51-Year-Old Mother Serves as Her Daughter's Surrogate After She Is Unable to Get Pregnant
A mother's bond with her daughter is becoming even stronger after she offered to serve as her gestational surrogate.
Following multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization, surgeries and miscarriages, Breanna Lockwood recently learned from her doctors that she was unable to have a successful pregnancy, Good Morning America reported.
Refusing to let that prevent Lockwood from having a baby altogether, her 51-year-old mother Julie Loving stepped in — and is now carrying the next generation of her family in her womb as she prepares to give birth to Lockwood's daughter on Nov. 12.
"I feel like my mom is the closest place to home she can be, rather than my own body," Lockwood, 29, told the outlet of her daughter-to-be. "My mom wants to be a grandma just as much as I want to be a mom, so she's doing everything she can."
Lockwood's fertility journey began in 2016, shortly after she and her husband Aaron tied the knot, according to GMA.
At the time, Lockwood's grandfather was suffering from a terminal illness. Because she wanted to give him a great-grandchild before he died, Lockwood and Aaron tried to have a baby immediately. However, things didn't work out the way they planned.
After a year of trying to conceive naturally, the couple's struggles led them to start seeing fertility specialist Brian Kaplan of Fertility Centers of Illinois, GMA reported.
Over the next two years, Lockwood underwent multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization, surgeries, and heartbreaking miscarriages — including the loss of twins – before Kaplan confirmed that her uterus was unable to successfully carry a child.
"Struggling with infertility was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through," Lockwood recalled to GMA. "When you have a plan for your life and then something like infertility gets in the way, I felt like I couldn't see what I pictured anymore, that it could be taken away from me."
But Kaplan had other ideas. He suggested Lockwood consider surrogacy — specifically from a family member or friend instead of an agency to save the dental hygienist more than $100,000, according to GMA.
He wasn't the only one with that idea, either. Loving also suggested the possibility of surrogacy to her daughter after her pregnancy with the twins resulted in a miscarriage.
"I started to talk to her about it. She was not on board and thought I was crazy, but I just kept pursuing it," Loving shared with the outlet. "I've run 19 marathons and done many triathlons. I felt like health-wise I could do it and I had really easy pregnancies with my two kids."
Lockwood wasn't completely sold on the idea but allowed her mother, who also has a 27-year-old son, to come with her to see Kaplan.
"My mom came with me as my support person and she brought up that she wanted to carry," Lockwood explained to the outlet. "When he met her I could tell that he was really starting to think about it as a possibility, but he didn't tell us yes right away. There were a lot of hoops we had to jump through to make it possible."
Those "hoops" included being seen by five specialists — including Kaplan, a high-risk obstetrician, her OBGYN, her primary care physician and a psychologist — and undergoing a series of tests, GMA reported.
Yet, Kaplan told the outlet that Loving "got past all of us with flying colors" — much to his surprise.
"I think it's very important for me as a physician and for this field for people to know this is not routine and not everybody can use their mom," he noted. "It has to be a unique situation."
In February, Kaplan performed the embryo transfer and by March — just one week before the country shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic — he confirmed that Loving was pregnant with her daughter's baby and her granddaughter.
"Even when we got the positive pregnancy test result we couldn't jump for joy yet because we'd had so many losses and so much trauma," Lockwood explained to GMA. "Just now, halfway through the pregnancy, we're starting to get excited and shop and plan."
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In the time since then, the mother-daughter duo has continued to go to doctor's appointments together and see each other daily, all while being mindful about Loving — who took a leave of absence from her grocery store job — being pregnant amid a global pandemic, according to GMA.
"We're just doing what we can at this crazy time in the world," Lockwood told the outlet. "With doctor's appointments, I have been able to attend every appointment, but sometimes I have to really beg to let me go. My husband hasn't been allowed to so we video everything we can and fill him in on everything when we get back to the car."
On Tuesday, the pair hit another major milestone when Lockwood revealed on her surrogacy diary Instagram that their baby would be a girl. "Baby GIRL you are so loved 💕," she wrote beside a photo of her and Aaron.
As she counts down the days until she can meet her daughter, Lockwood told GMA she and Aaron can't wait to tell her that she was "wanted so much that we did everything we could to bring you into the world."
Loving echoed those sentiments, telling the outlet she also looks forward to the day that she can tell her granddaughter about how she carried her for nine months.
"We're going to be really open with her at a really young age and tell her when we feel like she can understand," Loving said. "And just tell her the truth."