Well, I have finally gathered the courage to write...
Well, I have finally gathered the courage to write this review after months and months of reading other reviews and finally going through my very own mommy makeover (with muscle repair and liposuction) a little over 2 weeks ago. I promised myself that I would write a review to share my journey as reading others have helped me tremendously!!
A little about me... I'm 5.15''and 123lbs and a mother of two. My last pregnancy was brutal as he was a big baby and left me with muscle separation and lots of hanging skin. I also had to have physiotherapy after to straighten my hips and pelvis. During my pregnancies I gained 35 and 40 lbs (and lost the weight through healthy eating and exercise). Prior to that, in my late teens and early twenties, I had gained and lost about 65lbs (I lost the weight when I changed my eating habits and started exercising and have never looked back!). As far into my childhood as I can remember, even before gaining the 65 lbs, I never had a flat stomach. I remember always having this pooch on my stomach that never seemed to disappear even when I lost weight. I also never had much as far as breasts. They got a tad bigger while I was pregnant but nothing like I would have hoped.
So here I was 30 something years old with two kids and I had the belly of a 65 year old woman who had 10 kids and my breasts were pretty much reduced to saggy nipples *whomp whomp*. I was beyond uncomfortable in my own body/skin and just couldn't stand it any longer!! So my Physician and I decided on an extended tummy tuck to address the saggy hips, breast augmentation (200cc Mentor Moderate Profile – I wanted to remain small as I am pretty active), liposuction of the upper butt/lower back, inside thighs and inside knees.
In my own personal journal I wrote down how I felt after the procedure, so I’ll copy/paste some of these entries…
The dreaded Before pictures... urgh!!!
Here are some of my Before pictures... these were taken 10 days before the surgery.
More Before photos... can't believe I'm sharing these!
These photos were taken a little over 2 months before the procedure, right after Easter, so I weighed about 5 lbs more than I do in the previous pictures.
5 days pre-surgery I was second guessing my decision to do the breast augmentation...
5 days pre-surgery I was second guessing my decision to do the breast augmentation. I wrote in my journal that day and will copy/paste some of it here. This if for those of you who are afraid of being judged, afraid of what others will say or think of you... I know I'm not the only one out there with those fears and I just want you to know you are not alone in having those feelings!
The decision about the breast augmentation has really been a hard one on me and even until just this week was really going back and forth a little in my mind about it. Not because I don’t want them but more because I know it will be much more obvious that the tummy tuck and I’m afraid of being judged for it! *SIGH* yes that’s a big *sigh* Why do I care? I know I shouldn’t but I DO! I can’t help it... I feel, the tummy tuck there are many reasons for doing it, stretched out skin, muscle separation, pelvis tilt, lower back pain etc but the breast augmentation is harder to justify (and harder to hide)! Guess I don’t want people to view me as vain. I know eventually, I’m just going to have to think to myself “Who cares! The people that judge you aren’t living with your body and don’t know how it feels not to have any boobs. They don’t know the struggles you have to dress yourself and how it makes you feel when you look at yourself in the mirror... just FUCK THEM!!! Let them judge...”
I recently read a quote and it made me feel so much better and honestly made me look at myself in the mirror actually because let’s be honest, we all tend to judge others but now that I have the potential of being judged, it’s not so much fun. It goes like this: ”When judging another, you do not define them, you define yourself – Wayne Dyer”. This quote has really given me strength to look pass what others may think of me. And at the end of the day, really think to myself, would doing this procedure make ME happy? The answer is YES!!! In fact, the more I think about what it will mean, to ME, to have breast and finally be able to wear certain clothes and look proportionate and the boast it will give my self-esteem... It really REALLY makes me excited!!! ?
Surgery Day (June 25, 2015)
Having had high emotions for a few days prior, I woke up at 4h45 am that morning with a feeling of determination. I weighed myself at 124.8 lbs (I was 123 lbs the day before) but went on a binge and ate a bunch of really salty snacks the day before... what can I say I’m an emotional eater! As much as I was pissed at myself for binging and a bit nervous, I was mostly feeling determined to GET THIS DONE! I’ve known for a long time that I wanted this so I knew there was no going back so I was just going to have to get through it somehow... endure the pre-surgery jitters, the inputting of the IV and routine blood tests and I was just going to have to get over it and everything was going to be fine. I really had to think of those long term results and know that it would all be worth it in the end. After Dr. Skanes came to mark me up (around 8h00 am) I really felt calmer. She has such a calming presence and at that point, I knew I had made the right choice.
After being wheeled into the OR, which was pretty cold, they had me get onto the surgical table. It was pretty nerve racking as I could hear the nurses and anesthesiologist prepping everything around me. I heard the anesthesiologist say she had put the medication in my IV and I started shaking, 30 second later everything was black...
I woke up and I remember seeing nurses hustling all around me, tending to all the different patients in the recovery room. I also remember being in and out of consciousness and asking the nurse every chance I got for more drugs...haha. All of a sudden, I remember being wheeled to my room and my husband being there and him saying enthusiastically “look honey, you have your own private room with a window”. Honestly, I couldn’t have given a hoot about that as everything seemed very blurry and I was so so tired. I remember being in a bit of discomfort but no extraordinary pain or anything. My chest particularly felt tight, too tight especially on the left side but so far it was all bearable pain. Later that night, the nurses came in and said that Dr. Skanes wanted me to get up and walk a bit during the first day to prevent blood clots. The nurses helped me to the edge of the bed but that’s as far as I got... there was a bit of pain but most of all there was nausea!!! After putting some cool facecloths on my neck and forehead and breathing heavily to stop myself from throwing up for what seemed like a pretty long time, given I had two nurses waiting for me to give them the go-ahead to help me back into bed, I was helped back in bed and stayed that way for the rest of the night. The nurses also brought a fan which seemed to help with the nausea.
Day 1 post-op
I woke up in the morning determined to get up and walk. I kind of pulled myself in a sitting position a couple of times (which I’m not sure was the smartest but whatever... I had been waiting for a nurse for like an hour!!). I also realized that every time I was given an injection for pain, nausea came right along with it and I had to have Gravol in my IV. Dr. Skanes came to see me in the morning. She explained that everything had gone very well and she thought I would be very pleased with my results. The catheter was removed and sometime mid-morning, I was finally able to get out of bed and walk to the washroom. I felt stiff, chest was still super tight but pain was manageable. I left the hospital mid-afternoon for home. My mom was there to help when we arrived and I quickly realized there was no way I was going to get comfortable or get the support I needed for my back from pillows on my bed. Instead, I settled myself in the rocking chair which we reclined and I put my feet up on the foot stool with a couple of pillows under my knees. Everything was just going peachy until I started having nausea that night... Panic began to set in as I started to ponder how I was going to manage the pain if I threw up the medication. Of course, a call with the pharmacist only helped to elevate those fears and next thing I knew I was in full panic mode. I vomited twice that evening... NOW THAT was painful!! My mind was going a mile a minute with thoughts of what if I damaged the repair to my tummy to how am I going to control the pain now... I even thought of going back to the hospital which would have cost me $$$ as the surgery wasn’t covered by Medicare. Eventually my father came to the rescue and brought me with some Ativan for my nerves. They helped and I settled down for the night
Day 2 and 3 post-op
I remained tired and groggy from the pain medication and antibiotics which I had to take for 3 days following surgery to prevent infection. I still had a lot of nausea and barely ate anything during those days. Each time the nausea came; I would apply facecloths to my neck and forehead and walk around the house breathing heavily to try to stop myself from throwing up. The whole thing was a bit dramatic but I really reeeeaaallly didn’t want to throw up again!! I’m not going to lie, I kind of had a tiny teeny bit of regret of doing the surgery during those very specific moments but I also knew in the back of my mind that this would pass and I would be ok... eventually! I was just hoping and praying that the time would come sooner rather than later. During these hard days, I was really thankful my parents had taken the kids for the weekend because I don’t think I could have made it through with a couple of screaming kids in the house. I was also very thankful that my husband and sister-in-law were there for me during my moments of panic to calm me the down.
Day 4 post-op
What a difference a day makes!! Nausea is finally completely gone and I was able to eat a little more than crackers with water. Mom came over to check on me in the afternoon after hubby left to go to work (he had taken half the day off). We decided to take the wrapping off the boobies as Dr. Skanes had said we could remove it after 4 days. Not going to lie, it was a bit shocking to see myself with breasts for the very first time but I was also very pleased and excited with what I was seeing so far!! They don’t appear too big, just the right size and most importantly exactly what I wanted. They are sitting pretty high and are hard as a rock so I can’t wait for them to settle down.
Day 5 post-op
My appetite seems to be back. I am still taking my pain medication pretty regularly and finally had my first bowel movement on Day 5. The logistics of having a dump while wearing this god awful contraption aka “the girdle” (which I swear must have been some torture device in the 1500) was pretty weird but as impossible as it felt, it finally happened. Yay for number 2... never thought I would be cheering for that!
Today was a bit of an off day for me... yeah even with the joys of finally having a bowel movement, I know... I second guessed the size of my breasts a little and was generally feeling low. I wondered if I should have gone bigger but those thoughts totally went away the next day when I reminded myself that the whole point of putting implants was to have a little bit more of a shape and that I never wanted big breasts to begin with. I love to be athletic and also want to keep this as low key as possible and don’t want everyone knowing about it.
Day 6 post-op
I was totally feeling better today about my breasts... here are a few pictures.
Day 7 post-op - the big reveal!!
Today's the day of the big reveal!!! I had my first post-op appointment with Dr. Dool (Dr. Skanes is on vacation) to check the incision and remove the drain. After a quick drive to Dr. Dool’s office by my grumpy father, mom and I went in and I was quickly checked by Dr. Dool. He said everything looked great and sent his nurse to remove the drain. The removal wasn’t so bad and only stung a little afterwards. I was a little scared it would hurt more than it did and after I realized I hadn’t taken any pain medication that morning, I quickly took a couple of Tylenol Extra Strength and really that was all that was needed. I was also told I could take a shower in 48 hours, which means Saturday at the earliest.
As soon as my parents dropped me off, I practically ran upstairs in the bathroom and unzipped my girdle to have a closer look at everything since I had only seen my belly from a lying down position. WOW!!! I have to say I am ecstatic!!! Dr. Skanes has really given me exactly what I wanted. I was a little apprehensive of seeing the results but can truly say that I am very very happy and excited at seeing myself for the first time in 25 years without belly fat/rolls... Wow, is this really me, pinch me someone!! The only tiny little thing and I hate to even mention it as I feel it diminishes the awesome results I have seen so far is... the belly button *cringe*. It seems a bit off center to the left. After much obsessing for the rest of the afternoon on the belly button, I decided that I would just have to wait to discuss this with Dr. Skanes... maybe it’s just swelling, maybe she had no choice in where she made the hole for the belly button, maybe there is an explanation and it won’t be so bad once it’s all healed up... who knows but for now I just have to chill out on the whole belly button situation.
Oh and did I mention that I weighed myself this morning... 120 lbs!!! Wow, that is 4 lbs less than the morning of my surgery! I hope I can maintain this weight or lose even a little more. I have to say that since surgery or maybe I should say since I started eating again after surgery (day 4 post-op), I have been trying to eat very clean and healthy with lots of lean protein (keeping the sodium intake low) and have also been drinking a lot of water. All of which must be helping with the weight!
Day 8 post-op
I forgot to ask Dr. Dool yesterday about exercising so I went on good old trusted Google and found a website that details what you should be able to do after a tummy tuck. It indicated I should walk a kilometre twice a day between day 7 and 10. So in taking this advice, I went for a little walk around the bloc and watered my garden in the backyard that morning. Mom then came over and we totally cleaned the entire house (my mom is a pretty amazing, selfless woman and I’m not sure what I would do without her help!!!). I let her do all the heavy duty cleaning and I stuck to putting stuff away and organizing some things that were cluttering the house. I also cleared and cleaned the fridge. We were completely done by noon and I have to say I was pooped after that. Probably over did it a little but it felt good to finally have a bit more energy and be up on my feet for a few hours. I took it easy for the rest of the day with a lot of reading and a little nap.
Day 9 post-op
I had no energy whatsoever today. Felt bad as the kids were home but I just couldn’t get off my ass and I ended up just lazing around all day. I think the combination of doing too much the day before and not sleeping well really got to me. To this day, I am still sleeping in the reclining rocking chair. I tried a couple of times to sleep in the bed but the bruises from the lipo on my butt hurt too much. I also completely stopped taking pain medication yesterday which for the past week was probably making me drowsy and helping me sleep.
Needless to say, I’ve been feeling pretty guilty about not being able to spend as much time with the kids as I would like and not being able to do things as a family. I know it will get better but in the meantime, I feel a little selfish for sacrificing time that could be spent doing fun summer outings as a family. I know my husband was supportive of me getting the surgery but I can tell even he’s feeling like we’re missing out on a lot of activities. In some ways, I feel like this was the right time for me to have the surgery but in so many others, I feel it should have been timed better... nothing I can do about it now I suppose...
That afternoon, I finally took my first shower since surgery. I was a little nervous about it for some reason... maybe just the fact that I was told to be careful not to have water go directly on the incisions. It felt heavenly however!!?
Day 10 post-op
I woke up much more refreshed and energized. I was able to sleep part of the night in the bed and when my butt and back hurt too much I moved to the rocking chair. I’m making progress!! Since I had a lot more energy, I got up with the kids and decided to let my husband sleep in. It was nice to spend some time with them. Later we had a BBQ with some family. Needless to say I overate. Soon after the BBQ, I could barely keep my eyes open and had to I excused myself to go lie down. Later that afternoon, I had the worse swelling I have had so far! OMG!! I was definitely paying for all the sugar, salt and overindulgences now!! Late that night, I decided to go for a walk (thought it might help with my indigestion and swelling). I seemed to be on a roll and was about half way down the street parallel to ours when all of a sudden, I felt a pain/contraction in my incision on my tummy. I instantly felt like I overdid it and decided to take it down a notch and slow down and walk a little more bend over. I turned around and went back home.
Day 11 post-op
Well I finally made it an entire night in the bed... things are looking up! I also went for a longer walk this morning (2.6 km) and my pace seemed to be a little faster than the day before. I even drove the car by myself for the first time since surgery today. Didn’t go too far but it’s nice to know that things are slowly getting back to normal! I took a nap in the afternoon as I have been doing since surgery as I’m not getting my full hours of sleep at night. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.
Day 12 post-op
Slept in the bed again last night! I had a harder time sleeping this time though probably due to occasional jabbing pain or this painful pulling feeling (maybe contractions) on my tummy tuck incision?! Hopefully, it only means it is healing internally! And this morning, surprise!! My periods started... *ick* Wasn’t exactly expecting my periods until later this week so it resulted in a bit of mess on my girdle which I quickly hand washed and dried with my hair dryer since I only have one.
Later that morning, I went for a walk and did a little more than 2 km. I’m hoping to go again tonight after the kids are in bed. Wow, even today, I can see progress from yesterday. I seem to be walking at a faster pace, although that might have been my imagination but it’s giving me confidence that I am regaining my strength every day. After my walk, I put some music and danced it out while trying a bit of clothing. OMG, I am so happy!!!!!!!!!!!! This feels like a dream and I never want to wake up from it. I look so much more proportionate now and I cannot wait to go shopping but I kind of want to wait until I can get rid of the girdle first. It’s going to be fun!!! ? ?
These happy feelings were very much welcomed after some self-doubt earlier this morning about the portion of my belly above my belly button... I don’t know... it just feels a bit loose still and there is a small roll when I sit down right above the belly button. I was kind of wondering if this is normal, if this is swelling or if I could have been pulled tighter?? My husband thinks I’m insane and says that everybody has little rolls when they sit down... I don’t know?! Oh my, I’m such an over thinker sometimes I drive myself crazy with little things and I really have to stop and look at the bigger picture and the big picture is that this is as close to a miracle as I have seen, I feel 100 % better about myself and Dr. Skanes really did a great job!! Got to stop over thinking every little detail and focus on the bright side... right?! And of course, I could be feeling like this because I just started my periods too and I’m usually pretty up and down during that time of the month. Let’s hope!
Day 13 post-op
These are the pictures of the loose skin above the belly button. It doesn’t appear loose when I am standing, just when I am sitting forward. I’m just scared that as time goes on, the skin will get even looser on top of the belly button. Anybody else experience this??
Day 15 post-op
Feeling pretty great about where the incision was made...
Day 19 post-op - First post-op appointment with my surgeon
I saw Dr. Skanes today at almost three weeks post-op. She was glad to see me and said she felt awful leaving for vacation right after my surgery. First she removed the steri-strips under my breasts and examined the incisions. She told me to massage each breast twice a day, pushing the implant up and down 10 times. She showed me how and I had to cringe when she did it because I could feel the incisions popping but she assured me that this was normal and all she was doing was breaking down the scar tissue and making the pocket a little bigger which would help to avoid capsular contracture. She then examined my belly button. She didn’t seem happy with the way it looked and said she could do a revision later, if needed, to make the incision less apparent. She looked very happy with the tummy tuck/scar. She said I should take off all the steri-strips when I get home and that I don’t have to wear the bandeau on top of my breasts anymore or the girdle for that matter... Yahoo!!! She said I could still wear the girdle at night or in the evening if I felt swollen but it was totally up to me. I briefly mentioned the little pooch above the belly button and she only said it looked normal so I left it at that for now. If I see it gets worse though, I may have to talk to her some more about it.
She examined my lipo sites and said there was still a lot of swelling in those areas so I wouldn’t see the true results for a while.
I asked her about exercise and she cringed a little when I said I had started taking walks at a pretty decent pace last week. She said I could take strolls but I should refrain from brisk walking or elevating my heart rate for another 10 days because of the risk of bleeding. After 10 days (which will bring me to 4 weeks post-op) she said I’ll be allowed to go for brisk walks, push a light stroller etc.
Dr. Skanes also indicated I could now wear a bra (no underwire) and could start scar treatment. She mentioned Bio Oil which I had bought so I’ll start with that.
6 weeks post-op update
17 Aug 2015
2 months post
I'm about a week and a half late in putting these pictures... Oops!
Since I last posted, I've had many ups and downs but things started looking a bit better at 4 weeks post-op when I was finally able to start taking brisk walks. I bought myself a Fitbit as a motivator and that has helped a lot!
I've gained weight :(
18 Aug 2015
2 months post
I've gained a little over 5 lbs since the surgery! I told myself two days ago I would try to get back on track to eating more healthy again after a week of splurging (we were on vacation with the kids and may have over indulged with restaurant eating, ice cream and alcohol etc) but I just can't get it together this week... Ugh!! I find it hard that I'm not able to work out hardcore yet. The lipo areas on my butt still hurt when I try to jog and there is a tugging/pulling feeling on the left side of my belly button... Super frustrating!! I also feel more swollen than I did a couple of weeks ago. It's a constant reminder that you really need to watch your diet when going through this journey because skipping on the water and eating crap will really make you swell like a ballon.
As far as exercise, I am really just sticking to walking and bicycling for now. My ps cleared me to do everything at 6 weeks except my regular exercise class because it involves contact. I can only start those at the 3 month mark. I wouldn't be able to do them right now anyway... I can only do about 5 push-ups as peck muscles and abs hurt too much. I tried to do some lunges and squats and that wasn't so bad. Ab work feels weird so I'll have to start slowly in that area. I'll probably try doing a Jillian Michael workout to get me started again. Hope I can lose those lbs again soon! It's making nervous because I don't want to screw up the results of my surgery... Paid way too much to do that!