PROVO, Utah -- A 58-year-old Utah woman isset to give birth in a few weeks - to her first grandchild.
Julia Navarro is serving as a gestational surrogate for herdaughter and son-in-law after the couple struggled with fertility problems.
Navarro's daughter, LorenaMcKinnon, said she began trying to have a baby with her husband, MicahMcKinnon, three years ago.
The 32-year-old Provo woman said she's hadabout a dozen miscarriages, with the longest pregnancy lasting 10 weeks.
After several tries, the couple beganlooking for a surrogate. McKinnon said a friend and sister both consideredcarrying her baby, but ultimately decided against it.
That's when her mother offered to step in.
"As a family, we have to help eachother," Navarro told The SaltLake Tribune.
Navarro had to undergo hormoneshots for three months before an embryo fertilized by her daughter andson-in-law could be implanted. Because of her age, doctors had warned there wasonly a 45 percent chance the implantation would be successful.
But the procedure was a success, and Navarro said she's had a smooth pregnancycarrying a developing baby girl.
As with other surrogacy arrangements, thecouple and Navarro needed threemonths of counseling.
"The psychologists wanted to make surewe knew what we were getting into - that we were mentally prepared,"McKinnon said. "Mostly, surrogacy contracts are with people you don'tknow. It was weird to have a contract with my mom."
It's unclear how rare it is for a woman tocarry her own grandchild, but recent news reports have detailed similarrelationships.
Last year, a 53-year-old Iowa woman gave birth to her twin granddaughters. And in 2012, a 49-year-old woman in Mainegave birth to her grandson.
McKinnon said she was grateful andoverwhelmed by her mother's offer, which eases some of the obstacles andfinancial burdens for parents using a gestational surrogate.
According to Utah law, surrogates must be 21or older, financially stable and must have already given birth once.
Couples must be married and are allowed tooffer a reasonable payment to a surrogate.
On average, a couple can spend about $60,000on procedures and paying the surrogate, but McKinnon said her mother's offer tohelp is saving the couple about half of that.
Both she and her daughter said they'vebonded over the experience.
The baby girl is due in early February.
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