Giving birth is a magical experience for a mother. After nine months of growing a baby, the mother finally gets to meet her baby. Sometimes there are such amazing births that take place that they make the news. For this Tennessee mother, she received some attention for being just one year older than her baby.
Meet Tina and Benjamin Gibson. They are a young couple living in Eastern Tennessee. They got married after six years of dating and decided to start a family. However, they knew they would run into some problems when it came to conceiving.
Tina told CNN, “My husband has cystic fibrosis, so infertility is common.” Benjamin suffered from cystic fibrosis, which is a genetic disease that affects the lungs, digestive system, and other organs, for all of his life.
Determined to start a family, they looked into adoption. “We had decided that we were more than likely going to adopt, and we were fine with that,” they said. Before committing to adopting a child, they decided to foster some children.
Adopting is a huge decision, so the couple tried their hand at fostering first. They had many kids come through their loving home. After a while of fostering children, they finally had a week-long break and an empty house.
While enjoying some much-needed downtime, Tina’s father stopped by the house with some news. “I saw something on the news today. It’s called embryo adoption, and they would implant an embryo in you, and you could carry a baby,” he informed Tina and Benjamin.
The couple didn’t seem too interested in the idea. “I was like, ‘Well, that’s nice Dad, but we’re not interested. We’re knee-deep in foster care right now,” Tina recalled.
Having Time to Think
The couple decided to take a vacation while they had an empty house. So, during the eight-hour drive, Tina kept thinking about what her dad had proposed. When asked what she was thinking about, Benjamin also admitted that he was thinking about embryo adoption too.
Doing Their Homework
To occupy her time during the car ride, Tina decided to do some research about embryo adoption. It turns out the donation center was in Knoxville, Tennessee, right in their home state!
Tina had a good feeling as she researched the process. “During August of last year, I just came home one day; I looked at Benjamin, and I said, ‘I think we need to submit an application for embryo adoption.’ And just like that, they decided to fill out and send in the application that night,” Tina recalled.
Tina had to go through many medical tests to see if she was fit for an embryo implantation. After having a small polyp removed in January, Tina was ready for the home study.
Just like when a couple adopts a baby, Tina and Benjamin had to go through a home study and be approved as fit parents. They acknowledged that having a baby was a huge responsibility, but they were ready and excited for it.
The tests were completed and passed in March. The last thing they had to do was search through donor profiles and find the embryo that was right for them. “We literally had two weeks to go through 300 profiles,” Tina said.
With so many options, it was hard to choose a donor. So, they decided to narrow down the list by looking at one thing, their stature.
The couple wanted a baby that would look like them, so they decided to look at people with the same body type. Then they dove deeper into genetic and medical history. Finally, they found the perfect donor.
Hiccup in the Process
Unfortunately, they were unable to have their first pick of donors. So, they went with their second choice. Little did they know that Tina’s pregnancy was going to break a world record and go viral.
The doctor implanted three embryos from the same donor in Tina. They never knew how many, if any, would stick and grow to be a baby.
Tina received wonderful news. One of the embryos implanted and was growing to be a healthy baby. After a difficult 20 hours of labor, Tina and Benjamin welcomed their beautiful daughter to the world.
So, how was the embryo just a year younger than Tina? With advanced IVF, embryos can be frozen and then used at a later date. So, the embryo that created their daughter was frozen 24 years ago. Who would donate an embryo? Families that have already completed their family and want to help others out.
Emma isn’t the only child the couple plans to have. “We wanted to adopt, I don’t know that that isn’t going to be in our future. We may still adopt. This just ended up being the route that we took. I think that we would have been equally elated if we were able to adopt,” Tina said.