Ryan’s journey to becoming a seahorse dad

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Image description:A selfie of a young white man with blue and purple hair, light facial hair and a lip piercing points to a t-shirt that reads "Not all birthing poeple are women" in rainbow writing.

“Ryan you have to accept that you’re pregnant” my friend Eddie (they/them) told me after I’d gotten 4 positive pregnancy tests. I still didn’t believe them, no I couldn’t be, I had been on testosterone for 10 weeks so there is no chance I am pregnant; it must be something to do with the testosterone.

After a short while googling I found that HRT does not produce the hormone that gives a positive pregnancy test, but I was still in disbelief.

My name – if you didn’t guess, is Ryan. I’m a twenty-four-year-old trans man from Manchester, I use he/him pronouns and identify fully as a male.

At the time that I found out I might be pregnant my whole life had been turned upside down. Me and my (now ex) partner had split up and I had moved out and was living part time at my parents’ house in Manchester and part time at a friend’s house in Stoke so that I could work my notice period at work. So as you can guess I was not in any prepared state to have a baby. Typically I am very careful and use protection, I’ve had various different ones like the pill, the implant, the 3 monthly injection and the copper IUD, however I was in a monogamous long term relationship with my partner(assigned male at birth they/he) who had been told by doctors that they were infertile, so because I was sick of the agonising side effects of the injection I decided to come off it feeling relatively safe to do so.

I couldn’t believe that I was pregnant, so my friend Eddie and I went to a family planning clinic, believing that they would confirm, or deny, the pregnancy and then they would offer support on what I could do. As soon as we got the sign in sheet, I realised that it was in fact a clinic where people go to terminate the pregnancy because there were questions asking me why I wanted to terminate which was a surprising question for the fact that 1) nobody should need to give a reason and 2) that I wasn’t a hundred percent that termination is what I wanted. The questions were hesitantly answered and begrudgingly having to put my old sex because the option wasn’t available to select trans man.

About two hours went by and they finally called me and Eddie in to have a scan, the woman turned the monitor away from me and confirmed that I was 11 weeks pregnant. Part of me still didn’t believe so I asked that I could see the monitor and the nurse said brashly “You are here for termination, right?” to which I responded “well yes, but I still want to see it” the response was more of a noise as she turned the monitor towards me.

There it - he - was. A small baby shaped figure that resembled one of those gooey alien toys you can get that come in an egg. It became real. I was in shock, so much so that I barely remember speaking to the next woman where they arranged me an appointment to go to a hospital and get him suctioned out. All I remember is feeling sick and crying in shock as she wrote the appointment, it was scheduled for about two week later.

Once I came around from the shock, I still had a part of me that believed that no, it must be Eddie playing an elaborate trick on me and that they must have somehow gotten the nurse staff to put on a fake video of a baby to prank me – but then why hadn’t they owned up to it yet?

The appointment got closer, and I still did not know what to do. I spoke to my friend, "Elle". Elle had told me a few weeks before I found out I was pregnant that she had had a termination, that she had to have the same termination scheduled for me, so I confided in her that I was pregnant but that I did not know what to do. Elle told me that she regretted it, that all she wants now is to be pregnant and she is so upset and broody, but to do what is best for me, that she would even come with me if I needed her to.

Read part 2 here

Some names have been changed for privacy reasons

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