Texas lesbian couple carries same baby boy using Effortless Reciprocal IVF

Alicia Farmer
October 31, 2018

Kathy Doody told them about the procedure and that if it worked, it would be "the first time where both of the mothers physically carried the baby".

The new practice, said Kathy, "opens up new avenues, new choices for same-sex couples".

In August 2017, doctors harvested Bliss' eggs and inseminated them in their lab with donated sperm.

"The moment he was born, I just thought to myself, 'I felt like I was the most blessed person in the whole world because he is just flawless in every way", Bliss says.

However, when she fell in love with Ashleigh and learned from Dr. Kathy Doody that they carry their baby, she went all in. "We didn't think that was how we were going to be doing it - we obviously thought I would be the one doing all the carrying". That's why it ended up costing them nearly 50% less than what it takes for a traditional IVF.

Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter of North Texas had their son Stetson through what's called effortless IVF, using Bliss' eggs and a donor's sperm.

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.

'The eggs fertilized in her body and when they returned five days later, we removed the device and froze the embryos'.

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"It turns out, not surprisingly, that the woman's own body is a very good incubator".

'We have livers, kidneys and lungs so we're able to provide those same services to the embryo more naturally'.

Doctors evaluated Ashleigh's uterus, gave her estrogen and then progesterone, waited for the right time and transferred her wife's embryos to her body.

They are now parents to a healthy, five-month-old boy named Stetson. Ashleigh was pregnant after the first try. Then, they were placed in an INVOcell, which was then placed in Bliss' cervix for five days while the eggs incubated and an embryo formed. "She got to be a part of it, and I got to be a part of it".

Ashleigh lauded the doctors for coming up with a concept that involves both people in the relationship.

While Ashleigh wanted to be a mother for as long as she could remember, Bliss wasn't as interested in the concept.

The process for Reciprocal Effortless IVF costs about $8,000 whereas traditional IVF can run about $15,000 to $20,000, according to the report. Kathy and Kevin Doody at the CARE Fertility clinic in Bedford, Texas tried reciprocal effortless In Vitro Fertilization using leading edge technology for the couple.

Even though the Coulters were the Doody's first same sex couple to go through Effortless IVF, they've performed the process for around 200 heterosexual couples.

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