People assumed he had a beer belly, but Kayden Coleman (34) had a very different tale to tell.
Much to his surprise, as well as everyone else around him, he became pregnant – twice. But neither was the happy experience most parents-to-be hope for.
When a woman is pregnant, there's a great fuss over her wellness. But Houston-based Kayden feels like he missed out on the "perks" of pregnancy. Instead, he felt traumatised and misunderstood as a transgender man giving birth.
He has two bundles of joy – a seven-year-old daughter named Azaelia and a 10-month-old baby named Jurnee – but these blessings were tempered by harsh treatment from medical professionals.
As a result, Kayden believes there's a need for better education on trans pregnancy in the healthcare world and beyond, the Daily Mail reported.
The differences in treatment of a pregnant female and male are staggering, Kayden says. And although he's a proud father, he told Today that both of his pregnancies were "very tumultuous".
Kayden was offered an abortion a "ridiculous amount of times", he revealed on the show.
"There was a lot of questioning about my identity, a lot of misgendering. Being told I shouldn't be in spaces I was seeking care from because they were considered women's spaces," he said.
Kayden was born female and started transitioning in 2009. So far, he has kept his female reproductive organs, according to the Daily Mail.
In March 2013, Kayden had a mastectomy – a surgery to remove all breast tissue from the breast – and he temporarily stopped taking testosterone.
During this time, he was shocked to discover he was pregnant with his first child. He gave birth in 2014, UK newspaper Metro reported. Last January, he was again stunned to learn he was expecting a second child with his boyfriend, Dominique.
"When I found out I was pregnant again, the first thing I thought to myself was, I don't want to have another situation like that," he said on Instagram.
Metro reports he felt lucky in a way that people assumed he was just fat, so he didn’t have to deal with constant judgement.
"I didn’t have to walk around in fear, worrying that people wanted to inflict violence on me," he says. "They thought I had a beer belly."
With the wisdom of his own experiences, Kayden is now working to educate people about being trans and pregnant, hosting workshops on the subject.
"Being trans inclusive involves more than simply knowing the terminology. It’s more than having a few trans friends. And it is certainly more than having the mere desire to be an ally," he said on Instagram.
"It is work. Constant education. Understanding your privilege.
"It’s not about whether or not you quote-unquote agree with us. We don’t care about your acceptance or agreement. We just want equity and safe, inclusive care," he said.