A Chinese mother who said ethnicity is not important after conceiving her third child at 50 via IVF using white sperm and egg donors has given birth to her son’s twin two years later, aged 53, after miracle IVF treatment.
Single mother Lan Ma, from Pennsylvania, has two teenage children Thomas, 19, and Tyler, 17, and gave birth to Toby, now two, in June 2019 after conceiving via IVF.
Lan previously revealed how she and her family felt the ethnicity of the child was not important as long as there was a history of good family health and decided to use Caucasian egg and sperm donors to conceive Toby.
The project manager, who has raised all her children alone and is often mistaken for her two-year-old son Toby’s grandmother, has since given birth to his biological sibling Tara on November 19, who was also conceived using egg and sperm donations.
‘I am in good shape and extremely healthy so the pregnancy was perfect,’ said Lan. ‘I didn’t have any complications despite my age. To me, age is just a number.
Chinese-born Lan Ma, 53, from Pennsylvania, has two teenage children Thomas, 19, and Tyler, 17, (pictured) and gave birth to Toby, now two, (pictured) in June 2019 after conceiving via egg and sperm donation
Tara (pictured left, with Toby, right) was conceived with the help of an egg and sperm donor via IVF on the same day as her two-year-old brother Toby
Lan Ma has since given birth to Toby’s biological sibling Tara on November 19, who was also conceived using egg and sperm donations. Pictured, when pregnant with Tara
She continued: ‘I am lucky as both frozen embryo transfer worked first time as I look after my body.’
‘I thought I was lucky with Toby as he is a happy boy who never cries and Tara is the exact same.
‘They look almost identical, they have the same color hair and their noses are the same.’
Lan said that her friends had doubts about her conceiving again so late in life, but she decided to become a single mother by choice in 2018 because her eldest children were growing up and she still had a lot of ‘love to give’.
Lan decided to become a single mother by choice in 2018 as her eldest children were growing up and she still had a lot of ‘love to give’. Pictured, Tara’s embryo was from the same batch as Toby
Lan Ma, 53, and her daughter Tyler, 17, holding sister Tara as a newborn (pictured)
Tara was conceived with the help of an egg and sperm donor via IVF on the same day as her two-year-old brother Toby. Pictured, Lan Ma after giving birth to Tara
The project manager has two other children Thomas, 19, and Tyler, 17, but felt it was important to give Toby a biological sibling. Pictured, Tyler, 17, holding Tara and Lan Ma, 53
HOW CAN YOU HAVE CHILDREN FROM THE SAME IVF CYCLE?
Siblings can be born from the same IVF cycle years apart using embryo freezing.
Following IVF, many woman have good-quality embryos left over after one has been implanted into their womb.
Rather than discarding these embryos, they can be frozen for future use.
This can help to preserve a woman’s fertility and is more effective than freezing your eggs.
The standard storage window for frozen embryos is ten years, however, women in ‘exceptional circumstances’ can store them for up to 55 years.
The average cost for storing them for a year is between £170 and £400.
When a woman wants to use her frozen embryos, they can be thawed and transferred into her womb.
This will only occur without fertility drugs if she is ovulating regularly.
If her periods are irregular, she may require medication to trigger a ‘false’ menstruation that prepares her uterus lining for an embryo.
Success rates for IVF using frozen embryos are on the rise and are now comparable to fresh embryo rates.
However, not all frozen embryos survive the process.
If the frozen embryos are never needed, they can be discarded, or donated to another woman, research or training.
Initially, she spent $25,000 (£18,000) on sperm, eggs and medication for the donor followed by $3,500 (£2,640) for frozen embryo and transfer.
Lan explained how she had no desire for a relationship because she valued her independence and expressed how the baby would be born into a family filled with ‘love and joy.’
She explained how Thomas and Tyler were with her for every step of the way and they helped pick the donors.
‘The only thing that mattered was health,’ she said. ‘I just wanted to be a mother and show my children how enjoyable life is.’
Lan gave birth to Toby aged 51 – but she didn’t stop there.
‘Thomas and Tyler begged me to have another baby so Toby can grow up with a sibling and best friend,’ she explained.
‘As I still feel young, I agreed as it would be unfair on Toby to grow up alone.
‘The embryo was defrosted and I was pregnant via embryo transfer in February 2021.
‘I had gestational diabetes with Toby so I was on insulin from 14 weeks with Tara.
‘But other than that everything was under control throughout the pregnancy.’
Tara’s embryo was one of nine that was created in June 2018.
Lan insists the pregnancies in her 50s were ‘smoother’ than the two in her 30s.
‘I suffered from terrible morning sickness with Thomas and Tyler,’ she added. ‘Whereas this time, I was fine and relaxed throughout. I think that is why both babies are so chilled and happy.
Lan Ma, 53, pregnant aged 53 with her son Toby who was conceived via IVF using egg and sperm donors
Lan and her family felt the ethnicity of the child was not important as long as there was a history of good family health and decided to use Caucasian egg and sperm donors to conceive Toby. Pictured, with Toby
With no intentions of finding a partner, Lan was determined to do it alone. She is pictured with her three children Toby, Thomas and Tyler
Lan says she has plenty of energy to parent young children. She is pictured in the pool and at the fair with her two-year-old Toby.
Tara’s embryo was one of nine that was created in June 2018. Pictured, Tara meeting Toby for the first time
Lan insists the pregnancies in her 50s were ‘smoother’ than the two in her 30s. Pictured, Tara was born on November 19
‘I have no concerns about being in my 70s when they are in their 20s.
‘There are no reasons for me to believe I will be frail and weak as I am healthier now than I was in my 30s.
‘I eat well, exercise and meditate daily which has changed my temperament to be always peaceful and calm.
Lan continued: ‘I am fit and healthy with a lot of love to give so having Toby and Tara felt right for me.
‘They will also always have Thomas and Tyler in their lives, who are thrilled be the proud big brother and sister.
‘Hopefully when they are in their 20’s, they will have multiple nieces and nephews to enjoy.
‘I work from home so I am able to be with the children at all times. My purpose in life is to accompany them through their life development.’
Lan said because she still felt young, she thought it’d be unfair on Toby (pictured), aged two, to grow up alone
Lan said Tara and Toby look ‘almost identical’ and added that they have the same color hair and their noses are the same. Pictured, Tara on the left and Toby on the right