It really sucks that before my BB surgery 4 days ago, I was starting to do all my normal activities and feeling good. Now, it's like I started all over. I'm back to falling asleep while eating, talking, etc; no stamina and just a general unwell feeling. I'm so over not feeling good. I have to keep reminding myself that this will get better.

I'm not hurting as much from the BB reconstruction. I do have a lot more muscular pain from it, than I thought I would. I'm dealing with bad constipation too. I had a BM the night after surgery after taking Miralax every hour, for a total of 9 doses. I then have been taking stool softener with stimulant and nothing. I started the Miralax again and hoping it will work. I'm so bloated from this and the swelling is back on. I'm up 5.5 lbs from Tuesday morning (day of surgery) and that weight was 2 lbs. higher than before surgery. I was happy to weigh the same on the hospital scale as I weighed at home. I'm usually always heavier at Dr's offices. I bought a new scale a few months ago, so I would get more accurate readings.

Oh and I'm really happy with how my belly button is looking. I think it might be better than before! Hopefully, I start feeling better soon.

Question for all you veteran MM ladies.... I had...

Question for all you veteran MM ladies.... I had my belly button re-do 6 days ago. I really haven't had any drainage from it, maybe a small spot of blood on the bandage. Last night there were a few drops of ooze coming out of it. Today it oozed quite a bit. It's like a clear, but red tinted liquid. Not a ton, but enough to soak a bandaid or two. Its not painful or red. Im still very swollen, but its going down slowly. Is this normal? Did any of you experience this?

Belly button still draining the fluid. Anyone know...

Belly button still draining the fluid. Anyone know if this is normal? My follow up isn't until Thursday.

Saw my PS on Tuesday, no seroma! He said it was...

Saw my PS on Tuesday, no seroma! He said it was completely normal and that I would be swollen for weeks, months, up to a year, when the lymphatic system is fully reconnected. That was nice to know. I finally turned the corner pain wise yesterday. I was starting to wonder if the BB redo was going to stop hurting so bad, was still taking pain medicine. Today I have only taken Ibuprofen! I'm still needing to rest a lot and when I'm up too much I swell and the BB 'leaks' fluid. No school for 4 days for the kiddos. I'm planning on taking pictures in the AM, since we won't be having the morning school rush.

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Name not provided

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5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Besides being in swell hell, I am also on that emotional rollercoaster, wondering if I made the right decision to do this, I really thought I would ne 100% by now www. I have to cook, do dishes, do laundry, the rest of my family has returned back to thier usual responsibilities, like work and school, but I am kind of half assing it around here because I swell and tire easily still.....It is depressing to say the least, so I can totally relate to the emotional highs and lows that yoi are going thru! Hope you are feeling better....
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Same here. After 4.5 weeks of being down, no one really wants to help anymore. My husband is still helping, but my house looks like crap, having to rely on my kids to clean it. I called my PS today, because I think I have a seroma.... This is when I question if I should have done this. Seems I'm going to get every complication there is. I'm so over the healing process.
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Thanks! I'm hopeful that it will look 'normal.'
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It's alive! That's great. I think you are still going to be able to rock it in a bikini!
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Thanks!
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I will be thinking of you tomorrow. You've been through so much! I love your positive Attitude. It will carry you through ths surgery, too! I truly admire you.
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Thank you! Everything went good... I'm updating above for more details.
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Will be saying a prayer for you.
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Thank you!
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Thanks MrsM, I just read your review and our surgery dates are close to each other, so we are close in recovery. I also see you had surgery in Miami, that's where I had my back surgery. Actually Aventura, but stayed in Miami on the beach to recover.
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I hope everything goes well for you. I also had hernia repair with a tt and ba.
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Just realized I can reply to each comment, so thank you!
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Thanks. Hopefully this belly button bump in the road will turn out okay.
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I'm so glad you found RealSelf and shared your story with us! What a great read.

I'm so sorry you had to deal with all that pain from your accident. It sounds truly dreadful. And I can SO see the hernia in your photos. Crazy!

You look absolutely healthy and wonderful now. I hope you have little to no pain and can just enjoy your family and new body now!

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