After four long months, 65-year-old German mom Annegret Raunigk is bringing home her babies.
Annegret Raunigk isn't your typical 65-year-old. While most of her peers are working on their golf swings, traveling the world, or counting the days until retirement, she's likely been busy stocking up on diapers, boiling bottles, and folding burp cloths. That's because Raunigk, the world's oldest mom of quadruplets, finally got the green light to bring home the babies she delivered by c-section in May.
Daughter Neeta and sons Bence, Fjonn, and Dries arrived 14 weeks early and weighed around 2 pounds at birth. Doctors cautioned that theirs would be an uphill battle to gain weight and, ultimately, survive. Two of the infants had to undergo operations: Neeta to help patch a hole in her bowel and Dries to help redirect excess fluid from his brain to his stomach, according to news reports. After four months of incubation in a Berlin hospital, the quadruplets are finally going home.
And thankfully the German mama will have a little help: She has 13 children already—her youngest, Leila, is 10 years old—and seven grandchildren. In fact, it was Leila who inspired Raunigk to undergo a controversial IVF procedure using an anonymous fertilized egg. (The procedure is illegal in Germany so she had it done in Ukraine.) Apparently, the little girl wanted siblings to play with, a desire her mom was happy to satisfy.
Though the quads are out of the hospital, they're not out of the woods, and may still require years of care. But my guess is that for now, Raunigk is just happy to have her kiddos home where they belong.
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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.