what makes a baby?

This is my contribution to PAIL’s Monthly Theme post topic for January, “Where Do Babies Come From?” Click here to join in!


Wow, so I really am not sure where to start this.  I have thought about it a little bit, but not a lot – I guess because the ALI journey has become such an integral part of me and of our journey to parenthood that I had sort of forgotten it might need (deserve) a little extra explanation some day.

What Makes a Baby

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

To start with, I was one of the kickstarter people that invested last fall in the making of What Makes a Baby, so I already have an advance copy at home. If you don’t know what kickstarter is, check it out. Their tagline is “a funding platform for creative projects,” and I love the work they do!

Geared to readers from preschool to age eight, What Makes a Baby is a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid. It is a twenty-first century children’s picture book about conception, gestation, and birth, which reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families, regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender and other identity, or family composition. Just as important, the story doesn’t gender people or body parts, so most parents and families will find that it leaves room for them to educate their child without having to erase their own experience.

Sounds like a pretty great book, right? I 100% plan on using this as a resource someday when Stella asks the whole “where did I come from” question.

Other than that? Well shit… I’m just not sure.

I do know this:

  • I most definitely plan on letting Stella know that it was an extra special, hard road to bring her into our lives, though I’m not sure when it’s good to bring that part up. Since she’s a girl, I’m thinking around the time of puberty, when we’re already discussing things like menstrual cycles and why women’s bodies change.
  • However, I have nothing against discussing the ALI journey with her earlier if she’s curious about those things – I really hope the book I linked to above is a great resource for this particular conversation about how babies are made and come to their forever families in a myriad of ways!
  • I want Stella to understand her body better than I did pre-TTC. I want her to understand why her CM changes throughout her cycle. I want to her get why it’s important to get help if her cycles are highly irregular as she gets older. I want her to be her own best fertility advocate if she wants children someday.
  • I think it’s important for her to know that it’s not easy for everyone to have kids, and though I don’t want to scare her about that particular reality, I do hope to educate her about it in order to help her be more sensitive to the issue. I truly hope that my child will never be the one quizzing a friend about “when are you going to have kids already?”

Other than that, my current plan is to wing it, in the most honest, up-front way possible. Honesty is the best policy, right? 🙂

*ETA – I totally forgot about a couple of other GREAT books that I will be referencing. Where Do Babies Come From? (because though it’s old fashioned and doesn’t deal situations outside of Mommy+Daddy in bed, I do love that it uses proper terminology and easy to understand descriptions) and Taking Charge of Your Fertility (the holy grail of all books that EVERY woman should read when she gets her first menses).


  1. Does that book discuss IVF at all?

    I like how you’re planning to talk with Stella about possible issues on the female front. I hadn’t thought of that (since we have male factor), but it’s so important! I do have a friend whose mom had bad endometriosis and, therefore, watched her girls for the same problem and had the one getting treatment early on so that when the time came, she could have babies as easily as possible. So smart! That plan worked out for her daughter who had a much easier road to babies than her mom did, but had a worse case of endo.

    I’m hugely intersted in that book!

  2. I definitely want to teach E about her cycles. I guess since I conceived naturally, I won’t need to tell her she was conceived through Ivf like I had thought, but I think we’ll definitely share with her how hard we tried and how special she is to us.

    I think their generation if going to see a lot more infertility due to environmental factors and women deciding to conceive later in life. It would be good for them to understand that early that it is a disease with symptoms that they can look out for as soon as they are having a period. And it would be nice if she was sensitive to others with IF like you mentioned.

    Interesting topic!

  3. I agree! I will want to share the journey to have Ava with her to let her know how special and wanted she was. I also agree with educating her about her fertility. However, I am also scared about her knowing how difficult the journey was. I am afraid it might make her slack with using protection, i.e., “My mom had problems conceiving, I will have problems too… We don’t need a condom!” There is so much peer pressure to “go all the way” I just do not want Ava to do anything impulsive.

  4. This is a fantastic idea and I would totally buy that book. Nobody was there to tell me about infertility. I had to learn first hand and then educate those close to me.

  5. […] Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy tells us “How to talk about EWCM with your daughter… err, someday” in her post What Makes a Baby. […]

  6. Discussing EWCM with Raegan seems so far off. I knew the ins and outs of my cycles, but that was definitely not something my mom ever talked to me about. I’m not sure she knows what it is. Having a medical background and going through IF, I know more than most. I do hope to keep her fully informed of her body so she will feel comfortable talking to me about whatever.

    I like the idea of introducing the idea of different families. Not everyone is mommy and daddy any more. I would love for Raegan to have a better understanding of the world around her. I think I’ll have to look into that book….

  7. Thanks for the book references! Being a mother with fertility problems of a daughter who might also face those problems is worrisome. Like you, I want to prepare her, but like another commenter, I think there’s some value in believing that it’s easy to conceive when one is young. I was very careful as a young adult because my mom, though she has problems with her reproductive system that are different than mine, was very fertile and had unplanned pregnancies–something that inspired my carefulness. I’m not sure how I’ll approach this.

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