After researching doctors for months, I narrowed...
After researching doctors for months, I narrowed down my top three choices in July. I used this web site and others to find as much information and reveiws as I could. I scheduled my first consult with Dr. Repta.
I admit that even picking up the phone to call made me get butterflies. The entire drive to the consultation I was so nervous at the thought of having to remove my shirt and show someone my stomach that I have spent the last 8 years trying to hide.
But after meeting with Dr. Repta and discussing basic questions I had, I felt much more at ease. I found him very knowlagable and considerate. I left that appointment 100% sure I was going to schedule my surgury with Dr. Repta. I am positive I will be under the best care and get the best results possible.
Five more days!
I can not believe that I am only five days away from surgery! I should share my information. I'm 31 and a mother of an 8 year old. I am 5'4 and I weighed 147 this morning. I gained a big 7 pounds this summer going on the best vacation I have ever had. So I haven't decided if I am really upset about it or not. :)
After I had my daughter I rember my gyno (who had 30+years experience) said that my stretch marks were the worst she has seen from a single pregnancy. I didn't like them to begin with and I grew really ashamed of them.
I gained 65 pounds while pregnant and got stretch marks from about 3 inches above my belly button to 4 inches past my knee. Not entirely all over but when I look at them sometimes it appears that way to me.
I took up running and cut carbs and dairy from my diet and with all that hard work... My stomach just looked saggy. So I quit running and gave up. The thing is I really liked running. But I felt like my stomach looked even more wrinkly and saggy every pound I dropped. While doing this I was never "skinny" I maintained around 134. I am pretty curvy.
This week has been a whirl wind of getting my house ready. I have been filling my freezer with healthy crock pot meals with directions written right on the bag for my husband.
But I feel like I'm nesting! I cleaned every inch of my kitchen cabinets and have been reorganizing everything.
Not only that, but I have been making lists and writing SOP's for just about everything I can think of.
I had no idea I was that particular or controlling until now! LOL!
I'm excited and nervous.
I finally told my family and my daughter.
I had no clue what to tell my daughter. At 8 I couldn't stand the thought of telling her that I didn't like something about my body. She had to have stitches once before and the thought of stitches or surgery really freak her out. I worried for weeks about what I was going to say. I decided to tell her that I am going to have my tummy fixed because it has been bothering me. ( nothing specific) At first she was upset I was going to have surgery but I explained it would make me feel better. She was fine with that and just requested that I not show it to her. Lol! I forget how wonderfully resilient children can be! As usual I worried and over analyzed for nothing!
More before pictures so I can compare later
It's getting close and I think I have everything lined up and ready. I added more before pics to compare to after
I forgot to mention
My doctor informed me at my consult that not all my stretch marks will be removed because they extend past my belly button. And that my belly button sits rather high so my end result will have a small vertical incision from where my belly button is.
For a second I felt silly doing all this knowing I will possibly have more scaring and still have stretch marks.
For a second.
That's it. Then I remembered how long I have waited for this and looked at a few before and afters. I know that whatever the end result is, I won't be a saggy belly anymore and that's enough for me.
It also helps that I have complete faith that my surgeon is going to give me the best result possible.
8 days post op
The first three days were difficult. There was discomfort and I had a hard time sleeping due to pain. I was groggy and those three days seemed to pass by in a blur.
I spent the first two days at a hotel. Day three we checked out and went directly to my follow up. I have to admitt, I was ready to just go home. And crazy out of it because of the meds. At my check up, I remember Dr. Repta being very positive and pleasant. He looked at my drain, and incision. At one point he asked if I wanted to see my results so far. I was so groggy I hardly remember having a reaction. I think I said thank you and tried to quickly shuffle my way out the door. I was so ready to go home.
Day four was much better! I got plenty of rest and a shower. After getting out of the shower I really saw my results.... I dont even have the words to describe how ecstatic I was! I'm pretty sure there were some tears of joy! I never imagined I would have results like this. For the first time in 8 years I really looked at my body and didn't feel like it was disformed. For the first time I didn't feel embarrassed to stand in front of the mirror right out of the shower.
And every day is getting better and better.
I read on here that the meds and helplessness can make you emotional. I have been emotional but in a way I never expected. Not an hour passes that I don't tell my husband how much I love and appreciate his care and help. And I find myself looking at my family and feeling so blessed. Every day when my daughter comes home I find myself showering her with even more praise and patience than I had before. I am generally a very positive person but this experience has dramatically changed the way I feel about myself and my life.
Maybe it's the physical change and actually letting someone take care of me and relaxing. It could be all three and it feels wonderful.
While there is pain and discomfort and I did cry a little more than usual while watching the news one night, this is the best thing I have ever done for myself.
I am so thankful to have found such a gifted surgeon and to have such wonderful family.
And every day will just get better and better!
Drains, incision and updates
I had my drain removed on Wednesday (16 days post op). And it has made such a huge difference in how I am sleeping and my pain level. I was almost embarrassed to admit that at day 16 I still felt like I needed pain meds and still struggled to sleep more than a few hours at a time during the night.
And I was really dreading having it removed. I was sure it was going to hurt. I felt slight tugging but nothing uncomfortable at all.
I slept 7hrs in a row that night!
I feel so much better, I don't know if it was the position of the drain but removing it cut my pain in half.
My doctor also removed my tape covering my incision. I forgot to update that I did not have to have a vertical incision where my old belly button was. I just have one thin line from hip to hip. And even though I have some stretch marks under my new belly button, it looks a million times better than I ever imagined!
My doctor is truly gifted and I really feel lucky to have found him on here!
A family friend or my husband generally go to my appointments with me. Both are very impressed by his knowledge and compassion. He is very professional while maintaining a high level of consideration. It's rare to meet someone that can exude both qualities and be so relatable.
I had instructions not to remove my compression garment for any length of time to prevent fluid from collecting after he removed my drain.Once I am able I will post pics soon.
During my recovery I have lost 8 pounds, mostly due to loss of appetite but my doctor did say he lipo'd a liter out! My only regret is I didn't consider having my thighs done also. But some gym time will help that and after spending the past three weeks taking it easy, getting back into running will be a welcome release!
3 weeks, 5 days photo update
With a 12 pound weight loss since first photo.