Two women from Texas are sharing photos and the story of their five-month-old miracle baby boy, Stetson.
The Coulters are the first same-sex couple to both carry the same baby. Stetson could be the first of many children born using this new science.
“Obviously, us being two women, we were like how can we make this happen?”
Ashleigh, 28, and Bliss, 36, have known for years they wanted a family.
“I wanted to be pregnant for so long and so bad,” Ashleigh told local news station WFAA.
Bliss said she always wanted a child but “just didn’t want to carry the child.”
In same-sex male couples they usually turn to a surrogate to carry their child, however, same-sex female couples usually rely on a sperm donor.
Both of these procedures include restrictions for the new parent. For instance, anyone that isn’t the woman who carries the child would need to adopt the baby.
Fertility specialists at a nearby clinic introduced the pair to reciprocal effortless in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“It was like a relay race.”
‘In regular IVF, a fertilized egg is stored in a mechanical incubator, then moved to a woman’s body (either the biological mother or a surrogate) so it can be carried to term.’
But reciprocal effortless IVF highlights allowing both of the women to be pregnant with the same child:
First step, harvest eggs from Bliss, second fertilize them with sperm from a donor then place them inside a device which was stored in her body.
During this stage, Bliss’ organs protected the embryo (incubated) it for five days.
“She got the embryo off to an early start,” explained Dr. Kathy Doody of the CARE Facility. “The eggs fertilized in her body and when they returned five days later, we removed the device and froze the embryos.”
On day 6, the transfer took place just like “passing the baton” in a relay race, Ashleigh said, the embryos were placed into her body.
Ahsleigh carried the baby to term, but Stetson only shares DNA with Bliss.
“[Bliss] got to carry him for five days and was a big part of the fertilization, and then I carried him for nine months,” she explained.
“So that made it really special for the both of us — that we were both involved. She got to be a part of it, and I got to be a part of it.”
The “Miracle Baby”
Five months after his historic birth, Stetson is a healthy and happy baby boy.
But for the Coulters, raising their little man is far more important than making history.
Every birth is a miracle no matter how it happens. Congratulations.