You better sit down for this news…
Because for the first time ever — and thanks to a new medical advance — not one, but two women have carried the same child.
Bliss Coutler, 36, and Ashleigh Coutler, 28, met six years ago — marrying and then eventually, wanted children together.
“I wanted to be pregnant for so long and so bad,” Ashleigh shared with WFAA.
“I always wanted to have a child,” Bliss added. “I just didn’t want to carry the child.”
The pair both understood that if they were to conceive a biological child, they would be in need of a sperm donor.
“Obviously, us being two women, we were like how can we make this happen?” Ashleigh said. “We felt like there has to be a way.”
And thanks to Dr. Kathy Doody and husband, Dr. Kevin Doody, the couple was able to find their own path to pregnancy.
The fertility specialists in Bedford at the CARE Fertility were the very first folks to attempt reciprocal effortless In Vitro Fertilization using radical technology.
Which was exactly what gave Bliss and Ashleigh both, motherhood.
“We were just talking one night at home and I said, ‘You know, I think we could use this for a same-sex couple,'” Dr. Kathy shared “And Kevin said, ‘I think you’re right. I think we could.'”
Confused on how exactly it works? Let’s break it down.
It begins much like traditional IVF.
“Bliss went through the stimulation of her ovaries and the egg harvest,” Kathy said.
But instead of putting Bliss’ eggs and the sperm into incubators, they go into an INVocell device right after egg retrieval.
This device is then placed inside Bliss’ body for five days while early embryo development starts.
“She got the embryo off to an early start,” Kathy said. “The eggs fertilized in her body and when they returned five days later, we removed the device and froze the embryos.”
And as embryos do not have livers, kidneys or lungs, electromechanical devices like incubators are used in the lab to omit toxins.
“It turns out, not surprisingly, that the woman’s own body is a very good incubator,” Kathy sharing how INVOcell works precisely. “We have livers, kidneys and lungs so we’re able to provide those same services to the embryo more naturally.”
After Bliss, the focus turned on Ashleigh.
After evaluating her uterus, giving her estrogen and then progesterone, doctors transferred Bliss’ ovaries to her body and were able to get pregnant on the very first try.
“She got to carry him for five days and was a big part of the fertilization, and then I carried him for nine months,” Ashleigh said. “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.”
Effortless IVF using INVOcell is half the cost of traditional IVF, which usually is around $14,000 and $16,000 — including medication.
Traditional reciprocal IVF with lab incubators usually cost around $15,000 to $20,000.
To the critics who believe the science is not fit under the veil of religious beliefs, she states:
“Well, I would respectfully disagree with them,” Kathy said. “I think that family, relationship, children is exactly everything that was meant to be in our world.”
Both Ashleigh and Bliss are very happy with their 5-month-old baby boy named Stetson.
And since Stenson’s birth, a second North Texas, a same-sex couple got pregnant through the same procedure and had a healthy baby girl in September.
It sounds like the way of the future to me!
And a very cute one, I may add…
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