Cecile Eledge proved that irrespective of age, anyone can do anything. At 61, she became a surrogate. Find out the reason behind her decision.
In 2019, Cecile Eledge, a 61-year-old woman from Nebraska, shocked the world after carrying her grandchild to term and birthing the baby, acting as the surrogate for her son, Matthew Eledge, and his husband, Elliot Dougherty.
At first, when the loving mother revealed she would love to carry the child, her suggestion remained a joke, not a realistic path forward.
[Left] Picture of Matthew Eledge and his husband Elliot Dougherty with their newborn daughter, Uma Louise Dougherty;[Right] Picture of Cecile Eledge and granddaughter, Uma Louise Dougherty | Source: youtube.com/CBS Mornings
"Matt would comically say, 'Well, my mom keeps offering, but we know that's not an option,'" Cecile said. In addition, family members thought that the doctors would not allow Cecile to act as a surrogate due to her age.
CECILE BECOMES A SURROGATE
But when Matthew and Dougherty began exploring options to become parents, doctors informed them Cecile could carry a baby if she was healthy. So, they brought in the 61-year-old for a series of tests and eventually gave her a clean bill of health and the go-ahead.
So, the whole family was prepared for the pregnancy. To help her brother start a family, Dougherty's sister, Lea Yribe, offered to donate her eggs. Matthew's sperm fertilized the eggs, and the embryo was implanted in Cecile.
Thankfully, the period of the pregnancy was a smooth one. Cecile took estrogen supplements during the early stages until the placenta could make its own hormones. Despite the politics of helping a gay couple, the doctors did everything to help Cecile carry the child to term.
INSIDE BABY UMA'S BIRTH
In March 2019, the entire family, along with the proud doctors, celebrated the birth of Uma Louise Dougherty. She was born at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Speaking about her decision and the delivery, Cecile revealed:
"I wanted to do it as a gift from a mother to her son."
Uma's birth circumstances remain evidence of the drastic improvement in senior health made by healthy lifestyles and modern medicine.
THE PUBLIC'S THOUGHTS ON THE FAMILY'S DECISION
After Uma was delivered, it was only a matter of time before the news and circumstances of her birth spread across the world.
Matthew noted that the family received many messages, including positives and a few negatives. He also explained that people around the world had been reaching out to help in any way they could.
The family ignored the negative comments, especially from people who felt Matthew and his mom were intimate. To them, welcoming a child was much more important.
The harsh comments from netizens were not the first time Matthew and his husband faced judgment from people. When the pair first announced their decision to get married, Matthew lost his job as a teacher at a Catholic School.
They also feared that they would not be granted permission to adopt a child. Despite all prejudices the couple received, they came out strong. Hopefully, with the help of other family members, they would be great parents to their daughter.