Women who are pregnant sometimes experience what's known as the nesting instinct, the urge to prepare a home for the incoming newborn.  They clean, they organize, they decorate.  They have their husbands paint the nursery (paint fumes and pregnancy is a no-no).  They buy new sheets despite the fact that they have perfectly good ones due to the insatiable urge to have new, clean sheets.  They replace the dishes and organize and re-organize the washcloths for Baby two, three, four times.  They have their husbands repaint the nursery.  All to prepare for the new arrival.

I won't go so far as to claim that I, too, am experiencing this as surgery approaches, but I have been doing my own little version of nesting.  For the first year or so of my transition, my home wasn't reflective of me.  It was reflective of what I was going through in my head... it was disorganized, random, and devoid of character.  Certainly not somewhere that I'd be proud to, say, entertain.  That started changing about 5 months ago.  One day I realized that my home was not mine.  It was someone else's.  I am rectifying that.

I've gone through every closet in the house and thrown out tons of stuff, and organized.  I've gone through the kids' toys and donated what they don't play with, and thrown away all the extra crayons, watercolor sets, markers, and coloring books that will never be used.  I had no idea we had so many crayons.  I rented a carpet cleaner for the first time in God-knows-how-long and cleaned every carpet in my townhouse, which is 3 floors of wall-to-wall carpet.  I went to Michaels and bought a bunch of Fall stems to arrange in this little pot my sister got me a while back, along with other stems for other pots, and frames.  I've gone through all the old pictures I had up and replaced them with pics of the kids from some photos we had taken a couple months' back.  I've completely redone my bedroom, from the accent furniture to the curtains and bed decor.  I've redone lots of the kids' room, bought a new bookshelf for them, did some decorating, put up some wall decals. I spent three hours today taking apart this monstrosity of a gas grill which has been sitting on my patio for a year, gathering rust. The last reminder of my marriage I had to look at on a daily basis. The grill is now in pieces at the county landfill.

I had this couch sitting in the basement, holding about 20 "lovies," our word for stuffed animals.  I brought it upstairs and reorganized the main room so guests would have somewhere to sit that wasn't a chair borrowed from the kitchen.  As you can see from the pictures, it was quite an interesting time getting the couch upstairs.  Attempt one is on the left.  Attempt three is on the right. We won't discuss attempt two.

So every non-kids' weekend, I tackle a list of "stuff to get done."  Today was devoted to organizing, tomorrow to (ugh) cleaning.  I have 5 more such weekends before I visit Dr. Brassard.  Hopefully it will be enough time to get things the way I want them.  The garage needs to be organized, lots of cleaning needs to be done, food needs to be cooked ahead of time and frozen, recovery supplies need to be purchased, and I need new curtains for the living room.  Oh, and there's one wall I need to paint.  See that couch on the stairs?  There are now huge brown scuffs on the wall from said couch.

Is all this the famed "nesting instinct?"  Something like that, perhaps.  What am feeling bears a little resemblance to the excitement and anticipation one might feel before Baby comes home for the first time.  That said, it would be silly of me and insulting to women to compare what I'm doing and feeling to what they experience when they're pregnant.  I'm merely working on getting my place the way I want it before I depart for Montreal.  Clean, organized, and most of all, to feel like my home when I get back.  I'm not getting ready for a new baby.  I'm getting ready for a new life.


And here I thought you were getting things ready for me. :)

I know you want SRS to come more quickly, but I think you have more than five weekends between now and then. So you can keep working on making your place your own. And I totally get that.

I'm not tying to be rude or take away from your post, but you've made me think quite a bit with it.

I really kinda don't have a "home" at least not somewhere I'd consider my home, and that has brought two things to my attention, one I think I someday I might like it if I did have a place to call my home, I think that'd be nice and two, I really need to work out where I'm going to be able to "recover".

Another thing to add to my seemingly endless list.

I'm pleased your making it your own, and excited for you that your SRS is coming soon.

Hope all's good with you and yours
B xo

@Ariel... I cleaned the closet in your room, too. And washed the mirrored wall. :O I have 5 non-kids' weekends left before Montreal. Kids' weekends are all about the kids. No "getting stuff done" those weekends. :)

@Abby... nothing rude at all. Part of the reason we write is to make others think, no? And yes... the lists. They never end. Ours are just longer.

If your sofa was on the roof in attempt three I think it's more 'roosting' than 'nesting'. :-]

Well played, Stacy. :)

I'm still trying to figure out the how did the couch get on the roof part too! FYI, you don't give the moving guys your stuff beer until AFTER they get things sorted!

Just as well to sort your home out now, whatever the motive, because you won't be physically up to it after the surgery. At least not for a long time.

I hope it all goes extremely well for you. Post-op is a different planet: irrevocable changes both physical and mental; self-perception transformed; and as sutures heal, discomfort eases, strength returns, and you get dilation and other routines down to a fine art, it's wonderful how your life seems freshly remade and full of possibilities.

You'll recall we had a temporary difference of opinion a while back about assimilation into the world of women. I held that the limbo of pre-op, and even the surgery, was just a beginning of the process; and I anticipated a lifelong post-op learning process. I still think that one's 'education' goes on forever, but I've beeen surprised how quickly one advances once physically 'fixed'. There does seem to be a definite leap forward, assisted in no small part by the female hormones finally having full impact.

All that enhances one's self-confidence and it's delightful to find that you can go out without giving much or any thought to whether you pass well. You will because you don't have to think about it any more, and you seem natural as never before. Of course it helps if you can connect with people easily, but even if you happen to be a bit shy, there is a big difference.

Bottom line: you'll be able to 'prove' your physical femininity if need be, and confound any challenge. It's surprising how that very real basic fact toughens your willpower and assertiveness, and widens your personal ambitions.

Again, good luck, and meanwhile happy nesting!


You have carpets, what a dream...

Just the hint that surgery might happen next year has instantly pushed me into something similar after decades of half hearted abandonment this house has to be a home, abetter home, for the new life to come.

Nesting it certainly is.

Best wishes on your forthcoming operation Teegan. Hoping all will go well for you and that your recovery is swift. Soon you will get into a routine and life will get back to normal.

Shirley Anne xxx

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