German Mother Annegret Raunigk, 65, Gives Birth To Quadruplets
What do you think you'll be doing when you're 65? Maybe traveling the world, settling into a new home, playing with your grandkids, or catching up on reading. Giving birth to a new baby probably does not top the list — let alone giving birth to four babies. But Annegret Raunigk of Berlin had a different plan for herself in mind: via Cosmopolitan, this 65-year old grandmother has just given birth to quadruplets. The babies, three boys and a girl, were born at 26 weeks, which is pretty significantly premature, but doctors say they have "good chances of surviving." How did Raunigk do it?
Raugnik already has 13 kids but, like most 65-year olds, she was unable to reproduce the natural way. As a woman ages, any eggs she has left degrade in quality, and the other conditions needed to achieve and maintain pregnancy (sperm-friendly cervical fluid, rich uterine lining) are no longer present. These quadruplets were conceived by artificial insemination using donor sperm and eggs from presumably younger people — meaning they aren't biologically related to their older mother — but hormone replacement therapy was also required to make Raunigk's womb pregnancy-friendly.
This situation certainly raises many ethical questions — why did fertility doctors agree to go to such great lengths to make an unlikely pregnancy happen? Other critics wonder why weren't the embryos selectively reduced to one or two, as is common in the high-risk multiple pregnancies that are often the product of fertility treatments? But now that the babies are here, I hope they turn out healthy and happy.
Image: Alena Yakusheva/Fotolia