FOX 32 NEWS - Almost 40 years ago, the world's first test tube baby was born. Three years later, the first test tube baby was born in the U.S.
The birth caused shockwaves and controversy, while at the same time creating hope for millions of infertile couples.
Her name is Elizabeth Carr. She is America’s 1st IVF baby. She proudly wears the necklace she was given by her mother's doctor at the fertility clinic. On it, the number 1.
"Everyone knew this about me. I wasn't really given the chance growing up to be out of the spotlight mostly because this was so important of technology,” she said.
And in the spotlight she was, from the moment she was born.
The year was 1981 -- three years after the world’s first test tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in England.
They were medical miracles and marvels. Some wondered if science had run amok and was going too far. But Carr says her parents just wanted to have a baby, and the news of the first IVF delivery in Europe made their dreams a reality.
"They really didn't know they were going to be the first until the doctor told them,” Carr said.
Invitro fertilization was a medical breakthrough at the time.
Carr is in Chicago as part of a Symposium being held by Dr. Angie Beltsos and the Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago.
"Imagine the courage her parents had to step out and make a baby in a dish,” Dr. Beltos said. "What they did was transformative in the field of obgyn and gynecology."
And it was a transformation that defined her even as a child.
"I kind of always had that in the back of my head that if I hadn't been perfect, where would we be with IVF ...for a child to realize and understand that was a big weight,” Carr said.
This weekend Carr will be meeting the world’s first test tube baby, Louise Brown, at the Symposium. Brown has written a book and Carr plans to do the same. She feels sharing her story will help the millions of other families struggling with infertility today.
"All the options we have now, it's so overwhelming,” Carr said. “And if I can just talk about it…they will potentially remember what I had to say."
At one point, Carr changed her last name to get away from media attention. When she naturally conceived her own child she decided to share her story in an effort to reach out to others.