... to Louise Brown – now Mullinder – thirty six years old today! She was the world’s first ever ‘test tube baby’, born in Oldham General Hospital by Caesarean section to Lesley and John Brown. She weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces (2.608 kg) at birth. Her parents had been trying to conceive for nine years and faced complications with blocked fallopian tubes.
Lesley Brown underwent a procedure – which has since become known as IVF – developed by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards. Edwards was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work. The Brown family had two children by IVF – Louise’s sister, Natalie, being the 40th IVF baby – and Natalie was the first IVF baby to give birth herself – naturally – in 1999.
Louise married in 2004 and also conceived naturally, giving birth to Cameron in 2006. She lost her father prior to Cameron’s birth and her mother, Lesley Brown, died in 2012.
During her BBC interview in 2008 on her 30th birthday – when there were already more than three million IVF babies born worldwide – Louise said “When I was growing up people would ask things like ‘how do you fit in a test tube?’ and things like that!”
She was actually conceived in a petri-dish, so one wonders where the ‘test tube’ came into it….? Perhaps it had a better ring to it….