SHARJAH // At the age of 37, Sana Tabsh became the proud mother of twins.
Already the mother of two boys and a girl, she acceded to her daughter Hayat's wish for a sister.
"I knew there was nothing that would guarantee it would be a girl, but I still wanted to try," said Mrs Tabsh, who is Lebanese. "When I first discussed it with my husband, he was a little reluctant.
"He told me we had already passed the stage of diaper changing, breast feeding … and that we were ready to move on.
"But when he saw how eager I was to have a fourth child, he agreed."
Little did the family know that a fourth child would also mean a fifth.
Before she decided to try for another girl, Mrs Tabsh, now 43, had a comprehensive check-up with her doctor.
"She told me that since I had no previous complications with my three other children, I shouldn't have a problem," she said. "But as a mother, a part of you is always concerned."
Describing it as a "smooth delivery", on April 26, 2005, Mrs Tabsh gave birth to healthy twins.
Maya arrived six minutes after Kareem, feet first.
"Unlike many other late pregnancies, I didn't need a C-section," she said. "It was a wonderful pregnancy. I was also lucky that I don't have a history of any illnesses in my family."
The twins are now 6 and often dominate the Tabsh household. But the experienced mother has no regrets.
Age should not be a limiting factor, she said, provided women are responsible.
"I always believe that a woman should follow her heart," she said. "Being a mother takes a lot of time and energy. If you believe you can make that commitment, then I say go for it."