There is quite a sizeable gap between the world’s oldest and youngest recorded mothers. Sixty-five years, in fact, between Omkari Panwar, who was 70 at the time, and Lina Medina, who was just five. These records still stand, but there has been a new jaw-dropping entry into the books: A 65-year-old has given birth to quadruplets in Germany, the oldest woman to do so.
You might think that thirteen children would be enough for anyone, but it didn’t take much to convince the retired teacher, Annegret Raunigk, that there is always room for more. In fact, all it required, according to The Telegraph, was her youngest daughter’s request for a little brother or sister.
Of course, at this age, her body is way past its prime baby-making phase, so to have any hope in conceiving the woman had to receive fertility treatment. Evidently, none of the five fathers of her existing children were willing to donate their reproductive services, so she had to travel to Ukraine in order to source both donated sperm and eggs, which is against the law in Germany.
It’s common to use multiple eggs during IVF treatments as success rates are low, often requiring numerous visits. Doctors were surprised then, when all four of the fertilized eggs successfully implanted and developed.
When Raunigk’s unusual story first surfaced back in April, The Guardian reported that she had been warned of a potential impending hospital admittance to prevent premature labor. Due in August, the doctors’ predictions were correct as the babies were delivered back in May by Caesarian section, 14 weeks early. The tiny babies – Neeta, Dries, Bence and Fijon – weighed between 1.4 and 2.1 pounds and required intensive care to survive. Two of them needed breathing assistance and two underwent surgical procedures.
Thankfully, the babies are reportedly now doing well and have tripled their birth weight. At a healthy size, they should be ready to go home soon.