A 57-year-old mother gave birth to a healthy baby, making it one of the oldest women in the US to have a child.
Barbara Higgins, a teacher in New Hampshire, and her husband, Kenny Banzhoff, welcomed their son Jack to Concord Hospital on Saturday, almost five years after the sudden death of their 13-year-old daughter Molly.
The mother opened up about her newborn and the heartbreaking loss of her daughter Today show, admitted: “I’m 57. The whole thing was, frankly, a bit surreal.”
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Pushing boundaries: a 57-year-old teacher has become one of the oldest women to give birth in the US after welcoming a healthy baby boy on Saturday
Proud Parents: Barbara Higgins and husband, Kenny Banzhoff, fathered their son using IVF after their 13-year-old daughter Molly died of an undiagnosed brain tumor in 2016
Look of Love: Barbara pointed out that there is no guarantee that a parent will be alive to watch their child grow up. “Why wouldn’t Jack live just because I’m old?” she asked
Barbara became consumed with the idea of getting pregnant and having another child after losing Molly in 2016.
Molly was 13 [and she] had an undiagnosed brain tumor and died very suddenly, ”she said. “That puts your life in a downward spiral of feelings and experiences you didn’t expect.”
The mother, who has another daughter, Grace, told us NBC Boston that her desire to conceive began unconsciously as she worked through her grief.
“I started having these dreams that I wanted to have a child, and I was like, ‘Okay, Barb, that’s a little crazy,’” she recalled, but her husband supported her decision.
Message: Barbara said she started dreaming about having another child while mourning Molly’s death
Looking back, Barbara and Kenny also have a daughter, Grace. The family is depicted before Molly’s death
Fit Mom: Barbara, who is a lifelong athlete, said her third pregnancy was an easy one. She continued to exercise with weights until the day she gave birth
The couple knew that the New Hampshire IVF clinics wouldn’t work with a woman in their 50s, so they left the state and found one in Boston, Massachusetts.
Barbara also had a brain tumor herself while trying to conceive and had it removed. In addition to her health problems, Kenny had kidney disease and had a transplant.
Her OB-GYN Dr. Ashish Chaudhari told Today that he was monitoring her pregnancy closely with additional blood tests, office visits and ultrasounds.
The parents did not tell anyone that she was pregnant until she was 20 weeks old, and when they did, they admitted that they had been received with silence and shock.
Barbara, who is a lifelong athlete, said her third pregnancy was an easy one, recognizing her active lifestyle and good genetics.
Healthy: Barbara gave birth to Jack at Concord Hospital after three hours on Saturday
Baby Love: Jack weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces when he was born on March 20
Proud Parents: Barbara and Kenny appeared on Friday’s Today show with their infant son
“I train a lot with weights and all those crazy Crossfit stuff you hear about,” said the mother, who continued lifting weights until the day she gave birth.
Barbara delivered Jack after three hours of labor. He weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces.
The teacher pointed out that there is no guarantee that a parent will be alive to watch their child grow up, regardless of their age.
“Who knows what I’ll be like in 10 years, but who knows what he will be in 10 years,” she said. ‘That is not something that no one can predict.
“And why wouldn’t Jack live just because I’m old?”
According to Guinness World Records, the oldest woman to give birth was 66-year-old Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara, who gave birth to twins in Spain in 2006.