Being a surrogate is one of the greatest gifts a woman can give to someone. Not only are you sacrificing your comfort and even your body but you’re giving a gift to others. Firstly, life to another, tiny being. The second gift is a child to a family who would not otherwise be able to conceive. A grandmother in Utah decided to give this gift to her son and daughter-in-law and successfully became their surrogate. You might remember this story as we covered it in September when this grandmother was still carrying the child, but now the baby has arrived!
A Special Date
Jeff Hauck and his wife Cambria were married on December 12th, 2012 (12/12/12). They both knew for a very long time they wanted children. Jeff says, “From the time I was a teenager, I knew that if I could only be one thing, I wanted to be a dad.” Meanwhile, Cambria says about the relationship, “We always had in our mind that we wanted four to six — whatever the Lord would bless us with, is what we would always say.” Both were raised in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints and having a large family is common in their faith.
A Marriage Leading to a Surrogate
However, from the beginning of their marriage, they struggled with fertility. Eventually, they discussed their options and decided to pursue IVF. The process of IVF takes about 3 weeks, sometimes longer to complete a full cycle. During that time mature eggs are taken from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm, then put into the uterus for the duration of the pregnancy.
Generally, women are given fertility hormones to help ensure a successful pregnancy. The process is often, hard on a woman’s body, as well as her psyche. Nevertheless, Cambria and Jeff were determined to have a large family.
IVF Came First
The couple successfully completed the process twice. Both times resulted in a set of twins. The couple was well on their way to having both of their dreams come true. However, unexpectedly, Cambria began to hemorrhage after the birth of the second set.
The couple had a difficult choice to make. Ultimately, Cambria and Jeff decided that a hysterectomy would be the best thing to do. This is where the idea of a surrogate came from. Cambria tells PEOPLE, “And we both decided that we would just move forward in faith,” she explains. “At some point we would know what we’re supposed to do.”
Read: Surrogate Mom Becomes Pregnant With Own Child While Carrying Couple’s Baby
Grandma to the Rescue
The pair were still set on having at least one more child, so they set out to explore their options, one being a surrogate. Jeff’s mother Nancy Hauck volunteered, and while everyone thought it was a kind and touching gesture, no one knew if she’d be able to carry a baby. Jason, Nancy’s husband, shared the sentiment stating, “I was really touched by her offer to do that. I thought it was a very selfless thing,” he continues, “But I didn’t think it would be an option.”
The volunteer surrogate, and grandmother to the couple’s 4 other children, was 56 years old at the time. She says, “My greatest fear was that I would lose the baby and feel that I had taken the chance for that baby’s life because of my age.” It’s commonly thought pregnancy becomes less successful as women age. However, according to the couple’s fertility doctor, this isn’t always the case. Typically, a woman’s ability to carry a baby to term is contingent upon her own health. “The reality is that the only reason there’s truth to that is the health of the egg,” he says. “The uterus, unless there’s been some new medical issue that’s arisen in that 25 years, still maintains its capacity to carry a pregnancy.”
Doctor’s Greenlight for a Surrogate
Dr. Russell Foulk is the founder and director of the Utah Fertility Center. He’s also the doctor that helped Cambria and Jeff with their IVF and would take part in Nancy’s surrogate process. Nancy’s surrogate process. Strangely, Nancy had gone around 8-9 months without a period, which is generally a sign of menopause and would typically prevent a woman from carrying or conceiving a child.
As it turns out, Nancy was in perimenopause. Dr. Russell Foulk explains,” the ovary is still making hormones. Because of this, periods become erratic, irregular, or unpredictable.” However, Nancy wasn’t at risk for conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes and Nancy got a clean bill of health.
A Magical Pregnancy
Nancy became pregnant and after 9 hours of labor delivered a baby girl. Her name is Hannah, and her story is incredibly unique. Jeff explains, “Six days after the transfer, when she got the positive pregnancy test, (Nancy) was woken up in the middle of the night, and she heard a little voice that said, ‘My name is Hannah.'” Nancy says she was then confident the baby would be a girl, and the family decided without a doubt her name would be Hannah.
Nancy says it “was a remarkable and spiritual experience,” further explaining, “Everything went perfectly, and we are feeling so blessed to have her in our family.” This incredible surrogate story has brought the whole family closer together Cambria says of the blessing, “I go to every appointment with her, and it’s been so amazing to see her carry with so much grace and beauty and poise and she just shines,” says Cambria. “She doesn’t even have the pregnancy glow — she just radiates so much light everywhere she goes.” The experience also brought Nancy closer together with her husband, Jason. He explains, “We have some routines that we’ve developed. She gets a foot, leg rub every night when we’re watching The Great British Baking Show, and just a lot of care. I get to cook meals for her.”
More to Come
Nancy tells the story of her pregnancy. She explains that it was both joyous and sad knowing that she wouldn’t get to keep the baby herself. On the other hand, she feels blessed to have been able to do this for Jeff and Cambria. She says that she plans to write a book about the experience and the mixed emotions that came from being a surrogate.
Keep Reading: Mom-of-23 reveals she had 21 babies by surrogates within one year – and has 16 live-in nannies