57-year-old woman gives birth to new baby after 13-year-old daughter tragically died

2 months ago 19

A 57-year-old woman has become one of the oldest in the US to give birth, after delivering a healthy baby boy this week.

Barbara Higgins and her husband, Kenny Banzhoff, welcomed their first son, Jack, at Concord Hospital in New Hampshire on Saturday.

The couple already had two children, daughters Grace and Molly, but four years ago Molly died aged just 13.

‘Molly was 13 [and she] had an undiagnosed brain tumour and died very suddenly,’ said teacher Barbara.

‘That throws your life into a tailspin of feelings and experiences that you weren’t expecting.’

It was then that she began feeling like she’d like to have another child after a series of strange dreams.

Speaking to NBC, Barbara said: ‘I started having these dreams that I wanted to have a child, and I thought, “OK, Barb, that’s a little crazy.”

Although they didn’t want it to seem like a rash decision sparked completely by grief, a lot of discussion took place.

‘It likely wouldn’t have happened if she was still alive, but she’s not the reason we did it,’ Barbara said. 

Kenny, 65, supported his wife and, although they knew it wouldn’t be easy, they began looking into options to add to their family.

Because of Barbara’s age it was unlikely that they’d conceive naturally, and local IVF clinics refused her so she had to go further afield for fertility treatment.

The pregnancy was anything but ‘standard’, with tests revealing to Barbara that she too had an undiagnosed brain tumour. She credits the decision to have a baby with saving her life due to the diagnosis.

As well as that, Barbara has stayed extremely active throughout, still participating in school board meetings and teaching virtually. She also lifted weights and continued CrossFit training right up until she gave birth.

Because both she and Kenny are officially retired, though, she believes they’ll have a lot of extra time to spend with their new baby.

They have no time for judgment either.

Barbara said: ‘Jack is here, he’s a little boy on the planet, and he gets to live a life.

‘Nobody gives birth to a baby and know with any certainty that they will be alive to see that baby grow up.’

When asked why she decided to have a baby well into her 50s, she replied, ‘Why not?”

‘I don’t know how I will be in 10 years, but how will you be in 10 years? And why should Jack not get to be alive because I’m old?.’

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