After years of struggling to conceive, Breanna Lockwood’s mother made the heartwarming decision to step in and be her daughter’s gestational surrogate.
Julie Loving, 51, knew how badly her 29-year-old daughter and her husband Aaron Lockwood, 28 wanted to become parents.
It wasn’t until Breanna’s first miscarriage when Julie began thinking about carrying her daughter’s first child.
Three years later and Julie has made the couple’s dreams come true after giving birth to her own grandchild on November 2.
In an Instagram post, an overjoyed Breanna shared her daughter’s name – Briar Juliette Lockwood – while explaining how much of a “rock star” her mother was during the process.
“The sacrifices she took to bring this little slice of heaven into our world takes my breath away,” Breanna wrote in the post.
“Holding my daughter in my arms, my heart is bursting. The feeling of how I would do absolutely anything needed for this child is radiating through me when I look at her, and reflects back on what my mum did for me.”
Breanna explained that during the “trials and tribulations of infertility”, her mother has been the biggest supporter in her life.
The 29-year-old said she endured “countless tears” after experiencing 1311 days of 476 injections, 64 blood tests, seven surgical procedures, four failed embryo transfers and one ectopic pregnancy.
When a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure left Breanna with problematic scar tissue in her uterus, she and her husband Aaron turned to the idea of using a gestational carrier.
However, when her mother came to her with the idea of carrying a baby for them, Breanna said, “My response? I laughed,” telling her mother, “You’re crazy.”
In a recent Instagram post, Breanna explained: “I did not think that was even possible. My mum, Julie, is 51 years old and had already been through menopause.
“But she was persistent.”
The next step was talking to Breanna’s fertility specialist, Dr Brian Kaplan of Fertility Centres of Illinois, who also wasn’t convinced at first.
“My immediate reaction was, ‘This is not a good thing,” Dr Kaplan told NBC Washington.
“Normally a gestational carrier should be under 40 years, but in medicine you have to look at an individual and personalise it.”
The fertility specialist, who has done more than 20,000 IVF procedures over his 29-year career, gave Julie the green light after rigorous testing and education around possible risks.
“Fortunately she got pregnant the very first time with the very first embryo,” he said. “I’ve been with Breanna for years with so much trauma and intensity – the resilience was mind-boggling. If she did not have her mum, she wouldn’t have a baby.”
“My mum breezed through every preliminary test she took, to be able to give us this gift,” Breanna wrote in an Instagram post.
“Defying the odds at 51 years old, she’s pushing reproductive science out of the box, as ONE of only a handful of surrogates nationwide to deliver their grandchild via gestational surrogacy,” she said.
The new mum said sharing the adventure with her own mother has been the most “unique and amazing experience”.
“Surrogacy is truly the most selfless gift. She is the pure example of ‘you would do anything for your kids’, and if I can even be half of the mother she is, I know I’m doing something right.”