A mother’s love takes many forms and giving birth at 61 years of age is remarkable in itself – but Kristine Casey’s delivery was made all the more unique because her bouncing baby boy was her own grandson.
Mrs Casey is certainly the oldest women in living memory to give birth in Illinois. She broke several local records for being the surrogate mother for her daughter, Sara Connell, who had been trying for years to have a baby.
Mrs Connell and her husband, Bill, are the biological parents of the child Mrs Casey carried, which grew from an embryo created from the Chicago couple’s egg and sperm. Mrs Connell told the Chicago Tribune that she and her mother held hands as Finnean Lee Connell was delivered by cesarean section at 9.47pm on Wednesday.
When the baby let out a cry, I lost it. It’s such a miracle,” she said.
Dr Susan Gerber, who delivered the baby at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said it would have needed a heart of stone to not be moved by the amazing event.
The surgery itself was uncomplicated, and the emotional context of this delivery was so profound.”
The rareness of the birth was certainly not lost on Dr Gerber. Successful childbirth for post-menopausal women is rare, but numbers have been rising due to advances in IVF treatments.
According to state health department records, the oldest woman to give birth in Illinois was 58 when she had her baby in 2006. At 61, Mrs Casey certainly leaves that record far behind – but statists experts say data on births after 2008 are not yet available.
The Connells decided in 2004 to try to have a baby, but Sara – now 35 years old – soon discovered she wasn’t ovulating. After undergoing infertility treatment at the Reproductive Medicine Institute in Evanston, she got pregnant but delivered stillborn twins, and later she suffered a miscarriage.
Mrs Casey’s pregnancies had all been without incident – albeit her last being 30 years ago. So, the Connells and Mrs Casey came up with this unique plan and, for the past 39 weeks, they have been counting down the days until the healthy boy’s arrival.
Now they have to prepare from the more difficult part – trying to explain to the young boy where he comes from.