I am a mom to three wonderful children (18, 8 and...
I am a mom to three wonderful children (18, 8 and 6). After my third child, I lost all of my baby weight from the three pregnancies (over 40 pounds) and discovered a new me. My weight has fluctuated over the years, peaking at around 200 pounds, down to 120 at my lowest.
I am currenly at 135 pounds and am happy with where I am, except for my belly. I HATE MY BELLY, no other way to describe it. I have been saving up for the past 5 years for this surgery and now that I have enough money saved, I realized that there were no more excuses for not getting this done! I want to look as beautiful as I feel on the inside.
I do not have any before photos yet - I can hardly look in a mirror let alone take a photo :) I will do it, just need to work up the nerve.
My worry is not the surgery itself, it is the recovery. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize my quality of life with my children, and truly, I don't need this surgery to have a good quality of life, but I find that I don't get the full enjoyment out of my life because my tummy is constantly on my mind. It's the first thing I look at in EVERY photo and I try very hard to hide it.
SO - my decision is being made for ME and I feel like it is the right one. I am certain I will look back and have no regrets - I just want to fast forward time to 6 months from now when I get the nerve to finally put in a bikini. I have NEVER worn one in my life and I want to be able to do so before my 40th birthday.
The countdown is on - 16 days. Oh my, so much to do before this happens :)
SO - today I am now officially 2 weeks until my...
SO - today I am now officially 2 weeks until my tummy tuck. I am wrestling with the thoughts of having a full tummy tuck repair versus having lipo and removal of the extra skin from my three pregnancies (no stretch marks which I guess I should consider myself lucky).
Does anyone have any advice on whether fixing the abdominal muscles really helps with the tummy tuck? Mine aren't too far apart in my opinion - one finger width maybe? This is probably just me trying to figure out a way to minimize the recovery pain and time period :) I don't want to do this though and regret that I didn't do the muscle repair as well. I figure there must be someone out there who had the same thoughts and may have some good advice.
I am feeling a bit stressed about the fact it's only 2 weeks until my procedure. I work full time and am trying to finish up some things at work before I am off. I am doing my MPA and have a midterm and assignment due within the next two weeks and of course there are TONS of things that I think I should be doing at home to get prepared for this. I guess I'll just put it all in perspective, prioritize and everything will be fine. I am lucky to have my huband at home through my recovery, so taking care of my kids isn't going to be an issue for me, thankfully.
Otherwise, I am making soups and meals to freeze so my hubby can keep everyone fed. I follow the simply for life program (google it if you are curious) and I want to have lots of the dishes that I can eat all prepared so I don't start eating all the wrong foods after my surgery.
Still no before photos yet....hey, I've still got 2 weeks, right? :)
Wow - time sure flew by! It's now just 2 days...
Wow - time sure flew by! It's now just 2 days until my surgery! I'm fluctuating between being scared, nervous, excited, all pretty much at the same time! I finish work tomorrow at noon and then am off for just shy of 3 weeks for recovery. Going to take before photos tonight, promise :)
I am NOT looking forward to buying ganny panties tonight.....saw a suggestion somewhere to wear two pairs, to help hold up the surgical drains. May give that a go.
Speaking of surgical drains....that whole thing is kind of grossing me out - hoping they don't stay in very long.....
Any words of advice are appreciated, feeling kind of unprepared for this - but I know it will be fine.
OMG! My surgery is TOMORROW!! Officially feeling...
OMG! My surgery is TOMORROW!! Officially feeling nervous, excited, scared.....but no regrets on my decision so I guess that's a good thing. Tomorrow afternoon might be a different story. My surgery is scheduled for noon (Atlantic Time). My husband is taking me in and will be hanging out with our son who is in University. Looking forward to seeing them both after I am settled in my room at the clinic. I will have a private nurse for the night which is very reassuring.
Bought my granny panties, have lots of food made and otherwise, looking forward to getting this show on the road. Not so sure about where I'll end up sleeping for the first few days - we have three different recliners in the house but I'm really hoping to be able to sleep in bed with a bunch of pillows in various places proping me up. I don't sleep very well on my back nor sitting up, so this could be a challenge :)
No before pics yet - will post them tonight! I will get hubby to take them - he'll be shocked as I never reveal my belly to anyone in full daylight, LOL.
Well - here are the before photos! My 6 year old...
Well - here are the before photos! My 6 year old daughter helped me take them. She's very excited for her mommy to get rid of her squishy belly, LOL. So is mommy! Excited and nervous.
Day 2 of post op - up bright and early, eating a...
Day 2 of post op - up bright and early, eating a bit of breakfast before my husband picks me up at 7:30am. We got the go ahead to go straight home thankfully as it said in our post op directions that we were tp spend another night in the city, close to the clinic.
No complications and I've had no drainage from my one drain which I'm told is normal. Maybe it'll start today, who knows.
My abdomen is very tight and I walk hunched over for sure. No regrets so far, emotions are doing well, hope the trip home goes smoothly, nurse gave me half a gravol so I'm sure it'll be fine. Looking forward to perching myself in my recliner and taking care of this new body of mine! Determined to stick with my healthy eating and get every benefit from this surgery that I can!
I very much appreciate all the well wishes and kind words from the ladies here on this forum, it helps to know that I have such a wide virtual but personalbe support system and so many people here who have gone through the same thing!
On my way home! Feeling really good, looking...
On my way home! Feeling really good, looking forward to getting propped up in my own bed :) and for the record, the hiccups don't hurt my abdomen, thankfully! Can't believe I got the hiccups! Better than sneezing I guess :)
Another beautiful day here in Nova Scotia! I am...
Another beautiful day here in Nova Scotia! I am now entering Day 3 post op - and so far so good. I cut back my diludad today, going to try for just extra strength tylenol tomorrow, don't want to be taking these narcotics any longer that I absolutely have to. Pain is okay, more discomfort than anything, and of course my abdomen feels tight, which is what is expected :) I emptied my first little bit out of my drain last night and this morning there was just a dribble in there - so I'm looking good for getting this drain out on Monday!
My little girl got up in the night with the flu (poor thing!) and my husband was taking cold meds when getting into bed last night....I'm surrounded by germs! I really really hope I don't catch any of this, I'm keeping up on my sleep, lots of fluids and healthy eating. Feels kind of ominous though.....
Otherwise - I'm heading downstairs to prop myself up in my recliner and watch a movie with my daughter. We are painting our nails today as well - have to keep up the glamour, LOL.
I welcomed Day 4 post op with some beautiful...
I welcomed Day 4 post op with some beautiful sunshine in my window - and got out of bed by myself today! It was far from graceful, but was so happy to be able to do it myself :) Abdomen is still feeling quite tight, I can feel in incision if that makes sense - it doesn't hurt, but I can feel where it is. I am trying to walk a bit more upright today - PS told me to walk hunched over for the first few days and then try to straighten up a bit more each day after that. Not going to push it of course.
On tap today is some movies with my little girl (she's still sick poor thing) and reading some of my course work. For some reason I thought it was a good time to not only scheduled my TT, but I also started in on my masters in Public Adminstration, combined with working fulltime! Sometimes I think we women need our heads examined :) I can tell that I'm feeling better and on the mend as I'm thinking about all the stuff that I should be getting done around the house. Hubby is being wonderful though and is taking super care of me - but I'm a doer and not someone to sit around a whole lot. I'm managing to stay put though - looking forward to getting outside tomorrow and going back to the clinic to get my drain out. Hardly any drainage at all since it was put it - probably that way due to the fact I did not have lipo with my procedure, but just my guess.
Day 6 post op! I was back to the surgical center...
Day 6 post op! I was back to the surgical center yesterday and had my one drain removed. Now THAT was the weirdest thing I have ever experienced in my life! It didn't hurt - but it was the weirdest feeling. I had no idea where the drain was in my body, other than it came out on my right side. The nurse got all my dressings off and checked out the incision site - everything looked great. Then she got me to take a deep breath in, and exhale slowly. As I exhaled, she pulled out the drain. I could feel it come out and it was such a freaky feeling! The end of the drain was way over on my left side and came out on my right side! And, after it was out, I could feel the fluid in there moving around and re-settling. Very glad it is out though - ready to fast forward my recovery now!
Today was my first shower - and boy did it feel great! Took a lot of my energy though and I thought that I would like the feeling of having the support garment off, but when I got everything dried off, bandaged back up and had the garment back on again, it felt so good!! Almost reassuring. I have to go out later and buy those steri strip things that go over your incision, I didn't get those and have a few that are loose after my shower. One thing to add to your list of things to get before surgery :)
Pain meds are down to two extra strength tylenol about 3 times a day now. I let my body tell me when the meds are needed now - and it's been working out really well.
I have been peeing like crazy for the past few days - all those IV fluids they give you during and after surgery. Plus I'm a big water drinker so that's helping to flush things out.
I shouldn't have done it, but I stepped onto the scales the other day to see where I was at post op. I knew that I'd be higher and was okay with that - but was very delighted to see that I was only 1 pound up from my before surgery weight, and that was with all my garments and clothes on.
My kids want to see my incision site - not so sure I want to show them as I don't want to scare them, but am thinking that I will. I took pictures today after my shower and will post them a bit later. So far things look great, even when I'm still hunched over which is something I never thought could happen (still looking good hunched over). Belly is still pretty numb and I can feel the fluid ontop of my muscles underneath. All in all though, I can honestly say this is going better than I thought and am looking forward to more progress over the next week!
Made it to the 1 week milestone! Hardly seems...
Made it to the 1 week milestone! Hardly seems like it was a week since I had my surgery! I started noticing yesterday that I am standing up straighter in the mornings.....by evening though, I'm pretty hunched over again. My energy level is back up to pretty much normal, but I am still having an afternoon nap for about 1/2 an hour. Sleeping at night is not the best yet - I am NOT a back sleeper but am luckily able to sleep on my side for a good part of the night.
I have developed an annoying cough - a dry one - mostly bothers me at night, but man does it hurt to cough! I drink water constantly - so I'm up to pee all the time, day and night. I feel that it certainly helps with the swelling, last night was the first time that I had to loosen my compression garment a bit.
Emotions have been pretty good - no regrets yet about having the procedure done. I do miss laying on my kids bed and reading them a book before bed - but that will come with a bit more time.
I haven't looked at my surgical site in a couple days - plan to take a shower today and put new dressings on it. My nurse said to expose the incision site to the air for a few hours a day to help with the healing. Feels good to be out of the compression garment so guess I'll give it a go :)
Today I'm doing an assignment for a class I'm taking - lots of reading and writing. My oldest son is home for the week-end from University so it's be so nice to hang out with him for a bit :)
I'm 10 days post op now and doing great! I am...
I'm 10 days post op now and doing great! I am standing up straight until about 5pm now, then I'm hunched over only a bit with sore stomach muscles, but at least the horrible aching back muscles seem to be done with.
Otherwise, I've driven my car (a standard), been shopping, tuck the kids into bed at night now, doing the laundry (including hanging it outside) and making meals now for the family. I take breaks often and keep up on my water which makes a huge difference.
I still have the surgical tape over my incision, been told to keep mine on until my three week check-up, replacing and strips that fall off. I have to put polysporin ontop, and I only do this every couple of days. I've done my hair, put on a bit of make-up and am still sporting the yoga suits and stretchy pants as I have to wear my binder for 3 weeks minimum. Doing as I'm told though - just to be sure everything goes well. I had my binder off this morning and I can tell a big difference in the swelling.
I have the weirdest sensations when I rub along my incision site - I can feel a touching sensation about 2 inches above where I'm actually touching. Really freaky! I haven't been massaging my incision yet - was basically told to leave things alone until the three week mark at which that point we will talk about silicone bandages, etc.
I have now progressed to sleeping with only my regular pillow and a pillow under my knees. I can sleep on both sides and am longing to sleep on my belly, but am not even attempting that for the time being. The worst thing I find is that my body really really really wants to stretch - so a good stretch is what I'm missing most right now.
I haven't really had a good look at my results yet - I know things are way better, just waiting as long as I can before I really take a close look and see things. Maybe trying to avoid disappointment? I'm not really sure why I'm waiting......
And that's my update for day 10. Still off work which is wonderful, have another full week off and then back to work. Oh the fun....going to go buy that lottery ticket, heard our jackpot is 50 million......surely it is my time to win :)
Day 11 post op - today is the first day that I...
Day 11 post op - today is the first day that I feel like I could go around without my binder on! I've had it off for showers and to just rest a bit from it, but always felt way better when it was back on. Not today baby! There's no holding me back now - except for the pesky 10 pound weight lifting limit.
I don't take any pain pills now, except for when I go to bed, and that's just for comfort so I can sleep on my side for a bit. It doesn't hurt, but it feels different and funny, so this way I don't feel that and can get a good sleep.
I received some papers from work today and I am thinking about taking another week off work - it's there for me to take (at full pay which is a bonus) so I figure why not. Will have to get extra forms filled out by my PS, but that shouldn't be a problem. Hey - who can't use more time off work!
Oh, and I discovered today that I am officially walking completely normal now - no hunching over at all - woot! Good positive progress - sure hope it continues :) Will post new pics soon :)
Well - I am now at 2 weeks post op + one day and...
Well - I am now at 2 weeks post op + one day and going strong! Moving around well, standing up straight, can cough somewhat without dying in pain and my incision seems to be healing well.
Only issue I seem to have developed is a problem with a small part of my belly button. It seems to have opened up on the bottom bit, you can see it in the close up photo I've added. Seeing my doctor on Monday and hopefully he'll know what's going on and be able to tell me what to do about it. I don't think my belly button looks overly natural - will ask about that a well.
All in all, I can't complain a bit about my progress so far! I couldn't really tell a difference in the swelling and shape of my tummy, but looking at my last pics, I can see a big difference. Curvier for sure - still adjusting to the change in looks of my body. Looking forward to another week off work!
Just had my three week post op check with the PS...
Just had my three week post op check with the PS and got the okay to take the binder off - woo hoo, hip hip hooray I am free! I have a feeling that I may put it back on from time to time if I've had a long day.
The steri strips came off and my incision looks pretty good, he was happy with how it was healing. I have one tiny spot that bled when I took one of the strips off (pin drop sized) so I kept a couple steri strips over that area. The skin still looks a bit swelled and a few wrinkles here and there that I hope will smooth out. I also hope that I still have swelling that is going to go down as I am fuller just below my belly button than I was before.
My belly button has a small separation of the skin - Dr. said to keep it covered in polysporin and keep a bandage over it (same advice I got from another kind person on these forums). I have to go back in Mid-Jan to check that it's closing okay - but if I am concerned about how it's healing I can go in to see him before then. I'm not overly amused that this happened, but he explained why it happens (has to do with cauterization and not enough blood supply over the thin skin area in that part of my BB). SO - I will have a bandage over my BB for a while, guess I can deal with that :)
SO - as soon as I got home, the binder came off! I'm not sure how jeans are going to go, will keep a few bandages onhand to cover up if I'm feeling the urge to wear my jeans anytime soon. Glad the binder is gone though - I have to wear business wear next week for a course that I'm taking as part of my MPA (Management) and I was wondering how I was going to swing that.
I think i'm fairly happy with the results so far - patiently waiting to see how things progress over the next few months and what the final result will look like. I have a feeling I may be interested in lipo for my hips and back of my legs...but will give it some time. I really am happy with my belly and my new look - never expected to be model thin or flat and I think my PS did a great job of matching my belly to my overall physique - didn't want to be pancake flat with curves elsewhere :)
My Dr. gave me the name of a Silicone gel to put on my incision site - twice a day for 3 months! I had to order it in at our local pharmacy and will pick it up tomorrow :)
Now to get brave and venture out and buy a bikini! I think I will end up having to get a boy shorts style bikini due to my scar, but will have to wait and see how they fit/look.