The delivery happened the old-fashioned way: One parent grunting and pushing, the other at the bedside offering encouragement. But in this case, the mom was doing the cheering and the dad was delivering their baby. On June 29 Thomas Beatie, 34, who began life as a female before undergoing a gender change, gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Four days later, back home at the five-bedroom house in Bend, Ore., that Thomas shares with Nancy, 46, his wife of five years, the infant (whose name the couple has not made public) could be heard crying in the background; the new dad told PEOPLE by phone that he had not yet had time to catch his breath.

Thomas began his female-to-male transition in his 20s, taking testosterone and having his breasts surgically removed. He kept his female reproductive organs, however, because Nancy could no longer get pregnant following a hysterectomy. She inseminated Thomas with donor sperm in order to conceive. "The only thing different about me is that I can't breast-feed my baby," Thomas said in April. For now, the couple are nesting and keeping a low profile. But as Nancy had said, "Things are going to change when the baby comes; we know that."