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Confessions from a Test Tube Mommy

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett tells why the 30th birthday of the first "test tube baby" means so much.


The first successful test tube baby turns 30 on Friday. Given how far the in vitro fertilization process has come in three decades, it's hard to believe how controversial and freaky the procedure was once considered. And yet today, whenever I see a double stroller being pushed down the sidewalk or in the park, my first reaction is "Oh, IVF twins."

I had my first child effortlessly. I told my husband I was over 35 (not that he didn't know this) and that we had to get crackin' if we wanted to have kids. I was busy with my career and wasn't dying to have children, but I just knew that I didn't want to die regretting that I didn't. Two weeks later, I was pregnant. When my first son was born, I fell madly in love and wanted another immediately. At that point, I was past 40.

I tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant on my own for the next two years. After gentler, softer methods of taking Clomid (a drug that stimulates egg production) and three rounds of the less invasive intrauterine insemination (IUI), I finally sucked it up and went to see Dr. Michael Vermesh -- a whopping 40 miles from my house but worth the drive since he founded the fertility program at University of Southern California decades earlier. I learned how to stick needles in my stomach and ass. Two months later, I was pregnant--and, one year ago, I gave birth to my second son, Gideon.

Most of my friends are older mothers. You tend to gravitate toward each other at the mommy groups, and over half of them have "test tube" babies as well. In vitro fertilization is a scary, expensive, and highly emotional process that is definitely not for everyone -- unless you want a child more than anything in life like I did. Make sure you get support. I got involved with the national group called "Resolve."

I am grateful from the bottom of my toes that Dr. Robert Evans and Lesley Brown had the courage to engage in this groundbreaking work 30 years ago, and I want to personally wish Louise Joy Brown a very happy 30th birthday!

For more Trying to Conceive, click here.

6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Liz July 24, 2008, 3:53 PM

I remember seeing it on the news that Louise was born. I can’t believe 30 years have passed that quickly.

Anonymous July 24, 2008, 4:10 PM

I never did like the term Test Tube Baby….

Anonymous August 29, 2008, 6:25 PM

Yeah I never liked the term Test Tube Baby either….. whoever came up with that name anyway? People should be allowed to have children however way they want and not be ashamed… I used this company in Irvine

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