Grandma, 61, gives birth to own granddaughter so her son and his husband can be dads

Cecile Eledge says she never thought she'd be approved to be a surrogate for her son.
Cecile Eledge says she never thought she'd be approved to be a surrogate for her son. Photo: Ariel Panowicz / AP

Cecile Eledge gave up coffee for nine months. She did everything her doctors told her.

Eledge, 61, said she was joking when she offered to be the gestational surrogate her son and his husband needed.

To her surprise, she passed a battery of tests including heart, cholesterol and stress.

On March 25, Uma Louise was born at Nebraska Medical Centre weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces (2.6kg).

A mother and sister made it possible

Married dads Matthew Eledge and Elliot Dougherty said the birth of their daughter was possible thanks to the women in their life, Eledge's mother and Dougherty's sister.

In this March 25, 2019 photo, Matthew Eledge, right, and his husband Elliot Dougherty, center, react to the birth of their daughter Uma, with Eledge's mother, Cecile Eledge, delivering the baby at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. Cecile Eledge volunteered to be the surrogate mother to her grandchild, conceived with sperm from Matthew Eledge and an egg from Dougherty sister. (Ariel Panowicz via AP)

Matthew Eledge, right, and his husband Elliot Dougherty were present for the birth of their daughter. Photo: Ariel Panowicz via AP

​Eledge's mother carried and delivered their baby. Dougherty's sister donated eggs to conceive.

"We have some selfless women in our lives," Matthew Eledge, 32, a teacher, said.

His mother said through all the testing, she kept expecting doctors to say she wasn't fit to be a surrogate.

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"But the doctors said there is absolutely no reason you can't go full term," she said. "'Everything is in our favour,' they said."

In this March 25, 2019 photo, Elliot Dougherty, left, and his husband Matthew Eledge, second left, react during the delivery of their daughter at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. Matthew Eledge's mother, Cecile Eledge, volunteered to be the surrogate mother to her grandchild, conceived with sperm from Matthew Eledge and an egg from Dougherty's sister. (Ariel Panowicz via AP)

'The whole thing has just been amazing,' says Elliot Dougherty, left.​ Photo: Ariel Panowicz via AP

Eledge said she was more careful than she ever was with Matthew, whom she never fully gave up coffee for.

"I would have felt terrible if anything had happened," she said. "I followed things to the letter. You know, I love my coffee."

Baby Uma was conceived through in vitro fertilisation, using Eledge's sperm and eggs from Dougherty's sister, Lea Yribe.

'It takes a village'

In this March 25, 2019 photo, Matthew Eledge, left, his mother Cecile Eledge, center, and Matthew's husband Elliot Dougherty, right, greet baby Uma after her delivery at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. Cecile Eledge volunteered to be the surrogate mother to her grandchild, conceived with sperm from Matthew Eledge and an egg from Dougherty's sister, Lea Yribe. (Ariel Panowicz via AP)

Baby Uma arrived on March 25​. Photo: Ariel Panowicz via AP

Dougherty's sister made the couple, who "felt vulnerable", think having a child was even possible. Dougherty started talking to his sister about it a couple a years ago, and his now 26-year-old sibling offered to donate some of her eggs.

"That whole thing gave us the momentum to start a family," said Dougherty, 29, a hair stylist. She was very committed from the get-go."

Matthew Eledge said with their salaries as a school teacher and hair stylist, it would have been so much more difficult to have a child and pay someone to serve as surrogate and egg donor. But it also seemed cold and corporate.

"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."

In this March 25, 2019 photo, Elliot Dougherty, right, holds his daughter Uma after her delivery at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., with husband Matthew Eledge. Cecile Eledge, mother of Matthew Eledge, volunteered to be the surrogate mother to her grandchild, which was conceived with sperm from Matthew Eledge and an egg from  Dougherty's sister Lea Yribe. (Ariel Panowicz via AP)

'We believe it takes a village to raise a family,' says Matthew Eledge, left.​ Photo: Ariel Panowicz via AP

Elliot Dougherty added: "I can't believe tomorrow will be a week. She's going to be a week old! The whole thing has just been amazing."

- USA Today