A 65-year-old woman from Berlin made news earlier when she announced that she would be giving birth to quadruplets. Now, the day has come for Annegret Raunigk to welcome her four babies: Neeta, Dries, Bence and Fjonn.
According to RTL Television, Raunigk gave birth via cesarean section at a hospital in Berlin last Tuesday. One girl and three boys, the newborns were reported to weigh between 1pound and 7 ounces and 2 pounds and 2 ounces. Their mother had faced strong criticism for choosing to get pregnant at such an old age, but RTL said the quadruplets are healthy despite being born at 26 weeks.
Raunigk was unfazed at the scrutiny she faced after she decided to get pregnant at 65 years old because she believes she is doing what is right, deciding to live her own life for herself. She already has 13 children, the oldest of which is 44 years old, but she considered having another baby after her youngest child asked for a sibling.
Her husband died in 2008 so she turned to in vitro fertilization to conceive. Raunigk couldn't get the procedure in Germany, so she flew to Ukraine to get it done. The procedure cost about $23,000 but was well worth it for her given she conceived quadruplets.
Her 13 children love her but are not big fans of her decision. Velten, 27, said their youngest Leila is bullied in school because her mom looks like a grandmother, which she is since Raunigk also has seven grandchildren, so he is concerned that the addition of the quadruplets to the family will make his sister an even bigger target for bullies. He and his siblings are also worried that they will be left to bring up the quadruplets should anything happen to their mother. Still, they will stand by her.
"Despite disagreeing with her, if she needs help and support in the future, we will be there for her. Our family sticks together," said Velten.
At the very least, they will have some support from the German government: Raunigk will be receiving about $1,100 every month for her children until they are 18.
Neeta, Dries, Bence and Fjonn may be all healthy now but they are not out of the woods yet because of compounded risk factors, what with being carried by an aging mother and being born premature. All complications cannot be ruled out yet until the babies develop further but they have good chances because Raunigk's pregnancy went quite well.
Photo: Gabi Menashe | Flickr