I can hardly believe that August has come around so soon and wow, things have so moved on.
My personal relationship with my beautiful partner Ruth has recently reached the maturity of two years engaged and it feels so good to have that special person in my life.
I got made redundant again in February as the company re-structured and no longer needed my position. As it happens I was about to quit anyway since I had made plans to move to the North of England and come April that has happened. I now live in Bradford within the beautiful county of West Yorkshire, England.
I own my own house, no mortgage/rent to pay and without that financial load on me I am attempting to work for myself, another major change in my life.
...since I made an entry or even visited this site. Things just got in the way.
After quitting my job in October 2011 I remained unemployed until October 2012.
I have had by SRS at the end of November 2012
First of all, sorry to anyone who has been following my blogs on here, but since September 2011 things have been in total upheaveal.
Mid-November things came to a head at work, issues with my managers means I felt discriminated against, to the point that no matter what I did would never be enough.
Anyway after talking it over with HR, and some fairly obvious threats of legal ramifications, they came up with a very nice severence settlement meaning I finished work immediatly, was paid in oui till mid January and then recieved a lump of cash not to take things any further.
This meant I could afford a cheap car (+ VERY expensive insurance!) and had some money to renovate a couple of rooms in the house I'm living in.
Christmas and New Year were seen with a couple of fun parties and in the new year I have been pushing forward with getting my divorce finalised.
On the 23rd of January I had my appointment at the gender clinic with Dr Barrett, scheduled to last 1 1/4 hours it went for 45 minutes in the end and finished with me receiving my 2nd and final signoff for SRS surgery. He ended with saying the next time we will meet you will be post op and we will be talking about revising your hormone levels.
Ohhhh..... and last week, I had a boob job!!, Jest got back for the 1 week post surgery review and its healing wonderfully - MAJOR SMILES!!!!!!!!
Love and hugs
You never know when it's going to happen but when you realise you just can't live without a particular person in your life it's just so sweet...
First of all, apologies in advance for the 'sloppiness' of this post but I just had to let it out somewhere!
I met Ruth some 6 months ago now, I was at the time I was dating another woman called Michelle and we had both met Ruth at the same time through a local club. We all got on well and knowing that Ruth was totally lesbian I didn't think for one moment that she could be interested in me, a pre-op trans-woman.
I could not have been further from the truth, she told me she 'fell' for me the very first time we met.
For a while we tried being a 3-some but it wasn't working, Michelle despite being very open and playful really wasn't into women and as the hormones made more and more significant changes to me she became less attracted to me physically. It wasn't fair to try and hold on to her so we talked it over and decided that our friendship was more important to us and we have remained the best of friends.
Ruth and I have gone from strength to strength and I now can’t imagine my life without her. We are engaged, looking for a house together and making plans for a long and happy future.
The reason why I wanted to write this was to give hope to those on this journey of ours – there can be the happy ending we all dream of, don’t think you are giving up that to become the gender you need to be.
Caroline x x x x (and Ruth!!)
They were not the tears of pain, it was because of a simple statement my fiancé said last night in bed.
We were talking about friends, their issues (marriage/money etc.) and got on to insecurities.
Of course being a trans-woman I could write a book with the insecurities I have about 'passing', we all see the bits we don't like in the mirror.
She simply turned to me and said, "Darling, I've NEVER slept with a man" and that brought tears to my eyes.
Many of us on this journey have a future that's not clear, we know in our minds the destination we want but between here and there the path is twisted, indistinct with numerous blockages put there by both ourselves (doubt and fear being big ones) and by others, doctors, loved ones, work etc.
Yesterday, my future came more into focus with my first sign-off for surgery from the gender clinic. The meeting with the doctor was scheduled for 45 minutes, it lasted just 20 minutes. At the end of it I was asked to make an appointment to see the other doctor who is looking after my case and also to see the resident surgical nurse for genital assessment for electrolysis. He also said he could not think of a good reason why I would not get the second approval.
I nearly hugged him there and then, I was so full of joy.
The next appointment is January 2012, which although is some 5 months away, is fine by me as I am still working through my divorce which should be complete by then.
So reasonably I can expect to have my surgery somewhere between May at the earliest to August 2012, and that really brought it into sharp focus - just one more year at the most to put up with the annoyance of jeans that don't lay right, with worrying about women's changing rooms for the swimming pool (I long to get back to swimming) and to feeling incomplete in front of my lover.
Last Monday (9th August), my lovely friend Karen had her SRS, I visited her on Thursday after work and was met with such a happy, calm and contented face. She wrote on her FaceBook page the day after the operation that she had no "what have I done?" thoughts at all when she looked down on the result for the first time, she just felt 'right' for the very first time in her life.
Caroline x x x x
What do you consider important in your life. To me it used to be to "fit in", to be "normal", to get married, have children, support and nurture them and along the way hopefully to find happiness.
Only I wasn't "normal", I didn't "fit in", I used to wake up in the mornings, stare at a face I hated and try to convince myself that one day it will be fine if I could just carry on doing.....this.....this stuff to distract myself from the inner turmoil.
Some two and a half years after making a big change in my life, leaving my family and over two years of real life experience things have changed a lot. No longer do I see the rest of my life stretching ahead of me in mental pain, I made that change and love it. I still look in the mirror each morning and despite the wonderful effects of hormones see the same face looking back at me. Lack of money means I have not yet completed electrolysis, so a close shave each morning tears at my skin to create a brief smoothness, by 6pm I know the hairs will be showing to anyone who looks close up (depressing).
Most importantly I have the future that I want, that I need, within my grasp. Next month I hope to get the go-ahead for surgery from the doctors at the Charing Cross clinic, my divorce is proceeding and most amazingly I have another special person to care about, who has only ever known me, Caroline, who loves me, who sees me as female already and who wants to share the rest of their life with me.
We are an unconventional couple its true, but it works and we are happy through and through.
My priorities are now my life, the love of my partner in life, my children and that's it really. So have my priorities really changed that much? No, but with my personal changes they feel exciting again.
You know how sometimes its all becomes clear, your life as it was, where you are now and the future ahead, I think I had one of those moments on Tuesday just gone.
I have been going through a a period of doubt about my job, I know my boss's boss doesn't like me one bit, it's so obvious in the why he talks to me on the conference calls to the US (where he is located). I'm totally sure he would like to see me gone and I've been playing justify my position for the past year and a bit, having any errors I make magnified, and successes downplayed and just generally its making me pretty miserable in a job I have always loved.
Well I took a mental step back Tuesday night and realised that my current position in life is such that I don't need this pressure - economically I will not be any worse off if they manage fire me (no way I'm quitting and giving in) in fact I would actually be better off as I could then write off some pretty major debts.
So that has really made me much happier at work - the release of pressure is amazing and I've actually managed to get more done ironically.
On a negative - I got sir'ed in Byron Burgers at a team lunch today, but I think it was just a mistake rather than on purpose, the rest of my team is male and I had my back to the waiter in question, so I'll let it pass.
Things in my life are progressing, some a bit to slow for my liking but at least the movement is forward.
Did a blood test last week and met my doctor yesterday and after the recent increase in my estrogen dose the blood levels are now nicely within the prescribed levels of the gender clinic. So barring any issues this will be the dosage that I'll be kept on until post-op when they will be reviewed.
Also got another 3-month Zoladex implant at the same time - this works so well, my testosterone level is pretty much nil and it doesn't put any additional strain on my liver function which spiro would.
Divorce proceeding are inching forward, I'm sure it will start to pick up soon when we get to the negotiations as to who gets what, but for the moment its still in the data-gathering stage where we have to identify all assets, debts, savings etc.
Relationships for me has become a little complicated, I'm now in a relationship with two other women and yes, they know all about each other and have met many times, I'm not a cheater. This as you can imagine takes up quite a bit of my life outside of work and I'm amazed I'm not more exhausted.
Equally I've been re-evaluating my sexuality and I've realized that I feel far more aroused and fulfilled with a female than a male so I think that I will end up being pretty much a lesbian, in fact one of my two girlfriends is lesbian and although I'm pre-op she has no issues with that as she "is in love with the woman" and doesn't consider that the fact I still have male genitals compromises her at all.
My next appointment at the gender clinic is the 15th August and I have my fingers crossed that I will get the sign-off to approach the surgery team.
The two arseholes that gave my girlfriend and I abuse on the 25 bus last night. After attacking me verbally over my gender they started videoing me on their iphone, so I recorded them back. notice how they try to hide their faces.
You Tube video
It's been a while since I last added an entry and since then, nothing dramatic has happened, just minor changes.
Two months after having my last blood test my oestrogen prescription has been pushed up another notch as the levels measured were a little low. Picked them up yesterday along with another blood test form. yuck
Couple of days ago I let my girlfriend cut my hair, haven't been so nervous about anything for ages but it payed off - I love it, a bit of a bob but it feels thicker and bouncer for it.
Boobs are developing nicely and my bum is far rounder now - the girlfriend often remarks how more fem it is looking.
Just watched the royal wedding and preferred the chief bridesmaids dress, it was simple & elegant.
As I popped this mornings estrogen pill from its plastic and foil womb I realised that this particular pill was the 1st one of month six (a month being a lunar one as the pills are based on a born woman's cycle - 28 days) and that I had indeed completed 5 months of these little wonders.
So to take stock of what I've noticed...
Oh yes - BOOBS!!!!! Prob. the most obvious effect is that I have a nice pair of developing boobs - currently a big A knocking on a B cup. The aureoles have widened a little and the nipple shape is softened from the prominent nipple I used to have. And like most girls have remarked upon they are darn sensitive to touch.
Waist - narrowed a little
Hips/bottom - rounding out
Tummy - Oh well along with the nice changes in shape seems to come a bit more being placed on the tummy beneath the belly button. Still, at least its a female type of tummy to have.
Face - many have noticed a rounding of features and a re-newed glow to my complexion. The skin is also more sensitive to the daily shaving I still have to do - more electrolysis is certainly needed but currently monies preclude that. I've taken to exfoliating more regularly which also seems to help reduce the increase in spots thats comes with my second pubity.
Body skin - very noticeable softer and smoother - that I totally love
Body hair - finer and lighter, still epilating those important bits, but the re-growth is less visible.
Head hair - a bit thicker and more manageable, but not a vast difference.
Other changes - I'm more emotional but it's manageable, my one testicle has shrunk to less than 1/2 its original size and now plays hide-and-go-seek in the sac, my spontaneous erections have gone altogether but if sufficiently aroused (and that's not often!) it will still get erect. Far less interest in the physical aspects of sex, preferring cuddles really.
Wow - that's quite a lot of changes now I come to write them down.
I hope this helps others who are about to embark on hormones, or just started still looking for the 1st proper signs.
<3 <3 <3
Tuesday - to me the most hopeless day of the week - not halfway like Wednesday, not a post weekend downer like Monday or the buildup to the weekend like Thursday and Friday.
And this Tuesday feels really weird as I had Monday off work.
Anyway I awoke this morning, pulled harshly into reality by my alarm clock from a particularly poignant dream. I was looking down at my youngest son as a baby, he looked at me and smiled, holding out his arms to be picked up - I was just in the act of cuddling him......
I so wanted that dream to go on, I miss him terribly.
Had a phone call from the doctor's office yesterday morning, "Are you available this afternoon? The doctors wants to talk to you about your recent blood test"
This, to my mind is not a good thing to say on the phone, immediately I was thinking, "Oh my gosh, what wrong, what has shown up in the test?"
Of course I said I was available, who wouldn't, and so I spent the next 3 hours or so worrying and fretting about what my doctor would be telling me.
Eventually he called and told me that the estrogen level in my blood was at 255 pg/ml and that the communication from the gender clinic was to get this level to the 400-600 range.
He confirmed my current dosage level and said he was considering raising it, he just wanted to get confirmation from the gender clinic on that change.
So there you go - 3 hours+ of worry over nothing.
Just got back from my 3rd appointment at the Charing Cross gender clinic.
The appointment was originally for 3:30pm but got re-scheduled for 9:15am two weeks ago.
I duly got up at 5:45am and made myself ready to go out, arriving at the clinic 9:05am, I hate being late
Usual booking in process, address, current contact number etc. then I sat down to wait for the doctor.
9:30 - nothing
9:40 - still nothing - checked with the receptionist, Oh he must be running late, we haven't heard from him.
9:55 - ah!!! he's arrived! - apparently he had forgotten that he had re-scheduled me
Anyway, he apologised lots and we started discussing my status, hormone effects, moods, relation status and everything.
The appointment was for 45 minutes but we got through it all in about 25 minutes and he then said something along these lines.
"Ok, I shall see you again in July and assuming there's no issues I will recommend you for surgery"
Of course the place is so busy the actual appointment is August 15th but I don't care as I'm on cloud 9.
All I have to do now is sort out my divorce, the ONLY thing that can delay the surgery.
Reasonably I'm looking at around November/December for the op - what a fab Christmas present
Yesterday (10th Feb) was the funeral of my girlfriends mother.
The service was lovely with a lot of love being expressed for her mother. The reception (wake) was held at a local pub where many who knew her came and talked about her life, how she was a substitute mother for many and an emotional rock for her friends.
However overnight, after much alcohol was drunken by my girlfriends brother and his rough friends, accusations were made that my girlfriend didn't care about her mother, that she was 'using' her brother and that I was bad-mouthing him to all his friends.
Well, I admit I am not overly impressed with several aspects of him but I do think he has a kind heart and an open and giving nature. I'm in love with his sister, I want the best for her, I want the opportunity that his mum has given to them BOTH to used to the best advantage. I do hope that when he is rested and fully sober he will be able to talk and discuss the future properly and to everyone's advantage (him and his sister - not my advantage)
Families - there's nought thicker than water as they say
Caroline x x x
Today marks the 1st day of the 13th week on hormones - today my estrogen goes up from 2mg to 4mg per day and I'm so looking forward to the effects accelerating.
Yesterday I tried on my swimsuit without any breast-forms - and my girlfriend said that I would pass for female - the growth there meant that I looked like a small chested woman, my waist is narrowing, my hips are definitely filling, my skin is getting softer and more translucent and my bottom is rounding. All this on 2mg per day - WOW!
I had another 1/2 hour of electrolysis on Sunday - again clearing the top lip area of the stubborn dark hairs, haven't had any of that done since before I started on hormones and the lady doing the work remarked on the skin softness change without me prompting her, so it must be so.
Still a load of white hairs on my cheeks and neck but they will have to wait until I have more money available - next money drain is the divorce for without that I can't have the GRS.
Thought I'd write a more up beat blog this time!
Caroline x x x x
Two days before Christmas 2010 my girlfriend's mother got bad news from the hospital, she had advanced primary pancreatic cancer and numerous secondary cancers.
The prognosis was terminal and the level and number of cancers meant that there would be no effective treatment.
I helped make Christmas as good as it could for the family, helping with the cooking and generally trying to keep things on an even keel.
We all knew that the cancer was aggressive but I don't think anybody was really ready for the speed that things happened during January.
Monday the 24th I got a call from my girlfriend that her mum had a bad night and that she was being admitted into hospital to deal with a build-up of fluids in her abdomen. I took the rest of the week off work and took the train to be with the family. Tuesday and Wednesday she was uncomfortable but talkative and reactive, Thursday she started a decline and overnight slipped into a coma. I was at her bedside with her brother when she gently slipped away for good around 10pm Friday night.
This has left me a bit 'shell shocked' and flat feeling for life and I'm trying to pick up the get up and go feeling.
On Saturday I received the fantastic news that my good friend Toni's daughter had given birth to a daughter of her own that Friday night - talk about circle of life!!!
I've been on hormones now for nearly 9 weeks (come Wednesday) and the routine of taking them is firmly entrenched, their effects are most welcome in my life.
I'm enjoying the growing mounds under my nightie just before bedtime, the shrinkage of my one testicle is now quite noticeable and with its reduced size is a tendency for it to sit much higher making tucking easier. haven't noticed much in the way of overall body shape change, but I expect that to take much longer before it shows properly.
Have not had any huge mood swings and my friends haven't mentioned that I'm different in personality which I guess is good, it certainly means I'm not having any issue functioning day-to-day.
My next doctor's appointment is on the 7th of February where I shall have my hormone intake increased to 4mg per day. In March I have my next appointment with the Charing Cross clinic where I expect to have another round of blood tests to check that these levels of hormones are correct for me.
Sometime early February I will be consulting a lawyer about my divorce and also to find out where I stand legally with regards to the 1/2 house I own following the death of my mother in 2009.
Sorry this blog had no revelations or anything - but there again that's good I guess, its just normal life.
A few days ago I noticed a change that I have never read about anywhere. I was expecting the budding nipples and the associated tenderness, the subtle softenng of my face (noticed by a friend last week), and the changing of the body hair (what little there is of it).
However I was sitting at my desk at home, with nothing but a nightie on and I noticed the distinct smell of a female vagina. Since I had not seen my girlfriend for some 5 days I knew it couldn't be a residue odour from her. Then I realised that my penis was giving off this smell - very subtle and faint but definitely there.
I had a very good friend of mine (the sort of girlfriend who you can talk about anything to) round for a drink and a laugh this Sunday and I asked if she would take a quick sniff and tell me what she smelt - she said one word, "fanny".
So it wasn't just me imaging it - I knew that my overall body odour would be more female but WOW!!!!!
As many look back at 2010, I decided to write a short update on what I hope to achieve in the coming year.
So in approximate order through 2011
Divorce - I've been totally separated for two years com the 5th of January so under UK law divorce becomes a lot easier. I will of course ensure the support for my two children will continue, especially the youngest who is seventeen.
GRC - After 2 years of real life experience is up on the 23rd of May I will apply for my Gender Recognition Certificate, if granted I will have full female legal status
SRS - Around November I will have been on hormones for a year, will have done more than 2 years RLE so I will be pushing to have the SRS done before the year is out. I would like to have it before Mid October as then I would be fully female at fifty! (fingers crossed)
I'm sure more than that will happen in 2011, but those are top of my wish list.
Wishing all those who read this blog, both of you , the very best of luck in achieving your goals too.
Caroline x x x
Okay, properly six full weeks into hormones and the 1st small signs of positive change are there.
The Zoladex implants have acted first, that was a very welcome subtraction of testosterone, my thoughts are clearer and the annoying male erections are now few and far between, my one testicle (the other was removed when I was about 7 due to medical complications) has noticeably shrunk and now seems to be eager to hide away making tucking much easier.
I haven't noticed any skin softening on my body yet but the little hair on my arms has become far more fine and soft. My facial hair growth has also slowed a little too, but not by much.
On the positive side in the last three or four days my nipples have become more sensitive to the touch and the aureoles are beginning to puff up a little - YAY!!!!!
So - small changes but after a crap Christmas when we found out my girlfriends mother has terminal cancer any positives need to be grabbed and held on to with both hands.
Caroline x x x x
The routine of pill taking has set in - decided to take the Estradiol Valerate sublingualy to improve the absorption rate, it takes about 10 minutes for it to dissolve under my tongue.
Around 5 days after I had the Zoladex injected into my tummy, I started to experience quite strong tingles in my fingers (more so the right hand), like pins and needles. a couple of nights it actually work me up. Around day 8 that started subsiding and now on day 10 I have no tingles anymore.
I wasn't too worried about the side effect as its a quite common one and seems to do with the 'flare up' of testosterone that occurs when you first take a gonadorelin (LHRH) analogue, the body seems fight it for a couple of weeks. Seems my body lost the battle ;-) tee he he!!!!
Now comes the long hopeful wait for the 1st signs of change, I really don't expect to see anything happening for another 4 to 5 weeks but that doesn't stop you looking, tweaking, feeling for that tiny 1st bit.
Hugs and kisses - hopefully yours!!!
Well, I keep patient after my 2nd appointment with the gender clinic on the 6th of October and waited knowing about the 6 week possible delay in sending letters out after appointments (its really good to be forewarned), and
yesterday evening whilst in a bar with some close friends I got a call from my doctors receptionist to book an appointment to see him regarding hormone prescription.
Wow they were on the ball and working late on a Monday!
Booked to see him on the 17th Nov - had the Wednesday off anyway.
When I got home I had my copy letter on the doormat.
Recommendation of Estradiol Valerate 2mg/day for 3 months then rising to 4mg/day in two doses and Decapeptyl 11.25mg every 3 months.
Happy? You bet!!!!
I'm now 49 and with the impending dreaded 50 just one year away its rather made me think about what I've done up till now and what I want to achieve.
I haven't made an impact on the world - the number of people who know of my existence is pretty darn small. Should this matter, do we need to have 'changed peoples lives' or received recognition for something?
I guess the answer to that is no but it would be nice to feel I've at least helped some people along the way.
I hope my children will think well of me and see me as not only a loving parent but as someone they could turn to when they needed help or advice. As for my wife maybe not at the moment, but eventually I hope she will see that I'm happier now and that staying as I was would have been ultimately worse for everyone.
Looking forward its difficult to see where I will be in 5 years, but I want to be thought of by those who do know me as a happy, supportive and it would be real nice to be called beautiful - superficial I know ;-)