Transgender man gives birth to healthy baby five years after having first child as a woman

'Pregnancy is not a gendered thing'

Rachel Hosie
Wednesday 13 December 2017 13:11
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Transgender man gives birth to second child, five years after having his first while living as a woman

A transgender man has given birth to a healthy baby - five years after having his first child while living as a woman.

30-year-old Kaci Sullivan from Wisconsin, US, is believed to be the first person in the world to give birth living as both a woman and a man.

Sullivan already has one child, five-year-old Grayson, with his ex-husband. Grayson was born while Sullivan was living as a woman before transitioning.

Sullivan at seven months pregnant

In giving birth to his new baby, Phoenix - a healthy child weighing 8lbs 9oz - Sullivan underwent a C-section after seven days in labour.

Phoenix was conceived with Sullivan’s partner Steven, 27, after Sullivan took a break from male hormones.

The birth comes four years after Sullivan, a business student, started his transition from female to male.

The couple have decided not to reveal Phoenix’s sex, choosing to raise them as gender neutral until they are old enough to decide their sexuality for themself.

Sullivan says he did receive lots of attention when pregnant, including some abuse online, but he wanted to break the stigma around trans parenthood.

“The moment the baby came out and I got to hear them cry was indescribable,” Sullivan said. “It’s incredible to think that I had made this little human.

“After 26 weeks of morning sickness and seven days in labour it was such a beautiful moment.

“We are just so happy and grateful and enjoying spending time together as a family. The baby is delightful, loving and sweet.

“The connection I’ve felt to them throughout my pregnancy has been an incredible privilege and the last nine months have brought my partner and I so close together.”

Sullivan with Steven

Sullivan added that he refused to engage with people who were “perturbed” by the idea of him giving birth.

“They will try and find our safe space and violate it with their opinions, but they are jerks,” he said. “I don't waste my time or energy by giving them anything in return.

“Because I don’t see pregnancy as inherently feminine, and because I don’t subscribe to make-believe gender roles, I wasn’t threatened by the idea of pregnancy. It didn’t make me feel any less masculine.”

Sullivan says he struggled with his identity his whole life and suffered abuse from the age of four.

When he became pregnant with his first child, he had hoped the experience would help make him feel more feminine, but it didn’t.

“Throughout the experience, I prayed to connect with womanhood, to identify with what was happening to my body, but I couldn’t,” he said.

“I felt so hopeless and lost. I wanted to die. I fell into such a dark place and I was terrified to bring a baby into that darkness with me.

“But the moment they put him in my arms it was bliss. Immediately I loved him like I had never loved anything or anyone and I felt such a surge of duty to him.”

Sullivan with Phoenix

Three months after Grayson was born, Sullivan came out as transgender, which, he says, felt like “a tonne of bricks” had been lifted.

His marriage eventually broke down and he lost many friends as well as his job, but it was worth it for him.

Sullivan went on to meet his current partner Steven in 2014, and after a false pregnancy scare, the couple decided to try for a baby in 2016.

Six months later Sullivan conceived naturally and went on to enjoy a healthy pregnancy.

Sullivan at 37 weeks pregnant

The baby is now feeding with breast milk provided by donors.

Sullivan documented the journey with photos and a series of Facebook posts and a YouTube channel, My Trans Pregnancy, to create a resource for other transgender parents.

He said: “As my bump grew bigger and bigger I got nervous going out in public because people would stare. They noticed my abnormal shape.

“There was a lot of anxiety but the most important thing for me was sending the message that pregnancy is not a gendered thing.”

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