Nikolai’s Story as an intersex, transgender birthing parent

TW: Discussion of CSA, miscarriage, "corrective surgery", adoption

I didn’t know I was born intersex until after I had my first child 

My first pregnancy was when I was 14, to a 25 year old, which ended in a miscarriage. From then until I was 17, let’s just say I got around, as a way to distract myself from life and to cope with being sexually assaulted as a child.

I didn’t know I was born intersex until after I had my first child S (gave birth at 19). The only good thing to come out of the relationship, I was in with his other father, at the time.

Most of my biological family didn’t know I was born intersex either, as my biological mother kept the “corrective surgery,” that was done when I was an infant, a secret. I grew up being forced to “dress like a lady” and “behave like a decent woman.” Due to that I consider myself to be transgender as I am the most comfortable when I perceive myself, and others perceive me, to be more masculine.

When I first found out I was pregnant with S at age 18 I was completely shocked. 

When I first found out I was pregnant with S at age 18 I was completely shocked. I had been under the impression that I couldn’t get pregnant. I wasn’t too worried at first because I thought it was going to be like my first pregnancy where I would miscarry within the first trimester. Until I didn’t, and I was over run with fear.

I was in the process of changing my name. I couldn’t get a job at the time or make money in a way that wouldn’t be demeaning. Quite frankly I couldn’t afford to care for a child, financially or mentally, and I knew I didn’t want the child to grow up living a life any where near the same way I lived mine. I didn’t have valid license, ID, social security card, or even birth certificate at the time. My insurance was a mess too.

My midwife pointed me in the direction of Adoptions From The Heart.

I planned on keeping the little bean originally, getting help from Planned Parenthood and co-parenting with S’s other dad. Things didn’t go that well as he turned his back on me and his own soon to be child, stating that he didn’t even know if it was his kid. I got scared and talked to my midwife and she pointed me in the direction of Adoptions From The Heart. My hero there was Stephanie Capriotti, the most amazing woman who helped me with everything she could. She got me the perfect families to pick from and made sure to make everything super easy for me.

When I went in it was scary at first but knowing that open adoption was a possibility made everything less heart wrenching. I knew I wanted an LGBTQIA+ family because I needed someone who wasn’t going to force gender roles on S or tell them that being themself is wrong. I also wanted someone who was willing to let me see S enough to form some sort of bond or at least be a known figure. I got to pick from about 25 families, I went through all based on how many visits they were okay with. Then the ones that I was good with on visit time I went through based on communication and it boiled down to two couples. I picked T & J because they allowed for the most communication and the most visits.

They found I have one teste and one ovary

About two months after I had S I went in for my first visit, to Penn State Hershey Medical Group (Harrisburg location), about starting Testosterone to level out my hormones and I was on the medication a week later. During that time they found my testosterone levels were a little higher than the average “female” and ran a few more tests, including an X-ray of my abdomen and more, in which they found I have one teste and one ovary (46 XY Intersex).

New families

T & J have a visit with me about once every 4 months and they send pictures of S, usually once a week. They also are amazing at keeping in touch with me and we tend to check up on each-other as well, whenever there’s a storm or we just haven’t heard from each other in a bit.

Throughout the whole process I also found my chosen parents, Renee & Michael Derr, who love me for me and always make sure I’m okay. They’re the kind of parents I wish I would have had growing up instead of the mess I was born into.

Please to all my fellow LGBT+ members, know that no matter where you come from or what you go through there is a better side to life. With the right patience and motivation you can do anything you put your mind to. I know that’s cheesy but it is the truth. 

Love you all. <3 

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The Queer Parenting Partnership was launched in 2020, in response to the shocking lack of birth and parenting support services for LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

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