Hi and welcome to I am Erin Paula,
My photoalbum/scrapbook series.
As I have documented my transition over the years, I created annual scrapbooks documenting my progress in pictures and copies of my official documents, medical referrals and letters. Please join me in watching me grow into womanhood. I do like to add that personal information and pictures, printed in my scrapbooks at home, have been removed on this website. Some things should remain private. Also note that the medical changes are detailed and could be sensitive to some, but I want to provide complete information for those who are thinking about transitioning.
Picture of my actual 2017 photoalbum/scrapbook.
Feeling accepted at work.
Not quit sure the reason, but I feel more accepted at work than before. It has been three years since my coming out and probaly a combination of things.
Being on hormones for 3 years has put me at ease with myself, after my surgery I feel more confident, completed all my legal documentation, my face is more femine in appearance, and there are new co-workers who don't know my old name and are using the correct pronounce from the start.
Since I was off for 8 weeks due to my surgery, everyone now knows where i am, although trully no one really knows whats in between my legs, we humans just assume what the body parts are.
Upon returning to work from my surgery, the restrooms now had new gender signs installed, eventhough the restrooms are single stall and lockable from the inside. I am feeling free and myself, although i still hold back a little on my femine expressions.
Switching to injections.
This year I also switched to estrdiol injections instead of oral pills. My insurance accepted the medication although my co-pay is higher.
Injections are healthier since it bypass the liver. The only thing I had to do is get over the fear of sticking needles in my legs. By now I am used to it, and actually looking forward to teusdays... My injection days. Or female refill days, as I knickname the estradiol.
A friend of mine switched from her pills to injections, and developed a huge increase in her breast growth, which was something I was looking after also. But of course not a single woman, cis or trans, is the same, so our results might vary. Although she injects estradiol valerate, I have estradiol cypionate, somewhat the same, just a different way of how (quik) it works in the body and dosage.
Anyway, I personally think I am doing better on injections than on pills, but I am not sure if there’s a proven case.
Gender Reassignment Surgery.
When I first started my transitioning I wasn’t thinking of getting my surgery. I thought that if I start hormones and develop all the other female characteristics, I can live with that one thing down there. But it actually backfired. As my body developed more and more into that of a typical female, looking at myself in the mirror, taking a shower and going to sleep, became more painful to watch and experience.
I had many nights I couldn’t sleep because of this. I even tucked myself at night (and day since I work nightshifts) and I was online looking for shady places to help me get rid of it. Then I came into contact with a surgeon who recently (as in a few years) started to perform GRS, next to her other surgeries she already did.
It didn’t take long for me to choose her, she also performed the surgery on a few of my friends, so I had quit a few positive reviews. And her practice is in Durham NC, so it was only a short ride from Richmond, about two and a half hours one way. I was able to recover at home instead of in a hotel.
October 4, 2017 was my day, reporting at the hospital at 06:00 in the morning. I remember seeing 11:11 after I woke up, so I consider this the time of my rebirth. It all seems like it went really quick, I was in the preparation area with my spouse, who was with me all the time. After all the prep was done they wheeled me into the surgery room and the next thing I know, I saw a nurse in the recovery room and I asked her if “it” was gone, she acknowledged with yes, and I smiled and went back to sleep. Than waking up in my hospital room with my spouse next to me in the lazy chair.
My friend T. and me, together with Dr. K. MacPhee, during the 2017 Richmond TIES, organized by Equality Virginia, at Virginia Commonwealth University.