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Tummy Tuck Scheduled -- 12 weeks post-op!

I delivered my son via c-section 10 years ago, and...


I delivered my son via c-section 10 years ago, and gained 60lbs during that pregnancy (started at 110lbs, 5'0" tall). I lost most of the weight by his first birthday, but then when I was 36 I became a gestational surrogate, and ended up delivery two different sets of twins, 17 months apart. I gained over 50lbs with each pregnancy, and was 53 inches around my waist at each delivery. I've lost much of the extra weight, though now I fluctuate in the low 130's. I have a large diastasis recti as well as an umbilical hernia, and some excess skin.



I had a consult for a tummy tuck two weeks ago, and I've scheduled my surgery for Jan. 3rd. I'm fairly active -- I run and do P90X (though not regularly recently), and I'm hoping to lose a few pounds before surgery. My ps said I don't have a lot of excess fat or skin to remove, and he doesn't think I need lipo. I'm a bit nervous about the major surgery, as I'm a single mom, but my sister will help me out during recovery, and I've recovered well from all the c-sections I've had.



I've gained a lot of knowledge from all the reading I've done here, now I just can't wait to get to the day of surgery! I'm ready to be on the other side! I'll post before pics at some point -- they're not pretty!

48 days until the TT! To say I'm excited is an...

48 days until the TT! To say I'm excited is an understatement -- besides getting my abs back, I'm taking the whole month of January off from work, and I cannot wait for that break. I'm an attorney, but I don't consider my job to be a desk job, since I'm constantly running from my office, to the courthouse to the jail, and I'm generally on my feet and moving for much of the day. I keep joking to my colleagues that I'm using the TT as an excuse to take a month off work and get opiates. :)



I scheduled my pre-op appointment for Dec. 19th, and I have to pay two weeks before surgery, so by the 20th. I'm waiting until December to do my pre-surgery shopping. I have sweatpants in sizes that are currently too big for me, so I think I'm good there, but I'm planning on buying a couple bigger zip-up hoodies for the days following surgery.



I'm trying to be good about exercising and eating healthy from now until surgery, but I have to say, I'm pretty sure I won't be tempted to eat junk food after the surgery, so I'm indulging here and there now. Nevermind that the holidays are approaching....but I am working out diligently, and keeping my protein intake up.



I still have to take some before pics -- it'l happen, hopefully this weekend. I'm so excited to get this done, and thankfully time flies where I work, so Jan. 3rd will get here in no time!

39 more days! I can't believe how excited I am! ...

39 more days! I can't believe how excited I am! I totally gorged myself yesterday at Thanksgiving, now I plan on being careful about what I eat until Christmas. Then the week before surgery I'll make sure to eat low sodium and fairly light meals. I've been waiting for December to roll around before I start buying everything - my doctor's office really didn't give me a list, but I'll go by what I've read here. I do have some questions for my doctor, so I'm going to give the nurse a call after next week. I've been writing down questions as they pop into my head so I won't forget. I have a feeling the next month will fly by, especially since its the holiday season.

Trying to add photos...I can't believe I'm putting...

Trying to add photos...I can't believe I'm putting these up for the world to see. I'm currently 5'0" and about 133lbs.

The weeks have been flying by -- only 20 days...

The weeks have been flying by -- only 20 days until TT! I called my ps' office yesterday with a few questions for the nurse, and I have to drop off my FMLA paperwork this week, as well as pay for surgery. I can't believe how quickly its approaching! I really need to get my butt in gear and start buying all the things on my list, I just hate going into stores this time of year. But I don't want to wait until the last minute, so I have a feeling Sunday I'll hit Target in full force.



Work has been keeping me very busy, which I guess is a good thing. Before I know it Jan. 3rd will be here! I can't wait to finally have it done!

I dropped off my FMLA paperwork at my doctor's...

I dropped off my FMLA paperwork at my doctor's office and paid for surgery this week! Now I have to start working on my "things I need" list. I'll do some shopping tomorrow, probably order some of it online, and then pick up anything more after the holidays. Now is not the time that I want to go into stores! The nurse at my doctor's office said I'll wake up in a binder and I'll have to wear that one for 6 weeks, so she didn't think I'd need a second stage compression garment. I'll hold off buying one until I know for sure. I wanted to ask exactly what meds they're going to prescribe for recovery, but I'm also paranoid that they'll put in my chart that I'm "drug-seeking" (I'm a criminal defense attorney, I see all sorts of things!)....so I guess I'll just wait and see! The next two weeks are going to fly by, and then it'll be time for surgery! Its exciting to think that 4 weeks from now I'll be well into recovery!

I survived the holidays, and now suddenly the tt...

I survived the holidays, and now suddenly the tt is just around the corner! I indulged over the weekend, and I still feel gross from it, but I'm aiming to keep this week super healthy on the eating front. I went out shopping for supplies today, and I think I only have a few more things to get. I bought a plastic drop cloth for painting to put over my couch in case I leak through my clothing. I got my FMLA paperwork back from my doctor, so I'm good to go on that front. Now I just have to get through 4 more days of work, and then I'm off for 4 weeks! I'm so excited to be on the other side of this and recovering!

Oh my goodness, I'm just three days out from my...

Oh my goodness, I'm just three days out from my tt! My sister gets to town tomorrow to take care of me and my son, and I'll have her take better before pics to post. I can't wait for Tuesday. I think I have everything, though I still want to pick up some food items. I'm going to make a couple sodium free soups tomorrow so I have a few options. I'm guessing I'll be living on soup, fruits & veggies, and oatmeal for the first few days.

Now I just feel antsy -- I worked for a couple hours this morning, and will on Monday as well, so at least that will pass some time! I'm ready for Tuesday to get here!

I can't believe I'm just 24 hours away from the...

I can't believe I'm just 24 hours away from the TT! I stepped on the scale this morning -- I've been avoiding it, just telling myself I'd do it right before surgery, and I've gained about 6lbs since Thanksgiving! Granted, I really haven't worked out in that time, and I've been eating out way too much, so I guess no time like the present to do something about it, huh? I can tell its sitting on my butt and thighs, so I'm looking forward to working out again once I've recovered enough. Until then, eating a clean diet, no refined or processed junk.

I think I have everything ready to go for tomorrow, now I just have to find a way to pass the next 24 hours!

I'm officially on the other side, thank goodness! ...

I'm officially on the other side, thank goodness! All went well yesterday (at least that's what my dr tells me), and I got home around 7pm. I'm on percocet, and I just took some not long ago so this may be a short update.

My dr. repaired my hernia and did muscle repair. My upper abs are the most sore, I don't really feel anything around the incision. My ps said there was a significant gap in my ab muscles so he really tightened them up, and he said to expect soreness for awhile.

My biggest issue thus far has been peeing, and maybe someone can give me some feed back. I was so dehydrated yesterday after surgery that I could not pee at the hospital. My dr released me, because he said I'm smart enough to go to the ER if something happened. I was up several times during the night to pee, but its so hard to do! I've found that I can pee standing up way better than sitting down, but I never seem to really empty my bladder. I can't tell how full my bladder is, though I imagine its pretty full, and then I pee some but it stops. Is this normal? Its hard to tell which is bladder pressure and which is just pressure from the TT.

I haven't eaten much -- had a snack pack of jello and a banana yesterday, plus a few nut thin crackers. So far today I've had a couple crackers with my meds, and then a clementine. I think the ab pressure outweighs any desire I have to eat (which I really don't have).

At any rate, so far things seem to be going okay. I go back to see my dr. Monday afternoon. My drains are on either side of my incision, and I think once my period is done I'm going to ditch the granny panties -- they're more of a pain in the butt than they are useful!

It was so wonderful to sleep last night without...

It was so wonderful to sleep last night without having to get up to use the bathroom! The trip to the dr's office must have really worn me out, because I fell asleep by 7pm and didn't wake up until it was time to take percocet again. I was awake from 1-2, but then had no trouble going back to sleep. I'm sitting up now, as my neck has been killing me from the folded up position I've been lying in. I'm down to one percocet at a time, and I think I may just try tylenol the next time I have to take meds.

Thank god for my sister -- she has been a godsend! She emptied my catheter bag while I was zonked out last night, and then she got up in the middle of the night to empty it again. She's been keeping my water glass full and getting me anything I need.

I actually feel human today -- not zonked out on meds. I have a lot of gas that's trying to work its way out -- been taking the gas X so its not too bad. Taking arnica and bromelaine as well. I go back to the dr. at 3 to remove the catheter. And I'm draining much clearer now, which makes me happy. I'm getting an appetite back, too, which is a good thing.

Had a low grade fever of 100.3 last night, but...

Had a low grade fever of 100.3 last night, but tylenol seemed to do the trick in making it go down. I'll mention it to my dr when I go in this afternoon. I'm really ready to have the catheter out. I'm just on tylenol now for pain, and it seems to be doing the trick. I'd love anything which would help with the back pain, nothing seems to touch that. My dr. said I could shower after 48 hours, but I think I'll wait until after the cath is out. Plus I'd originally thought I wouldn't be able to shower until after the drains came out, so I didn't buy a shower seat. May have to send my sister to Target for one. I would just love to be hosed down right now! I feel sweaty and gross under the binder. But otherwise I feel pretty good, eating some, though I don't have a huge appetite, still drinking lots of water.

Saw my dr. this afternoon, and he took the...

Saw my dr. this afternoon, and he took the catheter out. He injected 400ccs of water into my bladder to see if I could urinate -- I managed to pee out about 200ccs while there, and I've urinated a little since coming home. I did finally have a BM, and now I feel much better! So hopefully my body is getting back to regular working order. If I haven't urinated significantly by tomorrow morning I'll call him. I really don't want to have the catheter put back in, so hopefully things work as they should tonight.

I did not sleep well last night, not sure why. I...

I did not sleep well last night, not sure why. I hadn't had any percocet all day, but I took one at 12:30am just hoping that it would knock me out. It did but only for a few hours. I'm super tired today, so its a good thing I didn't have anything major planned! I took my first shower this morning. It felt great, and my hair is no longer grossing me out, but it was incredibly exhausting. I envision a nap in my future. My drains are putting out less, so that's a good sign, and I've been doing pretty well with the bathroom issues. My son is hanging out with me and keeping me company. Last night he was sad because he wanted to sleep with me, but of course I'm on the couch, not in my bed yet, and it was tough having to tell him it wasn't possible. I'm hoping by next week this time to be back in my bed, even if its with lots of pillows!

I have not been sleeping well in this folded up...

I have not been sleeping well in this folded up position (legs up, back up), and I woke up with a headache and still tired. Took some advil, as my dr. said I could start taking ibuprofen 5 days after surgery, and I drank a cup of coffee, which has helped the headache. It just seems like today might be an endless day of sitting, again. At least tomorrow I get a trip to the dr. But other than feeling crabby from sitting around, I'm feeling okay. My digestive tract seems to be back to normal, which I'm happy about, and I have a healthy appetite that I'm trying to feed with healthy food. I'll just be so happy when I can be up and around more. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my right drain gets pulled tomorrow!

Saw my dr. today and he pulled my right drain! So...

Saw my dr. today and he pulled my right drain! So happy to be down to one. He said everything looks great, just putting bacitracin on my belly button, still leaving the incision alone. I go back in a week, and I'm hoping the left drain will get pulled then.

Also made dinner for myself tonight, which meant a lot more moving around than I've been used to. I feel like I'm swelling a lot. My sister leaves tomorrow, and then it'll just be me and my son, so I'll be moving around a lot more, and thus probably swelling a lot more. I'll get to lay around and do nothing while my son is in school all day, so that's good. And he's 10 so he can help out quite a bit.

I'm going to try to take some pictures this week -- I really like how things look!

Coasting along here, 8 days since surgery. My...

Coasting along here, 8 days since surgery. My sister left yesterday, so now I have to venture out twice a day to take my son to school and to pick him up again. I live on the third floor so I'm getting quite a bit of exercise twice a day! Add to that one load of laundry and I did the dishes today, otherwise I sat myself on the sofa and watched tv. My one remaining drain only had 20ccs in it today, so I'm pleased about that. I don't go back to the dr. until Monday, but I'm feeling pretty good about it being pulled then. I'm pleased with how flat my tummy feels, even with the swelling. I've been eating super healthy, and not nearly as much as I did pre-op, so I hope that does a bit for the butt and thighs! Now that I've had the tummy fixed, those are certainly fixable through diet and exercise. All around I'm feeling really good -- gonna try to remember to take some pics tomorrow!

Things are continuing to go well for me. Friday I...

Things are continuing to go well for me. Friday I actually went into the office for 2 1/2 hours. I was sitting most of the time, but even that amount of activity had me swelling like crazy the rest of the evening. Thankfully by Saturday morning I was flat again. On Saturday I went to Target for the first time -- didn't stay there too long, and took it slow (while leaning on a cart). I was swelling some when we got home, but not too badly. Today I'll go to the grocery store for a few things, but at least now I feel like I've built up my endurance a little. I go back to the dr. tomorrow, and I really hope my left drain will get pulled. Its down to less than 20ccs in 24 hours, so I hope that's enough. My job for today is to wash my binder -- I hate the thought of going without it for that long, but it'll probably be good for me. I don't go back to work officially for two more weeks, and I'm very happy to have the time just to heal.

Realize its been a few days since I updated, plus...

Realize its been a few days since I updated, plus I have a couple pics to add. I got my last drain out on Monday at 13 days PO, and I feel so much better since then! On Tuesday I found I was really able to stand straighter, and its improved even more in the past two days. I'm still forcing myself to take it easy because if I do too much I swell a lot in the afternoon. Yesterday I went into the office for 4 hours, and that was way too much. Even though I was sitting most of the time, by the time I left I was completely exhausted and swelling big time. I came home and iced my belly for awhile and that really helped to bring the swelling down.

I'm posting a pic of my belly at 8 days PO and at 15 days PO. Both pretty much look the same to me. I did not have any lipo on my hips -- part of me thinks I should have, but I know I can decrease the size of my hips when I start exercising again and by eating clean. I've never really had a problem there.

I also went shopping for CG this week. I bought one from Target -- the Love My Assets line, and its a high-waisted brief that goes up to right under my boobs. Its pretty comfortable, and I was surprised at how much more snug it was than my binder, yet its so much smoother than my binder. I also ordered a body suit from Spanx, which should arrive either tomorrow or Monday. I just feel like the Spanx may offer more support, and I know I'm going to be wearing it for quite awhile. my dr. told me on Monday I can transition to that now, but I've pretty much still been in my binder.

I go back for another follow-up this Monday. I still have tape over most of my incision, though he did trim some away that was peeling off. So far my incision looks good, so I'm pleased about that.

I'm 19 days PO today. The past few days I've been...

I'm 19 days PO today. The past few days I've been very sore right above my belly button, which I'm attributing to the hernia repair, and its been more swollen than the area between my belly button and my incision. I'm a bit nervous about the swelling above my belly button -- I hated the hernia, and that's what I most wanted to be fixed, so I really don't want a bulge there after surgery! I see my doctor again tomorrow so I'll ask him about it then. I started wearing the CG some. Well, I wore it on Friday, but after two hours out for lunch, and then two hours out for dinner I felt very swollen. I was happy to come home and put my binder back on. But I made it through a date Friday night without giving away any clues that I'd had a tummy tuck just 2 1/2 weeks earlier! And the date went well, I think we may go out again next weekend when he's in town.

This is my last week off work. I'll be spending some time in the office to prepare for when I'm back for good on the 30th, but I also want to make sure to take the time to rest this week. Its going to be really hard going back on the 30th because I'll be running around nonstop, so I want to be as prepared as possible for it.

I saw my ps this week, and he said all looks good....

I saw my ps this week, and he said all looks good. The tape continues to peel off my scar and I continue to trim it. I was concerned about the soreness above my belly button, but he said everything looks normal, and its likely due to the fact that I'm standing straighter and the muscles are stretching out more. I'm rarely hunched over now, sometimes right when I get out of bed, but that's it. I go back in another two weeks as he wants to see me before he clears me for exercise. He did say I can start walking and/or swimming, though truthfully I don't have a lot of excess energy over and above what I've been doing.

I've switched over to wearing spanx most of the time during the day, and I'm getting used to it. I've spent some time at work this week to prepare for returning full time next week. I know I'll be swelling a lot next week, as my job entails a lot of running around. But I feel like I'm getting my stamina back.

I went out and bought a pair of pants in a bigger size for work (I have some skirts already that will work). I'm not sweating it...once the swelling gets better, and once I start working out again, I'm sure things will decrease in size.

I can't believe next week I'll be a month post-op. Its crazy how quickly time has flown by, but what's even better is that I'm feeling noticeably better with each day, so that makes me happy. Need to snap a few new pics -- maybe tomorrow.

Today was my first official day back to work. I...

Today was my first official day back to work. I was in the office most of the day Friday, but today was my first day fully back, in court both this morning and this afternoon. I was exhausted by 11am, and somehow or other made it all the to 5pm, though I'm not sure how. And I brought work home with me. I was swelling by noon, really swelling by the end of the day, but I came home and put my binder on, ate a healthy dinner, and now I'm sitting with my feet up. I still have work to do, but as long as I can do it in this position I should be okay. Tried to drink plenty of water throughout the day. I feel like I burned a gazillion calories from all the running around I did, especially after a month of sitting on my couch. I cannot wait for the week to be over with!

I can't believe I'm a full month out today! I feel...

I can't believe I'm a full month out today! I feel great! This week has been long because I was back at work full-time, and I was basically putting in over 9 hour days in the office, then coming home to be a mom, and then working after my son was in bed. I have found, however, that as the week went on I had a little bit more energy by the end of the day, so hopefully that's a good sign. I'm taking it easy tonight and this weekend. I see my dr. in another week, and I hope to be cleared for exercise then. I took three new pics this morning so I could see how things changed in the past two weeks.

I saw my dr. yesterday, and he wants me to wait...

I saw my dr. yesterday, and he wants me to wait until 8 weeks to fully resume exercising. He's still okay with me walking (and water aerobics, but I don't go to a gym or pool), and I walk around at work a lot, and usually at a pretty fast pace. I'll continue to have patience. I asked about scar therapy, and he said its okay to use it, but didn't really recommend one over another (as he said, he doesn't own stock in any of them lol), although he did say the silicone sheets were probably the easiest to use, so I picked up some of those today.

My clothes are definitely looser, though my scale really hasn't gone down since surgery. Hopefully once I start exercising full time my butt will get into better shape -- that's what is bothering me most these days!

Time is flying by, I can't believe I had surgery 7...

Time is flying by, I can't believe I had surgery 7 weeks ago! I finally got on the treadmill this past weekend, and alternated jogging with walking. It felt great, I didn't feel any pain or tugging. I'm going to join a gym so I can continue with it until the weather is nice enough to run outside (I was at a hotel over the weekend).

I'm still wearing the spanx during the day and the binder at night. I like the feeling of them. My swelling hasn't been too bad, except for today, but I was traveling all day yesterday, so I think that was part of the reason. My eating was not great over the weekend (again, out of town), but now I'm trying to get back on track so I stay nice and flat. I go back to see my dr. at the end of next week, and I think he'll clear me for full exercise then.

I'm exactly two months post-op today! I'm finally...

I'm exactly two months post-op today! I'm finally feeling normal again, which feels so good. I started sleeping without my binder a few nights ago, and I might try to go without my spanx today just to see how I feel. Its starting to annoy me to wear it everyday, since I swell even when I'm wearing it. I've started running again, albeit ever so slowly, and I saw my dr. yesterday, and he gave me the green light to go back to lifting weights. I'm cleared for all activity, he just said to start slowly.

I'm pleased with how I'm healing. I haven't stepped on the scale in weeks, but I will Monday morning, as I'm starting a 4 week diet/exercise regimen (well, the first 4 weeks is pretty intense, after that I'll resume my normal. albeit really healthy, diet). I'd like to drop 8-10lbs if possible, but we'll see. My scar is healing well. I haven't been diligent about using a scar treatment on it, but it still looks good. I was concerned about swelling above my belly button, but my dr. pointed out that I'm not standing all the way straight, and if I do straighten up totally, it flattens out. I'll work on that. I have a very slight dog ear on the right side, but its barely even noticeable to me. He said he'd fix it if it bugs me, but I'm pretty sure I'm fine with things how they are.

Posting pics that I took yesterday -- not sure if they're too much different from the last, but I'm pleased with the results.

Just a quick update, things have been getting...

Just a quick update, things have been getting better as each week goes by. Yesterday I ran my first race since surgery -- five miles, and I finished in 42:17, so an 8:28 pace. I was shocked that I ran that fast! It was tough, in part because I'd only run twice in the past two weeks, thanks to an awful cold. I've finally stopped coughing for the most part. I did not wear my binder or spanx, because it was 63 degrees out, and I knew I'd be roasting in it. My lower back was definitely sore during the race, I can see how I need to work on strengthening it. But I wasn't in any pain at all as far as my abs go, and I didn't seem to experience any out-of-the-norm swelling after.

As far as day-to-day goes, I stopped wearing spanx a few weeks ago. I don't seem to be experiencing the awful swelling I hear some people talk about. The spot right above my belly button is the area that seems to swell most, and that's generally later in the day, or if I have to use the bathroom or I eat too much. And actually, I've really been watching my food intake carefully in an effort to shed a few pounds. I've lost 3lbs in the past two weeks. I'm very happy with my results -- my belly is always flat now. Still loving my belly button. And as far as my clothes go, all my size 6 pants fit. I'd like to lose another 5-10 pounds if possible, but I think that's sitting on my hips and butt.

I haven't started doing any direct ab work, I was waiting until at least 12 weeks to try that -- I'm paranoid about screwing up my hernia repair. I'll post new pics at 12 weeks out -- gives me a little more time to try to drop a couple pounds!

I can't believe 12 weeks has gone by since...

I can't believe 12 weeks has gone by since surgery! I still feel great, and over the past month I've been working to get my workouts back up to speed. I'm running three days a week, generally 5 miles, and lifting weights three days a week. I've been on a really strict diet the past 3 1/2 weeks as well. I've only lost 4lbs, but I've lost a lot in inches, as its pretty low-carb. Mostly I was aiming to kill my cravings for junk food, and that worked. I'm hoping to lose a few more pounds and a couple more inches off my hips.

I took new pics today -- not sure if I can see much of a difference from the last ones I posted, but I'm definitely pleased with my results. My size 6 dress pants are getting loose, and my size 6 jeans are comfortable. My scar is pretty well flattened, and I really haven't been using anything on it (I think I'm just too lazy!). I'm looking forward to buying a two piece bathing suit soon. :)
Sioux Falls Plastic Surgeon

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