After ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀʏɪɴɢ three times, Daljinder Kaur had given up on her dreams of ever being a mum. Daljinder Kaur, 72, lives in Amritsar, India, with her husband Mohinder Gill, 79. She says: “Walking down the street heavily pregnant, everyone stared at me. They couldn’t believe what they saw: an elderly woman with a growing . Their stares were ʜᴜʀᴛFᴜʟ, ʙᴜᴛ ɴᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴛᴀᴋᴇ ᴀᴡᴀʏ the joy I felt at being pregnant.”
She added: ” at the age of 72, I’d waited long enough. My husband Mohinder and I wed in 1970. It was an arranged marriage, but a happy one. Following our wedding, I had three ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇs and was totally ᴅᴇᴠᴀsᴛᴀᴛᴇᴅ. Neighbours ɪɴsᴜʟᴛᴇᴅ us because we couldn’t produce a child, and even our own ʀᴇʟᴀᴛɪᴠᴇs sᴀɪᴅ I ᴡᴀs ‘ᴄᴜʀsᴇᴅ’ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴍʏ ʜᴜsʙᴀɴᴅ sʜᴏᴜʟᴅ ʀᴇᴍᴀʀʀʏ.
Thankfully, he was compassionate and supportive, and said he loved me no matter what. But I felt a deep sense of loneliness at not being a mother. Watching friends’ children grow into adults killed me inside. Some days I could ᴅᴇᴀʟ with it, but on others the ᴘᴀɪɴ ᴡᴀs sᴏ ᴏᴠᴇʀᴡʜᴇʟᴍɪɴɢ I couldn’t leave my house. Despite how I felt, Mohinder and I decided to stop trying for a baby. Three ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇs were ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇssɪɴɢ enough.
India, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, didn’t have much help or advice and I ʀᴇsɪɢɴᴇᴅ ᴍʏsᴇʟF ᴛᴏ ʙᴇʟɪᴇᴠɪɴɢ I would never have a child. Then one day in 2012, I saw an advert on TV for the National Fertility & Test Tube Baby Centre in Haryana, northern India – a clinic that carried out IVF. I’d never even heard of IVF before, but I excitedly told Mohinder that we had to try, and he agreed.
The doctor I saw was hesitant because of my age and told me getting pregnant would put my ʟɪFᴇ ᴀᴛ ʀɪsᴋ, ʙᴜᴛ I ʙᴇɢɢᴇᴅ him. He carried out tests, and when they came back ᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴠᴇ, he agreed. However, I had no ᴇɢɢs, sᴏ ᴡᴇ ᴜsᴇᴅ ᴅᴏɴᴏʀ ᴇɢɢs ᴀɴᴅ sᴘᴇʀᴍ.
At just over £2,000 for each round of I.V.F, it didn’t come cheap. Mohinder is a farmer who owns land, so we’re financially comfortable, but the treatment used up all our savings.
The first two attempts, in 2013 and 2014, Fᴀɪʟᴇᴅ. Then in July 2015, 20 years after my menopause, the doctor told me I’d conceived.Mohinder and I wept with joy. Friends and relatives all told me I was wrong to fall pregnant at my age, that I was too old to look after a newborn and I’d die before my child was an adult. But I ignored them.
The baby would be so loved it would be enough to last a lifetime, whether we were there or not. Of course, I had doubts. I wasn’t sure if my health would allow me to carry the baby for nine months, but my desire for a child overcame everything else.
I loved being pregnant and there were no complications. Our son Arman Singh was born by a planned Cᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ, ᴡᴇɪɢʜɪɴɢ 4lb 4oz, on April 19. Holding him was the most beautiful feeling in the world.
I am breastfeeding and, like any new mum, sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟɪɴɢ with the sleepless nights. I need ᴘʜʏsɪᴏᴛʜᴇʀᴀᴘʏ ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴏF ᴘᴀɪɴs ɪɴ ᴍʏ ᴋɴᴇᴇ ᴊᴏɪɴᴛs Fʀᴏᴍ ᴘɪᴄᴋɪɴɢ Aʀᴍᴀɴ ᴜᴘ, ᴅᴜᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴍʏ ᴍᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴅᴇᴄʟɪɴɪɴɢ. But I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m sure I’m going to be around to see him grow up. Finally, our family feels complete.”