Explaining conception to a child can be difficult at the best of times, but a new book tackling the increasingly common issue of IVF has been launched to assist parents.
Then There Was You - An IVF Story was written by Brisbane mother Karly Wegner after conceiving her first child through an IVF program, when after a year of being married to her husband Brad they found out they would not be able to have children naturally.
The book is aimed at children who were conceived using IVF and is designed to be read from a young age through to the time they can read it themselves.
Karly says as a mum of an IVF baby she started thinking about what she would tell her child about how he was conceived.
"IVF conception is now much more common with more than 50,000 IVF babies being born in Australia since 1980, however there are very few resources available to help parents discus the issue with their children," Karly says.
"Soon after my child was born I searched for an IVF book that I could read to him from an early age and eventually read himself, but couldn't find one that I related to, so I decided to write one myself.
"I wanted the book to address the fact that to be conceived by IVF is something a child should always know, so learning about it from a young age doesn't make it seem too different or come as a surprise later in life."
After two years of trying to conceive through an IVF clinic with the help of specialist Dr Warren De Ambrosis, Brad and Karly welcomed their little boy Luka into their lives in early 2008 and are expecting their second child early this year.
Dr De Ambrosis, a senior infertility specialist at Queensland Fertility Group, says it's important IVF children are aware of the difference in their conception especially as they grow older.
"Infertility affects approximately 15 percent of couples and IVF is a real option for people wanting to have children," Dr De Ambrosis says.
"One in seven people will need some form of assistance in the next 10 years so IVF is only going to become more a part of mainstream society.
"Empowering parents to help their children understand the 'why and how' of their conception will only assist them later on in life, and Karly's book is a great resource to be able to do this."
Then There Was You - An IVF Story is a beautifully illustrated by Deanna Bresnehan who has been illustrating children's books for over 10 years including 41 books and other resources for the Iggly Wig series.
The story is designed to be comprehensive and straight-forward about the process of IVF and designed to grow with a child.
"A one year old child won't understand everything in the book but as the child gets older they will ask different questions about different parts of the book and learn along the way," Karly says.
"Starting to read the book to your child from early age will help IVF become part of their story."
Karly has more story book ideas about other conception issues such as egg and sperm donors, single parenting and artificial insemination that she's planning on releasing in the near future.
Then There Was You An IVF Story
Author: Karly Wegner
Illustrator: Deanna Bresnehan