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Do our children really need to know they resulted from IVF?

A new book explains IVF to kids, and it’s not inappropriate at all.

All children eventually want to know where they came from and there are so many cute and charming ways to explain it to them…

You came from our love…

God gave you to us….

A stork brought you to us…

These ‘explanations’ may work for a few years but eventually, details will be demanded and that’s when most parents explain all about the birds and the bees and your children never look at you the same way again.

But what if your children weren’t conceived the old fashioned way? What if they are the result of the IVF? How on earth do you explain IVF to a child, and most importantly, do children really need to know they came from IVF?

A new children’s book called I Am Extra Special: An IVF Story is aiming to start a conversation between children and their parents about IVF. It also aims to inform all children about a different way conception can take place. 

A page from I Am Extra Special: An IVF Story.

The books co-authors are Aussie mums Belinda Messer and Rosie Luik. Belinda had her first two children naturally and used IVF to conceive her third child. Rosie conceived her first three children naturally, then carried twins for a dear friend, then had a fourth child using artificial insemination.

Belinda Messer with husband Brent and their children.
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Belinda says they wrote the book in order to help parents who wanted to explain IVF to their children. "Both Rosie and I felt a need to create a resource or 'tool' for parents to use when they decide to start the conversation with their kids.

"The birds and the bees don't apply to IVF children in the sense of 'where did I come from'. The truth of the matter is, incredibly, they were created outside of the body. They were made in a laboratory and transferred back inside of a woman to grow."

A page from I Am Extra Special: An IVF Story.

"This knowledge by itself sounds overwhelming even as I say it. Our vision was to create an engaging and enjoyable book for young children and their families to read together that explains with an easy to understand dialog just how they  came to be."

A page from I Am Extra Special: An IVF Story.
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She says that while it's up to parents whether or not they tell their children the truth about how they were created, she always knew she'd be open and honest with her son about his conception. "For us, there was never a shadow of doubt that we would one day tell him all about the incredible way that he came into our lives. It is a fact that millions of  babies simply wouldn't be here if it weren't for IVF treatment. Infertility is prevalent, one in five woman suffer from it."

"To hide or kick under the carpet this amazing achievement of a family seems ludicrous to some. It's not shameful, it's not weird or strange. They aren't called 'test tube' babies anymore.  They are accepted as the usual, However extra special their conception was. Medically it can also be important in regards to family history."

Rosie Luik with husband Adrian and their children.

Rosie wants the book to explain just how amazing IVF is for families. "My children were old enough to understand a little about the process of  surrogacy and IVF, it was never a secret for either family and my kids often talk about how mummy helped grow two babies for our friends"

"When we wrote this book, we really wanted it to be special for our children, the twins and their precious  siblings, so that they could understand how amazing IVF is." 

Do you think children should know EXACTLY how they were created? Would you find a book like this helpful?

To purchase I Am Extra Special: An IVF Story, click here.

Like this? Then try:

5 things to know when you start your IVF story.

Jackie O gets very real about her IVF experience.

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