25 January 2005
Chantell had surgery to get back in shape after giving birth - and is thrilled with her new body. Chantell, 32, had a tummy tuck as she wanted to smooth over her "wrinkled" stomach.
M Celebs'We All Had Surgery To Get Back Our Pre-Baby Bodies'
Many mums find it a struggle to get their figures back to the way they were before giving birth. These three women say enlisting the surgeon's help was the best decision they ever made...
CHANTELL MORRIS, 32, from Chepstow, spent £6,000 on abdominoplasty to restore her flat stomach
I took a deep breath, tugged hard and...yes! Just one week after giving birth and I was already back in my old jeans. "Who says having a baby ruins your figure?" I thought smugly.
All my friends warned me it would take months to shift the pounds after I had my first child, Tyrone, now 13, but I pinged back into shape almost overnight. So when I fell pregnant with Travis, eight, I assumed the same thing would happen.
This time round, though, my bump was bigger. It stuck out a mile, much more than it had with Tyrone - and at just over 8lb (3.5 kg), he hadn't been a small baby. "Watch out, this one's going to be huge," everyone joked when they saw my stomach. Sure enough, Travis came out a whopping 10lb 2oz (4.5 kg).
The weight went as quickly as it did before. Breast-feeding helped and I went to the gym and did aerobics to tone up. I was pleased to have my figure back, but there was one thing that still bothered me. Around my belly button I'd been left with a pouch of saggy, wrinkly flesh, covered in stretchmarks. It looked like a shrivelled balloon. I could even pick up the flesh in my fingertips. Friends tried to tell me it was fine, but I could tell they found it revolting from the looks on their faces. I did hundreds of sit-ups and rubbed in firming creams, but nothing helped.
When Travis was about two, I spoke to my GP about it, who referred me to a private surgeon. However, he was useless. He refused to operate because he reckoned the scarring would look worse than the loose skin.
Years passed and I tried to put it to the back of my mind. Then I split up from my husband, and once the divorce settlement came through, I knew exactly what I was going to spend his money on. It was payback time!
I went to see a different surgeon and he said he could help. He would have to cut me from hip to hip to remove the loose skin, then make a vertical incision to reposition my belly button. There would be scarring, he warned. But I decided anything was better than having a wrinkly old pouch.
By this stage, I had a new boyfriend, Nick, and he was very supportive. As long as I was happy, so was he. The operation was done in June 2003 under general anaesthetic, so all I really remember is waking up wrapped in bandages like a mummy. The pain was nowhere near as bad as I had been expecting. I felt sore for a month afterwards and I had to take it very easy, but it was never unbearable. When the dressing came off, I was thrilled. My stomach was completely flat for the first time in years. The scars looked pretty gruesome at first, but the main one was low enough to be hidden by jeans, and they've faded beautifully.
Nick and the kids can't believe how much happier and more confident it's made me. The best moment was going to Spain last summer and stepping on to the beach in a bikini. For years, my holidays had been ruined by the feeling that everyone was staring at my wrinkly belly and sniggering. This time, walking along the sand, I felt like a totally new woman.'Read more about tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures and our cosmetic surgery guide.Contact us today to book your free tummy tuck consultation with one of our highly qualified Nurses.