Julia Navarro from Utah is pregnant at the grand age of 58, but not with her own child. Instead, Julia is a surrogate for her 32-year-old daughter Lorena McKinnon, who struggled to get pregnant with her husband Micah.
After experiencing the heartache of 12 failed pregnancies over the past three years, Lorena and her husband became desperate. After IVF treatment failed, the couple turned to surrogacy. At first, they reached out to a friend, but the woman changed her mind after learning about the complicated process. That's when McKinnon's own mum, Julia, volunteered for the role.
"As a family, we have to help each other," Julia, from Utah, told Salt Lake Tribune.
But it wasn't easy. Since Julia was past the prime years for pregnancy, she had to undergo three months of hormone treatment to prepare her body for the baby. She also had to attend three months of counseling with her daughter and son-in-law and sign a series of contracts in order to abide by Utah's 2005 Parentage Act.
"The psychologists wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting into - that we were mentally prepared," Julia told the Daily Mail. "Mostly, surrogacy contracts are with people you don't know. It was weird to have a contract with my mom."
Despite doctors' estimates that there was only a 45 per cent chance of Julia getting pregnant, the first embryo amazingly took. Now seven months pregnant, her pregnancy has been easy, with no morning sickness or discomfort. Until recently Julia has also been able to continue working her three 12-hour shifts as a nurse's aid.
The eagerly awaited baby - Julia's first grandchild - is a girl and she will be named Myla Juliette McKinnon when she arrives next month.
Julia has been so touched by this whole experience that she wants to give back when it's over. "'I was praying, 'If this baby works, I am going to help others,'" she said. "I would like to donate some of the money from my baby shower [January 12] to children in Peru who don't have parents, or moms or dads who need help."
As for the McKinnons, they hope to continue expanding their family, as they have five embryos left. But next time, they'll find another surrogate.
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