Remember Adriana Iliescu? In 2005 she made headlines by giving birth to her first child at the age of 66 years young. At the time she was the oldest woman ever to give birth on the planet earth (since then, two other women have beat her out, the eldest at 72). Adriana wants to have another baby and she's been at it since November! And she's now 72.
She had IVF to conceive her daughter and says that if God and the Doctors want, she'd love to have a son. So that her daughter and son can take her for walks in the neighborhood in 15 years. For those of you not so great at math, she'd be 87 years old. WITH TEENAGERS. Holy. Stinking. Crud. NO!
Normally I'm a "To Each His/Her Own" sort of person. I mean, it's her uterus and her money and if she wants to dust off her womb and have a baby by IVF, more power to her, right? You only live once (unless you believe in reincarnation, in that case, you live many times). And, it's not like it matters if she gets stretch marks or gray hair or wrinkles or gains weight in the wrong places. She's 72! Who cares? Bet she doesn't. She may have regretted never having a baby and now she is living her dream, being a mother. She's educated and has the money to do it. If you want something, go for it, right? If she has the dough to hand to the doctors and she is relatively healthy for this pregnancy, why not?
But then I got to thinking about why not.
She is 72. If she survives this pregnancy, her possible future child turns 18 when she turns 90. How can she POSSIBLY take care of these children? Not to mention the fact that I'm in my 30s and I'm barely holding on with a 10- and 8-year old. I've got TONS of energy. How will she be able to handle late-night feedings? How will she keep up with toddlers? And is it fair to these babies to bring them into the world when she is near the end of her lifespan? She may not see them graduate from college or get married. She may never meet her grandchildren. She may never be the one to pat her daughter's back when her first boyfriend breaks up with her. They will no doubt end up living with other relatives as young children.
And while I think that she probably has more patience and wisdom to offer a child than I do (make that, definitely has more patience and wisdom than I do), it just doesn't seem right. And while there is no guarantee that you or I will do the same things (see our kids marry, graduate, meet grandchildren, etc.) it's still ... weird.
Of course, it's none of my business. I don't mean to be Judgy McJudgerson, I just can't see how ETHICALLY a doctor would perform IVF treatments on women of this age. I can't help but feel like it is some kind of contest, a way to gain notoriety. A way for the doctor to get his name in lights, so to speak. What's next? Women has a baby at 78? 80? There has to be a line drawn somewhere. Otherwise we're going to keep hearing about women having babies into their 90s. Or 100s? People live to be 115 now, after all.
What do you think? How old would you be willing to have a baby?
Image via Marj Hatzell