What a Long, Hard Trip It's Been - New York - New pics added Finally!

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Wow...where to start...Putting this all down on...

Wow...where to start...Putting this all down on cyber-paper should be interesting.

History First...
I will have to give some background for the whole picture to be complete. When I was 15 I had a ruptured appendix. Based on what they found when they were "in there" it had been ruptured for several days and I "should have died." Needless to say, I didn't. It required what's called an Exploratory Laparotomy - this is an incision from the belly button to pubic bone. For a 15 year old - pretty devastating all the way around. After the surgery, they left the incision open to allow them to come in and "clean out" the infection for 6 days post-op. They closed it up when they felt there had been sufficient decrease in infection. I saw my own "insides" every time they did this.

I survived that horror experience and despite the docs saying I would probably have "fertility issues" due to scar tissue, I went on about my adolescent life. At the age of 23, in graduate school,began feeling some sharp pains shooting down my leg from hip flexor area. Thought it could be from an increase in my running mileage but one day it was so bad it literally stopped me in my tracks and I hobbled the rest of the way home.

Called the school health center and they had me come in the next day. Doc couldn't find anything obvious and suggested a pelvic exam. Ok. He seemed concerned and told me that there was some kind of mass on my left ovary. Mass?? Cancer? OMG. Ordered a CT Scan which revealed a solid cyst, quite large in size - probably not cancer, but had to come out asap. WTH? Called my mom, she flew down immediately. Met with gyn surgeon who recommended using the same incision from the ruptured appendix..fabulous...another open abdominal surgery.

Explained my concerns about fertility as I've always wanted to be a mom and couldn't bare the thought of not. She agreed to be as careful as possible but this would require removal of ovary and fallopian tube. UGH! She would, however, remove any adhesions in the abdominal cavity to help with the functioning of the other ovary.

Survived that! She felt that regardless of one ovary, fertility should be ok...PHEW! My wonderful boyfriend asked me to marry him just 2 weeks after the surgery!

On to married life one year later and hopes of a baby. 2 years...no baby...getting ready to go to fertility consult...period late...PREGNANT!! Uneventful pregnancy except for the fact that I irresponsibly gained 80 pounds! Needless to say, my tummy did not do well on this ride of multiple surgeries and weight gain. Stretch Mark Central! GRRRRR

After a couple of years decided we were ready to try for another baby. No go. Met with wonderful fertility specialist. After initial testing...guess what? We would need to do another surgery...laparoscopically - thank goodness! He needed to get an idea about what was "going on in there."

After surgery and removal of adhesions, we were pregnant again in 2 months! That man is a miracle worker!

Beautiful baby boy 9 months later...and MORE stretch marks...my belly is starting to look like a road map...ugh!

Fast forward....trying for pregnancy number 3. After 3 months of trying...pregnant again...yay!

25 weeks in...pre-term labor...bed rest for 10 weeks! Bed rest can wreak havoc on your body...loss of muscle tone etc.

Made it to 37 weeks and delivered my baby girl! More Stretch marks....

Day 3 home with baby....my body tried to deliver my bladder and uterus - SCAREY!!

Definitely gonna need yet another surgery but was able to prolong and manage with wearing a pessary. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that - it's usually something used for elderly women with prolapse issues post-menopause. As for surgery, doc said if I could wait till kids are a bit older so as to help avoid lifting, I should.

About 2 years after my daughter's birth things were "okay" in the female area and I began getting more active - running, spinning etc. When she turned 3 I felt very frustrated as despite all of the exercise, the weight was very hard to get off. Decided to do Weight Watchers. LOVED it. Got slow but steady results and lost 20 lbs. I even did a half-marathon...woohoo!

Belly is gross, hanging skin, stretch marks...yuck!

Kids getting older...hmmmm....periods BAD, uterine prolpase was at a 3 (4 is out of your body). Surgery? Went back to my wonderful fertility doc who is one of the best surgeons around. He says...yes, def need a hysterectomy and at least some "resuspensions." Joke with him..."Hey, can you do something about this roadmap of a stomach while you're 'in there?'

His response..."Nope, but my I've worked with the plastics guy downstairs and we've done this together before." SIGN ME UP!! Figured, hey, I've been through enough surgeries...I can handle this and it's only one recovery. Given the amount my body's been through, I would NEVER have done the TT as a separate procedure.

After the appointment with Gyn, walk downstairs and set up consult appointment with PS. SO excited! Hubby has NEVER complained, but is supportive.

Go for consult and love the doc. He has a great rep. Doc says I will need quite extensive muscle repair due to the severity of the diastasis. He equates it to my guts hanging out. Talk price...a little nauseating, but I feel like I deserve this! After 3 surgeries and 3 babies...it's got to happen.

Coordinate everything with the two docs, their schedules, hubby's work, my work...yadayada...you all know the drill. Spending lots of time looking at pre-op, post-op pics online but not really "researching" the Full TT with MR. Figured, I've watched Dr. 90210 and you tube videos...I can TOTALLY handle this after having been through the other surgeries.

Sail through pre-op stuff....healthy, don't smoke, eat healthy, exercise...surgery day is coming!

And...it's here! YAY!! Nervous, but excited...excited to have parts out, put back in and tightened up!

Surgery went GREAT! Docs report to hubby that they couldn't be happier.

I wake up...OMG...this is BAD. Nurses were not staying on top of delivering pain meds, despite me asking on time and my hubby's insistence that they do so. I did not have a pain pump or drip - just dilaudid and percocet. At one point I was screaming and crying and shaking...I thought my hubby was going to kill someone and I thought I was going to die. I was in shock at the pain. I have an EXTREMELY high pain tolerance, but this! This was pure torture.

Week One -
Let's just say that the first week was an exercise in practice for pergatory. Two post-op visits...both were excruciating. the nurse seemed frustrated and then "remembered" that I had "all that female work done too."

Week Two -
A slightly lesser version of week 1 only have developed 2 small seromas...UGH! Draining 15-20 cc's every other day along wit EXTRA compression. I know many have complained about the compression garments...I'm wear one on top of the other PLUS the binder.

I am now 19 days post-op. Have been on a couple of short outings and am driving locally. Feeling better everyday but it is a SLOW process...just got the ok to take the steristrips off....back later...Thanks for listening...LOVE this site!

Sorry no-pre-op - didn't take my own - only at...

Sorry no-pre-op - didn't take my own - only at docs...trying to get them to send them to me...

Wow! Can't believe tomorrow will be 4 weeks...

Wow! Can't believe tomorrow will be 4 weeks post-op! Still quite swollen and like everyone else - frustrated with that. Walked 1 whole mile today - wahoooo! Seems crazy that I'm impressed with that after running a 1/2 marathon! LOL - guess it's gonna be a while before my stamina is back up. Still pretty tight and tire pretty easily. Trying to gear myself up to go back to work - ugh! Really not ready. Have appointment friday with PS and we'll see what he says. Gyn doc has me out for hysterectomy and repairs - waiting for his nurse to call me back to see when they will send me back. Also - called PS office to see if they could email me my before pics and she said they don't have a scanner??? Doesn't everyone take pics digitally? Arghhh - stinks cuz I didn't take ANY before pics for myself. Anyway - just my rant for the day. Thanks for listening!

11/10/11 - 5 weeks Post-op Phew! Can't believe...

11/10/11 - 5 weeks Post-op
Phew! Can't believe it's been 5 weeks! Still tired, swollen, and sore by end of day. Especially the girl parts...they are my gauge and tell me when I have to sit down! Saw PS last week...he said "you look great! See you in 4 wks!" (unless there's a prob, of course). He did draw a bit more fluid off the remaining seroma...feels it will resolve on it's own now. Also cleared me to go back to work. Mixed feelings about that...

Went back on Wednesday (just a 1/2 day). Was nervous and it felt a little weird, but good to be back. Getting back into routine.
Still pretty swollen, but starting to see results first thing in morning. Too bad it can't stay that way...eventually...

Anyway, LOVE, LOVE this site.
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