New Year, New Me -DE

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Happy new year everyone! Last year (Jan 2016) I...

Happy new year everyone! Last year (Jan 2016) I made a resolution to lose weight and get down to my pre-baby weight. My ultimate goal was to lose the weight so I could have my surgery by 2017. Come September I was close so I scheduled my consult. I was following RS for quite some time so I had already made my decision and knew who I wanted to see. Dr Saunders, his coordinator, and staff so far have been great.
Ok so I am a 33 yr old mom of 4. I had my first child when I was 22. My first pregnancy was the one that gave me my stretch marks and muscle separation, so it pretty much got worse after each pregnancy. I gained about 50lbs each pregnancy and my kids were all 8lbs 9oz and bigger! After baby number 4 I was at my heaviest weight ever. I weighed about 180 and lost 10 lbs. but stayed at 170. So last year I set my goal for 130lbs and worked my butt off. I lost 40 lbs! Calorie counting, running/walking, and weight lifting sucks, but I guess it's good for me lol! However afterwards I was left with saggy abdominal skin and deflated orangutan boobs haha! Put on 5lbs over the holidays but I'm pretty confident I can lose it before surgery.
I am 5'3", 135lbs. I'm getting a tummy tuck with MR and breast lift with silicone implants.

Before pics

Here's some before pics....yikes! View at your own risk haha! I'm not brave enough to go topless, but there are some "PG" boob pics. Your still able to see how flat and saggy they are. I'll take after pics in the same tank top so I can compare.

Pre-op done!

So back in September, scheduling a pre-op in January seemed so far away. But it is done, and boy is surgery super close! 16 more days!!! I was feeling nervous and had a million things/questions going on in my mind. Dr Saunders was kind and relaxed and took the time to answer any questions or concerns that me or my husband had. I was given my prescription for pain medication and a list of some things I will be needing after surgery. So I'll have to go pick that stuff up soon. Dr Saunders' coordinator Stacy is fabulous as well! She is just an incredibly nice person and she is great at what she does. Surgery is officially paid for in full! Now it's just time to wait for the big day :)

T-minus 7 hours.....

In less than 7 hours I'll be scheduled to arrive at the hospital! Wow this came quicker than I thought! I spent all week preparing-grocery shopping and meal planning, cleaning, laundry, even a school project and class valentines are complete! I'm kind of nervous, which isn't like me b/c I'm a nurse, so I'm usually pretty cool and calm when it comes to medical stuff. I keep trying to think positive though and seeing everyone's awesome results gets me excited!

I had plans on buying a bikini to take before pics in, but I never got around to it. So I took some pics in an old tankini I had. Hope everyone is doing great and I'll post an update as soon as I can!

Sneak peek

Hi everyone! So I had my surgery yesterday! Wasn't able to update right away b/c I had a long day battling nausea ugh! After the anesthesia and then every time they gave me pain medicine. So I got my pain medicine switched to something else and they gave me a stronger nausea medicine. My breasts don't hurt at all. My worst complaint right now is my back pain lol! Any way here's a quick pic I took when they released my binder. I'll be taking more soon!

Post op day 2

Today I am feeling pretty good for post op day 2. In the morning I was feeling a little dizzy, so I increased my fluids and it went away. I didn't drink much yesterday when I got home. Pain isn't too bad. Just really sore. My back actually feels the worst from being hunched over lol! I also have a burning pain in my left groin at times. Taking my pain pills every 8 hours or so. Motrin here and there too. Releasing my binder and bra every 4 hours for circulation. My pubic area looks like it's swelling a little as well. Overall I feel pretty good :) going to try showering tomm, so I'll be able to get some better pics to compare to my before. Now I just need to have a BM and my day will be complete haha! Hope everyone is doing well!

Post op day 4

Hello ladies! Having a great day today! Yesterday I felt like my recovery was going backwards, as I had a very rough morning. It's amazing how constipation will make you sick ugh. I woke up in very bad pain and I thought my intestines were going to explode. Also very nauseous and didn't eat all day :( I hadn't had a bm since 2 days BEFORE surgery so I was miserable. Took about 5 different things and finally in late afternoon I went and I felt way better! I now understand why everyone raves on here about pooping haha!

So today I woke up, a little sore, started my day with Motrin. Pain was tolerable but I was going to be venturing upstairs to shower so took some stronger medication. First shower was a success! Boy it feels good to be clean!

My husband has been so wonderful this whole time. He's been taking care of me and our 4 kids. He's emptying my drains and keeping the drain log, he does my bra and binder, he bathed me, cleaning, cooking, you name it! And he's treating me to some homemade vodka rigatoni tonight for Valentine's Day! I'm very lucky to have him :)

Any way here's some comparison pics. I can't wait to stand normal b/c I feel like these pics aren't that great. Hope you are all feeling well!

1st post op appointment

Hey guys! So I had my first post op today. Everything looks good so far. Steri strips, drains, etc intact. I had my belly button stitches removed. Drains are still in for another week :( I go back again next Friday.

Pain in my abdomen and breasts is very minimal, however my back is killing me! I still am not standing straight and I'm still sleeping in a chair. Once I'm able to stand straight I think this recovery will be so much easier.

I get a lot of swelling at the end of the day. I feel like my stitches are going to burst open lol! Other than that nothing new to report. No news is good news right?! Hope you are all doing well :)

Some questions and quick update

Hi guys! So today my husband went back to work. It's the first day home with half of our kids. The older 2 go to school while the younger 2 stay with me. I've been feeling pretty good. Pain is minimal, take Motrin or Tylenol here and there. Just uncomfortable. I'm still not standing straight, still sleeping in a chair, so my back is most of my issue right now. When did you stand normal?? Tried sleeping in bed a couple days ago but when I rolled to my side my boobs and chest HURT! Did this happen to anyone else?! I dont think I've entered "swell hell" yet. I do feel puffy at night, but it's not terrible. I've been drinking green tea in the late afternoon so I'm not sure if that is helping?! When did major swelling start for you? My drains are draining less every day and they are coming out on Friday (yay!). Hope you are all doing great!

Crazy day today!

Hello there! So today was an exhausting day. I woke up this morn and felt terrible. I had some pain and swelling on my right hip, low fever (100.3) with chills, increased drainage in my left drain. Add aunt flow and some cramps and that just made for an emotional breakdown. It seems like a lot of ladies get this during their recovery so I guess today was my day. I started crying b/c "I'm never going to get better", "I just want to be back to normal", "I feel like a burden" and " I feel so stupid walking around like a hunchback or old lady"

After feeling sorry for myself (lol) I called my doc and they had me come in tonight. Turns out everything is ok.
-the increased "swelling" and pain is my hip bone haha!
-the increased drainage could have been a small hematoma that burst and that sometimes can cause a low grade fever.

He said that everything looks good, no signs of an infection which was my concern. Since my drainage increased, my drains have to stay in for another week though ugh! And he said it's ok that I can't stand straight yet b/c that means that he made everything super tight.

My boobs are not a problem at all. Still hard and swollen. I believe they dropped a little, but will prob drop more.

Hope you are all healing and feeling well :)

Day 15 pics

So here's some updated pics. I know they aren't too great but I'm hoping once I get these drains out and can stand straight, I can try on bathing suits, etc and get better pics. My belly button stitches are out though, so I just have some scabbing. But it's cute and it turned out nice!

Goodbye drains!

I am so happy to be saying that my drains are finally out!!!!! What a relief to have them out. Dr's assistant said that once drains come out, patients tend to finally stand straight. So here's to hoping this is the case for me. My back could really use a break. I'm afraid I'm going to be permanently hunched for the rest of my life haha!

The assistant also took my steri strips off of my abdominal scars. My scars look really really ugly and bumpy, and wrinkly as of now lol. I'm hoping that in time, it will flatten and look like a plain old scar. But at least I am moving forward and getting better each day.

Steri strips are still on my breasts. Right breast is sore and stiff compared to the left. I feel like the left has settled in and the right is still out of place. Hopefully the right will settle in too.

Other than that, nothing new to report. Hope everyone is healing and feeling well :)

Week 3......

Hi ladies! So I'm starting to get back into my routine however I'm still not back to my old self yet. No more pain, just a little sore by the end of the day. Still not standing completely straight, but getting there. Since I'm not hunched any more, my back pain has subsided.

My only complaint right now is that I'm SO itchy! My incisions and my abdomen has a rash from the binder chafing. And my skin on my abdomen and breasts is really dry and flaky. I guess I'd rather be itchy than in pain though.

Hope everyone is feeling good and healing well :)

Let's get real......

Ok so feeling a little discouraged today. But if I only posted the "good" pictures than this review wouldn't be real. Some women's scars and skin on their tummies look beautiful. However, right now I am not one of them lol! I wasn't expecting my stomach to look perfect, but my stomach and scars look downright UGLY. I'm hoping it's all part of the healing process and maybe the swelling and rash has something to do with it. After having kids, I never showed my tummy off anyway, but I had a small glimmer of hope of the possibility of wearing a bikini again. If it stays this way, I am ok with it though. Overall I think it's an improvement and my tummy is way flatter than it was before for sure. I'll just have to find an awesome one piece to rock this summer :)

Side note-Tried on a pair of jeans today too, hoping for them to be looser and they were SO tight! Haha! Just not my day today. I think I'm jumping into things and getting ahead of myself. Just have to give it some time!

Comparison pics

Hey friends! So I put together some comparison pics. Took these at the end of the day so I'm still pretty swollen, but overall I'm loving my results. My scars are still pretty dark and red, but they are def starting to look flatter and better every day!

I'm standing straight, just can't put my shoulders back yet. Still sleeping on my back, so my back does still ache at times. Finally getting back to my routines and cleaning more without getting fatigued right away.

Overall feeling pretty good! I hope you are all doing well and I love seeing everyone's updates. I appreciate all of your kind words and encouragement. So glad we all have each other through this life changing experience ?

Shut the front door!

So when I took off my binder today and looked in the mirror, I almost fell over......dear god was I seeing ab definition?! I think I'm seeing an ab "line" above my belly button yay! Saw my doc today for a follow up and everything looks good! Still swollen but that's normal. I was given the ok to exercise-just no extreme heavy lifting. I was also given my silicone strips to start scar treatment yay! Feeling pretty much back to myself. Been cleaning, cooking, driving, shopping around, etc. I don't have pain, just a little stiff in my abs when I stand. Just waiting on my swelling and stiffness to go away! Hope you are all feeling good!

6 weeks tomorrow!

Hey there! So I'll be 6 weeks tomorrow. Feeling pretty good, almost back to normal. Still have some stiffness and swelling in both my breasts and tummy. Started working my arms this week with some light weights. Also did a couple easy butt exercises to get this flat ass back in shape lol! Hoping the weather will be nicer soon, so I can get back to my walking. I go back to work tomorrow night. A little worried b/c I still get pretty swollen by the end of the day, and that's when I'll be beginning my 12 hour shift. Hoping it's not too uncomfortable. I don't usually work night shift though, so I don't mind doing it every now and then. Anyways, took some new comparison breast photos. Pretty happy with my results! Just would like them to soften up and become more squishy. Hope you are all doing well :)


So with a little bit of patience and time, i am finally seeing an overall improvement of my scars. They are not "pretty", but they look way better! They have flattened out for sure. I started my scar treatment last week. I was given Epi-Derm silicone gel sheets. After one week I don't really notice a difference, but of course it will take time. My scars are a dark purplish color, so I'm hoping these scar sheets will lighten them a little bit. I'm 7 weeks post op tomm and feeling good! I finally fit into a pair of jeans! Yay! Still dealing with swelling at the end of the day, but it's definitely not quite as bad. My stomach is still numb too. No big complaints which I am greatful for. Hope you are all feeling good and doing well :)

Good morning!

Hey ladies! So I realized that most of my pics are taken at night when I'm swollen. Mostly b/c that's when my monsters, um I mean kids, are in bed ;) So I woke up feeling pretty flat and thought I'd take a few pics. Don't mind my crooked bra lol! I guess it shifted when I was sleeping. Hope you are all having a great day today!

2 months post op :)

Hello ladies! Just wanted to add some quick pics and a quick update. One of these days I will get some alone time, other than grocery shopping, to get some real bras and a bathing suit lol! Pretty busy right now with 3 of my 4 kids in sports. But when I do, you guys will be the first to know lol! Still a little swelling by the end of the day, but otherwise doing all of my normal daily routines. Taking it slowly to get back into the exercise scene, but I notice I can do more and get stronger with each workout. Wasn't given the ok to exercise my abs yet, but I will be seeing doctor in May and I'm not in any rush ;) Breasts are still a little stiff and I thought they had dropped, until my right breast actually dropped. So now my boobs are a little crooked but in time my left will drop as well. Hope you are all feeling good and have a great week!

Hello swelling my old friend.......

Hey ladies! Love seeing all your reviews and updates! It's truly amazing to see your transformations and I am in awe at what the human body and all of you are capable of. This journey is not easy and it's long and takes a lot of patience. And I'm learning that on a week to week basis. Just when I thought my swelling was subsiding, add a harder workout this week and Aunt Flo by the end of it and BAM!-back to swell hell lol! It's ok though b/c even though I'm bloated like a blowfish, I still look way better than I did before. Going to take it easy the next couple days and start up again next week. Overall feeling good. Still waiting on my left breast to drop, but when it does you will all be the first to know ;) Hope you all enjoy your weekend and happy healing!

When life gives you lemons.......

.......sometimes it's hard to make I was very excited to go shopping this past weekend. I had waited til my almost 3 month mark for things to settle in before buying myself some new things. I had planned on getting new clothes, but my main goal was to try on bathing suits and to get an actual bra to wear instead of a sports bra all the time. Surely shopping for clothes would be more enjoyable than it was in the past right?! Wrong! Bathing suit shopping was really discouraging. I don't know if it was my super pale skin or the extremely bright lights in the dressing room, but all I saw was cellulite legs and lots of back fat! I think I'm so damn flat on the front, that my back looks chunky lol! I know I just started easing back into working out, so I'm hoping I'll tone it all up soon. Next I went to Victoria's Secret and some department stores to look at bras. I was disappointed b/c I was looking for something bright and summery, but there isn't many options for wireless bras. Tan, gray, white, black. Boring! I mean I have these new pretty boobs so I want some new pretty bras lol! So I'll have to see what I can find online. I did however get some shirts and shorts so there's that at least :) To end my weekend, I have 2 spitting stitches on my right hip area. They are reddened and the one had some drainage coming from it, so I hope that a wound/hole isn't forming. Thank goodness I have my 3 month follow up tomm so I'll see what he says. Even though it wasn't my weekend, hopefully I'll have my turn to model a bathing suit soon! Hope you are all doing well and had a nice weekend :)

3 month check up!!!!!

Ok so I had my 3 month post op appointment a couple days early. Everything looks good so far. He wasn't concerned about the spitting stitches, he just simply removed them with tweezers and scissors. He was however concerned about my belly button. He said I have some hypertrophic scarring so he said to continue with silicone strips or try Mederma and see him again in 6 weeks. He also noticed how my left breast was still sitting high and said to give it the full 6 months before having to go in surgically to drop it. I'm confident that it will do it on its own. It really dropped a good amount last week so I'm thinking it's on it's way :) Other than that he is pleased so far with my results and so am I! I'm supposed to continue with the silicone sheets as well. I don't really notice a difference, but I included some comparison pics. The first pic is before the sheets and the second pic is after 6 weeks of treatment. I was also given the full go ahead on exercising too! Woo hoo! No more restrictions!

Six pack of OUCH!

So I was cleared to do all types of exercise and I was really excited to work out my new abs. I figured I'd start out with something really easy like a basic crunch. Yeah nope! My abs were not having any type of ab anything lol! Everything I tried hurt and I would get a shocking pain above my belly button. Has this happened to anyone? What kind of ab exercises would you recommend after a muscle repair? Going to try again next week. Maybe I just need to give it time-which wouldn't be unusual lol. This whole surgery has been "just give it time" haha! And it's SO true :)

Waist Trainer

Hi RS friends! Just wanted to add a couple pics of what I use while exercising. It is a "waist trainer" but I don't use it for that. I use it while exercising b/c it provides very firm compression and I feel like it supports my core while doing strenuous things like squats or lunges, etc. I bought it on Amazon for super cheap, under $20. Its latex, has the metal clasps, and has flexible boning. Hope you are all doing well. Happy healing :)

Almost there but.........

Good morning ladies! Today marks 3.5 months post op for me! I am pretty much back to normal. I'm back to my daily routines/chores and back to exercising. Not lifting super heavy weights, but I'm increasing slowly. Just not able to do hardcore abs. Even though the doc repaired my diastisis, I do exercises for diastisis b/c they are safe for the core and they put very little strain on my abs. The updated pics I provided I'm of course a little puffy b/c my period is coming. And the belly button I decided to switch to mederma, so that's after 2 weeks of mederma. I'm going to list below some very minor concerns/gripes I have, but all of them have a solution, it will just take some time :)
1. My left breast has not dropped. I've been massaging, pushing, and strapping that sucker for weeks now, but it will not budge! I'm feeling a very minor surgery in my future :(
2. Still get a good amount of swelling, but it's only when my period is coming. It's not that bad any other time of the month.
3. I'm afraid I may have a dog ear on my left could still flatten, if not it's an easy fix.
4. My tummy tuck scar is really dark and ugly. There are also these red dots that are appearing near my scar line. From a spitting stitch? Not sure. I don't feel a stitch like I have before. When I take off my silicone strips, the area with the red dots is moist ew! If anyone knows what it is or had this before let me know! I'm afraid to put the strips back on!
5. I cannot find a darn bathing suit! I see all of you lovely ladies modeling your new bathing suits and I just don't like the way anything fits me :( Needless to say it's frustrating but I will eventually find one!
6. Ive been getting some burning pains in my flanks from time to time and they are pretty sore at times. I'm guessing my nerves are waking up from the lipo I had?! I see my Dr next month so I will talk to him about my concerns and I'll have more info for all of you then! Hope you are all healing and feeling well :)

Yay or Nay?

Hi there! Hope you are all feeling great and having a good day :) Just wanted to share some pics today! Ok so I've been really having a hard time finding a bikini/swimsuit that I really like. I've been to multiple stores, tried on some with no luck. I ordered this one from Amazon. I wanted something "momish". Didn't want anything too stringy or busty or sexy as I have 4 children I will be chasing around, etc. Let me know what you ladies think....does it look cute or do I look like I'm wearing a sports bra with granny panties haha! Also included some boob pics. I wasn't wearing a bra with this tank top and I must say not too bad ;) you can however see how my left breast is sitting higher and has not dropped. Overall I am incredibly happy with my results and happy I did this!

4 Months Post op!

What's new?
•Cardio- started jogging again this week :)
•Abdominal exercises aren't as difficult or painful like they were at 3 months.
•Haven't worn a binder at all for 2 weeks now. Only my waist trainer while exercising. I used my binder for 14 weeks straight b/c I was scared to go without it lol! Swelling hasn't been bad. Just have minimal swelling by the end of the day. We shall see what happens when Aunt Flo arrives....
•Dropped my silicone sheets on the carpet. Attempted to pick off every little hair or fuzzy but decided to ditch them and start using Mederma. Belly button before and after pics-4.5 weeks of Mederma. TT before and after pics-2.5 weeks with Mederma.

Still the same?
•My left breast has not dropped. Still firm as well. Both nipples and some skin around my nipples are numb
•Still numb below my BB
•Lipo areas to flanks still sore at times
•BB scar is still hard and red (hypertrophic scar). Silicone sheets or Mederma has not changed it.
•My TT scars are still dark purple/red and ugly...however they are getting flatter which is good!

I see my doc this month and hopefully I'll have more updates on my scars and that stubborn left boob. Overall I am greatful for an uneventful healing process and am so happy I did this! Hope you are all feeling and healing well :)

Short and Sweet :)

Hey guys! Just leaving a quick update! Had an appointment with my doc yesterday. We discussed my left implant not dropping. He asked me if I felt comfortable wearing a bathing suit this summer. It really isn't too noticeable, I just know it's there. He said if I feel ok in a suit then we can wait the full 6 months and go from there. I'm hoping that by some magical phenomenon this darn thing just drops haha!

I also have hypertrophic scarring to my BB. He injected some steroids into my BB and wants me to see him in 6 weeks. Started using Biocorneum on my scars 2 days ago too. Hopefully that will help my BB. Started a new review if you were curious about it for scar treatment :)

Everything else is great! I can finally say that I feel normal again! I'm so glad I chose to do this for myself! Best....decision....EVER!!!!!

5 months!

Hi friends! Yesterday I hit 20 weeks post op :) I remember thinking I would never get better and be hunched for life (lol!), but my how time is flying! I feel great and I hope you all do too ??

What's new?!
• Saw my PS a couple weeks ago. Had hypertrophic scarring that was red and hard around my BB. Dr injected steroid into my BB and I started Biocorneum treatment and my BB is still red, but not as bad. And it is no longer hard or "rope like"
•Ab exercises- Each week I can do more and it's not painful anymore! Hoping to get some kind of six pack in the future ;)
•Been getting some occasional random shocking pains in breasts and abdomen...maybe nerves growing back?!
•My tummy is not hard like a's getting softer and starting to feel like a normal tummy

Still the same?!
•My left breast has not used to be firm and has softened a little. Seeing the Dr in July to discuss this further.
•Breasts and tummy still numb
•Still get some soreness at lipo areas at times
•Still swell after long days on my feet and when Aunt Flo comes to visit. Although it's getting less and less over time :)

It's official-need a revision

Hey ladies! So I'm 24 weeks post op. I would like to say 6 months, but RS doesn't agree with that just yet lol! Everything is great! Lifting weights, cardio, life-all back in full force :) Still get some swelling, but usually during my period or if I eat food that is unhealthy.

There is only one left implant has not dropped and I saw my Dr this week. He is going to go ahead and drop the implant surgically. Minor surgery, won't have nearly as much pain or down time, but I really wish I didn't have to go through it ugh! He is not charging me, however he operates at a hospital and I will be charged for anesthesia and the OR suite by the hospital. Have to call Dr Saunders' coordinator and set it all up and find out how much this will cost me and a surgery date. Big shout out to my Dr b/c I explained it may have to wait due to financial reasons, and he offered to split the cost with me and pay for half!!!! That was extremely generous of him and I am so happy I chose him as my Dr!

Hope you are all well and enjoying your summer :)

Quick update

Hey ladies! Just a quick update with new pics. Wanted to show you a recent pic of my scars and some new clearance swim suits I bought. I didn't buy a bikini this summer b/c my BB scar was so red, I didnt want it getting worse. Hopefully next summer a bikini awaits me! My TT scars are fading, but as you can see my BB is still red and ugly :/ Hoping in time it will just fade like my TT scar. I've tried 3 different scar regimens so far and right now I'm currently using Palmers cocoa oil.
Just got back from vacation, celebrating both of my sons bdays this week, back to school events/meetings for 3 different schools, sports, and throwing a party this Saturday. Needless to say I haven't lifted a weight and my diet has been horrendous. Gained a couple lbs too yikes! Hoping to get back on track after the holiday and also schedule my revision :)
Newark Plastic Surgeon

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