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Trevor McDonald with his son, Jacob. (Milk Junkies/Trevor McDonald)

Uncharted territory

Trans man shares his fears of giving birth

By WITW Staff on October 11, 2016

When Trevor MacDonald became pregnant, it was the goal of having a family — not to reverse the gender transition he had by then been actively undergoing for some years, or “to somehow embrace femininity.” But opening up and giving birth, requiring a focus on a part of his body with which he felt discomfort to the point of anguish, posed a challenge, he explained in an essay for The Guardian. Of course, a C-section was an option, but one he felt was preferably avoided.

MacDonald, who was born with typical female anatomy, said his gender dysphoria had stemmed mostly from his breasts, so once he’d had chest surgery it had rarely been an issue, as long as he was clothed from the waist down — but birth threatened to pose significant issues, judging from pelvic exams which had tended always to cause “excruciating pain and gender-related panic.”

Therapy and many preparatory conversations with his midwives did not solve the problem, he said, and in some ways made matters worse. “My midwives brought their own fears to my birth, which amplified mine,” he recalled.

Although the birth process was peaceless and the room crowded, the outcome was — ultimately — a good one. For his second birth, however, MacDonald took a very different approach.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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