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40 Yrs Old, 2 Previous C Section - Saint Louis, MO

I'm scheduled for surgery on Feb 14, 2014. Yes,...

I'm scheduled for surgery on Feb 14, 2014. Yes, Valentine's Day! I'm 5'1", 177 lbs and have had 2 previous c-sections. During this surgery, I will also get rid of an incisional endometriosis from my last c-section that gives me pain each month. Scheduled to have lipo, TT, and Breast Augmentation/BL.

7 days

7 days before surgery. Excited and nervous at the same time. I'm trying no to think about it too much. had my pre-op appointment last week and all is good to go. Hospital called me yesterday to get some details. I have to report in at 6 am.

3 more days

Trying to calm the nerves by going through daily routines. Hospital called to give the details for the morning of 14 Feb. Will start packing my stuff since I will be staying overnight at the hospital. My plan is do do some self measurements and post a couple of pictures prior to surgery to help anyone who are in my similar situation.

Pics before surgery

Here's a few pictures. I will have a full tummy tuck with lipo, breast lift, and breast augmentation. In the process an incisional endometriosis from my last c section will also be scraped off. Just for reference from ladies who have similar built: I'm 5'1" height 177 weight (202 at my heaviest before pregnancy; 130 college weight) and currently wear a LOFT (it's where I shop) size 10. My heaviest was almost 16. For the past year, I've done Zumba and strength training and recently have started CrossFit with my husband. I've also cut the white bread and white rice and changed it to brown rice and wheat bread. I would not have considered PS but when I've been working out as hard as I've been this last 1 1/2 yrs and the tummy was not going anywhere, I knew that intervention was necessary. I'm not a fan of hospitals and surgeries but when I was told that I needed to get rid of the incisional endometriosis if I want the pain to go away, I figured I should just have everything done as well.

Day after

Procedure took 4 1/2 hours. Rough note due to nausea. Pain mostly in the upper abdomen area. Walked around a few times already. Just finishing breakfast. Dr stopped by this AM. Told me that he took almost there inches of skin than previously marked (yay). Planned on 360 cc but ended up with 371cc. Outside of being uncomfortable sleeping, recovery is tolerable.

Day 2 post Op

Much better than yesterday. I'm not much of a medicine person and have a high pain tolerance but hubby is making sure that I take all the meds prescribed to me. I've been taking Percocet every 4 hours and this morning I had 1 Valium to help with muscle since you are bent over like a hunch back and puts a strain on your lower back. Tomorrow I will be able to take out the gauze, get a sponge bath, and reapply the girdle like contraption around me. I've been taking plenty of rest, walking around the room and hydrating myself. Don't expect to sleep through the night. I woke up 3x and been taking cat naps through out the day when I get tired.

5 Days Post Op

Trying to wean myself off the meds. Percocet is down to every 8 hours rather than every 4 hours. I will have my first post-op visit tomorrow. I don't think they will take the drains off yet because I'm still taking out anywhere between 30-50 cc three times a day. For some reason the right drain is more than the left drain. Sleeping is getting easier. I was actually able to sleep 4 hours straight through the night rather than waking up every two hours trying to figure out a comfortable position. I am a side sleeper and it is not normal for me to be sleeping reclined on my back. Ladies, pillows are your best friend if you don't have a recliner in the house. I also go through range of being cold and being hot. I have chills every now and then but no fever. I haven't really looked at myself even during a sponge bath because the swelling can be deceiving. I'm just focusing on getting better and getting all the swelling down where the Dr did lipo on my hips. I've been keeping myself hydrated with plenty of water which also means plenty of bathroom breaks. My exercise consist of walking around my room several times, resting then walking again.

Drains off today

Quick update and a photo. My drains are off. I still have plenty of swelling especially in the pubic area ( you can tell on the picture) due to lipo. PS was happy with the healing. Will post pics of breast another time. I will be 2 weeks post op as of tomorrow. I just took off my CP as you can tell with all the marks only tummy. I am allowed to take it off for 2-3 hours per day. Will see PS again in two weeks.

15 Days Post Op

Well ladies...I am happy to have finally been able to take a real shower! Not a sponge bath....My husband has been wonderful but warm water flowing down the body and washing away never felt so good. I made sure to get waterproof bandages to cover where the drains were. I am so infection phobe that I make sure of every little thing. I've also been able to run a few errands with the hubby. I still tire easily so as soon as we get home, I take a quick nap just to re-energize myself again.

I've been checking out the new bod! And let me tell you, outside of the bruises and swelling still, I am so happy to look down and no extra skin hanging. According to my PS, he took off about 8 pounds of excess skin. Oh boy! And as for the boobs, still some swelling. He told me that in two weeks, he will show me how to massage them.

I was told that I can take off the CG for about 2-3 hours everyday. Interestingly enough, I feel naked without them. It's nice to have the support. I was given the clear signal to buy spanx if I want to alternate but to be sure that at night I have the CG on. I still am not able to sleep on my side which is a bummer for me but it is a small sacrifice.

Oh, just a fair warning for those faint of heart. My PS's website actually had a video of one of the partner's doing an actual Mommy Makeover. Boy was I glad that I did not watch that video before my surgery! I told my PS this when I saw him this week and he was very funny about it--"oh you didn't see it before?" Nope and I was glad not to. I would have needed a sedation before I even got to the hospital! Overall, I would do it again. Like I said in previous posts, the first 3 days were the most challenging part. After the 3rd day, each day is easier than the day before.

For those of you dreading the drains coming out. It wasn't bad. It was a quick stinging/burning sensation. Nothing compared to an epidural!

New pics

Day 17: week 3 of post op

Feeling stronger and stronger. I have a couple of updated pics. Swelling is less especially in the pubic area where the PS did some lipo...(added bonus he did in the OR since it was not originally planned ....

It's funny to rediscover your body again

Ok, ladies. This is the end of week three for me and although I still tire easily and get lower back pains, I was able to drop off and pick up my 4 yrs old at school this week. Also, I was able to cook dinner all week long. Not to mention the shower! Oh how I love the shower. My husband has been such a Godsend taking care of my incisions and helping me keep it clean.

What I find 'funny' this week is rediscovering my body. Earlier post op, I was just focused on healing and getting stronger and hoping for the swelling to go down. But now that I am taking the time to really look, it's funny (in a good way) to note the changes. Prior to my surgery, I have a birth mark just above my BB to the left. Now said birthmark is below the BB. Just the visual of seeing how much skin was taken off is pretty amazing. (I did mention before that my PS actually took almost 3 inches more than previously planned). Then to finally look down while I'm sitting and not have to pull up the extra skin so I can just get a visual of my vajajay is AWESOME!!

Since I can't hit the gym and go back to CrossFit any time soon, I'm just focusing on watching what I eat and not gain weight. I have my 4 week post op appt this coming Tuesday and can't wait to see my PS to see what he has to say.

I am sleeping much comfortably now--still can't sleep fully on my side but enough to be able to almost sleep through the night. I have a love/hate relationship with my girdle that my PS provided and hoping that he has other options for me when I see him next. I notice that if I am on my feet too long, my lower back starts to hurt (perhaps because I am still not fully standing military straight since the core is still tight). I also notice that if I am in a prolonged sitting position, I need to slowly stand straight. Let me know how many of you have experienced this as well.

Week 4

A few pics before I head to the PS for my week 4 post op appt

4 Week Post Op Appt

I saw my PS today (which is always nice because not only is he awesome, he is not bad looking). lol

He gave me the green signal (drum roll) to either use the treadmill or the stationary bicycle! lol...no CrossFit, no running, and no Zumba. So I guess while my husband goes to CrossFit, I will be walking the treadmill.

Everything looks good. They took out the tape around the nipple area and took out some stitches that did not dissolve (nothing painful). I still have to wear the girdle though he did say that I can try on Spanx as long as it gives the same support, otherwise girdle for another 2 weeks. I see him again in 3 weeks. He did urge me to stand up straighter and that if the core hurts, to massage it. He said that I should not worry about pulling anything since I am healing well. I am now done putting Polysporin (not Neosporin) on my incisions and can begin using the scar treatment gel that they sell in their office/spa (It's not scar guard--they used to tell patients to use it but they have switched to a different product with better results in scar treatments).

I did see some of my before pictures that they took and boy I am so glad that I went through with this. I have no regrets.

Tomorrow will mark the official 4 weeks post op: reflection of the past 3 years

I contemplated having a MM almost 3 years ago while still living overseas in Ankara, Turkey (we are a military family). I figured it was much cheaper (at least half of what we paid). After all, I had my second baby there via c-section and the hospital that would be used is the same hospital where US and other countries' diplomats used. After 'shopping around' for a PS in Ankara, Turkey and going to several consultations, I thought that I was ready for it. Another reason why Ankara was an option was because I had household help there that I knew would not be available upon our return to the US (i.e.: full time nanny and housekeeper). However, I opted not to because I was just not comfortable having an elective surgery in a foreign country (whether it's by instinct or just general fear of going under the knife by choice). The $10,000 savings was just not enough for me to take the risk. Yes, I had a baby there and knew of several diplomats that had the baby there. Yes, I knew of several spouses that had PS surgery there, but it was just not enough for me to be fully comfortable with the idea.
Fast forward a year later after we were settled in at our new assignment. By this time, I had lost another 10 lbs. I started hitting the gym. I felt great. My muscles were developing were flab used to be. I can actually run up and down a flight of stairs at the gym without feeling like I was going to collapse and pass out. I was losing inches off my waist. My trainer was happy. On top of this, I started going to Zumba and changing my diet. So between strength training and Zumba, I was hitting the gym 4-5 times a week (sometimes strength training in the morning and Zumba at night). BUT my muffin top was just not disappearing. I was starting to feel frustrated. So, I started looking into a MM again but felt somewhat guilty on spending an enormous amount of money on me even when my husband was fully supportive of the idea.

On Jan 2013, I began my journey of transformation. I had my initial consultation with Dr. Prada and never looked for another PS. He was it! I felt comfortable. He answered all my concerns. Made suggestions on how to get the best out of the MM--(I was hesitant to get a lipo but he explained that without lipo on the hips, the MM would not get the best result). I trusted him because I thoroughly researched his resume and was happy with his 'pedigree'---Cornell University, State University of New York, interned at Loma Linda Hospital, Georgetown University (you get my drift). These were important for me in choosing my PS. Perhaps it's the control freak in me because I hate not knowing what is going on and I need to trust the person who will be working on me while I have no idea what was going on. Short of watching a video of a MM, I did my homework. (note: I was too afraid to see an actual video and did not see one until I was done with my MM).

This was also the time that I discovered RS and started reading reviews and poring over before and after pictures. I searched for someone with my similar body type just so that I can have a realistic expectation of the 'after' photos. I also made the decision to grow my hair out with the idea that when I completed my MM, I will have it cut short and donate the locks to cancer patients (my Mom passed away 3 years ago of lymphoma). I'm not sure if the decision to do this was to put something positive outside of myself or to cover the guilt of spending so much money on me. I just opted to do something positive. And other women's stories facing similar situation helped A LOT!

So tomorrow will mark 4 weeks post op. Yesterday, I started trying on clothes that were snug or showed a bulged where my 'muffin' used to be. It felt great to wear a dress without having to suck in your stomach just to make yourself feel good about your image. I think I tried on at least 5 dresses. I know my journey is far from over. When I started this, I was hovering between 177-179. The day before surgery, I was at 179. Today, I am at 172. My goal is to be between 130-140. More so because diabetes runs in my family and I had gestational diabetes so it's just a matter of time before I get it. But if I can hold it off for another 20 or so years, that is the plan. The MM was not the end of my journey but the beginning of my journey to rediscover me again. I can't wait to hit the gym again and start CrossFit again. (You would not have heard that coming out of my lips 3 years ago---my husband can attest to that). I have a pair of skinny jeans that I clung to for almost 14 years now hoping for the day that I can squeeze into it again. (The minute I can, I will be sure to post the pic here!) Each military move, I just kept on taking it along. Those jeans have lived in 2 foreign countries, and 3 US states.

Tomorrow my hair will be cut and donated and my journey to rediscovery continues. Thanks ladies for your kind words and support, especially these last 4 weeks.

Back pic

Pics: beginning of week 5 post op

Quick post. I've maintained 171-172 since surgery. Weight pre op was 179. I've been concerned since all I'm allowed is walking. Can't fully hit the gym yet. Still wearing CG ---can't wait to get rid of it. Finally able to sleep on my side again for a brief period. Hope everyone is healing well.

Ego boost pic for the week

Today marks 5 weeks post op. My ultimate goal is to loose another 30-35 lbs. I took this pic today. Let's just say that I had to pick my hubby's mouth off the floor. Happy healing everyone!

Pics--- week 6 at the end of this week

April 1 will be my week 6 post op appt with my PS. Here are a few updated pics. It's been a bad toe weeks health wise...came down with a bad cold last week that turned into a sinus infection. Back to antibiotics for me. The good news is that I don't have much of an appetite. As you will note on the pics, swelling is done but I still have lingering bruises.

Broke the 170s

Also, today I weighed in at 168! Woot! Woot!

Scar Treatment

I know some have asked what I've been using for the scar treatment. My PS Office recommended Skin Medica: TNS Recovery Complex---apply this first, let it dry, then apply Skin Medica: Scar Recovery Gel with Centelline. Though it is available at my PS Office, I found through research that Amazon sells it at half the cost. I am told to use it for at least 6 months twice a day.

6 Weeks Post Op! Woot! Woot!

Hello Ladies,

Today was my 6 weeks post op appointment with my PS. He gave me the all clear "no restrictions" green signal for normal activities including work out! CrossFit here I come. The only caveat he placed is that I should listen to my body and heed what it is feeling. I don't see him again for another 3 months (July).

The hubby was excited for the no restrictions for a different reason and I don't think I need to elaborate as to the reason why! Lol! Wink! Wink!

My breast size is a Full 38 C (which is what I was shooting for---I was a small B before and who knows what I was after the breastfeeding---probably a flat B). We went bra shopping afterwards and I bought 3 wireless bra to start off (No underwire for now---Drs orders).

The office staff took "after" pictures and weighed me. They will do this again in 3 months time at my next appointment. The PS went over the before and after pics with me and I am so amazed at the difference....and I haven't even reached my goal weight yet. I have more incentive to do so now.

On a personal note, my hubby and I had a quite a few conversations recently and I've been teasing him about all the attention he's been given me with a quick joke (it must be the boobs). One of these teasing times, he looked me straight in the eyes and said "you don't see it do you?" And when I asked. His response---your confidence is so SEXY you don't see it. It's like the same girl that I met in college over 14 years ago. You never believed me before and brushed me off but somewhere along the way, your confidence left and you don't know how glad I am to see it back. Would you believe me when I say that I am falling in love with you all over again? I get butterflies in my stomach when I see you and I think of you often. I feel like I am back in High School with my first crush....

Well let's just say that is just about the sweetest thing I have heard in a long time. And then I proceeded to tell him on serious note that for the longest time (about 4 years), I have not been happy with my body but I kept putting it aside since being Mommy was more important. And I agreed with him that since Week 4 Post Op, I have been happy and excited about the new me---almost to the point of obsession sometimes since I weigh myself everyday (which is so not me because I probably weighed myself every 4 months before).

I've also received some compliments from friends and acquaintance who have not seen me in about 6 weeks. They would mention that I lost weight and most of them would say that they see it in my face (which is a good thing).

So that is all for now. I think I will have a burning party for my CG (just kidding). I did order a workout waist trimmer (DanceSkin) to give me support when I hit the gym again. It should be coming this week. My plan is to be back in my full workout routine starting Monday next week. After all, I have three months to get better results for my "after" pictures for my PS. He did already tell me that he would like to use my pictures for his book for his office which I happily agreed to.

For those of you in the healing process---continued happy healing. For those of you about to embark on your MM journey---best of luck and happy results---I will be thinking of you as your day of surgery comes closer.

Photo of the week

New Victoria Secret nightie....size medium. A little swelling along the incision area today but I'm not complaining....:)

Love hate relationship with my CG

So after yesterday's appt and the no restrictions clear sign, I was ready to create a bonfire and toss the compression garment away! I was so excited to wake up this morning and not have to wear that blasted contraption! Big mistake! By the end of the day, I swear I looked like I swallowed a small watermelon (ok exaggeration but that's how I felt). I looked so bloated, I almost cried. I sent a quick message to my PS and he quickly replied by saying that it would be helpful to still wear the CG at night and a few hours during the day. It us normal to have swelling 2-3 months post surgery. Bwaaaa....haaa...haaa.... (Sobbing hysterically). I guess my relationship with my CG must continue. It's much preferable to the bloated look...trust me! Anyone else have this experience past 6 weeks post op?

First day back at the gym

After a cold that turned into a sinus infection which prevented me from hitting the gym two weeks ago, I finally made it back today. Ran/walk 3 miles. By 2 1/2 miles, I noticed a slight swelling of my hands which went away 30 minutes after work out. As you can see in the picture, slight swelling on my upper core. I cannot love enough the new Victoria Secret workout line. The sports bra I am wearing is wireless and my boobs are snug and comfy. As for the pants, it hugs you like a compression garment in all the right places. While I was running, I was also wearing Danskin waist trimmer belt---check it out at Amazon...it makes you sweat while giving you the support of a compression garment.

Pilates...yikes

So just to change things up, I tried Pilates for the first time today...let's just say that I had many modified movements. I didn't want to stress my stomach muscles too much because that is all the focus is on Pilates. And since I want to miss the brutal CrossFit Monday Workout, I'll be taking Pilates on Mondays and CrossFit on Weds, Thurs, and Fri. I'm hoping to add Zumba at night into this routine. I want to lose as close to 30 lbs by July--not only because of my appt with my PS but also, we are planning on going to Puerto Rico. Here's my swim suit that I plan to wear. My hubby's jaw dropped again (he seems to be doing a lot of that lately..lol) when I showed it to him. And to inspire me to keep the dream alive, I am posting the pick so all you RS ladies can keep me in check to.

For those of you about to embark on your journey, I keep you in my prayers. For those who are in recovery, it gets easier and easier each week...I promise!
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon

My initial consultation was done last year. Dr. Prada said that I was a good candidate for the TT due to excess flabby skin around my middle area. I also asked about a breast lift and breast augmentation. He listened to my concerns and gave feedback on what will work and not work for me. Ultimately my breast size will be determined by the breast lift. I am hoping for a full C. At this time, it will range between 270cc to 360cc depending on what the Dr. will deem appropriate. I figured he's done this so many times that he knows what is best. The staff at the office is great. I can't complain.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (73)

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Puerto Rico!! Fun! You look great! I can only imagine how you are going to look in the weeks to come! =)
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Have you noticed a difference yet with the Endo pain? I know it's only been 2 months, but I would imagine you'd notice a positive change =)
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I'm crossing my fingers but two period cycles now with no pain. Before it was one week before and one week after. I've been looking for the lump but can't feel anything but tiny ones in some of my incision areas. How about you? How are you feeling back to work?
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Thanks. Been to the gym everyday this week except for today. So far 1 Pilates, 1 yoga, 1 Zumba, and 5 miles run/walk. I'm determined to lose this weight. Don't ever want to go back to my before pics...:)
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This week is much better. I can tell my body wasn't ready last week. I'm good during the day at work, some aches & pains here & there. I try to leave shortly after school is out to put my feet up. I definitely feel the pains & bloating by 4:00. Woo Hoo! Hope your endo pains are gone for good!
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Ooo look at you in your VickySecrets!!! You look great! Remember, the CG is your best friend! I actually think I might need a new one; the one from PS doesn't really feel like its "compressing" me any more. Happy continued healing to you! :-)
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Yes...blasted CG! I bought a spanx which I wear at night. At least it doesn't bunch up like my CG. Also bought a Danskin waist trimmer workout belt to use as a CG as I go back to working out.
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I'm thinking about going to get a spanx garment this weekend! You look amazing and love the bikini!!! :-D
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You look amazing!!! I was so happy to hear what your husband said to you, I couldn't have said it better myself!
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Thank you so much. He is a keeper! He said honestly what I did not want to admit for a while. My frustration with myself and my body. I took the first step with the workout and changing my eating habits, the rest of my body just wouldn't follow suit without the mommy makeover. Now it has and it's up to me to keep moving forward.
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You're looking awesome!! Congrats on loving your new body!
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Thank you! You are too sweet!
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Congratulations!! I am so happy for you! Here's to new beginnings =)
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Cheers! :)
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That was so sweet what your husband said! i am so happy for you that you have your confidence back! you look great!
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Thank you. He's been my biggest support!
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Awesome post and your husband is so sweet. Excited to hear you so happy with your results. I too do CF and I must say that is gonna be the hardest part to have to give up for healing :( but I'm sure it will be all worth it.
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It's been worth it for me as I'm sure it will be for you too
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What an awesome thing for your husband to say! Don't forget to show US those progress pictures! :-)
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Definitely! Thank you
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Thank you for sharing your story... Very thorough!!! You look great! Happy continued healing to you!!
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Thank you. Same to you.
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Awesome job on the weight loss!!! You look great!
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Thank you! This MM have really given me a boost to meet my goal weight more so than ever before!
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Meant toe weeks not toe...darn autocorrect
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