My Missing Piece: Month 4 Post Op / New Pictures!
- updated 5 months ago
I have never felt comfortable in my body....
- 22 Feb 2013
- 17 days pre
I have never felt comfortable in my body. Throughout high school, I suffered from depression and, as a result, was somewhat overweight (at 5'2, I reached 165 at my heaviest). I made excuses not to go to the beach with friends and hid my body underneath bulky t-shirts.
Shortly after my (now) husband and I began dating at 19, the extra weight started coming off and when we moved in together, I got down to about 127. At the time, our lives were filled with wedding planning and working and college-- needless to say, I didn't make time to work out so although I was relatively happy with my weight, I felt flabby because I didn't do anything to tone.
Fast-forward a couple of years-- we married at 21 and had our first child at 22. My pre-pregnancy weight was 125. The day I delivered my eight-pound wonder, I weighed 189. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight at six weeks, and my breasts were the largest and fullest they had been in my life, thanks to nursing! When our oldest son was nine months old, we conceived our second child. Again, my pre-pregnancy weight was 125; the day I delivered I weighed 192. After my first pregnancy, I had considerable stretch marks but my skin seemed to bounce back relatively well in the short time between my pregnancies. That being said, my second beautiful baby boy was 10 pounds, 2 ounces. There's no bouncing back from that, friends.
In the time since my youngest (now three-year-old) son was born, I have gotten serious about health and fitness. I work out almost daily, generally switching between Crossfit and Pilates. Not only am I at my lowest weight-- 122-- I am in the absolute best shape of my life. Unfortunately, nursing my sweet boys for a little over a year each has left my small (but once-perky) breasts deflated. I don't even fill an A cup any longer. Additionally, no matter how much work I do on my abs, I cannot get rid of the pooch around my belly button. The skin just hangs there. I do not leave my house without wearing Spanxx (I love them. My husband hates them).
Lastly, I have never been so happy in my entire life. My husband and I are still madly in love. I graduated with my Master's degree last year with a 3.8 GPA. My little boys are growing into absolutely amazing little people. I sincerely feel like this procedure is my "missing piece." I want to feel as confident and happy on the outside as I do on the inside.
I went for a consultation on January 16th and immediately knew the surgeon I met with would be the one to perform my procedures. He made me feel at ease throughout my exam. His credentials are amazing. I know a couple of his former patients, both of whom have had nothing but great things to say-- his work is phenomenal. I have since had several appointments with the cosmetic consultant to try on implant sizes because I was going back and forth between 371 ccs and 397ccs. I was worried the 397s would look too large on my frame, but have since decided definitively on the 397s since I'll lose around 25ccs by going under the muscle. The 397s were also my surgeon's choice given my measurements and the fact that he has "never had a woman say she wishes she had gone smaller, but many women say they wish they had gone bigger."
What a roller coaster this has been! While I am ridiculously excited, there have been times over the last couple of weeks where I have wondered if I am making the right decision. It has certainly been an emotional process, and I am so lucky to have the support from my husband. I'm not telling many people in my life, and the ones I've told have not had the reactions for which I was hoping. I have been lurking on this forum almost nightly, searching for women with similar stories, similar statistics-- and I can honestly say that it has been so reassuring! I am now confident in my decision and ready to emerge on the other side of this surgery!
Thank you for allowing me to share my journey!
With just under two weeks left until surgery, my...
- 27 Feb 2013
- 12 days pre
That said, anxiety is starting to set in! While I am comfortable with and excited about the surgeon I chose, I keep thinking about how I am going to let this man cut me in half, a man whom I have only met a handful of times. I know I’m as familiar with him as I am with any of my other doctors, but the thought of it is still slightly unnerving.
I’m thinking a lot about the final result and praying that I will be happy with my body on the other side of this experience! I’m also thinking a lot about recovery. I have read so many reviews on Real Self and have found such an array of experiences that now I’m not entirely sure what to expect. I see that some women undergoing the same two procedures as myself—TT and BA—are doing a light workout at three weeks post op while other women have reported not being able to stand straight until nearly four weeks post op! I don’t want to rush the healing process; I understand my body is about to undergo a major surgery and will need adequate time to recover… I just wish I had an idea of how I personally will heal from this—which, of course, no one can answer for me because it’s just a matter of taking it day-by-day after surgery. I have two small boys—ages 3 and 4—and my husband will only be home with me for the first ten days. I thought that was plenty of time, but now I’m getting nervous.
At my pre-op this past Thursday, my surgeon said he will be taking the compression garment off of my breasts at 2 days post-op and from that time forward he encourages me to wear a bra with no underwire. I’ve been researching a lot online about bras women have used, some with zippers, some with clips in the front. To ladies having had an augmentation as part of their mommy makeover, what was your favorite bra to wear post-op?
I am planning to add more pre-op pictures; I just have to work up some courage!
So here I sit, just one week until surgery. I...
- 4 Mar 2013
- 7 days pre
Whose standard of beauty am I trying to live up to? Society’s? My own?
Am I less of a feminist for having these procedures done? Less of a person?
Professionally, will I be taken seriously if I have a small waistline and big boobs? Will I look “done?” Will men (and women?) take me seriously in a professional setting?
I feel guilty for spending such a substantial amount of money on myself. Neither my husband nor my children benefit from this expenditure; at times the guilt is so consuming. I constantly think about what else we could do with the money being spent on my procedure.
Am I being vain / selfish?
I feel guilty for changing my boys’ lives for a few weeks. As an at-home mother, I am their primary caretaker, and I am worried about how they will adapt to the changes in our household.
I feel guilty that my husband will have to pick up the slack that I leave while I’m recovering.
I feel embarrassed that I am resorting to a surgical procedure to alter my appearance.
I am scared that the outcome will not be what I expect. I just want to feel at home in my body. What if I’m still unhappy?
Will my boys ever find out and if they do, what will they think?
I worry about extreme complications wherein my quality of life is compromised—debilitation, possible death?
All of that being said, every time I log into RealSelf and look at before and after pictures of women whose figures resemble mine, I get a boost of confidence in my decision. My husband is also very reassuring, though I know he’s starting to experience some anxiety as well—primarily, he’s worried about my health and safety.
For the last two weeks or so, in every one of my dreams I look how I imagine I’ll look after the TT and BA. Oddly enough, not one of my dreams has been about my procedure; they’ve been about things that I would normally dream about, but my appearance is altered. I feel like I’ve already made the leap subconsciously which gives me a calming, almost serene feeling when I wake up in the morning. Throughout the day, though, when I let my mind head into overdrive, I start to feel like it spins out of control.
I sincerely hope that on the other side of this process, I finally have the confidence—physically—that I have never had. I have a lot to offer this world personally, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally; I want that to reflect in my appearance. I want to feel “at home” in myself.
I do not know where the last two months have gone....
- 9 Mar 2013
- 2 days pre
I know I’m making the decision that’s best for me, and I know I will be happy on the other side of this, but it has been quite the journey! These last couple of days, I’m finding myself feeling more nervous than excited, and I’ve let worry overcome me—I am so in love with my husband and my little boys that the thought of anything going wrong absolutely paralyzes me with fear. I am looking forward to the moment I open my eyes and see my husband’s handsome face. Then all of this worry and stress and fear will wash away. Pre-operatively, I have put in a substantial amount of emotional, psychological, and spiritual energy. I’m looking forward to calming all of that and focusing on the physical work after my procedure. I understand there will be pain, but I keep telling myself that if I can endure two natural childbirths so too can I endure this recovery.
Currently, I am going through a sort of "goodbye" process. I find myself looking in the mirror a lot and touching or tugging at my stomach frequently. I definitely will not miss the sagging skin or my deflated breasts, but there's something about shedding this skin-- literally and figuratively-- that has me feeling a little sentimental. This sagging skin came about through the carrying of my sweet boys; these deflated breasts became saggy through years of nurturing those same sweet boys. I can imagine this is similar to selling a first home and moving into a new one; it’s exciting but still bittersweet to leave the old memories behind.
I am excited about the enhancements I am making to my body and the changes to come in the weeks ahead. In the days leading up to my surgery, I feel a lot like I felt in the days before giving birth to each of my sons—wonder of the unknown, worry for complications, and excitement for what’s to come. I’m ready to shed this skin and birth myself forth into the world.
I have spent the last two days scrubbing my entire...
- 11 Mar 2013
- 1 day pre
I'm ready, girls! I'm finally ready!
And since I'm such a strong believer in the power of prayer, positivity, happy energy, and love: if you are reading this, spare me a momentary thought. I sincerely appreciate it!
I arrived at the hospital around 11:30 and was...
- 14 Mar 2013
- 2 days post
I have never been so happy in my life--other than the births of my children-- than to see my husband's beautiful face after I woke up from surgery. He couldn't stay for long because he had to get back to take care of our boys. My night in the hospital was absolutely horrendous, to be honest. I think I would rather do drug-free childbirth all over again than experience the pain that first night. I had extreme nausea and could not sleep, eventually I did throw up. Luckily, I had the most amazing and sweet nurse who just sat with me and rubbed my head and got me cold washcloths. We found a good balance of anti-nausea med / pain killers and I was finally able to get a couple of good chunks of sleep.
My catheter came out at 6a the next morning, and Dr. Bean came in to see me around 7a. I was able to (briefly) see the results. He said he wanted me to stay the day in the hospital since I had had such a difficult night. My day went much better, I was able to get in and out of bed unassisted and I was also able to get to the bathroom. I must say, though, peeing has felt really strange these last couple of days and it takes me forever to empty my bladder.
I had a few visitors in the hospital then a few at home, and I think I overdid it by staying awake and moving around so much because by 6p last night, I could barely move. Today I've been relying on my husband so much more to help me up and down instead of doing it myself. I prefer to do everything myself, but I've realized that being "strong" now will only bring me backwards in the long run-- better to let myself heal for at least a few days.
I go back to see Dr. Bean tomorrow afternoon and will hopefully get my drains out then. They weren't producing a lot, so he is confident that they'll both come out tomorrow. I'll be sure to add pictures once all of the bandages are off. I have quite a few under my compression garment that I'm unable to take off until I see him tomorrow.
THANK YOU all so much for your kind words, happy thoughts, and words of love. I am so happy to be on the other side of this. I can't wait to feel like it was all worth it!
I had my post-op appointment today, and my drains...
- 15 Mar 2013
- 3 days post
Today was definitely a turning point for me in terms of activity and fatigue! I have been sleeping a lot less and walking comfortably a lot more; I was even able to play with my boys for a couple of hours today! I have missed them so much. My husband has turned into super-dad over these last few days-- he is such a blessing! But, I didn't realize how hard it would be to not pick up my boys and attend to their needs, to hold them when they are crying. I just keep telling myself that I'm only a few days post-op and I need to recover fully so that I can care for them properly when my husband goes back to work.
Dr. Bean removed all of my dressings, and I looked at myself for the first time in a full-length mirror since the night before surgery. I feel fat, I feel bloated... I feel a lot like I felt after giving birth. It probably doesn't help that I haven't had a BM yet, but I am afraid to take a laxative!
I am now wearing a regular bra without underwire, and I fill out a 34 C! I have spent the last two months worrying that 397ccs would be too big, but I think once they drop and soften more, I'll like really them! I'm really hoping that once this bloated feeling passes, I'll be happier with my belly. I see all of the skin is gone and all of the stretch marks are gone, but my belly looks big to me! Anyway, another day forward!
I hit a couple of milestones today: I took my...
- 16 Mar 2013
- 4 days post
I feel fat today. Honestly, I've felt fat every single day since. I'm worried my incision is high. I'm worried I look fatter now than before the surgery.
Luckily, when I start feeling sad, I can look up at my new boobs to put a smile on my face. My husband told me today-- "When you decided to get this done, I imagined them in my head, and they look exactly how I pictured-- perfect." He's slightly irritated that I'm feeling so shitty (note the reference to the laxative-- ha- HA) about my bloating / swelling, but I guess this is all part of the process.
I haven't updated in about a week, so here we go.....
- 23 Mar 2013
- 11 days post
By days six and seven, I weaned myself to one nap a day; on day eight I resumed normal household activity with my boys. I have to say, though, I see a considerable difference in my energy level. I am completely wiped by 2p and am ready for bed hours earlier than normal. While I will be happy when I see a significant increase in energy, I'm as equally happy to report that this is the only issue I am having post-surgery!
I was feeling incredibly itchy underneath my garment, particularly around my incision on day 9 so Dr. Bean had me come in and removed all of the tape. He and his cosmetic consultant encouraged me to take a look in the full length mirror hanging on the door. I was nervous because all along I've felt as though once the garment come off, a round belly would emerge. I obliged, though, and for the first time since the procedure I looked at myself and could not believe the results-- my belly was flat, my breasts were full! I was also amazed at how thin the incisions were and how carefully he placed them! After removing the tape, he cleared me to begin massaging my incisions with Vitamin E Oil. I have been doing that for the past three days and I'm already noticing a difference!
I have been in an underwire-free cupped bra since day 2 post op, and my breasts have settled nicely, though they have a little bit to go. They are very soft to the touch and feel like my own already!
I feel great other than being tired, so I'm extremely anxious to get back into normal activity-- running around with my boys, working out, etc. I feel like a lump. Thanks to Dr. Bean, however, I've lost one inch off my waist (and gained a couple in my bust)!
I finally took more post-op pictures today after a...
- 24 Mar 2013
- 12 days post
My mantra this week has been: “This is...
- 1 Apr 2013
- 20 days post
As I mentioned, I was invited to participate in the updating of my surgeon’s website. I was interviewed on camera for about fifteen minutes and also took a fun photo with his cosmetic consultant. Agreeing to participate and then participating in the video / photo shoot has sincerely changed my thinking on the whole process as well. It was a “coming out” of sorts. I have been incredibly secretive about this journey, except for the openness I have expressed on this forum. I’ve been worried about what people will think if they do find out, and after working with the advertising agency for just under an hour or so I have finally turned a corner in my mind. I own this. I had plastic surgery. I paid money to a man to alter my body.
The fact of the matter is, I am far happier now than I have ever been. When I went shopping for the outfit pictured in my photos above, I was alone. There was a middle-aged woman waiting for her daughter who was also in the dressing room. I put on the (size 2, yes I know I’ve already mentioned that!) pants and the shirt. I emerged from the dressing room directly into an area where multiple mirrors faced each other at an angle so that when I stood in the middle, I could see every aspect of my body reflected back at me. I wanted to say to the woman, “Hey lady, come see me!” I wanted to call my husband. I wanted to run through the store. I could not believe it was my body in the mirror. It’s all I ever wanted, and I feel that I worked hard to get to where I was pre-surgery so that I can finally say my surgeon helped to transform my body into what was waiting underneath all the extra skin.
Still, my body is not perfect. I’m worried about my scar being too high. I’m about my breasts being slightly too big. I’m worried that I have a little too much fat above my belly button. I’m worried that I should have done lipo to get rid of my problem areas. I’m worried that my arms are getting flabby and my thighs are droopy. I could go on. Underneath my compression garment, I still imagine the belly that once was. I find myself being extremely cautious about what I am eating since I can’t work out, but I miss the indulgences. When I do indulge (thank you, Easter Bunny), I feel guilty afterward because I know I’m not working it off. My hope is that once I settle back into my life I won’t be so critical or judgmental, because right now I am looking at myself and examining everything, from “is this swelling, or is it fat?” to “oh, man I have to work on my arms!” I’m excited to experience my life in this improved body. I cannot wait to grab my children and dance around the kitchen with them. I cannot wait for Shaun T to yell at me “Come on, y’all! S’gooo!” I cannot wait to snuggle with my husband at night instead of being laid up on my back with pillows propped under my knees. All in due time. I know in the scheme of my life this is a short time to dedicate to lifelong happiness.
I’m not planning to openly share my plastic surgery journey with “friends” on Facebook, nor do I plan to wear a t-shirt announcing the fact. I do, however, hope to be a liaison for those considering surgery… a friend with words of encouragement, a beam of support for those going through an emotional process with which they are unsure of what to do—“no, you are not vain or selfish or less of a woman / man and, yes, you do deserve to do this for yourself.” I had plastic surgery. I sit up straighter. I hold my head higher. I smile a little brighter.
I have finally made it to the “worth it” side,...
- 14 Apr 2013
- 1 month post
I love my body. I sincerely, honestly, love my body. I have flaws, and I still see them—sometimes they glare at me in the mirror. But, I can honestly say that I am kinder to myself now. Through this process of coming to like myself physically, I feel unrestricted—like I can finally exist in this world the way that I am meant to! What beauty there is to be found in a quick interaction with a stranger, eye contact, a simple smile, a brief exchange. I walk with my head held high and what a difference it has made! I have never felt more "me" in my whole life. I feel at peace. I feel at home. I feel like my exterior finally matches what's in my heart, and with that I am free to live my life as wholly myself.
This was completely and totally 100% worth it all. I cannot thank my husband enough for this beautiful gift nor can I put into words how thankful I am to Dr. Bean!
My Missing Piece: 4 Months PO / New Pictures!
- 23 Jul 2013
- 4 months post