One of the most famous stories in the Bible involves a woman coming to motherhood late. In Genesis 18, God appeared to the patriarch Abraham and proclaimed to him that he’d have a child at the age of 100, when his wife Sarah was 90.
The story’s not without humor, and much of it comes from Sarah’s incredulity that the God of the Universe could make a geriatric conceive. And we all know how the story miraculously ended, with the arrival of little Isaac who became the father of the nation of Israel.
Why the Bible lesson at the start of this article? Well, I can’t but think of Sarah when I consider the case of 76-year-old Indian woman Omkari Singh.
Unlike Sarah, Singh reached old age with a pair of daughters who’d given her five grandchildren. Like many parents, though, she and her 83-year-old husband Charan wanted a child of each sex.
The couple turned to in vitro fertilization in an attempt to conceive, despite their amazingly advanced ages. And you know what? It worked.
In 2008, Singh became the world’s oldest mother, giving birth to a pair of twins.
Sadly, one of the twins died, but the surviving child has since grown into a completely healthy 8-year-old boy named Akashvani.
“I am very happy that I am a mother of a 6-year-old son,” Singh told The Daily Mail. “It is an unexplainable feeling.”
Not everyone has experienced the same joy at the news of Akashvani’s arrival. After all, advanced maternal age carries all sorts of risks, and people were more than happy to point that out to the elderly mother.
Experts say that mothers who are expecting after age 35 face a greater chance of developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Their babies are also much more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities.
Even Singh herself has admitted that it’s tough having a young child once you’re in your seventies. “I am not able to bathe him properly,” she said.
“I have problems getting him dressed. It is hard to run around and feed him. Old age is like this.”
What do you think, Liftable readers? Is a child a blessing at any age or did Singh and her husband choose an unacceptably risky course of action?
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