explaining infertility and conception to childrenI love this writing prompt from the PAIL bloggers group: Where do babies come from?

Of my close group of friends over 50% of those that are parents did not have The Sex in order to achieve parenthood. Our parental status was achieved through various methods that range from adoption to gamete donation.

About a year ago a group of my girlfriends and I were lounging about LJ’s living room and watching our kids play. It suddenly dawned on us just how unique and special our parenting stories are. And our one friend that made babies from The Sex had just as many set backs and complications as those of us using “alternative reproduction”.

Since every child has a different beginning I love that PAIL is collecting some of these unique stories. Like I always say – there is no normal.

where do babies come from: the W version

It took love, technology, and luck to make W. It took time and patience and emotional support from friends.

Now let’s get down to the logistics. I have written before about the amount of money that was involved in my pathway to motherhood. I shared that information just to be upfront about the practicalities. For me, the biggest hurdle, after the lack of sperm, is not having fertility medical coverage or ready funds for attempts.

(Confession: If I had the money I would be calling the clinic today to try again.)

W was created in a lab in the Northeast. His embryo was part of several embryos that were created after my December, 2007 IVF. These embryos were created by using both “traditional” fertilization and ICSI fertilization. Since I had been diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” the clinic and I had no idea what egg issues I might be bringing to the table. The fertilization rate was a surprise to many.

That December IVF became the unpregnancy – aka a chemical pregnancy that totally gutted me.

In the early Spring of 2008 the internet got me pregnant with W. It’s true. Whenever you hear about awful, horrible things happening online I want you to remember that the flip side of that is the infertility blogging community. Seriously. Every time you read something and think, “oh those anonymous trolls!!” and tsk with sadness, think about the hundreds of people who rallied around my uterus and helped me achieve the most amazing miracle I have ever known.

Amazing people are connected to where W came from. People I may never know in person.

where do babies come from? explaining IVF to children

I was able to have a frozen embryo transfer (FET) in the Summer of 2008. It was a super smooth cycle (I can say this now that I know what UNsmooth looks like!) and I was thrilled when beta after beta and then ultrasound after ultrasound revealed that W was happening.

How I explain to W how he was made:

(with the cycles of 2012 I had lots of time to finesse to this the way that feels right)
“Mama took medicine to help her make seeds. Doctors combined Mama’s seeds with a donor’s seeds and baby seeds were made! It can cost a lot of money to help turn those baby seeds into babies. A lot of people from all over the world helped Mama save money to plant your baby seed in me. Doctors put the baby seed inside of Mama’s tummy and then we waited to see if you were going to grow and grow and grow. You did! And here you are!

Sometimes baby seeds don’t grow or they grow in the wrong place and doctors have to help. We just don’t know why some baby seeds become babies and some do not. It is so special when it does. YOU are so special and Mama is so lucky.

where do babies come from?

What is the story that you know? What is the story that you tell others or your children? It’s so important that, when possible, we talk openly about all of the different ways children come into our lives. I’d love to hear your story.


Some friends of mind just told me about this book that will be released in the Spring of this year. I just watched the video and I immediately pre-ordered it. I can not wait to read it to W!

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