I am very excited and nervous about my tummy tuck...
after a huge twin pregnancy (my babies' combined weights were 16.5 pounds) and then a 10.5lb baby after that, I was left with a big diastasis and loose skin. I have been wanting to get my stomach fixed ever since, and have always been interested in a boob job- I am so excited for my new body!
pre-op appt this week
a little more about me... I am 5'11" and 168 lbs. I wear a size 10 in most clothes. I have always been relatively trim and athletic, though I am currently not in my best shape. at differnt points in my life, I have been a runner, a dancer and practiced yoga often. one of the last times I went to a yoga class, the instructor told me that I shouldn't do one of the more difficult poses because I was "expecting." I left that class in tears, and haven't been back since! I can't wait to be flat again! I am looking forward to a mommy makeover this spring and a bladder surgery in the fall (I have major incontinence after vaginally delivering my youngest- she was a 10.5lb baby). I dream of running without peeing my pants, and wearing a bikini again! plus, it will be fun to have a little more up top- I have always had really small boobs, and though I'm not going very big (the goal is a full C, around 300ccs) I think my body will look more proportionate.
pre-op and payment: check!
I spoke with the nurse about pre-op protocol (I am now off Advil and birth control pills until after surgery!) and she was very helpful in her recommendations regarding clothing, support garments,etc. she is actually having a BA with Dr. Lee today!
I left the office with all of my prescriptions that I will need, as well as a list of over the counter items (neosporin, probiotics, stool softener).
most nights, I have been having anxiety dreams about this surgery, but in my waking hours I am mostly just excited and looking forward to a few months from now when I am healed!
a few days pre-op, trying to kick a sinus infection
in the mean time, I am trying to find a good front closure sports bra for after my BA, and I am working on getting projects done around the house that I know I won't be able to do for awhile. four days from now, I will be at home recovering- I can hardly believe this is the week!
surgery is just a few hours away...
by this time tomorrow, i should be finished with my procedures and getting ready to head home. once i've made it that far, at least one of my big fears will no longer be an issue (are the rest of you afraid of dying during surgery, or is that just me being crazy?! ). i also have a great deal of anxiety about how the healing process will go- i am a busy mom of three little kids, i have my own small business, and i do almost everything around the house- i am definitely NOT used to sitting still! my husband will take care of me as long as i need him to, but i want to be able to be self-sufficient as soon as possible!
last but not least, i am so nervous about how i will look. this is a big financial investment for our family (and it feels so selfish!) and i just hope that i will be one of the women that looks back and is happy about my decision, and thrilled with the results.
please wish me luck!
sleeping & healing
i am happy to say that I have felt better each day- the evening after surgery it was a challenge for me to keep my eyes open, or eat anything. the first day after surgery I had an appetite, but was still pretty out of it from the pain and the drugs. those first two days I needed my husband to help with everything- I couldn't even pull my pants down or wipe myself :(
this morning i was able to get out of bed by myself by rolling to my side and letting my legs slide off the bed, and I used the bathroom by myself- hooray for progress!
I am still sleeping a lot, but I know that rest and lots of water are key factors to healing.
I will go back to dr. lee's office in three days to remove one more drain, then the last one should come out at post- op day 10.
my kids come home tomorrow, and I'm not sure how much I will be able to do to help them. I appreciate my husband and our family so much for all of their help!
one week ago...
i had an appointment at two days post-opt where i got my first look at my body and two drains removed, and then another at five days post-op where i had another drain removed. i truly didn't think that it was uncomfortable or painful to have any of the drains removed. that being said, i have been on oxycodone during each of the appointments! but for me, it was just mildly uncomfortable for a few seconds, and more of a strange sensation than a painful one. i cannot wait to get the last drain out in three more days- in my opinion, the drains are one of the worst parts of the recovery!
i am still feeling sore and tight in my abs, but i feel like my upper body is nearly back to normal. getting up from bed or even from sitting is hard and sometimes painful. i am still taking narcotic pain meds about every 5-6 hours during the day.
i am really looking forward to how much better i will feel in another week, and even in a month from now. today i did a small amount of housework, and got myself ready, and i feel like i couldn't have done much more than i did. my husband keeps telling me that my job is to be a "model patient," and i am really trying to take it easy and follow all of my surgeon's recommendations to the letter. healing after major surgery is a full-time job!
back to reality
I still haven't driven the car, but I have been off narcotic pain meds since post-op day 10 (just Advil for pain & swelling now). I think I am ready to drive, and I have been doing most of my normal stuff around the house, with the exception of lifting. I'm also squatting more than bending at the waist if I need to pick something up off the ground. getting up from sitting or laying down is still a little tricky, too.
I had an appointment with my surgeon yesterday, and he was pleased with how I am healing. one breast is still high, and I had a small (one x two inch) seroma at the top of my stomach that he drained a few cc's of fluid from. I was dreading that so much, but he numbed the area and it didn't hurt at all. he also told me to begin scar treatment, so I have started with mederma, and I think I will add vitamin E into my routine also.
I am still really swollen, and i am really disturbed about the "ken doll" phenomenon. eww. so gross.
overall, I am loving my new body- it is a huge upgrade from what I had two weeks ago! I am most disappointed about how high my scar is, but as with the swelling, and my one way-too-high breast, I am trying to take the long view, and hope that a few months from now all of these little issues will have improved. only time will tell!
four weeks later!
I haven't been cleared for exercise yet as I am still working my surgeon to resolve a seroma at the top of my stomach (this has involved multiple visits to his office to numb/drain the pocket), but overall, I feel amazing!
for me, the sweet spot was about 2.5 weeks- I started to drive again, my husband and I started to have sex again, and I generally felt "normal.". I am still swollen and sore by the end of the day, but I am very happy with how far I have come in just 4 weeks.
I love my new boobs, and my new waistline & flat tummy! I still wish my scar was lower, but I was able to find a couple new bikinis (!!) from Victoria's Secret & athleta that are high enough to cover my scar (see photo).
I am massaging 2-3x daily with vitamin e and mederma, and am hopeful that the small amount of lumpiness & puckering on my scar will rescue with time.
I can't even put into words how happy I am that I went through with this (incredibly expensive, initially very scary & uncomfortable) surgery. I haven't felt "hot" in a long time, and now I am exponentially more motivated to get back into shape so that my legs & but match the rest of my body!
I am so proud to have been able to carry twins to full term, and to have had another big baby all naturally after that, but my body really did get wrecked in the process! I wish I could have been one of those women that didn't mind my post-pregnancy body, but I was always bothered by how I looked, especially my stomach that frequently got looks and comments. there is nothing worse than getting asked if you are pregnant when you are not! and omg, I hated having to laugh and say something like, "no, my stomach just never quite bounced back afterwards," and feel so humiliated and gross.
there is no denying that getting this surgery done was selfish and expensive, but for me, it has been a game-changer! i haven't done many things in my life that were truly just for me, and this experience hasn't always been easy, but overall, I am thrilled with the outcome.
at my consultation with dr. lee, he was very straight-forward about the procedures, and potential complications. I appreciated his matter-of-factness, and that he didn't try to sell me additional procedures. dr lee is an incredibly skilled surgeon, and I am very happy with my results. the aftercare that I have received has been outstanding, and it has always been very easy to schedule an appointment when I need one.