Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ventral Hernia Repair And Abdominal Plasty

It's done!  I no longer look pregnant.  Not just that, but now I can sleep on my back, feel my abdominals working when I laugh, can fully stretch those muscles in the morning, I have more support when I stand, oh, and I DON'T LOOK PREGNANT!
                                                                           Here is the lovely front view.  Notice the extra skin?  That is why the Abdominal Plasty...tummy tuck. 
 If I didn't have the tummy tuck...it wouldn't be pretty.  It just sucked that insurance didn't cover that part...oh, well.
 Surgery day finally came!  I was nervous, but thankful Dan was there.  The Dr. came in right before the surgery and marked me...Nip Tuck style.  I was wishing Dan had taken a photo.  He cut out a 4" by 12" section of my skin.  Or as my brother likes to say...48 square inches.  That's a lot of skin!  Good riddance.  See the lovely accessory?  That's my drain bag.  It will be a part of me for almost three weeks before it comes out.  I'll just say...I won't miss it and leave it at that.
 I may have mentioned here that I wouldn't have a belly button.  Well, that's what he told me up until the morning of the surgery.  I think he is a prepare-you-for-the-worst kind of surgeon, because when I asked him after the surgery about the belly button he said, "I just did what I always do...saved your belly button."  Ok.  He's sort of a magician.  Notice the eyes Rhett gave my creepy 22" stomach smile?
This surgery is a life changer for me.  It not only makes me feel better physically (regardless of the recovery) and feel better about myself.  I don't have to worry about the looks from people who are likely thinking, "Wow.  That woman is having a forth child?  She can't even control the three that she has."  Or the suspicious looks from waitstaff when I order a cocktail and I won't need to hear the "fabulous" extensive non-alcoholic menu anymore.  I felt compelled to show the nurse in the hospital before pictures of me and she was shocked.  I teared up telling her that it was a life changer...

 
I really do feel great physically.  It's almost 5 weeks since the surgery and I feel great.  I did get a blood clot after the surgery, which added months (!) to the recovery...regarding swelling and drainage.  I'm just so relieved that it is over with!  I was really anxious about the surgery and recovery.  The second half of the life changer is all the people who came out to help me.  Dan was home the first week, but after that he went back to work.  I was still barely able to walk, so I needed help with everything.  A dear friend cleared out her whole schedule for three whole days to help me with all of my needs.  She blew me away.  She has two teenagers at home (teenagers I once nannied!) and she was still able to help with everything...from speech therapy to changing diapers.  For three whole days!!! 
 
Another friend did ALL of my drop offs and pick ups...ALL of them for two weeks!  Other friends brought meals.  That was such great help!  We just got our last meal last night.  Other friends and family helped take the kids off my hands for a couple of hours here and there...that was huge.  Such generosity and it made me realize how many people love me.  Such a great feeling. 
 
Life changing...all of it.  Thanks to you all. 

6 comments:

Rena said...

I don't know if you remember me...I'm Lori's and Rachel's mom...but I just wanted to tell you how happy I am for you that you were able to have this done. I hope your recovery continues to go well. And it sounds like you are blessed with great friends!

rachel said...

I'm so happy for you! I cannot imagine how that must have felt to have people think you were pregnant. I am so glad you've had so much support. That's a gift! You rock that new body! :) You are beautiful.

Stephanie said...

I'm so happy for you! :)

lori said...

Yay, yay, yay, Autumn! Your story makes me tear up. I love how open you have been about it, because this is what's real, what's helpful to anybody else going through this situation - or heck, a situation that's completely different but somehow the same on the body image and body function levels.

You are such a beautiful lady, which has never been in doubt from us who live outside of your skin, but how awesome to feel better from an inside the skin perspective.

Duncan said...

Onward and upward. . . The photo recap and the human body is amazing and you are as well. Glad to hear you are on the mend and this is all behind you. I loved Rhett's art work addition to your condition. It was good to have you back with a post, sorry I got to it late. Love to you and ALL!

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