I never imagined myself as the kind of person who got plastic surgery. I mean, I sort of liked my body my whole life. I never wanted bigger boobs or a different nose.
But after I had my son, all I could think about was having a tummy tuck.
I was obsessed with it. I would look up before and after pictures online for hours. I was mortified by my saggy stomach skin, which I knew would only get worse the more weight I lost. No amount of working out would get rid of that stuff. (Maybe if I had had xoJane in my life back then, with the “Real Bellies” project, I would have been more forgiving of myself!)
I had already been through sooo much, and I told myself I deserved to at least look at myself in the mirror and not cringe/cry for the rest of my life.
Pregnancy itself had been 9 months of hell. I had to be hospitalized during my first trimester for dehydration, then migraines, diabetes and severe anemia my second trimester, then ginormous rock hard BLOOD CLOTS all over my inner thighs my third trimester. They were so bad and painful that I couldn’t stand up. I had to have them checked out at the hospital every few days to make sure they weren’t going to my heart to kill me and the doctors there said they had never seen anything like it.
The point of all that was that I started out my pregnancy really kind of bloated and chubby and puffy from all of the hormones but actually LOST weight from being so sick the whole time. So at the end, I was left with this adorable baby, major post-partem depression (ugggghhhh) and this big, wrinkly mess of skin. Oh! And rocks in socks for boobs. We can’t forget those lovely things.
At first those didn’t bother me as much as my stomach because they looked fine in a bra or bathing suit, but soon I was obsessed with fixing them, too. I was a good girl and did all my research and decided on a doctor who had an office nearby but also an office in a major city, so I knew he wasn’t “small town.”
He was double board certified, and all of his before-and-after pictures were incredible. After meeting with him and seeing some of his work in person at his office, I signed on to have what the plastic surgery world calls a “Mommy Makeover:” a full tummy tuck with a breast lift.
I was SO EXCITED. I was only 28! I needed my body back! I wanted to wear a bikini again! My boobs were a size 34D, but so saggy, I could literally fold them in half. My nipples pointed straight down. And when they were collected into a bra cup, they were just too big for my body. I’m 5’2” and I really wanted to have something that fit my petite frame better. I asked for a lift with a reduction to a C cup.
I know cup size is always relative, so I brought in a ton of pictures of what I wanted with boob compared to body, just to be sure we were on the same page. I came out of surgery with a 34DD. Big, perky Double Ds. I know some of y’all would love these boobs I got, they were beautiful. But they were waaay too big for my taste.
And then, there was this:
My incision started opening up. At first it started with a tiny hole, which was joined by another hole. Then another hole. Then the holes started getting bigger, until some of them grew into one big hole. I am so sorry, this is majorly gross.
I just about puked every time I had to look at it. And I HAD to look at it. I had to clean it and dress it a couple times a day. And then? Then I was stuck wearing a WOUND VACUUM for like six weeks. And no, I could not carry it off like it was a fashionable cross-body purse.
Notice the way-too-big for my body boobs. This really took a toll on me emotionally. I had to drive to a wound specialist an hour away, three times a week. After months of this, I finally began to heal. I was left with a monster of a scar, and it was really, really high up, so it even stuck out over my jeans. Here’s my scar after two years:
I’ve always been really self conscious of it. So just last March, almost a year ago now, I decided to have it fixed. My amazingly kind doctor agreed to do the surgery for free, and fix my boobs to the size I’d originally asked for. But I guess I have awful skin that doesn’t heal correctly, because it all happened all over again the SECOND TIME. Plus? My boobs opened up too.
Oh yes, that is a hole, a really, really DEEP hole right there, folks. Like, I could stick my finger in there and swirl it around and not HIT anything kind of deep. I had an equally gross hole right under my breast, where all the stitches came together. Like, where the doctor thought stuff was going to FALL OUT. So he had to re-stitch me up. AND a hole up under my nipple. This happened on BOTH of my breasts. Everyone done eating? Good.
So I ended up having to get re-stitched EVERYWHERE, across my whole abdomen, hip to hip, and under both breasts. While awake. Of course, they numbed me, but it is quite a feeling to have your arms strapped to a table and have people “operating” on you and scraping gunk out of holes and sewing you up in large places really tightly while awake. I wouldn’t recommend it. I came out of it literally shaking from head to toe.
This is what I looked like afterward. Please ignore the “bathing skirt” in the pic. I was trying to see if the doctor had been able to lower the scar enough so I could wear bikinis again... nope. Before, all I could wear were these gross bathing skirts that came up high enough to cover my scar and I couldn’t even wear this one because it was so low. Still. Too. Low. I have this amazing flat tummy now but can’t show it off! I know, I know, tough problem.
Here is the scar that I am left with.
I like it much better than the other scar, and as time goes on, it will fade even more. Still not the thin pink line that most people have after a tummy tuck, but I’ll take what I can get. And I love the size of my new boobs, I feel much more streamlined and slim now. Those do have some awful scarring though that they didn’t have before. Oh well, huh? So!
The moral of the story is.... Just kidding, I guess there is no moral. I’m glad overall with my results, I’m left with scars up the wahoo... so do I like myself better now than before? I guess I do. Very few people have the privilege of seeing my Frankenstein scars, and so far, no one’s been grossed out by them.
Before, I felt like my body was old before its time. Now, I like my body; I just have some interesting scars to add to my collection. The pain I went through, both physically and mentally, was pretty bad. Compared to infertility, that horrific pregnancy,electric shock therapy and divorce, it wasn’t really all that bad! Compared to most, I am one bad-ass mofo.
Would I have any more surgery? Seriously? Not if you paid me.