Was it worth it? YESSSSS!!!
History: Young mom at age 19. That's a whole other novel of info. Long and short, my son was 10 lb 7 oz and 23 inches. He was huge!!! The nurse said that some women have twins who weigh less than my heavy baby boy. The damage was done! (had him vaginally) Between his birth and over time adding two more bundles of joy, (7 lb 7 oz and 8 lb 11 oz) I got used to living with my unsightly and sometimes painful giant mommy role.
My first son was a true blessing but sadly brought into a very unfortunate environment where I was domestically abused for years. (age 18 to 22). Anyway, between carrying extra weight on my belly and "falling down" stairs, hallways, into furniture numerous times, I developed a back issue. No worries, I am totally 10% out of that and have turned a traumatic situation into a positive as I am now an advocate/domestic violence counselor and specialize in speaking to teens about dating violence. :)
After my second son, my back spasms would continue every now and then but so incredibly painful. The extra weight I carried on my belly didn't help matters when exercising because no matter how tight I would get yoga pants, the "role" would bounce and irritate me. I know you ladies know exactly what I'm talking about!!! Seriously, running?!? Holy cheese and crackers....not fun with the up and down action. The elliptical became my best friend and helped with my back for a few years but as I dropped and eventually maintained my weight -the role was still there!
I was so sick of hearing these thin female doctors tell me to try exercise and weight loss. Unfortunately, there is a lot of red tape to gastric and I never qualified. My BMI never went over 33 and my blood pressure was always great and no health issues besides my back so it was up to me to make changes. I knew I ate healthy - partially by looking at my family and how healthy my 3 boys are. My boys don't have an ounce of fat on their bodies. Active - they have my ADD, eat only when hungry and yes I'm bragging they don't inhale candy and such. The like to "save" their junk food.....partially because I don't buy a lot. I will admit, my weakness is salty. I can go days with nothing "bad" but a few weeks ago, I tried my son's Salt and Vinegar chips and well I owe him a bag. :/
Body Type: I used to be 5'9 and am now 5'8. My PS office measures me as 5'7 but I refuse to believe I've shrunk that much so we will stay with 5'8. When I was my thinnest in high school, I was usually 160 to 165 and size 10. When I gave birth to my oldest son, full term I was 223. I have always had an issue loosing weight. I went down to 174 when I found out I was pregnant with baby no. 2 and again ballooned up to roughly 225 upon his birth. By baby no. 3 they said I was high risk due to my starting pregnancy weight of 231 - yup I never lost any of baby no. 2 weight. I really focused on my foods and ate well. Then month 5 came around and damn if I didn't blow up again! This time I went up to roughly 250. For the first year, I managed only to go down to 231 and stayed in a constant depression about how I used to look vs. how I now looked.
So, about 2.5 years ago, I started going to the gym at least 3 days a week. I watched carbs and calories and drank my water and I did well. I went from 230s to 207 as of last April 2014. Unfortunately, I had major marital issues over the summer and fall of 2014 and got off track. Eating/missing workouts. I have always joked I have a man's body. I build muscle easily and will never ever be petite. I joke I'm the Jolly Green Giant with my girlfriends because I love my heels and dresses and rock em well butttt I'm usually a good 6 inches taller than my friends and unfortunately men too!
From my knees down, my legs are in shape, very skinny feet. From my elbows down my arms are toned. I'm considered large chested, but I think it fits my frame well. My belly is too round, my butt is flat because my hips are too wide and I developed inner thigh fat. I guess I became the "apple" shape?
The day I went in for surgery, I weighed at home and was 223. Yes, I didn't meet my goal of 200 prior to surgery but we will get to that! Please be mindful that you are doing this for a specific part of your body and not the intention of weight loss because if not, you will be so disappointed.
So I was tired of the back pain. I think if I heard another DR or PT tell me to work on my core, I was seriously going to get violent! I've done more crunches, side crunches, ab rotation machines then I want to count! Nothing has worked. When I start hearing back surgery, injections.....I panic. Now I know there is no guarantee and my PS never offered a tummy tuck as a means to end the back condition but I just have this gut feeling that it will help me build the strength I need. Maybe I'm crazy?!? Well, yea I am, but in a good way! :)
My goal for the surgery was to remove the fat role so I could feel confident in my swim suits - and yes, this fatty has wore a bikini for years even with the mommy role. I always felt like, "if they don't like it, don't look!" I wanted to feel better about myself and wanted a more hour glass look. I have curves and want to rock them! I also pray that this helps me work on my core because I'm only 32 and I really don't want to go down the back surgery path. Owning my own walker since 29 is bad enough.
I weighed and was 223. Everything went according to plan - I think lol. I was out of it. I followed all directions. I remember hearing the nurses go on and on about "he took 6 lbs of belly" and 4 liters of fat", like it was a BIG deal?!? That night my surgeon called and repeated the info but I was so out of it, I took it in one ear and out the other. I was more worried about the "drainage" from my lipo areas. Yes you leak blood and fluid like crazy for about the first 12 hours or so post op. It is scary looking but you are OK! REMEMBER to keep trash bags under where you sit the first day or two.
The first time you take your compression garment off, have a chair near and trash can. I don't know if toxins are released or your circulation changes but I almost passed out. I broke out into a cold sweat and almost threw up but I managed to breathe through the 5 min spell. That was the one and only time I had a reaction to taking off my garment.
I had an extra "new" small backpack from my kids to keep my first aid supplies in so that they weren't scattered everywhere and I could throw on my shoulder if I wanted to move from floor to floor. I am OCD about clutter so out of sight out of mind works for me.
You don't have much appetite the first few days. I alternated water, Gatorade, meds, crackers the first day or two.
Totally GROSS but - it did hurt to sit and stand so unless I went no. 2 I peed in a cup. So much easier and less pain.
Miralax each morning you are on pain meds....start the very next morning!
Buy flushable wet wipes! I used these constantly. I think it was a 3 pack, I went through within the first week. I wiped with them, I washed my face, arms....just a fresh way to keep yourself as clean as possibly.
Monthly Friend - unfortunately Mother Nature is a real "B" and still shows up. Again the wet wipes help. Tampax is amazing....if you use liners well......ummm.....good luck with that!
You need protein - Dannon Greek 80 cal. yogurt is so yummy and great fro probiotics! I love them for breakfast and since you don't have much appetite it helps to take morning meds and something light on your belly.
Lunches: I bought premade salads; you dump the cheese, meat and dressing over the lettuce. I did this for roughage to make sure there was no constipation
Dinners: ugh I was at my husband's mercy and got stuck with grilled burgers most nights. (no bun) I think I'm happy to not have a cheese burger for the next 3 months. Don't try to cook - it will be too much on you the first 10 to 14 days!!!!!!!
House cleaner - I cleaned more then I did before giving birth prior to this surgery. I knew I could get away without a maid for a few weeks but I did interview a few and planned for one to come weeks 2, 3, 4, 6. Week 5 we are on vacation so she isn't needed.
COST: TT base was $8500, $400 Experal....I'm sure I spelled that incorrectly, extra garment $95, around $4000 for the body contouring lipo I had to bra line, outer hips, flanks..............plan this into your budget for post care along with take out food or whatever. My husband is worthless at cooking - seriously can't even make mac n cheese. His version of cleaning is taking the trash out when it's over flowing and dust bunnies in the corners are total OK. Not trying to bash him but it's the truth. The dude has no idea how much I work/clean in addition to running my business, keeping up with 3 kids and putting myself through school. Plan to have money for your meds incase your insurance doesn't cover something. Mine wouldn't cover Celebrex and I was out over $200. Not all companies are like this but mine was difficult. My maid service was another $500ish once all said and done, the premade foods maybe another $100 or so for a few weeks and the wet wipes were like $4.
I'm going on the 27th to begin "Embrace" a scar treatment (my choice) and this will be another thousand.
Today is week 2 and I am still moving slowly. I am really tired....more of a weakness. I am starting to make myself walk more and more each day because I start back to work Monday. I swell more in the afternoon around 2 to 3 pm if I do too much. Still tender sitting and standing and getting in and out of the car but nothing that isn't manageable. In fact, this all has been manageable from day 1. I don't have a single regret!!!! When I am able to post pictures, I will apologize if any look skanky....wasn't the intention but I wanted to get the complete flatness of my "whole" body. I'm not bashful after 3 kids.
Oh final thought - weight
so day 3 post op I managed to get to my second floor. ( I slept on the recliner on the first floor for a full week) for a shower. I weighed and was so depressed I was 224 naked. Anyway, swelling was intense and I didn't start to drop fluid until the following Thursday (1 week post op) I don't know what happened but I literally lost 4 lbs in one night. I was up and down going potty all night. It was crazy. Today 2 weeks post op I'm 210 naked. My guess is that I have peaked shedding the fluids. I do have swelling but doubtful I will really drop anymore. Again this wasn't for weight loss but to contour me.
Feel free to ask any questions. I've also had 2 breast surgeries. One was a full lift and reduction and the other was 5 months later (implants). Now I'm broke so this is it for a looonnnnggggg time. :)
PS these are really bad pictures of me, but real.....it is a major surgery and well you look about as good as you feel. I plan to post more as I continue to heal. OK, IDK why RealSelf has my pictures rotated....sorry.