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Brave new world: 61-year-old grandmother gives birth to her own grandchild

'If you want me to be the gestational carrier, I'd do it in a heartbeat'

Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

A 61-year-old grandmother in Omaha, Nebraska, gave birth to her grandchild earlier this week.

When Matthew Eledge, 32, and his husband Elliot Dougherty, 29, decided they wanted to start a family, Matthew's mother, Cecile Elledge volunteered to be their surrogate, BuzzFeed News reported.

"If you want me to be the gestational carrier," Cecile told Matthew, according to BuzzFeed. "I'd do it in a heartbeat."

And she did.

On Monday, Cecile gave birth to her granddaughter, who weighed in at 5 pounds, 13 ounces.

What are the details?

Cecile had been postmenopausal for 10 years when she underwent a series of tests to find out whether or not she would be a viable candidate to carry a baby for the gay couple. And she was.

"It's important for people to note that not every 60-year-old is in good enough health to be a surrogate," Dr. Carolyn Maud Doherty told BuzzFeed. "There are probably only a handful of people across the country who can do this — only a handful of people who have done it."

Soon after, Cecile began taking hormones to restart her cycle.

"It was certainly strange, but I kept remembering it was only temporary," Cecile said.

Matthew donated the sperm.

Elliot's sister, Lea Yribe, who was 25 at the time, donated the eggs.

A healthy embryo was implanted in Cecile's uterus using in vitro fertilization.

Cecile, a mother of three grown children, became pregnant on the first try.

"I had all the same symptoms, but probably more elevated," Cecile told BuzzFeed. "I had the same morning sickness, but it lasted longer. I had shortness of breath. But I worked out, I walked, I was physically active — as of last Monday, I was still working out on the elliptical. And actually, it was almost easier. Because I'm older, my diet's been easier to control, and I didn't have the responsibility of other children. Just this pregnancy."

Cecile delivered Uma Louise Dougherty-Eledge without complications or a C-section.

"I feel fabulous," she told the news outlet shortly after Uma's birth.

A friend of Matthew and Elliot stockpiled and froze breast milk for them to feed their baby.

"Talk about a support system! This is a friend we trust and love. We love women — we think women should rule the world. Elliot's sister donated her eggs, my mom carried her, and we have this dear beautiful friend giving her this nourishment. Our daughter, Uma, gets to be surrounded by all these smart, beautiful, compassionate women," Matthew said.

Who are the parents listed on the birth certificate?

Uma's birth certificate lists Matthew as the father and Cecile as the mother.

"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," he continued. "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."

Do they plan to have more children?

Matthew and Elliot are reportedly undecided about expanding their family, but they have two frozen embryos that could be used in the future.

What else?

A Greek woman who's believed to be the oldest known surrogate in the world gave birth to her daughter's baby in 2016. She was 67 years old at the time.

One last thing…
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