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Woman Just Shy of 57 Has Twins Safely

From Associated Press

A day-old brother and sister were welcomed as celebrities Wednesday as their beaming mother, believed to be one of the oldest American women to give birth to twins, showed them off.

Aleta St. James choked up as she introduced her newborn son, Gian, and daughter, Francesca, at a news conference.

“This is the most incredible thing I’ve ever done in my life. This is a miracle that God blessed me with,” she said.

St. James, who turns 57 Friday, had the twins by Caesarean section Tuesday at Mount Sinai Medical Center. They were conceived through in vitro fertilization using donor eggs.

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“A lot of people may think I am selfish or crazy or whatever,” St. James said Wednesday. “Well, I’m a little bit crazy. I’ve never lived in the box. I just say if you have a dream, if you put your mind to it and don’t listen to other people’s negativity, you can really do incredible things.”

St. James is a motivational speaker who helped her brother, radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa, found the Guardian Angels in the 1970s.

Sliwa, who has an 11-month-old son, said he thought the new arrivals “would be two little peanuts wrapped up in a blanket, but they look like they’re ready for their mother to take them for a visit to the zoo.”

St. James, who is single, said she had the financial means to care for the twins, and had relatives and friends willing to help. She said she planned to continue to work.

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“I’m in very good physical condition. I do emotional-healing work. I knew I could do this,” St. James said. “I knew I could give extraordinary things to these children.”

Dr. Jonathan Scher, who delivered the babies, said that for women over 50, childbirth carried risks such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases that could lead to miscarriages. There are relatively few risks to the children because donor eggs are usually from women in their early 20s.


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