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I want to be Fabulous at 40! I turn 40 later this...

I want to be Fabulous at 40! I turn 40 later this year and I want the outside of me to feel as fabulous as the inside feels! I've wanted a tummy tuck every since I delivered my first son 10 years ago. Gaining 70 pounds with each of my three AWESOME kids and having two c-sections left my stomach in a state of disrepair. The sagging skin doesn't bother me nearly as much as the lax upper abdominal muscles that protrude so much that I still get asked if I'm pregnant. I had consults scheduled with three different PSs. I went off of referrals from my OBGYN and this site (so helpful!). The hubs and I went for the second consult yesterday and liked the doctor so much that we booked on the spot...little did I know I'd be walking out of the appointment with a Tummy Tuck / Lipo surgery scheduled less than 2 weeks away!!!! Having less time may be a blessing since I won't have time to obsess, but I still feel like there is SO MUCH I need to know / do / prepare! I'm so excited (and nervous) that I'm officially on my Path to Flat!

Today is my son's 10th birthday...also the 10th...

Today is my son's 10th birthday...also the 10th anniversary of my stomach being stretched beyond belief! :) I met with my PS for my pre-op visit. Surgery is scheduled six days from now. Hard to believe that this time next week, I'll be on the FLAT SIDE!! Whoo Hoo!!! I can't wait to finally get rid of this stomach, and to stop wearing my Spanx tank that has become part of my daily uniform for the last 10 years.

I threw myself a little pity party today. Although very excited, I am also getting extremely anxious. I've never had a panic attack in my life, but I swear I've either been having them...or mini heart attacks...every time I think about it. The worst part is...I don't know why. I've had surgeries before (2 c-sections and multiple knee surgeries), but never an elective surgery like this. I shouldn't worry...I'm healthy, I eat right, exercise, don't smoke and am at a healthy weight (5/6, 133 lbs). I'm a perfect candidate!! My nerves were so bad today that my husband even suggested I cancel the surgery if I'm getting this worked up about it...which of course, sent me into even MORE tears!!! Luckily that little episode was a few hours ago and I've since worked out, said my prayers and just put it in God's hands, which is where it should have been to begin with! All better now and whew, what a relief!! I'm not sure I can take many of these little outbursts!!!

Only four days to go until surgery. :) Couldn't...

Only four days to go until surgery. :) Couldn't come at a better time. Picked up a baby gift today at a local monogram shop. Woman behind the counter asked me when MY baby was due. Argh! I am not pregnant, I just look that way! LOL! So, I went from feelings of anxiety earlier this week to a feeling of thankfulness today. Thankful for my support network and so thankful for the opportunity to actually do something for ME. And, it's something I've wanted and talked about for so long. I am full time working mom to three kids under the age of 10 and I have a husband that travels for work every week (he will stay home the week of my surgery, though). I HAVE WANTED THIS FOR SO LONG. And, now, in four days it it happening! I am so blessed!!! Hopefully, I'll never have to answer the "how far along?" question any longer! I'm posting my pre-op pics today. I understand why people ask. I really do.

This site has also been such blessing and offered such a sense of community. I am so comforted hearing the stories of those who have gone before me. If you are new to this site, I highly suggest joining the forum and bouncing ideas off the other women (and men!) in the group. Talk about a great sense of camaraderie! My family and friends are supportive, but they are not going through exactly what I'm going through at the moment so it's just really refreshing to hear from someone who is.

Also, just to clarify. The > 11K number I'm expecting to spend includes: surgeon's fees for TT and 2 areas of lipo ($8160); Hospital operating room time, anastesia and overnight stay ($3100).

Flat side, here I come!

I made it to the Flat Side three days ago!!! I...

I made it to the Flat Side three days ago!!! I must admit, I am pleasantly surprised and so good! I prepared myself for the worst but expected the best (from myself). I agree with so many before me who said the anticipation is the worst part. I knew it would be a challenge but I was ready for it. I know it's still early and bad days will come but I want to focus on the positive of getting better day by day. Baby steps!

Today, I was able to pull out the pain pump. And, for the first time I was able to take off the compression garments and take a look. I'm still swollen (a lot) but I can already see the difference and I am so happy with the results. The drains are a pain (they leak, they pull, you have to bleed the lines) but I hopefully get them out next Thursday at the latest. I can do anything for a week, right?

I'm tired of sitting around. My PS said I could start working from home tomorrow. If I'm just going to be sitting in a recliner, I might as well have my laptop on my lap, right? We'll see how that goes!

Post op day 6 and am anxiously awaiting my first...

Post op day 6 and am anxiously awaiting my first post op visit to the PS tomorrow. I think all the clear nasty tape will come off my incisions and I'll hopefully be able to spy my new belly button for the first time. What I'm most anxious about is getting my drains out! I'm praying they come out. I'm very much over them :) Only had 5cc in each this am so I'm hoping the output tapers off the rest of the day as well. That would be heavenly...and then I could shower on Tuesday!!! Yeah!!!

PO day 4 has been the hardest one yet. My back hurt so bad but I now sleep on my wedge pillow system and that helps a lot. Granted, it's on the couch but hope to try putting it in my my bed - which is high off ground - maybe later this week.

Have yet to have the feeling of 'why did I do this to myself' and for that I am thankful. Maybe part of that is because I have been through c-sections before...and I find this easier because I can easily lift my legs ( which is hard to do after a c b/c they cut through the muscle. Not sure, but that's my answer.

To anyone preparing for a TT, I recommend you REALLY drill into your family before the surgery how much you will be leaning on them. I recovered really quickly from my c-sections and I think the hubs was expecting this to be the same. He won't say it out loud but I think he's tired of seeing me kicked back in the recliner while he has to do everything. He won't say anything. I can just tell.

Posting a couple of Pics from today...still super swollen on hips and thighs but very happy with the bulge in my upper tummy being gone.

Well, my drains did not come out at my last...

Well, my drains did not come out at my last appointment like I had hoped, but they DID come out today (at my 2 week PO appt) and I feel like a new woman. I was also able to stop wearing one of my compression garments (the one that went almost down to my knees because of the saddlebag lipo. It was a good day.

What I was NOT expecting today what followed my appointment. It was my first real outing by myself so I thought I would stop by the mall to pick up a couple of things for the kids. I wandered into a women's athletic section to look at new workout clothes and then it hit belly bulge is gone. :) I have hated my belly bulge for so long...I loathed the fact that it dictated what type of fabric I could wear (nothing clingy), or whether or not I could tuck in clothes, or make me buy fitted shirts one size larger so it didn't show my dome. I realized today that once I am healed, I can (hopefully) wear whatever I want and I don't have to worry about it making me look pregnant. I can throw out the Spanx tanks that I've worn every day for the last 10 years - except when I was pregnant. I know this is silly, but I stood in the middle of that store with tears in my eyes. Part of me still can't believe this is all real and I want to pinch myself. Today I realized for the first time that I am going to have to totally change the way I view my body. I get to make amends with myself, and that feels really, really, good. I walked out of that store emotionally drained and really happy.

Adding 2 week PO pics today. Still swollen today but I don't even a few weeks, I can wear whatever I want! LOL!

POD 22 today and feeling pretty good...just...

POD 22 today and feeling pretty good...just impatient. I want life to be back to normal and I know it isn't - can't be - yet. A girlfriend of mine stopped by this morning and she was "amazed" at how different I looked. Isn't it funny how quickly we forget what we looked like pre-surgery? When she said that, I just looked down and saw swelling...lots and lots of swelling. She hadn't seen me since the surgery so of course she was referring to the prego dome being gone, but I kinda forgot about that and just focused in on the massive spread of my hips, stomach and thighs. I know I am supposed to be patient, but patience never was one of my strong suits. Perhaps God teaches us lessons through tummy tucks, too!

I go back for my 4 wk PO appointment next Tuesday, then the Hubs and I are scheduled to fly to Aruba next Friday...I'll be 4.5 weeks PO. I'm starting to get a little nervous about the flight...blood clot paranoia. I have not tried on anything to take with me. Too scared to see if my old clothes still fit. And, how in the world am I supposed to take into account all of the swelling???

On a positive note, my recovery has been really good so far. I thought the recovery would be much worse than it has been. Some days are better than others, but that's life, right? :)

Posting week by week comparison...before and at 2 wks / 3 wks. I think it helps to take pics each week. Sometimes even we forget how much we improve week to week. Continued Happy Healing to all of my TT friends!

Had my 4 week post op appt with my PS yesterday. ...

Had my 4 week post op appt with my PS yesterday. Great visit...I go back in THREE MONTHS! Found out he took off about 12.5 inches of skin. That just seems crazy to me. He was initially worried I had too much "junky" skin above my BB and was worried about how it would look after he pulled it down, but he was very pleased with the result. As I told him, I am so happy with the result so far - swelling and all! I was never a bikini girl before kids / surgery and don't know that I will be after. I was most concerned with the diastasis recti separation and that's fixed it was totally worth it to me!

Leave in 2 days for vacation. He said I can go without my binder for about 3 hours a day (so no binder under my swimsuit while on the beach...whoo hoo)!

Funny 7 year old was learning about marsupials (carry thrir babies in a pouch on theit belly). He looked at me and said, "hey used to be a marsupial until that doctor got rid of your big old belly pouch". Out of the mouths of babes! We both got a big laugh!
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