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.

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