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Photography by Peter Darnley-Stuart

Spencer and Kelly’s Pregnancy and Fatherhood Journey: The First Trimester

Written by Erin Feher

Photography by Peter Darnley-Stuart

Pregnancy and birth is a complex experience for any and all who journey through it. At Mother, we are constantly trying to bring as many of these diverse experiences to light, with the hope that every parent will at some point realize they are not alone in either their joys or their struggles, and also to engender empathy and understanding for people whose stories veer from the traditional, societally enforced narratives. Spencer Dezart-Smith is a software engineer living in Sydney, Australia. He’s lucky enough to be married to the love of his life—they met-cute at a San Francisco bar while he was traveling, and got married less than a year later in a proper English garden in Melbourne. Five years ago, they decided they wanted to start a family.

Spencer, born in the tiny Australian town of Blackheath, identifies as a queer male, while his husband, Kelly Dezart-Smith, also queer identifying, is a native of New Jersey born to Haitian immigrants. Spencer is also transgender—he underwent hormone therapy and a double mastectomy more than ten years ago, and has presented as 100% male ever since. But when the talk turned to starting a family, there was a biological reality that couldn’t be ignored: Theoretically, Spencer and Kelly could make a baby on their own, as Spencer was still physiologically equipped to get pregnant. While it was something he wouldn’t have considered prior to his transition, having lived securely and confidently as a male for over a decade had changed his perspective. “Now that I felt so strong in my male identity and was being read as male exclusively, I was able to view my ability to carry a child as a super power that I was blessed to have,” says Spencer. “It was like the innately female ability to bear a child didn’t overpower the certainty I felt in my male identity. The two things could coexist without one cancelling out the other.” So they went for it. But as millions of hopeful parents can attest, it’s not always that easy. And for Spencer, who had to stop the hormones that essentially gave him the confidence and security of his identity, it was at times excruciatingly difficult.

We are beyond honored that Spencer and Kelly agreed to open up their lives and their highly personal journey to us. We began photographing and interviewing them before most of their family and friends knew they were expecting, and continued throughout their entire pregnancy and beyond. Their candid, perceptive responses to our questions tell a story that is at once beautifully unique and completely relatable to any and all parents everywhere. While some of their struggles and experiences may seem radically different to some, their joys, fears, and hopes for their child and their future as a family are undeniably identical to those of any expectant parent. We invite you to follow along each week as they allow us into their home, their doctors’ offices, and their relationship, and cheer them on as they go through the experience of a lifetime. Click through the slideshow below to get to know Kelly and Spencer and learn about life during their first trimester.

This is part one in a five-part series.  

Read Part Two: The Second Trimester, here.

Read Part Three: The Third Trimester, here.

Read Part Four: The Birth! here.

Read Part Five: Life as Dads, here

Write a Comment

  1. Kate says...

    Really beautiful! Wishing them all the luck and joy in the world.

  2. emily says...

    thank you for this story! lovely. all the best to spencer and kelly.

  3. Sara says...

    The world is so lucky to have them and soon their offspring – sending you lots of love as parents!

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