Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pregnant at 52

I was reading an article about the photographer Annie Leibovitz today when I got distracted by the age of her children. The article said she's 59, but she has an 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old twins. ??? Well, I just looked it up on-line, and while a surrogate mother had the twins, Annie herself gave birth to her older daughter when she was 52 YEARS OLD! Whoa! I can't imagine going through pregnancy and childbirth at that age! Well, I can't really imagine it right now, at the age of 36, but ESPECIALLY not at the age of 51. WOW.

I did a quick search on-line, and the only other celebrity I could find who actually became pregnant and gave birth in her 50s was Elizabeth Edwards, who gave birth to her youngest son, Jack, when she was 50. She and Annie Leibovitz most likely used donor eggs. But according to Wikipedia, "Aracelia Garcia of Sunnyside, Washington astounded doctors when she naturally conceived (without hormonal treatment) all-female triplets in 1999 at the age of 54. She delivered three healthy girls Arianna, Brianna and CeCelia by Caesarean section in January 2000" (

And this mother definitely didn't use fertility drugs: "Ruth Kistler of Portland, Oregon gave birth to a daughter in Los Angeles, California, on October 18, 1956, at the age of 57. The birth predated the advent of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) making Kistler one of the oldest women known to have conceived naturally" (ibid).

I'm getting tired just thinking about it!


  1. You and me both! Pregnancy was hard enough at age 33 and 34...I can't imagine it at age 40, much less 50. Besides, then you're bordering on being geriatric when your kid graduates high school.

  2. When I hear about those women in their late 40s or 50s who supposedly had babies back in the day, I cannot help but remember this one key fact: Back in the 1960s and before, it was considered extremely shameful to have a child out of wedlock. The result? Sometimes older women claimed to have had a baby in order to hide the fact that their UNMARRIED DAUGHTER had had a baby.

    That's what happened to the actor Jack Nicholson, for instance. The woman he thought was his sister turned out to be his mother.

    It was pretty common, actually--keep the pregnant daughter at home, or at some out-of-town home for unwed mothers, for the last few months of her pregnancy so no one sees how big she's gotten; pretend to be pregnant yourself; and then bring the new grandbaby home and tell everyone it's your baby.