Thomas is pregnant with his first child.

It's the story that has the media buzzing and people talking. Thomas and his wife, Nancy, are a happily married couple who run a small business, live in a normal neighborhood and are expecting their first child.

So why are they making headlines around the world? The husband, Thomas, is the one who's pregnant.
Tracy and her mother

Thomas was born female and lived for 24 years as a woman named Tracy.

Growing up in Hawaii, Tracy and her two brothers experienced loss at an early age. When she was just 12 years old, her mother committed suicide. "My father had to learn to be a father because he wasn't around a whole lot," Thomas says. "He worked a lot. He let my mother raise us, and she was an excellent mother."

Though Thomas says he doesn't feel he was born in the wrong body, he does remember being a tomboy. "I liked to play with LEGOs and go fishing," he says.

A few years later, Tracy hit puberty and began to realize something was different. "I started to grow breasts, and it was kind of a shock to me because I didn't have my mother around," Thomas says. "I was just used to catching footballs and balls, and so it hurt. I just kind of thought, 'What's my body going through? Is it betraying me?'"
Tracy as a beauty pageant contestant

As Tracy got older, her father began encouraging her to model. Tracy even entered a pageant and was named a Miss Hawaii Teen USA finalist.

As a teenager, she began dating men. "I felt like I was pushed into it. I felt like that's what I had to do in society," Thomas says. "It was just a convenience, I guess."

At age 17, Tracy entered into a relationship with her martial arts instructor. "I was with him for three years, and he trained me to be a good martial artist," Thomas says. "He complimented me, saying that I fought like a man. That was the best compliment he could give."

During her college years, Tracy began to discover her true gender identity. "That's when I found myself," Thomas says. "It was a process of self-discovery for me, and I ended up having my first girlfriend. We were together for three and a half years."

As she entered her 20s, the gender that Tracy gravitated toward was male. "When I woke up in the morning, I felt like a man," Thomas says. "It was difficult for society to respect me the way I felt on the inside if my outside didn't match it."

Eventually, Tracy stopped wearing women's clothing and began dressing in men's clothes. "I'm a masculine person, and I preferred wearing clothes that made me feel comfortable," Thomas says. "It wasn't something that I analyzed. I woke up in the morning and decided, 'This is what I want to wear today.' Over time, people started calling me 'sir,' and that was an interesting concept to me."

After researching what it meant to be transgender, Tracy broached the subject with her first girlfriend. "She wasn't very supportive of the idea," Thomas says. "I was discussing having a surgical procedure of removing my breasts, and she just said, 'Why can't you just be a lesbian?'"

When that relationship ended, Tracy took the first step toward becoming a transgender male. Tracy sought the help of a physician and began taking testosterone.

Soon after, Tracy and Nancy started dating.
Thomas and Nancy

Since the beginning of their relationship, Thomas says Nancy supported his gender transition. "She was fantastic about it," he says.

Over the years, testosterone injections helped Thomas look and sound more masculine. His voice dropped a few octaves, and he began growing facial hair. These hormone treatments also altered his sexual organs. Thomas says his clitoris grew to the size of a small penis. "It looks like a penis," he says. "I can have intercourse with my wife."

In 2002, Thomas opted to have his breasts surgically removed and legally became a man, but he made the conscious decision to keep his female reproductive organs. "I wanted to have a child one day," he says. "I didn't know how. It was just a dream."

Thomas says the desire to have children doesn't make him feel like less of a man. "I have a very stable male gender identity. I see pregnancy as a process, and it doesn't define who I am. It's not a male or female desire to want to have a's a human desire," he says. "I'm a person, and I have the right to have my own biological child."
Thomas and Nancy

Once Thomas was legally considered a man in the state of Oregon, he and Nancy said "I do." After a few years of marriage, they decided to start a family.

Nancy, the mother of two grown daughters from a previous marriage, says the effects of endometriosis left her unable to have more children. "[Doctors] removed my womb," she says. After investigating their options, the couple decided to use anonymous donor sperm.

First, they had to find a physician who would agree to treat Thomas. "We've had a really hard time finding doctors to treat us and to help us get pregnant," he says. "We got rejected by our first doctor because he said that his staff felt uncomfortable working with someone like me."

The couple saw numerous doctors before they found one who agreed to perform the artificial insemination. During the summer of 2007, Thomas discovered he was pregnant for the first time. Sadly, the fertilized eggs grew outside the uterus in his fallopian tube—known as an ectopic pregnancy—and he had to have emergency surgery to remove the embryos. "That was a pretty devastating time," Thomas says.
Nancy and Thomas

After their devastating loss, Nancy says they decided to do the artificial insemination themselves the second time around. "So the second pregnancy I'm like, 'Why are we driving three and a half hours when we can just do it at home?'" Nancy says.

Thomas and Nancy say the procedure is very delicate, and after one failed pregnancy, the stakes were high. "I was shaking," Nancy says. "It wasn't as thrilling as it should have been."

Their determination paid off. In October 2007, Thomas became pregnant for the second time.
Dr. Kimberly James, Thomas and Nancy's doctor

Like most couples expecting a child, Thomas and Nancy visit their physician, Dr. Kimberly James, for regular check-ups and ultrasounds. A previous ultrasound revealed that Thomas and Nancy are expecting a baby girl. At 24 weeks and five days along, Thomas learns that his little girl is perfectly healthy. "This is a miracle," Thomas says. "We see her as our little miracle."

Watch Watch Thomas and Nancy's visit to the doctor's office.

Although other doctors have turned Thomas and Nancy away, Dr. James made a decision to stick with the family. "In reality, our patients choose us," she says. "Once you meet Thomas and Nancy, you can see that they are very devoted and that they deserve quality medical care just like everybody else."

Dr. James says she was never worried about her reputation. "I hope I'm perceived as someone providing quality care for a patient who's pregnant," she says. "I was never personally worried about my reputation."
Dr. Kimberly James

Although Thomas's pregnancy challenges the norm, Dr. James says there is no cause for alarm. "People say, 'Is this baby going to be abnormal or anything like that?' This baby's totally healthy," she says. "I consider it an average pregnancy."

Dr. James also says Thomas's hormone levels are normal. "Thomas has obviously done a lot of research on this as well and is very intelligent about it," she says. "He's been off testosterone for two years before even trying to conceive."

As Thomas's belly continues to grow, his pregnancy becomes harder to hide from friends and neighbors. "Getting dressed is becoming more and more challenging," he says. "My body's changing so rapidly, I just can't keep up with it."

For now, Thomas says he has a pair of "fat jeans" he can get by with. "Unfortunately, they don't make man-ternity clothes, so I'm kind of stuck. I have no idea what I'm going to wear in the future when I get bigger."
Amber and Jen, Nancy's daughters

Nancy has two daughters from a previous marriage, Amber and Jen. Amber says she thinks Thomas and Nancy have a great marriage. "They're an incredible couple," she says. "They're very much in love and they've been role models for my husband and I. We definitely look up to their marriage and model our lives after theirs."

When Jen heard Thomas was pregnant, she says she was very excited. "There probably was a little bit of jealousy going on thinking that this little girl's going to have such a great life with Thomas and my mom," she says.

Although she's excited to have another sister, Amber is also nervous about how people will react to Thomas's pregnancy. "It's a little scary," she says. "We're scared for them because I don't know that the world is all that prepared, but we're just regular, boring people and a regular family."
Victoria and George, Thomas and Nancy's neighbors

Until now, Thomas and Nancy say people in their community have assumed that Nancy's the one who's pregnant. "People probably just think I'm getting fat," he says. "First it was the holidays and the excuse was, 'Oh, Nancy bought me an ice cream machine, and she's testing it out.'"

Thomas and Nancy revealed their secret to neighbors George and Victoria just before coming to Chicago. Victoria says she was surprised—but not shocked. "Thomas told us that it was he that was pregnant," she says. "So it was more surprise that, 'Well, it's not Nancy? It's Thomas? Wait a minute. I have to get my head around this.'"

George says he had no idea Thomas was pregnant. "I never knew or had any kind of inkling or suspicion that he was a woman in the past," he says. "I thought he was a very sensitive man and gentle, but I thought he was a man." When George was given the big news, he says he had to let it sink in. "Obviously, it's a pretty unusual situation, and it was unusual for me when I found out," he says. "It was kind of sexually dyslexic for me to put it together."

Although George and Victoria are just two people in the community, they believe the other neighbors will learn to accept Thomas and Nancy's unconventional family. "We have a pretty close-knit community," George says. "The neighbors that we know and that we communicate with seem to be understanding."
Nancy and Thomas

Nancy says it was important for them to share their story before it was sensationalized by the media. "We thought that it was best that we tell our story instead of other people telling the story for us," Nancy says.

In this day and age, Thomas says different is normal. "Love makes a family," he says. "And that's all that matters."