I am a 32 year old mother of four boys. I am 5'7"...
I am a 32 year old mother of four boys. I am 5'7" and 140lbs. I had my boys all very close together... when I gave birth to my youngest son, my eldest was only 4 years old... So my body didn't get much recovery time between pregnancies. Also, MAN my boobs got huge when breastfeeding!! Bigger with each child... which was nice, until all the breastfeeding was done. Whomp Whomp!! Deflated balloons, much?!
My weight fluctuated between my last pregnancy and now (almost 7 years)... but no matter what I weigh, my stomach is never flat, and never will be. When I eat even a small meal, I look about 5 months pregnant. When I sit down, my belly flops over my pants.... I'm just constantly aware of it and it has driven me nuts for the last decade. I know that my stretch marks will never go away... but to have the extra skin removed? Hallelujah! Yes Please!!!!!
I have been going HARD at the gym for the last year-and-a-half and LOVE what it has done for my body... Nothing will get you results like moving heavy weights. I feel confident in my decision to have surgery knowing that I have done what I can in terms of health and fitness.
I'm scheduled to have a Mommy Makeover on July 14th and am super anxious about it. I waver between feeling confident about it, and worrying that it's all a big mistake... Not because of the procedure(s) itself, but because I am terrified that I'll die during surgery or post-op :/ I know it's pretty irrational... but not impossible.
Anyways, I'm going to try to post before photos. I have covered up tattoos and nipples/privates... Not sure if I wanna show the full monty online!!
I am getting a full tummy tuck with muscle repair, a breast lift, and breast implants. I believe my surgeon will also perform liposuction anywhere he thinks will make the overall results better.
I am SO SO SO SO glad that I found this online community... I have been obsessively reading about others' recoveries and surgery results.
Before photos taken 04/07/2015
So I know this is probably overkill... But I want to be able to REALLY compare my new body to my before body during post-op if I'm feeling regretful at any time. :)
So I'm trying to make sure I have everything I may need during this last week before surgery. I have all of my prescriptions filled and have gone over dosage info with my hubby aka male nurse.
The things I'm curious about are shower stool, toilet riser, and recliner.
If the shower stool and toilet riser are cheap enough, I'll buy them for sure....
I'm really curious about the recliner thing. Would sleeping with my legs elevated have the same effect? I have two large wedges, so I was thinking that if I layer them on top of each other and make a huge rectangle/cube, that might be a good option for sleeping on my back???
What do those of you with experience think?
I really have no idea what it costs to rent a recliner here (I'm in Canada).
I meant to do a before of the dreaded bent-over-hanging-tummya-and-boobs shot.
5 days pre-op
So today I start the pre-op supplements/routine that my PS recommended. Each day I am to take the following:
*Iron supplement (ferrous sulfate) 3x day
*Fiber supplement (Metamucil) 2x day
*Antibacterial scrub (4% Chlorhexidine Gluconate) shower 1x day
Iron usually REALLY backs me up, so I'm hoping the Metamucil does it's intended job :/ I certainly don't wanna go into all of this ALREADY constipated and THEN deal with the effects of the painkillers, etc making it worse!!!
I've been doing pretty well with my anxiety, considering that I expected to be a wreck by this point. I'm not sleeping the greatest, but I'm not generally a good sleeper anyhow. I have been using visualization to help get myself to sleep because otherwise, I just think about the surgery and work myself up. It seems to help.
Cheap shower stool alternative.
Hi all! I thought I'd post this in case anyone else finds it helpful - I went to Ikea today and got this stool for $7.99..... It's a Marius stool and they come in red, black, and white. The seat part is plastic, and the legs are powder-coated metal. It is rated for 100kg/220lbs... Seemed like a much better choice for me than paying $50-$70 for a real shower chair/stool :)
I don't have much time but figured I'd post quickly!!
I don't know why I'm not freaking out, but I'm not..... I thought I would be anxiety-ridden by this point. I've even been sleeping well and that NEVER happens!!!!
I've been taking my iron 3x a day like my PS wanted me to... And, thankfully, the Metamucil is doing it's job because I am not constipated at all. Yay!
That's it really! Tomorrow I button things up around the house and pack my overnight stay bag :)
Maybe I should already know this... But do you have to get a catheter for surgery?? I've never had one, so just curious.
I hope not, I don't envision that being a very pleasant experience :(
Today is the day!!!!!!!!!!!!
14 Jul 2015
Day of treatment
Well, it's almost 5:30am my time and I'll be leaving for the surgical centre in about half an hour. I had a so-so sleep last night.... Strangely, I fell asleep quite easily but then it was my husband making noise that kept waking me up!! That and having to pee a couple times. I knew I wouldn't be allowed anything after midnight, so I drank a whole bunch of water and tea before bed - wanted to be as hydrated as possible!!!
Wish me luck everyone!!! See you on the flat tummy and nice boobies side!!!!!!!!!!!
I did it!!!!!!!!!!
14 Jul 2015
Day of treatment
I'm all done, ladies!! In a fair amount of pain, but manageable. Especially with the help of meds.
This is just a quickie to check in and say that I survived!!!!
Post-op Day 1
Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all of the well-wishes and support. I am managing the pain pretty well - my neck is actually REALLY sore. I had read that can be a side-effect of the anesthesia?? Man, it was bothering me more than the actual surgery sites last night.
The first time I got up, I was pretty woozy and when I got back to my bed I ended up passing out.
My husband is on his way to pick me up, so my catheter, IV, and leg massagers are all off/out now. I'm trying to stay sitting up so that when I have to walk a bit it won't be so hard on me.
I'll include a photo. It's pretty grainy, but it was the best I could do :)
I'm super excited to see my results - the nurses keep telling me that it looked amazing before I got bandaged up!!! Yeeaaa!!!!!!
Days 2 re-cap.... Delayed :)
Well, I had quite a rough time there, so sorry for the delayed posting. After my surgery, while still at the surgical centre, I was having a really hard time with a sore neck. It was so tender and painful at the base of my skull, and it was leading to a really bad headache. I was really frustrated becuase everything else was so bearable in terms of my incision sites, but this was keeping me from sleeping and resting!!
I went home the morning after surgery, no big incidents on the ride home or anything. I still could not get rid of this neck pain and it got worse every time I layed back. It basically ended up giving me a migraine, which I have a history of. On the second night, when I got up to go pee and empty drains, I vomited - holy hell, is that ever painful!!!!!! I ended up vomiting every single time I got up between then and the next evening. I went off my pain meds because I knew nausea was a side-effect. Just took Tylenol instead.
With the vomiting, the headache/neck pain, and a bit of a fever, my PS sent me for bloodwork just to be thorough. Everything came back great, (he even said my red blood cell count was remarkable considering I had just had major surgery) but it was annoying to have sat in the ER for 4 hours. I was so sore :(
When we got home from the ER, I decided I was gonna do what I used to do for my migraines: take a strong Tylenol that has added caffeine, rub peppermint oil all over my temples and scalp line, and lay with a heating pad behind my head/neck. Well, lo and behold it has mostly gone away. I was able to eat a small amount of solid food and keep it down, so I'm really excited to have breakfast this morning!!!!
I will try to take some photos sometime today. I'm super hunched over, so it will be tricky, but I'll do my best.
3 days post-op photos
Swollen, etc. The bruising from the lipo looks much worse than it feels. I actually wasn't aware of it until I saw it!
Can't wait for a follow-up appt so I can see things without the bandages!!! Once they know my drain outputs have slowed down, I'll be going back. They said usually 5-7 days.
My surgeon has been so amazing and supportive with the extra trouble I've had. He is just so professional and caring and thorough!!! Love him!
Day 4 post-op.
Hi everyone! I feel line I should update, but I'm not sure I have much new information!
Spoke with my PS's office yesterday and will probably be going in on Monday to have my drains removed. That'll be nice, they're a bit of a nuisance.
I can't see my incision line on my abdomen, but I'm definitely feeling it in some spots. Kinda burning/stinging depending on how I move. It probably doesn't help that I had so much vomiting for a while there, and now I keep getting a tickle in my throat that causes coughing. Ouchie. Hopefully all of that isn't wrecking anything under there :(
I got my period yesterday, about 5 days early... I wondered if that might happen cause I had read about it on some other reviews.
Had my first BM this morning! I wasn't feeling alarmed that it had been so many days. First of all because when I am nervous, my body goes into CLEAR OUT mode, if you know what I mean. So by the time I climbed up onto the operating table, I can assure you that I was EMPTY. Then I couldn't keep solids down, etc. so I knew it would be a while... Was able to eat lots yesterday.... Had a nice big breakfast this morning and thought "that'll probably do it!" ;) I'll probably keep up with the Metamucil just to keep things easy.
I am not sleeping the greatest... I love to sleep on my side all curled up, so being stuck on my back is hard. And, for some reason, the total darkness is giving me anxiety... Maybe I need to feel like I can see where everything is so that I can reach it if I need it? Not sure. Will see if Hubby can sleep with a little more light filtering in tonight. It also doesn't help that I'm scared of the tickle/coughing. When it comes it just sneaks up on me and it hurts so much.
I have been off all pain education since yesterday. Had stopped the prescription pain meds on Thursday morning and switched to Tylenol.... But decided to see how I did without that, too. I would like to have as few drugs in my body as possible. I'm alright without it now, so glad that worked out. Have a couple days left of anti-inflammatory drugs, and a few more of anti-biotics and blood thinners.
I guess that's about it for now!
Day 5 post-op
Ugghhhhh so I still feel like I don't have much to report! I am SO SO SO hoping to have drains removed tomorrow. And I'm sick of these stupid bandages.... The ones on my breasts are making them look like they're much bigger than they really are. There's a lot of padding there. And because I still can't stand up straight, I feel like I look thicker than before my surgery. I know it's an illusion, but it's annoying me. I am noticing a little swelling/fluid retention above my incision. Either that or I just REALLY need a second BM.... Would not be surprised if that's all it is. I have been ravenous since I have been able to eat again, and have been eating like a HORSE!! Or it feels like it anyways... It seems like it is really easy to feel full and bloated right now - anyone else get that post TT???
I know that even if I am relieved of the things that are annoying me tomorrow, they'll just be replaced with other annoyances in the form of compression garments.... But I don't care, at least it will be a change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Can you tell I feel restless?? Hahahaha
I'll post a few photos I just took.... Tried to hold up the padding on my boobs so it's easier to see the full abdomen. And I hate the hunched-over look... Makes it seem like I have no bum!
Just spoke with my PS' office.... I have to wait until Wednesday to have my drains removed. My total for both needs to be at 20 or less. I'm so bummed out!!!!!! I want these things gone :(
I know it's for the best, obvs, just wanted to be done with them.
I'm just too impatient!!!!
So I have a post-op appt in the morning, but I just couldn't wait any longer and snuck a peek at my new tatas...... Hot damn, even though I know there is still swelling, MAMA LIKEY!!!!!! Hahahaha hopefully all these stupid bandages and drains will be off tomorrow and I can take some better photos!
Photos finally!! 9 days post-op
Drains removed!!! All showered up!!!!! Feeling human again!
I SO wanted to to take photos the day that I got home, but by the time I showered, I knew I had barely enough energy to get myself into my compression garments....
So I'm posting some I Just took about an hour ago -- mind you, there are creases, etc. on my skin from the CGs.
My PS said that everything about my surgeries looks "textbook". He seemed very happy, almost excited! I can definitely tell that my husband is excited!!!!!
Having the drains pulled out was super weird... I was worried that it was gonna be so painful, but it just kind stung for like 3 seconds and that was it! The holes themselves were bothering me a little, but I guess you'd expect that as they heal and close up. I took a tylenol before bed cause I had a headache and also the area was sore. Feels much better today!!
My incisions are itchy, but I don't mind because that signifies healing, doesn't it? Speaking of the incisions, there is definitely puckering here and there, but I went into it knowing there would be. My PS says that will smooth out over time.
Also, my tattoo is all gone! I was hoping they'd get the entire thing, and they did! Yay!! It had no significant or sentimental meaning, so I figured if part of it was gonna go, they may as well try to get it all!
I have to say that I don't LOVE the state of my nipples, but they are another thing that will time will remedy. I do have feeling in them, though, so that's pretty good!
I'm pretty sure that my right breast has already dropped quite a bit and is less swollen. The left breast is the one that has been more tender/sore from the get-go, and I can see it is still sitting higher and has more swelling.
My belly button is nice and small :) there is quite a bit of dried blood in there, but I'm too scared to pick at anything. I'll just wait and let showers and time do their thing.
This time 2 weeks ago....
This time 2 weeks ago I was on the operating table!! Crazy! Time flies :)
I had another post-op yesterday and my surgeon seemed very pleased.
I told him I thought my right breast had dropped pretty much right after surgery, but that the left was still sitting - and that I was wondering if I should start massaging or anything. He said to just let it do it's thing, no need to assuage at this point.
I'm happy to know that he only requires that I wear the compression garments for 1 month post-op. So at the 1-month mark, I can go to a local specialty shop and be measured accurately for new bras! (no VS or La Senza will do) Also, he says the swelling above the TT incision line can hang around for up to a year, so I'm mentally prepared for that (though I hope it doesn't end up being that long...)
I am still sleeping at a bit of an incline. I had started trying to lay flatter thinking "I should try to progress to laying flat". But it was hard to sleep with the sensation of stretching in my abs, so I decided a good sleep was more important for healing than me trying to lay flat "just because".
I'm standing up a little straighter every day! Able to help around the house a bit, so I feel a little less useless :/ Once we hit about 7pm, though, I am just overcome by a wave of heavy tiredness! So I just go lay in bed and read while my husband gets our boys to bed.
Three weeks post-op
Hi all! Today I'm exactly 3 weeks post-op... Time sure flies when you're having fun with your new boobies!! Seriously, I have a hard time not touching and squeezing them constantly... I just can't believe they're mine!!!
I'm still waiting for them to look even - the left one is still not as nicely dropped as the right. It does seem to look a little better each day, though, so I'm not worried about it. Just impatient :)
I am feeling more and more normal each day. Standing almost 100% upright. After I've sat for a while, I find my tummy stiffens up once I try to stand back up, but it loosens up pretty quickly.
Still can't wait to be able to move my body freely and without caution, but I am very appreciative that my recovery seems to have been very smooth sailing overall.
My incisions have almost fully healed up. There is one spot on my TT incision that is still scabbed over, and one spot on each breast as well (actually, the exact same spot on each breast).
I have a week and a half left of compression garment torture. I. Hate. Wearing. Those. Mother. Effers. At least in the end it will only have been about a month total. I also start scar treatment at one month post-op.
So I have a pretty personal question for any of you tummy tuck ladies.... Since they pull the skin pretty tight to close the incision... And you can't just assume it's ONLY pulling down on the abdominal area -- it must equally pull UP on the pubic area.... Have any of you found that it feels different having sex??? Like, I swear the old stretched-from-pushing-out-four-kids vajayjay feels tighter now.... Anyone????? I'm not complaining, TRUST ME. just curious if it's all in my head, or what. Either way, talk about a bonus ;)
Thanks to anyone reading my updates - luck and courage to those going into surgery - and happy healing to those in recovery!!!
Four weeks post-op (two days late!)
Okay..... So I was having a rough few days there. I'm two days late with this update, but the photos I will post are from the actual 4-week mark.
I was feeling pretty frustrated for a bit.... I would wake up looking fine, but it would not take long before I was swelling and feeling huge. It's funny how you can know things beforehand, but they can still mess with you mentally!! I think maybe I had hoped I would magically have an amazingly fast recovery and just not deal with swelling very long, I dunno... Silly. It probably doesn't help that every morning I THINK I'm okay to take back all of my mom/wife responsibilities fully, but by about 3-5pm I hit a wall and am just useless for the rest of the day.
With all of these feelings, together with the fact that it has now been over a month since I've been to the gym, you can guess what I was doing.... Eating and eating and eating. So much crap, too!! I am an emotional eater and also have always found that when I can't make it to the gym, everything nutrition-wise just goes to shit. Which is SO dumb because I am aware that nutrition is 80% responsible for results when it comes to having a fit body..... But, oh how the mind can be strong sometimes.... In good ways and bad.
Anyhow, I told my husband on Monday "do NOT listen to me when I ask you to buy me chips or treats or booze!!!!" And I have been pretty good since then.
I was so incredibly bloated, and I'm wondering if it's a combination of things... Is it because of the muscle repair? Are my organs now squished back to where they should be and my intestinal tract is adjusting? Was it because of all the crappy food I was eating? Was it from having been on antibiotics? Whatever the cause, I also realized that I'm less than a week away from my period, so that is probably why the gas/bloating/cramping was SO BAD on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday. Thankfully, after cleaning up my diet since Monday, things have settled quite a bit. I'm really trying to drink more and more water. I did really well at the beginning of my recovery, then kinda lost it... And we all know water is super important for this whole process.
A couple of concerns that I have:
1) As I've mentioned in the last few updates, my left Breast is not dropping as quickly as my right breast did. This on it's own is not too worrisome for me... However, what I am worried about is that the vertical part of the scar from my lollipop lift is all but healed, and is therefore less elastic than the skin surrounding it. So as my breast DOES drop, I'm noticing that the scar almost seems to hold it's own and the tissues on either side of it drop lower than the scar itself does.... I don't know if that makes sense, but I took a couple photos for comparison. Does anyone know if this eventually resolves itself? I'll bring it up with my surgeon at my next appt, which is in about 10 days, but would love to hear from anyone else who may have experience with this.
2) On each breast, at the intersection where the vertical incision meets the base of the nipple incision, there are stitches poking out. They've kinda been there the whole time and I wasn't bothered by them... But then I thought "if the skin surrounding them is all healing up, is it going to end up healing with an indent where the stitches are?" Again, I will ask my surgeon, but appreciate anyone with knowledge of this.
Tomorrow is officially my 1-month post-opiversary!!! I get to stop wearing the compression garments, start scar treatment, AND go for a proper bra fitting!!! I'm super excited :)
Anyways, I just want to say that everyone here on RS is so helpful, so supportive, and I'm so grateful that I found the site. I may not comment often, but I sure do appreciate everyone's reviews and updates.
Five weeks post-op
August 14th marked one full month post-op, which was when I was allowed to:
• stop wearing compression garments,
•go get a (proper) bra fitting,
•start my scar treatment!
The bra fitting went well.... I knew that I would end up with a size that would sound crazy, because anyone who normally buys bras at VS or La Senza (Canadian) isn't really wearing the proper size.... Those places don't know how to properly measure, and their bras are not sized correctly. I already had about eight bras from La Senza because my size was always fluctuating and I could never bear to spend $60-$100 each on quality bras knowing they may not fit for long. Aaaaanyways, I am currently a 30G. It sounds insane, I know... But I don't think I LOOK like a 30G. I chose my implant size based on what I felt fit my frame, not based on a "dream size" so to speak. However, of the La Senza bras I had from beforehand, the 32DDs are a close fit. A bit small in the cup, but wearable if need be. Before the surgery, I was wearing a poorly fitting La Senza 32C...
Trying on all of the bras at the lingerie shop was just AMAZING compared to how incredibly frustrated I used to get trying to find something that I could stuff my deflated pancakes into before. I only bought one regular bra because I am unsure whether or not my boobs still have changing/settling to do. I also got a comfy bra to sleep in and to shlepp around the house in.... And then I could not resist the prettiest sheer robe. It is a Betsey Johnson robe and was on sale, so I treated myself (and let's be honest... Hubby will never have a problem with me spending money in a lingerie shop ??????).
The Scar treatment products I have were given to me by my surgeon. I asked him if he genuinely thought that any treatments were effective, or if it was just another money-maker for the industry. I love that I get honest answers out of him - he said that if plastic surgeons truly believed scar treatments were as effective as they all claim to be, they'd all have shares in the companies, etc. With that being said, they can't hurt to try.... What I have is by a brand called SkinMedica and I'm using their Kelo-Cote product. It's a silicone-based gel that you are supposed to apply in a SUPER thin layer onto cleaned skin. I am too lazy to shower/bathe twice a day (they recommend morning and evening applications) so I am basically only applying it after showers. Whomp whomp, I guess I am not going to be the poster child for scar treatment anytime soon :/ haha
Boobs--- my left boob has still not dropped and evened out with my right. My right boob basically feels normal and I've had regular mobility in that arm for a long while now. However, on my left side, I seem to be more prone to pain very deep in the armpit when I reach in certain ways. I'm now wondering if there is a connection between that and a shoulder injury that I had this time last year... It was mainly a rotator cuff issue, but my chiropractor at the time also had to work on the muscle that stretches kind of from your shoulder over into your pectoral. Basically the same one that is screaming at me when I make a movement it doesn't like. I will have to mention this to my PS on Monday.
The stitches that were poking out here and there have actually started to come off, so maybe by Monday there won't even be any left for him to clip off!
Belly button--- all of the stitches that were in there came out. There's still a chunk of gunk/scab that I gently tug on every now and then, but it does not seem to want to loosen, so I will leave it to heal. Ever since the stitches came out, the belly button opening seems more and more relaxed each day.
Tummy--- the incision is healing really really well. I am guessing that it will start to smooth out much more as the remaining stitches underneath dissolve in the next week or so... It seems like some portions have already smoothed out compared to prior weeks. I am pretty certain that I won't end up with a dainty little scar at the end of this. That's okay. I went into it with realistic expectations... I have stretch marks above and below (well, all around) my incision line, so that's not smooth in the first place. Plus, there is bound to remain some slight puckering when a surgeon has to join two lines of different lengths together. Anything will look better than what I had before :)
Swelling is still an annoyance each day. I love how I look upon waking... But it doesn't take long before the fluid starts to collect again. Patience, patience, patience I guess.
I got my period yesterday and holy sh*t..... Bloating and cramping while already dealing with swelling??? Shut up. This is awful.
I tried on some bikinis I already had prior to surgery... Was curious which ones would still work with my new jugs, and also with the TT incision. Took pics of them, and also of my end-of-the-day swelling just now.
Well, this was very long-winded!! I hope everyone is doing well!!!!!
More 5 week photos
Here are the fun ones ????????????
I also added a few side-by-side ones I just did.
Six weeks post-op
I had a post-op appointment yesterday, and I have to say that when I see my surgeon having a hard time containing his excitement over my results so far, I feel really great!! I have not regretted choosing Dr. Pugash for a second this whole time, but somehow I'm just happier and happier with him and his office staff. So wonderful.
I was concerned about my belly button last week. After my 5-week photos where it looked fine, it started oozing fluid and looking crusty when it would dry... It was quite red and angry-looking, and I was concerned that the redness was spreading. I didn't quite feel worried enough to bother my PS's office about it, but did go buy some 3% peroxide so I could give it a good cleaning. Then I decided to (with very clean hands) roll up a bit of gauze and just stick it in there to absorb the fluid that was coming out. I did that partly because I wondered if the fluid was actually irritating the surrounding area once it dried, and also just so that I wasn't worried about it leaking out :/ Once I had cleaned it and had a good look, I could see some stuff in the area that was leaking. Hard to describe. Sort of like a scab, but soft? Anyways, I mentioned all of this to Dr. Pugash and he had a look and said he could see a stitch but was leaving it for now and he gave me a prescription for a topical antibiotic. So I'm putting that on twice a day. I felt better when he said that the belly button can sometimes take the longest to fully heal - apparently because circulation to the BB is poor. Good to know! I never feel like he's brushing off my concerns, he is always patient enough to explain things to me.
He also removed a couple of stitches that were sticking out from my breast incisions.
I mentioned again that my left breast had not dropped as much as my right... He said it will still take time, but that I am free to put some downward pressure on it every now and then if I'd like to. I guess that encourages it to drop.
I took my same old photos this morning, they probably aren't much different than last week's... Except that I had just put the ointment on my belly button, so please excuse the white stuff!! I also took a photo when my belly button was worrying me last week.
I've been on my feet almost all day today and the swelling started to make me more uncomfortable than it had for a while. So I'm resting now.
I'm excited that I only have two weeks to go until I can get back to the gym!!!!!!