The experience of motherhood is unique for each and every mother. While surprises and complications aren’t a rare occurrence during pregnancy, some mothers have a vastly uncommon birth compared to most.
From mothers who beat the odds to welcome their offspring to the world to moms who ended up with much more than they could have ever expected, these cases of motherhood are incredibly rare.
Here are 16 of the most distinctive mothers to ever exist in history.
1. Elizabeth Ann Buttle. She gave birth to her daughter Belinda at the age of 19 and then gave birth to her son at the age of 60. Buttle told doctors she was 49 in order to be eligible for IVF even though she was 59 at the time of the conception. Buttle holds the record of having the longest interval between the births of her two children.
2. Stacey Herald. She stands at just 2 ft 4 and holds the title of being the world’s smallest mother. Herald has had three children despite doctors telling her that pregnancy would present a number of risks for her. She plans to have more in the future.
3. Thomas Beatie. He is the first male mother in the world. After having gender reassignment surgery in 2002, Beatie chose to become pregnant through artificial insemination due to his wife’s infertility and successfully gave birth to three children.
4. Heather Town. She had a normal pregnancy, but it’s what she did to protect her daughter that makes her motherhood notable. Town was killed after a deadly tornado tore through Venus, Florida. However, her 3-year-old daughter managed to survive by being shielded by her mother’s body in the debris.
5. Natalie Suleman. Better known as Octomom in the media, she gave birth to a complete set of octuplets. Suleman is only the second mother to give birth to a full set of living octuplets in the United States and her eight children were in addition to the six others she already had.
7. Rajo Devi Lohan. She became pregnant after a controversial IVF treatment, which made her the world’s oldest first-time mother. Lohan gave birth to her first child at the age of 69 and says that her daughter has made her stronger and helped her live longer.