Baby Molly’s miracle birth was nearly three decades in the making. That’s because the embryo that grew into Molly was frozen in October 1992 – 28 years before she was born.
“She knows what a miracle she is,” her mom, Tina Gibson of Tennessee, told Inside Edition Digital. “And anybody that's around us knows as well, because we're okay with sharing it.”
Even though Molly, who is now 1-month-old, now holds the record for the longest a frozen embryo has come to birth, setting records is nothing new to the Gibson family. In fact, her older sister, 3-year-old Emma, was the one who held the title before her.
The embryo that grew into Emma had been frozen for more than 24 years before she was born.
According to Dr. Carol Sommerfelt of the National Embryo Donation Center, who worked with the Gibsons in their embryo adoption journey, embryos might even be able to last much longer than Molly’s and Emma’s had, as long as the conditions are right. “As long as they're maintained correctly in liquid nitrogen, we feel that they may be good indefinitely,” Sommerfelt said. “The two healthy little baby girls born to the Gibsons, Molly and Emma Wren, speaks to that right there”
The Gibsons had learned about the process through Tina’s parents, and even though they had their heart set on traditional adoption, where children have already been born before entering their family, they wanted to give this newer path to parenthood a try.
“People that have chosen to go through IVF, they have embryos leftover. So it means that either they've not used them, they've not used them all, they've had pregnancies and maybe don't want any more kids,” Tina explained. “They have a chance to do several different things with their embryos. They can donate them to science, they can freeze them inevitably.”
Her husband Ben added, “Or destroy them.”
By adopting leftover embryos, Tina had a chance to have her two daughters growing inside her. “I got to experience pregnancy. I got to experience birthing my children. I got to experience breastfeeding both of my children,” she said. “Those are things that I never would have been able to do.”