Infertility is something that affects about ten percent of women in their childbearing years, according to the CDC. This statistic also includes the inability to stay pregnant, which has been the case for thirty-two year old Lorena McKinnon from Utah.
Lorena began trying to get pregnant with her husband about three years ago…and that’s just it…she can get pregnant, but the longest she has stayed pregnant is ten weeks. Lorena and her husband have gone through about a dozen heartbreaking miscarriages. One after the other, each baby was lost.
The couple finally turned to surrogacy and began the search for an eager woman to carry their baby. The search led to both a friend and her sister considering the precious job, but in the end they each decided to opt out. With the couple’s options getting thin, Lorena’s mother, Julia Navarro offered to be her daughter’s surrogate.
“As a family, we have to help each other,” says Julia.
Julia is fifty-eight and had to undergo three months of hormone injections to get her body ready for a tiny embryo. Doctors explained to the family that there was only a 45 percent chance that the embryo would implant because of Julia’s advanced age. After doctor’s retrieved Lorena’s eggs and fertilized them with her husband’s sperm, little embryos were ready to be transferred to Lorena’s mother Julia. The procedure was successful!
Julia is pregnant with Lorena’s baby girl and is due at the end of February. She says the pregnancy has been smooth sailing for her.
Even though the Lorena’s surrogate is her mother, Julia and the couple still had to go through the three months of counseling required for surrogacy. Typically, the surrogate is not closely acquainted with the couple wanting to have a child. "The psychologists wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting into — that we were mentally prepared," says Lorena. "Mostly, surrogacy contracts are with people you don't know. It was weird to have a contract with my mom."
It is very rare for a mother to carry her daughter’s child, but it happens occasionally. Surrogates are usually compensated by the couple wanting a child, but not in this case. Having Lorena’s mom as her surrogate has saved the couple quite a bit of money. Fertility treatments are not cheap to begin with, so this helped out the couple financially. The couple estimates they cut their cost in half. A typical surrogacy costs around $60,000, the $30,000 they did have to pay was done so through loans and even borrowing a bit from mom.
Lorena and her husband moved into Julia’s house to help her out and take care of her during the pregnancy. Lorena seems to worry about the pregnancy more than her mom! She says she reminds her to drink more water and not to cross her legs.
The happy couple plans to name their baby girl Myla Juliette McKinnon.