These days, thanks to miracles of modern science and age-old solutions like adoption, even couples who are struggling to conceive have options. Still, some of these conception methods leave families susceptible to surprises.
Tina and Benjamin Gibson, for instance, knew their options for starting a family were limited. But they weren’t hopeless either—not after trying out one of the more popular modern-day methods. Still, right before undergoing the procedure, doctors told them something very strange—and it made the expecting parents’ jaws drop!
When Tennessee couple Tina and Benjamin Gibson married in 2010, a major blemish marred their future. Benjamin had cystic fibrosis, a disorder that commonly afflicted infertility as a side effect. In other words, the happy couple couldn’t have kids.
Still, Tina admitted that the situation hadn’t deterred them from visions of a happy family. “We had decided that we were more than likely going to adopt,” Tina told CNN, “and we were fine with that.”
So the Gibsons turned to foster care. For awhile, they served as temporary parents to children in need of adoption, and truthfully, they loved it. That’s what initially made Tina dismissive to one suggestion from her father…
“I saw something on the news today,” Tina’s father told her. “It’s called embryo adoption, and they would implant an embryo in you, and you could carry a baby.” At first, the couple wasn’t interested, but that soon changed…
After mulling over the idea of embryo adoption while on vacation, Tina had a change of heart. “I looked at Benjamin, and I said, ‘I think we need to submit an application for embryo adoption.'” Just five months later, their lives would change forever.
Doctors ruled Tina eligible for embryo implantation in January, and after a home review, officials gave the hopeful couple what felt like an impossible task: pick an embryo they wanted to become their child.
To do this, they had to look through donor profiles that only provided basic information on the genetic parents. “We literally had two weeks to go through 300 profiles,” Benjamin said. Talk about a tough decision!
The Gibsons eliminated profiles over the coming weeks until they’d selected what they felt was the right one. Like all the embryos they had to choose from, this one had been conceived via in vitro fertilization by another couple, then frozen and preserved.
CBS New York / YouTube
But before doctors transferred the chosen embryo to Tina’s uterus, Carol Sommerfelt, the embryology lab director at the National Embryo Donation Center, had some interesting news for the couple…
National Embryo Donation Center via Cleveland.com
One piece of key information had been left off donor profiles, meaning Tina and Benjamin didn’t yet know they’d picked a particularly special embryo. Carol knew that detail, and she gave the couple her congratulations—because Tina had just set a world record! How so?
CBS New York / YouTube
Evidently, their chosen embryo had been donated and frozen on October 14, 1992, making it 24 years old at the time of the transfer. It would be, to the best of Carol and the National Embryo Donation Center’s knowledge, the oldest embryo ever implanted!
Even more spectacular was Tina’s reaction. “Do you realize I’m only 25?” she said gleefully. Had the embryo developed back in 1992 when it was conceived, “this embryo and I could have been best friends!” she added.
The transfer “worked out perfect” on the first attempt according to Tina, which Carol said was “pretty exciting considering how long the embryos had been frozen.” Still, she and Ben had a long way to go.
Further stunning all involved, Tina’s pregnancy only had one minor (and non-embryo-related) hiccup caused by a short cervix. But shortly after Thanksgiving, she entered labor and spent 20 hours delivering her world-record baby.
Daily Mail via Tina and Benjamin Gibson
In another miracle, the baby—named Emma Wren Gibson—was born with a healthy heartbeat and weighed six pounds and eight ounces. “As soon as she came out,” Benjamin said, “I fell in love with her.” As for the world record?
“I just wanted a baby,” Tina told CNN. “I don’t care if it’s a world record or not… We’re just so thankful and blessed. She’s a precious Christmas gift from the Lord. We’re just so grateful.”
With tears in her eyes and a smile on her face, Tina praised not just the science behind her record baby, but fate. “It was 24-and-a-half years ago that God already knew that she was gonna be part of our family,” she said. “It’s such a blessing.” But that begged one question…
See, Carol still had two more donated embryos from the same couple who conceived Emma back in 1992. Would Tina and Benjamin want to try and add those babies to their family, too?
“After having natural childbirth, I’m like, ‘I’m never doing that again!'” Tina said. “But I’m sure in like a year, I’ll be like, ‘I want to try for another baby.'” For now though, one world record must have been enough!
CNN via Tina and Benjamin Gibson
It’s crazy to think that, had nature taken its course, Tina could have had a friend that turned out to be her kid. It’s a scenario ripped right from the pages of science-fiction! You’ll see more of Tina and her record baby in the video below…
Can you imagine what Benjamin and Tina Gibson’s daughter would be like had she been born back in 1992? The opportunities created by modern science sure are amazing!
Share this incredible record baby with your friends below!