I'm normally an open book, but wasn't quite sure how I was going to approach this topic on my blog, so I guess I will just dive right into it.
Almost two years ago (May 2010) I had a full tummy tuck.
The technical term is an abdominoplasty.
At 5'2" and 105 pounds, most people are surprised that I would need a tummy tuck.
In fact, when I went in to interview plastic surgeons, they both assumed I was there for a breast augmentation...
until I took my clothes off!
Well, let's be honest, even then they probably thought I could use a boob job...but number one priority for me was getting rid of all of the extra skin from pregnancy and tightening up my abdominal muscles.
My body bounced right back after baby number 1.
I literally walked out of the hospital after having my son in my size 1 jeans.
I was young, and in pretty good shape.
Baby number 2 did more of a number on my body.
My stomach shrank back quickly but there was definitely more stretching this time around.
Think of a sock that has lost it's elastic.
My stomach had definitely lost it's elastic.
It was after baby number 2 that I realized that I had to tuck my skin into my pants.
I couldn't wear what I wanted anymore.
As what would seem was becoming a common occurrence, baby number 3 entered our lives.
If I thought the skin in my stomach had lost it's elastic after baby number 2, it was really stretched with baby number 3.
This was me with two weeks left to go!
It literally looked like I ate a watermelon the wrong way.
You can even see that my shirt didn't fit and my stomach was hanging out of the bottom.
Holy cow I was huge!
Turns out my "little guy" was nearly 9 pounds!
That's a big baby for a little mama!
That's a big baby for a little mama!
One thing I wish got more attention in fashion/health magazines is that not everyone comes out of pregnancy looking like the stars on the red carpet.
We've all seen the pictures of celebrity new moms just after giving birth looking amazing in two piece bathing suits or crop tops.
Here's new mom Mariah Carey flaunting her body after having twins
See the subtitle?
"Easy day by day plan that you can do"
Makes you think that you too can have a flat belly just 3 months after having twins.
I saw this quote with Gwyneth Paltrow on Pinterest.
It really frustrated me.
You want to know why?
Because I was working my butt off at the gym 5-6 days a week for one and a half to two hours at a time doing hard core workouts with a trainer, and yet, no amount of exercise was going to fix my sagging skin and belly pooch.
I was going to a 5:30 am strength training class lifting weights for an hour, then following that with forty five minutes of cardio on the stair climber or elliptical.
On the days I wasn't doing strength training, I was going to boot camp for an hour, then running a 5k.
Once a week I would work out with a trainer that was notorious for his very difficult military style workouts, think P90X meets Biggest Loser workouts.
There is article after article about flat tummy diets, but no amount of diet would have helped my problem. I ended up with abdominal muscles that had a five inch gap between them (thus giving me the poochie tummy look). The surgery to fix my diastasis recti (the medical term) is not considered a medical necessity, thus, it falls in the category for plastic surgery. It's one of my biggest pet peeves to think that just a few more sit ups or an extra mile on the treadmill will fix whatever tummy pooch you have when in reality no amount of exercise will help.
I talked to several friends, did a lot of internet research and settled on two local plastic surgeons that I went and interviewed. I had never had surgery before. And while I have a very high pain tolerance, I also have a weakness for needles, so going under and having knives slice me open wasn't exactly enticing to me. I may have come close to passing out several times upon the description of the surgery.
One surgeon told me I didn't have enough skin to stretch and that I wouldn't be happy with the results.
The other told me he felt like he could get me the results I was looking for but that I would probably still be left with stretch marks from my pregnancies.
Honestly, it would have been nice to wipe the slate clean so to speak, but I earned those stretch marks.
I suffered with morning sickness that lasted all day for a combined total of 17 months. I was pregnant for 121 weeks of my life. I nursed three babies for a total of 60 months. I am a mom. Stretch marks came with the title.
One of my biggest hesitations with this procedure is the hip bone to hip bone scar that is left.
These are the drawings the surgeon made the morning of the surgery. Anything inside the black was going to be removed. Below the line and and above the line were pulled together and stitched back up.
While I was open, my abdominal muscles were brought back together fixing the five inch gap that had been made through multiple pregnancies.
Before the procedure I went into the pharmacy with a list of about 7 pain medications that I filled. Some were for controlling muscle spasms, others were for the pain.
Now nearly two years later, I am still glad I had my tummy tuck. My saggy stomach was something I was so frustrated with because there was nothing I could do to change it no matter how hard I tried.
I still hate those women who can pop out babies and look amazing without having to have work done.
I'm not one of the lucky ones, no amount of exercise was helping and I was getting so upset at the magazines that were telling me how easy it was to get a bikini body. My abdominal muscles had separated nearly five inches, there was no amount of exercising that was going to make them go back together again.
pictures of me nearly 2 years post op
As you can see, I still have stretch marks. The stretch marks you can see just above my bikini bottoms are the stretch marks that were above my belly button.
I can wear a bikini to the beach now, but the reality is, as a mom of three in my 30's I wear a bathing suit just several days out of the year. On a daily basis, I can wear normal clothes. I am not limited by the extra skin in my midsection. When I workout my core, I can see results. I'm not self conscious if my shirt raises up a half inch when I lift my hands above my head.
The downside is, I do have to work around my scar. Because I didn't have a ton of skin to stretch (even though I felt like it was a lot), my scar ended up being higher than I would have liked. The scar continues to fade but it does make it an issue when I am searching for bathing suit bottoms. I didn't lose weight, I didn't change sizes, I just lost the extra skin that I was carrying around after gaining and losing a collective 97 pounds. The biggest benefit by far was fixing the diastasis.
So yep, I had a tummy tuck. I went under the knife and got plastic surgery. What's it to ya?