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20 Years Of Test Tube Babies In St. Louis

  • March 1, 2005
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From KSDK News, February 5, 2005

Twenty years ago, Missouri had its first so-called "test tube" baby. The Librach family of Creve Coeur made headlines. Their daughter, Michelle, was successfully conceived in-vitro in a petri dish. Phyllis Librach said, "They labeled my pregnancy high risk because it hasn't happened before."

More than 30 other patients before the Librachs tried the in-vitro fertization program at the former Jewish hospital. There was only a 10 percent chance of success. The Librach's miracle happened with the first try. Mat Librach said, "I remember taking Phyllis to get her ultra sound every month. It was so new, only 100 at the time in the U.S., it was really pioneering and experimental."

Michelle's birth in 1985 made headlines then and still makes interesting conversation now. Michelle said, "They find out 10 years later I'm the first in-vitro baby and they say, ''Oh I never knew that.'' It's not that big of a deal, but in a way it is."

To this day, Michelle's birth still gives hope to other couple's having problems conceiving. Phyllis read a portion of a letter she recently received: "In fulfilling your dreams 20 years ago, you helped paved the way for our little miracle and for that we are eternally grateful."

As in-vitro fertilization becomes more and more common, the Librach's become more and more awestruck by what happened. Phyllis said, "Two minutes go by, two years go by, 20 years go by, we never take the success for granted. We always know in our hearts it was a miracle."

Since Michelle's birth, more than 1,300 babies have been conceived by in-vitro fertilization at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

On Saturday, some of those children and their families celebrated the anniversary at the St. Louis Science Center.

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