To help explain some of the back story:
1. What does "transgender" mean? Different people have different definitions for this
word. I'll tell you what it means for me. I was born with female body
parts but have always felt I should be male. At age 22, I began the
process of transitioning from female to male in order to be more
comfortable. I started taking testosterone in order to lower my voice,
grow facial hair, and have a more masculine distribution of body fat. I
legally changed my first name. One year later I had male chest
contouring surgery to remove some of my breast tissue in order to create
a male-appearing chest. I chose not to have any "bottom" surgery.
2. If you changed your gender, then how could you get pregnant? Since I didn't have any bottom surgery (hysterectomy/phalloplasty), I retained my capacity to
bear children. To become pregnant, I went off the testosterone I'd been
taking and waited for my cycles to return. Voila.
3. Why didn't you want "bottom" surgery? It is terribly expensive, requires a lengthy recovery, involves considerable health risks, and, finally, the outcome of phalloplasty (creating a phallus) is often dubious at best.
4. How did you know that getting pregnant would be safe for the baby after your transition? See the post, "Hormones."
5. Did you need fertility treatments to get pregnant? Nope! Again, see the post, "Hormones."
6. How do you think of yourself in terms of sexuality? Gay, transgender, male.
7. Do you prefer the term "chestfeeding" instead of "breastfeeding"? No, the word "breastfeeding" doesn't bother me. Both men and women have breast tissue and can, unfortunately, get breast cancer. We all have nipples and breasts, to a certain extent. Furthermore, breastfeeding is not about sex - it is about feeding a baby. It doesn't make me feel feminine or female to feed Jacob. I do also use the term nursing frequently though.
8. Why have you changed the names on the blog? I have decided to be a queer and breastfeeding activist, and that is my choice. I believe it is also my responsibility as a parent, however, to protect my son's privacy. We try to live with honesty and integrity - all our friends and family know that I am transgender and that I birthed our baby - but the internet is a whole different story. I do not want my writing to follow my child around for the rest of his life. He must be allowed to make his own choices. I use the pseudonyms "Jacob" for my son and "Ian" for my partner. My real name is Trevor, but I use MacDonald as a pseudonymous last name for myself.
9. What on earth is this at-breast supplementer thing that you're always talking about? For a detailed explanation on how to make and use a supplementer, see the post "Using an at-chest supplementer." Here's a brief explanation: I make a bit of breast milk for Jacob, but due to my chest surgery, I am not able to produce all the milk he needs. This is why I use the supplementer. It consists of a bottle containing supplement (in our case, donated breast milk) and a long, very narrow tube. This tube sits in the supplement and is threaded up through the bottle nipple. When I latch Jacob on to my own nipple, I place the tube right next to my nipple so that his mouth goes around both food sources at once. This way, when he sucks he draws some supplement up the tube at the same time as getting all the food I'm capable of making.