Why didn't I take a picture? The doctor did and...
Why didn't I take a picture? The doctor did and it was traumatic enough. I guess I'll get a copy of hers and use it on a future post. I've whined and promised myself a tummy tuck for 10 years, since my youngest son was born. I was 110 pounds when I got pregnant with him; a waif by all standards. No muscle, no figure, just a teeny tiny stick person with a small pooch from my first son.
My first son was born when I was 20. I was a single mom with no clue what to expect but one expectation I did not have was to gain 73 pounds. I was active, I ate well, I did everything "right" and I blew up like a balloon. Scratch that!...a Macy's Day parade balloon...the kind one needs ropes to hold down from the belly. I was 100% belly. People made endless comments about how tiny I was everywhere else but my belly. How it was SO cute. My son was born C-section and when I deflated; I walked back into my 6 week appointment back to 115 pounds and no belly. I was all baby and fluid. It was then I noticed that other moms didn't look like me. They were shrinking but not like I did. They considered me SO lucky but I noticed right away that my belly just jiggled. It was flat, but it was dimpled and mushy. When I had my second son I thought I'd beat the weight gain and I worked out the entire time at pregnant person aerobics, kickboxing, and yoga. It really helped; I only gained 68 pounds all of which I carried in my belly! Again, six week appointment, deflated and the skin was awful.
By this time I was 26 and my friends were having babies too. They weren't like me. They were slowly shrinking, their skin was loose but it didn't hang like mine. I worked out every day. I was tiny again, a size 2 or 4, but with a belly I had to tuck into my jeans. Up until a few days ago I could grab a hunk of skin and flop it over my pants. To this day I do cardio 8 hours a week and I do sit ups, planks, and everything else someone who wants a flat tummy should do. For it, I seemed to be getting more flabby skin.
It was at my last GYN appointment that my doctor, who I love, mentioned my heart sounds awesome and asked about my workout routine. I almost burst into tears as I thanked him but admitted I hate my body with a passion. That I hated to look in the mirror, to get dressed, to wear and bathing suit and that it has nothing to do with anyone else. It was me. It was that I work so hard and all I really wanted was to wear pants without looking as if I sit my ass on the couch all day or stuff my face with donuts or be able to sit down in a dress without feeling my belly touch my thighs. His response was lovely. He said, "You look great. You really do, but if it bothers you, the only thing you can do is a tummy tuck. It's not fat, it's skin and you can't work it off."
Fast forward almost a year and OOPS, I broke my leg while working out (ahem, grrrr). As I laid there in the ER, my husband said, "If you want surgery anywhere, this is the time to do it." I'm not sure I would have thought of it had he not said it but he works alongside a great plastic surgeon at a local children's hospital. I went to her office. She gave me a price. I said let's do this. Three weeks ago I broke my leg. One week ago I got a tummy tuck.
Happy summer to me? Time will tell. It's really hard to declare "worth it" when you're swollen, can't get comfortable, recall the torturous first poop with stomach churning clarity, and have a bumpy scar.
I should be able to rock a hot bikini belly on two legs in a few weeks. My cast will be replaced with a fancy grey boot, but at least I will be able to put weight on it. By then I hope the massive amount of water I'm drinking will pay off, the boredom of lying in bed will feel like a distant memory, and I'll feel like a woman who works hard to deserve a new and improved flat tummy.
For those of you lying in bed wondering WTF you just did to yourself, I'm with ya, but here's to a speedy recovery and peace when you look in the mirror.
One Week AND One Day
I'm a sneak! LOL~ask my mom and she'd tell you about the time I got caught in high school sneaking off to a concert with my friend and a boy I wasn't supposed to be with. Eh, no big deal for a rowdy teenage girl...but while I waited for her to pick me up from my friend's house once we got back from the concert and busted by her mother, I sat on their porch and decided to sneak up on a feral cat, catch it, and stuff it in my pillow case. My mom picked me up, promptly starting yelling, stopped yelling long enough to take a breath, and "MEOW" went my pillow case. Oh she was PISSED but it gave her another reason to get all that mom frustration out and I got a cat so whatevs. :) What the heck does this have to do with a tummy tuck, you ask? Welllll....
I'm on a sports team. A tough girl kind. The kind where you slam into other girls on roller skates while wearing hot pants and saying lots of bad words. And guess what...they have no idea I had a tummy tuck! I've told 5 people, I think, none of which I spend countless hours with. I didn't want to hear about how thin I already was, how it was a waste of money, and blah, blah, blah. It's my body and my decision and my flab. No opinions required. BUT...as I went under last week I made one last verbal declaration..."I'll be at practice next Thursday."
Anyway, I had my first post-op yesterday and to my dismay, I only lost on drain. Darn it! But there was a beautiful moment. My doctor sat me up in the recliner chair and I glanced down. The glance became a bewildered gaze as I realized that while my tank top covered my scabby belly button and bumpy scar, there was no bulge hanging over my thighs. There was nothing but a flat, lean curve leading to my legs. It was the first time I felt excited about what I’ve put myself through and I gasped, “Look! My stomach is flat,” like a little kid!
After my appointment my husband took me for a glass of cheap wine and a gigantic salad. It was liquid heaven (the wine, not the salad). Then I came home and took off my binder, pinned my remaining drain to the tank top I wear underneath it, squeezed my flat little self back into my binder, put on a loose fitting sundress and VOILA, I WENT TO PRACTICE on my little scooter with my leg as my gimpy distraction. My teammates came over, they said hey, they said I look happy, they yacked it up, and the whole time I had a secret under my dress that I affectionately refer to as a blood grenade (oh, and some major abdominal surgery). They had no idea! Sneaky, right?! I watched practice thinking to myself things such as, "I'm SUCH a bad ass," "I'm gonna make hot pants hotter," and "my stomach is flatter than her stomach" (remember it’s a female sport, you can take the fat but not the caddy out of a girl). I left practice before they could notice my careful, slow-to-stand demeanor, hopped back on my scooter, and hit the road!
Last night still sucked. I want to lie down SO badly. I hate trying and failing to get comfy so that I can sleep. The worst is when you have to pee and you finally found “the spot” but have no choice but to get up and do it all over again. But one drain is better than two and I tell myself that there will come a time that I can push myself up and scoot off the bed without the sharp pain from lipo. I impressed the doctor with my recovery so far, but most of that stems from determination. I try not to look in the mirror because the swollen, bruised reality makes me forget it will go away and fuels my meltdowns when I hurt. Either way, I get the feeling within a week, I may just have to go from "not sure" to “worth it.”
What Goes Up Must Come Down
I got a shower last night and I did myself the disservice of looking in the mirror way too long. I feel like my right hip looks decent and my left side looks freaky. I think the left hip jets out more or has a dent or something.
This isn't a new thing. I mentioned it to my PS when I went a couple days ago and she said it was way too early to see any real results. I really like and trust her, and as I mentioned yesterday, I know my tummy is super flat, but should I worry I'm going to be permanently lopsided? The side that bulges/has a dent is the side the scar is puffy but, sigh...I gawked at myself and frowned about that for awhile. After an extended bitching session, my husband the nurse warned me to shut my face 'or else." Or else actually means nothing except he's over listening to me and not going to offer any additional reassurance so I shut up.
So then we went to the pool and while I didn't vocalize it, something else weird went on in my head. I looked at one of my closest friends, who has no kids (or belly like I did), but she has a figure. I starting thinking how she looked like a real woman and all the sudden I started to worry I'm going to look fake. Thoughts of my lopsidedness started spinning in my head and I started to worry that my new self is going to look ridiculous; that I'm going to hate myself for messing up what wasn't that bad to begin with. Then I got sucked further and further down the vortex of suck in my head, wondering if I'm too vain for my own good and thinking about how stupid I'm going to feel if I can't wear my jeans or favorite dresses again because I'm shaped funny.
Part of this may be that I've never had hips. No joke, that's why I had an emergency C-section with my first son...my doctor told me I couldn't "give birth to a Barbie" and to never attempt a VBAC. As I mentioned in my first post, I had a stick-like figure. Now all of the sudden, I'm afraid of having hips. I'm afraid of being disproportioned. I'm afraid I'm still going to hate when I look in the mirror. I thought my normal, optimistic attitude was winning. What the heck just happened?!
I would post a picture of said complaints but I haven't been around my camera/phone and a mirror at the same time. Maybe that's today's goal when I get another shower. I love letting the warm water hit my back! I may be gimpy but I'm squeaky clean!
Am I Disfigured?
I like positive things best, so I'm going to start with those.
1. My stomach is flat.
2. My recovery is going well
3. I'm still sneaking my surgery past everyone
BUT....my left side is funny looking. There is an indentation that then jets out right at the incision. Last night I was in lots of pain. I may have overdone it and been a little too active so for the first time in several days, I took pain killers and a muscle relaxer to sleep. Before falling asleep, however, I cried my eyes out and "hollered at the worms" (as my parents used to say), "Why did I do this to myself?"
I'm consumed with fear that the dent is permanent and that I went from a little bulge of loose skin to a stupid looking, uneven freak by choice. I know it hasn't been two weeks. I'm trying to have faith in the surgeon and in the whole healing process, but I saved my money for this. I don't want to be perfect, I just don't want to hate myself every time I look in the mirror and guess what; I hate myself right now.
Here's hoping I'm eventually proportionate.
Hairdresser Hype, Happiness, and Healing
I went to the salon to get my hair done for the first time in over a MONTH. Whew...I SO needed that! Seeing that hairdressers know who’s pregnant on purpose, who's pregnant by surprise, who just got a job, who lost a job, who's pissed at their mom, who's pissed at their husband, who’s having an affair, and who wishes they were; what right did I have to keep my secret from her? I confessed to her that I'd gotten a tummy tuck. Once she was done burbling about how I didn't need one, she wanted to see the results up close. Mind you I have Spanx on under my sundresses, so showing her was no small feat but I seized the opportunity to show someone other than my hubby and my mom so we went in the back and I showed her. She gushed over the results and how she couldn't believe it has only been two weeks then asked who did my surgery. This is where my color boost also became an additional confidence boost....
She asked who did my surgery and I told her. "Ohhhh my gooooossssshhhhhh," she squealed, "she's the best in the city! Do you realize that?! I've never heard one bad thing about her! I have four OR nursing clients that work with her in the operating room and every one of them always say they're amazed by her work! They say she's the best. They always say if someone ever asks about plastic surgeries, tell them she’s the one to go to! Oh, and I have a client that got a Mommy Makeover years ago and she still looks amazing!"
Maybe it's the cute auburn streaks highlighting the refreshed blonde color in my hair. Maybe it's that I've gotten out and about without pain. Maybe it's that I haven't had to do the housework in two weeks. Maybe it's because I went from a cast to a walking boot; I can't walk on it but I can access my leg to shave and dangle my legs in the pool. Maybe it's that my butt continues to perk despite not being able to roller skate. Maybe it's that I continue to keep my secret from everyone I don't choose to tell. Maybe it's that I finally cooked a real meal for my family (I love to cook). Maybe it was the wine I drank while getting my hair done; but I saw myself with different eyes today.
I've attached new pictures. I'm beginning to see my hips slowly evening out. I'm definitely still swollen and I still have that weird numbness in my abdomen, but I can see I'm shrinking! Plus, my scar is healing really well. There are some sections that are so faint and closed that I can barely see them! I can sit up, I don't like coughing, and sneezing is an unwelcomed event, but it's not all so bad anymore.
I go back for my next post-op on July 3rd at which point I expect to get the okay to massage the scar with lotion. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so skeptical when my doctor told me all of the above last week, but I doubted her because doubt is my thing (ahem, don’t judge). ;)
Happy healing and peace with your body!
A Before Picture!
I found a picture of myself in a bikini someone must have managed to take without me getting feisty (i.e. probably drinking on the beach). All the roundness in the front was jiggly skin that I could bunch up into a little "baby butt." I've tried on these same bikini bottoms and both my vertical and horizontal scars are completely hidden.
My First Work-Out
I hadn't really realized that I actually love working out until I broke my leg and found myself laid up. I'm really glad I decided to make my TT part of my overall recovery process. For those reading this early in what can be a frustrating and overwhelming journey, I was able to do a mini-work out today (18 days post op)! I couldn't run in place or do the abs section, but I did sit on the couch to work out my arms and I was able to do the leg exercises on the floor, even managing a few push ups! There was a tiny voice in the back of my head telling me I could manage a few sit ups, but common sense prevailed. 17 days ago, I couldn't imagine feeling this good! :)
Paranoia and Regrets
Boy, I hope I'm in a post-op funk! I went to my 3 week post op appointment on the 3rd and was told two things. One, I'll even out in my hips or they'll fix it in their office. Two, I have a little dog ear on the right hip that is driving me crazy. Somewhere between the swelling and the dog ear I guess I got bummed with the way I look now and for some stupid reason, I can't decide whether I like my new body or if I'm mad at myself for letting vanity get in the way of an imperfect but okay me.
I'm very sore again. I just starting sleeping flat and I love it going to sleep but I wake up pretty sore. On top of that, I feel so disproportionate, I've swelled up in a few places again, and I'm so sad about laying around (my leg might be playing into this drama).
Ugh...I hope all these feelings are normal because right now I regret just feeling like regular ol' me. I read through my previous posts and I can see the emotional roller coaster I'm obviously riding but it can stop now; I want off!
I have such a hard time being patient with recovery! I'm discovering I'm a "rather have something now than more of it later" kind of gal! Patience may be a virtue but waiting is not!!!!