BEDFORD, Texas - A fertility breakthrough is being called a miracle for a North Texas same-sex couple. Both women carried their son during pregnancy.
The doctors say they're the first in the world to develop this procedure, and the baby is the first in Texas to be carried by both his mothers.
Bliss Coulter’s dream was for both she and her wife, Ashleigh Coulter, to be able to carry their baby. But when she started calling around to fertility clinics, she wasn’t sure that dream could be a reality.
Then, the Valley View, Texas, couple found CARE Fertility in Bedford.
Doctors Kevin and Kathy Doody took Bliss’s eggs and a donor’s sperm and combined them in a device called an INVOcell.
The INVOcell is inserted into the body, where over five days, the eggs fertilize and become embryos.
The device is then removed, the embryos are frozen and can be transferred. Ashleigh received Bliss’s embryo and carried their now 5-month-old son, Stetson, to term. He was born over the summer.
“I think there’s a lot of bonding and feeling like you’re both a part,” Kathy said.
The doctors call the procedure “effortless IVF”. They’ve been training doctors across the country how to do it, but this is the first time they have performed the procedure on a same-sex couple. They now call that “reciprocal effortless IVF”.
Ashleigh and Bliss, who were married in 2016, have made history in Texas.
“Without them and God, we would not have him and we will forever be grateful,” Ashleigh said.
“It kind of bonded us to a degree,” Bliss said. “And even more so than we already would with just having a child.”
Bliss and Ashleigh say they've heard from same-sex couples in different states who are also interested in the procedure. They say they did not plan to be pioneers in this way, but they are happy to be a source of hope and inspiration.