NRL News

Tennessee woman gives birth to baby girl frozen as an embryo in 1992

by | Dec 19, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

News broke today of a truly remarkable birth that took place last month in Tennessee. On November 25, “Tina and Benjamin Gibson became the proud parents of Emma Wren,” according to Crystal Bonvillian of the Cox Media Group. “Emma weighed a healthy 6 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 20 inches long.”

What made Emma Wren’s birth so special? Emma was frozen as an embryo on October 14, 1992, when mother Tina was just 18 months old!

Mrs. Gibson thus “delivered the longest-frozen embryo to successfully come to birth,” according to a press release from the National Embryo Donation Center [NEDC].

“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” proud papa Benjamin said. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”

“The NEDC has been privileged to work with the Gibsons to help them realize their dreams of becoming parents,” said Dr. Jeffrey Keenan [the NEDC Medical Director]. “We hope this story is a clarion call to all couples who have embryos in long-term storage to consider this life-affirming option for their embryos.

Dr. Keenan performed the frozen embryo transfer on March 15, two days after Emma was unfrozen.

CNN reported this afternoon that Emma was one of five sibling embryos from the same egg donor. “Created for in vitro fertilization by another, anonymous couple, the embryos had been left in storage so they could be used by someone unable or unwilling to conceive a child naturally,” according to Susan Scutti.

Carol Sommerfelt, director of the NEDC’s lab, told Scutti that they’d unthawed three “snowbabies. All three survived and were transferred to Mrs. Gibson. Only one– Emma Wren—implanted. “This is normal, since successful implantation rate ‘normally runs about 25% to 30%,’” Sommerfelt told CNN.

Scutti ends her very detailed story with this recollection:

Recalling the birth of her special daughter, Tina’s voice dissolves into tears.

“We wanted to adopt, and I don’t know that that isn’t going to be in our future. We may still adopt,” she said. “This just ended up being the route that we took. I think that we would have been equally elated if were able to adopt.”