A 58-year-old Utah woman is getting ready to give birth in a few weeks to her first grandchild.
Julia Navarro is serving as a gestational surrogate for her daughter, Lorena McKinnon, and son-in law, Micah McKinnon, after the couple struggled with fertility problems.
The 32-year-old mother-to-be said she has had about a dozen miscarriages, with the longest pregnancy lasting 10 weeks. The couple first considered a friend to be their surrogate, but then decided against it.
Navarro ultimately decided to step in and help the couple.
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“As a family, we have to help each other,” Navarro told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Because of her age, doctors warned there was only a 45 percent chance the implantation would be successful. Navarro had to undergo hormone shots for three months before an embryo fertilized by her daughter and son-in law could be implanted.
The couple and grandmother-to-be needed three months of counseling, which is standard with other surrogacy arrangements.
“The psychologists wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting into – that we were mentally prepared,” McKinnon told the Tribune. “Mostly, surrogacy contracts are with people you don’t know. It was weird to have a contract with my mom.”
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Last year, a 53-year old Iowa woman gave birth to her twin granddaughters. In 2012, a 49-year-old woman in Maine gave birth to her grandson, the Associated Press reports.
On average, a couple can spend about $60,000 on procedures and paying the surrogate; McKinnon said she was grateful for her mother’s offer, which has helped the couple save about half of those costs.
Navarro hopes that with this opportunity, she can continue on giving to those in need.
“I was praying, ‘If this baby works, I am going to help other,'” she said. “I would like to donate some of the money from my baby shower [Jan. 12] to children in Peru who don’t have parents or moms or dads who need help.”
The baby girl, who the parents plan on naming Myla Juliette McKinnon, is due in early February.
Sources: Associated Press, The Salt Lake Tribune