31 Years Old, 2 Kids Later, It's my time!!!! - Jacksonville, FL

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Like so many others, I've been stalking Realself...

Like so many others, I've been stalking Realself for a while, looking at pictures and reading the stories of so many amazing ladies. I've been debating for a while but have finally decided to share my story. I'm 31 yo. I have 2 kids, 8 yo and 19 mo. I'm planning on having a tummy tuck(with MR) and liposuction on January 22, 2015. For as long as I can remember, I have always been slightly overweight. It seems like I carry my extra weight around my midsection. I've never had a flat stomach or a normal looking belly button. I'm 5'5 & currently 179 lbs. Before I got pregnant with my 2nd(and last! Lol) baby, I was 150 lbs, which is small for me. I had a BA in 2009 with another doctor in the same practice. I've tried excercise, changing eating habits and I have had liposuction on my midsection, flanks and inner thighs. Before getting pregnant the 2nd time(2012), the liposuction had a pretty good result. I had more lipo in April 2014 and you can't even tell I had anything done. I was really trying to avoid a tummy tuck but I came to the realization within the last few months that I'm not going to be able to get the flat stomach I've never had without a tummy tuck. I'm still worried about the scar tho! Ugh! I've already had my consult with my doctor, looked at pictures of his work and have seen some of his work in person(I have a friend who had a tummy tuck with him a few months ago). I'm excited but nervous. Less than 3 months to go!

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween to all the wonderful and amazing ladies on Realself!!

Less then 3 months left to go! Eeeeeeee!

So it's a little less then 3 months to go and I'm officially obsessed I think. Lol. If Pinterest wasn't bad enough at consuming copious amounts of time, there's a ton about Plastic surgery on there as well. Here are a few more pre-op pictures. I'm so glad to be able to share my story, just as so many other women have done for me. Thanks! You're all wonderful, beautiful and amazing women! Good luck to you all on your journeys!

Less than 2 months to go!

It's starting to get pretty real that this is going to happen. I'm getting so excited by each day that passes and the closer it gets. With that, I'm also getting more and more nervous. I'm worried about the scar and the pain. More so, the scar. I know that it's going to totally be worth all the pain and the money. I know I'm going to love my results. I've already put in time off at work. I'm taking a month off. Other people who work in my field tell me that I'm going to need it. Plus, who doesn't like not having to work and getting paid for a month. Lol. Considering I don't take my vacations, I'm so looking forward to it. Even if the first 2 weeks are going to suck. 1 month and 3 weeks left until I make it to the flat side!!!!!!!!!!!

Date confirmed! Woo hoo!

Since my doctor's office on schedules a month in advance, I called today and set the date I wanted. It's official...January 22nd!!! It's starting to get real. Lol. I've been so excited all day! Ready to join the flat side!

Getting supplies and getting ready

There are a few things that the doctors office requests you come in with (robe, long sleep shirt and slippers). I went out and purchased these earlier (in black jic I'm leaking any fluids through the bandages). I already have guaze and tape from my previous surgeries(BA and 2 other liposuction surgeries). Are there any absolute musts you ladies suggest to make recovery easier? Thanks in advance.

39 days left

39 days left until I join the flat side! I'm so excited and I cannot wait. It's been such a joy and blessing to be able to share my journey with so many wonderful ladies and be a part of their journey as well. I absolutely love the connection and commradery that we all share with each other as we experience our journeys together. Thank you ladies for all being such amazing, caring, wonderful and special women. We all deserve to take care of ourselves and do this for us as we sacrifice so much for our children and families. Wishing you all amazing results and happy healing! With all that being side, I decide to post the infamous "hanging belly fat picture, taken from underneath". Mines not too bad. If only I can get rid of the gross, flubber belly. 39 days can't get her fast enough!

30 days until I join the flat side!!!!!!

Today is exactly 30 days before I go in for my tummy tuck. It's crunch time!! The next 30 days are going to fly by. I can't wait! I've been looking for a list of must haves for recovery. I think the biggest things are having meals prepped in advance. I feel pretty comfortable that I have enough of everything else. I have an amazing husband that takes very, very good care of me so no worries here.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas ladies!!! Happy healing and speedy recoveries!

Getting closer to sx day. The what if's

I have to say that I'm very excited about my upcoming sx but I'm SO nervous! I'm really freaked out and worried about my results. I've seen other ladies that have had more skin to remove than I will have and they've had phenomenal results. I'm so scared that I'm not going to have the same results and they won't be as good. I can't seem to shake this fear. Anyone else feeling this or felt it prior to sx?

Still getting closer

19 days until my sx!!!!! Woop woop! If I wasn't nervous already...lol. The nervousness hasn't gotten any worse but now the excitement of how close it's getting is starting to kick in. Also, the wondering of what my results will be, what I'm going to look like, how my scar will be, how my belly button is going to look, how the pain will be, how my recovery will be, etc. Exciting stuff!!
I also took all of my measurements yesterday (as a suggestion by a friend) so I can keep track of my progress. It was a great idea! I'm glad she suggested it! My measurements as of yesterday:
Waist-35" (Before my last pregnancy in 2012, it was 31.5" :-( )

Presurgery "nesting" has begun

Just like when you have a baby, you get into that "nesting" phase. Lol. I wanted to get on top of cleaning the house so it wasn't so overwhelming over the next few weeks. I'll have plenty to do and I'll be excited and on edge. Also, nothing is better than coming home to a clean house, especially if I'm going to be stuck in it for at least 2 weeks. Hubby and I spent literally ALL day cleaning the house and doing laundry. There's still more to do. We're also finally taking down our Christmas lights (lol. Don't be judgy. Some of our neighbors still have their entire yards still decorated. We only have lights on the house). Is it bad I'm hoping for some good tv marathons while I'm down? Lol. I just want to say thank you to all of the ladies that have gone before me to the flatside. Thank you for your advice, guidance and sharing your experiences!

Dreaming of the flatside

I had a dream last night about my tummy tuck. It was about my biggest concern...the SCAR! Lol. I was pleasantly surprised. It was low, thin and a short scar! My stomach looked amazing! Ugh. Gives me such good hope and positive vibes for my upcoming sx!

Come to the flatside! They have cute bellybuttons and flat tummies!

So, so looking forward to a normal bellybutton and flat tummy! 10 days and counting! Of course it's all I can think about. I'm literally obsessed. Preparing for my sx, looking at other ppl's results on realself.

This time next week, I'll be on the flatside!!!!!

It's so hard to believe that I only have 6 more days! I swear it feels like a few days ago, this day was months away. The time just flies by! I'm sure by Monday or Tuesday, it'll feel like an eternity.
I went today to get my preop bloodwork done. I also picked up my antibiotics. There's not much left to do besides show up the day of and pay for my sx.

Looking for some input

Ok ladies......I have 4 days until I undergo a full TT with MR and Liposuction . I am also considering having an adjustment done on my implants as well. Before my 2nd and last pregnancy, I was a DD. I had a little pick me up on the twins a year after the baby and decided to go a little bigger. I am now a DDD. I was thinking of going back down to a DD. I'm worried that after my tt, if I stay a DDD, that my boobs will look too big. I know it's all about preference but what do you ladies think? Go back down to a DD or am I crazy and I should leave them alone? I definitely have the frame to handle them at either size. I'm just conflicted and looking for some advice.

The anticipation is killing me

I'm feeling so antsy and anxious right now! Thursday can't get here fast enough. I'm really anticipating my waking up in the recovery room and how I'm going to feel. I know even with anti-naseau meds, I'm going to throw up at least once. I'm really not looking forward to that. The few days before are dredging by so slowly....just like everyone said they would. Almost there.........

Eating right!

We usually eat pretty good but I need to really make sure my eating is clean and on track with my upcoming sx and to make sure I retain these habits. My only real crutches are Coke and sweets. I want to have and retain the best results. Chicken, broccoli and rice it is! Yummy!

Today is the day! Today I join the flatside!

I'm on my way to my Surgeons office. I'm super nervous. Worried about how I'm going to feel when I wake up in recovery but I'm excited about having a flat stomach. I keep thinking about how worth it it'll be in the end. I was super stressed out and exhausted last night. This morning has been better and I'm ready to be heading home already. Thank you ladies for all the continued support. I will post an update and pictures as soon as I am able. I hope everyone has a wonderful morning! Good luck to all my other ladies that are having sx today as well. Good luck to you and I look forward to seeing your updates and progress.

Finally on the flatside!

I made it!!! I got up a little while ago, washed my face and brushed my teeth. Felt great to get up, walk around and put some real clothes on. Made me feel somewhat human again. I'm doing much better then expected. Just sore and itchy. Not really in any pain, which I'm happy about. Haven't needed any narcotics, just ibuprofen. Yay! I hate the drugged up, out of it feeling so it's working well.
Yesterday went pretty well. Showed up, got checked in, paid and then went back to the OR suite to get ready. They hooked me all up to an ekg machine, blood pressure and iv. I was given a pill and some nasty liquid to wash it down with(Versaid and something else). It was a "cocktail" to help me relax. After that, I remember waking up in the OR getting dressed, getting off the table into a wheelchair and being wheeled into recovery(The OR nurses said he tightend my muscles up really good and my tummy was really flat). I wasn't in any pain, just sore, hunched over and slow moving. I sat in the recovery room for a short time and then it was time to get in the car and go home. I left with a catheter in and a drain. Hubby took me home(yes, as I was expecting, I threw up twice) and put me in the recliner. I was up for a few hours and then slept for 4 hours. I woke up around 1030 pm and stayed up until almost 3 am. I took some ibuprofen and slept till 7 am. I woke up this morning feeling sore but not in pain. I was able to get up, get cleaned up and change my clothes. Hubby made me some breakfast and coffee so I could take some more ibuprofen and antibiotics. Feeling pretty good. I'm itchy and sore under this uncomfortable binder. The soreness is low so that to me is a good sign. I went to move the binder at the bottom by the crease of my left leg and it hurt! Thought maybe it was some stuck tape. I had hubby look and he said it was my incision. I'm thinking that means my scar was low. That's a good sign. The only other thing I'm really hoping for is that all of my tattoo was removed. My doctor said he wasn't sure if I had enough extra skin to remove the entire tattoo on my right hip but he was going to really try and get rid of it all. I'm also hoping they give me a new binder or adust the one they gave me. It has some rigidity to it and is digging into me. I have a short torso so it's folded down at the top and digging into my ribs. It sucks! I have a follow up appointment today at 1 pm so I'm hopeful to see what everything looks like. More to come soon! Hoping my other ladies that joined the flatside with me yesterday are doing well also.

First post op appointment

I had my first follow up today. I was there longer than I really expected or wanted to be. They're pretty busy most of the time. I had all of my bandages and binder taken off. My incision was cleaned up and the doc put some TAO (tripple antibiotic oitment) on it. I got some new bandages and a new binder. It's no longer digging in at the top, which I am very happy about. I also got a b12 shot. I was told that the catheter could come out tomorrow and the drain would probably come out at the end of next week or beginning of the following week. He wants me to keep track of the drainage when it becomes less than 25 ml for more then 24 hours. When it does, I have to call to come in for an appt to take it out. I can shower starting Sunday or Monday, I just can't get my drain site wet. It's ok to get my incision wet and I'm to put TAO and clean bandages on it after my shower. No changing the bandages until after I shower. Everything is still sore and numb. He did say that I look really good for being 24 hours out. He wasn't expecting me to look as good as I did so soon. He was also able to remove all of my tattoo which I'm so, so happy about. I'm happy with everything so far and glad I'm doing so well. The girls in the office said they don't really see many ppl not on narcotics afterwards and that I was moving around really well. I'm also only hunched over when I first stand up. As I start walking, I straighten up quite a bit. Glad to hear from them that I'm doing a lot better then most ppl 24 hours post op. I was able to get a few pictures when the nurse left the room to get a new binder. Everything looks good so far. It'll only get better from here.

Showers make you human again....lol

Here I am 4 days po and I finally showered. I've been taking bird baths. Lol. Honestly, I was kinda scared to shower because of having to stand up that long. I was a little worried about seeing everything. My shower wasn't that bad and I had my wonderful hubby to help me. I washed my hair and made sure to put lotion on after. Even though I didn't feel nasty or gross, showering made a huge difference and I felt a lot better. Everything didn't look as bad as I thought it would. It still seems like a pretty brutal incision to me. Everything is still numb to the touch and feels really tight. I did notice that in the middle of my stomach where my incision is, it seems like this area(when I look down), is sticking out, like a small mound. Has anyone else noticed this? I feel like I'm walking around better today, with a little less back pain. I've been having muscle spasms on and off, which I've read is normal. I'm just hoping this blasted drain comes out soon. It's not so much bothering me, it's just annoying in general. Is it normal to feel slightly over emotional? Anyone else experience this? Happy healing ladies! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day.

Slowly chugging along...lol

So I have to admit that I'm a little jealous of my sx counterparts. It seems like everyone that had sx on the same day is light years ahead of me. I know every one's recovery is different and every doctor is different but it seems like I'm the only one with a drain and sutures still. I realistically know that having a drain means less swelling. I guess I'm just really ready to get my drain out, my sutures out and to be able to put a cg garment on instead. No drains and no sutures also means that I can hopefully get out of the recliner and back in my bed. No signs of the drain coming out before the weekend either. I'm still draining to much fluid. My PS wants me to have less than 25 cc's in my drain, after 24 hours, for 2 consistent days. I'm still at 50 cc's in the morning. :-/ I'm getting there slowly. Here's hoping the drain comes out before the middle of next week. I will post new pictures after the drain and sutures come out. Not much has changed in my tummy's appearance. It's still a hot, stitched up mess! Lol. I know it's going to look great in the end so no worries here.

Things are getting better

While I still have my sutures and my drain in, my fluid drainage is starting to slow down. One more day at the same numbers and I'm thinking I'll be able to get my drain out Wednesday. I've also been sleeping in my bed for the past few nights. So, so, so happy about that(and so is my hubby). Woo hoo! I'm standing up straight and everyday is getting better. It's nice to finally start seeing some forward progress!

2 week post-op check up

I went in today at 3 for a check up. While I was there for a little while, I didn't mind waiting. I had my sutures removed right after my drain was taken out. The drain didn't hurt or feel weird at all. He told me it'd be better if I didn't look while he was taking it out. I told him I'm a watcher. Lol. I have to watch anytime I get a shot or get an IV or have anything done. After that, one of the nurses came in and took all of my sutures out. The best was my belly button. They were quite a few, they were all the way around it and they were pokey. Then the fun started....the long line of stitches across my stomach. Some parts in the middle were still numb, my left side was ok but my right side was tender. Omg! There were a few spots that stung a little when she pulled them out. Dr C also said that I was doing pretty good. He said most women have bulges on their sides and look like they have a belly. I don't have either so that makes me happy. I was told I could start wearing a CG so I put on my Spanx as soon as I got home. That basic white abdominal binder wasn't cutting it anymore and it had to go. The girls in the office said they were impressed with how well I've been and that I was the poster child for this surgery. Lol. It was definitely nice to hear. :-) I got a b12 shot and then I was on my way. I'm not allowed to do any strenuous activities. I still have to take it easy. I'll go back in around 3-5 months postop unless I have an issue. I'm standing pretty straight still and I can lay pretty flat in bed. I still use a pillow under at least 1 leg. I can't wait to see if I can lay on my right side tonight since the dreaded drain is gone. We shall see! I'm one happy girl today!!! I hope all my ladies are healing well and are having a good day! Happy healing!!! Lots of hugs and thanks to all of you that have been there for all the advice and support. You're all amazing! We're all fortunate to be able to share our journies and support each other.

More before and after pics

I'm just amazed at the difference 2 weeks has made. I'm already down 4 lbs from my pre-sx weight. Woo hoo! Every little bit helps. I'm liking what I see and what progress I've made. I still have so much left to do. Soon it'll be time to get my butt back in the gym and back to running. I've got to be ready for that 7 night Western Caribbean Cruise coming up in April. :-)))

6 weeks post op (on 3/5)

Hi ladies! I hope everyone is doing well and healing nicely! I haven't posted an update in a while so I figured it was about time. I wanted to share some recent, updated pictures. This is my 3rd attempt at an update tonight. I've lost all my work before I could load it, twice! So frustrating!!!!! Lol. Anyways, things overall are pretty good. I still have some swelling that's worse at the end of the day. My mons is still swollen all the time. Hoping the puffiness goes down eventually. I'm ready to go in and get lipo on my back from my head to my feet. Lol. I need the back to be just as good as the front at this point. :-) I want to get back to walking this week so I can work my way back into running and running races (5k's, 10k's, etc). We'll see how things go. I'm enjoying all of the support from you wonderful ladies! I'm also enjoying following your journies and seeing your progress!

7 weeks Post op

Today marks my 7 weeks post op date. Things are going pretty well. I'm still swollen and I feel like I have these huge love handles. Ugh! I've been feeling pretty down about my results over the last week. I feel like I look like a Ken doll!! Lol. I feel like my mons looks SO big. I go back on the 16th(next Monday) for a check-up so I will go over all of my concerns then with him. I will also post new pictures soon. I hope all of you ladies have had a great week! Thanks for listening to me vent a little. :-) You ladies are the best!

7 week post-op pictures

Here are a few pictures that I didn't upload with my previous post. I think I'm making good progress but there are a few areas that I'm not super happy with. Hopefully they'll get better with time and being able to excercise.

2 month Post Op checkup

I had a follow up appointment yesterday with Dr Clayman. This is definitely their busy season bc I was there for a little while. Lol. I was able to get cleared to return to full duty at work by the end of the week. Woo hoo! I also had a ton of questions that I wanted to ask. I wrote them all down and still forgot a few...oops. Nothing major though so no worries. I can always go back in whenever to see him. My questions were:

1.When can I soak in the tub/get in a hot tub/swimming pool?
He said I was good to do all 3. Yay!!

2.When can I exercise(core workout/walking/running/weightlifting)?
He said I was clear to do all of the above but to just take it easy, work into things slowly and to not go to the gym and try to do a bunch of squats right away. Lol.

3.Can he make the incision on my left hip straight?(If you look at previous pictures, the incision on my left hip goes up at a 45 degree angle)
He said to give it some time to see how it heals(few months). If it fades well enough that it's not noticeable, that it'd be ok. If it doesn't, he can fix just the edge so it's straight. He explained that he made the incision go up at an angle bc if he made it straight, he would've had to go all the way around my side to keep me from getting dog ears. I can respect that. :-) He also said that if my sides don't go down(swelling or love handles. Who knows?!?), that I could get them lipo'd in a few months if I wanted to. If I'm going to have to go under for a little fix to the end of my incision, might as well make it worth my while and get some lipo done.

4.I need a follow up appointment with my OB that requires a sonogram. When can I do that?
He said I was ok to have the procedure done.

5.Am I ok to get body wraps done?
He said I was fine to get those done as well. I'm going on a cruise at the end of April. I want to look as good as possible. Last time I had one done several years ago, after 1 session, I lost a total of 5 inches off of my entire body. I might need to have a couple body wraps done before then. Lol

I took some more updated pictures last night but I'm not able to upload them right now bc they're all on my phone. :-( I will upload them later. I hope all of you ladies are having a wonderful day and great recoveries. I'm enjoying following all of your journies and seeing your progression after sx. Happy healing!! XOXOXOX :-)) *Hugs*

2 month post op appointment pictures

Here are the pictures that I couldn't upload with my update earlier.

Almost 1 year later and it just keeps getting better

January 22 makes a year that I had my tummy tuck. It's still the best decision that I ever made. For years, I tried to get around having one (lost weight, had lipo, etc.) because I didn't want a huge scar across my midsection. Honestly, it hasn't been that bad and I should've done it a lot sooner. I've lost over 20 lbs in the last year and a lot of inches all over. If you're struggling with the same concerns that I had, don't!!!! After all is said and done, it's all worth it. My starting weight was 178 lbs. I'm now 157 lbs. Woo hoo!! My starting measurements: B:41.5" W:35" H:45" My current measurements: B:39.5" W:29.5" H:41" That's a total of 11 inches all over. I'm beyond happy with my body lately, even though I have other areas to work on. Even though both Dr Clayman's have been getting a lot of bad press lately, I'm happy with everything that they have both done for me. I love my body and my results. They've both always been accommodating and genuinely concerned with my issues, as a patient. They've both always taken the time to talk when I had concerns or questions. If I had the chance to do it again and pick another doctor, I'd still pick them both.
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon

My consultation went great. I was able to see pictures of his work and ask questions. He explained the process to me in detail and what could be done if I had any dislikes with my results. I feel very comfortable with him performing my sx. I'm really looking forward to seeing and enjoying my results! The ladies that work in the office have told me that his results are wonderful because he's so meticulous and takes his time. I've seen some of his work in person and I liked what I saw. I'm looking forward to a speedy recovery with amazing results!!

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 Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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