Congratulations are in order for New Hampshire teacher, Barbara Higgins, who is proof you’re only as old as you feel.
On Saturday, the 57-year-old gave birth to her son, a healthy baby boy named Jack, at Concord Hospital after three hours of labor.
The Concord resident credits good genes for an easy third pregnancy.
“We live to be 100, we climb mountains, and ski well into our 90s,” Higgins told NBC Boston.
Higgins’ dedication to fitness also proved to be an asset. She said she was weightlifting until the day she went into labor.
“I do a lot of weight training and all that crazy Crossfit stuff that you hear about,” she said, sharing a video of herself weightlifting.
In 2016, Higgins and her husband, Kenny, endured the crushing loss of their daughter.
“Molly was 13 (and she) had an undiagnosed brain tumor and died very suddenly,” she said. “That throws your life into a tailspin of feelings and experiences that you weren’t expecting.”
It was after their loss and while working through grief that Higgins 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 shared with NBC Boston.
But Kenny was on board. After finding an IVF clinic in Boston that would treat a woman in her 50s - they decided to go for it.
“We’ve beaten the odds and I’m so proud of her,” Kenny Banzhoff told the outlet, beaming at his wife and newborn son. “She’s been a trooper through the whole thing.”
As a mother who has lost a child, Higgins knows that tomorrow is never promised and age didn’t play a role in their decision making.
“Nobody can give birth to a baby and know with a certainty that they will be alive to see that baby grow up,” she said. “I don’t know how I will be in 10 years... And why should Jack not get to be alive because I’m old?”
Higgins is hopeful that her story is encouraging for women struggling to get pregnant and proves that age is truly just a number.