Rachel and Phillip Ridgeway welcomed Lydia and Timothy on Oct. 31 via donated embryos from a couple who stored them in 1992
Twins born last month in Knoxville, Tennessee, may be from the the longest-frozen embryos to result in a live birth.
When Rachel Ridgeway gave birth Oct. 31, her healthy twins came courtesy of embryos that were donated 30 years ago.
“There is something mind-boggling about it,” her husband, Philip Ridgeway, told the outlet. “In a sense, they’re our oldest children, even though they’re our smallest children.”
The Ridgeways have four other children, ages 8, 6, 3 and almost 2, but none were conceived via IVF or donors.
The embryos originally belonged to those of an anonymous married couple at a West Coast fertility facility, using the husband’s sperm and the eggs of a 34-year-old donor. The couple later donated the embryos to the National Embryo Donation Center.
The five embryos were thawed on Feb. 28, and three were viable, according to the outlet. Rachel opted to transfer all three, she said.
Two of the embryos were successfully transferred. According to studies, about 25% to 40% of frozen embryos result in a live birth.
Despite the length of the embryos’ storage, liquid nitrogen can preserve them for decades, according to fertility doctors.
“It doesn’t seem like a sperm or an egg or embryo stored in liquid nitrogen ever experiences time,” Dr. Jim Toner, a fertility specialist in Atlanta, said. “It’s like that Rip Van Winkle thing. It just wakes up 30 years later, and it never knew it was asleep.”
Lydia (5 lbs. 11 oz.) and Timothy (6 lbs. 7 oz.) made their debuts — some 30 years in the making.