Sarah’s Story: A Wife and Mom’s Defining Moments

I felt totally comfortable with her right away.
I felt totally comfortable with her right away.

There was a moment early on in Sarah’s life when her grandma described her as being “big boned,” and that title has stayed in the back of Sarah’s mind her entire life.

“When I was in college, I became aware of my size and would go on these crazy diets to lose weight. I had to really work at staying at my ideal weight, and calorie-counting became the norm. I felt and looked great – but it was a lot of work!”

With her first pregnancy, that all changed.

“I put on 55 pounds with my first and ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted,” she said. “I just figured I would be able to take it off after the pregnancy with all those crazy diets that I had been successful with before. With the second pregnancy, I was better. I ate better, I was much more diligent about eating healthily, and I only gained 40 pounds. But I still had extra weight from the first pregnancy that I had never really lost. Once my second was born, as soon as I got the ‘OK’ from my doctor, I started exercising and trying to get some of the weight off.”

Having big babies (Sarah’s second was born at 10 pounds and 24 inches long) caused Sarah’s abdomen to stretch significantly. The extra skin and stretch marks that went above her belly button were not things diet or exercise were going to get rid of. Sarah says she “could not button my pants without having a mushroom top or without using a hair tie to loop the pants together like you do when you are pregnant.”

Sarah says the defining moment came in January 2012: “I will never forget it. My husband and I were trying to have a romantic moment, and all I could think about was how gross my stomach looked. I tried so hard to be in the mood, but all I could think about was how unattractive I felt and how he must be thinking the same. I wanted so badly to reconnect with my husband after a very hectic 5 years of starting our family, and I knew how important it was to my husband to feel connected as well. It’s an interesting dynamic starting a family: one minute all that matters is the two of you and the next minute, there are children. Unless the parents make their relationship a priority, it will never be.”

I knew she could relate to me
I knew she could relate to me

As Sarah experienced, women often struggle balancing the roles of mother and wife.

“The way I physically looked made me always feel like a mom, and I couldn’t ever get into being a wife because of my appearance,” she said. Sarah decided that she had to make herself and her relationship with her husband a priority. So the next day she got online to research plastic surgeons in Sacramento.

“I started looking online at before-and-after photos on a variety of websites to, in a sense, ‘daydream’ about what could be. I came across Dr. Clark’s website and right away felt like this could be achievable. Once I met her, I felt totally comfortable with her right away. She was a mom, she was a woman, and I knew she could relate to me. I preferred being in the hands of a woman. I knew she understood where I was coming from. I felt like whatever was important to me was important to her.”

Dr. Clark met with Sarah and immediately connected with her.

“I see women every day who are proud of their children and wouldn’t have it any other way,” Dr. Clark said. “As a woman, you would never change the fact that you had children; you just don’t want to be left with the lasting effects that pregnancy has on your body. The good news is that I can fix all that and help make you feel fantastic about yourself again.”

Dr. Clark performed a Mommy Makeover for Sarah at her Sacramento practice. The procedure consisted of a (tummy tuck), breast augmentation, and some liposuction around the flanks. Sarah’s 5-hour surgery was complication-free and a complete success.

I felt like a million pounds had been lifted
I felt like a million pounds
had been lifted

“Sarah had a flawless recovery, and I was impressed by how quickly she bounced back,” Dr. Clark said. “When I saw her at her 1-week week post-op appointment, I knew she was a changed woman.”

In fact, that appointment was another defining moment. According to Sarah,

“By far, the best moment during the process was that 1-week post-op appointment in which my drains were removed. I will never forget standing up for the first time and pulling up my pants without the drains to see myself in the mirror. I was overwhelmed with happiness and immediately cried with joy! The entire car ride home I professed my love and appreciation to my husband for supporting me through the process. While Dr. Clark said she removed 2 liters of fat, I felt like a million pounds had been lifted. I felt free!”

Cosmetic surgery can be used as a tool to help people in their personal journey. As Sarah and many of Dr. Clark’s patients have discovered, it can be the start of life as the “new you.” Every day is different for Sarah now.

“I dress more confidently, act more confident, and feel more confident in fulfilling all the roles that I am. I am a professional woman, a mom, and a sexy wife! I now have no problem going from mommy mode to wife mode. I am so looking forward to the next chapter of my life as the new me.”

The last defining moment for Sarah came 6 weeks after surgery when she went shopping for new clothes. “I remember the sales associate knocking on the door to see if I needed anything. I opened the stall with just a bra and pants on to tell her what I needed. I would never have done that before, and it felt amazing!”

Now, Sarah no longer relies on hair ties to bridge the gap in her pants; those days are long gone.