So I told you about why I needed surgery in my post here. Now I will tell you about how things have been going after my surgery. I am stepping out of my comfort zone here and posting before and after pics… my husband thought the pictures would help show how bad my case was.
*Excuse the lovely battle wounds. That’s what having four kids does to your body!
The rest of the week
The first few days were definitely a blur. I vaguely remember things because I was so drowsy from the meds I was on. My surgery lasted 3 hours and I was in recovery for an hour before they started waking me up. When I did get woken up I remember being tired and just wanting to sleep. I was not in pain at all, until the nurse asked me to try coughing! That did not feel so good! I went home 45 minutes after getting woken up. Once I was home I got settled in bed and pretty much went back to sleep! Throughout the night the only pain I remember was a burning sensation in my abs, so I kept an ice pack on me as much as possible. The incision was definitely sensitive especially with its location and the binder rubbing it along with the drain, which you can see the tubing in the pic. I had to have help getting up, laying down, and walking. Getting up and moving around was rough. You don’t realize how much you use your abs until they are compromised. Even little things like laughing, sneezing, and coughing were painful.
The day after surgery we were scheduled to go in for a follow up with the surgeon. Car rides were painful especially if we hit any bumps. I slept the whole time in the car and don’t remember much from the visit with the doctor. I do remember her telling me that I was the worst case she has ever seen!
I pretty much slept (it doesn’t take much to knock me out!) the first four days and would only be awake long enough to pump and eat. I was also told by the doctor to get up and walk around every hour. Well considering I slept so much and my husband was busy taking care of the kids we only did this maybe twice a day. I had to have my husband help support me when I walked so I didn’t do anything without his help until the 5th day.
On Friday we started ibuprofen instead of the pain meds and surprisingly I didn’t need the pain meds the whole day. Which was nice because we were dumping all my breastmilk while I was on the meds. We were told by a few doctors that it was fine and then our pediatrician along with one other doctor didn’t recommend it.
My amazing husband took care of all the kids and remembered to come wake me up to pump, give me my meds, feed me, and help me get up and around for bathroom breaks and walking! He did great and handled it all so well considering it was a “sink or swim” situation! Thankfully he had a work Christmas dinner to go to at the end of the week to get a small break from the kids. When he came home he was telling me that he was definitely not made to be a stay at home dad and that he now understands how important it is to get that small break. I couldn’t be more proud of how well he did taking care of me and the kids.
On Saturday I was doing better at getting around myself and even hung out with the family that evening. I was missing them being stuck in bed for so many days and couldn’t take it any more! Since I was no longer on the pain meds I was staying awake and getting around for short periods of time. Monday we had my one week checkup, I didn’t get to see my doctor at this appointment but saw the nurse and the doctors assistant. They removed any stitches that weren’t dissolvable and removed my drain, which was a huge relief cause it caused me the most pain. At this appointment I was finally cleared to hold one baby if she was handed to me. I had already snuck in a few times of holding one of the babies cause they were fussing and hubby was already busy, so I knew I was able to do it, but also knew I needed to continue to take it easy.
It was definitely very hard to not be able to hold the babies. I had to have family members and friends come over to help me so hubby could go back to work. I was so happy when the two weeks went by and I had another checkup with the doctor. She was very happy with how well I was doing and how good my incision was looking. She couldn’t believe I was already off all the meds she gave me and kept saying if you need them take them. She understood my desire to be off of them so quickly with my babies at home but she also didn’t want me to be in unnecessary pain. I really was feeling pretty good. I was only hurting if I laughed, coughed, sneezed, or moved the wrong way. I was cleared to hold/lift one baby at a time and told to come back in three weeks.
At my six week checkup the doctor looked over my incision and then told me that I didn’t have to wear my binder anymore. She did say she recommended wearing some spanx to help me feel support and control the swelling. I was cleared to walk at a fast pace and that I would need to wear my binder if I did! The doctor then asked me to do a six week post op photo so they could show me the before and after.
* I am still pretty swollen above my belly button and just a little under but I have had very little swelling so far. The doctor said I could swell up majorly once I stop wearing my belly band all day. So far this is the most I have had!
WOW! I couldn’t believe how bad I looked before and how great I look at just eight weeks post op. Amazing! I don’t go back for another six weeks and will continue to go in for a year. Since I was a worst case she wants to keep a close eye on my recovery.
I have been asked a few times if I regret doing the surgery. Well I am just gonna be real for a second….no, I do not regret my decision to have the surgery, especially after seeing the before and after pics! I do have mixed emotions on the comments I get for doing the surgery. I did this because of my abs and the need to do this surgery for my own health and safety, my surgeon told me that she only had to remove excess skin and that I didn’t have any additional fat to remove (I only had 10lbs to lose before getting back to my pre pregnancy weight), and the final point…my insurance paid for it! The fact that my insurance paid for this should tell people I needed this surgery. This was not about how my mommy belly looked although it was a HUGE bonus!