30 Year Old Mom Who is Beyond Ready! - San Diego, CA

I have given birth 4 times, once as a gestational...

I have given birth 4 times, once as a gestational carrier. I had my first daughter at 16. I'm 5'1 and weighed about 110 which to me is within my ideal weight. Unfortunately a lack of education and support contributed my excessive weight gain of 60lbs! I was so stretched out that my stomach appears very wrinkly. I've lost weight and got down to 120 however I'm never happy and comfortable. No matter how hard I worked out my stomach remained my setback and problem area. I hate being naked in front of my husband. I hate going on vacations and seeing other women wearing bikinis but I'm in a one piece. I hate not being able to wear a crop top, I hate looking at my body in the mirror. After each pregnancy I gained more skin and stretch marks. I lost weight last year and gained it back because I get so fed up with trying and not seeing results. My last child I breastfed until 22 months. I just stopped a few weeks ago. I never considered BA until I was done nursing him. I did not nurse my other children and I can tell you I notice a huge difference! I'm deflated and more saggy! I've been waiting almost 14 years for this! I've made the decision. I'm working on my BS in public health and my last class ends on May 5th so I want to get it done right before memorial day but after my last class. Hopefully I will be well enough to walk for graduation about 3 weeks later. I will be getting a check in January for $4500, $1000 check in Feb, then taking out a loan from my 401k in April to pay it off. I don't want to finance. With my 401k I'm paying myself back, its taken from my pay check, and it is 4% interest. So right now I'm getting consultations. I have one on Monday 8/25 and another on 9/2. I'm excited, nervous, anxious and emotional. I will not have the money until January to schedule but having a few weeks to choose a doctor should be good.

annoyed

So the one Dr I had a consult with (east lake cosmetic center) has just cancelled again for the second time! I had an appointment on Monday. They called on Friday because he would not be in. I rescheduled for tomorrow and I just checked my voicemail and again he cannot see me due to a surgery. I'm wondering is this normal? What if I'm his patient, will he cancel on me all the time like this? I don't think I'm even going to call him back. On the upside, I still have my appointment next Tuesday with Dr. Vincent Marin. He did my friends BA and they're amazing. They look so natural. I am highly impressed by his before and afters for TT too. I haven't met him and will get more consults but I have a good feeling about him.

First consultation!

I went to see Dr. Marin...I'm not sure what to compare it to but I was really hoping to get that feeling everyone describes, that "I knew he was the Dr when I met him"! I didn't get that at all. They were about 5 minutes late. The nurse was nice but I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable with all the ladies coming in looking straight out of Shark Tale LOL. He did not spend much time with me...he did answer my questions. I was shocked on the quote of $18565 for TT, lipo on flanks, BA with lift (silicone). That is over my budget. I was going to put down 5600 and did not want to take out more than $10000 from my 401k. I'm hoping to find someone more affordable and personal. Tomorrow I go to another consult with Dr. Daniel J Brown.

husband problems!

Today was my second consult and I really think I found the one. His name is Dr. Daniel J Brown and it was like night and day. He was so personable and everyone on his staff was so friendly! Before talking numbers it just felt right. He quoted me $12000 for TT BA and lipo. If I want the lift (which he recommended) it is $15,000. I'm kind of debating whether or not to get the lift. For one, I don't like the scar, extra down time, and compared to others I've seen I don't think mine are that bad. I think it is more the loss of volume that caused the nipple to be as droopy as it is. When I was engorged after I stopped breastfeeding they weren't nearly as low. I think I want to get it without the lift and see if in another year I'm not happy then I will get the lift and according to the doctor that's how they were performed years ago; they were never done in one surgery. The only thing is if I pass on it now the price goes up from $3000 to $5500. It is a lot to think about. If you have an opinion on that, please comment! So anyway, I got home and I was so happy! I was thinking of just putting the deposit of $1,000 to secure my date but this is a big decision and I'm impulsive so I will continue with my next two consults. I was so excited to tell my husband hoping I'd get a better reaction than yesterday because after my disappointment and sticker shock of almost $19k quote he was upset that I'm getting BA. At first he said do whatever makes you happy but now he's changed his tune. Now he's saying I should only get TT but nothing else because in more or less words it is selfish and a waste of money. It feels horrible when you spouse doesn't fully support your decision. No one except maybe people here understand what it is like. I hate having sex because of my body... I don't like having sex fully naked because I don't want our bodies to touch. I don't want to be touched. I don't buy clothes I like because they're not flattering or my stomach might show. I wear grandma bathing suits. I hate it. I want to be ME again. Ugh is that so hard to understand.


Sorry for the vent. I'm still doing it without his support...it would just make it easier if he was happy.

Making my first payment!

Yesterday I had my third consult. When I started this journey I decided I would get four consultations (more if needed). The first one went horrible, the second was amazing, the third was even worse than the first! I went to see Dr. Robert Kearney. His only positive is that the consult was free and he explained more into detail on some things, however, to put it bluntly he was an ass! He first asked me who's watching all of your kids? I'm thinking that's none of your business. Things then got bizarre where he was telling me basically I'm too fat and need to lose weight and exercise otherwise he can't sew my muscles together. He delved duether into asking me how many calories I eat and that I should be eating only 1000! I felt like I was in a classroom and he kept mumbling over and after a few words kept saying, "do you get that"? In a very demeaning way. This man was weird and his pictures were nothing compared to the first consults...in fact they were down right awful! To add injury to insult he wanted close to what the first guy wanted , 18k! I have another consult on the 30th but i'm cancelling... I don't think I can handle another bad consultation! Also, I wrote a good review for Dr. Brown on yelp and they surprised me with a bouquet of flowers! My husband and I had just come home from Phoenix for the Chargers game, in which we lost so I was bummed and they totally cheered me up. I need to pay $1000 by 12/30 so today I am mailing my first payment.
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I totally get every one of your points and have felt the same about my body. I really stopped asking for input because of my husband's response. I think you have to honor what makes you happy and why...and if explaining this to him doesn't get thru, you'll have to move ahead with the least resistance possible. :| I love what JhenRox said because that was how I got mine to understand when I related to him using a thing that made him feel insecure. Chicklet is right too - RS is def a place to vent and work thru the emotions. Here for you!!!!
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My husband seemed to be on board with my MM decision too but for THREE years there was always something else that needed to be done 1st. I started holding a lot of resentment and was keeping tally of what he would buy and always threw out comments about my surgery. I am 4'11" and was 102 before my 2 preg. No stretch marks but my abdominals seperated and I looked forever 5-6 months pregnant. I was addicted to training 5-6x/week and yeah I looked better but still not confident and sexy like before. I missed my perky boobs and flat chiseled tummy. Breast feeding literally sucked me dry! I finally explained to him that it would be like him losing 2-3 inches of his penis. Well that was it! He realized how much it had changed me... Sexually, emotionally, out in public... I wasn't the same girl he fell ilove with and we BOTH missed her!! It's been almost 6 weeks since my MM with Mimi tummy tuck, umbilical hernia repair, BA and light lipo and i am happy to say that I am back to the girl I was before pregnancy!!
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I completely understand about the lack of support. He's your spouse and of course his support is crucial but remember he has no idea how you feel because those are your own insecurities not his. It's discouraging, you are not bring selfish you deserve to feel beautiful.
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Vent all you want. RS is the perfect place to do it - where we've all been through the same thing and understand what you're going through. Others don't understand what decisions we have to make, what emotional and physical stress this is, and why we do what we do. And you should only make that decision for yourself - and accept what comes with it bcz if something bad should happen, you only know there'll be someone who says "I told you so". So if anything, do it for you and do what you feel is best for you. No one can make that decision for you - ultimately you'll be the one to live with the results.
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Don't be discouraged. Keep looking. Finding the right "match" might take a few more consults. Don't go with someone just bcz you're tired of looking... I believe in fate. If it's the right time at the right moment, it'll happen. :)
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Thanks! Yeah I have 3 more scheduled and am looking at 3 more.doctors I have yet to call. I will wait on calling them until maybe late October. I just couldn't believe $18565 LOL my friend from work seen Dr. Lori Saltz and paid $18000 but she had the circumferential tuck!
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Oh and they make you stay the night! That was an extra $1000 mandatory when doing two procedures.
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Not surprised. I got quotes anywhere from $12K-$19K!! ...for the same procedures. But keep in mind what's included in the pricing. If a PS performs the sx in office, it'll be much cheaper; however, you won't have the security of doing the procedure in a hospital setting or surgical facility. If you do, then you'll be paying for it. I paid $2100 extra (I think) for the surgical center - but I chose that bcz in case something goes wrong, I wanted the comfort of knowing there would be an emergency team and equipment nearby.
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I agree with Chick...you will find the dr. For you. This is too important to rush. Keep the faith!!!
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Good luck, I went to Dr. Pousti. He is the best. He is in San Diego. I would definitely try him. Good luck finding a doctor.
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yeah I am really big on first impressions and this would not be a good one. Maybe find another PS to consult with.
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Me too. I've decided to scratch him off my list. Once was understandable but twice in the same week was ridiculous.
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You have a right to be annoyed. I'M annoyed with you! I would take that as a red flag... things happen for a reason. Fate. There are plenty of good drs out there. Maybe the timing just isn't right... do your research and keep looking. You need face time with the dr and if they keep brushing you off, it's not a good sign.
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Agree that's not ideal to keep being put off for other schedules. Understand things come up but the way it's handled is essential.
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Yes, that's why I'm not going to see him. I am going to see Dr. Marin on Tuesday and just scheduled another consult with Dr. Daniel Brown on Wed.
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It sounds like you are VERY ready. Here's a list of questions to ask at your mommy makeover consultations. Please keep us posted throughout your journey. Excited for you!
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Sounds like you're well on your way! My sister lives in Carlsbad. I've read many good reviews frrom RSers about Dr. Tom Pousti in SD. That said, you should meet him to know him. I am very particular aout drs and one thing I do like about him, having never met him myself since I'm in LA, is that he answers takes the time to answer ?s back on RS. I find that very admirable that a bust- and popular- PS would actually take time out of his schedule to do that. Good luck on our journey!!
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I meant "busy"...
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I was referred by three people bit he charges a $100 consultation. There are plenty of well respected board certified surgeons who don't charge. I don't want to pay someone unless none of the other surgeons work out I might pay, but I think that is a bit ridiculous. He is the only one I found who charges. But thank you! I'm excited to get it even though it is 9 months away lol.
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I know. I saw that too... bummer. I would feel like that too. My PS didn't charge. I turned down a PS that charged $300 per consult! He was so popular he books 6mos-1yr out... waaaay too popular for me. But maybe Pousti applies the consult fee to your balance...?
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Yes, he will if you choose him. I see Dr Vincent Marin on 9/2. He did my friends BA and I honestly didn't even know they were fake until she brought it up! He is board certified and does amazing work. You should check out his site when you have the time. I love how everyone's scars and outcome looks. It looks to be the best I've seen so far. :) I'm also checking out Dr. Pollack, Dr Hess, and I'm thinking of Dr Chacon. I also am going to see Dr. Nojan at Eastlake Cosmetic Center in Chula Vista. Indent know how to spell his last name. Who is your PS?
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I go to Dr. Martin O'Toole in Pasadena. I didn't find him on RS and didn't even know about RS until after I decided on him! :) He was giving discounts for using RS so that's how I discovered RS. Read my review on him to give you a better idea of picking drs. I like my TT scar - very very low, even, smooth, no dog ears, etc. I've seen really BAD scars... scary stuff, lots of jagged edges. Sometimes I wonder if the PS was sewing up with his eyes closed or what?! My husb is a surgeon, too, and he says sutures are a "skill" that not everyone has. Guess some aren't as detail-oriented. I scar and bruise easily so I have to be picky.
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Congratulations on your decision to proceed with “mommy makeover” surgery. Based on your history, photographs, and your ability to achieve your long-term stable weight (which should you should be very proud of!), it is likely that you will do well with these procedures. You are correct in that careful selection of your plastic surgeon will be key. Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight. A few additional words of advice may be helpful to you:  1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself) and that you have realistic expectations. Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life situation. You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven. 2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation. 3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful. 4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary. 5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina of your caretakers. 6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery. 7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies. 8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change). 9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience. 10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery. 11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery. Best wishes.
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After giving you my accolades (an admirer from a city away), I realized you'd written a comment below me! :) Well said, Dr. P! And again, you did not disappoint- you are truly a special kind of PS!! It makes me tear up that a dr with your following would take the time to write so much and follow RSers. Thank you for not dismissing such an important part of our journeys. I also want to add, that at 3 wks, although some patients feel well enough to drive, easy cook, resume a semi-normal life... others take longer to recuperate. We need to be patient patients! I am at 2.5 wks and still swollen and hunch more if I do more. I also tire easily and get winded.
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Thank you for your kind words above. You are absolutely correct in that every patient has a different experience after surgery. Generally, I have found that tummy tuck surgery recovery time is often underestimated by many patients; even plastic surgeons whose responses I read on this site seem to underestimate the physical and emotional recovery periods associated with this operation. It is not unusual, in my experience for patients to be only 70 to 80% of their preoperative energy level even one month after surgery. I wish you well in the coming weeks; hopefully, you will be very pleased with the outcome of the procedure performed. If you do experience the “ups and downs” often experienced, do your best to keep the long-term outcome in mind.
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