MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon couple births twins using 30 year old embryos

Nov 29, 2022, 5:44 AM | Updated: 8:34 am

Oregonians Phillip and Rachel Ridgeway welcomed twins — a boy and a girl — on Oct. 31. But this wasn’t any typical birth, this was a record-setting birth because the twins were donated frozen embryos from 1992.

It’s possible these littles might be the oldest frozen embryos to usher in a live birth.

After IVF, what to do with leftover embryos?

According to CNN, the couple has four other children from ages 2 to 8. However, they were reportedly conceived naturally.

“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”- CNN.

Phillip told CNN, “We’ve never had in our minds a set number of children we’d like to have. We’ve always thought we’ll have as many as God wants to give us, and … when we heard about embryo adoption, we thought that’s something we would like to do.”

This story resonates with me because my wife and I went down the IVF rabbit hole back in 2007, 2010, and then again in 2015.

According to Biomedicine online back in 2021, “clinicians around the world perform more than 2.5 million IVF cycles, resulting in more than a half-million deliveries annually.”  And it’s not just gay and lesbian couples doing IVF, straight couples are turning to IVF as well.

Thanks to In-vitro Fertilization, and thousands of dollars out of pocket, we now have a 14-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.

Our journey began back in early 2007 when my wife and I decided between purchasing a swimming pool or having a baby. We found out on the same day that we qualified for both. We chose to have a baby. Because my wife and I wanted to both have some kind of connection to our child(ren), we decided to do reciprocal IVF (or co-maternity), which meant, I would carry her embryos and vice-versa. Even though we were considered a married couple, she had to sign over her embryos to me and we had to register with the Mayo clinic [because she was donating tissue].

Her process involved two weeks of injections, valued at about $5,000, followed by egg extraction. She produced 11 eggs, nine of which became embryos, and two were transferred to me. All of this was paid out of pocket. In total, our first child cost us roughly twenty-six thousand dollars. Unfortunately, this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage early on.

In September of 2007, we ended up pregnant with twins and lost one very early on. However, baby A continued to grow and he was born two weeks early.

Because we wanted a big family, we tried to get pregnant again. My wife produced 1 egg using injections. And as the saying goes, you only need one egg and one sperm to make a baby, and well, that’s all it took for us to conceive our daughter. What is so amazing is that we have photos of the sperm and one egg that was created and captured our daughter before she even took human form.

We tried reciprocal IVF again in 2015 when we lived in New York City. This time our insurance covered the entire process. Unfortunately, none of the embryos I created made it to human form. It took me many years to mourn that loss. I am lucky to say that I am a mom to two beautiful children. They are … priceless.

Follow Micki Gamez on Twitter or email her here.

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