NEW YORK – A day-old brother and sister were welcomed as celebrities Wednesday as their beaming mother, believed to be the oldest woman in American to give birth to twins, showed them off.
Wearing a pink silk bathrobe, Aleta St. James (search) 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 on Friday, delivered the twins by Caesarean section (search) Tuesday at Mount Sinai Medical Center (search). They were conceived through in vitro fertilization (search) using donor eggs.
"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."
Curtis 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."
The single mom said she has the financial means to care for the twins, and has relatives and friends willing to help. She said she plans to continue to work.
"I'm in very good physical condition. I do emotional healing work. I knew I could do this," said St. James. "I knew I could give extraordinary things to these children."
The oldest American to give birth is Arceli Keh, of California, who had a daughter in 1996 when she was 63.
In 2002, Marilyn Nolen, a former U.S. Olympic athlete, gave birth to twins at the age of 55. In 1998, Lin Fu-mei of Taiwan, whose age was reported as 58 or 59, gave birth to two daughters.
The latest statistics available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (search) show that 263 children were born to women between age 50 and 54 in 2002.