I wasn't physically active until 5 years ago. My...
I wasn't physically active until 5 years ago. My weight was a yoyo between 120 to 125 lbs. But when I was pregnant with my 2 kids, I gained 40 lbs on each pregnancy! I didn't bother to take care of my body before, during and after my pregnancies. It wasn't my priority at that time. I was too busy raising my kids. I nursed my younger one until she was 2 years old.
When my weight went up to 130 lbs, I started being active and went to the gym 4 times a week. I lost 10 lbs and was very motivated. I also become an active runners and run marathons and ultra marathons. I didn't understand why my tummy still have pooch and so wrinkled, no matter how much exercise, push up, sit up and crunches I did. And my breasts were like deflated balloons. I checked with my doc and was told that the only way to fix it is through a plastic surgery. So I have a wishlist to do this mommy makeover for years.
It was hard to get support from people close to me because every time I mentioned my wish, they all think I'm crazy. Yes, I am fit and lean (clothed). But they don't know the struggles I have inside. So I kept the wish to myself.
When I went through my divorce that desire got even stronger. I talked to couple good running friends, I got nice supports from them. One had gone through it and advised me if I want to do it, do it soon before I get to old. I always remember what she said.
My boyfriend has been very supportive about it. He was the one recommending Dr. K to me. We went to his free consultation and Dr. K said I need BL, BA and TT. He confirmed there was a separation in my ab muscles.
The operation date was set on July 28, just 2 days after my marathon and 10 weeks before my next marathon. I could only hope everything went well.
So excited to do this. We're going shopping for my new boobies!
I already know I don't want too big. I'm quite active and need to move around easily (okay and large cup bras and sport bras are more expensive :)). The nurse offered 3 different options for me to try over a tight shirt: 300cc, 350cc and 400cc. After trying all 3, my bf and I agree 350 is the best option.
The Big Day!
2 days after I ran my marathon. Surgery was at 8 am. My bf and I arrived at 7:15. I was already asked to bring all my prescribed meds (antibiotic, pain killer, suppository, nausea tape that I had to put on a night before behind the ear), and wear over-the-knee compression socks.
After checked in and did the paperwork, the anesthesiologist came to explain his procedure. After that Dr. K came and drew on my tummy and areola. Nurse poked the IV on my arm. After saying goodbye to my bf to see him in 5-6 hours, I was brought in to the operating room. Okay, I was nervous because never in my life I had hospital procedures and never been totally sedated. In the room was just the nurse and the anesthesiologist. Nurse told me to lay down on a T- shape bed, put one arm on the left, and one in the right.
Suddenly I felt tons of bricks on my chest and heard voices of people talking next to me. When I opened my eyes, it was the nurse and...my dear bf! Operation was completed! Omg...all I remember was just ask to lay down put arm here and there. I hadn't even got chance to say a prayer, see Dr. K's face, lol. I found it very funny that I was out so quickly!
We went home right away, with a catheter and 5 drains attached to me, 2 on my boobies and 3 on my tummy. I wore surgical bra and binder. Walked slowly to the car. I was able to sit okay. At the house the bedroom is upstairs and thank goodness I was able to walk upstairs with no problem. Time to rest.
I must thank my dear bf who took off couple days from work to patiently take care of me, feed me, remind me of my meds, empty my drains and take me to all of my post-op appointments. He is the best nurse one could ever have!
First night I was awaken in the middle of the night with pain. I had to wake up my bf and asked for pain killer which I just took an hour ago he said. But it was so painful I had to take another one then I was able to continue my sleep. Bit other than that my healing and recovery have been great so far. I stopped pain killer on day 3, finished antibiotic on day 5, continued stool softener for 10 days.
Post-op visit is so far Day 1, 2, 3, 7, 9 and next at 1 month which is on 8/27.
On day 1 visit, nurse removed my catheter. That catheter was so helpful during my 1st day and 1st night home.
On day 3 visit, Dr. K checked my drains, looked good and removed all my drains! Yay, I can take a shower now. Again, my handsome nurse helped me with shower. Ah it felt so good and refreshing.
On day 7 visit, nurse removed the stitches on the areola and put steri-strip back on. I was then given a body suit to replace the binder. I love this bodysuit so much better than binder.
On day 9 visit, Dr. K removed stitches on tummy and put steri-strip back on. So far he said I'm healing great. He told me I can remove my steri-strip next week and start applying the scar cream I bought from his office called Biocorneum.
I've been blessed with almost no complication and considerably fast healing. Dr. K said my fit condition prior to the surgery contributes to this. Sometimes my breasts feel sore and needle poking pain especially on the right said. Dr. K said it is normal especially I'm right-handed. He said I can start walking on treadmill or stationary bike after 2 weeks, but I want to take my time and do it after 4 weeks. I'll start with super short and slow run just to test the water.
I took 2 weeks off from work, 7/28 to 8/10. Totally out of work on the first week. On 2nd week I worked from home using my laptop, but couple times I had to show up at work and sat for 4 hours on those days. Thankfully I was fine even though I didn't feel 100% comfortable yet. Mommy duties resumed as usual and I've been walking with my Westie dog on Week 2. A slow walk around the block for 15-30 mins.
Week 3 (8/10) I was back at work full time! Vacation is over. I missed my nap time! Day one at work was quite tiring. Took a power nap at lunch time. But every day is just getting better, except for last Thursday I wore heels too high and had to walk to the other buildings back and forth. Felt sore on my boobies and tummy stitches. Rested early that night.
I was being reminded by a dear friend who'd been through MM to take it easy and don't do too much too soon even though I feel great because my body and my stitches are still healing. She said it might stretch the stitches and make it look fat and thick. That scares me. Is that true? Anyway, I remind myself every day to not overdo things.
My old stretch marks are still visible on the left, right and below of my tummy stitches. They are just a great reminder that I'm a mommy to these wonderful 2 kids! My stitches look dry and healing (a bit raised though) but my daughter said I look like a Frankenstein, lol! I applied scar cream I bought from Dr. K's office called Biocorneum, twice a day.
Can't believe today is Day 18 post-op! Can't wait for my 1 month check on 8/27.
I'll attached pictures separately.
Progress Pictures - Day 11 to 18
I remind myself I need to be patient. Every day is getting better.
3 Weeks Post-op
Every day seems to be getting better, but not much significant change. Work and duties as usual. One thing I notice when I cough or sneeze it doesn't hurt like before. I guess that's one sign of inside healing.
Sometimes looking in the mirror, still frustrated why the stitches are a bit raised and puckered. Lower tummy is not super flat yet. Looking good overall though. Hope when it heals everything will look even better.
Breasts are still up high especially the left one. But can't wait to buy regular bras this weekend. I think I'm cup C or D now.
This weekend I went for bra shopping. I'm tired of wearing thick strap surgical bra to work. It limits my wardrobe choices. I don't want to spend too much on it cos my breasts haven't settled yet. So I just went to Marshalls and Ross.
My choices were limited there especially looking for no underwires ones. And if there were any, the models weren't cute at all, but it's okay. My priority at this moment is comfort. I tried 34C and 34D and they fit me nicely.
I ended up with 7 bras (2 no wires + 5 underwired), a corset and few undies. Total all those = 1 set of Victoria's Secret bra/undies I believe :)
It feels great to wear regular bras to work. I can wear my dresses again. I don't look much different clothed. People won't notice the changes. But the good feeling inside, only I can feel it and that's what this is all about.
Today marks my 4th week post-op! Time does fly. I've been walking my dog for 15 mins to gradually an hour since week 2. Slow walk. But today is the first time I spinned on my indoor bike for a good 40 mins! Started slowly and gradually increase some speed but still overall moderate. I felt great and I know I could keep going but I reminded myself not to overdo it too soon. My BF reminded me that too. I noticed after the workout my stitches raised a bit more but after shower it went down. I will try to run on Thursday and see how I feel. Excited to be able to be active again.
1-month Post-op Check
Today I went to see Dr. K for my one month check. He examined my stitches and overall look. He said my recovery looks great and faster than average which I'm happy to hear.
He then gave me a clearance to do my regular activities and workout such as running, but in moderation at first and wear compression garment during exercise for now. He asked me to wait for another month for sit-ups, crunches, push-ups and other core exercises.
My breasts are still high and a bit uneven, left is slightly bigger than the right. I understand that they are not settled yet. He told me to continue with the massage and bra-less few hours a day at home to let gravity helps with the dropping. No underwired bras yet. He reminded me that breasts are like sisters, not twins, naturally or by augmentation. So can't expect them to be exactly the same. I'm fine as long as it's not significant.
Swelling on lower tummy should be better the next couple months. One thing I forgot to ask was could he have cut the incision lower. I feel like my tummy incision is a bit high and preventing me from wearing a low cut undies or bikini bottom. I know it's too late now anyway. But i didn't know that I could request that until I read several reviews on RS. And today I read on his manual that I could discuss that with him. I never knew that and I wish Dr. K could have told me or brought up the subject so I could have requested it couple inches lower. That's all my disappointment.
Overall feel great today. Did my indoor spinning again this morning for 40 mins. Will post pictures later or tomorrow. Have a great day!
Sport Bra Shopping! (Okay, tried on some bikinis too)
Dr. K said I can run but I need a sport bra to do so! So after work today went to Target to try some on and while there tried on some bikinis too. But it's end of the season and not many left :(
Honestly, bra and bikini shopping are fun! Happy with my boobs size and flat tummy appearance. Never imagine I could have all these wishlist items come to reality.
I'm excited to start running again. Will go easy and see how I feel. Have a nice weekend!
My First Run
Today I woke up feeling excited. Wore my CG and sport bra. Then my running top and skort. Made breakfast for me and my son. While my bf went for a 9-hour training run for his 100-mile race in Oct, I drove my son to his cross country meet in the morning.
While waiting for him I used the time to running around the big park. I started slow. Tummy felt fine just that some weird funny feeling on my chest. It took me several minutes to get used to that feeling. I made sure I maintained the slower pace and listened to my body.
Originally I only wanted to start with 2 miles. Then I thought why don't I just round it up to 30 mins. By the time 30 mins up, it was 2.6 miles, so I said let's make it to 3 miles and stop there. And I did.
I examined how my body felt, checked on stitches too. Everything felt normal and good. I will gradually add mileage but will stay at slower pace for couple more weeks.
Wore a nice black dress this evening and went to Napa with my bf and our close friends to celebrate their birthday and anniversary at Auberge du Soleil. It was such a wonderful evening, fabulous place, great food and lovely companions.
Good night, everyone!
First Longer Run
Today marks my 5.5 weeks. Dr. K gave me clearance to resume to my workout at week 4. I did 3 miles on Tuesday, 3 miles on Thursday, walking on Monday and Wednesday.
Today for the first time after surgery I went running with my running group. I miss running with my group. They all ran 13.5 to 14.5 miles in preparation of Dec Marathon, while I only ran 6 miles and with slower pace group. I'm being conservative here.
I felt great after each run, but can't help to feel worried if I did any damage on the inside. Swelling on lower ab is still on and off. I wonder if it will go away or will that be just my final look. On each run I wear my girdle and sport bra. Special today I added binder and extra bra just to be more secured :)
Would love to hear RS friends here with their workout/running experience 4-6 weeks post-op. Please kindly share.
Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!
6 Weeks Post-op
10 Sep 2015
2 months post
Last Tuesday 9/8 marks my 6 weeks post-op. Dr. K cleared me from wearing CG since week 4 but I still kept it on until week 6. But I've been CG free for the past 4 days now and loving it. I've weaned myself from my "security blanket" :). Except when I'm running I still wear my CG or binder.
On Monday I went to a dinner gathering at friend's house and for the first time wearing summer dress that shows cleavage. However, I wasn't confident enough to do that. I felt too much cleavage showing even though my bf though it wasn't and he loved it. And my daughter said, mama you have it, so flaunt it. I guess I'm not used to it yet, lol. So I ended up adding a tank top underneath to cover it. (Duh).
I've been adding mileage and pace on my run as well. 2.5 miles on Tue at 9:42 pace and 4 miles today at 10:11 pace. This Saturday I will be running 10 miles with the group, then followed by a pool party! But I can't wear my bikini yet cos my belly button still has stitch mark.
Breasts still a bit high and feeling tight morning boobs daily. Massage helps to make it feel better. That's my update for today.
My First Race Post-op
13 Sep 2015
2 months post
Very nice weekend with 2 runs back-to-back! On Saturday I ran 8 miles with my 10:30 pace group. Felt great. Then my good friend invited me and my bf to join her race on Sunday, Rock the 80's.
My bf needs a recovery run after his 42 miles of training run so we signed up for a 10K just a day before. We used it as recovery run and training, so we didn't race too fast. It was a fun small race and many people dressed in the 80s styles.
Tummy and breasts felt fine, just the usual soreness. I think I'm ready to go back to my original marathon training!
Hope this week is even better than last week. Happy recovery to everyone.
2 Months Post-op (8 weeks)
23 Sep 2015
2 months post
I've been very busy at work, kids and training. I need more weekends!
I got sold by Shefit ads on FB. It looks very versatile and adjustible. I ordered one to try on my long run last Sat. I measured my chest amd rib cage as instructed and fell between their Small and Medium so I went with Medium. When it came on Thursday I opened it and man..just the bra itself was so heavy like an armor vest. I tried them on and adjusted the rib cage band and shoulder straps. It was not a good fit. When I tightened the rib cage band, it puts lots of pressure on my boobs creating side boobs. But if I dont, it is loose. And when I put running shirt over it, it makes me look so big chested and bulky. I guess this bra isn't designed for running. It's more for gym wear maybe. I'm going to return it. Bummer, I was hoping for a good fit.
During weekdays I was able to run 3-5 miles between 8 to 10 mins pace. I went for a long run last Sat, 15 miles at 11 mins average. I wore my girdle and sport bra as usual. It felt good. I don't feel any pain. And on Sunday I went with my girlfriends to this local Women's expo where you do Yoga, Barre and Zumba, and they fed us breakfast and mimosa, lucky prize and all. It was a fun event. I love the workout especially. I haven't been back to yoga since surgery so it was a good 7 weeks. Boy, I felt all the stretch and it felt good. I was surprised I was able to do some crunches and planks. But when I did push up my chest muscles felt so funny! I did on toe pushup and every time I went down, my chest muscles contracted and funny shaking feeling so I could only go down a little bit then back up. Okay that one gotta wait few more weeks.
Come Mon day morning I felt my tummy was swelling a bit more than usual. Soreness on the incision line. I knew it probably from doing too much of a workout the past 2 days. Hope it would go away, but I still felt swelling yesterday (Tuesday) so I called Dr. K's office to make an appointment on Thursday (tomorrow) just to be safe. I put my girdle back on since last night.
So far my tummy hasn't been flat the way I expect it to be. I know they said wait 3-6 months, but sometimes feel frustrated looking in the mirror and don't see what you wish to see, even though yes current figure is already much better than pre-op. And I read an answer from one doctor about this that we have to understand how is our anatomy before the surgery and also genetic. As far as I remember even when I was a skinny teenager, I had never had a super flat tummy. And looking at my super petite aunties, they all also have some bumps. So I have to accept the fact that my tummy would never be super flat. But just hope it's not swelling and preggo-like :)
Breasts are still asymmetric. Left side is bigger and lower. Upper poles are still a bit high and bumpy. Belly button is still showing stitch mark but never gives any problem.
2.5 weeks until my Chicago Marathon! Btw....I got into Tokyo Marathon lottery!!! So excited, race will be on Feb 28, 2016.
That's my update for now. Will hear what Dr. K says tomorrow. Happy healing to all of you.
8 weeks Swelling - Doctor's Check
25 Sep 2015
2 months post
Went to PS yesterday to check my swelling. Actually yesterday the swelling was a but better. PS said it's from overdoing the activities. No damage on the inside. He said to tone it down for few days. Running can continue but NO yoga and core exercise yet until about 6 months post-op. Yoga has many poses that are not good for TT recovery, well unless you modify it. Normal running stretches are fine. I just feel relieved as soon as he said running can continue :) and wear girdle during night and exercise.
Okay...some headless naked pics are due :D. Have a nice weekend, everyone!
First Half Marathon Race - 9 Weeks Post-op
Hope everyone's healing well.
Every week is a busy week. Yesterday I did my half marathon race. First time I ran without CG because I didn't want to deal with the hassle when you go potty in the middle of the race, pulling up CG when you are sweating is a real struggle!
I was able to complete the race in 2 hours and 2 minutes which is very close to my pre-op time. And no problem for not wearing CG either. Looks like I'm back to full force (except still want to wait few more weeks before trying on core workout). I now have more confident in doing my full marathon this coming Sunday.
That's all the update I have for now. Have a great week!
First Marathon Race Post-op - 10 weeks
16 Oct 2015
3 months post
I did it! I ran the Chicago Marathon the past Sunday and finished strong at 4:29, not my personal record (PR), but I'm so happy considering I just had MMO 10 weeks ago and hadn't trained as much as I should have been.
Tummy and breasts felt like normal. I wore Under Armour bra I just bought a day before the race, max support.
Attaching you with some pictures from the race and progress of my recovery. No significant changes from few weeks before. Can't wait for the stitches to fade away!
Have a nice weekend and happy healing!