At 51, Julie Loving gave birth to her own granddaughter, Briar Juliette Lockwood, who was born earlier in an Illinois hospital. She was a surrogate for her 29-year-old daughter, Dela Breanna.
Breanna said in an interview with the TV show “Good Morning America” that it was definitely a surreal process. According to her, “all the feelings came at once, just watching my mother go through everything and everything she did for me and continues to do”.
According to the ABC broadcaster, Briar Juliette’s parents started trying to have a baby shortly after they got married, in 2016. However, in the face of difficulties, they sought help from a specialist. In 2018, physician Brian Kaplan, who works at a fertility center in the state, suggested the couple find a relative or friend as a surrogate who is willing to bear the child.
Breanna listened to the expert’s advice but had no idea who could help her, until her mother took the initiative and offered to be her granddaughter’s surrogate. “My mom came with me (for an appointment) as a companion and she said she wanted to have the baby,” Breanna said. “When (the doctor) met her, I realized he was really starting to think about it as a possibility, but he didn’t tell us so right away. There were many obstacles that we had to overcome to make this possible.”
Briar Juliette’s delivery took place by ᴄᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ 10 days before the expected date. The procedure was brought forward as an ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ due to problems involving the ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ, as the family told ABC. Breanna also reports that it was a very emotional day, with many tears and happy moments. Besides, of course, some scary chapters, but those were soon circumvented by the medical team. Her grandmother, Julie, said she never lost hope that everything would end well. She noted that she has run 19 marathons and done many triathlons, adding that she has stayed healthy throughout her life and has had two good pregnancies, mentioning Breanna and her 27-year-old son.
The ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ ᴛʀᴀɴsꜰᴇʀ, which allowed Breanna and Aaron to be the biological parents of Briar Juliette and Julie to father the granddaughter, took place in February. Until the successful procedure was performed, Julie underwent a series of examinations and consultations with five specialists, as well as a high-ʀɪsᴋ obstetrician and a psychologist.
In March, about a week before the United States implemented the ʟᴏᴄᴋᴅᴏᴡɴ due to the ᴄᴏʀᴏɴᴀᴠɪʀᴜs ᴘᴀɴᴅᴇᴍɪᴄ, the pregnancy was confirmed.
Breanna points out that battling ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ was the hardest thing she ever had to go through. “When you have a plan for life and then something like ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ gets in the way, I felt like I could no longer see what I imagined, that it could be taken away from me.” She highlighted having remained by her mother’s side at every stage of the pregnancy, including the ᴄᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ, which also had the presence of the baby’s father.
“It’s really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re experiencing ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ,” she said. “But while you keep telling yourself that there are many ways to become a mother, it’s not just pregnancy. There are so many ways to become a parent, whichever option you choose.”