Astonishing pictures emerge of MAN giving birth for the THIRD time
Astonishing pictures have emerged of a MAN giving birth.
And not just for the first time, either. For Thomas Beatie has given birth THREE times.
Thomas, 38, was born female. He was in his 20s when he underwent a sex change and became a man.
But he never took the final step of having a hysterectomy and kept his female reproductive organs because one day he wanted to be able to give birth.
And he has - not just once, but three times. Susan, now three, was the first to come along, followed by two little brothers - Austin, who was born just a year after her, and Jensen, 13 months after that.
Despite giving birth to them, Thomas is known as Dad, while his wife Nancy is known as Mum. All three children were born from Thomas's eggs.
Their biological father is the same anonymous sperm donor.
Thomas became known around the world after pictures were made public of the world's first pregnant man.
Now the family have released pictures of Thomas actually giving birth to Jensen at Saint Charles Medical Center on July 25, 2010, in Bend, Oregon, surrounded by doctors and midwives as Nancy films the special moment.
As happy as they look, though, it has not been easy for the unusual family, they reveal in an interview with the Daily Mail.
"We have had a rough ride," Thomas said. "We have had death threats, crazies. I've been called a freak. The really nasty stuff has come online, with email, Facebook and YouTube.
"Some of it has just been weird - such as people going to Halloween parties dressed as me, 'The Pregnant Man'. Some of it has been terrifying. One man has made videos pretending he has kidnapped Susan. He has a Susan doll and he hits her over and over. It's sick.
"The FBI have been involved and they monitor things for us. The world is full of crazy people and we have to have our wits about us."
Thomas revealed the legal minefield he encountered calling himself his children's father on their birth certificates.
"It cost me thousands of dollars to become a man, and many more to get pregnant," he said.
"Then I had to hire a lawyer to be allowed to call myself the father on Susan's birth certificate.
"Legally, it has been a nightmare. The authorities wanted to put Nancy and me down as parent and parent on the birth certificate, as they do for same-sex couples, but I wasn't having it.
"I am legally a man, and I am the father. It all got so confused that at one point they put Nancy down as the father and me as the mother.
That took a bit of sorting out. In the end, we had to formally adopt the children, even though they are biologically mine, from my eggs. It's unfair and, of course, it cost us thousands in legal fees.
Thomas described how, by his 20s, he felt like a man trapped in a woman's body. At 24, he started taking male hormones - the first step towards a sex change.
By this time he had met Nancy, a body-builder. She is 11 years older than him and has two teenage daughters, Amber and Jen, from a previous marriage.
However, at the age of 28 she had a hysterectomy because of severe endometriosis - where cells from the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body - so she couldn't have any more children.
The couple married in Hawaii in 2003. Thomas had already had a mastectomy to remove his breasts, and hormone treatment that gave him an outwardly male appearance. Legally he was a man - but a man with a womb.
"When we met, Nancy and I didn't sit down and discuss pregnancy and how we might become parents together. It just evolved," he says.
At that point, they started looking for a sperm donor. They eventually chose an anonymous 6ft 4in blond man with blue eyes. All three children were conceived using his sperm bought by Thomas and Nancy.
To prepare for the pregnancies, Thomas stopped taking male hormones. Meanwhile, Nancy, who was keen to make her own contribution, started to take female hormones so she would be able to breastfeed.