Some women who desperately want children have to wait a long time for the family that their heart desires. Not everyone has the faith or patience of Sarah and Abraham, and many childless couples lose interest in having their own biological children well before their twilight years.
Not so for Mangayamma, who spent over 50 years pining for children of her own and not having them. She married her husband, Yaramati Sitarama Rajarao, in 1962, and they made their living as farmers in Nelaparthipudi village, India — but they never had children.
When they exhausted their medical and religious methods of improving their chances of having children, they realized it probably wasn’t in the cards for them. But even as the years passed, her childlessness was a deep sadness to Mangayamma, exacerbated by the cruel words of the people around her.
“People looked at me with accusing eyes as if I had committed a sin,” Mangayamma told The Times of India. “Neighbours would call me ‘godralu’ (a curse word for a childless woman). However, my husband stood by me like a rock.”
But recently, Mangayamma heard of a 55-year-old woman nearby who’d managed to conceive and give birth to a child through IVF. Intrigued, she and her husband began inquiring about the possibility of using this means for themselves.
“She could not succeed in her attempts to conceive even after visiting several hospitals,” Dr. Sanakkayala Umasankar, the couple’s doctor, said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Even after she attained menopause nearly 25 years ago, she had a strong desire to become a mother.”
“She decided to try the method and approached us. We were surprised at her willpower. We conducted all the medical tests and found that she was medically fit for conception through IVF,” he said.
While Mangayamma was already in her 70s and far beyond natural child-bearing years, she was otherwise in very good health and tested out of a number of conditions that would have barred her from being treated through IVF.
“Keeping in view the confidentiality clause in the agreement with the patient, we can’t disclose certain details,” Dr. Umasankar told Times of India. “But we followed all rules.”
A team of “cardiologists, pulmonologists, gynaecologists and nutritionist[s]” as well as a counselor helped her as the couple used Rajarao’s sperm and a donor egg to bring about the couple’s pregnancy. And on Sept, 5, around 10:30 a.m., the couple had not one but two babies born to them through c-section at Ahalya Hospital.
Not everyone was as ecstatic as the new parents. “The doctors should not have considered the case even if the couple pleaded with them,” said one doctor who disagreed with the whole process.
“The surgery went smoothly,” Umasankar said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Both mother and the infants are healthy and have no complications whatsoever. However, the mother has been taken to intensive care unit to come out of the stress she had undergone for the last few hours.”
“Ten doctors worked for nine months to keep a close watch on her health,” he added. “This is a medical miracle.”
“We are the happiest couple on earth today. We have our own children,” Rajarao said. “It’s due to the grace of God and doctors that I have now become a proud father of two baby girls.”
“I am very happy,” Mangayamma added. “After 54 years, God has answered our prayers.”
“She is very confident now,” the doctor told CNN of the new mother. “More confident than ever in her life and she is looking forward to the next chapter of her life with the kids.”
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