Jeff Hauck was moved when his mother, 56-year-old Nancy Hauck, offered to act as a surrogate for him and his wife Cambria, who had limited alternatives for growing their family after his wife’s hysterectomy.,.
Wednesday afternoon, his mother gave birth to Jeff and Cambria’s daughter Hannah, the couple’s fifth child. Initially, he did not believe that such a meaningful gesture was possible.
“How many individuals get to witness their mother giving birth?” asks Jeff, 33, who describes the experience as “wonderful.”
“It’s a huge honor that my daughter gets to do it,” the web developer explains.
Jeff adds, “I don’t really see it that way.”
Nancy, who was in labor for almost nine hours, describes the event as “amazing and spiritual” for the entire family.
“Everything went smoothly, and we are so grateful to have her join our family,” she says. Now, as she continues to recover, she is now “facing the new feelings of having a kid but not being able to bring it home with me.”
She says, “It is a mixture of profound gratitude and separation-related melancholy.”
The St. George couple’s decision to name their daughter Hannah, they say, is a fitting homage to her grandmother.
“Six days after the transfer, when she received the positive pregnancy test,” adds Jeff, “his mother was awakened in the middle of the night by a small voice saying, ‘My name is Hannah.'”
Nancy, an associate provost at Utah Tech University, describes it as a “very beautiful and spiritual event” in which she gained confidence that her untested baby would be a girl. It did not take long for the couple to become convinced.
“The name Nancy is derived from Hannah,” explains Cambria, 30 years old, after looking up the moniker. They both refer to grace.
The new mom of five, a social media star and co-owner of a charity dancing company, explains, “I knew immediately that was her name.”
The pair, who were both raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and met soon before Cambria’s senior year of high school, have always valued having a large family.
Jeff adds, “I knew as a youth that if I could only do one thing, I wanted to be a father.”
Cambria adds, “We always envisioned having four to six children; whatever the Lord would bless us with is what we would say.”
After marrying on December 12, 2012 — “we just loved that it was a once-in-a-lifetime date,” says Cambria — the couple discovered that starting a family would not be without obstacles. She states, “We immediately determined that I had infertility concerns.”
It took four years of fertility treatments for the couple to conceive their first children, 4-year-old twin twins Vera and Ayva, through IVF.
The couple, who were able to fertilize seven embryos with a single round of IVF, welcomed twins, Diesel and Luca, who are now 13 months old, the following year.
Cambria began having “extreme discomfort and cramps” and “gushes of blood” approximately two hours after the birth of their kids, despite the fact that everything originally appeared normal.
When physicians examined her, they discovered she was hemorrhaging. Suddenly, the couple had to decide whether Cambria would undergo a hysterectomy.
“That was a difficult decision for us,” Cambria recalls, but they ultimately decided to have the treatment.
Although her own life was at risk, the couple was aware that undergoing the operation might prevent them from “using all of our embryos.”
She states, “We wanted to give them all a chance at life.”
As soon as she regained consciousness after surgery, they began discussing their alternatives. “And we both agreed to proceed by faith,” she explains. At some point, we would be aware of our obligations.
In actuality, they did not have to wait long.
About a month and a half later, Nancy first proposed being the couple’s surrogate, which no one, including Nancy, believed was actually conceivable owing to her advanced age.
Nevertheless, Nancy claims she made the offer because she “wanted Jeff to know I would have been willing to do it.”
Later that day, when Jeff mentioned it to his wife, they both agreed that it was really cute but didn’t give it much attention.
Jason, the spouse of Nancy, shared her sentiments. He says, “I was quite moved by her offer to do that; I thought that was a very unselfish act.” But I didn’t consider that a possibility.
A few weeks later, when Nancy brought up the subject again, the couple agreed to discuss it with their reproductive expert at a future appointment.
Surrogacy wasn’t out of the question as long as Nancy was healthy and willing, much to their amazement, and after she received a clean bill of health from her OB-GYN, everything began to fall into place.
Nancy’s last kid with her husband was born more than two decades ago, and she had gone eight or nine months without a period before it suddenly “returned.”
Dr. Russell Foulk — who supervised and implanted the embryos that resulted in both of Cambria’s pregnancies, and performed the same for her mother-in-law — adds that Nancy “was in perimenopause, which means the ovary is still generating hormones.”
“Since you continue to menstruate, your periods become inconsistent and unpredictable,” he says.
Foulk, founder and head of the Utah Fertility Center, asserts that the notion that a woman’s fertility drops with age is “misunderstood.”
“In actuality, the only reason that is true is because of the egg’s health,” he explains. Unless a new medical condition has occurred in the past quarter-century, the uterus retains its ability to carry a fetus.
Although it is “uncommon for a grandmother to bear her grandchild,” according to the doctor, “age is not the limiting issue.” In his opinion, Nancy is “healthy and able.”
Jeff obtained a new position about the same time that Cambria began to receive chances for paid social media marketing.
Cambria exclaims, “It was incredible when we would check at our account and think, ‘Oh my my, we have all the money we need!'”
Finally, on February 17, the embryo transfer took place, and Nancy’s pregnancy test was positive just six days later.
“At this point, we all understood that this was meant to be,” recalls Cambria.
Nevertheless, Nancy acknowledges that she had “many concerns” about the pregnancy.
“My greatest concern was that I would lose the baby and feel responsible for the baby’s death due to my age,” she explains.
With this in mind, Nancy advised that Cambria and Jeff wait to go public on social media with the news until she was six months pregnant.
“I am also a private person, and Cambria has a massive Instagram following,” she continues. “I knew our life would change, and I truly wanted six months to reflect on how that would be, to gain some attention and gracefully handle it.”
The entire family has enjoyed the “wonderful” experience of the pregnancy.
Cambria affirms, “I accompany her to all of her appointments, and it’s remarkable to see her conduct herself with such grace, beauty, and confidence; she radiates.”
“She emanates so much brightness everywhere she goes; she doesn’t even have the pregnant glow.”
Cambria and Jeff cook them supper every week and always offer to help clean, even though she claims “there is no way we can truly repay Nancy and Jason for this miracle.”
The event has also brought Nancy and her husband closer together. The 59-year-old Jason states, “We’ve formed certain rituals.” I get to prepare dinners for mom and rub her feet and legs every night while we watch The Great British Baking Show.
Nancy states that she has “never been so spoilt in my entire life.”
After the birth of her daughter, Nancy intends to take three weeks off and write a book about the experience.
She says, “I will discuss the separation [from the baby] and the anguish.” Even though I know the baby will be given to my son, I anticipate feeling a little bit empty.
Although Jason and Nancy are not first-time grandparents, they acknowledge that they are in “uncharted ground” with Hannah.
Jason hopes that we will not treat Hannah any differently. “However, we’ll always have that link — the fact that Nancy carried her for nine months — and the enchantment of the entire experience will remain special in our eyes.”
Nancy says, “In my heart, I want all of my grandchildren to know that they are equally cherished, and I would have done it for any of them.”