Great-Grandmother Gives Birth to Twins

May 26, 2005 — -- Rosie Swain wasn't trying to break any records when, at 57, she became the oldest American woman to give birth to twins. All Swain and her husband, Jay, wanted was to give their son Jimmy, 6½, another sibling, even though with six other children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, the Swains had already given their son several playmates.

The Swains, along with their physician, Deborah Kimberlin, spoke exclusively with "GMA" about Swain's nontraditional road to motherhood.

"I had concerns, certainly, but she underwent extensive testing and had a comprehensive medical evaluation, and she's in excellent health," Kimberlin said. "She was counseled about the potential risks of pursuing pregnancy at her age."

After six years of grueling in vitro fertilization procedures, Swain gave birth vaginally on April 20 -- an unusual feat for a woman carrying twins -- and at such a late stage.

"We talked with her and she and Jay wanted to try to have a vaginal delivery and her labor went very smoothly and she made the whole process look extremely easy," Kimberlin said. "I don't think I could have done it, but it really was an amazing experience, and she did a beautiful job."

Although Diana and Christian were born nine weeks premature, both babies are in good health. Christian is the elder sibling, by four minutes.

Childbirth didn't stop Swain from getting up from her hospital bed two hours later to share a celebratory dance with her husband.

"I was feeling absolutely great," Swain said. "Almost like I hadn't delivered. It was just a good birth, and I felt great and I was hungry, and it went great."

Hearing Swain's story may prompt more women to consider having children at an older age, a controversial choice, while other women will be looking forward to their next role -- being a grandmother.

"It's absolutely a personal choice," Swain said. "It's not meant for everybody, but it was meant for us."