Hey, Friends! It’s been four months since my surgery. I lived in a compression garment 24/7 for three months straight — oi. I’ve gone from terribly swollen and inflamed, to less swollen and numb. The last time I had a neurotherapy (involves needles), I felt NOTHING. My scar is still fresh, and it sometimes hurts. If I have a busy day, I’ll feel some pain at night. My lower belly, where the internal stitches that repaired my muscles and the external stitches cross, is still inflamed.
I wrote on my Instagram (@julietatorresd) that I don’t recommend a tummy tuck unless necessary, and that sentiment is still true. My abdomen needed a big repair, and that comes with a lot of pain. I cried every night for over two weeks. This is not a walk in the park, but it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.
One thing I didn’t expect (besides the pain), was how difficult getting dressed would be. I knew I’d be in sweatpants for a couple weeks, but I thought I’d be back in my clothes soon after. I wasn’t. At the two-week mark, my husband invited me to have dinner out. Getting dressed for it was so awful. I tried on several pairs of jeans and tops, and I couldn’t feel myself. I was still bent over and swollen, and NOTHING FIT. I cried. Two weeks in sweatpants were taking its toll on me. The next day I got my period. That explains all the crying. Why do we always have to deal with hormones on top of everything else?
Anyways, here, I’ll share the things that worked for me. Things that helped me feel more like myself when I wasn’t feeling my best.
1. Compression Garment
It’s probably one of my most asked questions. Not sure why, but Colombia is very famous for the compression garments or “fajas”. There are a lot of brands, and you can count on them to be good. My surgeon said I could get any brand. He only specified that it was better to have a side zipper with a center hook and eye closure, especially because I was having all my linea alba repaired. Best thing about this? You don’t have to go to Colombia to buy it, and the price difference is not big.
Fajate post-surgery/postpartum girdle – This one is a little longer than the one I’m wearing, but it’s better. I had two, this one and other longer one. I sized up, and it was perfect for the first six weeks. Then I had to take it in at the waist. NOTE: Lots of women wear it for postpartum recovery.
2. Good Loungewear
As I said, I lived in loungewear for over two weeks, and then more than half of the time after. I didn’t like leggings over the compression garment, so I lived in joggers. Before my surgery I made sure to get stylish sweatpants. Being home and in pain all day doesn’t mean you have to live in old and stained clothes.
I wore this coat all the time. You’re going to see it in all my pictures. Even when wearing sweatpants, I’d throw it on and feel more me. I’d feel put together, and at the same time I was covering my drains, my posture and swelling. Also! Mix sweatpants with a button down instead of a tee. My favorite place for pretty coats is ASOS. I can always find a good coat to wear with everything. Some picks below.
4. The Stretchiest Jeans
On days I had to go out or wanted to give my sweats a break, I relied on my stretchiest jeans with a coat or cardigan on top. I’ve never worn so many light coats or cardigans in my life. My favorite stretchy and comfy jeans are Good American, Everlane or Madewell.
5. Dresses for Warm Weather
Dresses, specially for warm weather can get tricky. My surgery was in the middle of the holiday season and vacation time in Colombia. We usually leave Bogota for warmer weather. I needed to cover my compression garment, so strappy dresses, shorts and short dresses were out of the picture.
I went to a local store and got some dresses. Button up with the option of cinching the waist to give you some shape while swollen.
6. If Not Dresses, Then Jumpsuits
Another option is a jumpsuit with short sleeves and wide legs. This is the only one I had, and I wish I’d had more. The wide leg was perfect for the compression garment and I felt amazing.
Two Months After Surgery
More like from six weeks up to three months. By this time I felt more like myself. I was standing straight and that made all the difference. Sometimes we don’t realize how much posture matters. Standing a little straighter always brings more confidence.
Clothing-wise, I still needed the compression garment, which limited things a bit. In Colombia it’s recommended to wear it for three months nonstop with a few exceptions on occasions you can’t wear it. By this time I felt good enough to wear anything, but I just had to keep in mind the compression garment.
My Favorite Post-Tummy Tuck Outfit Combinations
Slim Tops Fully Tucked in Straight or Wide-Leg Jeans
My waist is smaller and my belly is almost flat. If I wore bodysuits before with my saggy soft belly, why not now? To help with the leg line my compression garment gave me, I wore all the straight and wide-leg jeans. By this time I was back to my non-stretch denim, that I LOVE.
Three Months After Surgery
I still like to wear my compression garment, especially to exercise. I also wear it when I’m doing a lot of things with the kids. I feel supported while I gain my strength. Now it’s all about embracing that new body, including the scar, and feeling proud of going through all of it.
I’ll see full results after 6 months or more. Sometimes it takes a year. To the eye I look good, but internally I still feel my body is working to heal. The only thing I need to try after my surgery are swimsuits, but I want to wait at least one month more. I love my one-pieces and high-rise bottoms, and don’t feel the need to rush into a regular bikini. It’s been five years since I’ve worn one so..hmm…it intimidates me.
See more go my tummy tuck journey on my Instagram (@julietatorresd) a lot of high rise jeans and real and honest take on motherhood. Social media shouldn’t be for the good things only.