61-year-old woman gives birth to her own granddaughter
Last week, a woman from Nebraska gave birth to her own granddaughter, after acting as a surrogate mother for her son and his husband in their time of need.
Elliot Dougherty and Matthew Eledge both desperately wanted a child, but many of the usual avenues taken seemed "too corporate" for the couple, who felt as if they were buying something during the process. But that's when members of their family stepped forward to help them out.
As Elliot described in a Facebook post from March, his sister Lea underwent surgery to retrieve several of her eggs, and the in vitro fertilisation process began. As he writes, the embryos created from this were then planted in the uterus of Matthew's mother:
"Several healthy embryos were created out of those eggs. Then, Matthew's mother stepped forward and offered us the greatest gift of all. She offered to carry our baby for us. Our first daughter, being created in the womb of her grandmother.
"It has been such a beautiful journey. We are so incredibly grateful. What an honor it is to have these two women in our life. Life is a dream."
Cecile underwent lengthy checks before the procedure was approved by doctors at Omaha's University of Nebraska Medical Center. “There was no moment of hesitation," she told KETV-News. "It was natural instinct.”
Last Monday the birth came early, with the healthy girl being born weighing 5 pounds and 13 ounces. They named the baby Uma Louise.
“When you are gay and married and want to have a kid, you go into it with knowledge that you are going to have to create a family in a special way,” Matthew said. “There are creative, unique ways to build a family.”
“We are thankful with how the whole process worked. We are really grateful that both Uma and her grandma are here, happy and healthy.
“The entire team from doctors to nurses to lab techs showed a beautiful balance of professionalism and compassion. For the time being, we’re just going to relax and enjoy this moment.”
Photos from the unique and deeply emotional birth were captured by photographer Ariel Panowicz, who shared photos on her Instagram account.
“Little tiny Uma Louise has ventured into this world and let me tell you, she is simply perfect,” she wrote in one caption. “Carried and birthed by her 61-year old Grandmother, and created by her two dads and loving aunt, Uma is surrounded by an immense amount of love.”
"I had a lot of people in college say they would (carry and deliver a child), but when push comes to shove, that's a huge commitment," said Matthew Eledge, a teacher. "More than anything, we feel lucky to have women selfless enough to do this," he said.
While the method is far from ordinary, it looks like Matthew and Elliot's family have given the happy couple the best gift they could have possibly given.