I Have Joined All of You Fabulous Ladies on the FLAT SIDE! (TT, Breast Lift no implants, Lipo to hips and back) - Denver, CO

Hi all! I have been an avid follower of this site...

Hi all! I have been an avid follower of this site for the last couple of years, and I am thrilled to be able to join in the conversation with my own journey. I am a 31 year old mom of 4. 5'6 and weigh 188 pounds. My kids ages are 10, 7, 4 and 1. I first began thinking about a tummy tuck after my 3rd was born and after the fourth came along with a c-section, well that was it. I was going to get a tummy tuck! I had the awful saggy mommy pooch along with my stomach sticking out from some muscle separation. I began researching several doctors in my area and eventually landed on one that I really liked. Dr. Vath was great during the consultation, very professional and never made me feel awkward or uncomfortable. I set up the pre-op and surgery dates immediately after that visit with him.
I decided on a drainless tummy tuck with muscle repair, breast lift and lipo to my hips and upper back area. At the pre-op appointment I paid in full and had the dreaded before pictures taken. Seriously can they make smaller "panties" for you to model in?! Ugh! Had the blood draw done and got my prescriptions and post op instructions to take home. All I had left to do was get through the holiday season and wait anxiously for January 2nd!
My parents, brother and sister came out for Christmas, which kept me busy and distracted. Less time stressing about the surgery and more time being hostess! My oldest child's birthday is the 27th of December so we were plenty busy. My parents and brother stuck around until last night, they left a few hours after I got home from the surgery. They stayed to watch our kids while my husband drove me to the surgery center and brought me home.
I had pre-prepped some things for recovery; I picked up a walker for back support, lots of low sodium soups, jello, gauze pads, magazines, books, healthy snacks (veggies, almonds, etc) And of course filled my prescriptions to bring down to surgery with me.
We arrived at the surgery center yesterday at 6am, where they did the iv, compression socks, markings and post op instruction review. They injected a relaxing drug into my iv and that is the last thing I remember until I woke up in alot of pain. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep. But it was time to get ready to go, so they wheeled me out to the car where my husband helped me get in and we began the hour long journey home. We had to change my compression garment and clothes right away as they were soaked from leaking lipo spots. That wasn't much fun at all. I didn't get much sleep last night, everything hurt, back, hips, tummy from ribs down and all along the incision line. It's amazing how any movement is excruciating. I have been taking 2 percocet every 5 hours and a valium every 6. I also added in stool softeners and have been drinking tons of water.
My hubby helped me take a shower earlier today which was a bit of a chore to get into, but once I was sitting there with the hot water running on my back, it felt amazing. I didn't want to get out! My hubby was pleasantly surprised at how everything looked, he didn't expect so much of a change, that lifted my spirits up quite a bit.
I'm pretty tired now but would love to hear from you on any tips you might have for making the recovery a bit easier. Chat more later : )
Happy Healing Girls!

Day 2, not much better than the 1st

Had a mini meltdown today, I was in so much pain. It didn't seem like the pain meds were working all that great. I couldn't find a comfortable position in any of my 3 spots around the house. We called and talked to Dr. Vath who said I could take 2 percocets every 4 hours instead of 5-6, so hopefully that helps. He also said the first 3 days are the worst. I'm not used to being off of my feet and relying so heavily on others, so I get frustrated that I can't do anything on my own. My kids keep asking "when is mommy going to be feeling better?" And my one year old follows me around when I do my little rounds through the house, it's terrible not to be able to pick him up and hold him. I just keep telling myself, this is temporary and I will have the rest of my life ahead of me to enjoy this new sexy bod! : ) I plan on posting pics again in another day or so. The lipo spots seem to be a little less bruised and I am starting to have some itching, so I'm thinking that's a good thing. Hope you all are doing well!

Day 4 = Better + Bloated, UGH!

Today I'm able to move around better; off the percocet as of this morning and taking extra strength tylenol. I am still doing the valium as I feel so much pressure around the mid-section. TMI alert: definitely been gassy but able to pass it on my own for the most part, but haven't had a BM since the night before surgery. Despite taking stool softeners daily, miralax daily for the last 3 days and eating a fiber bar every day for a snack. I would think something would happen soon. Made my hubby go out and buy milk of magnesia which I think I will try tomorrow if nothing happens today. I think all the pressure and discomfort I am feeling is from being constipated. Sorry about the gory details but hey, info. is a good thing right!?
My 4 year old son started back to preschool today, while our other kids picked up on our regular homeschooling as well. I typically handle all of that so doing my best to assist the hubby on what they should be doing. In his defense he has been handling the kids like a champ and doing a great job taking care of me. I am so lucky! Can't imagine how anyone can survive this on their own, serious props to those ladies!!
I have been able to stand up a little bit straighter each day, although my back still kills. I don't know if it's from being hunched over or the lipo I had done there, either way I don't feel like I have much strength to hold myself up just yet. Need some kind of support for my upper body, SO glad I got the walker!!
I have been trying to get up and move around as much as possible, taking short walks around the house every time I get up to go to the bathroom makes me feel better.
Don't even notice the boobs, no pain or tenderness there. It doesn't even feel like I had anything done there. So, ladies that's a bonus. If you are considering a breast lift with a tummy tuck, there won't be any pain noticed it's ALL in the tummy area. Kind of like 2 for the price of one in the pain department.
Will add some more photos today, thinking of you all!

Pics from Today

Things are looking up!

I took some of milk of mag this morning and finally had a bm, wow that made me feel so much better! Highly recommend that, miralax didn't work for me at all. I am now only taking extra strength tylenol for pain, I don't like how loopy all of the drugs make you feel. I still have some valium which I am not opposed to taking if I need to, just hoping I don't.
Took a nice long 3 hour nap this afternoon, the longest I have been able to sleep at one time since the surgery, that made me feel much more like myself too. I have also been able to start going to the bathroom by myself, albeit slowly and surely, but still PROGRESS!
I received a lovely get well card in the mail from a friend today, such a nice simple gesture but it had me in tears. It meant a lot to me that she took the time to send one. It's the little things.
My hubby had me laughing this morning and I couldn't stop, it hurt so bad!! I thought I was going to split in half but I just couldn't stop, I finally had to bight my hand to slow it down. Man when they say laughing, coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose and anything else associated hurts, it's no joke!
That's all for today, wishing you all happy healing and happy thoughts!!

Survived the First Week!!

Today was day 7 post op, I feel pretty good especially given where I was even just a couple of days ago. I am taking extra strength tylenol and half a valium only for pain and it seems to be doing the job. My only real pains are the space between my belly button and sternum, it feels kind of hard when I touch it and it's definitely the sorest spot. I had my one week post op phone call today (Dr. V's office is ok with a phone follow up as long as everything is going well) and asked about that and she said that it is totally normal. Apparently that is where he sewed me a "six pack" and it will be sore for awhile to come. Six pack!? Say what, that would be awesome! That's when she recommended the half a valium, it just helps take the edge off of the pain. My other main complaint would be the lower back, man it kills. Even with the walker it's bad, so I don't know how you guys do it without it! I have been sitting on a heating pad a couple of times a day and it seems to be helping. Otherwise my bruising from the lipo has lightened up extensively and all of my incision areas are looking good. And I can almost stand up straight, wahoo!!
Even with everything going so well I have been having some feelings of guilt. Especially since it's the beginning of the year and weight loss/workout stuff is ALL over the place, I wonder did I take the easy way out, should I have just tried to lose a bunch of weight instead? I don't want to be a size 6, just have my shape back! Not many people know about my surgery, not because I'm ashamed of it, but I expect a lot of judgement I would rather not deal with. Anyone else have any feelings of guilt like they took the easy way out? I guess I go back and forth because I am really happy with my results, I never thought I could look this good again but still those thoughts creep up once in awhile. My husband is very reassuring, he looks at me every day and is continuing to be happy with the dramatic change he didn't expect so that always feels good. I suppose these roller coaster emotions are completely normal, just wondering if any of you ladies experienced anything similar.
Nights have been awful too, for some reason I feel so squished in my midsection like I am going to explode, so I haven't been getting much sleep. It only feels like that late at night. What is that about?! I have definitely been able to "clean out the system" and feel much better in that regard. I think I might try sleeping in a really comfy chair tonight instead and see if that is any better.
My kids are being great helpers to the hubby, they keep asking me if I'm ok. Two of them even drew me get well cards that I have next to the bed, such luv bugs!
Happy Healing Ladies and Calm Anticipation for those getting ready for this!!
P.S. Super Granny Panties are the BOMB! : )
Photos to follow!

Photos at one week

First outing today, go Super Target!

Decided I felt up to a little venture to super target with the family. Needed a few things and I wanted to get out of the house, plus they have those awesome scooters so I wouldn't have to walk the whole way. We get there and I got on one of them, along with my 4 year old son sitting between my legs and off we go with hubby and other kids in tow with a regular cart. Got a few sideways glances, but I was riding that thing proudly! : ) We get to the back of the store and the scooter noticeably slows down, I mean like soon to be dead slows down. I panicked a little, I can't walk all the way back up to the front opposite corner of the store, eeek! I had visions of trying to squish my tush into the regular cart or being stranded while waiting to be rescued by some lovely target employee who could bring back the only other scooter up there! Alas, my ever thinking husband decided to push the scooter with the regular cart while we "drove" to the front of the store. What a sight to be seen, near dead scooter with a seemingly fine woman and 4 year old being pushed by a cart with a 1 year old in it all pushed by my husband and 7 and 10 year old in tow. Yes, some sideways glances were received, but it worked! I managed to park that lame scooter back in the front and plug it in (for all that was worth) and hobble my way out to the car holding onto the cart for support. Success!
We got home I was feeling pretty sore, time for meds which the hubby has been diligently recording and giving me. I felt pretty dang good this morning, hence the target outing, so I'm super psyched that "yay, I'm finally feeling a little more like myself" I even showered standing up today! He gives me my extra strength tylenol and a valium, to which I said "um isn't it supposed to be a half a valium? That's what I took this morning right?" to which he replied "nope, you had a whole one"
Ugh, what a bummer, it was mostly the drugs making me feel all good. Oh well, standing up in the shower and making it through target are still big bonuses in my book!
Having some swelling happening, you can kind of see in the photos from yesterday. It's primarily around the hip area where I had lipo, and the incision across my abdomen. Feels really puffy and tender so doing my best to be gentle with those areas. Thankfully no redness or other bad indicators.
By the way, as a follow up to the granny panties comment. I found some maternity underwear that I accidentally bought when I was pregnant with one of the kids, you know the kind that came up over your whole belly and halfway up your back? (not what I wanted at the time, mind you) Well, I decided to try those and pull them up between the compression garment and my skin and boy is it so much more comfortable! So there's the explanation of the granny panties as the bomb : )
Thinking of you all!! Hugs, Hugs, Hugs!

Did the Forbidden Weigh In today..

So I decided to weigh myself today, day 9 post op, but first I should clarify. I put my weight at 188 in the beginning of this blog. That was my weight about a month before surgery (like before the holiday season) I refused to get on the scale after that because I'm the type of person, the more I stress about my weight the more I gain/don't lose. If I just try to live a healthy lifestyle with food/exercise I lose. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I gained a few pounds since that last weigh in, you know christmas cookies, tenderloin with mushroom butter sauce, rolls covered in melted butter, peppermint mochas, godiva cheesecake.....sorta makes me hungry. So I'm guessing weight on surgery day was probably closer to 191ish.
I had read that we shouldn't weigh or measure ourselves so soon after surgery given swelling and all the other nastiness associated with recovery, but I couldn't help myself. Ladies, I lost 10 pounds...yes 10 pounds! I couldn't believe it, probably has a bit to do with skin/fat removal and some to do with the clean and light eating I have been doing since recovery. I have also noticed I can't eat as much as I could before, which is just fine with me.
Then I just had to see if my pre-op pants would fit (as I had also read that there was a very good possibility they wouldn't so soon after). Size 32r curvy from the gap (my faves) which is a 14. I got them on with a tank underneath the compression garment in the jeans and room to spare! In fact they were loose everywhere. I was so excited, haven't felt that good about myself in years.
So I guess the moral of this post is, it's tough navigating this road of recovery, but SO worth it. I had a few cry spells of what was I thinking this hurts so bad, and should I really have spent so much money on this?? But today was an amazing day. Hang tough, know there will be bumps but they will be in your rearview before you know it and you'll be facing the gorgeous new you ahead. I can't wait to see how my body continues to change as the healing process progresses. I will be putting up photos tomorrow so you can see the healing as it continues.
HUGS to you all!!

Entering the Infamous Swell Hell

So, I have entered the fabulous (insert eye roll) swell hell as of yesterday. Up until then I didn't have much swelling at all, just primarily in the lipo areas, which has significantly decreased. I have the oh so sexy, "ken doll" thing happening too, which was fun explaining to the hubby. He still helps me get dressed in the mornings after my shower sometimes when I am stiff/sore. He saw me in my undies and was like "uh, you look pretty swollen" and I told him "yeah that's my ken doll happenin" He looked at me quizzically and then busted out laughing. I on the other hand did not think it was so amusing. The whole area of my incision, from hip to hip, is swollen, especially the vajajay area and the area directly above it past the top of my belly button to the sternum area. It's puffy and kind of hard to the touch, definitely sensitive. I feel like a sausage stuffed into too small a casing sometimes! Ugh, it's awful but I just tell myself that it's part of the healing process and will end soon. Right?! I have been drinking tons of water/ peeing constantly hoping that will help and trying to eat low sodium foods. Other than that I don't know what else to do about it. Just let it puff up and hopefully go down on it's own? I have also noticed a bit of swelling on the underside of my breasts, there were lovely indentations from the compression bra left in them when I took it off to shower this morning. I still love the overall look and want to stand and stare at myself naked in the mirror in the morning when I get in the shower, alas I'm always rushed so typically just get a quick lookie loo. But the swelling is uncomfortable and a tad on the depressing side as it takes away from the beautiful smooth hourglass hips and flat lean tummy. Yet it's still 10,000 times better than it was, I keep reminding myself of that. Ups and downs people, trying to keep it more ups though! Hugs and Happy Healing or Preparing to you all of you lovely ladies!

Feeling Pretty Good..

Sorry it's been a few days since I have updated. Today is day 16 post op, I'm feeling pretty good. Starting around day 12-13 was the turning point for me. I wake up in the mornings and feel good, off any meds, can walk around 90% straight and in general feel the most myself since this started. I've been venturing out of the house for short bits at a time 2-3 hours or so which has been nice. It feels so much more normal, I'm a routine oriented person so that is big for me.
I still have swelling happening in the evening, which is variable depending on my activity level during the day. Sometimes I have those indentations in my skin, mostly around my hips (across around the incision line), and in the lower part of my breasts. That compression bra is something I have been complaining about being too small the whole time, but I suppose if it fit properly it wouldn't be a compression right?! I keep reminding myself of that when I squish my boobies into that thing. The compression garment that the doc gave me is barely tolerable, it digs into my hips and rides up so I have to adjust it throughout the day which gets annoying. I have read many of you ladies started wearing different ones that were more comfortable, any recommendations? I'm not sure where to start looking, Dr. V never said anything about switching to another garment but I'm thinking if it does the same thing and is more comfortable, why not?
I have mostly a tight feeling in my stomach now with pain sometimes in the area between my belly button and sternum. Nurse at my 1 week post op said it would be sore for awhile so I'm not worried about it. I am just taking ibuprofen now for pain/swelling, I switched over to that at 14 days. I quit the valium a few days ago, I have found that it's tolerable without it, although I expected nights to be the time when I would want to take it.
I still am not sleeping through the night, I start out sleeping propped up in bed because I'm usually pretty swollen and that's the most comfortable position. Then a few hours later I wake up because I'm uncomfortable so I move over to a glider/rocker chair in our room and shove two pillows (one on each side) next to me and sleep a few more hours. Then I wake again, uncomfortable and end up going back to the bed and laying flat on my back for another hour or so. I still can't sleep on my sides, which stinks because I'm a side sleeper but hopefully soon.
We went on a little shopping excursion yesterday where I was excited about a big clearance sale and was reaching up high for something and I think I pulled that sore area I was talking about because it hurt pretty badly the rest of the day even with the ibuprofen. Reminder ladies, even though it feels so much better, doesn't mean it is! I was really wishing I hadn't done that, but I got that item I wanted, so kinda worth it!
I am anxious to see the scars underneath the steri-strips, but my ridiculously rule oriented husband (doc recommends leaving them on until 3 weeks, if they fall off sooner it's ok) won't let me remove them even though they are half falling off all over the place. Seriously, he slaps my hand away as soon as I try to peel some off! So, there they stay but I try to peak at what is slightly visible. I have also been wondering about my belly button, I have quite a bit of scabbing in there still which I would have thought would be gone by now. There is only one area toward the bottom of my belly button where it has fallen off. Anyone else have lots of scabbing still this far out?
My daughter has gotten a really nasty cold with lots of coughing, congestion and just feeling crummy. I feel so terrible for her, she's soaking in a bubble bath as I write this and am hoping that makes her feel a little better. I'm really hoping I don't get it, but probably not very realistic. Keeping my fingers crossed and washed!
My 4 year old has been so sweet, he sat next to me in the truck yesterday when we went shopping and he would randomly pat my tummy gently and say "are you ok mommy?" I went in and picked him up from preschool this week, the first thing he said to me in front of all the other parents was "are you ok mommy, does it hurt?" Oh, melt my heart that one does.
We got rear ended a couple of days ago, in our brand new 6 month old van. What a bummer, it wasn't a serious accident so thankful for that. But it did mess up our bumper a bit. Kind of spooked me cause Dr. V had said when he was marking me up the only person who ever tore their tummy tuck was a lady who got in a car accident a week after her surgery. So of course the only accident we have ever been in would happen now, but like I said so thankful it was minor and everyone was ok.
I think that about covers the last few days. Here are some new photos taken yesterday morning.

3 Weeks Post Op Update!!

Oh, where to start..
I am doing well, I am the most mobile and myself I've been since this all started. I can walk straight upright now, however I do end up hunching over a little bit when I get really swollen. I swell up just about everyday, seemingly regardless of how much I do. I have noticed not much of a difference whether I do quite a bit of walking and activity, or try to take it easy and rest more, I still end up swelling up. It really is uncomfortable and miserable. It occurs in my hip area (where I think he did the lipo), along my abdomen/incision line, and in the area between my belly button and sternum. It gets hard and really sore to the touch. I haven't figured out anything yet to relieve it or to lessen it. If anyone knows of anything, please share!
I can sleep flat on my back now which is so nice! Although I still put a couple of pillows under my knees as it lessens the strain you can feel on your tummy, especially when it's swollen. I slept on my side a little bit too last night for the first time and it was the deepest sleep I've had in 3 weeks. It was really painful getting into the side sleep position though, I shoved a body pillow underneath my front and part of the side I slept on which made it more comfortable. Once there and situated I fell right back to sleep. Ahh, sweet sweet slumber. I have noticed though when I wake up in the morning, my tummy feels very very tight and I have to resist the urge to stretch. I'm thinking it might have something to do with sleeping flat on my back for so long but am not sure yet. I will keep you posted on that.
I removed most of my steri strips 2 days ago, which was a bit scary. I was really excited to see under there, but nervous too. My incision area really looks pretty good! Quite a bit of the scabbing came off with the strips, it was already healed under there I guess. The incisions under my breasts look great too, although I was surprised to see how far around they go, it feels like it goes almost to my armpit. My husband doesn't think it's any farther than normal (which it probably isn't) and reminds me the doc said he would have to remove a lot of skin. The only strips that I haven't removed yet are the strips around my nipples and along the incision line underneath the nipple leading down to the crease. Those weren't loose at all and I was too scared to remove them. I said to my hubby "what if I take them off and my nipples fall off?" To which he laughed hysterically, although I wasn't trying to be funny. So I left them with the intention of removing them today, officially 3 weeks. I haven't yet as 2 of my other kids got sick with the same thing my 7 year old has, we went off to the doctor this morning, so didn't have time to do it.
Anyway, once I removed all of the strips I did take off, I looked in the mirror and felt rather Frankensteinish. I didn't feel like that so much when they were on, but once off and I saw the scars that was my first reaction. Then I started really inspecting them. The only area that was a bit of a problem was my right hip, the lipo hole was still open, the same one that was leaking like crazy for the first several days. So we put a band aid over it which was good because it did bleed a bit. Other than that I'm happy! We'll see what happens when I remove the rest of the boobie strips.
I'm still taking ibuprofen for soreness, as needed. It's nice to be off most medications.
I'm able to lift my 1 year old and carry him for short bits of time which is great as I have missed our snuggle time. I still try to be careful though about how I pick him up, don't want to mess anything up!
This whole journey has been an emotional roller coaster but in ways I didn't expect. I was ready for the "why did I do this to myself?" and "what was I thinking?", but instead I felt mostly.....lost. I have been wanting to do this for a few years now and have spent the last year fixated on "when I have the MM..." Now that it's done I don't have anything to obsess over. It was really disconcerting for awhile and a bit depressing. Kind of like, now what? I am so pleased with my results and progression of healing but what's my next focus? I don't even know if any of this makes sense, I'm still trying to work it all out. I am a really optimistic person and will find another "hobby"! Maybe clothes shopping?! : )
My hubby went back to work today, I have been so blessed that he was able to use FMLA to be home with me and the kids the last 3 weeks. I attribute so much of my good healing to that. There is no way I could have survived this without him, major props his way! He took care of the kids (all aspects), and me without complaining once. He even cleaned the whole house (including bathrooms!) and bought me 7 dozen roses yesterday, I am a lucky lady indeed!
I had been wanting to go and get a whole new hairdo to go with my new bod, and finally got around to it yesterday. Cut off 5 inches of hair and complete color change, took awhile but worth it! I feel like a new me, kind of like I reconnected with an old friend (me before kids) but so much better because I have my family now. That's a great feeling. One of the girls helping with my hair asked me if I was a student (whaa?), then today I had the lady at Starbucks ask me if all my kids were mine and that "you look way to young to have all those kids". I thought wow I guess I looked way OLDER than my 31 years before. Hubby said "I guess you lost 10 years with your 10 pounds, MM and 5 inches of hair" Hey, whatever works, cause I look gooooood. ; )
Happy Healing and Big Hugs to the Ladies waiting for their Big Day!! It's SO worth it!
I will put up some new photos tomorrow!!

3 week Pics!!

First I want to thank all of you for the kind words and encouragement. It really means so much to me that you ladies find this little diary of mine helpful, humorous or informative. That is why I wanted to do it. If there is anything in here that can help someone else out that's what it's all about.
Now on to the juicy stuff.... Photos were taken this morning after I, traumatically and slowly, removed the steri-strips. As in 3 min. after, hence the nipple area incisions look red. I called them my "angry nipples." I'm happy with them, looking really good and about healed up but looking forward to seeing them when the redness goes away. I can't help but be SUPER critical when I look at my photos, like "that areola is a little bigger than that one" to which my husband responded "They are even, just wait for them to finish healing. Plus they weren't even before the surgery either" Oh, they weren't...well then..... I'm reminding myself that things aren't perfect and that's ok. But they sure are close! : )

Thanks again Ladies and I am thinking of and wishing you all the best wherever you are in the process!!
HUGS HUGS HUGS!

4 Weeks Post Op...Still Swelling Like None Other

4 weeks post op today! It seems like it went really fast, but I still feel the fact that I'm not completely healed, constantly. My incisions are looking great, mostly healed, with the exception of a small area at the base of my right breast where the t incision is. It seemed to split about a week ago, fortunately it has a nice dry scab in there and it is slowly diminishing. I have been checking it, darn near obsessively. Drying it out with a hair dryer and q tips after a shower and trying to keep my compression bra from rubbing on it. Hubby just rolls his eyes at me when I keep asking him if it looks any more red than yesterday (twice daily, holding a mirror to get the best view) and tells me "it looks like a scab"
My stomach muscles have been giving me a run for my money. I began experiencing charlie horse like cramps in my stomach during the night around 6 days ago. The first 2 nights I would wake up with the cramping in the morning but I would rub those muscles and it would help to ease out the pain. The following 2 nights after that I started waking up during the night with them and eventually the massaging didn't help. It got so bad I wasn't getting much sleep I was in so much pain. I called my PS office and spoke to the nurse, she said I should take valium or I could try 3-4 ibuprofen every 8-12 hours if I didn't want to take the valium. She said it was caused by 2 things: 1. Everything was healing up, so the nerves were firing and contributing to the muscle cramping/pain. She said that the first 2 weeks it's not noticed due to being numb. 2. I am overdoing it. I realized that the cramping really began when my husband went back to work and I resumed my normal household duties. Including carrying, lifting, moving and playing with my 1 year old, maybe too soon for that. Regardless, I have spent the last few days trying to figure out what I can do to make the cramping better. The short answer, not much. I take 3 ibuprofen when I climb into bed which seems to help. No sleeping position is better than another, elevated vs non-elevated, nadda. I am still waking up during the night with the cramping, so I maneuver myself up into a sitting position and try to stretch a little bit. That typically helps, the only real solution I have noticed is getting up and moving around. I don't have any of this cramping during the day, like NONE at all. So it seems that's got to mean something. I do have residual muscle soreness, similar to after a really hard workout and your muscles are screaming at you when you use them. That is going on significantly in the morning, continues throughout the day varying in degree. I'm still working on the cramping and will keep you updated on what I figure out, or when it stops. (hopefully soon!) If anyone else has experienced this I would LOVE to hear from you!!
I started exercising again this week, taking it easy with walking on the treadmill. It felt good to get moving. Although I made a stupid mistake and didn't want to get my freshly cleaned binder sweaty so I thought I would just walk without it and put it on right after my shower. OMG! (palm smack to the forehead) Before I finished on the treadmill I could literally feel myself swelling up. By the time I made it out of the shower to put the binder on, I was ginormous and miserable. Since then I have been wearing it on the treadmill and keeping one clean on standby for afterwards, it feels better to exercise with it and I haven't had the massive swelling I did that day.
Speaking of swelling, ugh. It just doesn't quit. I have continued waking up with some, it goes down but still there. It's quite depressing, I look at myself and I think about how wide I look and when my stomach is all puffed out I feel so fat. Still 100 times better than before, but I'm SO paranoid about gaining a bunch of weight. I spent so much money and feel so good about myself now, I don't want to lose that feeling (or feel like all that money was a waste) If I eat anything that isn't super healthy, as in a handful of chips or a couple bites of a cookie, I feel SO much guilt. Fortunately, I haven't gained any weight and have actually lost a pound, even with the swelling. But that doesn't make me feel any less guilty.
My one month post op appt. with Dr. Vath is on Tuesday, I'm looking forward to it. Will update after that appointment.
Take Care Ladies! Happy Healing and Hugs to you all!!

Missed adding a couple of photos..

5 Weeks Post Op!

It's been a good week! I am now able to do some things more comfortably; sitting up in bed using my stomach muscles, slight twisting motions, lifting and moving my 1 year old without pain. I am still having some issues with swelling, which I guess I should expect for an extended period yet. But it has gotten better. Before I would swell up horribly by evening regardless of how much activity I had, now I see a difference. If I try to take it easy I still swell but it's not so miserable, but if I do quite a bit and carry my son a lot I puff up like the stay puff marshmallow man. It's awful, good news is most of the time it's gone by the time I get up in the morning. If I really overdo it though I may wake up with a little residual puffiness. Either way it's progress and I try to look on the bright side. Swelling up is awful/terrible/uncomfortable/miserable, etc. etc. BUT it seems to be getting better a little bit at a time. The only area that is consistently puffy is my lower abdomen/vajayjay area. Oh well, we can't have everything right!?
I am sleeping better. I now only use my body pillow (which I have used forever) and one head pillow. I can lay flat on my back, there is a slight pulling feeling but not overly strong or painful. I sleep mostly on my side, just naturally a side sleeper, but I do wake up during the night and have to flip over. My hips are still the most tender areas so I wake up to rotate. I am only taking ibuprofen, and only at night before I go to bed as that is the time of day when I am the most uncomfortable, from some degree of swelling.
I am thrilled with my incisions! They are healed nicely with the exception of 2 areas; the t incision under my right breast still has a scab on it, and the lip hole at the end of my tt incision on my right hip. The t incision scab is healing, it's dry and not infected but taking a long time to heal. And the scab on my right hip is healing nicely, won't be long until that's gone. I am so happy with how low my tt incision is, it hides nicely underneath my undies and dare I say it.....bikini bottoms! Never thought I would even consider wearing a bikini again (I wore one once YEARS ago) but this has made me reconsider. I LOVE how my body looks now (midsection anyway), I stop to admire the view when I pass a reflection, instead of running as fast as I can past while averting my eyes. This is such a foreign yet amazing feeling, it's been so long since I have had any kind of confidence in my body. Every woman deserves to feel this way.
I had my 4 week post op appt with Dr. Vath this week. It was nice to see him, as I haven't since the surgery. (I opted to do my one week appt over the phone with a nurse) I wanted to ask him about my muscle separation, what the extent of it was. He said "ok, let's take a look at the pre op photos to which I said "no, let's not! I don't want to see!" He didn't get it...so alas, out came the horrible, never should see the light of day pictures, which I didn't even recognize. I had the weirdest feeling of mental disconnect where I didn't know who's body I was looking at in the pictures. The only thing I got that he said during that time was that the extent to which my stomach was sticking out was primarily my muscle separation. That's how he got it nice and flat with the surgery, I had no idea how bad it was. The other thing about that appointment is how excited he was about my boobs! He thought they were perfectly shaped, he said "they look like implants!" I'm beyond excited about them. I have always been large chested (as in D-DD) so to have boobs that aren't dragging on the ground or bouncing up in my face has been awesome! I ran on the treadmill a little bit this morning during my morning exercise and they didn't hurt! I couldn't walk too fast or run before because, even with a sports bra on, it would be painful. So not only are they much more attractive to look at, but it's practical as well, ha!
I asked him about scar therapy, whether I should do any of the ointments or strips. He said no, it wasn't necessary the scars would lighten up on their own with time. I may still try some things that I have read about on here, but that was his take on it. Overall, I'm healing as well as I could have hoped and he was equally as happy with the results!
I am cleared to quit wearing the compression garments, both the bra and waist. Since I still have the scab underneath my right breast I am going to wait to wear any underwires and will wear sports bras until that scab is gone. I am on the hunt for a different compression garment, something with some support but not as extensive as the surgical binder. Any recommendations? The nurse suggested spanx which I am going to look into.
I am excited to go clothes shopping, my pre op jeans are way to big now which is the best feeling! But I am trying to keep myself from going yet as I want to wait until most of the swelling has gone away. I don't know how much longer I can refrain!
This entire experience has had another positive side effect, I have major motivation for a healthier lifestyle. I am now exercising consistently, 4-5 days a week treadmill and light arm workouts. It really feels good mentally and physically. I also find myself paying quite a bit of attention to what I am eating and I don't even crave the not so great foods I used to enjoy sometimes. I don't eat chips anymore or crave any kind of junk foods. It's been the boost that I needed to get the rest of my body to match the fabulousness that is the midsection. Before I would diet and exercise but not see any changes (a few pounds) but my stomach still stuck out and I still had super saggy abdomen pooch. I would get depressed and quit trying. Round and round I went. That's why I say it's a nice positive side effect.
All in all I feel good, my body is healing nicely and I continue to be pleased with my results. I'm thinking of you all...healing from, prepping for, and waiting to experience this themselves. Take care ladies, I will update again soon!

Photos to follow!

5 Week Photo Time!

Here are my photos from this morning.

5 week photos!

6 Weeks and Still Kickin

I really can't believe it's been 6 weeks already, it just seems like it has gone SO fast. I am continuing to improve in the soreness department. I do still get sore, but usually just when I overdo it (lift something heavy, overreach for something, twist to far, etc). For example, I slipped on the ice last Friday but I caught myself using my core (instincts ya know) and it HURT. I spent the next several days really sore and hurting, didn't sleep well, etc. I felt as though I had regressed a couple of weeks. I have started feeling better yesterday and today, more like how I was before the incident, so at least I didn't do too much damage. But as long as I avoid the triggers (fingers crossed no more ice issues) I feel good. : )
The scab/opening under my right breast has changed. The dry scab that was there has seemed to be dissolving, as in it is mushy like a wet scab out of the shower is. Except it is like that all the time, not just after a shower. I have started putting a gauze pad on it with some neosporin as it kind of oozes and leaves a mess in my bra. It is gross to look at but it's not sore, it's not red and it doesn't smell so I don't think it's an infection. I called and talked to the nurse, she said to keep up with the neosporin/gauze and it should heal up fine. Apparently these things heal up from the inside out so the fact that it is an indentation (not flush with the rest of my skin) is ok. I get freaked out every time I look at, I can't wait for it to be closed and healed.
The lipo hole on my right hip that has been scabbed is now mostly healed, it looks more like a scar now. I accidentally scratched it the other day and it started bleeding a little bit, so now I have a bandaid with neosporin on that as well. These two spots have been my trouble spots since early on. I am getting anxious for them to be healed up and not needing any extra attention. I'm kind of tired of blow drying my boob and putting on gauze/bandaids. But I remind myself I shouldn't complain, these things are minor in comparison to some of the things other ladies have experienced.
My lipo spots are good, however I do have some residual soreness there. Like when someone bumps me in the hip area or upper back area it hurts, but it doesn't continue to be sore. It feels like a bruise, hurts when hit but otherwise you don't notice it.
I'm continuing to exercise and eat right. This experience has helped give me the motivation I needed to lose more weight, before that belly just sat there, now I feel like I can actually change things. Nice feeling.
I am working on weaning myself off of the compression garments. I quit wearing the bra, only wear it when my others are in the wash. But I do still wear the waist one. I have tried on a few spanx type things and don't like any of them, I decided that since I am at 6 weeks now I will just start wearing it less and less. I went without it the whole day on Tuesday and I swelled up pretty badly (hubby said I was a 9 - 9 1/2 out of 10 on the swell scale) Not sexy. I feel like I am still paying for that one. Residual swelling on some level since then. So it will be a gradual process to get rid of the CG but I'm ok with that, it's adjustable so I can loosen/tighten as I want to.
My scars are good, the boobs (minus the right breast hole) are nicely fading I'm really happy with the lightness of those scars. Far better than I expected. My tt incision is much more red, angry bird red. So I've been thinking a lot about scar treatments and what is effective. Anyone have any suggestions of things that work/are worth it? I would like that to start fading, doesn't hurt to help the ole bod does it?!
I went to try on jeans thinking I would easily be down a size, that was depressing. Even though I am still 10 pounds down and my old jeans are big, my hips/thighs are still there. So even though I could fit into some a size down, I didn't find anything I liked. I ended up feeling down the rest of the day. Then I thought about what it was like before the makeover and how awful I felt in the clothes I already have, that are now big/baggy. That helped me snap out of it. I need to stop being so hard on myself and expecting perfection. I need to learn to be ok with myself again, it's a work in progress.
That's about all for now, I added photos from this morning. I took them right after my morning workout so I'm swelling up some.
Take Care Ladies!!

7 Weeks and Moving right along..

Doing well! I've been slowly going without the compression garment for a longer time throughout the day. I do wear it when I exercise though and probably will for awhile, it just feels too vulnerable without it. But I have been going the first half of the day without it and typically put it back on in the afternoon/evening when I start to feel sore or swollen and remove it at bedtime. I've been sleeping without it and find it more comfortable that way. That's a typical day with the garment!
My scars are looking good although the tt incision is still pretty red. I picked up some steri strips today to try so I will report back on if I think those help or not. I have also been experiencing itching in the abdomen area around the incision, which just feels weird because it's still numb so I try and itch a little bit but it doesn't help! I just ended up waiting for the itching to pass, I'm assuming something in there is still healing.
The open area under my right breast is still healing. It isn't oozing very much now which is a nice change but I have been keeping gauze over it as it's not a dry scab and changing it daily. We're getting there, slowly but surely.
My right side has been more sore than anything else, I'm not sure why. I think I must have twisted wrong or something. The pain goes from my hip all the way up my side to about level with my breast. It's just a sore/stinging type of pain that I feel when I stand up, or lay down on my right side.
I've been eating really well. Lots of salads, ice water and trying to eat fish. I'm not a big fish lover (although all of my kids and hubby are) and I have been making a real effort to change that. I even ordered a great spinach salad with grilled salmon (of my own free will!) for dinner last night. I was SO proud of myself! I have never ordered anything fish (that wasn't fried first) before. I plan on having that tonight too as I only had about a third of it. I have completely changed my eating habits and it feels so good. : ) I am still 10 pounds down but am having a tough time continuing the downward trend. I think I am obsessing over it too much. So will hopefully have a nudge to get me past that plateau stage and onward toward my goal weight. Which I'm not even sure what that is now that the middle half of my body looks so good. I'm just focused on making my arms and legs match now!
I cleaned out my closet which was actually fun! EVERYTHING looked good on me! I even have some jeans that didn't fit now DO fit and some cute sundresses that looked as cute as when I bought them. Then subsequently couldn't wear them after baby #4. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about! So after the depressing jean shopping fiasco, this was a nice uplifting moment.
It's amazing how in such a short amount of time my attitude can completely change. I'm so glad I did this and have never regretted it. Just looking forward to continuing to heal and getting rid of the pesky swelling once and for all!
Take care ladies!! : )

8 Weeks Post and Feeling Great!

Hello ladies! 8 weeks already and feeling really good. I have been ditching the garment, only wearing it when I feel it's necessary for comfort/support. As in during pesky swelling and discomfort times. I have gone a few days in the last week without wearing it and did ok. The swelling is very hit or miss. I seem to have days where I swell up virtually right after getting up in the morning, other days I don't swell much at all. Waiting for it to go away. I love the flatness I see in the morning, then I puff up. Ugh, well at least I have a bit more time in between bad swelling days. Gradually and the usual slowly but surely thing I guess.
The itching has gone away in my abdomen, which is a nice relief. I didn't do anything special or use any ointment, fortunately it just stopped. The whole area is still numb though and it's still a strange feeling even after 8 weeks of it. Anyone know how long that lasts? When do you start to having feeling again? I have been using the silicon/steri strips religiously for a week. It seems that my scar is more of a purplish color than vibrant red now. I'm not sure it's any prettier than the red. If the purple color has anything to do with the strips or is just typical healing, I'm not sure. I will continue to do them for another week (that's how much I have left) and will let you know how it goes. I bought some paint on silicone scar treatment stuff, which seems easier to use than the strips I have, that I plan on using after the strips. Hey it can't hurt right? Time will tell I guess.
The open area in the t incision under my right breast is healing up nicely. It's been crusted over with a scab and is visibly getting smaller. This is the first major progress I have seen with it in the last few weeks. Finally! Dr. V said he will fix the scar from it once it's completely healed, I just have to decide whether I want to do that. It is a simple 5-10 min. procedure in his office during a regular post op appointment. I'm unsure because it's taken so long to heal now. I guess I have more time to decide. I think I will wait and see what it looks like once it's completely healed over and then make a decision. On a side note about my new breasts, they don't seem like mine! I went without any kind of bra to bed the other day and when I got up my boobs were up high and in position. It was so strange (and still is) looking down and my boobs are right there. They haven't been that high, even with a bra EVER. I feel like I have someone else's boobies! Eek! Such a weird feeling, so I guess it takes time to get used to the new you. I didn't anticipate that and it feels very disconcerting/unsettling. Maybe I've gone just a little bit batty! : ) hehe
Still eating great and exercising 5-6 days a week and no improvement past my plateau. I'm remaining optimistic and that I will see progress soon. I do feel better physically, stronger and healthier. I can go longer on the treadmill now without getting as tired and I've been doing weights that I need to increase. So there is definitely change, just not the kind I have been working for. Now that I have made this a routine I feel that it is a lifestyle change I can maintain. That feels good. I'm even buying a spin bike to add to my exercise routine, which I'm a little afraid of but I love biking so it should be a good fit. (crossing my fingers I don't pass out the first 1 or 5 times I use it!) I still can't do much for abs/core work. I tried today to do some ab exercises and I did barely one and felt pulling in my stomach. I quit right away, I'm afraid to hurt myself so I will be waiting and testing them every once in awhile until I can do some without any kind of pain or discomfort. I have had a few setbacks where I pushed it to much with weights that did a bit of core and had soreness (not the good kind) for days after. I would rather be cautious and take it a little at a time. Until then it's the treadmill (soon to be spin bike) and arm/leg weights.
My hubby and I booked a trip to Mexico in May! I'm so excited for some quiet time from the kiddos and quality time with the Mr. Plus I am thinking about wearing a....gasp BIKINI! I plan on trying some on to see how they look and am not opposed to buying one! Woohoo!
That's about all for now! Take care ladies, happy healing!!

8 Week Post Photos

9 Weeks!

Not much new to report this week! I'm continuing to feel great. I can even do some core/ab work now! It was tough last week so I haven't done much of that up until today. I thought I would give it a try this morning and did 2 reps of 10 leg lifts and I survived! Woohoo! So that tells me that I'm finally healing up all the way (where the stomach muscles are concerned). I did feel some uncomfortable pulling, but not painful. I will continue to work the core but I'm going to be taking it slowly, just to make sure I don't hurt myself. : )
I have stopped wearing my compression garment pretty much completely now. I've only worn it twice this week, with the exception of during exercise. And those 2 times were in the evening after swelling up pretty badly during the day. It feels really good not to be dependent on it anymore. As I mentioned a minute ago I do still wear it during exercise, it's comforting to have that extra support which leaves me feeling more apt to push myself with weights and treadmill. I will probably phase that out over the next few weeks.
I went and tried on jeans again which was a little scary given what happened last time (not fitting into the next size down). But good news, I fit into them this time! I didn't buy any but it felt so good to get jeans on that didn't even go around my hips just a few weeks ago! Even though the scale has only gone down another pound or two, (depending on the day) I have lost inches because those jeans went on this bod! That was a reaffirming moment for me to keep up the 5-6 workouts a week and eating REALLY healthy and clean. I've learned there is more to getting in shape than just the scale. Big aha moment. Although it was tempered slightly by my 7 year old daughter, in the dressing room with me, saying "suck it in!" It was really funny, yet not appreciated. And might I add, those jeans weren't that tight! ; )
Haven't had any luck in the bikini/swimsuit area. There's not much out yet, definitely nothing very cute. So the hunt will continue and when/if I try some on I will take a few pics to show you ladies!
The opening under my right breast is almost closed now, just a small scab is left. Which I am ecstatic about! I was waiting until that healed up to go to VS and get myself some pretty new bras in whatever size I am now. I've been wearing sports bras a lot, and I found 2 bras in the bottom of my drawer that fit in a smaller size that I alternate in sometimes. It will be nice to be wearing grown up bras again! I will report back on my new size next time, I wonder how much change there will be!?
I used the steri/silicone scar strips for a few more days after last post, but they didn't want to stay sticking on. I had some that you had to remove and wash every day before reapplying. So much work! So when I had trouble a few days in a row with them sticking, I tossed them. Then I tried the paint on silicone treatment. That didn't stick at all either. I read in the directions that a moisturizing body wash may cause trouble with the adhesion, so I will try cleaning the scar with an alcohol wipe then applying the silicone. Good news is it's really easy to use, but that doesn't matter if it doesn't work. We'll see. My tt scar is pretty dark colored still, whereas my breast lift scars are very light. I haven't used any treatment on my breasts at all. Weird how they can be so different.
Well that's about all for this week, take care ladies!! Happy healing and thinking of you all!

10 Weeks

Hello Ladies! Not much has changed over the last week. The scab under my right breast is pretty miniscule now, probably going to fall off sometime soon. I haven't made any decisions on having Dr. V repair the scar yet, although it is quite large. We'll see how red it looks once the scar is completely gone. I have been wearing underwires again, no irritation to the underside of my breasts at all, including the scab. It's been a nice change to go back to what I have always worn instead of sportsbras.
I am still exercising 5-6 times a week and feeling really great about it. I just got my spin bike and used it for the first time today, woooo. That baby is definitely a workout. A nice change from the boring treadmill. Doing the workouts leave me feeling much better about myself. I still see areas I want to change but I try to focus more on what I like about my body now.
I had the dreaded yearly ob/gyn visit this week. I ended up seeing someone new and she was awesome. When she saw my boobs she was like "there is no filler in there??" Filler, haha like the cream in a twinkie or something. Anyway, she thought they looked amazing and said whoever my doc was did a great job. That was nice to hear.
I have begun regaining a small amount of sensation in my abdomen. My daughter was poking me today in the belly and saying "how are you doing mommy, does it hurt?" I told her no, but it felt weird. I could feel it but not like you would normally. This healing is definitely a long process.
I still wake up with soreness in the lipo spots (upper back/hips) which I am assuming will eventually go away as well. Kind of frustrating but lipo is invasive, so I guess it makes sense.
I am having swelling yet. It seems especially bad when I do any kind of ab exercises or overdo it during the day. So I have discontinued those for a little while yet. I think in my exuberance at being able to do it, I didn't pay as much attention to if I should. It seems like a lifetime ago that I had the surgery, I have to keep remind myself it has only been a couple of months. But strangely, I still get surprised when I see myself in the mirror and how flat my tummy is.
I will be posting pictures every few weeks now since not much changes on a weekly basis anymore. But I want to keep you ladies informed as to how the scars progress and what final results will be when all swelling has gone away.
Take Care Ladies, Happy Healing and Happy Preparing!! : )

13 Weeks....3 Months went by like that! (insert snap)

Hello Ladies! Sorry it's been awhile since I have done an update, things have been busy and life just got in the way a bit. Anyway, things are good. The scab under my right breast is finally all healed up. No more bandaids, neosporin, daily checks with the mirror, etc. The scar is quite a bit larger there now than it is under the left breast which is nice and neat, a perfect straight line. Not sure if it bothers me enough to fix it yet.
I am getting feeling back in the incision area. It gets itchy, which I think is weird. Shouldn't it be all healed up by now? And when I itch it, it is really sensitive. It hurts like itching a scratch would hurt. I'm chalking that up to regeneration of nerves? I heard somewhere that they can be overly sensitive when growing back, so I'm going with that.
Swelling is much better now, I still swell once in awhile but not everyday anymore. Just in the evenings when it's been a particularly rough day.
I'm keeping up the 6 day a week workouts. I feel healthier and more in shape, but the stubborn scale just doesn't want to budge. It's been 9 weeks of workouts and I haven't lose any weight. Some inches maybe but not enough to warrant another size down. I want to get the rest of my body (back, legs and arms) looking as good as my stomach does. I've been eating healthy and watching my calories but alas, nothin. I spoke to my brother about it (he's a physical therapist/personal trainer) and he told me not to worry about it, that it takes time and keep doing what I'm doing. That made me feel better and it didn't. I'm struggling with the frustration of not losing. It's been overshadowing the happiness I feel over the surgery as of late. I need to mentally buckle down and not worry about the scale, just how I feel physically.
I have tried on a few bikinis in the last few weeks, nothing that is worthy of purchase or even a photo. It's hard to find cute ones that cover the scars in all the right places, as well as fit properly. The tops are too small or the bottoms are a bit snug in the hip area, or the boob scars show or the tt scar shows, and on and on. I was looking at the Victoria's Secret bikinis, I like that you can order the top that is your bra size and match the kind of bottoms you want to it. Anyone have any experience with their suits? Are they comfortable/flattering/good fit? Love to hear your thoughts. I have already had to return a bikini I bought online because the top was too small.
I still have some soreness in the lipo areas, apparently that goes on for a long time. : ( Ab workouts are still tough, next to impossible. It gets sore and painful after a short time so I have been holding off on most of that. Long time for complete recovery!
On a side note my baby boy has finally started walking! He was totally uninterested and then just decided it was fun. He's been getting to standing by himself and tottering around. The best part is he thinks it's funny when he sees me get excited and clapping, he giggles and then topples over. Only to get up and do it again. Being a mom is the best thing in the world, those moments are everything!
Take care ladies, hope you are all doing well!!

P.S. No new photos as they look exactly the same as the last ones. : )

4 Months Post Op

Hi all! So I have finally reached the next size down! Woohoo! As of a couple weeks ago still no weight loss reflected on the scale, but inches must be lost because I am wearing a size 12 jeans/shorts again and I'm happy about it! I have been a 14 since my last child was born so to get back into the 12 was awesome. All of my shorts that were either too small or almost too small (last summer) are now to big. I need to go and replenish my wardrobe with all new clothes. I'm a size M in shirts (small in some depending on style), all of my tops are way to big and baggy. I find myself going back to change looking for something tighter. : ) Used to be going back to find something looser. I'm now focused on dropping to a 10, but the size change has boosted my morale to keep on going. Up to 45 min. of cardio (spin bike or treadmill) interval training, really gets the heart pumping and sweat dripping. And 15-20 min. of weight training after that. Feels good and I can tell a difference in my activity level, strength capabilities (carrying my adorable puddin ball of a baby) and overall health. Never thought I would be a regular exerciser but it's now a priority and a lifestyle.
I still have pain in my hips, more predominantly in my left than right. My 4 year old loves to run up and give me hugs but his head hits right at the left hip height and it hurts alot when he bumps it. Not sure if it's still residual lipo pain or pain from the incision itself and maybe continued nerve regeneration? I will be scheduling my 2nd post op appointment with Dr. V soon, hope to get in early June and plan to ask about this.
Not much swelling anymore. Just a bit now and then but not nearly to the degree it was in the beginning. I feel huge when it happens , but I don't look as big as I feel. That's something I guess.
I bought a bikini from Victoria's Secret, and just received it a couple of days ago. I decided to order from them for all the reasons mentioned previously, as well as ease of return in case I didn't like it. (plus I got it on sale!) It's the forever sexy collection demi top with shirred hipster bottoms, in case anyone is wondering. Not 100% happy with it as all I see are the things I still don't like, but I think I would feel that way about any bikini. Still self conscious and all that, even though I look totally different doesn't mean that all goes away as quickly (particularly in the bathing suit area). But I promised the hubby that if I got the surgery and felt good I would wear a bikini to Mexico. So here goes!
Speaking of Mexico, we are leaving in t-minus 1 week and I am getting SO excited. Hubby and I are in desperate need of some serious R,R and R (rest, relaxation and romance). Haven't had real alone time in 3 years. I'd say seriously over due. He asked me today what I was looking forward to doing most and I said, "absolutely nothing!" Laying on a beach lounger with a cold beverage, getting a tan and taking a nap! : ) When I took the photo of me in the bikini I took 2 different ones in different lighting to get the best pic and when I looked at the nude one, then the bikini one I said "I look better naked than in the suit." To which he replied "ok we'll go skinny dipping!" Ha, I walked right into that one.
My little one is walking and now running all over the place and it's joyful yet sad to watch. Knowing he is our last makes every milestone bittersweet. I'm looking forward to watching my kids grow up, but sad to say goodbye to the baby years.
Can't wait for the school year to be over, we primarily follow the school calender and do full week school Aug to May and then a couple of light days a week during the summer to keep the mind going. I'm anticipating the more relaxed days of summer with as high a degree of anxiousness as the kids are. One more week and freedom!
That's all I've got for now, hope you all are well!

5 1/2 Months Post Op

Feeling good! I met with Dr. Vath on Tuesday for my last post op appointment. He was very pleased with the results that I have gotten, as am I. He's thrilled with how flat my tummy is and had to be reminded that I don't have implants! Which is very flattering. : ) I have absolutely no complaints......not one. He had me do post op photos, which weren't nearly as uncomfortable to do as the pre ops let me tell ya. Dr. V. said I don't need to come back for any more post ops unless at around a year I have issues with my scar. (want something changed or revised) At this point I don't see that happening as I am very happy with everything.
The nerve pain in my left hip is still there, but it has gotten a lot better. It still tingles in a sore kind of way when I push on it, I'm hoping it will clear up all the way with time. Especially since there has already been improvement in the last month.
I have one stitch that hasn't completely dissolved, I can feel it kind of scratchy on the underside of my right breast, but it is only noticeable when I wash in the shower. Otherwise it doesn't rub on my ribcage or anything. Dr. Vath said it was a stitch and it would go away.
My breasts are in their permanent position, I asked if I should expect any further "settling" and he said nope. Eventually with age of course, but in terms of the surgery they are where they will stay. I must say that I am SO glad I did the breast lift, I have been able to wear a couple of cute sundresses with no bra, which I had NEVER been able to do before.
I wore the bikini in Mexico! At first I felt self conscious, but when we got down to the beach and I saw lots of other women that were bigger than me or the same size walking around with confidence, I thought "yeah, why not...I look GOOD." And the rest of the week I walked around in that thing like I owned the joint. : ) It was a great experience. And by the way, I spent the whole time napping, drinking and getting an awesome tan! An awesome vacation I hope to do again next year.
Still exercising 5-6 days a week. The one downside to our vacation was that when we got back, I had a hard time getting back into daily exercising (which took about a week to get in the habit of again) and my diet. Those awful chips and kids' birthday cakes, etc. I am working on getting my calories and diet under control again. I didn't go to crazy but I did gain 1.5 pounds, which is the wrong direction on the scale. Work in progress.
It's especially difficult to focus on losing more weight when my husband, exercises 2 days a week, drinks lots of beer and eats whatever he wants (pizza and fried chicken, midnight snacks of cheesy nachos) and LOSES weight. He looks great and has lost 7 pounds in 2 months. So UNFAIR. I know men and women lose differently, etc. etc. But REALLY, so frustrating.
I am working on getting myself to a place where I feel good about my body without it being a different size. I've always been curvy, with boobs and hips. Those aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Good days and bad days.
Shout out to HappySuzy, her update today really rang true for me, especially lately. Scale hasn't been my friend. But looking in the mirror feels great. Gotta focus on the right things.
Take care everyone, will update again soon!

8 Months...Compliments....Swelling and MyFitness Pal

Hello Ladies! Hope you all are doing well. Things are going pretty great for me. The stitch that was left in my right breast that I spoke of last time came out. I literally pulled it out, didn't hurt at all and was nice to have gotten rid of it. I have a larger scar there and it feels kind of rough and thick. Don't know if I will do anything about it yet, it's not a really big deal.
Nerve pain in my hip is all but gone, it only zings when someone hits me in just the right spot. As in my 5 year old running head long into my side. Otherwise it's not much of a problem anymore!
I still look the same as I do in the photos. But I will try to remember to take a few with some cute clothes to show the new silhouette.
I haven't been as good about exercising the last couple of months as I was before. I got discouraged and went on a couple of vacations and just ended up bumping back to 3-4 days a week. I am mostly doing cardio, spin bike or interval treadmill. It feels good to do it which is keeping me going back. I haven't done as much strength training either, even though I know I probably should. I have relaxed about being super vigilant in efforts to lose weight. I have gotten more comfortable with myself and where I'm at. I'm just not one of those women who is meant to be itsy bitsy teeny weeny. And that's ok. I like having a curvy body and I am learning to flaunt it. And you know what, it feels great! I have bought a few more body hugging sundresses of late and have gotten numerous compliments whenever I wear them. That feels so good! I want to be noticed now instead of trying to blend into the wallpaper.
Speaking of losing weight. I have managed to hold steady at 180, sometimes gaining 1or 2 and then losing back down. But I haven't managed to break that number. So I have started MyFitnessPal. I have, so far, found it to be very helpful for keeping track of how many calories really are in the food we eat. I love the way it calculates what's left for the day, gives you extra calories for exercise and puts it all in nice diagrams. I've been pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to use. I have only been doing it for almost 2 weeks and lost a few pounds (started at 183) back to 180. At first I was stressed about my allotment being only 1440 calories a day, but I spoke to my brother (who has education in nutrition and personal training) and he said not to sweat it if I go over one or two hundred calories, as long as it's healthy food and not 2000 calories of french fries. Made alot of sense to me, so I stopped freaking out and obsessing over every calorie and tried to focus more on balancing everything out and staying as close to my calorie amount for the day. It's been working much better for me that way. I log everything I eat and am more mindful of what it is I am eating and make better choices. I do go over a bit but I don't beat myself up over it. This needs to be a lifestyle for me not just a diet. So if I lose some weight great, but I want it to help me better understand portions and calories for a better sense of health. The other upside is I have rediscovered my love of cooking. I haven't been cooking much for quite awhile but after I started this program I began really setting up meal plans and cooking a lot (all cooking light recipes). My family is loving the food (for the most part), I feel good feeding them food I know is healthy and it's easy to log! All my recipes so far are in the app already. I can see myself using this for quite some time.
Homeschooling has been going really great this year too. We decided to switch programs and are doing a curriculum primarily on the computer. It teaches using a lot of games making learning fun instead of tons of busy work. The kids are taking to it better than last year, which was with a more traditional curriculum (workbooks, workbooks and more workbooks). The other positive change is that my husband has been participating in the schooling. I have been the primary teacher for the past 2 1/2 years and was getting bogged down and burnt out. My amazing hubby stepped up and wanted to get involved. It's been a blessing and the kids love the way he teaches. Apparently he's better than Mom, or so the kids say. (not so sure about that myself...) Either way it's been a refreshing change of pace for all of us.
That's about all for me right now. Take care to you all, happy healing!!

1 Year Later...A New Year for the New Me.

Hi all! It's been awhile since my last update, life got busy and then the holidays smacked me right in the face before I knew they were there. How cliché but true, the older we get the faster time flies. Anyway things have been great! I am at my year anniversary for the Big Day and I wouldn't change a thing. It's the best thing I have ever done for myself and I would do it again. I feel great and healing is complete.
I have been religious with the MyFitnessPal app and though it's been a big learning curve, I have successfully lost another 10 pounds (give or take 1 or 2 depending on salt intake)! I probably could have lost more by now but I'm thrilled with the progress. So that makes a total of 20 pounds less than when I had my surgery a year ago. Can't shake a stick at that! : ) I hope to lose another 10-20, although my body is completely different now so I'm not sure how much more would put me at that perfect size/shape. Still learning with this new bod.
I am also still dealing with salt and bloating. I don't remember feeling so sensitive to salt before the surgery. Anytime I eat too much of it, I puff up like crazy and it takes a few days to go back down. That's frustrating but teaching me to pay more careful attention. I also feel sensitivity in my stomach muscles when I've had too much salt, probably directly related to the bloating. It's just uncomfortable. I think the sensitivity to salt is a life change now, not just directly from the surgery. It must have something to do with removing all that excess skin and fixing all of those muscles. Maybe I just notice it all now, whereas before I didn't.
I still exercise 3-4 days a week. Not so much that I want to quit, but enough to make we motivated to get back in there every week. Netflix is a lifesaver, couldn't get through 50 min of cardio without it. I'm working on doing weights again, haven't gotten back into it every day yet, but consistently adding it back in.
My parents and brother came to visit over New Year's, haven't seen them since I started the MyFitnessPal. My mom commented on how skinny I looked (twice)! That's never happened before, it felt really good that I'm making progress that people notice.
My hubby and I always take a family picture with our kids at Christmas and I compared the one from this year to last year. What a crazy difference! I still catch glimpses of myself in glass or mirror reflections when I'm out running errands and such and I do a double take because I still haven't totally adjusted to how I look now. The mental me is different than the physical me. In a good way of course! I have so much more confidence and feel amazing about myself, I wish this feeling for everyone out there.
I just want to reiterate, because I feel so strongly about it, that I would do this all over again and again and again. It has changed my life for the better in so many ways. My hubby finds me completely irresistible (did before but not to this degree! ; )). I want to wear form fitting clothes that show off my body instead of hiding in giant sacks. I'm more outgoing, energized, healthy and in shape. Which in turn has made my family more healthy. It has spurred a life change for me that has been nothing but positive.
Wishing you all out there continued success pre, healing and post TT. Happy 2015!!
Denver Plastic Surgeon

Dr Vath was great! I really appreciated his attention to my concerns before and after the surgery. He cares about his patients and their experiences. Awesome staff, the nurse who was getting me ready for surgery was fantastic as was every other person I dealt with from their offices.

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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