33yo TT - Duluth, MN

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I am a 33-year old mom of 2--first was natural and...

I am a 33-year old mom of 2--first was natural and second was emergency C-section. I have always struggled with my weight. I am 5'6" and 195 lbs. I was this large in high school but was able to successfully lose 45 lbs when I was around 20. I felt and looked great!

By the time I became pregnant with my son at age 26 I was 175 lbs. I only gained 20 pounds with him and lost it all by the time I checked out of the hospital the next day. Needless to say, my stomach was now a deflated belly from losing the weight so fast. Not to mention, it was all concentrated in the stomach---even when I was 8 months pregnant you couldn't tell I was pregnant from the backside. It wasn't until I turned around and my little basketball poked out at you!

By the time he was one I was able to lose even more weight (I believe I was down to 160) and I felt really good about myself. Then, I got a fulltime job that involved travel and long hours (the joys of being salaried). By the time I became pregnant with my daughter in Summer 2011 I was 195 lbs again.

I gained 37 pounds with her. Yikes! As with my son, there was a lot of amniotic fluid because, believe it or not, I lost all 37 pounds by the time we came home from the hospital four days later. To make the deflated balloon even worse, I had an emergency C-section which is hard enough on the stomach itself.

I know I have portion control issues, but I have worked on them tremendously. I do workout on a regular basis and I do fluctuate in weight. The biggest issue I have with my body is the shape of the stomach. Regardless if I'm 175 or 195, it is still a deflated balloon. Also, with how my stomach hangs, it makes really hard exercise difficult---nothing like going for a bike ride or run and having your stomach slap your thighs. :(

I really am comfortable with the rest of my body. I am choosing to have a tummy tuck in order to get rid of the lower abdominal pouch. I am fully aware that this is not going to drop 50 pounds from my body. I am fully aware that I will still have work to do to get down to my goal weight of 160. But, I believe this will ease the discomfort of exercise as well as give me a motivational boost to keep going.

I met with Dr Weber in June to discuss my case. He agreed that side lipo, tummy tuck and muscle repair will give me a nice shape and provide relief to my lower abdomen. My surgery is scheduled for August 22nd.

Two more pics

These really show the lower abdomen.

Nine Days to Surgery!

I'm so fortunate to be busy, I guess, because it's hard to believe surgery is next Friday! I go in for my pre-op appointment in two days. I'm slightly addicted to this site so I think I'm prepared.

Went shopping for shareware the other day. It was actually fun going through the clothing department and looking at all the clothes I'll be able to wear soon!

Pre-Op Appt Today!

I had my pre-op appointment with Dr Weber today. He makes me so comfortable with this procedure. He's confident but annoyingly so.

I have my Rx for loritab that I can fill prior to surgery next Friday. We discussed what I'll be able to do and not do. We discussed how similar and different this recovery will be from my C-section two years ago. We discussed pain management. I am not a big fan of pain meds (knocks me out and leaves me foggy--may not be a bad thing for a day or two but hopefully I can transition to extra-strength Tylenol after that).

I will have drains in for 10 days. I was hoping for three or four as I hear they are really annoying, but also see the positive of this. I'd hate to get them out early and still have a lot of fluid build-up! And, really, 10 days is nothing compared to the lifetime of improvement that I am getting out of the deal. :)

I'm ready. My husband is ready. I've tried not to over-analyze what I need, what recovery will be like, how soon I can get back to normal activity. Its all but a slice of time in our lifetime.

Surgery was yesterday!

Everything went well. I had side and upper ab lipo with muscle repair, as well.

Dr Weber stopped afterwards and told my husband all went well. I see him for my first post-op in 10 days. I should get my drains out then. Drains are not as annoying as I thought and my pain has been minimal, too. I had a Loritab at bedtime last night then not again until after lunch today. Going stir crazy in this recliner!

I get to shower tomorrow and that will be the first time I see my stomach. I am noticeably slimmer (even with my binder on). I FEEL slimmer. Anyone who has had a lower belly that hung understands the discomfort of that all. I feel so amazing right now NOT having that discomfort to deal with!

I'll try to post pictures after my shower tomorrow. :)

Two days PO--first glimpse!

I was able to shower today! It felt amazing and wasn't as hard as expected.

I got to see the tummy for the first time. OMG--I'm love! It is lumpy around the button but I'm confident that it will even out in time. To see my hoo hoo for the first time in years was so satisfying.

Day 4 PO

Second shower today. It was much easier (used shower chair both days).

Coughing spells today made me feel like I damaged the work but was very pleased when I took the binder off today.

Hardest part of recovery is cabin fever and the drains. They pinch if I turn in a weird way or sit on the line by accident. Hardly a huge issue but I'll be happy to get them out next week. They are difficult to wear clothes over as well.

7 days PO--feeling good and so ready for the drains to be out!

I had my surgery last Friday. Recovery has been pleasantly easy. I haven't slept in my bed yet but will try again after my drains come out on Tuesday. My draining has gone down every day--at 20 in right drain and 35 in left drain. Bruises from lipo are becoming more apparent but not as bad as others I have seen on RS. The drains have become very irritating--any bad movement and it tugs at the skin surrounding the drain. I think it's because everyday I am less swollen and there is less of a cushion around the drains. Needless to say, I'm really excited for Tuesday!

I'm definitely eating less since surgery--there's just not as much room for my stomach to expand and hold as much food so that is awesome!

I hope to get to the desktop soon so I can make a side-by-side view of some of my pics. Here I am--one week PO.

Drains suck!

I am 10 days PO. I am overjoyed that I have an appointment tomorrow to get the drains out. They have been bothering me all weekend.

On Friday, I noticed a piece of white plastic floating in my bulb. WTF? I was flipping out because I thought the connector between the outer tube and inner tube came out through the drain tube. I was worried I had free-floating tubes in my stomach! After calming down, I realized it was the drain valve that is inside my bulb. So, I felt better (mentally) but have been struggling since then.

Since the drain valve isn't functioning on that bulb its not draining as much. When I strip the line, I hear air back up into the tube and feel it in my stomach. I've had a fever pretty much since Saturday (its subsided today but I still am so wore out from having a fever for two days). I did call the on-call doctor, and he said its fine and since my fever was never more than 100, I'm okay. While that may be the case, I still feel like I've been hit by a truck. Tomorrow cannot come fast enough!

11 Days PO - 1 drain down, 1 to go!

I had my first follow-up with Dr Weber today. After the problems with my right drain, I knew that one would be coming out today (since, basically, its not functioning anymore) but I seriously doubted my left one would. Its been draining 30 cc steady for the past five days. I even felt worried that he would take it out because what would happen to all the fluid??? I was relieved when he said that he wanted to leave it for another week. Yeah, bothersome, but I feel so much better that I won't have fluid build-up!

Getting the one drain removed was a trip, that's for sure! Its quite the feeling to have something slither out of you (I could feel the WHOLE thing). I didn't have time to look but my husband said it was quite long and he was surprised that so much tube was inside of me.

Even having one drain left it, I feel SO MUCH BETTER! Easier to move as I only have one drain to be careful for. Easier to dress as I only have one drain to hide. Etc., etc., etc.

Dr Weber states I can start taking the tape off as it comes loose and begin moisturizing my scars to help get rid of the scabs.

One thing I forgot to ask is if I can drive yet (I haven't had narcotics since 2 days PO). Oh, well. I guess my hubby will be chauffeuring me for another week!

Finally drain-free!!!

I went to the doctor and got my left drain out. It was down to 10-15 cc/day. After 18 days, I was ready for it to be gone! There was so much discomfort with sitting, getting in/out of car, etc. as it always seemed to pinch or jostle the tube. I immediately felt one million times better.

I haven't had Loritab since day two and I haven't had Tylenol since day 14 or 15. I do feel real good! I went to PTA meeting yesterday. Doesn't sound like a lot, but I was wiped out afterwards. The tube rubbing my side probably didn't help.

Now that I'm drain-free, I tried on old jeans. Nowhere near buttoning! Super wide right now. It'll be interesting to see how the swelling goes down and my shape takes it form. I hear four weeks is when noticeable change happens. Looking forward to that!

Doctor says to still take it easy but I can ride my bike if I feel like it. No heavy lifting yet. I see him again at six weeks.

Swell Hell!

Oh, wow. Since I have both drains out I can definitely tell I'm swelling. My stomach is tender to the touch (still very bruised on the inside). I tried sleeping in bed for the first time on Tuesday evening---very uncomfortable. I could sleep on one side but not the other. Laying on my back with my feet elevated wasn't working for me. I ended up tossing and turning more than sleeping!

I felt a little wetness on my scar line like I was leaking. When I looked there was no blood and no apparent opening so I'll have to keep an eye on it. I guess the real fun begins now that I think I'm just about back to normal!

So swollen!

I must be doing too much as I am swollen as heck today. I should have taken pic Saturday--I looked so hot on my way to a bridal shower! Not so much today.

I feel very tender (beat up/internal bruising, etc.) today. Oy!

4 Weeks PO---Feel wonderful!

Yesterday was 4 weeks since my TT. As if overnight, I feel wonderful.

I was given the OK to do light exercise (nothing bouncy like running) so on Tuesday I tried my spin bike at a very slow pace (65 RPM) for 12 minutes. I was miserable on Wednesday---bloated, sore, etc.

Today I was able to do 21 minutes and I feel great. I even (finally) shaved my legs for the first time since surgery (my husband will appreciate that!). Also, I am finally able to lay in bed without being uncomfortable. I'm so happy to be done sleeping in the recliner.

We decided to take the kids to Florida over Christmas break so I'm excited to go to the beach and finally look good in a swimsuit (maybe even a bikini!).

Pics from 4+ weeks PO

It's amazing how much better I feel everyday. I'm able to do more and more. My body tells me when I need to stop. Swelling is still an issue. Today, I did wake up without swelling but I'm sure it will return. I wear a binder even though the doctor says I don't need to. I do take it off for a couple hours a day. I am more confident rolling over in bed with it, and always wear it when I bike.

I've slowly increased my speed on the bike. If I still feel good the next day, I know I can push harder the next time.

Overall, I have lost 12 pounds since surgery. I can squeeze into my jeans but it's uncomfortable so I stay in yoga pants or dresses. I hear three months is normal as far as fitting into clothes better. I'll be patient as I know it will be worth it! Just to not have my belly bounce off my thighs when I bike is worth it!

Tried to upload pics but phone is not cooperating. I will try again later from my desktop.

6 weeks PO

I apologize for no pics but I downloaded the new iOS 8 to my iPhone and its acting funny.

Anyways, I'm six weeks PO tomorrow. I have been riding on my spin bike every third day for about two weeks. At first, I did about 3 miles as 60 rpm and it was horrible. Last night, I did 10 miles at about 80 rpm and I felt completely normal. I feel like I don't have to take two days off before the next session. Yay! I'm going to trying jogging next week.

I still swell a lot but find that water and walking help with it. I sleep in bed without anything under my knees nor extra pillows to prop up my head. Even as late as Monday it was uncomfortable to sleep on my left side (but not my right). Last night it was completely fine. Rolling around and getting in/out of bed are back to normal.

I couldn't be more pleased. Overall, I lost 12 pounds from the surgery. I have not gone down any pant sizes but my pants fit like they should (no longer squeezing 12 extra pounds of fat in them...LOL). I still feel wide but also feel that this will lessen in time. My incisions are completely closed up. They are still rather red but its only been six weeks. Based on my previous C-section scar, I fully expect them to fade within a year. Most important, I am more confident and exercise is a whole lot more enjoyable without my lower abdomen slapping my thighs as I peddle--which is wonderful because my family likes to stay fairly active. Now, I feel like I can keep up!

6 weeks pics

Let's see if it works now...

Nine Weeks PO

It has been a crazy month!

I started training for a half-marathon three weeks ago (so, mostly walking but still, that's a lot of miles after sitting in a rocking chair for over a month!). I have found if I go too fast (5 mph) my stomach gets all numb and tingly and very uncomfortable so I alternate between walking and jogging (4 mph). Also, if I go to hard I get a weird stabbing pain to the right of my belly button. I certainly won't be breaking any records but I'm beyond happy to be moving again. I wear my surgical binder when running and it provides great security.

I'm pretty much out of a garment. I wore light spanx on Saturday (I was in a wedding and on my feet for 12 hours). I have a couple other garments but, let's face it, spanx is uncomfortable! In most situations I feel confident in my core strength. As of last week, I was still swelling after exercise, but I haven't noticed it as much this week. Aside from the walking/jogging, I also bike every now and then. I even biked last night without any garment and felt fine (actually, I felt wonderful---no lower belly flapping on my thighs this time!).

I had a couple spots on my scar that were slow to close but everything is all closed up now. Parts have started to fade. I'm going to try to upload photos from my phone so you can see where it looks great and where it still needs time. Overall, I'm extremely happy with it. I was concerned that it was a bit high at first, but you'll see in the photos that I can hide the scar with my underwear.

I would recommend this surgery to anyone who is considering it! I feel so much more confidence with my new appearance. I just love the feeling of movement without excess fat and skin getting in the way of everything. While I'm not going as fast as I can, I feel my form is better and biking is a joy again. Oh, and dressing in cute clothes that fit properly isn't too bad either!

Nine Weeks PO Pics

Duluth Plastic Surgeon

Dr Weber is a 5-star surgeon. His experience shows through his work and his patient interaction. The staff is wonderful. Every visit to the office was stress-free and pleasant. I'm so pleased with everything and trust him completely--so much that I will be having him do my breast reduction later this year!

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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