There’s a new Uma out there, and her story is way better than any Hollywood movie. Uma was birthed into the world on March 25 by her grandmother, Cecile Eledge, 61, who served as a surrogate for Uma’s two dads, Matthew Eledge and Elliot Dougherty of Nebraska. Cecile is Matthew’s mom; the eggs that helped create baby Uma were lovingly offered up by Elliot’s sister, Lea Yribe.
There are a lot of things that don’t feel very good about 2019. This is not one of them. It’s great to be alive during a time of medical amazements like this. Two years ago, Eledge and Dougherty were contemplating IVF to start a family. According to Buzzfeed, Cecile spoke up instantly, volunteering to be their surrogate (I volunteer as surrogate!) — an iffy, though lovely, offer, considering she’d gone through menopause.
“If you want me to be the gestational carrier,” she told her son Matthew, “I’d do it in a heartbeat.” Talk about mama love.
But the menopause situation — end of story? Not at all. The New York Post reported that, stunningly, reproductive endocrinologists put Cecile through an array of tests — and discovered that, with hormone therapy, she’d be able (in theory at least) to carry a child.
There was just one thing missing: an egg donor. No problem. That’s when Elliot’s sister stepped up to donate hers. Eledge and Dougherty accepted the generous gift from Yribe. Yribe’s eggs were successfully fertilized by Eledge’s sperm (that’s the one who’s NOT her brother, y’all) and then implanted into Cecile’s womb, according to the Daily Mail.
You can imagine that this unusual pregnancy raised more than the usual share of curious questions.
“People are confused, which is normal. We got a lot of people being like, ‘wait a minute, whose egg? And whose sperm?” Matthew said to the Post. “As gay men, we’re so lucky to be having children at a time when people are actually celebratory of our relationship and of us being parents, and also at a time when technology allows us to have this baby, with some of Elliot’s genetic material and some of my genetic material.”
Cecile’s pregnancy did have its health scares. She suffered blood pressure spikes and extreme morning sickness, but it didn’t faze her. According to her chat with Buzzfeed, she would steel herself during rough times by thinking, “Wait for the day I hand them their baby, their precious gem. It will be so worth it.”
And, oh, it was.
A photographer, Ariel Panowicz, was at the delivery to capture the miraculous birth. Panowicz shared with permission shots of the delivery on Instagram, writing, “Little tiny Uma Louise has ventured into this world and let me tell you, she is simply perfect. Carried and birthed by her 61-year-old Grandmother, and created by her two Dads and loving Aunt, Uma is surrounded by an immense amount of love. Being a part of today was amazing.” Be sure to click through the series of photos. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
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Well, holy smokes, y'all. Little tiny Uma Louise has ventured into this world and let me tell you, she is simply perfect. Carried and birthed by her 61 year old Grandmother, and created by her two Dads and loving Aunt, Uma is surrounded by an immense amount of love. Being a part of today was amazing. Cele, you are a warrior. @matt_eledge + @ephemeral.elliot, you're already the best Dads. Can't wait to watch you all grow. ♥️ P.S., EVERYONE TAG @theellenshow. Y’all know she’d love this.
Panowicz was amazed by the huge reaction to her photos of the event, posting another shot of the family, captioned, “Wow, y’all. The last 48 hours have been cray. The incredible feedback from this story has just basically sent my heart into full overflow mode. I am so beyond happy for this amazing family. The cuteness. Can ya even?! Thank you to everyone for the incredible kindness.”
“The whole experience behind it all has been so special. The acts of kindness that went into this all, and all of the support has been truly humbling,” Matthew told the Daily Mail.
What a family; what a labor of love.