I have debated and debated on whether or not to post some pictures of my personal journey through this surgery and recovery. In the end, I decided to post just a few. Here is a little background...
This year I turned 30 and was always told to get your weight in control by big, bad 30, because it is so much easier to gain weight in the years after. This was the year. So in April, I started a mission to lose 30 pounds. Long gone are the dreams of being my college weight (actually, maybe not). I changed my eating habits and started exercising, mainly walking at the track across from my kids' school. It was too easy to put on some sweats, walk them to school, and hit the track all before 8:00. By the end of the summer, I had lost about 35 pounds and things were starting to shrink. But I became frustrated because that weight loss only translated to losing 1 dress size, because my stomach was actually getting worse!
My stomach was so stretched out by gaining so much weight with my boys, and I had a protruding umbilical hernia that was awful. I had been begging my husband for years to get a tummy tuck knowing that it could make a dramatic difference. After losing the weight, my husband agreed to make a consultation with a plastic surgeon to see what could be done.
At my consultation the doctor assured me that if I wanted to lose a little more weight and sculpt my hips and thighs, it could be done. But if I was looking to tone my stomach or return some volume to my breasts, it could not be done without surgical intervention. He began to draw on my abdomen and literally lifted two handfuls of skin away with his hands claiming that "all this could be gone". He couldn't promise my all my stretch marks would be gone since I did have many above my belly button, and I would have to lose a tattoo I got several years back. The hubs and I discussed it, and we decided to go ahead with it.
3 weeks later, I was being operated on. Now, I didn't take any before pictures but the doctor did. So I will post before and after pictures after my Final Recovery visit in March. And I was in a way too fragile mental state to actually take pictures immediately after the surgery or in the two weeks out. But this is 3 weeks out, and I feel 100% better. I have lost about 5 pounds so far from this surgery, and the doctor assures me that I am still very swollen and stand to lose more weight over the next 2 months.
The first couple of days I was in and out. We don't have a recliner so I slept in our bed with a ton of pillows under my head and back and a wedge pillow for my legs. It was fairly comfortable, but a recliner would have been perfect. By the end of the first week, I hobbled into the PS's office for a check-up and to remove my right drain. Most unusual feeling ever, follow by about 2 seconds of sharp pain. Each day I would struggle to get out of bed and pull off the binder to take a shower. After the shower all the dressings had to be changed and each time I would curse that extra drain in my left side that kept falling and pulling the stitches.
By the second week, most of the sharp pains were gone, and severe soreness had set in. There was no chance I was sleeping, and the mental game began. I had the second drain removed, and although that phsyically made me feel better, my mind was playing tricks on me. I had incredible self-doubt, crazy frustration, hopelessness, my swelling was ridiculous, and I was totally upset that I wasn't healing as quick as I thought I would. But by the third week, I was able to drive on my own, and the doctor was happy.
The reason I decided to post the pictures ( I am fully covered), is that I have literally had 6 people ask to see it because they were thinking about doing it themselves. They had tons of questions and needed to know what they might be getting into.
So without further ado, here are some post-Mommy Makeover 3 weeks:
This is a front view of how low the scar is.
The side view. I couldn't really get a picture of how far back it goes, but it does go pretty far back.
And this one is up close. I still have a lot of stretch marks but they were reduced by about half. Most of the swelling is in the middle part of the incision, just to the left and right of my new belly button, which the doctor assures me is healing well...
I am slathering on the Mederma, just to reduce the redness of my incision, even though it can be completely hidden by undergarments, thank goodness. Not that I am going to be out wearing a bikini or anything...that just isn't me. But I still want it to look as good as it can be.
Anyway, there you have it. My 3 week update. Hopefully by 6 weeks, it will be better, and then in March, I will post the before and after pictures.