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Moms both get to carry baby in utero

A female couple in Dallas are celebrating what’s been dubbed a “miracle baby” that each of them carried for a time.

Spouses Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter, age 28 and 36 respectively, have become mothers to a boy named Stetson, who is now 5 months old. The women were the first to try a procedure called reciprocal effortless in vitro fertilization.

Bliss’s eggs, instead of being fertilized in a laboratory, as is common practice for in vitro fertilization, were fertilized in her body through the implantation of a device called an INVOCell, USA Today reports.

via USA Today

The device stayed in her body for five days to begin development of embryos. Because embryos don’t have livers, kidneys, or lungs, during IVF doctors use incubators to take on the role of those organs in removing toxins and supporting development.

“It turns out, not surprisingly, that the woman’s own body is a very good incubator,” doctors told USA Today. “We have livers, kidneys, and lungs, so we’re able to provide those same services to the embryo more naturally.”

The embryos were frozen after they were removed from Bliss’s uterus and were then implanted in Ashleigh’s at the appropriate time. A pregnancy resulted immediately, and she carried the baby to term and gave birth.

“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 told USA Today. “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.”

Since Ashleigh’s delivery, a second same-sex couple in North Texas chose reciprocal effortless IVF at CARE Fertility, got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby girl in September.