Lately, I have had this unfortunate situation where I wake up nauseous. Usually, all it takes to feel better is drinking a glass of water while I sit up on the edge of the bed. This has become so routine that I usually do it without bothering to put on my glasses, even though my vision is pretty blurry without them. Today, that blurry vision gave me a clear picture of my future, and it hit me like a haymaker from a prize fighter.
I need bottom surgery.
Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. Before transitioning, I always said the stopping point was for transitioning bottom surgery. My wife and I had discussed it several times, and I’d made it clear it wasn’t for me. I didn’t experience the bottom dysphoria many trans women do, so I didn’t feel the need for an unnecessary (for me) surgery. My wife also said it was a bit of a dealbreaker for her, so my saying confidently that it wasn’t happening assuaged many of her fears about my transition.
For much of my transition, approaching 2.5 years in September, I’ve not thought much about my bottom area. Even when I had my orchiectomy, I’d remained steadfast against further surgeries in that area of my body. My orchi was protection against the looming threat of losing access to HRT, not about the visual or sexual appeal of not having testes. That part was just a bonus.
The Stirrings Begin
While I recovered from surgery and the area was completely numb, I got my first inklings that maybe my feelings had shifted. It didn’t bother me that I was so drugged that I couldn’t feel my penis existing. I brushed it off as being high, but my wife noticed the change and started reevaluating her position. She didn’t tell me.
When Hurricane Ian blew up our lives a few weeks later, I didn’t have time to think about transition. I was trying to get through each day and rebuild. It wasn’t until months later when we could finally move back into our home, that I took stock of where things were. I finally admitted to myself that I needed to reconsider my position, too. So I started figuring things out.
I started having conversations with friends who’ve had the procedure and learning more about how it affected their lives. More and more it became clear that my primary fear – dealing with dilation – wasn’t nearly the nightmare I’d believed it was. Anxiety removed, I needed to take stock and address that the only thing holding me back was the thought I’d lose my wife again. I bit the bullet and told her we needed to talk.
The Big Surprise
She knew it was coming, so it was a short conversation. She told me immediately that she’d accepted the eventuality of me wanting bottom surgery and made her peace with the concept. I was floored. I expected a scary fight only to have the entire conversation last two minutes.
I didn’t know how to react or proceed. For the last few months, I’ve been asking more questions of friends as I started asking myself if this was what I really wanted. Surgery is permanent, and I needed to do it for the right reasons. With the recent changes to trans rights, especially here in Florida, I needed to know I wasn’t having another reaction. Today, I got confirmation.
Waking Me Up Inside
I forgot to mention that I sleep naked. You’re welcome (or I’m sorry). I’m also a stomach sleeper, so everything gets…squished…while I’m asleep. So when I sit up and feel sick, my first instinct isn’t to put things back into comfortable places; it’s to grab the glass of water I keep on my nightstand. After a long drink, I tried to relax and take deep breaths as the nausea subsided. And then I looked down.
Without glasses or contacts, my vision is hazy at best. I don’t see detail unless I’m really close – nose-touchingly close. As I looked down at my legs, it hit me. I didn’t see my penis or the vague blob of skin my eyes sent my brain. I could only see a rounded mound in the space between my legs, set back as you’d expect on a cis woman’s body. Immediately, a wave of relief washed over me while the realization shook me. I wasn’t scared by what I saw. I was overjoyed. I was happy. I felt…whole.
Since that moment a few hours ago, I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Writing this all down is helping me process the realization that bottom surgery isn’t a “maybe if I can afford it” situation anymore. It’s a necessary medical intervention. The final step in my outward transformation into the woman I’ve always been on the inside.
That’s the big question, isn’t it? The first step is finding a surgeon I trust and getting a consultation. I have some friends to contact and see what they recommend, as they’ve been through this stage already. Next, I need to do my research as far as insurance is concerned. From there, I’ll develop a plan for paying for both the surgery and the related recovery time when I’m unable to work. All in good time.
As I continue on this journey, I’ll share updates when they’re available. Until then, have courage. And be kind. Especially to yourself.