Po week 12 with pics! Strong Tummy Means a Strong Back, and a Mommy Who Can Keep Up with Her Kids! - Jacksonville, FL

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I'm 40 years old, 5-8', 160 pounds (under active...

I'm 40 years old, 5-8', 160 pounds (under active thyroid doesn't help). I have 8 children, one c-section when the placenta separated, the rest were unmedicated , uncomplicated births. I am po day 2. I had TT with lipo to tummy, hips, inner thighs, and neck, and breast lift. I've done this to repair an abdominal split, and since I'd be knocked out and sliced and diced anyway, why not get my sexy on and take care of some other baby-ravaged areas too! :)

I got the On-Q pain pump. It only lasted 1-2 days,...

I got the On-Q pain pump. It only lasted 1-2 days, but I'd say its definitely worth it! The toilet seat riser is also great, and I wish I'd gotten a walker. My ps doesn't want me to stand up straight yet, so walking hurts my back.
Last night I noticed my hands were swollen! Guess I'd better get going with the fluids, though I thought I'd been drinking enough :)
My lady bits are hugely swollen!!! Omg!!! I've cut my compression garment to enlarge the opening down there, because having a massively swollen tender area only partly compressed was unbearable!
I have only 1 JP drain. I assume that's a good sign since my ps told me at pre op I'd have 2. The drainage was wonderfully low, but has increased :( The post op nurse said its from me being active. Besides a true, feel cough (I don't recommend it!), getting out of the recliner is the most painful thing. So whenever I get up for the toilet, I do my lap around the upstairs. I feel like the slow motion runners with Chariots of Fire music playing, lol!
No bm yet. I'm taking 3-4 colace daily and also gas x. But I have IBS so I usually take a couple days.
Hubby's getting ready to pull the pain pump tube. Oh boy :/

PO day 4! I'm doing 2 laps around the upstairs...

PO day 4! I'm doing 2 laps around the upstairs each time I'm up. I don't plan to do the stairs til my 1 week appt Monday. I feel I could stand up straight, but the nurse said they don't recommend that til after the first week. :/ I had a nasty coughing spell last night! I couldn't get it to stop. Hubby brought me some cough medicine, and it settled down shortly thereafter. Definitely have cough med on hand! I do deep breathing throughout the day, and strongly clear my throat to avoid the need to cough. Ouch!!!
From what I can see, I'm happy with the girls. Hubby commented my areolas are smaller now. We were both happy with how they were, but I'm sure we'll get used to them now :) There's some swelling out the sides. I told hubby I now have 4 boobs, lol! The left breast isn't round like the right though. I'm hoping that's just swelling that'll resolve. My nipples are still perfectly sensitive - no numbness. Yay!!!
Whenever I get up or reposition, I feel a tearing sensation on my left hip, as if stitches are breaking. Anyone else experience this??
My abdomen around the navel feels so WEIRD! I feel it as pain, but it might not be. I think it's that "phantom limb" phenomenon and the nerves don't know where they've been reassigned. It feels like someone's touching my inside. And of course, the only wound care at this point is cleaning and applying bacitracin to the belly button. Yay :/ It looks dark and gross.
Belly incision looks great! Dr even did a little lipo to my mons, so I wouldn't end up with that bulge under the TT line like I've read about. Sooo happy!
All the lipo areas are sore, swollen, and bruised, but that's going down. My biggest discomforts are the TT pain and my lady bits are swollen beyond belief!!! I had that with my last pregnancy too. Just want to walk around holding myself, applying counter pressure. "Why yes, I'm sporting my own female ball sack". Uuuuugh!
Still no bm, though bowels have been active. So I'm going to take MOM today.
Oh the itching!!!! The skin under the GC itches like crazy!!!
My little boy, who will be 3 in a month, is so sweet. I've told him mommy has boo boos all over. And he can see the bruising. So he comes in and sits next to my recliner, and we'll watch a kids show and eat a cookie. Then he got up and gave me his stuffed frog to "make me feel better".

Today is PO day 4. What an eventful day! Took my...

Today is PO day 4. What an eventful day! Took my first shower, had my first bm, and am generally feeling better. :)
When I stand up I'll feel these sharp, hot, tearing feelings, like stitches popping. But only on the left. Well, that's well below my incision line. So the PS confirmed my thoughts - that's likely just adhesions breaking from the lipo.
Today I've been overtaken with the need to cough. A lot. Uuuugh. When I really cough, I get a searing hot, sharp pain, horizontally, on my upper right ab. I'd think it would be down with the incision, but it probably is and my body just hasn't figured out the new geography yet ;)
I still have stretch marks. Yay!!! Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have a real belly again, but all my kids have grown up knowing my stretch marks are beautiful, because they're proof that each child grew within me. I've had little ones climb onto my lap and ask me to show them which mark was their own, then they'd kiss it. Maybe I'm weird, but I didn't want my kids growing up thinking Barbie was their role model and a normal woman's body was ugly. So I'm glad I have a few "badges of honour" left. :)
My ps wants me to keep wearing this "jaw bra" til Monday. Uuugh! I look like Jacob Marley in "Scrooge". This is for the little bit of chin lipo they did. I'm not sure if I'll think that parts worth it or not. I'll have to wait n see.
My one boob is beautiful, the other is a bit misshapen. I'm figuring its swelling related. It had better be! ;)
Happy healing and good sleep!

A new day dawns. PO day #5! :) I'm not into...

A new day dawns. PO day #5! :)
I'm not into using lots of meds usually, but they're my friends right now. I'd recommend asking for something to help you sleep. It's hard enough trying to sleep while in a recliner, while in pain, while unable to roll and stretch, or while trying not to cough, but impossible to do with ALL of that! I'm taking my tramadol Q6hrs still. I tried to get off narcs too early after surgery once before, and it was awful. I don't want to limit my mobility and perhaps cause problems because I'm guarding TOO much from pain. But, that nasty narc headache has been bothering me, so I'm taking Tylenol too, in the middle of the tramadol, to stagger the two. Either tomorrow or Monday I'll start spacing out the times of the narc. Either that or taking half a pill, to wean off of it. But I'll keep taking something for sleep for a bit. I know meds reduce the quality of sleep some, but sleep is when the body does the most work healing, so it's super important! Plus sleep keeps my mood from going south, and hubby appreciates it too. ;)
Swelling!!! Uuuugh!!! My feet are fine, thanks to this awful cg that goes down my thigh. But my crotch! Omg! I'm going to need a labia reduction surgery! It's like I'm working on my own set of lady balls! O.O
Actually I think it's a tiny bit better today. Not as black and blue, and didn't hurt til after I did my walk. I did 2 laps around the upstairs AND even walked a bit faster! WooHoo!!! At this rate, I'll be ready to race Granny by New Years! :D

PO day 6. I wanted to shower all independent. I...

PO day 6. I wanted to shower all independent. I still needed hubby to hold the shower head, and to wash my feet though. We have such a tiny shower!!! I think hubby chuckled a bit when he saw me start to shave my pits. Lol. I figure post surgery I'm allowed to have furry legs, but I can't stand furry pits! ;)
I've had a slight wound on the side / back of my right breast. Hubby says it looks like a popped blister. I'm thinking maybe the ps did a little lipo and maybe it's a heat blister?
I'm starting to get a little more comfortable with myself. I've had a hard time looking at myself, or messing with anything.
My navel is bloody, and my left breast is misshapen, but I know swelling does a number and will just wait it all out. :)

For the Cough-From-Hell.... Keep a bottle of cough...

For the Cough-From-Hell.... Keep a bottle of cough suppressant, some cough drops to suck, and plenty of water to chug by the recliner AND get some chloraseptic throat spray!!!! If the cough stems from mucus in the lungs, I can usually "growl" it out (deep, low, throat clearing). But if the cough reflex goes on hyper drive, or I get a spot that tickles, it's hard to get it to stop. Last night hubby gave me his sore throat spray and it knocked it out right away!!!! Course, I sprayed it to death. ;). I hope this helps!!!

PO day 7. Seeing the ps soon. Wish me luck!

The drain is out!!! It didn't really bother me...

The drain is out!!! It didn't really bother me when it was in, though it might have been behind the right sided pain I'd have when coughing. The ps was gentle. Had me take deep breaths in and out while he cleaned and loosened the tube, then he pulled it out. It was an uncomfy, odd feeling. I could feel it unwind inside as it came out. Like a snake curled up and around my right lower belly.

My drainage had started out low, then increased. I think I put out over 200 cc one day. Then 60 cc, then 30 cc, then yesterday was 10 cc. After pulling the drain, he just placed a gauze and said it may drain some, then will close on its own. When I stood up though, I immediately soaked the gauze and fluid rushed down my leg, and onto my sock and the floor! Lol! We got an abd pad from the nurse, so I wouldn't overwhelm the gauze again on the trip home. :)

Oh, helpful tips for the day.... Even if you're off your narc, take a pill before this appt. and save one to take before next weeks appt (when the stitches come out!). Also, take a nausea pill beforehand, if you too find yourself getting queasy whenever you deal with your body's new trauma. I'm sure I would've survived without pre-medicating, but why go through more discomfort than needed? :) Also, I've discovered, thanks to a sweet, empathetic lady in the waiting room, that LifeSavers work better at quelling that obnoxious cough than cough drops!!! So hubby's buying a bag right now. :)

We were going to have our Christmas next week, thinking I'd need more recovery time. But we've decided to go ahead and have it tomorrow!!! WooHoo!!! The kids will be thrilled! Now I just need to remember not to overdo. The ps was pleasantly surprised with how well and quickly I'm recovering. God is so good!!! Merry Christmas ladies, and keep thinking happy, victorious healing. Remember to celebrate every little thing (yay! A painless bm! Yay! I showered by myself! Yay! I can walk faster than a slug!). We will all get there, and feel strong, and look super sexy hot come swimsuit time! ;). Hugs!

PO day 9. Time is kind of flying :) Yesterday was...

PO day 9. Time is kind of flying :) Yesterday was Christmas - hope yours was blessed! I definitely over did it, but it still felt good. My inner thighs are hurting. The bruising is moving down the thighs, although its mostly that ugly yellow colour now. But I'm either swelling a bit more or am just feeling more, so they hurt. Especially with my "dominatrix" outfit, ie the compression garment. :)

I took my shower all by myself today AND I shaved my legs!!! WooHoo!!!! Hubby was sweetly on stand by. He was surprised when he saw me going for my legs, but I think he's used to my stubbornness ;) It makes me chuckle though....the things in our daily, everyday lives that we take for granted. When they're lost, especially if its related to our independence, it can be difficult to accept. I imagine I'll be here again one day. For now, I'm ok because everyday I'm getting stronger and more capable. So it's all temporary! But one day, it won't be. I wonder, and hope I'll be able to accept it graciously then.

I snapped a new pic. Bra is already on, sorry! Babies wanted kisses before nap, so I threw on a bra and sat with a blanket on my lap! Lol! Still amazed how long Shower Time took lol! You can see the bruising at the base of my neck. The left side is still dark. I was told yesterday it looked like I'd been strangled! I said who knows what they do after you're unconscious >.> Lol, no, I just said the bruising moves around ;)
The little dots / circle area above my navel was from the pain pump. So worth it though, and I didn't feel a thing when it was removed. The tubes are itty bitty and literally just under the skin. My navel. Well, I haven't a clue what I'm getting there! I used to be an outie, because I had an umbilical hernia as a baby. But I think my ps worked some Cosmetic VooDoo, and attempted to pretty it up. So, it looks like it has a pencil-tip hole at the top? We shall see!
You can see I still have some stretch marks, but they're lower belly now. I think my incision line looks great, so does hubby. Drain site appears closed today too.

PO day 10. I swear my side boob swelling is about...

PO day 10. I swear my side boob swelling is about as full as my boobs! But the inner thighs really hurt! It feels like I've swollen bigger than the CG itself. When will it go away?

PO day 15. Had my tape off yesterday, and the...

PO day 15. Had my tape off yesterday, and the external anchor stitches removed. I'm assuming the internal ones will dissolve. He recommended a scar cream, so I got it. It's a clear, odorless gel. Feels like there's silicone in it. It only takes a little, so it should last awhile. It's also antibiotic / viral / fungal. He said to massage it in gently once or more daily. And, time to get shape wear and real bras!

Went to Dillard's, and was glad to have a knowledgable sales lady help. Turns out I've dropped from a 36G to a 36DD. Yay!!! No more cow for me! :) Although I'd like the thigh support, I chose a Spanx that acts like a panty, goes up to my bra, and has straps going over my shoulders. The crotch snaps completely open, allowing complete freedom in the bathroom, so I won't need to take the garment on and off. I had to order it though, so I'm still wearing the binder for now. I don't mind the binder, since I had to wear one for the last several pregnancies. (Abdominal split caused pain down the middle of my belly, like the baby was falling out!). But I want to hold a burning party for that black compression garment of torture! Ick.

I've read a few gals got their periods late after this surgery. Of course not ME. No, I get to get mine EARLY. Really? :/

My inner thighs really hurt. My side boobs do too, but not as badly, and that doesn't interfere with life as much. Everytime my babies are in my lap, push in my thighs while repositioning, etc my thighs burn with pain! I wonder when this lipo pain and hardness will ease up???

POD 16. I'm still a bit hunched. It's the upper...

POD 16. I'm still a bit hunched. It's the upper side though. My muscles at the sternum don't want to stretch. But I've always had nice posture, so prayerfully this will resolve soon.

My belly is swollen. Dr said no seroma Monday. Yay!!! Though I saw a wave on my "love handle" while bandaging the area ( when the nurse removed the anchor stitch I bled). She said not to be worried about it.

I got a one piece spanx on order, but my inner thighs hurt so were going out today to see about maybe some bike shorts. Maybe we can find something that gives some support but is easier to get on and off. My thighs are hard, tender, and feel heavy. I can tell there's swelling too, because when I change position I can feel I've been molded to my current position, and I need to adjust. I get that in my midsection too! If I sleep on my side, when I roll onto my back I can feel the swelling in my back for a few minutes, til it dissipates. Lol

Went to the bathroom without my seat riser today! WooHoo! It would've come off sooner if our toilets weren't SO low to begin with.

POD 17. I took my shower standing up the entire...

POD 17. I took my shower standing up the entire time! Didn't use the seat at all :) I'll prolly need it for shaving my legs though.

I have a few spots along my incisions, which haven't completely healed over yet. They have some of that yellow tissue bed. So I've decided to go back to using bacitracin for now. I'll use the scar cream once ALL of the incision is healed.

My thighs are much happier now that I have some compression on them! I bought "biker shorts" support garment at Sears. I think it's Maidenform. They had it on sale too, so it was $26. Definitely cheaper than spanx! I got black thinking it could double as an under-short to wear under my loose shorts while exercising later. It works fine with the binder, so it should work well with the one piece spanx when it arrives.

I wanted to say, after surgery, something that really bothered me was how my naval / lower tummy felt. The slightest touch made me recoil! It felt as though my very innards were being touched. It was super weird and uncomfy!!! I figured it was nerve related, and my brain didn't know where I was being touched. Everything had been moved! So, even though it was yucky, I started touching my lower belly and naval, while watching myself! So I could SEE where I was touching, and my brain could learn to associate my touch with the new, correct location. This really helped speed up the process of "getting my bearings" again! And desensitizing the area too.

I'm starting to do some firm pressure massage to the inner thighs. I think it's helping. So is activity. Being stationary lets everything settle and stiffen. Ouch!

Lol! I was doing firm massage in my inner thighs...

Lol! I was doing firm massage in my inner thighs tonight. Exhausting! Then I noticed I was leaving finger marks indented on my skin. I have +++4 pitting edema!!! Yay! I'm laughing because what idiot in their right mind is happy to have edema rivaling that of end stage CHF?!? But I figure, it must be getting better because previously all I could feel was rock hard and extremely painful. Now I can leave indents and it's only largely painful. Crazy the things we become thankful for, eh? :D

PO 3 wks, 1 day. I stopped using the scar cream...

PO 3 wks, 1 day. I stopped using the scar cream after about 2 days. I'm supposing since the body lays down an overload of collagen to create solid skin integrity (scar tissue), and the creams are meant to reduce that, that could be why I've developed openings along my incisions which weren't there before! I'm more concerned with healing quickly and well, than with scars (not that I particularly want scars). So I've been applying bacitracin daily. I'm putting it along all incisions, at least keeping things moist. I also take off the binder and air out, to help dry up the open spots. One still bleeds a tiny bit. That one happened when the nurse removed the sutures. I thinking I got knicked. I'm not really draining, just oozing. That pus like ooze you get from a wound. It doesn't smell though. But the front incision's surrounding area is reddened. I'm praying things heal well. And soon!

Swelling seems to be getting better. My right hip "water bed" has reduced. Not much of a wave now. My tummy is still swollen. Not quite as hard now, particularly on the right. I've been sleeping on my sides, trying to alternate, but am usually on my left. My thighs still hurt and have hardened areas, but they're getting better. I really think the lipo creates a lot of the discomfort of a MM.

4 wks and 1 day PO. Standing almost entirely...

4 wks and 1 day PO. Standing almost entirely straight, just a little hunching at my ribs from the muscle repair. But my split was huge and there for a long time. (I was told it needed fixing 16 yrs ago. Instead, I had 4 more big babies and a c section! Lol).

I have a few areas not healed over yet. Apparently it's the "spitting stitches" thing. Bleh. Not a biggie, just a delay. I'm not using the scar cream til I'm completely intac. I'm more concerned with healing than beauty. We can work on that later! ;)

I'm feeling better now too. Though I keep hurting in my bladder. That's what it feels like anyway. I did a dip stick. No leukocytes, but one dot for blood. Not terribly convincing, but I started macrobid anyway. But if its a uti I should feel better by now. Am wondering if its surgery related? Maybe due to getting all my innards back into place, and that's somehow hurting? Anyone else deal with this??

PO 4 wks 3 days. I made it around the development...

PO 4 wks 3 days. I made it around the development twice 2 days ago, (1 ml), but only once today. I'm trying to just go with the flow and listen to my body. :).

My "bladder" pain got worse today! I've just finished the ABO for a UTI, but although it feels like I have one, I don't think I do. Today my bowels hurt when things moved through them, my bladder hurt, my ovaries hurt, just my entire pelvic area. Bad enough I took meds!!! I was told I needed MR over 16 yrs ago. Instead I had 4 more babies O.O So I'm sure there's a readjustment for all my organs now! Getting back into new homes. :) I wonder about ovulation pain / cysts, worsening IBS (though I don't think so), or maybe something's up with my bladder other than a UTI. I'll be seeing the dr Monday to FU on my open wound, so I guess we'll be talking then. :)
Emotions are still labile. Yay.

PO 4 wks, 4 days. Been busy today, and now I'm...

PO 4 wks, 4 days. Been busy today, and now I'm swollen more. So I'm upstairs laying down. REALLY wish this "bladder" pain would go away! I'm doing kegels, in case the TT with MR has squished everything together and is now causing some prolapsing. Doesn't make a difference though. I'll ask PS when I see him Monday. Funny note - my nipples aren't situated where they used to be. After breast feeding 9 babies, my nipples are shaped to nurse! They are oval, with the upper tips slightly taller than the bottom tips, and the ovals are slanted slightly towards the outside. Imagine holding a baby in your arms - the angle of their mouth is the angle of my nips. Looking at a clock, my nips point to 11 and 1 badically. I hope this makes sense! Well NOW, the right one is angled slightly in vs out. Not a biggie. But the left one is completely on its side! So righty is pointing to 11, and lefty is pointing to 9. Weird! Not particularly happy, but I haven't told the PS. There's nothing to be done shy of more surgery, and that's not a possibility. Plus I'm SO glad I've retained normal nipple sensation. I don't want to risk that. And otherwise, this guy has been just fantastic. Even my hubby is impressed with the TT incision. He says it looks way better than most he's seen. My 1 drain was inserted through the incision site, so no extra scars. And he's aggressive enough to really make it look beautiful; suck all that nasty fat out! Lol!

PO 5 weeks, 2 days. I still have little scars...

PO 5 weeks, 2 days.
I still have little scars from the pain pump. If I'd known the pump would last ONE day, but leave scars, I'd have NOT gotten it. :/

Btw, I've been sleeping on my sides for several weeks now. I can't handle back sleeping! :)

I think I'm stuck with saggy, old lady inner thighs :( The lipo helped to reduce them some, but the extra skin, which, being stretched with so many pregnancies, I have lots, doesn't seem to be reducing. I might ask about what can be done. Obviously surgery, but how expensive, and would it be general or local? I doubt I'll do anything though. We are over-spent at this point, need to save for both a move and hubby's back surgery this summer.

"Bladder" pain has lessened in frequency and intensity. Yay. Praying it goes AWAY! We'll see....

I've just started to hold the LOs. They're around 25-30 pounds. I'll pick the littler one up if she's at arm level, like the changing table, or help her onto my lap, or stand and cuddle her for a minute if someone hands her to me. I'm avoiding the complete picking up since that really uses the abdominals. I refuse to be Super Mommy and do anything too soon and hurt myself! :)

I haven't noticed any diff between sites I've used...

I haven't noticed any diff between sites I've used scar cream and sites I haven't. I have a weird pinched sensation over my hips, like a nerve is over the hip bones when it should be in front. I assume it's from nerves reconnecting. Still have numbness around incision site. No biggie. Breasts are fine, sensation normal ;). I've lost a bit of weight over the last month or two. Starving helps ;) I'm working at the gym now.
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon

Consultation was great. No "patient" bed; just comfy chairs and a couch, so I felt at home vs a doctor's office. Dr Fee came in, sat down on the other side of the room (leaving my nervous bubble space intact), he introduced himself, and we talked, giving me time to get more comfortable. Then he brought in a Nurse, who held my gown to my back, so I didn't really feel I was naked. Then he asked me to look in the full length mirror and tell him everything I didn't like, which I think is awesome because educated people sometimes think they want a certain procedure, when in fact it's the wrong term, and there's confusion. He gave us his cell phone number too. Not many doctors do that! On surgery day, again a nurse held a gown to my back so I wouldn't feel so exposed while he did his markings. I'm sure most people wouldn't bother at that point, but it helped me feel cared about as a PERSON. His after care has been fantastic, from taking his time to listen, and taking care to remove my drain in a way that wasn't painful. His staff, too is caring, kind, and professional, and from every interaction I've witnessed, they have a great rapport with one another. I trust Dr Fee, and highly recommend him. And I don't usually "love" doctors, but I'd travel to have him as my doctor :)

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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