Thirty five years ago, a new era in reproductive medicine began with the birth of the first test tube baby in England.
Now, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a common practice for a growing number of couples struggling with infertility.
Tammy and Hared Scheel want to remember every smile, every laugh, even every sleepless night with there daughter, Evelyn.
“We still look at each other in the morning when she cries and go, ‘We have a baby!'” Tammy said.
The Scheels tried to have a baby for four years.
“I didn't want to tell anyone we were having problems,” Tammy explained.
The first specialist they saw told Tammy that she unable to conceive.
After considering adoption, the Scheels consulted a Nashville Reproductive Specialist, Dr. Jaime Vasquez.
“There's been a huge amount of progress in reproductive techniques,” Dr. Vasquez said.
The Scheel's Christian faith guided their reproductive decisions, but it wasn't always clear cut. Standard IVF practice involves inseminating several eggs and leaving some embryos to perish outside the womb.
“An embryo sitting in a Petri dish has yet to become life. We've had questions back and forth, changed our views on this as well. When that embryo becomes viable inside a woman's body we get into a different story, obviously,” Jared explained.
Now they are among millions who have conceived through IVF since the first was born 35 years ago in England.
“Bob Edwards was the PhD, the scientist, and I think they did something like 240 IVF cycles before Louise Brown was born,” explained Dr. Vasquez.
Dr. Edwards passed away in April. He had been awarded the Nobel Prize for his work.
The Scheels conceived just after 2 cycles of IVF, a personal story they are no longer hesitant to share.
“I have a baby. She's beautiful; she's wonderful; I've never been so happy,” Tammy said.