Let's Do This! -Chesterfield, MO

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Surgery is paid in full as of today! I'm a 35 year...

Surgery is paid in full as of today! I'm a 35 year old mom of 3 amazing kiddos (9,7 and 3) and wife to an awesome, supportive, Godly man. I've wanted a mommy makeover since I had my son in 2009. Hubby and I were high school sweethearts and will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary this June. After being pregnant from 2003-2009 I am ready to rock a tiny bikini on our anniversary trip to Cabo this summer.

I had my first "mommy makeover" consultation a year and a half ago. The price alone scared me away for awhile. We started saving money so we could pay cash and I continued to work out on my own to get my figure back in tip top shape. Hubby and I came to the realization that no matter how hard I worked out or was diligent about making the proper food choices some things just weren't going back to the shape I desired without a little intervention.

I'm on sabbatical right now and we decided that April would be as good of time as any to do the "mommy makeover".

I'm 5'3" and weight varies between 140-145 pounds. I tend to hang around the 143 mark, which is up about 3-4 pounds since I had a complete hysterectomy And oopherectomy last year due to endometriosis. I wear the vivelle dot hormone patch on a daily basis to replace the hormones that my ovaries would be making. I'm fairly active, I work out 3-4 days a week. I typically do a combination of Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, Jillian Yoga and jogging a few miles. I completed my first 5K last fall and am looking forward to running my next one this fall. Eating "clean" (the majority of the time) and staying fit is important to me for myself and also for my husband.

Excited about the end results, a little anxious about the recovery. Calming my nerves with lots of prayer and the Word!

The countdown is on, one week from today I will be...

The countdown is on, one week from today I will be in the recovery phase! I posted before pics today. I'm too modest to post nude pictures of myself on the internet (and out of respect for my husband). That being said, I truly do appreciate the women who have been brave enough to bare it all and post it...it's been really helpful for me in knowing what to expect so thank you!

I've been meaning to mention what procedures I am...

I've been meaning to mention what procedures I am having done...I am getting a tummy tuck, breast lift, lipo contouring on my inner thighs, back, hips and arms (you know that part of your arms where you get "bat flaps" as you get older).

It's done! On lots of drugs will post later when I...

It's done! On lots of drugs will post later when I can focus.

Mind and is vision is still very foggy. My tummy...

Mind and is vision is still very foggy. My tummy and the lipo sites still hurt. The compression garmet is so tight and my body is puffy from anesthesia. Had to take everything off yesterday to "strip" one of the drains and make sure there were no clogs. Even all bruised and swollen it looks amazing!

Starting to feel human again! It's been a week...

Starting to feel human again! It's been a week today. It's been pretty rough but I truly feel like I've turned the corner. I have an amazing stepmom and aunt in addition to my hubby who are at my beck and call. My aunt is my day "nurse" getting my kids to school and taking care of my preschooler all day and household chores, my stepmom and Dad take my kids at the drop of the hat, picking them up from their activities or just taking them for a few hours here and there (she's obviously so much more to me than a stepmom!). My in-laws relieved us for an afternoon this past weekend and brought us a delicious meal. I've got a group of ladies from church bringing meals every other day too. I Just feel so very blessed and humbled by the support. Only our parents and aunt know what type of surgery I've had...really not in the mood for judgement about what we choose to spend our money on or do with my body. My kids know I've had belly surgery and they are okay with it since we went through the hysterectomy last year...I certainly do not want to give my beautiful daughters a body complex at 7 and 9 years old. Been feeling bad for my hubby as he's been carrying the weight of the household, kiddos, my care and his career. Although every time he gets a peek at my swollen body while being my "nurse" he can already see that its all worth it. Dr. Prada and his team from St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery, Inc. are absolutely phenominal. The drains have caused me the most grief, one has been particularly painful and Dr. Prada even called us over the weekend and walked my hubby and I through the situation and then he saw me at his first available time after a surgery on Monday. Dr. Prada and staff have been worth every single penny we have paid! Not to mention that his work is exceptional. The hospital nurses were even like "oh you got Dr. Prada...he's the BEST"! I can tell I'm feeling a smidge better today as I mustered up enough energy to do a little online shopping from the comfort of my couch and ipad. I will try to post some pics soon!

When hubby and I were doing our "research" pricing...

When hubby and I were doing our "research" pricing is something we were very interested in. The hubs is very money savvy and he wanted to make sure we were getting the best price. I'm the spender and I could care less about the best price...I just always want The BEST, which hubby would say usually equates to expensive (think little blue box). Anyway, I wanted to clarify my procedure price. My doctor's price was around $14,200 (a bargain if you ask me). This included tummy tuck, breast lift and 4 areas of lipo (there were discounts for doing multiple procedures too). The hospital bill was about $5,000, which I don't think most people take into account. That included 5.5 hours of OR time, anesthesia with an extra doc and an overnight stay. We debated about just investing in the tummy tuck for now and doing the lift later but financially and physically it just made more sense to do it all at once. Had we chosen to split up the processes we would've been on the hook for all the hospital fees again. Isn't that like "double jeopardy"? ;-)

3 weeks post op today! The recovery process has...

3 weeks post op today! The recovery process has been much more challenging than I anticipated. Much harder than having 3 kids and the complete hysterectomy combined. My recovery itself has been un-eventfull, thankfully no complications. Dealing with the swelling, constant polysporin/gauze (to prevent infections and protect incisions) is getting "old". I'm ready to be back to my normal self, in normal clothes, rockin' this awesome mommy makeover. Patience...is what everyone keeps reminding me...give it time. I had my last drain pulled 8 days ago. I think I thought once that "baby" was out I'd be good to go. Boy, was I wrong! I quit the narcotics cold turkey after my nurse pulled the drain and switched to acetaminophen and ibuprofen. I didn't realize that the narcotics would be so addictive, the 48 hours following were pretty rough. I cried a lot and had weird withdrawals. Very emotionally draining! I read about some ladies experiencing a wide range of emotions and I thought "not me, I'm totally mentally prepared for this"...WRONG-O! I went back to work this week...actually started a new job. This p/t career path has been in the works since I went on sabbatical and I started off doing three 4 hour days instead of three 6 hour days. I will work up to 6 hour days in a few more weeks. Emotionally ready to get back to working out and getting on with it, physically still needing to take it slow. Kind of challenging when raising 3 young kiddos!

33 days post op

What a difference between weeks 3 & 4! At about 4 weeks I started to feel like I was going to make it! That 2 to almost 4 week mark I really feel like I "hit the wall" and wondered if I would ever feel normal again. Praise God...the answer is yes! I had my 4 week appointment last week. The doc and myself could not be more pleased with the recovery process. Everything is healing beautifully! I was even able to start wearing jeans again last week! I have about a week and a half more of wearing the ab binder, looking forward to being rid of all this Velcro and extra bulk. I started using a vitamin E oil on my scars. I apply the oil 2-3 times per day and gently massage the areas, I heard this helps the scars lay flat...lets hope that's true! Doc said at the 6 week mark I can start wearing normal bras again, including underwire. I will also be released to do my normal exercise activities at the 6 week mark as long as I ease back into it. Good thing because I told the doc if I cannot get moving soon I'm going to need a butt lift too ;-). In all honesty though I have not even felt up to any kind of exercise anyway. I am down about 5 pounds total so far. I weighed 138 this morning, excited about that! I still get swollen towards the end of the day if I'm on my feet too much or have done too much activity. I've been able to do some laundry and cook easy meals the past few weeks too. Every day it gets easier! So excited swimsuit season is right round the corner! It's so fun to walk onto a store an feel good about almost everything you try on! Here are two new pics from today. Until next time...

6 weeks post op

I cannot believe today marks six weeks post op. In some respects it feels like an eternity ago and I still sit back amazed at how much progress is made from week to week. I am thrilled about the results, this is the best gift my hubby could have ever given me. Such a great reward after having 3 kids! It's feels amazing to be 35 and have my body back. There are certain aspects of my body that I feel look even better now than the did prior to having kids. Doc said at 6 weeks post op I could start easing back into all the things I did prior to surgery. I'm not quite ready to start running, doing weights or core training. I still feel somewhat tender all over and to be honest I don't want to be "bouncing" my lift around. I have been walking about 2 miles every other day but I am anxious to tone my backside, it seems a little soft from sitting on it for the past 6 weeks. I spent some time this past weekend researching excercise regimens/DVDs that I would feel comfortable doing so I imagine I will be ready to incorporate more than walking sometime this next week. Just really focusing on not pushing myself too hard, I do not want to set myself back. All in all things are really looking up and our anniversary trip to Cabo is right around the corner!

6 week photos

6 week photos

2 Year Post Op Update

I seriously cannot believe it's been two years since my mommy makeover! I can honestly say this is the best thing I have ever done and my loving hubby would agree. We would do it all over again in a heartbeat! You definitely have to "work" to keep your results in tip top shape. Now that a flat tummy and lifted breasts are my new "normal" I find myself being critical at times of my body forgetting what I looked like prior to the mommy makeover. I frequently tell my hubby that if I need another "nip & tuck" in 10 years as don't think I won't do it. I do believe things have "settled" into place over he past two years and I don't feel quite as "tight" as I did at the six week post op mark but that's all relative. I still find myself hanging around the same weight mark, I did gain about 3-5 pounds in late2013 - early 2014 when my career took me down the path of a sales rep and I spent a lot of time in my car. When I laid my full time career down about a year ago I thought those 3-5 pounds would drop right off but they've kind of been hanging around despite regular exercise and a healthy diet. 6 weeks post op I was in he 138-140 range but lacked muscle tone. Once I started building muscle again I was back in that 142-146 range. As of late my range has been 147-149 pounds and I refuse to get to the 150 mark, I don't care if muscle weighs more than fat. My clothes all still fit so that tells me the extra pounds are likely muscle. For me personally I'm most comfortable with myself in the 130's. So the past year I've tried Isagenix meal replacement shakes, Doterra Slim & Sassy oils and even gave the Body By Vi meal replacement shakes a whirl but my body has not responded to any of it. My conclusion is that it is likely because my eating habits are already healthy and I stay within a normal calorie range daily and of course have muscle tone from working out 4 days a week (a combo of running and Jillian Michaels). In the past five years I found that my body responded really well to the HCG diet and when I did that I was in the 130's. It's brutal though and I just don't have it in me to do it again. I've dabbled in the South Beach diet some as its not as restrictive as HCG but usually a few days in hubby says "let's take the kids out for ice cream" (my weakness) and then I'm back to my normal eating patterns. After a long talk with the hubs last week and sharing my frustration despite my efforts of what the heck is going on with my body I decided that I would give the South Beach Diet one more REAL try before I resorted to getting my thyroid (or other things) checked or doing HCG again. Truly a 5-10 pound loss makes all the differenc e for me in my body comfort level, of course 10 pounds is better! Happy to report I've been doing Phase 1 of SBD for 6 days and have seen movement on the scale! I guess I know what really works for me and this is just a recalibration and reinforcement of good/healthy habits as we all have times in our lives where we get lax. Overall when I look at how far I've come and how much more confidence I have I am one happy girl! I am doing things now that I never would have dreamed of before like wearing a two piece with confidence and I've even hooked up with a local agent and am doing print, voice over and commercial work...who knew they needed "Moms" for that type of work! I will post some two year pics in the next couple of days!

2 Year Post Op Photos

updates Photos in celebration of 2 year Mommy Makeover Anniversary

More 2 Year Post Op Photos

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon

Such an amazing doctor! The absolute best in St. Louis! He is worth every single penny (and it was a lot of pennies ;-)) that we paid. His work is absolutely phenomial and you can tell that he truly cares about providing the utmost level of service and conducts himself with excellence! His nurse, Di, is extremely attentive to the patients needs as well. She can truly empathize with the patients since she herself went through the "mommy makeover". I honestly cannot say enough good things about Dr. Prada!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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