Mila and I finally had the opportunity to read our new book Happy Together Childrens Book – a story about egg donation, kindly gifted to my girls. I actually started talking to her occasionally as a baby, holding her in my arms in the middle of the night. For me this was such an important time – it helped me to gain confidence and recognise my emotions, whilst it still being a one-way conversation. It helped me become more comfortable in saying out-loud that we needed help to get them and they were so very wanted.
Even though I’d practiced to help myself become more comfortable, honestly, I still had some anxiety about reading this book with Mila. When the book arrived I sobbed as I read it, it so simply and beautifully talks through what was a hellish journey with the most beautiful ending. I worried that the same thing would happen when I started to read it with Mila.
We settled down in her bed, her head in the usual spot resting on my chest as I read her story… this being one of two stories because she negotiates a ‘deal’ every night! She listened intently and instantly picked up on Mummy bear looking ‘sad’. She then showed her sheer delight upon realising that the baby bear was ‘Mila’ as well as the picture on the wall being the words from ‘our song’ – You Are My Sunshine. Her next question was “where’s Eska and Lena?!”…which got me thinking, we could really do with a twin version!
In true Mila style, her comment at the end had me in stitches in relation to a picture of Mummy and Daddy bear riding in tandem pulling a trailer with Mila bear in the back. In a dramatic voice she said…”Mummy, what if a naughty dragon came and breathed fire on the rope? It would break and then Mummy and Daddy would ride away without Mila!” She’d decided to add her own extra drama to the story which made me realise that all would be ok – to her it wasn’t huge news, it was simply a story – one of love…and don’t all great love stories include a fire-breathing dragon?!
How did I feel?
I coped better than I thought when actually reading the story – just feeling the weight of her head on my chest gave me such comfort – our happy ending was right there in front of me and this book actually celebrates how special her life is. I did feel emotional and definitely got a little ‘hot under the collar’ when I came to the page about the donor, unsure about her reaction, but she simply absorbed it and happily awaited the next page. It’s a story we’ll revisit many times and I know I’ll feel more comfortable each time I read it – I’ll probably be able to recite it by the time Eska & Lena reach Mila’s age!
If you’d like to learn more about this book, click here, Julie has written a number of versions for egg, donation, embryo adoption, sperm donation, IVF and a two Mum sperm donation story.
Love, Becky x
Since I wrote this post, I started to see how Mila was absorbing some of the information and so shared another post on the same topic…
It’s incredible how quickly Mila (who is only 3 and a half) is picking up parts of the story of how she came to be. Only last night we were together in her bed after storytime when it just felt right to talk about it again. Recently she’s become obsessed with saying “when I was in your tummy” and stuffing soft toys up her top, even sometimes getting a little confused in saying “Mummy, when you were in my tummy…”! I reminded her about Mummy being poorly and us needing to see a Dr to have a baby when she suddenly interrupted and said, “there was an egg, and what was it Daddy gave?”. Without me even saying it she’d remembered the part about the egg, something I couldn’t believe, but it goes to show that she is starting to absorb the information. It’s becoming her ‘normal’ and will be the only thing she’s ever known. I explained again that a special lady gave the egg, mixed with Daddy’s seed, which was put in Mummy’s tummy for me to grow her. With this I always take pride in telling her how much she is loved and how very special she is, which I can see she loves to hear. I recently spoke about the first time telling Mila with Jana Rupnow for her Three Makes Baby podcast – click here to listen. I talk about my feelings and honest fears in confronting this hugely emotional and sensitive topic. I can honestly say that talking with Mila is getting so much easier, and much more natural each time, with fewer lumps in my throat too, especially as she starts to fill in the gaps herself.
As Eska and Lena become old enough to understand more I can already envisage Mila playing a part in telling them too. I’m sure as she learns more she’ll love talking about how they were frozen (where there’s sure to be a link to Elsa thrown in) and how the same special lady gave eggs to help make all three of them.
Telling isn’t easy, it’s hard to confront deep emotions, pain and fears that you’d hope to leave in the past, but I’ve no doubt that it’s the right thing to do at this early age, both for them and for me – it’s therapeutic, healing, whilst being a great builder of bonds and trust.