Being a mother is a tough job. Running kids to soccer practice, making their school lunches, and kissing sour knees may not sound all that bad (and I assure you, it’s a whole lot more than that) but ask any mother, and she’ll tell you otherwise. Being a mother is hard work.
It’s not just time consuming, it also takes a toll on your body. Us mothers try so hard to compensate for this fact. We exercise, eat heathy, and buy overpriced skin creams, but in the end, we all come to realize our pre-baby bodies are never coming back.
I have seven children. Yes, I said seven, and before you ask, let me assure you that I know how children are made, and yes, I know how to stop having them. So, with that out of the way, let me add that I love them all very much. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. But motherhood has been hard on my body (by the way I had twins, so I had double the wear and tear for one pregnancy). My body’s not what it used to be. In college my stomach was flat and tight, but now its draped in loose skin and covered in stretch marks.
My breasts were small B’s, not big, but they were young and lively. When nursing, my they blew up to glorious D’s, (that wonderful mother’s milk), only to then deflate, leaving me with two nippled flaps hanging from my chest. I was so embarrassed that being intimate with my husband was out of the question without a shirt on.
The effects of motherhood had taken over my body. But I eventually decided enough was enough, and I was going to do something about it. A friend told me about a surgical procedure called the “Mommy Makeover”. In all honesty, I didn’t know what it was, but I was a mommy and I definitely needed a makeover.
I looked into it. I consulted with my close confidant, Ms. Google, and I learned that a mommy makeover is a catch-all phrase referring to “a combination of body contouring procedures to improve the physical impact of pregnancy”, or in my case, six pregnancies (remember, had twins). The procedure usually consists of a breast lift or augmentation, contouring of the abdomen, and other procedures such as liposuction or a tummy tuck.
I looked at before and after photos and was amazed at what I saw. Hundreds of women, with bodies just like mine. Deflated breasts, saggy tummies, and stretch marks galore. It was like a secret society of mothers showing off their battle scars. But I also saw what they looked like post-surgery. I asked myself, “were these the same women?” Their bodies were restored. Could the same happen to me?
There was no way to know unless I scheduled an appointment. I spoke with a few friends and found a surgeon that specialized in mommy makeovers.
The doctor was great and the consolation was easy. I told him a little about my past and showed him the areas I was concerned about. He said the procedure wouldn’t give me a perfect body, but he would do all that he could to bring me back to my pre-pregnancy shape and make me whole.
After discussing possible procedures, we opted to have a breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, and to do a little liposuction on my thighs and hips (I wish I could blame those last two on my kids, but alas, ‘twas the numerous blended mochas).
On surgery day, I was a little nervous. It was my first elective surgery, and the first time I had ever gone under general anesthesia. Nonetheless, I knew I was in good hands. The procedure was performed in an outpatient surgery center, which meant that I would be able to recover at home.
In all it took the doctor about 6 hours to do all three procedures. Everything went well, (or so I’m told, I was completely out), but recovery was hell! One of the downsides of a mommy makeover is that you’re having multiple procedures done at the same time. One procedure is painful enough, let alone three.
The tummy tuck was the most painful. The pain wasn’t from the incision, but from the tightened abdominal muscles. Normal activities like getting out of bed, standing up, or walking around were unbearable. It felt like I had just finished 1000 crunches, while simultaneously being hit in the stomach with a baseball bat (I’m being a little overdramatic). To help ease the pain, the doctor proscribed me a pain pump that I could use for the first three days. The pain pump drips through a catheter onto the abdomen wall, reducing the pain significantly in the area. In addition to this the doctor prescribed me an oral pain medication.
My breasts on the other hand, weren’t so bad (probably because of the pain medication). Prior to the procedure, the doctor and I decided a small D would look best. This was based on two things, 1) the shape of my body and 2) the amount of available breast tissue. I chose a textured teardrop implant of 425cc. Some women will have uneven breasts because of nursing, and they require different sized implants. Though I had lopsided breasts from nursing, in the end they both deflated to the same size so I was able to get the same size implants.
My hips were scary to look at. Remember that scene from “A League of Their Own”? Yea, you know the one I’m talking about. That’s what my hips looked like. The pain was bearable but taken in combination with the tummy tuck and breast augmentation, I was starting to have second thoughts. “Was this all worth it?”
I would lie in bed asking myself that question several times a day. It was kind of weird when you think about it. I had surgery to correct the physical damage childbearing had on my body, but here I was, bed ridden, feeling like I had just had twins again.
In the midst of these thoughts, the days went by and the pain began to subside. Eventually I started getting out of bed, moving around, and looking at myself in the mirror. I was getting excited every time I looked. My body was wrapped in supportive bands, but like a nicely wrapped Christmas present, I could tell there was something good underneath, and I was eager to unwrap it.
The next thing I knew it was six weeks post op. I was giddy with excitement. Did it work? Would I be confident in my own skin again? At the doctor’s office we unraveled the bandages and I couldn’t believe what I saw! It was me, but repaired, and restored. I saw the biggest difference in my hips. Even though I was more than satisfied with the look of my breasts and tummy, I had never had hips this small. I was always a big-hip girl, and because of that, my body was disproportionate; bottom heavy. But now, as I looked in the mirror, I saw a curvy, well-proportioned hourglass. It was amazing to say the least.
That night I put on a sexy dress and went out on the town with my husband. The rest, well, is private, but I can at least tell you that my husband was very pleased with the results (wink, wink).
It’s been nearly a year since the surgery. The more time passes, the more the scars fade and the more I become accustomed to the new me. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Was a mommy makeover painful? YES. At times did I question my own sanity? Yes. But was it worth it? Absolutely!
In fact, I wish I had done it earlier. It’s one of the best decisions of my life, and I’m glad I did it. I love being a mother, but I also love having a beautiful body.
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