Two IVF pioneers have met for the first time in Chicago, in an emotional meeting.
Louise Brown, the world’s first baby born through IVF, and Elizabeth Carr, America’s first IVF baby, shared their experiences on stage at the Midwest Reproductive Symposium International, held recently in Chicago.
In an emotional meeting, the women grew teary-eyed when they hugged on stage.
“There’s no guidebook when you’re the first,” Carr said. “I think Louise is probably the only other person in the entire world who understands what this wacky life is.”
When Brown was born in England in 1978 and Carr was in the USA in 1981, IVF was headline news.
Pictures of the babies were run on the front-pages of newspapers and on magazine covers.
Their births gave hope to millions of people struggling to create families, and also inspired fear and hatred from others uncertain about what advances in reproductive technologies would have on humanity.
Even the medical profession approached their births with some uncertainty.
Brown underwent about 100 tests right after her birth to make sure she was healthy despite her unusual conception.
“Had there been the slightest abnormality with me, I think that would have wiped the program, that would have been it,” said Brown.
Brown told the conference that most of the reaction she’s received through her life has been positive. One of the doctors responsible for her birth, Robert Edwards, won the 2010 Nobel Prize.