19

Pregnancy (and C-Section) After A Tummy Tuck… My Experience

13 yrs. ago, after having three sons via caesarian section, I decided to have a tummy tuck.  It was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, even if it did leave me with a belly button that resembled a feline’s anus.

(I asked my doctor about this odd deformity- apparently TT weird navels happen.  I don’t know if that is true or not- was just true for me.)

Post 1st Tummy Tuck- couldn't find a less clothed photo

Post 1st Tummy Tuck- couldn’t find a less clothed photo

The tummy tuck removed about 2.5 lbs of stretch marked skin- that horrible saggy ‘apron’ that plagues an unlucky majority of us mothers.  I could see my bits and pieces with ease for the first time in over a decade.  I was elated to have a flat tum once more, even though the surgery ALSO raised the pubis a bit higher.  The result was to either shave it entirely or have a bush that rivaled ZZ TOP’s beards, growing higher than I remembered before the procedure.

I opted for the former.

Having a cat’s ass for a belly button and going entirely hairless were small prices to pay for washboard abs.  Besides, glorious ‘hip to hip’ bushes went out of vogue in the 1970s.  I was good with this.

When I found out that I was expecting Maisie, I started to worry about what it would do to my stomach.  Would it rip all the stitching out that kept my linea alba closed (the muscles that run down the center of the abdomen and stretch during pregnancy)?  Would I get more stretch marks?  Would the baby have room to grow?  Did I have ENOUGH SKIN LEFT on my belly to accommodate this growing fetus?!  WOULD I BURST OPEN LIKE AN OVERRIPE PEACH?!!?!?  What would it look like after the baby was born?

I was getting kind of anxious about it all (after the fact… didn’t really think much of it prior).

I googled and searched and YouTube’d everything I could find on the subject.  There wasn’t a lot about it online.

I asked my doctors if they’d performed c-sections on people who had previous tummy tucks- the initial group of doctors HADN’T and I was sent to maternal fetal medicine 45 minutes away.  The doctors there assured me that they had experience with previous TTs and all things calmed down… kinda.

The women on YouTube all looked like their stomachs were much flatter than the usual pregnant woman’s.  Their tummy tucks were considerably newer than mine, though.  A few, by the end of their pregnancies, acquired new horizontal stretch marks that radiated from their belly buttons.  Weeks after birth, some needed to redo their tummies, some didn’t.

about 6 or 7 months pregnant with Maisie.

about 6 or 7 months pregnant with Maisie.

Here’s what happened to me:

1.  At FIRST, I seemed much smaller in early pregnancy, but later my stomach became huge.  Some said I wasn’t as big as other preggo ladies, but I made up for it by having my breasts and derriere grow to rival a Kardashian’s.

2.  There was a bit more pain and stretching type soreness.  Not much more.  Enough to notice.

3.  I did NOT get any new stretch marks, even though I gained over 65 lbs!

4.  The diastasis recti, muscles down the center of my abdomen, stayed sewn shut.  NOTHING STRETCHED, my TT held wonderfully.

5.  I asked the doctors to make sure to ‘shut the barn door when they left, just like they found me’ and repair the TT after the c-section.  I am not quite sure what they had to do, but it took them a whopping HOUR AND A HALF to get me sewn back up.  If you’ve had prior c-sections, you know it almost never takes that long.

6.  My tummy was VERY puffy for months after.  I worried that my tummy tuck had somehow been stretched out or something.  After more weight loss and a few weeks of waist training (all the rage now), it was back to almost post-first-tummy tuck flat.  I am continuing to waist train now and am loving the results.

About a month ago, 2 weeks into waist training... weird navel and all!

About a month ago, 2 weeks into waist training… weird navel and all!

7.  My baby was born at week 37:  Maisie weighed a respectable 7 lbs 7 ounces and was 20 inches long.  She obviously had plenty of growing room.

A squalling Maisie, fresh out of the oven...

A squalling Maisie, fresh out of the oven…

Would I try for another baby after this?  Probably not.

I feel like I lucked out all around.  Having a baby at 45 is and was the most wonderful and terrifying experience.

I hope this helps others who are searching for info on babies after tummy tucks.  I wish more people would share their experiences, too.

2

Pregnancy Makes You Fat.

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month 6 or 7. Already 50 lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight. Thank you, bedrest.

** WARNING:  I am not gonna lie, I am the LEAST politically correct person I know.  My genetic makeup is mostly of obscure minorities and odd bits of string at this point, and at my age I simply just don’t give a flying f*ck.  Proceed at your own peril. **

I am going to be Captain Obvious here and say it again:

PREGNANCY MAKES YOU FAT.

Before people go on and on about ‘positive body image’ and ‘oh, you’re beautiful the way you are’, I’m going to add:

When I get fat, my blood pressure goes up.  So being fat=potentially dying.  NO BUENO, people, not for me.

Once it was determined that this pregnancy was viable, the doctors put me on an array of meds: progesterone (to keep the baby in), blood pressure meds, blood thinners, vitamins- including massive doses of D3 and Lugol’s iodine drops.  I was also ordered to do partial bed rest, which was not fun.  By the end of my pregnancy, I gained 65 lbs.  On a small-ish person like me (I’m 5’4), that is a LOT of weight.  Edema was a huge issue, but luckily I never developed pre-eclampsia nor gestational diabetes.

We drove weekly (and, in the end, twice a week) to my doctor- 45 minutes away- for ultrasounds, fetal monitoring, et cetera.  Compared to the pregnancy care I received with my 3 older boys in the 1980s and 90s, this was all very high tech and seemed like a bonafide illness.  It was scary, actually.  While I was grateful for the detailed care I received, I was also reminded EVERY SINGLE TIME that having a baby at my age was a dangerous thing for me.

I delivered Maisie at 37 weeks, a planned cesarian section.  It took an hour and a half for them to sew me up and repair the previous tummy tuck.  Luckily, the pregnancy didn’t damage my tummy tuck, but it sure made things tighter and a wee bit more uncomfortable.  I was very surprised that I didn’t get any new stretch marks.  My three boys gave me plenty!

The girl weighed in at 7 lbs 7 ounces/20 inches long and a perfect apgar score. Knock wood.

A squalling Maisie, fresh out of the oven...

A squalling Maisie, fresh out of the oven…

I fared much worse- ended up hemorrhaging, but not enough to need extra blood.  Pitting edema hit a day later and stayed around for nearly a month.

The upside of delivery was that my blood pressure started to go down.  The weight is still coming off, but not as quickly as it did when I was a younger woman.

I started out a size 5/6 pre-pregnancy and now, nearly 10 months after her birth, I am down to a 9/10.  I still have a LONG way to go, but I am ok with that.  It took nearly a year to gain the weight, I am sure it will take at least that long to rid myself of it.

The end result was worth all the pain and gain.  🙂

Our first snuggle

Our first snuggle