My baby is a boy

By Drum Digital
18 August 2010

THEIR firstborn was a girl and they were overjoyed their second child was a boy. Or so they thought ...

“I desperately wanted a boy. When the first sonar scan showed it was a girl I was bitterly disappointed,” Madeleshia Hiscock (29) says. “It wasn’t that I was ungrateful but after our daughter, Zadeleshia (3), I really wanted a boy.”

Then a subsequent scan showed it was a boy after all. And when yet another confirmed the gender as male, Madeleshia was over the moon.

When Kenny Hiscock was eventually born on 15 February by Caesarean section it was a dream come true for Madeleshia and her husband, Kenny (30).

But shortly after his birth Kenny Jnr began to quickly lose weight. “He wouldn’t drink and I was beside myself with worry.”

When they returned to the hospital they were given shocking news: Kenny wasn’t a boy at all but a girl. He didn’t really have a penis but an enlarged clitoris. And he didn’t have testicles; the labia had grown together.

The shock was so great the parents couldn’t accept it at first.

“We still weren’t sure,” Madeleshia says from their home in Vereeniging. “The doctor had told us she – when it was still he – had too many male hormones. We were prescribed drugs for the condition and went home without really understanding what was going on.”

The doctor did blood tests and told the Hiscocks to return in May for the results. Perhaps it all wasn’t so final after all, they thought.

“We carried on believing we had a son,” Madeleshia says. “But one day when I was sitting with the baby I told Kenny I thought he was beginning to look more like a girl.” She’s quiet for a moment. “Kenny told me I was being silly, you could see he was a boy.”

They carried on believing their baby was a boy, only to be told by the doctor in May that their child was really a girl.

“I cried a lot. I know it’s wrong but I didn’t know if I wanted the child any more. It was so difficult. But when she gave me one of her beautiful smiles I couldn’t be angry any more. She’s my child. She’s now my daughter. All we have to do now is decide how we’re going to handle it.”

They decided to call her Mckenzi and requested a new birth certificate.

But the nagging question remains: does Mckenzi have female reproductive organs?

“When the doctor told us it was a girl I asked if she had a womb and ovaries, if she would menstruate one day, if she would develop breasts. He said yes but couldn’t show us a scan to confirm this.”

As they’re not on medical aid they can’t afford to take Mckenzi for another scan. The most difficult thing for her is that they have to wait until Mckenzi is 16 before they can have her enlarged clitoris altered. “How do we explain to her why she looks different when she baths with her sister?”

Read the full story in DRUM of 26 August 2010

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