FRANK PREGNANCY TALK Frank discussion of pregnancy symptoms, emotions, side-effects and oddities.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

“Fixing” My Belly and Me?

With my second pregnancy I carried a lot different than the first. My belly was all out in front and hung a little lower. As a result, there was a lot more pressure on my once-picture-perfect belly button. You may be jealous, but I have to tell you… before babies I had, without even trying, a toned and flat belly with a deep, sexy navel. It was so deep in fact, that for more than 35 years, I never saw the bottom of it.

During that second pregnancy I noticed my belly button becoming more and more sore and protruded. I was soon diagnosed with abdominal muscle separation and a herniated navel. My doctor said it was quite common and something I could later get corrected with a minor surgery.

Since that time (more than 4 years ago) I’ve been more than just a little annoyed by my herniated navel. Not only is it ugly but, at times, it can be quite painful too. Sometimes while playing tennis or reaching for my big salad bowl on the top shelf something will pop out and get pinched. Yeeeeouch! I stuff the rubbery protrusion back in with my fingers and hold it firmly in place until the knife-stabbing pain ebbs.

Since I’m not all that fond of elective surgery, I’ve been trying to remedy the bum belly issue myself. I stuck to a strict exercise regimine for more than 2 years, including 300 crunches, 3 times a week. My stomach did get more muscular, but I can still see the 1.5” x 3” gap in the muscle wall every time I do a sit up and the painful episodes continue on a semi-monthly basis.

So, I guess it’s time to get the surgery. I always thought, if I’m going to go ahead and have a knife taken to my navel, I might as well get a tummy tuck too. The skin around my navel is terribly stretched and scarred from pregnancy. Then, maybe I could have a somewhat better looking bod in a bikini. But, (here’s the big BUT) if I do get the navel surgery, which would mean the tummy tuck too, than I’d have to be sure that I’m not having any more babies. Imagine how uncomfortable it would be to get pregnant after a tummy tuck? The skin wouldn’t stretch; it would tear. Big OUCH! And ugly, that would be terribly ugly. Don’t you think?

The question is: Am I ready to give up the possibility of having another baby? My husband wants to have another. We have two girls and he wants one last shot at the boy. But, of course HE wants to have another baby. Another baby would hardly affect his world. He won’t become big and uncomfortable for 40 weeks. He won’t have to give up alcohol and sushi, even after pregnancy, because he’s still breastfeeding. He won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby and change a gazillion poopie diapers. He won’t have to put his career on hold (again) and revamp his whole life and family plan. He probably will come home to a much more cranky wife though.

I always thought two was a good number. “Two and through,” I’ve often said. They’re close enough in age that they can play together and be buddies for life. And, with two, us parents are never outnumbered.

Plus, I am 40 years old. My eggs aren’t getting any fresher. What if I should have a Down’s baby? After 35, women are statistically more at risk for all kinds of complications with pregnancy and the developing fetus. But, then again, one of my very best friends just had her third, perfectly healthy and adorable baby (a boy, after 2 girls. And, yes, my husband is jealous) at age 43, last year.

I’m pretty convinced that I don’t want any more children, for a lot more reasons than listed here, but it’s just so hard to permanently close the door on the possibility. Life is such a precious and beautiful thing, especially the life of a newborn. Oh crap! I can’t decide!


Blogger DD said...

Maybe your body will decide for you either way.

That's real helpful advice, isn't it.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How "old" do you feel??
I turned 41 in June and my baby is beautiful and healthy and perfect just like we knew he would be.
We did NO genetics testing because we knew that he would be fine and I don't think I could ever terminate a pregnancy.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I feel 29. I just wished I looked like it!

5:46 PM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

Well I gave birth 6 months ago and now thinking well maybe another one by the time I hit 40. But that's the end point!


4:16 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

With both of my kids, my navel popped out also. My doctor said my kids were through 'cooking' (alluding to the turkey timer popping out)
I never knew about the herniated abdominal thing.
And I really get the closing the door on your fertility options also.
For me, I have more days I'm sure I do not want another child and 1/4 of the time trying on the idea of another.

12:47 AM  
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8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad that I found your blog, I don't feel like I am a weirdo anymore. I just had a baby six weeks ago and my stomachis killing and it just start two days ago. I am wearing a griddle to ease the pain but it is still there. I am having the exact problem you are. I want this fixed in the worse way but I am only 25 with two girls and I want to try for a boy in about 4 years. but what do I do?? I would love to be skinny again and have no pain, but I want a son....

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your belly button looks like mine! I am going to get mine fixed. I haven't worked out for 20 years, just to have my body look like crap after 3 kids. I am also going to check out the tummy tuck option also. As for having a 3rd. I thought I was done after 2 children. However, our 3rd has been a blessing. I'm almost 38 and don't regret it at all. But I am exhausted. With kids ages 9,7, & 2, just the homework, activities, etc, I can't keep up. You go from one on one coverage to zone coverage. Get ready for an adventure!

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having another baby is up to you entirely - I'm 36 weeks pregnant at the moment and I DO NOT want to have another baby. My fiance knows this and even though he thinks I'm being irrational, it is my body and ultimately, my choice.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, have an ugly belly button. I really struggle with it. My diastasis is above my button, and my button pokes out like a deformed penis ;-D. I am dreading having the surgery, because I hated the recovery time after having my children via c-section. I haven't been to a surgeon yet to see what the cost would be and whether insurance will cover any of the expenses.
On the other hand, at least I know that I don't want any more children. TWO is plenty!
Thanks for the blog... at least I feel a bit more normal now.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My belly button looks exactly(and I mean exactly) like yours and it is from pregnancy!! I am having umbilical hernia surgery in two weeks because I know I am done having children (my husband got fixed right after our second). We have two wonderful boys but they drain me of all my energy!

My cosmetic surgeon said he is going to close it with a couple of stitches and it will be a very easy and quick surgery (I will only be sedated). The recovery period is 6 weeks (that means no exercise - ugh; or picking up my 2 year old - I don't know how I am going to pull that off). I am very fortunate that I don't need a tummy tuck. I don't have any stretch marks or sagging skin; only a bulging belly button and a little bit of stretched stomach muscles (I have a 4 pack instead of a six pack from exercise and good genes in the stomach and waist area). I am actually shocked at how toned and flat my stomach got this summer (not as good as it used to look but I have no room to complain, according to my friends).

I will have to let you know how the surgery goes after the 6 weeks of recovery has passed. Wish me luck!

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi--I found your blog while researching herniated navels. I am 32 weeks pregnant with twins and have had a fairly easy time of it except for my painful belly button. I am a little upset to learn that this won't just disappear after delivery. As to your hesitation about having a third baby. I would urge you to look into adoption. This might alleviate your legitimate concerns about sex and downs. It's easy for some people to say how they'd handle the news of having a downs baby when they aren't actually put to the test.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Jessica Young said...

Yep....I'm another mom who has the same thing. I'm 5'11 so I thought I'd carry my babies so easily. HAH! After baby number one (9 lb 5 oz) my belly button has never been the same again. Now I'm on baby number three. I used to have great proportions but now I look like an "apple" body type due to the weird bump and the extra inch or two around my stomach due to the separated abdominal wall muscles. I look like I'm three months pregnant ALL the time! I'm 28. I've got 9 more years of having babies before I throw in the towel. But the kids are worth it.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found this blog, noticing that it was posted in 2006, what did you decide? I am in the exact same situation. I have a surgery scheduled in 2 months but my husband would like to have another child. We also have 2 girls. I will be 36 in the fall and do not want to get pregnant before then as I am enjoying my life. I really want the surgery to correct my diastisis. What do I do?

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 50 years old and I have let my tummy go to hell in a handcart. I would be in good shape at 200 pounds but I am tipping the scales at 290. 75% of my excess weight is in my gut. I've tried dieting but now when I diet, I get dizzy, I rather be dead than dizzy so the dieat suffers. my belly button has grown fron a half inch inny to a half dollar size outtie, men aren't usually that vain but I'll not walk around without a shirt on. Yesterday my belly button seemed even futher protruded, and today it hurts... hernia! I read a few articles about it and it looks less than promising. But hey, I am a guy so I shaved above and below my navel a 3" x 12" strip and put a 2" x 11" strip of duct tape to hold it in; it does relieve the pain, over that I put one of those stretchy weight loss bands. Now to loose 90 lbs.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow finally I find something on here I can relate to! I have 3 kids and had all of them in 3 1/2 years. Didn't gain much weight with pregnancy as I am a personal trainer and stayed fit all the way through but after my first my stomach was so destroyed and now a year after my third was born it still looks terrible! I struggle with my body because I am so fit and I know there is nothing else I can do to improve it with exercise. My belly button looks like yours, it sticks right out, my abs are separated and unless I am fully flexed at all times I look 3 months pregnant. It sticks out like a perfect ball and it frustrates me to no end. Not to mention all the stretch marks and hanging skin around my deformed belly button. Then when I consider plastic surgery I feel so shallow and wish I were a better person who can just be happy with the fact I am blessed to have a wonderful family and healthy children. I know that's all that really matters....but still am affected by how I look. Hmmmm what to do....I guess we're all lucky to have this as our concern and not anything worse! Much luck to all you awesome mommies:)

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish outies were the in thing. It seems like this is so common, yet I can't say that I've seen it before.

It really disgusts me how men can wear their bathing suits with their bellies flopping out and then all of us beautiful mothers are so self conscious of our outies!!

Mine looks at least 3 times worse than yours, but it doesn't hurt. I was given a site :, but it's for the area I live in. Basically a personal trainer for athletes who got hurt and things like this. I'm gonna try it before I do the surgery, because I want more kids.

But definitely surgery when I'm done with kids!

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so open about your diastasis and navel. i too have the same thing. i always look 3 months preggers and it is really starting to affect my self esteem, my "baby" is 11 months. My belly button also looks like a baby penis and I hate it. yes, there are worse things in life, but this isn't fun.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weird, my belly button looks exactly like yours! I have a relatively flat stomach after 3 girls (yes, we too tried for a boy) but the thing sticks out. I was thinking they might be able to stick some breast implants up through the incision? ha!

9:33 PM  
Blogger sam speron said...

Tummy Tuck is good choice for reduce a belly fat after a pregnancy lot of women got good results.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Marlene Gomez said...

A successful tummy tuck can be done best by certified surgeons whose experience doing the procedure is crucial in achieving a good result. Women always feel self-conscious for their tummies, but now a days it pretty simple to have tummy tuck surgery.

5:38 AM  

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