Ever since getting married in 2016, Breanna Lockwood and her husband, Aaron, have been trying to start their family. Unfortunately, after a year of trying to conceive naturally, multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization, surgeries, and several miscarriages — including the loss of twins — the Lockwoods were still left wanting for a child. Eventually, the pair were informed that surrogacy would be their best option. And that's when Breanna's mom — 51-year-old Julie Loving — offered to become the couple's gestational carrier.
"My mom came to me multiple times saying she really wanted to carry for us," Breanna told POPSUGAR. "She had a really hard time watching us go through fertility treatment and loss after loss. She kept coming to me and making the offer, but I actually kept telling her no. I just didn't think it was possible for someone who was her age."
Eventually, Julie went with Breanna to one of her fertility appointments with Dr. Brian Kaplan at the Fertility Centers of Illinois. "He thought that my mom was actually my sister," Breanna said. "My mom asked him in person if she could be our carrier, and he just kinda stood there looking at her. You could really see his wheels spinning. He was thinking hard and really considering it."
Despite being 51 years old, Julie is an avid marathoner who has 19 completed races under her belt. "My doctor knew my mom was a two-time Boston Marathon runner and triathlon athlete," explained Breanna, who said her mom saw five specialists in total, including a high-risk obstetrician. "She's super into fitness and nutrition. After her long list of medical clearances, she was proven to be in better shape than most 30-year-olds."
"After her long list of medical clearances, she was proven to be in better shape than most 30-year-olds."
Julie became pregnant right before the pandemic, and she had a healthy pregnancy with loads of support from her daughter and son-in-law. Looking forward to her mom's Nov. 12 due date for months, Breanna was eager to meet her little girl. "We [were] extremely excited! But it did take me a while to feel that excitement after so much loss," Breanna said. "After going through those types of losses you really start to guard your heart.
On Nov. 5, 2020 Julie gave birth to her granddaughter, whom Breanna named Briar Juliette Lockwood, a beautiful tribute to her mom. Julie announced the birth of her sweet bundle of joy in a sweet Instagram post.
"My mom was an absolute rockstar through a difficult delivery," wrote Breanna. "The sacrifices she took to bring this little slice of heaven into our world takes my breath away. Holding my daughter in my arms my heart is bursting. The feeling of how I would do absolutely anything needed for this child is radiating through me when I look at her, and reflects back on what my mom did for me."
"Every move and decision I make for my daughter, I'm finding the answers through how my mom raised me," she continued. "The way she loves and the selflessness she exudes is pure, genuine and kind."
According to Breanna, both Julie and Briar are both healthy and doing "fantastic." Congrats to this awesome family!