HEFEI, CHINA - A 60-year-old retired woman in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province, has given birth to two infant girls, putting her at the top of the list of the country's oldest mothers.
Two girls were born prematurely on Tuesday, 34 weeks after Cheng Lin (pseudonym) successfully received in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
The decision for Cheng to become pregnant was made by Cheng and her husband in an attempt to relieve the haunting memory of Tingting, their late daughter who died at 28, along with her husband, in a gas poisoning incident last year.
Married in 1977, Cheng Lin had her only daughter, Tingting, in 1980. She grew up healthy and married in September 2008, the Xin'an Evening News reported.
Half a year into the marriage, Tingting and her husband died as a result of gas poisoning during the Spring Festival in 2009. Cheng Lin and her husband were so heartbroken that Cheng nearly lost the courage to live after seeing their daughter die so young and unexpectedly.
Although Cheng Lin realized that having another baby was probably out of the question at her age, some relatives and friends still recommended that she have another baby, even a test-tube baby, as a comfort. She took their suggestion seriously and decided to try IVF.
Wu, her husband, was not initially in favor of the idea, but at Cheng's insistence he finally and reluctantly agreed.
With the help of their friends, Cheng and her husband traveled to Beijing last May, conducting face-to-face interviews with a host of gynecology specialists. Most of them thought that her chances of becoming pregnant would be very slim and that such a pregnancy would be unprecedented in the country.
However, Cheng did not give up and began to take daily medication and injections after she returned to Hefei.
On Oct 13, 2009, Cheng had a successful test-tube baby operation and she became pregnant with twins.
Since Cheng could not go full term with her pregnancy like younger mothers, the doctor at Hefei 105 Hospital, where Cheng awaited the delivery, decided to conduct a Cesarean section.
"I do not have any thought, other than wishing for the safe birth of my two children," she said before being sent to the surgery room.
The two infant girls are now in incubators in the hospital's intensive care unit.
"The infants' conditions are stable. The medical checks are ongoing and we need to further observe their conditions due to the complexity of the prematurity," said a nurse at the hospital.
"Their cry resembles my late daughter, which is very silvery," Cheng said while frowning from the pain from the scar on her stomach.
"The girls give me and my husband the courage to live on. Despite the fact that we are old, we have the confidence to bring them up." -China Daily/ANN