Tina Gibson was just 18 months old when the baby that would one day become her daughter was conceived.
But instead of being implanted, the fertilised embryo was frozen and remained on ice for 24 years.
In March this year, the cluster of cells was thawed and implanted into Tina, now 26, and on November 25, she gave birth to baby Emma Wren.
It is the longest time an embryo has been frozen before a successful birth.
Tina and her husband Benjamin – who has cystic fibrosis and is infertile – didn’t find out about their donated embryo’s unusual history until the morning it was implanted.
“Honestly I was just really worried that it wouldn’t work,” Tina told MailOnline. “I was like ‘I don’t want a world record, I want a baby!’ But Ben was completely intrigued by it.
“Then later it hit me when they were about to do the transfer. I said, ‘You know, I’m just 25 … me and her, we could’ve been best friends.”
Tina and Benjamin started dating when they were teenagers and always knew they wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally. They planned to adopt but when they heard about embryo donation, they decided to give it a go instead.
After doing lots of research, they contacted the National Embryo Donation Centre in Knoxville, Tennessee, which has led to 700 pregnancies in the 14 years since it was founded.
“We’re just so thankful and blessed. She’s a precious Christmas gift from the Lord,” Tina said. “We’re just so grateful.”
Article first appeared on Whimn