Chao Hsiang-chen, a 63-year-old employee at the Taipei Water Department’s Customer Service Center, and her 64-year-old husband never planned on having children. After family and friends suggested it to them two years ago, they decided to give it a shot, but never expected to she would actually get pregnant. At the ripe old age of 62, Chao gave birth to twins — a boy and a girl (dragon-and-pheonix twins in Chinese) — at the end of last year. With a smile on her face she says, “They are the most precious gift that God has ever given me.” She does, however, regret having kids so late in life and would like to encourage women to have children earlier in life.
“I just couldn’t believe it when the doctor told me that I was pregnant,” Chao says. Her husband had never really been fond of children and often said that having kids was unnecessary, which was why they still had no children after so many years of marriage. That all changed two years ago when they went on a trip to China and family and friends began encouragingly telling them that they were in great shape and healthy enough to have kids. Without actually trying very hard, nature took its course after they returned to Taiwan, but instead of merely becoming an expectant mother, Chao became pregnant with twins.
Chao attributes her lack of discomfort during birth to hiking in the mountains every day with her mother when she was young. She was able to get out of bed and start doing stretches using a towel the day after giving birth and was released from the hospital by the fifth day. On that day, Chao was immediately able to go to the market to buy food and life pretty much returned to normal. Her doctor has even encouraged her to have yet another baby next year to help increase the country’s birthrate.
Holding the twins — Chen Fong (girl) and Chen Lung (boy) — in her arms, Chao says that she never fathomed something like this would happen. When the babies were born they weighed 2,600g and 1,800g, but now at three months they weigh 7kg and 6kg. They do not cry much, only gurgling and babbling a bit when they are hungry, and spend most of their time sleeping. The twins are not shy with strangers either. As soon as they were brought into this world, they became the objects of doting and adoration among family members. “It turns out that kids are fairly easy to raise,” Chao says.
Ridiculing herself for being a mother who does not use her brain much, Chao has not read any magazines or books on parenting because she believes that children should be free to grow up naturally. Her octogenarian parents, on the other hand, are typically the ones who keep nagging her about how to raise the children.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)