When this man went into labor, he took a photographer along with him and months after he delivered a baby, everyone couldn’t stop talking about these pictures. So why did he even share these photos in the first place? When Yuval, a transgender man, met his husband, Matan, the two were smitten with each other. They wasted no time in going into a relationship. Regardless of people’s opinion, Yuval and Matan were sure they had what it took to raise the family and soon settled down with each other.
After getting pregnant, the couple was eager to start a family and it fell upon Yuval to carry the pregnancy. Within a few years, they had already given birth to two kids. However, when Yuval was pregnant with their third child, he did something different and that landed him on the front page of several news outlets. As the due date approached, Yuval got in touch with the photographer, Tara Leach, and requested a birth photograph. But he didn’t stop at that.
He also opted for a home delivery. He and his partner wanted everything to be perfect and even put plans in place for a birthing pool. Finally, the much awaited day came on May 8, 2018. Yuval went into labor. The midwives arrived just in time, just when Yuval was having intense contractions.
Tara was also on standby, capturing the movements. Apart from excruciating labor pains, Yuval experienced no complications and soon pushed out his third child, a boy named Tig. This couple’s joy had no boundaries. Everything had worked out exactly as they had planned. A few days after the delivery, Tar walked into the couple’s house with a big smile and handed the photos over.
When Yuval and Matant looked at it, they felt the sting of tears in their eyes. The pictures looked more real and compelling than they had ever imagined. It captured the pain of labor and the joy of two parents craving the newborn for the first time. When Juval saw it, he knew he had achieved what he wanted. The pictures represent two causes very close to my heart normalization of home birth and normalization of trans and nonbinary people giving birth, he said in an interview.
For the next few months, Yuval still couldn’t get over the pictures. He had shown it to everyone well, except the outside world. However, each day when he looked at the picture, he knew they needed to be out there. But several questions lingered in his mind. What would people think about these pictures?
Would he receive a lot of criticism? Was he even ready for the backlash that may accompany these fears held him back for a year, and the pictures never went beyond the walls of his house. However, one morning he did the needful. That day, he took a snap of the photos and uploaded them on Facebook. Surrendering to the worst that could happen.
It has taken me just over a year to feel ready to share these with the world and now I’m posting the album publicly. I hope, among other things, that this album will inspire birth workers and future Seahorse dads, aka gestational fathers. I know how meaningful images like this could have been for me before my first pregnancy and how meaningful it is for me to see images of fellow birthing, trans and nonbinary people. To this day. These pictures are my way of saying we have a right to exist, to make our choices, to love and to be respected, UVAL explained.
After making the post, UVAL forgot about it. However, a few hours later, when he checked, his phone was buzzing with notifications. The post went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of shares and likes across Facebook and Instagram. People were responding to it from all different backgrounds, all different walks of life. The positive far outweighed a few negative comments, Tar explained in an interview.
Yuval hopes all those who see the pictures would understand that all births are worth celebrating no matter who is birthing. He believes every birth is beautiful and sacred. While there were several comments, one stood out. How is this possible? You see, people often wonder how transgender men give birth.
According to medical experts, if the womb wasn’t removed in sex gene surgery. But nothing stops a transgender man from having a child. In this case, these men can produce their eggs and give birth naturally. In other cases, they make use of donor eggs and sperm, hormone treatments, IVF and a cesarean section. In the case of Yuval, he was born into a Muslim family in Israel as a female.
When he turned 16, he discovered his attraction to women. Later on, he began entertaining the idea of transforming into the opposite gender. In 2008, Yuval finally made his dream come true and underwent surgery to transform into a man. However, he kept his female reproductive system largely intact and this is why he could get pregnant and have kids on his own. To date, Yuval and his family are doing great and constantly share updates about their lives on their social media channels.
When one transgender Thomas beats underwent transformational surgery, he made an exception. Little did he know his decision would change his family’s life. Born a female from birth, Thomas, dubbed the world’s first pregnant man, was originally named Tracy. At a young age, he discovered he wasn’t interested in being feminine and never enjoyed things girls’age did and always insisted on being treated as a boy. Thomas never fancied wearing heels and gowns and ditched these for sneakers and Tshirts.
But here’s the catch. Although Thomas never liked dresses, he participated in beauty pageants as a teenager. He was even a finalist in Miss Hawaii Teen USA, but he soon put that aside and focused on Taekwondo. While growing up, Thomas also had other different ideas. He didn’t like the idea of weddings and didn’t want to wear a wedding dress.
I certainly didn’t see myself at a wedding as either the bride or the room, he said. However, nature soon revealed the vanity of human desires, and that happened when Thomas met Nancy in 2003. Thomas fell in love with Nancy Gillespie. They soon got married and moved to Bend, Oregon. On getting there, the duo decided to start a family.
However, Nancy wasn’t fit to get pregnant as she had earlier undergone a hysterectomy, so the duty fell on. Thomas took care of the child and he happily agreed this was something he had always wanted. Afterward, Thomas hauled his testosterone hormone treatment so he could conceive. Not long after the couple started trying to have a baby, Thomas fell pregnant. The news of the pregnancy was the highlight of their lives at that moment, however, that euphoria didn’t last for long.
The couple had gone for a usual scan when they learned Thomas was carrying an ectopic triplet pregnancy. That news took away every single joy they had, but putting their feelings aside, Thomas prepared for a removal surgery as it was a life threatening situation. The operation also led to the removal of his right fallopian tube. Shortly after the surgery, Thomas fell pregnant again with the help of a sperm donor, and he delivered with no complication. Although Thomas had carried the pregnancy, he still considered himself as the father of his child and Nancy the mother.
You see, even though Thomas had always fancied the idea of being a man, it was until after his tertiary education in 2002 that he underwent gender reassignment surgery. However, he kept his female reproductive organs. I 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. After Thomas’s first pregnancy, he caught the attention of the media.
However, he went into a full blown Internet sensation after publishing an article in the national LGBT magazine The Advocate in 2008. In the article, he spoke about the prejudice he and Nancy faced at different points in their lives during their marriage and even after childbirth. Doctors have discriminated against us, turning us away because of their religious beliefs. Healthcare professionals have refused to call me by my male pronoun or recognize Nancy as my wife. Receptionists have laughed at us.
Friends and family have been unsupportive. Most of Nancy’s family doesn’t even know I’m transgender, he wrote. His story went viral immediately, and he appeared on different TV shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show. It’s not a male or female desire to want to have a child, it’s a human desire. I am a person and I have the right to have my own biological child, he said on the show.
Thomas and Nancy’s relationship became a favorite word on everyone’s lips. After the story went viral, the couple’s relationship continued to Bloom and they even had two more kids. Unfortunately, it’s ended and they fell apart. After their relationship crashed, Thomas fell in love with Amber Nichols, his kids preschool teacher and the two are now legally married.