The 29-year-old Illinois woman has undergone IVF, miscarriages, and ectopic pregnancy before taking this route.
Many women hope to be a mom one day and have a family of their own but not everyone is blessed with a body that allows them to give birth. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be a mom, it just means that they need to look at other options like IVF or a surrogate.
Breanna Lockwood, a 29-year-old woman, from Illinois checked all the boxes when planning a family. She got married to her husband Aaron in 2016 and started trying immediately to have a baby. Her grandfather was terminally ill, and she wanted him to meet his great-grandchild. The couple tried naturally for a year without any success, which is when Lockwood began seeing a fertility specialist.
Breanna, a dental hygienist and an influencer who had been recording her struggles with fertility, has gone through seven surgical procedures, three rounds of harvesting eggs and four failed embryo transfers, as well as a single and twin miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy, according to Daily Mail. That is a lot of physical exhaustion and heartache to go through.
"The trials and tribulations of infertility was undoubtedly the hardest venture we have had to face in our lives. 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," she said, as per Good Morning America.
Nothing was working for the couple, until her doctor suggested surrogacy. Her doctor told her that while her embryos were healthy, her uterus was hostile to pregnancy. Recently, she shared that she was finally going to have a baby and it was all thanks to her mother, Julie Loving, who is already 18 weeks pregnant.
"They say, 'It takes a village to raise a child,' but for some it can take a village to HAVE a child... We are happy to announce, finally... BABY LOCKWOOD IS ON THE WAY!" she posted on Instagram along with a photo of her mom cradling her baby bump. Breanna and Aaron held up the ultrasound and announcement board in the photo.
And, it was her mother's idea to help her this way. "I've run 19 marathons and done many triathlons," said Julie, who also has a 27-year-old son. "I felt like health-wise I could do it and I had really easy pregnancies with my two kids." Loving is 51 and she was ready to do this for her daughter right from the beginning. Breanna's doctor had suggested that she find a family member instead of a surrogate through an agency as that process can cost more than $100,000.
"Once she had the miscarriage with the twins I started to talk to her about it," Julie said. "She was not on board and thought I was crazy, but I just kept pursuing it."
Initially, the doctors were not sure and they had to jump through "a lot of hoops" to make it possible. When Brian Kaplan of Fertility Centers of Illinois, Breanna's doctor, met Julie he thought, "How can I look this woman in the eye and say, 'You're not healthy.' You're healthier than everybody here," as per Good Morning America.
The 51-year-old mom had to go through a series of tests and met five specialists, including Brian as well as a high-risk obstetrician, her own OBGYN, her primary care physician, and a psychologist. While the "surrograndma" as Breanna had labeled her was approved for this process, Brian wants people to know that this is not something everyone should try.
"She got past all of us with flying colors. 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. It has to be a unique situation," said Brian.
The family didn't keep their hopes up immediately after facing many disappointments even though Loving had a successful embryo transfer on the first try in February. She became pregnant with her granddaughter in March, and now the family is finally sharing the news.
"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," she said. "Just now, halfway through the pregnancy, we're starting to get excited and shop and plan."
Loving is due in November. "We're going to be really open with her at a really young age and tell her when we feel like she can understand," said Loving. "And just tell her the truth."
Breanna wants to tell her daughter she was"wanted so much that we did everything we could to bring you into the world." And, she doesn't seem worried that she wouldn't have the pregnancy experience. "I feel like my mom is the closest place to home she can be rather than my own body. My mom wants to be a grandma just as much as I want to be a mom so she's doing everything she can," she added.