Elizabeth Carr, the first IVF baby born in the US, joins as columnist

When I was a child of 7 or 8 years old, I could get away with answering questions without really answering questions.

By the time first grade hit, I could effectively dodge a question as well as any politician at the time – and the best part was no one but me knew I was ‘dodging’.

It’s not a life skill I am proud of, but it has perfected my bullshit detector when it comes to interpersonal interactions.

You see, when I was young, someone could ask me a question about my opinion about the latest technology in the world of fertility treatments … and I could simply say something naive like “all I know is that my parents worked really hard to get me here.”

And because I was a young, freckle-faced girl, I could get away with that answer. To be honest, I got away with that answer well into my 20s.

I am bluntly honest, and although that’s how I have always been with my family,close friends, with the media or perfect strangers, I was always better at hiding my true feelings in some smartly constructed answer that would make them move onto another topic.

And then I had a child myself.

That’s when I knew I had to stop dodging – to talk about infertility issues in a way that people going through infertility already know. Fertility issues are complex, messy and until you are dealing with them yourself, it is hard to articulate everything in a way that anyone on the outside looking in could understand.

I used to dodge questions because I didn’t want to offend anyone with my answers.

I dodged because I worried I may not sound smart if I got an aspect of the technology wrong. It’s not hard to do, by the way, it seems like it is always changing.

I dodged because of the damn pressure I put on myself to be perfect.

Even though my birth was just a few years after Louise Joy Brown’s, I still felt this enormous pressure growing up that I needed to prove I was normal. I needed to show the world that I was just like every other child.

But the truth is, I wasn’t. No person is just like another. That’s what makes us human.

So here’s what I am going to do every month in this column. I’m going to talk about the messy, complicated, amazing, strange, silly, joyous things that being an IVF baby has brought into my life.

I promise to not dodge any question you may have!


Do you have any questions for Elizabeth Carr? We would love to hear from you. Email Elizabeth on askanexpert@ivfbabble.com by putting her name in the subject box.

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