ARTICLE by Natalie Brown

Q&A with Trans Dad Freddy Mcconnell

 |  Reading time: 8 minutes
B_for_Blog | Natural Baby Shower

At Natural Baby Shower we believe that every parenting journey is important, and we're here to help parents from all walks of life. When it comes to our little ones, we love to celebrate their differences and teach them to empower each other, and think this should be the case for parents too!

That's why we're shedding some light on Freddy Mcconnell. Freddy is not only a dad to his two adorable children, but he is also a visible role model for LGBTQ+ families. As a trans dad, we asked Freddy all about life building a family and how he's helping more people like him start their own journey into parenthood...

Instagram: FreddyMcconnell

Freddy's Story

You call yourself a “seahorse dad” – what does this mean?

I don’t know who coined this term but it’s a name that the community uses as a sort of "affectionate mascot" or symbol that makes it seem more human – which seems ironic as it's not! It makes everything less medical for trans people. For male seahorses, they not only give birth, but they gestate their young, though some confuse this with the fact the males carry young in the pouch. We obviously know we’re not seahorses, it’s more of a sentiment as to what it is.

Can you tell us a little bit about your pregnancy journey?

    It all started back when I first discovered my trans journey which was at university in my early twenties – when the internet was still relatively new. I came out and my life changed, I went to a gender clinic and that’s when I found out that the testosterone I was taking would make me infertile in the long run. At this point, I had to come to terms with the fact I may never be able to have children, and because freezing my eggs wasn't an option as I wasn’t eligible as a trans man, this was my reality. I spent a few years processing this and making peace with it. I was almost grieving my fertility – which is something a lot of other trans men have also said.

    Then a few years later, I saw a video of a US man who was trans and he announced he was pregnant – even after being on testosterone for years! This story shocked me and challenged the idea that I am infertile. It blew my mind to hear how happy and proud he was with the entire process too. I toyed with the idea for a little while longer, and did lots of research to see if I could physically and mentally do this - was I confident enough to have a baby as a trans man? It almost seems counter intuitive, but I’d finally become confident and comfortable in myself in transitioning, and I knew I wouldn't have been able to mentally handle a pregnancy before now. so I knew I couldn’t have been able to mentally handle a pregnancy before it. The man I am could do it whereas the person I was before could not. In the end, I was lucky to conceive very easily and coming out of it I know there’s no evidence testosterone effects fertility. I’ve done it twice now; SJ is 4 years and LB is five months, it’s the best!

    You’ve spoken about your dysphoria and offered lots of advice for others, what is the one piece of your advice you found the most helpful when you were pregnant?

    I’m not sure this is advice – as such, but in my first pregnancy I’d made a film all around the experience and I became very worried about being seen in the wrong way or others knowing my business. I felt very insecure about the whole thing when other people were involved, I felt like I wanted to hide away in my worst moments of pregnancy. Now, lots more trans men have come out and gone public about their pregnancies and become that model of confidence and pride. So I’d say for young trans boys and teenagers or even adults, if they’re thinking about trans-family options, just make sure you’re always surrounding yourself with positive role models, imagery and people.

    Was there anything you loved about being pregnant/ were there any symptoms you suffered with?

      All my chest hair had disappeared but there was so much more than this that I hated. Physically, I was very nauseous which was hard but I did find my second pregnancy slightly easier as I knew what to expect psychology – albeit the second was physically harder. I wasn’t as anxious, whereas with my first I had been worried to take medication that would take me further away from my transitioning which I later knew would help with physical symptoms. Despite this, I loved feeling the babies kick and move as it was reassuring that this was the reason I was putting myself through everything and it would all be worth it. The thing is I love being a dad, I love the outcome of pregnancy and you can’t really put into words why you’d do it all again for the end result.

      Even though there were problems around being mis-gendered when I was pregnant, I found that some people could be so caring and that was really uplifting. To add though, I loved giving birth – which is ironic!

      You mentioned you enjoyed your births, did you manage to stick your birth plan?

      I had one birth that went exactly to plan and one that didn’t at all, but it still wasn’t traumatic and ultimately, I felt really positive after both. I feel very grateful to have had birth experiences that in my opinion were ‘the ideal birth’ despite the second an emergency c-section and LB small for gestational age.

      I actually was going to go to Sweden for the second birth as I discovered Sweden recognises trans parents. They can register accurately on birth certificates, so it would’ve registered me as the father. While the same thing is the case in Denmark, we sadly don’t have this in the UK. Because of complications and LB was so small I couldn’t do that in the end, but at the same time there was little details that made my experience. I listened to music in the theatre, and it was incredibly moving and special, so I’m very grateful about that and the staff, operating techs and midwives were just amazing. 

      The highs of parenthood

      What do you find you really enjoy about being a parent?

        I love spending time with my kids. Not to say I’m constantly engaging in play, my four-year-old is quite independent and I just love watching him. I’ve fostered this idea that if I spend time with them but equally let them explore the world – or let loose if you will, it brings a great side of them out where they can be imaginative or discover new ideas. I love reading to them, as a family we spend a lot of time reading which is great as I’ve got this incredibly happy smiley baby, so we make it work, even if I’m working! It really is a privilege to have the opportunity to be with them and I thoroughly enjoy their company.

        Is there anything that you're really good that has surprised you?

          I’m not great at food planning so that’s one, but I have realised you can’t be good at everything. Going into parenthood I didn’t understand how I could be doing the right things all of the time and this made me quite anxious. Whether it was making organic Bolognese etc. but 4 years in I know what works for our family and that you’re best is good enough! I was worried about my oldest a few years ago that he wasn’t eating enough but all those concerns were quickly put into perspective from friends and family that what I'd been doing was perfectly fine.

          What are some your favourite things you like to do as a family?

            We always try to get out and about! There’s a saying I know that "there’s never any bad weather only bad clothing!" Whether it’s the woods, the castles nearby or heritage sites it’s been absolutely invaluable in making days out for us. I also love reading and we go to the library a lot which is great because all the kids’ books are free! We also love watching TV as a family. It’s truly quality time that you can get cuddled up on the sofa watching things together. My oldest loves Cbeebies which brings him so much joy – I love it.

            What the future holds

            Your littlest just turned 5 months, though you made hints your family might be expanding – have you always wanted to big family?

            Ha! This may not be the plan now, but it certainly was when I was young, as I always saw myself having a whole gang of children. I never identified back then as ‘dad’ or ‘mum’ I just knew I was going to have these children which would be amazing. While I did always think I’d have loads, now I’ve had two I realise I need to be a bit more pragmatic! Although it can get expensive, reusing stuff from SJ with LB and things like using cloth nappies etc are ways that help with expense for sure. For me, it’s unattainable to stick to it day in day out, but we’ve been buying into some really gorgeous reusable nappies. But yes, to circle back round I could definitely see myself having more if money wasn’t a thing and becoming a full-time, stay at home dad because it’s really amazing.

            How do you think we can make the world a little more aware of trans-masculine pregnancies?

            I think from a business point of view that using a diverse range of people is really important, as I think it’s good to represent people in the whole community. I always think that you cannot be what you cannot see, and that’s really important for companies and organisations to consider. That’s not just the trans community either, this is representation across all LGBTQ+ families and beyond. I know I'm much more likely to become a customer of somewhere that wants to show us. I also think books are so powerful. It makes certain families and bodies visible, which is why I’m publishing my story next month! No matter what family you are, it’s always important to share the stories of others.

            Want to learn more?

            If - like us - you've been inspired by Freddy's story, you can head over to his Instagram to watch lots of interviews, discover his recommended books and find more resources on life as a trans family. Plus, we're always wanting to share inspiring stories, so if you or someone you know has one to share this Pride month and beyond, please get in touch via email at