I am one month post-op today. I have a vagina. It hurts.
- Recovery is hard.
I am not sure I was prepared; I certainly wasn’t prepared.
I feel like I set out to climb a mountain with a bottle of water and a sandwich.
That being said, I wonder if I could ever have been prepared. I don’t know what more I could have done, even with hindsight, so I suspect the message is simply if you are considering this, be expecting a mountain.
- I feel more validly a woman.
I feel a little ashamed by this point as it is the dictionary definition of cis-sexism (men have penises, women have vaginas). It also underscores my privilege at being able to have this operation with the top surgeon in the world. Yet despite the above, somehow I feel more able to comfortably and assuredly say I am a woman.
- I feel free of a tension I wasn’t aware of.
Social transition had exorcised a lot of demons. I felt free of sadness that I had carried all my life. However I now feel free of some internal struggle about what I am. I have had this body part that I have had such an uncomfortable relationship with and it’s gone. I look in the mirror and don’t see someone between two sexes. I just look and feel right.
- I have some doubts.
Was it all worth it? The positives in the last two points suggest it was and it will be. But right now I don’t really have a vagina. I have an absence of penis, which is great. But it’s not yet much more than a wound. It is ugly and painful and delicate and uncomfortable. Apparently the recovery will be harder in months two and three. I have a suspicion that my cosmetic result will not be great, possibly necessitating another trip to Thailand. It’s a lot of stuff. I am happier, but right now I can’t just simply say “yep it was all worth it”, because recovery dominates every horizon. Ask me again in six months.