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Berlin mum, aged 65, gives birth to quadruplets

After a 26-week pregnancy, a 65-year-old Berliner has had quadruplets. German television reported that the three boys and one girl were born on Tuesday, making Annegret R. the world's oldest mother of quadruplets.

Annegret R., the 65-year-old Berlin woman who had caused so much controversy this spring when she announced her pregnancy with quadruplets, gave birth to the children earlier this week, the broadcaster RTL reported late Friday.

When Annegret R., who teaches English and Russian at a primary school, announced her plan to carry and birth four children two decades after menopause - or the age when a woman stops producing the eggs necessary to have children without medical intervention. Pregnancies after age 35 can bring heavily increased health risks for expectant mothers and the fetuses they carry.

"As is common with premature births, the children are in incubators and being medically cared for and observed," RTL reported. Doctors had conducted the last prebirth checkup in mid-May, with the television broadcaster reporting that, "under the circumstances and according to the attending physicians," the pregnancy had gone surprisingly well and the children stood a good chance of surviving.

Annegret R. went to Ukraine for implantation with an egg and artificial insemination. She'd already had 13 children and seven grandchildren. She said her previously youngest daughter - Lelia, now 10 - had requested a new sibling.

Politicians, doctors and religious figures criticized her decision to birth four more children when she announced the pregnancy in April, but Annegret R. wouldn't hear that. "I believe that one must decide that for oneself," she had told RTL, which has kept her under an exclusive contract, in April, just a month before becoming the oldest known woman to give birth in Germany. "I don't tell other people about their lives and I expect that mine will be likewise accepted," she added.

The babies weigh between 655 grams and 960 grams (1.5-2.1 pounds) and measure 30-35 centimeters (roughly a foot).

mkg/rc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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