Now, the family is enjoying every moment with their special child, showering her with all the love in the world.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 17, 2021. It has since been updated.
A mother's love is unlike any other. They will go out of their way to unimaginable extents, just to help their children, and 63-year-old Cecile Eledge is no exception. When she learned that her son Mathew Eledge, and husband Elliot Dougherty, were looking at IVF as an option to conceive a child about five years ago, Cecile said, without skipping a beat, that she would be their surrogate. She insisted that she had "loved being pregnant", and, if given a chance again, she would "do it again in a heartbeat," according to PEOPLE.
A surprised Matthew told reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Carolyn Maud Dougherty, about his mother’s idea, and they were taken aback when they told that they could actually consider it as an option.
But, it didn't come without terms and conditions. Given how Cecile gave birth over three decades ago and was now menopausal, she had to undergo a battery of tests which included a pap smear, blood and cholesterol tests, a mammogram, and an ultrasound. The results showed that she was in excellent health and could carry the baby. “She has the body of a 40-year-old and is actually in better shape than some 20-year-olds,” Dr. Doherty added.
The next question was: who was going to be the egg donor?
Mathew is one lucky chap because his sister, Lea Yribe, decided to donate a couple of her eggs. Truly it does take a village to take a child, doesn't it?
Once Cecile was identified as a suitable host, she was made to undergo a series of hormone treatments as well. Lea's eggs were fertilized with Mathew's sperm and it was successfully implanted in Cecile's uterus. Now, they had to wait for the results. But, despite everything, she became pregnant on the first implantation attempt.
However, Cecile had a rather difficult pregnancy. Her blood pressure kept spiking because of her age. She also had terrible morning sickness, but there were no major complications. She went into labor at Omaha’s University of Nebraska Medical Center on March 24, 2019, and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She even surprised the doctors by giving birth naturally, instead of a cesarean procedure which they were expecting. Her son and his partner sobbed uncontrollably while they watched Cecile give birth to their lovely daughter, Uma.
The family is now making memories with Uma, who is a very special and loved child.
“That’s a bond I will carry with me until the day I die,” Cecile tells PEOPLE, joking that she’s now retired from surrogacy. “It’s been an easy transition getting back into my normal routine."
Matthew adds: “It’s weird how having a child can turn your world upside down. You love in a way you didn’t know you were capable of. It’s made me appreciate and love my family so much more. It’s made me love my partner to a new level … it’s brought everyone closer.”
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Nebraska Medicine Nebraska Medical Center (Extraordinary Birth Story: Meet Baby Uma - Nebraska Medicine)