This short memoir mixes science with human interest. It charts the author’s journey working at the forefront of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), test tube baby research. It recounts the challenges that went into establishing IVF in the wake of Steptoe and Edwards and provides a cautionary tale of how necessary it is to pay attention to what’s going on in your own family. There are no other published books that detail the development of IVF in the UK from the perspective of someone who was at the cutting edge, but it is told from a very human and personal view point to appeal to a wide variety of readers.
The author started as a homeless teenager from Grimsby and later became one of the founding fathers of IVF. Throughout the 1980s and 90s and for years after that, he played a key part in its scientific progress. The dedication to bring children into the lives of thousands of infertile families, came at a cost of losing his own family.
Dr Steve Green PhD is a Clinical Embryologist and is regarded today as one of the founding fathers of Modern Embryology. In 1981 he began working on the techniques that would become routine in treating infertility and was the embryologist responsible for the first test tube baby (IVF) twins and triplets in the UK in 1982 and 1984 respectively. His work on simultaneous sperm and egg transfer directly into the uterus with the team at the Royal Free Hospital in London, resulted in the first babies in the world to be born from this pioneering technique in 1982. The work has since been referred to many times as a significant milestone in IVF history and paved the way for alternative thinking. In 1995 while at the nurture unit, Dr Green was part of the team that achieved the first pregnancy in the world after treating a couple with ICSI using the immature sperm. Dr Green now lives in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and has published over 50 academic papers and is still very active in the field where his interests are focussed on egg vitrification; a special technique of freezing and time-lapse imaging of embryo development.