Woman, 61, gives birth to her own granddaughter after acting as surrogate for son | US News


A 61-year-old woman has given birth to her own granddaughter after carrying her son’s baby as a surrogate.

Matthew Eledge, 32, and Elliot Dougherty, 29, who live in Omaha, Nebraska, dreamt of becoming parents and revealed they were considering IVF to their respective families.

“I thought if I could do it, I would do it,” Cecile Eledge told BuzzFeed News, adding that being the baby’s surrogate “was kind of a no-brainer.”

Elliot and Matthew meet their daughter Uma for the first time
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Elliot Dougherty (l) and Matthew Eledge meet their daughter Uma for the first time
Cecile kisses her granddaughter for the first time
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Ms Eledge kisses her granddaughter for the first time

The mother-of-three was given the go-head by doctors after undergoing a series of tests including a pap smear, cholesterol test, stress test, an ultrasound and a mammogram.

Mr Dougherty’s 26-year-old sister Lea Yribe offered the couple her eggs before Ms Eledge began hormone treatments.

Her son’s sperm was implanted in several fertilised eggs into her uterus, and remarkably, she fell pregnant on the first attempt.

Matthew and Elliot document the birth of their daughter
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The couple document the birth of their daughter

Seven-and-half-months later, after morning sickness and blood pressure spikes, Ms Eledge gave birth to Uma on 25 March.

The family’s special moment was captured in heart-warming pictures by photographer Ariel Panowicz, and shows the couple overcome with emotion as they meet their daughter.

Dr Carolyn Maud Doherty explained that the grandmother is a rare phenomenon.

Cecile said acting as a surrogate for her son's baby was a 'no brainer'
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Ms Eledge said acting as a surrogate for her son’s baby was a ‘no brainer’

“It’s important for people to note that not every 60-year-old is in good enough health to be a surrogate,” she told Buzzfeed News.

Cecile gave birth to her granddaughter on 25 March
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Ms Eledge gave birth to her granddaughter on 25 March

“There are probably only a handful of people across the country who can do this – only a handful of people who have done it.”

Despite the risks associated with pregnancy later in life, such as a higher chance of blood clots or a required C-section, Ms Eledge said her natural birth was surprisingly simple.

“I worked out, I walked, I was physically active. And actually, it was almost easier,” she said.

“Because I’m older, my diet’s been easier to control, and I didn’t have the responsibility of other children. Just this pregnancy.”

Elliot Dougherty (L) and Matthew Eledge are overcome with emotion at their daughter's birth
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Elliot Dougherty (l) and Matthew Eledge are overcome with emotion at their daughter’s birth

Both Mr Eledge and Mr Dougherty said they feel lucky to not only have a healthy baby but also to have shared their experience with Cecile.

Her son, a teacher, said: “People didn’t understand at first, but once they do, they’re ridiculously supportive – they think it’s radical and amazing. They’re really inspired by my mum… We all did this together.”

He said “people are confused” by his family’s story, telling the New York Post: “We got a lot of people being like, ‘wait a minute, whose egg? And whose sperm?’

“As gay men, we’re so lucky to be having children at a time when people are actually celebratory of our relationship and of us being parents, and also at a time when technology allows us to have this baby, with some of Elliot’s genetic material and some of my genetic material.”

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