67-year-old woman from Beijing is determined to give birth despite being rejected by multiple hospitals in the city with doctors warning her that she is risking her life by going forward with her pregnancy.
According to a video news report posted online by Btime.com, the woman, surnamed Zhang, lost her only son to a car accident four years ago. He was just 34 years old and died without children. “For years, I couldn’t fall asleep without taking pills,” she says. “I was prepared to help my son raise his children in the future. That was what I was longing for, but it has all turned to dust.”
Following her son’s death, Zhang focused all of her time on having children. She looked into adoption agencies and considered hiring a surrogate mother. However, both of these avenues failed to bear any fruit.
Finally, last November, Zhang and her husband traveled to Taiwan to search around for a hospital that was willing to perform an in vitro fertilization (IVF) on her. Eventually, one hospital agreed and carried out the procedure in June.
When she returned back home and went to Beijing Baodao Healthcare for a prenatal checkup, the hospital revealed that she was pregnant with twins. However, the hospital said it was not qualified to treat a pregnant woman of such advanced maternal age and transferred her over the Peking University Third Hospital.
Zhang visited the hospital last month for an ultrasound appointment. There, the doctors tried to persuade her to have an abortion, explaining that she had been diagnosed with pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, a condition that could be potentially life-threatening, particularly considering her age and the fact that she is pregnant with twins. Zhang instead insisted on continuing with the pregnancy, causing the hospital to refuse to treat her, transferring her to yet another hospital. That hospital has also suggested that she terminate the pregnancy.
“When I lost my son, no one cared about me. I finally found a way out, but they all block me. No hospital dares to treat me now,” Zhang says, explaining that Beijing health authorities have notified local hospitals about her case.
“I didn’t break any laws, but I feel like a criminal,” she added.
The bereaved mother spent more than 200,000 yuan to get pregnant and claims that despite her age, she is strong enough to deliver the twins. She explained that before the IVF, she swam one kilometer in cold winter weather to get herself into shape and prove that her body could handle the pregnancy.
If she does give birth, Zhang will become the oldest woman to ever give birth in China. The current record holder is Sheng Hailin, who gave birth to twins at the age of 60 back in 2010. Sheng also became pregnant through IVP after her only child died.