WATERLOO, Ill. – A Waterloo resident will become one of the oldest women in the country to give birth. She is 62 years old.
Kathy Blattner and her husband, John, met and got married when they were both in their 40s.
Kathy was unable to have children because her eggs were no longer viable at her age. Kathy received donor eggs from a niece that were combined with John’s sperm. Through invitro fertilization, Kathy got pregnant and had a son 12 years ago. As time went on, the Blattners wanted more children.
Kathy, then her late 50s, said none of the infertility specialists she contacted would treat her because of her age. She finally found Dr. Sherman Silber, who looked at her case differently than the other doctors.
Silber felt Kathy was in great physical health, had a family support system, and the financial and emotional means to care for more children.
This time, Kathy used donated eggs from her daughter by her first marriage. Silber combined them with John’s sperm. Kathy became pregnant at age 60 and now has a 2-year-old boy.
The Blattners froze the remaining embryos at the time for later use. Now at 62, Kathy is pregnant again after thawing the remaining embryos. She was pregnant with twins but lost the pregnancy after a few weeks.
Kathy is expecting a baby girl in April. Now the daughter who donated her eggs is also expecting at the same time. The two women say it is truly like the movie “Father of the Bride.”
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine cites in its ethics guidelines that women over 55 years old shouldn’t give birth. The guidelines say pregnancy is too risky for the mother and the child. They also cite issues with the older mothers’ longevity and the greater likelihood that one or both of the parents could die before the child is an adult.
Silber argues it is unfair for society to look differently upon older women who want to have a baby and not of older men. The doctor says just because it is unusual doesn’t make it wrong.
Kathy Blattner hopes her story will inspire other older women who want to have a baby.