17 DPO and doing pretty well

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Wow - I can't believe that my surgery is in less...

Wow - I can't believe that my surgery is in less than a week. I am starting to feel extremely nervous - but also very excited. I am 35 and have three beautiful daughters; 4 year old twins and a 20 month old.. As a result of my twin pregnancy, I have severe diastasis (separated stomach muscles) along with a lot of excess "wrinkly" skin. I researched the surgery a lot after my twins, but after seeing the severity of the recovery/etc - I decided I would see what I could do on my own - also knowing that we weren't likely finished having children, it was not something I should be doing at the time.

Now, we are finished having children and no matter how much I exercise - I still look like I am 3-4 months pregnant if I don't constantly hold in my stomach. I started looking seriously into it in December and despite all of the challenges with a full time career, being a mother to three young children, and the fear of the long and painful recovery, I decided to take the plunge and have the surgery scheduled for Feb 21st.

I feel, like many of you have mentioned, a fluctuation of excitement and guilt. Excitement because I don't think I even realize how much this has been effecting me on a daily basis. I have always worked hard to stay in shape and take care of myself - and this is definitely not something that I can change on my own. I haven't let my husband see my stomach without something covering it since having my twins 4 years ago - which when I actually say that out loud or write the words, just sounds so wrong. The guilt is because of the expense of the surgery, the fact that I know that I am doing this for somewhat vain reasons, and because I have three young children who aren't going to get my full attention for the next 6 weeks plus as I recover.

I am very fortunate to have a strong support system and a job that is flexible enough for me to be out for a couple weeks. I believe I am going into this with eyes wide open - as I have done a lot of research and know how difficult the recovery can be. I am going to stay with my mom for at least 4 - 5 days following surgery, while my husband takes my girls to his parents for a long weekend. I think that should help a lot. I am hopeful that after that, I should be able to be able to spend some time with them at home as long as my husband is also around.

I have been told to rest as much as possible the first week - which I am going to try to do. That, I know, is going to be difficult as I can't shut my mind off easily and expect I will be anxious about missing my girls and worrying about all that is building up at work. On the positive side - I am so looking forward to wearing clothes again without having to worry about my stomach sticking and just feeling like my core is stable again. My doctor talks about me being bikini ready for the summer - which has never been my goal or even something I ever considered would be a possibility - but it would sure be wonderful to have that option. My goal is really just to feel put back together and to not be in fear that someone will catch a glimpse of my stomach.

I look forward to this site as I know I will have a lot of down time after the surgery and have really enjoyed reading other people's experiences and suggestions. I will keep you all posted on how things go on Thursday and with recovery.

Have a great week!

Last night before my surgery... feeling pretty...

Last night before my surgery... feeling pretty anxious but I think I should be set. Hopefully I will be able to update soon.

Today is day 6 post op and overall - I think...

Today is day 6 post op and overall - I think things have been going pretty well. I promise I am going to post some pictures later today - but need to load them into my home computer as I don't know that I should send through my work computer. :)

It's definitely been painful and difficult to move around much - but if you dedicate the time to trying to relax and recover - it's not too bad. I had been staying at my mom's until last night and would recommend spending the first 5 days somewhere where you can just relax to anyone considering the surgery. My kids came to visit occassionally - but it would have been REALLY tough to have not had that time away right after. I came back home last night so it's been so nice to be back with my family. I can still really only sit or lay around and try to get up occassionally - but it seems to be getting easier each day. My only real concern has been that I have been pretty constipated. That is probably making me more uncomfortable than anything. I finally had to use an enema yesterday but now today despite two laxatives still nothing.

That and the fact that I can't just pick up my girls and squeeze them or chase them around are the only real challenging parts of this surgery. I am already 100% sure that I made the right choice by having the surgery. I know I will have swelling for quite a few months and a full recovery is still far away - but when I look at the pics I took the morning before my surgery and what it looks like now - even with the swelling and bandages and the drain - it is a huge improvement!! I am hoping to have pics up by tonight. Good luck to anyone about to have the surgery or considering surgery!

Just about to post before pics and 1 week post op...

Just about to post before pics and 1 week post op pics.

Doctor took out my drain today and my 1 week check up went really well. He seems very pleased with how it's looking as am I!!

Today was 11 dpo and I am feeling pretty good. I...

Today was 11 dpo and I am feeling pretty good. I had to go to my PS today for a very quick and easy aspiration of a small seroma. I am hopeful he got it all and it won't keep coming back, but will have to wait and see. I was up and around a lot more today and felt it tonight, but it was nice to get out a bit. Had lunch with my hubby and two of my daughters (the other one is having a sleepover with grandma). Then we actually went to the mall for a couple hours.
I was a little frustrated with work today because I was told to file a short term disability claim by HR when I said I'd be out for surgery and then it was denied today. I was always just planning to use vacation time for the recovery but HR said I needed to file a claim if I would be out for more than three days. Now I am feeling like they know more than I wanted them to and denied the claim anyway. I know I could have done this through a general surgeon and had my hernias and diastasis repaired and covered but that would not have done anything for my awful stretched skin and crazy looking belly button. I am so glad I had the full TT - just don't know why I should feel I have to defend that to HR or our FMLA group. Sorry - Just needed to vent a little. I am curious if anyone else experienced something similar. I was always planning to take off 1 full week and then do some work online the second week - which I have been doing. Now I for sure will need to head back on Monday and am hoping that will go well. I work in an office - but it's more the stress I am having anxiety about getting back to as well as the fact that I have LOVED the time I have had with my little ladies each day and am going to miss that.
At the end of the day - I am still feeling SOOOOO very happy that I had this done and I didn't spend a lot of time shopping today, but did buy a small shirt that I would definitely not have been able to buy a couple weeks ago. :) Happy Healing to all. I took a few more pics earlier today so will try to post tomorrow. Good Night!!

I am having anxiety tonight because I have to head...

I am having anxiety tonight because I have to head back to work tomorrow. Despite not being able to do much, this extra time home with my kids and husband has been so much fun. They have all been so wonderful through all of this!! It's going to be hard to get back to the stress of work. My recovery has gone pretty well for the most part and I am feeling very optimistic about the results. About a week ago, I developed a very small seroma and have had it aspirated twice. The second day I went back in - the doctor said that I should just let it be for a week or two since it was so small - but I can't help but be nervous that it will get infected or turn into scar tissue or something. I think I'll call tomorrow just for peace of mind. He said the more he aspirates - the more risk of infection and he's been great so far so I'll try to trust him.

I still have a lot of swelling - especially around the scar area. I read that many of you have really thin scars and I don't feel that way yet at all - but I was actually expecting it to be way worse so I am not worried about that part - plus it is pretty low. I like my belly botton from a distance but if you look close - it looks a little goofy - hoping that will improve with time as well. Since I definitely would have not believed I could possibly wear a bikini ever again (even with the surgery) I should not be complaining at all - because hopefully as you can see from the before picture - this is a HUGE improvement!! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. Happy Healing and wish me luck as I get back into reality. Any pointers from those who have returned are appreciated! :)

Oh - and posting updated pics now.

My return to work went much better than expected -...

My return to work went much better than expected - but far from easy. I was pretty swollen by the end of the day and it got harder and harder to stand upright - but overall, things went pretty well. I had my "emotional" day on Tuesday. After reading about so many people having that one really emotional day, I knew mine was coming, and Tuesday was that day. I tried sleeping in my bed for the first time Monday ngiht and just didn't sleep at all so was a mess at work. Almost cried in the bathroom and then was pretty upset when I got home that night. Luckily - was able to sleep better than night and felt like a new person the next day. My point to anyone reading is that there may be a couple tough days but they are few and far between. I have been loving being able to choose from clothes that I could NOT even attempt to wear for the past 4+ years.

Still having to have my small seroma drained once a week - but overall, feeling closer and closer to normal each day.

Hope everyone's recovery is going well!! I miss everyone since I didn't even have a chance to check in with my crazy work week. :)
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