We Are Both Right

Mommy Makeover Surgery? You Deserve It!

Thirteen months after I gave birth to our youngest child, my son S., I had surgery. Weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds, six ounces, his vaginal birth was traumatic for both of us — he winding up with a broken clavicle and me with extensive muscle damage in my pelvic area.

Thankfully, over a year later, his long-ago, quickly healed fracture is nothing more than a notch on my mommy guilt scale (and by nothing I mean everything), S. feeling no ill-effects of his dramatic entrance into the world. I on the other hand, was not so lucky.

I had definite physical (and the start of some emotional) issues stemming from the injury, ones that I wasn’t comfortable talking about for months after. When I finally did discuss them with my doctor, my husband, mom and eventually, the most amazing, empathetic surgeon I could have asked for, I felt heaps better. And now, months removed from the procedure and hospital stay, physical therapy complete, I finally feel whole and good again, like myself.

Now granted, my surgery was medically and according to the doctor, in many ways psychologically necessary. I couldn’t have carried on the way things were. But it’s that psychological part that got me thinking. When we give birth, our bodies change. And the more kids we have, the more they morph. I’ve been a size 12 jeans (give or take) for the past 15 years. But I can promise you that my hips and thighs and waist are not the same hips thighs and waist that I had before my kiddies took up temporary residence in my midsection. And as someone who nursed three kids for nearly three years of my life, well let’s just say things are dramatically different in that department too.

Now none of that bothers me. Medical complications aside, I’m pretty happy with my body. Yes, I need to lose some weight and I do my fair share of sighing during bathing suit season, but I actually like what having kids did to my profile. I like that I look like a mom. Sure, I won’t be walking a catwalk anytime soon, but it’s likely I wouldn’t have anyway.

Some women though, aren’t too pleased with the changes that bearing children brings forth. Aren’t too crazy about the the lumpy stomach or the wider waist or broader hips or even the chest that now resides directly above their stomach. Vain? Maybe. But honest. And if there is a way to change it back (I hate to use the word fix, because honestly, I don’t think anything is broken), why not?

© Raven3k/stock.xchng

© Raven3k/stock.xchng

I used to hear the words plastic surgery and think about Joan Rivers. Celebrities and old rich women who were trying to hold on to their youth. But I don’t think that is the case anymore. More and more you hear about moms — regular moms, not just celebs — going in for “Mommy Makeover Surgeries” where they get tummy tucks, breast lifts and liposuction. And if you have the means or inclination, I see nothing wrong with it.

As a pregnant woman you and your body spend nine months caring and nurturing a life inside of you. And if you nurse your baby, that’s more time dedicated to the needs of someone else. When all is said and done, if you want to spend some time taking care of yourself, why not?

No Nip and Tuck For My Mommy Makeover

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Unless there’s some kind of magic tummy tuck cream out there, this mommy will leave her bellybutton right where it is. To me, mommy makeovers based on cosmetic plastic surgery are way too much risk for the reward.

I absolutely agree that moms deserve to feel good about themselves — especially since we readily turn our bodies over to the life forms inside us, allowing them to rearrange our intestinal organs, siphon off our nutrients, and rest elbows and heels in our rib cage. We watch helplessly as our bodies stretch to the max in every direction to embrace the life within us, and then sag and settle into a molten shape once baby arrives.

But to me, that’s only the beginning of the sacrifice we make for the benefit of our children. I take my responsibility to my two so far as to not subject myself to any risky propositions (parachuting, rock climbing, and walking backward down the stairs, to name a few) at least until they fly the nest.

I need to be around for my children.  In turn, I think that they would rather have a slightly mushy mommy with a healthy body image as opposed to one who took the unnecessary risk of plastic surgery only to have something go wrong.

Besides, unless my long-term health depends upon it or I was in a horrifically disfiguring accident, I can think of a lot better things to do than going under the knife. The risks are always there — no matter how uncomplicated the procedure sounds or even if it’s so “simple” that it can be done in a plastic surgeon’s office — beginning with anesthesia, bleeding complications, left-behind scalpels, infected surgical sites, not to mention the pain. Nope, not volunteering for a slight chance of any of that.

And then there’s the budget impact (elective cosmetic surgeries are usually not covered by insurance and I haven’t yet met a poor plastic surgeon.) In my family, that would come across as “Sorry sweetie, but you can’t go to soccer camp this summer because mommy needs a little lift to get back into that bikini.”

None of this is to say that I think moms should trash the full-length mirror or give up on themselves completely. Instead, we can learn to accept our new shapes — flaws and all. There’s not a day I leave home without blow drying my hair, putting on lipstick and changing into something that can’t be mistaken for pajamas. 

It’s just that cosmetic surgery is where I draw the line (although I do see the value in gastric bypass surgery and lap-band procedures where they can help lessen or prevent future health issues related to obesity — those are a world apart from breast enhancement in my book).

So while I marvel at the efficiency of the kill-two-birds-with-one-stone approach of pairing a tummy tuck with a c-section, I can assure you there won’t be any nipping and tucking over in these parts.