Tuesday, March 22, 2011

After the jump

A post about parenting, a short one.

I'm not much of a mommy blogger, that much I've proven. Sometimes, I
do want to post about parenting after IF, but I always feel a bit
apprehensive for reasons I don't have to spell out.
To overcome that, I'll label the posts 'after the jump' in the title.

Linnea - like any 3yo - is curious about the human body. Yesterday,
whilst getting ready for bed, she pointed to her chest and asked what
'those' were.

Deflect or truth? I decided on the latter. "Those are called nipples.
When you grow to be a woman, like your mom, you might have a baby and
then milk comes out to feed the baby with". A look of wonder.
Curiosity satisfied, for now.

I said 'you might have a baby', on purpose. I didn't make a big deal
out of it, and I don't think it registered with her, and that's ok.
One day she will, and that's ok too. When she asks, I will explain.

Since Linnea was born, I've been wondering whether she'll have to go
through IF too.
Because we don't want to spring the message on her when she's a teen
or a young adult, we've decided to start telling her at a young age.

To start with, we've explained to her our struggle to give her a
sibling. Not in detail, just the broad lines. She's met the RE that
helped us have her and we explained he was helping us give her a
sibling. When we were out the door - she demanded to know where he had
hidden her little brother (me too, kiddo!).

So far, we feel this approach is working for us. I don't look forward
to the day she'll inevitably share her story with her pre-school
teacher and classmates. But it's a price we're willing to pay.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on telling early or not telling early -
whether or not this comes from experience or is still hypothetical.


At 22 March, 2011 23:07, Blogger BigP's Heather said...

I've debated about this a lot. I told BigP we need three savings accounts: college, wedding, and infertility. In case she decides to do all three...

I want her to be knowledgeable but I'm also afraid that it may feed into the "it can't happen to me" and then end up with a daughter on 16 and Pregnant. I don't want to give her an excuse to be lazy when it comes to protection. Because "what if" she is as fertile as my sister?

But the other side is that I don't want her to fall in love and get married and then I have to tell her that she may not be able to have biological kids, or it may be really stinking hard. What a brick wall to slam into.

I'm very on the fence about this. I'm interested to hear what others think too.

At 22 March, 2011 23:22, Anonymous It is what it is said...

My son was conceived through IVF. I want him to know about his conception and I made a conception to birth memory book for him that starts with the embryo that became him. Whenever he wants to open it up and talk about it, we do.

We are also in the process of domestic adoption and I will want to do something similar for my daughter.

As an adult adoptee, I can attest to how important one's birth story (as opposed to a mother's pregnancy or delivery story) is to one's connection to themselves. I wrote about it here: http://itiswhatitisorisit.net/?p=1230 and here: http://itiswhatitisorisit.net/?p=1256.

I think a balance approach is prudent.

At 23 March, 2011 01:00, Anonymous mrs. hope said...

You know, I don't know is still the answer. I'm sticking with simple honesty for the moment, and trying to keep it simple. She hasn't asked much, but there are pictures of her embryos in her baby book, and she hasn't asked about a sibling. She's announced that she doesn't have a sister or brother - but it was a statement, not a question.

I don't want her to think she'll be infertile, but it's also part of her story that we were.

At 23 March, 2011 03:37, Blogger Roccie said...

I will not have a lot of room for protection, will I? I am too worried there will be sibling rivalry over who came from what egg. I cannot advise you.

We have to come out early, age 4-5, for DE. There is a cute little story book to help.

I will tell Toddlerina momma was older. The truth. Funny, I only recently came to terms with this. Really need to digest it in a post someday.

At 23 March, 2011 05:32, Blogger Sara said...

I plan to tell her early and often as well. I'm not sure how much I'll emphasize the possibility that it might be genetic, but rather I plan to emphasize that ANYONE could experience infertility. It's not just about preparing her for something that might not even happen to her for me (although that is a primary motivation)--it's also to prepare her to support her infertile friends and acquaintances.

Crazy but related thought--a few days ago I was pondering what we'd do if we tried DE and had leftover embryos. My first thought was that I could save them for Eggbert or the other child in case they experienced infertility later. Does that thought make me certifiable?

At 23 March, 2011 22:49, Blogger Bea said...

I think probably same as you. I will replace "will" with "might" in similar conversations - you know, I don't think that should extend just to parenthood, but to anything in life. Infertility is only one thing that could happen. Apart from anything else, the kid could just plain *decide* to do one thing and, not another. But I digress.

We haven't introduced the concept of IVF yet. We were all prepared to, to explain needles, doctors, etc, if PB brought it up, but it never happened. Still, sooner or later, he will want to know how the baby gets inside a woman's tummy, and I am fully prepared to explain that there are several different possibilities, and that his conception involved IVF.

Prior to that, though, I don't think I'll really talk about it much - I certainly don't see myself bringing it up out of the blue. We'll just follow, with honesty, where our conversations lead us, much like any other parent with any other naturally-conceived child.


At 24 March, 2011 03:53, Blogger Reba said...

my thoughts on this have changed over the years. we conceived my daughter "naturally," but we used fertility treatments to conceive her older brother and sister who didn't make it. so she may be in for some fertility problems herself someday.

for now my feeling is to be open about the twins (i bring them up regularly, show her their pictures, their garden, take her with me to visit their grave, etc.) but not mention the fertility stuff until it comes up. why should she worry about it till she has to? like another poster said--my whole side of the family (other than me) is extremely fertile, as in first-try-every-time fertile. hubby's family is not so fertile (he's their only bio child, his sister was adopted). so it's a coin toss...only time will tell.

At 25 March, 2011 00:46, Blogger Hope said...

I love this idea, of planting the seed that pregnancy is a *maybe* in the simple answers to the simple questions young children ask. I've always believed in answering a child's question with the simplest version of the truth, so as not to overwhelm them, and I like your way of just adding the word "might" to the comment about having a baby.

BTW, thanks for your support on my blog earlier this week. :-)

At 25 March, 2011 17:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an adoptee, I grew up knowing that pregnancy wasn't a given. I am sure K will grow up knowing that as well. She was with me at the clinic for blood work this week and I told her that it was where she was made, but at 15 months, it doesn't really compute. I think telling early with anything in family building, be it infertility, adoption, donor egg/sperm/embryo is the way to go.

At 27 March, 2011 21:30, Blogger Thalia said...

Since Pob was actually a spontaneous conception, we haven't covered the issue of IVF yet with her, although I have hinted at the c-section vs natural birth thing when she's asked about that. When she asks for her Pob story, I tell her that mummy and daddy tried a long time to have a baby before she came. It's just part of the story, though, and she hasn't asked about it.

I will tell J about his conception as and when, although I haven't got organised enough to make a baby book with embryos in!


Post a Comment

<< Home