Photo: @restore_midwifery via Instagram
Giving birth can be a beautiful and intense experience, so it's no wonder many people decide to record it in some way. More and more parents are hiring a birth photographer and sharing their photos on Facebook and Instagram for the whole world to see.
But it's still very rare to see the experience that new parents Eli and Stephen recently shared: that of a pregnant trans man giving birth. Shared originally on the @restore_midwifery Instagram page and reposted by the @empoweredbirthproject, this photo series is truly awe-inspiring. Click through the gallery below to see Eli's labour progressing. (We'll warn you that these photos do contain nudity; it is a birth, after all.)
Incredible, right? In the caption, Eli and Stephen's midwife, Marea Goodman, writes that her clients wanted to share the photos in order to help other queer and trans couples learn about trans pregnancy and birth and to hopefully inspire those who might consider it as an option for starting a family.
Goodman's caption also included a quote from Eli about his experience: "Giving birth was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most miraculous. I found pregnancy surprisingly gender affirming—it allowed me to embrace the full spectrum of my identity and to create life," he wrote. "I feel lucky to be trans and amazed at what my body can accomplish. I’m proud to be a birth father and in love with my new daughter.” *tear*
Unsurprisingly, there were plenty of commenters with a lot of transphobic things to say about the photos. Many of them wrote that they were confused about how, exactly, a person who looks like a man could gestate a baby and give birth. Others said Eli was the one who must be confused for identifying as a man, yet keeping his female reproductive organs and wanting to get pregnant in the first place. Luckily, there were also plenty of people who clapped back in support of this awesome couple, reminding the hateful commenters that gender does not equal genitals and that Eli still gave birth as a man, even if he has a vagina and a uterus.
Anyways, we give major props to this couple for their willingness to share these powerful photos of their family. You and your beautiful new daughter are beyond inspiring.
UPDATE: The original posts had been deleted from Instagram, so here's an updated post from @empoweredbirthproject. Tap through the post to see the pregnancy photos mentioned above.