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Keeping it all in the family? Woman gives birth to her first grandchild

BOOSTER SHOTS: Oddities, musings and news from the
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February 14, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Stacey Wescott / Chicago…)

Sometimes what sounds medically outlandish -- a woman having her own grandchild -- isn't. Sara Connell, who had had three unsuccessful pregnancies, knows firsthand how real this can be. Her mother, 61, last week delivered a baby boy who biologically is Connell's first child.

This Chicago Tribune story explains how a mother's gift of surrogacy led to the birth of a baby delivered via Cesarean section. Mom Kristine Casey hadn't given birth for 30 years before she had Finnean, who's also her first grandchild.

"The surgery itself was uncomplicated, and the emotional context of this delivery was so profound," Dr. Susan Gerber, obstetrician and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital, told the paper.

Of course, this couldn't have happened without the use of assisted reproductive technology. In this case, an embryo was created from the egg and sperm from the Connells. In terms of success rates, about 6% to 10% of women older than 40 have babies via in vitro fertilization, according to the American Pregnancy Assn.

Still, it's rare for post-menopausal women to have children. Casey isn't the oldest woman to give birth with the aid of technology; other "new moms" have been in their 60s and even 70. 

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