Sunday, March 30, 2008

How does it feel to be a “Pregnant Man?”

Have you heard this recent news that has caused a worldwide frenzy?

This is a story about a legally married Oregon couple, whom the transgender (legally male) pregnant husband who is due to give birth a baby girl on July. To become legally a man, he underwent a sex change, chest reconstruction (surgical removal of breast), and having a regular testosterone injection, yet deciding to keep his sexual and reproductive organs and not opting for sterilization which is not a requirement for sex reassignment.

Obviously, a true man can never get pregnant. It’s up to you, whatever you call this-- a transgender, a transvestite, or a transsexual. Born in Hawaii as Tracy Lagondino, this “trans man,” Thomas Beatie and his wife, Nancy Roberts move to US mainland after getting married. Being a couple for ten years, their idea of having a child is more of a dream than a plan.

Here is a case of unusual couple whom the wife has no capacity to conceive even with the use of modern-day insemination technology because Nancy has underwent a hysterectomy twenty years ago. According to him,
“… wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire … the timing finally seemed right. I stopped taking my bimonthly testosterone injections. It had been roughly eight years since I had my last menstrual cycle, so this wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. My body regulated itself after about four months, and I didn’t have to take any exogenous estrogen, progesterone, or fertility drugs to aid my pregnancy … This whole process, from trying to get pregnant to being pregnant, has been a challenge for us … it took over one year to get access to a cryogenic sperm bank to purchase anonymous donor vials, and why Nancy and I eventually resorted to home insemination ...”
This is the second time he got pregnant. On the first, it was a failure, an ectopic life-threatening pregnancy with triplets, requiring a surgery eventually losing all his embryos and his left fallopian tube. His brother commented after the loss,
“It’s a good thing that happened. Who knows what kind of monster it would have been.”
But on this second occasion, he said,
“… we are proud to announce that this pregnancy is free of complications and our baby girl has a clean bill of health. We are happily awaiting … How does it feel to be a pregnant man? Incredible! Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am. In a technical sense I see myself as my own surrogate, though my gender identity as male is constant. To Nancy, I am her husband carrying our child -- I am so lucky to have such a loving, supportive wife. I will be my daughter’s father, and Nancy will be her mother. We will be a family ...”
A lot of concerns have surfaced out. The possible effect of testosterone on the unborn child, although Beatie claimed otherwise. To one expert, there will be a certain extra level of confusion or complication that the child might later experience, "where I am from." One gay activist said,
“... In my experience, they were extremely well-parented and well-adjusted. The only unusual challenges these kids face come from members of the public who see gender ambiguity as a great wrong … Generally speaking, a man whose desire for a child is strong enough to overcome the obstacles that transgender men must face in bearing one is likely to be an extremely caring father …”
To all women who treat themselves as truly women, having bestowed by her Creator with all the latest available tools and updated add-ons or plug-ins for conceiving and giving birth, how would you play the role as a vital element of the said scriptural order, “Go and multiply?”

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