In Germany, a 65-year-old woman who already has 13 children is pregnant again with quadruplets. According to the Daily Mail, Annegret Raunigk conceived after several attempts with artificial insemination over the last year-and-a-half. Raunigk decided she wanted more children when her youngest daughter told her she wanted a little brother or sister.
Remarkably, Raunigk’s pregnancy has been without any major complications and if everything goes as planned, she will give birth in the summer. Her gynaecologist, Kai Hertwig, told a German news station that the biggest risk for her babies is being born prematurely but doctors are doing all they can to prevent that.
Raunigk explained her initial reaction to discovering that she was carrying quadruplets. She said, “Certainly that was a shock for me. After the doctor discovered there were four, I had to give it some thought to begin with. On the scan it was just clear to see.” Thankfully, Raunigk has not considered selective reduction, which is the practice of aborting babies to “save” others and is common when couples use fertility drugs.
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As LifeNews previously reported, this is because to increase success rates, IVF practitioners implant more than one embryo in the woman’s uterus in hopes that at least one will take. Then when more embryos than are desired implant, doctors “reduce” the pregnancy down to the desired number. Additionally, carrying more than two babies can cause serious health complications and many doctors feel uncomfortable handling high-risk pregnancies.
Raunigk is not afraid for her health or the health of her children. She concluded, “I’m not actually afraid. I simply assume I’ll remain healthy and fit.” If Raunigk’s pregnancy continues to progress normally, she will be the world’s oldest mother of quadruplets.
Ms Raunigk, who is in the 21st week of her pregnancy, said she was ‘shocked’ when an ultrasound scan showed she was carrying quadruplets. Her gynecologist initially mentioned the possibility of a ‘selective reduction’, where one or more fetuses is aborted in a multi-fetal pregnancy, but she declined.
But the English and Russian teacher, who is due to retire this year, said she decided to have the babies as she was ‘still quite fit’ and capable of looking after them. She added: ‘I don’t think I will have any problems.’
Ms Raunigk, from Berlin, previously made headlines in Germany when she had her daughter Leila at the age of 55. She told German media that she does not worry about what her future will look like in five years time, with a teenage daughter and the young quadruplets, as she assumes she will ‘stay healthy.’ Her 13 children – the oldest of whom is 44 – are by five different fathers, and Ms Raunigk has seven grandchildren.
She defended her decisions to get pregnant later in life, saying: ‘I think one needs to decide for oneself and not listen too much to the opinions of others.’ At present, the oldest woman to have given birth to quads is Merryl Fudel, who was 55 at the time.
The oldest woman ever to give birth is Indian Omkari Panwar, who was believed to be 70.