Our Dream Come True

Our Dream Come True

I am so lucky to be asked to review books by ordinary people who have either written about their true life experience of infertility or experts who are writing to support people going through their own fertility challenges. There are alot of books on infertililty now available and this is so brilliant as it brings infertility and all the heartbreak that goes with, out in the open for people, who know nothing of the emotional up’s and downs’ or any other effects of this disease, to learn more.

So I was delighted to be contacted by Gilly Wiltshire recently telling me about the book she has written about IVF for children. Here’s my review and Gilly’s true story follows…….

This book is a fantastic way to introduce a child, whether born following IVF or not, to IVF. With so many babies now being born using Assisted Reproductive Techniques, (IVF being one technique), many children are going to grow up with quite possibly a couple of friends who were conceived through IVF, so I feel this is a great book to read to any child.
For those children born following IVF, this is the sort of book a parent could read to them from their birth; the illustrations are bright, engaging and child-like, and rhyming words are great for babies, toddlers and young children. I think Gilly has captured in her story how miraculous an IVF child is and, although all children are very much loved, IVF children are that bit more special because they have beaten the odds by starting life in a laboratory.
All credit to Gilly that from a tough, stressful experience, she has written such a delightful, warm book.

Gilly’s Story…….

My journey of infertility has shaped my life in many ways but I never knew it would lead me to become a children’s author.

My greatest hope in life was that I could be a mother and have a beautiful baby. However, it soon became apparent that this would be impossible without IVF and ICSI. Specialist after specialist, year after year all confirmed the same thing but we were unable to afford treatment. Devastation at this realization meant there were years of dark times, sobbing at the TV or the sight of a baby, jealousy at pregnancy announcements and retreating from those who were lucky enough to have children.

Having treatment and hoping it would lead to a baby was the biggest priority and the house was sold to pay for treatment. I found a new specialist who promised we would start IVF straight away and in November he promised me he would have me pregnant by Christmas. A million different emotions expose themselves when you are starting treatment and it was a whirlwind. Luckily enough my doctor was right and I found out I was pregnant on the 17th December! I could not have been any happier and was so amazingly excited for the future and could not stop dreaming about the beautiful baby I was about to have. I knew that my future baby was worth every single penny and moment of pain I had been through.

My daughter was born in 2015 and she is the absolute light of my life and greatest inspiration. I have never had as much love or adoration for another person as I have for her. Her first few months were particularly difficult due to a few medical issues and unfortunately, due to severe reflux and a tongue and lip tie, she would scream like she was being tortured for around 13 hours a day.

There were many points when it was just so difficult and to give myself some release I found that I suddenly began coming up with ideas for children’s stories. They just flowed out of me and some days I was writing three within 24 hours. One day I was thinking about how I would tell my daughter that she was an IVF baby and explain the process to her. That night when she had gone to sleep I lay awake at 3am and words just tumbled into my brain. This story was my best yet and it was coming thick and fast so I got up, sat on the toilet and at 3am wrote my story for her.

I read it to my family the next day and their reaction of tears showed me that this was actually quite a special story. I toyed about with the idea of publishing my story and researched a great deal. I found that it is recommended for children to be told they are IVF babies and that there were books about fertility treatments but they were very technical in nature. My book seemed unique, written in rhyme and with so much love, and I believed that other families would like it and find it useful to start the conversation with their children.

I made the decision to self publish because this was so important to me and I wanted it to be exactly the way I imagined it. My art work is terrible but I found a great illustrator who put my ideas to paper and produced perfect illustrations exactly as I described. My book was published in 2016 and seeing the copies in the mail was AMAZING! I was very emotional and proud that I had used such pain and upset to create something so special. I found that there are a lot of people in the same position and are looking for a tool to explain IVF to their children, and it has already helped families start the important but complex conversation. I have had lovely reviews by many wonderful families who find the book a great way to explain to their little miracles how special they are.

My next book is underway and is a beautiful recollection of the journey from pregnancy to baby and how important all the little milestones are along the way. Being an author was a dream of mine when I was young, as I was always a bookworm, but I never thought it would be achievable. Now I am living that dream and it is all because of the difficult journey we endured for so many years. My daughter has inspired me so much and I am forever blessed that she is in my life. My IVF book is called ‘Our Dream Come True’ and she most certainly is mine.

‘Our Dream Come True’ is available to purchase at www.gillyelle.com or on Amazon. You can also keep up with Gilly’s journey through www.facebook.com/gillyellewiltshire