In a biology-defying feat for womankind, one 65-year-old woman has made the impossible possible. A grandmother from Germany gave birth. She didnt just have one baby… she had quadruplets!
Annegret Raunigk was already a mother to 13 children before the quadruplets came along. Most of us could not imagine that many children. They ranged in age from 9 to 44 years. Some of her children already have children of their own, making her one unusual granny.
A Brother or Sister
Raunigk decided that she wanted to become pregnant again after her youngest asked for a little brother or sister. That’s all it took for her to seek out fertility treatment.
Illegal IVF Treatment
Most women tend to get pregnant in their fertile years but Raunigk was unable to do things the old-fashioned way. She had already entered Menopause so she had to find a more creative way. She turned to IVF treatment. What she required was so controversial, it’s illegal in Germany.
Donor Egg and Sperm
Raunigk would need both a donor egg and sperm. This meant that she was not actually the biological mother of the babies. In Germany, it is illegal to undergo artificial insemination with both a donor egg and sperm. She got on a plane to Ukraine to find a doctor that could help her.
She knew she was pregnant, but was shocked when her ultrasound showed more than one baby. Doctors informed her she was carrying not one, but four fetuses. This was a medical miracle.
News of the quadruplets overjoyed Raunigk and her family. The doctors on the other hand were filled with concern. A medical professional on her case wanted her to consider a ‘selective reduction’. This would mean one or more fetuses would be aborted and would take stress off of her older than normal body.
Raunigk refused this advice. She wanted to continue carrying all four babies. She also received criticism from people all over the world who found out about her pregnancy. She never let it bring down her excitement about the new additions.
Doctors were shocked that all four of the eggs used in the IVF treatment had successfully implanted. Normally, the chances of them all developing are extremely low.
A Stressful Pregnancy
Doctors were right when they said the pregnancy would be stressful for her. She was admitted into hospital a full three months before the due date. Most babies born that early do not make it or require intensive care and surgeries.
3 Boys and A Girl
The quadruplets all ended up making it through the pregnancy. This surprised everyone including family and doctors. Raunigk gave birth to a girl and three boys. She named them Neeta, Dries, Bence, and Fijon.
Doctors were extremely concerned at the time that the very premature babies would not survive, with tiny baby girl Neeta weighing just 1lb 7oz when she was born. Neeta’s three brothers were almost as small. Bence weighed 1lb 8oz, Fjonn 1lb 10oz and Dries 2lb 2oz.
The children spent months in very delicate health conditions. Their survival hinged on being connected to breathing tubes in incubators for the first part of their lives.
Dries needed surgery four weeks ago after developing fluid on his brain but he has recovered through a procedure which diverts excess cerebral fluid to his abdomen.
Neeta also underwent an operation shortly after birth to repair a hole in her bowel.
The children were born through Caesarian section but all four are now as strong and as heavy as it they had been born naturally.’
Ready to Leave
Finally after a long wait, Neeta, Bence, Fjonn and Dries – now weighing 5lb 11oz, 5lb 12oz, 5lb 13oz and 6lb 3oz , were examined and deemed fit enough to leave the hospital soon.
Since birth they have all tripled their birth weight in the hospital.
A Big Move
Raunigk decided on a big move from Berlin to a country home 300 miles west of the city to raise her new family. They would be moving to the small town of Hoexter in the state of NorthRhine-Westphalia where she bought a much larger house
A Huge Family
Annegret is now a mother of 17 children, with the oldest being 44, and a grandmother of seven!