Good news about grandchildren:
For quite a while now I had been looking at the numbers and thinking, “There’s no way out of here.”  Birth rates had fallen and then stabilized in the developed world but age of first marriage was going up inexorably.  There just didn’t seem to be a fix in sight. 

There has been, in fact, a slight uptick in the birth rate in developed countries.  I suspect that this is due to the limited but significant success of in vitro fertilization (IVF).  The problem was that I was quite concerned that people so conceived would not themselves be fertile.  Then a kind person told me to Google “Louisa Brown.”  I did and found an article on Wikipedia. 

Louisa was the first person conceived with IVF and born in 1978.  Her sister was the 40th four years later and became the first to have a child of her own, and naturally in 1999.  Louise married and had a son, again naturally, in 2006. 

These things happened when I was already on the scent, and I am mortified to have missed the news.  But it is certainly good news.  That means there is a glimmer of light for the future.

In the Brown case, the cause of the infertility was blocked fallopian tubes.  This is not the cause of the widespread infertility now visiting the developed world so the batting average for IVF overall remains unknown to me.  I hope to find out soon. 

But that is not as crucial as the question of whether it can get a hit at all.  That question is now answered in the affirmative.  It is just a matter of doing better, and for that I certainly have ideas.

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