I wanted to have a nice catchy title to this post, but my main aim is for people to be able to search this out in the future and the title is critical when it comes to attracting those that are looking into this for their own GRS. I remember struggling myself whilst trying to find such experiences and reading such things vastly improves your whole surgical experience.
The removal itself came much earlier than expected. Two nurses Carla and Emma arrive and I am asked if it is ok for one of them to observe her first unpacking and dilation. I have no issues with this and they started setting about removing my dressings before breakfast had even turned up. They were going to remove the pack as well, but I suggested waiting until after breakfast. They agreed this made sense and I tucked into my bacon, eggs, etc. This was the first fry up I have had here due to being on a special diet up to now.
Shortly after, everything is cleared away and I am laid back and have to spread my legs as wide as I can. The nurse, Carla, cuts the bottom off, pulls the middle out and it slips out effortlessly. The sensation was very unusual, not intense, not pain or pleasure but different. I'm cleaned up a little and this was when I was expecting my first look but I was mistaken because I am seeing a dilator being lubed up.
I am then told she is going to put a finger inside me and feel for the pelvic muscle before she can insert the dilator and that I'll need to relax and take deep breaths. I do this and feel the finger going in, it's not painful and then she readies the dilator. Slowly it goes in, drops down in angle and glides gently to the back. There was no pain whatsoever and the last couple of inches were more pleasant than not.
My hands are cleaned and I am told to hold the end of the dilator. The nurses are off to unpack the lady next door and will be back in 20 minutes to assist me taking the dilator our. I lie there thinking how incredible it was to be here holding a dilator in "my" vagina! The 20 minutes were so calm and serene and I even phoned Mandy to tell her what was happening.
They return well over 20 minutes later and I am encouraged to remove the dilator myself. I pull on it gently and it slides out with still no pain. You could definitely feel it moving, but it was a sensation with no words yet. I'm cleaned up, disposable knickers put on, sat in the chair and it is time to take a breather. A cup of tea arrives and I sit for a while just looking across the downs.
They're back and it's time for the grand unveiling. Carla instructs Emma to hold the mirror and after a few glimpses she gets it steadied and I can see my vagina for the first time. It is quite bruised and swollen but it looks good. It is higher than I expected, which is good because we are warned is closer to the anus than a cis-gender one is but is further away than I expected. There are a fair few clots around and still a catheter emerging from the urethra. The clitoris is just a big red lump at the moment. I am much less emotional than I expected but on reflection, I think it's because I am awaiting my lesson in dilation and this was making me hold back a little on myself.
Carla puts a big glob of lube on the palm of her hand and shows me how to apply it to the dilator (small one). My hands are cleaned again and a small amount of lube is put on my left forefinger. I am told to put this finger inside my vagina and feel for the pelvic muscle. Suddenly I am in at the deep end and an apprehensive poke around begins. It feels so strange and amazing at the same time. I locate the muscle and the lubed dilator is given to me. Again, this is a big moment and I gently insert it in. I find the muscle, angle the dilator down slightly and in it goes with no effort at all. It doesn't bounce at the end as it will eventually but I am more than aware of where the back is and I hold it place. I am left for 10 minutes this time although it was more than 15 by the time they got back.
I gently pull the dilator out and I am wiped down. Now it is the first time for the big one and this time the glob of lube is put on my palm. I lube the dilator perfectly as I was shown and this time I am to insert it without the finger because the first dilator has left it open. I look in the mirror, guide it in and then make the classic mistake of wanting to twist it as I insert it. I am corrected and in it starts to go. This is much more effort, again not painful, just requires a little more pushing although keeping it gentle. I can definitely feel it though, and I manage to get right to the back again. I am informed that not everyone manages this on this day. Again, off the nurses go while I lie there for nearly 20 minutes this time!
They return, I very gently slide the big monster out and I wipe of the majority of the lube. They run a bath for me and for the first time in 5 days I can have a decent clean up. I am not allowed to wash my hair this day but can start doing that tomorrow. I have a soak while I am waiting for them to return and when they do, I am taught to douche. This is the process of rinsing out the vagina, because it has no cleaning mechanism of its own. A large turkey baster type implement is needed for this and Carla fills it with a half cap-full of anti-septic solution and then to the top with warm water.
The bath is emptied but I stay in there and I am given the douche. I have to insert it 3 or so inches in and squeeze all the way until it's emptied. When emptied, I have to withdraw it before letting go or it will create a vacuum and be painful. I proceed and I squeeze so much out of it, I get some air as well which gives me my first fanny fart!
I'm out of the bath and gently drying down, it's into clean knickers with a sanitary towel and a nightdress. I am given the orders to mobilise regularly and I have free run of the upstairs of the hospital although I must listen to my body. My catheter bag is removed and I get a tap instead which means I have to get to the toilet to empty myself now. The catheter is being removed this evening and all being well it will stay out.
There are no more dilations today, but tomorrow sees me start on the process of this three times a day. There is no dread, it is something I have to do and I am quite looking forward to trying it without any guidance.