Whirlwind **10 months** - Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

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Hello! I am Katie, mother of two boys both born...

Hello! I am Katie, mother of two boys both born via c-section, ages 5 and 3. I have been chubby or overweight since starting college. I am 5'3" and I weighed 180lbs before getting pregnant with my first. Highest recorded weight was 225 (during pregnancy) The past 3 years I have been determined at shedding the weight and being healthy, only to find my stomach looking more like pizza dough that hangs over my c-section scar. I now weigh 135. I have run 2 half marathons, and one full marathon..I am strong and in shape, why can't my body reflect how I feel?? Found out yesterday that I will be able to get a tummy tuck and abdominal repair covered by insurance on FRIDAY!! So this is a journal on my whirlwind adventure :)

Surgery time has been set! I go in tomorrow...

Surgery time has been set! I go in tomorrow morning at 9:30am, and as long as everyone is on schedule, I will be wheeled back into surgery around 11:30. Nurse Allison said to expect 2.5-3 hours for surgery, another 2 hours in recovery, and maybe another hour or two after that before I can go home.

Nothing like being told I can’t eat anything after midnight to make you feel ravenous! Doesn’t sound like I’ll do too much eating tomorrow either.

Still working on getting babysitters lined up through the day and perhaps an overnight play date at a friends house :)

Is this really happening?!

Added some before pictures!

I can’t believe I just had a tummy tuck with...

I can’t believe I just had a tummy tuck with abdominal repair!

My husband, Jason, took me in this morning at 9:30. I was back in anesthesia by 10:15, and pretty sure I was in surgery by 10:45, way ahead of schedule! I remember talking to the anesthesiologist, asking for forgiveness for anything that might come out of my mouth while I was all loopy, and he was telling me likes to sell that info back to the spouses because it’s good money. Then I remember hearing my name a couple times. I immediately ask if I was done already, because I swear I have only been asleep for 5 minutes. It’s 1:15. I think I am back in my room around 2 or 2:30, and I’m home by 5:30.

Pain is very manageable, 2 or 3 on the scale. So I will keep up with the percocet, to make sure it stays that way for a few days at least. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, tomorrow is going to be worse and I won’t be as happy as I am now, I’m sure! But so far, I was in more pain following my c-sections than I am now (incision-wise, anyway)

I am able to get the recliner’s foot rest down, get out, and get to the bathroom all on my own. Again, surprising to me! I cannot straighten out, and I am pretty slow at this point, but hey, I’m moving!

The boys have been careful around me and are doing really well. Alex prayed for my tummy to feel better soon “Dear God, please make mommy’s tummy ache go away soon, Amen!” Made me cry, such a sweet boy I’ve got there.

I am happy to say that I have an appetite and I’m not nauseous. Just tired from the pain killers. This is probably why this post doesn't seem very cohesive!

Thank you all for your positive thoughts an prayers, they are obviously working! I will update some more in the morning!

PS, haven’t seen my new tummy yet, it’s covered in a binder that I can’t take off until Sunday. But from the way it’s wrapped, I have a VERY flat belly!

Adding a new picture of me in my nest. It's...

adding a new picture of me in my nest. It's actually quite comfy! I even made myself a cup of coffee this morning, with my keurig of course ;)

****2 DPO**** Finally experiencing some pain,...

****2 DPO****

Finally experiencing some pain, but it's due to gas. Feels like labor as it moves around my insides!

Attempted a shower, but hubby and I chickened out after seeing all the gauze and tape. I don't think I'm ready to remove it yet. Going to call the nurse tomorrow to see what I need to do exactly.

Had a few visitors and watched some movies. Pretty good day so far. Appetite isn't is strong as it has been though.

***3 DPO*** I did it! I took a shower, and yes,...

***3 DPO***

I did it! I took a shower, and yes, it did feel like heaven. My face was starting to break out, and my hair was nasty. Hubs was very good at helping me out, even though he hates seeing my incision.

I am very wore out though and ready for my first nap of the day! A mom could get used to this kind of treatment, eh?

There's a piece of gauze inside my BB that doesn't want to come out by gentle tugs, so I am going to leave it in until tomorrow at my first PO appointment, should be ok, right?

I am very happy with the incision, it's small and low. She took out my c-section scar so I wouldn't have two. And guess what? No flap or rolls when I sit! Go check out my new pics!

***4 DPO**** Woke up with a killer headache and...

***4 DPO****

Woke up with a killer headache and feeling nauseous. Made my husband go get some tylenol because the thought of taking percocet made me even more ill. Tylenol took away my headache, but still feeling a little off. Hoping a nap and a BM will make me feel better.

Get to see the doctor for the first time after surgery today. Will update more later!

Update from first PO Appointment: PS asked if I...

Update from first PO Appointment:
PS asked if I hated her, and I said no, to which she said, well I didn't pull you tight enough then! Ha! Yeah right, any tighter and I'd be doubled over for months instead of a couple weeks ;)

Everything is healing just fine, she even removed one drain, but the other one will stay in for 2 weeks. I've been cleared to do things, in reason, I can go walk a mile if I feel like it, but no vacuuming. HA! Just take it easy and listen to my body. I have a feeling that the mile is going to have to wait until next week, just walking back to the car after was hard on me. But I can stop the pain meds, go downstairs, take showers, and even take off my compression garment if I want.

Took another nap when we got home. Hoping I am more awake soon, I hate feeling tired all the time!

***5 DPO*** Woke up feeling really good this...

***5 DPO***

Woke up feeling really good this morning. Going to try to focus on the positives to hope put any depression/doubt on the backburner from here on out.

Went on my first walk today, .2 miles. Feels like a great start. My tummy is unbelievably tight, but this should only get better every day. Trying to focus on getting up for a little bit every hour so I don't feel like such a lump :)

***6DPO*** Was worried about my BB today. It's...


Was worried about my BB today. It's still bleeding a bit and leaking, and little irritated looking. But I'm not running a fever and it's not smelly. After a quick check by the doc, she thinks I am having a reaction to neosporin, so she is having me change over to Bacitracin instead. Other than the irritation, she said it's healing fine. Phew!

Can't believe tomorrow it will have been 1 week already! Check in tomorrow for updated pictures! :)

***1 week!!*** It's been one week already! It...

***1 week!!***

It's been one week already! It really does go by fast, I hope that continues :)

My BB is already looking better this morning and I am loving my flat belly. I am still very numb, but no pain unless I laugh or sneeze. Going to try to take it easy until my next appointment in 10 days. I will get my last drain removed and hopefully she will tell me I can do a little more (within reason, of course).

Adding 1 week pictures! :)

***10 DPO*** Had a great weekend sleeping in my...

***10 DPO***

Had a great weekend sleeping in my own bed. YAY! No more couch, and I am sleeping so much better.

Yesterday I went to church, went to Kroger with the family, got the kids haircut, and made queso and salsa for the game over the span of 4 hours. I was EXHAUSTED! It’s amazing what used to be considered ‘normal’ day to day stuff wouldn’t even phase me (even without the help of my husband), just completely wipes me out now. I went to bed after the half-time show last night…8:30.

I do want to add a little more each day though. I’m having a hard time sitting still. I know I need to take it easy, and I am, I swear! I take many breaks, sitting down when I need to. But it’s so nice to be able to get the kids breakfast, or load the dishwasher, and just plain feel useful!

I still can’t stand up straight, I still have a drain in, my tummy is still numb, it still hurts to cough/sneeze/laugh, my husband (ok and maybe the doc advises against it as well) won’t let me drive, and I am having a hard time not using my abs as I move around and get up. I have to constantly remind myself to use my arms more.

But, I’m getting a little better every day! I no longer have depressed thoughts and feelings about why I did this. Yesterday I sat in church and I didn’t have to worry about adjusting my pants every time I got up or sat down to tuck my flap back in. I didn’t have to feel self-conscious about the bulge below my belly button.

I’m just happy

Adding a new side by side, 12 days and I'm already...

Adding a new side by side, 12 days and I'm already LOVING the result!! Even my back doesn't seem to arch as much :)

My only issue is my BB (pic added also) I know the scabbing will go away eventually and it is looking better and better, but the inside is sorta grayish. Does that mean there is something wrong? MY PS is on leave until next week...

***2 weeks PO*** Time really does fly! I am 2...

***2 weeks PO***

Time really does fly! I am 2 weeks PO, 4 more days until I get my final drain pulled. I will take more pictures then.

Things I need to get better at, eating! Many have said their appetite isn't what it used to be...and I wish I had that problem. I am struggling at keeping it healthy. I do well for a couple days, then terrible for a couple days. I have been so good for over 2 years, I don't know what my deal is. I think it's because I am not doing the cooking ;)

I have been having really good days with lots of energy, but then I bonk out and have a really slow and tired sore day. All part of the process!

My belly button is looking better so I am not as worried about it. I think it will just be the one thing that is slow to heal on me. Everything else seems to be healing faster than normal. It doesn't hurt as bad to sneeze or laugh anymore and I'm moving around with ease. I'm also not experiencing as much swelling...but maybe I'll get my chance once my drain is pulled.

I'm getting closer and closer to giving this the 'worth it' rating, but I am waiting until the 6 week mark to do so :)

***17 DPO*** As of Saturday (15 days post-op) I...

***17 DPO***

As of Saturday (15 days post-op) I have been standing straight and no longer hunching over like a little old lady when I walk. So exciting :) Tomorrow I go in and will get my last drain removed. The entry point is really starting to hurt so I cannot wait.

Will post drain-free pictures soon after so excited to see how I look clothed :)

Also hitting the treadmill this afternoon....things are slowly getting back to normal and I love it!

***18 DPO*** I'm ready to give this whole thing...

***18 DPO***

I'm ready to give this whole thing the 'worth it' rating!

I had a fabulous check-up with my PS today. She removed the drain and the tape covering my incision. It looks fabulous! I feel so much better having the drain out. She told me I could use the recumbent bike and elliptical at a 2 resistance, and get this, I can use the treadmill at any incline I'd like! Say what?!? If I can't run, at least I can walk on hills and feel like I'm doing something. This excites me to no end.

She said I'm healing up nicely and to start massaging some lotion in over the incision. Picked up Palmer's Coco Butter with Vit E. She didn't seem to fond of maderma, just said any high quality unscented lotion would do.

Asked about the procedure, and she said I had about 1.5" separation in my abdominal wall and removed 2lbs of tissue. Didn't realize my abs were in that bad of shape!

I'm feeling rather bloated and puffy at the moment so I am going to wait until tomorrow to take pictures. I feel like a brand new woman! Yipee!!

**3 Weeks** Cannot believe that it's been 3...

**3 Weeks**

Cannot believe that it's been 3 weeks already! I had my first normal day yesterday too. Drove youngest to school, went grocery shopping, did light housework, made dinner for the family, then I went to dinner and a movie with some friends!

I'm walking straight and getting around just fine. I am a bit tired by the end of the day, but I can handle it if I get more days like yesterday. :)

It also has been really nice to shower drain free. For the upcoming week, my goal is to get on the treadmill/elliptical/bike at least 5 times. Taking it easy of course, but I just need some exercise time!

What a difference a week makes! I've walked...

What a difference a week makes! I've walked several times and even hit the elliptical for a good 45 minutes yesterday! It doesn't hurt to sneeze or laugh anymore, but my abs still stay tight for a couple minutes after doing so.

My PS told me I didn't need to wear my binder if I didn't want to, so I've been going without for most of the day. I wear it during exercise though, I like the extra support it gives.

I've been walking around and getting around just fine. My belly button looks better, but it's still a bit red around it. Just one of those things that should get better with time. My incision is healing nicely. I was a bit worried yesterday, I thought a suture was trying to come out, but today it looks as though skin has formed back over the hole and it no longer hurts when I touch it.

I'm going to try a light jog tomorrow, per PS. Although, I'm sure HER version of a light jog is different from MY version of a light jog ;)

I'm up two pounds since surgery, and it's NOT water weight, I wish I could say it was. At one point in the past month I weighed 2lbs less. My eating has been horrid, so I am going to go on a sugar strike this week. No creamer in my coffee...no yummy desserts...no sneaking chocolate...boo! :(

I am happy to report that my below the belly button measurement is 1.5" down from what it was!! :) :) I love having a flat belly!

I had my first jog today, and it went so well!! I...

I had my first jog today, and it went so well!! I am so happy :) took it easy, slow jogged a mile in 12 minutes. Felt funny though. My upper body was so stiff and straight because of my binder, but I can't imagine working out without it right now. So excited to see what the week holds for me :)

PS my last run was 4 weeks and 3 days ago, my surgery was 4 weeks and 1 day ago!

***4 weeks 4 days*** Just got back from my 3rd...

***4 weeks 4 days***

Just got back from my 3rd run since Saturday. Saturday was nice and easy, just to see how I would do. Did 1 mile in 12:30ish. Sunday, I just had to get out, and jogged 1.7, and then continued to walk/jog until I hit 3 miles, averaged a 13/mile. Both runs felt awkward and stiff...not really enjoyable like my runs usually are.

Today I didn't bring my Garmin just listened to my body. I jogged 2.4 miles straight in about 26 minutes (give or take since I didn't have my garmin). I would have kept going, I felt that good, but I didn't want to overdo it, and I had to get going. I felt tight at the obliques for the first half mile, and then it felt like I got my running stride back for the next 2 miles. I felt phenomenal!!

So hard to believe that just a little over two weeks ago, I couldn't stand up straight and now I am running!!!

***5 weeks*** Just ran my first 5k since...

***5 weeks***

Just ran my first 5k since surgery!! I felt no tightness anywhere..not in abs, not around incision, nothing!! Still wearing binder during exercise, but not any other time, even sleeping :) Pretty much feel back to normal! Will post pics at 6 weeks, not much of a change this past week.

PS...is it just me, or does my butt seem higher??...

PS...is it just me, or does my butt seem higher?? LOL

Also, I rearranged pictures to you could see side by side easier!

****6 weeks!!*** Hey everyone! It has officially...

****6 weeks!!***
Hey everyone! It has officially been 6 weeks. I am so happy I had this done! I’ve been pretty active this week and have been feeling pretty much back to normal. I see the doctor again on Tuesday and I am hoping to get the all clear to resume normal exercise (other than direct ab work).

Yesterday I broke out my TurboFire DVD and it felt so good to get back at it. My arms are very sore this morning though, I could tell they haven’t gotten much work in the past 6 weeks! Tomorrow I'm running in a 5k. I have been back running regularly and even cranked out a mile in 9:13!

Yeah for shrinking measurements (pics below). You can see I still have some healing going on along my incision. Each spot is where I had sutures trying to come out instead of dissolving. They will heal with time, just gotta keep them covered and dry. My belly button is looking so much better in the past couple of weeks. The redness is going away, once it does I think it will look ‘normal’. There is a ‘dog ear’ on my right side that will probably need to be fixed in the future, but she said it is an easy fix. I do wish the scar had settled a bit lower, but she pulled me so tight that my skin lifted up from below as well as pulled down from above. I wasn’t ever going to wear a bikini anyway, but still would have liked it to be below my panty line.

I absolutely love how clothes are fitting me now! Things sit where they are supposed to sit, there is no readjusting of the flap anymore. Can’t wait to see what the next few months will bring as I get back into more intense exercise and weight lifting! I wonder how my body will change since it won’t be working so hard to rid the fat/skin from my middle??

Would I do it again?? YES!!

***6w1d*** I ran my first 5k of the running...


I ran my first 5k of the running season this morning in 28:51, you would have never guessed I had major surgery 6 weeks ago!! The funny thing is, I could have pushed harder, but I didn't want to over do it!! LOL

So for all you exercise fanatics out there, you will get your athlete abilities back in no time, you will bounce back quickly! :)

Had my 6 week check-up today and I have been...

Had my 6 week check-up today and I have been released for all activity,even ab work! But she did say "If you feel like your insides are going to rip apart, for the love of God, stop!" LOL

So I will be going back to lifting tomorrow to see if I can't shrink these legs ;) Can't wait!

Still have an open spot along my incision, it's just the greatest spot of tension and it happens because I'm so 'skinny' according to doctor.

I go back in 3 months :)

***14 weeks*** So here I am a little over 3...

***14 weeks***

So here I am a little over 3 months since surgery! Still love having a flat belly, even if it isn't healing as fast as others. I went in a few weeks ago because my belly button just wasn't healing. So she told me to stop massaging it. It is now finally closed! YAY! But I have quite a bit of scar tissue built up there. I will go back in a couple months for a steroid shot to help break it up. For now, I am to return to massaging it, just more gently.

I am very pale, so as you can see, I will be red for a while. Pretty sure it took a couple years for my c-section scar to fade.

I have been back to my regular crazy exercise for about a month now. I lift heavy 2 or 3 days a week, and run 3 days a week :) I love that my belly doesn't jiggle around anymore!

I am still numb from the belly button down to my scar. My pubic area is still puffy and swollen, it's about the only place I experience swelling. Hopefully that will go away, and then bring my scar down a tad.

I am running a half marathon at the end of June, so I am busy training for that!

6 month-ish check-in! Hey y'all, I know it been...

6 month-ish check-in!

Hey y'all, I know it been forever. Things are going well and I'm still loving my belly! My scars have had a hard time healing compared to most, but I still wouldn't go back, I still would have had it done. At my 6 month check-up, my PS shot my scars up with steroids to soften them up and hopefully reduce the ridges. I think it has helped the redness around my belly button too. I will take a new pic in a couple weeks!

I am super excited to say that I PRd my half marathon in June by 14 minutes! I also competed in my first Sprint Triathlon, something I would have never done because of my 'flap'. I have a second half of the year in a few weeks, and hope to do one more before the year is done. Now that I have the belly I worked so hard for 3 years to get, I will not let it sag again..at least until I'm like 80 ;-P

12-6-12 Most recent news, the doc doesn't like...


Most recent news, the doc doesn't like how my scar turned out, so will be doing a revision in February. As long as it loosens up by then, it will be an in office procedure. Here's to hoping I have a nice flat and thin line soon! :)
Dr. Elizabeth Tran

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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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