NOW LET ME CLARIFY HERE, I’m absolutely not suggesting to anyone that they should/shouldn’t get plastic surgery, nor am I’m not telling you who to use or what your exact experience will be like. This is all about MY personal experience with certain plastic surgery procedures, and that’s it… #dontsueme… kidding… kind of.
Okay, well it’s time to “bare all” with y’all. And if this isn’t me being completely transparent, then I don’t know what is. A lot of what I talk about in my stories focuses on being authentic, especially if you’re putting yourself out there on social media. I try to be as honest and open as possible about my “real life” and that it’s not all just pretty pictures. In fact, it’s usually beyond crazy behind the scenes, as real life is messy, which ya’ll probably know all to well. That brings me to this particular post, which I’ve brought up before in my instagram stories, but have yet to write about here. But get excited, because it’s finally time to talk about my MOMMY MAKEOVER.
So here’s the deal. Prior to kids, and in my late 20’s, I was a size 2 in most clothing, a 27 in pants, and was generally happy with my body. My stomach wasn’t necessarily a “washboard,” but it was tight with some definition, and nothing that I felt self-conscious about. I was unhappy with the “excess fat” under my chin (I called it my “gobbler”), and the excess fat in-between my thighs. I also had small breasts, but they were “perky,” and weren’t what I would’ve ideally wanted for myself, but I wasn’t complaining. Point being, I wasn’t happy with every part of my body, but I certainly wasn’t considering plastic surgery to change anything. I maintained my weight by watching what I ate (no crazy diets, but avoided white bread and sweets), and I ran for exercise several times a week as well. I’ll also admit that I take after my paternal grandmother, who had a very fast metabolism and didn’t struggle too much with weight gain during her life. The woman died thin without ever really having to diet or exercise, which isn’t “fair,” but that’s life. Good genes never hurt anything y’all, and I was extremely thankful for that. Of course, as I got older and my metabolism started to slow down, there were definitely moments that I wanted to try Cool Sculpting, liposuction or a breast augmentation, but never enough to actually pull the trigger on anything.
Fast-forward to 2 kids and my mid-thirties… Nothing reeks havoc on your body like carrying and birthing children. Of course becoming a mother is absolutely worth any sacrifice you make, but at least for me, there was no “going back to the old days” of size 2 anything. My stomach had a permanent “pooch,” the fat in-between my upper thighs doubled, as did the fat under my chin, and my breasts were like “two pancakes nailed to a wall.” I was self-conscious in clothing and especially in a swimsuit (to the point that I would never take off my cover-up).
Okay, I thought, I’ll try my best to exercise and eat really well and lose as much weight as I can, while also hopefully toning things back into shape. What I learned after almost a year of starving myself and working out like I was about to take the stage in the Miss America pageant, was that my body would never get back to where I was pre-children without help from a surgeon. I suppose I could’ve given it a few more years of really working out and not eating anything decent or drinking alcohol, but I didn’t want to waste what I considered to be the precious remaining years in my 30’s feeling bad and ashamed about my body. Plus, I refuse to give up red wine- ha! This is where I want to say that I truly believe that beauty comes from within. I think everyone should do what he/she wants whether it’s to invest in plastic surgery or not. You do YOU. Altering my body with plastic surgery wouldn’t change my self-worth, but it would help my level of confidence. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I cared about my appearance and that I was frustrated I couldn’t seem to get myself back into shape on my own. So I started looking into my options.
Thankfully, I live in a city (Nashville), where I have access to many extremely talented plastic surgeons, and so I decided to start meeting with doctors to see if plastic surgery really was for me. What I discovered was this: I didn’t need a tummy tuck, which I was relieved to hear, as it’s a more invasive surgery. I was told that liposuction would take care of the excess fat around my stomach, inner-thighs and chin, and that I was a great candidate for a breast augmentation. Various doctors are known to be “the best” at certain procedures, but after consultations with several well-respected doctors in town, I decided to use Dr. Joseph DeLozier. I could get everything done at the same time, which was also important to me, as I really only wanted to be anesthetized once. Now obviously the more you have done at one time, the longer your recovery can be, but I wanted to “knock it all out” at once, and I’m glad I did.
I had several pre-surgery meetings where Dr. DeLozier and I met to discuss and decide on the size of the implant that was best for my breast augmentation, as I wanted to add volume but also look as natural as possible. I liked the idea of buying new bras and swimsuits, but not an entire new wardrobe. There’s amazing technology now that will allow you to preview what you look like with various implant sizes, and we selected two options that Dr. Delozier could use based on what actually looked best in person once in surgery. There wasn’t much pre-discussion needed about the liposuction, so with the implant size(es) agreed upon, the date was set, and that was that. The surgery went very well, and I cannot say enough wonderful words about my experience and care with Dr. DeLozier and his staff. Of course I was anxious leading up to the surgery, but everyone was very reassuring and supportive, and I had complete confidence in Dr. DeLozier.
The surgery only took a few hours, and I don’t remember much directly after surgery, but I do remember not feeling near as much pain as I expected. In fact, I was sore, but this was “nothing” compared to the c-section recovery I experienced post kids (I had one for each of my kids). I was very tired for several days and of course sore, but the liposuction actually hurt more than the breast augmentation. Again, nothing for me was more than a “5 out of 10,” but I was definitely uncomfortable. I was wrapped up tight from my neck to my knees, and that was the worst part, but bearable for sure. I had to wear the spanx-type bandages around the areas that I received liposuction for about 6 weeks (the first 2 weeks were day and night and the last 4 were just at night). The first 48 hours after surgery were the worst, but with the help of medication, the pain is definitely manageable and gets better every day. I should also note that I’m a huge “chicken” and don’t even like to get shots- just to give you some perspective as to my level of pain-tolerance.
As for my recovery, there are a few things I was glad I did and a few things I wish I’d done differently. First, I wish I had stayed in a hotel or at my parent’s house instead of my own home. My husband was very supportive and helpful with the kids, but I think you need at least 3 to 4 days without children around following surgery. My kids didn’t need me to help them, but it was hard for me to completely ignore them and not move around more than I should have early on (you can’t lift anything for 6 weeks, so I waited until my youngest didn’t need assistance anymore- aka, me picking him up). Second, I was told it would be at least 4 months before I really started to see results. Thus, I expected for all the swelling to be completely gone at 4 months and to feel completely normal again. This was not the case at all for me, and so I had a lot of anxiety about the results, especially my breasts as that swelling took the longest to subside. Thankfully Dr. DeLozier was very patient with me and assured me all would be well in time. And he was so right…
By month 6 and then definitely by month 9 (post-surgery), I was ecstatic with the results (this just proves that everyone is different and will heal at various speeds). I had lost not only about 10 pounds, but at least 2 inches from of my waist and thighs. The fat under my chin was almost completely gone, and my breasts looked better than I ever could’ve imagined (and I fit into all my old clothes, but did have to buy new bras and swimsuits, which was fun to do). I don’t notice the implants at all (which was an initial concern of mine as well), and all my scars from the surgery are barely noticeable now. I could not be happier with the results. Oh, and I was very glad I had my surgery done in the winter months (February for me), because I was swollen and bruised, and so it was nice to be able to cover up and not look strange. By “swimsuit season” I wasn’t seeing my “full results yet”, but I was at least ready to wear swimsuits and clothes for warm weather. By the following summer, I was thrilled to put on a swimsuit!
A mommy-makeover can mean many things. For me, it included liposuction and breast implants, but for others, its’s more extensive. Some women are advised to get a full tummy-tuck, and because of this, I reached out to a friend who received one (and had breast implants put in), and she kindly offered to write about her experience, which I’ve included below. I hope you find all of this information “helpful” friends, and again, you do YOU, whatever that is!!!
The “Tummy Tuck & Breast Augmentation Experience” from my friend (who will remain anonymous)…
I have always struggled with my weight since I was a child. Growing up I wasn’t obese but always the “chubby” kid. In high school I was a size 12-14. When I went to college I gained the freshman 15 + each year. By the time I graduated I was over 200 lbs and around size 18. I went on a beach trip with my bestie to celebrate our college graduations. When we came back I was looking at pics and saw one of me and her on the beach. “Wow, is that really me?” – those were my thoughts. I immediately knew I had to do something about my weight. I hated the way I looked. I joined the small recreation center by my parents house and started to cut my portions of food. I quickly dropped 30 lbs that summer. I was ecstatic. Once I lost the weight I was left with extra skin around my abdomen and arms and inner thighs. No matter how hard I worked out I knew the only way to get rid of it was surgery.
So I had and birthed 3 beautiful babies. I don’t think the pregnancies gave me any new stretch marks or a lot more skin but it definitely didn’t help the elasticity of my skin going from gaining to losing weight 3 times. I’m pretty convinced the elasticity of your skin is determined with genetics. After having our last baby I knew I was ready to have my tummy tuck. And well if we are going to fix that let’s fix these deflated boobs too. I knew I had to wait until my daughter was around 2 since I wouldn’t be able to pick her up for 6 weeks.
In January 2018 I decided it was time and made an appointment with Dr Unger at Maxwell Aesthetics. I went in for my consultation and they were so kind and great. I immediately felt comfortable with him and his staff. He explained in detail what procedure they would do. A full tummy tuck cutting from hip to hip. They would repair my recurs and they would removed the excess skin. They would also place implants with just a small incision under my breast. I left encouraged and excited to finally do this.
December 27, 2018-surgery day. I picked right after Christmas bc I wanted recovery to be in the winter when I could wear sweaters and bulky things and January is my businesses slowest month so it would not be a big deal to take off all of January while my body healed.
I had 2 drains placed at each hip. They were for collecting fluid. I had to wear a Spanx like corset 24/7 for the first 2 weeks then just at night for the next 4 weeks. At my one week post op they removed my bandages and I could remove the surgery tape (not painful). They removed one drain, which wasn’t painful, just felt kinda weird) then removed the other one 3 days later. I would say the liposuction is the most painful part. It makes you sore and bruised. I had to sleep in recliner the first week since I could not lay flat bc of my abdominal muscle repair and needed my feet elevated. All this helps to keep the swelling down. I hated sleeping on my back for 6 weeks. I was moving around pretty good around day 10. I was definitely back to normal activities by week 5. It was 100 percent worth the pain and discomfort, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I had the best doctor who always kept my best interest top priority and treated me with so much respect. I cannot say enough great things about Dr Unger and his staff!