Twins at 60 years old was the decision of China woman Sheng Hailin, 63, who was impregnated via IVF and had the children May 25, 2010. The case is one example of China beginning to relax parts of their controversial one-child-per-couple policy, the state media reported Tuesday.
The woman who had twins at 60 was devastated when she and husband Wu Jingzhou's only daughter, 29-year-old Tingting, died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2009, according to the China Daily. Sheng decided to request to have another child because of the loneliness she felt after losing her daughter.
"To survive and free myself from the loneliness, I decided to have another child in my old age," she was quoted by the China Daily.
The People's Liberation Army Hospital no. 105 granted Sheng's request, and baby girls Zhizhi and Huihui were born in 2010 via in vitro fertilization. Zhizhi was born 4.1 pounds while Huihui was 3.1 pounds.
The rare allowance from the Chinese government made Sheng the country's oldest mother. There has been no official explanation for the granting of her request, though.
For the children, who are now three years old, Sheng must make large sacrifices. As a retired medical worker and traveling health lecturer, she has had to pick up extra work to support the growing girls, which leaves her little time to spend with her new family.
"Some lectures may only last one day, but sometimes I have to stay three or four days in one place," she told the China Daily. "I could only spend four or five days at home with my children in the month. I'm 64 now and my body is old."
Part of the money from the elderly couple's pensions and earnings goes towards two babysitters, whom Sheng had to hire because she has trouble with physical tasks like bathing.
"For the baby girls, I have given out all I have," Sheng said.
China's strict family planning laws came into effect in the late 1970s, but since then, its estimated that a million families have lost their sole heir. In November, the government stated that if either a husband or wife is an only child, they may have two children.
Sheng is China's oldest mother, but not the world's oldest. Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara of Spain had twin boys by caesarean section in 2006 at age 66.