Woman, 57, Who Gave Birth to Third Child Calls Experience 'Amazing'

A 57-year-old woman in New Hampshire has become one of the oldest mothers in the U.S., describing the experience as "ridiculously amazing."

Barbara Higgins had Jack Kearsley Banzhoff, her third child, at Concord Hospital on Saturday. Expected on April 13, he was born around three weeks early, and weighed 5lbs and 13 ounces. While she said he is "teeny-tiny," Jack is developing normally.

Higgins told Patch.com: "The whole thing was ridiculously amazing... But, I'm exhausted."

The teacher from Concord is among the oldest women in the U.S. to have a baby. Arceli Keh is thought to be the oldest woman to give birth in the U.S., having been aged 63 years old and nine months at the time.

Doctors had advised Higgins to induce labor a week before her due date, but she went into hospital early after being diagnosed with preeclampsia, a serious condition that can happen after 20 weeks of pregnancy where the blood pressure rises and there are signs of damage to the liver or kidneys.

The labor took three hours. Higgins said: "They didn't have to use a lot of medication. It was a big push and then, he was out. It was really quick and not expected at all... the doctors just sorta looked at him, on the bed, and said, 'There he is.'"

Higgins and her husband Ken Banzhoff decided to have another child after their daughter Molly Banzhoff died suddenly in 2016 aged 13 due to a brain tumor. She said she had an "overriding feeling" that she wanted another child, and had dreamed about it.

She visited Boston IVF, which helps women who want to get pregnant above the age of 50. Higgins praised the doctors for not judging her. Although the team does not usually help women above the age of 55, she said they were impressed by her health.

"No one stood there in a white coat and [lectured] me against doing it," she told Patch. "I was very much listened to; it was very, very empowering."

Higgins has been active all her life and was weight lifting and training up until the day she gave birth, she told NBC News affiliate NECN.

They named Jack after Jack Owen Dunaway, a boy who died in an accident aged 13 and whose mother Higgins met in an online grief support community.

To those who may be skeptical of the couple's decision she told Patch: "I grew my grandchild... It is just a different way of raising children."

She told NECN: "I don't know how I will be in 10 years, but how will you be in 10 years? And why should Jack not get to be alive because I'm old?"

Banzhoff told NECN: "We've beat the odds... I'm so proud of her, she's been a trooper through the whole thing."

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A stock image shows a pregnant woman holding her belly. Barbara Higgins has given birth aged 57. Getty Images