A same-sex couple in the US have made medical history by both carrying the same baby with the help of a breakthrough method of IVF.
Five months ago, Texas couple Ashleigh Coulter gave birth to healthy baby Stetson, that both she and her wife Bliss Coulter carried.
The couple always hoped for children, and Bliss wanted a baby that was biologically hers but did not want to be pregnant.
Female same-sex couples typically have children via a sperm donor with one woman carrying the baby and the other adopting it.
But the couple were put in touch with fertility specialist Dr. Kathy Doody at the C.A.R.E Fertility Clinic in Texas, and she had the idea to involve both mothers.
The method the couple used, called Effortless Reciprocal IVF, allowed Bliss to incubate her own embryo, which was then placed inside Ashleigh.
In August last year, doctors harvested Bliss’ eggs and inseminated them with donor sperm.
They placed Bliss’ fertilized eggs in what is called an INVOcell, and placed the plastic cell inside Bliss’ vagina for five days while the eggs incubated and an embryo formed.
“It was so exciting knowing that I was growing my own biological child inside of me,” Bliss told the New York Post.
The embryo was then removed and placed in Ashleigh’s uterus, after which they waited 10 days to ensure the transition would work.
“Those were the longest 10 days of our lives,” Ashleigh said.
“No one had ever done it, so we didn’t know if it was going to work.”
She said they “screamed” when doctors told them the good news.
“The moment he was born, I just thought to myself, ‘I felt like I was the most blessed person in the whole world,’ because he was just perfect in every way,” Bliss said.
The couples’ method didn’t require as much lab work as traditional IVF, and ended up costing about 50 percent less, the couple said.
“When we found out we were pregnant, we were more focused on the fact that [we were going to be mothers],” Ashleigh said.
“It didn’t cross our minds that we had done something that no one else had done before.”
Bliss added, “We were very, very blessed.”
(Photo by Ashleigh Coulter/Facebook)