I had… obviously, I was pregnant. A whole other thing. The only midwife I’ve had, who was the only person who was really like ‘this person is really terrible, I cannot have you doing my care.’ She came… I said to my doctor ‘look…’ Because I thought, the midwife that had been at my practice, I knew her because I’d supported two people through pregnancies that she’d been the community midwife for. So she knew of me and she… like, I was like ‘brilliant, this is really good, I’m going to feel really safe’. And then she moved practice. So it was a new midwife, never met her, and I asked my doctor to have a word with her. Anyway, apparently he sent an email. So she rings me up to say… because I knew that when people are seeing the midwife, it’s always on the same morning, and because I’d been to the appointments, in those morning you’ve got loads of pregnant people sitting around. The midwife physically moves in to the room to say the person’s name, and then they go to the room. And so as the only man in that space, it’s going to be really obvious that I’m pregnant because the midwife’s going to come and call for me. And I didn’t at that point feel able to be public or, in any way, that felt very dangerous. So I was going to have home visits, so that’s what she’s ringing me about. So she says about having a home visit, and because obviously this is one of my first interactions as a pregnant person, I’d got myself like ‘okay, so I need to let everyone know my pronouns and the language, because I need to protect myself in advance because I’m worried about it’. And I said ‘oh, by the way’… at the end of the phone call I said ‘oh, by the way, just so you know, my pronouns are he/him. And when you’re talking about pregnancy, if you could say ‘pregnant people’ rather than ‘women’ that would be really great’. And she paused, and she was like ‘but you were born a woman, right?’ And I was like… okay, firstly, nobody is born a fully-formed adult. You don’t look at a tiny child and go ‘oh look, a man’. That would be really weird, right?
Anyway, so I was like ‘no, I was assigned female at birth, but I am trans, der-der-der-der-der’. So I was like, okay, so this person clearly did not Google anything after getting an email. Like if I got an email from somebody saying ‘look, you’re going to be working with this person, they are this community of people that you know nothing about’, I’d be like ‘oh, okay, great’. Google. It’s not that fucking hard. So she comes to my house, and she’s obviously a bit off-kilter because I’ve called her out a bit. And so she starts going like ‘I had a trans… my neighbour’s trans, he’s a woman now’. And I was like ‘she’.
‘Yeah, but when I first met him-‘, ‘her’, ‘he was-‘, ‘she was a-‘. And so I was like, just getting in there with her. And you’re not getting that I’m correcting you ever single time, and I’m going to continue correcting you. Anyway, I let my doctor know that I was not happy with her continuing my care. Because if you’re not able to do that basic level of information-gathering.
INTERVIEWER: Absolutely. How were the other people that kind of cared for you in your pregnancy?
For the most part, really amazing. I was under an obstetrician. So I also have mental health problems and stuff, so they put me under an obstetrician for that, and she was determined for me to have a hospital birth. Which I did not want. They kept giving me bloody growth scans to see, and she was like ‘oooh, baby’s going to be big, you should really have a hospital birth’. I was like ‘okay, but there’s no medical reason to have a hospital birth, is there? So until my home-birth midwives tell me that they’re not happy, I’m having a home birth’. I was also under a midwifery team that just do home births.
INTERVIEWER: Oh right.
Which was pretty amazing. Where I live, they have this dedicated home-birth team. And they were fantastic. So at the time I was pregnant there were only 14 of them. There’s a lot more now, I think. But the whole team knew who I was. So if I’d ring up and go ‘I’m having this pain’, I didn’t have to go ‘hi, it’s the… pregnant man.’ I could just ring up and they’d be like ‘oh okay, hi, how are you doing?’ And they were really careful with their language and really considerate about saying ‘people’ and stuff, which really mattered a lot to me. Especially because like, my hormones were all over the place. Dysphoria was already hard enough. But they were phenomenal. They really listened. The only time we had an issue with somebody else other than the midwife was, I was having my 12-week scan, and they have to check not only, like, baby, but also like, how everything else is functioning. So she’s looked, and we’ve looked at the baby. ‘Oh, look at cute little toesie-wosies, and there’s the baby, der-der-der-der-der’, and then she looks at me and goes ‘erm… do you have ovaries?’
How the hell do you think the baby got there? How do you think I’m sustaining this pregnancy? [Laughs]