Turned back the hands of time!

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I had my first child at the tender age of 15 and...

I had my first child at the tender age of 15 and had just turned 15. I was petite and she wasn't! My 9lb 14 oz baby girl changed my young body forever. I wasn't even old enough to enjoy and appreciate what God had blessed me with.

My dream has been to be able to wear a bikini at least one time showing an actual belly button. I also don't have large breasts, which is fine, but after 3 kids, the last being breast fed, my little ones are lifeless.

This is being done for myself! I deserve it...30 WILL be the new 20 for me!

I just received another box of goodies in the mail...

I just received another box of goodies in the mail for part of my pre & post operative care plan. I realize how important my hygiene is because I bought a ton of wipes! I didn't realize that I got feminine flushable wipes, disposable bath washcloths (they warm in the microwave) AND baby wipes! LOL I also have the following (if you see something missing, let me know):

- wisp brushes
- Betadine Solution
- Doctor's Best 300 GDU Bromelain
- Arnica Montana pills
- Colace
- Gas X
- Bed pads
- disposable underwear (just in case i have my period and can't make it to the bathroom on time LOL)
- Feminine low PH balance wash
- Plastic squirt bottle
- Vitamin K
- Ascriptin (pain reliever)
- Vitamin E skin oil
- Nexcare non adhesive wraps
- ice packs
- gopher grabber tool (saw someone else with this)
- Milk of magnesia

I'm exactly 2 weeks away from getting my MM!...

I'm exactly 2 weeks away from getting my MM! My comfy recliner was delivered yesterday and this morning I am exactly 5 lbs away from my personal presurgical goal weight for surgery day. Knowing my body I won't make it, but I'll be close enough if I don't, this makes me happy.

I am still somewhat torn on how many cc's to get when I go under. I am trying to compare myself to those whose bodies are similar to mine pre-op, but there are always subtle differences and I can't really determine how that size will look on me. I hope I can play around enough on Friday during my preop to figure out what it is I really want and NEED! LOL

I had my preop on 4/15. I didn't get to see my...

I had my preop on 4/15. I didn't get to see my doctor to discuss breast sizes, but I'll be able to do that the day of surgery and at least getting Saline allows us to make some adjustments.

My before pictures were taken, weight, vitals and some minor blood work. I didn't get my meds because my doctor wasn't there to sign for them, but since I have to make my final payment next Friday, I will get them then. I shelled out $6700 today and man I miss seeing that in the bank account! It's so worth it, I keep having to tell myself that. Sometimes I feel so selfish cause we could be paying off half our truck note (although that's still going to happen by Christmas). There's so much that can be done with that money. I do this a lot though, I'll deny myself something expensive because I am a mother. So, it's okay to be selfish occasionally.

The list of what not to eat on the paperwork was overwhelming. Half of the fruits and nuts I LOVE having every day and I have to cut down significantly as I do not want any problems. Even my teas contain dandelion root, so I can't indulge in drinking those.

As I was signing all of the consent forms, I found myself not wanting to read some of the risks, most of which I know of anyways and nothing I read there is going to make me change my mind, but it is scary to read about ALL of the things that could go wrong with each procedure. I just have to pray that things will go well and not focus on what could go wrong, just accept that something COULD happen and be mentally prepared, well as much as possible.

I have 10 days left! No time set yet, but I hope it's early in the morning LOL

Today marks 7 days until my MM! I am super excited...

Today marks 7 days until my MM! I am super excited. Tomorrow the kids have their last day of school before spring break and I have so many plans that will make the week go by quickly.

Today I had a consult with Dr. Epstein for the last part of my MM. I, unfortunately, have a high forehead with receding hairline that I have been teased about pretty much my entire life. I've had guys tell me I would be cute if not for my forehead, I've had ppl laugh and tease me and it's made me more self conscious about how I look when my hair is pulled back. I won't go into too much detail on this review, but I was happy to find out that I am an excellent candidate, basically a classic case. I am so thrilled to have all of this completed before I a 30.

One thing is for sure, I know that I am beautiful no matter what, this is all for me and well, what woman wants to go on with a receding hairline if they don't have to. My husband, kids and I will head to Miami for 2 nights and 3 days. I will be able to enjoy the beach with my new bikini bod and then the day after my 1 hour procedure, which only requires oral sedation, we will head back to Tampa.

30 here I come!

Today I went and paid my last $2000 for my...

Today I went and paid my last $2000 for my procedure(s) on Wednesday. It's really real! I got my prescriptions for keflex, vicodin, and two others I can't recall at this moment. I asked what time my surgery would be, and it's looking like I got the noon slot...SIGH I mean I will have to wait until dinner time to eat. I may make sure I eat a late dinner and have my last drink of water at 11! LOL

I've had some weird vivid dreams lately, wonder if the surgery jitters have anything to do with it. I dreamt that I had my surgery today and had to walk home, and I was wearing black Ugg boots and I forgot about my dog's vet appointment and had to get someone to take them so they could be kenneled while I recover.

Anyways...I am having some fear, but overall I am just SOOOO ready to get this done!

Fear has definitely set it! I still very excited,...

Fear has definitely set it! I still very excited, but so very nervous about undergoing the surgeries. I know we all fret about whether or not we will wake up to see our new bodies and then our family's faces again. I keep thinking, what if I don't wake up and my husband will have to rush back to the states, they'll miss me, they'll need me and all because we've spent all this money to make mommy pretty(er).

Just like many other women, my main fear is with the anesthesia. I've gone under general anesthesia before and I've had 2 c-sections, one with the use of my epidural and the other with some local anesthetic. The more I research to make sure I am on board, the one thing out of 100 scares the **@$h!t@** out of me.

Then I ask myself, 'why do I care about rejuvenating my body?' I have a husband who finds me sexy, I feel I am beautiful and so do my friends and family. Why do I need to have a smoother appearance to my body? Why does it matter that my boobs aren't perky and full? I look back and there was a time where I embraced my body, but even so, I feel I deserve this.

I just want to get this over with so I can wake up and recover and be done with it. I am confident with my doctor. As a matter of fact, the more I read and research, the happier I am with my choice.

Can someone lend some comforting words? My husband has tried, but he's not in my predicament, so it helps, but it's not the same, he's far away, the last thing he wants to think about is his soulmate dying for any reason.

Who pushed PAUSE?!?! I swear this day is going by...

Who pushed PAUSE?!?! I swear this day is going by so slowly, I can't even imagine how slow tomorrow will be! I am having to figure out my day tomorrow so that hopefully it will go by quickly.

I made my last list of items I need to get from the store and cut coupons (for gas-x and vitamins). I went to get my hair done today so that it won't be a curly fuzz ball during my recovery, as that is NOT sexy!

I have to babysit for a friend tomorrow and mail off a mother's day gift early, although IDK if this is a good idea, because she will call and I don't want to talk during recovery LOL, especially since she doesn't know (my MIL).

I am going to take a series of pictures tomorrow morning of me in my new Victoria Secret bra and panty set. I am hoping this bra will be my future size. I had coupons and I had to use them. It's a 36C, so I want to see what I look like now in it and then after with the boobs and belly done.

Well, I'll be back tomorrow, someone just speed the time up just a bit!

1 day before my MM. I am dealing with a...

1 day before my MM. I am dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions. One moment I am secure with my decision and the next minute I am worried! It's a bit scary to think that once they provide anesthesia and you pass out, you may not wake up. I also love the fact that you pass out and you wake up never realizing anything happened, no concept of time. I had a D&C about 12 years ago and all I remember is counting backwards and then someone waking me up asking me what pants I had on LOL.

I am ready to take my dogs to the kennel! I have been waking up at 630 am lately (which is not the norm) and they wake up and get rowdy shortly thereafter. I need to get them out of the house so I can tidy up more. I have a shiba inu and a husky and they manifest hair like you wouldn't believe.

I have some math homework/quizzes to get through because my final exam is next week (due by May 7th). I am going to make a grocery run, come back and wash some clothes, baby sit the cutest little girl, watch some movies with my kids and head to bed. Wow, this is really going to happen!

It's the eve of my surgery and I am pretty...

It's the eve of my surgery and I am pretty calm, but still have slight worry. I know there is a chance I could have something freakish occur even though I am healthy and I may not make it to my kids and husband and friends/family.. It doesn't help that during mine and my husband's skype tonight, my internet was messed up and it took hours before I was able to get it fixed. I'll be able to IM him in the morning while he's working (overseas) but it's hard to think that that could be the last time he'd see me and I him.

On a more positive note, I know that if it is my time to go, I could go at any time anywhere, so tomorrow I will wake up to boobs and flat belly and enjoy the painful recovery, it's bittersweet! Then when I get home and finally am able to unwrap my binder, I will have to explain to my youngest what happened to the jiggly belly he loves! :D

I have washed loads of laundry, spent hundreds at the grocery store to have available for myself and kids. I've never bought so much processed food in my life! I tried to get healthier stuff for myself that I would be able to stomach (yogurt, applesauce, veggies, crackers, soup) and the rest is easy for my daughter to prepare or one of my friends who stops by should they wish to help in that way.

Well ladies, I'll post one more time in the morning to show what i look like right before surgery and i hope to post when i arrive home and have a quick second!

I am not quite 1 full day post op, but I am...

I am not quite 1 full day post op, but I am feeling much better this morning. I went in at 11:30, started surgery at about 1pm and was ready to leave after recovery at 7pm.

I had so much trapped air, that I felt the need to belch or vomit, but I was able to expel all of the air and I feel so much better.

My night was a little rough because of that and my chest pain was the worst, but I have since made sure I take 2 vicodin vs. 1 (which is fine on the script) and have been getting up every other hour to use the bathroom.

My first drain documentation was at 1030 last night and I had just over 25cc in each side. We did it again 8 hours later and one was essentially empty and the other had approximately 12-15 cc's. I have an appt today and I hope this will mean I can get them out.

I am able to get out of my chair on my own, but my daughter has had to pull the lever for me. I am using the bathroom frequently and am slowly being able to eat.

My girlfriend is coming to grab my boys and bring them to play at her house with her sons to give my daughter and I a break.

I have had 1 activia yogurt, a few cheese its and some chocolate chip cookies. I should be able to eat for lunch.

Overall, night 1 was horrible. This morning is going fairly well, I am curious as to how the next couple days will go.

Post Op day 2. I felt MISERABLE this morning. I...

Post Op day 2. I felt MISERABLE this morning. I was hurting everywhere. I think that all the meds I was injected with have worn out completely. I drank a slim fast, ate half a boiled egg and half a piece of toast, took my vicodin and decided to try out my bed. What a wonderful idea! My bed is just perfect right now. I am so comfortable and at ease.

My drains seem to be putting out less and less, so I hope that Monday or Tuesday I can get them out, that should get rid of any burning i feel in my abdomen.

My poor 3 year old is going thru the motions. He wants to be with me, but can't really touch me. He knows I am hurting and has been somewhat of a brat LOL.

I finally told my sisters that I did this, one of them called and seemed happy for me, just chewed me out for not telling her before the surgery. No word from my other sister about it, not sure if she hasn't received the message or just doesn't want to respond. My friends are being great and hubby seems thrilled about the new me so far!

I was a bit jacked up this morning, but now i am good. So back to sleep I go.

So it's day 4 post op. It's getting harder...

So it's day 4 post op. It's getting harder to keep track of the days. I feel great. Slight swelling in the boobs, but i can get up and down much easier. I still love the feeling of icepacks on my boobs! My drains output less than 10cc this morning each since last night at 1030 (checked at 630) so it' ready to get them out!

I have only 1 problem...no pooopy problems which is great because I seemed to have developed a perianal abscess after surgery. I had one years ago, but there's this bulge down in the rectal area and it's a tad sore when i clench my cheecks (TMI) and i feel it when i wipe there. I felt it the morning after surgery, so i don't know if the muscle pressure from surgery caused it or what! This is partly why I am going commando, it just feels good to have fresh air. I've had one of these suckers before and it was the MOST painful thing i've experienced. I can't get into a hot tub, so i just squirt HOT water on it from my plastic bottle. I am going to sit on my hot pad and hopefully it will shrink. I really don't want to try to have a BM right now. Luckily I don't have to and that's not a bad thing cause I am not suffering, but one is coming close LOL.

Other than that, i think I should be even better tomorrow, no soreness, drains should get taken out. I am excited. I can't wait to see my belly button!

Just wanted to announce that although I have this...

Just wanted to announce that although I have this weird growth going on in my 'area' I have had a nice and easy BM....thanks Colace...LOL

I took 1 vicodin last night and my last muscle...

I took 1 vicodin last night and my last muscle relaxant and antibiotic pill. I woke up feeling fine, just a little soreness, took 2 ES tylenol and a slim fast for breakfast. You can count on slim fast to make you go to the bathroom, and i mean #2!

So I am still outputting less than 10 cc in my drains and I have no ride to the doc today, should I drive myself? I am not under the influence. I drove my son to the bus stop this morning. I know I can do it. What do you think? I am 5 days PO.

I want these drains out badly, 1 more day would suck LOL.

Ok Ok, so I am going in tomorrow for my drains to...

Ok Ok, so I am going in tomorrow for my drains to be removed. I hope i get to see more of my abdomen too, I am trying to be patient. I know it won't be bikini ready, but i just wanna see it!

I am posting some pics of what i look like today. Nothing spectacular but it is what it is :D

I just got back from my appointment. I am DRAIN...

I just got back from my appointment. I am DRAIN FREE, yahooooooooo.

My experience with the drain was fine, but as the nurse said, "you tolerate pain well". Was it or is it painful, NO, but depending on your tolerance is how you'll respond...for example high tolerance may squint or flinch really quick and be like, OH that's it...those with lower tolerance will probably have to say 'ouch'. I assure you, it hurts more to stub your toe or elbow.

I can not vouch for those with drains in their hips. I had mine in my pubic area, the nurse says they are easier to take out and lord I did not know that they extended all the way past my rib cage...COOL. She had to cut off the stitches keeping it intact first, then put on lidocaine and moved the tube/drain in and out slightly to allow it to settle. While she let that rest, she then proceeded to take off my other dressings and revealed my belly button!

Here are pics. I go back next week to remove my belly button stitches.

Funny story. I had to go into the store to buy a...

Funny story. I had to go into the store to buy a 'jogging' sports bra as requested by my PS and although I have a ton of sports bras, non like these..I mean i didn't have boobs that needed that much protection from bouncing when running! So i tried on this one bra, looks great and is on sale...I try on the next, same size as the one I just picked up and same make as the ones I have, but 1 size bigger, so perfect right? WRONG... I got it on, but could NOT get it off...thank GOD i was with my girlfriend who had to come into the dressing room with me, i had to sit bent over so that she could pull the bra off of me.

Today is PO day 11 I believe. I am driving,...

Today is PO day 11 I believe. I am driving, walking slowly, but straight up and have been for a week. My boobs are slowly feeling better, which is great, but I still get the 'let down' sensation like it's time to breast feed.

My bad eating must not have been toooo bad. I am still swelling in breast and tummy but I have hit my surgery day weight 162.9 this morning and it's the first day of my cycle, so that means I am bloated from that too. I am sure i've lost some muscle, but considering some ppl put on 9 lbs I am optimistic that I will be in the 150's soon enough and once I am able to workout again, it'll be even better.

I am looking forward to seeing what my belly will look like once the swelling goes down, but it is still lovely right now. I go in on Thursday to have my BB stitches removed, then the following week I will get my other stitches removed.

Today is the day I get my stitches out and finally...

Today is the day I get my stitches out and finally get to see my incisions and my nipples. Sounds weird, but it'd be nice to see nipples finally LOL.

I will update with pictures when I get back home. I am happy to say that my weight is going down and my morning measurements around my BB is 2 inches less than my presurgery morning BB measurements. My waist is 1 inch smaller, my chest is 1-2 inches bigger lol.

A couple pics

a couple pics

I was able to get some of my stitches out today....

I was able to get some of my stitches out today. My left breast is more swollen and may be the reason I can't feel much sensation in my nipple. When taking out the sutures, it bled more than the right, there were only 6 suture knots in my nipples or less, maybe she had 4 and I guess they are more like 'anchors' and she uses dissolvable sutures otherwise. I still have my BB sutures and some in my TT incision as 'anchors' as well.

I am loving my nipples even in their healing state. I am not cleared to workout or anything and I guess that's cause my body is not done healing, hence the blood i had from some of the suture spots. I have a prescription for ointment for my incisions for after my washes.

I am 4 weeks and 1 day PO. This week I've dealt...

I am 4 weeks and 1 day PO. This week I've dealt with some swelling and all, but overall I still feel good. I have been pretty good laying low, although it's easy not to realize that u may be overdoing it until the next morning. I took my kids to a little festival to watch a concert. I pushed my son in the stroller for a little bit and I was fine, but the next morning I was a little more swollen and realized, ok yeah you're not supposed to do that.

I have one tiny spot in my incision that is open. It hasn't bled nor has there been puss or redness. I realized this tonight and I've laid down and relaxed allllllll week since the festival (mind u i didn't stay out long, we were miserable and left after 30 minutes). I've gotten a lot of sleep and rest and didn't do any housework except 2 loads of laundry. I did babysit for my friend tonight and she has 2 little ones. One of them was running from me at bed time and wasn't listening so I had to pick him up and place him in the bed. Now the other one has a crib still, so I had my daughter lift him for me.

My husband comes home tomorrow and I am a bit bummed that although I feel great, I still have to lay low...we'll see. I hope this closes up quickly and maybe it's not actually a hole. I had to use a magnified mirror to see it, but was too scared to pull or touch to really get a glimpse. I just know it was dry.

Correction** Hubby comes home the night of the...

Correction** Hubby comes home the night of the 1st. I wish it were tomorrow LOL.

It's been a while. I am now almost 9 weeks PO. I...

It's been a while. I am now almost 9 weeks PO. I still have some stitches that show up out of nowhere, but I have had frequent PO visits, so they get clipped. I am still happy with everything and have been cleared to workout. I will start spinning this week, but have done the elliptical, stationary bike and a little treadmill walking at 3 mph.

My lower pooch has nearly flattened, but when I swell, i SWELL. I have noticed this week that if I watch my sodium and eat a VERY SMALL portion, I do not get the upper belly swell that makes my tummy look ridiculous.

I would do this all over again!

So I am about 3 months PO. I have an appointment...

So I am about 3 months PO. I have an appointment on Thursday the 29th. I still have sutures in my breasts that show up out of nowhere...so that's a bit annoying, but I know it's normal. No problems with my tummy tuck incision...all is normal now.

I have started working out and actually was crazy enough to sign up for a Half Marathon commencing Nov 20th! Why in the world did i do this? I want to get the bottom half of my body in tip top shape and so this is one way to make sure I stay on the ball! I have been working out doing Zumba and Real Ryder Bike Spin classes. I am now doing weigh training consistently and although some of the instructors do the hardest ab routines, I experienced on yesterday that did the simplest moves that I feel worked my core tremendously without making me feel so much pain and discomfort like the others!!! I can't wait till Nov when I know my body will have fully transformed.

My 30th is a little more than a month away and I am so excited. I am planning my last surgery for my hairline. Sometimes I am not sure if I should have done it first. No one sees what's underneath my clothing, although it's looking darn good in clothing now, but my forehead/receding hairline is the only other thing I am self conscious about. I have to make the deposit for it and set a date and then plan on being ready for our pre-paid cruise to the Bahamas for whatever date we choose, which looks like March 2012. I am so excited...World watch out now!

It's been 6 months I believe, well actually a tad...

It's been 6 months I believe, well actually a tad longer. I am feeling well. Still have stitches that pop out, but that's slowly going away. I noticed the other day that my BB is no longer crusty from scabs and scarring. My husband thought it was funny, but it really feels good to notice this LOL. I have been requested to update pictures and I know how it is to come and see someone's results you like and not know how they've progressed.

Overall I am happy I took advantage of this surgery. I look at my old pictures and I can't believe that was me. I feel like I should have felt all of my teen years.

I just wanted to update everyone with my progress....

I just wanted to update everyone with my progress. I was having sutures pop out mainly in my breast, but a couple around my TT incision. I had one more taken out in my BB and then my breast suture was removed and I've been good ever since. I was able to train for and run my first half marathon. (only my foot caused problems, not the surgery).

Just make sure that you continue eating healthy and working out. I kinda let some junk entice me and I have not put on weight in the places I normally would (which can happen with lipo or TT's). I am currently on a healthy diet and working out almost every day. I'll post pictures in a couple of months to show a better version of ME.
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Thomas has a way of making you feel at ease, comfortable and confident. The day of my consultation, she lit up the room with a friendly smile and made me laugh. The day of my surgery, she welcomed me with a big hug and assured me that I was going to look awesome! I researched her thoroughly and the more I did, the more it confirmed that she is awesome.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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