As I search through the pics and stories on this wonderfully informative website, I realize that my "before" picture was one I was proud of. I am am now painfully aware that I should have never gone through with a procedure that would result in my worst nightmare. Here's my story.
I am a 36 year old, active and physically fit mother of 2. Although I love my children dearly :) both of my pregnancies left their toll on my body. After gaining close to 80 lbs with each of them I was able to get back down to my ideal weight with proper diet and exercise. The loose skin on my abdomen was apparent, but I was still proud to wear a bikini bc of how hard I worked for it! Last summer I started having some bulging and pain above my bellybutton that was diagnosed as an umbilical hernia. I went to see a surgeon who specialized in umbilical hernias and he told me that he could also fix my little pouch of skin and saggy bellybutton. I had the surgery in Nov/2011. It was supposed to be an outpatient "day surgery" but when I woke up I was in excruciating pain, my blood pressure was very low and I ended up being admitted to the hospital for a week. When I got home I couldn't even lay in my bed so I slept in a chair in my living room. Little did I know that I'd be in that chair for months. My surgeon did not believe in the use of drains so I had bloody discharge running out of my incisions and navel constantly. A lot of it.
Weeks later at follow up appts, I was still having so much pain and discomfort that my husband had to pretty much carry me into the office. After making us wait for hours, (every time, regardless of scheduled appt), my surgeon kept on reassuring me that he did a great job and basically made me feel like I was bothering him. I was concerned with how high the incision was and why it was opening more and more each week. I was also getting concerned with how enormous my stomach continued to grow, especially since it was now turning green, purple and red under the skin. I was told it was just swelling. Eventually, I developed a high fever and my belly button started oozing litres of thick, green, foul smelling pus (sorry for the visual but it was so frightening!) They did an ultrasound and discovered that I had an infected seroma/clot that ran the entire length of my scar. Thats probably when my doctor realized that drains would have been a good idea, but being to late for me, he tried to aspirate some of the fluid by trying to jam long thick needles into my already sensitive and tender abdomen. He couldn't get the needles to penetrate the casing of this fluid which I now know is called a pseudobursa, thanks to a blog I found, written by a very informative and skilled PS.
I am in the process of finding out if a revision is possible with this PS but I would have to travel very far away and I am scared to death to go through this again. The thought of doing so without my husband and children around me is terrifying! It has almost been 9 months now and I am just so devastated. I still have pain in my stomach, far worse then the hernia ever was. Although my incision has finally closed and healed I am left with a very high scar that is not concealable in shorts, never mind a bikini, and also a giant bulge that hangs over it. I didn't have a "tummy tuck" in the traditional sense, I had no lipo or muscle repair done, but I am left with a tummy tuck scar, an "outie" belly button, as well as a very noticeable vertical running down my stomach that was once my old belly button. I am so ashamed that I hardly go outside anymore and while friends and family are out enjoying this beautiful summer, I am covered up and embarrassed. I also haven't been able to exercise properly during this ordeal, so weight gain has been another splendid perk. My advice to all moms on this site who may be looking into doing something to fix the sag and stretch marks; Maybe we should be more proud of our hard earned "mom stripes."