A New Hampshire woman who gave birth to a baby boy last week at the age of 57 is sharing her story and celebrating the newest member of her family.
Barbara Higgins and her husband, 65-year-old Kenny Banzhoff, welcomed newborn Jack on March 20. His arrival made his mom one of the oldest women in the United States to give birth.
“The whole thing was a bit surreal quite honestly,” Higgins said in a Friday interview with the ‘Today’ show.
“We’ve beaten the odds, and I’m so proud of her,” Banzhoff said.
The 57-year-old resident of Concord, New Hampshire, said she and her husband did not make the decision lightly to have another child. But after their daughter Molly died suddenly in 2016 from an undiagnosed brain tumor, Higgins began having dreams of another baby.
“My immediate reaction was I’m losing my mind and I’m upset and traumatized and all, but the dream was pretty consistent and it was just about the process of having a baby — that I’m supposed to do this … I would wake up with this compelling feeling that I need to call the doctor today, I need to work on this, I need to begin this process,” Higgins said. “And we didn’t rush into this at all.”
The couple ended up with Cardone & Associates Reproductive Medicine & Infertility LLC in Stoneham, Massachusetts, a facility that specializes in helping women in their 50s.
“For me, the process was actually one relatively easy step after another,” Higgins told ‘Today.’ “I know it’s not that way for all women, but for me the path just sort of presented itself.”
So far, Higgins said in some ways parenthood feels easier this time around. Her other daughter, 19-year-old Gracie, is already picking up Jack like a pro, she told The Boston Globe.
But the experience has felt “surreal” at times, and she said she doesn’t like to tie Jack’s arrival to Molly’s death. She didn’t have her son because she lost her daughter, she said.
She told the Globe her family’s situation has her raising the question — why can’t more women in their 50s have babies?
“It used to be a big thing when you were 40 and had a baby, and that’s nothing now,” she told the newspaper. “So many women have babies at 40. So usually people get married and they do it all. They’re starting their career, they’re buying their first home, they’re having their children all at once … And we’ve done it all. We’ve had our careers.”
Her husband is retired, she’s winding down her own work as a teacher, they’ve owned their home for 20 years, and financially they’re in good shape, she said.
“We don’t have all those distractions that can get in the way of just being able to relax, so in some ways it’s the best time to have a baby,” she told the Globe.
Watch her appearance on ‘Today’ below:
“The path just sort of presented itself.”
Barbara Higgins gave birth to a baby boy at the age of 57 last weekend. She and her husband, Kenny Banzhoff, join us along with their new baby, Jack, to discuss the birth that beat the odds. pic.twitter.com/fGocJiW9EV
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 26, 2021
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