Indian woman who had baby at 72 says she has no regrets – but being a mother is harder than she expected
Daljinder Kaur and her husband conceived their son through IVF after trying unsuccessfully for 46 years to have a baby without medical help
An Indian woman who had a baby in her seventies has said that being a mother is harder than she thought it would be.
Daljinder Kaur said her health had deteriorated since she gave birth to her first child, Armaan, in April last year.
The 73-year-old said in an interview with Cover Asia Press she is suffering from high blood pressure and weak joints. But she said she does not regret having her son.
Ms Kaur told the news agency: “Since he’s been crawling I’m on my hands and knees and it’s hard. My body can’t take it. It’s been harder than I thought.
“My blood pressure has suffered and I get tired very easily now. I’ve seen several doctors but they just give me medicines and a diet plan.”
She added: “I’m worried for Armaan. I have to take care of my health but I have to take care of Armaan too.”
Ms Kaur and her husband Mohinder Singh Gill, an 80-year-old farmer, conceived their son through IVF after trying unsuccessfully for 46 years to have a baby without medical help.
For most of their lives they were not able to afford fertility treatment and had almost lost hope of having a child.
But when Ms Kaur was in her late sixties they saw an advert for IVF after making money from inherited land.
“When we saw the [IVF] advert, we thought we should also give it a try as I badly wanted to have a baby of my own,” Ms Kaur said.
They began treatment using donor eggs at a fertility clinic in the northern state of Haryana. After two years and three rounds of treatment Armaan was conceived.
Ms Kaur does not have a birth certificate, but Anurag Bishnoi, embryologist and owner of the National Fertility and Test Tube Baby centre in Hisar, where the couple were treated, told the Guardian last year he believed she was probably 72.
“She has said she is five to seven years younger than her husband, and his birth certificate shows he was born on 12/04/1937,” he said.
Mr Bishnoi said at first he was reluctant to help the couple conceive because they did not seem physically healthy enough to have a baby, but extensive medical tests proved otherwise.
He said: “I first tried to avoid the case because she was very weak. But then her medical reports were normal and she was fit to conceive.”
He said there was no more risk from the pregnancy for Ms Kaur than for a middle aged woman.
Armaan weighed just 3.9lbs when he was born, Cover Asia Press reports, but was described by his parents as “hearty and healthy”.
He now weighs 15lbs — still underweight for his age. Ms Kaur said this might be because she was unable to breastfeed him beyond three months.
“He’s quite thin and even diapers of his age don’t fit him,” she said.
“He could possibly be thin because I didn’t feed him properly. I stopped breastfeeding him at three months as my milk wasn’t developing well.”
She added: “We’ve asked doctors if there’s any medicine we can give him to increase his weight but they said let him gain weight naturally.”
But Ms Kaur said despite being small Amraan was a happy and energetic baby and she was pleased she made the decision to have him.
“No matter where I am he’ll come crawling to me,” she said. “I love him. He is a friendly child and smiles at everyone.”
She said the couple plan on taking him to the Golden Temple in Amritsar on his first birthday to receive God’s blessing.
Mr Gill told AFP he was not worried about the situation, because he trusted God.
“People say, what will happen to the child once we die. But I have full faith in God. God is omnipotent and omnipresent, he will take care of everything,” he said.