I considered writing a blog or doing a YouTube...
I considered writing a blog or doing a YouTube channel to document this journey, but then I realized I'd rather not make it so public. I really just want to document it so I can track my progress, connect with others who are going through this as well, and help inspire and support others. It looks like I found a great community for that! So here is my story:
I'm a 27-year-old mom to 9-month-old identical twin girls. Prior to getting pregnant with them, I was in great shape, healthy, and had a great stomach & breasts- no complaints! I was 5'7 and 150lbs, but it was all very proportional (small waist, larger hips, big perky boobs.. ahh I miss that body). Fast forward to my pregnancy, during which I gained over 70lbs. I breastfed my girls for about 3 months, and after that, started working out and dieting to lose the weight. It look me a good 6 months to lose it all, but I did it! The problem I started noticing was that the more weight I lost, the worse my body looked. My stomach got smaller and skin started to sag. My breasts looked like deflated balloons, and the memory of my once hot body started to fade away... I hit the gym harder in hopes that this would clear itself up (I'm too young for this body, after all!) Well, that didn't work out. Saggy skin still remains.
Fast forward again to the present. Despite working out and losing all the weight, I still have the saggy body. After tons of research on surgeons in my area, I decided on Dr. Hedden in Birmingham, AL. My consult with him was great, and he answered all the questions I had. He said I was a great candidate for a full tummy tuck, lipo to my flanks, and a breast lift. I scheduled my surgery for March 10th.
I plan on updating this review with as many details of my experience as I can! I'll also post a picture of my body before getting pregnant, one after having my girls, and a present day body pic.
For those of you reading this who have already had the mommy makeover surgery, I have just a few questions for you:
- If you had a breast lift WITHOUT augmentation, how did you like your results? What size were you before the surgery? I'm a DD now, and just want them lifted, but out of all the pictures I see, I like the look of the augmentation more than just a lift.. any feedback is appreciated!
- How long did you wait to lift heavy things? I'd like to have an idea of how long it will be until I can lift my 18lb girls... (my poor husband is in for it)
- Have you used any scar treatments? If so, what, and how has it been working for you?
I look forward to reading other reviews of this surgery, and good luck to everyone else on their journey!
Here are some of my before/preop pics. Currently 5'7 and 155lbs. I'm hoping to lose a few more lbs in the next two weeks before my surgery. Im ready to say goodbye to this tummy!
Today is the day!
10 Mar 2016
Day of treatment
My surgery day has finally arrived! I freaked out a little bit last night, but I woke up this morning feeling very peaceful and ready. My daughters are at their grandmothers for a few days, and my husband is by my side and extremely supportive. I took a few more before pictures this morning, and I'm SO ready to say goodbye to this twin mom belly. I'll update later when I'm out!
Surgery is complete!
I'm on the flat side! Apparently I had a large hernia I never knew about behind my belly button, and a 3 inch muscle separation, which was all fixed. When I woke up from surgery, I was in an immense amount of pain. Usually I have a high tolerance for pain, but when I do feel it, it takes a lot of medication to sufficiently bring me out of pain, so they had to give me a bunch of stuff once I woke up and started crying. What hurt the most right away was the muscle repair and location of my hernia. It felt like a burning sensation along with stabbing every time I even slightly moved any part of my body. My lipo area (flanks) also hurt a lot. My breast lift was painless until this morning, and still those aren't bad at all since it was only a lift.
The dr and nurse said I will be very happy with the results and everything looks amazing. I can already tell through the binder my waist is much smaller! I'm excited! I'll upload some pics of what I look like in my binder and I'll do another update after my 8am checkup back at his office this morning.
First day post op
I woke up this morning very sore, but the pain is manageable with the medications. I'm prescribed them every 4-6 hours but I'm taking them every 3.5 hours because that's when I start really hurting again. Still, the most painful parts are the muscle repair and lipo areas. My boobs and tummy seen fine.
I got to have a look at my follow up ap appointment today, and everything looks great! Dr Hedden did a wonderful job :)
Post op- day 2- feeling good!
I woke up this morning pretty sore, but some pain meds and walking around the house helped a lot. I'm starting to swell around my lipo areas (flanks), but I'm not nearly as swollen as I thought I would be! And I'm not in as much pain as I thought it would be. Overall, I'm extremely happy with my results. I'll keep you all posted on my recovery every day. I'll attatch some pics as well
Post Op- Day 3
I'm really surprised at how well I've been sleeping. My husband helped me into my recliner around 9:30pm, and I slept until about 1:30, went to pee (with his help of course), took a pain pill, and slept until our girls woke us up around 7:30am. My husband's parents had been watching our girls since the night before my surgery and brought them back last night. Having them back in the house is making my recovery so much better. When I'm laying in my chair, I just put two huge pillows over my torso and I can lay one of them on it and play with them a bit. It makes me so happy that I'm somewhat able to hold them.
So day 3 isn't that bad. I'm very sore, and all the walking I've been doing the past couple of days is just now starting to hurt my lower back. I do have a walker, so I'll be utilizing that more around the house to take the pressure off a little. My PS said that the best thing I can do for swelling is walking and water, so that's what I've been doing. I'm drinking about 3L of water a day, which gets me up and walking to the bathroom about every hour.
So so far, so good! The pain really isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think reading all the reviews and horror stories really prepares you for the worst, so when things seem to go ok, it's exciting:) *knock on wood*
I will do a longer update later today; these pain pills are kicking in and I need to take a nap.
Post Op Day 3 pictures
Here are some pics from post op day 3
Day 4 PostOp - Swelling & Bruising
I'm quite a bit more swollen today, and my bruising is turning a yellowish color. The only areas that are sore are where I had lipo. Everywhere else is just fine! I'm really surprised at how easy this recovery has been compared to what I anticipated, and what I read about online. I figure that reading about surgery reviews online are like reading restaurant reviews online... you are a lot more likely to hear about the bad reviews than the good ones. Plus, women who have questions about their results and are having issues and need answers are a lot more likely to get online and ask other women, so you are likely to see that and get worried too. So my goal with updating this review is to share my positive story and results. And who knows, maybe I'll have a complication later. It's only the fourth day, after all. I haven't even seen my incision yet!
So swelling and bruising, but other than that I'm feeling pretty good. I decided to put my faja on underneath my binder, and WOW what a difference! My body feels so much more secure and compressed now. There is a little slit in the crotch so I think I'll just keep this on until I get my drain out. I'm paranoid about showering because I've seen some women get infections from their drain sites getting wet.. so I'd just rather not. Baby wipes and dry shampoo are on hand!
Day 5&6 Post Op
Yesterday I went to see Dr Hedden and because my output was so low, he had the nurse removed my drain. It didn't hurt, it just felt weird. I started swelling a lot on the ride home, which freaked me out, but once I got home it settled down. Dr Hedden told me once the drain was out I needed to wear the binder SUPER tight, so I have been! Later that night my husband helped me shower, and that felt so amazing. It was difficult to maneuver while being hunched and trying to wash my hair, but we made it happen. Having the drain removed and taking a shower was the beginning of a new phase of recovery for me. It's much easier to move around and function now, even though I'm still spending majority of my day in my recliner, just hanging out in my Tummy Tuck Facebook groups (hey ladies!)
Day 6 Post Op: today was pretty uneventful. I had some swelling in the afternoon, but not bad. I just made my binder tighter and it settled down. I had my husband help me apply some self tanner so I can feel a little more like myself and not so... Sloppy. It's the little things :)
I'll update again tomorrow, my one week post op mark!
One week post op!
I made it to the one week mark! Healing well, minimal swelling, and overall I'm very happy with my results still :)
Swell hell- Day 8 PO
Well, it finally happened. My swelling has officially set in! So here's what happened.
Yesterday was my birthday, and all I asked of my husband was for him to take the day off, girls go to daycare for the morning, and we lay on the couch and watch Spotlight (GREAT movie btw). So we did that, and then afterwards we went out to lunch. It was the first time I had been out of my house in a whole week, so I was excited. I also didn't take any pain meds, so that was just dumb.
I got dressed in jeans (because I'm an idiot?) and my regular waist trainer (because the binder was too bulky for my outfit), a cute top, and my cute new Michael Kors shoes from Amazon (if you remember THAT post). Felt cute, and ready to feel like a normal person going out for lunch.
I walked like a grandma, was super uncomfortable the whole time in my waist trainer and wooden outdoor chair, and the SALAD I ordered had super salty shrimp, which of course, I ate. All of it. About licked the plate.
20 min afterwards, I could barely move because I was in so much pain, ended up taking a pain pill once we got home, and started swelling like a balloon. I'm still swollen, 7 hours later.
I know my results have been abnormally advanced for how many days post op I am, but this just goes to show you that anything can happen and anything can change. I deviated from what I WAS doing, and my body reacted. I walked way too much (without a walker), ate salty food (oh! And cake tonight), and didn't drink enough water. Lesson learned. I won't be pushing my body to do anything that it's not ready for. I'm sitting my ass in my chair, drinking my water, and getting back to my smoothies and lean proteins.
Oh, and I'm not sure what that red line is by my belly button, but it seems to be getting worse. Ugh. Just an off day, but I want to share the good and the bad with everyone.
Swelling gone- day 9
Swelling is gone! Today is a much better day and I'm back on track.
One year post surgery update
I'm currently 13 months post op, and life is great. Having this surgery gave me back my confidence, which has led to some amazing accomplishments. I decided to take my fitness to the next level and aim for a goal to keep me on track. It was a crazy goal- one that I would never have the courage to even think about doing pre surgery. I decided to start lifting weights and train to compete in a fitness competition. When I fully recovered from my surgery I started going to the gym and teaching myself how to use the machines and weights- YouTube videos were my how-to guides. After a few months of that, and toning up all over, I found a competition coach and entered into a prep for my first NPC bikini competition. I trained for 8 weeks, and it was HARD (just google what a bikini competitor training schedule and meal plan looks like.. it's intense).
Fast forward to two weekends ago when I stepped on stage and accomplished my goal! I took home first in my class and first in true novice, and was incredibly proud of the hard work I put in. I'm currently training for my second competition at the end of May.
My journey is more about my internal growth and transformation than my physical. The physical was an obstacle holding me back mentally, and once that was out of the way, I really saw what my body was capable of.
If one woman reads this and is inspired to aim for something seemingly impossible, and decides to try anyway, then it's all worth it. You are so much stronger than you think <3
Note: after my surgery I lost an additional 25lbs. I workout twice a day, 5x/week (cardio in the AM, lifting in the afternoon), so I've been able to build and maintain muscle all over, so additional skin hasn't been a problem for me. My scar has healed amazingly, and I moisturize every day and NEVER let it see the sun (I only spray tan).