51-year-old Julie Loving is about to give birth to her own grandchild after becoming surrogate for her daughter
Being a mother is a powerful thing. No one knows this more than Breanna Lockwood and her mother Julie Loving, who might just have the most appropriate last name around. For years, Breanna, 29, and her husband Aaron Lockwood, 28, have tried to become parents. But after 476 injections, eight IVF frozen embryo transfers, two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, they were left heartbroken. Until a hero offered to carry the baby for them. That hero was Julie Loving, Breanna's 51-year-old mother.
Breanna and Aaron became high school sweethearts and never looked back. In 2016, the two were married. Then it was time for the next plunge in life. Breanna had always known she wanted to be a mother from an early age. They had hoped to do some traveling during their first year of marriage before starting a family. Those plans were put on hold when Breanna's grandfather fell ill, as she wanted so badly for him to meet his great-grandchild before he passed.
At first, they tried to pregnant on their own. But after a year without success, they decided to make an appointment with Dr. Brian Kaplan at the Fertility Clinics of Illinois. It was there with Dr. Kaplan that they began vitro fertilization. After four years of hope, followed by pain and heartbreak, they gave up trying. The only option left was to find a surrogate, which can cost over $100,000. As Breanna told the Chicago Tribune, "Physically and mentally, I knew I would push through anything, but there's not a lot where you can push financially, and I think that's what scared me."
Just as they thought all hope was lost, enter the hero: Breanna's mother, Julie Loving. For years, Loving watched helplessly as Breanna and Aaron tirelessly tried to start building a family of their own. Throughout that time, Loving offered to carry the baby for them. "You get in that mode where you'd do anything to help your kids," Loving to the Tribune. "When you see your kids hurting, and you know that you could help them, I don't know how to explain it." And Julie Loving kept offering. "She texted me, and I said, 'You're crazy,'" Lockwood recalls. Finally, when the couple seemed to have exhausted all options, they made an appointment for Julie to see Dr. Kaplan.
Before they knew it, the family was at The Fertility Centers of Illinois: Loving inquiring about being a surrogate for her daughter. "This is a very unusual situation," said Dr. Kaplan to the Tribune. Beyond Julie's profoundly loving heart, she has also run 19 marathons, competing in countless triathlons and is in very healthy condition. Her primary care physician, her OBGYN, a high-risk obstetrician and even a psychologist signed off on her being her daughters surrogate, and she passed with flying colors.
After a successful transfer of the embryo, a whole lot of science and even more love, the result led to Julie Loving carrying her own grandchild. She is due November 12th, 2020. Breanna's gratitude toward her mother goes far beyond even the brave and selfless gesture of being her surrogate. As she puts it: "I feel like I've learned everything about being a mom, from my mom. Apparently, the baby is a kicker, but if we have learned anything about Julie, it is going to take quite a boot to ruffle even one of her feathers. You just fall in love more and more every day, the stronger she gets, really feeling her and learning her ways," she said to the Tribune. "I'm so happy that I can help my daughter and help her husband become a family. That's really all I want, is to help them."
One thing is for sure, if the world had more Julie Loving's, it sure would be a better place.