The reasoning behind her decision to have children so late in life, other than wanting a playmate for her 6 year-old, was her burning desire to make a statement that older women should be able to have children “without a stigma attached.”
Interviewed for the Today show, from the New Jersey hospital where she delivered the boys by c-section, she told Meredith Vieira that:
Those who believe it is wrong for older women to bear children need to get in step with a society that is living longer. “It's wonderful. It's wonderful.” Birnbaum is believed to be the oldest woman ever to give birth to twins in the U.S. “I think those people need to get ready for what's coming up in our society. Whenever there's anything new, people cannot comprehend or have difficult getting comfortable," she said. "There are a lot of middle-aged women [having babies] — 40s, 50s, now I just turned 60. That's going to be acceptable. They have to just keep up with what's going on with society.”I don't think this story would have bothered me so much if, by some miracle, she just happened to find herself pregnant at the age of 60. But, the fact that she consciously sought medical aid and intervention, thousands of miles away, to help her become pregnant, I find terribly disturbing and incredibly selfish. Even her adult children were not thrilled with the decision. In an interview with the New York Daily News her daughter, Alana, said, “She's youthful for her age but I don't think it's good. She should be going to the gym and taking time for herself — not taking on more stresses and responsibilities ... Am I happy at all about this? No. I'm not." And, no wonder she's not a happy camper, because she (or the older brother) will obviously be saddled with the 3 young 'uns if Ma and Pa croak, and they already have children of their own. It seems monumentally unfair, to me, considering Alana and her brother had no choice in the matter.
In response to her daughter's disapproval, she said “My daughter feels I should be living in Florida having a good life. I hope when she’s older, she’ll see this and understand she has choices. I don’t feel like I’m 60. I don’t know what 60 is meant to be.” Inspired while reading an article about older women and childbirth, Frieda seems to have taken this on as a warped feminist challenge to societal dictates. She told Vieira "It's really basically about women and empowerment." She wanted to let women know they have choices. Because her dad lived to the ripe old age of 92 and her mother until 89, she seems to think that she too will live that long. But there are no guarantees in life, and even if she does live for another 20 plus years, how much energy is she going to have to adequately take care of 3 young children? They'll be in their 70s when the twins start to reach puberty. Is Dad going to play baseball with a walker?
And what about the emotional toll on the twins: having parents that are the age of their peers' grandparents, and knowing they only have a short time to spend with them? What I find most amazing about this whole story is that Frida is a psychologist. You would think she'd know better.
Oh, and she plans on writing a book, with her Obstetrician, about her experience. To inspire other older women to have children at ages they shouldn't be having children.