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16th of January 2018

Rhode Island

Couple celebrates birth of daughter from 24-year-old frozen embryo

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WPRI) — A Tennessee couple is celebrating the arrival of their new baby girl after she grew from an embryo that had been frozen for 24 years.

Tina and Benjamin Gibson are calling their daughter, Emma Wren, a miracle baby.

“Seriously in the middle of the night and we’ll look at her and say, ‘Can you believe it? She’s really ours,'” Tina said.

The couple faced infertility for several years before Emma was born.

“I never thought I would be able to have a pregnancy, have a baby, such a miracle such a sweet, sweet miracle,” Tina said.

The couple considered traditional adoption but decided to try a frozen embryo transfer with the hopes of becoming parents. They went through the process at the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, not knowing the embryo they had chosen was frozen for more than two decades. This means Tina, at just 26 years old, was carrying an embryo conceived just a year and a half after she was born.

“If this embryo had been born when it was supposed to, we could have been best friends,” Tina said. “We could have been friends, that’s been the going joke, it’s just so crazy.”

Carol Sommerfelt, the lab director at the National Embryo Donation Center, said seeing this record-setting embryo result in a successful birth has proven technology and advancements over the years have worked.

“I say I see miracles happen every day,” she said.

On average transferring 120 to 150 embryos a year, this one was the oldest. But the Gibson’s say they don’t think for one second it was all a coincidence.

“I think it’s just such proof it’s a God thing, such a miracle. I think she was chosen for us. I don’t think she chose us, I think she was chosen for us,” Tina said.

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