A 61-year-old woman has given birth to twins to become one of the world's oldest mothers.
Antonia Asti gave birth for the first time through artificial insemination at a hospital in Santos, near Sao Paulo in Brazil after trying to have a baby for more than 30 years.
The retired secretary and her carpenter husband Jose, 55, wanted a family as soon as they got married and after years of trying and several IVF attempts, they finally have the children they dreamt of thanks to ten-year-old frozen embryos.
Twins Sofia and Roberto were born, each weighing 2lbs, on Tuesday by caesarean section, just a week after Ms Asti celebrated her 61st birthday.
Ms Asti told Brazil’s Globo G1 website: ‘I'm so thrilled. All I ever wanted to be is a mother, and now my dream has finally come true.
‘I fought for this for so long. I never for one moment thought about giving up.
'We never had a lot of money but we saved a lot to achieve our dreams.’
The couple sought professional help in 1992 after years of trying and when Ms Asti was 51, they tried IVF treatment but were unsuccessful.
Desperate to be a mother, Ms Asti then decided to adopt but was rejected because of her age.
Ms Asti then tried artificial insemination using eggs fertilised with her husband’s sperm but the first three attempts also failed.
When she decided to try a fourth time, doctors at the Sao Lucas Hospital in Santos warned her that the frozen embryos were nearly ten-years-old and the procedure was less likely than ever to work.
Dr Orlando de Castro Neto, a specialist in assisted reproduction at the hospital, said: ‘The embryos were preserved from the first fertilisation but they have a validity of ten years, more or less, and they were reaching their end.
‘But she said she wanted to use them for a new and final attempt, as a last resort.’
She is believed to be South America's oldest first-time mother.
Ms Asti said: ‘I'm well. I'm quite capable of raising these children despite my age.
‘I don't consider myself to be 61. I think someone must have made a mistake on my birth certificate.’
A spokesman for the hospital said yesterday: ‘The mother is in good condition and well, despite the higher risk that an advanced aged can bring to a pregnancy.
‘The babies are doing well, although will stay in hospital for a few more weeks until they reach ideal weight.’
The world’s oldest mother is believed to be farmer’s wife Omkari Panwar who had twins by IVF in India in 2008 at the age of 70.