51-year-old gives birth to her granddaughter after serving as daughter's surrogate
TORONTO -- A 51-year-old U.S. woman who served as a surrogate for her daughter and son-in-law has given birth to her granddaughter after what she described as a “textbook pregnancy.”
Julie Loving delivered a healthy baby girl in an Illinois hospital on Nov. 2 with her daughter, the baby’s biological mother, Breanna Lockwood, by her side.
Loving volunteered to act as a surrogate for her daughter after watching her suffer through multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization, multiple surgeries and several miscarriages, including a pregnancy with twins which left her with severe damage to her uterus.
“As soon as she had her first miscarriage, I mentioned it to my husband -- that if she ends up having a really hard time, I’d love to be her surrogate, not knowing that it would actually happen,” Loving said, speaking to CTV News Channel Wednesday evening.
“She wasn’t really on board at first, so there was a lot of convincing.”
Lockwood, 29, had already been told by her fertility specialist that a surrogate would be the couple’s only hope of conceiving. After suggesting that the couple find a family member or friend to act as their surrogate, her mother underwent testing to see if she was a viable match.
“I thought she was just crazy,” Lockwood told CTV News Channel while holding her newborn daughter, named Briar. “Just at her age -- and I had never heard of a situation like that before.
In the beginning, I was pretty concerned… but she actually tested healthier than a lot of 20- and 30-year-olds that [her fertility doctor] sees.”
For Loving, the decision to carry her grandchild was sparked by her own protective feelings of motherhood, after witnessing her daughter go through so much pain and loss.
“I have frequently had people ask me why I offered to carry Breanna and Aaron’s baby, and I wish I could express something other than simple words to describe how I feel. The love of a mother holding her sick or injured child in her arms, she would do anything to make them feel better or take away the pain,” she wrote in an Instagram post documenting her journey.
“In the past few years, I saw my daughter’s beautiful eyes begin to fill with despair and pain as her dreams of being a mother seemed to slowly slip away from her and I knew I could help if she wanted me to.”
Lockwood, who uses her Instagram page to raise awareness about fertility issues, says the experience has brought her family even closer.
“It’s been super awesome. These last few weeks have just been amazing to enjoy this little one, she’s gotten plenty of snuggles from her granny. We see each other every day now,” she said.