Miracle baby to mark another milestone

AS TASMANIA'S first IVF baby, Emma Klima is used to making headlines.

News cameras whirred when she arrived home from hospital, on her first day of school, and as she celebrated her 18th birthday - all while more people invested in the scientific technique that brought about her miracle existence. 

Now, at a time when one in 25 Australian babies is born using IVF, Ms Klima will mark her latest milestone: marrying her fiancee James Sciclung.

The 31-year-old Launceston schoolteacher will tie the knot at Clarendon Estate this afternoon, unfazed by the media attention that has followed her from birth.   

``I think it's quite lovely actually, the people who have followed my story,'' she said. 

``There are a lot of people out there who can't conceive naturally, and who really, really want kids.

``If my story can give them a little bit of hope, push them to try another round of treatment, then that is fantastic.'' 

Born in the Melbourne Royal Women's Hospital on November 15, 1982, Ms Klima was Australia's fifth ``test tube'' baby. 

Her birth came during the infancy of in-vitro fertilisation - when a woman's egg was fertilised outside the body and placed back in the uterus. 

Emma's mother, Adele, and father, Josef, had been trying for 16 years to have a baby of their own before Mrs Klima's gynaecologist suggest she try IVF at the age of 38.  

The Klimas had already adopted two children - Matthew and Megan - but Matthew contracted leukaemia when he was 20-months-old, and died when he was six.

Mrs Klima said she was ``one of the lucky ones'' who became pregnant on her first round of IVF treatment, with Emma's birth hailed as another success for the fledgling science. 

``The thing is, the doctors really knew nothing about the procedure - it was totally new to them as well,'' Mrs Klima said. 

``Us ladies were practically all science experiments.

``The stigma attached to it was horrendous for some of the women too. No one was quite sure what to make of it.'' 

Despite her unlikely conception, Mrs Klima said she had never treated her daughter differently, encouraging Emma to talk about her birth and see it as something special. 

``This was never more apparent than the day she took all of her newspaper clippings for show-and-tell one day,'' Mrs Klima said. 

``I only found this out years later, and it was a Catholic School, so I can only imagine the look on the teacher's face.'' 

Ms Klima said she met her fiancee James when they were both working at Smithton in 2007. 

The couple hit it off, surviving a year apart while Ms Klima was based in London, and they moved to Launceston together in 2010.

Ms Klima said today's ceremony would be a high tea, featuring antique crockery she had been collecting over the past 18 months, followed by a mysterious overseas honeymoon. 

She said the couple had talked about starting a family of their own one day. 

``But maybe we'll try a puppy first.'' 

Email adruce@examiner.com.au 

Twitter @AlexDruce1987 

Tasmania's first IVF baby, Emma Klima, is flanked by parents Adele and Joe Klima. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

Tasmania's first IVF baby, Emma Klima, is flanked by parents Adele and Joe Klima. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON


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