Marina Ito and Shoko Kojima had always wanted children. Since both identify as lesbians, however, they believed they had to choose between living true to their sexuality or resigning themselves to being with men in order to become mothers. Yet, when they began dating each other three years ago, social media — Twitter in particular — was abuzz with increasing accounts of lesbian couples sharing their experience of parenthood.

“Seeing these stories, we realized it was possible for us to have the lives we’d always wanted — being together and having children,” says Kojima, who, like Ito, has asked to use a pseudonym to protect her family’s privacy. “It felt like a dream come true.”

The Tokyo couple traveled to the United States, where Kojima lived during childhood, for in vitro fertilization using a sperm donor last year. Ito gave birth to their daughter in spring, and Kojima plans to try getting pregnant through the same donor within the year.