60-year-old Calgary mother welcomes twins

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Chibi_Neko
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05 Feb 2009, 2:12 pm

CBC.CA

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Ranjit Hayer tried for decades to have a child, enduring multiple miscarriages, surgery, even the trauma of being robbed by a fertility doctor. Finally, after a successful IVF treatment, the Calgary woman gave birth to twins — at age 60.

She is believed to be among the oldest Canadian women to give birth.

Hayer's boys were delivered seven weeks prematurely by C-section at Calgary's Foothills Hospital on Tuesday morning, CBC Radio's The Current reported Thursday. The mother is recovering in intensive care, while the twins are in the neo-natal intensive care unit.

One of the babies is breathing with the help of special equipment, while the other boy is in the special care unit. Doctors say both are doing well. The twins will be kept in hospital until they reach a specified weight and can breathe on their own.

Hayer's case — especially her age — has raised many ethical questions about how far to push the frontiers of medical science, even from the Calgary specialist who helped her.

"We can do so much but the question is, should we do it just because we can do it?" said obstetrician Dr. Colin Birch, who was excited by the challenge but says he has yet to reconcile the social implications.

"It all sounds very fine when this age group — isn't it fantastic what medical technology can do, how we're stretching the boundaries and everything else — but there's so much more involved in this. It's not just having the babies and being born," he told CBC.

"There's not just one generation gap here, there's two generation gaps. They're really what would be like the age of grandparents."

Hayer, who is originally from India, tried for years to get pregnant with her husband, but she miscarried three times.

After becoming a permanent resident in Canada, an obstetrician gynecologist diagnosed a problem with Ranjit's womb and recommended surgery. She had the surgery in Calgary but she still couldn't conceive.

About 10 years ago, the couple paid a doctor in India for in vitro fertilization, but he took off with their money.

The couple spent years working and saving up their money in Canada. After being turned down for IVF in this country because of her age, Hayer returned to India for the treatment using donor eggs last year — and got pregnant with triplets.

"I thought it was a joke because the referral said 60-year-old patient with triplets, and I thought one of my colleagues or somebody's just playing jokes with me or up to mischief and then actually the patient turned up in my office," recalled Birch.

One of Hayer's embryos had to be terminated for medical reasons and the pregnancy with twins left her with high blood pressure and diabetes.

She also had a condition called placenta previa — where the placenta is attached to the bottom of the uterus and covers part or all of the cervix and can cause severe bleeding. Hayer spent the last four weeks in hospital so doctors could deliver the babies at a moment's notice if necessary.

Hayer began to hemorrhage this week so Birch performed an emergency C-section to deliver the twins. The bleeding was so severe he had to take out the woman's uterus. Hayer was admitted to the intensive care unit, where she required blood transfusions to stabilize her condition.

According to doctors, Hayer said she's just happy she gets to be a mother. She said she has enough family support to help through what might be a tough time.

"I couldn't imagine if I was 65 having two five-year-olds running around crazily. The energy to do that is incredible," said Birch.


I hate stories like these. Mother Nature turns off your periods for a reason.


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sartresue
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08 Feb 2009, 12:08 pm

Birth stories topic

Critics have said that the cost of this procedure and the hospitalization involved is a strain on our economy. And this is not just one instance. More and more older women are giving birth.

And more and more women are giving birth to multiples. The interview of that gushing 33 year old in California is nauseating. She always wanted to be a mother. How many times is she wanting to get pregnant? This may be what she craves: The attention and the oxytocin. The money she earns and the gifts received are also welcome. Dysfunctional, too. :x

She seems to like being a mother, but all the help she will be getting is going to take away mommy time. And her own mother has been much too generous with the support of her daughter's other six kids. What kind of mother needs a Granny-nanny constantly at beck and call?

In vitro fertilization, once the only way a woman could have even one child, has resulted in the mass production of embryos, some in storage and many more to make sure at least one implanted embryo takes root and results in a birth. Fertility treatments are also the cause of this. The problem is that excellent prenatal care using sophisticated technology results in pregnancies with more than five fetuses, all of whom have a greater chance of surviving. (I use the number 5 because, as far as I know, the last time five fetuses were born naturally and survived were the famous Dionne Quints, all female, in the 1930s, in Northern Ontario.)

The question arises: should every woman have the right to be a mother? What about the "Pillow Angel" whose parents got surgery for her to effectively ever prevent pregnancy, and even female maturity? The controversy continues, including the right to life for some intellectually/physically challenged people.

Technology has enabled us to increase/decrease/prevent something that used to be natural, or not occur at all (some women and men cannot become parents due to infertility). Perhaps the technology is still so new that experimentation is too tempting. Cloning is still not at the stage where humans are lab rats, however.

I guess the rules and laws/ethics about this are still to be written, if at all. In the meantime, freaks of technological advance are still to be born. :roll:


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ShadesOfMe
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11 Feb 2009, 1:07 pm

Hmm...this is another example of what shouldn't happen. She's much to old for this. Unless she was a younger woman, she should have let nature take it's course, or adopted some older children.