As a 31 yr old mother of three (7, 4, and 2 yr...
As a 31 yr old mother of three (7, 4, and 2 yr old), I have given up my body and mind to my family. They are my world. However, being past the stage of "growing humans", it's time to TAKE MY BODY BACK! I am excited and terrified. I have come to learn that anxiety and excitement are two closely related emotions. I joined Realself recently to further educate myself in the process of this big decision. I cant decide if it is helpful or worse in calming the nerves. I am 5'1", 103 lbs, 34 A cup. I have lost all my fat and saggy skin is left behind. My abdominal separation is moderate and you cant tell with clothes on but the skin is bad. I would love to get into that bikini again. The recovery from the tt sounds horrible but only time will tell. As for the implants I am leaning towards a natural look. I have never had boobs (other than nursing) so this is new territory for me. I know very little here and there are so many different kind of boobs out there now I dont even know what "natural" is anymore. Surgery is scheduled for March 9, 2015. Join me on my journey through this emotional and physical rollercoaster. All aboard!!
A little freaked out!
I have been obsessively researching pros cons, pre and post operative preparations, what to expect, what to discuss with your PS, complications that can occur, success stories, failure stories, ...and I am officially freaked out. Everyday it seems to change; I think, "hey, I got this!", then it quickly goes to, "what if I am the one that dies on the table? My husband will have to lie about my death to EVERYONE because I refuse to be remembered that way." Crazy you say? Why yes, I would agree with you. I experienced anxiety and worry about this decision for about a week, then I went out and bought a few preparation supplies (ie. front zip MuMu, front closure bras, made a few rice sizers,--had some fun there--, vitamins, extra pillows). And now, I am feeling much better. There is something to be said for a little "retail therapy"; am I right, Girls?! The anxiety has ebbed and I am getting my lists and preparations together. I am ecstatic about my BA. No worries what so ever! I can't wait to feel how the other half feels. However, My main concern is the TT. I am pretty thin to begin with. i was told very little, if any lipo would be needed for the TT. I find myself contemplating "the TRADE". Do I trade one set of scars for another? My complaint with my tummy is the sagging skin, stretch marks and deformed belly button. Is it worth it? Do I really need it? I would LOVE to be in that bikini again, but how bad do I want it? I still have time to chicken out I guess. What do you think?
Finally feeling free from the bonds of guilt and shame
When I initially made the decision for a mommy makeover I was confident I could do this. However, shortly after making my down payment, it got real, real scary. I began to feel a variety of emotions that I did not anticipate: anxiety, nerves, guilt, excitement, fear of the unknown and the known, and lastly, shame. I tried to drowned out the negative emotions in research. I thought if I was prepared enough and understood all possibilities i would feel better. Nope! It made it worse. Believe me, there is such a thing as "knowing too much" ;-) Now, it was the "shame" that was the most damaging. I began to put myself on an emotional island. I would not include my husband in even a discussion of the surgery and when I would engage him in something on my mind I quickly would punish him for the opinion I had solicited. I grew up in an environment where I was confident and happy, proud of the body God gave me. It was beautiful and healthy, and I was taught most importantly beauty is found within, we are all children of God. However, I had cooked up this idea that having "work done" was kind of a slap in the face to God, that His gift of this body wasnt good enough if you had plastic surgery. So here I am, an adult, 3 kids later, still healthy, still comfortable in my own skin, but really wanting something more the gym was never going to give me back. The shame and guilt came from the previous schema of ignorance and self righteousness in contrast with the desire to feel like a woman and the amount of money it was going to take to do so. I kept thinking, "what is wrong with me that I 'need' this? Am I really that insecure? Wait, but I am not an insecure person." Confused, I recognized the emotions but I could not figure out why I felt this consuming shame until I realized, everyone in my world growing up who told me you dont need to change anything to be beautiful had had "work done" at some point: Breast Augs, tummy tucks, lipo, face lifts. Liars! They were all liars! After a good cathartic cry I was able to conclude the following: Now, yes, true beauty is found within but beauty has nothing to do with it. How we look and beauty are two different things. You can look physically good and still be a bitch, beauty escapes you. It is the way we treat others that makes us beautiful. This realization was freeing. We all have a little vanity and IT IS OKAY! I am not a horrible person for wanting something for me. I am not slapping God in the face. I am a woman! A loving kind mother who gives everything to her family, and my sweet husband wants to give something to me. Even if it's a procedure to restore the gift God gave me. Like I said, beauty is not how we look but is the way we treat others. Just like getting braces is not shameful in changing your smile, this surgery is not shameful in the least. I have had a wild ride of emotions this last month and now, I am finally at peace. I am excited. We, husband included, are finally having fun with this. It is a gift, a wonderful thing. Thank you for reading my journey so far as I share these deep unanticipated struggles. I am a work in progress and all the better for the humility and realizations and growth. 'Til next time.
2 days Post-op
Two days out of surgery and I went through with it. There have been moments of crazy amounts of pain but my husband has been there every step of the way. Neither of us have slept well. The worst pain comes late at night. And go figure, that was when the bm hit. But needless to say, I am happy to have that over with. When I get up I am dizzy and have hot flashes. This is cured if I cool my body temperature down with ice packs. And wear an ice pack around my neck while I am moving to the bathroom. My boobs are awesome! It is so fun to see a little shape. I will get a good look at the rest Of it late today at the post op visit. I have little expectations given the nature of healing. here goes...
Now don't freak out. It is an usual side effect. My dr quickly took care of it and I feel so much better. It is a pooling of blood in the abdomen. I am on plenty of drugs sleeling a lot. Think I'll do that now pics to come I week posts-Op. P.S. dr R has been amazing!
Dont freak out, I already did. It is a rare thing where blood pools. It was located in my tummy. Dr. R quickly took care of it and we are back to healing. A small set back but none to have a cow about. you know, no one told me my who-who (labia) would turn purple. This was a bit unsettling. My advice to others, dont look down there. Anyway, I have been back and forth between my recliner and my bed. I like having the options. I am wearing a design Veronique compression garment small, with open front sports bra from walmart, ensemble complete with a genuine zip front MuMu (best.purchase.ever). I cut my hair short, one, because it was time and two, the ease of taking care of it is awesome. Doc is watching me real close. I will see him again tomorrow and then again Monday. I am weak and tired and my get up and walks consist of the bathroom and back. That is about all I can handle at this time. About mid day I usually feel great and can take a few laps around the room. But for now, back to bed.
first post-op pic
Keep in mind, I just had a hematoma evacuated, so there is quite a bit of bruising. The drain is still in and will be for a few more days. I dont have a ton of pain thanks to proper pain management. My favorite part of the day is my shower. The incision is low and will even out as the swelling goes down. I am still walking a little hunched, but things are flat! I will begin to straighten up in the next few days. All in all, I think I am happy, so far. There is a long road ahead to healing....and, we're off to a start.
So, no matter how much research you do I think it is really hard to grasp the reality and extent of the "recovery process". I can't say, "I wish someone told me..." because they either did or I read it somewhere. But, the point is, until you are living it, you really cannot fully prepare for the train-wreck of rehab you may feel. If I could offer advice in one word it would be PATIENCE! As women and mothers we are superheros. However, during this time of recovery, our capes are a little tattered and torn and frankly, I am just not flying today. As well as, we shouldn't. The body will heal, the hormones will regulate again, the scars will fade, and the pain will ebb, but it may just not ALL happen today. Little by little I move with a little more ease, my swelling decreases slightly, I can go an extra hour or two without a pain med, I can use the restroom and shower by myself (and you who have already lived this, know what an accomplishment that can be!!). I know my superhero powers are recharging, healing and I will fly again soon. So will you!! In the meantime, deep BREATH, smile (but dont laugh too hard...this really hurts ;-) ), and remember when you feel down and out about the choice you've made about taking your body back, you made your choice with a sound mind. Stand by your choice and you will fly again soon.
Drain came out today
I had one drain and it came out today. Can I get a woot! woot! I was not prepared for the weird sensation of it slowly being pulled from my body. I might have said, "holy freakin' A" (this is a direct quote that has not been censured just to be clear). After both the PS and assistant stopped laughing at such an absurd reaction, we all high- fived for the milestone. And to celebrate here is a side-by-side of one of my bikini tops before/after pics
Throughout my review I have tried to touch base on a few things I am learning that were more uncommonly talked about in the majority of the reviews. You can read all about preparation lists, what to ask the PS, general physical symptoms pre and post surgery, what the surgery includes, etc etc all throughout Real Self. But here, here is where I have tried to "get real" with you a little more personal. Even write about some of the more scary or embarrassing things we dont like to talk about. That being said... The lastest has been a variety of crazy dreams. I am not a dreamer. When I do, I rarely remember them and even now I couldn't verbalize any real exact story for you; but I always remember the feeling it left me with. Since the surgery, every night I dream. Some have been rather entertaining; I have woke up laughing because they were so silly and ridiculous, or a simple, that was weird. However, tonight I had night terror after night terror, I didn't wake in between them. It was as if I realized it was a dream mid scary moment and then it would switch to a new story each story ending in a scary moment provoking fear. I feel like this happened 3-4 times before I actually woke. I don't dream. So, this is new to me. I have been weaning off the drugs and can only assume this is a side effect of coming off the narcotics. I do not do drugs and my history of pain meds is very limited (I have never been on them longer than a week (post other surgeries) so, to go 11 days is a long time for me). Be wary of the drugs and side effects you may experience. Or...just dont eat bad pizza...you know, it could have just been that bad pizza last night ;-) Happy healing, happy dreams.
The Nitty Gritty
I am 12 days post-op full tt (incision from hip bone to hip bone- low) with silicone gummy 330cc (Inframammary incision). Abdominal hematoma 48 hrs post operative requiring quick second time under general anesthesia. They went in through the belly button to release and drain the fluid. I had one drain placed for my tt exiting toward the end of the large abdominal incision (awesome for me...less holes in my body). The drain was in for 9 days. The pain was managed with Norco and valium for muscle relaxer. I took vitamins to support wound care and senna and milk of magnesia for constipation as needed. I slept in a recliner and my bed with supported pillows. I found it comforting at times to have a change of scenery. I showered with antibacterial soap and a cut piece of elastic band you get from the physical therapist office for band resistance exerscies-tied in a necklace around my neck to connect my drain to. My hair was short so it didn't take much to wash it. I had a shower chair (Best.Purchase.Ever). My recovery zone (by my recliner, which I moved to my bedroom- I dont like to "heal" in public) consisted of a table with a small container full of meds/vitamins, large water jug, chapstick, book and journal (just incase I felt up to it...I didn't), heat pack ready as needed-for my back (which was a life saver), a walker near by (which i loved the first 3 days), puke bucket, kleenex, and a box of my favorite crackers for late night meds I didn't want to take on an empty stomach. the second night was the worst. The first bm was scary as hell, With lots of false alarms. I threw up before and I threw up right after I was done (with the bm). Every time I would try to walk to the bathroom my body would quickly overheat, I'd get short of breath, then I panicked. I would collapse to the cold tile with my husband terrified and unable to help me. I didnt want to move. The tile felt so good as it cooled my body down. I would call for Ice packs and my clothes (except the CG) to be removed I was over heating. I was shaky, hot, my body was in shock from the trauma I had just put it through (not to mention I had a developing hematoma going on). After going down from the toilet to tile twice we learned a great little trick. My hubby would hold my head in an ice pack while I sat to do my business. Just getting up would cause me to over heat so the first 48 hours every time I "went", he came, held my head and helped me back to bed. Looking back, it was a blur...happened so fast...and not a big enough deal to change my mind about it being worth it. Similar to a bad case of the flu...almost.
I have not been as crazy emotional as I thought I would have been (maybe a little lonely, family all had to leave out of state for an unexpected funeral, I was not fit to travel). I have not focused too much on what I currently see in the mirror because it's distorted anyway. It would be as beneficial as looking in a fun house mirror (though I must admit my boobs are great! ;-)) I am ready to be up and moving better. I have been trying to stand straighter. I have no more incision pain but the abs are crazy tight. I will lay flat for a bit and take a few deep breaths to try to support the stretch. If you have any techniques, please share. I am up right enough now my low back doesn't hurt, but the posture...ugh...I'm working on. Six more weeks before I am fully cleared. It has been a journey. My PS said the hard part is almost over...then the fun part begins. I absolutely adore my PS he has been professional and fabulous. I cant wait to share the updated results with you. I feel like he is a true artist.
The nitty gritty of it all is, this is no walk in the park. You gotta want it for yourself, you gotta want it bad enough, and this is not some "easy fix". I have alway tried to take good care of my body and going through something like this continues to motivate me to make healthy wise choices to keep this body strong. We go through too much to not commit to a life time of health after our recovery. Godspeed in your recovery. And let's all cheers with our protien shakes and carrot sticks as we cross the finish line sweaty from a great workout, once we've made it through.
The Waiting Game
Patience...it takes time...soon soon... AAAAH! I could scream. I cannot remember the last time I felt good, normal even. I had ACL reconstructive knee surgery back in November and it takes 6 months to heal. So, when I opted to do my MM during my knee healing time I figured it would be a good idea because I am "down" anyway. This was a Good and a Bad idea. Hopefully in another month or two all will be back to "normal". But for now I wake from dreams of running, jumping, skiing and dancing. Oh how I miss dancing! When you read about the rollercoaster of emotions attached to healing, they.are.real! Ups and downs and all around! Today I am a bit down. Physically I experience bruise pain all across my abdomen and down my inner thigh...I think this is from the hematoma. I had blood settle low into the labia and down into the right thigh before they drained it. Everything was left bruised and swollen. I feel like it set me back a week in the healing process. I have weird nerve sensations across my tummy. I will massage the scar and feel tingling up above the bb where I suspect the skin use to be...WHAT? Talk about creepy. Swelling and more swelling. However, on low days like today I look at my before pictures and I begin to feel better. I choose to stop complaining and put my big girl panties on ( in this case ultra compression spanx panties), and remind my self you chose this...own it! Stop worrying the end is near.
Totally Worth IT
I feel great!! When i started this journey, my goal with my BA was to be as big as I could and people still see my face. It was important to take into consideration that I am an athlete as well. I chose 330 hp textured gummies. They are perfect. You can hardly tell its a BA when i am wearing clothes. They give me great curve and shape but nothing outrageous. However, in a swimsuit or select tops, these babies POP! I had them measured for the first time. Drum roll please. ......... 32 D or 32 DD (for more coverage). I am so pleased with my resultS. The tummy tuck has settled. I have slight numbness in the "triangle" (apex right below bb extending in a small 2 1/2" triangle). My scar is flat. I massage and silicone tape it; I plan to continue for the full 12 wks. I work really hard on increasing abdomenal flexibility. There are occasional aches and twinges but I know I am at the end. It took me awhile to get use to my tummy so smooth and flat. I was skinny but the tummy was always a little soft. I love to be able to hold my babies and they love it too now, "mom is just a little more comfortable to snuggle." As far as fun with the hubby...it is amazing, fun, new, and incredibly sexy!! I have such fun confidence (now dont get me wrong, I was fun and confident before but this just added a whole new level). When I went in to Victoria secret for the first time post-op I actually had fun buying a bra (first time I had ever enjoyed doing that). Understand, this is coming from a girl who never really knew what it was like to have "The twins". I stuffed and padded all my life (minus a brief stent nursing). To put on a shirt and say, "that is ALL me" make it TOTALLY worth IT!