Yesterday morning I had this really quiet whisper of a memory. Forever ago, WAY back during the IUI and injectable days. Probably before I had even started saving up for IVF. I purchased two books that were meant for talking to your child about how they were created.
The remembering brought with it the special power to know just which box to track down and sure enough, just below the onesies I would never give away and a box of cards celebrating W’s birth, there they were. A little bent but certainly ready to be brought into a bedtime reading rotation. Surely there was room between Olivia and Otis for two small books about sperm.
I flipped open the first book, Our Story, a picture book created by the Donor Conception Network. I know the illustrations are meant to be an approachable medium for children, but it was a turn off for me. I know W is drawn to beautiful drawings but this would have him flipping forward. I do, however, like that the story begins by talking about different kinds of families. Below is a sample page.
The other book I had felt far more promising. Before You Were Born: My Wish For A Baby is by Janice Grimes, RN of Bethesda, MD. The illustrations feature a familiar looking Mama Bear/baby bear and the actual describing of IVF and donor sperm is pretty good and age appropriate. I think I was drawn more to this book because it felt more like a book W might enjoy. Below is a page sample.
One thing that you will notice is that the first book uses the word sperm and the second book uses the word cells. I had not thought to use “cells” and it doesn’t really jive with how I want to tell the story. (it’s sort of like using “wee wee” instead of “penis”, right?)
Both of these books are very simple and I like that. I am inspired by that. I totally think we should work on updating these books for our corner of the web. Wouldn’t it be great to have a story that you could plug in your specific details for your family and then have that book printed out?
I want to do this better! (or I need Todd Parr!)