I am a 26 year old, married, mother of two. I have...
I am a 26 year old, married, mother of two. I have a 3.5 year old daughter and a 2.5 year old son. I've always been thin, athletic, and even when I don't work out I maintain a healthy weight. I am 5'3" and before having my daughter weighed 122llbs. I had gestational diabetes with her and gained 50lbs. My stomach was of course never the same and I got terrible giant stretch marks...but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. I then got pregnant with my son, and gained 55lbs...but for some reason everything was so much worse. I'm a pale person...I have giant, wide, awful looking purple stretch marks, and a saggy front pooch. I had my belly button pierced when I was younger, but ended up getting a stretch mark between the piercing and my belly button is really crooked, and weird, and just sad looking. I'm at a relatively healthy 130lbs, and have skinny arms, and chicken legs...but have this terrible stomach.
I don't want to sound too over dramatic, but I am so unbelievably ashamed of how my stomach looks. So much so, that I wear spanx to "tuck it all in" everyday...yes....everyday! Not only is it uncomfortable, but it leaves hard panty lines in all my pants, is super hot on summer days, makes it hard to wear certain clothing...and lets face it....is totally not sexy. BUT, it helps smooth out my stomach so I can button my pants without a hanging skin muffin top. So pretty necessary.
Aside from this whole spanx situation, I constantly hear "but you're so skinny"...this is the worst. I'm not even ashamed to lift up my shirt, point at my spanx, and say "yea, thanks to these!" Which is then responded to with a "you don't need those." Thanks to my spanx I can wear skinny jeans, throw on a baggy t shirt and look thin. The problem is...I don't want to have to wear spanx, and I don't want to be restricted to baggy t shirts.
I'm still young, and I want to feel sexy, and confident, and much cooler in the summer! Haha.
SO...I thought about getting a tummy tuck a year ago. Had a consultation...and was terrified. There are so many things that can go wrong...awful things, infection, skin death, blood clots, death...and I want to be here for my children. This was a very difficult decision for me to make, but it's something that is a daily downer. It's always on my mind, and I'm young, and I'm healthy. I don't smoke. So my doctor assured me that I should have a great result. I'm scheduled for August 15, which is soon. Like a day and a half. I'm terrified, but also excited. I'm hoping everything goes smoothly, and that I won't regret this decision.
Today I have been on a all liquid diet (I've heard this helps prevent constipation post-op). Cup of coffee for breakfast, milkshake for lunch, and probably a smoothie for dinner...with watermelon to snack on all day. I'm pretty nervous about the pain, and I've read a ton of reviews where everyone has their binder on for the first week.This has me worried, because my doc says he doesn't use a binder until I come in for my one week check-up to get the drains removed? I feel like a binder would help me not to feel like my insides are going to fall out...but maybe I'll just hold a pillow over my stomach??
Hitting the grocery store tonight to make sure my husband has food for the kids for the next two weeks, and picking up some high protein meals for me (I've heard this promotes healing). Anti-bacterial soap, dry shampoo, ect. Other than that, the house is clean, and I'm going to try and get some rest early tonight, because I need to be at the surgery center at 6am....and I am definitely not a morning person.
Day of Surgery!
15 Aug 2014
Day of treatment
I got maybe two hours of sleep last night before waking up at 4:45am to get showered and ready. Checked in to the surgery center at 6, and spent about an hour and a half in a holding room. In the holding room I was asked to remove piercings, leave a urine sample, wipe my body down with wipes, and put on compression stockings and my gown. At this point it was getting very real and my nerves were through the roof. I got an IV, and a machine was placed on my legs for circulation purposes before my husband could come back and hang with me for a bit.
Finally the doctor arrived and put something in my IV to calm my nerves. I kissed the hubby goodbye and the next thing I remember I was waking up! I thought when I woke up I would be in pain, but I felt NO pain! Thank goodness. What I did feel was the most tired I have ever felt in my life. They gave me some ice chips, and I drifted in and out for a while. My husband was brought back, and I was asked to sit up a little to get dressed. This did make me a little nauseous, but I took my time, and it subsided. They went over instructions on how to drain my drains ( I got two drains and a pain pump) and I got dressed and was put in a wheelchair to head home! I was scared of walking up my stairs, but I did absolutely fine!
Once home, I got in bed and tried to eat a piece of toast to take with my medication, but my mouth was soo dry I had to drink water with every bite to wash it down. Took a nap, drained my drains, and now I'm just waiting for my husband to bring me a slurpee :)
So far the experience has been good, and I'm praying it stays that way.
2nd day Post Op
So I spoke too soon and yesterday after lunch I threw up, which was miserable. Only happened once, but it did hurt. Otherwise things are still going really good. I can get in and out of bed, get on and off the toilet, and still don't have hardly any pain unless I laugh or have to cough. Per my doctors instructions, I took my dressings off today, and although he said it was fine to shower, I was too scared, so I just got my husband to clean me off like a sponge bath. My follow up appointment is Thursday, so I'm just hoping things keep going well until then. It makes me nervous not having my dressing on!
3rd Day Post Op
Today went really well, I am moving better each day and can get out of bed on my own. My pain pump is almost empty, so I'll be able to remove that very soon. I took a shower today, but had to make it fast, as I get weak and exhausted rather quickly. I'm very happy with the results so far. Still swollen, and my stomach feels tense and tight. I'm just ready to get these drains out!
Get the drains out tomorrow!
So, it's Wednesday, and my surgery was last Friday. I haven't updated because there hasn't been much going on. I've been taking it easy, resting, and I feel great. My back aches from having to get around hunched over...but I'm off my pain meds and feel no pain otherwise. I can shower, and basically take care of myself at this point. Thank goodness my husband is taking care of both my babies though. I am very over these drains...but luckily I get them out tomorrow! I can't wait to see my tummy without tubes and stitches. I'm still swollen, and my stomach for the most part is numb, which feels weird...but I'll be sure to post pictures tomorrow. Wonder how long the numbness lasts?
Drains are gone!
Yesterday I finally went to get my drains removed. I was so anxious about this because I've read some reviews describing how painful it was, but others said it wasn't painful at all. Let me tell you, for me, IT WAS PAINFUL. In fact, I hadn't felt pain throughout this entire process until I got my drains out. I was told to take three deep breaths (never a good sign) and on the third he was going to pull it out. Well! It felt like someone pulling a long serated knife out of my stomach (my already severely wounded stomach)! It was awful. Tears welled up, my breathing got short and fast, because I was terrified I had to do that again. Of course he says "you did good, the last one hurts the most". Um, what?? Needless to say, he ended up having to give me a shot to numb the area before he pulled the second drain out. And I usually have a high tolerance for pain, but that, ugh. Doesn't help that the drain isn't round all the way, nope, as he pulled it became flat torwards the end of the tube! Yuck. And ouch. Anyway, that super sucked....but once the dm drains were gone I got my binder, and it felt so good to finally have some security around my tummy. And to be able to wear clothing normally again. I was told to leave my binder on day and night for the next month. At that time I'll have my next follow up appointment.
With my drains out I finally felt free enough to get out the house for a bit, so my husband and I did some shopping yesterday afternoon and grabbed a bite to eat. I was extremely tired, but it was so nice to be out of the house. Looking in the mirror at this point, I am still very swollen...and I almost wish I had done some lipo to my "love handles" but I guess I can work those off once I'm cleared to exercise. I am happy with my result. I'm not perfect, but I didn't expect to be. My goal was to feel more confident, and to be able to wear normal clothing without layers of spanx underneath, and I feel this has accomplished both. :) I look forward to getting this binder off, and going shopping, and being able to live more comfortably and more confident.
2nd Week Blues
I really thought after the drains came out I would just get better and better, but ever since I got my binder I have not been sleeping well at all, and it's starting to catch up on me. I'm usually a stomach sleeper, but with the pain pills and exhaustion after surgery I slept fine the first week. Now I'm told I have to sleep in my binder for a month, and it's hard to get comfortable, and the binder rides up off my incision during the night. If I do manage to get a little sleep I wake up sore, and have constant back pain. Any one else having this issue? I also have a sort torso, so my binder is leaving a long bruise from hip to hip from digging into me everytime I'm sitting or my legs are flexed at my hips. Anyways, I know I sound whinny...I'm excited for this binder phase to be over though, and it's just begun. :/
It's been two weeks!
So today marks the two week point. This recovery has gone so well and I feel so blessed. I am happy I got the surgery and feel so good. I am wearing my binder 24/7 when I'm at home, but wear spanx whenever I go out. I can laugh and carefully cough without pain now, however sneezing still hurts. The tape/ glue over my incision is finally starting to peel away, and I am overall happy with my scar. I am looking forward to having all the glue off though because it's become quite itchy, and looks kinda gross. I am basically back to normal life except I have not picked up my kids yet or started exercising. I am still swollen, but at night and first thing in the morning the swelling is minimal. My muscles just below my breasts are still a little bruised feeling, and I do have the smallest bit of a stitch poking out one end of my incision. (Not sure if it's dissolvable or not, but I'll ask my doctor at my next check up.) Otherwise, I'll be posting an update weekly now. :)
Today marks 3 weeks post op!
I have to say, the first three weeks have gone by pretty fast. My glue/tape has completely come off now, and my next appointment is near the end of this month. I am back to picking up my kids, although cautiously...and I can do all my normal activities. I am still very eager to work out and burn off these love handles...but I think I have a recommended three more weeks until that point. I have been eating healthier and feel so much better about myself, and can finally enjoy shopping! My stomach is still very numb starting right below my belly button to my lower pelvis...and I've heard it stays this way for quite some time, but it doesn't bother me too much. I still say worth it!
Four weeks out.
So Friday marked four weeks post op! My scar is healing wonderfully, I'm still not sleeping on my stomach (when I try my muscles pull too much and feels uncomfortable) but I can flip from side to side if I need too. I feel really good, I notice a little pain in my stomach muscles still if I lean on a counter or if one of my babies feet accidentally kick me on the couch...so I am still very cautious with my stomach and find I hold my hands over it a lot. I am still wearing spanx when I go out, and my binder when I'm at home. My swelling has gone down tremendously and I can button all my old jeans. I do find it odd that I only weigh two pounds lighter than my pre-surgery weight. I guess I just expected to weight at least five pounds less? Another thing I've noticed is my stomach is finally starting to not feel so scary tight. I still am very numb below my navel. Still very happy I did it, and I am looking forward to getting the go ahead to work out so I can tone and get rid of these love handles ????