A 61-year-old woman from Nebraska recently gave birth to her own granddaughter. After her gay son, Matthew, and his partner, Elliot, searched for a surrogate to carry their baby, Cecile Eledge volunteered her postmenopausal uterus to carry their child full term. BuzzFeed News reports that an embryo was the result of Matthew’s sperm with Elliot’s sister’s egg and after Cecile underwent a series of exams, she was deemed a successful candidate to serve as a surrogate for the couple.
Matthew told BuzzFeed:
She’s 61 years old and has lower blood pressure than the rest of us. When they made her run on a treadmill, even when it was turned up to the highest level, she wasn’t anywhere close to the danger zone.
The couple’s IVF procedures and medical expenses were not covered by their insurance. Cecile offering herself as a surrogate saved them a great cost associated with the process which usually poses a barrier to couples looking for surrogacy. All together, the couple still spent about $40,000.
I do think it’s sad that IVF as a process is exclusive to those who can afford it. And for queer couples, it’s a particular challenge.
Elliot’s 25-year-old sister, Lea Yribe donated her eggs for the couple to fertilize. During IVF, doctors were able to retrieve two dozen eggs.
It was harder than I thought it was going to be. I definitely knew there were going to be shots every day, but it was kind of stressful — you have to do it at the same time every day, which is tough when you have two kids running around. It took a toll on me. But in the end it wasn’t too bad. And it did make me feel for all the couples who have to go through this.
Matthew’s sperm had to be frozen and quarantined for six months to ensure it was screened properly for HIV and other diseases. After everything was ready, 11 of Lea’s eggs were injected with Matthew’s sperm and 7 embryos successfully resulted from the fertilization.
Cecile’s body was so healthy that the first embryo implanted into her body took successfully.
Matthew and Elliot have decided to keep two frozen embryos in case they decide to expand their family in the future.
Elliott shared this post on his Facebook page back on March 11th.
On March 25th, Cecile gave birth to a 5 pound, 13 ounce baby girl named Uma Louise Doughtery-Eledge, without C-section.
Cecile and Matthew are legally both parents of Uma since the state of Nebraska requires surrogate mothers to be listed as ‘mother’ even if they are not biologically related to the child. In this case, they are, but Matthew isn’t parading around the birth certificate. Elliot currently has no legal rights to Uma and will have to formally adopt her in a longer process.
H/T: BuzzFeed News