Many women over 50 are reveling in the joys of having an empty nest. Not Annegret Raunigk. The 65-year-old mother of 13 had been trying to get pregnant by artificial insemination for around a year-and-a-half when her attempts finally saw success.
Germany's Bild newspaper reports that Raunigk is now 21 weeks into her pregnancy... with quadruplets.
Though pregnancy over age 35 is considered to be higher risk, according to the Mayo Clinic, Raunigk gave birth at age 55 to her now youngest daughter. In fact, it was reportedly at her youngest daughter's urging for a little brother or sister that the grandmother of seven decided to try for a pregnancy again.
Germany's RTL reports that the expectant mother is experiencing a normal pregnancy, though any pregnancy involving quadruplets naturally can be more challenging.
Some medical professionals are criticizing her decision to get pregnant, however. "Any pregnancy of a woman over age 45 has to be considered a high-risk pregnancy; over 60 this is naturally extreme," Dr. Holger Stepan, head of obstetrics at the University of Leipzig said, according to The Associated Press.
"The 65-year-old body is definitely not designed to carry a pregnancy, not of one child and certainly not of quadruplets," Stepan said.
But after so many pregnancies, it seems the mother-to-be is defiant. "How does one have to be at 65? One must apparently always fit some cliches which I find rather tiring. I think, one must decide that for oneself," she told RTL.
The broadcaster will air a full interview with Raunigk Monday night.
AFP reports that Raunigk is due this summer, which will reportedly make her the oldest mother to ever give birth to quadruplets. According to the Guinness World Records, the oldest mother to ever give birth had twins just days before her 67th birthday.
At the time 55, Annegret Raunigk poses with her daughter Lelia on the 3rd of November in 2005. It is her 13th child and was fathered and born naturally, but unexpectedly.