Tattoo Coverup!!! PostOp(8months)!!! Tummy Tuck and LIPO - Farmington, MI

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Hello RealSelf World!!! Ever since I found this...

Hello RealSelf World!!! Ever since I found this site, I have been reading reviews almost daily! This is by far the most helpful site for someone looking to understand the REAL ups and downs of plastic surgery.

So as for me, I've been contemplating having a TT since having my 1st kid (8lbs2oz,c-section). My ab muscles were so stretched that I still looked 5 months preggo post-delivery. At 5'3", 31yo, 140lbs and nicely shaped pre-preggo, it was difficult to look at my new body now at 160lbs with a gut! After working out without results and breaking out in tears, I got up the nerve to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Hardaway at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Laser Center. Dr. Hardaway and her staff were wonderful but made me think again about whether it was the proper time for me to have a TT with only 1 child and my age. So I tabled the thought and learned to rough the DREADED shop to camouflage my stomach thing:/ Then at 35yo, preggo again!!! 2nd kid(8lbs1oz,c-section,tubal ligation due to complications). Now with this new body at 175lbs looking full term compared to my original pre-preggo status, I have made the decision to RePretty myself! Well honestly it wasn't THAT easy to make the decision, lol! I took 2+ years of back and forth with myself, from feeling selfish about having ELECTIVE surgery with all of the scary possible realities coming to mind, to the money it would cost that I would be taking away from my household, and all along feeling down right miserable with my look. Well thank God I have a supporting hubby! He has helped me to feel much better about my decision, is helping with the costs, and is going to my consultations so that he can be informed enough to further assist

My 1st Consultation

Well!!! I won't name this Dr. but I must say that the consultation I went to todayyyyyy...I wish I could've recorded so that people could get an actual account of what I explain! I researched this Dr. and made the appointment only to find a day later that this very popular Dr. is not board certified. I kept the appt. just to be informed but OMG the reviews are accurate! Either this Dr. is a genius and has a "beautiful mind" or, well I won't be mean. Anyways, as the reviews say, very fast talking, sometimes you will lose the direction the convo is going in, and visibly exhausted. The staff is nice and explains everything much better. Cost, before/after photos, and techniques discussed will and has sold many ppl with this Dr.

Lessons learned...
-RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!! Read reviews, confirm board certified.

My next consultation is at the end of the week and I hope I leave that one with A LOT more comfort!

My 2nd Consultation...Dr. Michelle Hardaway!!!

Today I'm feeling great! I had my 2nd consultation which was with a PS I had a consultation with 5 years ago. I must say, I felt even more comfortable than I did back then with her and her staff's professionalism. The consultation was informative and left me feeling that I was in the right place for the results that I am looking to achieve. She had taken photos of me at my 1st consultation and compared them to the photos she took today...what a difference!!! My kids are adorable but they really did a number on me, LOL!!! I can't wait to receive a copy of those to post.
So after discussion with my hubby, we agreed that we will schedule my surgery on Monday...hopefully she still has the date I want open!

I'm Scheduled!!!!! Yayyy!!!!!

I did it RealSelfers!!! I made my decision and scheduled my surgery appointment today! JULY 1st!!!!!! As you can see I am sooooo excited! And at the same time this just became sooooo REAL! I am a crazy planner and I know I'm about to drive everybody crazy with my to-do lists, must have lists, and oh-no lists! LOL! Thank God my family and friends always know what to expect and just accepts it:) But anyways, I would love advice from the RealSelfers on your supply lists and what you did to prepare in advance for you big day. I know I will be in awesome hands for my surgery and after but I am very independent and anything that will help me to care for myself I am willing to get/do.

My Hubby and the BOOB Request!!!

So my hubby has hinted toward me getting a breast lift for quite some time now. Yes THE GIRLS are playing with gravity! I went from a small C cup (pre-preggo) to DD during my 1st pregnancy then I breast fed. I thought they would somewhat go back to size...but no. Luckily the 2nd pregnancy didn't change the size much more but did add the extra droop. And let's not even speak on the enormous areola!!!!
But here's my thoughts...I just want to look good in my clothes and take the stress of shopping for my stomach away! My boobs look great in a nice push up! So I really never thought of a lift as a must. I expressed to my hubby that I didn't really like the scarring that I would have on my boobs if I got a lift. African American women tend to have dark and very visible scarring! He still brought it up again! So I said I would consider it but I have a lot of questions to ask my PS AND I would want to get it all done at the same time. He thought it would be something I could do later but I don't want to go through this process of taking more time off from work, building confidence to even undergo surgery, etc.! Honestly if not for the scar pattern, I would love to have THE GIRLS sit up, a smaller areola and nipples that are not pointing at my toes!!! So I guess its time to do more research and call my PS!!!!

Undecided about Boobs, Excited about TT and LIPO!!!!

For some reason I'm going through the same cycle with the thought of lifting and enhancing my breasts. I have not made the call to my PS! I mean it's JUST A CALL!!! UGH! Well maybe I will get up the nerve later today. But as for now, I decided to post my before photos. It's the only way anyone will truly be able to SEE why I am sooooo excited about JULY 1ST!!!
I am beginning my T-25 workout tomorrow since it finally showed up. I want to lose some weight, get toned and healthier before surgery so that my results will be better. It looks difficult but NO PAIN, NO GAIN!!!


These didn't upload for last post.

Wish Pics!!!!

I know PS can yield some amazing results but I also know that being healthy and toned takes a lot of work! But a girl can wish right??!?!!!! Time to go work out:/

Time to Prep!!!

Seeing that I am an insane planner, I have been researching supply lists like a crazy person. I have been trying to figure out what would make sense for me and what things have been said to be must haves. Well...major fail!!!!!!! LOL! Every time I saw something that I saw on one of those lists, I put it in the cart! Now I don't know what half of it is used for! I have enough vitamins to last a lifetime(Meijer had buy 1 get 1 free)! But too late to worry about it now. At least I'm closer to having what I need than before so overall I'm excited. Check me out! I have stuff for my diet, cleanse, pre-op, and post op. And I refuse to look a hot mess so I found some sundresses on clearance(cheap just in case I ruin them-Meijer & Target). Yeasss, I will sport a messy bun(easy hair) and sundresses(comfortable but cute). Im still not done because I have to get a few more vitamins on my list, my recliner, walker, shower chair, and toilet riser(comparing prices now). ALL FOR THE RESULTS...INSIDE AND OUTSIDE!!!

More supplies...

Pre-op Appointment Today...It's FINAL!

My pre-op appointment has made this surgery so REAL! I added to my original list of surgery items and of course $$$! But I know it will be worth it! Here's my list...Tummy Tuck & Vaser Ultrasonic Liposuction to 1/2 back w/tapering of hips, inner thighs and chin.
I think the scariest part of this operation has been letting my job know that I was going on sick leave! Of course everybody asks why which is something I've never asked a rude! I have only told a few close people that I have a hernia just because I don't need the extra negativity. I work in a competitive type of environment where you just don't want to tell people that you are interupting the job by choice. You could actually have an arm hanging off and someone would say "well I could work with only one arm, why can't she?", lol! Crazy huh?
But I'm glad I can vent all of my thoughts and frustrations here on RealSelf. Talking to friends and family can seem to get repetitive and annoying because your soooo excited and sometimes they give you the "can you talk about something else" look. I also received some negative reactions that I just can't process right now. My focus right now is preparing for a serious yet rewarding surgery. That includes preparing my mind & body, family, and home. This has already been a journey that has tested my strength and will-power and will ultimately be a lifestyle change. I'm so ready to look in the mirror and not want to cover up, go shopping and pick what I like and have it look great on my body, and have a healthy/happy inside and outside.

Less than a month left.....JULY 1ST here I come!!!!

10 DAYS AWAY!!!! I can't believe it!!!

OMG!!!! My nerves are bad!!! The time is flying by!!!
Well since my last post, my bloodwork came back good. I have made a few more purchases...I know, I know...over doing it again! But these are things I saw others say were helpful and I want to be as self-sufficient as I can. I will let you all know which things were ACTUALLY useful.
My job has come to grips with my time off, although the rude comments and questions keep coming. I don't even care anymore because my focus is now on a healthy recovery and awesome results! Most likely for the next week I will spend some QT with my family and plan out my meals so that they will not have such an impact once I'm recovering.
3 Days pre-op I have a bachelorette party to get through WITHOUT ALCOHOL...wonk wonk:/ The hardest thing so far has been my migraines since I cant take any products with aspirin or drink coffee (Excedrine Migraine & lots of caffeine). Tylenol just doesn't do the job. But, nothings worth my health and getting through this surgery without complications.

Tomorrow is the Fat to Flat Day!!!

I'm excited and nervous, happy and crying...just all over the place emotionally! I think I have kissed my kids faces off and hugged the air out of them. They don't mind, lol! The last week has been difficult with my migraines and even started coming down with a cold. But I suffered through and I feel fine now! One things for sure, I'm prepared and ready for this tummy to be gone!!!
Sooooo...see ya on the FLAT SIDE realselfers!!!!!

I did it!!! I'm on the flat side!!! Yayyyy!!!!

Pain, pain, pain for the 1st 2 days. Drowsy, nauseated, and dizzy! The only thing I could keep down was a few crackers, a few sips of my infused water and protein shake. They called in a prescription for nausea and its been working so far. So I'm feeling much better today! Dr. Michelle Hardaway and staff....THANK YOU!!!
As I promised, here are the things that have been useful so far...
My #1 - MOM! She has been amazing to say the least! She has made sure I stayed on schedule with my pain meds, emptying the drain pumps, and just keeping me comfortable! My hubby and oldest son have been helpful with random things.
2. Roller walker - I have avoided back pain totally while getting my walks in. Its so easy to maneuver!
3. Power lift recliner - Easy to get up and down! With some extra pillows I sleep comfortably.
4. Toilet seat riser w/handles - I can hold my garment open with one hand and the handle with the other without falling and I don't have to bend much at all.
5.My fan - The garment being tight along with nausea made me feel like I was having hot flashes. The fan fixed that problem.
Baby wipes, kleenex, cups, and the remote!
I have not had a bm since I haven't really eaten any food but I'm gonna take the Miralax anyway. And these garments...UGH!!! I itch all over and want to rip them off!!
I will keep my Realself ladies up on what works and what I could've done without. SMOOCHES!!!

Wear a tank top!

Just dropping in with a little advice. I saw a few Realselfers mention it but didn't make it a part of my list. I went 3 days with my garments and tubes pressed against my skin which resulted in blisters, bruising, itching, and pain. So last night I decided to change dressings and add the tank top. It was like adding pillows to my skin! I even tightened my binder without any added discomfort. So ladies...WEAR THE TANK TOP UNDER YOUR GARMENTS!

Sidenote: My BB is freaking me out! It's been big and poking out for years and now I don't know how this thing is gonna end up looking like a BB, it's so little?!?! And I have the "when I was young and bone skinny" tattoo. I can't make out what's left! But I will be investing in a coverup in about a year. I took it out of my initial pics. Once I get the pumps removed, I will post some before/after pics.

That dreaded stage:/

The last few days have been emotionally draining! The dreaded period where you no longer have pain meds, you feel that you are wearing out your welcome with those helping you, your drain pumps become your enemies, don't forget about the first enemy...the garment, you sooooo want a shower, and no position is comfortable to sleep anymore. Yeah I'm there! I get my pumps removed at my post op appt tomorrow. The staff laughed when I admitted that I removed the garment and have binders everywhere(I had some from my csections). I had a bit of an accident with the garment:/ I cleared the garment opening and the toilet seat but the riser was out of position and when I stood up...I was wet on the thighs. Lol! Just a ill honestly...I broke down!!!! But it was a small blessing in disguise bcus the binders are more comfy on my thighs and allowed me to move around better. So the photo is the funny for today...THIGH BINDERS...doctors these are a good idea...try it! Lol!

Before & After Photos

I'm still numb and swollen in the lower tummy. Hopefully that goes down! And the zipper being rippled from my garment has left some lumps on my sides! How do you get those to go away?

Changing more each day!

Even with me being a very realistic person, my initial results were a bit discouraging because of the amount of swelling in the lower tummy. Don't get me wrong, it was a huge change but we all have those dreams of being totally flat. But I just want to encourage all Realselfers by saying just give your body a few weeks to really show the results. I am 1.5 weeks post and I am seeing my shape change more and more each day! And yes, I'm smiling more and more each day as well!

Introducing Shapewear!!! Coming Right Along Now!!!

So I decided to go back to what I know...Ardyss BODYMAGIC!!!! Only I cut off the bottom, I don't have time to unhook to go potty! But it has helped already to shape me up. Wore the size 36 for 2 days and now I'm wearing the 34 only on the 1st set of hooks instead of the 3rd (as shown on the pic). I will continue to size down until I reach my goal. Back when I was a distributor, before my 2nd pregnancy, I sized from a 34 down to a 28! If I can do that again, only now with my muscles repaired, I will look great!!!


Hello Realselfers! Just stopping by with an update. I have been feeling much better and not taking any meds, only vitamins. I am losing weight daily, and looking better and better. I still have some swelling in the lower tummy, that will take a while to flatten out and I have come to grips with that. I'm wearing things that have been packed away for years! Feels nice!
My hubby did something that he used to do before I had tummy issues, he shopped for me!!! He bought a nice BCBG dress and shoes for me to wear to a wedding and it fit nicely! Sorry I didn't get a pic:/ I have to say to the Realselfers to really enjoy the transformation that you are going through. It's HUGE! My hubby explained how good it felt to have the old me back. The one that enjoyed going places and just having fun. The one that he enjoyed picking out nice clothes for and to have me smile in return. It made me realize just how my body issues had altered our relationship and my life. So I may have gone extreme by having surgery but I would do it again and again now that I see that the change is much more than physical.

Moving right along!!!!

I have been very busy since my last post! A lot of event planning and enjoying! So where am I now?!?! I'm still pretty swollen/numb but my PS said that can be expected, I had 2 hernias that were repaired along with the muscle repair, tummy tuck, and lipo!!! This doesn't stop me from enjoying my results. I have lost 11lbs...I haven't seen this weight since before my last kid! I went back to work and of course that was a kill-joy:/ So many questions!!!! UGH!! I can get around well but I do get winded and my body gets tired. That gets frustrating. I'm dramatically sick of these garments...yeah yeah I know, I have to wear them! I bought a smaller size and after a week I can use a even smaller size! But I will wear this one with my binder for a while...I'm not trying to waste ANY money!
What was great this past weekend is I ran into an old friend that had a TT and BA 8 years ago and she still looks great!!! I hope once the swelling goes down and I look that good! Gives me something to look forward to! But for now, I have to get back on track with my weight watchers so that I can eat healthy and not too much. It's all about enhancing the results!!! Much luv Realselfers!!!

Vitamins!!! Vitamins!!! Vitamins!!!!

Well after reading some of my fellow Realselfers pages, I was reminded that I should dig into all of those vitamins I bought to help with my healing and with this terrible swelling. Day 1 of being back on the vitamins and my swelling has already reduced! So I will keep you posted on how much it helps over the next week or two. And I started scar therapy using Silicone Strips...these really work right away!!!

Disclaimer...I'm not a vitamin expert by far! Just some items I saw some Realselfers (with great results) list on their pages.
Bromelain 600mg 4x/day
Multivitamin(Prenatal just bcus I think they work better) 1x/day
Arnica Montana 200c 2x/day
Probiotic 1x/day
Grape Seed 1x/day
Glutamine 500mg 1x/day
Emergen-C 2x/day
Muscle Milk (Protein) 2x/day
Lots of Water (I add lemons just to help me WANT to drink it)


Still on my journey!!!

Hello Realselfers! It's been a while and I just wanted to stop in with an update and a few pics. Well I'm still battling the swelling here and there along with some BB issues. My BB seems to want to get smaller! I had some dissolvable stitches that my BB rejected removed last week and now I'm using silicone strips to soften the stitch area so it won't continue to shrink. My TT scar is doing awesome! And the dreaded garments are now my security blanket! Lol! Who would've thought I would EVER say that?!?!

My only true issue is my diet! Since I'm still not allowed to do any heavy workout(nothing more than walking/tread mill or elliptical), my intake doesn't match my exercise. I have a sweet tooth! I'm trying to substitute but the holidays get me every time. I'm about ready to go to Medical Weight Loss for help! I refuse to screw up my results!

But I do have some skinny and fab days! On those days I celebrate with either something form-fitting, a short top(only showed about 1 inch of tummy, lol), or a cute bra/panty set to show off to my hubby. He is loving that I have my attitude back!

My next venture once I find out how soon I can do a cover up of my old, stretched, and now half cut off tattoo! I won't cover my TT scar except where this tattoo is because my scar can barely be seen. I wish I could do it now while my tummy is numb and I wouldn't really feel all of the pain! Any other Realselfers out there that have or will get a tattoo post TT?

The Dragon has been slayed!!!! Now a beautiful garden:)

So I finally did it! I got rid of the dragon! I got that tattoo when I was 19 and bone skinny! It was so little and surrounded my cute little belly button. But two kids later it had tripled in size!!! There was nothing cute about it! And once I had the tummy tuck, half of it was missing! Now it looked like the lockness monster!!! Well The Motor City Tattoo Convention was the perfect opportunity to meet the best of the best artists that would be skilled enough to do a coverup! And I found her...Cee Jay Jones from Season 2 of Ink Masters who happens to be local in Detroit! It was a 5 hour experience but the result was well worth it! She freestyled a beautiful tattoo I can be proud to show. I did not have her to cover the entire scar yet bcus I have some touch-up lipo that need to be done on my left side(overhang/dog-ear). But I will definitely go to Cee Jay if you are looking for a coverup tattoo artist.

I have had 2 consultations with Dr. Hardaway (in 2009 and April 2014) and have felt totally comfortable with the professionalism exhibited by her and her staff. All of my questions were answered without even asking...that tells you the level of information you receive. I felt that she took the time to understand my issues/concerns and mapped a plan for optimal results. The pricing is reasonable and her before/after photos are great, but more importantly, she is board certified and has a remarkable background in her field. Although my health is good and therefore I will have my surgery in her OR, she is also affiliated with several hospitals in the Detroit area for those with health issues or just prefer to do so. THANK YOU Dr. Hardaway and staff! You really took great care of me! I felt I was in great hands the entire time. I can't wait to uncover my 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 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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