I'm scheduled for surgery on August 18th (almost a...
I'm amazed and profoundly grateful to all the women who have shared their experiences and their photos on this site. I selected my doctor based on reviews I read here, and I went into my consultation much better informed and prepared having read through dozens of realself reviews and stories.
I've uploaded the 'before' pictures and my height/weight because I know how helpful that was when I was looking (I wanted to find someone that had a physique similar to my own).
I had my consultation yesterday. It went fabulously. Dr. Peters is very calm and attentive and she makes space for the weird self-conscious chatter that is probably common when half the people in the room are undressed. This will probably sound funny, but I was worried I'd feel disconnected from my body during the examination (as I discussed the parts of me that cause discontent) - she actually had the opposite effect and I felt really present and centered.
I'm planning on getting smooth round silicone implants (340 cc) and after a mini-tummy tuck my ugly belly button will still be ugly, but maybe not so smooshed and saggy looking... Even though more extensive surgery could fix my copious stretch marks and looser skin, I've decided against a full tummy tuck for a couple reasons: 1) I am really okay with most of that stuff - I just REALLY hate the flap of flesh that hangs over my c-section scar - I REALLY HATE IT, 2) I am scared to death of ending up with a scary super big, round alien-looking belly button- seriously terrified. So, I'll settle for a less than perfect belly that will still show the wear-and-tear of having the babies as long as that flap of skin is gone, gone, gone.
It feels really weird to have my nearly naked self plastered up in photos, btw, but less so since I've been looking at boobs for the last month and a half -- what's another pair of boobies, right? Even if they are mine... Aack!
I'll update after my pre-op! OMG OMG OMG I'M SUPER EXCITED!!!
Pre-op appointment is on the books!
First, I've been very pleasantly surprised by the reactions of my friends and family as I tell them the news of my quickly approaching surgery. Maybe it's because I always say it with a huge-ass grin on my face, but each and every one of them have expressed excitement and happiness for me. No one has asked me if I was sure, no one has said I should love myself the way I am *something I was sure my mom would say), and no one has made a single negative comment at all. I'm LOVING it. It really demonstrates that my support network believes in my choices and my judgement - they can tell I know what I want and I'm pretty sure they know I'm doing it for the right reasons (meaning I am doing this for my own happiness and not to try and meet some external expectation).
Also, I was perusing the bra section at Target today - and I realized I have no idea what my cup size will be - I think it'll be a D since I already have some breast tissue... but I really have no clue. Anyway, maybe that's something I can get clarification on at my next appointment. All I knew at the consultation was that I liked the projection of the samples I had stuffed in my shirt.
Anywhoo - until next time :-D
Nothing to report.
Guess who bought a wedge pillow?
ACTUALLY, I *am* using this surgery as an excuse to buy wedge pillows without the shameful stigma that usually goes with wedge pillows ;) I have 19 days to break 'em in before I probably won't want to even imagine being in any other position besides supine or sort of hunchy... both not great positions for the adult activities.
Also, I had my pre-op appointment today. Lots of changes (okay, only 2 changes). First, I'm getting bigger boobs (Surprise!) because boobs. I opted for the 371cc rather than the 339cc - Not a huge difference... Second, I'm taking the big plunge and going for a full tummy tuck. I realize that I said I didn't want to get an alien eye belly button, but Dr. Peters described how she creates the belly button (she prefers the oblong belly button) and she showed me her previous creations (that makes her sound like Dr. Frankenstein - IT'S ALIVE!!) I referred to it as her "look book" which is apparently NOT what it's called, but I made myself laugh so it's all good. The belly buttons don't look creepy and she pointed out that I wouldn't need lipo if I did the full tt. Hmm... fewer stretch marks, less skin, less expensive (by over $1000!) SOLD.
I charged over 13 grand to my mastercard, and I picked up my meds (oxycodone, yipes!), antibiotics, and anti-nausea meds. And I ordered my post-op garments. It's really happening.
I feel like I'm forgetting stuff- I'm afraid that I'll forget to get something vital to my recovery. I'm worried my husband thinks I'm insane (he keeps assuring me this is not the case). I am terrified my new breasts will be distorted and hideous. I am worried I'll lose permanent sensation in my nipples. I'm worried my nipples will look weird. I'm concerned about my tt scar - I hope my pubic area doesn't look all wonky afterwards. But NONE of this makes me want to back out. I really trust Dr. Peters and her staff, and I really, REALLY want to get rid of this overhang on my tummy. AND I WANT BOOBS!
Any suggestions on what to buy (food-wise) for post-op? Should I avoid anything in particular? Is it a good idea to strengthen my abdominal muscles before the surgery (or will it not matter either way?) How long did it take for you guys to feel like it was your body? How long until the boobs feel like they're actually your boobs? AACK!
I'm losing my mind.
I just spent 3 hours moving stuff around in my office and ended up moving it all back. I have a recliner but it has to be so far away from the wall to actually recline that it’s basically in the middle of the room when in the upright position. I had a meltdown over this fact. I cried because of a chair.
And then I realized that of course it’s not actually the chair, it’s the whole ordeal. The idea of getting elective surgery, and then the guilt and embarrassment of being nervous about said surgery. I mean, I’m *choosing* to do this, so I feel silly for being totally wound up about it. If I’m so anxious about it, why am I doing it, right? And I haven’t told anyone about the procedure who I thought for one second would tell me not to do it. I’m selectively sharing with only people who I believe will be supportive (so I’m essentially creating a big fluffy, artificially constructed support network and will just have to avoid all but those 7 people for the rest of my life – unless of course I’m meeting new people who won’t know what I looked like before…).
As I was driving back from my friend’s house this afternoon, I thought about how ironic and tragic it would be if I died in a car accident on the way home the day before my surgery. I started seeing the wreck in my mind and was basically in the middle of a panic attack as I was pulling into my driveway. Smart.
And I’m second-guessing every decision I’m making, like what food I should eat today, whether I should have painted my nails – should I remove my nail polish? The paperwork doesn’t address this issue… is it common knowledge and am I going to piss off the operating team when I show up tomorrow?… should I take out my earrings tonight? Is it okay that I got my eyebrows waxed 2 days before surgery? Was that totally stupid!? I wasn’t even thinking, I was just at my haircut appointment and asked off-handedly if she could do my brows when she was done with my hair… AACKK.
Should I shave? I get horrible ingrown hairs and would rather not, but is it tacky not to? Is that an unspoken rule as well?
Should I take MOM? I’m seriously worried I won’t be able to poop before the surgery and then when I’m unconscious I will end up pooping on the table. I wonder how often that happens. I bet the nurses just clean it up and then never tell the patient. I hope that if I poop during surgery, they never, ever tell me about it.
HOW THE HELL am I going to get any sleep tonight?
Pictures or it didn't happen
A) The difference between being on pain pills and off pain pills is terrifying.
B) Hiccups are a bitch.
It's been a pretty long day, even though I was unconscious for at least 3 hours. I'm dozing on and off (very sleepy after I take the oxycodone, and then as that wears off and I get more uncomfortable, I mess around on facebook).
Thanks for the kind words of encouragement and support from all you lovely souls. It meant a world of difference seeing those comments again before I went to sleep last night. Oddly, I had no trouble falling asleep (woke up once, but was able to get a couple more hours of rest before we left this morning).
The ride home was pretty uncomfortable but once I got home and settled, I felt less of the burning/sharp pain- every time I get up, that flares a little bit, but it's not taking my breath away.
My husband is a rockstar and has emptied my drains once already even though blood makes him super queazy. I love him so much and I hope my being dependent on him for so much doesn't wear him out. I was able to stand on my own once today, but I probably won't push it too hard- I tried that gung-ho shit after my c-sections and ended up slowing my recovery. Not this time!
I am trying very hard to keep my sense of humor - it bit me in the ass after the surgery was over, though. As the nurse was wheeling me into a crowded elevator on our way out of the building, I announced, "they're real!" and then chuckled at my own wit, which quickly morphed into a sharp intake of breath as shooting pain ripped through my abs. Nice.
Back to the doc's tomorrow a.m., where I'll get to see my new tatas and tummy! I'll try to remember to get some photos :)
Day 2 is a tough one
Hooray for boobies!
Just squeezed back into the cg and I puffed up pretty quickly without it on. I was staring at my naked belly and could see it start to swell before my eyes. Fascinating and horrifying at the same time. But now I'm strapped back into my security blanket and feel safe and solid again.
I'm pretty happy with my setup. I have a wedge pillow and a regular pillow under my back and a regular pillow under my knees (I had been using a foam wedge under my legs but it was too hard to get in and out of bed by myself - and as my youngest used to say, "I'mma DO IT").
Hmm... What else? Oh, right. I started my period on day 2.
I have been using tampons but am terrified I'll forget about it and end up with toxic shock syndrome and then die. My flow has been abnormally light (probably because massive trauma to my system via Dr. Peters) so I'm going to risk going without and just hang out on some chucks just in case.
That's about it for now. I'm going to continue my breaking bad marathon (just realized I'm 15 minutes late for my latest pain pill but not in agony. Great!)
Objects in mirror may appear larger than they used to look - because they are bigger, BOOYAH.
I washed my hair in the sink (my darling husband returned to work so it's just me and the kiddos. They're 7 and 8 so actually pretty useful at doing my bidding). Yep, washed my very short hair (so glad I chopped off all my hair before I had this done - I would feel SO much greasier and awful since my scalp is generally oily anyway). And since it's tmi day, I also sat on the toilet for 30 minutes with zero results. Downed a double-shot of MOM and am now awaiting the good news. I have a good feeling about it, so put your minds at rest. Added another photo from this morning's strip down. Have a lovely day, rs lovelies!
Okay, now that I'm looking at the photos...
Speaking of big butts
I'm having some difficulties with my compression garment
It didn't work.
So I used my best judgement (it's the weekend, so I can't call my PS) and took off the garment. Now I'm wearing an old pair of 'assets' (knock-off spanx) that go from mid thigh to high waist and my pain has decreased significantly, if not completely. I turned them inside out to avoid getting an imprint from the seam that runs down the middle. I have my 1 week post op tomorrow afternoon, and if my PS recommends I continue wearing the marena garment, I'll order the next size up. I'm not going to order it unless she requires that I do so, however, since it's a hundred dollars.
I'm partly worried that I'm making a bad decision by not wearing the cg, and that I'll set back my healing. But I am also worried that I didn't take it off soon enough, because as soon as I did, my drain output increased and my incision started feeling so much better. The last thing I want is an infection or necrosis because I wasn't getting enough blood to my incision site. :(
I'm also really tired of being uncomfortable and unable to do the things I took for granted before surgery (grabbing something off the floor, cleaning up, playing with my kids and dogs, SEX, etc). I am out of my oxycodone, so I don't ever get complete relief from my discomfort, and I'm having a harder time sleeping now - I'm a side sleeper, and all my body wants to do when I lay down is curl up on my side, so I'm constantly struggling with this restless ill-at-ease sensation when I'm laying down on my back.
I have a few more photos from the last couple of days. I took a shower yesterday, and that was nice. I'm so worn out that I hardly have the energy to take another one today, but I probably should. I know I'll feel better if I do.
On the mend
Pain and swelling are both down, and I've been out and about a few times. I'm going to a concert on Sunday night, and I'm hoping it doesn't take too much out of me! My surgeon says she has no problem with me going out and partying - she just reminded me to take it easy :)
I'll be going back in next Friday to have the stitches removed from my belly button, and I anticipate I'll be instructed to start taping my abdominal incision as well.
All in all, things are going much, much better. Getting those drains out made me feel like a human being again! I'm alternating between spanx-type shorts and compression binders/torsettes/corsets to avoid irritating/rubbing any particular place on my body - seems to be working pretty well.
Last night I slept on my side, and woke up with very little discomfort. That body pillow is my new best friend. Thanks for all the kind words and support, you beautiful gals! I'll try and keep up with you all to return the favors :) Have a lovely Labor Day weekend!!
I feel pretty fantastic. Occasionally (for like 5 seconds) I forget I just had surgery a few weeks ago. What usually brings me back to reality is the chafing of my shapewear or the tightness in my abs. Occasionally it’s the pain (SNEEZING, UGH) but that is becoming less and less common.
Last Friday I had the stitches in my belly button removed and was given the green light to start taping my abdominal incision. (YAY – because I am a picker and it has taken the entirety of my willpower to NOT mess with the scabs – seriously, all of my willpower has been devoted to that. I have been eating cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because I have no willpower left to keep myself from shoving cake in my face.)
Right before surgery I weighed 157 pounds. A few days after surgery I got on the scale again (because I’m a masochist) and I weighed 165. Swelling, implants, and four days of unpooped poop. HA!! Now, 3 weeks later I’m at 162 (ALL CUPCAKES).
However, destructive proclivities notwithstanding, ALL of my pants fit perfectly (actually, even better now that I have a smaller lower abdomen). Most of my shirts fit well – it helps that I like jersey. The only ones that don’t look so good are non-stretchy/button down tops.
TMI ALERT - My vagina is weird – the cleft of my labia is much more apparent since my abdominal skin was lifted up. Perhaps when all the swelling is gone, it won’t be as noticeable… but as it is now, I definitely have a camel toe.
Speaking of swelling – that puffy nightmare has significantly decreased. There’s still some fluid around my hips, flanks, and ‘mons’ but WAY less than even a week ago.
I’m sleeping on my side regularly – still using the body pillow to cushion my boobs and raise my knee up. I am only waking up once or twice a night and I’m waking up feeling much more rested.
Shape wear – I will post some photos of the shapewear I am using in a separate post.
Sex – Yes. Not back to normal, but definitely headed in the right direction ?
Driving – Easier (still tough checking that blind spot, but not impossible).
Fatigue level – At around 5 or 6 PM, I’m finished. It’s an overwhelming tiredness that’s often accompanied by dizziness and starbursts in my vision. I went to the fair on Saturday and we were there until 10PM! I was the walking dead and when we got home I fell asleep almost immediately. I didn’t wake up until 11:30am the next day and was completely wiped out the rest of the following day.
Putting my socks on and cutting my toenails is awful. AWFUL.
My PS said I can start exercising at week four. I’m not sure I’m ready to not sit on the couch quite yet. But I’ll seriously consider moving more often. I guess. She also said that while she doesn’t usually allow patients to wear underwire until week 6, I can look for a ‘supportive’ ‘not sexy victoria secret’ underwire if I wish. (!!!!!!!!)
The flexees high waisted shorts are so comfortable and they stay put. Unlike spanx, there is no 'gusseted' opening at the crotch, but I was NEVER able to successfully use that gusseted crotch to do anything other than pee all over myself. It just didn't work. So I figured I'd stop listing that as a requirement in my amazon searches and found the flexees - so many great reviews, and for good reason. The compression is 'medium' and while they're definitely not *easy* to get on, it isn't an epic struggle either. I do have to pull them down every time I go pee, but it's getting easier as I recover.
Here's the amazon link:
The second piece of shapewear I love is also by Maidenform - it's called a torsette and it's a pretty great option if you want to have (ahem) easy access to your lady parts but not be restricted at the waist with your traditional corset. It's not so great when you're moving around during the day unless you have some snug jeans you can fasten over the top of it to keep it from riding up/rolling up. That worked out for me pretty well at the fair (mostly walking, very little sitting, some rides).
I just ordered the flexees romper (hook and eye closure at the crotch) and I'll post an update about my experience with that one later this week. I have bigger thighs so those types of garments don't usually work for me .... but several women on the amazon reviews said they also have larger thighs and that the leg openings on the romper accommodated their curviness. We'll see!
Dr. Peters was extremely approachable during my initial consultation. She made it very clear that my desired outcome was paramount, and asked me if I had any questions several times during our appointment. She wasn't rushed or distant, and I felt like I had her undivided attention for the entire time. She is very calm and attentive and she makes space for the weird self-conscious chatter that is probably common when half the people in the room are undressed. This will probably sound funny, but I was worried I'd feel disconnected from my body during the examination (as I discussed the parts of me that cause discontent) - she actually had the opposite effect and I felt really present and centered. During my pre-op appointment, Dr. Peters took the time to answer all of my questions and at no time did I feel rushed or pressured. She suggested I reconsider my decision to get a mini-tummy tuck because I would likely have excess skin on my upper abdomen and she wanted to make sure I was completely happy with the final result. She made the suggestion in such a way that I felt absolutely comfortable moving forward with my initial decision yet she made the space comfortable so we could discuss other options. *My main concern was the belly button, and she showed me her previous procedures so I could see how the final belly buttons looked. The switch to the full tummy tuck actually ended up costing less overall since I didn't need the liposuction. It was absolutely the best decision! On the morning of the procedure, she exuded calmness and confidence. I was understandably jittery but her presence had a calming effect, and I immediately felt more comfortable. All of my post op appointments have been lovely, low key, and reassuring. All of the people in her office are amazing, friendly, genuine folks. I'm recovering marvelously and I'm SO happy I selected Dr. Peters. I love my results!