Throughout my transition and, specifically, as I was to undergo surgery on November 22, I had not been public about one thing. It seemed that it might sound like I was doing something frivolous, getting breast implants, when I had my facial feminization surgery (FFS), so I simply ignored it.
I should not have ignored it. It was not frivolous.
Now that I am nearing two weeks since my surgery, I have found that this is important to discuss. Even more, I have held nothing back regarding my transition, and that has been important to me. I am a wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve kind of person, one who strives to be open, always honest, and use situations—including the most delicate—to educate.
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The decision to have my breasts enhanced was one that I debated with myself and which Julie and I discussed for a long time. I never wanted to undergo anything which was unnecessary. I didn’t like the idea of adding the implants to my body. I struggled with what size they should be, not wanting them too large, but achieving a proper size. I researched the physical concerns regarding them, just as I had researched the side effects of going on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and the dangers of sex reassignment surgery.
I contemplated myself, my appearance, and how much breast growth I had achieved the past few years on HRT. When one begins HRT so late in life, its impact is way less than when a person in the teens or twenties begins.
For my age, I experienced nice breast growth. Even as I was pleased about that, a problem remained. Because I am a large person, my new breasts did not match up with my frame.
As I pondered implants and how I wanted to look when I considered myself fully transitioned, here is the thing to which I always returned, the equivalent of the ultimate reason I had my face feminized: Neither thing was as much for me as for everyone who sees me, especially out in public with those who don’t know me.
I undertook face surgery for the purpose of better being recognized as a female. The same goes for having vocal cord surgery, so that I might be able to speak with a higher pitch. I opted for breast implants for the same reason. With all three—face, voice, breasts—my goal was to better function in the world as the person whom I want the world to see.
I am also grateful for all of the procedures for my own sake. The person I am seeing in the mirror—the person whom I now embody—reflects the person my mind has been visualizing all these years.
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It has been a remarkable adjustment, having larger breasts. The first days after surgery, I was terribly tentative with them, with their almost feeling that they were not under, but on top of my chest, and that if I moved wrong or too quickly they might fall off.
As I grew used to them, another adjustment awaited: running. Two years ago, I added the wearing of a sports bra when jogging. That was an easy fix and, because of my breast size, there was nothing unusual-looking about this person, who certainly appeared to be a guy out running the neighborhoods of northeast Indy.
On Friday, December 1, when I saw Dr. Eppley nine days after surgery and he removed stitches and clips from my lips and head, he gave me the okay to resume normal activity, with the regular cautions to take care. I quickly replied, “Wonderful! I’m going jogging this afternoon!”
Besides some remaining tenderness, I was mindful of how much I might jiggle. I wore the surgical bra, with which I was fitted in the hospital, and it’s plenty tight, so I hoped for no more bobbing than previously.
As I dressed, pulling my t-shirt over my head, I anticipated my new look. No doubt about it, I will no longer be stealthy in the breast department. Now, whom will folks see as I jog by, as I offer my smiling hellos and friendly small talk to those I pass on the street? A guy? A gal? A . . . ?
Thankfully, I am not a self-conscious person. I am able to tell myself, “They will see whom they will see. For the sake of everyone, no matter where I am, or how I am dressed, I will smile, I will be friendly, I will only give them a reason to be pleased they encountered me.”
I took off running.
My first steps were tentative. I noticed everything, from the twinge in what has been a sensitive spot in my right breast, to a teeny bit more jiggle, to the different feel of this bra from my sports bras.
Was I pushing it? Was it too soon to begin? If needed, would I have the sense to stop and walk?
Within two minutes, before I reached the first block’s corner, I was settling in. Then, when the voice on my running app called out the first five minutes, I rejoiced. I was up to my regular pace and running well. A wide smile burst from my face. I spoke a joy-filled prayer of thanks to the Lord.
I had been running six to seven miles this autumn, but I had not run for thirteen days. While I had only missed one week before resuming walking, even the five miles, which I had once again achieved on Thursday, is not as tiring or taxing. Though I felt good, I kept this first run to 3.7 miles.
The next day, Saturday, I bumped it up to 4.2. I felt good, but after I was done the muscles in my more sensitive right breast were calling out to me. I took some ibuprofen. As much as I want to run in the October-like weather we are having, I prescribed Sunday off.
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Since I had FFS and the breast enhancement, I am happy to report that I have only been pleased. Even during the very difficult first week after surgery, when everything hurt, all but my nose was numb, eating was a miserable event, my activity was very limited for the sake of my healing breasts, and I looked just awful, I never asked, “What did you do to yourself, you dope?”
Thankfully, I have only had positive thoughts. I have been able to visualize the finished product and be excited about it. I have been on a high, having finally completed my surgeries and, for all intents and purposes, my transition.
I find nothing I have done to be frivolous. Quite the opposite, each procedure, every step of transitioning, has been a part of the whole of healing.
Finally, nearly five years after crashing under crushing gender dysphoria, I am feeling like a healthy person. I have pep in my step, a smile on my face, and a song in my heart.
Praise the Lord Jesus for all of His goodness to me!