Over the Easter weekend we went to Wales to stay with my parents. My sister, her husband and the twins were going to be staying as well.
We've done this before but not since I transitioned 3 months ago. We'd tried to go down and stay in February at half term so that my son could spend the week with his cousins but due to him being unwell at the time had called that trip off. This trip also coincided with my birthday so we were determined to get there.
We'd planned to go up on the Thursday but as with any plans that we make my son woke up Thursday morning and sounded like he was going down with a really heavy cold. We decided that we'd leave travelling to Wales until the Friday so that he had a day to get over the cold or for it to get sufficiently worse that we'd not be going anywhere. In the past we've ended up with him in hospital at my parents because he's spiked a high fever between us leaving home and arriving in Wales and also paid A&E a visit at 3am as it was the only place that we could get Calpol when he developed a temperature in the middle of the night.
I'd made plans for the Thursday as it was and so I spent the day treating myself to a visit to the hairdresser to get my hair coloured and trimmed, and then a visit to the salon for a facial.
Friday morning we packed the car and set off for Wales.
We arrived at lunchtime and my parents got to finally see Jenna in the flesh for the first time.
They took my new appearance in their stride and things were no different to previous visits.
Mum and Dad have seen pictures of me. I sent them some last year so they would know what to expect. I wasn't sure that they'd have kept them as I told them if they could keep them or get rid of them as they wanted. Over the weekend Mum let slip that they still had the pictures.
As it was my birthday but also the first time that they had seen me as Jenna I decided that we'd stay in and I'd do a buffet for us.
My sister and her family had been due to arrive at lunchtime but got delayed and in the end didn't set off until lunchtime. By the time they arrived it was early evening and the buffet was nearly ready.
My sister had seen pictures of me and so she was partially prepared for seeing Jenna properly for the first time. My brother-in-law hadn't seen any pictures. He took everything in his stride. He's been a real surprise because of how well he has dealt with all this. Over the weekend we had a couple of chats about treatment and things which he instigated.
The twins are young enough that they will adapt to the changes easier than everyone else. Lottie was her usual shy self when she arrived but did come out of her shell over the weekend enough to chatter to me at a couple of points. By the end of the weekend though she only wanted to cuddle to her parents and seemed to have a cold coming on.
Jess wasn't at all well over the weekend. She's got some problems with her health which flare up every 3 weeks. The doctors have yet to identify what is wrong and in some cases don't even seem to be trying to work out why she is vomiting, sleeping and stops going to the toilet for several days. As luck would have it we hit the third week of her cycle and all she did over the weekend was sleep. She hardly ate anything and a couple of times brought back up what little she'd drunk and eaten. I did manage to have her snuggled to me while she was sleeping at one point.
Saturday my sister had arranged for Mum and her to go to a spa for the morning. I took on driving duties and after paying a visit to Asda beforehand to pick up some bits and pieces, the first time that I'd been anywhere as Jenna with Mum and Sis, we headed up towards the Brecon Beacons and the village where the spa was located.
I dropped them off and then headed back to my parents.
On the way I stopped off at the cemetery to visit my grandparents grave. I've not been there for a while and I wanted to tidy the grave up if it needed it and also spend a bit of time alone. I'm glad that I did as I found their gravestone had fallen over. There wasn't a lot I could do to put it back in place as the metal rods that had fixed it to the base had snapped through. When I picked Mum up from the spa I took her to the cemetery so that she could see the grave. She's been in touch with the council since and they are going to sort out the gravestone as its their responsibility. They had replaced the original gravestone after the bodies of my grandparents had been exhumed as part of an investigation into improper burials at the cemetery back in the early 80s.
When I got back from the cemetery I ended up popping in to the house next door where one of my oldest friends lives. We've not had the chance to have a proper chat for ages so this was a good opportunity to catch up.
Mum had told her about me and so she was prepared for it. We chatted for nearly an hour over coffee and caught up on a few things. Next time I'm at my parents I'm going to have to make the time for us to catch up properly.
Saturday afternoon we had to pop to Asda once again. This time the place was really busy. Being in the store on a Saturday afternoon didn't phase me until I got to the tills to pay for the shopping. Of all the times for their tills to stop accepting card payments Easter Saturday is not the best time. Fortunately my Sister and I had enough cash on us to pay for the shopping. I dread to think what it was like in there after we left though with so many people trying to pay for their shopping and having to do so with cash.
I got a couple of stares from people as we were leaving but I ignored them.
The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. We stayed at Mum and Dad's because the twins weren't up to going to the cinema as originally planned.
It was great to see everyone and to get them seeing me for the first time since I transitioned out of the way.
Everybody tried their best to get names and gender references right. I got called a mixture of things, Jenna, J (which is what we've agreed they can call me while their getting used to it) and also my old male name (when people forgot). I also had a mixed bag of he and she references.
I'm not sure that my parents are ever going to refer to me exclusively as Jenna or she but then its only been a few months so time will tell.
Monday we left my parents and I took the family to stay with my sister-in-law. It was a nice drive there without the usual bank holiday traffic. We'd rung to let them know when we were going to arrive as my brother-in-law had said that he wasn't ready to see me as Jenna and so was going to make himself scarce.
My plan had been to arrive, empty the car of the family's luggage and then head off home without stopping for too long. The plan changed when my sister-in-law being her usual hospitable self offered me a coffee. I stayed long enough for an amicable chat and then headed for home and a peaceful week all to myself.