A woman aged 70 has become a mother for the first time after an IVF doctor in India made her dreams come true.
Dr Anurag Bishnoi, 42, who runs the National Fertility Centre, in Hisar, India, has been responsible for making hundreds of old women – this is his second 70-year-old patient – mothers for the first time for many years and he is proud of his achievements.
Dr Bishnoi said: ‘A woman’s age is no factor for me when I consider helping them to become a mother. I am only concerned with their pre and post pregnancy health. In this part of the world couples without children don’t feel part of the society, it has terrible consequences on a couple’s place in their community. We have a different family system in India compared to Britain.
‘When I see a woman, who has struggled to become a mother and has been depressed for decades, it gives me ultimate happiness to put a child in her arms. We want to see them happy and their happiness is our happiness. There is no better thing in this world for a couple than having a child and for those who do not have children, it’s the worst kind of punishment. A 60-year-old woman from a rural part of India is as healthy and fit as a 45-year-old woman with an urban lifestyle. And as long as my 60 and 70-year-old patients are fit I’ll continue to help them.’
And since Daljinder Kaur, 72, and Mohinder Singh, 79, welcomed their first baby boy into the world on April 19, 2016, they encourage anyone to visit the clinic and never give up on trying for a baby.
Daljinder said: ‘Childless couples should never abandon hope and should never give up, no matter what the circumstances are. Take advise from the specialists.’
Daljinder and her farmer husband Mohinder, from Amritsar, in Punjab, northern India, had been trying for a baby since they got married, in September 1970, but suffered three miscarriages.
Mohinder’s family suggested he re-marry but he refused and the couple moved on living as best they could; surrounded by their family.
They considered adoption but Daljinder wanted her own child. And 43 years later they saw an advert for the National Fertility Centre and decided to make an appointment.
But after failed attempts at IVF in 2013 and 2014 the couple started to feel deflated before Daljinder finally conceived with donor sperm and eggs on the third attempt in 2015, 20 years after her menopause.
CHILDLESS COUPLES SHOULD NEVER ABANDON HOPE AND SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP
Daljinder said: ‘The doctor initially refused to take my case considering the possible complications and risks with my age. But I was determined and kept going back until he agreed. The desire to have my own child was so intense that I was prepared to take any risk. I always wanted to be a mother like any woman.’
Little Arman was born by caesarian on April 19, weighing 4lbs 4oz.
Dr Bishnoi, who runs the clinic with his wife Dr Aman Bishnoi, 39, a gynecologist, said he was reluctant to treat Daljinder at first but she was determined.
‘I’d never come across a woman of her age so determined to have a child,’ he said. ‘She was always punctual and never hesitant, willing to do anything we asked or needed. We take cases depending upon the medical condition of the woman. In her case, at first I thought she looked weak so I said I needed to test her fitness levels and we were surprised to see she was very fine at her age.’
Dr Bishnoi, who has two children aged six and 14, got into fertility after is parents were gynecology doctors.
He said: ‘I grew up around talk of women desperate for children and how important it was for them to become a mother.
‘After I finished my studies in Leeds, in Britain, I decided to join the IVF field back home in India. My mother was the IVF genius and she was the one who started accepting older women at our clinic. One day a patient came in aged 48 and she was desperate to become a mother. She was healthy and further tests proved she was fit to carry so we went ahead. It was successful and word soon spread. But when we helped Rajo Devi give birth at 70, in 2008, our patient list went through the roof. Rajo’s motherhood was an important chapter in Indian IVF history. We now see 6,000 women a month and 30pc of those are aged above 50. That’s approximately 1,800 women a month who are old enough to be grandmothers, never mind first time mothers, it’s quit amazing.’
An IVF cycle with the National Fertility Centre costs Rs200,000 (£2,200) and Dr Bishnoi has said he would consider British patients if they had been turned away in their own country. ‘If, due to age the UK wouldn’t allow treatment, we would treat them but I don’t feel the urge to treat foreigners. My need to help is targeted at women in India whose lives are turned around irrevocably when they become mothers, even at 65,’ he added.
A woman’s age is no factor for Dr Bishnoi when he helps them have a baby.
He added: ‘Death cannot be controlled; nobody can guarantee a person’s life. Young woman even die during childbirth. We cannot deny treating these women just because they will not live to see their children grow. For many, the joy of motherhood is far more important than seeing their children grow up to marry. I feel it’s my duty to help women become mothers no matter what age and cherish their role as a woman. We often abort babies if there is a serious risk to the woman’s life but it’s very rare. And all women over 45 have a caesarian delivery.’
Daljinder and Mohinder are now back home settling into family life with their son Arman, which means wish or desire.
Mohinder said: ‘He is a blessing from Almighty. We named him Arman because he was our only desire. I feel complete now.
‘There is no particular age to enjoy motherhood. Almighty has given us Arman and he will take care of him. I don’t feel our age will impact on his childhood and we’ll have no difficulties raising him. We will ensure he goes to a good school and gets the right education. We will support him in every way until whatever age we are alive.’