They say that blood is thicker than water and that the family bond is the strongest there is. Not only is your family meant to love you unconditionally but they are often willing to go through the most sacrifices to make each other happy. However, should there be a limit to how much a parent intervenes despite their best intentions?
For Cecile Eledge, making sure all of her son's dreams came true was her biggest priority. Cecile accepted her son for who he was and took in his husband as one of her own. When the couple revealed they wish to have their own baby, Cecile decided that as the mother, t was her responsibility to do everything in her power to help...even if that meant giving birth to her own grandchild.
Mother Steps In
Matthew Eledge was in a loving relationship with his husband. He was grateful for what he had, a husband who loved him and a family who supported him. He even had a rewarding career as a teacher, caring deeply for each child that entered his classroom. The only thing left that he desperately longed for, was a child of his own. However, on his teacher's salary, it was difficult to be able to afford a surrogate. The process seemed unattainable for him.
Matthew's mother, Cecile, saw the deep desire for her son and his husband to be fathers. The two had even started IVF treatments. She decided to surprise her son by offering to carry his baby:
"I thought if I could do it, I would do it," Cecile Eledge told BuzzFeed News, adding that being the baby's surrogate "was kind of a no-brainer."
Mission Almost Impossible
Cecile was in her 60s so, despite her best intentions, it was unclear if offering to carry her own grandchild would actually be possible. At this point, Cecile hadn't been pregnant in over 30 years and had gone through menopause over a decade ago.
The first step was in finding a doctor that would allow it. The family was overjoyed when they finally met with a reproductive endocrinologist that was willing to help them on their risky mission. The process was set in motion.
Risking Her Own Life For Her Son's
Even though a doctor had agreed to help, the family was still taking a big risk that included the life of Cecile and the baby. Dr. Carolyn Maud Doherty explained that being pregnant at this age is rare: "It's important for people to note that not every 60-year-old is in good enough health to be a surrogate," she told Buzzfeed News
She adds that we should keep in mind that not everyone could handle it: "There are probably only a handful of people across the country who can do this - only a handful of people who have done it." However knowing the risks, the family decided to move forward.
It's A Family Affair
Cecile knew that she had a lot of work to do and that the next year of her life would not be easy on her body. Before the pregnancy was even initiated, she had to undergo a long series of testing including a pap smear, blood work, cholesterol testing, mammograms, and ultrasounds. Her health was found to be good enough to withstand a pregnancy.
However, the couple got another surprise when another family member decided to step in and contribute to their cause. Elliot's sister decided to make a contribution of her own by offering her eggs.
All the ingredients were there for a successful surrogate pregnancy. Cecile had passed all of her tests, started hormone treatments began Elliot's sister’s eggs were fertilized with Mathew’s sperm.
From there, Cecile's son's sperm was implanted in several fertilized eggs into her uterus. Against all odds, she got pregnant on their very first attempt! It almost felt like the universe itself was in their favor. The baby was just now nine months shy of joining the family.
The Birth Of Daughter / Grand-Daughter All In One
Cecile did everything in her power to have a healthy pregnancy for herself and the baby: "I worked out, I walked, I was physically active. And actually, it was almost easier," she said, adding; "Because I'm older, my diet's been easier to control, and I didn't have the responsibility of other children. Just this pregnancy."
Luckily despite some morning sickness and blood pressure spikes, Cecile beat all odds and give birth to a healthy baby girl named Uma without even needing a C section.
Should A Mother's Love Know Any Bounds?
The dads were overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the sacrifice Cecile had made: "I don't know how to describe her; she's remarkable. I have such deep respect for her and am so gracious that even as a grown adult she continues to go above and beyond for me," Matthew told the Daily Mail.
It's hard to believe the length that a mother would go to make sure her children are happy. Matthew views his mother as a warrior who had no trouble giving up the baby right when she was born to her loving parents. However, not everyone who has heard their story agrees. Some think she may have gone too far.
Acceptance Over Understanding
Matthew understands that not everyone agrees with the way they decided to start their own family but he hopes that people can accept their decision even if they don't understand it: "People didn't understand at first, but once they do, they're ridiculously supportive - they think it's radical and amazing. They're really inspired by my mum… We all did this together."
He says "people are confused" by his family's story, telling the New York Post: "We got a lot of people being like, 'wait a minute, whose egg? And whose sperm?" However, they are used to people's opinions and prefer to live in the way that makes them happy anyway:
"As gay men, we're so lucky to be having children at a time when people are actually celebratory of our relationship and of us being parents, and also at a time when technology allows us to have this baby, with some of Elliot's genetic material and some of my genetic material."
"It Takes A Village"
Without Cecile's help, it's possible that Matthew and his husband would have never gotten to know the joy of having a child: "We also believe it takes a village to raise a family," he said. "While we may have taken an unconventional approach, we were able to talk about the process and it made everything more exciting and more fun."
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