The Remarkable Journey of the World’s Oldest Mother: Overcoming Adversity at 72
Daljinder Kaur, a 72-year-old woman residing in Amritsar, India, had almost given up hope on her dream of becoming a mother after enduring the heartbreak of three miscarriages. The stares and judgment from others were hurtful, but they couldn’t diminish the overwhelming joy she felt at being pregnant.
She reflects, “At the age of 72, I had waited long enough. My husband Mohinder and I entered into an arranged marriage in 1970, and despite facing numerous challenges, our love endured. After suffering through three devastating miscarriages, we faced insults from neighbors and even our own relatives, who believed I was cursed and that my husband should remarry.”
Mohinder, however, stood by her side with compassion and unwavering support. But the yearning for motherhood left Daljinder with a profound sense of loneliness. Witnessing friends’ children grow up only intensified her pain. Some days, she could manage, but on others, the anguish was so overwhelming that she couldn’t even leave her house. Eventually, Mohinder and Daljinder made the difficult decision to stop trying for a child, recognizing that three miscarriages had taken an immense toll on them emotionally.
During the 1970s and 1980s, India lacked the resources and guidance to assist couples struggling with fertility issues. Daljinder resigned herself to the belief that she would never experience motherhood. However, in 2012, a television advertisement caught her attention. It showcased the National Fertility & Test Tube Baby Centre in Haryana, northern India, a clinic specializing in in vitro fertilization (IVF). Although unfamiliar with the concept of IVF, Daljinder excitedly shared her discovery with Mohinder, who agreed to embark on this unconventional path.
The doctor Daljinder consulted was initially hesitant due to her age, expressing concerns about the potential risks involved in achieving pregnancy. However, Daljinder pleaded with him, and after conducting several tests, he reluctantly agreed. Since she no longer had viable eggs, they utilized donor eggs and sperm.
Each round of IVF came at a significant cost, amounting to over £2,000. Despite being financially comfortable due to Mohinder’s land ownership, their savings were quickly depleted by the costly treatments.
The first two attempts in 2013 and 2014 ended in disappointment. However, in July 2015, two decades after Daljinder’s menopause, the doctor delivered joyous news—she had conceived. Overwhelmed with happiness, both Daljinder and Mohinder shed tears of joy. Friends and relatives criticized her decision to pursue pregnancy at such an advanced age, citing concerns about her ability to care for a newborn and her own longevity. Yet, Daljinder brushed aside their doubts.
She firmly believed that her child would be loved immensely, regardless of how long she and Mohinder were able to be present. Doubts lingered, as she questioned whether her health would allow her to carry the baby for the full nine months. However, her unwavering desire to have a child surpassed any reservations.
Daljinder’s pregnancy progressed smoothly without complications. On April 19, she gave birth to her son, Arman Singh, weighing 4lb 4oz, through a planned cesarean section. The moment she held him in her arms, it was an indescribably beautiful experience.
As a new mother, Daljinder faces the challenges of breastfeeding and the inevitable sleepless nights. She required physical therapy to address the knee pain from holding Arman, as her mobility began to decline. However, she won’t change a thing