Same-sex couple carries same baby during pregnancy

1st time 2 women have carried same child

Same-sex couple carries same baby to term

DALLAS (KTVT/CNN) – A same-sex couple in Texas recently welcomed their newborn son.

It was a happy occasion for the couple, but doctors said it’s also an important milestone in fertility treatment.

Both women wanted to carry the child during pregnancy, and through a special type of in vitro fertilization, they did just that.

Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter call 5-month-old Stetson Lane Coulter their miracle baby.

"The way that Mr. Stetson came into this world was pretty special," Ashleigh Coulter said.

When the couple married, they knew they wanted kids, and through what’s called “Effortless In Vitro Fertilization,” they were both able to carry their son.

"We gave it a try and it was very, very successful," Bliss Coulter said.

Fertility specialist Dr. Kathy Doody with the Center for Assisted Reproduction said: "This represents the first time that two women have both physically carried their child together in pregnancy."

Doody and her husband Dr. Kevin Doody made it happen, using Bliss’ eggs and sperm from a donor.

“She was so confident when she was saying that they can do it. I think that was surprising to us, but also exciting,” Ashleigh Coulter said.

Through Effortless IVF, instead of placing the sperm and eggs into incubators, they go into a device called an “INVOcell.”

The INVOcell is placed in the body for five days, where fertilization and early embryo development begins.

In the Coulters’ case, Bliss had the INVOcell removed after five days.

The embryos were frozen, and then one was transferred to Ashleigh, who carried the baby to term.

“This is a revolutionary type of IVF,” Dr. Kevin Doody said. “It’s more accessible, it’s more affordable and it’s truly more natural.”

It also costs about half as much as traditional IVF.

The Coulters said they feel blessed to be able to share the experience together.

“You know, your whole life changes, obviously, with anybody when they have a baby,” Ashleigh Coulter said. “So, leaning on your partner I think is really, really important, and I definitely think it brought us closer together.”

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