35 YO, 2 Kids, 2 C-sections, 123 lbs, 5'2", Ready to Get My Body Back
I was one day away from sending in my deposit with...
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2 weeks til post open, 3 til surgery!
2 weeks to goooo!
One week, 7 sleeps
Had my pre-op appt today
Scar therapy - he said I should use something with cocoa butter to massage my scar after a shower once it heals. I have the Palmers oil for that.
I need to pick up compression socks to wear for the first few days. They will be provided, but he wants me to have a pair in my exact size to make sure they fit snugly.
We spoke at length about my belly button since I'd seen some pics lately that scared me. I showed him the inspiration pics that I posted here and told him to aim for more rounded than not. He gave me some yellow strip that I could roll into a ball and insert into my belly button to help shape it. He was afraid the ear plugs I bought would cause it to be too wide once the swelling went down, so I'll start slow with that.
I think that's it. My Palmers oil, hibiclens and walker caps came in the mail today. I paid off my balance and now all I'm waiting for is my surgery time.
I was and still am not afraid for the most part. I am confident in my doctor and in the process. Hearing her say that threw me for a loop though. Sometimes I forget that she isn't my age and doesn't have my experiences to fall back on. So in her mind this is serious, dangerous even. I haven't told her the specifics, just that I'm having my muscles repaired because they split after carrying 2 babies. I thought she'd be more afraid if I told her about removal of skin or liposuction so I skipped it.
I continue to answer her questions the best I can and just hug her often. She said she'll pray for me at school on Monday morning and I'll try to make sure she's picked up early so she won't worry too much all day. I never even considered the effect this decision would have on her :(
Made it to the flat side!
So the day of surgery is mostly a blur, but I'll try to recount what I can. My mother in law came to pick me up at 5:30. She, my husbands, the kids & I prayed and off we went. We arrived earlier than my report time of 6:30, so we just chatted in the waiting room to keep my mind off of what was about to happen. They called me to go upstairs where I met my nursing team, got marked by the doctor and went over any final questions, gave a urine sample and spoke to my kids on the phone one last time. My nurse walked me to the OR, rubbing my back to calm me the entire way, then 2 others helped me get situated on the bed. It was freezing cold in there, so they gave me warming blankets. They asked about my kids and said how happy I must've been to do this for myself. We all laughed. The next thing I knew I was in recovery and a different nurse was asking me how often felt. The first thing I remember saying was "I made it." Lol.
I was in and out of sleep a lot, they said I'd been out of surgery for 2 hours at that point. They needed me to get out of bed and into a recliner in order for my husband to come up. It took 2 tries but I got up. After maybe another hour I was released. I slept most of the way home.
I have no appetite so I've been drinking ginger ale and water with graham crackers and jello. I've been camped out in my daughter's bed since it's low to the ground. I have 3 pillows propping me up, a neck pillow, 2 large pillows under my knees to keep them bent, a large pillow pet (haha) for my left arm and a mini pillow pet for my stomach in case of coughing, sneezing or laughter.
Day 2 - first shower
Day 3 goals
My husband removed my binder to put it in the wash, so I've been laying still without it for the last hour or so. When it's dry he'll wash me up then rewrap everything. I'm nervous to get up without it on even though I really need to use the bathroom lol.
I'm still pretty itchy on my lower back and belly even with a camisole under the binder. My bottom, particularly the right side today, is killing me it's sooooo achy. I also spoke with the doctor and he said he lipo'd my vajayjay, so every now and then that will start to sting.
My drainage amounts are so low, but the nurse said maybe I don't have much fluid trapped. I'm trying to up my water intake to see if that will help, but my stomach gets full so quickly.
1 drain down, 1 to go
I've started to rely on my walker a little less, mostly using it middle of the night or first thing in the morning. Showering is still a little rough, being without my binder still feels really unstable. I feel best when I'm wrapped up tightly.
No more heavy pain meds at all. I took a Valium on Friday night because I couldn't fall asleep so at 1 a.m. I gave in, but I'm probably going to hide them and the dilaudid now, I don't want to go back.
My kids (6 & 1) are helping my in the little ways they can. My 6 y/o helps me get in and out of bed, my 1 y/o guides my walker whenever I use it, they both bring me food or water and spend as much time playing with me as I can handle. They really are my world.
My husband has been amazing through this recovery. We've had some tense moments for sure when everyone's tired, annoyed or just plain over it, but beyond all that he always makes sure I'm ok. He asks multiple times a day if I need anything. A good caretaker is key.
Some other things I've learned: don't sneeze, ever, like never ever ever. A sneeze caught me off guard and nearly ended my life! I instantly started crying and no one knew why. It took a good 3 minutes before I could get my life together to explain. Coughing hurts, laughing is uncomfortable, but sneezing is on a whole other level.
Keep taking the colace. I finally had a BM on day 4. I didn't have to strain myself, there was no pain at all. If you're reading this before your tt, get your leg, back and arm muscles together. The flank area lipo has made my butt hurt so badly and feel like it weighs a ton.
Things I bought that I still haven't and probably won't use: hibiclens. I opened it and used it twice. My doc suggested plain soap and water instead. Pill organizer - none of my pills were on the same schedule, I had 4, 6 and every 12 hours so it just never worked for me. Arnica and bromelain pills - I asked the doc about them and he said he saw no huge difference in his patients that take them. Once my husband heard that he's adamant that I skip them altogether. Ice packs - I think heat is more my thing, but they're good to have around for the kids.
That's all I can think of right now. I'll add more to my updates as I experience them.
One Week Post
I ordered another compression garment, the Marena one that has suspenders and comes goes down to the knee. I think that will work best under my work clothes and I'll alternate between that and the waist cincher + spanks.
Oh, I'm back in my own bed. Still sleeping in the reclined position and my ass still hurts lol. I want to lay flat so badly.
Back to work
I drop both kids off to daycare/school in the morning and ended up taking my husband's car. Mine is an SUV and I don't think getting my son (22 mos) up into his seat would've been easy. He can climb into the car with my daughter's help, then I can buckle him into his car seat. His daycare has the longest path EVER to get to the door, I think it took me 5 minutes to walk down since I'm still moving at a snail's pace. I made it but was wiped out when I got back to the car. Luckily my daughter walks in with a safety, so I just pulled into the drop off lane.
At work I parked in an unused reserved spot right near the door and let our guard know that I can't walk too well right now but to let me know if I needed to move. She said it was fine, so I'll be parking there until I straighten out. Only 1 person at work knows exactly what I had done and only my team knew I had surgery at all. Everyone else assumed I was on vacation and a few asked if I had fun, lol. I told anyone that asked if I was ok that I was out on medical leave. Some of the looks I got made me think I look much worse than I feel. I guess it's the hunched over slow walk that gets them lol.
Overall I think I handled the day well. It isn't easy to sit in an office chair for hours because there isn't anywhere to really rest my back without me leaning. That isn't comfortable and I forgot my pillow at home, so I've been kind of on the edge of the chair most of the day balancing on my desk. I have to make a Target run then I'm getting directly into bed. I may/may not pull out a valium to put me right to sleep.
Spanx & other things
I woke up this morning with hard spots on my sides, the left side almost looked like a square. I've been massaging them lightly all morning trying to break it up. S/o massages, I found a woman here that does lymphatic massages. Someone here recommended it, I just need to see if she'll break the session up into 30 mins vs an hour because I think an hour is too long to start with.
Work has been fine, we're in our busy time so the days fly by. The most annoying thing is my coworkers act like they've never seen someone walk slowly and hunched over. They ask questions, one person even ask specifics about my surgery (NOPE!). I don't mind some help now and then, but they're taking it too far.
I asked him about the hard spots on my sides, he let me know that those were my ribs. He snatched me tight and down to my ribcage! Thank you Jesus! He also told me to stand up straight. I was scared to pull something or mess something up, but he reassured me that I wouldn't.
Work has been ok, I've been getting less questions so that's a plus. I'm not exhausted when I get home anymore, but I am tired and pretty much just shut down at the end of the day. I can do minimal chores, like light cooking and a little laundry...a spot clean here and there.
Sleep - I've figured out how to prop the pillows just right and lay on my side. At some point in the middle of the night I end up switching sides because the one I'm laying on feels heavy. I feel like I'm getting a more restful sleep than I did in the reclined position.
Overall I feel really good and happy with my results so far. I'm taking bromelain and arnica pills and eating a lot of pineapple. I can't really tell if those things are working, but I keep it up anyway. Still feeling those sharp twinges in my side every so often but they aren't so bad that I need a pain pill. I do take tylenol on the days that I'm overly active.
I think that's it for now.
Going down a size
I guess it looks like I'll need to size down. This is the first time I've worn jeans without the binder and even with my cincher on I have a ton of room in the waist. I can imagine that once I take it off my pants will be really loose.
For reference I'm 5'2", was 123 lbs before surgery now 119 and these jeans are a size 4.
My scar is healing well, I've been using triple antibiotic ointment after showering and will keep that up until next week. I haven't had any pain, can't remember the last time I took a tylenol. I do feel sharp twinges still, but they come and go.
Still sleeping on my side propped on pillows and wearing my binder at night. Standing up straight and wearing heels again, but I noticed I do slouch at night.
5 weeks post
Still wearing my cincher every day but I've been sleeping without anything for the last 2 days. It feels weird, like my stomach isn't a part of my body or something. I can't explain it, but the skin is still numb and it's odd when anything touches it.
I tried that waist slimmer from walmart, that was a fail. It doesn't get tight enough to help with my swelling so I'm still on the hunt for something to help my lower abdomen. I'm starting to worry that the swelling will never go away and that this may be my final look. Of course it's a million times better than my "before" but I feel like after spending all of this money and the recovery time that I should be as flat as I was on week 1.
I'm having a little soreness in my muscles so I've taken 2 tylenol whenever that feeling hits. In the morning when I first get out of bed I get this snakes in my belly feeling. And at the end of my incision on the right side I feel a stinging, like something's trying to poke through.
Hair removal - I need some help in this area. I usually shave but I'm nervous about the sensitivity I have and getting too close to the scar. Should I try Nair? Something else? Please leave suggestions because this jungle I have going on is not cute lol.
Six Week Mark
Other than that there's nothing new to report really. The doctor was pleased with my results so far and so am I. Well, I'm still ready for this swelling to go away but I'm trying to be patient.
I've been trying to get back into an exercise routine, but some of the moves are uncomfortable. I do my best to modify what I can and plan to do Jillian Michaels 30 day shred soon. I need to rebuild my butt, I guess from sitting on it for weeks it's so sad looking now lol. My eating habits are the same as pre-surgery (not the best) I just eat smaller portions.
I wore my marena compression garment to bed last night and think I'll wear that at night from now on. It was comfortable to sleep in. I have lipo foam on order from amazon that I'll put underneath it to help with the lower belly swelling.
My scar is looking good and the spot where my old bb was is flattening out. I'm using a cocoa butter stick daily, massaging that in for a few minutes. Then I'll add Palmers skin therapy oil and bio oil. I'm gonna give it more time, but I'd like to see my scar lighten. It's flat and low which makes me happy. I thought I had a pic of my scar but I don't. I'll post one in my next update.
The second is there's a small knot on the left, you can't see it but I can feel it and I wonder what it is. I have an appointment in 3 weeks so I'll ask the doctor to check it then.
My lipo foam finally came in, I ordered it from amazon. It's just about the same as what I was given after surgery except it's not as thick and doesn't have a sticky side like the ones in the OR. I wore it overnight and woke up flatter this morning so I'm thinking it'll really help with the swelling. If I was smarter I would've ordered 2 instead of 1 to put a pad on each side, but I think the 1 will be ok right in the middle.
Form fitting shirts
3 months post op
As far as how I'm feeling - I'm doing really well. I've started exercising, doing a short routine a friend recommended. The goal is to do the 30 day shred starting March 1 (my bday) and maybe once more before the summer hits. All of my work pants are too big and only stay up because I'm still wearing the waist cincher. I'm uncomfortable without the cincher, but I plan to start weaning myself off of it soon. I did order a waist trainer in a smaller size, I'll post a picture in my next update. The swelling is still there and I've noticed it changes with what I've eaten. If I have a light and/or early dinner I'm just about flat when I wake up. For the most part I'm back to normal and I'm extremely happy with my results!
4 1/2 months post
As far as products, I've stopped using all garments/waist trainers/wraps regularly. I just got sick of them. I use a cocoa butter stick and Palmer's oil daily on my belly and to massage the scar. I would say the bio oil is used once a week if that. My scar is pretty flat except for the middle where it forms a T, it bubbles a little in that area. The doctor said that was to be expected, it should flatten over time.
Swelling - I definitely still swell. It only hurts if I've eaten too much but it is unbelievably annoying. There is still a spot on my left side that I'm keeping an eye on because it swells more (further out I guess) than the right. Not sure if you can tell in the pics.
Food wise, I still eat whatever. My portions are smaller at dinner, but I don't track calories and haven't eaten any healthier. Probably not the best idea but it's what's happening.
I won't see the doctor again unless I have a specific issue to talk about.
Dr. Butler is amazing! He explains things clearly and always listens to my concerns. The staff in his office are always nice and welcoming and his assistant Jasmine has gone above and beyond to help me. I would recommend him to anyone who asks.