Male pregnancy stories traditionally consist of a man having the wonderful experience of becoming fathers. However, some stories consist of men experiencing pregnancy first hand. While it is biologically impossible for a man to become pregnant naturally, some unusual situations may make the experience a reality for some males.
Male Pregnancy Stories
Two male pregnancy stories stand out because of recent media exposure; Thomas Beatie is the more popular, but not necessarily the more controversial. Beatie was biologically born a woman, but he defines himself as a man.
Since he has the biological make-up necessary to conceive and carry a baby to term, his story about becoming pregnant as a man is one of great controversy. Many assert that Beatie is not really a man, making the story a hoax.
In a Barbara Walters Exclusive: Pregnant Man Expecting Second Child, Beatie shares his story about having a second baby.
Memoir of a Pregnant Man
Beatie is sharing his story in a book that is being released September 30, 2009. Love Makes a Family: A Memoir of Hardship, Healing and an Extraordinary Pregnancy details Beatie's experience, including his sexual reassignment surgery
Beatie's story is one that has created much controversy because many insist that since he was born a woman, there is no need to bring the issue so much attention. This leads us to the second story about a pregnant man. The question Is it possible for a man to be pregnant? gets a surprising answer with the help of science.
Lee Mingwei was born a male and he is still biologically a man who is carrying a baby. Mingwei states that he never wished to be female nor does he have any inclination to have male to female reassignment surgery. He simply wanted to participate in a scientific experiment.
The experiement is extremely risky because a fetus is implanted in the abdomen area, inducing an ectopic pregnancy. Delivery requires Cesarean section and it is necessary to remove the placenta. Challenges include the possibility of the placenta becoming attached to vital organs in the abdomen area.
Mingwei sees the experience as one that teaches great empathy. When he was growing up, he spent many years in a Taiwan Buddhist monastery where he learned to appreciate life's moments. He sees his perception of the male pregnancy experience as one that relates to Buddhist philosophy.
Connecting with the world and with others is an important aspect of the philosophy. There are few connections as strong as the bond between a mother and her unborn child. The experience has helped him develop empathy for the women in his life as well as a powerful connection with the baby.
Science of Male Pregnancy
The chance of pregnancy complication is great for Mingwei because of the nature of the experiment. It is important to note that RYT Hospital is not taking new patients for this procedure. The hospital and researchers plan to share information about the results of the experiment with the pubic after the baby is born.
As far as sharing his story, Mingwei appears to become increasingly apprehensive. There is currently no due date listed on the First Male Pregnancy website and his online journal has not been updated. The site points out that the male pregnancy is no hoax and that Mingwei is anatomically and biologically a man.
First Pregnant Man
It is questionable whether Beatie is actually the first pregnant man because he was born a woman. If we define gender as a psychological state, we can assert that he is a man by definition, especially after the reassignment surgery. However, one can assume that many women who had babies defined themselves as males; they did not have the means to reassign their gender nor the acceptance Beatie experiences today.
If we define gender as a psychological rather than a biological state, Beatie is just one of many pregnant males. If we define gender as a biological state, Mingwei would be the first pregnant man to date since he has a male anatomy.