Adriana Iliescu, a new mom at age 66 (courtesy: Agence France-Presse)

The 66-year-old woman who last week became the world’s oldest mother said as a young woman she had two abortions she now deeply regrets – even considering it murder.

Adriana Iliescu, a professor of literature at Romania’s largest private university, the Hyperion, in Bucharest, gave birth to her daughter, Eliza Maria, after undergoing fertility treatment. Speaking to the London Telegraph, she said she had become pregnant twice in her early 20s during a failed four-year marriage.

Iliescu said that the pregnancies were aborted because that was a routine method of birth control in her country at the time. She added, however, that she had spent most of the rest of her life wishing that she had a child.

“I got married when I was only 20 and still a student,” she explained. “My husband was also still a student at the atomic physics university back then, and the marriage didn’t last long. We divorced four years later. In that time I had two pregnancy terminations – it was the normal thing back then and the accepted form of contraception. If there is anything I regret then it is those terminations, not having a baby now. Religion was not a big part of many people’s lives and I had never had any religious education, I believed the party line that a fetus is only considered life when it is older than three months. In those days I would never have thought of a termination as murder, as I do now.”

Iliescu gave birth last Sunday, seven weeks early, after undergoing in vitro fertilization. She was originally carrying triplets, but one died at 10 weeks and another earlier this month. Her doctors decided to induce the delivery of her remaining child. Iliescu’s daughter weighed 3 pounds at birth.

“”Each person has a mission on earth. My mission was to prove that women who want to have children can do it,” she said after the delivery.

Iliescu said the moment she looked at her baby and touched her for the first time was “the happiest in my life. She grabbed my finger with her tiny hand and held it – it was a gift from God.”

Iliescu said she had “discovered religion” after her marriage – she is Romanian Orthodox – and believed that, after decades of hoping for a child, her daughter’s arrival had divine sanction.

“During this time I never gave up my faith in God and in the power of trying to realize one’s dreams,” she said.

The previous record for the oldest mother was held by a woman in India who in 2003 had a child at the age of 65.

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