A 55-year-old woman has become the oldest woman to give birth to triplets – but they are actually her grandchildren. Jaci Dalenberg acted as a surrogate mother for her daughter, Kim, who battled with infertility after a hysterectomy, and has given birth to three babies, each weighing less than 3lbs, a minute apart.
The three girls – Ellie, Gabriella and Carmina – were delivered by emergency Caesarean and rushed to intensive care but all three have pulled through. Kim, 36, already had two children from a previous marriage, but desperately wanted more children with husband Joe, 30, who she married in 2005.
But the mother-of-two was unable to conceive after she had a hysterectomy to treat cysts and fibroids seven years before.The desperate couple went through two failed adoptions and considered surrogacy and adopting from abroad before Jaci stepped in.
The hospital manager had been researching surrogacy and was confident she could carry a baby despite her age. Kim underwent IVF at Cleveland Clinic, where eggs from her remaining ovary were fertilised by Joe’s sperm.
The doctors had only performed one other surrogacy procedure, on a woman in her 40s who was not related to the biological mother, but they said Jaci was in ‘perfect shape for her age.’
It took three attempts before Kim’s fertilised eggs successfully implanted in her mother’s womb, on 5 April this year. But the drama was far from over as an ultrasound 10 weeks into the pregnancy revealed three babies, rather than the expected one.
Then, on 11 October, two months before the due date, Jaci was forced to have an emergency Caesarean because one of the twins was starving in the womb.
Jaci told Closer magazine: ‘When the babies were born, I was ecstatic. The hardest part was leaving them in the hospital when I was released four days after the birth.
She added: ‘I don’t feel like I want to care for the babies myself.
‘I have already raised four beautiful daughters.
‘My time for being a mother is over. I’m their granny and I have no plans to ever be pregnant again!’
Kim said: ‘It’s the most amazing thing any mother could do for her daughter.
‘Of course, we’ll tell all the girls how they were born – I want them to know what an incredible thing their grandmother did for us.
‘I want them to know how special they are and all about their unusual start in life.’