In the United States, citizens over the age of 65 make up around 13% of the population, numbering just over 40 million in total. While these American seniors were preparing for retirement, a 65-year-old German woman was preparing for motherhood.
Annegret Raunigk’s quadruplets were delivered prematurely just three months ago, during her 26th week of pregnancy. The girl (Neeta) and the three boys (Dries, Bence and Fjonn) were delivered by Cesarean section on May 19.
Two of the babies were required to have surgery very shortly after birth, and two were put on breathing support. Now, the hospital in Berlin where they were born is reporting that the babies are expected to leave the hospital this month. Each of the four babies weighs more than 5.5 pounds.
Raunigk, a single mother, also has 13 other children, ranging from age 10 to age 44. Her children are from five different fathers, and have given her seven grandchildren as well. This makes her newest children younger than any of her grandchildren. When asked why she decided to have more children, especially after the birth of her grandchildren, Raunigk responded that her youngest daughter wanted more little brothers and sisters to play with.
In order to have the quadruplets, Annegret traveled to the Ukraine to have fertilized, donated eggs implanted. This procedure has been deemed illegal in Germany.
Raunigk insists that she wasn’t initially intending to have so many children.
“At first, I only wanted one child. Not all were planned. But then things happen. I’m not a planner, but rather spontaneous. And children keep me young.”
When confronted about usual standards of behavior for people her age, she responded, “How does one have to be at 65? One must apparently always fit some clichés which I find rather tiring. I think, one must decide that for oneself.”
Raunigk is believed to be the oldest woman to successfully deliver quadruplets.