Saturday 24 March 2018

'Shocked' German mother of 13 to give birth to quadruplets - at the age of 65

Annegret Raunigk in 2005 with her youngest daugher Leila (on her knees) and other children and grandchildren in Cologne, Germany
Annegret Raunigk in 2005 with her youngest daugher Leila (on her knees) and other children and grandchildren in Cologne, Germany

Jamie Campbell

A 65-year-old German woman is set to become the oldest person to ever give birth to quadruplets.

Annegret Raunigk, from Berlin, already has 13 children and her latest pregnancy is as a result of IVF treatment using both donated sperm and eggs.

She said that she had decided to try and have another child because her youngest daughter, aged nine, wanted a younger brother or sister.

Currently in the 21st week of her pregnancy, she told the German Broadcaster RTL that she was "shocked" when an ultrasound scan revealed that she was carrying quadruplets.

The English and Russian teacher, due to retire later this year, doesn't believe, however, that there will be any problems with the pregnancy as she assumes that she will "remain healthy and fit". Her 13 children, the oldest of whom is 44, are by five different fathers and Ms Raunigk has seven grandchildren.

She defended her decision to undergo the pregnancy later in life, saying: "I think one needs to decide for oneself and not listen too much to the opinions of others. "How does one have to be at 65? One must apparently fit some clichés which I find rather tiring."

She is not considering selective reduction at this point, a process whereby one or more foetus is terminated but the pregnancy is continued with at least one child.

It has become increasingly common as more widespread of IVF has led to a substantial rise in multiple pregnancies.

Ms Raunigk's gynaecologist, Kai Hertwig, was quoted by RTL as saying that, whilst quadruple pregnancies are always a strain, everything was going well. Adding some context to the extremity of the current pregnancy, Ms Raugnigk made headlines 10 years ago when she gave birth to her daughter Leila at the age of 55.

At the time she said to German newspaper 'Bild': "At first, I only wanted one child. Not all were planned. But then these things happen. I'm not a planner but rather spontaneous. And children keep me young."

According to statistics on the website, the odds of having quadruplets are about one in 142,000.

The world's oldest mother is thought to be Rajo Devi Lohan who gave birth to a daughter at the age of 69 in the remote Indian village of Hissar.

Irish Independent

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