It was such a joy to witness the moment Louise Brown, the worlds first IVF baby, met Elizabeth Carr, the first IVF baby born in the USA at the wonderful Mid West Symposium (MRSi) which took place in Chicago last week.
These two women are incredible figures of hope and offer such inspiration to men and women who are going through IVF or who have IVF babies.
Together, in the same room they made both physicians and patients cry with joy as they spoke about what it’s like to be an IVF baby.
In a Q&A session, the girls were asked what it was like growing up knowing that their conception was like no other.
Elizabeth answered by sharing a beautiful story about the day she was given a letter by the doctor who carried out her mothers IVF. The doctor had given the letter to Elizabeth’s mother with instructions to pass it on to her daughter when she was at an age to understand. The purpose of the letter was to explain to Elizabeth how she was conceived.
As a parent of 6 year old IVF twins, I was so keen to hear how the doctor explained her conception; my daughters are at an age where they want to know how babies are made too. Until I’d heard Elizabeth tell her story, I was unsure what to tell them about their own conception.
Instead of giving a detailed explanation of how IVF works, Elizabeth’s doctor simply told her that she was conceived through love.
Elizabeth explained that he had written a letter to her which she read at around 10 or 11 years old asking her parents to pass it on to her when she was old enough to read and understand what it was like from the other side.
He explained everything her parents went through and said ‘you have to realise that you’re not special because of the way you were born, you are special because your parents love you very much and you’re theirs. Nothing else matters, your parents fought to have you and on your roughest days you must remember your parents wanted you so much and love you no matter what.’
Louise Brown shared her thoughts and feelings on being the world’s first IVF baby
Louise explained how hard it was sometimes growing up in the limelight and people not knowing why her parents had treatment. She used to think ‘why me’ on the odd occasion, but then she also thought again and realised how much her Mum and Dad loved her. ‘They fought to have me. Mum and Dad loved me for who I am. That’s the most important thing.’
Louise and Elizabeth feel it is so important to realise you are not alone
No matter where you are, the end or beginning of your treatment, the more you talk about it, the more it can help and make you feel less isolated.
There is a huge community out there which sometimes people may not realise at all or until you are in the thick of it. No matter where you are in the journey, remember you’re not alone. With 1 in 6 couples worldwide experiencing fertility issues, there is no need for any taboo with IVF any more.
Both women are smart, healthy, happy mothers. Neither of them have had to go through IVF themselves.
They are proof that IVF babies are no different from naturally conceived babies, they just take a little more time in arriving, that’s all.
It was such a joy to witness this momentous meeting of two such lovely and inspirational women.
The Midwest Reproductive Symposium International (MRSi) orchestrated the momentous meeting of Louise Brown and Elizabeth Carr at their recent fantastic event in Chicago. We were very kindly invited to also introduce IVF babble to their wonderful fellows and were so very honoured to be there. We found it incredibly educational and such an inspirational experience to be amongst the leading scientists and health professionals in the fertility world.
It was started in 2005 by Dr Angeline Beltsos and Ferring and each year it brings together business minds and healthcare professionals involved in Reproductive Medicine. It is a scientific program of excellence and offers the opportunity for specialists in this field to discuss the most current information with colleagues and the faculty. It was a hugely successful meeting which attracts the top in the fertility industry worldwide. Learn more about MRSi here.