Telling children conceived through IVF about it...(26 Posts)
My lovely IVF-conceived baby is only a toddler so I'm not yet seriously thinking about this...but I guess we do need to decide when and how. It's not an issue as far we're concerned, but I think she has a right to know and that by NOT telling her, we'd potentially make it an issue if she inadvertently finds out from someone else. Am really interested to hear how others have handled this and how their DCs have responded.
I have 11 yo twins (y6). My intention has always been to tell them in an age appropriate way when they ask. So far they have not asked. I thought they would when they covered puberty etc at school (I know the question of how twins come about was covered but don't actually know if the teacher mentioned IVF). I thought I would get questions after that but didn't (well, I got lots of questions but nothing about twins and no obvious lead ins!).
I don't think they will find out in advance from someone else (I am not even sure how many people actually know although I am sure lots of people assume), but I do think it is likely that a friend will ask them if they are, and they will then ask me (that has always been the plan anyway, so far they and their friends are thwarting me).
We have been open about our treatment with friends and family so will probably be open with her. Otherwise someone might let it slip down the line and then it would become an issue. I see no reason to keep it a secret anyway. As a teenager she will probably live the idea that no sex was involved in her conception!
It's a non issue for us. I have a picture of dd2 as a blastocyst just before she was implanted. It's the coolest thing ever. None of her friends will have anything like that!
It just goes to show the lengths you will go to have your much wanted miracle baby.
Interesting, thanks. I'm with you, Eurochick, in that I don't see a reason to keep it secret. That sort of creates an issue, doesn't it? Makes it somehow something to be ashamed of - I'm not. I'm also not proud. It just is, ifyswim?!
I've got an amazing time-lapse photography video of her from the moment of conception to blastocyst - as someone has said, most people don't get that!
I do get that you probably wouldn't tell your child about the shag that led to them, but i just feel this is different - the bottom line is they this IS different to the norm and the stuff they'll learn about in sex ed.
So we'll definitely tell her. Still not sure when and how though!
I am already telling DD about it (IVF, donor egg). I found a book on Amazon to use, that you can stick your own photos in. I feel openness is best and also am aware of research that donor-conceived children take it in stride if told when young, but can react badly if told as teenagers (I don't know if this applies to straight IVF). DD is only 2.5 but I thought it was best to start as we meant to go on. We actually gave her an unusual middle name after the (lovely) IVF co-ordinator so that will continue to act as a reminder.
When it gets to baby-making talks, just tell them about sex, but also that IVF is a thing, which is how you were made.
All age appropriately of course.
'Mum, where do babies come from?'
"Well, there are a few ways actually... etc..."
No I don't think they are different in a way that seperates them from the crowd, I just had to go a little further to have her than normal.
ours are adopted so a little different but we have always talked about it very openly. 'when you came to live with us' for example when they were toddlers, so it's never been a surprise or an issue.
Perhaps you could do similar, 'when we went to the hospital to make you', don't think it needs to be a big issue though, just mention it a couple of times and when it comes to the baby talk, as scatter says 'there are different ways that babies can be made'
Thanks all - some good advice here. Phineyj, what's the name of the book please?
Allhallows - sorry I wasn't clear. I don't they're - the children - are different in any way that makes them stand out. But their conception is different.
I agree totally with not making it an issue though - I'm not i tending we watch her (amazing) video each week over Sunday lunch. Just that it is never a surprise to her.
When she gets old enough to start asking about how babies are made, we'll explain it as an option and say that's how she was made. i think that it's important that she knows.
Phineyj - I'm also keen to know the name of the book too please if you don't mind.
Interesting thread. FWIW I'm totally in the 'It means we went out of our way to get you' camp.
I've got all medical notes right from 1997 when we first raised infertility with our GP, all the referrals, test results (& invoices & receipts!) right through to her 6 week heartbeat scan sound recording on a disc.
In some ways it's "nice" to have everything in a memory box.
Camel , I think they have a right to know if any of the fertility issues could be genetic. I'd also argue that they should know for other reasons too.
DS ia now almost 14 and was an Ivf baby. I wasn't sure how to tell him but knew I wantd to. Got a perfect opening when we were coming home from school one day and the car radio was on and they announced that the doctor who pioneered "test tube babies" had died. I commentd that it was very sad as without him DS might not be here. He thought it was 'very cool'. Might also have been relieved that we hadn't had yucky sex to conceive him! He was 11 at th time and had recently had the sex talk at school!
I don't think it's necessarily a 'big' conversations for regular IVF but nor do I think it should be a secret. But I wouldn't anticipate a negative reaction. It's just a different way to start out. I'd mention it whenever the 'where did I come from / where do babies come from' conversation comes up.
I am pregnant through donor egg IVF (we also have a naturally conceived son) and I think that needs more care and thought. We definitely plan to tell the child and, as mentioned above, everything I've read suggests current thinking is to talk about it from very early on so that the child 'always knows'. Our added complexity is that we will have a 5 year age gap and our son will need to know about his sibling's origins too but what is age appropriate for one might not be for the other.
The Donor Conception Network has some very useful 'talking and telling' materials but these are definitely aimed at donor conception. Their website may have some useful reading for own egg/sperm IVF.
I can't remember how my mum told me but I knew when I was about 6. I think when I kept asking for a sibling she told me no because I was very difficult to get. I've never been bothered by it. As I've got older she's spoke to me about it in detail.
So far my DD just knows that the bits in mummy and daddy that make babies don't work very well so a very kind doctor at the hospital had to help us to have her, which is why she can't have a sibling as when they tried to help us again it did not work. I will explain further when she is a bit bigger...she sort of knows how babies are made "normally"..
we have a lot of friends with babies: own, adopted or ivf. Children are more curious about why he has a dog me not? or similar. Just (I think) not to push our thinking on children
My sister and I knew our parents had had fertility problems. What we weren't told for AGES is that it wasn't a problem which we eoulf inherit. Both of us silently fretted we would have problems with conceiving too. I'm not sure it is something you should just put out there from an early age without context...
My children are age seven I have always told them that special doctors helped mummy and daddy to have them.
I can't see the point in waiting till they ask as I think it's unlikely that anyone would ask whether they were born via ivf.
I have kept my huge file of 4 cycles so that when they are grown up they can see it if they want to.
We don't make a big deal of it but nor do we keep it a secret, lots of our friends have off babies too.
Miamimo, what do you mean by 'own, adopted or ivf? My children are my own thanks!
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