I love my children. I was very blessed to have three fairly large (for triplets), healthy (for preemies) babies, born at a gestation greater than most triplets. My pregnancy was (except for the obvious) mostly uneventful, and even though it ended in pre-eclampsia, I never went into preterm labor. I still remember my OB telling me after my first ultrasound, “you were built for having triplets.” Back-handed compliment, I guess, but my height of 5’10” and, let’s just say, larger frame, ensured the boys had plenty of room to grow.
But still. No matter how physically suited you are for carrying triplets, it’s going to do some damage. Thirteen pounds of babies and their accoutrements take up a lot of space that is designed for only one baby. Abdominal muscles are pulled apart, in some ways permanently. Skin is stretched beyond the point of redemption. It ain’t pretty. And the problems aren’t just cosmetic. Hernias can happen, and diastasis recti is very common among moms who have carried large babies or multiples. There are some special exercises you can do, but it’s pretty commonly accepted that surgery is the most effective fix for this gap in your abdominal muscles that can cause back pain and the eternal appearance of being six months pregnant.
So earlier this year, not long after the boys turned five, I decided to do something about it. I had lost all of my pregnancy weight and a bit more, but still, the skin on my stomach just got floppier and looser (and uglier). I was very frustrated and decided to consult with some local plastic surgeons to see what could be done. I expected them to tell me I needed to get to my goal weight (about twenty pounds away) but they all said I was a great candidate for abdominoplasty.
Long story short (or slightly less long), I chose a wonderful plastic surgeon, and booked my surgery for the end of March. I gladly went through some pretty intensive pre-surgical testing and after handing over a big chunk of cash (insurance generally does not cover this procedure) I went under the knife.
I’m not going to say it was pleasant. If you’ve had a c-section, you can probably imagine what the recovery was like. On the one hand, I didn’t have babies to take care of. But on the other hand, after my c-section, I didn’t have a scar from hip-to-hip, nor did I have drains coming out of very uncomfortable places. For two weeks. And I had to wear compression garments (at first an abdominal binder, then Spanx) for about two months. Your entire torso is numb at first, and gradually, it mostly fades, but six months later, I still have no sensation in my scar.
And you’ll need help. The boys spent lots of quality time with grandparents, and my best friend flew down for a week to help out. I spent most of the first week in a recliner, and wasn’t able to sleep on my stomach for about a month.
But oh boy, was it ever worth it. While the physical results are cosmetic, emotionally it’s been an amazing transformation. I’m more confident than I’ve ever been, and because I paid so much money for this body, you can bet I’m taking great care of it. I’ve been following Weight Watchers to make sure I don’t sabotage my results. I’m running my eleventh half-marathon next month, and I can’t wait to see how much better it feels without the excess skin. And let’s face it, shopping for clothes is a lot more fun now.