----------=BigCloset Retro Classic!=----------
How Adam became pregnant, learned to live with it, and liked it!
Admin Note: Originally published on BigCloset TopShelf on Thursday 11-09-2006 at 12:15 am, this retro classic was pulled out of the closet, and re-presented for our newer readers. ~Sephrena
Adam Domanski considered himself to be lucky to have all of the opportunities he had in life. His father, the late Prof. Wlodzimierz Domanski, defected from Poland at the height of the Cold War by single-handedly stealing a light plane and piloting it to Denmark, flying very low to escape detection by the Polish and East German radar. After a short period of newspaper and television fame, he settled down to the relative obscurity of teaching chemistry at a small American college, met and married a Polish-American woman from Chicago, and fathered one child, Adam, who was brought up in a household which was both deeply conservative politically and very Catholic. The language of the house was Polish, and Adam grew up speaking it fluently.
Adam was a good and serious student, who met and, in turn, married a good Catholic girl, Mary-Ellen McCarthy, while both were undergraduates. They were virgins until their honeymoon. After he graduated with honors, Adam went on to law school, where he had achieved good grades, but -- to admit it -- did not find much satisfaction in the minutae of the law. One day, one of his law professors called him into his office and asked Adam for help. The professor had been doing some consulting to an American corporation which was trying to sign a very large export deal with the Polish government, and urgently needed some legal documents translated from Polish to English. Did Adam know anyone who could do it? Adam offered to do it himself, and found that he had no trouble at all finding the precise translations of the legal terms. He even liked the task, and was very surprised when the professor insisted on paying him at the going rate -- over $5000 -- for his work.
The word got around and soon Adam decided that he had found his vocation. He left law school at the end of the year and opened an office for legal translations. First, it specialized in translations between Polish and English, which he did himself. Later, he added a young Russian-American lawyer, Olga Yablokova, who handled legal translations between Russian and English and an African-American woman, Tracy Green, who had a master's degree in Slavic languages from Georgetown University and several years' experience in a government agency (best left unnamed -- as she put it, since No Such Agency exists) before she decided to leave Washington after her husband died on assignment for the same unnamed agency. Since Tracy had no law background, she acted as office manager in order to free Adam and Olga to concentrate on actual translation work. Clients would talk to her first, and would usually be startled when she conversed with them in fluent Russian, Polish, or other Slavic languages. Since she was also a generation older than Adam and Olga, she soon became the office "housemother," helping everyone with their personal problems as well. When Adam's father died suddenly of a stroke, she comforted him and helped him get over the loss and the pain. Finally, Maria Wajch, a young lady just out of high school, joined the group as secretary and general gofer.
Adam and Mary-Ellen were very much in love, and that love grew over the years, though it was accompanied by one deep sorrow: they did not have any children. Many years and dollars were spent on various doctors and spiritual counselors, but to no avail. Finally, after many tries, Prof. Harrison at the University Hospital pinpointed the problem -- a malformation in Mary-Ellen's womb which prevented any fertilized ovum from developing. There was hope, however, albeit rather slim: the doctor suggested an experimental technique whereby an ovum from Mary-Ellen be fertilized by Adam's sperm in a laboratory, and them implanted outside the womb, where -- if the implantation was done early enough in its development -- it could develop in its own placenta. The baby would then be delivered by Caesarian section, when the time came. This procedure, he explained, had been successfully tried on sheep and cows. but had never been done on humans. His team, however, had obtained permission from the hospital Ethics Committee to attempt it and, if Adam and Mary-Ellen were willing, the cost of the procedure and followup treatment would be covered from their research grant.
After a lot of soul searching and prayer, and after consulting with their parish priest, they agreed. Three months went by, as Mary-Ellen was extensively tested. Then, the day finally arrived. In separate rooms, Adam contributed sperm and Mary-Ellen contributed ova. They were told to wait for two hours to see if the laboratory fertilization was a success. Having nothing to do, they decided to go to a coffee shop across the road from the hospital, to get something to eat. They were so excited, they held hands and had eyes only for each other. As they crossed, they did not see the car, driven by a highly intoxicated driver, which ran a red light and was headed directly towards them ...
When Adam woke up, he was in a hospital bed, with one leg in a cast and traction and his head and left arm heavily bandaged. He felt terrible. Next to him sat his mother, and Father McQueen, his parish priest. Crying, his mother filled him in on what happened: Mary-Ellen had been killed outright in the crash, and Adam had been unconscious for over 24 hours. There appear to be no major injuries, but he would have to remain in the hospital for at least another three weeks. (He was lucky that the accident occurred right outside of the hospital, so that he was rushed into ER immediately, which was probably what saved his life.) He could not even get up to attend Mary-Ellen's funeral. Needless to say, Adam was crushed, and even Father McQueen's kind manner did little to comfort him.
It took almost a week before Adam's grip on reality returned, and he was able to think straight about his situation and about the future. His mother and Father McQueen had been daily visitors, as had been Olga, Tracy and Maria, who assured him that the work at the office was continuing with no problems and that he should feel free to take as much "leave" as necessary from the pressures of work. The couple's many friends filled the room with flowers and kind words about Mary-Ellen and there was talk of suitably memorializing her contributions to various church activities.
And then, a week after the accident, Prof. Harrison and his assistant, Dr. Anne Mayberry, came to visit, bringing a problem that had to be solved immediately. Everyone, it seems, had forgotten about the original purpose of Adam and Mary-Ellen's visit to the hospital -- the fertility treatment. The lab tests had shown that Mary-Ellen's ovum had, indeed, been successfully fertilized, and the embryo was now developing. It was time, imperatively, to make a decision what to do, since the embryo could not be kept alive in the laboratory for more than a few additional hours. Adam's eyes immediately filled with tears -- it must be allowed to live, so that it will be, in some sense, the continuation of Mary-Ellen's life. Was there not any other woman in whom it could be implanted?
Dr. Harrison explained that there would be no chance of implanting the embryo in a stranger -- the body would reject it. The only hope was finding somebody which a close genetic identity to the parents. Unfortunately, Adam was an only child, and Mary-Ellen had two brothers, but no sister. Adam asked for a few moments to consult with Father McQueen. It was the priest's opinion that, from the Church's position, everything should be done to save this living thing struggling to be born. There seemed to be no way out, and he and Adam both turned to silent prayer and asked for guidance.
Finally, Adam came to a decision. Calling Dr. Harrison back into the room, he asked, "Can you implant the embryo in my body?" Dr. Harrison was startled, but admitted that it might be possible. "Then do it," said Adam, "Mary-Ellen gave her life so that child might be born; I cannot have its death on my conscience." Things moved quickly. Within two hours, Adam had been sedated and transferred to a gurney. When he was returned to the room several hours later, he was still unconscious, but there was an additional scar on his abdomen, where the embryo had been implanted. Now it was a matter of waiting to see what would happen.
For another three weeks, Adam remained in the hospital, immobile in his bed while his leg and arm healed. Twice daily, members of Prof. Harrison's team visited him, took blood and urine samples, and sometimes scanned him with various exotic machines. Finally, when he was ready to leave, he was taken in a wheelchair to the office of Dr. Mayberry, who would be directly in charge of monitoring his progress.
"Call me Anne," she said, "We are going to be seeing a lot of each other for the next nine months. How do you feel at the moment?" she asked with a smile.
Adam said that he didn't feel anything special, and was sure that the implant had failed.
"No," said Anne, "it worked. You are, as best we can determine, pregnant. The embryo has built a placenta around itself, and is developing as one would expect. Your body is undergoing many changes, without you feeling them. Our tests show that it is producing a large quantity of female hormones, estrogen and progesterone -- this is necessary in order that the baby develop properly. We will give you additional shots to aid the process. You will notice the changes in a few weeks, when your breasts begin to grow. The areolas around your nipples will enlarge and darken too. This is necessary as your body begins to prepare itself towards breastfeeding after the baby arrives. In general, expect that your body will also become more feminine. Your voice will change, and so will your psychological reactions. You are also going to feel more tired. That too is normal. Also, be prepared for the possibility of nausea in the morning or at other times during the day. The important thing is to eat properly, get plenty of rest, and be mentally prepared for what is coming. I will be seeing you as often as you need me to, but certainly twice a week, because we want to keep a very close record of your physical changes."
Adam just sat there, not knowing what to say. He looked at the floor, not at the doctor. Anne smiled. "I know you suffered a great loss, Adam, that nothing can repair. But you also have elected to have the unique chance of bringing a life into the world, and be part of that wonderful miracle which God has given to the human race. So be proud of yourself, hon, and carry your baby with love and dignity." She gave him a booklet for pregnant mothers, and a swift hug, which he did not return.
Adam's mother drove him back to his house. He sat in the car and looked moodily at the floor of the car and did not speak. When they arrived, he got out of the car, felt dizzy all of a sudden, and then vomited all over the garage floor. His mother was horribly frightened, and wanted to take him back to the hospital, but he said no, and told her that he had something to tell her when they went inside. It was going to be somewhat of a shock.
"I am going to be a grandmother," she said after Adam explained what happened. "This is not the way I anticipated it, but you made the right decision, and I will stick by you and help you any way I can."
Adam hugged her tightly. "I need it mom, I need all of the love and care I can get very badly. For now, I just want to rest. I feel very tired."
Adam's mother understood, and unpacked his bag, while Adam slipped into bed. She smiled when she saw the booklet which Dr. Mayberry had given him, and thought about her own pregnancy. She must have dozens of things in the attic which Adam will need. She would have to check things out. She remembered how important it was that her mother was there with her; it was tenfold more important that she be with Adam, and offer her total support.
Tracy, Olga and Maria came over that afternoon, and Adam felt that he had to tell them about his situation too. They were overjoyed, especially Olga and Maria, who wanted to know everything he was feeling. He had to promise to tell them what it was like at every stage of the pregnancy. Tracy was much more practical. Her first concern was who would take care of him now. "You clearly can't do all of the housework yourself, in your condition," she insisted, "especially since you don't have a man to help you out."
Adam was afraid that it wouldn't "look right", but the next day, after vomiting again while trying to make morning coffee, he gave in. A compromise was reached: he talked to Dr. Mayberry and they decided that a nursing student would be assigned to live in Adam's house and take care of him, while at the same time monitoring his medical progress. That afternoon she showed up, a diminutive and almost-hyperactive young lady named Kathy Stryon, who said that she had experience before with "expecting mommies" and could handle anything. When Adam laughed at that description, she just smiled and said that Anne insisted that she treat Adam just like any other pregnant woman. "In fact," she decided, "from now on I am going to call you ... Wanda, which will be more appropriate as things get ... rounded out." Adam was not too crazy about that but Tracy, when she came over that afternoon with a large supply of groceries, loved it. "It is a good Polish name, hon," she said. "Just think about Wanda Landowska, the famous Polish concert pianist. You are going to be Wanda, the loveliest mother in the office."
After a few days at home, Adam (or Wanda, as everyone -- including his mother -- now insisted on calling him) felt ready to return to the office. (Working at home was not an option; he needed to have ready access to the large library of books on Polish law which was kept in the office.) He had gotten used to the morning sickness and managed to live with it. His chest area was very sore, and he did notice some swelling there, or so it seemed. He also noticed that he didn't need to shave any more. Kathy insured that he stick to a healthy diet and did some mild exercises to help overcome his tiredness. Still, he found out that it was harder for him to concentrate on work, and that every so often he would just sink back in his chair and stare at the wall. When that happened, Olga or Maria would come in and give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and ask him if he was all right.
There were days when he could work well, but days when he would feel so dizzy and lightheaded that nothing would get done. Maria had gotten into the habit of putting a vase of fresh flowers on his desk in the morning, saying that expectant mothers should have happy things to think about. He no longer objected to being referred to as a woman. Indeed, it was beginning to feel sort of natural. And when one of the "other" girls in the office kissed him, he would blush and smile. And he would think about the baby. He would often dream about it, living inside him, turning from an embryo into a fetus, and from a fetus into ...
At the end of the second month, Dr. Mayberry was able to tell Wanda that they now knew for certain that the fetus was female. Wanda kissed her. He had been hoping so much for a girl, who would of course be named Mary-Ellen.
As the second trimester began, Wanda began noticing that his clothes no longer fit well, they constricted him. His mother, Tracy, Olga, Maria, and Kathy were all of the same opinion -- he had to buy maternity wear, including maternity dresses. However, Wanda objected that he couldn't very well go around looking like a "man in a dress," and so they decided that he had to be taught how to present himself as a woman. That meant, of course, getting an appropriate hairstyle, learning the appropriate mannerisms, and learning how to dress in a whole new wardrobe. Wanda did not like the idea, but he was clearly outnumbered and, really, was too lightheaded and uncertain of himself to argue much. In fact, he noticed that for the past month or so he was unable to really make a decision and stick to it. He did what he was told. Tracy had taken over the total management of the office and she assigned work to him just as she did to Olga, That was OK, however; he was not sure he could trust himself to make business decisions any more.
And so, one day Tracy and Wanda's mother came over while he was away at the office, bagged all of his male clothes, and put them in the attic. In their place, they brought a complete selection of maternity slacks, skirts, tops, and dresses, comfortable but stylish shoes, and lingerie, including the bras which he was beginning to definitely need. Frilly nighties replaced his pyjama, and a dressing table was added to his bedroom, with enough lotions and cosmetics "to cover the world," as he said later. A well-stocked jewelry box was added, containing some very expensive pieces handed down from his grandmother. Of those, the most important, in his mother's words, were his grandmother's wedding and engagement rings. Wanda should wear them all the time, she insisted, so that nobody would whisper behind his back. Surprisingly, they actually fit his ring finger. Kathy took it upon herself to redecorate Wanda's room in an appropriately-feminine style. At the same time, Wanda's mother brought over many things that she felt that would be needed, including a sewing machine, which she insisted on teaching Wanda how to use, and some baby furniture for the guest bedroom, which was to become the baby's room in time.
It was not easy. Despite all of the support from his own "fabulous five fans," as Wanda liked to call them, Wanda had a hard time adjusting. The first time he came to the University Hospital dressed in a skirt and blouse, even though Kathy accompanied him, he felt he was going to die of embarrassment. Dr. Mayberry, however, did her best to put him at ease, taking it all as very natural. She was also very encouraging about the baby. It was developing well, and the ultrasound pictures showed no problems at all. Gradually, it all came together though, and by the middle of the fourth month of his pregnancy, Wanda was as used to his new clothes as he had been to his old ones.
Being at work was simpler. Tracy managed the office. As far as clients were concerned, Adam had taken an extended leave and there was a new woman temporarily replacing him. His morning sickness was now past, and he could concentrate more on his work. Except for those times when he leaned back daydreamed about the baby. By the fourth month, he was definitely beginning to "show," and Tracy bought him a special cushion for his office chair to help him manage the back pain. He also had trouble sleeping, for a while, because of the shift in weight in his body, but managed to find a comfortable position rather quickly. Fortunately, he did not have the gum and nosebleed problems that many pregnant women have. Following Kathy's advice, he ate a calcium-rich diet so that the baby would have strong bones.
He was glad now for the wardrobe of maternity clothes that he had. In fact, he really liked them. He also got used to putting on makeup in the morning, and no longer needed Kathy to help him. Surprisingly, he enjoyed that too, and would occasionally experiment with new and different looks. Kathy had arranged for him to visit a beauty salon; at first he was very apprehensive, but he was treated well there, and by now he was getting to be a regular customer. His regular hairdresser kept on inquiring about the baby and, when the baby started kicking and he allowed her to feel his growing tummy, she almost screamed with excitement and then refused to charge him for that day's treatment. In order to look more feminine, he had tips added to his fingernails and enjoyed looking as his longer, thinner-looking hands with their bright red polish. His toes has the same color, even though it became harder and harder to see them, as his pregnancy became more advanced. But Kathy insisted on applying the polish to them, saying that a woman, even when pregnant, had to look her best.
When Wanda entered his third trimester, Dr. Mayberry insisted that he start attending classes for expectant mothers. While it was clear that his baby would be delivered by Caesarian section, and not by natural childbirth, she said that he had to learn about breastfeeding, as well as about the changes he was going to undergo during the final three months. Also, she said, he would learn to bond with other mothers-to-be. Wanda didn't even flinch at that. He was, by now, so used to thinking and acting like a woman, that the term didn't faze him. He didn't even get upset when his mother called him "my blossoming lovely daughter" and warned him to take care of himself, since he was carrying her granddaughter in there. Wanda found breastfeeding classes very interesting. He would definitely breastfeed his baby as long as possible. After all, Dr. Mayberry had assured him that this was no problem and, in fact, had used a breast pump to extract some milk from his (now C-cup) breasts to prove it. He loved the feeling, and at night would dream of holding little Mary-Ellen in his arms and nurturing her. He thought about the baby constantly. When his mother offered to teach him how to knit, he gladly accepted and, by the beginning of his third trimester, had already knitted a quilt for the baby, and was going to begin on some booties. He would sometimes take his knitting to work with him, much to the delight of the other women in the office.
One of the problems of the third trimester was his frequent need to go to the bathroom. Since he started dressing as a woman, he had, of course, been using the women's rest room, but at first had always made sure it was empty before he entered. Now, there were times when he could not afford to wait, and often would rush in while Tracy or Olga were still there. Needless to say, they never said anything about it, even when, once, he came in just as Maria was changing her tampon. He learned to elevate his legs while he was working, and to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. His belly seemed to be so huge, and growing every day, that sometimes he was sure he would burst. The baby would kick him at the most unexpected moments, and sometimes he nearly lost his balance. Even though he always took Kathy's advice and wore very comfortable and sensible shoes, he felt surprisingly attached to the low heels he had worn during his second trimester. He missed how his legs felt nice and sexy. Tracy assured him that the sexiest thing about a woman is a pregnant belly.
Meanwhile, the workload in the office increased. When it was clear that Wanda could no longer carry his share of the load, Tracy decided to hire another worker to help him handle the Polish translation work. The choice fell on Jerzy Dudek, a recent immigrant from Warsaw with a law degree from there. At first, the others were apprehensive about having a man working in "this hen house," but even Wanda agreed to it in the end, since they could find nobody else. Of course Jerzy was not told that Wanda was anything except a pregnant woman who needed an assistant to carry out her duties. He was expected to help him until he gave birth, and then stay on for a few months while Wanda was on maternity leave. Jerzy was five years older than Wanda and treated him, as everyone else, with an old-world deference that Wanda remembered from when he was little. Jerzy always referred to "Madame Tracy," "Madame Olga," and "Madame Wanda," and would kiss their hand with a very exaggerated motion. He was especially solicitous to Wanda, because of his condition, and would always insist on holding his chair for him and on helping him on with his coat. Often, he would drive Wanda home and, after a while, would be invited in for a cup of coffee as a reward. Wanda had to admit that he enjoyed his attention, and looked forward to it.
When, one day, Jerzy invited Wanda to a concert by the visiting Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and, before he thought about it much, Wanda accepted. Only later that night, did he gasp when he realized what that meant -- he was about to go on his first date as a woman. Kathy, was delighted. She went with Wanda to pick out a new dress, appropriate both to his condition and to the occasion, and some new shoes and a handbag to go with it. When Jerzy came to pick him up, he brought a large bouquet of flowers and Wanda thanked him with a peck on the cheek -- it just seemed like the natural thing to do. After the concert, when he escorted him home, Jerzy kissed him on the lips. Wanda smiled and returned the kiss. He had had a wonderful evening, and dreamt about Jerzy that night -- not for the first time.
From that day on, Jerzy and Wanda would go out together often. Nothing sexual happened between them beyond short kisses. Jerzy was too much of an old-world gentleman to try anything with an obviously-pregnant woman. Wanda, for his part, forgot that he was not a woman, and just enjoyed being in the company of a nice male companion who flattered and pampered him, with whom he could speak Polish, and with whom he had so much in common.
And then, before he knew it, "the date" approached. Dr. Mayberry was the first to breach the topic. "We have to schedule the birth," she said. "Will a week from Wednesday be OK?" Wanda was shocked and unprepared. "Look at you," said Dr. Mayberry. "If you get any bigger you won't fit through the door. You have a healthy wonderful young girl inside of you and she wants to get out." Wanda burst into tears. "It is all right, honey, it is all right," Dr. Mayberry comforted her. "Go home and have Kathy pack a hospital bag for you. She will know what to put in it, and she will accompany you to the hospital."
On the evening before the Wanda was scheduled to go to the hospital, Tracy, Olga, Maria, and Kathy threw a "coming out" party for the baby. Jerzy was there too, but while all of the women were so excited and made a big fuss, he was surprisingly quiet and sat by himself in a corner, in deep thought. Then, finally, he pulled Wanda aside and asked to talk to her privately.
"Madame Wanda," he said quietly as they sat together on the sofa, "tomorrow you will have your baby. I know that the baby's father is no longer with us, and it will be bad for a child to grow up like that with no father. It is bad and it is wrong. Madame Wanda, you know that you are very special to me. I have been thinking about this a lot, though we have never talked about it. Madame Wanda, will you honor me by being my wife?" Wanda looked at him, his eyes filled with tears ... and he fainted.
It took a few minutes until Wanda came to. During that time, Jerzy retreated, very scared, to a seat in the corner while Tracy and the girls hovered over him. Even though he was not scheduled for his Caesarian until the following morning, Kathy insisted (in her role as resident nurse) that, just to be on the safe side, he had better be taken to the hospital immediately. Dr. Mayberry, when contacted by phone, agreed with her and so Wanda was bundled into the back seat of Kathy's old Ford and driven to the hospital, where he was admitted to the maternity ward and assigned to a private room. Dr. Mayberry was waiting for him, very anxious about the cause of his fainting spell. When Wanda told her what had happened, she laughed, and then asked whether Wanda was going to say yes or not. Wanda's eyes filled with tears, and he didn't answer.
"In other words," Dr. Mayberry said, "you are not rejecting it offhand, are you?"
"I can't say yes," said Wanda. "You know that. But I must admit that I am very fond of him."
"I know no such thing, hon," said Dr. Mayberry. "You are a mother about to give birth to a baby girl. Jerzy is right, the baby needs a father as well as a mother. You cannot be both, and being a mother is more natural for you at the moment. You have become a very feminine woman, because your body created all of those hormones to make the fetus' development possible. That will stop, however, once the birth is over. If you want to continue breastfeeding the baby afterwards -- which I gather you do -- you will have to take hormone shots, and well as injections to increase your milk production. After that, if you wish, it is not that great a step to surgically turn you fully into a woman. Think about it, honey. Think of your daughter's future and yours. But meanwhile, we have an operation to prepare for."
Wanda was very tired and quickly fell asleep. In his dreams, she saw herself in a white bridal dress, walking down the aisle with Jerzy at his side. However, before Father McQueen could begin the ceremony, he was awakened by Kathy and another nurse, who came to prep him for his Caesarian section. They carefully cleaned his huge abdomen with an antiseptic solution. He was moved to a gurney, and taken into the operating room. There, an IV was connected to his arm so that he would have plenty of bodily fluids. He was given a local anesthetic so that he would feel no pain, and his abdominal area was curtained off with surgical drapes. Dr. Mayberry and two others were going to perform the procedure. Wanda remained conscious, but was groggy and soon, almost against his will, dozed off. When he awoke, he was being transferred to the recovery room for post-operative care. The baby was fine and healthy, he was assured, and he would be able to hold it as soon as he felt he was fully alert.
And it happened! Within four hours, Wanda was able to sit up in bed and hold a tiny bundle of joy, little Mary-Ellen, in her hands and clasp her to his breast. The baby, with inborn instincts, began to suck at Wanda's breast, and looked at him with beautiful blue eyes. She seemed to say to him, "You are my mommy; please be my mommy always; I need you." Mother- and-daughter bonding, stronger than the strongest superglue, began to form.
One person who had not been completely happy with the emergence of Wanda was Father McQueen. Although he had approved of Adam's original pregnancy, he had his doubts about the advisability and suitability of Adam living as a women. When that happened, he advised Adam that the best course would be for Wanda to attend a church in another parish, where Adam had not been known previously. Nonetheless, the two remained close friends and Father McQueen would visit Wanda at home once a week, and hear his confession. He was among the first to visit Wanda in the hospital too, and, the moment he saw the him holding the baby and nursing it, he knew that Adam had made a right decision. He and Wanda decided that the baby had best be baptized at the Church which Wanda was now attending, but Father McQueen promised to be present.
In confession, Wanda told Father McQueen all about Jerzy's proposal, and how he had fainted. He asked for guidance, but Father McQueen could not give it. He would consider the matter carefully, and they will talk again. When he left the hospital, he was deep in thought and prayer and, in his head, was already composing a long confidential letter to the bishop, requesting an urgent personal interview. Before that, he knew he had a lot of theological research to do.
Tracy, Olga, and Maria, on the other hand, were totally ecstatic when they first saw the baby. They brought flowers, of course, and Tracy surprised Wanda by bringing a basket of bagels, reminding him that the earliest reference to bagels was in a Krakow manuscript from 1610, which mentions "beygls" as a gift to women after childbirth, though she admitted that nobody really knew if, in that source, "beygls" referred to the food, to a stirrup ("beugal" -- but then traditional Polish bagels are stirrup-shaped rather than round) or to something else altogether. They also brought lots of baby clothes.
Jerzy did not come to the hospital, much to Wanda's disappointment and dismay. He sent a huge bouquet of flowers and a wonderful card, saying that he loved her but would have to wait until she and the baby came home before he came to see them, since he was ill with the flu and did not want to infect the baby. Silently, Wanda cried.
When Wanda did come home, a surprise awaited him. His mother had completely outfitted the spare room as a baby's room, with all of the necessary furniture, piles of toys, and what seemed like a fifty-year supply of disposable diapers (In fact, they were all gone within six months.) The walls were painted a bright pink, and were decorated with pictures of angels.
Wanda needed to do some urgent shopping too. He had no "non-maternity" outfits and it would be clearly inappropriate to go back to wearing his male clothes at this stage. Fortunately, he and Olga were roughly the same size now, and she lent him some jeans and a top before they went off to the mall to splurge, with little Mary-Ellen being watched over by her doting grandmother. If he wondered a bit at how it came about that he was trying on skirts and blouses, all he had to do was touch his breasts, full of milk for his lovely infant daughter, to know in his heart that he was doing the only right thing. He would also admit, off the bat, that he loved the experience. Trying on beautiful clothes when you are pregnant and thinking of only the next few months is quite a different experience from doing it when you have committed yourself, knowingly or not, to the permanence of it all.
A week after Wanda came home, Father McQueen visited him and the baby, and then asked to talk to him frankly about his situation. "What is the most important thing in your life?" asked Father McQueen.
Wanda answered without hesitation, "I want to walk in the ways of my Lord and my Savior, the ways of life and love. I have been blessed to bring a baby into the world, and nurturing and raising her is now the center of my life. I feel that this is my destiny in life at the moment."
"Do you feel comfortable as you are, dressed as a woman, having people relate to you as a woman?"
"I cannot say that it was easy at first, nor that it is the way of life I imagined I would find myself in. There are times when I feel very uncomfortable in this role though, I must say, though, that I am beginning to enjoy it. Perhaps it is a result of the hormones which my body created, but it feels comfortable now, and sometimes fun. However, even if I did not enjoy it -- even if I hated it entirely -- I would sacrifice my own happiness and dreams for those of my baby, and continue on this path."
"Do you love Jerzy?" "Yes, Father, I do. I know that it is a sin for me to love another man, but I do not feel that way. He is a good man, and would be a good parent for Mary-Ellen and would be a good husband to me. I think we both need him and I am sure that I have a large enough supply of love to share with him as well.
The probing continued for over an hour. Father McQueen made Wanda confront his present situation and his feelings about it. Sometimes the same question returned in a different form. Sometimes it came in the form of a challenge. Finally, he was ready to give his opinion. "It is as I thought, and as I presented the situation to the bishop. Yours is a very unique case, Wanda. It has happened because God, in His infinite wisdom, has made available for humans to know the medical technology and knowledge which allowed you to be pregnant with Mary-Ellen to begin with. In His infinite wisdom, he has allowed you to bring your pregnancy to fruition, and has provided you with a beautiful daughter. It is therefore only right and fitting that you make use of other medical technology and knowledge to help raise your daughter, when such technology is available. The bishop and I talked about this and even consulted my old professor of theology at Marquette University, and we came to a rather unusual, but logical, conclusion, and one which seems necessary though it be rather non-canonical. We recommend, Wanda, that you strongly consider Sexual Reassignment Surgery to turn yourself into a legally-recognized woman. Then you will be allowed, in the eyes of the law and the eyes of the church, to marry Jerzy and pursue the life that you two, and your daughter, deserve."
Wanda was, needless to say, totally shocked. The idea of having a sex change had, of course, crossed his mind over the past months, and at one point Dr. Mayberry had brought the idea up as well, though she did not press it. She did point out that the operation has become relatively routine and that there are many fine surgeons available to do it. Moreover, Wanda certainly had the requisite "real life experience" as a woman already behind him, so that if Wanda wanted it, the matter could be arranged with relative swiftness. Still, Wanda had always assumed as a matter of course that the church would oppose such a decision. Here, all of a sudden, his own priest, backed explicitly by the bishop, was not only condoning it, but actively recommending it.
"The church is not as hidebound as people think, Wanda," said Father McQueen, "and it recognizes that special and unusual problems require creative, special and unusual solutions. You have been a very fine son of the church, one of which I am very proud. I am sure you will be a very fine daughter of the church as well. Jerzy is a good Catholic, and a good man. He will be a good father to Mary-Ellen."
The next day, as if on cue, Jerzy came to visit. He apologized for not coming earlier, but had been so worried that he might infect the baby, that he preferred to stay away. He hugged Wanda and kissed her repeatedly, and she returned his kisses. After looking at the sleeping baby, and gingerly holding it, and after half an hour of obviously-strained small talk, he finally came to the point. "Madame Wanda," he shyly said, "before you want to the hospital, I asked you a question. Have you thought of your answer?"
"Dearest Jerzy," Wanda replied, "I first have to tell you something ... you had better sit down."
"No you don't have to, Madame Wanda," he replied, "I already know all about you."
"You know?" gasped Wanda, "How?"
"I am a man of old-fashioned manners, Madame Wanda, as you know," he replied. "Before I even approached you, I talked to your mother, and formally asked for your hand in marriage. That is how things are done in the Old Country. She told me everything."
"And it didn't make any difference?" said Wanda, unbelieving. "No, darling, it didn't. I love you Wanda, and that is all that is important. The other things are details which can be worked out, somehow. The love is what is important."
"I love you too," said Wanda, "and my answer to you is yes, yes, yes, yes!"
And so it came to be. With the help (and even partial funding) of Prof. Harrison and Dr. Mayberry, Wanda was able to have her surgery within half a year. On Mary-Ellen's first birthday, they were married by Father McQueen in a full Catholic ceremony. Wanda was already a mother but, like her mother before her, was nonetheless a virgin when she walked up to the altar and wore her beautiful white dress with pride. As Father McQueen predicted, she was and would always be a good daughter of the church.
AUTHOR'S ENDNOTE This story was written to show that it is possible to come up with a plausible scenario in which a heterosexual male with no transsexual tendencies, coming from a deeply religious and conservative background, would decide to decide of his own free will to become a woman, and do so with the support of the people around him. Magic, domination and force play no part in the tale, and are not needed. Pure love is much stronger than any of them.
Want to comment but don't want to open an account?
Anyone can log in as Guest Reader -- password topshelf to leave a comment.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.