Trinidad welcomes lesbian couple’s ‘miracle’ baby

Trinidadians are celebrating the birth of a baby daughter to a local lesbian couple. That’s a big change from two years ago, when Trinidad had an anti-gay law.

Shaciba St Louis, right, and her girlfriend, Lisa Melville, hold their daughter, Miracle, who was born at 6:03 a.m. on Jan. 1 at the Mt. Hope Women’s Hospital in Trinidad. (Ishmael Sanandy photo courtesy of Trinidad Express)
Shaciba St Louis, right, and her girlfriend, Lisa Melville, hold their daughter, Miracle, who was born at 6:03 a.m. on Jan. 1 at the Mt. Hope Women’s Hospital in Trinidad. (Ishmael Sanandy photo courtesy of the Trinidad Express)

The celebrated birth came less than two years after Trinidad’s High Court in April 2018 overturned the nation’s colonial-era laws that prohibited consensual sex between same-sex adults.

The Trinidad Express wrote about the birth in glowing terms, including the couple’s do-it-yourself insemination method:

‘Miracle’ baby for lesbian couple

Conceived via at-home insemination

Jan. 2, 2020 — Lisa Melville and her partner Shackiba St Louis yesterday welcomed their baby daughter, Miracle, into the world.

Their daughter may be as close to a miracle as the gay couple can ever expect. Using sperm donated by a gay friend, who prefers to remain anonymous, the couple said they performed an at-home insemination on May 14.

A week later, after six pregnancy tests and a doctor’s visit, it was confirmed that St Louis was pregnant.

Baby Miracle was born at 6.03 a.m. yesterday, the fourth baby to be delivered at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital on New Year’s Day.

An ecstatic Melville shared their story with the Express yesterday afternoon.

Melville, 47, said she and St Louis, 27, have been together since February 2018.

“During that time, she kept saying she wanted a baby. I have a daughter who is 21. We have a good friend who we asked to help and he said he had no problem doing it. We came home, he gave us his sperm and I inserted it into her,” she said.

Melville said prior to the insemination, she and St Louis researched the procedure on YouTube.

She said their friend/donor also got tested to ensure that he was disease-free.

“We know him for years. Before we did it, he did blood tests to make sure he was not sick. They both had no sexual contact because he is with somebody else. But it is a good friend. I told him that we will like him to be around. He will be the godfather,” she said.

The at-home procedure was done on May 14.

“By the 17th we went on the beach. She was going to drink a Stag and I told her no, don’t drink it you’re pregnant. I just knew. And I told her that it was a baby girl and her name will be Miracle. She said how you know that? And I said God just told me you’re pregnant,” she said.

Seven days after the insemination, St Louis did her first pregnancy test and the result was positive.

Still in disbelief, she repeated the tests every morning for five days, with the same results.

A doctor’s visit eventually confirmed what they already knew.

“We can’t even explain the feeling. This is really a miracle because I know there are a lot of people paying thousands of dollars to have a baby,” Melville said. …

Melville said she and St Louis have received tremendous support from family and friends.

“My mother came from the US and my sister came and surprised us. There is real support from family,” she said.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more. My mom brought down everything baby needs.”

For more information, read the full article in the Trinidad Express.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor / publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

6 Comments

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  1. Actually, it’s great to see our country represented in the Global North as a place that’s liveable for a change. But not everything in the culture is hinged on the sodomy laws. Caribbean life is way more nuanced than these attempts to flatten our complex social reality.

    • Right. Of course “life is way more nuanced” than any article can depict. From a journalist’s point of view, there’s no “attempt to flatten a complex social reality,” but just an attempt to narrow the scope of an article so it’s readable and finite.

      Cheers,
      Colin Stewart
      Editor/publisher of this blog

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