- Pregnant through artificial insemination using donated eggs and sperm
- In 2005, she gave birth to her youngest daughter Leila, at the age of 55
- Children – eldest of whom is 44 – are by five different fathers
A German pensioner who is expecting quadruplets said she went in search of sperm and egg donors when her youngest of 13 children told her: ‘I want to have a little brother or sister.’
Annegret Raunigk, 65, was plunged into a vortex of travel and trials thanks to the wish of daughter Leila, who turns ten this year, but says she is not bothered about what people say about her decision to have more children so late in life.
Their scheduled births for the schoolteacher from Spandau, Berlin, is just weeks away – but there are major fears that the health risks for her unborn quads will spike massively if they are induced early.
Annegret, meanwhile, is weathering the debate centred on the rights or wrongs of her decision to both become pregnant and raise the children with cool detachment.
‘There will obviously be cliches bandied about,’ she said, ‘and I find that quite strenuous. But I have always been a person who says live and let live and it is not for the opinion of others but for me.
‘I have enough experience of childbirth not to be afraid. I am not scared actually, I am just hoping to stay healthy and fit.
If others are mega-prim about this I believe they have no interesting lives themselves and therefore it no longer bothers me. I think this is the right choice.’
‘She is a very strong, very fit woman,’ Her doctor, Kai Hertwig tells MailOnline. ‘I hope she can come to full term, I think she can. She is very well placed to be a fit mother for these babies.
‘The pregnancy so far makes no distinction between the body of a younger or older person but quadruplet pregnancies are always a high burden.
‘We of course are keeping a close watch on the cardiovascular system. We all have little or no experience with such a pregnant woman in this age group, but I can say that this is certainly going very well.’
Thrombosis, her heart, her circulatory system – these are the areas causing concern for the unborns in the run-up to delivery day.
‘But she is highly motivated and this positive psychological mood is optimally important, the rest is not in our hands,’ added her gynaecologist.
Both were speaking in a clip released by the RTL TV network which is airing her story on Monday night.
One woman who had a child at 42 tells the programme: ‘I met her and found her to be a very sympathetic and intelligent woman.
‘As a 56-year-old woman who raised a just-pubescent son, it is hard to imagine why she would want to have quads. I also wonder how she can meet the needs of her growing children, especially as the children will have no father.’
It was mentioned in the publicity clip released by RTL that her fertility treatment – including both donated eggs and donated sperm – would never have been greenlighted in Germany. Two countries where treatment for women of such an advanced age is allowed were stated as Ukraine and America.
All her 13 children, ranging from Leila to a daughter of 44, were sired by five different fathers.