2015: Pregnancy Journey After Mommy Makeover - Dominican Republic

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Hey all, well this is my second review on RealSelf...

Hey all, well this is my second review on RealSelf (feel free to view my first review where I documented my Round 1 Mommy Makeover) I felt a need for this type of review bcuz I searched the internet and didn't find much on this topic. So here I will document my pregnancy leading up to my Round 2 surgery after baby.

So I will go ahead and touch base with u guys on my Round 1 experience. I had sx last year in February of 2014 in the Dominican Republic with Dra Tania Medina. I think the hardest part of this journey is getting started and second being indecisive on doctor choices. I can tell u that from the moment I made up my mind to cross over to the flat side all the way up until 2 days before surgery I kept second guessing my choices, wondering if some other doctor out there may be a better fit for me lol.

I think the thing is bottom line, just go with ur gut feeling. At the time I wanted Dra Duran so bad and then even considered Cabral but Duran never replied to me and here we are a year later lol and Cabral to be quite honest scared the daylights out of me. That's when I was a newbie to the sx life, and so Dra Medina put me so at ease knowing she was a phone call or whatsapp message away and her caring demeanor was everything it was like talking to an old friend everytime. I am blessed to have had great sx I have never regret my decision even though I hit a few bumps in the road, it was stuff I was able to manage, always.

I see so many horror stories about how painful it was and thankfully I can tell u that I was never in any real pain to where I was suffering the most I dealt with was discomfort, but that's to be expected. I also see stories about bad recovery homes and poor treatment. I think this is all about attitude and perception. My dealings with the recovery home I selected weren't the best but I understood that my nurse was only human and couldn't deal with it all on her own. That part wasn't my fault, she should have invested in help or thought things through more carefully bcuz I was alone alot of the time. Thank God I am pretty self sufficient.. but again she is only human. I think another huge problem is the language barrier definitely! Things tend to get lost in translation or misconstrued. I am glad I was well prepared and spoke the language I could sit and talk to ppl like any other day sitting talking to my mom or a family member.

Still looking back, are there things I would have done differently, the answer is NO! It was all a learning experience and just as much as there was some bad there was far more good involved! I didn't have 24/7 personal care.. I struggled to get in and out of bed and to the bathroom but I also had peace of mind knowing I was alone and there was no one who could have robbed me or tampered with any of my belongings. Was I satisfied with my results, no! In all honesty I expected more, I wanted to be one and done. But there is only so much that can be done in one time and it's better to be safe than sorry. Separate procedures can be easier on the body getting too much at once can be fatal or hard to recover from. In my personal experience I had nothing to compare to as all the results I saw were nowhere near my body composure. I wasn't huge but I had alot of tummy to get rid of to where losing weight didn't seem to make a huge difference in how my clothes looked. I pretty much went blindly. My tummy was never flat. I always had a small upper bulge that looked odd to me. So naturally I wanted to have a Second Round of just lipo and why not? Since I would be having lipo might as well add a second BBL... plus one of the most important reasons I wanted sx,, to have a BR (breast reduction) which I did not get bcuz my doc felt it would be too much on my body, so I was seeking these things on Round 2. Many ppl asked me, why do u feel u need another round? We're u not happy with what was done the first round? In all honesty that's a tough question to answer. Yes I was beyond happy with my results it was a huge improvement but I am still dealing with a hernia, possibly two hernias, plus I still need to get my BR and I do want a flatter tummy. Everyone will have a different experience in their personal journeys but although I'm happy I know there will always be room for improvement. That and maybe just maybe I caught a bit of the sx bug! Lol yes addiction!!

The airport was the most horrible part of this experience for me lol. Arriving things turned into a nightmare and leaving as well. Ppl are out to make a buck! Well anyways that's my intro and a bit of history on my previous sx experiences. For awhile after my sx I had no desire to look into surgeons or procedures but now that hubby has clearly told me in his own words that he owes me a body for getting me pregnant the bug is back and stronger than ever haha. I should be happy to have had one successful round but I do crave a round 2! My doc has informed me that I might not even need a second TT my body may just bounce back like after a first pregnancy and maybe a bit of lipo is all I need. Time will determine this of course. I'm not huge actually if u saw me u wouldn't even think I'm almost 5 months pregnant, yup just one week shy of reaching the belly button in this pregnancy journey (20 weeks)! In my previous pregnancies I always bounced back pretty well, it wasn't until after my twins 4 years ago that my body was declared a disaster zone lol. Well in opinion at least. I did carry them to full term they were about 6 1/2 lbs each!!

Well that's enough babbling from me for now. I have an appointment this Wednesday for an ultrasound, fingers crossed that hopefully we will learn the sex of the baby! I will update u guys then I promise!! Next post will be more about my actually pregnancy that my past. This was just to provide some insight, and as always u guys are welcome to read my first review. Ok TTYS. Bye my Loves!

It's a..... GIRL?

So today I had my appointment and the ultrasound tech couldn't see baby's sex bcuz of the position she was laying in... my whole family was rooting for a BOY.. after having several girls in a row hubby was really craving a little boy, the boy he's always wanted.

She was about to call it quits bcuz she couldn't see the sex and I asked her to look from another angle and started moving around so baby would wake up and move and that was when. ... she said it may definitely be a girl but we would need one more sono to be sure. At that moment I know hubby's hopes sank down deep he was like nope its a girl I can see it myself. I felt so bad I see how his eyes light up when he sees baby boys in my family. But I guess it just wasn't meant for us... 8 girls and 3 boys is what we have... none of my boys are hubby's bio children. Oh well what can u do right? Just pray for a healthy little girl! She is very much wanted either way.

We weren't planning on anymore children she was definitely a very happy surprise. . After having issues with my IUD I had it removed and BAM along came baby #12

My initial thought were those of FEAR!! Like omg would there even be space for baby to grow properly? Would I be putting my health at risk? We calculated that I got pregnant 10 months post-op, right now I am almost 5 months along or as I like to refer to it.. right at, the belly button of the situation, right at the middle of this journey.

I scoured the internet RealSelf, youtube, baby boards etc for info on pregnancy after TT and there wasn't much out there except scared women such as myself wanting to find reassurance and amswers! So I decided to talk about it here. I am going thru pregnancy and also prepping for Round 2 I figured maybe some woman would benefit from my post. As many consider termination out of fear or as per docs recommendation. . But I'm here to tell u it doesn't have to be that way! I did find 2 documented journeys on YouTube of pregnacies following TT however I think they were further along post-op

I am still quite small not overly huge which is good for as far my results not being altered too much... but would baby be ok? Well according to my doc... yes! There is plenty of space in the womb and skin will always accommodate for growth. That was my biggest fear as I stated. So yes ladies u CAN have a successful birth after plastic surgery, but it's not recommended bcuz depending how u look at it, it's money down the drain for some... it all depends how ur body puts on weight during a pregnancy or how ur skin bounces back. As fore.my first few pregnancies went well I didn't gain much it was after 6 or 7 kids that I started gaining more weight. Stretch marks didn't come about till after the 3rd or 4th pregnancy. The women I saw on YouTube bounced back pretty well after childbirth the TT and muscle repair seemed to stay in tact pretty well. Now I'm just wondering how everything will play out for me since additionally I have 2 possible hernias... but my doc is referring me to a surgeon for further evaluation. Also gonna refer me to a plastic surgeon for breast reduction.. it may get picked up by insurance yay! Might not need that done in DR... I just hope I can find a good surgeon.

Well ladies that's all for now. I'm doing pretty well much better than expected. Till next time mis chicas bellas ?

Surgery Crazy Part 2:

When I first embarked on my journey I admit like everyone else I went surgery crazy. I had never had PS before and I didn't know what to expect, naturally I got to the point where I was even dreaming of it!! Pretty vividly too lol. I imagined I would be in the greatest pain of my life and severely immobile but I was surprised that it wasn't too bad it was bearable. I lusted after bodies and surgeons, saved a million and one wish pics too my phone to the point of where it was just creepy lol. Imagine finding a phone with pix of naked women or scanty clad in bikinis.. one might just get the wrong idea lmao!!!

Everyone said find someone who has similar body composition to urs and then ull know what ur end results will be similar too, but no one had my shape! I saw plenty of bigger dolls come out small and looking vixen like. But then much of that may have been photo shopped. I wanted a very dramatic difference. I know u can't expect too much. U can be plus size and expect to come out a size 3. But in my case I wasn't plus sized, well parts of me were. I was top heavy too large breast, chubby arms, tummy out of control and then slender hips and slender legs. I was on backwards lol. I noticed when u are bottom heavy u tend to get better results. But then that's why many will add hips or laterals in the mix.

I also didn't know much about picking a surgeon I was just going after the most sought after based on results they ever giving other women. If the results were too subtle I passed. But the surgeon I chose I pretty much went to blindly and took a chance bcuz at that time she didn't have much of her work out on the internet. But I'm very fortunate I went with her. Although I felt my results were subtle afterwards, looking back now I did have alot done. I had a TT, BBL, which included the back lipo, arm lipo, and a tiny bit of thigh lipo! Wow that is ALOT! Plus she threw in 6 free hyperbaric sessions, and a plasma facial aka vampire facelift and my arm sleeves faja, a 3 panel binder and my stage one faja... I bought the stage two separately but all that and the price was right... she practically gave it away at $3400 but it served her well too bcuz after me, many other women followed in my footsteps and had work done with her.

I kept hoping the swelling would subside and my waist would shrink. I actually looked really great in clothing and went down in sizes but I still felt uncomfortable if I'd worn a two piece bikini for example and Idk if that was just me still feeling self-conscious or what. I still felt like I had a tummy, or a bulge I think it's from the hernia that I developed. I'm not quite certain if I developed it bcuz I exercised too soon or if maybe I had been born with it or developed it in one of my pregnancies (which have all been high-risk) I never felt pain before but I always had that odd upper bulge I mentioned. So my doc said she would do free lipo on me when I went back for my breast reduction.. that's when I decided on a second round of booty! I guess that's just like women who want large boobs, bcuz they have always been small. Since I was always poor in the booty section I now crave a fatty. But for awhile after sx (months later) I just settled back into my normal life and I didn't think much about surgery I wasn't so surgery crazy. I knew I could go back in as little as six months post op and don't get me wrong I wanted to have all kinds of work done but the thrill was kinda gone. I guess bcuz I was recovering and I went through stuff with my family, such as illness and deaths. Sx sat on a back burner and felt further and further away. I was grateful to have had one round of multiple procedures and have survived it, I also had a blood transfusion but my life was never at risk it was just to bring my blood count back up. I had a part of my incision open and I would leak for months, don't know of it was a seroma or just a rejected stitch but my doc said not to worry. Bottom line I was happy and although craving more procedures I didn't want to work and live to pay for surgery. I was a mom and I of course didn't want to take away from my families lives.. I spent 3 weeks in the DR and then I spent a few months on a recliner away from hubby. I just wanted life to resume. I'd rather spend that money elsewhere. Guilt maybe?? Also didn't want to become those women who are so addicted they mortgage their homes. It's fun to experience this but don't let it consume u.

Well flashback to now. I haven't had anything out of the ordinary happen in my pregnancy not anything related to the PS. I have had a bit of a rough time but that's normal for me. I am always high risk. I tend to go through hyperemesis gravidarum which is vomiting and nausea pretty much all nine months, sometimes u become dehydrated and require IVs it's hard to keep stuff down or not be grossed out all the time. The only think u can drink some days is water, everything else has a bad aftertaste or gives u heartburn. In previous pregnancies it's been worse. This time around I am more nauseated than vomiting all day. Not too bad. I have also had preeclampsia twice in previous births so they are monitoring me, it hasn't reared it's ugly head yet. But I have had migraines and a fast pulse. Also pain and burning along my incision due to the hernias and of course some stretching of my tummy. But it's not to where I'm doubled over nor crying. Still I do feel limited doc had initially put me on bedrest but I can't! Its too hard so I just limit myself and take it easy. Let me tell u that's a hard thing to do. Taking it easy becomes boring and frustrating!

Well right now I'm playing the waiting game. Enjoying my very last pregnancy and wondering what will be the aftermath of my body's transition?? I want to enjoy my investment and I feel my family is complete. I am going to tie my tubes. No more IUD or pills nor patches. A dozen children is plenty I'm happy with my bunch. So hubby said he owes me, so I have to be kind and accept his generous offer right lol? I definitely know I want more lipo since after round 1 but now I'm wondering if it will be enough? I'm hoping I don't need a mini tuck nor full tuck... but then again I need hernia repair so I would have to wait 6 months after hernia repair to have lipo, unless I have hernia repair and a second TT. I want all over lipo, maybe some to chin, arms, legs, definitely want a thigh gap! I'd like some filler to my face or maybe fat grafting to face. A BR with lift my second BBL... hmm for awhile there I wanted brightocular just like Tiny, TIs wife had done in Africa. But first I'd want to get lasik eye surgery. See I'm once again sx crazy!!!?! Argh!?! Lmao.. I love the ab lipo etching they are doing in Columbia it's like what Khloe Kardashian did in Beverly Hills. Very nice!

So I'm once again looking into doctors and procedures trying to plan out everything well. If I can get my BR through insurance then that reduces the amount of procedures I have to pay for out of pocket. I know the hernia may get covered, just waiting on the referral to the specialist. This time around I may even have a surgery buddy or two.. I will definitely not stay at the same RH at all.

Well that's all for now mis bellas. Talk to u ladies soon....

Continued..... (sorry)

Sorry I deleted a section by accident. As I was saying maybe my results didn't quite leave me satisfied, we all want to have just one round in the beginning, then we realize that it's sometimes just not feasible. I'd rather go through the ringer a few times over than have one round of multiple procedures and die or stay forever altered and not in a good way, no one wants to become handicapped or become a vegetable, we have all heard the horror stories.

So in a way I'm glad my surgeon didn't do my breast reduction since that is a big procedure on its own, plus this time around I may get it through insurance which last time was not an option since I was uninsured.

I survived that's already a plus!! Also I never felt horrendous pain or suffered to where I said hey, this just isn't for me. Sure I had a bit of a tough time but I just kept pushing through and yes I would do it all over again but I don't wanna rush it. After my first round I decided to give it time and see how well everything held up after a years time then plan my next sx... but then I got pregnant and now I'm glad my tummy wasn't completely flat bcuz then I would have felt it was money down the drain. I probably needed two rounds anyways or a different surgeon.

I love Cabrals work but at the time I was terrified.. this time I feel comfortable to go to him or any other surgeon of my choice. The only one I won't go to is Contreras and that's bcuz he supposedly let's his interns do his work sometimes and he's been called the ghost surgeon. Well some girls pay for certain procedures and he doesn't deliver... not bcuz he doesn't do a good job... he just doesn't touch certain areas period! Or they mix up what procedures were to be done on who. He's famous but he's just kept way too busy... and just like my RH nurse last round I don't want to go through being pushed aside.

Imagine being seen at 5 or 6am u get ur meds or wound cleaned then u don't see ur nurse till 9-10pm when she's beyond tired and won't even do a massage on u! Plus there's everything in between like getting out of bed, going to the bathroom, cleaning out a clogged drain etc.. well I did that all on my own. But I see some ladies complaining over things that are less traumatic.. won't go into detail nor bash anyone but let's just say I survived bcuz I wasn't a demanding diva.

Her mother came by occasionally to clean up... they expected me up and running just like them... um no I need my meds first... don't wanna have a 5am breakfast on the balcony. Plus I had no TV, had a radio but it barely worked. I had warm water.. its actually a switch on the wall same as a light switch they just don't keep it on constantly bcuz they are trying to cut costs. So u switch it on amd let it run 10 min and wah-lah warm water. Plus I had no roommates but then again recovering alone has its benefits too, u don't have to worry about certain issues that can arise if too many girls are in one room. So yea there was pros and cons... my transport person complained alot over wait times and often was busy so I ended up taking cabs. I was told a foreigner cannot rent a car.. otherwise I woulda been trying to drive myself! Lol supposedly u CAN rent a car, who knew guess they just lie to u to make a buck.

So yes I even managed sightseeing and had time to go to a few places, restaurants, the beauty salon, the mall, touristic areas, the movies, and the different clinics around Santo Domingo... the only thing I didn't so is go dancing and believe me I did get invited by a friend lol... being bilingual I also made friends there who I still talk to.

So I have alot of thinking and planning for my next round.. should I stick to what I know, which is DR, or venture into Columbia...? I am very comfortable in Mexico too but it's honestly more expensive there. Of course I wouldn't have elective surgery in the USA just based in price and skill!! The hernia yes, the boobs maybe... but any sculpting nope no way.

Well gonna cut it short here. Goodbye ladies

Don't u just LOVE it when that happens?!!?!?

Just typed by a whole update on my laptop since my phone was on the charger and I accidentally hit something and the whole post went to poop! UGH

Oh well.........

Hmm, was that what I think it was?

Lately I had been experiencing pains in my abdomen along my incision. Ok nothing unusual I figured this was pretty normal for someone who became pregnant following a TT. Other times I just hoped and wondered if everything was ok and if baby had enough space within. Then I noticed that the worst pain I was experiencing wasn't coming from the incision at all but from the area that's on my incision where I supposedly have a hernia or a fat lump..

Also it has officially begun! I have finally been experiencing flutters and actual movement very recently YES movement from baby and not those fake ghost kicks I experienced following my TT! But confirmation from baby that all is progressing well with the pregnancy and baby is growing developmentally on target.. reassurance from my body as well. I figure after 10 pregnancies and 11 livebirths I can effectively distinguish phatom kicks from actual baby kicks.. I'm what u may call somewhat of an expert, lmao! Of course the doc had told me all was proceeding well. But u know it's always at the back of ur mind especially for me after hearing horrible TT PG stories.

Let me explain what I mean by fake kicks.. this may seem strange to some and maybe familiar to others. After my TT procedure but prior to becoming PG I felt sensations that I can only compare to a baby kicking from within. Except that it always occurred in the same exact spot slightly off to the left near where I had experienced the fluid leakage. When I discussed it with my PS she simply said it was nothing to worry about maybe just nerves waking up and doing their thing. But then months later I was still having those episodes and she said well it can be a number of things but without examining u I really can't pinpoint it as TT patients will feel an array of strange sensations and it's not unusual.

So I just figured I couldn't do a thing till I went back to see her. Around that time I also discovered the two lumps/possible hernias. I had pain in my abdomen that i knew wasn't simply part of my recovery since it came after I was back home and feeling better but due to being uninsured I wasn't really able to see a doctor. One night I did make a trip to the ER and the doc there confirmed that it was in fact a hernia but it was so unusual bcuz he may his diagnosis by simply feeling on my abdomen.. no tests, no ultrasound nada! One lump is to my right side along my incision. That he claimed was probably not a hernia but just maybe fat that got trapped underneath the tissues. The other lump is right where my PS would have done the muscle repair and sewn my muscles back together. From what I have learned about hernias, is that they in fact cam be fat or tissue trapped inside u or more commonly a weak or prolapsed area along the abdominal wall where a section of the instestineay be protruding through and the danger is that it may become strangulated. Maybe that's even why I felt kicking sensations? Who knows maybe I got rewired wrong somehow lol. I comforted myself by once again falling back on that option of fixing it when I returned to DR. My doc had told me that when I returned for the next round which would take care of my breat reduction, she would throw in free lipo and my hernia repair. I was of course planning to return soon but that got monkey wrenched upon learning I was expecting since it is now pushed off.

Recently while on sx groups on FB and forums I stumbled across images of women with TT and hernia repairs and guess what? I found one very similar characteristic in common with them that I also

Wasn't finished ugh!!

That I,

Let's try that again.....!

That I also had.. that upper bulge above the belly button that makes u look like u have two stomachs! So the wheels iny head began spinning. What if maybe I had had this all along?? A hernia since childhood or maybe it occurred after I had my first child? I've heard of both of those things happening even that u can be born with a hernia.. ok but hmm why them did it never hurt nor cause a problem before? Why would it have remained dormant and symptom-less and not become obvious till after my cosmetic sx? I have no answers for that. I have asked before if u can develop a hernia after a TT like maybe if something wasn't sewn effectively or if it came apart at the seams? The answer acRoss the board is pretty much the same... its a rate occurrence.

In my lifetime I have known a few ppl who have shared their hernia experiences with me. One was my aunt and I actually lived that with her. Many years before her hernia she had an appendectomy sx approximately 20 years. When the discovered her hernia it was explained to us that as a result of her appendectomy an area stayed weakened in her abdominal wall and as a result a piece of her instestine seeped out through there and had indeed become strangulated. She had surgery with mesh to repair it and that tint piece of instestine was removed and resectioned. That didn't last too long as she soon had problems and it once again reopened and it caused an infection in her abdominal cavity she's lucky to be here! That caused her to have a subsequent surgery, an emergency surgery that involved pig tissue being attached to her insides and sewn in place for repair since it is the closest thing to human tissue, that has held up 4/5 years now but very recently she has developed a huge lump that can be seen and looks like how it was prior to having any surgeries performed. Hernias from what I see really suck!

One of my cousins and also a childhood friend of mine told me about their hernias which came about during their pregnancies. At birth or shortly after they were repaired and have both been ok since then. But who knows what will happen to them down the road as well.. they have been cautioned against rigorous/strenuous exercise. I like to workout, I'd hate that to be the case with me as I tend to go rough with abdominal exercise that leaves me no hope :-(

So I have learned this. Apparently there are three types of hernia repair sx. Tension repair where they unite the tissues and just reset them, which has a high reoccurence rare unfortunately. Mesh repair which is supposed to hold up well unless ur body rejects it.. and donor tissue as in the case of my aunt where the used pig tissues.. if that happened to me, I'd personally have an issue eating pork again after that! I hope that whatever it is its something fairly simple enough. I just wish I could speed up my appointment with the specialist already as I'm dying to know the verdict... what exactly is wrong with my insides and why? I do remember once at Zumba about 2 months or so after sx. I was trying so hard to keep up and I felt so stiff and hopeless like I just couldn't keep up and I pushed myself extra hard.. I also remember trying to lift myself up and out of bed or the recliner, of course I wanted to accomplish this alone one day something inside me snapped! I literally heard amd felt it loke a rubberband come undone. Be that as it may, it might somehow explain the lump which is right at the site where the doc would have rejoined my muscle separation during muscle repair. But what about the smaller and yet more painful lump of supposed fat right along my incision??

I really need to sort all this out soon, wish me luck ladies. I don't know if being pregnant is a hindrance or a blessed miracle as far as these stupid lumps are concerned. I will go out on a limb and say it's a blessing bcuz maybe I can get this repaired here after giving birth and what's better, with my insurance. Bcuz I don't know what methods are used in DR to combat hernias which is where I would have ended up originally like are they are outdated when compared to USA? I'm just leaving it all in God's hands. Praying for the best possible outcomes!
Name not provided

Undecided. Contemplating a possibly return to the Dominican Republic or whether to venture over to Columbia.

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