Same-sex couple gets the opportunity to both carry their unborn baby
Couples usually have one host parent who takes on the responsibility of carrying and delivering the couple's child, but one same-sex couple made history by delivering a baby they both helped carry.
Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter, proud parents to a 5-month-old baby they have called Stetson, have got themselves in the history books by sharing the responsibility of carrying their unborn child.
The couple from Mountain Springs used a procedure called Reciprocal effortless In Vitro Fertilization to conceive Stetson, and while IVF is commonplace nowadays, this procedure certainly isn't.
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Bliss and Ashleigh look like any other doting parents, but their conception and delivery story is remarkably different in every way.
Having met six years ago and been married for three, the idea of children had been a topic of discussion from the outset of their union, resulting in much research. Ashleigh told ABC News:
"I was very much interested in having children, but Bliss was a little iffy on it."
Bliss too wanted a child that would be biologically hers but did not want to be pregnant and carry a baby to term. They found an unusual way to make everyone happy.
Instead of the usual route of impregnating one-half of the same-sex couple, with the other half later adopting the baby, they embarked on a quest to make Stetson belong to both of them from the beginning.
"Obviously, us being two women, we were like, 'How can we make this happen?' We felt like there has to be a way."
A friend put them on to Dr. Kathy Doody, a fertility specialist from the C.A.R.E Fertility Clinic in Bedford, and the couple scheduled an appointment in 2017.
Doody introduced them to the concept of Reciprocal effortless IVF. After finding a suitable sperm donor, the three put their names firmly in the history books by participating in this novice trial.
Doody harvested Bliss's eggs and introduced them to the donor sperm in a device known as an INVOcell. This gadget was then placed inside Bliss's vagina where fertilization occurred.
The fertilized embryos were then removed and frozen. One embryo was placed inside Ashleigh after her hormone treatments were completed, and ten days later, the couple was expecting little Stetson. Bliss was overjoyed:
"Knowing that we’re about to create [something] that’s biologically mine. My next thought, was what is he going to look like? What is he going to be like? Pretty much like every parent, but I was very excited that this was even possible."
Stetson is, therefore, the very first baby to have been carried, albeit in different stages of growth, by both his mothers.
In another case of a 'miracle' baby, Hayleigh and Bryan, known from the TLC show "My Giant Life" fell pregnant after doctors told them she was 'too big' to conceive.
Standing tall at 6'7", Hayleigh was given the prognosis of no chance of natural conception by over 5 obstetric specialists that they had consulted.
Stories like these remind us that miracles do happen and nothing is set in stone. Parenthood is evolving and our perceptions of it are slowly growing.
Despite all the negativity surrounding same-sex couples having children and no matter what people say, history will continue being made, in the name of science if for no other reason.