Sunday, January 28, 2007

A New Kind of Virgin Birth


A 67-year old Spanish woman who is believed to be the word's oldest new mother told a British newspaper that she lied to a fertility clinic in Los Angeles, saying she was 55 years old, to get treatment. 55 is the clinic's cut-off age for accepting patients.

She lived with her own mother, who died in 2005, all her life. She sold her mother's house to pay for in vitro fertilization, and gave birth to twin boys on December 29th.
She now hopes to find a younger husband to help her raise her children. To that end, she instructed the doctors who delivered her by C-section to make the cut really low so she could still wear a bikini.

I am trying to sort out why I find this disturbing. The most obvious reason is that it seems unfair to her children. While life is uncertain for everyone and 23-year olds can get hit by buses, the statistical chances of this mother dying before her sons are raised are certainly much greater. There is also the fact that she cannot possibly have the energy needed to run after twin toddlers every day and keep them safe from electrical sockets, darting into traffic, and the millions of other ingenious ways in which children are able to self-destruct. There is also a far greater chance that children of elderly mothers will suffer from various types of mental retardation, for which they will require special care. How is this fair to them?

That is why most women in their late 60's are GRANDmothers, or even great-grandmothers, not often entrusted with the constant, day-to-day care of infants and active children. I'm sure it has something to do with preservation of the species.

She hatched :) this scheme after her mother died. Apparently, she needed a new hobby, and thought it would be fun to finally have children. I think it was selfish. But I'll give her this: She must be one hot number if she expects to find a younger husband (how much younger?) to help her raise these children. Why would anyone do that?

43 comments:

Lee said...

Oh man, I heard about this story. I was hoping it was a Weekly World News sort of rumour. I'm surprised the cut-off age was 55. That seems crazy old to be having babies too. Was this 67 year old woman still menstruating? I'm so confused. And grossed out. And I'm probably going to hell for saying this, but the only kind of guy I can think of that would sign up for marrying this woman is a pedophile.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lee,

I don't believe anyone is still menstruating at 67, and I don't know much about in vitro, but would think it was impossible after menopause.

It surprised me, too, that 55 was the cut-off. Think of how mortifying even age-appropriate parents are to teenagers, and then multiply it by about 1000.

You're probably right about who would apply for the um, position. And this woman has already shown that she excells at making poor judgments.

urban-urchin said...

67 and having a child? That's child abuse. There is a VERY good chance this woman will die before he boys are 13.

How will she support them? She sold her inheritance for the IVF treatment.

So incredibly selfish.

meno said...

I don't really know what to say, other than that this is really creepy. I wonder about her mental state for wanting a litter of babies.

Dan said...

She must be one hot number if she expects to find a younger husband (how much younger?) to help her raise these children.

No! She must think that she is one hot number. And the fact she has lived her entire life with her mother makes me seriously doubt that she will all of a sudden perfect the dating scene ... especially with babies to care for!

Oy vey!

I agree with everything you said about this.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Urchin,

Maybe she expects them to be supported by charity for being an anomaly. The Dionne quintuplets of Canada, who were born long before fertility drugs made multiple births commonplace, earned a lot of money doing product endorsements in print ads.

She must be crazy. Twins are exhausting even for women of normal childbearing age.

Meno,

I've heard that mental states are considered before reputable doctors will do plastic surgery. Apparently there are less stringent requirements for reproducing with help.

Dan,

Oy vey indeed. I stand corrected on the hot mama remark. I doubt that she is Sophia Loren's double.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Fully agree with your analysis. This is selfish,unwise and unfair on the kids. I think the doctor should have been taken to task too.

Technology may be good but we always find ways of abusing it. And I agree with the others, even 55 seems a bit on the old side.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Squirrel,

I didn't even address the fact that she LIED to get the treatments. After all, what are they going to do now that they know, take away her babies?

Normally, lying has consequences that are undesirable to the individual, not to society. Instead, these children are being punished for the sins of the mother. I am not convinced that life-at-any-cost is worth it.

The whole thing is bizarre.

Le Nightowl said...

If she's the one on the photo, how could she make them believe she was 55? :))

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Marie,

I couldn't find one of her, so I used a stock photo from Google images.

Maybe she had plastic surgery FIRST, then applied to be a subject at the clinic.

Isn't modern medicine wonderful?

Pendullum said...

I am flabberghasted...

And I can not believe that they bought how old she was...at the clinic... so on top of i, all am I to now assume she is poor afterthe clinic took her money for treatment?... Ohhh...it gets worse and worse...

odat said...

I'm surprised she didn't have to go thru psychological testing first...then they would have figured out that she's NUTS!
Peace

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Pendullum,

The treatment took about $60,000. For all we know, she has additional means besides her mother's house, which she sold to pay for it.

I've been pondering the biological aspect, and guess that since they flood you with hormones, it probably doesn't matter if you're past menopause. Still, if you are, that should be a clue that you're too old, period. (So to speak.)

Odat,

It seems as if that would be one of the things they'd look for, doesn't it? Unless the doctors are nuts, too.

furiousBall said...

I hear she's planning on going out clubbing with Paris and "mistakeningly" getting out of the car in a similar way that Brittney's crotch photo was taken to attract that younger husband...ok, I need to go vomit.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Furious,

She's 67. Who has time to be subtle?

I may vomit, too.

Thailand Gal said...

I heard about this as well and as someone who is 55 years old, I can say without reservation that having children (even at my age) would be selfish and silly. It's just more of that "I should have whatever I want" mentality that turns me off.

Poor kids! Yecht!


Peace,

~C

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Chani,

I have to agree. A 55-year old mother will be in her 70's, perhaps needing considerable help herself, when her child graduates from high school and should be free to start his/her own life.

This is yet another instance of Nature favoring males, but fair or not, it is the system we have on this planet. Tampering with it for selfish gratification cannot be good karma.

monicker said...

Curious that she mentioned to doctors her concern for future appearances in her bikini.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Monicker,

A girl can't be too careful.

Ryane said...

THAT is one of the most selfish things I have ever heard. How wrong!? If her fool-proof plan to find a 'younger husband' fails to pan out...then what? Those kids will be left w/no parents. But at least her bikini line will be smooth.

MORON. Stop pissing in the gene pool!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Ryane,

She's definitely got her priorities straight. I can't help but believe that a woman who has spent 67 years living with her own mother just may not have a very good sense of reality.

Pissing in the gene pool, indeed.

Liz said...

Ok, I'm officially grossed out. Eww. How is this possible? Does she still get her period? EWW!

She should have gotten a couple of dogs to keep her company instead. Those boys are going to hate her. Imagine them bringing friends home to play Nintendo and them going, "Is that your grandma?" And that fertility clinic should be shut down and fined. They clearly just wanted the money because there's no way a decent doctor can't tell when a lady is lying about her age to that extreme.

jali said...

I just sent an article about this to Maiden. Damn - You did an excellent job, so I think I'm gonna have to "remix".

thethinker said...

"I am trying to sort out why I find this disturbing."

The whole bikini line thing is what disturbed me.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Liz,

Well, it WAS in Los Angeles, where everyone lies about her age. She probably had a face lift and lipo before she went there.

jali,

With all the attention she's getting, she can sell her story to the media and make millions. Then she can buy her kids a pair of twin nannies to take care of them. It might work out just fine.

Thinker,

You're thinking of your grandmother in a bikini, aren't you?

seventh sister said...

What kind of medical team can't tell the difference between a 67 year old woman and a 55 year old woman? I doubt that her lie was all that convincing. Someone had a big ego and wanted her money. At least that is my take on it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Seventh,

One giant step for Medical Scifience. And think of the steps saved when you can give birth to your own grandchildren and cut out the middlewoman.

Open Grove Claudia said...

It's an odd story. I have a friend who had children at 59 years old. She's confident that she'll be there for them. I wonder...

But it's hard for me to imagine the desparate desire to breed. Sorry, I just never had it in me...

The Law Fairy said...

Personally, I think ANYONE who insists on biological kids (versus, say, adoption) is a touch narcissistic, regardless of age... but that's a personal pet peeve that's probably shared by about five other people in the world :)

Okay, I'll warn you -- there's an angry rant ahead.

What bothers me most about this is the reaction. Hugh Hefner recently announced that he intends, in his fucking EIGHTIES, to father a child with one of his three (yes, three) twenty-something girlfriends. Strom Thurmond was fathering children at an age my grandfathers never even reached. As long as we live in a world that allows this with barely a shrug of the shoulders, I refuse -- REFUSE -- to act grossed out or anything similar at the prospect of an elderly woman giving birth. I disapprove (to put it mildly) of a society in which it is okay for elderly *men*, but not elderly *women*, to make such choices for themselves. Either Hugh is more disgusting then this woman (more because he's older), or we're a bunch of big fat misogynist hypocrites.

And just to short-circuit the whole "biology" point, these men, by and large, cannot father children without Viagra (thus, they require medical assistance, same as the ladies). Further, recent studies suggest that aged sperm can result in a fetus prone to similar defects you find (statistically) in children born to aged mothers. So I just plain don't buy the "biology" point. Either we're meant to have kids when we're old, or we're not. But it's not along gender lines.

/feminist rant

As for the 55 thing, I could see it. My mom is 51 and very young/youthful, not to mention attractive. Frankly, I am grateful for these genes :)

Pickled Olives said...

ooohwww - gross. I bet the doctors had to give a c-section because her whoha was all dried upp. No disrespect to older ladies. But at that age, I am pretty sure I'd want my whoha untapped.

Kevin Charnas said...

We saw this this morning as well. It IS disturbing and selfish. They're not her children. She had an egg and a sperm donated...basically she wanted to be a pregnant woman once.

If she wanted children, she could've even found a circumstance where some older children needed to be adopted.

She could've made it about the children instead of about her.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Claudia,

Desperation puts entirely too much pressure on children to make their parent's life complete and perfect.

I wanted children. I had them while young enough to believe I would be around until they grew up, and I was. I would also have liked to adopt some because I like kids, but ended up raising my three alone with limited means.

Does your friend have a fallback plan? A younger partner? In my view, 59 is too old.

Charlie Chaplin supposedly fathered babies into his 90's, but that's absurd, too.

LF,

You don't have to shout. We're in agreement here.

I'm also nonplussed, if not outright disgusted, by rich old codgers who father children at an age when doing so could result in a fatal heart attack. I am utterly disgusted by the young women who rent their wombs to such projects because the payoffs are so generous.

More and more women are looking fantastic and young in their fifties and even sixties. But that doesn't mean they should still be reproducing.

Olives,

I'll let you know.

Kevin,

You are so right. Your ideas are right on and beautifully expressed. She had a wonderful opportunity to adopt a couple of older kids and to give them a loving home, but instead, she opted to be a freak show.

I didn't know that both egg and sperm were donated, though. At least the kids have a chance to be biologically normal, even if their home life is not.

The Law Fairy said...

okay, good. As long as we're being consistent, I am happy :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

LF,

Hell, yeah. Old is old. And if we get old enough, sometimes it's hard to tell which gender we used to belong to.

Mens' voices get higher, while womens' get lower. We start growing chin hairs. Etc., etc. Why lie?

It would be wonderful to belong to a culture in which elders are respected for their wisdom, not for what their uplift bras can do to keep those puppies off the floor.

katrice said...

Yuck yuck yuck. And I don't mean that in a Curly Howard way either.

Unethical, all around. Poor kids. Poor poor kids.

Michael C said...

I remember making fun of this in a post when the story of her giving birth appeared. I remember just being stunned when I read she had lied about her age.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Katrice,

It gets weirder the more I learn. If both components were donated, she was nothing more than a surrogate mother who decided to keep the babies. So it wasn't even the desire to have biological children that drove her; it was about Being Pregnant.

Now, I am glad I had my children. I couldn't live without any of them. But if I could have had them without pregnancy, I would have. Babies are miraculous. Pregnancy sucked. (For me.)

I think a lot of unethical stuff went down here, both by her and by the clinic that facilitated her wacky scheme.

Michael,

I missed that post of yours, unless you mean you commented on someone else's post about it. (Missed that, too.)

You know exactly what it takes to care for twins, and you and your wife are young. Trying to do so at this woman's age, alone, is unthinkable and unfair to the children.

Jay said...

I think this woman need a mental health facility more than a fertility clinic.

velvet girl said...

This is the kind of thing that's been bothering me for years. When my younger son was born, there was a mother in the hospital who was 58 and had just given birth. She already had grown children, but had a different husband, so therefore wanted children with him.

It's just so wrong, wrong, wrong. There's a reason that nature works it out the way it does. The women are selfish. The doctors are greedy.

If this woman was still living with her mother at 65 years (at her mother's death), I can only imagine how lacking her grip on reality must be. Those poor children.

-velvet

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jay,

If I had thought of that exact line, it would have been the last (and best) sentence of my post.

Velvet,

I've never understood the mentality that makes some people think their marriage is not complete without kids.

And how sad for that woman's other children. It's almost like she thought they weren't quite good enough because they were from an old marriage. They were clearly being replaced.

katrice said...

I can relate. Wouldn't trade my kids for the world, but pregnancy was quite awful for me too.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Katrice,

There should be a better way.

Lee said...

I am so lazy...I started yet another blog to keep all my favorite blogger post in so I could reread them at my leisure. I always think of that beautiful story you posted about your father and the gun and your dog. Could you please, please, please send me the link to it? Would you mind my posting it (with due credit of course)? Your writing touched my heart.

studio.twenty.three@gmail.com