Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Questions for the lap-banders and non-lap-banders alike.....

Someone asked me a tummy tuck question yesterday and it got me thinking about questions and observations for all of you that I realized I’m curious about. I have no idea why but I just think it’s interesting and I guess I get to know my followers even more which I love. Bear with me while I get you to my questions.

Okay - this started when someone posed this question to me -- “Did you have your tummy tuck before or after you had kids?”

Now to some of you I’m sure you’re thinking – DUH – why on earth would you have it BEFORE you had kids! But – the truth is many people do. When I was heavily involved in tummy tuck message boards there many many women who had lost massive amounts of weight and needed a tummy tuck – yet many were under the age of 30 or single and knew some day they may have kids.

Also – there were quite a few women I followed who had a tummy tuck and then suddenly surprisingly ended up pregnant. They seemed to not get as big and their stomachs seemed to flatten out nicely afterwards. The ones who hadn’t had kids said they needed to feel good RIGHT NOW and if they had to have another later – fine. Some felt without getting it done they’d never even have the confidence to find a mate to have kids with and there’s no time like the present. I always thought it was an interesting debate.

** Side note – do any of you watch Ruby? Did you see she’s at a point where she’s thinking of plastic surgery much before she’s at her goal? Having the surgery will make her more mobile so she can reach her goal easier. The doc said he could take 25lbs off her arms alone – can you imagine carrying that around? She is very torn – and very scared after seeing the scars involved (arm scars are usually the worst). And she is still over 300 lbs with more to lose – so she has to know she may end up needing a very difficult and expensive surgery – TWICE. It’s such a kick in the face….to do the work and be left with the skin and it’s such a personal decision.

I work with a man who needs skin cut from his arms, legs, knees, breasts, stomach – everywhere – he was over 500 lbs. If he had this done – he’d be at goal as they estimate his skin alone weighs 75 lbs. He refuses – he has a low pain tolerance and it would take many surgeries and right now he can’t deal with the pain that would come with it – though he hates the skin…he is in his late 40s. His daughter – same thing – but she indeed had all the skin on her arms, stomach, legs and her breasts lifted – all in one surgery – but she is in her 20s…..has no kids yet and is engaged. The mother – also over 400 lbs – doesn’t care and it doesn’t bother her – she will have no WLS or plastic surgery of any kind. Interesting isn’t it? **

Back to my first question - specifically for the lap-banders. I really have never asked anyone what happens when and if any of you who haven’t had kids want to have them in the future? Do you leave the band in? Do you take it out? How does that work? I know someone who had bariatric surgery and they do nothing special if she gets pregnant (the girl I spoke of above). Did the thought of having kids some day influence your lap band decision? Or was getting the lap band part of knowing you could easier have kids some day?

Does the thought of putting weight back on – even if for a pregnancy – scare the living crap out of you? For me it did. I used to read about the people who suddenly found out they were pregnant after having a TT and it would make me break out in hives thinking what I would feel like if that was me. Most people realized it was a blessing and fate and meant to be and embraced it but at first they were scared and man – some people had spent upwards of $10,000 and now they were pregnant.

Remember some people have tummy tucks due to a pregnancy only – not due to being obese. Some women’s bellies stretch only for pregnancy – and they get tummy tucks after to repair the muscle and skin. Can you imagine fixing that and then knowing it’s happening again due to another pregnancy? Even today – if I had to gain the weight back – I’m not sure I could do it and not go mentally insane.

I’m by no means questioning the value of life vs. skin and pain and weight – I’m just thinking out loud.

I work with a woman who started losing weight when I did. She said she wants 5 kids. Has always said that. Was adamant about it. But that’s before she got rail thin and worked her ass off. Years later – still thin – still no more kids. I often wonder if the thought of gaining her weight back is enough to keep her from having more kids? Isn’t that amazing if it’s true? That such a thing as fat and weight and the work it involves could somehow stop a person from having a child? Yet I understand it.

I once had a man here say to me, “You should gain all your weight back so you could go on Biggest Loser and lose it all again and win the money.” Gain it back for money? The sheer thought of gaining it back – made my stomach hurt. Would you guys do that? Would any amount of money be worth gaining it back on purpose to lose it again? I mean celebrities do it but then again it’s usually less than 50lbs and they have the means to take it off fast with personal chefs and trainers and such. I just don’t think I could do it.

So those are my thoughts and questions. I completely realize having kids is a very personal topic so no need to answer if that makes you uncomfortable. I’m not trying to pry – it’s just an interesting topic to me.

Also – speaking of tummy tucks – Band-Babe asked me about post op pain and returning to normal life and such and I didn’t sugarcoat and I gave her the gloom and doom side of it. While it is true – I wanted to say to you Band-Babe – that for me the swelling for a year or more truly tested my mental and physical strength – but I will tell you this. Even on my most swelled day – the swelling was ALWAYS better than the hanging skin and you have to hold on to that. Did I look like an alien – was I huge and couldn’t fit in pre-op clothes? YES. But hanging skin was gone and swelling or not – THAT was what I had to focus on. My worst swell day was still better than any hanging skin day in my head. I hope you find that true as well.

And OMG – we’re going to Chicago – with a bunch of BOOBS!!!! Have you all joined the new blog yet for our upcoming trip??? I’m so excited I can’t even think!

♥ Smooches & Hugs ♥

♪ Life isn't as serious as my mind makes it out to be. ♪

♣ Everything always passes, and everything is already okay. Stay in the place where you can see that & nothing will resist you. ♣


Ms. Chunky Chick said...

I wouldn't gain weight back for all the tea in china. And I know when I get to my goal the contanst fear of gaining it back will linger at my side. I do want a tummy tuck but I also want to have 1 more child. So having in pre or after baby is realy a personal choice. When i get to that point I guess I will have to decide. Thanks for all your honesty. Big Hugs!

Mary said...

Hey girl LOVE this post!!!! For me the whole reason I am getting the lap band is so I can have children.....well not the whole reason but a big part. I am 27 years old. My husband and I have been married almost 4 years. I have been over weight my whole life except for the portions I took diet pills like they were crack! I have always been scared to get pregnant at 300 lbs. I know alot of people don't get that but it has always been a real struggle for me. I want a child. So for me, I will def be using this tool to accomplish that. After I have the baby The first words out of my mouth will be "FILL HER UP, LET'S DO THIS AGAIN!" Thanks for an AWESOME post! Have a great day!!!!!

Gilly said...

Something weird: when I was pregnant was the only thing ever to happen to me where I DIDN'T gain weight. Both my pregnancies only saw a weight gain of 12 and 9lbs. 100% baby. Being pregnant is the only time in my life that I ate like a normal person and wasn't constantly thinking about food. It was nice.

I have a friend who was like 2 seconds pregnant when she had the surgery (she didn't know she was pregnant...don't worry...everything turned out fine) and she made it through the pregnancy with the band, and now is losing like a trooper!

Jenny said...

I don't think I could gain any of it back for $$. I was just so unhappy being overweight that its not worth it.

As far as kids go, I'm not sure if I want more. But the thing that I loved about the band was that its not one size fits all. If I decided to get preggers again and needed more of my tummy they can unfill the band and when that baby is born fill me back up!

Angelia said...

I've thought about surgery so many times. I am not 'that' big though. My husband and I have thought about having another baby and it gives me pause even in regular weight loss. Sometimes, I will admit, I even use it as an excuse. What's a donut compared to what a baby will do to me?

tessierose said...

I don't know what I'll do when I get to my goal, what my stomach will look like. I am a definitely a pear shape, so the bulk of my weigt is in my bottom area. I have lost huge amounts before and my stomach got flat each time, but I'm much older now, only time will tell. I'm like Gilly, I ate normally when I was pregnant with both of my kids, I actually lost 50 pounds each time. I only wanted clean foods. Imagine that. I think it's such a personal choice to have surgery, I don't know though, we'll see!

Miss S. said...

The girl over at Endurance isn't Only Physical had a lap band pre-baby & wants it removed.

I would have plastic surgery, but not WLS. I think we're done having kids, but I did tell hubby if he wants one more it better be now-I am not working my literal ass off to gain it back. =)

~ Katie ~ said...

OMG! I love to watch Ruby!! I can't wait to see what she decides. Alot of times, you can donate your skin to be skin grafts for burn victims and the cost is reduced or free.

All the money in the world could not tempt me to go back to where I was. I was on the low end of the spectrum for lapband and steadily moving up in weight, I just can't bear the thought of ever being where I was again.

I know several people who had lapband and were still able to have normal pregnancy. I guess it's each to their own.

my other blog : chronicles my short lived trying to get pregnant journey that ended in hysterectomy at age 27.

Chele said...

As everyone who follows me knows, I have a p'nut. She's 3. P'nut had to be evicted from my body because if she wasn't, I'd be pregnant with a 3 year old right now. I failed induction...TWICE! So they had to go in and get her!

I know I will have another baby and next baby will be c-section also which is when I'm planning to get my tuck. My mom had her tuck following gastric bypass when she had a hysterectomy. Wa-la, two birds, one cut!

I've only lost 35ish pounds (i'm not really sure, I've boycotted the scale since it's gotta be broken!) and I already notice that p'nuts old house is more hangy then before. I would LOVE to get that bad boy lopped off but I know I'll need it when p'nut 2 is in there. So I'll wait.

I nursed p'nut too. So I'm going to get the girls repositioned after baby number 2 too. At least that's the plan. We'll see. It's all going to depend on how body obssessed I become...

Julie, The Accidental Fat Chick said...

Gain weight back for money? Seriously, there is not enough money in the whole world for me to do that!

For a baby? Maybe if someone could guarantee me a bouncing baby girl... but really I think I'm done.

Miss Tori said...

The whole reason I got my lapband in the first place was to increase our chances of having a baby. We went through IVF and failed. My eggs are old. Our next option is using donor eggs or embryos, which will not be effected by my age (going on 39 next month). So to minimize complications during the pregnancy due to my weight (gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsi due to high blood pressure, etc.) my fertility specialist and my OB all thought it would be a good idea to lose weight using lapband as it is adjustable and safer during pregnancy than bypass.

Will I ever consider a tummy tuck or even just a panni, yes. But will I be able to afford it? Depends on how much money I have to borrow to go through the donor egg process, as it isn't covered by my insurance. My WLS also wasn't covered by my insurance so I am paying that off right now.

Does gaining weight during a pregnancy freak me out? No. Because I know it will be worth it and with my band, I can lose it again.

In the end, I think it all comes down to priorities, what's most important to each person, and where they are in their own personal journey.

P.S. You might enjoy my post from last night.

Band-Babe said...

THANK YOU FOR ADDRESSING THE SWELLING. That was the one question that was bugging me the most, and I forgot to ask it. Ok, I get it. I can deal with FLAT swelling. Good thing I'm a slacker and have my next size up clothes in the trunk of my car. Was going to dump them in a charity bin, but didn't get around to it.

Stephanie said...

One of the reasons I kept putting off doing anything about my weight was because I knew I still wanted another child. I just let the thoughts of the lap band stay on the back burner. I got pregnant last July after trying for 3 months and my husband and I were thrilled. Well, long story short, the pregnancy had to be terminated in the 10th week due to the fetus growing in my fallopian tube rather than the uterus. So, needless to say, we decided not to try for another child, as my risks for another ectopic pregancy increased and we just didn't want that emotional rollercoaster. once the prospect of another child was out of the question, I looked back at the band. I couldn't imagine doing this before getting pregnant. I imagine it would be tough to go through al the hard work, just to gain more weight back. That would just screw with me too much, psychologically.

Carmen said...

i don't have kids and i am on the fence (leaning towards no) about ever having them...but the majority of women i know that have had either the band or bypass did it with the major reason being that they wanted to have kids and couldn't for a weight related reason...
on the TT front, i do not believe that i will ever do that, but then again if i hit my goal weight and i have skin hanging to my knees i MIGHT reevaluate that ;-)

Sandy Lee said...

Hmmmm. Do I want more kids now that I have the band? Does it count if you want to adopt them?

Might have to wait for hubby to come back in two weeks and see if he wants to try again. Hmmm. Won't happen, he got the Big V.

Guess I'm done with kids-still trying to get off the baby weight from the last one. LOL. I guess I'll just have to be happy with adopting a few of you guys as my kids!

Alexis said...

What a wonderful post! There were two main reasons why I decided to have the lap band surgery (after 10 years of not being able to get below 240 pounds on my own):
1.) the life I was living was anything but the life that I wanted and what was holding me back was my weight. I just couldn't take it any more and didn't really know what else to do. I knew without a doubt that gastric was not something I wanted. I had heard of the band and knew a few people that had it and did more research into it. It was very compelling to me for one important reason...
2.) I am 28 years old, have been married for 4 years and It was important for me to be able to still get the nutrients that I need and get them mainly from food especially when pregnant. At 305 pounds I probably would have been lucky to even get pregnant. The band has gotten me down to a much better weight all around. According to my doctor, the band will not come off when pregnant. He will most likely just remove most of the fluid that gives me restriction and then it's pretty much like my stomach is back to normal so I can get the nutrition and calories I need to have a healthy pregnancy.

Regarding the probable weight gain that would come with pregnancy is one thing that actually scares the ba-jesus out of me. I know that I'm not going to gain the 100 pounds that I've lost back, but right now I freak out if the scale goes up a pound or two and I just can't imagine watching it go up more than that. I'm sure that will change once I actually am pregnant, but it's a conversation that my husband and I have often. How is this going to affect me mentally when the time comes and I am pregnant?

Great post and I am SO excited for the Chicago thing!

Tina said...

I'm done with the kid thing. Four is plenty. Having kids was a large factor in my path to fat so it would scare the crud out of me to do that again. I don't gain that much while pregnant. It is after I give birth and start nursing that the pounds pack on. After four my weight was not a pretty sight. The band has me now at my pre-pregnancy weights (before baby number 1 and down 111 pounds).

I had a consult with a plastic surgeon last Friday. She suggested I get all of the rest of the weight I want to off before surgery (I am giving it until Christmas and hoping for 30 more pounds). The plastic surgeon did not discuss sewing up the muscle in my abdomen or not but I have heard that if you are planning on more kids they leave it alone and if not they can sew it up for tighter abs.



MIMI said...

OK. I personally don't want to have children. If the day did come and I lost the weight and got pregnant then right after I would fill Gypsy back up. That is the most terrifying thing to gain the weight back to me. And, about plastic surgery I told Jessica many times I'm gonna feel like a barbie when all this is said and done if I have to get all kinds of surgery to get like the skin and boobs back. But it will all be worth it to be happy and healthy. Love this post.

Diz said...

I'm one of those girls that would like to have kids one day but don't see it in the near future, so if I were to get a tummy tuck, I'd do it now (which I still think about sometimes). What if I never have kids, you know? I would want to look my best now- and deal with/worry about the results after having the baby when that time actually came. If I had to get another one, I would. I would not skip the opportunity to have a baby if I had the chance to have one. However, I would also not skip the chance to be hot if I had that too. :)

Amy W. said...

Yep. No kids for us. It is funny when I read other bandsters blogs that around the age as me and they are talking about "when we have kids" makes me remember that having children is a normal focus for a girl my age. Tracey has 5 kids and got fixed 16 years ago. If I really wanted a kid we would have surgery and we would try...or adopt...but I dont. Somedays I do dream of how beautiful my daughter would be. Ah...just like me. Smart. A dancer. Humble.

Diz said...

Just saw your comment about Chicago btw, :) thank you for the invite. I'm definitely into doing this- I have an old roommate who lives in Chi town and I'd love to go out there- always wanted to, never have. Let's do this! I need to read up on it when I get back from work, but I'll do that tonight. HEARTS!

DawnB said...

I'm way past the baby makin' stage of my life - but I will say this: The healthiest I ate in my life was during both times that I was pregnant. Mind you , I was already overweight, but I did not overeat & ate very nutritious foods. Heck - I didn't even chew sugarless gum or go near diet soda both times I was pregnant. It's hard to explain - but I just didn't get fatter during those times. So I'm sure banded mommies to be will do just fine as well.

kagead said...

I'm soon to be 41 and single with no kids yet. Yes, I still hope to have children and realize that opportunity may be past but I'm not giving up.

I talked to my Dr. about this and she said that given my age, the band will probably be the least of my worries.

In any case, I think I would wait on a tummy tuck (should I need one) and breast reduction/lift (which I will need for sure), but I really like to get my arms done as soon as possible. I know the scars are bad, but I'd hate to lose all this weight and still have to wear things with sleeves all the time. For me, the scars are better than the waddle flab.

Poor Ruby, I felt so bad for her last week. She has a very tough decision to make and my heart goes out to her.

Brooke said...

Um, Amazing! Are you going into my brain at night, scooping out the goo and smearing it all over your blog because literally, just like the whole whootenanny issue, this too has been swirling around in there....

I want a child. A little girl. And I want to only gain 10 lbs. And to be honest I am looking at getting PG soon. I'm not at goal weight, but I am 32 and close to a goal of sorts and I figure I'll have to lose any weight gained with surgery, so why not?

Plus, I am on a wait list for a breast reduction (live in Canada so it's free). So if it all works out I'll be PG in 6 months or less, have baby, breast feed and lose the baby weight and remaining weight w/ help of my lapband, then get my breasts reduced and lifted. Return to work skinny with smaller boobs, get promotion, etc etc etc

Diz said...

this is my 3rd post to you today. You can officially classify me as a stalker.

Thank you so much for everything you just said on my blog today. Seriously, you made my day. :( The fact that you would even take the time to write all of that out definitely let's me know I'm not alone, and I love you so much for it. YOU are amazing my friend. Thank you so much.

I'm still thinking about that damn tummy tuck. :)

Yvonne said...

Well I guess I am a good person to answer this since I am currently preggers with a band. When I made the decision to get a band one of my main motivators was the fact that I couldn't fall pregnant as I have PCOS. When I fell preggers with my first daughter I had lost weight on Weight Watchers. Currently I am 32 weeks pregnant with my little boy.

I have to say gaining weight has been tough - especially since the docs have said they either want me to not gain or even lose a little weight while pregnant. However in my pics I really don't look like my body has put on - just my belly. I had 2mls of fill removed but then got one put back in. So that is all that has happened re: my band.

I'm hoping everything will be alright - I am a little worried about what all the pushing will do when I go into labour but my surgeon assures me that the band should be fine.

A note on the tummy tucks - I wouldn't get one until I finish having kids but I can fully understand why people would before especially if you are single and on the prowl LOL. I really think it depends on what stage of life you are at. And I would definately never gain my weight back for money.

-Grace- said...

I am planning on having kids at some point and I think I would leave the band in and possibly remove some saline so I could provide my body with enough nutrients during pregnancy. At least that is my vague understanding of pregnancy with the band.
Part of the reason I decided to get banded was so that I could conceive easier. My periods aren't regular and haven't been since I gained most of my weight.
On the other hand, the thought of gaining a ton of weight back due to pregnancy scares the crap out of my and I've only lost 23 lbs...

The Shrinking Rini said...

I like to think my post a couple days ago played a role in this post. If not, let me flatter myself and think that I may have perhaps had some sort of impact on the infamous Drazil! ;o)

Starting a family was the main reason I decided to have WLS. At my heaviest, I was 344 lbs. I'm only 5'3". My BMI was off the charts! On surgery day I was 321 lbs and my BMI was 56. I was in no position to get pregnant. My body also wouldn't let me get pregnant! My period was irregular and I wasn't ovulating. (A sidenote--with the 60 lb weight loss so far, my period is regular for the first time in my life and I'm ovulating!!!) I also have a genetic blood disorder called Factor V Leiden that puts me at an increased risk of blood clots, as well as increased risks of complications during pregnancy--for both me and the baby.
I specifically decided on the band over gastric bypass because I felt it was a healthier alternative. The malabsorption of nutrients that comes with bypass scared me. With all the existing risk factors, I didn't want to have any additional risks associated with nutrient deficiencies. With the band, if needed, fill can be removed to increase the amount of food intake. It was a no brainer for me.

Regarding plastic surgery...until you commented on my recent post, the thought of having a body lift before babies never even crossed my mind. Then you got me makes some sense to me to get the extra skin taken off now. Even if I do stretch out again during pregnancy, it most definitely cannot even be possible to being as bad (or anywhere even remotely close) to what it is now. So why not? This is definitely something that I want to explore more with my doctors. Thank you for planting this seed!

As far as gaining the weight back for money...HELL NO! No one could pay me enough to gain the weight back. No way, no how! I actually spent a day waiting in line and auditioned to be on the Biggest Loser prior to surgery. I obviously wasn't picked, but I tried!

Rebekah said...

Drazil...I haven't read all the comments to this post, but will answer your questions because I did EXTENSIVE research on this topic BEFORE I got banded. My OB/GYN was one of the biggest forces to my looking into and getting the band. I had been trying to get pregnant and not--so he said that weight loss can be a big help for that.

As far as pregnancy & the band--what I am planning to do is find out how many calories for BMR BEFORE I'm pregnant, then make sure I am consuming that many calories for the first trimester. Beginning the second trimester they say you only need 300 more calories/day than before. So, I will adjust my band accordingly so that I can get that many calories in. I have NO INTENTION of letting anything out of my band unless I can't get the number of calories or the types of nutrients (veggies) that I need to get. At first I was scared to death to gain weight with pregnancy, but now that I have the band, I feel like it is something I am OK with...within the range of 15-25 pounds, because I can get back on track with a good fill after the baby is born.

Would I gain weight for money?!? Hell no! But I DID gain 10 pounds to qualify for the 35+ BMI for my insurance requirments for the band. It's like that movie "Super size me"...when you gain weight like that and FAST--then it is INCREDIBLY hard to lose!!!! Oh well...the ends justify the means here, I think.

Dirttrackdiva said...

i actually got banded so i could have kids. like some of the other girls, i was told i was too fat/unhealthy to have a healthy pregnancy. i don't have kids right now, and have since changed my mind and don't know if i want any at all. for a lot of reasons. i have a really bad back (three herniated disks) and the thought of gaining any weight back scares the living shit out of me! literally, i'm shaking and getting the sweaty palms just thinking about it.
would i gain it all back for biggest loser? no. not even if there was a lot of money involved. which i need, but who doesn't? i had given up. i refuse, adamantly refuse, to get back to the giving up weight/stage of my life. never gonna happen.

CinciMom11 said...

I'm a new reader, and I'm catching up on things. :)

One of my friends is in her second trimester, and she had to have her band removed because she got so sick. Now that the band has been removed, she is feeling much better (and gaining weight).

I'm losing weight the old-fashioned way, but I would consider plastic surgery. I'm 22, and I want a body that remotely resembles that of a normal 22 year old. Gaining 100 pounds in the last five months of my pregnancy really did a number on my body.

You def couldn't pay me to gain my weight back UNLESS I really need the money to care for my son.