57-Year-Old Woman Finds Courage to Become Mom Again after Losing a Daughter to Cancer

We stare at the clock, slowly ticking by as from decade to decade we become more anxious — feeling as though our lives are over. But one woman ignored all that noise, creating a miracle out of a travesty despite the supposed confines of age. 

Have you ever had a nightmare that you couldn’t wake up from, no matter how much you tried? Elderly couple Barbara Higgins and Kenny Banzhoff from New Hampshire went through this horrific experience. 

Except, in their case, they couldn’t wake up because it turned out to be real, making them want to shut their eyes forever. Strangely enough, when Higgins did spend time with her eyes closed, she envisioned a possibility of a beautiful dream coming true. 

Barbara Higgins and her new-born baby Jack. │Source: twitter.com/nbcbayarea


In 2016, Higgins and Banzhoff lost their precious 13-year-old daughter Molly from undiagnosed brain tumor complications. The grieving mother described the death of their late teenage daughter as: 

“A traumatic, life-altering, horrifying experience. It hobbles you completely.”

Strangely, while she and her relatives mourned Molly, Higgins began to have the strangest dreams. These would later impact her life in ways she could have never imagined.

The mom and teacher began feeling this urge to conceive and give birth to another child but thought perhaps it was linked to the grieving process. She recollected

“I started having these dreams that I wanted to have a child, and I thought, ‘OK, Barb, that’s a little crazy.'”

However, Higgins eventually warmed to the idea, and with her husband, they chose to have a child while she was in her 50’s – opting for IVF treatment

In March 2021, beginning her day with a CrossFit workout and utterly unaware of what was to come, a 57-year-old Higgins gave birth to a healthy baby boy — they named him Jack. Speaking about raising a child at her age, the mother stated:

“Actually, in many ways, I think it’s easier. I don’t have such big expectations.”

She expressed that she is not troubled by any opinions of others towards her motherhood, simply enjoying her everyday life with her baby boy. 

One of the criticisms she received around her son’s birth was her age, with many doubting her choice to have a child at 57 years old. The mom responded:

“I don’t know how I will be in 10 years, but how will you be in 10 years? And why should Jack not get to be alive because I’m old?”

All in all, despite the controversy surrounding her age, their beautiful baby Jack is a dream come true – literally. 

As it seems, and like many other women, Higgins always gets judged for how old she is. When it comes to being a mom, she shares the same societal shame with Adriana Iliescu from Romania.

This courageous individual faced a massive backlash from the public and the church after becoming a mother at 66 years old.

Iliescu wanted children from a very young age, but her ex-husband forced her to have an abortion in her 20’s. Following their separation, she became engrossed in work, with no time to care for a child.  

Then, in her late 30’s, she was finally ready, but IVF was not available yet. So three decades later, she went through this assisted reproduction, ultimately giving birth to little Eliza Iliescu.

Both women continue to raise and create beautiful lives for their children – proving that one shouldn’t define themselves by the numerals attached to their supposed identities.


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