Tina and Ben's daughter, Molly Everette Gibson, who is just a month old, is the new record-breaker after her successful birth by the longest frozen embryo in October 2020.
It's not the first time for the parents, Tina and Ben, to birth a baby from a long-time frozen embryo. Before Molly, it was her elder sister Emma whose birth made it to the news and internet for being born by the longest-cryopreserved embryo. In March 2017, Emma made the record to be born by a 24 years old frozen embryo.
With Molly's arrival this year on Oct. 26, the Gibsons once again made it to the news.
The newborn is technically 27 years old — 2 years younger than her mom. Sounds crazy? Science, it is.
Molly's embryo was donated in October 1992 by her parents. Since then, it was kept frozen until earlier this year when it was thawed by National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) Lab Director & Embryologist Carol Sommerfelt. Then Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, NEDC President & Medical Director, transferred the embryo to Tina’s uterus.
For 5 years, Benjamin and Tina were unsuccessful in trying to conceive a baby. Ben has fertility issues-cystic fibrosis, to be exact. This lead to their decision of embryo adoption.
The couple who lives in Tennessee turned to NEDC, a nonprofit organization in their home town. It stores frozen embryos that in vitro fertilization parents from all over the US have donated.
Tina and Ben went through around 300 profiles of the parents who had donated their embryos. They didn't have any preferences. However, they looked for the couples who were short in stature — “we’re both small people,” laughed Tina
They finally selected the embryo that later became Emma in March 2017. But Tina only came to know on the day of the transfer about the embryo being 24 years old.
“I asked the specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Keenan: ‘What does that mean?’ ” she remembered. “And he replied: ‘Well, it could be a world record.’
Dr. Carol Sommerfelt said, “It is very rewarding for me to see an embryo that was frozen years ago result in the birth of a lovely baby.” The NEDC lab director further added, “I feel honored to be part of the process.”
After around 3 years, the couple decided to have a baby again and transfer the two remaining embryos from the same donors. The embryos were frozen together and are genetic siblings. They were thawed nearly three years apart at NEDC.
Sommerfelt, who supervised the thawing process of both Emma's and Molly's embryos, said: “As long as the embryos are maintained correctly in the liquid nitrogen storage tank at minus 396 degrees, we feel they may be good indefinitely." He added, “With the birth of Molly, we know they can survive at least 27 and a half years and probably longer.”It still feels like a miracle to the Gibson family.
Tina suggests couples to consider donating embryos for the people having infertility issues. “I know it’s a hard choice, deciding what to do with those leftover embryos that you know you’re not going to use,” she said. “People are scared… but someone out there would be so grateful to have them. And those children will be so loved.”
Images credits: National Embryo Donation Ctr
Article Source: Unilad