No, I am NOT pregnant!

I am a mom to almost 2 year old twins. They were...

I am a mom to almost 2 year old twins. They were both around 6 pounds and i was huge when I carried them. I lost all the weight, 40 lbs I gained, and my stomach never went down. In the last year I have lost weight beyond where I started and y stomach has grown more round. It is now over 40 inches and I truly look at least 6 months pregnant, confirmed by the OB-GYN and my PS.

So, I have a major muscle seperation with maor back issues and digestion issues I hope will be resolved. I am scared, excited, freaked out and ready to feel human again. I CAN NOT wait to be on the flat side! Even with post-op swelling, I should be flatter than I am now. YAY!!

I am so worried about my kids. My family is trying...

I am so worried about my kids. My family is trying to figure out how their daily care is going to be covered without me. Originally I had two close female family members promise a LOT of child care. Like 90%. And now, they are no longer in the picture so it's a mess. My girls are almost 2 and very active and demanding. They also weigh close to 30 pounds a piece and love to be held.

Does anybody recall how soon they were able to lift 30 pounds? My muscle repair is major, about a 6 inch gap.( And the hernia repairs along with the skin, etc.) I can tell from reading the posts here that housework and stuff will be a few weeks away. I'm ok with the mess for a while, that happens when you have multiples anyway. But the girls are still in cribs so I definitely can not handle nap time alone. Morning and evening will have someone here for that. Any idea how long I will need help with that? I'm trying to get a girlfriend to come middays. But I don't think I can push too long with her as she has an infant of her own. Ugh, sorry I guess I'm just rambling. Thinking out loud? Thinking on the web? Thinking when I should be doing my homework? Oh, did I mention I am a full time student too? I am taking my finals a week early to accommodate the surgery date. So I am incredibly short on prep time for surgery. Like, I'll have 2 days. Saturday and Sunday. ...deep breaths, deep breaths...

Just to vent a little, I hate it that I am the one that always has to stress about this stuff. I guess it's a mom job, but I sure wish I felt more relaxed going into this thing, to know that stuff will be handled. Oh well.

I'll upload pics soon. Am having a hard time on my iPad getting this stuff done here. I sure wish realself, the most awesome place on the web, would update to accommodate us people in bed and such trying to do stuff on our mini devices. Why isn't there an app for that!?
:-)

I had the surgery on Monday, the 10th. So I am 6...

I had the surgery on Monday, the 10th. So I am 6 days postop. I'll add some pics tomorrow probably. I feel a little worried about how I look. I am trying to not think about it and just do the time it takes to heal. Either way, when I look down, I see boobs and not tummy; so that's awesome!

So I thought I could add some surgery details as...

So I thought I could add some surgery details as that's what everyone stresses over before it happens. :-)
Because my insurance was covering my muscle repair and hernia repair, I was also approved for a night in the hospital, which I felt great about.
My mom took me for surgery and she was so worried. All along she and others have been asking me, aren't you scared!? And I just kept telling them, it'll be worth it. I don't care, it'll be worth it. Besides looking 7 months preggo and all the obvious problems that caused,I had extreme backaches, getting worse every day. I was having a hard time holding a baby for more than a few minutes at a time and some days I could barely lift them at all. My digestion was messed up and I had this crazy acne all over that would get so inflamed and wouldn't heal. That didn't help in the appearance column either.
Well at preop I told PS I didn't have $$ for skin removal, insurance won't cover that of course. He was sort of horrified and said there was no way he could do a half-ass job. He was going to do his best to figure it out. I said , hey if you get in there and I need skin removed, I can pay later,installments -will work for plastic surgery? He told me not to worry. And I was happy.
Day of surgery I was almost giddy I was so excited,despite the other stresses I've been worried about. My mom would just look at me every 20 minutes and say, you aren't nervous. You're excited. She couldn't believe it. I just wanted to feel better and NOT LOOK PREGNANT!!!
So they wheeled me into the surgery room, which I super-dislike. And they gave me an epideral. I was a little worried about that, but OMG, I recommend! Surgery went well and I got a great room to myself. It was so nice to be there and not in the chaos of home.
Apparently when they went in to fix the hernia, they discovered that it had become strangulated and the was some necropsy happening. I feel so grateful about how all this came together quickly, because I now see that theUniverse was interfering. By Christmas I probably would have ended up in emergency surgery and possibly dead. :-/
And I definitely wouldn't have had pretty results!
So again, truly grateful.
Because of what they found in there I had to stay in the hospital for 3 days- I easily could've done more. ;-)
I was pumped full of major antibiotics to fight the infection. I had bad reactions to narcotics, blood pressure dips and severe sweating. I was also fighting a fever for a couple days. So again, so grateful to have been in the hospital.
Interesting result though---> My skin cleared all up. And I'm wondering, was all that infection from the hernia maybe?
Great news- the daily back problems that were plaguing me,are gone! Of course I have all that hunched over ache going on; but no more knives in my middle back or extreme lower back stuff. YAY!!
And my digestion if going very well. Because I wasn't on narcotics, I wasn't constipated too badly. Day 4 and day 6 had BM.
The epideral was so great because until they made me get up and walk, I had no pain! Got great sleep the whole day and night of surgery.

So, released on day 3 and came home to stressed out hubby and mom. (boo!) but oh well, they're stuck now. I know I'm not resting as much as I should, but am trying to wrap my head around that..

Now for results, I know I'm only a week out and major change hPpens 4-6 weeks, right? Well the PS told my mom they gave me a Beverly Hills TT. But... They had to use staples because of the high risk of infection. they are not pretty. And my skin didn't get pulled down tight. I expected to have a tight pull and no belly button. I was ok with that. But, they pulled skin down like an inch and that where my BB moved to. I looks like they stitched it from the inside to make it an innie as it was destroyed from pregnancy. But the skin around it is droopy and worst of all, it's an inch lower! I have a long torso. I'm 5'10". The extra low belly button is odd. Although none would've even odder still I suppose. Oh well.
My major concern is the lack of tightness of skin. It looks like I'm wearing pants too tight and I have a muffin top over the pants line/ incision. I know the scar should heal well, no matter how hideous it is now., but is the muffin top gonna smooth? Will I have a permanent muffin top?

The really cool thing is that when I look down, I see boobs! I have big boobs, but all I noticed was belly before. It stuck out a couple of inches beyond my boobs. And today I looked down and saw some of my leg! What?! YES!!
Oh and I bent over for the first time today to see what my belly would do and I almost could not believe when it stayed in place!! Awesomeness.

I have taken pics today. I may not be able to upload from phone so I may not be able to post yet. But please comment on them when I do post, if you had a similar experience, how it turned out, etc..
I'm seeing PS tomorrow. Hoping drain and staples which Re driving me mad, will be removed.
I have some weird skin on incision that looks brownish and fluid filled, like a long blister. So I hope that nothing. And I seem to be having more pain than most people. I ran out of my mild non-narcotic pain meds today. By the end of the day I was having a hard time waking and talking, it hurts!
So keep your fingers crossed that doc says all looks good, and removes the annoying foreign objects from me.. :-)

I am finally posting my 1 week post-op pics.

I am finally posting my 1 week post-op pics.

I saw the PS and he did remove the drain. He...

I saw the PS and he did remove the drain. He didn't warn me that's what he was doing and that with exhaustion from showering and stuff, left me to almost faint. Everyone was running around trying t find me snacks and juice so I wouldn't pass out. Their staff is so sweet, they gave me their personal treats.

Dr Cox did not remove the staples though. As you can see in the close-ups, I still have a good amount of redness going on. He was happy he had chosen staples because of this. He said that had he used stitches and it was infected, it would have just come apart. (yuck) So he wants another week of healing before staple removal. I get them out the 27th.
As for the overhang, muffintop looking part, he told me it was swelling. It has looked like that every time I've looked at my belly, since day one.; so I'm still concerned. I've seen lots of early post-op pics on this site and never have I seen one like this But it could just be staples I guess, or infection problems. I guess my case is a little abnormal. I asked him if it would look less puffy after staples came out, he said that is was takes 4-6 months, the smoothing out.

I also am still having a lot of pain. Dr. Cox said my diastasis ended up being 8 inches! So the amount of repair necessary, along with getting that hernia repaired, was pretty extensive.
I did sneeze last night and was surprised at how far I've come in a week. I sneezed three times my first night home and thought I was gonna die from the searing, ripping pain. :-)

Anywho, that's where I'm at now.
I put on real clothes, instead of the jammies I've been living in, to go to PS office. It was so awesome because although I am thick around the middle, I definiyely did NOT look pregnant!!! YAY!!!!!
So as far as that's concerned- goal accomplished!

I hate these staples. I hate these staples. How...

I hate these staples. I hate these staples. How will I make it until Thursday? :-/

I got my staples out today. What a relief! A...

I got my staples out today. What a relief! A couple hurt pretty bad but not for long of course. I'm now told to be careful not to stretch, lift, turn weird, etc. also not to sit with legs crisscross apple sauce. Apparently another patient was sitting on her floor like that playing with her kids and leaned the wrong way or something and her incision pulled apart. Yikes!
After getting home I noticed a little gap at the end of the incision, a small open part about half an inch. I put a steri strip on it. My dr is out of town until January 8th, so I made an executive decision. Maybe I'll see if another dr should look at it tomorrow. :-)
Also, today felt like I turned a corner in pain. I didn't need pain meds all day. I am still soooo swollen, but muscle pain is a lot less intense and a little more predictable. I just found myself overdoing today because I felt better. I need to be careful not to do that!
I'll try and post some pics soon. It looks a lot less ghastly without the staples. But it's still pretty ugly.
Anyone try Bio Corneum for scar therapy? That's all my PS recommends.

6 months post-op, not very happy

I am now 6 months post-op and thought I should update my posts here.
I have never seen anyone write about how disappointed they are this far out, and I am thinking that like me, as they were healing and things weren't good like all the other posts on this site, they became disheartened and didn't want to come here anymore.
I kept hoping that that magic 6 months date would come and I would be "on the flat side." But it came 2 weeks ago and I am still experiencing tremendous swelling, discomfort and sometimes pain.
My doctor's assistant, who herself is 17 months post op, says I am normal for someone who had such a huge diastasis (7-8 inches!). But it is really hard at this point to believe there is anything better than what I am dealing with now.
I have to wear a support garment just to make it through the day without being a beach ball by the end of the day and in pain.
I am chasing after and picking up 2 very active 30 month old girls, but I wouldn't expect that to make all the swelling that persists.
I have an appointment Tuesday with PS and am s sure he is going to tell me I am normal again and I should be patient. But I did for 6 months. And now I am just sad. I am supposed to go to a pool party Sunday and am embarrassed by how I look, and of course will not fit in the bikinis I bought so optimistically a few months ago.

I am still grateful to not have the painful and HUGE stomach of pre-op. And I guess if I had never done any internet research, I might have been content with these results because at least no one is asking me when I am due and touching my stomach anymore.
I do not fit into any pre-baby shirts though.
Pre Babies I was 170 pounds, with a 31" waist. I am 5'10" and that was not ideal for me, but healthy.
My ideal, which is hard to get to because of multiple health issues, is 140ish pounds, and my stomach would still be 29" if I don't eat carbs. :-)
I have never had a narrow waist, though it was very flat. Even at 128 lbs, when I modeled, I still had 27" waist.
NOW I'm 165 pounds, which is 7 pounds less than pre-op. I have been doing elliptical a few times a week and yoga once a week usually.
My waist now is 36".

Anyhow, we'll see what the doctor says, but I don't expect him to say anything different. I will probably ask for him to get me a test to see if there's anything wrong in there, he'll probably say it isn't necessary. I guess I'll find out next week.

The photos I am posting today are from today. You can see how ugly my scar still is, I did get infected and stayed in hospital for 4 days. This was likely because my hernia was incarcerated and there was lots of nastiness in there. And so they closed me with staples, as tape or glue wouldn't have worked with infected skin and would have come apart. I believe it was a good call, but its ugly.

Still not great

So I went and saw the Dr and complained of my results.
He pretty much said I need to lose weight or get lipo this is funny as I weigh less than prior to surgery when he said I'd have a flat stomach.
I have lost 8 pounds since then- the first week of July- and still look the same. He seemed to be saying I did not have a TT, so I got what I should have. AND that would be all well and good if he hadnt told me I was going to get a TT, or as close as he could possibly get to it-- right before my surgery. I would just have been happy to not look pregnant I guess, but my hopes got too high.
Oh well.
Back to square one I guess.
--all the docs here think I need a revision. I haven't the heart to dream right now. As a mom home alone with 2 two year olds all the time and absolutely no money, I'll just have to stop looking in mirrors and put my bikini away.
Still losing weight, and am trying to get as healthy as possible at least that will make me feel better for me.
:-)
Best wishes to all with your real TTs. And if you get insurance to pay for repair like I did, dont do it until u can pay the difference for an actual TT. cause if u pay, I guess they would have to do it, right?
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

I have an HMO and was referred to Dr. Cox by the regular surgeon- I was referred to by my GP- to repair my repeat hernia from the pregnancy... whew. So- my insurance covered the surgery, so technically, I didn't have a tummy tuck. But my PS assured me I would be getting as close as he could get! -----AND if u read my journal, you'll see that he didnt even get close. My muscle is repaired and I have an ugly muffin top over an ugly scar and pain and numbness still, 7 months later. He was great pre-op. post op he could care less. :-(

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Wow. I remember reading your profile awhile ago. I'm six months out too. Granted, I didn't have such a huge separation in my ab muscles. I am surprised that you do have that extra skin hanging (your side shots). I still swell too. But it's mostly between my bb and just above my scar. I hope more of your swelling goes down and you find more satisfaction.
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You look great! I was happy to see you in that bikini! :-) It's a bit of a relief to hear you have some swelling too. Maybe my case is just extreme and it truly does need more time. I am still hoping that is the case of course, I definitely can't do another surgery or anything. Thanks for the well wishes, enjoy your bikini body for me too this summer, okay!? :-D
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well at least the pics now look much better than preop, hope your swelling go away soon, then you may have flat one,
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Thanks, me too. :-)
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Just checking to see how u are doing
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Wow, 8 inches!!!! That is a lot!! You must be thrilled to not look pregnant anymore. I wouldnt worry too much about what your belly look like now, i ve seen major differences as the months go by, you will see how everything will fall into place.
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Thanks Sharyne. :-)
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1 WK PO pics posted! :-)
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Wow... I just looked through your before pictures. I can't wait to see your results!!!
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Can't wait to see the pictures! Happy healing.
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You are going to be sooo happy, don't worry about anything you see now, it only gets better!
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Hi there! Hope your recovery is going well and the kids are cared for! You will be so thrilled once you are all healed!
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First time I look at your before pictures and now I can understand more what I used to be that way. I thought it was fat at first, then Dr told me it was skin, but still couldnt understand why it was that round. I now realized it is nmuscle repair and that is the reason why I looked 3 months pregnant. Thank you for your post, we had surgery at the same time, happy healing!
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Sharyne, how's your healing coming? My muscle repair is still hurting me quite a bit. I have appt tomorrow to see PS. Hoping drain and staples get removed. :-).
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What a life change it must be for you! I am reading your post and this surgery seemed to have happened at the right time !! There is no pain right now but swelling to have gone off the roof these days. Mine was a surgery with no drain and from the comments and reviews I have read, healing seem to be smoother. Having young children at home makes it harder, don't you think? I am doing whatever I can to sit down and rest between 2 "requests", but there is just so much to do. And sometimes, its urgent, you have to do it now.. Its a good thing I don't have them with me all day but the 3 hours evening rush is killing me. Good luck with your PS, keep me posted!
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congrats to you! I'm sure you look beautiful! :) we can't wait to see pictures. Happy healing girl...
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Thank you! I luv the positive energy!
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Good Luck today!!!
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Thanks Lady!
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Thinking about you this morning:)

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Welcome to the sisterhood!
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Thanks Jmooremo75! I am glad to be here! So glad. :-)
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Welcome to RealSelf.  

Wow six pound twins are crazy!!   I bet your poor tummy stretched to the max limits.    Well a little under a month to go and you will have a brand new tummy!

Looking forward to following your journey.  Don't forget to take the pre op pictures.  You will love seeing the changes side by side.

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Thanks! My stomach was 50 inches the day I went into the hospital. It went down to 37 inches as I lost the first 25 pounds, about 8months post. Then, I continued to lose weight, I am now 10 pounds less than I was pre-pregnancy, but my stomach started to expand anyhow. It's now back up to 42 inches around. The last 2 inches in the last three months! My hernia surgeon (I have 2 surgeons this surgery) says that it's just getting worse as there is nothing left in the middle. :-( So glad I am getting this fixed before I go from looking pregnant with a singleton to looking like another twin pregnancy!!!
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Wow that is crazy...I thinks it's amazing that the tummy can stretch like that. I am happy you can get this fixed and be back to normal.  

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