I did it! After 3 babies and losing all the weight! No regrets!! :-) - Birmingham, AL

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My husband & I completed our family just over...

My husband & I completed our family just over 2 years ago. We have 2 boys, ages 11 & 4, and our daugher turned 2 this past November. My first pregnancy wrecked me. I was already overweight when he was conceived and then proceeded to gain 60 pounds. I did eventually lose all the weight but was left with excess tummy fat and flappy,floppy mess of skin. The other two pregnancies didn't add to the damage done, thank goodness!

Last year spent a lot of time at the gym and cleaned up my diet. I was able to lose 25 pounds! I am 34 yo, 5'6", 130lb. I am 10-15 pounds lighter than I have ever been and for the first time in my life I wear a size 4! YAY! BUT - I still have two handfulls of the flappy/floppy mess of skin! I am truly proud of myself for putting in all the hard work of losing the weight and getting in shape. However, I am still very uncomfortable with my stomach and will require surgery to fix what I cannot do on my own.
I had three consults and have decided to use the same surgeon who did my breast augmentation 4 years ago. I couldn't be more thrilled with my choice to use him again. We are scheduling it as a modified TT, without muscle repair. I want to avoid the MR unless the end result would be inferior without it. My surgeon has informed that he will perform the MR if it needs to be done. I trust him in making this decision.
We will be putting a date on the books soon. I'm so ready to stop thinking about it, I'd do it tomorrow! I can't wait!

I have officially scheduled my procedure. My...

I have officially scheduled my procedure. My nerves are already soaring. :-O This is really going to happen!

I'm super obssesing about what I'll look like. Everytime I go past the mirror in the bathroom, I pull my shirt up and squeeze the excess skin towards the middle and try to imagine a smoother sillouhete. Or I'll push the skin down and can see that I'll at the very least have a "2-pack". I'm hoping there's 4 more toned sections underneath the worst of the loose skin. That would be awesome! If that's the case, I would like to thank my Lord Jesus and Joseph Pilates.

So with just about 5 weeks till this thing goes down I'm going to focus on getting beach ready since I won't be recovered until summer is pretty much here. I guess I need to go ahead and buy a bikini for the before pictures. Fun!!

I'm 24 days away from the BIG day and my...

I'm 24 days away from the BIG day and my emotions are a rollercoaster. It's hard to be so excited and so nervous all at the same time. I'm staying busy as can be, yet my thoughts are consumed with all things related to the upcoming procedure.

I grabbed a bikini today at Target so I could take some "before" pics. I can't wait to post some "after" pics. I won't even share these with friends until I can also reveal the end result.

Since I'm posting the pics now, I'll add my stats as well.

34 years old, 5'6" & 130lbs
waist 27"
at bellybutton 32.5"
hips 35 1/2

My highest recorded weight was my first pregnancy @ 225lbs, approx 185" with 2nd pregnany and 175lbs with the final baby. OOH, that first baby is where all this wreckage came from. God love him though! It's nothing that several thousand dollars can't fix! ;) I say that like its nothing. Its something and I'm grateful that my husband wants this for me as well. I appreciate how he "invests" in me.

Pre-op was today. It was at the hospital and not...

Pre-op was today. It was at the hospital and not with the PS office. Basic bloodwork, paperwork, instructions, a spirometer to use the day of surgery and post-op at home, and some special cleansing clothes to use after my shower the night before.

It's been super busy here with the kids and life, time is zipping by! I haven't been excercising as much as I'd hoped, BUT, I've really cleaned up my diet and have managed to lose 5 lbs in the last 3 weeks! Today, I am literally 100 pounds lighter than I was the day I gave birth to my first child. That is really, really, really, REALLY hard to believe. I can't believe that I was ever 225, and I also can't believe that I've been able to finally get below 140-145. I am exactly where I want to be going into this and in this moment, I feel like a Tummy Tuck is the prize at the end of this journey to a healthier me. 4/19/11 will begin a new journey. My husband is all about setting goals and challenging himself to new things. I need to start thinking about what new goals I want to set for myself.

On a sillier note - I totally bought a WAY cuter Kenneth Cole swimsuit and will be taking new "before" pics prior to my surgery date!

10 more days! Eeeeeep!

This evening my precious in-laws brought dinner...

This evening my precious in-laws brought dinner over and spent a couple hours here with me and the kiddos. My husband is due to get back from his 5 week offshore hitch within the next day or two. It is all about getting ready here at my house! Getting ready for the Daddy to be home, getting ready for surgery.
Anywho. I'm sitting on the couch with my father-in-law and he is asking me if I'm still going to be having this done and asking why I want to. All that kind of stuff. I offered to show him my belly now or he could see pictures afterwards. He gestured that he'd go ahead and take a peek. So, I'm slouched down, almost laying down. We all know that this would be the most flattering position for a stretched out stomach. So I raise my top and then pull the skin up and back down. His reaction to this was simply, "DAMN!" That, dear father-in-law, is why I am having a tummy tuck.

It's the last day I'll have this floppy...

It's the last day I'll have this floppy tummy in my life. What tomorrow and the days beyond hold is something that I've only imagined. Something that until about 2 months ago, I talked about doing... eventually. This feels so surreal. What will I feel like? How will I look? What if I'm disappointed? What if I do have to have the MR done? How long will I be swollen? How will I handle the emotions of being physically limited for the next few/several weeks? Tomorrow the answer to these questions will start to unfold!

I'm still wrapping up a few tasks here at the house, just to ensure all is situated. It won't stay this way, but when I leave tomorrow morning @ 0745, this Momma is OFF THE CLOCK!! Ha! I'll at least know that I started the process with a nearly immacculate house, kitchen and fridge stocked, laundry cleaned, ironed and put away, bills and paperwork taken care of for the next couple of weeks.

I am a little concerned about my lingering sinus infection. :-/ I'm still on antibiotics and was told that wouldn't be a problem going into surgery. I don't feel bad, just congested. I am coughing some too. That concerns me if I do end up having muscle repair done.

I have instructed my husband to take a picture of my tummy the very first time my binder is opened so I can have a shot before swelling begins. Hopefully I'll be feeling well enough to update when I get home Tuesday, or maybe even from my phone tomorrow night!

Either way, I'll be sharing "after" pics very soon and will be joining all the other April Tummy Tuckers on the post-op side of this experience TOMORROW!!!!

I went in Monday for my TT. I don't have any...

I went in Monday for my TT. I don't have any memory of leaving my room to go the OR. Apparently I received a second shot of something before getting wheeled off. I woke up in recovery all bundled up. The first thought I had was - it is done! My second thought was - did I have any MR done? I spent about an hour in recovery and was taken up to my room.
My husband told me that my PS said everything looked great and that he did do a little MR. I'm not really sure what that means.
I received darvocet/phenergan shots for pain, and switched to percocet pills before leaving the hospital. I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting. I can say that as long as I'm still I am comfortable! I'm grateful for leg and arm strength. It's pretty challenging getting up and down. I'm pretty sure that I'll get the hang of it. I hope so anyway!
My husband drove me home very carefully and helped me get situated in the bed. He told the little kids that Mommy didn't feel good and that my tummy was sick. When they came in from school I got kisses. Nobody tried to climb on me or got upset about it. So far that's going well.
I've really tried to stay on top of my meds. My husband is making me eat a little bit before I take anything. He's been awesome with me & the kids.
It is uncomfortable. There's a couple of places in my abs that burn like a mother when I move the wrong way or accidentally use my abs. The drain sites are uncomfortable too. If they get pulled or whatever - eeeouch!
My vision has been blurry. I can't read anything close up. That was one of the side effects for the scope patch (? Anti nausea med patch). I could've left it on till tomorrow, but I took it off yesterday.
I moved out to the recliner this morning. It's much easier to get in and out of. I had my husband snap a couple of pics when we changed the dressing this morning. I can tell that I am swollen but also flat as can be! I still have a lot of stretch marks. I'll try to put a pic up soon. For now - I'm just ready for the next several days to be over with.

It's been a pretty good day #3. I had my first...

It's been a pretty good day #3. I had my first BM last night, thank the Lord! I also feel like I've figured out how to get up and down safely.
I took a partial shower today!!! That was very exciting. I put a rain poncho on and held it tight at my neck to keep water from getting on my torso. My husband said something goofy and I started cracking up laughing. Oh God did that hurt! So, he washed my hair, face, legs and bottom it was all very UNsensual. Lol. I love him. Then he put almond oil on my legs - it felt so good to get cleaned up and moisturized.
Earlier I noticed that my left drain seemed to come to a near stop. Neither drain is putting out a lot - but the left one had been putting out more. I pulled up my binder and gauze and noticed there was bright red fluid and it looked kinda like it was clotting. So I squeezed it and started milking from the incision and sure enough - a little clot passed and got the drain flowing slowly today.
My little tots are real curious about what's going on. I showed them the top of my binder and drain tubes. My little girl looked concerned and offered to go get me a "mand-aid". Bless her! They have been real sweet just to stand next to me.
All in all a decent day. I don't like the burning/pulling sensations. The drains are uncomfortable. And when I touch the skin on my swollen tummy, the mostly numb sensation is freaky. I'm looking forward to these recovery days to be behind me.

I overdid it today! My husband washed my hair...

I overdid it today! My husband washed my hair while I sat on a stool with a poncho on. Then I cleaned myself with a washcloth and shaved from my knees down, dried my hair and did a pathetic job with the flat iron. I tried to make myself somewhat presentable for the family today. My husbands family brought Easter lunch to our house so I wouldn't have to travel. Seeing how it took a good hour an a half just to get cleaned and dressed and that has my back hurting so bad!
I'm now day 6 PO and am so tired of these drains! They have had me cussing. :-( the right one is super tender and I can feel it pulling inside me. My incision is becoming very tender. I had to check earlier that it hadn't opened up. I go Tuesday to the PS for a followup. I'm sooooo looking forward to having these drains pulled and getting my first peek at my belly button!
My husband has been fantastic! I thanked him the other day for doing such a great job with me, the kids and the house. He said that he's enjoyed getting to take care of me for once. ;-)
So far, no regrets in doing this. I am anxious for the recovery to speed up and to see more of what the end result will be.

AHHHHHH! I'm free! Both of the drains came out...

AHHHHHH! I'm free! Both of the drains came out today! My PS had me lay down flat to remove them, which felt weird at first but not uncomfortable. The left drain felt super weird, like something slithering under my skin! Ewww! The right drain, which was the more bothersome overall to me, burned like a mother!! OUCH! It burned, burned, burned, all the way out!! I feel so much better already! I grinned all the way home and kept saying, "YAY!!"
The PS said that everything looked great and I should continue to heal up great. I go back next Wednesday to get the sutures out of my bellybutton. I like my bb. It had been packed with gauze till today, so I got my first look at it. It's medium and oval-ish and I like it! ;-D
My incision is starting to feel more sore and my belly is a little tender from the drains getting pulled. But overall I feel more like myself today which is fantastic!! OH! I get to take a shower tonight! I would so dance right now if I could!
I was worn out after my big outing but got a nap this afternoon while my hubs picked up the kids and took them to tutoring. All in all a great day!

2 weeks PO update with pics added 14 days...

2 weeks PO update with pics added

14 days have passed and I am feeling more and more like myself everyday. I start the day off strong and typically get worn out by late afternoon. My husband is heading back to work offshore in a few days so I need to pace my daytime business to reserve some energy since I'll be flying solo for the remainder of the recovery.

My swelling is not horrific, I'd say mild then moderate in the evening. I didn't make the best meal choices this weekend. UGH! I always eat better when I'm more active and tend to want to snack more when sedetary. I miss the gym and hope I can at least ease into some cardio soon.

Physically, I find it uncomfortable to bend over and that makes me sore. Trying to remember to squat instead. I get a weird pulling sensation around my bellybutton when I've been up to long and the occasional tingling from my belly button down. I'm sure this is just the nerves trying to figure out what they need to do.

I'm not sleeping great, really restless. I'm ready to be comfortable on my side again. This too shall pass!

I'm so glad I did this and can't believe it's been 2 weeks already! If I'm this happy now, I know in another 4+ weeks I'll be even more so! :D

I weighed and measured myself this morning since I wasn't swollen to bad.

day of op 14days PO
wt 128 129.5
waist 27" 27"
@bb 32.5" 31"
hips 35.5" 34.25"

So, even with swelling, that's a nice little difference! YAY!;-D

I was 3 weeks PO on Monday 5/9. I would say that...

I was 3 weeks PO on Monday 5/9. I would say that for the most part I'm feeling fairly normal. My swelling has continued to be only minimal in the evening. Mornings are my favorite time to look at the new tummy. Slowly I can tell that the incision is getting more flat and I can feel like for the most part I can see my new shape. It's pretty exciting to look down and see no lumps and to not be able to grab or even pinch any excess skin. :-D
I started some scar therapy - mederma and bio oil. It feel super weird rubbing it on the incision. I'd have to say the numbness and weird tingling sensations freak me out a bit. My belly button still has no feeling at all. I'm still taking Bromelain and Arnica. I don't know that I neccesarily need it at this point but I feel like my progress is going well and just want to keep it up!

I'm having a hard time finding the "just right" commpression garmet for me. So far the Flexees - fat free dressing - tank top is my fave. I have 4 different pull up kind - spanx, and then three different undies my husband called "great grandma panties!" The pair that was the most comfortable eventually rolls down to my waist and that aggravates the fire out of me. I'm still wearing my binder half a day and also at night.
I go back to the doc in a week and am hoping to get cleared to start easing back into more activity. I miss the gym! Somehow I have not gained any weight but I feel like all my slack eating is gonna catch up in a minute!
Oh! Everyday, at least once, I put a large rectangle gel ice pack under my binder for a good 30 minutes. AHHH! It feels so good!
3 week pics added!

I've been meaning to update for quite awhile,...

I've been meaning to update for quite awhile, so here it goes...

My husband went back offshore during week 3 PO and my mom came and stayed with me for the follwing 4 weeks. She insisted on helping take care of everything until I was fully cleared by my PS at week 6. She was a tremendous help. Although I was capable of doing most everything on my own, extra hands with the house and 3 kids are always appreciated when I'm in single mom mode.

I was cleared @ 6 weeks PO to start back with cardio and light weights. I would say that I was about 60% when I did jump back into Zumba. I am now over 9 weeks out and feeling almost 100%. I got on my reformer the other day for the first time and had a great workout. I did not do anything that isolated my abs and still got sore. It's the weird sore around the MR though, kinda tender and tingly. I'm icing after all workouts and still taking my bromelain and arnica.

Overall I'm thrilled with my results. I don't have to go back to my PS until the end of September. My recovery has been quite ideal. I'll occasionally have minimal swelling towards the end of the day and typically will still sleep in either a compression tank or my binder. That makes sleeping on my side more comfortable.

We went to the beach last week and I sported my bikini, stretch marks and all. I was religious about applying spf50+ to my BB and incision (although my incision was covered my bottoms). It felt great to be able to walk around and not worry about sucking in my gut to disguise the squish that used to be under my suit. It felt even better to be confident in a bikini for the first time in my entire life at the age of 34 and with 3 children.

I probably will eventually look into some type of laser treatment for my stretch marks. They are wide and pretty gnarly but I'll take them over the excess skin anyday!

For anyone considering a TT or about to have one performed - it is a long recovery. Uncomfortable at first, then just weeks of slow improvements. I have been aggravated with not being able to physically workout as hard as I'd like to. It's part of the process and totally worth it! I'm so grateful to have been able to do this for myself. It feels incredible to comfortable in my own skin!

WOW! I was finally able to update pics! I was...

WOW! I was finally able to update pics! I was having technical difficulites for a couple of weeks!

I'm nearly 3 months PO and I hardly ever wear a compression garment anymore. Occasionally I'll sleep in the binder after a strenuous day. Physically I am feeling very comfortable with my normal activities. I'm back to 100% at Zumba and easing into core work with my reformer. I'm still trying to not overdo it with ab work.

My weight has stayed right around 128-130, although I did get down to 125 for a minute pre-op! Vacation was a carb fest and I'm amazed at how quickly I forget what a carb loaded diet does to me! UGH!

Anywho! I'm feeling fancy and so glad the bulk of recovery is over! Godspeed to all you ladies going through this right now. What a process! There's nothing speedy about it, but it's well worth the trouble! :-D

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

This is the second time I've chosen Dr. O'Brien for cosmetic surgery. He was referred to me by my OB/GYN in 2007. I really can't begin to say how happy I am that Dr. O'Brien has been my surgeon for both my breast augmentation and tummy tuck procedures. I am very pleased with the care I was given and my results. Dr.O'Brien told me at my consultation that Tummy Tuck patients are a "happy group of people" and I would have to agree! :-D

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
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