Mom gives birth to twin boys at 60 as FDA approves new "no periods" birth control pill

BlogHer Original Post

I am a mom and I love my children. Sometimes I think it might be cool to see grandkids one day, but when I heard this story about a New Jersey woman giving birth to twin boys today at age 60, my stomach flipped. Frieda Birnbaum is being called the oldest woman to give birth to twins in the the United States:

The babies were delivered at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J., by caesarean section.

"Baby A" weighed 4 pounds, 11.4 ounces, and "Baby B" weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces.

Birnbaum said she felt great after delivering the two boys. "This is so wonderful, I feel so relaxed. It has been a great experience," she said.

Birnbaum, who is a psychologist, and her husband Ken, a Manhattan attorney, have three other children — a 6-year-old son, a 29-year-old daughter and a 33-year-old son. (FOX News)

According to this FOX News New York story, the mother and father have been married 38 years and are leaning toward the names Jarred and Jake for the twins.

Whenever an older woman gives birth, debate tends to rise about elderly couples with young children and whether there's such a thing as too old to be a mom. I'm in my 40s with one grown daughter and a teenage son. Personally, I don't want to imagine starting over with a baby, and I know I mean that because as I was coming out of my divorce I met a very appealing, successful male who told me he wanted a child. I told him, "You have the wrong lady."

I may feel that way, but the 60-year-old Mrs. Birnbaum seems happy about the birth of her twins. According to the FOX report (this blog was updated to reflect this new information because I heard the story first on another station), Mrs. Birnbaum achieved pregnancy through in vitro fertilization. She had to go overseas for the procedure because doctors in the United States prefer not to perform in vitro fertilization on mothers over 50, reports WABC.

A 59-year-old mother gave birth to twins in Great Britain in 1993, and her story became controversial when sources revealed that the woman received donated eggs:

Three days after a 59-year-old woman gave birth to twins in a London hospital, doctors and politicians have become snarled in a thickening ethical debate: should governments and doctors limit the age at which a woman may become pregnant through fertility treatments?

The London woman, who has not been identified but is described as wealthy, gave birth after eggs donated by a younger woman and fertilized by the older woman's husband were implanted in her at a private fertility clinic in Rome. Doctors in London had earlier refused to perform the procedure because they believed she was too old to face the emotional stress. (New York Times)

Would you want to bear a child in your sixties? If conception can only be achieved through artificial means, do you think older women should be denied fertility treatments or the opportunity to bear a child through donor eggs? Should the government honor reproductive rights regardless of age?



FDA approves new menstrual period-free, birth-control pill

Ironically in the same newscast about Mrs. Birnbaum's delivery, another report aired about a new birth control pill that's being hailed as "a medical breakthrough for women." According to the news story, the FDA has approved a birth-control pill that eliminates menstrual periods:

The FDA on Tuesday approved a new birth control pill that would make having a monthly period a thing of the past.

Developed by New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Wyeth, Lybrel is the first oral contraceptive that would block menses indefinitely. (Lybrel story)

A company survey suggests, however, that women may not clamor for "no period" as much as the pharmaceutical company hopes. "Half of all women said they welcomed their periods as a sign they were not pregnant," the article reports.

The only thing I have to say about this new pill is I'm glad Wyeth stuck with a name that sounds like a pill unlike that other pill they bought off that French company. I remember the day I went to the doctor to confirm my second pregnancy and the nurse placed me in a room where my name was on everything. Even the baby-blue stirrup covers said "Nordette."

Already my unborn son was sucking away my brain power. Not having heard of the birth control pill that shares my name, I thought somehow Kaiser Permanente had personalized the room. Oh, this is so nice, I thought, but how much are they charging me to have my name on everything?

Links

  • Birth Control Pill Halts Women's Periods
    Nordette Adams' personal blog is Confessions of a Jersey Goddess
  • More Like This

    Comments

    In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.