Excitement so intense that it's almost numbing. At the same time - not fear - but a sobering sense of the gravity of what's about to happen in my life.
To be sure, this is major surgery, as my recently post-op friend Carol Holly almost daily reminds me with her wonderful Facebook posts. Her insights and unadorned candor are helping me to retain a proper respect for the difficult road to recovery that's ahead of me; pain, discomfort, bleeding, catheters, bandage changes, more pain, an all-consuming weariness; the minutes, hours, and days dragging on interminably. I'm listening Carol.
I'm about as prepared as I can be materially; tests done, nearly perfect health, paperwork done, fees paid, employer prepared for my absence, long-lobbied insurance coverage approved, travel plans in place, rides arranged, just my packing yet to do.
Beyond the material, I'm not quite sure one can ever be completely prepared for an event of such profound spiritual fulfillment. As I have told friends, I cried myself to sleep at night for years as a little girl - in hiding as a boy (if not very successfully) - praying for the miracle to wake up in the correct body to match my inner being, only to outgrow a belief in such miracles in my life. My belief in God faltered for a number of years, only returning to me as I experienced the miracle of new life as my son's entered this life. Their births still bring a river of tears to me even now as I recall those memories, the profound love beating in my heart just as vigorously decades later.
Someone recently described what I'm about to do as "giving birth to a woman!"
That seems a compelling description. The mental image it evokes, seemingly physically impossible, only slightly more so than the actual undertaking now just days away. That miracle earnestly wished for in my youth has been happening before my eyes for the past two and a half years - very much like some transcendent birthing. "Pregnant" with dysphoria, the "water" breaking of a barely avoided suicide, the upheaval of "contractions" as I crossed over the gender boundary, first in the quiet of my home, and then rushing into public view, the hormones of HRT changing every detail of my perceptual experience, and now - with "the head crowning" - this birth is about to be completed in a final intensely painful push! The intensity of the struggle soon forgotten in the joy-filled love of the new life to come.
Genital reconstruction surgery is not the beginning, but the culmination of a birthing begun almost three years ago, and longed-for a lifetime ago.
How can one wrap their mind around events of such moment? For me it's been a confusing blur of silly grins, streaming tears, numbing realization, the heartache of family-rejection, the love of friends-become-family, and a tedium of administrative planning.
To all those who've stood with me, those whose love I've clung to, please know these tears are all joy, I thank you, and I love you with all my heart. To my children who've chosen not to be here, I will love you always. I long to hold you in my arms once again, please let it be soon.
All those prayers of my childhood now about to be answered; God's timing rarely my choosing.
Pushing through now...