Becoming a grandmother is such a special thing, and for Julie Loving, it's even more special because she won't just be in the delivery room with her daughter when her grandchild is born next month, she will be giving birth to her grandchild.
As the Washington Post reports, 51-year-old Loving is carrying a child for her 29-year-old daughter Breanna Lockwood and her husband Aaron.
"It's been a textbook pregnancy," Loving recently told Today Parents. "Everything's been perfect."
The Lockwoods' journey to parenthood has been difficult. The couple spent years battling infertility. Breanna Lockwood has had multiple miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, multiple surgeries and several in vitro fertilization embryo transfers. It's been exhausting physically and mentally and when the time came to look for a surrogate, Lockwood's own mom offered. It was something she'd been thinking about for a while.
"Breanna had wanted to be a mom since she was little," Loving told The Post. "When you see your child struggling with infertility, you do whatever you can to help."
"After the first miscarriage, I mentioned to my husband that if she continued to struggle with fertility, I would be her surrogate," Loving explained.
The grandmother-to-be didn't bring up the idea to her daughter until after Lockwood suffered a pregnancy loss of twins and subsequent damage to her uterus during a surgical procedure. It was traumatizing and left her unable to carry a baby in the future, her doctors told her. Lockwood grieved for a long time before exploring surrogacy.
"I don't have any sisters or friends who would be a good candidate for a surrogate," Lockwood said. "That's when my mom started saying, 'Well, what about me?'"
Most surrogates are younger than Loving, but tests proved she was a good candidate.
So at 51, Loving is carrying her grandchild. For Lockwood, the experience is a blessing. She says her mom is her best friend, but she was initially hesitant to take her mom up on the offer to carry for her.
"I was really in a sad place," Lockwood told Today. "I knew she wanted to be helpful, but I just kept kind of saying no."
The Lockwoods are expecting a baby girl, so this family will have another generation of mother-daughter bonds when the baby is born in November.
[A version of this post was originally published on June 26, 2020. It has been updated.]