Dad Who Gave Birth To Son Shares His Unique Journey To Fatherhood In New Film
A man who gave birth is sharing his unique journey to fatherhood in a new BBC documentary film, Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth - which follows everything from the disbelief he felt after a pregnancy test gave a positive result, right through to the 'f***ing awful' labour.
Freddy McConnell was born female, but had already transitioned into a man when he became pregnant using a sperm donor.
The 32-year-old had decided to keep his womb in case he wanted kids when he transitioned in 2013, meaning he was able to carry his son for the full nine months before giving birth naturally last year.
In order to conceive, Freddy had to stop taking testosterone, which prompted the changes his body had gone through to start reversing - his facial hair became wispier, while his hips broadened and he started having periods again.
In the film, which explores the physical and mental challenges Freddy faced in his bid to start a family, we see the moment Freddy broke down, emotionally saying through tears that he felt like a 'f***ing alien'.
Freddy, from a seaside town in the south of England, said in the documentary: "I think I totally underestimated the difficulty of being on camera and being filmed a lot. I remember thinking, 'This is really odd, I'll get used to it,' but I never got used to it.
"This is a film about me having a baby. But what I feel like I'm going through isn't me having a baby or pregnancy, it's a much more fundamental total loss of myself."
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Speaking to Sky News ahead of the documentary airing, Freddy said that while he was pregnant, people tended to assume he was a man 'with a beer belly'.
He said: "Out in public, and in terms of strangers I didn't ever get recognised as a trans man who was carrying his own baby or was pregnant. It's amazing, actually; the kind of invisibility... the invisibility out in the world was a kind of protection.
"I think people just thought that I was a man with a beer belly, and I was absolutely fine and happy for people to assume that."
Freddy hopes the documentary will help other trans parents considering starting a family, and also lessen the 'misinformation' surrounding the topic, saying not listening to trans people's wishes to start families is a form of 'de facto sterilisation'.
He added: "I think if we keep being given this misinformation, even now that we know that's it not true and that there are further options... it's criminal, it just shouldn't be allowed to happen."
Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth is directed by Jeanie Finlay - who was also behind GoT doc Game of Thrones: The Last Watch - and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Featured Image Credit: Seahorse/BBC