Okay, y'all - I went for my consult today and have...
Okay, y'all - I went for my consult today and have officially booked my TT for March 1st! I have one 10-year-old daughter and am done having children. I had my daughter when I was very young and unfortunately, my body was absolutely ravaged by stretch marks during my pregnancy. On top of that, my stomach has never looked right since. I feel like it's some dirty secret that I'm hiding under my clothes and I'm always terrified of someone seeing it. It's just this loose, gross blob that sits on top of my body. I'm a fit, athletic woman and I really struggle to even look at myself in the mirror because of my stomach. I've waited 10 years and could not be more ready for this. I can't even express how damaging this one part of my body has been to my self esteem. I truly feel like this one thing has held me back in so many areas of my life (i.e. my fitness, my confidence, heck- even just focusing on enjoying sex with my husband instead of being focused on how my stomach looks, how it's moving, etc.) I've been on this site reading everyone's stories for years and I'm so excited that it's finally my turn! Pre-op is scheduled for the 18th. I'll upload a few before pics right now and will add some more later.
More before pics
I've really enjoyed looking at everyone's before and after pictures, so I'm going to do my best to upload lots of pics along the way. I had my blood drawn for labs today... 3 weeks away... SO excited!
10 Days to Go...
Pre-op appointment went well, but my nerves are starting to kick in. It doesn't help that the first thing everyone says to me when I tell them I'm having a TT is "Oh, I've heard those are really painful. I know so and so and she said it was terrible." OKAY, not helpful. Luckily I have some good friends and a husband that I can talk to and they're great at reassuring me! You would think that after 10 years of wanting this, I'd be a little more excited! I'll get back there, I promise, I'm just a little bit of a worrier! Picked up all of my prescriptions today and borrowed a walker from my neighbor (my doctor recommended I have one, just in case I need it.) We're picking up my recliner from my mother next weekend and I have my cleaning lady scheduled for the day before my surgery. Getting everything ready is helping to soothe my nerves. Now I'm just squeezing as many workouts as I can into the next 10 days in preparation of having to take 6 weeks off!
Less than a week away!
My surgery is less than a week away and I am so ready to just get it done! I'm back to feeling excited, not psyching myself out like I was last week! I'm just so excited to see how it's going to turn out. I know there will be pain & discomfort and that I won't necessarily see my results right away, but I'm just still so darn ready! I've never had a really flat stomach and just thinking about it makes me want to jump up and down and cheer. I'm so close! It's almost my turn! No more dreaming about having it fixed "someday".. No more wishing and hoping and praying... I'm finally doing it! Hooray! :)
Tomorrow is the Big Day!
Well, this time tomorrow I'll be out of surgery and recovering at home. I'm mostly feeling excited at this point, but I'm sure I'll be extremely nervous tomorrow! I've never had any sort of surgery and I've never been put under anesthesia, but I'm not really nervous about that part of it. Just a little scared about the recovery!
My surgery isn't until 1pm, which is kind of a bummer since I can't eat or drink anything after midnight tonight. I'm sure I'll be hungry and cranky... I'll try not to take it out on my husband since he's the one who has to take care of me. I should probably try to stay on his good side!
Anyways, overall I'm just feeling excited. I can't believe it's finally here! Just like so many of you, I've wanted this for SO long and it's been a long 10 year wait! I guess that's it for now... See y'all on the flat side!
One more pic to compare
Just wanted to add a close up pic of my stretch marks. I can't wait to see a reduction in these bad boys!
1 Mar 2016
Day of treatment
My surgery is done and I'm at home "relaxing" in my recliner. The pain in my stomach is not as terrible as I expected - the places where the doctor did lipo are way more sore. I woke up out of anesthesia VERY nauseous, so the nurse had me wait until I got home to take my first pain pill. Definitely not the the best car ride I've ever taken, but I survived. I'll post more tomorrow about how everything went, but for now, I'm still a little groggy! And I'm just dying to see my stomach!
Day 1 Post-op
Day 1post-op has been going pretty well! I'm definitely sore and uncomfortable, but it's nothing like what I was expecting. The worst part is obviously just getting in and out of the recliner. I had a good night's sleep too, only woke up a few times right before my husband's alarm went off for him to give me my medication. I've been staying on top of my meds - even though I feel good right now, I'm not going to take any chances and risk letting the pain get out of hand.
I went for my 1st post-op appt today as my doc likes to see his TT patients the next day after surgery. He sends his patients home with a catheter the first night so that they don't have to get up constantly the first day. They took that out today and it was such a relief, that thing was annoying! He said that everything went well and things were looking good. I got to take a peek, but it was difficult to see what exactly it will look like because I was SO hunched over and have a pain pump in my chest plus a little swelling, but it definitely appeared to be flat! My drains come out on Monday, and I'm definitely looking forward to that!!
The doctor and the nurses were all pleasantly surprised with how well I slept, how well I was walking, and how I well I was able to sit up and down without help. The nurse said that I was funny in recovery, apparently I just kept asking them, "Are we already done? That was it? It's over?" like 20 times. They all told me I must have a high pain tolerance which of course made me glow with pride haha.
So overall, I'm feeling pretty good. No nausea, pain level is low. I'm hoping this review made sense since I'm writing it while I'm on Percocet lol. I'll update more later and hopefully have some pictures to share. All of the words that I'm typing on the screen are getting blurry, a sure sign that I'm about to fall asleep AGAIN. I've been asleep so much since I got out surgery, but I can't complain. I guess that's all for now! Thanks to everyone who has written words of encouragement or given me advice on all of this - I really appreciate it!
Day 2 at home
I had another good night's sleep last night. I woke up every hour or two but was able to immediately fall back asleep. In fact, I've been sleeping the majority of the last two days, but for someone with borderline insomnia, I'm actually really enjoying getting all this sleep.
My back, stomach, and flanks are definitely very sore, but like I said, I was expecting so much worse. When I get up and walk around it feels like my stomach weighs a thousand pounds and I'm still very hunched over. It's more annoying than it is painful though. The worst is still just getting in and out of the recliner when I need to get up and get around. I'm adding in more food today, the last 2 days have been nothing but clear soup and crackers. I'm not very hungry so I've been eating just enough to not get sick while taking my pills. So far I have had zero nausea aside from when I woke up from the surgery. I'm starting off today with a protein shake with spinach, banana, and dates. Hopefully this will settle in my stomach and not cause any nausea.
So far I only have one picture to share, and it's not a great representation of what my stomach really looks like. I'm wrapped in about 8 layers of gauze, plus I'm swollen. There's also a pain pump inserted in my chest and covered in tape, so it's even harder to get a look at my stomach. I'm going to talk to my doc today and ask about when I can take off my dressing and take a shower. Hopefully soon, I really am dying to get a good look and take some pictures to share with you guys. I was able to take a peek at my belly button and it looked cute cute so far! I just want to see it the finished project so bad!!! Ahhh!!! Well my vision is getting blurry again from the pain meds, so that's it for nOw. I'll have more to share with y'all layer!
Unfortunately I still don't have any after pics to share (Monday, I swear!) but I just wanted to give everyone a pain update for anyone out there who might be scared about recovery. I read so many reviews on here and had myself scared to death about 2 weeks before my surgery because of the pain that people were describing. I know it's all subjective, but in my opinion, it's just not that bad. Does it hurt? Yes. Am I uncomfortable? Of course. But truly, I find the pain to be completely manageable and I'm staring weaning myself off of the painkillers today in hopes of just being on Tylenol by my 2nd follow up post-op appointment on Monday. The point of this post is just to say to anyone out there who may be getting nervous - you can totally do this! Relax and don't let your nerves take control like I let mine! If anyone has any questions or needs a little encouragement, just let me know! I was lucky enough to have a few ladies on this site help give me some peace of mind ahead of time so I was really relaxed the day of surgery - and they were totally right!
Rookie Mistake - Lesson Learned!
Well, I made a classic rookie mistake today regarding my pain level. I felt so good this morning that I let my husband sleep and decided to start doing most things by myself (i.e. Getting dressed, picking some things up off the floor, getting myself food and drinks) and I'm definitely paying for it now. I had also cut back to 1 Percocet every 4-6 hours which was fine when I was mostly just in the recliner and having my husband help me to and from the bathroom, but since I overdid it I had to take 2 this last time. I still maintain that the pain is manageable, but I cannot express the importance of not overdoing it! Even things that seem really small add up! I'm definitely a push-through-the-pain type of girl and it's hard for me to sit back and rely on other people. I also had a couple of visitors today and so I didn't sleep as much as I have the previous 2 days. The downside of pushing myself is that I'm much more swollen and my pain level has increased. Lesson learned! I will be taking it easy for at least the next few days and will be letting my husband take the lead!
Day 4 - Feeling Great!
It's my 4th full day at home and I am feeling MUCH better! Yesterday late afternoon/early evening was rough because I was feeling so good earlier in the day that I ended up getting ahead of myself and doing too much. I know that I've already addressed that in my last post, but it's my biggest piece of advice! Even though bending over and picking stuff up or changing your clothes seems like simple stuff, if you do it too early, you're going to regret it later!
Today I decided not to make the make mistake again and so I let my husband take over again. I'm also not allowed to shower until my pain pump comes out on Monday and so my sister came by and she washed my hair in the sink and then blow dried it for me. She also helped me take a sponge bath (I decided to give my hubby a chance to take a nap) and helped me put on clean clothes and I seriously feel like a new woman! I'm down to one percocet every 4-6 hours and my goal is to switch to just Tylenol soon - but I'm going to let my body tell me when it's time - no need to rush myself there!
I'm walking much straighter today and my appetite has returned at this point. Until today, it's mostly been soup, crackers and water and a few protein shakes mixed in - and not because I was hungry, just because I knew I needed to eat. Now I actually WANT to eat.
My drains are almost empty and the fluid in them is no longer red - it's that straw color that they tell you is a good sign. I can't wait to have these taken out on Monday and to FINALLY get a good look at my stomach. I know I'm still swollen, but at least I'll have a better idea of what it's going to look like! I took off my binder long enough to snap a few belly button pics and I have to say, I'm happy with how it's looking so far! Overall today was a good day and I'm feeling hopeful that I'll continue to improve throughout this coming week!
Starting to go stir crazy...
I haven't even been laid up for a week yet and I'm already starting to go a little stir crazy! I'm just ready to get moving and get out of this chair. I tried moving to my bed this morning, but I just wasn't able to get comfortable, so it's back to the recliner! I finally had my first BM last night around 3am and let's just say that it was quite an ordeal. I've been taking the stool softeners that my doctor told me to in addition to eating foods rich in fiber and it was still very unpleasant. Unfortunately I think my swelling probably increased due to the strain. I'm glad to have that over with. I'm still down to one Percocet every 4-6 hours and I feel like I'm probably ready to switch just Tylenol today. I have very little stomach/ab pain unless I make a sudden movement or laugh unexpectedly. The only real pain is in my back and it's just from having to be hunched over. Like I said before, I was expecting the pain to be so much worse than it is, so I'm feeling pretty good! Tomorrow the pump, drains and the dressing come off and I can take a shower and finally assess the results, though like I said, I KNOW I'm swollen, so I have no idea how it will look. I am SO excited to get these drains and pump out of my body! They didn't bother me at first, but now there just kind of a nuisance! So nothing all that new to report today. Still happy with my belly button (pics posted in my last update) and hopefully I'll have some new pics to share tomorrow!
The Big Reveal!!!!
Went to the doctor today to and finally had my pain pump and drains removed. Neither one hurt - I barely felt the pain pump and the drains just felt like some weird wiggling under my skin, but no pain. Anyways, I FINALLY got to see my stomach for the first time and I am THRILLED with the result! If this is what it looks like when I'm this swollen, I can't even imagine how good I'll look once the swelling goes down. I love how low my incision is and how much of my stretch marks are gone. I love the size and shape of my belly button. I just can't even wait to see what it will look like as time goes by and the swelling goes down. I can now say with 100% certainty that it was worth it! I'd do it again tomorrow if I had to! And I finally have some pictures to share!
Took my first real shower today - I had to just wash my hair and take sponge baths until they removed my pump yesterday. I thought for sure the first thing that I would do would be rush home and jump in the shower, but my little outing to the doctor and to my office (they are right next door, so I dropped in to say hi to my coworkers) had me completely drained by the time I got home. I took a nap as soon as I got home. I went to bed about 11 or so last night and slept until 10:30 this morning. Then I took another little 20 minute nap when my husband was in the shower before I finally got myself up and into the shower. It felt good, but I felt like I had to rush out because my back was so sore. It feels good to be clean, but it will be so much better when I can take a REAL, relaxing shower.
No painkillers today, just some extra strength Tylenol and that seems to be enough. No pain, just the soreness in the back and the fact that I am feeling completely exhausted. I've never had any sort of surgery before, so I guess maybe this is normal? I don't know. I have sleep issues - I can never nap and it's always really hard for me to fall asleep at night, so it's weird for me to be on the other end where I feel like I can't keep my eyes open. I suppose it's what my body needs but I am SO ready to start feeling normal again. I know it's only been a week, but I've never been a very patient person! Anyway, I've included a few more pics. More updates to follow.
I went to my doc today for my 10 day PO appointment and they took the tape off of my incision. I am SO happy! There's no getting around the fact that these things are long, but the shape and width are exactly what I was hoping for! My surgeon reminded me that I was still swollen in my belly and flank region, to which I responded, "Honestly, it looks so much better now than it ever has, I would be completely happy if this was my final result!" I really am in love! Also feeling much better today. I had my first "comfortable" shower - actually took my time and my back wasn't killing me the entire time. Feeling great and thrilled with my results so far!
1st day back at work - welcome to SWELL HELL
Today was my first day back at work and I am SO glad to be home. I work a basic 9-5 desk job, with intermittent walking around and standing. I knew today would be tough and I was pretty exhausted by about 3pm. I experienced a little bit of light headedness. I also had my first intro to swell hell. I'm sure compared to a lot of other people's, my swelling wasn't that bad but it's the first time I've really experienced it and it was quite uncomfortable. I had to loosen my binder a bit mid-way through the day and even unbuttoned the top of my pants at the end. By the end of the day I was hunched over much more than I have been in a while. I'm happy to be home and in my recliner with my legs up. No pics today, I'm too tired. But I survived my first day back!
Feeling Better - Back at Work
Day 1 back was definitely the hardest. I was on the tail end of a cold that I caught my 2nd week at home, so I think that probably added to my first day back difficulties. By Tuesday I woke up feeling like I had mostly kicked the cold, and work was much better that day. Same with yesterday. My main complaint is back pain. Even just sitting in my chair at my desk has my back aching by like 11am. It actually feels better to stand. I'm still swollen, but I definitely feel like my swelling is very low compared to a lot of other people's swelling that I've seen. I've been taking off my binder for about 15-30 minutes every evening before bed and just enjoy walking around and looking at my flat stomach. Even with the swelling, the scar, and the small amount of lumpiness from my lipo, I still feel about a million times sexier than I ever have. That stomach flap was killing my confidence! So far I'm still really happy with everything. My scar seems to be healing nicely, it definitely looks better than the first day they took the tape off, even if it still looks a little scary in the pictures. I'm going for another post-op appt today at lunch so if I get any new info worth sharing, I'll post another update.
Still swollen but feeling great
Well, unfortunately I'm still swollen. I know it's totally normal, but I'm impatient and I want my stomach to look like what it looked right when I was first post-op and before I went back to work. Oh well! Overall, I'm feeling great. No more back pain and I have almost no pain anywhere else either. I still get pain when I sneeze (it feels like a split second of an intense ab workout) but that's about it. I started sleeping in bed last Saturday on my side with a pillow between my legs and I'm SO happy to be back and comfortable in my bed. My doc gave me a sheet of silicon strips that I'm now wearing over my scar 24/7 with the exception of when I shower. I wear one strip for 7 days and then use a new one. I'm supposed to do this for about 2 months and then the scar is supposed to be totally flat, at which point I'm supposed to use scar cream to work on pigment. My incision still looks great and I think my PS did a wonderful job. My biggest complaint is just the fact that I still can't work out. I feel like I'm way grumpier than normal without my usual way of venting! I'm creeping up on 4 weeks, so only 2 and 1/2 more weeks before I'm fully released to start working out again. I can't wait!
4 weeks post-op
It's hard to believe that tomorrow will be 4 weeks since I had my procedure. The time really has flown by. This whole process really has been a breeze. I can't say that it was completely painless, but it was SO much less than I thought. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Still just dealing with swelling, and that's about it. I feel so ready to get back in the gym and get my abs strengthened and my body ready for summer!
5 weeks post-op
So I'm 5 weeks post-op and I'm super happy because... MY DOCTOR CLEARED ME TO START LIFTING WEIGHTS AGAIN! I know this may seem like a small thing, but seriously y'all, I love the gym and I have felt so stressed without it. I've been doing cardio but I needed to lift some weights! My doc gave me the go-ahead at 3pm and by 6:30 I had my butt back in the gym. I feel GREAT! My incision is healing perfectly, I don't have any pain, and my swelling is manageable. My doctor said to stop wearing the binder as well, so I'm happy to be done with that. I'll probably still wear it at the gym for a little while for the extra support while I build back up my ab strength. Anyways, I'm a happy lady today! I'll post some new pics... Please ignore the weird color of my skin - I had a spray tan 10 days ago that's fading : )
7 weeks post-op
Haven't updated in a while. My life is completely back to normal now and I feel like I never had surgery. Not sure if it was my age or overall physical health that allowed me to bounce back so quickly, but I seriously forget that I even had surgery sometimes. I'm back at the gym doing full, heavy workouts now. I'm still holding back from doing any straight ab work, but really, concentrated ab work isn't really that necessary if you do compound exercises. I do still feel tenderness when my abs are engaged at the gym, but I'm able to push past it and every day I feel it less and less. I am so happy with my surgery and I'm so glad that I finally did it. It has done wonders for my self esteem and I love feeling confident in my own body. It's hard for me to remember that I don't have to hold my purse in my lap to hide my stomach when I sit down anymore! I feel like a new woman. If you're on the fence about, let me just say - DO IT. Do it now. Call a PS and have a consultation. It's worth every penny and every little bit of pain that you'll experience (which if you ask me, was very mild!)
10 weeks post-op (I think!)
12 May 2016
2 months post
I think I'm about 10 weeks post-op... I honestly haven't been keeping track. At some point my life went pretty much back to normal and I don't think about my surgery 24/7 like I did before. I feel great. Still so happy with my decision to go ahead and have the surgery. I can't wait for the day when the swelling subsides! It definitely comes and goes for me. I'd have to say that I have more good days than bad, but every now and then I have a day where I just feel so swollen and bloated that I'm like WTF. When I feel that way, I try to pull up one of my before pics and remind myself how much better I look now, even with the swelling! It definitely helps.
Hope everyone is healing well OR getting excited and prepared for their very own surgery!
P.S. - my husband, who was all "you don't need a TT, your stomach is fine, you look beautiful the way you are" LOVES my results. He tells me almost every day how good I look, and I'm just like "yup, told you this surgery was a good idea!" I love being right ;)
Updating with more pics
15 May 2016
2 months post
Still feeling great. I love my stomach and I swear, I don't know if I'll ever get tired of looking at it. Yay! Just wanted to upload a few more progress pics.
4 months post-op
29 Jun 2016
3 months post
I'm 4 months PO and I feel great. Loving the fact that crop tops are back in style. I've always thought a flat stomach was the sexiest thing on a woman, and I love that I don't have to hide mine anymore. I still have a ways to go to be where I want to be, but it's excited. I'm swollen in these pics, but my swelling has been very mild so far. Hoping it stays that way!