Benjamin and Tina Gibson became parents for the first time on November 25, 2017, when they welcomed baby Emma Wren. Now, they welcome her sister.
One family from Tennessee has embraced their miracle children born through a special method. In 2016, neither did they know nor were they interested in receiving donated embryos but they started reading about it, and what they found convinced them to take the plunge.
Benjamin and Tina Gibson became parents for the first time on November 25, 2017, when they welcomed baby Emma Wren, weighing in at 6 lbs., 8 oz., and 20 inches long, according to the National Embryo Donation Center. What was special about her? She was frozen as an embryo for more than 24 years, according to ABC News. She was the longest known frozen human embryo to result in a successful birth. Then came her biological sister, Molly Everette Gibson, as per Good Morning America.
Molly was born on October 26, 2020, weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces. She was frozen as an embryo for more than 27 years!
Molly has broken her sister's record in this regard. The Gibsons, who live in East Tennessee, weren't able to get pregnant on their own and took their time to adapt to the idea of embryo options, they told ABC News.
Sometime in 2015, the couple was visiting Tina’s father’s home to drop off their dog before heading off on vacation. Her dad told them about frozen embryos since he knew they wanted a baby. Back then, the couple thought it was intriguing but were not interested in exploring the option.
However, months later they visited the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) for their first appointment. By February 2017, they had gone through over 500 profiles and picked their donor. The embryo transfer took place in March that year and in November, Emma was born. "In this case, the receiving couple were provided with one-page profiles of all the available embryos that had been donated to the NEDC," NEDC lab director and embryologist Carol Sommerfelt told ABC News. "They selected five donors to view extended profiles on and then they selected their preferred donor."
Before Emma was born, it took six weeks to prepare the uterus to accept the transfer. She was their second choice embryo in case their first choice didn't work out. They had picked out three in total. Tina says, "It was meant to be."
"I will always remember what the Gibsons said when presented with the picture of their embryos at the time of transfer: 'These embryos could have been my best friends,' as Tina herself was only 25 at the time of transfer," Sommerfelt said in a press release announcing Emma's birth. "She's perfect," the Gibsons said. "She’s perfect all over. She’s so sweet."
Convinced by this method, they went for it again with Molly, who is Emma's biological sister. Technically, Emma shouldn't be too far off in age from Tina. She was frozen since October 14, 1992, about a year and a half after Tina was born. Some might see it as humans playing God but it can also be seen as a way of helping couples become families. The NEDC is a faith-based non-profit organization in Knoxville, Tennessee, that has seen families using in-vitro fertilization.
"When Tina and Ben returned for their sibling transfer, I was thrilled that the remaining two embryos from the donor that resulted in Emma Wren’s birth survived the thaw and developed into two very good quality embryos for their transfer," said Sommerfelt. "It was even more thrilling to learn 11 days later that Tina was pregnant. I rejoiced with Tina and Ben as we all anxiously waited for the arrival of their second child. When Molly Everette was born on October 26, she was already 28 years old from the standpoint of the time the embryos had been frozen. This definitely reflects on the technology used all those years ago and its ability to preserve the embryos for future use under an indefinite time frame. It also shows the reason the NEDC mission is so important, giving all donated embryos the best chance for life," added she, according to Wvlt.tv.