A Tennessee couple, after years of suffering with infertility, are now the parents of two precious girls who were frozen as embryos more than 20 years ago.
At first, Tina and Ben Gibson of Knoxville rejected the idea of implanting an embryo to become pregnant – but after getting further information, they contacted the National Embryo Donation Center to get an accurate assessment. Tina Gibson tells One News Now at that point, as a Christian couple, they took the next obvious step.
"We ended up praying about it and praying about it and praying about it – and after a few months we decided to move forward with it and … give it a try and see if we could become pregnant using embryo adoption," she shares.
After agreeing to the procedure, an embryo – frozen for 24.5 years – was implanted in Tina's uterus. The pregnancy did occur and resulted in the birth of Emma Wren Gibson, who is now a very healthy three-year-old girl.
But that's not the end of the story … because at the same time Emma was frozen (October 1992), another embryo was as well: that of a genetic sibling. That second embryo, 27 years after being frozen, was thawed and transferred to Tina's uterus by NEDC president and medical director Dr. Jeffrey Keenan on February 12, 2020.
Molly Everette Gibson – Emma's sister – was born in late October, weighing in at 6 pounds 13 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.
One News Now asked the joyful mom if the older daughter ever complained about part of her being 27 years old. "Nope, no complaints," Tina replied with a laugh. "No complaints for her."
Emma's birth in 2017 marked the known record for the longest-frozen embryo to come to birth – until Molly arrived. Tina Gibson was asked if they are going to try to getting it recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records. Again, with a happy laugh, she replied:
"No – nope. We're just going to try to get through parenthood alive. We're not going to worry about any of that."
The National Embryo Donation Center collects unused donated embryos and freezes them for future use to help people who are not able to conceive on their own. In October the NEDC became the first embryo adoption program in the world to reach the 1,000-birth milestone.
Read more about the Gibsons' journey
Editor's note: Image above is not that of Tina Gibson.