A woman named Julie Loving, 51, is serving as the gestational carrier for her daughter and her son-in-law’s child. After years of not being able to get pregnant due to infertility, Breanna Lockwood’s mom gave her the best gift in offering to be a “surrograndma.”
Loving tells TODAY Parents, “It’s been a textbook pregnancy. Everything’s been perfect.”
Lockwood and her husband Aaron have not been able to get pregnant for years. The couple went suffered through an ectopic pregnancy, four failed embryo transfers and two miscarriages. They were running out of options, so they had to consider a person with a uterus who is able to carry and deliver someone else’s baby – or a gestational carrier.
Using a gestational carrier is pretty pricey. Lockwood’s fertility specialist, Dr. Brian Kaplan said, “Most Americans cannot afford a gestational carrier. “It’s over $100,000.” When Lockwood spoke to her mom about it, her mom offered to carry her baby. Lockwood refused.
“I knew she wanted to be helpful, but I just kept kind of saying no,” Lockwood said.
Her mom took her husband’s place at a fertility appointment with Dr. Kaplan, as he wasn’t able to go, her daughter urged her not to say anything about wanting to be a carrier. But, as the appointment was about to be over, Loving told Kaplan of her wish to carry her daughter’s baby.
Dr. Kaplan was vocal about his concern with someone her age carrying a baby, but he said it’s more about physical health rather than the age most of the time. “Normally a gestational carrier should be under 40 years, but in medicine you have to look at an individual and personalize it,” he said.
Kaplan then spoke to his colleagues to assess the risks involved and agreed to do some testing.
“We made her go through all these hoops to make sure she was as healthy as possible (and) as educated as possible about the risks involved,” he said, “We took it very seriously. Each of the physicians that saw her agreed this was unique. This is not something we would do regularly or advise people to do. This was absolutely exceptional.”
Loving was eventually given the green light and is currently 35 weeks along.
Lockwood said, “I would say 90% of the responses and feedback I get are fantastic and wonderful, but there are that 10% of internet trolls that have nasty things to say about whatever they can online. I think a lot of it comes from lack of education where they don’t understand IVF or what a surrogate is, or they think this baby is my sister.”
But either way, she’s excited about welcoming her bundle of joy. “I’m so ready. We’re so lucky and fortunate that this was able to happen for us.”