57-year-old gives birth to son conceived through IVF, 5 years after teen daughter’s death

A 57-year-old New Hampshire woman gave birth to a baby boy last Saturday, five years after losing her teen daughter to an unexpected illness.a close up of a man holding a baby: Barbara Higgins cradles her newborn's head in her the family home on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 in Concord, N.H. Higgins who lost her 13-year-old daughter to a brain tumor in 2016 has given birth to a son at age 57. Barbara Higgins, and her husband, Kenny Banzhoff, of Concord, have been dealing with grief over the death of their daughter, Molly. (Geoff Forester/The Concord Monitor via AP)

“The whole thing was a bit surreal, quite honestly,” Barbara Higgins told NBC’s “Today” in a segment that aired Friday.

She and husband Kenny Banzhoff welcomed the healthy baby boy named Jack after undergoing IVF treatment.

“We’ve beaten the odds, and I’m so proud of her,” Banzhoff said of his wife.a man sitting on a table: Barbara Higgins holds her son, Jack, as her husband Kenny Banzhoff looks on Wednesday in Concord, N.H.

Barbara Higgins holds her son, Jack, as her husband Kenny Banzhoff looks on Wednesday in Concord, N.H.

Higgins said she was inspired to try for another child after her 13-year-old daughter Molly died suddenly in 2016 from an undiagnosed brain tumor.

“I attached it very much to my grief process,” she said.

She recalled having a recurring dream about a new baby and waking up with the “compelling feeling” she needed to call her doctor and get the process rolling.

The oldest known mother to conceive naturally and give birth was Channel Islands resident Dawn Brooke, who conceived a son at age 59 in 1997, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Higgins, a fitness buff who weight lifted during her pregnancy, told “Today” she didn’t consider her age a deterrent to being a great mom.

“Who knows how I’ll be in 10 years, but who knows how you’ll be in 10 years,” she said. “That isn’t something that anyone can predict. And why should Jack not get to be alive just because I’m old?”

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