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65 year old woman pregnant with quadruplets

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Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

I saw this on Buzzfeed today and then found a more reputable source. A 65 year old German woman- who already has 13 children- is said to be pregnant with quadruplets after several attempts at what the media is reporting as "artifical insemination" though I've read in other sources that this was donated eggs and donated sperm, so I'd imagine it's IVF.

Reports: 65-year-old German woman pregnant with quadruplets - CBS News

What do you think of this? What kind of MD would agree to this procedure and implant four embryos? It strikes me as irresponsible and borderline unethical.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

First we had OctoMom (beyond bizarre), and now we have ElderMom (beyond unnatural).

Forgive me for saying this, but 65 years of age is an appropriate age for grandparenting, not giving birth once again. When will the insanity stop?

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

I conceived my youngest at 40 (naturally). Trust me, having a newborn at 40 is a trip-and-a-half. 65? She's got some type of issue to do this.

I personally think it's selfish. If she already has 13 kids and can responsibly take care of them then that's fine with me but adding 4 more at her age seems like she's trying to set a record or is it in for the wrong reasons. When they are 20 she will be 85. Kind of unfair for the children. In one of the articles I read she said she tried to conceive again because her youngest wanted a younger sister or brother

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

I personally think it's selfish. If she already has 13 kids and can responsibly take care of them then that's fine with me but adding 4 more at her age seems like she's trying to set a record or is it in for the wrong reasons. When they are 20 she will be 85. Kind of unfair for the children. In one of the articles I read she said she tried to conceive again because her youngest wanted a younger sister or brother

I read that too. After 13 children, she doesn't know how to say "sorry, but no" to her kid? Plus she's got several grandchildren, her kid can play with them. And if she really wanted another kid in her house, how about fostering?

DeLana_RN, BSN, RN

Has 23 years experience.

The BILD article states that she is a single mother ("none of the 5 fathers [of her other 13 children] stuck around for long") and the quads were conceived abroad after multiple IVF cycles with donor eggs and embryos (using donor eggs is illegal in Germany). At least it acknowledges that there is no way someone that old and long after menopause could possibly conceive naturally (although she claims that's what happened with her currently youngest daughter who was born when she was 55; highly unlikely, but remotely possible).

I think it's clear the woman - and her doctor - have some serious issues (yes, Octomom and her irresponsible doctor come to mind...). Even if she lied about her age... well, she clearly looks 65. But I guess she passed the wallet biopsy.

Gooselady, BSN, RN

Has 23 years experience.

Personally, I would never do that even if I desperately wanted babies at the age of 65 (seriously, I cannot begin to imagine wanting that) and otherwise feel it is self-centered, too risky, and a misuse of modern technology.

But that's all my personal opinion. My opinions, however educated, vehement, morally based or legitimate are mine. I have nothing to say about someone else choosing to do this however much I disagreed.

Even if it was 'outlawed' people are going to want to push the limits (of just about everything). It's not my place to dictate to another person what they are to do with their own body. If appropriate, I'll speak my mind but I would refuse to participate if this was 'put to a vote'. We can't legislate against every kind of stupidity, and shouldn't. Personal opinions about stuff like this (not murder) should not be made into laws, it just causes more problems.

PacoUSA, BSN, RN

Specializes in PCU / Telemetry. Has 9 years experience.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

To each their own I say. If she's happy, leave her alone.

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klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

First, I need to comment on the terms used: one does not implant an embryo, one transfers an embryo.

Second, it is quite common to transfer multiple embryos because in the majority of cases, not all will "take". Typically 2 to 3 embryos are transferred, and if the woman is older, I believe it's more common to transfer more because there is a higher failure rate.

Finally, it's also highly likely that the physician only transferred 2 embryos, and they split, which is a lot more common in IVF.

Now, on the morality of this woman's age, sure I have my opinions, but eh. If she has the financial resources and family support to raise 4 infants at her age, I guess I feel like there are a lot more egregious things to get het up over.

Carrying quadruplets would be physically taxing for a 25 year old. For a 65 year old, this would be the epitome of a high risk pregnancy. I hope that she is in really really good health.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

SELFISH AS HELL. really.

WHO are these doctors doing this?

Does ANYONE think of the kids doing without their parent, by the time they are teenagers??

Just because we can, does not mean we should.

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

Her body, her choice. A woman can have a child at 20 with no guarantee she will see them grow up.

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab. Has 10 years experience.

Just...why???

I'd be all for "it's her body, her choice" and it's true there are no guarantees anyone will live to see their children reach adulthood.

But.

While it's true a 20 year old could get struck down prematurely, it's also true that at 65 she can't have the EXPECTATION that she will live long enough to see these babies provided for until adulthood, or that she will be healthy enough to maintain care of them into her 80's. And speaking of providing, HOW will she be doing this? She raised 13 children without their 5 fathers, good for her (and them, hopefully). But now that she's a Senior Citizen, how is it she will be paying for the upkeep of these children and also paying for her own healthcare at her advancing age? Who is footing the bill for this? Or is it because Germany has socialized medicine that it's ok to expect the trunkloads of cost involved to be ok, too?

If she has scads of money and therefore won't be a burden to her community, AND has a solid family network who will adopt her children when she is too old/ill to do so herself....then maybe we could talk. Otherwise, I would be telling her to spend time with her grandchildren when the urge to play with an infant strikes!

OrganizedChaos, LVN

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab. Has 10 years experience.

It's not just how she will provide for the kids after she dies but how will the babies makes it? She's 65, how will the babies fair in utero. I assume all her previous pregnancies were uncomplicated, but now she's 65 & caring multiples.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

But it's not just about her. Even though, she sure seems to think so.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

To each their own I say. If she's happy, leave her alone.

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SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

But her liklihood of seeing them grow to maturity and not be a burden to other family or the public is much less at 65 than 20.

The risks are off the chart.

I don't get a doctor doing this.

Why not adopt??? She has THIRTEEN already. Enough.

Her body, her choice. A woman can have a child at 20 with no guarantee she will see them grow up.

xoemmylouox, ASN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

No thank you! I cannot imagine being pregnant with one at that age, let along four! To each their own, but I hope she has plans in case she does not live long enough for them to turn a decent age. I'm guessing she is counting on the other siblings to care for them if something should happen. I imagine she is going to be feeling some hurt pretty soon, and will end up on bedrest before she knows it.