Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Our Dream Come True - An IVF Story

During both of our infertility journey's IVF was a very real possibility. In fact both times we were told very early on that, given our combined fertility issues, it may be our only viable option. The first time we were very lucky to fall pregnant with Clomid only, which even our fertility specialist thought was a miracle, and I still have no idea how it happened. This time, we weren't as lucky.

Staring down the barrel of IVF raises a lot of questions. How will we be able to afford this? How will I be able to handle all the needles when I'm petrified of them? Will our relationship survive the emotional roller-coaster? What if it doesn't work? If it does work, how will I explain it to my child? Surprisingly, the last question was the one that played on my mind the most, even before we started preparing for IVF.

You see despite the fact that IVF is seemingly much more common now than it was 20yrs ago, its still not overly talked about outside of infertility groups. It's still seen as somewhat taboo and is misunderstood by people who haven't gone through it. I can understand why, its a complicated process. It's a hard enough concept to explain to an adult, so how do you explain something like that to a small child?

A few months ago in the midst of our fertility treatment, I stumbled across the perfect answer to this question thanks to local children's author Gilly-Elle Wiltshire. Gilly happened to be in the same IVF support group as me and was in the process of publishing a children's book to help parents explain the IVF journey to their miracle IVF babies. Having gone through IVF herself Gilly initially wrote the book for her own daughter and after reading it to other people realised many other IVF parents would benefit from it as well. I'm happy to report that Gilly's book Our Dream Come True is now published, and in my opinion is the perfect way to let IVF children know how they came into the world. 



Gilly has broken down the complicated concept of IVF into bite sized pieces using age appropriate language so it makes sense to small children. She's used clever rhymes and bright, cartoon like illustrations to convey the process and emotions that go along with it. Gilly is qualified in speech and language therapy and it's clear she's used her understanding of language development to explain a very complex series of events in a way that children will be able to comprehend {and in a way I never would have thought of}. I'm a big believer in using children's books to help explain complex situations to young children and Gilly's book is no exception, in fact I think parents all over will be thanking her for making what could be a very complicated conversation into an engaging picture book. 


I was so excited to be one of the first people to receive a copy of Our Dream Come True as I knew it would be the perfect way to explain to our future baby how they were conceived. As it turns out though, on the morning I had to call the fertility specialist to arrange our IVF cycle, I found out that our IUI had been successful and I was already pregnant. Even though I won't be needing it for this baby, I'm still so grateful that I discovered Gilly's wonderful book. I think it's an amazing book for IVF children and it turns a potentially awkward conversation into a simple one and a celebration of how loved the child is. I know so many friends, readers and acquaintances who would benefit from this book which is why I'm sharing it with you all, despite not needing it myself at this point in time. I'm actually passing my copy on to a dear friend {who conceived via IVF} and if we end up having a 3rd child via IVF in the future I will purchase another copy of Gilly's book when the time comes.


Our Dream Come True can be purchased online at www.gillyelle.com. You can also follow Gilly-Elle Wiltshire on Facebook.

Have you ever used a book to explain a hard concept to your children?

Toni x

Disclosure - I received a copy of Our Dream Come True for the purpose of review. I honestly believe this children's book is a must have for all IVF parents and I've passed my gifted copy on to a close friend who conceived her children via IVF. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Kylie

27 comments:

  1. I love the idea of normalising things for kids through books. Many years ago, my daughter's day care was in the news because they read books about kids with same sex parents. Some were horrified but I thought it was fabulous. It helps kids to see that there are many variations of normal. Same goes for IVF kids. It's normal and they can learn about how very wanted they were, too. Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly its their normal so I think its important to explain it to them in a way that reinforces that instead of making them feel different :)

      Delete
  2. I'll have to look into this book because my first son is IVF and very inquisitive! I may be needing this in the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it'd be great to have on hand for if/when you decide to have a conversation about it x

      Delete
  3. It looks like a great book. I was single so actually 'socially infertile' and after a couple of tries via insemination embarked on the IVF route before having to pull the plug.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. I decided it mustn't have worked out for a reason...

      Delete
  4. I think it is good to have resources like these but I hesitate about the 'need' to share the story unless the child is actually needing to know more. I understand kids will ask the questions (oh so many questions) about all kinds of things include 'where did I come from' and it is something for parents to weigh up, as I am sure this author would recommend, what to share, when to share and with whom. Not saying it's not a good idea but I would take it slowly. My 2c. Congratulations again to you both and I am very happy bub is going to be a big sister!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally think its a personal choice each couple needs to decide on themselves, just the same as some couples decide to share their IVF journey with family/friends and some keep it private. I'm sure there are others out there who may choose never to tell their children for various reasons. I think for people who have decided to have the conversation should it ever come up then this is a great book to have on hand for that :)

      Delete
  5. I love this. I am a big fan of a book for all occasions as our bookshelf will tell you. If we have to chat about something I will always try and normalise it was a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too I think books are such a great resource for navigating difficult concepts with children. I estimate we'll have a huge book collection by the time bub's older.

      Delete
  6. The book sounds like a wonderful idea. We've not yet told our daughter she is an IVF baby. I don't know what the right time for this is or even if it's necessary. I'm sure if the time comes we'll explain it in the right way for her to understand and to know that we wanted her so very much. She is a very clever little girl. I explained same sex couples to her the other day and she said 'Oh, that sounds lovely' :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's such a cute response to same sex couples! I love how kids are so innocent and non judgemental, they just see things as they are. I honestly have no idea when the right time would be, I was just planning to have the book on hand should I feel the right time came about. I was more worried it would somehow come up as a question from them and I wouldn't know exactly how to respond.

      Delete
  7. What a lovely idea. We speak openly with our kids and they know that they are IVF babies and very much wanted. They think it's very normal and kinda "cool" that they were made by us and science. The eldest has asked for in depth explanations of the procedure, which, while saving me from the "sex" talk for a bit, was a tough ask. This book would have been so useful at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a good idea isn't it. And yay that you get to avoid the sex talk for longer :)

      Delete
  8. I have used books for almost everything!
    From my eldest daughter's anxiety, to explaining the loss of our first family pet, books are an invaluable resource and I will always turn to books as a means of explanation, as well as communication

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree books are so great for explaining big situations and concepts. I can see our book collection will be huge over the coming years.

      Delete
  9. I love the idea of this book. No kids myself, and probably won't but a great friend of mine just finally conceived through IVF after two years. This book sounds like a great present. And congratulations to you as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it'd make a great present for friends who have been through IVF :)

      Delete
  10. What a gorgeous book! I'm worried I need to use a book soon to explain to my 6 year old the birds and bees. It turns out one of his friends, a little girl in his class, knows all about it. It would shock the hell out of him but I asked a few roundabout questions recently and he has no clue yet. Phew! #teamIBOT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's scary how young they learn about it these days! My friend's little girl came home talking about it because kids in kindy were talking about it. How do 4yr olds even know this stuff??!!

      Delete
  11. What a great book! And I love the title. Such a great way to start the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a good book Grace, she's done such a great job with it.

      Delete