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The Wait is Over!- Raleigh, NC

Hi! I am a 36 yr old mother of two (4 and 6 yr...

I am a 36 yr old mother of two (4 and 6 yr old). I have never had a flat stomach and gaining 70 lbs with my pregnancies didn't help - my fault totally, well like 80% my fault and 20% Cheesecake Factory. Anyways I started running and exercising and have lost the weight but gained a lot of skin and stubborn belly fat. I am currently 5'6" and 166 lbs. I exercise like a fiend but it isn't budging.

I saw Dr. Davis in March and the whole way there I was like 'this is crazy, I can't believe I am going in'. My sister had breast augmentation this past December (she lives in another state) and I couldn't believe it - real people have plastic surgery? Her small chest always bothered her and now she fixed it. For the next 3 months I thought about what it would feel like to fix my stomach.

I am now scheduled for June 21st. Wish me luck and feel free to share any advice.

Ok - I have taken several before pictures (and...

Ok - I have taken several before pictures (and then deleted and took them again). My 4 yr old caught me in the bathroom taking pictures in my underwear and was very confused (as just last week I she was in trouble at daycare for showing her underwear...repeatedly despite several crucial conversations from the teacher). I just know she'll publicize this soon at an inappropriate moment.

4 weeks to go and my body is breaking down.

I am so excited! It's getting closer now. Last week I had a terrible cold and this week I have pulled my back out. Hopefully I can shake all this and not encounter anything else!

How do you dress well for surgery?

I'm a week away and have done most of my prep wish kept the crazy away until now... Currently, I'm concerned about my outfit for before and after surgery. No, really. So, whatever bra and underwear I have they'll take off (and not put back on). I need to wear a button up/zip up top and elastic waist bottoms. I'm not a girly girl but I like to look organized. The best I can come up with is some loose yoga paints with red paint on them and my husband's blue short sleeve button up top. I just don't have short sleeved button up tops that aren't dressy. I'm going to look like a hobo. Not to mention no make-up and coffee - it's going to be a hot mess. I feel kind of guilty going out and buying an outfit based on all the money I've spent on the procedure and prep stuff but I'm kind of consumed by this. Honestly, I know they don't care at the surgery center but subliminally (sp?) I think it matters. Talk me down sisters...

Dressing edit

You really should be able to edit these reviews after hitting submit at least for like the first 5 minutes....my first sentence should read "I'm a week away and have done most of my LIST WHICH kept the crazy away until now...". Geez.

Fah reakin' owt better known as "freaking out"

Ffffffffrrrrreeeeaaakkkking out. Surgery is Friday and I've got a busy week until then. I think I am prepped but my stomach keeps lurching into my chest, minor anxiety I guess. I don't want to back out just jittery about waking back up and not being able to do a darn thing for days. Losing my motivation to exercise.

It's the day!

My husband is so funny. This morning without saying a word he played "the final countdown" song from his phone and smiled! My family has been so awesome - my mom is in from Texas for 2 weeks to help, my sister in law ordered Graeter's ice cream that was delivered Wed and my in laws are taking the kids this weekend. Y'all pray for me. Surgery starts at 10a.


Man this hurts. Got my eyes done and it is kind of blurry. I haven't seen anything yet but can feel how I am.

The flat side

I attached some photos. I haven't seem my belly without the garment on. The pain is a little better today and my nausea has reduced too. Another dr's office told me that this wasn't as bad as a c-section but I disagree with that. My mom and husband are really awesome. Mostly I just sit in the recliner and doze.

Bored and tight.

Ugh. Need to vent. My belly is tight, I haven't gone the bathroom, and the front of my thighs are swollen. See attached picture of my yucky thighs. I am thankful I don't have drains because they sound annoying. I am glad I had this done it's just that I hate being limited. I am not taking any more narcs until I go to the bathroom. My mom is cooking too much good food and last night I thought I was going to bust my gut.

Here are a couple of things that I didn't really think I would need that I am glad I bought/got: dry shampoo, recliner, wisps and books on cd. I didn't get a walker, hospital bed, raised toilet seat and so far I don't have any regrets.
The hardest thing I have done so far is get up my stairs to my bedroom. I did it the first evening and haven't been down since. I like my bedroom and wanted to recover up here. Glad I did but am getting bored walking around the hall.

Feeling better today

Late yesterday I started feeling better. I found that if I lightly massaged my stomach where it hurt it felt better. I also rubbed my lower back and was able to go to the restroom. Today I took a shower and I feel pretty good. I am going to try to get out later this afternoon (with my mom driving). I am washing my CG now and am worried that I will swell so much in the meantime that it won't fit. I got my first look at everything without my CG and I am definitely swelling around my new belly button. My incision looks low and my BB looks pretty good. I have this weird kind of fold in the middle above my BB but that might be due to swelling. I looked like I have been kicked in the butt and I kind of feel like it!

Post op appt

Po appt went great. The PS and all of his staff are great. I love how everyone made sure to see me while I was there. They must see this all the time but I still felt special. I shared that I feel like I am in more pain than I should be or thought I would be. Dr. Davis was encouraging and said they did a lot to me and that everyday would get better and that I would feel a difference in 4 to 6 weeks. I need to be patient with myself but it is hard when you are a 'to do' list kind of person. Watching a full season of Biggest Loser is nice but just not doing it for me. Next I move onto downloading and organizing pictures.

Back to bed!

Slept in my bed a few hours last night and for a long nap today and it is great! Can't sleep on my side in the bed though, too tender. I walked quite a bit today - 3 times up and down my street and each time it was easier. I have a love-hate relationship with my CG. Tonight I am taking y'all's advice and trying a tank top underneath. Also, due to the overwhelming comments below I am going to watch this season of Big Brother for the first time ever!

Turned a corner.

I think my focus on moving the last two days paid off. I woke up without a headache (which has come just about every morning) and didn't need a pain pill or as much ibuprofen. I walked more today, did some laundry and went to the store. Today I put on a workout shirt I got on sale but never wore because it showed the outline of my big belly and upper role. Totally smooth today. So awesome! This is why I did it! I just want to be comfortable in my clothes - I don't have to be the smallest or the strongest, just the girl next door. I am going to update my review to worth it because it totally is.
Just took a photo and want to add that I looked better this am. Just finished dinner and 2 glasses of water.

Two weeks later

I hope everyone is recovering well or ready for their big day. My biggest complaint at this stage would be the swelling and not being able to go exercise. However I like how my belly is shaping up and can feel progress daily (can stand straighter, bend over more, pick up light laundry basket, etc). I am sleeping in my bed and recently able to sleep on my side. I continue to take ibuprofen around the clock for fear of facing the 10,000 sit up house of pain (that's what it feels like to me without meds). My hubby is getting about as tired of the CG, he refers to it as the chastity belt.
I went to the pool on the 4th and felt so good in my bathing suit. I had spanx on underneath and only got thigh high in the water. I am also enjoying how my dresses, night gowns and shorts feel. Totally worth it!

Back to work!

Went back to my desk job today and surprisingly lasted the entire day. I haven't shared with many what I had done but those who know were impressed. Others commented that I was pale and walking slower.
I have noticed sensations that remind me of baby movement the last few days. Rest assured I am not pregnant! Not painful or uncomfortable just odd rippling/unfolding feelings in areas. Anyone else have this?

Three weeks

Wow - time flies! Feeling a little better each day. My chief complaint is intermittent itchiness esp at night. I am still wearing my CG during the day but taking it off at night. I have swelling on my hips and am hoping it goes away because it resembles dog ears. Yikes. I have done a lot of reading and basically I won't really be able to tell until about 3 months. My wound is healing pretty well but there are a few places that have white areas. I think this is normal and am curious if anyone else has had this.

4 weeks In A Flash

Still itchy and watching my left side to see if my 'dog ear' goes away. Yesterday I walked over 3.5 miles but at a much slower pace than pre op. I have had a stitch in the middle of my incision sticking out but this morning it was painful. I read a lot if q and a on the site and worked up the courage to get it out. Piece of cake. Came out easily without pain and that area feels better. The area is more open than the rest but I am putting antibacterial ointment on it. Last week I was worried that some white places on my scar were not normal but am glad to report that they are greatly reduced an just part of the process I guess. I have been using a small bit of antibacterial ointment in the morning and then in the evening letting everything breath. Hope everyone is doing well!
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Davis and his staff are amazing - they anticipate needs and have it down to a science! You have to see him if you are in the Triangle. The appointment was flawless - the office decor, the staff and Dr. Davis. I work in healthcare and it is very hard to get everything right. Dr. Davis got me from the lobby instantly building rapport picking out a commonality from my paperwork that indicated he had reviewed it before I got there. He asked great questions and listened to what I hoped to do. Next, we moved to the exam room where he looked at my belly, examined the muscle separation and discussed the process. I mentioned that I might also be interested in a breast lift. Surprisingly he told me that he didn't recommend it and explained specifically why based on my breast and placement of nipple. He said he didn't think I needed it and that after the TT I'd likely notice improvement. Wow?! Isn't that refreshing?! After the exam we went back to his office and he drew out the procedure, discussed the risks and he showed me before and after pictures of stomach's like mine. I spoke with Gretta next - fabulous! She is awesome. She told me about real self and other blogs. It felt like I was having coffee with friend. The whole experience, including the price, surpassed my expectations. I decided that I would continue with a second opinion to make sure I wasn't missing anything. While I liked the other offices I visited and the dr I met ultimately the excellent experience I had at Dr. Davis' could not be replicated.

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Comments (94)

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How long do you think from the time you got it done until you could have flown. Please keep posting
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I am anxious to know that too! You look great!
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Congrats! Just wondering if it's easy to hide the scar in bikini and low cut jeans?
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Hi , my tt is day after and I am excited but sooo nervous , do write so I have lots to look forward to read . you look soo good .
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I am looking for a doctor now and wanted to go to the Raleigh area. The price that you received is awesome.....what all did it intel. Did it include the garment and what areas did you have done?
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You look fantastic! I am thinking about having an abdominoplasty and have enjoyed reading all these detailed reviews - they are very helpful in decided whether I want to do this or not. Thanks.
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YAY I got my tape off today and was hoping my scar would be as thin and symmetrical as yours and it is!!! Looks like you are doing awesome! I think our tummy's look really similar!!! They both look so perfect!!!
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Thinking about having this done also next year. Thanks for the review and letting us know about your personal experience!
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I love on your pre-op photos--"caught in the act!"--and was 80% Cheesecake Factory-or 20%~~~lol!!! Great results! Thank you.
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Thank you!
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OMG~9 days?! That feels like FOREVER ago to me! You'll be shocked how how far, how fast you'll come along. Keep your computer by you side! I got SOOOO bored and sites like this kept me occupied, being nosey and curious! Contact me anytime and good luck! I went to the pool today and while I didn't get in and didn't feel too sexy in my swimsuit hiding Spanx underneath, it felt awesome to get out, sit with my feet in the pool, and think....hmmmm....there's no bulge rolling out from my suit right now....ahhhhhhhhhh
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I can't wait to go to the pool! I think I will give it a try this week (not getting my belly in the pool). The doc says it is ok to swim but I want to wait until the scar is completely dry. I have been looking at bikini's online but I am going to wait another week or so until I have more energy to go try anything on.
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Love your last review...that's how I think too. I don't want to be the thinnest or sexiest or strongest either...just feel good in my clothes!!! Good on ya!!! Looking awesome!
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Hey! I just popped over to see your review--didn't realize you JUST had it done! Thanks for the list of things you were glad you got and those you didn't need. Question about your recliner, is it an electric one or a manual lever variety? I'm worried that I won't be able to operate the lever on ours, thoughts? Love NC by the way, so pretty... When I went, gosh, 1995(??) we got to go to Tybee island (sp?) and it was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. So different from our west coast beaches.
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Glad you came over! My recliner is manual so my mom and husband had to help me the first 4 days or so. The beaches here are nice esp when it is really hit because the water stays cold. I haven't been to the West Coast in decades. My hubby and I are planning a trip out to Ca sometime next year. Glad my list helps!
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You girls might have convinced me to watch BB too. What season is it do you know? I have to download it as I don't have TV. You look awesome BTW! I agree with the lipo comment. That's the only spots where I feel discomfort too. I didn't bruise like you but I can still feel it in my thighs and flanks. Its not unbearable though...looking awesome!!!
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BB 15. I have been watching since first season lol i still love the season with evil dick. He stirred so much crap up.in the house haha. Pretty entertaining the way they play each other ;)
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Awesome thanks!!! I'll start downloading it!!!
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I warn you.lol your going to get hooked haha. Right now I have been stuck on vampore diaries it is addicting. Netflix is awesome and keeping me sane whike stuck in bed lol
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Yes I am hooked on Netflix too :-) I'm watching drop dead diva lol
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Hmmmm maybe another show I will check out :)
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I am watching Body of Proof season 3 right now in Hulu. I don't have cable either just Netflix and Hulu. I wanted to watch So You Think You Can Dance but it isn't on either venues.
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Totally awesome day!!! I'm glad your going to watch BB its intense and fun at the same time, I look forward to it every summer!
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Just waiting for it to download :-)
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Yay! Looking good (: but holy bruising! Lipo hurts for a while, mine only just stoped being sore and I'm 7.5 weeks out. Still a little numb too. I didn't have much done, and hardly any bruises from it so I can only imagine how sore that must be.. :/ hope you're feeling okay, the first week is over YAY that's the worst. Take it easy, and heal heal heal! (:
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