7 months PO: TT, muscle repair, hip lipo. * NEW PICS!* Still happy as a clam!

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*Treatment results may vary

Although I will not be 40 until August, I have...

Although I will not be 40 until August, I have been thinking about how I want to feel about myself when I wave my 30s goodbye. (My 30s have been incredible!) I want to feel confident and more attractive. Hence, my decision to have a tummy tuck.

I have two children: my daughter is almost 5 and a half and my son is turning 4. I had normal, uneventful pregnancies; I managed to lose the baby weight from them, but I still have a belly that kinda pouches out. I hate that it hangs over my pants. I hate that it's there when my husband touches me. The thought of freely prancing around my bedroom in adorable lingerie sets and even wearing a bikini (whoah!) have me giddy. My insecurities and body image loathing keeps me from doing those things now.

Exactly six weeks and one day to go. I am finally...

Exactly six weeks and one day to go. I am finally posting pictures!

I never included a little background in terms of weight and what-not... I'm 5'7" and fluctuate between 165 and 170. Looking at weight charts, I am identified as "overweight," but I don't think that takes into account that I used to be a competitive swimmer for years and that I enjoy running now. I run for between 40-50 minutes a day, roughly four or more times a week. Granted, I'm no skinny minny, but I don't consider myself fat or overweight. I just need some toning in places!

I have been to roughly 190 pounds before having kids (I blame college and drinking!), and while pregnant, I have been all the way up to 215 pounds. I look at my stomach and wonder sometimes if it is excess skin or five or so pounds of fat. I guess I will stop wondering about it come December 26! Lol.

I love this site as many of your stories are making me feel less nervous (well, to be honest, one or two are freaking me out... lol!) and a little more confident about my decision. I keep walking around tugging on my tummy. It's getting a little crazy. I am paranoid I am going to stretch it out more!

Nearly four more weeks. I am officially obsessed...

Nearly four more weeks. I am officially obsessed with this site. Sometimes I think I spend more time looking at your bellies and reading your stories than I do talking to my husband. (Not that he's been complaining or anything!) I keep thinking about future events and day dreaming about dresses I might wear once my belly isn't as squishy and roly-poly as it is now. I am not racked with feelings of guilt about my decision. And I honestly don't give a hoot about other people's opinions about my decision. My family (mom, sister, father) will be kept in the dark, and my father-in-law will be conveniently be told a half truth because he is straight off the boat from Poland and would be unable to wrap his mind around why I am doing what I'm doing. He thinks my kids will get sick if they aren't wearing socks in my house during the winter months for goodness sakes. Oh, and he gives me a hard time when they drink juice boxes b/c they are "too cold." So he is being told I am having some surgery to fix my tummy (sans details). Why not tell my sis, mom and dad? It's kinda a long story, but the short of it involves the issue of money (at least with regard to my sister and mother). The money is there now to pay for this early birthday gift for me, and I don't like to have to explain why or how it's there. I realize that makes me sound a little shady!!!! LOL! I am 100% not. My husband has a good job and I am fortunate enough to be able to choose to stay home to raise my children. My sister's situation is different and I have sometimes gotten the comment, "I just don't know how you do it..." I don't believe my mom is happy for me in terms of how my life has turned out, but then again, she is never happy for anyone. I am not going to tell my dad because I fear he might slip when he talks to my sister (my parents are divorced and my dad lives in NY). So only my husband and three friends know at the moment. One of the three had it done, and the other can't wait to lose another 30 or so pounds and get it done herself. The third tells me I don't need it, but I know she wishes me well. The most important thing is that my husband is supportive. He loves music and so this is how he puts it: "If I knew of a surgery that cost $8,000 and could fix my vocal chords so that I sounded amazing when I sang, I would totally go for it!" Deep guy. Hahahaha! But that's his take on my decision. Love him! :)

My TT & MR was changed from 12/26 to 12/28....

My TT & MR was changed from 12/26 to 12/28. Although my PS is working on the 26th, the one facility where I am having it done is closed. Oh well. I foresee an extra cocktail or two Christmas night! ;)

I had my pre-op visit this past Thursday. It was...

I had my pre-op visit this past Thursday. It was AWESOME! My PS said that I will probably have enough skin to stretch down (so no need for a tiny vertical scar). He will do MR and pull and stitch my belly so tight if he flicked his finger against my stomache it would go "PING!"

He had me at "PING!"

I told him it would be like wrestling an alligator during surgery, so I was wondering if he had back up. He assured me that he has wrestled many an alligator and that yes, his partner would be there assisting him. This is good to know. Apparently, my friend who has had hers done by him said the assistant's bed side manner is excellent. My PS is more or less an old school doctor. He is not a hand holder. That is okay with me. I'm not the type of person who develops relationships with doctors, dentists, hairdressers, manicurists, etc... l just like people who know what the heck they are doing and get it done right the first time.

He said I wouldn't necessarily need a CG, but that I would wear my binder for two weeks or so. Walking is okay. I would have at least one drain and he prefers to get it out sooner than later. My post op would be either New Year's Eve or maybe New Year's Day; he assured me that despite it being a holiday, either he or his assistant will see me. That is very good to know.

So that's it. I need to return to my running... I took a week off.

Feel good, ladies!

Yep. That post title sums it up: I cannot believe...

Yep. That post title sums it up: I cannot believe it is the eve of my big day!

There is this surreal euphoria / fear that overcomes you when you realize you are going in for your procedure in less than 24 hours. I guess those of you on the "flat side" (that still cracks me up) or those of you scheduled for tomorrow, 12/28, can totally understand what I mean. I honestly feel completely unprepared. I see some of you have posted lists of things you have gotten; the one "big ticket" item I picked up with a toilet riser. Oh, and two pairs of comfy big yoga pants. I have no cough drops. (Nor do I have a cough at the moment, thankfully.) I have no recliner, but I do have at least 12 pillows. I have an extra binder, a CG from a gal pal, and tons of tees to put under the binder. Most importantly, I have my hubs who is ready to take over as Mr. Mom. He charged up our walkie talkies so that he can be reached anywhere in the house (lol) and asked about what kinds of meals I would like. I just feel bad that the rest of his time off from work will revolve around taking care of me.

I had a last minute appt with my PS to ask about lipo of my flanks, tummy, etc... He showed me about what the hip lipo covers and he said that I didn't have much around the side of my hips on up, but that he could easily just "sneak up there" for no extra fee. I wanted to make out with him when he said that, but then thought it would make things awkward tomorrow. We discussed lipo on my thighs and I got quoted for my inner and outer thighs: $1500. It's funny bc in my head I am thinking, "If it's anywhere from $500-$800, I will do it." (I made me husband return this necklace he bought for me for Christmas. The thing was $1400 -- the man is out of his mind -- and then I thought, "Weeeellllllll, I made him return the necklace, soooooo...." But NO. I am not going to get the leg lipo. My legs are my legs. They have cellulite. Lipo isn't going to help that. They look fine in pants. I run to make them jiggle less. So I will have to keep up running for the rest of my life. I don't know how much of a difference the lipo would make and that just seems like an awful lot of moolah.

So in preparation for tomorrow, I bought prune juice. I've been so immersed in poop -- or lack thereof -- stories, that I read on here that someone drank some prune juice the day before and day after and #2 wasn't an issue. I drank a 5.5 oz can last night bc I've been oinking out on my homemade milk choco chip cookies and I've felt like I had to go but couldn't quite do so.


One and a half hours after drinking that God awful, backed up sewer resembling fluid they call "juice," I had the sudden urge to run to the bathroom. It was like the Fourth of July in my toilet. I am sorry for the graphic simile. My husband actually got annoyed at my description and told me I kept "pushing it" with my poop story. (And yes, he caught the pun.) But I forgot that he hasn't been reading about BMs, and that it's only been me reading your stories at night, so he couldn't appreciate it.

So the moral of the story is: Prune juice works and husbands don't give a crap about it.

Before I go, I just wanted to share with you my thoughts about tomorrow. Geez, I sound like someone who hasn't been in contact with another human being with the way I am rambling here. Ha.

Here goes:

1. God, please let me wake up after surgery. My husband lost his mom in a freak accident January 1, 2007 and I fear my demise might send the man over the edge. Plus, I would be mortified dying from something so superficial. I am confident you can feel mortification from the great beyond. (Not that I want proof of it or anything...)
2. Please make me one of those people who is up and about PO Day 1. If that is too much to ask, make me ready to take on the world PO Day 2. I guess you never know how your body responds. I had major back surgery back in 2002, and my mother made me go car shopping with her the next morning. (I needed a car and she was only visiting for a couple of days.) I am hoping that I bounce back like how I did with the back surgery.

I am trying to think of a #3, but I can't. Those are the two things on my mind right now.

In reality I realize that this is going to be a process. I have embraced that. I will be tickled pink if panties look cute on me during the first few days/weeks, but I refuse to get depressed if I look the same or worse than I do now. I keep repeating that to myself over and over again. I have a positive attitude about this, and I want that to be the thing that gets me through it.

Just got the call from the surgical center. Be there at 8:00 AM with my license and insurance card (no idea why for that). Surgery is at 9:00 AM. Holy smokes. This is going to happen!!!

Good evening all. So I had my full TT with hip...

Good evening all. So I had my full TT with hip lipo this morning at 9 AM. Just thought I would share a little about the actual experience. To sum up, so far it has been positive.

I reported at 8 and went through paperwork. Just as I was standing there with my husband, guess who walks by but his boss's wife. UGH! She is a nurse at that surgical center. This wouldn't be such a big deal if he hadn't said he was taking the last few days off next week of the new year because I was having "hernia" surgery. Oh well. Plus, it's kinda weird to see someone you have to see every year at a work Christmas dinner and know they have seen your "lady bits." (I think I have heard that term used by some of you Europeans. It makes me chuckle.)

There were a couple of issues getting the IV in; after an attempt at each hand (the nurse felt TERRIBLE!), my upper arm was settled on. I was given some type of "cocktail" and immediately was chillaxed. I bid goodbye to my hubby and was wheeled into the OR.

It was an all female staff, and they were awesome explaining everything. The next thing I know is that I woke up in recovery. It was that quick. I apparently talked to my PS although I don't rememberr it. He had another surgery right after mine, so he wasn't there to discuss specifics. However, I learned I had a 3" separation in my ab muscles and that was taken care of.

I was given a script for percocet/acettaminophene, and I had my husband fill that while I was put under so I had drugs pronto. My PS did not write me a script for antibiotics, so I spoke with an afterr hours doctor on call and he called one in for me. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Getting up the stairs to my glorious bed seemed a bit daunting. My legs worked just fine; it was just that I was hunched over worse than Quasi Modo and my belly ached. But I finally made it up there and have been here ever since with the occasional getting up to go to the bathroom or take a walk out of my room in the hallway.Very scenic, let me tell you.

At this point, I feel as if I have done the most intense ab workout of my life. Holy cannoli. I just feel sore, sore, sore. I am wapped up in a binder with a drain hanging out the left side. It has filled up maybe three times today to 25cc, so I empty it. I have absolutely no desire to look at what is underneath this bad boy. Plus, I feel if I did make an attempt to look, I am so hunched I am going to be staring at my dangling boobs.So why bother?

The percosets -- actually, they filled it with the oxycodone -- make me a little nauseaus (spelling?), so I am making a viligant effor to take them with food. Toast did wonders. I also have a box of this organic Hemp Plus granola next to my bed. It's fattening, but it has all good stuff like flax seeds and oats. It has a good fiber content and is low sodium to boot.

I am taking the meds every four hours. I just don't want to miss a dose or try to be a hero at this point. I am wondering at what point you ladies who had MR switched over to over the counter stuff?

Oh, and I also have a heating pad in bed with me. It helps a little with my sore back. I was a little concerned about my back due to walking hunched over and my previous back surgery. It's tender, but what can I do?

One last thing: a toilet riser. Good grief, I am so glad my friend suggested I get one!!!I am 5'7" and I can't imagine what I would do if I didn't have it.

That's it for now. I need to call on Monday, New Year's Day, to report my drainage. If I am draining at less than 25cc in a 24 hour period, I will get this drain out on Monday. At this point it isn't bothering me, so I do not have an opinion on it either way.

So today is officially day two following surgery....

So today is officially day two following surgery. The pain is a lot less worse than I thought it would be. I'm still taking my meds every four hours. I did have some intense burning or stinging on the incision site, but that lasted for like 10 seconds and was gone. That was this morning when I got out of bed to use the bathroom. That was pretty uncomfortable! Like the rest of you, my back is sore. I am still hunched over, but not as extreme as when I first came home. I find that I shuffle around a little faster now. I have been staying upstairs in my bedroom, but I walked downstairs earlier to find a crockpot recipe for my husband. He plans on making pulled pork sandwiches and is like, "So, do I just stick this in the crockpot and that's it?" Oh boy. I had to explain that you need to prep it with seasonings and sauce. Men.

I did take off my binder to look. I am very pleased. My belly is no longer there! My torso is smooth. No roll or chunka-chunk. My BB is covered up, and I am hoping to get a glimpse of that tomorrow... My PS said to make an appt if I am draining less than 25. I am bad at measuring due to the shape of the bulb thing, but it looks like 10 or so. Oh, and I did put a wife beater like tee on under my binder b/c the elastic part of the binder (back part) was getting really uncomfortable. I am a happier woman now that I've done that.

My diet has been relatively lite. I've been eating some cantaloupe, pineapple, my Fage Greek yogurt (LOVE that stuff!), and steel cut oatmeal. My husband made some chicken soup and so I will have that again tonight instead of the pulled pork sandwiches. I have been drinking water like crazy. I had my husband pick up water bottles so I get a sense of how much I am drinking. I took some more MOM today. No progress going #2. I wouldn't say I feel uncomfortable or that I have to go... I just don't want to get to that point. I actually just took some Colace, so I am hoping that they will work in conjunction with the MOM to get things going.

Hope you continue to feel well!!! :)

I remember dying to see pics from others when I...

I remember dying to see pics from others when I was weeks and days away from my TT, so I thought I would try to get some up myself. I hope this site takes PDF b/c I did a couple of side by side comparisons. Never mind. I can't put them up. :(

Happy New Year, all! So yesterday, Monday, I went...

Happy New Year, all! So yesterday, Monday, I went in for my first PO dr appt. (Had my TT on Fri.) I only had one drain and had that removed. I was draining maybe 10 over a 24 hour period. My ps said anything less than 25 and it's out. It did not hurt to have it taken out; rather, it felt creepy and gross. It felt like a snake writhing under my skin as he pulled it out. Eeks. I'm still shuddering. He covered my drain hole with some kind of plastic bandage and said to take it off tomorrow -- that makes it today -- and that it will scab over. I am a little anal about when to do things, so I will wait until 24 hours to take it off. I'm such a Virgo. My ps took the guaze bandage off my incision. He said that was looking good. There are steri strips across the whole thing. I was cleared for a shower and took one yesterday. I was a little paranoid about water hitting the front of me, so I tried to minimalize that. Granted, he said water could go on those areas, but I was a little freaked. Oh, and he uncovered my belly button. It looks good. There are tiny stitches in it and I think will disolve. He said to make a follow up appt for next week and to start tapering off the pain meds. I've done that. Yesterday I had a perc when I woke up at 8 AM, and then three ibuprofens at 12:20 and then three more before I went to bed. I feel okay! I continued with the antibiotic this morning (I have them for seven days), and I will take the ibuprofen on a need basis I guess.

I got on the scale. I know I shouldn't, but I probably shouldn't nag my husband either, but it's just something I do. Lol. Before surgery, I was 167.6. The morning after surgery I was 173.8. This morning (two days later) I am 164. I am not taking stock too much in the scale, but I just like getting on it. I guess I am a glutton for punishment. But I will take 164 -- especially with all the swelling and non-BMing going on.

Which brings me to BMs. Oh boy. I think I need to go. But nothing is happening. I have taken the max dosage of MOM and stool softeners each day, but there is no action. I have that prune juice in the fridge and I fear I need to go to that. UGH! I keep thinking back to when I took it a couple of days before surgery. What a mess. My stomach cramped and felt terrible. Oh well. To poop or not to poop -- that is the question.

I am still swollen. My belly is very hard and it feels weird when I touch it. It almost feels as if I am not touching my real stomach. I went out to eat with my family for New Year's Eve last night, and I looked like such a schlep. I cannot fit into my clothes. But to be honest with you, I am thoroughly enjoying the fleece comfy pants I scored for $6 from Old Navy. Cheap and comfortable! Now that's my kind of pants. :)

Standing is getting better, although I feel I have a tendency to hunch more near the end of the night. I am about 90% straight when walking. The ab tightness from the muscle repair has subsided considerably.

The kids go back to school tomorrow, and my husband said he will take the rest of the week off. Unfortunately, he might need to travel to Seattle next week. Oh boy. I think I will be fine, but I kinda like him running the show for the moment.

Continue to feel good, TTers!

So today marks day 10 since my full tummy tuck...

So today marks day 10 since my full tummy tuck with hip lipo and muscle repair. I changed my status from "Not Sure" to "Yes, Worth It." I am so glad I have decided to do this. More about that later.

I always thought it was random when people updated at such unmonumental milestones such as day 10. Why not just wait to do a two week update? But now I kinda get it as I feel as if I turned a corner the morning I woke up post op day 9; this renewed energy and sense of being continued through today and I feel as if I am heading in the right direction.

As of this time, I do not have any pain. I actually stopped my prescription meds entirely on day 4, switching to ibuprofen. However, that was no longer necessary after day 5.

I thought the most painful thing about this procedure would be the incision line. If you are in the beginning stages of planning your TT, I am sure you were like me: you grimaced and recoiled when looking at some women's incision lines. Honestly, this never, ever hurt me. Well, take that back. In the course of 10 days, I did have 10 seconds of burning at the incision site a grand total of two times. This pain occurred while trying to get out of my bed like day 3 or 4. And that was that.

The most painful part was the lipo done to my hips. The front of my hips on up to like the front of my stomach felt like someone beat me up. I felt like I should have 1,000 bruises on my skin; however, nothing was there. It was just this internal severe tenderness. (There was bruising on the back part of my upper hips, however.)

I don't think I can say I have had "swell hell." Granted, it might be because I have this vision of busting stitches if you are in swell hell. I do have swelling, but I feel like today -- especially -- it has been more consistent. Whereas before, I could feel the swelling build throughout the day, today I did not feel any noticeable straining or swelling. This might be due to a couple of things. But let me first digress about when I mean when I say I "swell."

My swelling is more in the lower part of my stomach, like above the incision line. Toward the end of the day, it kinda feels like how your belly felt in the first three months of pregnancy. It is softly rounded. It's actually kinda neat. When I touch my swollen lower belly, I really don't have any sensation there. Sounds kinda freaky, and the first few times it truly is. You feel like you are not touching your own stomach -- like you are touching someone else's because of the absence of sensation. I don't know when or if that will come back. I hear that it comes back gradually, so that's good. In the meantime, it's not a big deal nor is it something that makes me rue getting this done.

And sometimes I feel like the swelling feels worse than what it looks like. Like before I had a TT and I would feel fat -- I would feel like I my belly was busting out, but in reality I would look in the mirror and it didn't look as bad as it felt.

I don't know if I should attribute healing time or things that I am doing to the noted improvement in my swelling today. I know it will get better over time, but here is what I have been doing since Saturday (day 8): I have been taking bromelain tablets (got them in Whole Foods), taking arnica (also Whole Foods) and I have been making an effort to drink two cups of this super antioxidant green tea that has a bunch of stuff in it including dandelion root. (I got this stuff in Trader Joe's.) ALSO, I have been hitting the water like you wouldn't believe. I drink a full glass (really it's like a 12 oz glass) before I eat anything and then anytime I get up and go in the kitchen or go to watch tv or... you get the picture... I drink a glass of water. I think this truly helps. I am not a soda or anything else drinker (except coffee), so this hasn't been a thorn in my side. Plus, my skin looks really good! :)

Furthermore, I have been making an effort to eat cleanly. Thus, I will not eat anything with more than 7 or 8% sodium content. I eat fresh fruit whenever possible. I eat green leafy veggies and am big on protein, my Greek yogurt and my steel cut oatmeal. Yeah, I'll have a piece or two of chocolate here and there, but it's a tiny piece and that's that. I think part of the reason is that I hate being inactive and am trying to watch the scale numbers because believe you me, I can really put it away. I LOVE TO EAT and I have a problem with walking away from a half gallon of icecream until I have only one serving left. :( And the other reason why I am doing it is to give my body, my machine, the best it needs to run well. Besides the fact that feeling crappy after eating crappy food has gotten so old for me. I'll be 40 in six months. I know what makes my belly feel bloated and my body sluggish and I just don't want to feel that way anymore.

In tems of weight -- I realize this is not a weight loss procedure, but less face it: everybody wants to know if you lose weight! At least I did! -- I weighed in at 167.7 (I think it was .7, I forget) the day before my TT. This morning, 10 days after, I am down to 161.1. I am actually pretty stoked about that. I looked back at my diary from high school and I wrote that I weighed 159 as a senior. The scale number gets me excited about getting back to the YMCA one day and working out. But no rush there... Trust me!

In three days I have my two week post op visit. I'm looking forward to it. My steristrips are still on, but I don't know if they should have fallen off yet. My doctor just told me "do not peel them off." I've listened.

I drove for the first time yesterday, day 9. Drove to Old Navy to get some yoga pants. I felt fine. Today it was "back to the grind" for me in terms of taking care of my kids (ages 5.5 yrs and 4 yrs), and I felt great the whole day. I can't speak to how I would feel if I had to go back to work as I stay home. (I hope that doesn't touch a nerve with those parents who stay at home and want what they do at home to be recognized as a job.) The reality is that even though I am wearing my chauffer hat bringing my kids to preschool and kindergarten and then wearing the various hats necessary in order to get them ready and out the door and then settled once they are back home, if I feel tired I can just say something can wait until I put my feet up. Fortunately my kids are pretty self sufficient. I don't know how I would manage with a younder toddler. So getting back to the routine and facing the fact that my husband leaves for Seattle tomorrow morning for the next five days doesn't freak me out too much.

I can count the number of times I've sneezed. It has been exactly five. Sneezing totally sucks. Someone I knew used to say a sneeze was an orgasm for your face. Isn't that awesome? Lol. However, sneezing is not an orgasmic experience after a TT. I recommend you follow that advice another TTer on here posted about what actors do when they need to sneeze (thank you to whoever posted that as I averted sneeze number 6 today!) or you crouch kinda inward and put a pillow to your belly.

Okay. Need to post pictures. Feel good, fellow TTer friends!

And to those of you considering this procedure, I would do this again in a heartbeat. Even while combatting swelling, I can put on a fitted shirt and look great. A friend of mine told me today, "You look so fit! You look awesome!" My belly doesn't hang over my pants anymore. I bought a wrap dress and the string that wraps the dress around me doesn't get lost in a roll of belly. My friend just marvelled at the effect that's created when your waist is drawn in. "Your boobs looks bigger!" "You look tiny!" were a couple of the other things she said. I am very excited about going shopping now. (My husband is not. Lol.)

I just feel so good about myself. :)

Okay, posting pics. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Sorry for reposting -- but I can't stand it when...

Sorry for reposting -- but I can't stand it when my pics aren't straight! GRR...

Hi ladies. I am so POed right now because I just...

Hi ladies. I am so POed right now because I just spent the last 30 minutes updating my review. Time is of the essence when you have two little ones engaged in playing Legos. *Sigh*

So here's the skinny on what's been going on...

I'm five weeks post op today. So far, I am feeling pretty good. I have some minor upper ab soreness which is more noticeable when I try to stand up after having sat for awhile. It takes me a moment or so to really stand up straight, but it's nothing that is noticeable. I just look like someone who is relaxed and not in a rush to get anywhere. Lol.

I was told to ditch the binder at week 4. My ps told me to pass up the compression garment as well. He did say to wear the binder if I go to exercise, which I got cleared for as well. I do wear my binder for sleeping at night because it's like a getting a hug without any expectation. ;) And sometimes I wear it during the day if I am at home if I have plans with friends that night. I don't know if it helps combat midday swelling, but I'm assuming it can't hurt.

Swelling. Let's talk about swelling... the bane of my existence. Actually, it's not too bad. I wake up flat and fabulous, and then by midday I have that little baby bump swell thing going on above my incision and below my bb. Whatevs. Who doesn't have that? I am just looking forward to the summer when I hopefully don't have it as much.

I have yet to wear my jeans all day. While they do fit, I do not feel comfortable wearing them bc my skin is numb between my bb and incision and I fear chaffing it. I liken the skin to newborn baby skin, it feels that sensitive. So yoga pants it is.

I didn't go down a jean size (I wear a size 12 Gap Outlet jeans), but I think I went down a size in terms of dress pants. I have a few pairs of Loft dress pants -- I'm the type that buys four or so of the same thing, just in different colors, if it fits! -- and because they sit up higher and my upper waist is not smaller, I can go down a size. Granted, I feel like Loft does that vanity sizing deal, so although I'm sporting 10s in them and will drop down to an 8, I am not fooled by the number.

I did measure my waist (I tried to do the true waist measurement) both pre TT and post TT at my current week, week 5. Before I was at a 38.5" and now I am a 33.5" first thing in the morning. Not too bad, eh? I am very happy about that. I hope this continues to improve. That would be awesome!

My weight did go down as a result and is holding steady. I was a 167 pre TT and now am at 159. Despite being at my lowest weight, I still feel like a lard ass. Oh well. I am flirting with hiring a personal trainer to write me some workouts to tone my arms, ass and legs and also to incorporate some light ab work. My doctor said I can start doing some of that, just "don't do a million crunches." I did not find that statement to be very helpful. I have a penchant for exaggerating, so to me 50 crunches = 1,000,000 crunches. I don't know if he is being literal or if he is exaggerating.

I did try to go exercising once. I walked around my Y track for 40 minutes. However, it felt like a total sham. I felt like one of those women I make snarky comments in my head about as I jogged past them for the gazillionth time. You know -- the kind that wears "street clothes" to work out in and the kind that "power walks" like she just got summoned from the waiting room to see her gynocologist. Oy. I guess I will be a lot less judgmental in the future while working out because geez Louise, this getting back into working out thing is freaking hard!

In terms of appointments, I go back to see my doctor in six more weeks -- so sometime in March.

I did start scar treatment at week 4: silicone strips. I am following some Amazon reviewer's suggestion and am rotating two sets of strips in the course of 24 hours. So I wear one set for 12 hours, then I wash it, shower and put a clean set on. At the end of 12 or a little less hours, I clean that set and wipe my skin down and put on the other set for the night. While I have nothing to compare my progress to, I am exceptionally pleased with how my scar is looking. If I run my fingers over it, it feels flush with the surrounding skin. There is one or two parts of the scar that look whisper thin. My hope is that the entire thing will look like those parts. We shall see. For my bb, I am using Mederma. I think that is looking A-OK. I'm happy with it. It's a little dark when I try to look in and the surrounding part where the dissolvable stitches are is kinda red. But no oozing or anything like that.

I still brace myself when I feel a sneeze coming on, but it doesn't really hurt anymore (not too much anyway). I still find myself rolling out of bed although I realized that for the first time last night, I actually did sit up by myself. I am sleeping on my side but have yet to roll on to my belly. I probably could. Maybe I'm just lazy?

I still think this was the best thing I ever could have done for myself. I feel more confident getting dressed in the morning -- even if it's just yoga pants and a fitted shirt. The operative word there is "FITTED." ;) I find that I am making more plans to get together with friends because I don't feel like a big sloppy fat mess with my belly hanging out. I realize most of that was probably psychological and that it probably didn't look THAT bad.

Someone in the December TT board likened this experience to being pregnant. I feel the same way. It's like when you are pregnant for the first time, you are all freaked out and you research and analyze EVERYTHING. There is conflicting information about breast feeding, bottle feeding, using a pacifier, not using one, co-parenting, using Ferber's sleep conditioning methods... Everyone thinks his/her ideas are the best, the most ideal. As do the myriad board certified plastic surgeons on here. Some swear by drainless, others require drains for up to months and then want you wearing a binder for a minimum of six weeks. And then there is the experience of it all: with pregnancy, you might walk around with radiant hair and skin, while your one friend looks like complete shit with pubescent pimples covering her face. You find you wind up puking the first 12 weeks, another friend loves being pregnant so much she is actually considering becoming a surrogate, and yet a third friend starts upchucking at week 10 and doesn't stop until the baby pops out.

I feel like there is some stuff you can do to prepare for the best experience of a TT: you make healthy food choices and healthy lifetstyle choices (exercise, not smoking, etc...) and you select a board certified plastic surgeon. However, the reality is that it's just a crapshoot. The only typical experience with this surgery is that "results are atypical." Everyone's experience is different. Just ready yourself and hope for the best. Your fellow TTers on here are wishing the best for you, too. :)

Posting some pics of my scar now. Feel good, everyone!!! xo :)

Hello TTers... So yesterday made it post op Week 8...

Hello TTers... So yesterday made it post op Week 8 for me. The time sure flies, doesn't it? Anyway, here's the skinny as to what's been going on:

I started back with exercising sometime last week. I have been doing Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones -- I have been modifying some of the ab stuff as I don't think it's advisable for me to do it. Plus, I start to feel a little strain. But I attempt some of the crunches (nothing really with my legs up working the lower abs or anything), just to feel something. And I think it's working for me as I don't hurt in my ab muscles. My legs and tush are another story. Holy cannoli! And then I got her Killer Buns and Thighs DVD (it truly is killer!) and I started back with swimming. I used to be a competitive swimmer, so that's where I feel most comfortable. I am skipping any and all flip turns as it involves my ab muscles. Thus far, I feel great while swimming. I feel like I get this wonderful stretch through my core. Plus, my arms are firming up more. Thank goodness.

I am still swelling sorta by day's end. In the morning, I am so flat and I LOVE my stomach so much!!!! Still sleeping with the binder. Old habits die hard. But I am not wearing anything during the day and I am just fine.

I went shopping for a bikini. I have not worn one since I was 12 years old. So that makes 27 years! Anyway, I scored an adorable "last season" Betsy Johnson bikini at Marshalls and I am totally psyched! I posted some pics of me in it. My husband says I can wear it now, but I never showed him pics of me from the rear. Oh boy. What a mess! Lol. So I am going to continue to work out so that I can feel uber confident wearing it on my upcoming vacation. We are going on a Disney cruise April 27 to Mexico, Grand Cayman and the Bahamas. I am so psyched!

I love trying on clothes and am having fun with it. I realize I did go down a jeans size. Again, I got lucky and scored a pair of Lucky jeans at Marshalls and they are in a size 30/10. I think they tell you to buy them super tight bc they do stretch out, so I could have tried the next size down. However, I don't need anything super tight. I just want my jeans to fit like a normal person for goodness sakes.

I really haven't felt any tingles or sensations that many people talk about in their belly region. Should I be concerned about that? I know people have talked about the "zing"ing sensations as the nerves reattach. ???

I'm still doing my silicone strips. Twelve hours of one set of strips, wash them and then twelve hours with a second set of strips. Shower, wash the strips, put on first set. Repeat. I am going to try to keep the sets going for two weeks and then discard. I was doing it for one week per set of strips and I find that they are still quite adhesive. I am using our no perfume laundry detergent (All?) to wash the strips. I like how soft and even my scar is. Plus, it covers it nicely so that when it's time for a little hanky panky, the hubs doesn't see my reddish incision line.

I hope you are all feeling and healing well! xo

7 Months Post-Op: TT & hip lipo

Hi ladies! Man oh man... It's been awhile! I have some time so I thought I would update at the 7 months post op mark. My pics are from like 6 months plus a week or two.

At this point in time, I am thrilled that I had this procedure done. I would do it again if I had to!

Swelling: Yes, I do still swell. It is not as bad as it was in the beginning. However, if I down a few margaritas (I do salt) and then decide to totally pig out with a big unhealthy meal, my stomach looks like I am 3 months pregnant. It just is what it is. But I normally don't (well, I do guzzle margaritas), so this isn't a big issue or concern. And besides, all of that swelling is gone the next day.

I do have swelling that is noticeable right above my privates. It's right where the scar is. Is it really bad? Nah. I'm assuming it will go down when I get closer to a year or even later than that. If I smooth it out with my hand, it's all good. I am confident my body will get there eventually.

Weight: A few weeks prior to and ever since, I have made an effort to eat better so my weight has been down. At the time I took my latest pics in that aqua bikini, I was at like 155/156. I was 167 at the time of surgery. Those stretches of days when I eat like a piggy I am easily up to 160/162. So really, I feel like it's all about what kinds of food I eat. I stay away from breads, pastas. I do egg whites, salads, grilled chicken, etc... And beer and wine and margaritas. Lol. They are my weaknesses! ;)

Clothing sizes: Yeah, I've gone down. I do a size 10 now in jeans (was a size 12), but skinny jeans now actually fit. I recently bought a size 10 Ralph Lauren fitted dress from Macy's to wear to a wedding. I gotta say: Damn, I look pretty hot in it! Lol. It's white with the diagnol slight seams and it is sleeveless and the front dips down subtly. I feel like a Greek goddess wearing it. Omg. Maybe I'll post a pic of me in it when I wear it when I get all dolled up for my 40th bday in late August. Anyway, it was awesome wearing that dress without Spanx. There were no belly rolls when you looked from the side. I looked like an hourglass from the front. Man, I love my tummy tuck!!!!

Exercise: I am back to exercising. I forgot at what point I went back. Anyway, I do the No More Trouble Zones from Jillian Michaels, I run, or I swim. I really could notice changes in my body using that DVD workout. It is fantastic. Lately I prefer to swim and that is keeping my arms toned. "Ab exercises?", you might be wondering. The answer is yes. On that DVD, Jillian has ab segments and I am able to do them. I feel my muscles are getting stronger and when I stand erect and tighten my abs, I kid you not, it's like a wall of muscles under that layer of skin. I think if I actually went on one of those crazy diets (like the Reset Diet or that one where you only eat stuff a caveperson would eat), my ab muscles would be very pronounced and I'd look like a rock star. But I'm a lazy f*cker and as I've said, I like beer and booze and other not so good stuff like goat cheese and icecream. So whatevs.

Scar: The ends are getting lighter. It's like it is getting lighter from the ends on in toward the top of my privates. This will take time. I am still using those silicone strips. Love them.

Confidence: I feel like a new person. I would always look at other fit women and thought how awesome it would be to slip on a fitted tee with a pair of capris and just look so effortlessly put together. I wouldn't have to worry about pulling my tee out of my belly rolls or feel my belly sweat in the summer heat. All that stuff is a thing of the past. I feel like I can grab anything out of my drawer and put it on without figuring out if it will look okay with my chunka munka belly.

Sex: I'm not too interested in talking about this too much, but I thought I'd address it. It's nice to be on top without my belly joining my husband and me. When he puts his arms around me, he is grabbing ME -- not an superfluous extension of me. While I haven't bought any hanky panky sexy wear (I did mention the being lazy thing, right?), I like looking in at Victoria's Secret and knowing that I can now feel confident picking something out.

And finally, while I know my body is not perfect -- I got cellulite that is just here to stay and I have spider veins that worsen over the years -- I feel very pleased with what I look like because I do what I can to stay healthy and fit. My TT, for sure, helped give me a jump start and the motivation to stay on track.

Good luck if you are considering the procedure. I hope you are feeling and healing well if you already had the procedure done. :)
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

If you want someone to hold your hand through this process, then Dr. McClellan is not for you. He is an old school doctor who is very matter-of-fact, confident (NOT cocky) and skilled at what he does. He was great about seeing me multiple times because I had questions. He did not try to upsell me on various procedures; he did not pick me apart but rather answered all of my questions regarding my interest (a TT) thoroughly and confidently. My wait times were minimal. I would be foolish to think my seemless recovery was not due in part to his skill and expertise. I am grateful I was referred to him through friends who had their procedures done by him as well. I am happy to answer any questions!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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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