32 Yo, 3 Children, 2 Hernia Repairs... Never Been So Scared, Nervous, and Excited in my Life - Baltimore, MD

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TT in the near future and I'm so scared. I even...

TT in the near future and I'm so scared. I even told my job I wanted to work the night before because I know I won't be able to sleep. To be honest all I can think about is me not making it off the table. Ive had two surgeries before, and never felt like this. So, I'm not sure what's going on with me. I'm trying to think more positive, but it's hard. ???? Anyway, I've continued to gain weight over the past few years. Plateauing at 228lbs, I've been working hard and managed to get down to 214. I was hoping to get down to 198 before the surgery, but it seems unrealistic at this point. I do plan to continue to workout, walk the dog, and eat right. So we'll see what I'll be able to do in 4wks. I don't have high expectations of anything because I don't want to expect one thing and something else happens. I'll just take the surprise and work on healing.

Making a list, and checking it twice

A girlfriend of mine who is 6mos post TT gave me this pot and I saw this post on Pinterest with a list of items someone else got for her post-op healing. Doesn't hurt to try them out.

My dream figure

I try not to overthink or be unrealistic about my results once I have healed, but if I could I would like to have the figure and confidence that these demonstrate

Before photos with clothing on

I always have to pull my pants up over my lower belly just to feel somewhat comfortable in my clothing. It can be such a nuisance. I don't think I have a bad shape, I just feel like it's hidden under my stretched out skin.

* please excuse the mess in the background, it probably looks like I don't do any housework. My week has been really busy with running for the kids and work. ????

My hubby

I don't know about how anyone else's relationship is with their significant other, but my husband is an awesome guy. I am thankful and blessed to have him in my life, he's an awesome provider, father lover, and leader. But can be a hard shell to crack sometimes. Just like most men, they don't express their feelings as well as their spouses would like them to.
Over the weekend my husband expressed his fears and concerns about my surgery, and now my mixed feelings have been heightened. Making me second guess the mutual decision we made.
Let me make it clear, that he wants me to be happy, and he's just as excited and anxious as I am to see my results.

How does your husband/significant other express themselves? Have they supported you with hesitation, too?

Keeping it real... Maybe too real. Count down time 17 days and counting

I had my H&P, blood work, and pre-op assessment done by my primary Doctor, and I've been cleared. Blood work came back and everything looks good-all within normal range. Paperwork has been submitted to my jod for a short leave of 4wks. I work as a RN on a moderate to heavy med-surg unit without an aid most of the time, and with a nurse:patient ratio of 1:4-7. So, I don't want to pay out all this money and jeopardize any progress.

So my starting weight was 228 lbs, I've managed to get down to 214.8 lbs. scale has not moved in a week :-( I guess I'm stuck here, and I'm due for my period in a day or two. So, I think the stress of the surgery and my upcoming period has caused a standstill in my weight.
I'm posting a video with this update. I'm in my bathroom, my husbands sink is behind me and I'm standing in front of mine. I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to see what my 215 lbs 5'5 body looks like on me. Everyone is different and it may help someone or just embarrass me.
You'll see tons and tons of stretch marks, I can't say I got them from my mom because she doesn't have any after having two children, but I do. And she's not a hairy of a person like I'm either, but I guess that's another story for another day lol. You'll also see my scar from my second hernia repair. I forgot to point out my laparoscopic sites from the first hernia repair. ITS JUST UGLY!!!
I scar easily, so I'm hoping I will find something to minimize my incision from this surgery, but who knows. I don't have high expectations of them going away, I already know that the ones above my navel including my scar are here to stay.

Please ask your questions, give your advice, and words of encouragement are also welcomed :-)


The belly and all
So I'm still waiting for my video to load. So I'm posting it again.

Keeping it real... Maybe too real. Count down time 15 days and counting.

I had my H&P, Bloodwork, and pre-op assessment done by my primary doctor and I've been cleared. Blood work came back and everything looks good-all with in normal range. Paperwork has been submitted to my job for a short leave of 4wks. I work as a RN on a moderate to heavy med-surg unit without an aid, most of the time, and with a nurse to patient ratio 01:4-7. So, I don't want to pay out all this money to jeopardize any progress.

So my starting weight was 228 lbs, i've managed to get down to 214.8 lbs scale has not moved in a week :-( I guess I'm stuck here, My period was late and with me stressing over everything my weight must be at a standstill.

I posted the video in my bathroom with my husbands sink behind me and me standing in front of mine. I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to see what my 215 lbs 5'5 body looks like on me. Everyone is different and it may help someone or just embarrass me.

As you see there are tons and tons of stretch marks :-(, I can't say that I got them from my mom because she doesn't have any after having two children, but I do. And she's not a hairy of a person like I am either, but I guess that's another story for another day lol. You've also seen my scar for my second hernia repair. I forgot to point out my laparoscopic sites from the first hernia repair. ITS JUST UGLY!!!
I scar easily so I'm hoping I will find something to minimize my incision scar from the surgery, but who knows. I don't have high expectation of them going away, I already know that the ones I have above my navel including my scar are here to stay.

Please ask your questions, give you advice, and words of encouragement are also welcomed:-)

My Amazon cart, should I add more items.

I'm less than 10 days away... OMG!!! I just said that.
I've been adding and taking away things from my Amazon cart for my post-op surgery recovery time.
Is there anything else I should add?

No turning back now

April 14th really got here fast????????. I'm as ready as I can be: meds, kids care, job, hubby ands job, outfit for discharge home, pedi(can't be up there with ugly feet), wax appt is tomorrow(I don't know when I'll be able to wax again), and I got my vertical hood clitorial piercing replaced with a plastic piece for the procedure.

Its hard to believe that I won't have to hold my stomach in when the wind is blowing my clothes against my body, and that may be able to see my kitty again. I only see her in the mirror lol
I'm almost afraid to embrace change and happiness.
Self motivation is all I need.

Surgery day

Woke up in a panic at 4am, but my husband and I are here. I'm in God's hands as he guides my surgeons, the anesthesiologist, and other medical staffs hands, minds, and skills today.

I'm on the flat side

Just got home, slightly tired, hungry, tight and sore

My experience and Post-op day 1 or 2

I went in around 845am, changed my clothes, had pics taken, and was drawn on. Dr. Shermak came in upbeat and happy with her beautiful smile. Confident in what I was about to embark on. After she finished her artwork on my body lol, I asked my husband to pray, I was in tears almost immediately. I loss my brother last year around this time to septic shock and it was all I could think of, I miss him so much. My husband did his best to keep my spirits up.
The anesthesiologist came in on my second meltdown and discussed what would happen, I signed the paperwork and was walked over. He started my IV and I talked to the staff while I was being prep. He sensed my anxiety and fear evacuee I noticed that he started my Lactated rings-IV fluid and had a syringe in his hands, I meant to ask him what it was and the next thing I remember I was waking up. I have a little bit of mixed feelings about the way he handled that part, but it was probably in my best interest that he did it that way.
Everyone was extremely friendly.
Even though I'm a RN the entire process is hard, I'm not use to being the patient.
I did have a pass out moment after they gave me Percocet. My sides were very painful- the lipo sites are the most painful. They were trying to get me ready to leave. I was standing at one point and back in bed with the smelly stuff(can't remember the name) going back and forth under my nose.
I was thirsty almost immediately, my throat was sore, and dry.
Finally got down to the car and the drive home was long and hot. I was overheating really bad. I wore a jack, sports bra, and loose pants home. I found myself unzipping my jacket and putting the window down. It's better to get in the car butt first, with your legs against the car.

Once home I had help from my hubby and a girlfriend on mine who had the same surgery 6mos ago. She was a lifesaver. I went upstairs to my room backwards- best decision ever. She was scared but I was determined to sleep in my bed.
Last night was a little rough. It took literally 8hrs for me to void from when the foley was removed. I was so scared I would have to go to the ER and have a foley put back in. Both my husband and I was extremely tired. Finally voided and was in the bed around 11:30 to wake up in discomfort, dehydration, and pain at 2:30. When back to the bathroom and took pain meds. Slept for a good 3.5hrs.
I took pain meds this morning around 7:30 and was able to get out of the bed and walk by myself to the bathroom. I've been moving around today, maybe too much. I am a little swollen around my incision for trying to do too much earlier. I still don't have a real appetitie, so I've been drinking ginger ale, water and broth. Oh I had a few saltine crackers as well.
So all and all its a process. And I'm praying everyday gets better.

I felt like I was going to die, but I can laugh now

I was eating and got the hiccups all of a sudden. OMG!! All I could do was scream out nooooo... So I proceeded to gulp down water and started choking. It went from bad to worse. Hiccups were gone but now I'm having a coughing fit. I appreciate how tight the staff made this binder on me and the wall-yes the wall. I put myself up against it, at the corner and was able to hug it as I coughed. The pillow was too soft. Life is better now I'm no longer coughing or hiccuping lol :-)

Post-op appointed

Appt went well one drain was removed, but it tired me out. Took two dilaudid pills prior to appointment instead of the one I usually take. No pics to show. Still swollen. She's excited for how my back will turn out. New dressing applied. One drain was removed, second post-op appt is next Tuesday, and possible removal of second drain. Got clearance to shower. She's concerned about my navel and what was done to it during my previous hernai repair because the new one may not turn out like she hopes, she stated that she'll keep an eye on it and address it down the road while I'm healing. She did not do any muscle repair during the surgery because of the huge mesh they had left behind????????, She just trimmed the mesh. I think I'm allergic to the tape because I've been itching like crazy. No driving, sex, waxing, and extremely exercising. I can walk as tolerated.


I was cleared on Tuesday to shower but in the same sentence she wanted me to wait a few days to let the tape adhere to my incision site. I knew I would need assistance so I waited for a day that my husband was able to help me.
I thought I was grown and didn't need anything for pain. I actually stop taking the pain meds during the day and only 1 (2mg dilaudid) at night. Big mistake, I first got lightheaded when the binder was came off, followed by abd pads that were coming off. Then, I started to panic which intensified pain. I swear I'm a better nurse than a patient :-(
Shower was delayed about 30 mins for me to take pain meds and Ativan to relax my nerves. I haven't taken Ativan in over a year, and I'm not even sure it still has the same potency as it did 2yrs ago when I originally got the bottle.
Long story short I missed that warm water running down my body.
My body is looking okay so far. Swelling is serious and these lipo sites are still tender.
I now see what she was talking about in regards to my navel. It looks weird as hell. We'll see what happens down the road to it.

Next time I'll take pics. I need to keep up with my progress.


I was asked what would I suggest/advise someone about my tummy tuck.
So I'll give you my pre-op checklist and post-op recommendations- keep in mind this is what is working for me. I'm only on my 9 day post-op

Pre-op and post-op checklist:
Gather all meds from doc and I would include several more:
a multivitamin- starting taking 2 pills a day maybe 2-3 before surgery and take 2 pills a day after surgery. I take one in the morning and one in the evening. I take 2 pills for several reasons. I notice before my surgery I scratched my hand and work and it wasn't healing fast or pretty, so in my situation I wasn't taking in the necessary vitamins and minerals for my body. I still take them now because my appetite is still low and I need to make sure I give my body what it desires and a little more, since it went through a trauma (surgery)
Stool softeners and milk of magnesia. I take two stools softeners twice a day, one in the morning one in the evening. Pretty much for the same reasons above, my intake of nutrients is very low, there isn't much to defecate, and The pain medication slows down muscles of your intestines making it difficult to go. The milk of magnesia on hand just in case. It took me a week after surgery to defecate again :-(
Arnica Montana were actually given to me by my PS, but they can be found on Amazon as well. They're white pellets you put under your tongue. Five pellets three times a day. They assist with muscle pain,stiffness, swelling, and bruising. I've had minimal to no bruising at all in some areas of liposuction sites. I will be honest, I don't take them as suggested. I may do 5 pellets once or twice, but haven't taken them 3x a day yet.
Turmeric and bromelain can be found in most vitamin shops. I take two of these a day, One in the morning and one of the evening. I take these for there anti-inflammatory properties. They do have other benefits as well.
Ativan for anxiety. I've only taken one so far. It's a 0.5mg dosage. If you have issues with anxiety prior to surgery you may have a small episode afterwards. I've only had one and that was before my first shower experience after surgery. It did what it needed to do- relax me.
A muscle relaxer was suggested to be and I know it would be beneficial as well.
A raised toilet seat- sent from heaven. Unless you have high seats I wouldn't get it, but it makes life much easier.
Shower chair- I still need this, but I can imagine the joy it would bring to be able to sit and wash some parts of my body independently or just enjoy warm water hitting my body. Some would probably use it to wash their hair.
A walker or cane. It's possible to walk independently because I do it, but the support of a cane or walker will be beneficial to take some of the pressure off you're bent over
Recliner- I didn't get one because I was determined I was going back to my bed and I kind of wish I had one. 4-5 pillows on my back and a travel pillow for my neck and 2-3 pillows for my legs can be a lot to keep up with, and needs to be readjusted after every potty break. I've heard they're rentable.
A DIY project from the bed, scrapbooking, tv series, several good books, journal. Some sort of activity to help you get through boredom. Pinterest is my best friend, I've started a board to redecorate my bedroom.
Compression Garment- the binder they give is good for the first week or so but gets annoying fast. I was grateful that my incision is low but the binder rubs up against it and I sometimes have a pulling sensation. So in essence something that snaps underneath or even has legs would be beneficial right now. I still sleep with my binder on and every time I need to get up I have to readjust it because it rolls.
Prepared meals or good friend. Meals for the family and good friends for conversation and support.
First foods to have near by. Oh I put a basket on my nightstand. Everything was close and convenient, but back to the foods: jello, broth, fruit, bottles of water, mini saltines, protein or granola bars, applesauce, and a variety of soups. My basket was big enough to fit all my meds, 2 to 3 water bottles, fruit, and granola bars. Everything else was delivered from kitchen or had to be heated up.
Patience- i'm still trying to find mine. The process is long but every day you get a little bit stronger.

My apologies for this post being so long and if there's anything else I think of later, I'll add it to the comment section.

Before and after pcs *my apologies for the extra nudity*

The pre-op photos are the day of-April 14 and the post-op are today- day 9 and before getting in the shower. Abdomen is still swollen, tight, and numb. I'm actually amazed at my progress so far and I'm also down 10lbs.

Sorry here they are :-/

Before and after


It's still too soon for me to start any scar therapy on my TT incision, but one of my drains have been removed. It's dry- no oozing or crust.
So I cut a small section of the product I purchased and put it on the site. You can wash with them on and supposedly reuse them. They need to stay in place for at least 12hrs.
Hopefully, I'll see a difference. I have a hx of keloids and discoloration.

From here on out

Before surgery it was difficult for me to lose weight, unless I was taking diet pills. Whatever was in those pills made the weight fall off effortlessly, but when I try to go "cold turkey" with my weight loss it was a struggle, I couldn't sync eating right with working out. If I was eating right I was eating very healthy but never worked out and I would lose weight very slow, 0.5-1lb and not every week, and if I was working out, throwing a dvd in every morning or walking my dog for miles, I ate WHATEVER, I felt that if I'm working out I don't have to worry about what I ate because I would work it off later. It was true for the most part, working out and eating whatever, I never gained weight but I didn't lose much of anything either.
Growing up in Baltimore and the surrounding I area I never needed to workout, I actually did "accidental exercising" and didn't know it. I walked everywhere and took mass transit, but now moving away from familiarity I can't see myself going to the gym. The machines are intimidating and most people are there showing off.
So now that I've made this, what I call "life changing decision" I know I have NO choice but to but to bite the bullet and sync working out with proper eating.
My appetite is still low so I've been doing meal replacement shakes- protein. Proteins is beneficial for all of use after surgery, so if you've never been big on meat proteina there is plant proteins available as well.
Ladies get your protein.
I'm holding myself accountable to make a change, my biggest fear now is to go backwards after all the money, time, and energy that has been spent on me.
I'm on my fitness pal, been on there for years username: MeTime83 feel free to join me.

Bittersweet feeling

Yesterday I went shopping with a friend. We spent about two hours in stores picking up and trying on things, I'm excited to say that I was able to purchase a size large when I used to wear an extra large and I purchased one medium dress that I didn't even know was a medium. Before shopping I tried on a few items that were in my closet that I hadn't worn in a while and several items that had tags on them that were both a smaller size then what I was wearing and purchased years ago. I was surprised that I could fit each and everyone of them, and they looked great on just like I knew they would be. Talk about crying happy tears. It's been a lonnnng time since I felt this good.

Now, here's the other side of that :-/ I think I did too much yesterday, by the end of the night I had this extreme tightness in my abdomen that I can't seem to get rid of now. As long as I am still I don't feel it, but as soon as I start moving around the house doing things the tightness comes back.
Lord knows I hope I haven't jeopardized my healing :-(

Happy healing ladies!!-

Small changes, big plans

Things are moving slowly but surely. I never called my PS after my adventure out, just been resting more. Swelling is still here, but with bromelain and turmeric pills in one I never really had much bruising.
I believe my site has an odor, so I've been washing the area with antibacterial soap when I shower and pat dry. Thank goodness it's still numb...I'll see the PS on Friday and I will voice my concerns at that appointment.

*update photo- 2wks post op

Such a roller coaster ride, that I don't want to be on

Sorry I need to vent This week has been a little rough. I'm struggling to shake this down feeling. Everything isn't bad but I can't stop stressing over the little things that are. From the odor I was having around my scar; which is gone since I removed the old tape, cleansed the area, and replaced the tape, to my incision not being as flat as I hope it would be right now. I knew I was prone to keloids and why I was so eager to start scar therapy, but now I feel like it's pointless. Swell hell has me feeling like this is the worst decision I've ever made. I can't wear my regular bras or jeans without feeling like I'm compromising my healing. Normalcy would be perfect right now. I hate jumping every time my husband tries to touch me because I still have sore/tender spots. I'm tired of taking forever to get out of bed because everything is tight. I'm upset that when I pick up my daughter I have to put her right back down because I can feel the pulling. Starting a new job on Monday and I don't feel ready at all. I hope I feel better by the weekend, but until then I HAVE to try and remain positive, even having negative thoughts can delay healing

Compression garment vs spanex

Wearing the PS given binder is the worst. In the beginning or the first two weeks post-op It was okay because I wasn't doing much moving. Now that I am becoming more active and slowly moving towards normalcy it's in the way, from it bunching up or the constant readjusting I needed something else. My PS recommended a marena and while I waited for its arrival I used my old spanex.
The spanex alone was more comfortable than the binder, but it didn't give me the "tightest" hold I was looking for. I will say it relieved the pressure and the pulling sensation I got in my vagina area, and everything look smooth, but I don't feel secure- if that makes sense.
Compression garment came, yesterday, I ordered it from Amazon. About the same price of a spanex from lane Bryant. The Hubby had to help me with the closure( bra like clips and zipper )I hope it becomes easier down the road.
I'm in love with it! It's a bodysuit with a panty like bottom, firm around back for lipo sites, and side closure. I'm considering purchasing another one. It has the bra clasps in the vagina area too for easy bathroom uses. My spanex did not (I limited my fluid intake with it on), no easy bathroom trips. I was able to wear my own bra with it on, I just wore it over the garment. I may be over exaggerating but I felt like it also helps me with my posture. Definitely relieved the pulling and pressure sensation down below while giving me that secure feeling I needed.

Post-op visit today- we addressed the odor at the site and I no longer need to wear tape on it just wash it with antibacterial soap twice a day and put aquaphor on it. No infection. I was concerned with the possibility of having seroma, so she pulled out a 18 gauge needle to aspirate fluid and got nothing- thank the Lord. Navel still looks "raw", but she said not to worry because the pigment will return. For now she doesn't want it open to air (OTA) so I'll continue to wear gauze with Vaseline on it, I'll most likely change it when I clean my incision. States that I could be aggressive with massaging my hips and back to help with contouring/shaping. Removed some more stitches, I don't know how many of them are left. Will return in 2 wks.

Wait, whaatttttt!!

This morning I'm laying next to my husband talking before the rest of the house wakes up and I look down at my stomach and say to him "I can't wait to wax again, I hate having hair down there" then it dawned on me "Bish do you realize that you can see, that you need to wax!?!?" I CAN SEE THE KITTY AGAIN LOLOLOLOLOL

6+ weeks post-op

Things are pretty much at a standstill for me. My scar is healing amazingly, I do have a little bit of a dog eat on my left side but I'm not too concerned about it right now. I've hit a plateau with my weight, haven't gained anything though. So I think I'm ready to increase my activity by adding weights to my workouts. I'm still on my fitness pal and anyone that follows me can see that I eat horrible :-(, it's a work in progress. I still deal with swelling in my abdomen and there is still some tenderness at my lipo sites. Yesterday I had sushi so I'm retaining more fluid than I would like this morning.
I'm happy with my results. I was a 16W/18 before my surgery and I'm now a 13/14. XL to large and medium.
I refuse to compare my results to anyone else because NO WOMEN is the same. We all carry out weight differently, we all have different body types, and we all have different genes. I compare myself with my old self.
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

My consultation went well, I actually saw her twice. Once by myself and the second time with my husband so he could ask his questions. She was very confident in what my results would be. She never hesitated or seem unsure in her responses and explained what I would get. I have emailed her to ask some post-op questions, but I haven't received a response as of yet. *update* She responded to my email and we've been in constant contact, definitely putting my fears at ease. No pre-op appt after the consultation, but I received a package of information with literature to keep and to mail back. I'm scheduled to arrive an hour before my surgery.

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