Who's your daddy?

Thomas Beatie, the transgender man who made headlines as the so-called "pregnant man," gave birth Sunday to a healthy baby girl, according to ABC News.

The birth took place at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. And despite rumors was completely natural &

Beatie did not have a caesarean section.

Seeing his picture on tabloid magazines irritated me. "World's First Pregnant Man!" next to a picture of him, bearded with a stomach bump. It made more sense however, when I learned that Thomas was born Tracy.

Born a woman, Beatie had his breasts surgically removed and legally changed his gender from female to male.

Sometime after the surgery &

which, by the way, we no longer refer to as a sex-change, for social reasons, but may say "sexual-alignment" surgery &

Thomas married Nancy in Bend.

Now, Oregon would not have allowed Tracy to marry Nancy, but at this point Tracy is Thomas. Nancy, who had two grown children, no longer had a uterus but wanted to be a mother again. Thomas, who had retained a uterus and ovaries, wanted to be a father and was still physically able to successfully carry the fetus. Thomas was shot to tabloid stardom around the world in April, when the Oregon man revealed he was pregnant.

Though it's been years of taking hormones and living outwardly as a man, Beatie retained his female sex organs because he intended one day to get pregnant.

"Sexuality is completely different than your gender," he said, responding to a question about why he did not remain a lesbian woman. "I felt more comfortable being the male gender."

"I actually opted not to do anything to my reproductive organs because I wanted to have a child one day. I see pregnancy as a process, and it doesn't define who I am," Beatie told Oprah Winfrey in April.

It is a very modern idea to surgically reconstruct one's body to fit as we feel or pluck hormones out of a bottle. With reproductive technologies advancing, we are able to alter our image down to the most basic element of life, almost.

"I have the right to have a biological child," Beatie said. "I feel it's not a male or female desire to have a child. It's a human need. I'm a person and I have the right to have a biological child." .

The couple had a difficult time finding a doctor who was willing to help them conceive. They saw nine obstetricians before one was willing to help them.

"Thomas has been off testosterone for two years before even trying to conceive," explained their obstetrician. "His testosterone levels are normal. Some physical changes are permanent, but his hormone levels are normal. People ask, 'Is the baby going to be normal?' The baby is totally healthy."

The process itself is very basic. Beatie was impregnated with sperm from a donor. His wife, Nancy, inseminated him at home with a device she said was "like a syringe without the needle."

The couple explains how they felt nervous because Thomas had miscarried once before when trying to become pregnant. And they were relieved throughout the pregnancy when everything was normal.

The situation may become very delicate, however, when explaining the process to their daughter. We've certainly distilled the word "mother" down to many parts. Not only are there genetic mothers, but gestational mothers, birth mothers, as well as the mothers who actually raise the children. We even have to factor in egg donors and surrogates.

"In a technical sense, I see myself as my own surrogate," said Beatie. Except he's not. He is the genetic and gestational mother, as well as the social father.

The most bizarre part of the story, however, is the Beaties' insistence on their traditional titles. "He will be the father and I will be the mother," said Nancy. Except, it is so much more complicated than that.

Share This Story