Parents Aaron and Breanna Lockwood cannot wait to meet their daughter and they want to be open about how she was carried for nine months.
The bond shared between a mother and her child is unlike any other. But one mother went the extra mile to strengthen her relationship with her daughter by offering to serve as her gestational surrogate. Breanna Lockwood had undergone several rounds of in vitro fertilization and surgeries but had miscarriages. According to Good Morning America, she was recently told by her doctors that she was unable to have a successful pregnancy. This evaluation devastated Lockwood but she refused to let this fact stop her from having a baby altogether.
The fertility journey began in 2016 for Lockwood after she tried the knot with her husband Aaron. During that time, her grandfather was suffering from a terminal illness and she really wanted him to see his great-grandchild before he died. Thus, Lockwood and Aaron began their attempts to get pregnant. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned and they were unable to conceive naturally even after trying for years. That's when they began seeing Brian Kaplan, a fertility specialist at the Fertility Centers of Illinois.
Lockwood spent the next two years undergoing many rounds of in vitro fertilization, surgeries, and heartbreaking miscarriages, which included the loss of twins. Eventually, she was told by Kaplan that her uterus could not successfully carry a child. "Struggling with infertility was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through," expressed Lockwood. "When you have a plan for your life and then something like infertility gets in the way, I felt like I couldn't see what I pictured anymore, that it could be taken away from me."
Her mother Julie Loving had been supporting her throughout her journey and when she was needed by her daughter the most, she showed up. The 51-year-old is now carrying her grandchild in her womb and is all set to give birth to Lockwood's daughter on November 12. "I feel like my mom is the closest place to home she can be, rather than my own body," said 29-year-old Lockwood of her unborn daughter. "My mom wants to be a grandma just as much as I want to be a mom, so she's doing everything she can."
It was actually Kaplan who suggested surrogacy by someone in the family or friend instead of an agency as it would save the dental hygienist over $100,000. Thankfully, he wasn't the only one with the idea as Loving had also brought up the possibility of surrogacy after her daughter had sadly lost her twins to miscarriage. "I started to talk to her about it. She was not on board and thought I was crazy, but I just kept pursuing it," said Loving. "I've run 19 marathons and done many triathlons. I felt like health-wise I could do it and I had really easy pregnancies with my two kids."
At this point, Kaplan wasn't entirely sure about her carrying their child but allowed her to accompany her to see Kaplan. "My mom came with me as my support person and she brought up that she wanted to carry. When he met her I could tell that he was really starting to think about it as a possibility, but he didn't tell us yes right away. There were a lot of hoops we had to jump through to make it possible," Lockwood explained. After Loving cleared all tests "with flying colors" the embryo transfer was performed by Kaplan in February. "I think it's very important for me as a physician and for this field for people to know this is not routine and not everybody can use their mom. It has to be a unique situation," expressed Kaplan.
In March, Loving was pregnant and the country shut down due to the pandemic. Despite this difficult period, the mother-daughter duo has been attending their doctor's appointments together and meeting each other every day. Loving took a leave for absence from her grocery store job for the sake of the child she is carrying. "We're just doing what we can at this crazy time in the world," said Lockwood, who has been posting pictures and updates on her Instagram page. Aaron and Lockwood cannot wait to meet their daughter and they want to be open about how she was carried for nine months when the child is at the age where she can understand it. Loving, who echoes those sentiments, said, "We're going to be really open with her at a really young age and tell her when we feel like she can understand. And just tell her the truth."