17 January 2005 -- Adriana Iliescu has made history. At the age of 66, Iliescu appears to have become the world's oldest recorded mother, giving birth to a baby girl in Bucharest.
Doctors performed an emergency cesarean section after the child's twin sister died in the womb. But Dr. Bogdan Marinescu, the head of Giulesti Maternity Hospital in the Romanian capital, said the surviving baby and her mother were feeling well after their ordeal yesterday.
"By caesarean surgery, a female [baby] weighing 1,400 grams was born. [She] is behaving normally," Marinescu said. "She needs help breathing and, to my extreme delight, she had her first meal 15 minutes ago, one milliliter of glucose."
Iliescu had received fertility treatment for nine years before becoming pregnant. She was artificially inseminated with the sperm of an anonymous donator.
Romanian media have pointed out that Iliescu, who will be 80 when her child is 14, will be too old to see her daughter grow up.
Before giving birth, she spoke of the experience: "It [becoming pregnant] was the most moving -- but also the most frightening moment of my life. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to carry the pregnancy to the end."
Iliescu is a retired history professor and an author of children books. In an interview in December, Iliescu said she couldn't accept not being able to have a baby. She also said she was optimistic about her future as a mother.
Marinescu, Iliescu's doctor, said she was in good enough shape to carry a pregnancy and give birth to a child. Marinescu also said he was impressed by Iliescu's determination.
"When the child was born, the mother asked whether the newborn was healthy, and said, 'Thank God I did something. I'm leaving something behind me,'" Marinescu said.
Still, the story has not passed without controversy.
Romanian media have pointed out that Iliescu, who will be 80 when her child is 14, will be too old to see her daughter grow up. And the newspaper "Cotidianul" has questioned the ethics of doctors who artificially inseminated her.
The Romanian Orthodox Church, however, has applauded Iliescu. The press office of Patriarch Bogdan Teleanu, head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, said in a statement: "The Bible preaches love and procreation at whatever age."
Doctors said the mother and her baby girl could be released from the hospital in the next few weeks.
A 65-year-old woman in India reportedly became the world's oldest mother in 2003.
The latest edition of the "Guinness Book of World Records" has listed two 63-year-old women, an Italian and an American, as holding the record.
(compiled from wire reports)