Finally Pictures...

I'm a 32 yo woman that has had four pregnancies,...

I'm a 32 yo woman that has had four pregnancies, two live births, two miscarriages. My first son was born in 2000, my second in 2008. My first son had special needs and I completely dedicated the 6 short years he was with us to his care. After a short break, completion of a Master's degree and return to the workforce, I once again became pregnant, and my sorrow was replaced with joy.

The second pregnancy was very different from my first, I carried much larger and developed stretch marks and spider veins. Once again the joy overshadowed the loss of the pre-pregnancy me. As time has passed, I have considered many options for weight loss, and smoothing out my contours. Never was I a "thin" woman, so returning to "normal" should have been simple. Now in my 30's, simple is a myth when almost anything is discussed.

I've been seriously considering plastic surgery for the past 4-5 years. I have went for consultations for tummy tucks, only to be told I need to loose weight, I should have bypass...etc. etc. I am at a current weight of 245lbs., 5'2". I know I am overweight, but even with regular exercise and diet modification, results have not been great. There has been a consortium of opinions, " you're over 30, weightloss is a different ball game", "you should discontinue your birth control, hormones play a key role in weight loss", "your mother and father are fat, so you will be too", you name it I've heard it.

One thing I know, I love me. I love my husband, my son, family and friends, but I love me more. I've worked hard to accomplish my goals in the past, I've suffered many losses throughout life, I've conquered many obstacles, and I refuse to lose to my self. Prior to my second son I had found a place where fitness was fun and a healthy lifestyle was enjoyable. I long to return to that. I am hoping that this procedure makes it easier for me to exercise, easier to fit in clothing, and makes my outside me match the inner me, happy and full of joy.

Surgically my goals are
1.) smooth tuck (patented procedure similar to tummy tuck, yet no muscle repair and inclusion of aggressive liposuction). This procedure seems to suit me well as I AM overweight and my fat is centrally located.
2.) thigh liposuction- I have always wanted smaller thighs. Since I was about 8 yrs old I had difficulty finding pants that fit properly. Tight on legs, large on waist. This procedure would have to be performed separately, and I'm hoping the first doesn't scare me so much I punk out.

My feelings about the surgery are mixed. I feel selfish, I have a young child and husband that need me, and there are risks with surgery, some quite serious. But I do realize that I always put others first. I NEVER put my needs above other's wants. I want to change that. I want to restore the balance, take care of my duties and MYSELF.

I feel nervous, I was lightheaded signing my consent forms, as it seems surreal that I am actually doing this to myself. I'm scared, full of "what ifs", but having faith in my God has somewhat put me at ease. I'm excited, wondering how it would feel to have a flat stomach, or at least not have the one I have now.

I'm so grateful to my best friend who offered post-op care for me and assistance with my 3 year old. Without her, I couldn't have scheduled my surgery. I would have rather had this procedure in September, but I'll sacrifice one summer of fun for a more permanent sense of fulfillment, knowing I have someone who WANTS to help me be at my bedside full of support.

I'm a little disappointed by the people who respond negatively to the idea, or make comments regarding how inconvenient this will be for them. Well I'm so sorry I won't be able to do for YOU during the short time I'm choosing to do for MYSELF. And so life is....get over it:)

I'm scheduled for July 17th and I am less than a month away, today was my pre-op appointment. I received my prescriptions, colace, Keflex, percocets...my recommendations and took my before pictures. If I can survive wearing tiny disposable underwear in front of a blue screen taking nude pictures, I can survive anything. I'm sure my nerves will kick in and I will be an irritable mess, but today is not the day. I will be scheduling two full body massages, and mani-pedi prior to surgery to calm my senses.
I have already bought my electrolyte fluid for post op, jello, crackers, chicken broth, all fat free, to get me through my first week.

I'm sharing my story here because I am SO grateful for all the pictures and stories I have read on here, people sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope my surgery goes well and I'm able to share my results with the real self community. So until the next post....

Welcome to RealSelf!   I am so happy to have you in the community with us.  

The one thing I want to say is that you DO deserve this surgery.  As women we always put everyone else first.  There is nothing wrong with doing something for yourself.  So keep your chin up and stay positive.  Also ignore the haters and negative people.   

I remember the feeling I had when they took my pictures and I wanted to die in front of the camera.  But we made it!!

I look forward to following your journey as you go through this process.

Reply

So today was a better day. Yesterday my husband...

So today was a better day. Yesterday my husband voiced his opinion regarding my choice to have surgery during the summer. Clearly he is dismayed by how inconvenient this will be for the entire family. I have sacrificed many things for my family, including my career and even some of my dreams. This is the first time in 13 years I have made a decision without a conference, request for permission or a big discussion. I have stepped into the light, put myself first, and hope those who CAN take care of themselves will, and those who can't will be assisted by those who remain. I'm already scared, anxious, nervous and everything between. Letting go of control for a little bit is going to be difficult, but I'll do it. I wish my family was more supportive, but I have bigger things to focus on. I'm blessed for the friends, and few family members that have already reached out to assist and relax me. Breakfast out with a friend this morning and a little venting went a long way.

Today I ran errands, picked up my pre-op prescriptions, stool softeners, enemas, all the what "if" stuff. I'm slowly preparing for my surgery date. I already loaded up on zero calorie electrolyte drinks, fat free crackers, fat free broth, and jello...my post op snacks. Still have to find this Arnica Montana that was recommended, and pick up some type of fiber drink. I know how my body reacts to the pain mess, and I am not looking forward to it. As the date gets closer I'm getting slightly more nervous, but I'm better than I thought I'd be. I completed my pre-op testing today, awaiting bloodwork results, but all else looks great, my blood pressure was 107 over 70, the best it's been since the birth of my son. Just getting through my list of "to do"s, and trying to relax...so much easier said than done.
Arnica Montana 30c is a supplement to minimize bruising. My Dr. Recommends 2 days before surgery and post op as needed. Couldn't find this thing anywhere, so I just ordered it off Amazon.com. Don't know if it will help, but it's worth a try.

Having a 3 yr old has been the uphill battle. Trying to prepare him for summer camp. Hoping those who will be helping me, will be able to manage. My friend who is helping me post op is planning a vacation for August. I'm hoping I recover quickly, now that my help, might be leaving for a week. Can't expect someone to put there life on hold, but I'm not sure I'll be able to manage my son fully 2 weeks post op. oh well, all in Gods hands now. Then to add to matters my menstrual cycle was off, if almost non existent this month. Highly doubt due to pregnancy, I AM on the pill. Guessing that all the stresses around me have factored into this. And although I had all the menstrual symptoms, headaches, cramps, mood issues, no reg. bleeding? Anyone else encounter this while waiting for surgery. Any who's....still cleaning out the nooks and crannies in the house....on my way. 12 more days to surgery, girls weekend this weekend and hopefully some time with hubby next weekend, the it's here....still surreal
Reply
Hello fellow TT for July 17th! Just wanted to stop by and see how you are doing... We have 13 days to go! I am nervous but excited. You are not alone in your healing as I will be healing with you! Hang in there. I have lots to do still and you are way more prepared than I am...lol. What is the arnica for and where does one get it?
Reply
Thank you so much for the welcome. I Know how much I deserve this, and as I'm paying for it it resonates, loudly too! Thank you Kimmers25 for all your survival guides as well, great reading:) and very useful:)
Reply

Well today makes one week until surgery! All types...

Well today makes one week until surgery! All types of excitement and nervousness all at once. Panic sets in at night, before bed when I lay there with my own thoughts. I'm leaving my everything in God's hands. I have done my best to secure the best care for me and my son, bring in family, choose a great doctor, I'm hoping all my plans help make this easier than I anticipate. My house is CLEAN. I'll just do a quick dusting and go over my floors the day before surgery. I'll also set out my sons clothes, and make lunches for camp, then say a prayer and wait for my surgery. I can't beleive I'm actually doing this....
How you holding up??? 4 days for you/5 for me :) I was supposed to get my period day before or day of my surgery but super glad it came 5 days early!!! Stress always seems to mess it up!!! Are you getting any sleep? I'm having crazy dreams! And if that isn't bad enough we've been having severe thunderstorms here the past 2 nights....so my bed seems to fill up with my scared little kiddies. Can't wait til we're on the flat side!!!
Reply
Hiya Mrs. S! =) We have 3 sleeps left...and then the BIG DAY!! WOW! Cannot believe its already here. So awesome that you have someone to help you. I have a dear friend that is also coming to assist me. She is an RN so I am more than thrilled!
I want to say that what you are doing is amazing in every way. You have overcome and you do deserve this. Dont let anyone bring you down with their opinions. That is all they have...is opinions. The fewer the facts the greater the opinion...so, let the facts be what they are: you deserve this and have wanted this for a long time...this is what YOU want, not them, but YOU! They want a new car, a house, maybe a full wardrobe, jewelry....let them. I am sure I can come up with a lot of negative opinions of my own for what they think is a "normal want..." LOL! We want to feel confident again. We want to to be able to put on a favorite top, dress, pants, shorts, capris, walk around naked....and feel sexy again. This site is amazing because there are more gals in here to life each other up than those that have the negative opinion. I am banking on the gals in here...girl, chin up!!! You are doing nothing wrong! Hang in there...! I am, as well as thousands of others, right here with you =)
Reply

So it's almost 1 am, and I finally broke down and...

So it's almost 1 am, and I finally broke down and took the at home pregnancy test, early detection, and I am NEGATIVE! So I am about 54 hours away from surgery, my grandmother is in, and although in her eighties, she is great company and support. I feel a huge weight has been lifted off of me. Now to focus on relaxation. I spent the whole day day doing laundry, cleaning floors, making beds, removing the acrylic from my nails...now my "to do" list is actually appearing shorter. I should sleep like a baby tonight...I think I am now getting a little nervous...but I can do this if all these other women can. Prayer for my strength:)
Holding up. Anxious slightly, yet no second guesses yet. Still cleaning and preparing. My period being off has me nervous on a whole different level. The idea of being pregnant can make me nauseous in and of itself. However I wake up feeling not too good as I get closer. Some heartburn, nausea, and symptoms that have me second guessing the tests during medical clearance. To be on the safe side I'll pick up a pregnancy test. Please everyone say a prayer that I'm just being over anxious. I am on the pill, and haven't missed one, but stranger things have happened. I'm holding up, cleaning like crazy ( cheap therapy). My son starts summer camp on Monday, and that has me more nervous than any surgery. Just hoping to get some peaceful sleep:)
Reply
I pray that your Journey goes well, congrats to your soon to be new body.....I think every mother should reclaim her self at one time or another, as women we give so much of ours self to careers, families, and friends are loss in that. It is very rewarding to take a breather an reclaim your happiness with whatever it is your heart desires.
Reply

THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY....eerily calm. Should...

THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY....eerily calm. Should really be asleep, but figured I will be doing plenty of that tomorrow. I couldnt go to bed without updating. I felt I owed it to everyone that suffered through their pain to share with me all the details. And knowledge is definitely helpful, and I am all so grateful. Still scared, as anyone should be. My support system is not as I had planned, but a few people are really stepping up to pick up some of the slack. Everyone writes about how supportive their husbands are, and I'm slighty at a loss in this category. I dont know whats going on with hubby, but after all the discussions we had he seems to be confused as to why I am doing this. I love my life, my family and myself, I am hoping this will increase my quality of life, enable me to be more active, more engaged. Downtime is a downer but Im hoping by this time next year, I will not even remember the pain and suffering. After everything I have overcome, I ask God to be with me, bless me, heal me and give me the strength to bounce back. This is the first step in a number of changes. On my way to the flat side, well at least the "not so round" side. I took my own before pics and was horrified. I didnt even realize I look that bad. Lets see what this"artist" can do to this canvas. so excited and scared...I just want to sleep. wish someone would just hold me until tomorrow, so until my next update and my pics are posted...Ciao!
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.
Reply
I am holding up. Few hours until the surgery and I am soooo excited scared and nervous all at once. My son started camp today and he had a great day, so Im so happy that he really enjoyed that. Its a big weight off my shoulders. Im hanging in there. Hope all goes well, that i go under easily and everything goes smooth and that I wake up...comfortably. Thanks for posting. Great to see people are actually reading my story:)
Reply
Thinking of you! Good Luck!
Reply

I'm home...really bad pain, but I'm alive and even...

I'm home...really bad pain, but I'm alive and even peed twice by myself. Not too long a post...but the doctor removed 15lbs and 4 liters of fat with lipo...what a day....I DID IT!

WOW now that is an amazing amount he removed!!!  Glad to hear your home and resting.

Keep us up to date when you are feeling a bit better.

Reply

So....today I am 8 days post-op. today is my...

So....today I am 8 days post-op. today is my first day off the pain pills. Oxycodone is no joke, and was so necessary to get through my first week, but zoning out all day and just laying around is not my idea of fun. Found the pills altered my mood, memory, and emotions. So today feeling slightly better.

Clearly I am no superhero, and day 8 post-op I am barely walking around, still haven't ventured outside except for my doctors visit, and still get terribly winded after walking a short distance. I see my recovery will be slow, thank god I'm patient. Hoping to get pics up by the end of the week, by then I should be able to walk upstairs to my bedrooms. Still sleeping in my recliner, and last night was the first night no one slept beside me on the couch.

At first I was having some issues with my husband, he didn't grasp the complexity of the surgery, and was in awe when my mother explained that I would be getting a new belly button. Don't think he knew how serious the surgery really was. But after a huge pill-induced breakdown, things began to change.

I'm healing slowly, but very very swollen, and can't imagine how I will look after I get back to normal. The doctor explained that roughly 3-4 pounds of skin and four liters of fat were removed with an estimated weight of 17 pounds. I'm swollen as all can be, but still down 6 pounds from the day of surgery. The numbers don't matter, but some people are curious:). None of my pants fit as my hips and butt are re-dunkulously swollen...expected but not fun. Thank god it's summer, so when I do head outside, a sundress will suffice. I'm patiently awaiting my first trip outside to Starbucks, slowly working up my stamina to be able to make it to the corner without being out of breath. I'm standing up straighter, but not straight...better than last week, but a ways to go.

I'm not eating no where what I was before, breakfast shake, light lunch, and for dinner a fistful of food, with a salad. No urge to snack, and trying hard to stay hydrated. My appetite sucks, but with this body, I can live off the land:) luckily been pooping well, never thought I'd get so excited to see poop, but for those of you that have taken narcotic pain medication, I'm sure you know why:).

My grandmother (who traveled in to stay with me) decided to extend her stay another week and boy am I grateful. Been having to have everyone chip in to help with my son, but it's been pretty smooth. Although I'm very dependent, at least I'm on the road to a great recovery.

Has this been easy...hell to the no. Not sure yet if it's worth it, but I sure am hoping. Another week until my next follow up visit. Praying no complications arise, hoping no surgical incisions open, and taking it one day at a time:)

17 days post-op...it has been a long two weeks and...

17 days post-op...it has been a long two weeks and a couple days. I am doing a thousand times better than the first few days, guess its pretty easy since all I did was pop pills, sleep and pee for the first few days. I am off the required antibiotics, no longer taking pain meds, and only ibuprofen at bed time. For the remainder of the 3rd week I will be doing very little, as the doctor says one more week of rest is beneficial. My next doctor visit is in 2 weeks, and last visit I purchased some biocorneum gel (scar treatment silicone gel). As far as gels go, it was costly, but after spending thousands on a procedure one must really nitpick to avoid spending 150 on a gel. The dr. Had a new garment for me, which compliments of my thunder thighs did not fit. No surprise, so on a hunt to find the perfect spanx. Hoping to find a website with free shipping and returns if necessary.

I am amazed at my progress in two weeks. My grandmother went home at the 2 week mark, so I have been cooking dinner, bathing and dressing my 3 year old since then. Still not bringing or picking him up from camp, as I find I get out of breath and start slumping my back in the heat. Trying to be conscious to stand up straight, but by the end of the day pretty exhausted, and even that task becomes difficult.

I have moved from the couch to the guest room. My bed is quite high, and the guest bed is much lower, not to mention I get to sleep alone, peacefully without worrying about catching an elbow or knee in my sleep. I am having a little difficulty remaining asleep, waking about 5 am every morning. Sure this is contributing to the morning fatigue. The doctor explained that energy level will be quite low for awhile, and I am seeing this in full force. Yesterday I cleaned my bathtub, a large soaking tub, and by the time I was done scrubbing, I was exhausted. So I did two loads of laundry and called it a night. Today I will be putting all that laundry away:). I am slowly getting to a new norm. Its just taking some adjustment.

Oops almost forgot....pre surgery weight 245....17...

Oops almost forgot....pre surgery weight 245....17 days post op...228...not really counting or caring, but glad to see the numbers falling

So...day 18 postoperative...and running a high ...

So...day 18 postoperative...and running a high fever...seems I've contracted strep throat, so another course of antibiotics. my skin hurts and all I want to do is cry. Hope this passes quickly as the chills and fever are quite uncomfortable.
Tears are ok and appropriate. We just had major surgery....I still have my share of the waterworks too =)
You will start to feel better, your body will start to behave and calm down and you will get through this tough time. We are all here for you!! Hang in there... =) HUGZ!!!
Reply
Thank you...kisses;)
Reply
Girl you had better get better =) So sorry to hear you are sick...ugh!!! Hang in there...you will make it!! HUGs and let us know how are you doing.
Reply

FINALLY PICTURES! Finally able to add pictures. ...

FINALLY PICTURES! Finally able to add pictures. Thank you to everyone who shared with me all the details, and pictures that have helped with my expectations and practical experience.
Mrs. Sanguine, has your stomach changed any? Mine seems to bulge out now and don't know why because I have lost weight. I will see Dr. S. tomorrow and see what he thinks. Just wanted to know if you had this happen. I just got breast reduction 21/2 weeks ago, with Dr. S.
Reply
Mrs. Sanguine, Thank You, Thank You for this! You have answered all my questions in my head, made me cry, laugh and even get a little scared. Everything you wrote from paragraph 3 is me but just add on 3 children. I am so happy that you finally got what you were deserve and that is to feel comfortable, all around confident and happy. Again, thank you for this post. I will keep in touch as when I receive my procedure. I know it's 2 years later but I've just joined and your story stuck out. Thank You
Reply
Love your review. You sound like an awesome person. Although it is a year+ later, (sorry, I just came across your post this evening) I am glad you were able to do something for YOU! What a great spirit. If you wouldn't mind, do you think you could post some current pics. You are right when you say that there are really no pics of bigger women after sx. I am a plus size woman and would love to see your current results. Thanks. Peace and Blessings!
Reply
New York Plastic Surgeon

An Internet search researching large volume liposuction brought me to dr. Schulmans procedures targeted towards the obese.

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
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful