Guardian reporter Randeep Ramesh visited Rajo Devi Lohan, the Indian woman who, in November, gave birth to her first child—at the age of 70—and found one tough mother. “In the village we grow strong with hard work,” she told him. “If I sat in a chair all day for my life I would have had problems when pregnant. I used to work 12 hours every day in the fields. The doctor told me I have the strength of someone half my age. Even when I am 80 I will be able to catch Naveen if she runs away.” And that’s after a harrowing pregnancy: eight weeks before her daughter was due a routine ultrasound scan showed Rajo Devi was in danger of losing the child. She did lose three litres of blood, and a surgical team was on standby to remove her uterus. In the end, she avoided a hysterectomy, and the baby, delivered by caesarean section, was light, at 3lb 5oz, but safe and well. Now the question for her and her husband, Baba Ram, who sold two buffalos, took a government loan and mortgaged their rice, wheat and sugar-cane crops to afford the IVF treatment, is how to fund the next pregnancy, the one they hope will bring a longed-for son.
The world's oldest first-time mother contemplates having a second child
"The doctor told me I have the strength of someone half my age," says the 70-year-old