The Ridgeway couple from Oregon had “miracle” twins at the end of October. She was born thanks to the in vitro method from embryos frozen 30 years ago. It is a world unique.
The record of Molly Gibson, who in 2020 gave birth to a child from a 27-year-old frozen embryo, has been broken. On the last day of October this year, twins were born who had been waiting for their birth for 30 long years, the CNN portal pointed out.
Rachel and Philip Ridgeway always wanted a big family. Together they already have four children aged 8, 6, 3 and less than two years. None of them were conceived through assisted reproduction. “We never had a set number in our heads as to how many children we wanted to have,” Philip said. “We always thought we would have as many as God wanted to give us. When we heard about embryo adoption, we thought it was something we wanted to do“, he added.
So they turned to the National Embryo Donation Center, a private Christian-run organization that has helped birth more than 1,260 babies from donated embryos. Only couples who have been married for at least three years can apply for a “test tube baby”.
They obtained embryos frozen for almost 30 years
One of the key elements in the in vitro procedure is the so-called cryopreservation, as pointed out by the Polsat News portal. Thanks to this method, couples can store sperm, eggs and embryos for a long time for their later use. They are frozen at a temperature of almost 200 degrees Celsius below zero. If in the end the couple decides that they are no longer interested in the embryos, they can donate them to another couple.
This allowed the Ridgeways to have their other longed-for children. The embryos were frozen in 1992 by an anonymous couple. At the time, the egg donor was 34 years old and her partner was 50 years old. In 2007, the couple donated the embryo to the clinicso that someone else can use them.
When looking for donors, the Ridgeways asked the donation center directly about a category called “special consideration,” meaning it was difficult to find a recipient for the embryos. “We wanted the one that had to wait the longest,” explained Philip. The couple said there was no doubt. “Going into it, we knew we could trust God to do everything He planned and that their ages really didn’t matter. It was just a matter of whether or not it was in God’s plans,” added Rachel Ridgeway.
A miracle waiting to happen
According to experts, about 80 percent of thawed embryos are viable. In the end, the Ridgeways had three of the five thawed embryos to choose from. Rachel remembers the doctor handing her a picture of three embryos and recommending that she only have two implanted. “More of them can cause problems in pregnancy,” he warned.
But Rachel had no doubt that everything would turn out well. “You just showed me a picture of my three children. I have to have them all” she said with tears in her eyes.
Studies have found that 25 to 40 percent of frozen embryo transfers result in a live birth. In Rachel’s case, two embryos were able to come to fruition. The mother of several was able to give birth to Timothy and Lydia in October. “There is something overwhelming about it,” said Philip, looking at the newborn. “I was five years old when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy. And he’s been keeping these lives ever since,” he marveled.In a sense, they are our oldest children, even though they are our youngest children“, he assessed.