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Special Me; Bragging, Bravery and Doing Better

If one ever thinks the eight plus months it takes to complete a book is tough, then prepare yourself for the wake-up, being the first five weeks following its online launch.  It’s a wonderful feeling creating best IVF stories for children but I know I’m getting rather impatient towards moving onto the next project, and whilst they are not going anywhere for now, I’m not sure I was prepared for the time a book takes following its release.  This being said, I’m very proud of the project and I’mwilling to let the rest go, as the time right now, is all about Special Me – for IVF Families.

The past five weeks have been somewhat of a horse and cart ride; rather steady with lots of bumps.  The bumps tend to be worked through relatively fast, though I find I’m always unprepared and they take seem to take up a lot of time.  Then occasionally you’ll get a positive jolt from somewhere that’ll make it all worthwhile.  I’m going to take a moment and some bragging rights to write these down before I forget . . . memory of a mum now.

The biggest jolt for us to date came in the form of a Facebook review from the “Queen of Common Sense” famous author and educator Maggie Dent.

Some time back I bought her book “Building Children’s Resilience” online and since having kids, also enjoyed following her Facebook feed.  I’m not sure if I willed it into my universe or not, but it’ll go down as a career highlight as far as this project goes.  I’ve since learned she doesn’t give reviews away lightly – which makes it more precious.

Another jolt came from Mum,Blogger and Educator Kate Russell who I just so happened to get talking to one day at my kids swim class about nothing relating to IVF, and neither of us aware of each other’s secret professions, hers not so secret as I found out after that she’s famous around these parts, with good reason; she promotes peaceful parenting for kids to grow confidently.

She was 34 weeks pregnant and suffering placenta previa (as I had) and I was in shock that she was walking around taking her kids to swim lessons . . . I could say, under the circumstances of our chance meeting, she’s the peaceful to my crazy.  Either way, she graciously added it to her Facebook feed and list of resources for IVF parents.

In the past week a third jolt arrived in the form of Cath Hakanson, who just so happens to be an x-Charleville girl who asked if we’d like to be added to her books for children (hell yes!!).  Cath runs for parents wanting to better educate their kids about the subject matter – which I think is fantastic and a great business concept to dedicate your life too.  She’s also well versed on the subject matter, being a nurse, counsellor, clinician and author already.  Cath also highlighted the fact that we made it on another booklist, which I had to admit as a first time author of such, I was not aware.

This would make our fourth jolt; landing on the reading and resource list of USA librarian and blogger Ms Patricia MSarles  who I’ve since thanked.  Turns out she likes our book.  Whilst I don’t get hung up on personal opinions of the book it feels pretty awesome when a librarian dedicated to such books, likes your book!

Special Me – for IVF Families,has made its way out, now available at the Toowoomba Library and a number of supporting organisations locally; Qld Fertility Clinic, Cosmetic Elegance Clinic, Women’s Health Only Clinic, Saint Vincent’s Hospital Toowoomba to name a few;copies we gifted for their role in taking care of my little people.

We’ve been asked when it’s going to be available elsewhere, but I still can’t give any answers on that, other than there is a request in the hands of the Queensland Health Minister.

We’ve also had a couple of interviews in the past weeks, the first with Toowoomba Chronicle Newspaper that made Saturday’s edition, Page 19 .

The second was an interview by ABC Radio Tropical with Tegan Philpott giving us 10 minutes on her “Mornings” show.

We were grateful for their time and they are good at what they do, and it is certainly not a criticism, but as we’ve found interviews seem more directed at the personal story than the actual book itself.  I don’t think this was ever the intention for Joy Holt and I, but given we are proud of the project, it’s gone beyond trying to keep the two separate.

In the interviews there has been on occasion a couple of questions that I’ve been asked by reporters, and none of which I feel I’ve answered or been edited adequately.

“Do you think there needs to be such a book for IVF parents; that kids need to be told?”

I blundered through this question relating to some negativity that I had heard and experienced, and that is readily available online and in social stigma; not saying what I really wanted to say.

What I really wanted to say is I’m not about to tell another parent what they should do, or how they should raise their own kids.  Our book is something beautiful that we created and I think it has the potential to help people, beyond itself.  But I’ll leave that to the individual to decide.If you are chasing a book for your IVF child, as you want them to be safely introduced and proud of how they came about- then our book is for you.

I also wanted to make the point that where there is an element of embarrassment or shame or failing felt by people relatable to IVF, than we need to cast it aside and be proud of our IVF journeys – whatever the outcome.  Fruitless words I know, for someone facing their tenth unsuccessful round.  But you are going after what you want in life, at a huge cost to every element of your existence – that’s called being brave!  Don’t forget that!The outcome doesn’t change the fact.  We try, we fail, we get back up. We humans!

Lastly in my own experience, I think that having kidswhilst scares the life out of you, also makes you a new type of brave.  Parents always want better for their kids; confidence, resilience, freedom and love – most of all you want them to enjoy being a kid.  This takes bravery in various forms and some honesty.I think if you are experiencing any negative emotion about where or how your IVF kid/s came about, then you owe it to them andyourself, to cast it aside and embrace the beauty and reality that is what you went through to achieve them.  So when the time comes and they ask, you can be honest, free and proud in telling them.  They deserve that; they deserve better.

The last page of “Special Me” sums it up I think “I’m happy and proud to be part of the team known as an In Vitro (IVF) Family”. Absolutely!