Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a food and wine pairing event at Local 92, a Mediterranean restaurant here in New York City. The food was delicious but more than anything, I’ll remember the conversation. We talked about everything from Bey’s Lemonade to the essential Americanness of the Midwestern accent. (My sister and I represented. Indiana stand up!)
That evening we also spoke about the most interesting tidbits from the news. And of course, that included Daljinder Kaur, the 70-something-year-old woman who gave birth to a son she and her husband named Arman on April 19. Beautifully, Arman means “wish” in Hindi.
In case you’ve missed this story, according to CBS Kaur and her 79-year-old husband yearned to have a child for decades. And over 20 years post menopausal, with the help of IVF treatment, Kaur got her wish. And to top it all off, she’s also breast feeding.
She told The Times of India, “Everyone asked me to adopt a baby, but I never wanted to. I had faith in Almighty, and knew I will bear my child one day.”
Being the church girl, spiritually grounded woman that I am, I immediately viewed this a miracle. A modern day Sarah and Abraham. But more than that, I saw it as an inspiration. I’ve written before, perhaps in passing, about the pressure women feel to squeeze all of our goals and dreams into the first 30 years of our lives before it’s time to re-prioritize and make our children number one in our lives, if we can still have them.
But last night at dinner, a woman I was sitting next to, who happened to be Sri Lankan, suggested that the doctor who performed the procedures, there were two failed attempts before the actual successful pregnancy, had acted unethically.
According to that same CBS article, Kaur and was impregnated at a clinic in the Indian state of Haryana, National Fertility and Test Tube Baby Centre.
Being caught up in the miracle of it all, I didn’t consider the fact that it might not have been the most medically sound decision. After all, I’m assuming there were possible health complications for both the mother and child. Then there’s the question of the woman’s health after delivery. Even if this couple lives well into her 90s, her child will have bury both of his parents at a very early age.
Then again, that could happen to any one of us with our parents. Lives are often snatched in what we perceive as a premature manner. And then there are people who live until they’re 116. None of us knows how the cookie will crumble.
Kaur’s husband, Mohinder Singh Gill, 79, said that the same God who blessed them with this miracle will do the same in keeping them to raise their son. He told the AFP: “People say what will happen to the child once we die. But I have full faith in God. God is omnipotent and omnipresent, he will take care of everything.”
Honestly, I’m happy that the baby was born healthy and this woman and her husband got to witness their dream come true and hold their son in their arms.
But what do you make of the story of the 70-year-old woman giving birth? Is it an inspirational miracle or a violation of medical ethics?