A grandmother who gave birth to her granddaughter in her sixties claimed it was ‘no different’ to when she had her own children 30 years ago and admitted she’s been surprised by the publicity it’s generated as she didn’t think it was ‘that big a deal’.
Cecile volunteered to carry her grandchild Uma, 30 years after she gave birth to her last child because she wanted to help her son Matthew and his partner Elliot start a family of their own.
Elliot’s sister Lea Yribe, 26, offered to donate her eggs, which were fertilised by Matthew’s sperm and then Cecile suggested she carried the baby.
Despite having last given birth more than three decades ago – and going through the menopause 10 years ago – Cecile assured the couple that she ‘loved being pregnant’, and would ‘do it again in a heartbeat’.
Appearing live on Good Morning Britain from the US state of Nebraska, Matthew said: “For a queer couple adoption and foster care were options but we wanted to explore other avenues.
My mum volunteered. At the time we didn’t think it was necessarily a realistic option, but when we were at IVF and I mentioned it and the doctors didn’t rule it out.”
Cecile added: “I loved being pregnant, and I knew I was healthy enough to do it. It just naturally came out, but when it came out I couldn’t’ take it back, the deal was on the table.”
Matthew and Elliot didn’t think Cecile was serious when she first offered to be their surrogate
Cecile thinks it’s the “coolest thing” to be both the mother and grandmother to Uma.
She continued: “When I was in a stage in my life I didn’t want to have children. But it was always ‘this is my granddaughter’.
“The coolest moment was when I was about five months pregnant, not too many grandparents can say I’m holding one grandchild and carrying my other grandchild in my womb. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.”
Cecile gave birth to Uma naturally after 12 hours in labour, although she thought she would need to have a C-section.
She said: “Doctors said, ‘There is no reason you cannot have a natural birth’. I can even remember going to the doctors at the med centre asking about the protocol and having a C-section. But they said I was the first example.
Cecile had a healthy uterus and was able to be her son’s surrogate and have a natural birth
“My goal was to go naturally. I was going for 12 hours and said to the doctors, ‘Am I really doing this?'”
Asked whether they’d experienced any negative reactions, Cecile said they kept their arrangement very private in the beginning, not because they were ’embarrassed or ashamed’, but because they weren’t sure what the outcome was going to be.
‘We were going outside the medical books, we weren’t doing the normal thing,’ Cecila observed.
‘High risk is usually around 40-45; you’re talking 20-something years past that, so we were very conservative during this whole process.’
Uma is fed with breast milk donated by one of the couple’s friends and Matthew stays home while Elliot works. Every Friday, Cecile and her husband, Kirk, babysit.
Matthew admitted that despite feeling a ‘huge euphoric rush’ when Uma was born which made him want ‘a billion children’, five months with a crying newborn has changed his mind.
But viewers were stunned by the news and blasted the family as being “weird”.
One tweeted: “So the grandmother to her own son.”