A 57-year-old woman gave birth to a baby boy on March 20—and the new baby came five years after she and her husband lost their 13-year-old daughter to a brain tumor.
Barbara Higgins, a Boston-area woman, welcomed baby Jack into the world with her 65-year-old husband, Kenny Banzhoff. According to People, the couple underwent in vitro fertilization successfully, and are amazed with the results.
“We’ve beat the odds,” Banzhoff said, adding about Higgins, “I’m so proud of her, she’s been a trooper through the whole thing.”
A news story from NBC Boston noted that Higgins is a lifelong athlete, and reported that this pregnancy, her third, was “easy, thanks to good genes and an active lifestyle.”
Higgins told the news outlet that she was lifting weights until the day she went into labor. As she put it while laughing, “All that crazy CrossFit stuff that you hear about.” The TV segment telling her story features a clip of Higgins impressively lifting a giant barbell over her head while pregnant.
It’s even more remarkable given the loss they experienced. Their daughter Molly died in 2016 shortly after the family learned she had cancer, and in fact, it was the loss of one child that set them on the quest for another.
The NBC Boston story noted that while she was going through her grief process, she “became consumed with the thought of getting pregnant again.”
“I started having these dreams that I wanted to have a child, and I thought, ‘OK, Barb, that’s a little crazy,'” she said.
But her husband was willing to go along with it, and once they found an IVF clinic willing to treat a woman in her 50s, they decided to embark on the process.
“Nobody gives birth to a baby and knows with any certainty that they will be alive to see that baby grow up,” Higgins said, knowing all too well about the unpredictability of life.
“Jack is here,” she added. “He’s a little boy on the planet, and he gets to live a life.”