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How a 61-year-old could give birth to her granddaughter: Doctors say her diet and running regime mean she is 'in better shape than some 20-year-olds' - making her a fine surrogate for her son and his husband

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 19/06/2019 Mary Kekatos Health Reporter and Luke Kenton For Dailymail.com
61-year-old could birth to her granddaughter © Daily Mail 61-year-old could birth to her granddaughter

A 61-year-old grandmother was able to give birth to her own granddaughter as a surrogate for her son and his husband because she has 'the body of a 40-year-old'. 

Cecile Eledge knew that her son Matthew, 32, and his husband Elliot Dougherty, 29, were considering IVF to start their family after they wed in 2015.

Elliot's sister, Lea Yribe, 26, offered to donate her eggs and then Cecile offered to carry the baby.

a group of people sitting and looking at the camera: According to the family's reproductive endocrinologist, Cecile 'has the body of a 40-year-old and is actually in better shape than some 20-year-olds'. Pictured: Matthew (in hat) and his husband Elliot seeing their daughter for the first time © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited According to the family's reproductive endocrinologist, Cecile 'has the body of a 40-year-old and is actually in better shape than some 20-year-olds'. Pictured: Matthew (in hat) and his husband Elliot seeing their daughter for the first time Despite having last given birth more than three decades ago - and going through menopause 10 years ago - Cecile assured the couple that she 'loved being pregnant', and, if she could, she'd 'do it again in a heartbeat'. 

On March 25, Uma Louise Dougherty-Eledge was born at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha weighing five pounds and 13 ounces.

'I'll never forget watching those guys hovering over their little baby and thinking: "God, this is exactly how it's supposed to be",' Cecile told PEOPLE. 

a little girl lying on a bed: She underwent a series of tests including a Pap smear, blood tests, cholesterol tests, stress tests, a mammogram and an ultrasound, that she passed easily. Pictured: Cecile with Uma on the day she was born (courtesy of Ariel Panowicz) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited She underwent a series of tests including a Pap smear, blood tests, cholesterol tests, stress tests, a mammogram and an ultrasound, that she passed easily. Pictured: Cecile with Uma on the day she was born (courtesy of Ariel Panowicz) Doctors told the magazine that Cecile is in extremely good health and passed blood, cardiovascular and gynecological tests to determine if she could carry a baby to term with 'flying colors'.

Dr Maud Doherty, the family's reproductive endocrinologist, told PEOPLE that Cecile is in very good health for her age.

'There are very, very few 61-year-olds who are in good enough health to even contemplate doing this,' he said.   

a baby lying on a bed: Cecile Eledge, 61, offered to be a surrogate for her son Matthew, 32, and his husband Elliot Dougherty, 29. Pictured: Uma Louise © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Cecile Eledge, 61, offered to be a surrogate for her son Matthew, 32, and his husband Elliot Dougherty, 29. Pictured: Uma Louise Cecile underwent a series of tests including a Pap smear, blood tests, cholesterol tests, stress tests, a mammogram and an ultrasound, that she passed easily by January 2018.

Additionally, the grandmother runs five miles every other day, is a regular cyclist and enjoys spending an hour on the elliptical machine, reported PEOPLE.   

Doctors confirmed her to be in remarkable shape and fully capable of carrying a baby full-term. 

a baby sitting in a chair: Cecile had heightened morning sickness, gestational diabetes and gestational high blood pressure during her pregnancy. Pictured: Uma © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Cecile had heightened morning sickness, gestational diabetes and gestational high blood pressure during her pregnancy. Pictured: Uma 'She has the body of a 40-year-old and is actually in better shape than some 20-year-olds,' said Dr Doherty. 'She's genetically blessed.'   

Cecile then underwent several hormone treatments. She began using estrogen in May 2018 to get her post-menopausal body to kick-start a menstrual cycle.  

a couple of people posing for the camera: Cecile was able to give birth to Uma naturally, instead of the C-section procedure doctors had anticipated. Pictured: Matthew, left, and Elliot with baby Uma © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Cecile was able to give birth to Uma naturally, instead of the C-section procedure doctors had anticipated. Pictured: Matthew, left, and Elliot with baby Uma Using Eledge's sperm, doctors implanted several fertilized eggs in Cecile's uterus, and remarkably she fell pregnant on the first attempt.

After that, Cecile was given progesterone to thicken the uterine lining and make sure the eggs stuck.  

Following a difficult nine months - riddled with heightened morning sickness, gestational diabetes and gestational high blood pressure - doctors decided to induce labor. 

a person with hat: Using Eledge's sperm, doctors implanted several fertilized eggs in Cecile's uterus, and remarkably she fell pregnant on the first attempt. Pictured: Uma © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Using Eledge's sperm, doctors implanted several fertilized eggs in Cecile's uterus, and remarkably she fell pregnant on the first attempt. Pictured: Uma Doctors were stunned when Cecile was able to give birth to Uma naturally, instead of the C-section procedure they'd anticipated, after an 18-hour-long labor.

A nurse place Uma on Cecile's chest because: 'I wanted to be the first to hold her'. 

Photographer Ariel Panowicz captured the emotional moment Matthew and Elliot glanced down at their daughter for the first time, as grandma Cecile held the baby in her arms.

a group of people posing for the camera: Uma was born on March 25 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha weighing five pounds and 13 ounces. Pictured: The family gathers around Cecile © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Uma was born on March 25 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha weighing five pounds and 13 ounces. Pictured: The family gathers around Cecile The couple are seen wavering between crying inconsolably into each other's arms one moment, and beaming with pride in the next.

'Growing up we would always tease my mom,' Mathew told DailyMail.com in March.  

'But being in that room [during the labor] was such a visceral moment. All the joking had stopped. She was like a warrior – so strong. I just have such a deep respect for her and the incredible woman she is.'

a person lying on a bed: Currently, Uma is fed with breast milk donated by one of the couple's friends and Matthew stays home while Elliot works. Pictured: Cecile kises the top of Uma's head © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Currently, Uma is fed with breast milk donated by one of the couple's friends and Matthew stays home while Elliot works. Pictured: Cecile kises the top of Uma's head Currently, Uma is fed with breast milk donated by one of the couple's friends and Matthew stays home while Elliot works.

Every Friday, Cecile and her husband, Kirk, babysit.

'She's my granddaughter, not my daughter,' she told PEOPLE. 'The most beautiful thing is that when she's fussy, I can just hand her off to her parents.' 

MSN are empowering Women In Sport this summer. Find out more about our campaign and the charity fighting to promote the transformational and lifelong rewards of exercise for women and girls in the UK here.

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