Hi ladies! I've been a lurker for a coupe of...
I've been a lurker for a coupe of months now, but figured since I cleaned to mirror to take pics, I ought to introduce myself and post them. I, like many I see on here, have the 'mom droop'; The life sucked from our body after having children leaving puddles of skin in the aftermath.
I've never been 'small' and have struggled with self image (and still do) my whole life. I married young and weighed 180ish prepregnancy. And then the kids... I took on 60# with the first ( taking advantage of the situation, or so I thought), 30# with the second, and 50# with the last. Never quite loosing it all in between. My heaviest (pregnancy) weight was 260# and 210# 6wks postpartum with my last child.
After the 'divorce diet', I was finally down to my pre-prego weight and have never gone back! After life settled, I stated working on me. I worked out and watched my calories, but could not get under 150. I would start to to gain back in muscle mass. Along with the scale discouragement, my 'belly button' had become a vertical crevasse of skin/fatty tissue on my midsection. Needless to say I said screw it! That crap was not coming off without a knife. So here I am!
I have my consult in 2 days with Dr. Bohley. I am definitely going with the TT, but after nursing 3 kiddos for a year each (and making milk like a Holstein!) my breasts have seen better days. I was a F cup at one point and now puddle into a D. So a lift and BA might be on the table.
I've got a long list of questions, but are there any more you ladies thought of after the fact you wish you would have beforehand? Also, any ladies get a lift without BA and stay roughly the same size? I have lots of dense breast tissue....it's just hangin' with gravity ;)
Working in a medical office myself, I could tell he wanted to get back on schedule, so I kept my questions short and sweet, but he never at any point rushed me or gave me the 'quick answers'.
My main concerns going in were:
Can I do a lift without implants to keep my current size (would rather not go smaller)
If implants were an option, what was the maintenance like
and Would a tummy tuck address my love handles.
The breast assessment was first and he felt very confident that I had enough boob left to keep my current size and suggested getting the girls back in place before adding to them; give myself some time to adjust having them back on my chest again. And if I felt like I wasn't satisfied with the size, get the implants at a later time. He suggested a 'cosmetic reduction' which wont actually reduce them at all, but give the same lifting results as they would for a reduction patient. Basically it's like using the heavy duty tow strap to cinch them up.
As for the belly....well, lets just say I felt like a pie with it's edges crimped after he got done turning me around. I'm about a 100#'s less right now then at my peak pregnancy weight and it showed. He suggested an extended TT to address all the skin (which I just assumed was stubborn fat) that settled onto my hips. This body was made for baby makin', so I have great hips for resting babies on...or skin apparently. Going this route will not only take care of my pooch in front, but take the love handles off and lift my butt a little. Win win!
The cost was a bit more than I expected going in for, but still manageable. Their office administrator was amazingly kind and not pushy about money or a deposit ect.
I'm all sorts of nervous/excited/relieved to have answers for my questions, knowing that this is a reality and no longer a fantasy!
And then there's the procedure...I have spent an embarrassingly amount of time researching a MM/TT to preparing myself for what to expect during the procedure as well as recovery. I hadn't really looked into the full wrap around TT and I don't see too many reviews on here of people similar in build/excess skin who have had it. I feel down trodden that I *need* to have the more extensive plastic surgery to fix what I did to my body.
But I know this is all irrelevant and temporary...damn lady time must be coming soon! Lol
Did a little shopping today. 5wks to go!
Finding things to distract myself...
More belly Flab!
I want to add the back view too....sorry about the crack ;-). When he does the extended TT, he told me it will lift my butt and thighs a little too. I'll have to have the bf take the pic while I grab a handful of skin on the low back just to show how much is there. It's kinda disgusting :-/
1 Month EXACTLY! WooHoo!
Less than 3 weeks to go!
I got my Rx's and labs in the mail today though...which makes reality set in. Doc ordered 7 prescriptions:
Lovenox (blood thinner)
Cloace (stool softener)
Flexeril (muscle relaxer)
I've gotten a few things for after surgery: paper tape, nonstick gauze pads, hibiclens antibacterial soap, MOM, protein shakes, bromelian, arnicia tabs & gel, 2 CG, zip front sports bra, and a lightweight zip up 'robe' (ok, it's actually a swim cover ;) )
I would like to get a recliner, but we really don't have room for one.
The scheduler also suggested I stay the night in town (his office is an hour+ drive for me) because he'll probably want to see me the next day rather than wait the weekend before seeing how I'm doing. Really not wanting to hole up in a hotel room (more costs) plus they're never comfortable! My sister lives 20min away, but it's on the third floor of an apartment complex. I think not.
Other option would be to stay at my bf's mom's house...which would be a huge inconvenience to them, plus I wouldn't be comfortable being there is the condition I will be in.
But...on a happier note, SURGERY DAY IS COMING! Hooray! Aside from all the stress of planning and financially, I am happy I am finally doing this. I'm glad I decided to do this on a whim, because otherwise I would go completely bonkers going to multiple consults, saving pennies, buying 'maybe I'll need that" supplies, ect.
Hope all you ladies on the flat side are healing well and those playing the waiting game with me are keeping sane!! :)
2 weeks to go
So my goal for those two weeks will be to eat whole foods and get back to cardio to help with recovery!
After the c-sections, I was given percocet and ended up with about half the bottle left (I have a great pain tolerance for 'big stuff' like surgery, but cry like a baby when I get paper cuts. Lol).
I do know that it caused some 'digestive issues', but my belly is a little more sensitive these days so I'm afraid of the narcotics making that first BM pretty painful. I tried some of the smooth moves tea last night just to time it and see what effects it had. After 4-5 hours, I was kind of gassy, but def didn't feel like I needed to use the restroom. This morning, about normal time for me, had a fairly normal BM.
So moral of the story, I'll be sipping on this stuff (I bought peppermint and it's nummy) once or twice a day from post op day one :)
I also tried a cyclobenzipine (The muscle relaxer; 15mg) and I was kind of worried it would make me feel like Jello. Surprisingly, I really didn't feel anything different. I did take it about an hour before bed and it took a good half hour before I felt kind of relaxed....just nothing like I was expecting :)
Picked up my Rx's
The pharmacist did ask if I had been given instruction about the Lovenox injections. I told them no, I had been told I would be getting it, but not specifics on how to self administer. She told me they would probably go over it at the pre-op, but when I asked the office about a pre-op, they told me he usually doesn't do them.
I read on here all the time about girls having their pre-op appt, so is it odd to not have one? Other that measurements, what did they consist of? I don't think sizing would require an appointment since the binder (adjustable) and surgical bra (also a s-m-l) would be fitted right before surgery....but maybe there is some other significance I'm missing? Any of you Bohley girls out there have a pre-op scheduled?
Nerves are staring to twitch
I took my sister in Thursday for actual (needed) surgery and that also struck a reality chord for me. The setting, the smells, needles... but we joked through it all and not only did it help her relax... But me as well!
I went ahead and reserved a hotel room for Thursday night so we didn't have to be an inconvenience to any of our friends or family that live in town. I really did not want to be around anyone in the condition I will be in... for their sake! Lol.
I totally fell like I'm forgetting things... I feeling like I've gotten anything I'll need for myself post op. I *need* to clean my house before sx. Kids are going to their dad's until the 5th, so I haven't really shopped or prepped meals anticipating I'll be able to cook 10days postop. Maybe I'll make some more freezer meals...
What have all you other preop ladies been doing to get ready?
Bags are packed and Fingers Crossed
Alas, my nerves have been getting to me and I'm a bit more jittery. Work has kept me preoccupied thankfully and I absolutely love my coworkers. They are amazingly supportive! It's the evenings at home that I cannot seem to turn off my mind... BUT! There won't be much more time for that!
The next time I post, I will most likely be on the flat side!! :) :)
On the Flat Side...
Got to the surgery center at 7:15, nurse took more notes. Dr. Bohley doodled on me and I went back around 8:30. Woke up at 5pmish with awful shakes. I'm not sure if I bit my tongue or it was up against my molars the entire procedure.
Headed to the hotel room at 7 or so and I am *so* grateful for my mom and boyfriend bringing a recliner with them!
I have nibbled on food and tiny sips of water so that my belly won't get upset when I take my pain meds.
I have not peeked yet, but will see if I can get some pics in tomorrow at the appointment.
I'm OK pain wise right now, my boobs hurt some... Maybe because he put drains in there too. They come out tomorrow though
Thanks for all the support ladies!! I couldn't have done it without you
Hime and resting
Here are my pics from this morning
A they we working on changing my bandages, I had the boyfriend take a couple quick photos.
The 1.5hr drive wasn't too bad this morning, I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. Although it was a longer drive, the one to the hotel last night was much worse. I was super nauseated and it was rush hour. Ugg
As for the surgery, Dr. Bohley did the extended tummy tuck and from what I can see, he kept the scar nice and low. He said he also did a little lipo on my thighs to help them lift too :) He look all the extra skin off my breasts and a little tissue off the right side make them symmetrical.
If you ladies want to know anything please, let me know. :) I keep wanting to fall back asleep
Day 3 pics
I'm pretty swollen, but not as bad as I was expecting.
Pain hasn't been too bad either. It's there, but manageable. I've been taking the oxy every morning when I wake up and another just before I fall asleep. Then 2 perocets throughout the day. The breast incisions closest to my arm hurts the most, probably from the bra band/binder keep riding up.
As far as food, I've been eating a lot of fruit, rolls, and protein shakes. I don't really have an appetite at all, but I need something in my tummy with all the pills I've been taking.
I was worried that being hunched over would tug at my back incisions, but they don't at all. It's a little sore back there just from sitting and sleeping in the recliner so much. Can't really lay on my sides yet, but I try to sit in different chairs or just a different position to alleviate to pressure.
Happy healing ladies, I'm feeling like another nap is in order!
There were two drains on each side, but removed the next day. The incisions where the drains were is probably the most tender spot because the bra keeps rubbing there.
Dr. Bohley said that I had enough tissue, that I would not drop cup size, but it seems as if I might have. The girls are also look further apart. Maybe it's due to the swelling? Has anyone else who has had a lift have the same outcome? Do they eventually migrate closer to each other after the swelling goes down?
Suppplies I've found helpful
A Recliner- My boyfriend actually packed it up and brought it to the motel we were staying at (we lived 1.5hrs away and Dr. wanted to see me the very next day). I would not have been able to sleep in a bed the first night at all. The lever to put my feet up I do need help with though. It's low and pulls when I try to reach it myself.
Zip up cover- I bought a light weight terry swim suit coverup that zips all the way up. I stick my drains in the pockets because the clips kept jabbing into my thighs. It's comfy and covers all of you which is important if you go commando (panties kept rubbing my incisions) Lol
Food!- I have no appetite. At. All. and since I chomped my tongue during recovery, it made it very hard to eat or drink anything, even with a straw, for the first 2 days. I bought some protein drinks, flavored coconut water, and Odwalla smoothies. I drink 3+ liters of fluids a day. Dinner rolls and lots of pineapple and other fruits. Frozen pre cooked grilled chicken strips and fresh veggies.
Bandages- My Dr. gave me a big 'ol bag of gauze and misc. supplies to change my tape and bandages at home. Just an FYI for you Bohley girls out there.
Little pillows- I use them as well as small blankets to tuck everywhere so I'm cozy. Especially in the small of my back while in the recliner
Pills-Oh, how I love my pain pills! lol I take the Oxy in the am and pm; 12hours apart and just 1 percocet around noon. In addition to the prescribed pills, I'm taking bromelain and arnicia montana
Wipes- I bought some wet wipes to keep me feeling fresh. I could just as easily washed my face with a washcloth every time I got up to go pee, but I splurged.
A servant- Everyone needs one of these! My boyfriend has been amazing getting helping me and being my feet. If I drop my napkin or need my recliner tipped a little so I can get out easier...he's there. On day 3, I could have probably done everything myself, but since I had a willing servant, I'll use him to my advantage :D
Some things other ladies listed I thought would be a waste of money for the amount of time you'd actually use them. Walkers, toilet seat risers, ect.
Quick Dr Update
Dr. Bohley confirmed that as the swelling goes down, they'll move closer together. I think they look small, but the boyfriend disagreed. Lol. Do I guess they'll work!
I'm walking upright for the most part as well, which makes me happy. I was really worried about my back during the hunch phase, but it surprisingly hasn't ached at all. But bum on the other hand...it tired of sitting. The recliner will soon have an ass impression like Hans Solo in carbonite!
My tummy is still swollen and there is one spot that just aches deep down. It's about 2" above my belly button and then 2 more inches to the left. If I apply two fingers to apply pressure, it isn't as bad. Dr. said it's just from the muscle repair.
When I take my binder off, it feels like my insides will just spill out. It's crazy how attached you become to the constricting band. It has become my safety blanket and I can hardly breathe without it on.
Tonight is also the last night for the Lovenox injections! Hooray! Those little suckers sting! I've been injecting them along my panty line of my thigh so I do not have to remove my binder. It is numb there and I cannot feel the needle, but I can feel the medicine; feels like a bee sting. And lingers too. :(
Other new things: I'm awake more than asleep these days. Lol. Restless actually, and bored. I've got a stack of books and my laptop, but I just want to get up and move. The warden insists I don't though. Hehe. So I just tell him I have to pee again and move about the havoc stricken house until he finds me tidying things up and sends me back to my chair.
How did you ladies manage the
Oops, thumb hit the submit button!
I still have one drain tube in that is not producing much. I would like to take it out myself...and just may before the weekend is over. In the last three days combined, it has been under 25, but they didn't want to take them both out on Tuesday. It keeps getting caught or tugged on, which sends a little sharp pain up my side. I finally said to hell with it and taped a plastic bag on it so I could take a shower!
I haven't been taking the daily regime of painkillers for a couple of days, and it's noticeable. I'm back to moving a little slower and hunching a little more. Granted I'm not sleeping all day either...but the pain isn't bad; more dull and achy.
And as far as sleep goes, it's getting harder to do. I am SO ready to sleep in my bed and not this chair, but I'm afraid I will try to move about and myself as I cannot lay flat on my back yet (the muscle repair) or on my sides yet. The pressure from sitting on my bottom give a steady pain to the incision at my tailbone. I cannot adjust my position unless I lift off the surface and reposition everything, otherwise I pull on the incision. Same story with my hips. The incision runs right along the crest of my pelvic bone, so the pressure from the alined bone and incisions is less than comfortable. Plus I still have that damn tube in my right side. :)
My main hang up was missing the kids though. I sent them to their dad's so I could recover, but I hate having them there for more than a few days. It's a chore to 'reprogram' them when they come home from the land of no-rules or bedtime. But I miss their squishy faces and honest love. Just a couple more days I keep telling myself...then I can squeeze them tight and kiss their faces and tell them to go clean their room! :)
Day 9 pics
Yesterday I also had my RN friend come over to remove my last drain. It was becoming so incredibly irritated every time I moved and I really did not want to wait 4 more days to have it out. It was only producing 5cc or so a day for the last 4 days, so I hope the Dr. wont mind!
I don't know if anyone else has experienced this or not, but nearly every time I take the binder off I have an overwhelming pang of nausea and feel lightheaded; like all my insides are going to just fall out. I don't know, but I don't like to take my binder off too often because of it.
I have a lovely little pooch in front, which I'm hoping is just swelling and not a seroma. When I'm laid back in the recliner, my tummy is nice and flat, but standing it's rather noticeable. I asked my PS about it last appt, and he did not seem worried. I'll be asking again Tuesday as well :)
Hope everyone had a happy 4th and those that are healing, healing well. And the nerves of those waiting are getting to you too bad!
I had gone into the consult unsure if I wanted to go the implant route or not. I have always had larger breasts and had no concept of what it would be like having the girls smaller than a D cup. Lol. At one point, I wore an F cup, and fluxuated with babies and weight loss settling into a puddling D.
I have breast tissue, a good amount actually, it was all just at the bottom of my chest nearing my belly. When everything was scooped up in a bra, I had good cleavage that was predominantly composed of lose skin that would jiggle about like jello.
My expectations and desired outcome with the surgery was that I would have full perky breasts that would allow me to wear a cute top or dress without the need of a bra (and not scare people either) ;)
Dr. Bohley assured me that I had enough tissue to achieve that goal without implants. At my age, I would be looking at replacing any implants at least twice and that wasn't a financial commitment I wanted.
At nearly two weeks postop, I am so happy with the results! I am a little smaller when I put on my preop bras, but the only thing missing is that jelloy skin that would bulge out the top. Nothing to miss there!
First solo outing
I needed to go to Walgreen's and wandered around for maybe 30min, then ran over to the office to drop a goodies off for the ladies busting their butts covering my absence. By the time I got there and they all wanted to see my incision, I was sweating and a little light headed. I skipped the grocery shopping and went back to my recliner and air conditioning! I think the grocery shopping would have done me in. Lol
I don't recall if I mentioned this before, but I have episodes where I pass out for no apparent reason, or come close to of I don't lay down when I feel it coming on. There have been 3 on those episodes since the surgery... So my body is telling me to take it easier. I honestly don't know how easier I can do things, but it's sure going to make going back to work next week a little harder.
15 day PO
I'm still hunched over a bit. The muscles above my belly button are tight and make it difficult to stand straight.
Still taking muscle relaxers PRN. I have spasms internally that make it feel like my insides are crawling. Kind of bazaar, but the easiest way to describe it. Lol.
Sleeping in bed at night! WooHoo! But mostly on my back which makes me very stiff in the morning. Pain pills before bed make my night more comfortable, but I do not take them every night.
Swelling. It's still there. :( Dr. did not think there was any fluid though, so that's a plus! My binder is my best friend. He said I could wear a CG if I wanted to, just as long as there is constant pressure.
My thighs should look fabulous by the time my tummy is healed because of all the squats I'm doing to pick things up!
Dr said that I am ahead of schedule as far as healing. WooHoo! But if feels like I took a few steps back once the kids came home and I'm moving around a lot more trying to keep up with the daily routine. I get wore out very easily and shaky if I'm moving too much. Next week at work should be interesting!
Feeling a little Blah
I made a batch of soap yesterday and it literally wiped me out; I needed a nap afterwards.
This morning a shower and wiggling into a CG was enough to wind me and I had to sit down for a little while before I could finish getting dressed. I knew I should have bought a CG that zipped! I'm thinking I'll stick to the binder so I won't be tuckered out every morning or when I have to go pee!
Having the kids home has also sucked a lot of my energy. Cooking and trying to get them to listen, clean, and not fight is enough to make me want to throw in the towel. They always take time to adjust back to rules after being at their dads. Plus the heat being in the 90's, they don't want to go outside to play.
I've been in a bit of pain the last few days as well. My nerves much be regenerating and the lightest brush against my skin feels like dozens of hot needles jabbing me. It's rather unpleasant.
Cabin fever is still a problem; I want to get out, but don't have the energy to do it.
My tummy is still swollen. Trying to find a position to sleep is still difficult. My incisions run parallel with my hip bone, so if I'm lying anyway other than on my back, the compression of the CG or binder make it feel like it'll split. In the am, all the lymph fluid migrates to my back, so the back flanks are so tight and sore.
Ironically, I was wearing a bra with some compression, but it has made my breasts more tender and sore than loose fitting bras. I switched back and the girls are feeling better. :)
All in all, I'm just ready to feel normal again. To stand straight. To laugh freely. To stretch again!
How are the other ladies handling this phase of healing?
First Day Back at Work
I am pretty sore tonight; my core and outer thighs are aching the most. My coworkers are amazing though and did all the leg work for me :) That's where it helps to work in a small office (5 of us total). Wednesday I will have to pull my own weight though since it's just the Doc and I.
Hopefully tomorrow I will find the time to sit down and write up on the changes below the incisions and how having the circumferential TT has helped there.
Hope everyone is healing well and those still waiting aren't getting to anxious!
I'm still pretty swollen in the thighs and the back/flanks, but here are some photos from yesterday morning when the swelling is at a minimum.
It's hard to judge what's moved where since all my 'landmarks' are also altered (bellybutton, hips, mons). My tattoo seems to be the best visual for me. It's been stretched up a couple of inches!
Unable to see my own backside, it is so embarrassing to post the before pics. I still am far from having a nice bottom, but even the boyfriend says he can see a difference (and we all know how observant they are! Lol)
Again, this was just a few perks. My tummy was the main concern and the extended was the only way to achieve the results with the amount of loose skin, without dog ears, ect. I am *so* happy with the results so far and not concerned with the size of the scar. :)
Back to work swelling
I've also discovered that if I take one of my muscle relaxers before bed, I sleep as well as when I was taking the pain killer before I went to sleep. I can't say if it's the good sleep of the relaxer, but the next morning, I stand straighter and feel pretty darn close to 'normal' :) Until about 2pm that is. Lol.
Most of my swelling is in my tummy, where it is also most noticable. But my back flanks/love handle area is also pretty taught all day since that is where all the lymph fluid builds up at night.
Baby Bellies, Belly Buttons, Hips, and Hives! Oh my!
Also, I was changing my tape this AM, and finally got to see my bellybutton! I had to jump up to grab a camera just to share. Lol. :)
While my tape changing, I noticed how defined my hip bone was while lying down. Those babies are juttin out there, so I can see what the Dr. meant by 'they just hold the skin there' causing me muffin top.
And lastly, my skin is sick of the stick. Adhesive loves my skin, and sticks very well. My skin has had about enough and is so irritated, red, and lumpy. I'll continue to keep it clean and changed until PS gives the ok to stop with it all together.
Hope every healing is healing well. And soon enough everyone else will be posting their postop stories!
1 month already!
I finally remembered to ask him how much he took off! He said that from the front, it was between 4.5-5lb of skin and fatty tissue. Another 1# from the back side, and then about .5# combined of lipo in the thighs and skin/tissue (for symmetry) from the breasts. That's over 6#'s!!
I also told him that I haven't been wearing a compression garment; the binder is more comfortable, it was just getting a little too big and I needed to buy another. Instead, he went and got me a new one in a smaller size. :) Feels so good to have a nice new snug one :)
This week back at work has been much easier than the first week. I have more energy and am moving a little faster. My posture is better too, I had to keep reminding myself to stand up straight! Lol. Especially by the end of the day. All the ups and downs rooming patients has me pretty sore and a little swollen each night, so I will take pics tomorrow of how everything looks, maybe without some of the tape to show how my scar is healing.
Hope everyone is healing well and time files until surgeries for others!
4 week photos!
I'm going to take some measurements tomorrow morning just to see what they are these days. I don't think I ever posted before's...I'll have to see if I wrote them down somewhere else :)
I can say without a doubt I would absolutely do this surgery again. I am so happy with the changes I can see. I will never had a super model body. I have a larger frame, so I'm never expecting to be a size 4, or even a 6. My hips simply would not fit in them! I am back to wearing my pre op pants over my binder (sz. 10) so hopefully after I'm weaned off having the support, I can get into a sz 8?! (the smallest size I've worn since...middle school?)
How long after surgery did most of your ladies further out wait before exercising again? My next appt will be at 8wks.
Dr. Bohley has done an amazing job sculpting my body after pregnancies and weight loss. He has been very helpful addressing any questions or concerns I have had as well as explaining in detail the procedures recommended for me. He was not pushy nor did he suggest any unnecessary work. His bedside manners are remarkable and genuinely cares about his patients. I highly recommend Dr. Bohley for your cosmetic needs!