German woman, 65 and mother of 13, has quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets after undergoing an artificial insemination procedure in Ukraine, RTL television reported early on Saturday.

Annegret Raunigk had three boys, named Dries, Bence and Fjonn, and one girl, Neeta, who were born premature at 26 weeks in a Berlin hospital but have “good chances of surviving,” according to RTL.

“However, the babies, in comparison with a normal birth in the 40th week, are not completely developed, so eventual complications can’t be ruled out,” said the report.

Their mother lives in Berlin and is an English and Russian teacher who is close to retirement. In addition to her children, she is grandmother to seven.

RTL said the new arrivals make her the world’s oldest mother of quadruplets.

She became pregnant after undergoing several artificial insemination procedures in Ukraine, said RTL.

The channel has negotiated exclusive rights to the story and has followed the build-up to the births, although it says no filming was done in the hospital where the babies were born.

Raunigk made headlines in April when the German press first reported that her latest artificial insemination attempt had resulted in a quadruple pregnancy.

At the time, she said she decided to try to have another child because her youngest daughter, who is nine, wanted a little brother or sister, according to RTL.

This photo taken in 2005 shows then 55-year-old Annegret Raunigk (1st row, 2ndL) with her children and grand-children being interviewed on Germany’s RTL television channel (AFP Photo/Jörg Carstensen)

– Oldest daughter is 44 –

The Bild am Sonntag tabloid quoted Raunigk, whose oldest daughter is 44, recalling that it was “a shock” when the doctors first broke the news to her that she was expecting quadruplets.

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“After the doctor discovered there were four, I had to give it some thought to begin with.”

But she did not consider reducing the number of embryos and said she had no reservations about the challenge facing her.

“I’m not actually afraid. I simply assume I’ll remain healthy and fit. In matters of organisation I have enough experience, that’s not new for me,” she was quoted as saying in Bild.

Asked about moral doubts, RTL quoted her as asking: “How does one have to be at 65? One must apparently always fit some cliches which I find rather tiring.

“I think, one must decide that for oneself.”

Raunigk made headlines 10 years ago too, when she gave birth to her 13th child, Lelia, at the age of 55.

That pregnancy was also the subject of an exclusive coverage deal with RTL, and Bild.

“At first, I only wanted one child,” the tabloid quoted her as saying at the time. “Not all were planned. But then things happen. I’m not a planner but rather spontaneous. And children keep me young.”

During an interview in April, Raunigk dismissed critics who said she was acting irresponsibly because she would be more than 70 years old when the quadruplets entered school.

“You can never know what will happen. Things can also happen to you when you’re 20,” she said, adding that it’s up to each individual to decide when they become a parent.

Source: Berlin (AFP)

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