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41 Years, Large Diastasis and Hernia After 3 Children , Full tummy tuck with muscle repair and lipo *5 months update and pics*

So I have been super conscious of my stomach since...

So I have been super conscious of my stomach since i had my first baby 7 years ago. I always had a little bit of a belly pre kids (or so I though, looking back at the photos now I would kill for that figure lol!) but since my second and third pregnancy my muscles have split more and more. My youngest is now 3 years old. I was huge in my pregnancies and also gained a lot of weight, other than that I have always been slim and I lost the weight after all 3. So now I look like this. I have about 4 kilos to lose to be at my ideal weight, 5'6" and currently weigh about 61 kilos. I run regularly and do the occasional gym class although I am finding it hard to be inspired right now when I know that in a few weeks time I will be losing most of my fitness :-/. I am so desperately sick and tired of people asking me if I am pregnant, hardly surprising looking at the photos above but still.. Those pics are taken letting it all hang out and for decencys sake I do usually try to hold it in, gets a bit tiring doing that all day though and I still look preggers when I am doing that! So, I just really hopes this makes the difference I am hoping for. I look in this site and I honestly can't see anyone that looks as disproportionate as I do, I really hope this op works. I am scared about how long it will take to recover, I have a physical job so I won't be rushing back but I don't want to be out of action for too long as I am self employed and can't afford to be. My family are on the other side of the world so I am keeping it quiet for now, no point worrying everyone! My hubby has a month off work so he will have his hands full with the kids, just hope I am not too immobile and can at least look after myself. Eek, long post, will stop now lol!

Getting my stuff together

So less than 2 weeks to go, I am starting to get a little excited! Have been buying supplies, got my binders that the surgeon told me to get and they seem super narrow :-/. I checked with the girls at the office and they are the right ones, only 9 inches wide. Seems like I will bulge out if the top and bottom of them. What did everyone else use???

Saw my surgeon today

Saw my surgeon today and it was great, he answered all the questions I have been fretting about and it really helped to set my mind at rest. He reiterated that I was gonna get a spectacular result, it was all I could do to hold it together and not burst into tears theN and there! It all seems very real now. I actually can't wait now. I have been listening to some self hypnosis pre surgery downloads and I think it has really helped me to relax and feel more positive about it all. I am sleeping better too.

3 days to go..... Gulp!

I have been hanging on to these pics because they make me want to vomit but here goes... i need to put them here to have a record as they need to go from my phone lol!

2 days to go, can't eat...

So I am having no trouble with eating a light diet prior to surgery... I have that slightly sicky nervous feeling - the sort you get on your wedding day etc, I can barely eat a thing lol! So far had a fruit smoothie for breakfast and just forced down a bit of chicken soup for lunch as I feel a bit shaky. Aaaghh! I think I may pack my bag as I need to do something productive..

15 hours..

I am sick with nerves, so appreciate all the lovely comments here, bag packed and ready to go in the morning...

Last sleep before the flat side

Ok so about 13 hours to go, in bed, hoping to get a bit of sleep. Set my alarm for 630 so I can have a cup of tea before my 7am cutoff time! Although I'm sure my kids will have me up before then anyway...

Today is the day!

I have been up since 5am, just sitting on the sofa cuddling with my 3 year old, the older two are still asleep. I had weird dreams last night,in one he did the surgery but experimented with a new method so the scar was round my groin and he did the muscle repair but didn't remove any skin or fat..! I was kinda disappointed lol. So shaky this morning, don't think I will manage any breakfast before 7am..!

On the flat side!

I can't believe it is all done, I feel so happy and relievd (although that may be the drugs lol!). I came out 3 hours ago, I feel pretty sore like someone pouched me in the stomach but have an internal pain pump which must be helping somewhat. Thanks for your continued support ladies, great to have you all. Will post pics when I can :-)

Day 1 post op morning

Thank you all so much, I am sure those vibes are making a difference
So my surgeon came round this morning, he said it went really well and I am gonna look amazing . He said it was a massive diastasis and here was also a hernia which he repaired. Hubby has just been to visit and while he was here the nurse gave me a wash and stood me up, I can't tell you how difficult and sore that was . I tried crying and quickly figured out that was not the way to go, pulled myself together fast lol! Still it gets easier each time you stand up apparently so I feel good about that. I have a lot of blood coming from my *new* belly button (how weird!) so they need to change the dressing already. Overall though I feel pretty good considering. One of my good friends is a nurse in the same hospital and she was on nights last night and tonight too, she came to see me first thing this morning after her shift so that was really good too.
I feel so blessed, really grateful to be in a position to do this and so grateful of all the support too.

Day 1 first pics

So the nurse just had to change my dressing as my belly button is bleeding a fair bit, got her to take a couple of pics, they are not great but I am pretty happy with what I see!!

Ouch

Struggling this morning, quite painful. They are gonna get me out of bed today, I got up nice yesterday morning but that is all. I think because the diastasis was quite wide and he also repaired an unexpected hernia he decided to leave me in bed for the day. I am hoping to get some of the drips out and my catheter too, that would just leave me with drains and the pain pump. I am so glad I have that, can't imagine what it would be like without it. I feel so woozy today, I think I need to move around and get some of these drugs out if my system :-/

Day 2, made it out if bed, more pics!

So I finally made it to the chair yay! Brushed my hair and put some perfume on and feel like I have had a luxury spa treatment lol! Here are a couple of selfies.. Is that really me??????!!!!!

Every little helps

Ok I just wanted to tell you that the improvement over today has been immense, I have been up 4 times so far and although fairly intense every time has been a bit easier. Managed to stand long enough to take pics, am so hunched over though think it will be a while before I stand straight. I have some swelling already below my breastbone :-(

Day 3, shower! And more pics..

Is it possible to post too many pics??! I took these just before I had a shower, did it all by myself too, seems like it is a very big improvement every day. The nurse took one of my drains out, it wasn't any more painful than an injection, honestly! Then she took my pain pump lines out, that felt a bit weird as they were pretty long and obviously quite far inside me. It hurt a little but really compared to the grand scheme of things it was nothing. So now I just have one drain to carry around yay! The swelling was down a bit before my shower but back up by the time I got my cg back on, it must have taken me an hour though lol. I am back in bed now and pretty exhausted. I slept so well last night though, listened to my post surgery hypnosis when I went to sleep and again this morning when I woke for the toilet at 5am. Fell back to sleep and slept till 730am, a veritable lie in! So all in all feeling good and positive, think I will make the most of the peace and quiet though and stay in hospital till Monday am if I can.
So anyway my scar isn't wonky like it looks in the pics, the nurse had to change the ends of my dressing again when she took the pumps and drain out so they cover the pain pump holes I think. I saw the end of my scar and what I could see looks pretty good, seems very low too, if it stays where it is I will be thrilled!

And another

Hooked up again day 4

I'm hoping it is not for too long :-(. The nurse came to check my blood pressure at 5am and it was dangerously low. They went into panic stations and laid me right down, put oxygen mask on and hooked me up to a drip. The worst though was that I finally needed a poo and they had me trying to go laying on my back with a bedpan under my bum. It is funny now lol but wasn't at the time!! Needless to say it didn't happen and finally 1.5 hours later they let me get up and do it in the toilet, yay! It was not a good time for me though, a bit freaky, apparently I was dehydrated, seems amazing as I drank loads yesterday but not enough (read none) overnight. Well I was asleep :-P. So now I am hooked up to the iv again feeling like an invalid, it is annoying cos I don't want my kids to visit if I am hooked up, think it will scare them. Anyway I am ok guess that is the main thing, was a little disconcerting though!

Drains out yay! And the swelling starts...

Just had the second drain taken out yay and off home in the morning :-). Have added some not so glamorous pics, have really started to swell up and have some fine bruising!

Day 5 going home and scar pics added

I am just waiting for hubby to come and get me and take me home. Just saw a doctor ( not mine as he is away :-( ) as I was a bit worries about a bulge above my belly button, well more just below the breastbone really. I am paranoid that I have already damaged the muscles or ripped the stitches or just have a naturally weird shaped body lol! Anyway he wasn't concerned and said it should settle down. I should probably stop obsessing as I am sure it looks bigger in my eyes that in reality. Anyway, the nurse just changed my dressing so I took a few quick pics whilst she was out getting a clean one, looks pretty messy right now but I am so happy with the scar placement, can't really see my bob properly yet but I think it looks ok .

Day 8 post op, getting better every day

So I am sleeping on a rented recliner chair in the living room, I have to say it is great! If you have the option of getting one I highly recommend it, it goes almost flat but I find I can sort of twist a little and feel as though I am laying on my side because the arms support my knees and stop them from going all the way to the side, it really is great. Standing up from it is also easy as it will propel you all the way to upright if you need.
I have been out a couple of times since I got home, we went for a trip out and a coffee on tuesday, that was hard because it was a long painful walk to the cafe from the car (well, several minutes lol) but I made it and was already standing a little straighter by that evening. Yesterday we took the kids to a big park/playground and I sat in a fold up chair in the sun, it was great to get out. My low point was queueing for the toilet, waiting in absolute agony, fortunately a kind lady offered me to go to the front and I took the opportunity gratefully! I must have looked a sight. Anyway I am moving around a bit better, not quite upright but nearly, my back hurts (but then i had backache anyway, I am hoping that the end result of this will be less/no back pain). I also have the most incredibly itchy groin, just below my scar, it is a great look sitting in the park scratching that lol!
Anyway I am going to see the nurse this afternoon to have my dressing changed, not sure what else if anything. I am excited to see how my scar is doing, will try to take to take some pics. And i also need to take some more progress pics, haven't taken any since I got home on monday, the kids are keeping me too busy!

Some pics day 8 post op

A bit swollen but delighted so far. Loving wearing fitted tanks already (even if you can see my cg, I don't care lol)

Dressing change

So the nurse took a couple of pics in between my dressing change, hard to see properly because if the bobbling from the plaster but the scar looked great. It is slightly higher on one side (although not as wonky as in the pic, think I was standing funny..!) and my belly button is a big black hole right now. So I have a paper strip on the scar which they will keep covered for 6 weeks and a bare belly button which is weird! Bit scared of that lol

So I weighed myself today...

...and I have lost 5 KILOS since surgery day whoop whoop!!!! I know I must have lost some in the first week after as I could hardly eat anything, and some will be skin and fat I guess :-P. Anyway I am now half a kilo under my ideal weight of 58 kilos which I have been trying to acheive again since the birth of my first child. I have never since then been able to get below 60 so I am just THRILLED!!! I have some swelling too so who knows, maybe there is another half kilo still to go..! I am now even more determined than ever not to gain any weight whilst not exercising..

2 weeks post op, getting better every day

I saw the nurse again this morning who said everything is looking good and I am doing well. I just have the sticky tape on my scar now which I can change myself every few days. I have an appt to see my surgeon on tuesday, OMG JUST DID MY FIRST SNEEZE OUCHHHHHHH!!! Lol! Aagh! Anyway.. As I was saying, will see my surgeon on tuesday which is great as I just want to ask him a few things, mainly about the bulge on my upper abdomen, hoping it will settle but would like him to see it and confirm that. We have been out all day today, had a lovely day in the sun and feel both refreshed and exhausted at the same time. I fell asleep in the car on the way back with my mouth open dribbling like an old lady lol. Very attractive. Yesterday I bought a couple of new tops, it was so amazing to walk round a few shops not worrying that the young, slim attractive shop assistants are wondering why a pregnant lady is looking around their shop. And it was just awesome to be able to try ANYTHING on, regardless of whether it had a shape that would disguise my tummy or not... I can finally buy what I want according to whether I like it or not, not just dependent on its style. I am no style queen by any means but this is just amazing to me. We are going shopping again tomorrow morning then to the beach for a coffee in the afternoon. My entire wardrobe is full of stretched, baggy, saggy, dark old clothing that I cannot WAIT to get rid of. I will never wear most of it ever again. I am having a problem with my bottom half right now thiugh, I have 3 pairs of yoga pants which I am wearing in rotation and I have nothing else that I can get on! Even my leggings are too tight around the top. Ah well, a small temporary price to pay. Have attatched a couple of pics from today at the nurses office.

Before and 2 weeks after, sitting

Day 16, more pics

First time i changed my tape at home so got a proper look at my scar. I think he did a great job but can't get over how wonky it is...! Why??!! Anyway, i am not too bothered but it does slightly irk my sense of symetry and order.. :-P. My belly button is looking a little pink so really hoping I am not getting an infection. There are a couple of stubborn scabs that still won't wash out. Fingers crossed.

Belly button urghhhh

I think it is a bit infected, has a bit of white puss type stuff around the bottom and is rather pink. Well I am seeing my surgeon and the nurse the day after tomorrow so hopefully they can sort it if anything needs sorting. My husband can prescribe so I started taking a course of antibiotics this morning. Hopefully they should do the trick unless I have a buried stitch or something. Sigh. On the plus side I can now sleep on both sides and can stand upright. I had the kids by myself this afternoon and evening for the first time as hubby is at a friends leaving do, managed everything fine but have terrible backache from all the standing, kind of mid back to shoulder blades though, not my usual lower back pain! I guess I am probably not quite as upright as I think I am still! The kitchen bin however is overflowing, he can empty that with his hangover in the morning lol!

Swelling, bulging... :-(

I have some serious bulging going on, am really hoping it is swelling and not some terrible muscle damage I have done. It has been like this for a couple of days now and the worse bulging bit above my navel and to the left is quite tender. Trying hard not to worry. Is it normal to suddenly have increased swelling at this stage? My hubby thinks I am being ridiculous but to be honest that doesn't really make me feel any better.

5.5 weeks updated pics

Haven't updated in a while, life has been getting in the way! I am doing good, moving more normally and starting to carry light bags but still being really careful, I don't want to damage anything. Sleeping pretty well on both sides, I still have some tenderness around my hips so I am hoping that is from the lipo and my love handles will go down a bit, still unsure if that is swelling or just my fat lol! The midline above my belly button is also still tender, I guess from the hernia repair there. I still have a slight bulge on one side of that too. My pubic area is not only swollen but also looks ENORMOUS! The skin is so stretched, the hairs come right up to my scar line so I am having vanity issues with that, not sure I can face waxing there yet!! That triangle is just so much bigger than it used to be, hoping it will settle with time lol! I am unsure about my belly button, the scar around it makes it look massive and it doesn't help that my middle child (5) keeps telling me "that just doesn't look right mummy" - ah, out of the mouth of babes... I have stopped taping my scar as I just couldn't stand it any longer. Not sure if I am gonna bother with expensive treatment, there doesn't seem to be any hard evidence that it makes any difference. I am massaging it with coconut oil at the moment. I cannot wait to stop wearing my binder, 4 more days yay!! I think I will go and get some spanx type garment though, I do have one but I think it is too big now :-D. I can fit most of my jeans on now and have probably spent more in the last month on new clothes than I did on the operation (ok not really, I am a cheap clothes kind of girl but i have bought a lot, don't tell my hubby!)

Pics 5.5 weeks

Went for a swim!

My first exercise since the op, 6 weeks to the day since my last run (not feeling up to that yet..) but I am just feeling desperate to do some exercise, not to mention burn some calories before I end up looking like I did 6 weeks ago lol! So me and hubby went for a swim together, he swam 2k whilst I did 12 lengths so 600metres. It was terrifying to even try, the bottom bit of my tummy felt quite tight but I slightly modified my breaststroke and took it really easy. I tried a bit of freestyle but it felt like I was stretching out too much so stopped fairly quickly. Then came home and I have been EXHAUSTED ever since! Seriously wiped me out! Although to be fair I was quite tired to start with.. My swelling is no worse than on other days so I am pleased about that. I am impatient to get fit and toned now, just gotta hang in there I guess... Small steps.

Oh and just to add..

Felt so good getting into the pool in my tankini and shorts and feeling super slim lol!!

A bit more exercise

I went on the treadmill today, just did 30 minutes as uphill as I could - 15% incline at 6kph. I didn't crack into a run but i actually broke a sweat for the first time in 6 weeks..! I think it is the first time I have ever walked on a treadmill, gotta start somewhere though right??! I was so hungry and shaky after, tummy seemed ok though although rather swollen. I am defo gonna try do something every day now, I really really want to get my fitness back.

What is going on???? :-(

This bulge abovey belly button is insane. It has been like this for a few days, ever since I started back at my job and did a 30 minute walk on the treadmill. I am waiting for it to go but it isn't doing:-( omg I feel like I look pregnant again. I am terrified that it is the hernia/ muscle repair gone wrong. I am devastated. It hasn't been like this for 6 weeks so why suddenly now? I am due my period but I was due my period a month ago and it wasn't like this... Hubby thinks I am overreacting. Help what do you think?????

Quick update on the swelling

I went to see my surgeon this afternoon and he said the muscle repair was fine, I have some fluid particularly in that midline area above the bellybutton due to all the undermining he did for the repair. He said the muscle repair would have been 2 or 3 separate layers of stitches due to the severity of my diastasis so it seems unlikely that I would have ruined anything I guess. He again reiterated how severe the separation was and said that I would have to strengthen my muscles eventually too as they have not been working correctly for years. I am not allowed to do ANYTHING yet to strengthen my abs though, I am allowed to do any leg or arm exercises but nothing in between..Anyway the outcome is that He wants me to wear my binder for ANOTHER WHOLE MONTH... AAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I know it will be worth it long term but seriously???!!! I could weep! Lol!!! So I think I need to find a new binder... :-[

Not happy

Ok so I know he said everything was ok yesterday but I just don't feel reassured :-(. It has been flat for 6 weeks. Now suddenly it is not. It was fine first thing this morning when I got out of bed and removed my binder but by the time I had my shower and got dressed it is all bulging out again. Ugh, so stressed and worried :'-(

8 weeks and sick of this damn binder

So it is 8 weeks today, 3 more weeks with the binder.. There is no change as far as the bulging goes, it doesn't look so bad when I get up in the morning but starts bulging as soon as i have been up and about for a bit. I am fed up of the binder but at the same time I do get really sore when I don't wear it. We went to a ball on saturday night and I just wore spanx type big pants and I was so sore by the end of the night! I guess it doesn't really matter whether the bulging is due to a failed repair or just my slack muscles as I won't be able to have another operation, even if it was free I couldn't afford to take 6 weeks off work again. So I will just have to accept that it is how it is and it is still a massive improvement on what it was, just not flat. It is flat when I hold it in, is that what people do all the time??! So I haven't done any more exercise since 2 weeks ago, i have been too scared to try. I have also been too tired and sore with going back to work so have been saving my energy for that. I am feeling a bit bleurgh about everything, I think because I knew the initial recovery would be long and hard, now I just want to get on with things and I am frustrated that I am still sore, scared to do any damage, not doing any exercise.. I can put up with the pain but my surgeon said that if it is sore then I am doing too much and need to back off a bit.. Well all I am doing is normal life and I am sore so daren't do any more on top. Sorry for the moan, it is just frustrating :-(

Went for a run..

Yeh well I thought **** it, seems like it is gonna be sore for a while longer yet and I think the benefits of a little exercise at this point probably outweigh any risks.. So I was gonna do a fast walk again on the treadmill but it seems to be broken, couldn't even get it to switch on. So, as I had all my gear on I thought I would try a fast walk/slow jog outdoors, ended up running 3.5k :-). Now don't get me wrong, it was barely a run really and took me 25 mins ( I would normally do 5k in that time) however, it was a run and I felt so happy to have done it! I had no more pain after than before, a tiny.bit more swelling above the scar but barely worth mentioning. I also fastened my binder pretty tight to support the sore bit above my belly button. And after all my PS did say I could run so.... All good, looking forward to getting my fitness back :-)

Nearly 12 weeks.. I think...

How time flies! I haven't updated in a while partly because life got in the way and partly because there are no great changes to report... At least not visually! So I am back into my running, have been building up slowly and finally managed 10k today in a reasonable time 1 hour) so I am thrilled to be getting my fitness back. I accidentally set off for a run without my binder a couple of weeks ago and it felt okay so I went for it, pretty much haven't worn it since which is great, means I can wear just about anything I want now. I have gained a few kilos since the op which I now want to work off, funny though because normally my extra kilos would settle on my belly first, now they are going straight to my love handles lol! This is the first time in my life that I have had hips...!! Anyway, I am pretty happy with my results ( no, really I am over the moon, lets be honest!) The bulge above my abdomen is still there, it also feels more sore there still and sometimes it is more swollen and bulging than other times, this is also when it feels more sore too. Occasionally if it is really bad I will put the binder on for a few hours to support it. I really don't know if it is a muscle repair/hernia issue or whether it is still inflamed tissue from healing. Either way it doesn't bother me enough to redo the whole operation so I have to find a way to be happy with what I have. If I tighten my tummy muscles it looks fine, let them go and I have a bulge/curve to my abdomen, however it is still NOTHING in comparison to what it was like 3 months ago, in fact me and hubby were looking at my before pics the other evening and we were laughing in horrified disbelief! Amazing how quickly you get used to things..
I hate my belly button, I don't think he did a good job with that especially, the big round scar around it makes it look massive. I have been to the beach a couple of times though and put flesh coloured zinc sunblock on it and it looks a lot better like that, also protects the scar from the sun, so I am hoping that in time as the scar fades it will look semi normal.
I go back to see him for my final check up in a couple of weeks so will ask him again to check the muscle repair, again there is nothing that I can/would do anyway so I suppose it doesn't really matter (although if the hernia is still there then I suppose it should be repaired at some point) Anyway I guess time will tell.
Actually I think as a kid my upper abdomen was more prominent than my lower abdomen so maybe it is to do with my body structure too.
It is now pretty much pain free when I sneeze/cough, my tummy still feels slightly odd and tight/tingly when I stand after sitting for a while or when I have been exercising. I think it will be a long time (if ever) before it is totally back to normal. It is not bothersome in the slightest though. My scar itches like crazy sometimes but I can't scratch it as the itch is somewhere inside.. Hard to explain! And I have a bit on my scar where I touch it but feel the sensation a few inches higher up... Messed up nerves lol! It has been like that since the op but I am kind of used to it now!
All in all I am really happy with my results, I have been out in public in a bikini, I am exercising in fitted sports clothes, I went out last saturday in skinny jeans and a fitted top... These are things that would have been impossible before. I still can't believe sometimes that I have had this operation, even though it has totally consumed my life for the last 3 months, I just can't believe this is me and that I have done this... And I am so utterly grateful that I have been able to do it, it is just a relief, I just feel normal again. And even with the bulge the results are better than i could have hoped for, I think that over the next months (maybe years) as I strengthen my poor unused tummy muscles things will improve even more (maybe!) well, we will see!

5.5 months update and pics

So, as requested by a fellow realselfer some updated pics... I am feeling good, still have upper abdominal pain but it is mild and not constant anymore, still sore to touch though. The last few weeks I have been going to the gym and doing plank type ab work within classes, still no situps or crunches as I have pretty much decided that I will never do those again.... I can feel my muscles finally starting to regain a bit of strength, things like getting up off the sofa and pulling down the boot of our van (it has a strong spring!) which were hard for me until recently. So I can see that I have a long way to go regarding core strength but the process is starting. I guess it is a long long time since my tummy muscles functioned like they ought to. I have gained a few kilos the last couple of months so was delaying posting but someone here asked so...... Here are some pics! I think all the fat has gone onto my love handles rather than my tummy anyway :-). Still numb below the navel, scar seems pretty much the same, I spend a lot of time scratching itches in various places (nerves growing back maybe??) and it is still pretty tight if I do any stretching. I can swim freestyle again and am running regularly. I am also going to the beach in a bikini :-D (but with swim shorts, that's just the style I like..). These pics are from the morning, I still bloat up quite a bit at the end of the day or more likely according to what food I have eaten, the bulge is still there but I think it is just my anatomy. Who knows :-P. My belly button is looking a bit better, at least from a distance looks fairly normal I reckon. I wear fitted to tops ALL the time regardless of how bloated I am lol!

And a before and after just in case you (I) forgot...

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