6 weeks post op and feeling good!

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I had two C-sections two years apart which...

I had two C-sections two years apart which resulted in a big loose tummy, diastasis recti and an umbilical hernia. My primary doctor encouraged me to have the hernia repaired so I didn't end up having emergency surgery. When I visited the general surgeon, I asked if he could fix the muscles and I didn't like his options. He told me about a new procedure but didn't know much about results since it's so new. So, I started thinking about seeing a plastic surgeon. My youngest was only two so I put it aside for a couple of years until recently when my hernia started really hurting me whenever I exercise or wear certain pants that constrict my belly.

So recently I went to a couple more PS and finally decided to go for it! Now, I can't wait to have my old belly back. I never had tiny thighs but I did always have a super tiny waist. So it has been very difficult for me to have this new body, since having kids. I'm looking forward to fixing this dang hernia and getting my slim waist back and finally be able to exercise for real! I would love to lose more weight before my surgery, as I've read a lot of people do, but in my case I can't really exercise much. It looks like I'll be 146 lbs going in (I"m 5'4"). Hopefully I'll be one of the lucky ones that lose weight during recovery ;)

One week from my TT and I've been so busy getting...

One week from my TT and I've been so busy getting things ready that I haven't been too nervous this week. My husband is out of town all week so I'm alone with the kids and hat doesn't give me much time to think about it. I've been making food and freezing it for the fam and have a list of low sodium meals that I'll be having that I still need to make. I also got plain instant oatmeal, oyster crackers, applesauce, pudding, plain yogurt, and lots of frozen fruit- ESP pineapple - and a single serving blender for my non-cooking husband to prepare me smoothies.

I have been researching arnica and bromelaine to find the best price. It's confusing. I'd love to hear any tips or experience as I'm afraid to buy at the wrong place and find out I spent way too much. It's expensive! I bought a neck pillow and mattress protector at Bed Bath & Beyond last night but I still need to order or find a wedge pillow. I looked at the armchair-like ones at BB&B and they did NOT look comfy to sleep on at all. I'm a tummy sleeper and this is one of my big worries. We don't own a recliner and I canceled the hospital bed and decided to try it out in my bed. If we need to we can make adjustments later, after I know what's working.

Anyway, just checking in at the one week countdown!

2 1/2 days to got! My husband went out of town...

2 1/2 days to got! My husband went out of town this morning for the next 3 days and returns the night before my surgery so we spent yesterday walking through the house. It's pretty funny how little he knows. I'm telling him, "this is how you put the detergent in the washer", and "this is where the kids lunch boxes are". Hopefully there aren't any laundry mishaps! Luckily my 6 y.o. is a little mommy and will guide him along. She probably knows more about the house work than him!

I've luckily kept busy with last purchases & errands, laundry, making & freezing food, and touching base friends I won't see in awhile, so I haven't thought about it much. But everyone once in a while I see the calendar and think, Oh My Gosh! 3 days! I'm excited to have it almost done and behind me but I also get nervous.

I've been taking arnica Montana, vitamin C, colace, and lots of water so that everything is cleared out and running well on surgery day.

2 days to go and still keeping my mind busy on...

2 days to go and still keeping my mind busy on other things. I really didn't know if I'd have the nerve to post pics but it's getting so close and I want to be able to look back on the before so I can appreciate my results! So, here they are (I think).

Yuck, I can't look at those before pictures. I...

Yuck, I can't look at those before pictures. I might need to try to take some more. I'm not that huge! I was proud of myself for loosing 2 lbs this past week after plateauing for awhile and then I took those awful pictures of my belly up close. Boy are they going to make me feel good afterward!

So I'm at 144 today and have a couple more days to lose maybe another pound. It's probaby just the low sodium diet and water weight loss but that's okay. I find that any excercise has become too painful AND to top it off, we went kayaking in paddle kayaks a few weeks ago and I somehow managed to tear or strain some thing in my calf so I've been limited by that and have to heat it several times a day. Such a bummer!

Today, I bought my last items on my list except for the fresh food that I'll get tomorrow. I got a toilet riser and gas x. Took my 4 y.o. to soccer, picked up my kindergartener, hosted a class play date at the playground, took my daughter to gymnastics, went to dinner, did laundry, put the kids to bed and then it was like my body said, okay we're done. I've been running around, cooking extra meals, cleaning house, volunteering extra in my daughter's class because I feel guilty that I'll be out for awhile, and I'm tired. I'm okay with the prep that I've done and tomorrow night my hubby gets home and I'll be happy to turn the reins over to him for a week. Normally I would get sick but I think because ive been eating so well and taking vitamin C, I'm healthy as ever. Thank goodness.

Now, pray I can sleep the next 2 nights. I think I'm getting excited.

Getting nervous, excited, anxious for tomorrow to...

Getting nervous, excited, anxious for tomorrow to come. I feel good about all the prep that I did. Ran final errands today, got my eyebrows waxed, washed my car, got some ginger ale. Told my dad today (about the hernia) and my kids. My 4 y.o. said he would take good care of me and my 6 y.o. was worried I wasn't going to be eating if I was sleeping a lot. So cute! I feel like everything is going to go fine now. Hubby is on his airplane home - delayed a couple hours but home in time to take me to the surgical center :) Tomorrow I check in at 9 am.

2 days post op Well, I made it through surgery...

2 days post op

Well, I made it through surgery and stayed overnight in the surgical center. When I got there they had me put on compression stockings, booties and a drape and the doctor drew all over my belly and "flanks". I got my IV and they walked me to the OR where I laid down on a heated bed (the room was freezing) and that is all I remember. I woke up in the recovery area and never felt any pain, never got sick or anything. Oh, forgot to mention I was one of the lucky ones that got my period the night before and it wasn't a big deal. I brought pads with me. Tampons won't work if your getting a catheter.

They put a movie on for me a few hours later but I was dosing on and off most of the time. I ate saltines before taking the pain pills and had a little chicken noodle soup too. I slept pretty well there and in the morning they dressed me and wheeled me to the car. The car ride has probably been the most unpleasant thing so far.

My sweet husband has been my nurse since I got home. I am sleeping in our guest room and am using all of the pillows. I went for a walk into our bedroom and there is this big king-sized bed with one little pillow on it. So sweet. My youngest is very curious about everything I have in here and hanging from me but my 6 y.o. doesn't want anything to do with this room. I'm just trying to remember that it is just like her and she was the one seemed concerned when I told them so she's probably just a little scared.

Overall, it looks like my tummy is very small, although it is under my binder and a bunch of dressings until my post op next week. I feel much better than I expected to and am SO happy the surgery is behind me!

3 days post op Had a little bit of a rough time...

3 days post op

Had a little bit of a rough time last night with gas pain and nausea but finally got to sleep and had a good long sleep. I'm moving around a lot more, went downstairs for awhile and I could do more but I'm going to take it nice and slow so it stays this way. Probably the best thing is that my drugs knock me out so I'm getting tons of sleep.

I have to say if anyone is considering getting a walker- do it! I can walk around fine but if I didn't have the walker I'd be in lots of pain.

Still no BM but taking colace bad eating well. I'm adding more fruit today and miralax(I think that's what it's called). Oh, and I had COFFEE this morning!

Day 4 post op Lots of progress over the past 24...

Day 4 post op

Lots of progress over the past 24 hrs... Had a BM (thank god), stayed up all day, and moved around a whole lot more probably because I didn't take any pain meds until about 8pm when I finally took some extra strength Tylenol. I washed and blew dried my hair and Put on a little make up. My in-laws came by to get my 4 yr old for a few days. I'm eating a little more but still small meals but more frequently. I'm trying to mix in lots of fruit and veggies throughout the day so I stay regular. My stomach was making some crazy sounds yesterday and that has subsided today also.

Tomorrow I have an appt in the morning with my ps so I'll lose the pain pump and maybe also my drains (fingers crossed). I'm actually okay if only one comes out so I don't have complications since its been so easy so far! Also, I'll get to see my belly! I haven't seen it yet so tomorrow is a big day. Hope I sleep well;)

Good luck to those out there getting ready for surgery or in early recovery stages. Night night.

Day 5 post op Many milestones to share today! ...

Day 5 post op

Many milestones to share today! Had my follow up and got the pain pump and one drain removed. I'll get the other out on Thursday and that is okay - better than having problems with fluid later! Got to see my tummy and it's flat! My belly button is centered and very cute. My swelling isn't that bad. I got my bandages changed and came home and took my first shower! Oh heaven :). I'm pretty wiped out so I took another pain med and am going to nap after this update. I got a pic before my shower and will try post that later today. The dr also suggested someone for lymphatic massage and I've read good things about that so that was good although I'm not sure how soon I can do that. Does anyone know?

I did a little too much yesterday and didn't take anything and last night I was uncomfortable so I'm going to try to take it down a notch today.

I feel so good right now. I know how my result will look and I know I can handle this recovery. No more unknowns! And I'm very happy! I feel so much relief right now. I wouldn't let myself enjoy this until now. Now I'm going to get some rest and enjoy this feeling. Ahhhhhhhhh ;)

Adding new photos

Adding new photos

So after feeling so great earlier, I did nothing...

So after feeling so great earlier, I did nothing the rest of the day and starting getting uncomfortable. Took a pain pill and will get rest tonight to see what tomorrow brings :)

6 days post op Haven't done much the past day...

6 days post op

Haven't done much the past day and a half and have had more discomfort and some pain. Just trying to take it as it comes and listen to my body. I didn't sleep well last night and I'm sure that has something to do with it but I think it's going to be a roller coaster ride. My butt is getting sore from sitting on it so much and I'm getting bored and feeling bad about doing nothing. My husband works at home and I'm self conscious about staying on the couch and in bed all day while he works. Tomorrow I get my last drain out and my 4 yr old comes home from my in laws, so I'm hoping this rest will store up some energy and pay off in a day or two.

I'm still not eating much and nothing sounds great to me, partly because I'm afraid of salt right now and have managed my swelling pretty well so far.

1 week post op Slept better last night and am...

1 week post op

Slept better last night and am back to taking Percocet once at night and first thing in the morning and I'm doing much better that way. I was trying to cut out the percocet to early I think, and was in too much pain. I'm using the extra strength tylenol during the day and I'll stick with that for now so I can move around better.

I'm about to go get another shower! Yea! I was down yesterday and didn't even feel like getting a shower. But today I'm going to get my last drain out (I think) so I have something to look forward to :) I'll try to get more pictures too.

The rest of the day was better than the past 2...

The rest of the day was better than the past 2 days (thank goodness)! I got a long shower, shaved, blew out my hair and put on make up. It's amazing how much that alone does for my psyche! Got last drain removed and was told I don't need the big dressings in there anymore so I felt naked leaving the office! I go back in 2 weeks and have to wear my binder until then. Honestly without the dressings, tubes, and silly fanny pack with my drains I felt free as a bird.

Got quick lunch out with hubby and went to neighbors and caught up chatting for an hour while the kids played. Hubby took my daughter to tennis lessons and I rested until my in laws came over with my youngest. It was so great to see him and get out and be social! It was a beautiful day and we even went out for dinner. I got the item that seemed the lowest in sodium but god only knows eating out!

Now I wait until morning to see if I've completely overdone it. It doesn't feel like it right now. Took a pain pill and hoping to sleep well again tonight ;)

Took pics today and will post them soon.

9 days po Had a great day two days ago where I...

9 days po
Had a great day two days ago where I felt almost normal energy-wise, pain-wise, mobility-wise. Then yesterday I started out strong, got a shower and then had no energy left. I decided to listen to my body and did NOTHING but sit around, nap, and rest. It was so boring but I'm trying to remember that I'm still only 1 week out.

Today I woke up rested. I took a pain pill at 3am because I've been waking up in pain and decided to try adding that pill. It helped me sleep a whole lot better. Then I took another one at 8am to get myself moving. For the rest of the day the extra strength tylenol works fine. I'm learning that I need to use the pain pills longer than I was initially planning and I need them to be able to heal and be mobile. I'll be glad when I can stop taking them though. Not that they bother me that much. I don't slur or do anything stupid but when I asked my husband he said I do have a kind of blank look when I'm on them. Yuck. I must be so much fun to hang out with right now! :)

Anyway, I am feeling good today. It really is one step forward two steps back but eventually I will get back to normal. My neighbor had a TT & BA about 2 months ago and she is back to normal so that gives me hope when I feel like things are moving too slow. There are things I want to do with my family that I'm missing right now and I like to be active so it is a bit of a challenge. I have to constantly remind myself that this is temporary. And it is.

Hope everyone else is doing well! Especially those in the early snow ;) I'm adding a couple of pics but I they are already old and I think I'm looking better. I am a bit swollen in these from a couple of days ago.

I keep forgetting to add that I have lost more...

I keep forgetting to add that I have lost more weight! I lost 4 lbs in the week before my surgery from just eating clean, low sodium and not eating out, and am now down to 141. Not my ultimate goal but it is only 1 lb over where I was before my first baby! I had gained a few even before she came along ;) Would like to keep losing although my appetite is back, but I've done most of it slowly over the past 8-9 months so I know I can keep going and lose another 5-10 lbs! Yea!

11 days p.o. I've been much more active and...

11 days p.o.
I've been much more active and feeling good the last 2 days. Went to the pumpkin patch and lunch on Sunday - out for over 3 hours, and then napped and laid low the rest of the day. But I made dinner and helped put the kids down last night.

Today I went to the kindergarten costume parade in the morning and drove for the first time and picked her up from school. It felt great to be independent again and my daughter was so cute when she saw me there! I really feel a whole lot better! Last night was my last Percocet at about 10pm and didn't need one overnight or first thing like I have been. I just took Tylenol this morning and nothing since. It's awesome to have the pain subside. I may even go trick or treating for a bit tonight.

2 week p.o. update I've been a bit drained,...

2 week p.o. update
I've been a bit drained, tired, and a little sore the past couple of days. I've been watching some changes to my incision and belly button and finally called the dr today so I can take care of it if it is necrosis. I wonder if that is it, if that might be the reason why I've been a little sore. It's a different sore though - I haven't had to go back to heavy meds but am just sore and tired and not up to as much. Bummer. I really don't want the dr to mess around with my BB. I'm not as concerned about the incision...unless I need to have some really "work" done there. I just want to know if it's okay or I need to have something done and catch it early. I've looked at some pics of necrosis and read stories on realself and it looks like that might be it, albeit in the early stages.

Aside from that, I've been pretty good. I only need Percocet right at bedtime to sleep and even tried sleeping on my side, although it didn't last long. I'm looking forward to sleeping on my tummy again one day! I have been driving, driving kids around, going out to dinner, drinking occasional glass of wine, cooking, laundry, chores, etc. Starting to get closer to normal. My hubby has to travel a couple days next week so I'm in for a rude awakening. I've been able to sleep in a little while he gets the kids started and tons of help getting them to school so doing it alone is going to be tough. I have almost another week to prepare.

Hopefully this worry about my incision and BB is nothing but I'll post an update when I know. I'll post pics soon. Just haven't taken new ones yet.

16 days p.o. (I think) Well, I saw my p.s....

16 days p.o. (I think)
Well, I saw my p.s. partner yesterday since my dr was in surgery all day and am feeling much better about my bb. He said to clean it out every day with a Q-tip with a drop of Neosporin and stuff a little gauze in there. Then when I take it out at the end of the day it will remove the fluid (which I believe was the beginning of an infection or something that needed to come out anyway). It already looks better today, whew! He said my incision looks good and the purple that I'm seeing is just the marker that was used to mark me up. Got a little paranoid on this one!

Other than that, my pain is considerably less every day. I have 3 pain pills left that I've been taking at bedtime and I might not even fill the Rx again. Tylenol does the trick for me now. I have one more week in my binder - which is a new one! They gave me a new one yesterday since my was gross. Yea! Right now, although it's a little bit of a pain and limits what I can wear, I don't feel great without my binder so I'm happy to wear it another week. I think at the end of the week though, I'll be ready to toss it. I already have a couple of flexees to wear afterward. My dr said he doesn't require me to wear anything after the end of the 3 weeks in the binder but I know I'll want it for awhile.

My appetite is WAY back! I have been eating all kinds of stuff that I don't often eat - pizza, pulled pork w/cole slaw, pirate booty, pasta. I've had a huge appetite, which I hope is just part of healing. But so far I've only gained a pound or two back...still hovering around 142-143 (was down to 141). But I'm also pretty swollen right now. I think I've heard that the swelling peaks around 2 weeks. That would be nice, but I know it's temporary so its not bothering me too much. Just as long as it _does_ go away ;)

Hope everyone else is doing well in their recovery or preparations!

My photos seem to have disappeared. I'll try to repost them. Hmmm.

18 days p.o. Just a quick update. My bb is doing...

18 days p.o.
Just a quick update. My bb is doing MUCH better since cleaning it out and "packing" it with gauze. My incision is almost completely closed and just covered with scabs so coming along just fine. My biggest problem is that I came down with an awful head cold over the weekend. With all the vitamins and healthy eating (which I suppose hasn't been as healthy as of late) I can't believe I got sick NOW! It's a hard one but the coughing is not as bad as it was in the first week and I've learned how to do a pseudo-cough by basically clearing my throat to avoid the muscle pain. My 3 week week post op is this week, in two days, so I'll update again then with pics.

20 days p.o. I've been feeling pretty good the...

20 days p.o.
I've been feeling pretty good the past two days and recovering from a nasty cold. I was able to stifle all but a few sneezes, which hurt, but on the tail end I had a hard time not coughing. It hurts when it's over and over! Ugh! Glad to be doing much better today and slept last night without anything- no Percocet, tylenol or NyQuil. Au naturel! I'm getting stiff sleeping on my back tho. I have slept for a few short stints- 20 minutes or so at a time- on my side but it's still not super comfy and just feels wrong. So, I'm still inclined on my back. It's not as bad as I was expecting (since I'm a serious tummy sleeper) but I'm starting to be over this way of sleeping.

Had my 3-week post op today and my doctor said convincingly that he thought I would have an excellent result. He said I'm pretty swollen - he seems to think its worse than I realize. So, he said to keep the binder on for another week and then if I want I can wear my flexees CG. He did say he expected the swelling to go down considerably over the next 3 weeks. He said I need to start massaging my BB and incision and showed me how. Now that was weird! I haven't touched let alone put pressure on either! In fact, my BB had a little blood inside when I left. Ugh, not sure how that's going to go. I asked if I can or should put anything on it and he said just vitamin E oil. Now, I didn't want to question him but I've read that vitamin E was not good? Has anyone heard either way?

Overall my energy level is continuing to get better. I live close to my old life from 7 am to about 2pm and I lay down as long as the kids allow, sometimes until 4 or 5 pm. Then I can make it to out the kids down and get to bed around 9 pm. I'm just stiff and tight but not in pain. I can have short periods of discomfort in my BB area or a quick tug at the end of my incision but nothing bad. And occasionally I just feel sore and take a Tylenol. My appetite continues to be big right now and I just take it as a sign of healing and try not to go overboard. I am back at 141 and swollen so as long as I don't blow it and the swelling eventually goes away, I'll be in the 130's soon :)

Sorry for the long post. Hope everyone is feeling well and keeping their spirits up! I'll take a new pic in the morning.

Adding new pics

Adding new pics

3 weeks, 2 days p.o. I started massaging my...

3 weeks, 2 days p.o.
I started massaging my tummy, scar, and BB after my appt this week and using palmers vitamin E oil in my incision scar and all of the remaining scabs were gone in a day or two. It felt weird at first and lumpy (I have that ridge of hardness along my scar that everyone talks about), but I can tell it is really going to help. I wear my binder for another 5 days and then I'll try my flexees garment. I got the one that starts under the bra with shoulder straps and goes mid thigh. I started once last week to try it on and decided it might be too traumatic. It was clearly going to be hard to get on. I got it before surgery and it was tight then and now I'm swollen and stiff so of course it's hard! Luckily I also bought one that is like a corset and clips up the front easily. Either way, I am excited about moving on but a little anxious about giving up the binder. I think I'll continue to wear it at night at least.

Otherwise, I just wish I could stand up a bit more straight. I'm close enough enough that it is unnoticeable to anyone else during the day but late in the day it is more obvious. I'm working on it! At least I'm not having back pain, just stiffness.

And my biggest problem I think right now is that I really want to sleep on my side. I sleep good about every other night and on the other nights I have string urges to sleep on my side and nothing else is comfortable. I did start seeping flat and that is nice but side sleeping still feels like I'm hurting something or messing up my scar. Hopefully soon!

My appetite is still strong and I'm keeping the weight off so that is good! Overall, glad to be out of the woods and also looking forward to later stages of recovery and not feeling sooooo stiff.

So yesterday I decided to forego the binder and...

So yesterday I decided to forego the binder and wear my flexees garment that goes from ribcage to mid-thigh for a birthday party with my daughter. I know I've read various reports about the crotch hole possibly not being large enough but I was determined to make it work and not remove the whole thing to go potty. Well, I felt like my 4- yr old son that is constantly getting his pants wet while going potty due to bad aim. It was impossible and I was paranoid all day that I smelled like piss! So miserable walking around feeling like I wet myself! I came home and took the thing off and tried cutting the hole a little bigger. Now I'll wash it and see if I might be up for round 2. Round 1 goes to the CG. Needless to say I went back to my trusty binder today.

4 weeks p.o. In some ways I can't believe it's...

4 weeks p.o.
In some ways I can't believe it's already been a month and it also feels like an eternity since my Sx. Had some milestones and ah-ha moments this week to report. Well, first there was the spanx incident on Sunday. Haven't had the nerve to give it another try yet. But, I did go comando (no binder) for a few hours Monday morning and today I've been commando all day - although I think I'm gonna put my binder on soon. I'm a little sore but I've been running around a lot today too. My plan is to do a little more every day rather than going cold turkey. Plus, I'm gonna have to give the spanx another shot eventually.

I had a couple of ah-ha moments too. I discovered sometime between 2-3 weeks that a couple of my jeans fit fine and wore them for a few hours each but I've worn them for whole days now without problems and over my binder. Also, I tried on a bunch more pants and some are hanging off of me! Plus, I tried on some shirts I haven't been able to wear for years and they fit and looked great! That was awesome!!! Finally, I went to the gap outlet hoping to find some more clothes to wear while in transition without spending too much since I'm not done healing (& swelling). I was able to buy the cutest top, again that I never could wear before and loved how it looked. It's very thin material and fitted the whole way to the waist - not big loose bottom to cover my belly. I think I needed that fun positive moment. :)

Oh, one more thing! I've been sleeping on my sides and nearly over on my tummy. Not really on my tummy, it's hard to describe but it's how I usually sleep, with one leg bent and the other straight and in between on my side and tummy. It's been great!

Holding steady at 140.5 lbs, exactly 22 lbs less than 6 months ago :). Swelling in afternoons but not too bad. I'll try to get pics updated tomorrow.

6 weeks p.o. It's six weeks today and I had my 6...

6 weeks p.o.
It's six weeks today and I had my 6 week appt yesterday. My swelling and weight were great until about a week ago (coincidence that it was Thanksgiving?) but I am swollen and my weight is up about 4 lbs today. Ugh. Hopefully it's temporary because was down to 140.5 and hoping to get into the 130's soon. The dr released me to all activity, slowing introducing exercise and I'm looking forward to that. He said I look great and my swelling should continue to subside over the next 6 weeks.

My activity level has been high, including some marathon shopping/walking at the mall so I feel ready for more exercise. I feel really good. I'm standing up straight without thinking about it and only notice when I get really swollen. For a couple of weeks my swelling was really low. I have not been eating well AT ALL! So based on my weight gain this past week, the party must be over. I think my metabolism was in high gear during the early recovery period and I was able to pretty much eat anything. I was really good before surgery and the week or so after before I started eating poorly so I can do it again.

Overall, I'm feeling great, clothes are so fun now and fit so well! I have done some "shopping" in my closet and pulled out things I haven't worn in ages and also bought some clothes I couldn't since I had kids. It has been great and I'm so glad I did this!

For those of you considering it, the recovery is absolutely doable and you will not regret it!
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