According to BuzzFeed, when Cecile Edge offered to be the gestational carrier for her son Matthew and his husband Elliot Dougherty they thought she was kidding.
Turns out Cecile, 61, was in great shape to carry a baby to term and wasn’t joking about carrying her own granddaughter.
Cecile, of course, had to get the medical stamp of approval to go through with the surrogacy.
“She’s 61 years old and has lower blood pressure than the rest of us,” Matthew jokingly told BuzzFeed. “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.”
“I thought if I could do it, I would do it,” Cecile said. “It was kind of a no-brainer.”
Cecile isn’t the first woman to carry their grandchild and isn’t the oldest woman to be a surrogate. But it isn’t wildly common that someone over 60 years old can be pregnant.
Matthew and Elliot’s doctor Dr. Carolyn Maud Doherty told BuzzFeed, “it’s important for people to note that not every 60-year-old is in good enough health to be a surrogate. There are probably only a handful of people across the country who can do this — only a handful of people who have done it.”
Cecile got pregnant after the first embryo transfer, which isn’t common, and had little complications during the pregnancy. The egg was donated from Elliot’s sister Lea Yribe and they used Matthew’s sperm.
Matthew and Elliot’s daughter, Uma Louise Dougherty-Eledge was born on March 25 in Omaha, Nebraska where Matthew and Elliot live.
Cecile “really sailed through this with no complications,” said Dr. Doherty. She delivered the baby naturally and didn’t need a C-section.
Thanks to Lea’s egg donation, Cecile volunteering to be the surrogate and the fertilization working on the first try, Matthew and Elliot saved thousands of dollars.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” Matthew told BuzzFeed. “My mom and I are legally Uma’s parents. Nebraska requires the sperm donor to be the father and the person who delivers the baby to be the ‘mother,’ even if she’s not biologically related to the child. This looks really creepy for us. Let’s just say we will NOT be framing and hanging up Uma’s birth certificate. I thought Elliot could at least put his name on the birth certificate, at least symbolically, but they didn’t even offer that. He now needs to go through an adoption process to get any legal rights. We plan on doing that, but let’s pretend in the meantime, since this can be a tedious process, god forbid, I were to die: Elliot would have absolutely no legal custody for our daughter.”
“We have gay marriage, but we have an entire structure that hasn’t caught up,” he added.