What’s more cooler news you can hear than this… an embryo which was frozen for more than 24 years was implanted into a woman and it delivered. The parents of the newborn baby girl, Tina and Benjamin Gibson, weren’t looking to set a world record but that’s what exactly happened when their daughter, Emma, was born last month.
According to CNN, there were no official records that can actually track the age of the embryo but experts believe that the Gibsons’ case represents the oldest embryo that resulted in a successful live birth. The case is also special as the mother of the baby was 25 when she got pregnant with the embryo which is just a year younger than her.
“Do you realize I’m only 25?” Tina Gibson told CNN. “This embryo and I could have been best friends.”
The baby girl, Emma, is healthy and weighs 6 pounds and 8 ounces and is 20 inches long.
“We’re just so thankful and blessed. She’s a precious Christmas gift from the Lord. We’re just so grateful.” Tina said.
Recalling the memories of her special child, Tina’s eyes were filled with tears and she said:
“We wanted to adopt, and I don’t know that that isn’t going to be in our future. We may still adopt. This just ended up being the route that we took. I think that we would have been equally elated if were able to adopt. “
Despite not being her biological father, Benjamin said that the baby girl feels completely like his own child.
“As soon as she came out, I fell in love with her,” Benjamin said.
The couple were married for seven years and believed that they would never have a biological child because Benjamin has a medical condition called Cystic Fibrosis (which usually results in infertility in men).
“My husband has cystic fibrosis, so infertility is common. We had decided that we were more than likely going to adopt, and we were fine with that.” Tina said.
The couple fostered several children before going for the implant.
But during a break between the fosters, they thought of taking a week-long vacation. But when they visited Tina’s father to drop off their dog, her father suggested them to adopt an embryo.
“I saw something on the news today. It’s called embryo adoption, and they would implant an embryo in you, and you could carry a baby.” Tina’s father said.
“I was like, ‘Well, that’s nice, Dad, but we’re not interested. We’re knee-deep in foster care right now, I kind of blew it off. I had no interest in it.” Tina recalled laughingly.
“It was playing in my mind over and over and over.”
And then she turned to her husband, Benjamin and asked him what he felt about “this embryo adoption.” He was also thinking about the same thing “the whole time.”
After days of research, they decided to go to the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) situated in Knoxville where other couples donate their leftover frozen embryos for the pairs who are looking to conceive through vitro fertilization (IVF).
But Tina wasn’t ready immediately, she took weeks to decide.
“During August of last year, I just came home one day; I looked at Benjamin, and I said, ‘I think we need to submit an application for embryo adoption,’ ” she explained. “On a whim, we filled out an application and submitted that night.”
By, December, she was on a series of medical examinations to check whether her uterus was physically capable of receiving an implanted embryo. In January, the results came and Tina was required to remove a polyp from her uterus and she was eligible for the process.
The Gibsons were completely ready for the implantation in March but they had to choose an embryo out of 300 donor profiles.
“We literally had two weeks to go through 300 profiles,” Benjamin said.
“It was overwhelming,” Tina said. “There was so many, and it’s like, how do you pick?”
The couple started from one basic detail just to “narrow it down in an easy way,” she said. Since both Tina and her husband are not that tall, they looked at profiles based on height and weight and then they moved on to bigger things, like medical history.
The first embryo that they chose wasn’t viable so their second choice for the embryo was selected.
And when they were going for the transfer, the doctor and Sommerfelt explained that “It’s a world record!”
Moreover, the doctor, Jeffrey Keenan, who delivered Emma on Nov 25 said the case is certainly special. Several experts who spoke to CNN reported that the oldest embryo that resulted in a successful live birth (till now) was 20 years old.