Julie Loving gives a whole new meaning to a mother who does everything for her child.
The 51-year-old offered to become a “surrograndma” and serve as a pregnancy carrier for the baby of her 29-year-old daughter.
“It was a textbook pregnancy,” said Loving, who is 35 weeks old, to TODAY parents, “everything was perfect.”
Loving’s daughter, Breanna Lockwood, had struggled with infertility for years and experienced four failed embryo transfers, two miscarriages, and one ectopic pregnancy.
After Lockwood had problematic scar tissue in the uterus after a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure, she and her husband Aaron turned to the idea of using a pregnancy carrier.
A pregnancy carrier is a woman who carries and gives birth to another’s biological child without using any of her own eggs.
“Most Americans cannot afford a carrier,” said Lockwood’s fertility specialist Dr. Brian Kaplan.
“It’s over $ 100,000.”
Lockwood announced that her mother had come to her several times to carry her, but she refused.
“I was really in a sad place. I knew she wanted to be helpful, but I kept saying no, ”she said.
Despite her daughter’s hesitation, Loving – a two-time Boston marathon runner and triathlon participant – was persistent.
She accompanied her daughter to a fertility appointment that her husband was unable to attend.
“Before the appointment in the car, I said, ‘Don’t say anything about it. Don’t make it funny, ”Lockwood said.
As the appointment ended, Loving told Dr. Kaplan expressed her desire to be the carrier of her daughter’s pregnancy.
“My immediate reaction was,” This is not a good thing, “said Kaplan, who has performed more than 20,000 in vitro fertilization procedures in his 29-year career.
“Normally a pregnancy carrier should be under 40 years old, but in medicine you have to look at a person and personalize them.”
Kaplan agreed to speak to his colleagues.
He put Loving through rigorous testing without making promises.
“We got her to go through all of these tires to make sure she was as healthy as possible (and) as well informed as possible about the risks involved,” said Kaplan.
“We took it very seriously. Each of the doctors who saw her agreed that this was unique.
“This is not something we would do or advise people to do on a regular basis. That was absolutely extraordinary. “
After Loving passed each test, she was given the green light to be the carrier of pregnancy for her daughter and son-in-law.
“Fortunately, she got pregnant with the first embryo for the first time,” said Kaplan.
“I’ve been with Breanna for years with so much trauma and intensity – the resilience has been mind-boggling. If she didn’t have her mother, she wouldn’t have a baby. “
Lockwood had recorded her nearly four-year journey with infertility on her Instagram account before making the big announcement.
“I publicly shared my fertility journey with strangers, but I hadn’t shared it with any personal acquaintances in my life,” she said.
“I had this Instagram account connecting with strangers I knew I would never meet. The morning I made my personal story known to everyone, I was a nervous wreck. “
In true mother fashion, Loving urged her daughter to “just push the button” and post the news.
“Made with a lot of love and a little science … Baby Lockwood is brought into this world through GESTATIONAL CARRIER, and the person who wears this little miracle is something very special. MY MOM, ”Lockwood shared in the mail.
As Lovings’ due date approaches, the mother-daughter team shares the feeling of excitement mixed with nerves.
“I’m so ready,” said Lockwood. “We are so happy and happy that this could happen for us.”
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