23dayPO-Bra pic added!

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I am 41. I have 5 children (23,20,17,16,15) and...

I am 41. I have 5 children (23,20,17,16,15) and one adorable granddaugher 20 months. I had my eldest daughter at 17. I remember going to the doctor for strep 3 months after I had my daughter and the doctor told his nurse while looking at my tummy, "this is the worst case of stretch marks I've ever seen". Not something anyone wants to hear! I also breastfed each baby.(poor saggy uneaven things on my chest) I have managed a fairly healthy weight over the years. I have Hashimotos Tyroid Disease (diagnosed a few years ago) so my weight can fluctuate from 125lbs to 150ish lbs. Right now I am 5'5" and a bit heavier at 150lbs. My bod actually looks better at a heavier weight. My horrid deep stretch marks get pulled out of the dried raisin look. I still have very lose floppy folded skin. I carried all my babies like a beach ball right out front.

I have wanted my body fixed for 20 years ever since I first heard of tummy tucks. I used to watch plastic surgery shows on tv. I never thought my husband and I could afford such a surgery for me. Also, in the past we have lived in very rural towns that were lucky to have a family practitioner!

For the past few months, I have been very serious about researching "mommy makeovers". This website is super awesome! I hope to start consulting appointments in January 2012 and have surgery scheduled in the spring. Is January too soon for consults if I won't be having surgery until maybe April or May 2012? Also, I am disappointed that none of the plastic surgeons in the city we live in are contributing doctors on RealSelf.com. Does anyone have any info to share on Des Moines, Iowa doctors?

My husband is very supportive. He knows how important it is for me to have this surgery. I hesitate to tell my eldest daughter of my plans. Last year I had brought up wanting plastic surgery for myself and she was so mad and jealous (she was struggling to lose her pregnancy weight). My other children are super supportive. We don't have any relatives close at all. I don't have any sisters. I won't tell my mom until after the surgery. She will think I am crazy to voluntarily go through pain. (she never got one stretch mark after having 3 children)I don't have any girlfriends since we have moved a lot in the past, so I will be relying on my hubby (of 20 years!) and hopefully, RealSelf women.

My hubby didn't think I was completely serious until a few weeks ago. I took a pic of my belly with my cell phone and showed him the pic. He didn't even know what it was! I had to tell him it was my tummy. With the courage of the RealSelf women, I exposed my belly and took a pic of my shame! I couldn't have done it without the brave women on this website. So thank you...all of you!

Yesterday, my husband and I had our first consult...

Yesterday, my husband and I had our first consult with a PS. The meeting with the PS and his nurse went very well. It wasn't nearly as awkward having strangers looking at my body as I thought it would be. The Dr. said he could make my tummy look so much better with only a few stretch marks left. He suggested a cresent lift on my breasts in addition to gel implants. I don't want lipo (i can live with my "soft spots")and he didn't push me to have lipo. So surgery time will only be 3 hours. He does do the pain pump! woot!!! Cost will be just a bit over $13,000.
Later, my husband and I discussed all we learned. I can definately see choosing this PS to do my surgery. We will schedule a few more consults just to be sure. I am lucky because my three children living at home are teens and I am not working since we moved here in April. I am, however; very close to my granddaughter and she and I will miss our snuggle time. I usually babysit on saturday's, but my kids will take turns watching their niece.
I'm feeling very confident about the surgery. I feel like my expectations of the results are realistic...but I do worry about the pain! I have never had any surgery or significant injury. I did have 5 babies, 4 of them induced without any pain meds or epidural. My husband says the dr won't let me suffer...hummm, i hope not. I also do NOT want to be sick. I hate puking!
I appreciate all the real situations that are posted here. I have learned so much and keep learning more each day!
Question: does the pain pump significantly help? It almost sounds too good to be true.

Last week my husband and I attended an open house...

Last week my husband and I attended an open house for PS#2. It was a meet and greet with his staff, see his facility, and a possible mini consultation with him. I was so glad I went. I wasn't sure I even wanted to get a consultation with him, but after meeting him and his fantastic nurse, I am definately going to schedule a full consultation with him soon. This doctor doesn't use a pain pump, but numbs the abdomen with something like novacaine (sp?). He said he uses a quilting technique with the upper abs only and uses drains. I was worried about belly button death and he said he doesn't "float" the belly button. He keeps it attached to the stalk and then uses extra stitches to attach the bb to the ab wall so that it doesn't move. He seemed to really enjoy my questions and at one point complimented me for asking such "advanced" questions. I was of course flattered but can't take all the credit. RealSelf women provided me with such a large amount of various knowledge! His nurse seemed like a warm bubbly mother type and I would feel very comfortable in her care. (definate contrast to PS#1 nurse) Several times she recieved texts from patients and responded right away. I am looking forward to an actual consultation to hear what the doctor will specifically recomend for my body. I am glad we went. I almost didn't go for fear that the open house would be too "hoity toity" and not wanting a bunch of people know I am interested in plastic surgery.

Added a bikini pic. Even if I can't ever "rock" a...

Added a bikini pic. Even if I can't ever "rock" a bikini after the MM, I hope I can dignify a one piece without a towel or wrap dress to hide the roll(s)! WooHoo!!!

Yesterday my hubby and I went to see PS2. We...

Yesterday my hubby and I went to see PS2. We lucked out because his "special" in Feb is a free consultation (normally $125). My appointment lasted from 1:30pm to 3:30pm! I must say it was far more thorough(sp?). First one of his nurses talked to me about my health history and the procedures I'd like done. Next, the doctor, a young female med student, a different nurse and the PS came into the room. I had a list of questions and he was very good about answering everyone of them. My husband had quite a few questions also and the PS was excellent in including him and making us both feel like valued patients. The nurse asked if I would mind if the female med student observed while the doctor examined my body and took measurements. Why not?! Lets all see me in my panties! This PS took far more measurements than the first PS. He seemed to really consider my body and look at it. He actually touched my skin and felt my possible hernia. He complimented me and said for having 5 kids I was in pretty good shape...and let me tell you, I needed a good word right about then! After the measuring the PS discussed what he could do and what results I wanted. He seemed pretty sure that he could remove almost all my stretch marks. He said that he doesn't "float" the belly button. He keeps it attached to the "stalk" and then sews it against the abdomen so that there is less of a scar and belly button goes in more. He said he uses numbing solution instead of a pain pump. I would have two drains near my hips and not in my pubic area (thank gosh..that looks so owwie!)He told me what meds he would give me and I made sure to tell him I wanted any and all anti sick pills and patches. The tt incision would be done with stitches. He said he doesn't use glue because he personally feels it scars worse than stitches. I would be able to shower the day after surgery. We discussed the breasts. Silicone under the muscle. We debated the "tear drop" versus the rounder breasts. He asked his nurse how many cc's and she said 400 and he agreed. 400? That number seems WAY more than I thought. I would rather lean more toward a large B that a small D. I will have to think on this and look at more pics. I'd like somewhere in the middle. I certainly don't want to sag and the PS at first didn't think I would need a lift, but said a crescent lift would work for my breasts. The PS and nurse told me that they were sure that I would heal well and quickly. Humm, I guess we will see. I will have realistic expectations. Finally, the PS left and and the first nurse came back to take pics of me. The first PS did not do this. I made the nurse laugh telling her how hard it was to pick out panties for the appointment. Met with the finance lady and got the quote..over $15,000. Holy Moly! That is only a BL,BA,and TT! I was a little shocked. That included the discounts for multiple procedures and cash discount.
I really like the PS2. I feel comfortable and I like his nurses. My husband wants to go back and talk to PS1 again. He thinks PS2 isn't as professional as PS1. He assures me it isn't the money (i believe him). I will see if PS1 will meet with us again and see how it goes. I am certainly leaning toward PS2 even though he is older and his office and staff are more laid back and less formal. I think hubby and I need to discuss breast shape also. Hubby is right, I am over 40 and shouldn't have 20 year old boobs high and round.
On another note, I finally told my oldest daughter my plans to have a MM. I was really really hoping she would be happy for me and supportive...well, she cried and said she is jealous because when she was young we couldn't afford braces for her and it was unfair to her. I reminded her that we gave her my car recently and the job I gave up to babysit for her daughter and all the hours I have babysat for her. I said it nicely, it sounds kinda harsh written out like this. I was and am hurt by her reaction, but not surprised. At least my 4 other children understand and support my decision. I cried a bit but now I am going to focus on my decision to have the surgery for myself and be at peace with it.

Yesterday (4/10/11) I had a second consultation...

Yesterday (4/10/11) I had a second consultation with the first PS. After sleeping on it last night, I booked my MM surgery for May 23! I am combining all the notes that I have taken from everyone elses blogs on this site into comprehensive lists and suggestions for me to follow. I have my pre op appointment on May 10th. My doctor will be Dr. Robbins of West Des Moines, IA.
I am amazed that this will actually be happening. After almost 24 years of living with the discomfort and embarrassment of my body, I will finally be having something done. Its been so long ago that I can't say I want my pre-baby body back because I don't remember what that was like. I will be pleased to have the uncomfortable belly button hernia fixed so it doesn't pinch anymore! I don't think I am nervous yet, but I am sure the closer my surgery date becomes the more butterflies I will accumulate! lol!!!

I had to re-schedule my pre-op appointment to May...

I had to re-schedule my pre-op appointment to May 3rd. Hubby will be gone the following week and I really need him to go to my appointment wtih me. So far, my surgery date of May 23rd is still on. It better be! I hate to be grumpy but originally I was hoping to have my surgery at the end of March or even in April but Hubby's schedule was impossible to work with. I let him know last night that I was really counting on him being able to keep his vacation and not have to reschedule (again). He promised his vacation is confirmed and approved.

I have been doing a bit of research on having pain pumps in the breasts. Originally, I thought I wanted a pain pump in my tummy but after looking into it...it seems many times the drains suck the meds out before a person can get the benefit of the meds. I hadn't read many reviews with pain pumps in the breasts. Sounds like a good deal to me though. I've never had any surgery or pain so I am sure I will need all the help I can get. I've never taken anything stronger than advil or tylenol in my life so I especially hope that the big drugs work for me and don't make me ill. My husband found out his body doesn't like morphine after his major back surgery a few years ago. (bleck!)

I made a dentist appointment for my cleaning and checkup. I had my annual pap and even had my first mamogram. (all okay thank goodness) Now I just need to start actually purchasing items from my list. I have started a notebook of letters to myself for my recovery. For example, when "swell hell" kicks in, I wrote to myself to remember that my body is reconnecting my lymph system to drain fluid and and to be patient. Maybe I am overthinking it, but it may help my stress in recovery.

Today is my eldest son's 21st birthday. Next week my eldest daughter turns 24 and her daughter (my granddaughter) turns 2. I know people say it all the time, but good grief....time flies! I'm glad I am doing this for myself and I'm glad I am healthy enough to have a MM. Thank you to all the people on this site for going before me and providing so much information!!! ( i guess i'm in the mood to count my blessings!)

Yesterday I had my pre op appointment. I paid my...

Yesterday I had my pre op appointment. I paid my bill in full and then met with Dr. Robbins. He chatted a bit with my husband and I (briefly and only about surgery), then he re-examined my breasts. (He said he didn't need to see my tummy again.) He asked what size I was hoping for and I told him that I will trust his judgement. I told him I just want to be "normal" and appear full instead of saggy. Dr. suggested a 390 something cc on one side and a 370 something cc on the other with a cresent lift. I didn't get to even try any sizers on at all. He then left and one of his nurses came in to so I could sign the consents. I asked a few questions about the breast pain pumps. And that was it...i felt a little let down. I was hoping for a little more personal conversation or something..I don't know what exactly. The other plastic surgeons office seemed so much more personable. (my husband thought they seemed "desperate".) I tried to talk to my husband about it, but he doesn't get what I tried to say. Husband thinks they are "professional", I think they are cold and appear indifferent. The nurse that I signed my consent forms won't even be a nurse that I will deal with during and after my surgery. Its too late to change doctors now any how. I will just have to make the best of it.
I guess now I will start getting my supplies together. The doctor did tell my husband that he didn't think a recliner was necessary. Dr said just get a bunch of pillows. I was wanting to buy a recliner because it seemed that the ladies on Realself that had a recliner really appreciated the chair in their recovery. grrr. I feel like I am being a bad patient already. I also need to move our bedroom down to the main floor spare room. I stood my ground on not wanting to walk up and down our stairs during my recovery.
Well, 19 days until my surgery. I don't think I am exactly excited or even nervous right now. I think I am just worried that I will be on my own for my recovery , emotionally, that is. Hopefully I will like my actual surgery and/or recovery nurse. I won't just be incisions, etc, I am a person that needs a little caring for the whole package, right?

9 days until my surgery. I've been shopping for my...

9 days until my surgery. I've been shopping for my recovery list. My hubby and I are still undecided about purchasing a recliner. I think my husband is reluctant because he doesn't like to sleep by himself in bed. I told him we could move the recliner next to the bed and still hold hands. Good grief...who is getting the surgery again? It is kinda cute tho. Last week we took a trip to the furniture store just to browse and try out some recliners. Hubby wanted to get a dual reclining couch. He isn't normally so clingy, but it is dawning on me how stressed and worried he is about my surgery. I have a list of to-do's on house work that should keep me busy this week. I have discovered that Tylenol doesn't work well for me. Had my TOM with unusually discomforting cramps and let me say, the narcotic pain meds better work well after the surgery because if I have to just take Tylenol, I will be in trouble! Another to-do is to take more pics...I really would like to document, just for my own sake, how my body will change. (i will post some too) I'm stressing a bit about the breast implants. I know everyone says "bigger is better" and at first I agreed, but now I am getting cold feet. I remember breast feeding and feeling very overwhelmed by my large boobs. I made my choice to trust the doctor...I just wanted to share that thought. Hopefully, my boobs will at least be the same size! I never realized the sized difference was so obvious. Of course, everything about my breasts and tummy is under a microscope for me lately. I'm off to my exercise class this morning. I feel the need to really be sure my lungs get a good workout and not necessarily my muscles. (but my "muscles" need it too! lol) Last thought: I am feeling guilty for not saying anything to my mother. My plan is to tell her much later and really down play it to getting my hernia (s) fixed. Thats not a lie, right?

I'm picking my granddaughter up this afternoon...

I'm picking my granddaughter up this afternoon from daycare and keeping her overnight and on saturday for some together time. I'm very close to her and I am hoping that I will be feeling up to seeing her often (after surgery on wednesday) but just in case...I want to spend extra time with her. I have just a few more items for my recovery supply bucket. Hubby and I decided to purchase a recliner on Sunday. It won't hurt to have and I'm sure we will use it after the surgery too. I've been showering with Dial and started taking stool softeners. I don't like the funny gurgly feeling of the stool softeners. I'm not experienced with laxitive or stool softeners. I'm not sure if they are working except to make me feel bloated. (bleh) I have cut out any extra salt and have been mindful of my diet. I'm drinking extra water (i already drink mainly water and lots of it). Am I missing anything? I'm feeling pretty calm so far. I think part of me just doesn't believe that it will really happen...Going to my last exercise class this morning and will bring home my locker stuff. I will miss my class. Like I mentioned before, I don't get out much and don't know anyone, so I will be completely isolated and alone except for my husband and kids. I'm sure my mind will be occupied with lots of body things so I hope I won't feel too lonely! (I am so gettin a job in the fall!!!)
Oh, and on a side note...yesterday hubby gave me a $100 bill, winked at me and said for the new panty fund...what a goober! I don't think he has seen the prices at VS, but the thought and gesture was priceless!!!

I've been trying to keep super busy today to take...

I've been trying to keep super busy today to take my mind off surgery tomorrow. I think I have everything prepared for coming home, but I will probably check the list 10 times before the night is over! I have my toilet seat riser on, my walker ready, my recliner situated, all my supplies gathered, and I feel as mentally prepared as I can be right now. My husband starts his "vacation" tomorrow to help me and the kids out. He is holding up well so far : )
I am attaching some last minute pictures for all to see and compare. It was hard to do, but I know how important pictures were for me in my decision making process. (Thank you to all the ladies gone before me) I am anxious to be on the "other" side soon. Keep me in mind and send positive thoughts my way if you can. Likewise, I will be thinking of my fellow MM pre/post ops.

Funny story...I'm in the shower trying to shave my...

Funny story...I'm in the shower trying to shave my hooha, and nothing is happening! I specifically asked at my pre op appointment if they shave me before surgery or should I do it myself. Well, earlier I pre shaved using the hair clippers to get as close as I could and tonight, in the shower the stubble isn't coming off my skin! WTF!!!! I don't want to look funky before my surgery! Turns out that the blade head was on upside down! oh good grief....I'm such a dingbat. Tomorrow is a new day.

Surgery day....I went in around 7:30. Had to do a...

Surgery day....I went in around 7:30. Had to do a pregnancy urin test (hubs is "fixed") but oh well. I felt very calm, which pleased me. I figured I would cry at some point but didnt. Nuse took vital explained anethseia risks. Dr came and marked me up. Hubby came back for a kiss. I laid on the table. Had the squeeze sox on and monitors. IV in. Last I remember the anest nurse was asking about my kids. Oh and I had anti sick patch behind ear. Woke up pretty quickly. Mostly just felt heavy in chest but I wouldn't say pain...just discomfort. Got home fine. Hubs and son got me up our back steps. Went pee and didn't have any problems there. (whew). I'm in my recliner just resting, drinking, taking pills and crackers. Took a stroll to living room. Using my air device for lungs. Going to eat some soup. I was under for about 2hr 13 min. Recovery room an hour and 40 min. The only thing that was odd is that I have small throat shapped weird. Figures. Lol. Hubs keeping up on meds for me. No sickness. Woot!

Wednesday 23 evening of surgery. I have puked...

Wednesday 23 evening of surgery. I have puked twice now. Hurts and worried about the stitches. I had a dime sized hernia with protrusion and "significant" muscle separation. I still have nausea patch (bad bad dry mouth) I'm wondering if the pain pills make me sick. Do u think I will be put on extra strength Tylenol.

I had a good day today...no puking. That was awful...

I had a good day today...no puking. That was awful. I was so mad yesterday that I threw up. I am taking just one pain pill about every 4 hrs. I have eaten gently today. My husband took off the patch behind my ear and so far no queasiness. I seem to pee a lot and I get up and stroll around the house. I am glad I bought a secondhand walker. I only have a pinching area on my left hip. I think it may be the drain. My left boob is more swollen and tender. I took off the ace bandage from my chest and I'm icing the area. I had a cresent lift done with silicone implants under the muscle. I also have a pain pump with tubes in each breast. I think Hubby will take them out tomorrow. I'm feeling upbeat and not loopy from meds. I take little naps off and on. I can supposedly take a shower tomorrow, but I'm nervous to take the binder off. Supplies I am so glad I have is my power lift rocker recliner, toilet seat riser, and my walker. I won't see the dr for a follow up til next week. My husband and kids have been wonderful. (except my eldest daughter, she hasn't said a word to me).
My drains 45cc riight and 30cc on the right for today. Oh and no swelling...yet! Lol

Early day 3 post op....I made poo!!!! I'm doing...

Early day 3 post op....I made poo!!!! I'm doing the potty dance...well, maybe the potty shuffle. I started taking stool softeners about a week ago. I tend to not be very regular so I wanted to try to be proactive. And it worked.

Post op day 3 5/26/12 I'm sleeping pretty well and...

Post op day 3 5/26/12 I'm sleeping pretty well and my appetite is a bit better. I find that my taste buds seem sensitive and I really do prefer bland food. This morning was a big morning for hubby and me....we showered. I had permission to do it yesterday but didn't feel confident enough to try it. Today I felt I especially needed to get the binder off and rewrapped better. I'm so glad I had a shower chair and added a hand held shower nozzle. I put a tank top under the binder with the shoulders cut so the binder doesn't rub on my skin. Everything looks pretty good under there. It is a weird feeling not having the binder on for me. I didn't pass out or get sick tho...yea! My drains are slowing down considerably and turning more clearish yellow. My breasts feel good. They are swollen and high but I'm sure that's normal at this point. I feel like I can walk a bit more upright (still bent over tho). I can stroll around the house easily but I do still like to nap. Eating soups, fruit and jello. Very easy poo times. I rarely take the pain pills and today I'm taking Advil (as per dr ok). I'm still taking the stool softeners and my multivitamin. My husband is so pleased and surprised at how well my body looks. We aren't young kids anymore but he really gets enjoyment out of looking at my tahtahs. (then blushes) he's adorable. He has also kept super notes on my meds, how I feel, and encourages me to walk around. I must be reacting to his attention because I had a very good dream about him last night ; )

Post op day three adding a pic after shower before...

post op day three adding a pic after shower before putting the binder back on. I'm doing well today. Just taking advil for pain but will probably take a muscle relaxer before bed. I think the incision looks low enough for me and pretty symetrical so far. The doctor did tell my husband that the skin right above my pubic area may have problems because of the deep and wide stretch marks, so we will keep an eye on that. I'm not looking at my belly button yet...it kinda grosses me out right now, so I don't want to develope any negative feelings. I'm going to wait and be patient. Happy Healing everyone!

I'm sleeping well at night. I sleep in a recliner...

I'm sleeping well at night. I sleep in a recliner next to my bed (so hubby can hold my hand-silly loving man). I get up in the night to pee by myself. My pain level is very minimal. I'm taking advil during the day and the muscle relaxer before bed. I tend to nap a lot during the day which depresses me. I wish I could be more awake and active. Doing what I am not sure? lol I haven't had any swelling yet. Maybe I won't since I didn't have any lipo done? My binder is getting on my nerves. It creeps up and ever since my shower and we removed it, I don't think it is on as tight as it should be. I walk hunched over, but feel like I could probably walk more upright (but I don't per dr say). My drains are barely putting much out and the color has completely changed to a mild pinkish yellowish clearish. I don't see my doctor until next friday. I'm guessing they will be removed...however, I feel so freaked about that! My breasts feel fine. I had a cresent lift so there aren't too many stitches. I think they look very pretty. I haven't had any more nausea. My girls made me laugh last night and I thought I would die it hurt so bad. No more laughing! I also sneezed this morning and that hurt too. I have managed to clear my throat very gently.
My husband has been fantastic and I am so lucky he could take his vacation to watch over me. He threw a fit when he was reading a soup can that claimed it had less sodium...my hero. I will count my blessings today and think happy thoughts...but NO laughing!

5dpo. My granddaughter came over today because her...

5dpo. My granddaughter came over today because her daycare was closed. I wanted so bad to play tea party and play outside. My hubby babysat and took care of me. Little things are getting on my nerves like the binder never staying in place and it is so sharp on the ends. I have two blister things under my left arm from the binder rubbing and maybe the surgical bra being ground into my skin. My drains are constantly getting tugged on when I move. Surprisingly my tummy, belly button and breasts all feel fine. I am wearing a tank top under the binder and Kotex pads tucked around. When the baby took a nap my hubby helped me take a shower. I do not like having my binder off. Right above my belly button I feel so hollow and ...don't know how to explain the feeling but as much as I loathe the binder, I rushed to get back into it. After the shower, I sat outside in the shade with my hubby and two teen daughters and watched granddaughter play in her kiddie pool. I feel much better. I showed granddaughter my drains and told her I had owies so she couldn't sit on my lap. She hugged my legs and gave my hands lots of kisses.
Earlier my husband called the dr calling service...no one ever told us how they want my belly button taken care of...it's been 4 hours and have heard nothing back. Not so "professional" after all.

6dpo..decided to take a bellybutton pic...mostly...

6dpo..decided to take a bellybutton pic...mostly just so I could see it! Please ignore the kotex pads, etc...anything for comfort, i tell ya! I'm doing much better today. I've been up around the house and think I will make myself take a nap while hubby goes out and runs errands. I still haven't swelled at all...not sure if its because I didn't have any lipo or my completely tasteless diet. (my tastebuds have kicked into overdrive and everything tastes 20 times more pungent). I do have significant stretch marks still and I knew I would, but I am shocked and pleased that they are so low. I am also extremely pleased that the bellybutton hernia no longer bulges out and hurts! Happy day today! : )

8 days post op...I had my first follow up...

8 days post op...I had my first follow up appointment with my PS this morning. The nurse had me undress down to panties and put on a gown. I still feel a little shaky without the binder so I felt a bit weird. Hubby had me take one pain pill before we left the house. (he's so smart) The nurse came back in and announced I would be getting both drains out. Joy and terror! The nurse clipped a stitch or two on my left side, told me to take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I felt a slight pinch at first then this snakey feeling. It was over quick. She repeated on the right side with the same slight pinch and crazy snake crawling outta my belly feeling. It honestly didn't hurt much at all. I, of course, had worked myself up and was sweating and feeling lightheaded. Luckily I was in the recliner hospital chair. Next the nurse pulled off the steri tape from my abdomen. That smarted. She enjoyed my Lamaze breathing. The nurse also took the tape off my cresent lift areola area, clipped a few stitches and that was that. Dr came in soon after and had me stand and I got hot and woozy again. I think I just worked myself up. I wasn't in pain or anything, prolly just nerves. Dr clipped a few more stitches, and put band aids on the drain tube holes. He told me to get Mederma and rub my incision scars. He said to pour a cap full of hydrogen peroxide into my belly button before I shower. And my husbands favorite part...massage the breasts! I had brought a pair of spanx type undies to ask if he approved of the style and compression capabilities and he approved. No more binder! Dr left, I got dressed without the binder and wearing much more comfy undies. My next follow up appointment is in two weeks.
Hubby and I made a quick trip to Walmart for some Mederma and peroxide. He treated me to a chocolate shake and now I'm home.
I am so excited to ditch that horrid binder. Later this week I will shop for more "spanx" type garments.
I am healing well. Still no swelling at all (yet), and maybe I won't? The stitches above my pubic area with the severe deep stretch marks is doing better than he anticipated. My husband goes back to work tomorrow, but my two teens still at home will be out of school to help if I need it.
All in all, I feel like I made big progress. I have to remind myself to be patient because the surgery was not that long ago, but today...I feel like Pinnoccio (sp?) without my strings...yippie!

8dpo..later in the evening...finally got my hubs...

8dpo..later in the evening...finally got my hubs to take a few pics of me without binder, without drains, without tape and a bit of Mederma on the scar....I'm pretty pleased, I must admit. I know I have a lot more healing to do, but if this was as good as it got, I would be thrilled. I know I have stretch marks and won't "rock" a bikini, but I may be able to wear a tankini or even a one piece without looking like I have a 20lb tumor on my belly! lol And...drum roll please, my hernia doesn't hurt! That damn thing had been pinching me for years and even though I have other zings and zaps...it beats the heck out of that hernia pinching!

Today I am 11 days post op. Yesterday I drove...

Today I am 11 days post op. Yesterday I drove myself and my 17yr old daughter to walmart (on a saturday) to get groceries. I did really well! I had my daughter reach for anything high or pick up anything heavy and she pushed the cart. I've been walking pretty upright and the only "pain" I have is around my bellybutton. It isn't my bellybutton at all, and I think it is probably where the PS fixed my hernia. I probably have extra stitches and muscle repair in that area. I still can't laugh, sneeze or cough without that area causing big ouchies, but it passes and normally, I don't even notice it. The only other issue I have had is on my cresent lift areola area, I had a couple of tiny spots open up after trying to massage my breasts as per the Dr instructions. I called the nurse right away and she said to stop massaging and just air dry the areas and do not put any ointment or bandaid on the spots. The areas are both scabbed over now and I will call the nurse back Monday to see what they want me do on the massaging.
In other news..after my walmart trip, my eldest daughter brought my granddaughter over to our house so she could sun herself and the baby (she is 2, but baby to me) could play in the sprinkler. I sat outside and watched baby play and gently played with her. My eldest daughter STILL has not said anything to me, asked me anything or even directly talked to me about the surgery or anything else for that matter. She is completely ignoring me. I'm just glad that I get to see my grandbaby. Baby knows I have ouchies. She went to the potty with me and saw the bandaids at the end of my incision (where the drains were pulled) and said, "on no YaYa, ouch...ouch YaYa". She was very concerned for me, what a doll.
My mood is good, my energy level is getting better (i still like to nap once in the afternoon), I still haven't ever swelled (yet). My tastebuds seem to be going back to normal but my appetite isn't very big. I tend to have to remind myself to eat but not much ever sounds good. I've had a few salty pretzels and seem to be handling a bit of salt without swelling so I am not being quite as restrictive on my salt intake as I was at first. I'm trying to be careful and eat smart though until I can get back to the gym. I think I will ask the nurse Monday if I can walk around the block. I'm just taking advil now about every 4-6 hours. I'm still sleeping in the recliner but may try the bed as soon as my "hernia?" area feels better. I sleep through the night without pain. I can't think of anything else to report right now, so I am going to sit outside in the shade and enjoy the sunny day! : )

Later in the day 11dpo...i finally called my mom...

later in the day 11dpo...i finally called my mom and told her about my tummy surgery. My step-dad was on the other line too so I was able to tell them both at the same time. They were both very supportive. I did not mention getting my breasts "done". I kept it pretty basic and said I needed to have belly button hernia fixed ( i did have intestine protrusion from the hernia) and felt it was the right time to have the surgery.I also told them about my muscle seperation and other areas of muscles that had to be stitched back together. My mom reminded me that I had been born with a belly button hernia, so I probably had a weak spot my whole life that pregnancy just opened it up a bit with each baby. I am so relieved to have that off my to-do list. My mom and step-dad are wonderful people. They have been so generous to us in the past financially when we were a young struggling family, that I worried they would judge the money spent on the surgery, but they didn't mention or ask about that at all. I was worried about nothing I guess, because they were both just relieved that I was doing okay and had gotten my health risks fixed!

12dpo...I put mederma on my incisions as per dr suggestion. My tummy incision is doing fine with it, but I think the mederma on my areolas are causing little areas to open up. I noticed last night when I took my surgical bra off that I had small spots of blood around the nipple areas again. I am going to call the dr office today and ask just to be sure. I haven't been able to massage my breasts due to worrying that I will open up more incision areas. My right breast seems to look alright so far. The right nipple isn't very sensitive yet. My left breast still feels swollen and shaped a little wonky. The left nipple has sensation. I know its early and I have lots of healing to do but my nipples look a little walleyed right now. One nipple is is off over here and the other nipple seems to be distracted in another direction. Whats going on "girls?" On the other hand, (well now I need two hands..hehee) I have a whole new appreciation for my breasts. I breast fed all 5 of my kids and ever since I have felt a disconnect with my breasts. They weren't sexy...they were milk jugs (ok, bitty cups) that were working objects for babies. I am excited to now "own" my breasts again. I wasn't expecting that reaction and I am so excited now to dress them in pretty lacey things and just sit around topless with my husband (alone of course in the privacy of our room) and let him admire my womanly fullness. (especiall when they get their act together and cooperate and "match" better...lol)

15days post op...feeling good still. Having TOM,...

15days post op...feeling good still. Having TOM, so other than that...feeling good. (ive had a few "blue" days, maybe PMS?) I took a 3 hour drive this morning so I could drop off my 17 yr old daughter at a girlfriends house to visit for a week. I'm not taking any pain pills except for advil about every 4 or 6 hours depending on if I remember or if I feel I need it. TOM has made me need it just a bit more these last two days, but nothing extreme. I feel like I could do almost anything so I know that is dangerous. I found myself weeding my little flower garden yesterday and made myself stop...i just pulled one, then another, then I was on my knees...and I thought, "nope, no more! stop already". I don't think it would hurt but I try to follow doctors orders...i certainly don't want any set backs. I slept in my own bed once. It wasn't the greatest sleep. My back got real sweaty and I felt sore from being in one position. The next night I got about half way through the night then went back to the recliner. I will try again after TOM. In my recliner, I am able to kinda scoot around a bit more which helps. I sleep wonderfully. I usually get up to pee once, but that is normal for me. I really drink tons of water throughout the day. (and lets face it, after 5 kids my bladder is doing the best it can!) I can laugh a bit now without it hurting so much. I think the area around the belly button is getting stronger. I still get a bit tired in the afternoon, but that is typical for me with my thyroid disorder (makes me tired a lot). I don't always nap, but I try to rest. I do dishes, I have swept a bit, done some laundry and cooked. Done a few shopping trips. I try real hard not to reach above my shoulders because the doctor told me not to yet...as I said, I TRY. My left breast feels better but I can tell it still needs to drop. I stopped using Mederma and I think that is making a big difference. I still have a few scabs that are healing around my areola. I have been trying to massage my breasts twice per day. My tt scar is not as symetrical as is was right after surgery. I know the skin has to drape back into place and my right side scar is just a bit off. It could even out or it may not. With as many deep thin skinned stretch marks, I am lucky the Dr had anything to stitch together. I do have the one spot right in the middle above my pubic area that has become a bit red. I'm pretty sure there is an internal stitch sticking out just a bit. (no pain or heat so it isn't infected) The tt scar has turned darker and "ropey" but I know this is all part of the healing process and it will thin out and lighten up in the weeks and months to come. I have no pain or discomfort from the incision area at all. My next follow up appointment is next Thursday. I'm attaching two pics taken yesterday..i know pics always helped me when I was researching and following the progress of our MM. Happy Healing Everyone!

23 day PO...yesterday I had my second post op...

23 day PO...yesterday I had my second post op appointment (it was 3 weeks plus one day since my surgery). My husband went with me and I had taken a pain pill about 20 minutes prior just in case. I was taken back to the exam room promptly. Undressed to undies with hospital gown on, nurse came in and I showed her the spot on my right breast cresent incision that had given me problems with opening and bleeding. The spot had a nice scab finally and I hadn't had any more problems with the incision. The nurse told me the doctor will want the scab off. I immediately got defensive and difficult. I did not want her to pick my scab off! My husband was looking at me like I was an alien. I did not want her to pick my scab! It took a long time for it to scab and stop bleeding and I kept picturing it dripping blood down my boob if she pried it off. I kept asking her why does the dr want the scab off? Nurse said that the incision will heal better and cleaner with less scaring. I argued with her telling her it is healthier to have a closed wound. She obviously saw that I was not going to cooperate and put her little tweezers down on the gauze and told me that she would just have the doctor look at it. As soon as she left, my husband tried to be the voice of reason and convince me to follow doctors orders. Aren't we all taught from a small age NOT to pick scabs? Well, to make my hubby happy, I carefully checked out the scab and gently scratched the edge of it and it came off in a nice soft flake. I proudly put the scab on the gauze so I could show the doctor...(what is wrong with me? must be the stupid pain pill, right?) So, anyhoo...as possible punishment we were left waiting for about 20 minutes or so before the PS finally came in. I told him about the scab and that I had picked it off. He didn't say much. I was looking for a gold star good patient award, I guess. PS had me stand up in front of him and he checked out all my incisions. He clipped some stitches on the tt area and probably picked scabs but at this point I was not looking and strangely got hot and woozy again like last time I had my appointment (drains out). When he got to the belly button stitches I told him I needed to sit down, he called his nurse to bring me a water bottle. He continued to clip stitches and clean gunk out of my bb. Nothing hurt by the way...just me being over reactive. Some questions and answers....keep massaging breasts. my right breast nipple is "off" to me, but the PS said it is too early to worry. I can buy any bra now. (currently, I prefer a soft cami with built in bra), i am allowed to put my arms above my head, i have to wear the "spanx" undies for one more week then I can go back to just panties, and in one week he said I could go back to exercising with modifications and to listen to my body. he warned me that it would be very uncomfortable at first and to not do any core exercises yet. (as if I would try!), PS told me to use Mederma and when I asked about the silicone strips he said he preferred Mederma. PS said he is very pleased with my healing progress and my husband complimented him on doing a wonderful job (prolly about the boobs!lol) I do not have to go back for 2 months.
I am pretty much 90% and I reserve the 10% because I still need a daily nap or rest, my upper abs feel like they need to stretch more and sometimes after sitting it takes a few minutes for me to be able to stand fully upright (no pain tho), I have been sleeping in bed again, but I'm not able to really roll over on my sides and toss around like i am used to doing. I usually get up around 5 am and take an advil just because sleeping in such a static position makes me stiff and sore, then I sleep again for another 2 hours. I am not lifting anything that I feel might be too heavy, just in case. I occasionally take advil if I get sore after doing some household chores or big shopping trip with lots of walking. Mentally, I am feeling pretty confident and sexy. My boobs overwhelm me a bit. It is going to take some time to get used to them. They are nice, don't get me wrong, but I guess I wasn't expecting them to be this large on me. (hubby has no complaints) I think my tt incision is healing very well. I found that some of my panties cover the scar line and I was surprised because I didn't think my scar was low enough for that. Now that the stitches and gunk is out of my bb, I will have to get used to it. I have to remind myself that I am still healing and changing, but my bb looks funky to me...i'm posting pics. I hope it goes in more. From afar it looks ok, but I don't care for the funny bumpy things inside (does that make sense?) So, all things considered, I am doing great, healing fantastically, and feeling pretty darn sexy! I am very excited to be able to go back to my Jazzercise class even if I do one move out of 20...I miss the energy and music and people from my class.

23day PO..later afternoon....so, I went to VS to...

23day PO..later afternoon....so, I went to VS to get measured. I was nervous because I feel pretty large on the top and I wasn't sure how I would handle the actual size. I was sized at 34DD or 36D. When the saleslady handed me a try on bra, I felt like crying it looked so BIG! The 36D fit well and she showed me where to find some pretty bras. My 15 year old went with me and she helped me pick out some beautiful bras. Suddenly, I was very into picking out bras! I don't have any restrictions on underwire because I only had a crescent lift (no incisions to rub on underwire). I bought several! I have never owned this many bras before! lol....My favorite one is made of lace. I never ever ever could've worn a bra like that before. I got teary eyed in the dressing room looking at myself. Wow..., ok...I like my boobs.

West Des Moines Plastic Surgeon

So far so good. I will update my ratings after my surgery to completely reflect all categories. I definately feel that I will be in very good competent hands of both doctor and staff.

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