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Mother serves as her daughter's surrogate, giving birth to her grandchild

23 November 2020
Appeared in BioNews 1073

A 51-year-old grandmother offered to act as a surrogate for her daughter and gave birth to a healthy girl.

Breanna Lockwood, from Chicago, Illinois, had several miscarriages following IVF treatment and developed Asherman syndrome: a rare, acquired condition causing permanent infertility resulting from severe damage to her uterus. Her fertility doctor, Dr Brian Kaplan, advised that she could not attempt another pregnancy, but because her eggs and embryos were healthy, surrogacy would be the only option for Lockwood and her husband to have a genetically-related child.

'As soon as she had her first miscarriage, I mentioned it to my husband – that if she ends up having a really hard time, I'd love to be her surrogate, not knowing that it would actually happen. She wasn't really on board at first, so there was a lot of convincing,' said Julie Loving, Lockwood's mother, in an interview for CTV News channel.

Although surrogates are usually under the age of 40, Loving's active lifestyle made her a likely candidate. '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,' Loving told Good Morning America.

After passing several medical tests, Loving was implanted with an embryo created with Lockwood's egg and her husband's sperm. Dr Kaplan told Good Morning America '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.'

The first embryo transfer was successful and Loving became pregnant with her granddaughter in March this year. Yet, the family weren't ready to celebrate at that time, '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,' Lockwood told Good Morning America.

Earlier this month, Loving gave birth to a healthy granddaughter but underwent an emergency C-section due to the baby having a sudden erratic heart rate six hours into labour.

Lockwood documented the surrogate pregnancy on Instagram to raise awareness on fertility issues and told the New York Post that her daughter will know the truth about her birth story.

Dr Kaplan concluded 'After 29 years, I was taught a lesson... I was taught about family strength. You can see the intensity of their family and their unity and love. It's really humbling as a physician.'

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