I have had four very large babies. My first baby weighed 10 pounds, and each baby after that was born a week early and weighed 8 pounds. After my last baby was born and able to go to preschool, I began earnestly going back to the gym and trying to eat better. I hired a trainer. I started running half marathons. I was working so hard to lose weight and get my pre-baby body back.
But my body wouldn’t cooperate. I had this pouch of skin that, no matter how much weight I lost or how much I worked out would not go away. At one point I weighed 114 pounds and still had that large pouch of skin.
The skin was ugly–scarred and doughy. It probably looked worse to me than to others, but it was pocked and dimply and my belly button looked like a star with five large creases coming out of it. I was so self-conscious of it and it hindered my already fragile self-esteem. I hated that part of my body.
People told me to embrace it–it was a beautiful reminder of what my body was capable of. It had grown four healthy children! It was a miracle! And while yes, I agree that my body had done an amazing thing, it didn’t mean that I needed a bread dough stomach reminder.
I began to try to fix it non-surgically. I felt like I couldn’t ask my family to pay all that money and have me be basically unavailable for weeks. I spoke to several friends who I knew had the surgery, and every single one told me horror stories and wished they hadn’t done it. Every. Single. One. So I tried creams and laser and painful skin-pen procedures to try to reduce the scarring (Skin-pen is basically like getting a tattoo without the ink. I realize this is probably oversimplifying the procedure, but that’s what it is. And it hurts.) I went to see my dermatologist about having cool sculpting, which freezes your fat and somehow makes it go away (see, yet again, I am showing my scientific prowess). My dermatologist told me that it was excess skin, not fat, and the only way to fix my problem permanently would be a tummy tuck.
So I began to consult surgeons. All said the same thing: I was good candidate because I worked out so much and I would see really good results. But I couldn’t commit. 2 weeks completely down and 7 weeks recovery seemed like too much. I am so busy and constantly on the move. My husband has a very demanding career. I didn’t see how it would work.
Then in 2015, an opportunity came up and I had to make a fast decision. I would be able to get my surgery the day after Christmas while my kids were on Christmas break and my husband would have some time off work (I got this information the first week of December). I said yes, and made the plans.
I will go into more detail in my next post about my surgery and recovery, but let me just say it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Yes, it was painful. Yes, the recovery was long. But I would do it again tomorrow in a heartbeat. I went from having very little confidence in my body to suddenly being able to see my abs and having a flat stomach. It was life-changing. The surgery itself changed my life in a way I never could on my own. No amount of eating right and exercise would help me in my situation. This doesn’t mean that that is true for everyone, just my particular experience.
Because so many people have asked me about it, and because I am so open about it, I have decided to share my surgery experience. It is a positive one, and I am excited to share it. More later!!