Hello everybody! I know it has been a few days since I last posted and that I haven’t posted any photos for my week 3 of HRT, but I really wasn’t feeling very photogenic over the weekend. There honestly haven’t been any noticeable changes from week 2, so I’m inclined to just wait until this weekend to post week 4 photos (assuming I can manage to get my hair to cooperate with me instead of being a frizzy mess!).
I’m not sure I really feel any different than I have been except to maybe say that I’m learning to handle my emotions a bit better now. That’s not to say that I don’t still get easily overwhelmed or find myself breaking down into tears over otherwise benign subjects/events, but the frequency has dropped some. As far as physical effects are concerned I’m still noticing my hair growth slowing way way down. When I first started shaving my legs a few months ago, I pretty much had to do it twice a week in order to avoid long black hairs from sprouting all over the place. Now, I’m able to go a whole week before my leg hair is even noticeable (less than perhaps 2mm). If I had to guess, I’d say the hair growth on my legs is about 1/5th of what it used to be. My facial hair also continues to slow, although I’d say it’s only at about 1/3rd of what it used to be, so not quite as significant as my leg hair. (Sorry if this is TMI, I just want to document as much as I can for anyone out there thinking about HRT).
I think I can also feel my muscles shrinking somewhat from what they used to be. I don’t have any sort of official measurments to give you, but I have noticed that I feel a tad bit weaker. Objects are just simply more difficult to pick up or move about. I’m not sure if my skin has softened or not, but I’ll keep an eye out for that. I think I might be on too low of a dose of estrogen for that to really be happening yet.
I have my next doctor’s appointment scheduled for two weeks from Tuesday (the 31st), so hopefully they will increase my dosage (I’m on a patch at .1mg per day). I’m not sure if the patch works differently than the shot or pills do, but every transwoman I’ve read/watched has reported being initially prescribed somewhere between 2mg-4mg per day which makes me wonder why I’m only at .1mg but I guess I’ll just have to wait until I see the doctor again to find out what her plan is. I suspect the idea was to see how my body reacted to the estrogen (estriadol) at all before increasing it to a higher dose. I know my doctor regularly works with transgender patients and frequently prescribes HRT, so I’m just going to trust that she knows what she is doing until I see her again and can ask her more questions about the process.
Overall I’m not regretting my decision to make the medical transition, but I have been feeling some anxiety about my transition. I guess those anxieties could be best summed up by saying I wish I could be further along than I currently am. I know from all my exposure to other transwomen that this is a very common feeling that is experienced during the first year of transition, so I’m trying not to take it too seriously. With that being said I’m feeling a strong desire to start spending time presenting as female. What I mean by that is I’ve been itching lately to go find a wig I could wear along with an outfit or two I could easily see myself wearing. Honestly, I really want to buy a bra, and perhaps some inserts to make it look like I have breasts, just so I can see what it’s like and what I look like.
I’m starting to feel a desire to go out to some of the LGBT clubs/bars around the twin cities all dressed up as Emma, just so I can begin to experience what it’s like to be seen as a female by strangers. I’ve experienced that once before at a Halloween party and it was just about the greatest feeling I’ve ever experienced, so I’m eager to relive that experience. Unfortunately my wife and I are still so financially mired in the house buying process that there really is no extra money to spend on a wig or new clothes. I mean, right now even just going to a single happy hour, or splurging on a package of cookies at the grocery store feels like a big expenditure, so buying a wig or clothes really isn’t an option.
I think these feelings of wanting to be further ahead than I am are a result of being exposed to a few transwomen who started presenting full time prior to being on HRT (thanks to wigs/clothes/bras with inserts/etc.), and hearing their experiences makes me wonder if I didn’t put the cart before the horses in some ways. I mean, I’m not going to stop HRT and reverse directions, but I’m feeling slightly regretful that I didn’t consider the presenting route sooner than I did. Oh well, not much that can be done now. I’ll just have to wait another month or two before we can afford to buy me some gender appropriate clothes and possibly a wig (depending on how my hair is doing by then)
Lastly my voice. I am pleased to say that after recording myself and listening to the way I sound on Saturday that I have made some progress with raising my voice towards the female range. I definitely still have quite a bit of room for improvement but the exercises I found from other transwomen have been working and I can produce a mostly believable female voice with some consistency. I do plan to see a voice therapist eventually to maximize my efforts and get a professional opinion on what I can do to improve, but I’m very happy that I’ve made the progress I have on my own. The key is simply to practice, practice, practice, and practice some more. I know I’m probably driving my wife mad when I repeat the same peculiar sentences over and over again:
Mia wrote an email.
Mia drove all day.
Mia arrived at night.
My cow ate all the chives.
Is there time for pie?
The calf got caught in the gate.
Write out a fat check.
Pam bought some fake jade.
Ryan thought Bob would botch the job.
The mail is late today.
But she seems to be a good sport about it and has actually started saying them along with me sometimes; although, that’s probably to cope with the insanity that’s slowly creeping into her mind after hearing the same nonsensical sentences 10,000 times. Can we say “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” much? I’m secretly just waiting for her to find an axe and start trying to murder me while screaming “Here’s Johnny”, but I digress.
She’s also started giving me reminders when my voice starts to slip back into its old male-range pattern, which has been immensely helpful. The hardest part about the whole thing is just trying to remember to consistently use the higher range voice, otherwise it’s harder and harder to reproduce the longer you go without using it. I still struggle with it at work, probably because I spend so much of my time there sitting quietly in a cube not talking to anyone. By time I have an opportunity to actually have a conversation I forget how to create the right sound without having to jump back into my nonsensical sentence practice or repeating the same sentence a second time in a different voice (something that’s quite alarming for my coworkers, I’ve found, lol).
Well, that’s about all I have for today’s entry. Things are marching ever onwards and my life continues as it has for as long as I can remember. I’m eager to finish buying our house, I’m eager to move, I’m eager to finally get to dress like the lady I’ve always known myself to be, and I’m eager to one day forever take on the outside personality of Emma for the whole world to see; whether they can stand how fabulous I am, or not >;)