A 65-year-old woman in Germany is pregnant with quadruplets, the Daily Mail is reporting.
Annegret Raunigk already has 13 children, so what’s four more?
The soon-to-be-retired English and Russian teacher was impregnated through artificial insemination via donor eggs and sperm. She was 21 weeks into her pregnancy when an ultrasound revealed four little buns in the oven, according to the Irish Times.
“Of course it was a shock for me. After the doctor established that it was four, I had to think about it at first… whether to give the children to foster parents or adoption or reduce them.”
Her doctor initially recommended abortion, terminating one of more of the fetuses to increase their — and her — chances of surviving the pregnancy. But she decided to go ahead with the quadruplets, feeling that, despite her age, she’s “quite fit.”
“I don’t think I will have any problems.”
The Berlin woman has become something of a celebrity in Germany. Nine years ago, she made headlines when she gave birth to her youngest-for-the-moment child, Leila, at age 55. She has 13 children — the oldest is 44 — from five different fathers. She has seven grandchildren.
Her youngest, Leila, is now 9-years-old and wants some younger brothers and sisters, so she began another round of fertility treatments.
Raunigk’s obstetrician, Dr. Kai Herwig, is “optimistic” that the 65-year-old will survive gestating and giving birth to quadruplets just fine, considering her otherwise good health. He believes that his patient’s odds are no worse than those of a younger woman. The biggest concern — a concern that he shares for all mothers of quadruplets, and not just mothers who are approaching retirement age — is premature birth.
“Quadruplets are always a drain. We are doing out best to prevent this as far as possible and to push as far into the later weeks of pregnancy.”
Ms. Raunigk isn’t concerned about looking after little tykes at an advanced age — she’ll be 93 when they are old enough to vote — saying that she’s got a handle on things, and her other kids and grandkids will be there to help out.
She also has no time for naysayers who believe that women her age don’t need to be giving birth.
“I always find it very aggravating that one has to fulfill certain clichés. I think that one has to decide for oneself, stick to one’s opinion and not allow oneself to be influenced too much by others. If someone one gossips about others I think they mustn’t have a very interesting life.”
The 65-year-old woman’s quadruplets are due sometime this summer.