First IVF baby in U.S. visiting Jacksonville

Elizabeth Carr, USA's first IVF baby, is advocating for fertility education in Jacksonville. She also discusses her new book called "Under The Microscope."

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first baby born as a result of in vitro fertilization in the United States is now an advocate for fertility education and awareness.

Elizabeth Carr made headlines when she was born in 1981. Her mother had ectopic pregnancies that resulted in miscarriages prior to Carr’s birth.

Carr just released a memoir called “Under The Microscope.” She’s in Jacksonville as part of her book tour.

Carr said the most important thing for people having trouble conceiving is to realize they’re not unique.

“This is actually incredibly common,” Carr said during an interview on The Morning Show. “Understand that there’s nothing wrong with needing a little help to get here. That’s how I got here.”

Dr. Samuel Brown, founder and medical director of Brown Fertility, said most patients can conceive with the help of a fertility specialist by simpler means and don’t have to proceed to IVF.

“IVF is necessary for those that have certain types of infertility. Anybody having infertility or having trouble getting pregnant should come see an expert then we determine if that’s appropriate for them or not,” said Dr. Brown.

Dr. Brown said the term “IVF” can be a little imposing when in fact it’s a natural process.

“It’s a natural human egg with a natural human sperm and we have the privilege of watching the fertilization events happen and embryos developing and putting them back into a natural uterus,” said Dr. Brown “We see beautiful natural babies born from this process. It has a name that doesn’t infer natural but it is very natural.”

Carr said the most common question she gets from other parents going through IVF is, how do I tell my child? Carr said use simple language such as, “mommy and daddy wanted to have a child and couldn’t do that without the help of some very special doctors.”

The cost of infertility treatments can also be a barrier for families having trouble conceiving a child. Carr advocates for fertility rights including battles over insurance coverage. Dr. Brown said IVF has a reputation for being very costly but that’s not necessarily the case anymore.

“Things have changed dramatically. Now insurance will pay almost 100% for patients to come in and meet a fertility specialist so it’s free essentially except for co-pays or deductibles,” said Dr. Brown.

Brown said things have changed dramatically in Florida.

“For those that require IVF, almost half the time it’s covered by insurance so it’s a great time to come see a fertility specialist,” said Dr. Brown. “It’s not financially imposing like its reputation has.”

Carr is having a meet-and-greet and book signing at Brown Fertility’s office at 8149 Point Meadows Way in Jacksonville on Wednesday, March 2nd from 5-6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Click here to learn more about her memoir.