While most grandmas eagerly await to see their grandchild in the hospital, Cecile Eledge decided to give birth to one.
More often than not, most grandmothers are often in the room or waiting anxiously down the hall when the grandchild is born. However, in what can only be described as truly 'extraordinary', a 61-year-old grandmother has broken all stereotypes, traditions, and whatnot. While most grandmas eagerly await to see their grandchild, Cecile Eledge decided to give birth to one.
Cecile decided to become a surrogate for her son, Mathew Eledge, and his husband, Elliot Dougherty in order to help them bring a baby to this world. "It started off as really a joke. My mom, she loved being pregnant and she also really wants grandchildren—and has gone to great lengths to make that happen," Matthew explained in an interview with Motherly.
Matthew was a bit skeptical whether his mother could be pregnant again considering she was postmenopausal. His first question was whether a 61-year-old woman was in any position to deliver a baby?
However, be that as it may, the doctors said she indeed could, and gave her the go-ahead to continue the procedure. Following this, the family prepared themselves for the pregnancy.
Cecile, who was the gestational surrogate for Matthew and his husband did not provide an egg. It came from Elliot's sister but it was the grandmother who carried the baby in her womb throughout nine months. “I just never hesitated,” she told NBC News. “I was just so excited to be able to be part of this adventure with them. … It was just unconditional love.”
A 'miracle' is an understatement as Uma was finally born as a healthy infant. And Matthew had only one person to thank for his beautiful child -- his mother. Considering the fact that Cecile's last child was born 30 years ago, it was no easy feat. Pregnancy in itself is not.
She had also hit menopause 10 years ago, hence there were a lot of tests she had to go through in order to become pregnant and ensure her and the baby's safety. It included a pap smear, blood and cholesterol tests, a mammogram and an ultrasound, all of which meant she was in perfect health to carry the baby.
"My mom, I believe she's the hero of the story because she had to endure so much, but at the same time, my partner's sister, she was generous enough to donate her eggs and she didn't have to do that. That required a huge invasion of her life," he said.
"There's something about women that is irreplaceable and healing and powerful and amazing, so thank God we have these women around us, not just for us, but also for our daughter to grow up and witness and be inspired by," the father of the newborn child added.
Matthew said that apart from two men as parents who will love Uma dearly and take care of her, there are also several women in the family who will help raise the child. But the beauty of this pregnancy was that Matthew never hesitated about the procedure.
“Nebraska is a bit more conservative, and we were hesitant to go into agencies, and had a bit of fear that maybe some things would hold us back being a gay couple,” Matthew said. Meanwhile, Dougherty was also ecstatic to become the father of his baby daughter. He said, “It was really exciting to know that my mom and dad and whole ancestry and family lineage were going to be a part of her.”
It wasn't an easy journey for the couple but they are prepared for everything that comes along with this beautiful birth story, be it difficult conversations or narrow-minded reactions. They have even said that they will explain the birth story to Uma once she gets older.
“I’ll tell her Aunt Lea gave a piece of her,” Matthew told NBC. “She gave a seed to start the gift of life, and her grandmother provided the loving garden for her to bloom, and I think that’s gorgeous.”