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Fancy Mama Makeover

Fancy Mama Makeover

DISCLAIMER: I am sharing all of this information hoping to help someone either make a decision or provide some insight on steps they need to take for a Mommy Makeover. 

How Did We Get Here?

Let's be honest. Becoming a mother changes you. Your body, mindset, way of life, everything. Mothers sacrifice so much carrying a baby and sustaining the new baby after we risk our lives giving birth. It's such a beautiful journey. I'd say it's worth the sacrifice but then....after ALL of that, we still can't enjoy our favorite snack in peace without having to share it. Haven't I given enough?! Sheesh.

We do all of the things to raise our children then look in the mirror and don't recognize ourselves. Our body is waaaayyyy different. Some changes are welcomed. Maybe larger breasts or wider hips. Others are a bit more challenging to accept, like that FUPA, sagging breasts or thinner hair. Now we're buying clothes that are more flattering to our "mom body" instead of stuff that we actually like. Is it just me?

I gave birth to 2 children 2.5 years apart and was able to lose pregnancy weight within 1.5 years of giving birth both times. But that little c-section flap of skin wouldn't budge. It didn't matter how much weight I lost, the miles I ran, how much weightlifting I did, how I avoided processed carbs, not having the cocktails I really wanted or how much water I drank. The pooch/skin flap was standing strong. Every doctor confirmed that it was not going to bounce back on it's own. I'd need surgery. That realization was very discouraging.

Then 2022 came with all kinds of added stressors dealing with family, my father in law passing away, completing the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, trying to figure out how to support my son's developmental delays, a construction project and a growing business. *phew* My physical routine did not change but stress induced weight gain added another level of mental anguish. I gained about 10 lbs in 2022. On top of the c-section skin flap, that added another 3 inches to my waistline. I felt like a sack of potatoes when it was time to get dressed. I ain't like it at all.

Three years after giving birth to my last child, I wasn't happy with my body, so I made plans for the mommy makeover. My husband was not excited about it at all. I'm not even going to get into the suggestions he gave for "weight loss". His concern was going under anesthesia for an elective procedure after a traumatizing experience with an epidural giving birth our son in 2016. You can read about that here. I'd just choose my surgeon wisely. Cuz dis tummy was getting tucked.

Choosing A Surgeon

I am a cosmetic surgery virgin. I ain't know nothing about nothing. I got a referral from my OB/GYN, a black woman, for a surgeon in Maryland. I liked the results he posted but I found that surgeons in Maryland are pricey and the results are not significantly better than surgeons in other states and countries. Also because of cosmetic surgery restrictions on the amount of fat you can remove during a procedure, results can vary based on your BMI going into surgery. And honey, if imma go through alladat, I want my waistline to be snatched and my results to give what needs to be given. So, I started asking around. I asked my girlfriends and family who have had cosmetic surgery. I also asked my girlfriends and friends who are in healthcare. The consensus was that in order to get the results I wanted, I'd have to leave Maryland for surgery. Miami, Atlanta or Dominican Republic. 

I knew my husband was not gonna go for me getting surgery in DR, so I chose Miami. After getting overwhelmed with the sheer number of plastic surgeons in Miami when I did a quick Google "best mommy makeover in Miami" search, I reached out to friends who live in Miami. One girlfriend is in the pageant world told me that all the girlies go to Dr. Zuri. Easy breezy. Dr. Zuri it is. Quadruple board certified, has performed almost 10,000 surgeries, no bad reviews that I could find on Real Self, no drama on the Florida State Licensing website. Selection confirmed.

My consultation was virtual. What that means for Miami doctors is that you submit your pictures and tell them what you want. The surgeon reviews the pictures and gives procedure suggestions based on what you say your desired results are. A nurse or front desk staff calls and walks you through the doctor's suggestions. For me, Dr. Zuri suggested:

  • Tummy Tuck (extended to prevent dog ear flaps on my hips)
  • Abdominal muscle repair
  • Liposuction of the flanks
  • Liposuction of the back

Once I agreed, they sent the invoice. I paid the deposit and scheduled my surgery date. I chose January 4 because January and February are historically slow for my business after the holiday rush, giving me ample time to recover without much pressure for when I'd have to return to work. Again, I am a cosmetic surgery virgin. I had no idea what to expect in regards to recovery.

Surgery booked. Now what? You think you're gonna just show up on your surgery date like "Here I am. Make me look good." No. There is a shit ton of things to be done in order to prepare yourself for the long road ahead. 

Pre-Op Prep: You Don't Know What You Don't Know

I spoke on a beauty business panel about product and product development at The Cube Co-Work space and a sweet young lady pulled me aside to talk about potentially developing a product for her medispa. Awesome. We followed each other on Instagram. Cool. Then I saw her posting about placement of padding in your post-op faja and my eyes lit up. I don't know a dayum thing about recovering from surgery. I also didn't know a dayum thing about what I was supposed to be doing to prepare for surgery. So, I booked a pre-op consultation with her at Gray Aesthetics. During my consultation, Reena gave me the run down on all the things I needed to buy and do to prepare my mind and body for surgery.

  • Series of colon hydrotherapy - Pain medications tend to cause constipation and you won't be able to use your core to "push". It's best to go into surgery all "cleaned out".
  • Gallon of water per day for the month before surgery
  • Upper body exercises
  • Taking Pro-Stat for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery for wound healing
  • Arnica supplements
  • Sleep
  • Keeping my BMI below 32 (remember that stress induced weight gain)

This is not a comprehensive list of everything she told me. Every body is different and requires different things for preparation and recovery. If you are preparing for surgery, I suggest you book a consultation with an experienced post-op nurse. I also had a list I received from my surgeon for all the pre-op testing required along with a clearance from my primary care physician.

  • Pre-op blood work from my primary care physician
  • EKG
  • Chest x-ray
  • No polish on the pointer finger on each hand
  • No drugs in your system (which meant I had to pause on my little "mommy edible" treats)
  • No alcohol 2 weeks before surgery (No weed or wine for two weeks with 2 small children. That was hell.)
  • And also, keeping my BMI below 32 or I'd have to have the surgery in the hospital instead of the surgery center (Say less. $$$$$$$)
  • Post-op lymphatic massages starting 24 hours after surgery

I thought I wasn't going to need post-op help because my husband was going to be with me. Duh! He's a doctor, should be easy breezy. My plan was to book post-op help for later in my stay after my husband left me alone for 2 days to return to Baltimore. However, after talking to Reena about what to expect right after surgery. I figured that it would be better to have someone experienced in post-op care than be in a hotel trynna figure it out. I had a come to Jesus talk with my husband, who is a doctor, not a nurse. We agreed that he doesn't know anything about post operative care, especially not when it comes to cosmetic surgery. I also remembered how he cared for me after my c-sections, not terrible but definitely not the Mother/Baby unit level of care expertise. This is not me taking shots at him, he is an AMAZING pediatrician. In our household, we stay in our lane and stick to our respective ministries. Him trying to take care of me after a major elective surgery wasn't it.

So, here we are on Google for "best post-op care in Miami". I was overwhelmed, yet again. So I asked my new bestie, Reena, for a referral. She referred me to Nurse BBL in Miami. Nurse BBL has a relationship with Marriot, so my lodging was included in her concierge post-op care fee. Also included was transportation, lymphatic massages and shower assist. Now it was up to me to prepare my family and my business for my extended hiatus. I was more worried about the business than I was my family because I have a village. And please, please, please know that you are going to have to rely on your village. For Fancy Free Hair and Skin, I was swamped:

  • Four pending product development projects with clients waiting for their trial products to test
  • Three private label clients that needed LOADS of product for Black Friday
  • Fancy Free Hair and Skin Black Friday prep
  • Fancy Free Hair and Skin replenish from Black Friday in addition to  manufacturing another 3 months in inventory because I wasn't sure how long I was going to need for my recovery.

I was literally working up until it was time for me to leave for the airport to go to Miami. SMH. I felt horrible leaving ALL of the prep work for my children going to stay with my parents for a week on my husband but it happens like that from time to time. 

In Miami

I arrived in Miami two days prior to my surgery date. My pre-op appointment at the surgeon's center was at 9a the day before my surgery. Being there a few days before surgery was nice. I got to relax and shop. The surgeon's office had a pharmacy delivery service, Capsule, so all of my post-op meds were delivered directly to my hotel.

  • Antibiotic
  • Blood thinner
  • Pain Medication

My husband arrived the night before my surgery. We had date night before my surgery. Hearty meal at a Cuban restaurant because no food or drink after midnight. Not even water. Then the obligatory vacation trip to Walmart. 

Surgery Day

Day of surgery, I arrived at the surgery center at 11:30 am dying of hunger and dehydration. The nurse came in to talk me through the steps, the anesthesiologist came in to talk me through pain meds and anesthesia. I signed my life away on consents. Then Dr. Zuri came in to look at me and mark my body up with a marker for where he was gonna cut and suction. Woo hoo! Off we go to the operating room. Because I already have small veins and I was dehydrated, the anesthesiologist had a little trouble starting my IV lines but once he did, baby I was OUT like a light.

5. Hours. Later. I woke up in the recovery room, shivering with a swollen lip. I guess from them removing the intubation while I was under. The post anesthesia nurse took my vitals and gave me some Gatorade. Once I seemed fully awake, she removed my catheter, helped me up, got me dressed and wheeled me out to my husband. The Nurse BBL concierge transportation was all set up and waiting for me with chucks pads on the seat cuz back lipo leaks (just one of the gazillion post-op things I wouldn't have ever thought of). A Nurse BBL staff was waiting for me with a wheel chair at the door when I arrived back at the hotel. In the hotel, they already had the room set up with:

  • Shower curtains on the bed and hotel chair
  • Dark sheets on the bed
  • Chucks pads on the bed and chair
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Compression socks
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Baby Wipes
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Crackers
  • Gatorade
  • Ibuprofen
  • Stool softener
  • The Works!

I wouldn't have ever thought of any of those things. Once I was in the room, they got me out of my clothes, to the bathroom, positioned in bed and ready for my first meal of the day, a delicious soap with crackers.

Luisa of Nurse BBL, pretty much stayed with us, checking my vitals, helping me to the bathroom, showing my husband what needed to be done, answering my husband's 50-11 questions and making sure I was comfortable until I was ready to go to sleep for the night. They returned in the morning for my first lymphatic massage, washed me up, got me dressed and helped me to my first post-op appointment. 

I am so happy I hired Nurse BBL for post-op care. WE were happy I hired help. While my husband is very attentive and caring, that first night would have been ROUGH without experienced hands on deck.


To be completely honest, I was very uncomfortable but I wouldn't necessarily call it pain. No tears. Just wincing when I needed to move and moving very slowly for the first couple of weeks. Lipo and tummy tuck are very traumatic to the skin. Most of the nerves are disconnected so most of my midsection was numb to touch, making the massages pretty bearable. Of course, my incision hurt to touch after the Exparel wore off but only really when my binder was rubbing up against it, like to adjust it or something. My upper body was stiff, very stiff. I couldn't really wipe my butt or rub myself down with shea butter. The most taxing thing was having my core being COMPLETELY out of commission. You don't realize how much you engage your core doing normal activities. My core felt sore in a "I have completed the most intense ab work out in my life". I had to use my upper body strength to do everything. I had to laugh at myself sometimes sliding off the bed so that I could have something to push myself up on.

I went back to the doctor on day 5 post-op for them to look at my results and to possibly remove my drains. That was the second time I saw Dr. Zuri. I literally only saw that man for a total of 5 minutes. LOL! After my binder was off and they measured me for my faja, he came in to survey me, told me I looked good, shook my hand and told me to come see him anytime I'm back in Miami. As a business owner, I was impressed with the level of efficiency of his office. He focuses on his zone of genius and dassit. Back to the process...

As Co-Captain of "Team Do the Most", I definitely did the most with the lymphatic massages. I was in Miami for 6 days post-op and I got massages all 6 days. I came home and started my "Queens Recovery" package with Gray Aesthetics on day 7. I could feel the fluid in my body building up when I went from getting massages daily to getting them 3 days per week. The massages helped improve my range of motion drastically, moving the fluid out instead of allowing it to remain stagnant and solidify.

Now Gray Aesthetics does waaaayyyy more than just lymphatic massages. Red light therapy, ultrasonic waves, suction cupped, shaker machine, IV hydration, garment assist and probably some treatments I'm not even describing correctly.

The Worst Part Not So Bad
Drains dangling from my legs for 2 weeks Discomfort/Pain
Using a pee funnel to pee through the faja hole Faja with padding 23 hours/day for 3 months
Sleeping on my back Swelling
Inability to use my core Buying new clothes

No sex for 6 weeks

Numbness in my midsection


The first day after surgery was the worst. Alls I focused on was getting comfortable and sleeping but BABY! Let me tell you, when I took those bandages off the next day and looked in the mirror, I was smiling like a Chesire cat. My husband was like "GAH DAMN! You look good!". Even with the initial swelling, I was happy with my results. Everyday I felt a little bit better, was able to move a little bit more and was able to do one or two more tasks independently. Keeping a "Can do" mindset and focusing on the end result has made my recovery smooth sailing.

But even as a "Can do" person, I wasn't much help around the house. For about 10 days, all I could really do was take care of myself. Make sure you have a support system to pick up the slack so you don't try to do the most while recovering.

The Cost

I'll start off with the total number and then break it down. I have a spent about $21,000 on this makeover. Here's the breakdown:

  • Pre-Op Preparation
    • Consultation: $150
    • 6 sessions of Colon Hydrotherapy: $600
    • Pro-Stat: $50
    • All of the gear (padding, boards, pee funnel, compression socks, moo moos for ease during recovery, etc.): $250
  • Surgery: $13,242.10
    NOTE: The quote I got for surgeons in  Maryland were about $18,000 - $21,000 for the exact same procedure. Yes, I wouldn't saved on travel expenses but not enough to actually consider staying in Maryland.
  • Post-Op Care in Miami: $3100
    • Included: 7 nights lodging, all of the things needed for post-op care, 6 lymphatic massages, shower assist, laundry, transportation
    • The base price is about $2500, I had a lot of add ons cuz "Team Do The Most"
  • Post-Op Care in Baltimore: $3000 
  • Fajas: $140 each
    • I purchased two so that I can wash one while wearing one
    • I got a third one because the company sent it to me to give feedback on a new design
  • Faja taken in at the waist as it stretches: $25 per faja

It does sound like a lot of money. It is a lot of money but a decent used car costs more that $21,000 and there are lots of payment options it. Let me count the ways:

  • Colon Hydrotherapy, Gray Aesthetics and most surgeons offices all take Flexible Spending and Health Savings Account cards
  • Gray Aesthetics takes EVERYTHING: all major credit cards, PayPal, Klarna, FSA, and Care Credit
  • Most surgeons offer some sort of financing
  • Nurse BBL has Pay in 4 options (I know we all love a good Klarna) and also takes PayPal. PayPal credit has an option where purchases of $99 or more are interest free for 6 months
  • And, of course, you can save the money and pay cash for everything

From what I've experienced and observed, your best results start with the surgeon you choose and making sure you have a long term plan for recovery. Not taking care of your body in the early phases of recovery can set you up for failure and possible needing revision surgery.


Overall, I am very happy with my decision. While I am only 9 weeks post-op, I am loving my results. I feel good. Mentally and physically. If you're considering a little nip and tuck, do it. There's nothing to be ashamed of. As women, we work hard and sacrifice a LOT. Minus well do what needs to be done to look the way you want to look. 

I'm here for any decisions that will make a woman's life easier and happier. From delegating household chores, therapy, crying, momcations, sleeping in, all the way down to surgery. Women, especially black women, carry so much and have had to break through so much trauma that has been passed down from our ancestor. I am proud of us for saying "no", being firm in our boundaries, bossing up while simultaneously being vulnerable. While my husband is clearly enjoying the results of my surgery, my decision was for me. As a supportive spouse, he wanted me to be happy with how I looked and saw that I had put in the hard work before going for surgery. Surgery certainly is not an easy way out. You can gain weight back, so you still have to maintain your results. Starting with a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained after your surgery is the best thing you can do for yourself. But I will say, I'd do it all over again. No regrets.

With some coercion from Gray Aesthetics, I have formulated a product for scar treatment that I am trying out on myself now and will be sending to my "Surgery Sisters" to try as well. Stay tuned for a few new Fancy Free Hair & Skin products.


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