Scheduled my surgery for Nov 5...beyond excited!...
Scheduled my surgery for Nov 5...beyond excited! Full tummy tuck with lipo of flanks and back. Now just working to drop 15 to 20 lbs in the next two months. Size 16, hoping to be standard size 12 after weight loss and surgery. Already lost 25 lbs through cutting calories (my fitness pal) and zumba. Taking 3.5 weeks off from work. Hoping that will be enough!
Less than 48 hours from now...
...but who's counting. LOL
I rented a power recliner from Rent-A-Center for $65 - three weeks. Based on several reviews I've read, I think recliner will be money well spent. I also bought a walker to help me get around for the first few days. All in all I think I'm prepared...mentally... I don't know. hahaha.... Apparently I'm a stress eater (never realized it before) because I've been consuming everything in sight. I lost 30 lbs in preparation for this surgery...probably put 5 back on over the last week or so. This tummy tuck and lipo will be part 2 of my journey. Part 3 will be dropping another 15 lbs post surgery. Then the final stage will be maintenance. I have "before" pics that I will post alongside my "afters".
...flat tummy, tomorrow...you're only a dayyy awayyyyy :)
Omg, omg, omg....
'Twas the night before tummy tuck...and all through the house....everyone was going bat shit crazy (with excitement)! Tomorrow is the big day y'all....see you on the flat side ;)
1 day post op. Really sore, but if I stay laying in this one position on the rented recliner, I'm ok. The results, even with swelling and this bigger....are Amazing! I.highly recommend Dr TATTELBAUM!
Wow, these pics. I should be ashamed of!
more pics..2 days post op
Thought you guys might appreciate the side by side comparison. My doctor is a magic maker!
5 days post op
Well I did something dumb. I tried on a pair of pants. Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. I'm all like....these are gonna be wayyyyy too big now. Lies! They don't even freaking fit! Even though I literally had 8 pounds of stomach cut off, I guess the swelling trumps all. And let's not even talk about the lies that scale is trying to tell me!!! I'm like, errrrrrr?????
love my doctor
First of all, the quick follow up to my phone calls are just amazing. He's so honest about what i should expect during recovery. The staff are super friendly and organized. Def top notch. And have you seen my pics???? He's a magician!!!
I am positive he won't be removing my drains. I'm still putting out over 100 ccs in a 24 hour period. Honestly, the drain doesn't bother me. It's not painful or anything. I'd much rather wait until he thinks I'm good and ready to remove it.
I have the best husband in the world. He is doing a fantastic job of taking care of our 11 month old as well as my needs. I hate just laying around doing nothing so when he's not looking, I.wash bottles and fold laundry. Lol.
One thing I am thinking about is asking my doc about laser on my few remaining stretch marks. They're still really new from pregnancy so they have pigment. I've read that the red ones respond well to laser. My husband thinks I need to just chill out. Lol. Oh, ladies.....any tips you can give me to help with my scar? Are those silicone strips worth it?
follow up appointment
Doc said I've been doing too much. My drainage output is much too high. So it looks like I will live with the drain one more week. I'm ok with that. It really doesn't bother me much. He loves the progress my body has made though. I can tell he is proud of his work :) I have developed a case of thrush of the mouth though, brought on by the antibiotics. He prescribed me a solution to swish around my mouth several times a day. Annoying, but whatever. I'm just so excited about how my body looks. We're already talking about boobs next year. That has always been in my plan :)
I week post op pics...
Numbness in my right thigh, hardness in certain spots of belly but I am.NOT COMPLAINING.
Starting to get a bit irritated. I put a call into the doc to see about removing my drain today instead of next Tuesday. Hopefully my output is low enough.
view from the back
Lipo sites. This is one week after surgery. Expecting even better contouring once swelling subsides.
scar at one week
As requested, here is my scar at one week post op..
side by side comp
My stomach literally used to sit in my lap.
I knew to expect is, but it doesn't make it any better. I'm feeling a little sad. I think it's because I can't do the things I normally do to take care of my family. I'm too afraid to ask my husband to do anything for me because he is doing soooooo much already. What I need is someone to give me a sponge bath. Just a moment ago I asked him to come close the door for me and the look on his face was like it was taking everything in him just to get up and close the bedroom door. You think I'm now gonna ask him to wash me up?! Nope. I'm sad.
The thing about these binders....
...they're real. Can't live with them, can't live without them. I was starting to worry that the lower back lipo was turning out all wrong. Seems that I wasn't wearing my binder tight enough. It was like I had this log of fluid that accumulated right above my butt and I was like errrr!!!!???? I started wearing my binder a bit lower to cover my hips a bit, then, panties, then spanks....and voila...my shape came back. The numbness in my right thigh is definitely still present. Some of the scabbing is falling off my belly button making it appear much smaller. I think I will ask my doc about this marble trick I keep hearing about. I weigh like 10 pounds more than I did pre-surgery, even though the doc said he cut off like 8 lbs of stomach and a couple pounds of lipo...guess it's due to all the swelling. I'm over my blues, but I've entered this realm of super boredom....sooo....I will post some pics for you guys :)
New pics from today..
I'm wearing my binder tighter now and I think that's helping with the swelling, but making sure not to make it too tight to cut off the much needed blood supply...
what I really look like...
Call me vain, but I thought you all would like to know I'm not a busted broad. Lol....although all these pre and post op pictures show me at my very worst, unshowered, and from the most
unflattering angles...I'm a decent looking chick in real life. Lol
guess who finally got her drain taken out??
This girl!.. It didn't hurt at all. It actually felt like relief! Finally was able to take a proper shower after 13 long days....feeling like a human now!
Sooo... Things are still coming along nicely. But since my drain was removed, I definitely notice more swelling. I also feel like I might have gained a pound or two from being so sedentary all of a sudden. I am trying to be very mindful of what I eat since I cannot exercise. The doctor did tell me at my last visit that based on my anatomy, it appears that my tummy won't stay super flat. I can already tell that the muscle tightening isn't as tight anymore. Nothing I can do about genetics. But he said I will still have a nice result. The body just has to find it's equilibrium. I'm ok with that. I plan to lose about 15 pounds.....hoping that will keep my tummy leaner.
did somebody say date night?
My first time leaving the house to go somewhere other than the doctor office!! Sure is nice to put on a dress and not have my tummy in my lap!
Scar from all angles. PO Day 16
Soooo... It's been a while since I really shopped. I was pregnant for nine months, struggled for five months to find anything that fit my new rounder shape, then for the last six months I've been planning my tummy tuck. It never made since to invest any real money in sizes I knew were transient. The largest I've ever been was maybe a size 20, though I can't be sure....I ceased any shopping at all once the 18 became tight. I was in an 18 five months post baby. Then I spent the next six months losing about 30 pounds. The weight actually came off much faster than that, but there were a few ups and downs in my struggle to maintain... An all inclusive (food and liquor) vacation...a couple of holidays...some simply weak moments, a calf injury... You catch my drift. Going into surgery I was probably down just 25 pounds....gaining 5 somewhere along the way. A snug, not tight, per se, size 16. So now here I am post surgery and I've gone shopping at 2.5 weeks post. It seems I'm now in a size 14...but a little snug through the breast area. While my new shape is TOTALLY wayyyyyyy more awesome and hourglassy, I still have some work to do. I am taking the residual swelling into account, but that has nothing to do with my top half. My goal is to lose and keep off another 15 pounds to be a standard size 12. That would put me at 185 (the upper limit of normal weight for my height of 5'9"). That's my fighting weight. Lol. I'll know I'm healthy, I look nice and shapely, I can comfortably walk into ANY store and wear ANY brand (the more exclusive designers max out at a 12). I'm not trying to rush it, but I'm waiting for the green light to exercise and hope to arrive at my goal just in time for spring shopping....and bikini season :)
Swelling, or is it weight gain?!
Ok, so my doc has mentioned to me on more than one occasion that when muscles are tightened during a tummy tuck, "loosening" of those muscles is to be expected to some degree. In his words "thin people tend to stay flat, medium people stretch back medium, and big people stretch even more. " For the record, he places me in the medium category. While I am considered plus size and overweight, I am tall (5'9") and my build/frame/proportions are such. Ok, so I drank two beers yesterday and felt immediately bloated...really uncomfortable. I figured my tummy would back down by morning...and it has some. But I dunno....today I'm feeling and looking fat! I definitely feel that muscles are less tight, albeit my skin is still tight. Meaning I obviously don't have as much flexibility to arch my back, for instance, due to all the skin that was excised. But underneath that skin I feel more "jiggle". I'll post some side by side photos so you can see what I mean. I'm wondering if others have felt this way at nearly 3 weeks post. I have an appt win my doc tomorrow and I will def address this. To be fair, I have been consuming more calories than usual while I'm just sitting around at home all day...and my activity level has been severely decreased. Having said all that, my challenge today is to keep a positive attitude (as I've learned that the 'beating yourself up' mindset only leads to even more poor choices) and return to the calorie counting method that helped me lose weight in the first place. Ugh. It's such a fine line, ya know....I can't "do too much" as I'm still healing, but I feel inclined to move around more to keep my metabolism moving...check out the pics and share your thoughts....I've tried to duplicate the original poses to give a true comparison.
Today marks 1 month post op!
Wow... time has really flown by! It's been exactly one month since my surgery and I'm doing very well. My scar is healing nicely. For the last week and a half I've been applying a combination of vitamin E oil and cocoa butter twice a day. The swelling comes and goes - I'm the flattest in the morning and slightly swollen at night, especially if I was very active. I haven't tried to start any exercise yet. I'm definitely walking upright and all that, but I just don't think I'm ready for vigorous activity. I'm going to wait 2 more weeks. Weight-wise I'm back to my pre-surgery weight, minus the 8 pounds that was removed. My goal is to lose 15 pounds or so. Honestly, I think I look really good NOW so I'm in no rush. Unlike before (pre-surgery), I don't look at myself with disgust when trying on clothes anymore. LOL. I've even reached into the far-far-far back of my closet and pulled out some dresses and pants I kept around from when I was much thinner years ago. Even when I was "fitting into" those clothes before, the difference in my overall shape now is night and day. Everything lays smoother and just looks neater.
So, as with everything in life...while I certainly look and feel great, there are some trade-offs. Obviously the scar. But it's nice and low and concealed easily. But I absolutely no feeling in the area surrounding my belly button all the way down to the scar. From what I've read, it's unlikely that I will ever regain sensation in that area. My right thigh is numb and tingly (in an annoying way) from about my hip to about a third of the way down my thigh. My doctor is hopeful that the feeling there will return (very slowly over time). The "pins and needles" feeling is a good sign that the nerves are "waking up" - unlike the middle, front section of my belly - no feeling whatsoever. But let me be VERY clear ladies....I would MUCH RATHER have a belly button that I can't feel rather than one I can't even SEE. lol. The loss of sensation, scar, and still my back and flanks are a bit sore - is ALL worth it to me. No doubt about that.
Anyway, just wanted to give you guys an update. I'm feeling great and back to my old self ;) I will post pics tonight!!
2 Months Post Op
It's been exactly two months since my tummy tuck and lipo of flanks and lower back. As a whole, I am still very happy with my results. But there have certainly been ups and downs. I'm still dealing with swelling. It comes and goes. The holidays have done a number on my weight. I think I've gained 10 pounds in the last two months so I'm feeling pretty down about that. I wear my compression garments here and there, though I don't think it really makes a difference in the swelling. I find the garments to be increasingly more annoying and uncomfortable. Now I just wear it when I want to look smooth in certain outfits. I exercised for the first time this week. The swelling after was unreal! I'm trying to work up the courage to get back into an exercise routine, swelling or no swelling. I can't allow these pounds to creep back on! The worst thing of all is the appearance of NEW stretch marks on my upper belly. I've researched the issue and most doctors will say this is impossible, but I'm here to tell you...it's real! I will try to capture a good pic for you guys. My scar is coming along pretty well. I have two little areas of spitting stitches that keep annoying me...kinda like an ingrown hair. I think they are clearing up though. My belly isn't nearly as tight as it was right after surgery, but the doc said that it to be expected. He also said to expect swelling to be at its worst around 12 weeks and improve from then on out. So to recap, I clearly look 100 times better than I did pre surgery. But it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing. I think my biggest issue is getting my eating under control (which helps minimize the swelling) and getting back into the swing of regular exercise (which helps me feel better overall).
2 Months pics
Scar progress, spitting stitches, weigh gain, new stretch marks in upper abdominal area.
2 Months Post op with clothes on...
Never have I ever been able to wear a dress this form fitting. Happy New Year!