Annegret Raunigk of Berlin told the German tabloid newspaper Bild that she’s 21 weeks pregnant with babies 14, 15, 16, and 17 thanks to artificial insemination using both donated sperm and donated eggs. Her doctor reportedly suggested selective reduction when they realized the process had resulted in quadruplets.
“Of course it was a shock for me,” Raunigk told Bild. “After the doctor established that it was four, I had to think about it at first…whether to give the children to foster parents or adoption or reduce them.”
But Raunigk ultimately declined on all fronts: she is proceeding with the pregnancy, and she plans to raise all four children herself—with the help of her older offspring, speculates The Irish Times.
As for the risks of advanced maternal age, Raunigk is unphased. “I simply assume that I will remain fit and healthy,” she told Bild.
Her doctor, Kai Herwig, believes that a pregnant woman’s attitude and motivation are more important than age. He is treating her as any other patient. “Quadruplets are always a drain,” Dr. Herwig told Bild. “We are doing our best to prevent [a premature birth] as far as possible and to push as far into the later weeks of pregnancy.”
The television channel RTL will be following Raunigk as she carries the quadruplets for a reality show. If the pregnancy and births are successful, Raunigk would hold the record as the oldest woman ever to have quadruplets.
She previously made headlines when she had her 13th child at age 55, a daughter named Leila. Raunigk said that having Leila inspired her to try for another child, according to Yahoo News. Of her brood that just keeps growing, she had this to say when Leila was born: “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.”
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