Thinking Differently Together - First 1,000 Days Of Life

Caspar, Kyle and baby Ivie: our maternity experience As a transgender man what was your experience of pregnancy like? Caspar: My experience of pregnancy was pretty good because of Annie, our midwife. She ensured that most of the midwives were aware of our situation and I don’t think we had any incidents where they said the wrong pronoun. What was most important to you during the pregnancy? Kyle: Other than Annie as our midwife, we were in and out of hospital as standard anyway with things such as scans, and at one point Ivie was breach as well. So we were talking to consultants, doctors, triage, the midwives, that sort of thing. So we’d go in and they’d know it’s Caspar, they’d know the situation. It was quite nice over our journey, before even going in for the final labour, to be recognised and it be known already who we are. How important are pronouns? Caspar: I think pronouns are important because that is how you identify yourself. I think it’s a good idea to have a form with your care plan, or on your charts, that says your preferred pronouns, how you want to be identified. But also there is no harm in asking the person what their preferred pronouns are. Kyle: I think Hollie was the first midwife that actively asked us what your pronouns were... Everybody else referred to his sheet and saw it was ‘Caspar’ and ‘him’ in general, but Hollie was the only one that actively asked, “What are your pronouns?” And that was fantastic. Caspar: It was good because it showed that they had interest in the care that they were giving. It felt good. Do you have any advice for staff? Kyle: The midwives need to be not scared of a situation like ours, the doctors need that as well. Doctors, obviously, they’re darting around a hospital at the speed of light, with so many different patients and so many situations, they don’t really have a chance to stop and breathe and assess the identity or the mental state of a patient so to speak. We had a male doctor that came in and assessed Caspar on quite a few occasions, you could tell he was nervous… and he was, like, “I am OK to examine you down there? Are you going to be OK?” It was good that he was asking the questions, but - relax! So yes, it’s all hospital staff, just relax and not be afraid to ask those questions. Did you complete a birth plan? Kyle: What Annie had prepped for us was that we were to remain in the delivery rooms rather than going up to the ward. That way Caspar would have his own bathroom and toilet in the delivery room. And they made sure there was a butterfly on the door which apparently is supposed to represent a somewhat unique situation. It was quite breath-taking actually going into the delivery room and following our birth plan, because I wasn’t anticipating it to be all set up and ready - there’d be one thing missing, or lost in translation. But no, everything on our birth plan went ahead perfectly well, so it was really good. Caspar: Not only that but Annie made sure that there was a drug that was given an hour after birth which stopped breast milk from producing, so that really helped my mental health as I didn’t have to worry about going through that, so that was brilliant. 2. The best start in life: lived experience Caspar, Kyle and baby Ivie Thinking Differently Together | 2