Mommy Makeover - 1 month Post Op Pics

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I'm a married mother of two, ages 10 and 14....

I'm a married mother of two, ages 10 and 14. I’ve been lurking on this site for about a year now and I’ve wanted a Mommy Makeover for a very long time. The main reason is that after pregnancy, two C-sections, and a hysterectomy, I developed a large flap of skin that hangs over and makes my stomach look deformed and my breast look like someone let the air out of the tires. Because my belly is so lax, I tend to stick my butt out to compensate and that makes my back hurt a lot. I gained 20 lbs with each baby (2 of them) and it has been difficult to get the weight off. I also have hypothyroid. I’m currently at 185 and I started losing weight again and my goal is to lose at least 10 – 20 more pounds before the surgery. I interviewed the doctor (love him), and put my deposit down on the surgery date (Sept 26th) the same day. It’s happening quickly but that is the way I roll. When I make up my mind about something, I tend to charge forward without a second thought. But please know, I’ve been researching this for several years so this is not a rush decision.

Why am I doing this? I’m in my forties and I have spent the last 14 years hating my body. I want to spend the next 20 or more loving it and having a blast. I want to feel more confident in my clothes. I want to look in the mirror and see the person on the outside that I feel on the inside. I am obsessed with Latin ballroom dancing and I’ve been dancing for about 4 years. I want to feel more confident in my dancing and grow but I feel like my body is holding me back. I’ve even considered competing but did not feel I could wear any of the costumes. I think this will help me get even more active.

I don’t lack in the booty area at all. Some people pay a lot of money to have a butt like mine (minus the dimples). But, because of my butt and the big flap of skin, the circumference around my waist is HUGE (size 16-18) the rest of my frame is medium. So I have to buy clothes to fit my waist and they look very big on me. My hope is to buy clothes that are proportional to the rest of my body. I would love to see a size 10/12 again. I don’t mind being a curvy woman as long as the curves are smooth and not deformed looking.

I was told by another plastic surgeons office that they would not even let me talk to the doctor until my BMI was down to about 125 (ie. Lose 50lbs) which I’ve been trying to do for many years without success. They said the “may” let me talk to the doctor if my BMI got down to 130. I’m glad I found a doctor willing to work on me even though I’m not at my ideal weight. I saw before and after pictures of other women with the exact same body type and I loved them. These women did not have flat stomachs and I don’t have that expectation. I just want to get rid of the deformation and lipo the lumps down smooth. I think I’m going to really love the results

I’m so laser focused on this right now. Also very excited. The next few weeks are going to be very exciting as I prepare for this.

Getting an extensive tummy tuck, breast...

Getting an extensive tummy tuck, breast augmentation to a mid/full C cup and lipo of thighs and flanks.

Three more days of waiting. My husband is being...

Three more days of waiting. My husband is being so supportive and wonderful. He is very excited for me and I'm finally doing this. He knows I have wanted to have this for a very long time. After two c-sections and a hysterectomy, I feel like I've been carrying a baby for 11 years and I'm so ready to deliver it. Tomorrow is grocery shopping and cooking day. Then two days of work and they will go by very quickly. I will be happy to soon be recovering.

Tomorrow is the big day!!! I got a walker at...

Tomorrow is the big day!!! I got a walker at Goodwill for $9. I cooked a ton of food. Made chicken and dumplings, spaghetti, shepherds pie, chicken salad, shrimp salad, cooked ton of sausage, grits, and some SOS. And then I ate a salad??? Hubby washed all the clothes (cause he is awesome) and the house is clean. I got all caught up at work and I have everything covered. I went Salsa dancing one last time (at least for six weeks)! Now i just hope I can sleep tonight!!!!

Day six post op and this has been a rough journey....

Day six post op and this has been a rough journey. Very uncomfortable. Difficult to sleep. Boobs feel like shoulder pads or chin rests. Feels like an elephant has been sitting on my chest. Very tight. Compression garment feels too tight and stomach burns. Pain killers don't help me sleep. Still can't stand up straight so back hurts. Walker I got at Goodwill helps. Tubes are not fun and I look like Frankenstein's bride. But I know it will all be worth it. First follow up tomorrow. Hope to get one or both tubes out. If I could do this over again, I might have done it in stages rather than all at once. But at least it's over and now I'm on the road to recovery. My family has been great but they will be happy when I'm well so I can stop barking orders from the couch.

Tomorrow will have been a week since my surgery. ...

Tomorrow will have been a week since my surgery. I had my first post op apt today and they removed one drain. I forgot to take the pain meds before I left so it hurt a lot. Burned. She was quick but it and all the built up agony from the week made me cry. I should have taken my pain meds before I went. It feels better now that at least one of the drains are out. The stitch for holding that drain was was pulling a lot. It felt like someone had me by my short hairs and they were just hanging onto them. The other one doesn't hurt as much. Hopefully the last one will come out on Thursday. Fingers crossed. They said the binder was fine and not too tight but I needed to take something to get my bowels moving. I've been taking the stool softner and had a few small movements but nothing great. That may help relieve some pressure. I've been breathing shallow and forcing myself to take deep breaths so I was worried about pneumonia but she said my lungs were clear. I've been running a slight fever of about 99.5 and I feel some congestion. I struggled to sleep last night mostly because my brain would not shut down. One boob has started to drop into place and the other is still really high so I look lopsided for now. I'm not at the happy stage yet but I read enough about the post surgery blues to what I'm feeling is normal and it will pass. As soon as this last drain comes out, the swelling starts to go down and I can start trying on some fun clothes, I will be on cloud nine. I'm really looking forward to my dance cruise in November and wearing a bunch of cute dresses.

It's been a week plus one day since my surgery. ...

It's been a week plus one day since my surgery. Had my second post-op today and the last of the two drains was taken out which makes me a VERY HAPPY GIRL!!!! Those drains were ANNOYING! This one did not hurt as bad as the 1st one that came out but I won't call it a pleasant experience. It burned for a minute or so. But now that it's out, my stomach muscles are not spasming like they were when the drain was still in there. I stopped the pain meds yesterday and just started taking Tylenol with my antibiotic, Milk of Magnesum (MOM), and stool softener. I slept better last night without the pain meds. I think they wire me up. I feel tired and get winded just walking to the other room but the pain is much better now. Taking a shower is like running a marathon. Just have to rest and take it easy. I'm still too tired to start playing with clothing and seeing how things look on me. I know once I do, I will get very excited. The scars are healing, my stomach looks nice, bruises from the lipo are fading and eventually the new twin ladies will settle down. They have started to come down a bit and look less like shoulder pads or chin rests. It's funny. My belly use to catch any food I dropped. Now it's my boobs! HA! I also use to be able to rest my plate on my belly in the recliner, now a small plate can rest on my chest. Funny how things change. I stratched my belly near the scar that other day and I felt it way up on my belly. Very strang sensation.. Brain has not re-wired/mapped the nerve locations yet. I'm looking forward to this weekend and my only outing planned is dinner one night out with the family and maybe a VERY short trip to get some hair color and hair spray. I put on a white cotton T-shirt under my sports bra and the binder because they were both irratating my skin. It helps a lot. Someone else has posted as a suggestion somewhere on this site so I can't take credit. It has to be a VERY SOFT cotton T-shirt. Mine has no sleeves. Someone also asked what to wear after surgery. I'm a BIG fan of house gowns, house dresses, or some folk call them Moo-Moos. Not the old granny ones. The really pretty ones. I tend to buy very comfortable sun dresses and wear them around the house or as night gowns. I can wear them out of the house too because they are just very casual dresses. I took one with me the day of surgery and wore it home. I have several so that's all I've been wearing since the surgery. I cannot fathom putting any type of pants on right now over these scars. The binder is enough pressure on my bell and some times too much. So I'm in layers: antibiotic ointment, gause with tape, very soft T-shirt, then binder, then sports bra, and finally a house dress. I have another follow up apt next Monday.

Here is my lesson's learned so far. This may not...

Here is my lesson's learned so far. This may not apply to all experiences but these are things I had or did that helped or I wish I would have done sooner:
- Make a written list of all your questions before each pre and post of visit.
- Don't plan your surgery date for the same time as your period is due or when your breast will be sore.
- Have a stock pile of fluids and microwavable or other easy to heat food.
- Also stock up on medical tape, gauze, antibiotic ointment with pain reliever, scissors, prescriptions filled and lots of Tylenol, stool softener, Milk of Magnesium (MOM),
- House gowns or freely flowing casual sun dress to wear home from the surgery and for days following along with couple of soft cotton t-shirts without sleeves
- Loved having a recliner and walker which I got from Goodwill for $9 gently used. BUT, recliners are very hard to get out of unless someone is there to help or it has a remote that helps you get up.
- Having help is essential, preferably someone not squeamish who can help you shower, apply antibiotic ointment, clean bandages and get the CG garment back on which is very hard to do by yourself. Older kids are great for heating you up some food or handing you the remote since getting up is difficult.
- Expect to pee a lot for the first few days. Some folks got a toilet seat riser. I had my husband stand in front of me and used my legs to lower myself up and down with him as leverage for the first couple of days.
- Start Milk of Magnesium (MOM) with Stool Softener the day after surgery to prevent constipation from pain meds. My doctor told me to take the stool softener each time I took the pain meds which was about every 4-6 hours.
- Wear a long soft cotton t-shirt with no sleeves under the CG and sports bra. Have a few of these on hand to change into. The hooks from the CG garment started to dig into my skin in one spot. This stopped that and also helped with the irritation.
- When you wash the Compression garment (CG), soak it in a lot of fabric softener (unless you are allergic to that). Don't dry on high heat or it can shrink.
- Take pain meds before Post Op appts in case they are removing your drains. Pain meds helped me with this process the second time.
- Understand that swelling will occur and it can take weeks or months for all the swelling to go away. Being on your feet makes the swelling worse.
- Understand that the boobs may be high for a while before they settle down as the swelling goes away.
- When you sleep, the body heals. Sleep as much as you want or can. The pain meds made it difficult for me to sleep. I wish I had slept more.
- Entertainment options for when you can't sleep: movies and shows DVR'd, Netflix, organize electronic pictures, music; update computer software; surf Amazon for family Christmas presents, make "to do" lists for when you feel better; novels from the library or book store; listen to soothing music; and of course, post on Real Self to support all your fellow Mommy Makeover friends.

I tried on clothes today. I tried on some new...

I tried on clothes today. I tried on some new dresses I had recently bought as well as my old clothes and some clothes I had put away because they did not fit me. The new dresses looked really awesome. My old clothes still fit me but they looked SO MUCH BETTER than before and I felt so good in them. My old clothes I had put away because they didn't fit also looked really good. So the good news is, I don't have to buy a new wardrobe and the better news is what clothes I do have look really good and I feel so good in them. YEA!
My energy is coming back now and I'm able to walk almost completely upright. My stomach muscles are still spasming if I walk around too much. Not completely normal by any means but I have to remind myself I'm only a week and a half only post op from an 8 hour surgery. I over did it by cooking dinner even though the kids helped me.
I've lost about 9 lbs since before the surgery and have a little bit of swelling so I may lose even more. But I had a LOT of fat in my belly that came off plus what was taken in the lipo. I still can't eat as much food as I use. I got a SMALL sub from Quiznos and could not even eat half of it. I also stopped drinking the ginger ale I was drinking after the surgery and went back to water again.

Tomorrow is 2 weeks PO and I started back to work...

Tomorrow is 2 weeks PO and I started back to work this past Monday. I find myself very sore and swelling toward the end of the day. Hands and Feet still get cold when I lay down and arms fall asleep. When I sit for a while, it hurts to get up and walk. But my clothes fit so much better and I'm finally starting to look on the outside how I feel on the inside. Looking forward to the scars healing and the upcoming dance cruise in November.

So there are two issues I had before the MM that I...

So there are two issues I had before the MM that I haven't had since. At least not yet. I'm not claiming victory for these issues yet and I hope I'm not jinxing them now.

Lower back pain. For a few yeas now I've been dealing with a really bad lower back pain. Especially when standing for a while. I think the stomach muscle repair pulled my lower back into a better alignment taking the pressure off the compressed nerves and arthritic discs. I've not had any pain in my back at all since the MM. Yea!!!

Eating. Before I would have hypoglycemic symptoms and crashing a few times a day. That made me think about food constantly. Thus I ate often. Not a lot, not bad,just often. Hence the weight problem. Now I can go all day and I don't have those panicky feelings or symptoms about food. Very strange. I actually forget to eat which is wild. I could get use to this. I still make myself eat but I hope this keeps up.

I hope these improvements continue.!!

Oh and I spoke to the PS about the cold hands and feet and arms falling asleep. It apparently happens to some folks due to the swelling from the surgery and should go away with the swelling. I hope so.

I started sleeping on my side a few nights ago and...

I started sleeping on my side a few nights ago and the cold hands and feet and the arms falling asleep problems stopped. I suspect because I'm not sleeping on my back now. My stomach muscle are spasming but other than than, I feel really good I've worked a lot of hours at my job this week and I'm only 2 weeks post op. I nevery thought I would feel this good this soon after how bad I felt last week. I think once the drains come out the road to recovery starts to move very fast Things seem to get better very quickly for me after the drains come out. Just make sure you are taking the MM to get those movements, stop the pain meds when you can and get as much sleep as you can to heal the body and the good Lord takes care of the rest. I'm biting at the bits to get out dancing again. I'm at least two more weeks on the bench.

I posted my 1 month post op pics a day early. In...

I posted my 1 month post op pics a day early. In celebration I changed my profile pic to a beautiful and curvy Marilyn Monroe. I love, love, love my new body. And it gets better every day. I still deal with daily soreness, occasional muscle spasms, and itching where I'm healing. I was back to work about a week and a half after the surgery which was about a week or a week and a half too early. But they needed me.
I am so glad I did this. I feel so much better about myself. I love the way I look in my clothes. Several people have commented that I look great and asked if I've lost weight. I usually mumble something unintelligible.
Even with the scars, I love to see myself in the mirror now. I'm rediscovering my body and loving it. So is the hubby. He is so sweet and careful to assure me that he loved me just as much before. We are having fun with the playground renovation. :) The breasts will take another month or three to settle. They are a bit lopsided right now but I don't mind since I know things are still changing. My belly button looks a bit strange and it too will change.
I'm so excited about my 1st (Salsa dance) cruise coming in November that I bought way too many dresses. I will never wear them all but I love trying them on and seeing how much better I look in them than before. I hope I will be cleared to dance again within the week. I miss my Salsa dances and my friends.
I did get my appetite back but I'm still 10lbs less than my pre-surgery weight. It looks like I will have to buy new pants after all. The old ones are falling off me. YEA!!! Hypoglycemic symptoms have not returned. The lower back pain that I had for two years pre-surgery, has not returned (THANK YOU LORD!). I suspect the tightening of the stomach muscle pulled my spine into a better alignment and took the pressure off the compressed discs. That’s my theory.
Thank you lovely ladies for all the support and wisdom. Love and hugs to you all on your journey to the flat side.
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

Referred by a friend and researched online.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
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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