6 months pics update. Extended TT with muscle repair, a little lipo to the flanks and tubal ligation
I'm 33 years old, around 129-130 lbs, 5 feet 2"......
Can I do it? Will I do it???
Is this the start of an emotional breakdown?
A couple weeks back I was eating fairly healthy in addition to my regular workout, on those days I'll have high fibre cereal or oats for breakfast, protein shake and sometimes almonds after workout, spinach and cheese sandwich or boiled eggs or canned tuna for lunch, along with green tea; fruits or yogurt for snack in between meals, fish or chicken with vegetables for dinner, sometimes with a little rice...and there would be days where I skipped dinner because I felt full from a healthy moderate lunch! I had my days where I'd eat junk like chocolate, ice cream, chips, even right before bed... Now it seems that those junk days are increasing!!! Is it that I'm nervous because surgery is just next month? Mind you...I still exercise regularly, but the eating part is out of whack due to whatever is going on in my brain! I have my plans to lose 1 kg this month and 1kg next month, but this sweet tooth is getting the better of me! I'm still taking my vitamins and iron...not religiously enough though. I mean...I'm even thinking that I'm not doing enough with my life, being a stay-at-home mom and accompanying spouse (expatriate), feeling like I haven't accomplished what I set out to do before marriage and kids and travelling from country to country...I'm out of sorts!
I guess I'm becoming more worried. I just have some concerns...I'm anaemic, so I've been trying to build up my iron level. My second c-section was a bit scary...it wasn't general anaesthesia like the first c-section which was an emergency; I lost a lot of blood, levels dropped to just below 9! I couldn't breathe properly due to the anesthesia because my numbed chest felt so heavy trying to inhale/exhale, and I was shivering and fluttering like a fish out of water from the loss of blood in the icy cold theatre! Frightening!!! I don't want to experience that again! I'm just wondering if with the muscle repair I'll be able to breathe since my intestines are just hanging loose right now and will be tucked back in after the tightening of my abs...I am already used to wearing belly bands/girdles to hide my gut so as to look normal though...so that part I'm used to. I keep forgetting that I'll be tying my tubes at the same time, my gynae will do her part first which will take a few minutes. I've read on here that some doctors believe the tubal ligation (pumping air in the abdomen) affects the tightening of the ab muscles, that's another concern for me, but since not all PS believe so, I think it won't affect the MR. I might just ask my gynae to do a bladder tack because this urge incontinence can be a bit embarrassing...it's like my body and brain feel and think that I'm still pregnant! I just pray and hope there'll be no complications! I'm anxious to get back my pre pregnancy body...even with a better tummy than I had...with tight muscles so I can work my abs and get me some six pack!!! That's the plan....my PS and his 2 assistant PSs better be good for it!!!
So I've been posting pics of my post pregnancy body...I'd like to look even better than I was in these pre pregnancy pics at age 27! I'm sure the tummy tuck can take my body back 6 years in time! ;-)
Freaking out!!! Staples in TT incision?
Vertical incision...to be or not to be? Advice?
3 weeks left!!!
I also had concerns about urge incontinence, it's becoming embarrassing to be rushing to the toilet like I'm still pregnant, even peeing myself if I don't get there in time. I have no problems otherwise with leaking, like stress incontinence where you leak a bit if you laugh or sneeze, my problem is when I gotta go I gotta go...fast! So she has prescribed some meds for me to take.
I just started a new pack of BC pills re my new cycle, but I will stop after 13 days to allow my period to come before surgery, also to prevent pregnancy according to my Gynae :-) Can't afford to get pregnant just before a scheduled TT! Definitely don't want to have to deal with period and recovery!
I haven't been sleeping much for about a month now doing this tummy tuck and tubal ligation research and reading people's reviews, advice and tips! I think now I have all my concerns addressed and ready to get back to sleeping at least 6 hours! Well...except for when my 6 month old wakes in the night for his bottle!
The pre-op tests
My compression garment fitting
My tests results
My realistic expectations...are they?
Incision: nicely shaped symmetrical long horizontal incision in the same c-section scar, on the public hairline going along the inguinal crease from hip to hip. Extend as much as needed to eliminate dog ears/skin rolls/creases. No vertical incision! (I drew a smiley face on my note to show him how I want my scar to look :-))
Muscle repair: tighten as much as possible, my intention post surgery is to define my abs, aiming for a 6-pack! So flat and tight please!
Belly button: reposition in the same place as it was prior to surgery, approx 10-12 cm from pubic hairline. (I've seen on RS some belly buttons repositioned too close to the pubic hairline/incision.)
Liposuction to the flanks: as much lipo as needed to the flanks/love handles to recreate curve / hourglass effect.
Mons pubis: minimal lifting of below pubic hairline to avoid pubic hair passing incision line and to keep a cushiony feel it already has. (Don't want no boney vajayjay!)
I was cleared by Anaesthetists Dept on Thursday for surgery, so all is set for surgery next Friday! I'm so anxious!!! Even smiling inside...cause I know within days I will get rid of this big ol' gut!!! :-) :-)
My packing list...5 days to go!!!
-2 PJs (button front)
-2 outfits (button front shirt and leggings/tights) - I'll choose one for going home
-2 slippers - one for in hospital, one for going home
-Compression garment (open crotch, Velcro closure, bra strap)
-2 tank tops (smooth ones) - for under cg although I probably won't need it
-Flight socks - for compression and for if my feet get cold.
-Bikini bottom - re body marking for surgery
-Underwear (2 large black panties, 2 regular, bra)
-Plastic bag - for soiled clothes
-Bathrobe - to wear to bathroom when tidying
-Rag - for washing/wiping face/hands (No shower til after drains are out)
-Bath towel - to dry my face/hands....it might come in handy for something
-Wipes (2 packs - feminine and baby) - to clean up myself/tidying
-Toiletries pouch with the following travel size 100ml items:
-Bio oil - for dry areas on the tummy
-Deo, lotion, perfume
-Lip balm, hand cream
-Comb, hair scrunchies (for day), hair pins and head wrap (for night)
-My glasses, glasses case, eye drops (can't wear contact lens during surgery)
-Mirror - to check my face, peek at incision
-Diary and pen
-iPad, phone, earphones - will be watching movies on my phone and updating RS on the iPad... ;-)
-Chargers - iPad and phone
-Safety pins (2), elastic bands (2) - might come in handy
-Cough drops, sweets
-Small jar with a mix of almonds and raisins
-Crackers, protein or breakfast bars (4)
-Bottled water / water bottle
-Protein shake / Ensure (2)
-Lock and key/combi lock - to lock away all these things in my carry-on size pulley
-Small pillow/cushion - for tummy protection
-Step stool - to avoid stretching to get into the MUV
I will be tying my tubes on surgery day...wonder what the 'Flo' will be like since I'll no longer be on the pills. Probably the only disadvantage would be not being able to know exactly which day to expect her and not being able to delay her visit or make her come sooner than she planned... ;-)
Bust 35" (post op exp 35")
Chest (rib cage) 31" (post op exp 31")
Waist (smallest part) 29" (post op exp 28")
Waist (around navel) 34.5" (post op exp 30")
Around pubic line and hip crease 31" (post op exp 31")
Hip 37" (post op exp 37")
So I really only need change around my waist, to go from a 6 months pregnant look to a pre-pregnancy/normal look. I think this is a realistic expectation, don't you think? Once he repairs/tightens the muscles which will solve the bulging of my intestines, removes the excess skin, and do the lipo to the flanks, I think my expectations will be met or even be exceeded, post-swelling of course!
Post op exp
Height 159 cm (in India), in my home country (Jamaica) I'm always 157 cm...funny! East vs West?...
Weight 57.8 kg
Body Fat % 31
Visceral Fat 5
Body Age 39 (are you kidding me? I'm 33!)
Back in May 2011 when I was on a mission to lose the belly but ended up looking like a skinny "pregnant" lady:
Height 159 cm (I was still here in India in the first half of 2011)
Weight 50.3 kg
Body Fat % 24.5
Visceral Fat 2
Body Age 28 (I had just turned 31, sweet!)
My hip was 34 and waist 29! So it was still a big gut then!
Oh how I dream, I dream of the day I'll no longer look pregnant! It's happening next week!!! Yayyyy
With just two days to go they had to come steal my vehicle!!!
My preparations for surgery on Friday!
I still try to eat properly but somehow I still manage to get some chocolates and sometimes some cookies in... My main diet consisted of: a small bowl of muesli with half cup milk around 7am, protein shake after workout around 10:30am, a health lunch around 1pm, either boiled eggs, canned tuna, spinach and cheese sandwich or with other vegetables such as sweet potato. Around 4pm I usually have a snack such as fruits or/and yogurt. Sometimes this time is where the chocolate/cookies get sneaked in, or later during dinner time when I don't really feel hungry but just want some sweets. I hardly eat dinner because I'm usually full as I mentioned, but if I do eat dinner it's either chicken or fish with very little rice. I have a 700ml water bottle that I fill twice a day, I drank green tea with my lunch and had a glass of juice with dinner whenever I had dinner.
What I'm doing this week is still getting some exercise in, 30 mins in my bedroom jumping around doing aerobics moves and some running up and down/dash, plus a little ab work for an additional 5 minutes. Abs workout is my worst...you can imagine. Since I'm skipping gym this week for breakfast I'll have only 2 boiled eggs for breakfast with tea to get the protein in. I still drink my protein shake once a day as before. For snacking it's the usual fruits, yogurt and I'll have some nuts. I'll have some oats and milk or oats porridge during the day either for lunch or supper. I've been trying my best to avoid sweets, chocolates and cookies! I need to drink up lots of water! I've been taking iron x2, folic acid, vitamin C, B-complex and multivitamin, I don't take them religiously everyday because I hate taking pills. :-(
Besides diet and exercise...I went to the spa last week re a protein body wrap, tomorrow (Thursday) I'm getting my hair done. I'll also do grocery shopping again so that the house is well stocked for at least a week. I'll get my boys a new toy/game each to keep them distracted for a few days. My bag is already packed and waiting!!! I need to rest, rest, rest, better yet... sleep, sleep, sleep! I haven't been getting enough sleep since January from doing extensive tummy tuck research and being on Realself every free minute! But it's all worth it!!! Thanks ladies!!!
I need to arrive at the hospital 6:30am sharp for surgery at 8am! It will be around 5 hours duration considering I'll be doing a tubal ligation as well. I'll spend two nights and then get discharged on Sunday!
For my recovery:
My regular vitamins
Probiotic drink (Yakult)
ON Protein shake and Ensure
Pineapple juice, orange juice
Almonds (unsalted) and raisins
Fruits - mostly watermelon, grapes
Veg - mostly sweet potato, carrot
Will try my best to avoid salt/need for salt!
It's probable I won't need to change my dressing on my own since the hospital is about 10 minutes driver from where I currently live, but just in case:
-Cotton balls, ear swabs
For scar therapy I have the following:
-Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil
Waist trimmer belt/wrap and a tummy shapewear- to wear over and/or under my cg since I probably won't get access to those foams.
My recliner chair is still not here yet!!! Hopefully when I get home on Sunday it will be here.
Oh boy!!! Wish me luck!!! :-) Pray for me!!!
At the hospital!!! So excited I'm smiling :-)
Lord please take charge of the surgery today. Guide the hands of the anesthesiologist, gynaecologist and plastic surgeons so that they perform at their very best. Be the great sculptor Lord, be the great physician. I pray for peace and calm in the operating theatre, let your presence be felt in that room. I pray for cleanliness, that all the equipment and supplies needed will be at easy reach for them to do the operation, that there will be no complications whatsoever, before, during and after surgery. Send your guardian angels to watch over me and keep me safe from harm and danger. I pray that my expectations will be granted or exceeded and that when they're done I will be very happy with the outcome. Send pleasant, helpful and caring nursing staff to look after me. I pray that I will find favour Lord. Thank you for your grace and your mercies. Thank you for everything you are about to do.
In Jesus' name....
It's done!!! Thank God I'm Alive and well.
I got a peak at my belly button. It's neat and tiny. My hubby had to go take a call when my doctor came to check the incision, so he didn't get to take a pic for me, dammit! So maybe tomorrow I'll get to take pics. I actually woke up in the cg, don't know how they managed to get it on, but it was painful when they pulled it down so my doctor could check incision. Honestly though when he was pulling the bandage it felt like the incision was high...but maybe I don't know what I'm feeling, I still feel numb in some areas. Doctor said it's low though, plus I made sure to wear both my bikini swimsuit bottom and my thong panty at the same time so they could mark exactly where I wanted the incision to be. I hope everything looks good, doctor said it looks good and he's happy with the result, hope I'll be happy too!
I've been on only liquid diet...they give me coconut water and tea, and insipid clear vegetable soup. Just now @ 11:51am they brought sandwich for me. Dammit I want to pee again. Thank God this cg has a very huge hole to pee through...now I have to struggle again to get out of this bed and carry around this bag with the drain tube bottle, but hubby is here with me so I'm happy for that. The nurses are up and down, here and there, although I can press the bell button and they'll come right away. I really gotta pee now...will update later.
This is no joke!!! Worse than my c-sections!
I seriously underestimated this tummy tuck. I told my PS to tighten as much as possible, guess he did cause this seriously hurts. I still struggle like an old lady in pain to sit up from the reclined hospital bed. Hubby has been here helping me to get up. I can't use my abs to support, so it's really hard to get up. When hubby is asleep I manage to get out of the bed to use the loo...but I have to wake him up to help me back in bed. My hubby can stay all day and night at the hospital and they give him meals as my attendant. I'm so happy for that, when I was registering for surgery they had his name on a sheet and we crossed it out and put my name, not realizing that he is the Patient Attendant, so he got a pass to have access 24 hours until discharge. He spent the night here in the comfy recliner leather chair, comfier than this bed!
My right arm is still swollen, it has bruise marks, they did something to it! This drain is a nightmare!!! It feels like a needle is piercing me! And then now I sometimes forget to carry the bag with the drain, my hubby has to quickly remind me else I'd be in pain if I let it drag. Also now I'm passing gas, yeah! Embarrassing but yeah!!! At least the gas pain is going away! They've been giving me good food to eat round the clock so that has helped. I've heard and most you all know that pineapple is good for post surgery, so is pomegranate apparently, I've gotten it in my fruits salad, with pineapple alone, and in dessert. Earlier this morning they gave me antibiotics, my meds are via needle since I'm in hospital, I swear my veins were about to burst! Hurt like crap, my hubby massaged it and it's ok. I realise they don't give me pain killer/morphin unless I ask for it, so it's when the meds is wearing off and I start feeling the pain and I call them, that's when I get another dose, and it takes some time to kick in...maybe that's the difference...with the c-sec when I got out of theatre they didn't give me meds right away, so the anesthesia wore off and I was raw with pain, I bawled!!! But after that they gave me on a timely basis, enough to drug me out cold! Here it's different, I have to suffer a bit. But mind you even with the meds the tummy still hurts if you try to use your abs to support you. So I'll still need help getting up and sitting down maybe for the next 3 days. They just brought fruits I better eat this gas pain is very bad...
No discharge today
Around 2pm I felt the pain coming on again, so I pressed the bell for nurse to come, someone came and checked, and apparently relayed to the nurse. My hubby realised nurse not coming so he went out to check, nurse said they'll only give me pain meds twice per day, first one was at 4am so I have to wait until 4pm...wth??? I beared the pain until 4:30 I realised they weren't coming I rang the bell. A nurse came, said no crying, to call if I need help, I did!!! At 2pm!!! They had to stick me in a third spot, my forearm, my two hands got swollen from IV fluids.
Then now I went to use the toilet totally forgetting to turn off the drip, I took it down and had it in my drain bag. As I washed my hands I realised the whole bag with the pain fluids turned red, the whole tube was filled with blood!!! I called, a nurse came and said it's going down....say what now? She left...I stared at the IV fluids bag of morphin I guess which turned red...nurses came in and out to see the other patient in this twin share room, none enquired. The nurse who gave me the fluids came back and was shocked, she changed it completely because obviously it was clogged with blood. Damn other idiot nurse bout it's going down...the loss of blood in my arm with the new fluids caused my arm to get numb, feeling swollen and stingy at the same time. I told her to take out the tube out my arm cause it was hurting me...now I'm bearing the pain again because she'll only put it back in the same spot that's still hurting even now, she claims the spot is still good. I asked if she could just give me an injection instead, she said ok, she hasn't returned...still waiting...As much as I hate taking pills it's far better than having IV fluids going through my veins!!!
No more IV fluids through my veins!!!
I've been up since 3am
Now I have 3 men in this twin share room, one elderly patient and his son and my husband. With the 3 of them snoring and farting I don't know which is worst to deal with...the snoring or the farting! Goodness gracious! But I'm happy my hubby is here with me, this is one of them few nights where I'll not wake him up for snoring.
So the tablets I got at around 10:30 last night kicked in about half hour later, now it's wearing off...
ANYBODY EXPERIENCED THIS where you didn't get pain meds on a timely basis? Did you only get meds after you started crying/moaning/groaning for pain?
I'm really beginning to think I'd do much better at home...waiting for the doctor to come later this morning to get me checked and discharged.
What I've been experiencing:
Eyes - vision affected, perhaps due to the IV meds
Throat - fighting a cold with cough drops ever since I got out of theatre, trying hard not to cough!
Breasts - they're leaking breast milk, wonder if my 7 month old will be upset with me for leaving him for 3 days!
Arm - hurts from IV still stuck in my vein, waiting and waiting...for them to remove it!
Tummy - feels like stitches/running cramps all over. Sometimes when the pain gets a bit worse it feels like bad period cramps added to that stitches cramps.
Drain site - only one drain in my left side feels like someone is sticking me with a large needle if I make a move...they wrapped it in the bandage and carried it over to my right side probably because the tube is too long. I still have to carry it around in a carry bag.
Back - started hurting yesterday due to hunched position and being in this uncomfortable bed!
Vagina - labia swollen! It shocked my hubby, he said it looked like a penis...bigger than his! That's a shocker for me to hear...must be very swollen! Well I saw it for myself and felt it, it is still very swollen, I told my doc not to mess with below incision...I also cannot control my bladder so I have been using pad between my legs to prevent peeing on my pants when I'm not aware the pee is actually coming down while I'm on my way to the toilet!
Thighs - upper thighs hurt from this cg being too tight on my legs, probably causing poor circulation, feel like ripping it open with a scissors!
3 days post op
Then I looked down and saw that I had two drain tubes in my vag/pubic area running into one hose that connects to the drain bottle (the pic I posted). That's why I though I only had one drain and that explains the swelling in the vajayjay! I kept complaining about the pain in my left side because that has been the worse consistent pain ever since...whenever I got out and back in bed it would hurt. So now Dr Raja (the asst PS) is just realising that I was right all along and that it is the drain tube that's been causing pain in my side. He realised that my PS Dr. Vipul ran the tubes along the sides! Ohh it hurts! Then it was time to pull out the drains....the pain was quick, wasn't as bad as having the drains running along my sides. Once they were out I felt better after a few minutes with the pains subsiding.
As Dr. Raja started cleaning I asked if my hubby could come back in my room to take photo, he said no, they will take pics and give to me. PS Dr Manik (the other PS assistant to my PS) came in and took pics, then he showed me. My belly button is closing up more than it was when I saw it on Saturday (on Saturday it looked perfect), but I still like it, it's vertical..far better than my previous ugly outtie. My incision looked neat, it's low and is extended all the way towards my backside as I expected. I can't wait to get those pics so I can post them ASAP!
I was later discharged in the evening after bill processing, query and payment.
At 3 days post op (Monday, March 24)
My boys were so happy to see me when I got home in the night!!! It feels good to be home! I hadn't seen them since Friday morning 6am. My 7 month old recognised me! I was wondering if he would remember me...or withdraw from me. He was so excited!!! He grabbed my glasses from my face which he loves to do! Then later he started reaching and putting his face towards my breast...he missed his milk! But unfortunately for us both I will stop breastfeeding him now. I had stopped breastfeeding my first son at 6 months because he lost interest, it was harder that time and perhaps less milk and he was a foodie. This time around my baby loves breast milk and loves it for comfort especially when he wants to sleep. Lastnight he fussed, tossed and turned until he fell asleep in our bed. I now sleep in the recliner chair beside my bed. My older son is always helpful, and last night he was offering to help with everything and asking how I'm feeling, he's a big 5 year old, I'm so proud of him! Love my sons!!! Can't afford to lose them because now I can no longer have more babies.
I took my last pain pill "Combiflam" shortly after 9pm over 12 hours ago...the pain is manageable now...like my c-sections. I hate taking pills so if I can bear it I'll do without. So far so good, except when I sneezed!!! Ouchi ouchi!!!
Wed, March 26 follow up care (5 days post op)
Both plastic surgeons assistant to my PS were there for follow up care. Two nurses pulled down my cg and removed the bandages. Immediately the pain in my left side started burning again! On the right side has very little irritation. The drains have been out since Monday, so what could it be? Nerve endings? Dr. Raja said the incision (by PS Dr. Vipul) was stitched from the centre to the left side and from centre to the right side, I had thought it was stitched from one side going around to the other side.
Dr. Manik then took pics. Dr. Raja did the dressing change. He dressed the incision, put gauze there and over my belly button, then he bandaged all over my tummy from pubic area to breast bone and put tape over the whole area to keep it in place. It felt secure! Then two nurses helped me into my other (hand washed) compression garment. I have to wear the cg 24 hours a day until the next dressing change where I'm placed in my other cleaned cg. I have 2 cgs which are worn at alternate dressing change/follow up care. So you can imagine then that I've only been able to tidy/sponge bath. The cg open crotch is so wide I have no problems using the toilet both ways, and both parts get cleaned easily during sponge bath, so that's good! Dr. Manik was talking to my hubby while Dr. Raja did the dressing change. I could hear him mentioning to him that I should not eat too much and about exercise. When I asked hubby to relay the message to me he couldn't remember what Dr. Manik told him! Men and their brains!!! Next time I'll ask Dr to tell me directly...
5 days post op
Very swollen, and creasing all over due to bandages wrapped all over my tummy. So far I'm pleased, hoping it will get better.
How I'm feeling 1 week post op:
-I'm still bruised up on my sides, still very swollen!
-I have a ken doll, but in my country men find a puffy pubis sexy!
-Feeling more sensation in my tummy, I like pressing down and patting the whole area.
-I still feel like I have running cramps in my tummy.
-My left hand and right arm still hurt and veins swollen from where they inserted the IV line.
-My back still hurts but I'm walking a little bit straighter....I think.
-Sometimes I can walk a little faster if not in pain, but most times I still move so slow like a turtle.
-I can slowly wide squat now and pick up things, before I could only use my toes!
-It's still difficult getting out of the recliner, I sometimes use my stomach/abs... trying not to do that in the process.
-I can breathe in deeply and make a big exhale without any more tight feeling. I hope MR is intact!
Close up of incision with sutures
I feel some large lumps in my midsection though, I'm hoping massage will help this...
Lumps in mid-section
The bumps along the muscle repair are knots...
He said the bumps/lumps are mainly knots from the sutures and some fatty tissue here and there that I just need to massage out twice a day for 5 minutes each massage, eventually they'll fade away. I have Bio-Oil and Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil so I'll use those to massage my tummy.
He said I can take a shower now! My incision is practically healed, just my bb may be need a few more days. I just have to put neosporin on it, then gauze then tape over it. The left side of my incision at the end hurts the most, stitches are still in, same for the bb, they will be removed next visit on Friday.
He also said I can start scar therapy now! He suggests silicone gel sheets or silicone gel. I have Kelo-cote so I'll be using that mainly, I'm not sure if I'll bother to use the Mederma I have, maybe if I run out of Kelo-cote.
So far I'm pleased with my tummy, anxious for the lumps to disappear and for the swelling to go down particularly in my lower tummy. I'm happy I no longer look pregnant!
Bumps / lumps on muscle repair are knots from sutures...
Which photo editing app can I use to edit out/cover up my tits n bits in a photo before posting?
Thanks and happy healing/safe surgery!
How I'm feeling 2 weeks post op
-I'm feeling so much better since the first week
-I stopped taking antibiotics and Combiflam at 9 dpo.
-I can now slouch off in the recliner, much easier to get in and out of it.
-I still sleep in it because there are two spots on either side that still hurt, I sleep on my sides in bed.
-I can stand upright but I find myself still bending over when I walk, especially after sitting for awhile. I'm walking fast again.
-The swelling and pain in my veins is gradually going away, superficial thrombophlebitis
-I still have a ken doll...which still amazes my hubby, lol
-My tummy is still swollen and parts numb, mainly the lower tummy. The upper tummy has the bumps protruding in the midsection
-I no longer feel that pain in my tummy, the mixture of running cramps/stitches and PMS cramps in one.
-My tummy no longer hurts when I cough, but I still hold it when I LOL! But damn it hurts like hell when I sneeze!!! Pinching my nose doesn't help much!
-Belly button not fully healed.
-My compression garment still annoys the hell out of me, it's tight on my ribcage and thighs but not tight/firm on the tummy. I've started wearing my pre op spanx and for compression I wear over it the sweat belt /wrap I usually wear to gym.
-I'm massaging the knots / bumps on my tummy from time to time.
-My Aunt Flo is back so that contributes to the swelling in the pics. I'm watching the Flo since I had my tubes tied as well.
-I just want the bumps and the swelling to be gone and I'll be really really happy with what I have, even if I'm not quite flat, I'm glad I no longer look pregnant!
Feeling like I wanna lift some weights!
Incision and the bikini
I'll start exercising next week.
Next photo update will be @ 6 wpo...
6 weeks update
So I've "discovered!" Lol...that the amount and type of compression you get really determines the shape of your tummy and lipoed area. From before surgery I knew my 2 garments recommended by my PS wouldn't provide the compression I needed, I complained to my PS, and the garment company rep fixed them and what they did was to only tighten at the ribs (top of the garment) and my tummy area was still not compressed! So I've had to wear it squeezing my rib cage but not doing the job.
I decided to get one of those ordinary shapers in the smallest size, it was the knee length one, it compressed my butt! I had to cut out the butt part! It compressed my thighs and the lower tummy but left the upper tummy without any compression! So I at times wore both garments together. Still I wasn't satisfied! I decided to go back to my old gym belts, the ones that wrap around with the neoprene material. I used two to compress the whole tummy but they left dents because they wrapped over each other at some parts and provided extra compression in a particular area that left the dents as a result. I've tried adjusted them so they don't overlap so I'm not dent up as before, but because I can wrap them as tight as I want they have provided the most compression so far. I realise though that since I haven't been wearing the cg at my incision line becomes thick and swollen and gives an appearance of dog ears! So I have to be careful to full compression right below incision line.
I also discovered! ;-) ab boards! I'm not too trusting of certain websites especially since not every site accepts international credit cards. I almost always only order from Amazon and unfortunately they are not sold on Amazon. Anywho...I came across a RS post about a PS recommending to use cardboard box as a temp fix for the real thing, so I decided to give that a go. I have to say since I started using a small piece of cardboard along my muscle repair I've noticed a huge difference wherein my tummy doesnt swell up and bulge by evening time anymore! You know how I came across this, just before 5 weeks post op I went out with some friends for ladies night, I didnt want to feel uncomfortable in my cg so I wore the panty shaper/girdle panty I wore pre op. Talking above loud music strained my tummy/muscles! It hurt like hell!!! When I woke the next morning my tummy looked 2-3 months pregnant! I freaked out!!! I swore my muscle repair came apart and I researched like hell on it! That's what brought me to that blog. I swear I never leave the house again without any compression!
I've ordered the Squeem miracle vest (small) from Amazon. It took me a long long time to decide the size and whether vest or waist cincher! Read so many reviews I decided to go with my purchase. My current waist measurement is 28 natural, 27 if I pull the tape tight, and 30 around belly button. In a post prior to surgery I believe it was 29 and 34.5 respectively! I really want compression but I also want to be able to wear what I paid so much money for, $75!! If I get smaller then I can always go get the extra small, if it's not as tight then I'll use the gym belts underneath.
I went to the hospital to see my PSs for 6 week check up, but my PS was in theatre and the other two PS were on leave. Anywho, it's just a 10 mins drive from my house, I'll go back this Friday. I've taken my own permission to start exercising full on. Prior to at 4 weeks I was just walking on the treadmill, now at 6 weeks I started running on the treadmill and lifting my usual 4kg and 5kg dumbbell weights. Gotta tell ya it hurt when I was done, my ab/muscle repair was swore yet I wasn't doing any abs! But it's been almost 2 months since I haven't done real exercise (just before surgery) and I really don't want my love handles to come back...damn "hate handles!!"
Oh my belly button...for a while I put a small button in with tape over it to keep a roundish shape, but as soon as I took it out and went a day without it the shape went back to how it currently looks, the way my PS intended! So I've given up! Maybe because I'm so used to my big outie belly button I find this too small...but I gotta get used to it!
So far looking at where I'm coming from I'm fine with what I have, happy even! From 6 months pregnant...I'm good! I really want to get flat though...my PS had said don't expect to look like I did pre pregnancy, but even then I had to work hard to have abs, so I can't wait to get the go ahead to start working my abs! That way I can wear tight shirts without any compression and without sucking in!!! Can't wait!!!
All the best to you lovely ladies re surgery and recovery!
Pics coming next..
6 months review - swollen in pics, during Aunt Flo's visit...
Anywhoo... I had stopped gym 2 weeks before surgery and started exercising again in late July. My abs of course is my weakest link, I do overall exercises fine, but when it comes to abs I don't push it, and the bit of ab work I do at the end of each aerobics class, I can barely manage to do. I cannot do sit ups and wouldn't even think of it! But I do half heartedly some basic crunches, reverse crunches and plank. I get sore sometimes and feel internal pricking that lasts a few hours, but I can see a difference in my ab muscles compared to before surgery, even though I'm not pushing the abs as much as I did before surgery. I do wear those abs support/waist belts during workout...not sure how much they really help me to engage my core tho.
Oh before I forget, the squeem didn't do anything for me. I bought the size small vest, had to get my hubby to help the first fit, but after that I could fit in it on my own, and then I realised it wasn't compressing my lower abs and around the incision as much as I wanted, and then it pushed up all my back fat up to my underarm making my upper back look huge compared to the tight waist it created. Within a week I had stopped wearing it. I thought of getting the xs, but then maybe it would end up being shorter length. I ended up using a simple waist belt/ab support and used a hard book cover to keep my tummy flat, which helped to reduce swelling on those terrible days.
I'm not flat...unless I engage my core...which they always tell you to do at the gym, if I let go my tummy it will not be as big as before surgery but it will not be flat either, if I stand properly then it looks better ;-). My PS did tell me that I wouldn't be flat...so I guess I can't say I'm disappointed. But thank God I'm able to work on my abs now...and like I said, I'm seeing improvements there.
When I swell up my tummy becomes uneven and have a lumpy look, I don't know why, right now I have one side more swollen than the other, the swelling has gone down a bit but still...you can see in some of the pics.
Since surgery I had been busy trying to recreate the shape of my belly button to something that looked more common on black people, that didn't work...I had to give up. I realise whatever shape your PS created is what it will always be...putting buttons and ear plugs and cotton balls only cause it to sweat up and take longer to heal. It won't close up though, which is the fear most people have.
I had mentioned that sometimes I feel pricks in my tummy, especially after exercising, I wonder if it's the stitches. I had a piece in my navel that kept irritating me and I could feel it anytime I brushed my fingers against my navel. I squeezed/pushed down my navel to clip off part of the stitching that was sticking out and poking me, that helped a lot because now it looks a little better than before where it seemed that top part of my navel wasn't healing.
I had been watching for a while the ends of my incision which looks a bit like puckering, which you can see when I stand at an angle. I've found that when that puckered end is compressed it doesn't show as much, but it doesn't seem like something that will eventually disappear because it has been like this since the dressing came off. So now at 6 months, which is when they say is a good time to know if any repairs or "retouch" is needed, I'll bring this up when I go in for a check up soon.
Overall I'm happy, I feel so much sexier, I'm wearing out all the clothes in my closet that I either had to stop wearing or bought hoping one day...Yeah, I feel so much more confident, I can pretty much wear anything in fashion now...crop tops...you betcha!! ;-)
It'll be the HOD at the Artemis Hospital (my PS) and two other plastic surgeons working together...they say 6 eyes are better than 2...they always do operations together...good for me I guess! (Update) My PS Dr. Vipul Nanda has been very warm so far. Person to person interaction has been good, he answers all my questions. Whenever I text or email him he replies almost immediately, never had to wait or wonder if he will reply, and I appreciate that very much. I only met the other two PSs once, but they seemed nice. The patient coordinator Nitu is so nice, and she is very accessible too! I hope all will go well re surgery and post-op!