Parents welcome the world’s ‘oldest’ twins after they were born from frozen embryos THIRTY years ago, when George W. Bush was president and Vanessa Williams topped the charts.
- The embryos that led to the birth of Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway frozen in 1992
- Twins born in what parents Philip and Rachel called ‘mind-blowing’ birth
- The two twins have been born 30 years after their embryos were frozen
Two twins were born 30 years after their embryos were frozen in what experts believe is a new world record.
The embryos that gave birth to Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway were frozen in 1992, the year Bill Clinton ran for president and Vanessa Williams’ “Save the Best for Last” topped the Billboard 100 charts.
They were born on October 31 in what their parents, Philip and Rachel, called a “mind-blowing” birth.
They said the twins were their ‘eldest children’, the couple have four others, even though they are less than a month old.
The embryos were frozen for an anonymous married couple in April 1992 undergoing IVF using a 34-year-old egg donor, CNN reported. The husband was in his early 50s.
They were stored in liquid nitrogen at -128c (-200f) in liquid nitrogen at a fertility lab on the west coast of the US until 2007, when the couple donated them to the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. .
The embryos that led to the birth of Lydia and Timothy Ridgeway (pictured) were frozen in 1992, the year Bill Clinton ran for president in the US and ‘Black Wednesday’ rocked markets in Britain .
They were born on October 31 in what their parents Philip and Rachel (pictured) called a “mind-blowing” birth.
They said the twins (pictured) were their ‘eldest children’, the couple have four others, even though they are less than a month old.
How egg and embryo freezing works
An increasing number of women choose to freeze their unfertilized eggs.
Freezing allows women who are not ready to have children, either for professional or financial reasons, or because they have not found the right partner, to store their eggs so that they can be used in IVF when they are ready to start a family.
During the procedure, a doctor removes eggs from a woman’s ovaries before freezing them. Eggs can be frozen without fertilizing.
Or, to create an embryo, or a fertilized egg, an embryologist fertilizes one or more of the collected eggs with sperm from a partner or donor.
And a successful IVF cycle can result in multiple embryos, which means some people choose to freeze the extra embryos for their future family.
The probability of pregnancy from embryo transfer depends largely on the age of the woman when the embryos are created.
Procedures using eggs collected from people age 35 and younger have the highest chance of resulting in pregnancy. More than 95 percent of frozen embryos survive the thawing process.
Once a woman is ready to have a baby, she is given estrogen pills to strengthen the lining of the uterus. The doctor then carefully injects one or more thawed embryos into the woman’s uterus.
About 10 days after the embryo transfer, a blood pregnancy test can confirm whether the procedure was successful.
A single egg freezing cycle can cost between $8,000 and $20,000.
They hoped another family could use them, a process called embryo donation.
Their hopes were fulfilled when the Ridgeways of Portland, Oregon, wanted more children.
Ridgeway said they deliberately chose the embryos with the earliest donor numbers.
He said: ‘We were not looking to obtain the longest frozen embryos in the world.
“We only wanted the ones that had been waiting the longest.”
The embryos were thawed on February 28 of this year.
Of the five that were thawed, two were not viable and Ms Ridgway had the other three implanted in March, 29 years and 10 months after they were frozen.
Two of the transfers were successful and the children were born in October.
Lydia was born at 5 pounds 11 ounces and Timothy was 6 pounds 7 ounces.
The Ridgeways have four other children ages eight, six, three and one, none conceived via IVF or donors.
Ridgway said: “He was five years old when God gave life to Lydia and Timothy, and he has been preserving that life ever since.
“In a sense, they are our oldest children, even though they are our youngest children.”
Dr. James Gordon, the Ridgeways’ physician, said: “If you’re frozen to almost 200 degrees below zero, I mean, biological processes essentially slow to almost nothing.” And maybe the difference between being frozen for a week, a month, a year, a decade, two decades, doesn’t really matter.’
Dr. Jim Toner, a fertility specialist in Atlanta, likens it to an old story: ‘It doesn’t seem like a sperm, egg or embryo stored in liquid nitrogen experiences time. It’s like that Rip Van Winkle thing. He just wakes up 30 years later, and he never knew he was asleep.’
“This is a new record for the longest frozen embryo transfer resulting in a birth,” said Mark Mellinger, director of marketing and development for the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC).
Prior to the Ridgeway twins, the previous record holder for oldest embryo was Molly Gibson, who was born in 2020 from an embryo frozen for 25 years.
His 26-year-old mother Tina joked at the time that her son was almost the same age as her.
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Elizabeth Jordon Carr, was born on December 28, 1981 at Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia to Judith Carr, a 28-year-old schoolteacher who had had her fallopian tubes removed as a result of previous failed pregnancies, and her husband Engineer Roger, 30 years old. .
It was the 15th baby in the world created through IVF, but the first in the US, with Louise Brown in the UK as the first person born thanks to the treatment in 1978.
An estimated eight million babies have already been born through IVF.
Ms Carr, who is now the mother of a son who was conceived naturally, said it took her a long time to adjust to the media spotlight growing up, being the face of the then-controversial treatment in the US.
She told The New York Post last year: ‘There were definitely people who had terrible things to say, and still do, even as far as we’ve come.
“I was always aware that I was the spokesperson and therefore I needed to behave correctly, to be articulate, to be able to communicate effectively. He couldn’t just be a rebel and an idiot. I knew people would watch whatever I did.’
At the time, there were many ethical concerns about IVF and little was known about the pioneering new treatment.
Louise’s mother, Judy, who had three ectopic pregnancies in which the fertilized egg grew outside the uterus, had suffered three miscarriages.
Her doctor knew little about IVF, but had seen a brochure at a medical conference and suggested she look into it.
Howard and Georgeanna Jones, a husband-and-wife medical team, had founded a fertility clinic at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Louise’s parents flew from Massachusetts, where the procedure was illegal, to the center.
She estimates that her parents spent $5,000 in hospital bills.