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Stephani sensed something was wrong, but, numb from the epidural, she couldn’t sit up to see what was going on. After what seemed like an eternity but was really only 10 minutes, the paediatrician approached Stephani’s bedside and sheepishly explained to her and Eric that sometimes when a baby is born, it’s hard to tell if it’s a boy or a girl. Intersex, or differences of sexual development (DSD), is an umbrella term that refers to people born with variations in sex characteristics that don’t fit into the typical binary definition of boy or girl.
Stephani, who was studying nursing, and Eric, who was working on his Ph D in media studies, had heard of intersex conditions, but many parents who find themselves in a similar situation are shocked to realize that babies can be born with anything other than a penis or vagina.
Arriving at a decision can be a painstaking process for parents.
They have to take into account not only what their child’s genitals look like but also how their brain and body will develop.
After birth, Rosie’s blood sugar and weight plummeted, and she spent 19 days in the NICU.“Breathe and push,” Eric Lohman encouraged his wife, Stephani, as she squeezed his hand and bore down.After seven hours of labour, they were both eager to meet their baby, a daughter they had already named Rosalie—Rosie for short—after an ultrasound indicated they were having a girl.There’s research on how people with certain conditions identify on the gender spectrum, which can help guide decision-making.For example, 95 percent of genetic females with CAH who were raised as girls identify as female.