Mother of Twins, 57: It Was Like Destiny

ByABC News via via logo

Nov. 13, 2004 -- -- Aleta St. James, who recently became one of the oldest women in the United States to give birth to twins, says she feels like she was destined for the experience.

"About two or three years ago I had this compelling feeling that that's really what I wanted to do, and it was almost like [the twins] wanted to come in to the world through me," she told ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

"It's almost like I didn't have a choice to not do this thing," she added.

Sawyer interviewed St. James for a story that will air on "Good Morning America" on Monday.

The self-described emotional healer and life coach gave birth to a 5-pound, 12-ounce girl named Francesca and a 5-pound, 3-ounce boy named Gian on Tuesday. She turned 57 on Friday.

St. James says her desire to get pregnant came out of contentedness rather than desperation.

"I didn't want to have children out of a void. I wanted to have children out of something I could give back. I felt I could give so much to these children that I'd learned over the years," she told Sawyer.

"I did everything I wanted to do in my life. I explored myself. I got to a certain point where I felt a place of joy and calm."

St. James says she never thought there was going to be a problem, because her mother was born when her grandmother was 53.

"My mother grew up fine," she said. "My grandmother lasted a long time in her life, and I didn't think that was a big problem."

Francesca and Gian were conceived through in vitro fertilization using implanted donor eggs. Their biological father is St. James' former boyfriend, who will not be part of the children's lives, St. James said.

The children were delivered by Caesarean section.

Despite her confidence, St. James also prepared diligently for her pregnancy. She says she "dealt with all the spiritual and emotional things first."

For example, she meditates daily. She also visited the ancient Aztec ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru and meditated there, to draw "energy" and "fertility."

"Going through those primal spaces it's all about the earth," she said. "Went in there to the fertility temples there and did rituals."

Emotional balance is important, St. James said. "A lot of times people feel women want to have children on one part of themselves, and on the other part, they're afraid they don't have the money, it's going to take away their freedom, so I made sure there was none of that."

And finally, St. James, who was raised Catholic, prayed for twins. "I said I want them to have each other, I want them to have a family," she said.

But what about all the children that are waiting to be adopted? St. James said she felt her physical presence was an advantage.

"I could create a vehicle within myself that would give the babies a feeling of safety and love and support, and the proper nutrition, that I spent years studying to get to that place … I wanted to give them that foundation."

Celebrating her 57th birthday, St. James said she was "happy and excited, and kind of in a state of wonderment and anticipation."

The experience has been a dream and an answer to a prayer, she said. She says other people have also buoyed her spirits by telling her she had given them hope and inspiration.

"If I can do that in my life for a lot of people, that will make me happy," she said.

As for those who criticize what she did, St. James admits, "I'm a little crazy. That's what makes me interesting!"

She adds, "I feel ageless. I don't see any difference in my age between when I was younger and now, to tell you the truth."

St. James became the second-oldest woman in the United States to give birth to twins, according to the Web site http:/ The Web site cites Judy Cates as the oldest American woman to give birth to twins. Cates was 57 when she had her children in 1998.

A 59-year-old great-grandmother in Georgia is pregnant with twins and will deliver next month.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events