TT with MR on 7/20/11 - Not 100% satisfied, but very happy overall! - Charleston, SC

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I think about my belly every single hour of every...

I think about my belly every single hour of every single day. That is one of the main reasons I know I'm doing the right thing by getting a tummy tuck. I want to feel good about myself. I want my clothes to fit! I don't want to look pregnant anymore!!

I have three children - ages 5, 2, and 11 months. They were all huge babies (9'14, 10'1, and 9'4 -- and the only reason the last one was smaller is because he was 3 weeks early!!) I had c-sections with all 3. But even before I was ever pregnant the first time, my belly was always my "problem area". The thrid pregnancy just did me in. I have a 2-3 finger separation of the muscles (diastasis recti). I have many times been mistaken for being pregnant, though not lately, only because I'm pretty good at disguising it by never wearing anything that remotely clings to my belly. If I wear anything empire-waisted, I could totally pass for 5 months pregnant. I don't know what it would even feel like to be able to shop for and buy the cute little fitted t-shirts, tanks, etc!

My surgery is one month from today. I just found this site and have "devoured" it all day reading all the stories, looking for "before" bellies that look like mine, reading about recovery, tips, etc. I am so happy to have found you all! :)

Things I'm most nervous about: - The pain...

Things I'm most nervous about:
- The pain (obviously)!!
- The recovery period as far as caring for my 3 young kids. My husband is taking lots of time off, but I am a control freak, so you know how that goes. It will be hard to just lay low and let him take care of EVERYTHING. How soon can I lift the kids? My youngest is about 23 pounds.
- Having some weird reaction to the anesthesia. My mom has had really bad reactions to nausea meds they've given her after she's had anesthesia on two different occasions. I'm worried about nausea and vomiting, and vomiting after a tummy tuck just does not sound like a good thing. I'm afraid I'll rip my belly open!
- The incision line/scar being too high. I mean, the most important thing for me is going to be how my clothes fit, but I also want to be able to wear cute bikinis without the scar showing. My PS has told me my incision will be low, but it does have to come up on the sides slightly. I guess I will just have to do some serious shopping and lots of trying on for bathing suits.

My pre-op appointment is tomorrow. I have so many...

My pre-op appointment is tomorrow. I have so many questions and things just to go over with the doctor. I hope it goes well!! Can't believe my surgery is less than 2 weeks away!

1DPO and doing great! Yesterday was pretty much a...

1DPO and doing great! Yesterday was pretty much a blur with a lot of pain. Lots of discomfort in my stomach muscles. Did have one random bout of nausea yesterday evening.

But today I'm doing much better. Am able to get up and go to the bathroom by myself and have been eating some. Taking short walks around the house. I am dying to see my tummy but I won't get to until tomorrow at my first post-op visit.

2DPO - Had first post-op appointment. Nurse...

2DPO - Had first post-op appointment. Nurse changed bandage and showed us how to care for incision. I am getting around a little more today and am standing almost upright. I have one drain and it will probably be removed sometime next week (around 1 week post-op, depending on output).

5DPO - Doing pretty well. Off pain meds except...

5DPO - Doing pretty well. Off pain meds except still taking Valium at night and a few Advil here and there during the day. Walking around pretty well and standing upright. My back hurts from not being able to sleep on my side. I've been renting a hospital bed but I think I'll be returning it tomorrow. It has really been nice for getting up and down. My kids are getting a nice summer cold, so I'm trying not to catch their germs (I stay in the bedroom a lot and my hubby is taking care of them). I've had a few coughing fits which are NOT fun! It is looking like my drain will be removed in 2 days which will be one week post-op. That will be nice. I feel so swollen. Looking forward to that going down (hopefully)!

1 Week PO - Was supposed to get my drain out today...

1 Week PO - Was supposed to get my drain out today but still putting out too many cc's, so Dr. is going to wait 2 more days. Drove for the first time. Been doing more household stuff the last few days and am okay as long as I don't overdo it. I miss picking up and snuggling my kiddos. I am used to carrying my one year old around a lot! Thank goodness my husband is being so helpful and is able to take so much time off.

10 Days PO - Got drain out yesterday at 9DPO...

10 Days PO - Got drain out yesterday at 9DPO (finally)! I was really worried about it hurting, but it didn't! Felt like a little pressure just for a few seconds and that was it. I had a very busy day yesterday with lots of family stuff going on and by the end of the night, I felt like crap.

I am wearing the new compression garment and I am not liking it. It is oh so sexy with a crotch strap and everything. Does anyone else have one by Sculptures? I have issues with it when I go to use the bathroom because I have to pull it up over my belly and then I have this tight pressure around my belly which I know is not good. Plus, it is very obvious under clothing. Ugh. And I know that I'll eventually move on to Spanx, but I have always hated those, too. This will be a long year of wearing uncomfortable body shaping garments!! My swelling is still pretty crazy and I hope it starts to go away soon.

On top of everything, I have a terrible cold. I have sneezed so many times and it hurts so bad. I hope I have not damaged any internal abdominal muscle sutures!

Overall I would say I'm doing well as far as actual recovery at 10 days PO. I am able to do most all of my normal activities other than lifting. I am sleeping on my side again which feels great.

I'm adding 10 days pictures!

1 Month PO - Adding one month pics. Things are...

1 Month PO - Adding one month pics. Things are going well, but I really don't feel much different from 10 days post-op. If anything, I feel like I look slightly bigger. Trying not to get discouraged, because my PS says it is the standard swelling, but it doesn't seem like swelling to me. My belly is really flat if I suck it in, but if I don't... well, I still have a pooch. Don't get me wrong - it looks MUCH better than it did post-op, but I guess I was hoping for more at this point. I've been lifting my one-year old for awhile now (he's about 24 pounds) and I am cleared for swimming and walking and other low-impact exercise. Been using Palmers shea butter with Vitamin E lotion on my scar. My belly button is still pretty red, but hopefully the lotion and massage will help it to fade over time. My pre-op clothes are still really tight. I am now dieting to try to lose weight so that they fit better.

6 Weeks PO - Saw my PS today. He has cleared me...

6 Weeks PO - Saw my PS today. He has cleared me for all exercise, but recommends not doing traditional floor ab exercises (sit-ups, crunches) - but to do leg lifts instead. I guess I am disappointed. I am one of those people who actually like to do crunches. I was looking forward to getting into them to tone up my belly. Boo!

My belly button is still really red, so I am trying to massage it with the Vitamin E lotion several times a day. May try Mederma or he recommended Cortaid for the redness. Any suggestions?

For some reason I was under the impression I had to wear Spanx for a full year! Today, being 6 weeks, he says that I am free of them and don't have to wear them except for exercising. Woohoo! However, after just half a day of not wearing them, I am feeling pretty weird and unsupported. May have to wean myself off of them slowly! :)

6 Months PO - 1/20/12 - Posted new pics. Overall I...

6 Months PO - 1/20/12 - Posted new pics. Overall I am very happy that I had the TT, but my tummy is still not (and never was, even right after surgery/once swelling went down/etc) as flat as I had hoped. I have been dieting, running, and doing ab work, but it still won't completely go flat. I ask my PS about this every time I go follow-up with him and he always says that with my degree of muscle separation, there was a lot of muscle atrophy and that major re-toning needs to be done. I suspect that it is just more intra-abdominal fat that I have that will take a lot more work to go away. But like I said, I am still glad I did it and I would do it again. Just wish I was a little flatter! Anyone have any tips on specific ab exercises you're doing? My PS recommends against doing traditional crunches, but instead recommends doing leg lifts.

1 Year PO - 8/2/12 - Posted new pics. Things are...

1 Year PO - 8/2/12 - Posted new pics. Things are going well. Like I've said before, my tummy still isn't as flat as I had hoped it would be, but it is still WAY better than before. I have been running for the last 9 months, doing lots of ab work, and been on Weight Watchers for the past 2 months. Looking back at my before pictures (especially the side view), I can see such a huge difference and it makes me so happy. Good luck to all going through TTs! Can't believe it has been a year since mine.
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