A mother will do anything for her child, even if it means becoming a surrogate for her daughter’s baby. When Breanna Lockwood, 29, learned from her doctors that she is unable to have a successful pregnancy, she and her husband, Aaron, were heartbroken. They wanted to have a family but it seemed like it wasn’t in the cards for them.
That’s when Breanna’s 51-year-old mother, Julie Loving, decided to step in. She became Lockwood’s surrogate mother and carried her grandchild in her womb, due in November 2020. Loving has given her daughter the most precious gift of all: a baby of her own.
Struggling With Infertility
Lockwood tried to get pregnant naturally since 2016. After multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF), surgeries and even some miscarriages, her doctors at Fertility Centers of Illinois confirmed she was unable to carry a successful pregnancy.
“Struggling with infertility was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through,” Lockwood shared with Good Morning America. “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.”
Lockwood isn’t alone with her infertility struggles. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 10 in every 100 women in the U.S. struggle with infertility. Many couples use IVF, surrogacies and eventually adoption to have a family of their own.
When Lockwood’s experience with IVF treatments failed, she turned to surrogacy. But surrogacy isn’t easy. It’s difficult to find a good match for a couple’s needs and desires. It helps to have someone you’re comfortable with and a person you can trust. For Lockwood, this would be her own mother.
Becoming a Surrogate
When Lockwood’s fertility specialist, Brian Kaplan, began discussing the possibility of surrogacy, she brought her mother along with her and her husband to the appointments. After a few appointments, Loving mentioned that she could be a surrogate for her daughter.
“I started to talk to her [Lockwood] about it. She was not on board and thought I was crazy, but I just kept pursuing it,” Loving shared. “I’ve run 19 marathons and done many triathlons. I felt like health-wise I could do it and I had really easy pregnancies with my two kids.”
Once they were both on board, there were many hurdles everyone had to jump through. Loving met with five specialists, including Kaplan, a high-risk obstetrician. Because she was in her fifties, Loving’s health needed to be closely monitored by a specialist. In additio, Loving and her daughter and son-in-law had regular meetings with a psychologist.
Once they cleared all the tests and appointments, they were ready to begin the surrogacy process in February, 2020. Kaplan performed the embryo transfer and in March, he confirmed that Loving was pregnant with Lockwood’s child.
While waiting for their November 12 due date, Lockwood and Loving grew closer as a mother-daughter duo. They attended doctor’s appointments (mostly without Aaron, who has been restricted from the appointments due to COVID-19 concerns) and they shopped for baby clothes and other essential items together.
In June 2020, Lockwood revealed on her surrogacy diary Instagram account that she and her husband will be welcoming a baby girl into their family. She later shared, “I feel like my mom is the closest place to home she [her baby girl] 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.”
Lockwood counted down the days while waiting to meet her long-awaited daughter. She reflected that she and Aaron are looking forward to the day where they can share their birth story with their daughter. They plan to be open with her, and to explain to her that she was wanted so much, that her parents did everything possible to bring her into the world.
Their daughter is already a very lucky girl.
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