February 6, 2023

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

43 years ago, on 25th July 1978, Louise Joy Brown, was born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to Lesley and Peter Brown. Now 43 years old, after completing 43 years of her life, Louise is still something special in this world. Yes she is the first test tube baby.

After her parents failed to have a child for about nine years, they consulted doctors, who put before them the idea of trying the vitro fertilization process. The vitro fertilization process had until then been tested in laboratories, over a long period of time, and the doctors had thought that the time had come to test the technique on human beings.

Wikipedia explains the vitro fertilisation as “a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm in vitro. The process involves monitoring and stimulating a person’s ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova from their ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a culture medium in a laboratory.”

Thus to put it in simple words, Louise Joy Brown is the first outcome of medical process where she was conceived initially in a laboratory, instead of womb of her mother. This indeed was a very big achievement of medical science, which brought a new hope to the families who were unable to have babies.

According to an estimate, more than eight million babies have born, during last 43 years. On average about 20,000 test tube babies born in Britain itself annually.

In the background of all this, I wonder how was the life of Louise, the first test tube baby? I am sure, for the whole her life, frequently she would have been asking herself if she is a normal person. However senseless this question appears, it cannot be brushed aside. Indeed her doctors kept their eyes on her, to monitor her life.

I wonder about her school life. Was she bullied for being a test tube baby? I am sure she was. Whatever her teachers did to make her schoolmates believe that she was just like them, yet even then her classmates and friends, would have always thought of finding something different, unique and (unnatural) in her behaviour.

I am sure that all this would have happened during the early period of her life, but with the progress of time, with news of the birth of more and more test tube babies, Louise and her friends would have cooled down. Ultimately, Louise personally delivered a baby boy named Cameron John Mullinder in December 2006, which was a normal delivery. Thus passing through the process of natural delivery by a test tube (mother), must have relieved Louise of psychological pressure, that she would have been under for the most part of her life.

I am sure, she and most of the other test tube babies, their parents, friends, family members,and doctors always try to notice if something extraordinary is happening to them. That’s indeed a strange feeling indeed.

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