What is it like to be an IVF baby?
Recently I have been wondering whether to tell my son that he was conceived through IVF.
Would he even want to know?
How and when would it be appropriate to broach the topic?
So I did what Lena always does. I tried to do some research.
Alas, I couldn’t find much.
You’d think that some of the five million IVF babies in the world would have started a conversation about it. But if they did, I couldn’t find it.
Fortuitously, though, Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first IVF baby, has just published her autobiography.
I had to get it.
And I’m glad I did. It is a great read.
Louise includes a glimpse into the worldwide media frenzy that preceeded her birth.
Her mum was confined to a separate hospital where she stayed under a fake name, without access to newspapers or the TV, ostensibly to protect her from stress and the paparazzi.
After her birth, the press frenzy continued. Everyone wanted a piece of the ‘test tube baby’.
Louise Brown, the ‘super baby’
Would an IVF baby be different?
Would an IVF baby be smarter?
Some newspapers reported IVF babies had super powers, reading other’s thoughts and moving objects with the power of her mind.
While the world was out to try and label the little girl as profoundly different, Louise and her parents aspired to only one thing: to be normal.
To be just like everybody else.
It seems that the other 5 million IVF babies agree and are quite happy to get on with it without letting the details around their conception be known.
Meanwhile, my son’s superpower is clearly evident: he got a smile out of our grumpy postman this morning.