Breaking down the stigma around IVF one book at a time

IVF isn't easy for any prospective parents.
IVF isn't easy for any prospective parents.

YOU know those incredibly embarrassing books parents read to you when you are young?

You know the ones I am talking about - those books like Where Did I Come From and What's Happening To Me.

Well a new book is out called I am Extra Special: An IVF Story, written by two mums to help explain other ways children are brought into the world.

I better add that one to the shopping cart because one day I can read it to my eldest, Master H, because he was a baby born from IVF.

I wouldn't say I had a great time doing IVF, but I certainly had about a good an experience as you can.

I was medically diagnosed with a fertility issue (blocked tubes), told to do IVF and after just one round we were extremely lucky to get our precious little boy.

I know that my story is not one shared by many people. I have seen how hard it is for most.

Round after round, heartbreak after heartbreak. I know how hard I found doing it just once, so I have a deep empathy for people who try again and again to make their dream of a family come true.

Anyone who thinks IVF is an easy option to have a family or a good reason to delay having a family is deluded.

The drugs are tough (I cried every day for no real reason other than I had to cry), the procedures are invasive and everyone close to you knows your business and what you are doing.

The drugs are tough (I cried every day for no real reason other than I had to cry), the procedures are invasive and everyone close to you knows your business and what you are doing.

Then there is the weight of expectation and anticipation from everyone who does know, on top of the pressure and hope you put on yourself.

But when you get good news all that fades away.

I find it strange how something that hopefully results in such joy, and has given such joy to thousands of people is still rarely talked about and seemingly difficult to discuss.

I am quite proud to tell people that is how my eldest came about, because you know what? I know every day how lucky I am to have my children. I had to try harder than most to have them.

And even though they drive me crazy at times like all other kids, I never forget what it was like thinking it may not ever happen.

I did struggle with this when Master H was born.

He was a refluxy baby who didn't sleep more than 90 minutes through the night.

For many, many months I felt I couldn't complain about any of it because I fought so hard to have it. I didn't want to seem ungrateful for being one of the lucky ones who got a beautiful child in the end, because it still doesn't work for plenty of couples.

It wasn't until my health began to suffer that I had to accept that as much as I loved him and fought to have him, it didn't take away from the challenge of being a mother and that I am allowed to find it hard.

He is only three and we haven't spoken to him about IVF yet, but I plan to.

I already tell him that Mummy and Daddy had him specially made for us, not that he know what that means yet.

To have a book to help explain to him exactly how it happened can only be a good thing.

Topics:  columns ivf opinion pregnancy

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