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Yup, you read that title correctly - a woman did indeed give birth to her own grandchild. It was a strange twist of events, yet not that strange once you get through the story. Instead, it was actually a heartwarming story, about the love of a mother and how a family was able to overcome their hardships, helping each other out in the process. Read on to discover what happened.
There are only a handful of things that are more powerful, more potent than a mother's love - in many cases, a mother would do whatever they can to protect their child, and to help their child should the need arise. But today, we are not just talking about one mother, but two mothers at the same time.
A story between a mother and daughter, both mothers themselves, and how they overcome their hardships and brought about a child.
The story would start with Brenda Lockwood - with whom you might have been acquainted on the internet as she is an influencer on Instagram and other social media. Life has its ups-and-downs, but for Breanna, there are certain struggles that bothered her for quite some time, struggles that eventually led to this story.
Breanna and her husband got married nearly 4 years ago, back in 2016. They had been a loving couple ever since, going to different places, experiencing life together with all its glory. Life is good, but there's something missing for them, something that would make their family life even better.
Yes, after years of marriage having a child is something that would eventually come to mind, and it was no different for Breanna and her husband. What better way to fulfill your family life than to have a new addition to your family? For many, having a child is what completes a family.
Imagine all the joy you would have, playing with the child, looking the child grow up, day by day getting older and older, their hands outgrowing yours as time goes by... there's something special about having a child of your own. But it wasn't so simple for them.
But bad news soon struck the Lockwood family. After some time they were unable to conceive a child still. In fact, they had been trying to have a child since their marriage in 2016 - but obstacles were there, waiting for them on Breanna's road to pregnancy. And thus, the journey started - a journey to overcome the obstacles and have a child.
They looked at different ways of helping Breanna get pregnant. One of the very first tries was with IVF, short for In Vitro Fertilization. It is a common way to help infertile women to conceive a child through... well, science. It is a relatively complicated process, but it did help thousands upon thousands of women conceive a child over the years. Here's how it works.
Without getting too technical, IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization, is basically a fertilization process where the egg and sperm are combined outside of the mother's body - in a laboratory, basically. The whole process will be conducted in the lab to create an embryo, a fertilized egg, which would then be medically inserted back into the mother's body for it to grow and develop.
In 2019, at the beginning of her Instagram journey, Breanna posted a picture of their first try with IVF, right after the trigger shot process. According to Healthline, "the trigger shot is used before egg retrieval to help facilitate a process called meiosis. In meiosis, eggs go through an important division where its chromosomes go from 46 to 23, priming them for fertilization."
From a picture that she uploaded to her Instagram page, back in April 2018 it was another failed attempt at conceiving a child - as she said on her post, "Picking myself up after my second failed transfer and getting the game plan and next approach..." But it was a long road to pregnancy.
For Breanna, it was one attempt after another, weeks after weeks, months after months - it was a tiring process, and mentally exhausting at the same time. However, it seemed that things are finally working out for her, as her pregnancy test was showing positive results - but it was just the beginning of a long series of rollercoasters.
There were also heartbreaking news on her way to pregnancy - at some point, there was a successful transfer of the embryo, and it was just a kid either, it was a pair of twins. But as her excitement grew, she was only greeted with more disappointment - it was a failed pregnancy, as the doctor informed her that “I don’t see a fetal heartbeat in either baby.”
No matter how bad the situation was though, there were people by her side at all times, including her own mother.
On July 31, 2018, before the day for one of the many transfers Breanna tried over the last few years, her mother gave her a special gift, a T-shirt that says "Making a Miracle Happen," referring to Breanna's pregnancy, as a way to support her daughter mentally. But it won't be the last she supported her daughter in her journey to pregnancy.
By July 2019, it would be three years already on their journey to pregnancy. A lot of failures along the way, but Breanna wasn't ready to give up just yet - far from that actually. As she said on her Instagram post at the time, "This summer marks year 3 of our fertility journey. Sadly no baby, but still not giving up our hope." The struggle carries on.
During her journey to pregnancy, Breanna also made a touching Instagram post to her old self."To my old self. Photos of you I don’t even recognize. You have no idea what’s coming. You don’t have the slightest clue of how difficult the next 3 years will be. You are standing there smiling and laughing, completely unaware. I am jealous of you. I am mad at you," she said.
A lot of sacrifices had been made on Breanna's road to pregnancy. IVF and all the medical procedures come with a steep price tag and not everyone can afford it. Every embryo transfer costs money, and they do cost a pretty penny. As time goes by Breanna and her husband began to run into financial issues.
Time after time it didn't work out for Breanna, on top of the disappointments came the financial issues - but Breanna and her husband are not willing to give up just yet. She and her husband decided the best way to move forward is to sell their property and move back with her parents, to continue on their journey to pregnancy.
Over the last few years, it was one failed transfer after another, and their options are now getting limited. In November 2019 after their property was sold, Breanna made an update with her Instagram post that they were now considering surrogacy, but the whole process comes with a lot of strict FDA regulations... and not just that.
The other obstacle when it comes to surrogacy is the high price tag. In another of her Instagram update, Breanna said that an agency provided her with a cost estimation, which is between $90,000 and $150,000, where they would find a matching surrogate for their journey and deal with the legal nuisances. But luckily for them, there is an alternative.
Luckily for them, there is a different option - independent surrogacy, where someone they know can offer themselves to be the surrogate. This can cut the cost down significantly down to $30,000 to $70,000, way lower than an agency. It is still a long way to go, but not all hope was lost.
Breanna posted an update on Christmas Eve, in 2019, with some bad news from the doctor. “This damage is irreversible, this is nothing a surgery can fix," the tech told her. What the tech was referring to was basically Breanna's ability to carry a child, which due to some damages within her body it was simply not possible at the moment.
It was like rainy down on a sunny day, and Breanna just had to take on the news like it was nothing on a Christmas day. But now with this update, it appeared that surrogacy is the only way to go.
After talking to various mothers and potential surrogate candidates, a light began to shed on the situation. "after chatting with many surrogates online in the meeting groups, I was shocked how full my inbox was of kind women who want to help others and give someone struggling this kind of priceless gift," Breanna said. And now a new journey began, a journey of surrogacy.
Breanna finally found her surrogate - but it was still a long road ahead. By now you might have guessed it, yes, it's Breanna's very own mother. But it was still a long road ahead, as there are a lot of restrictions and preparations in place even before the transfer of embryos takes place. Finding a surrogate is just the beginning.
Before all the medical procedures, even before any medical consultations, a psychology evaluation would take place to ensure that both the mother and surrogate are on the same page and are adequate to proceed with the process. There are various questions involved, and some of them might surprise you.
During the psychological evaluation, there would be questions like "Have you ever been on antidepressants?" or "Do you want to be present during all her appointments?" are just some of the questions involved. As for Breanna and her mother, it was an easy task - but it was a big step on the road to surrogacy.
After that would be the proper medical screening, running multiple medical tests to ensure that the surrogate is suitable for the process. Luckily for them, Breanna's mother, was able to pass all the required tests including a Maternal-Fetal Medicine/High-Risk test. Now that she passed the tests and proved that she's a suitable match as a surrogate, it's time for the next step.
The legal process is an aspect of surrogacy that are often ignored by most people except for those involved, but it is one of the most important aspects of the whole process as it specifies and guarantees the rights of each party, clearing defining the rights and outlines of the entire operation - here's how it works.
During the surrogacy process, each party needs to have their own lawyer to protect their rights and prepare for whatever scenario that might arise. Of course, they would have to sign a contract, and the contract would cover different aspects of the whole process.
For example, a question like "When we would start?", "If failed, how long would we continue?", "Limit of dollar amount for maternity clothes." Or one interesting point that Breanna pointed out, "If we (intended parents) were to pass away during her pregnancy. Who and to where the child would go?" These are just a few examples of the things covered in the contract.
Another thing that needed to be specified in the contract is the legal rights. Think about this - if a baby was given birth by a different woman, who would be the actual mother? How would the hospital register the baby's parents? These are some legal questions that needed to be specified in the contract, along with other issues that may arise from that very point.
For example, if the surrogate happened to give birth in a different state with different laws regarding surrogacy, it might be a huge headache for all parties involved. But luckily for Breanna, she and her mother managed to come to terms easily, and now it's time to go on to the next step.
After everything was cleared, Breanna and her surrogate, her very own mother, managed to proceed with a duel transfer on February 25, with an embryo in each of them. The reason for them to do so is because she has an abundant number of embryos, and by doing so she can also book all their monitoring appointments at the same time. It's now one step closer to pregnancy.
On May 2 this year, Breanna finally broke the news out to the world - that her mother was the surrogate, and the process was a success! At the time of posting her mother, Julie Loving was already 12 weeks pregnant with her own grandchild... at the age of 51!
While the standard age cut off is 45, Loving was still in top shape even though she is already 51, and the doctor gave the green light after running all the necessary tests. Now comes the big question - did the baby come out okay?
Yes! After months of pregnancy, at the age of 51, Breanna's mother managed to give birth to Breanna's baby, her very own grandchild! How unbelievable is that? Say hi to Briar Juliette Lockwood, born on the 2nd of November this year.
Julie, Breanna's mother, went through extreme hardships in carrying and delivering the baby girl, but luckily for all of them, everyone was safe in the end. But that's not the end of the story yet.
Of course the story went viral, or else we wouldn't be writing about it, isn't it? But perhaps none of them would have thought that the story would blow up like this - even bringing them on Good Morning America! Not just that, their story was covered by major newspapers such as CNN and been foreign media like The Mirror.
Have you heard about this story before? Or were you a follower of Breanna on her social media pages? We loved the story ourselves, seeing how Breanna and her husband managed to not give up despite all the hardships, and how Breanna's mother, Julie, gave the couple a helping hand and went through the hardships herself for her daughter. What do you think about this story? If you enjoyed reading this, why not share it with your friends and family?
⚠︎ Medical Disclamer
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