A couple of months ago (when my life wasn't quite as insane as it seems to be at the moment), I saw a report on the evening news about a new book, a book written by a Canadian, that helps explain IVF and various family planning methods to young children. I confess, I didn't get to watch the news piece; Petite kept me otherwise occupied and away from the TV so all I caught was a little bit.
However, shortly thereafter, the publishers contacted me and asked if I would like a copy of the book to review on my blog and a couple of copies to give away to my readers. I was so very happy they'd gotten in touch!
Without further ado, voilà...
I loVe my Family
A book about assisted conception for young children.
Author: Tammy Troute-Wood
Illustrator: Brent Patrick Gough
I loVe my Family is believed to be the first book published in Canada that educates a very young audience on how babies are created through assisted reproductive technology including: IVF, egg donor, sperm donor, and surrogacy.
I loVe my Family gives Canadian parents a thoughtfully planned storyline to discuss the many forms of assisted conception with children 3 to 5 years old.
The book's use of diverse pictures, inclusive language, accurate anatomy and family activites provide a tool to explain all manners of assisted conception.
The book's central messages of love, hope and family are universal.
I loVe my Family is now available at Amazon.com
About the Author:
Tammy Troute-Wood (RN, MN) currently works as a Sexual and Reproductive Health Specialist in Calgary, Alberta. She has two children conceived by In Vitro Fertilitization. She feels passionate about helping professionals, families and parents increase their understanding and comfort to talk about sexual and reproductive health. She hopes that her book will provide parents with a resource to assist them to appropriate educate their children by opening the lines of communication. You can learn more about Tammy and her work at http://www.myivfbooks.com/.
In Canada, 1 in 6 couples struggle with infertility.
50% of Canadians have been affected by infertility; either themselves, or someone they know have been affected.
A recent online survey found that 78% agree that everyone should have equal coverage for fertility treatments and 61% believed that provincial plans should cover treatments. (Conceivable Dreams, the Ontario Coalition for OHIP Funding)
Honestly? The first time I read through this book, I barely got through it. And I wasn't even yet reading it to Petite! I had to blink back the tears. All the memories of our own experiences came flooding back and it was hard to read it with the lump in my throat. But I got through it. And I have to say, it's a good book. At a short 26 pages, with lots of colourful drawings, large typeface, easy language and even a little heart to find on every page, both adults and children alike will enjoy this.
There is appropriate discussion on the need for sperm and ovum to unite together and grow into an embryo, that needs to develop in a uterus. Even a glossary is included for those who wish to use different language. There are colouring pages (e.g., a big star for "Wishes") and activity pages. For parents, there's a "How to Use This Book" section at the end, that includes things such as "Share your family beliefs and values with your child. There's no right way to use the book, tell the story that fits for your family."
One recurring line in the book is the "wish to have a child, to kiss, and kiss, and kiss." When I read this book to Petite, she's frequently on my lap or next to me, and I punctuate each of the words "kiss" with a kiss on her little blonde head. She grins up at me and I just shatter into a million pieces.
This book applies to pretty much anyone who's had IVF (or possibly IUI). It's good for same-sex families, just as it is for single-parent families and for those who have used third party reproductive assistance (e.g., sperm/egg donor, surrogates).
It's a sweet little book and one that I've added to the rotation of "night-night" books in our house. In fact, this is exactly the type of book that I can envisage writing myself. I love the idea of writing explanatory books for children in age-appropriate language so that they can learn the story of their own family. I think it's important, so it's something I'm mulling over at the moment. Future work perhaps... to be determined. :)
And I have two copies to give away. The first two comments that indicate their interest will receive the books. I'll only be too happy to share!
My thanks go out to Siobhan Desroches of Fleishman-Hillard Canada Inc for having sent the copies for me and two of my readers. And thank you Tammy Troute-Wood for having written this informative, educational book. My little girl will certainly know that her story is special and while she is unique, many, many others in this world were wanted just as badly long before they ever came to be.