I found out about a great site tonight--XYandMe. They create children's books that explain A.R.T. to kids--a where did I come from for kids who...er...may not have come from the average cabbage patch. They are fantastic because (1) they are written by a nurse who works at a fertility clinic--who tried IVF herself (she also has a personal blog that she keeps that I've listed under general infertility in the blogroll: Wishing for a Baby). So an insider and a professional perspective in one. (2) They are written for every imaginable combination--FET, single mum and donor sperm, surrogacy, etc. My only wish...um...Janice (if you're reading this) is that you had an IUI one (without donor sperm). And maybe one for some less invasive things too--Clomid, for instance, or injectible drugs.
We've been speaking to our kids from birth about their conception. Do they understand right now? No. But we never wanted them to have a moment where they learned about how they were conceived. I discuss it freely in front of them with other people because I want them to know that there is nothing shameful about A.R.T. If we adopt, we will take the same approach.
I like these books because I like my children finding stories that reflect their own experience. The lack of books on this topic in the picture book section at Barnes and Noble speaks volumes about how the non-infertile world views A.R.T. and adoption. We can talk about different jobs, countries, and medical situations--but ask for recommendations on books written for children to explain family building and you're likely to get a blank stare from the woman behind the information desk. American authors can write books about a girl living in China. A woman can write an award-winning series from the point-of-view of a boy. But ask a non-infertile to broach the topic of infertility in their children's book and they'd probably ask, "why?" Because. Because there's a need. Because I want my children to know that there are multiple paths towards parenthood. Because I want my children to understand even the paths that we don't take because they may have friends created through those means. Stories are how children learn at this age. And I want my children to see a story that talks about their reality. I feel the same way about purchasing them books about twins in a sea of books about singletons. Or books about being Jewish. Or living in America.
I was also contacted by a woman who wrote a book about pregnancy loss called Forever Our Angels. It is not strictly about pregnancy loss after infertility, but there are stories contained in the book that reflect this experience. I have read a sample chapter and it's another venue for information if you are looking for personal stories.
Other books out there that you love? Especially those off the beaten path?