I Did It!!!

I would not have believed 5 years ago that I would...

I would not have believed 5 years ago that I would be counting down the days to a tummy tuck! I have been considering this for quite sometime and even had a scheduled surgery date last year, but was scared and could not seem to make it work financially...

I am 49 years old with two children ages 16 and 19. I have had two c sections, both times I was cut vertically as I already had a scar there from surgeries I had when I was younger. They did not want to give me a new scar for my c sections so they just cut me in the same place.

I have always had a flat tummy, but with the multiple surgeries and a slight scoliosis in my spine it just got progressively worse over the years. I am thin, work out 4 to 5 times a week, but have a pooch due to muscle separation that just wont go away no matter what I do. I also have poor posture due to the scoliosis and without the muscle support of my tummy, I have lost an inch in height.

All of these things I could certainly live with. But as all of you here can relate too, it is so frustrating to be constantly thinking about that poochy tummy!! Every outfit you wear, every event you go to, you wonder, "Does my stomach look big?" I tried to rise above it and tell myself it was not that big of a deal, you are not 20 anymore, etc., etc. But I just could not make peace with my belly.

So... through prayer and support (one of which was this site), my financial situation fell somehow in place, I found a wonderful surgeon and am scheduled for surgery on June 17th!! I am nervous but can't wait to be as they say, "on the flat side!"

Adding some before pictures...

I made it through!!

I was so nervous the day of (yesterday)! It went well and I am feeling pretty good! I of course have pain but with the pain pump and meds it's under control. I did have a hernia that was also repaired, it has gotten worse over the past year or two so glad it's fixed!

Reading all the reviews on here really helped me know what to expect. I am sure I will get stir crazy not being able to move around much, but I am just so grateful to be through it!

Gets better every day...

I am 3 days post and feeling pretty good. I don't like how the pain meds make me feel so groggy so I am just taking Tylenol right now. I have a pain pump so that really helps. I took a valium today as prescribed by my doctor, as I was feeling a little anxious. I tend to worry and thought I was maybe breathing differently... very normal as everything is shifted which I found out by reading other posts and doctor's responses on here. So far so good- walking around house a lot and drinking lots of water.

Feeling good...but this is a big surgery...

As I enter my third full day post op I am amazed at how good I feel. I slept well last night as I was able to finally stretch out my legs! I have minimal pain, or it would be better called being uncomfortable, and am almost standing upright almost all the way. I am so thankful to be feeling good and making a good recovery!! But as I come out of the meds haze I am reminded that this is not a surgery to be taken lightly. Rest is crucial, the drains need to be monitored and emptied, meds need to be kept track of, and you need people to help you. I don't say this to scare anyone just to keep it real. I don't regret it at all -though my bf told me that the first thing I said in recovery was, "Tell me again why I did this to myself?" It's just that you need to know recovery is on the longer side. You will not be sporting a bikini or tripping the light fantastic a week out... or even two or three or four! But as long as you are prepared mentally and have good support you should be great! I signed up for netflix yesterday to keep myself occupied- already B-O-R-E-D!! Will post pics soon! Until next time, love to all my TT sisters!!

Things I Have Learned

This is such an interesting journey. Success seems to come in small increments- like being able to sleep with only one pillow under your knees instead of two, being able to get up and make your own coffee in the morning, being able to watch an entire movie without falling asleep :). But each day you wake up a little brighter than the day before. So things I have learned thus far: 1. It is worth it! I love my tummy! I also feel better already with more muscle support on my lower back and with that darn hernia fixed! 2. You will need help. 3. Join a forum on this site! I don't think I could have made it through without my sisters on here. So many little things come up and to be able to talk to others who have gone through it is HUGE. 4. Take your Colace, eat your prunes, drink your Smooth Move tea 'nuff said. 5. Don't try to be a hero. AKA listen to your body. If you need the pain meds, take them! If you don't, don't! If you are tired, rest! 6. Ignore the house, don't even let yourself think about the laundry, the dust, the dog hair in every nook and cranny. 7. If you choose to tell your friends most will be so supportive! Don't be surprised if one or two aren't. They may not agree with your decision, they may not know what to say, they may be jealous. It doesn't really matter, it is their drama not yours. 8. Don't worry, be happy. This too shall pass and soon all this will be a distant memory! Love to all my TT sisters- promise to post pics today!!

Some pics... though not the best!!

Feeling good! Well- I do have a few minor complaints...

The best day by far was getting my drains out two days ago! After that you feel like you are on your way to getting back to normal! Had read so many things on here about how bad it could be having the drain tubes pulled out but I barely felt it!! Had my bf hold my hand which was so embarrassing afterwards as it was really easy. I have had a little outing or tried to walk a little each day. I have had to sprinkle in periods of rest as I tire very easily. I feel like a baby but my mantra has been "listen to your body." No need to be a hero! I am off prescription pain meds- yay!! My only complaints truly at this point are- 1. I have a love/hate relationship with my binder. It feels so weird when it is not on and then I miss it terribly. But when it is on I am constantly wrestling with it and it does not get a long well (it is bumpy and visible underneath) with barely any of my clothes! 2. Lack of intimacy. Something about a huge red scar from hip to hip, wearing that beloved binder, and being mostly uncomfortable in a reclining position that spoils the mood. 3. Being uncomfortable in almost any position for long- not much to say there. 4. Impatience to be able to do all the things you use to do. But as my daughter's third grade teacher use to whisper under her breath when dealing with her surly students, "Patience is a virtue..." I guess I need to make that my new mantra. 5. Lastly, sneezing - all those that have gone before me can relate! Overall, I am so thankful!! Thankful to God for always being with me, thankful I was fortunate enough to even have this procedure done, thankful for my wonderful plastic surgeon, thankful to my family, thankful to all my TT sisters!!!! Onward and upward!!!

And the journey continues....

I have been hesitating to write a review as I have had a little bump in the road over the past week or so and have been a slight bit grouchy. Turns out I have a seroma. Not a really big one and really not that big of a deal. I had it drained once and will probably need to again but the doctor has assured me that it will resolve itself. I am confident in this. I also think I expected to be more active at this point. It's not that I am not out and about, I am driving, able to do dishes, putting make up on every day etc. But I am being impatient, and want to be able to do everything I normally do (including intimacy) and that is unrealistic. Resting is important and the more you push yourself, the more uncomfortable you feel. So I continue to repeat to myself "listen to your body" and "patience". I think it is also hard for those around you to fully understand because from the outside you look completely normal. My bf has been wonderful but I think my kids need to be reminded here and there that mom can't do everything (because I think they are a bit spoiled and use to this :) ). So this is one time where you need to boldly go where no mom has gone before...put yourself first!!!! Hard for us moms but necessary!
Positives...I do really love my new tummy. I can put on clothes without obsessing about that part of my body! I feel good, after the hernia repair all systems are working so much more effectively with no pain. And truthfully even with this little bump in the road, recovery is not that bad and pain is so minimal. I have all my TT sisters on here to get me through and that is a God send!! Patience and onward and upward!!! Will post pics- hopefully today!

A few new pics...

Almost at 4 weeks post op and a few life lessons...

So what people say on here is true, the time waiting for your surgery seems to stretch on forever, but after it goes by rather quickly. 4 weeks past surgery - wow! I remember telling myself before surgery, ok 1 month recovery, 1 month recovery, 1 month recovery, you won't be doing much for one month. And even though it has gone by quickly, telling myself that helped as you really and truly can't do much for one month. There are exceptions of course, some of my TT sisters are out there running 5 miles 3 weeks post op, but I am not one of them. I was hoping to be the exception but alas it was not to be! So my days consist of doing a little laundry, resting, doing a little shopping, resting, doing a little cleaning, resting, taking a little walk (and I mean little), resting. I won't lie, it is frustrating. But my mantra is "listen to your body" and "patience" and the more I do the more my tummy hurts and swells. Before surgery I was use to jam packed days, teaching, running errands , cooking, cleaning, hiking, jogging or long walks almost every night. And my summers are usually filled with activity, spent outside. But not this summer. This summer I have watched 3 seasons of Downton Abbey and became a Pinterest expert! Despite it all though I have learned some very valuable lessons that I am hoping to take into my post surgery life:
1. The world does not come to an end if your house is not picked up, dishes are in the sink, and laundry not done. I repeat, it does not come to an end. Life in fact goes on, just as it did before albeit a little messier but maybe a little more relaxed and happier.
2. It is perfectly acceptable to put yourself first sometimes. Others will still love you, and in fact they may respect and admire you for it.
3. Days do not have to be filled with errands, activities, plans with friends to make them worthwhile. As the old saying goes, "Take time to smell the roses." I have actually smelled some roses this past month and taken pictures of them, and cut some and put them in a vase! I have read several books. I have listened to what my children have to say, I mean really listened.
4. What so many others are going through right now all around me is far worse than what I am going through with surgery recovery. Looking and reaching outward helps keep my mind off of myself. Busyness often got in the way of that for me.
5. I was scrutinizing every other part of my body after surgery but in order to not go crazy I forced myself to focus on acceptance, I will never have the perfect body and I am getting older. Nothing I can do will stop that entirely....
6. Did I say I LOVE my new tummy!!! I can actually shop for clothes now without worrying about that part of my body- SO FUN!!! And that comes to my last one-
7. APPRECIATION!!! Feel so lucky and blessed to be here, with a flat tummy, one month past!!! Onward and upward and love to me TT sisters!!!
Pictures soon!

Some pictures 4 weeks post op!

The healing continues...

So I am just about 9 weeks post op and feeling very good! I am so glad to be rid of the binder and cg!!!! That happened at about 6 weeks, though I still wear the binder at night sometimes if I feel really swollen. Very little soreness and slowly easing back in to exercise, no ab work yet. I can totally go about my regular day without getting tired, YAY! I am back to work and that is going well. I do continue to have quite a bit of swelling, which is frustrating. I still can not fit back in to my regular jeans. It is really just a waiting game at this point for your body to finish its healing. My ps told me that at 6 months I will look back and realize how swollen I really was. I am enjoying being able to wear tighter fitting shirts though and not worrying about my stomach pooch when wearing a dress! :) Although I had intentions of wearing a bikini this summer, I really didn't. I worried about getting parts of my scar too much in the sun, and still felt like my stomach looked a little like Frankenstein! I am sure I will feel differently next summer! I keep repeating this, but this is a LONG recovery and not to be entered into lightly! I do not regret it for a moment though! :) That is all for now... will post pics soon!
Dr. Geogeanna Huang

I can not say enough good things about her. She really takes the time to help you figure out what is best for you and never rushes you. She is comforting and soothing, and my results are beyond my expectations. She was recommended to me by my gynecologist who I have known for 20 years and highly respect. My gynecologist told me she was very skilled and would take great care of me- and I found that to be the absolute truth!

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 After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
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 times
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