Another of the misconceptions some have of the HRT process is how fast the process happens. Of course the progress can vary depending how much estrogen your doctor prescribes but for me, the process of "settling" into the changes took around three years. Remember too, certain changes (such as breast size) are genetically controlled and can't be helped along by extra estrogen.
In the meantime, I went the legal route to get all my gender markers changed that I could in Ohio. Actually, except for birth certificate most of the documents were relatively easy to change. The State of Ohio still refuses to change genders on birth certificates.
I began my taking my maternal grandfather's very androgynous name and then adding my Mom's first name as my middle name. Even though she recommended "electro shock" therapy to me when I tried to come out to her, I still believe she would come around to my side the fastest. If not, she is now doing somersaults in her grave!
The name change itself was simple enough. Slap down about one hundred dollars for the courts to run a classified in the paper and for them to add on their court costs- and as easy as that the old me (name) was gone. From there I got my new name on my Social Security which wasn't much of a problem either because they operate on your number of course. Name was changed from there but the gender stayed the same.
As soon as I got my new Social Security Card in the mail, I took it to the Driver's License Bureau and received (paid for) a new license. Easy.
Then I took on the VA since I am/was transgender veteran receiving co-pay health benefits. As slow as the Veterans Administration is known to move, within a couple months I had a bright shiny new I.D. Card with "F" written on it.
So (since I didn't really need a passport), I had taken care of all the basics I could to wipe out the old legal me and start a new transgender life as a woman under the eyes of the law.
A "labor of love?" - you "betcha!!!!"