Annegret Raunigk with her daughter Leila and her quads | Source: twitter.com/bzberlin | facebook.com/WSBTNews
Annegret Raunigk with her daughter Leila and her quads | Source: twitter.com/bzberlin | facebook.com/WSBTNews

Single Mom of 13 Kids Gives Birth to Quadruplets at 65, Gets Slammed by Critics for This

Ayesha Muhammad
Nov 12, 2023
09:30 A.M.

When a woman decided to have more kids at 65, her decision sparked fierce debate worldwide, with many criticizing her for getting pregnant at such an old age. However, she ignored all the harsh remarks and slammed her critics, telling them she had valid reasons for her choice.


Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but sometimes, our decisions and choices might draw unnecessary attention and invite belittling comments from those around us.

While many might feel pressured to change their minds under such conditions, others stand their ground and stay strong in adversity. The story we're sharing today is of a woman who bravely shut down critics and followed through with her decision.

An Unusual Decision

Annegret Raunigk from Spandau, Berlin, Germany, was a retired primary school English and German language teacher. Married only once, she had 13 children sired by five different fathers.


The German woman made headlines in 2005 when she gave birth to her 13th child, Leila, at 55. She was a single mom of an enormous brood and familiar with children's cackles, cries, and tantrums.

But in 2015, the then 65-year-old Raunigk took a decision that again brought her to the spotlight. She found herself amidst a vortex of travels and trials just so she could fulfill the wish of her then-ten-year-old daughter, Leila.


Pregnant with Quadruplets

Raunigk went to Kyiv, Ukraine, to have more children. She mentioned that the doctors in Germany refused to give her IVF treatment because they feared that her body wasn't strong enough to survive the stress of pregnancy and giving birth.

The doctors even feared that the premature and severely underweight babies might not survive.

In Ukraine, she found doctors who agreed to use a donated egg and donated sperm to artificially inseminate her, which was deemed illegal in Germany. Soon afterward, the German pensioner discovered that she was pregnant with quadruplets. Raunigk admitted she was taken aback when the ultrasound revealed she was carrying quadruplets. However, she was optimistic that she could take care of them.


Welcoming Her Little Ones

In May 2015, Raunigk gave birth to one girl and three boys, born very premature, with her baby girl, Neeta, only 1lb 7oz. Her other three preemie babies were also tiny—with Bence 1lb 8oz, Fjonn 1lb 10oz, and Dries 2lb 2oz.

The quadruplets stayed in incubators for the first few weeks at the Neonatology Department at Berlin's Charite Hospital. The doctors even feared that the premature and severely underweight babies might not survive.


Fulfilling Her Daughter's Wish

The babies spent a long time connected to breathing tubes. Dries required surgery after developing fluid in his brain, but fortunately, he recovered through a procedure that diverted excess cerebral fluid to his abdomen.

Neeta also had an operation to repair a hole in her bowel. After spending three months in intensive care, the quadruplets were deemed strong and healthy enough to leave the hospital with their mother.

The four bundles of joy were greeted warmly by their older sister, Leila, who had convinced Raunigk to seek fertility treatment in Ukraine because she wanted a sibling to play with. Much to her excitement, she had four younger siblings to keep her company.


Slamming Critics

Raunigk, who was solely focused on her family and fulfilling her daughter's wish, was slammed by critics for becoming pregnant at an advanced age. She shared she wasn't bothered about what people said about her decision. Further, she added:

"Everyone should live as they want to but everyone, it seems, has something to say about this. This is not about egotism and it is not selfishness. I like children – they keep me young. You get more tolerant the older you get."

The mom of 17 became one of the world's oldest women with quadruplets. Raunigk, a grandmother of seven, expressed she believed in the philosophy of "live and let live" and was least concerned about the debate centered on the rights and wrongs of her choice.


Focused On Her Family

As more negative comments poured in, Raunigk continued to defend her decision. She slammed her critics in these words: "How does one have to behave at 65? They can see it how they want to, and I'll see it the way I think is right."

Despite the fierce debate around her decision, Raunigk said she felt fit enough and ready to look after all her children and wished to move to the small and quiet town of Hoexter in the state of NorthRhine-Westphalia to raise them.


Raunigk expressed joy on her children's first birthday in May 2016, sharing that her three sons and one daughter were doing well and had a healthy weight appropriate for their age, approximately 18lbs. Despite the challenges of caring for multiple infants, she cherished the experience and wouldn't trade it for anything.

The German grandma of seven expressed that her quads kept her on her toes. Addressing her haters and critics, Raunigk said she was neither selfish nor out of her mind and wished people could become more tolerant and accepting toward older parents.


The doting mom admitted to sleeping very little but loved caring for her little angels. "This is not about egotism and it is not selfishness. I like children - they keep me young. You get more tolerant the older you get. I would never dream of telling anyone to do this or that. I am looked after, consulted, observed. I was fit to have them and I am fit to care for them," added Raunigk.

Click here to read another story about a 58-year-old woman who gave birth to her first child and was slammed for being too old to become a mom.

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