Woman details her trans brother's pregnancy.

Woman details her trans brother's pregnancy.
Advertising

On September 2, Time ran an essay written by a woman named Jessi Hempel detailing her transgender brother Evan's pregnancy and the birth of his baby son. Evan was born female and opted not to have the double mastectomy that some trans men undergo during their transitions. His partner is a woman, so the pregnancy was achieved using artificial insemination:

My brother has a female partner, so he inseminated using donor sperm. It took a while. The first time Evan tried, five years ago, he was unsuccessful. He took a break before starting again three years ago. He stopped his T (testosterone) shots, [his doctor] prescribed two medications to trigger ovulation and monitored Evan’s body throughout the process to get the timing right.

For some trans men, pregnancy can be especially uncomfortable due to psychological issues that can arise from the resurgence of the female attributes they've worked so hard to quash. Jessi explains:

My brother has a good friend, also trans, who’d gotten pregnant a year earlier. He’d had a rough pregnancy because he felt a traumatizing disconnect between his masculinity and the female attributes of his body. He took medical leave from work for much of the time and was relieved to restart testosterone immediately after his child’s healthy birth. I spoke to another trans dad who had given birth to his son at age 20. He said the pregnancy catapulted him into depression. "It was as if all the things I’d hated about my body were re-emerging, and I felt awful about myself," he told me. Evan didn’t have this experience. "It was a gamble," he said. "I didn’t know how I’d feel, but it turns out I just feel like it’s really cool that my body can do this."

Advertising
Woman details her trans brother's pregnancy.
Short-sleeved button ups and mostly bald heads: like father, like son.

Jessi recounts meeting her new nephew for the first time, and seeing all the sea horse stuff around her brother and his partner's apartment—chosen specifically for the symbolism, as male sea horses are the ones who give birth after carrying the eggs in a pouch.

Evan will continue to chest-feed for a while. Eventually, he’ll begin taking testosterone again. His beard will fill out, and the fuzz will return to his knuckles. His chest will shrink to the point where his bind will be comfortable to wear again. To outsiders, his family will look like any other–a tossed-together group of kids and adults raising one another. At night, my brother will watch his son lift a tiny fist above his head as he sleeps and know what all parents know: this baby is a miracle.

Advertising
https://giphy.com/gifs/masterchef-food-cooking-l46CqCe03Kj64uvlu
Advertising