Same-sex couple carries same 'miracle' baby in what may be fertility world first

In a medical first, two mothers have carried the same baby: Ashleigh Coulter gave birth to a son both she and her wife Bliss Coulter carried, thanks to a breakthrough method of in vitro fertilization.

The method, called Effortless Reciprocal IVF.

Bliss and Ashleigh met six years ago and married in June of 2015. Even before marriage, they had already discussed having children.

But both Bliss and Ashleigh wanted a way to be a part of bringing their child into the world.

The couple was hopeful they would find a solution to their problem but Ashleigh said she "didn’t really think it was possible until we heard it from Dr. Kathy's mouth."

Fertility specialists Dr. Kathy Doody and her husband, Dr. Kevin Doody, of the CARE Fertility in Bedford, Texas, were the first to try reciprocal effortless in vitro fertilization using radical technology, which gave the Coutlers a shot at motherhood.

"Bliss went through the stimulation of her ovaries and the egg harvest," Kathy said. 

In August 2017, doctors harvested Bliss’ eggs and inseminated them in their lab with donated sperm. Then, they placed Bliss’ fertilized eggs in what Doody calls an INVOcell, and placed the cell in Bliss’ cervix for five days while the eggs incubated and an embryo formed.

The embryo was then removed and placed in Ashleigh’s uterus. They waited 10 days to make sure the transition would work.

When Doody told them the good news, “we screamed,” Ashleigh says.

About nine months later, in June of 2018, Stetson was born healthy and without complications at 8 pounds, 4 ounces.

The method didn’t require much lab work since the embryo was incubated in Bliss, so it ended up costing about 50 percent less compared with traditional IVF, the couple says, adding that traditional IVF can cost as much as $30,000. Theirs cost less than $15,000.

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