Today, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is practically a household word. But not so long ago, it was a mysterious procedure for infertility that produced what were then known as "test-tube babies." Louise Brown, born in England in 1978, was the first such baby to be conceived outside her mother's womb.
Unlike the simpler process of artificial insemination -- in which sperm is placed in the uterus and conception happens otherwise normally -- IVF involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus. IVF is a complex and expensive procedure; only about 5% of couples with infertility seek it out. However, since its introduction in the U.S. in 1981, IVF and other similar techniques have resulted in more than 200,000 babies.
By Gina ShawJody, Carrie, and Jenny look back at how far they've come together − and look forward to a sweet future with their daughters.
For the past year, Jody Urbas, 34, Carrie Brainerd, 32, and Jenny Taylor, 28, have shared with REDBOOK readers the most intimate details of their lives as they went through pregnancy, miscarriage, fertility treatments, and all the ups and downs along the path to motherhood. As we revisit these three friends, Jenny celebrates her daughter's first birthday, Carrie...