Spencer and Kelly’s Pregnancy and Fatherhood Journey: The First Trimester
Written by Erin Feher
Photography by 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.
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This is just so, so lovely.
This is beautiful. Thanks for telling their story. And extra thanks to them for sharing!
AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely couple & their fascinating journey.
This is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing different journeys to parenthood. And many many thanks to them for sharing their story! Sending all the hugs and love!
Amazing!! I am so excited for you two. Thank-you for sharing your story. What a beautiful family full of love
Wow, looking forward to the next installment! Good luck Spencer and Kelly!!
This series is so, so magical – and, candidly, not something I expected to see on this site given most of its previous coverage. Sending great vibes and good wishes to these two awesome dads. Very excited for you both.
This is the best thing Mother Mag has done. Love it so much and can’t wait for the next instalment. What a beautiful story !!!
Hi! I never, never, never leave comments but THIS IS SO AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. Your child will CHANGE THE WORLD because their parents already are. Best wishes from Kentucky!
This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story!