The nursery greenhouse: explaining assisted fertilization to the little ones

The seedling greenhouse has grown like a budding seedling that wants to open up to the light. A few years ago, during a therapeutic intervention with a family asking for advice to explain to their daughters how their fertilization had happened thanks to a donated egg, parents asked for advice on how to elaborate and transmit this story. vital and decisive for their daughters and for themselves; from this meeting was born the first project.

Parents felt and believed in the importance of their daughters developing with an account of how her gestation process unfolded. This process was shaped, sculpted by the difficulties and the will that had led them, full of enthusiasm, to form a family beyond the couple.

Later, this first epidemic was developed in the illustrated book El invernadero semillero.

    The creative process behind the book

    In the picture book, I wanted to pick it up the conflicts and responses that other families have expressed to mesome single parents and some non-single parents of the same or different sex.

    They all share the difficulties of achieving a pregnancy and the struggle to have intensely awaited children.

    Treat assisted pregnancy and know how to relate this process to children conceived and born through assisted fertilizationwhatever its modalities, involves reconciling culture, medicine and biology.

    Pregnancy has a biological substrate and a cultural and social implication that must be properly harmonized and matched for all members of this symphony to feel adequate and comfortable, with the importance they have had within this ensemble that a family is developing. .

      New families linked to assisted fertilization

      The family begins long before children are born; it fertilizes when we dream of it, when we aspire to it, when we begin to project ourselves as a mother and as a father. This dream or illusion can be forgotten throughout the pregnancy medical procedure.

      The seedling greenhouse aims regain this illusion first which leads to embarking on the journey of assisted fertilization and tries to explain the process from the connotations with botany, charging with beauty and warmth a procedure that can be stressful and aseptic. Through the beautiful illustrations of Zuzene Seminary, we have tried to make the charm of nature present and to cover and harmonize the whole narrative.

        Times change, people change

        Around 30,000 babies are born every year through assisted reproduction in Spain; As we can see, more and more families are turning to assisted reproduction.

        We can’t ignore how fertilization, pregnancy and family have evolved and changed. Reconciling culture, biology, science and technology can be extremely difficult. At present, all of them, in particular biological, technological and cultural, determine and condition our behaviors and the emotions and beliefs that accompany them. Integrating the incessant movement of emotions, doubts, sensations (especially in women, mediated and amplified by the whole hormonal process) is not easy.

        On the other hand, the timing of our fertilization, pregnancy, uterine environment, and birth are probably one of the most important events in our lives, and they influence our development and identity beyond from what we suspect. And of course they leave a big emotional mark on the mother and the family. Taking care of these aspects seemed really important to me.

        What are the goals of this book?

        This book tries to answer each of your questions: How do you know how they were conceived, how they were fertilized, what are their genetics? Telling this story, which is part of family history, may involve touching wounds that have not yet healed; just saying it can help shut it down or help them realize it and give it the attention it deserves.

        Any story about the fertilization of our children, whatever it is, it should be part of his stories, his first memories since his birth. His natural and spontaneous approach should be part of everyday life.

        That the story of how they were dreamed, impregnated, born and cared for is age appropriate and maturing cycles. Moreover, in the book that we propose highlight the desire, the illusion and the emotional component that accompanied the whole process. Every child needs to feel special and to hear that their arrival in the womb was unique and full of love.

        Why this story and highlight these aspects?

        Because being able to put words to your story (and your story begins before you were born), when fathers and/or mothers began to dream of the child they wanted, helps us to be able to travel throughout our cycle of life, to consider ourselves protagonists of our whole life. And how not, it helps to understand our beginningsso decisive in our development.

        If this story is told, it also participates in the construction of a story in which words are put on the emotion experienced by the parents; and let us not forget that, therefore, she is perceived by her children. We contribute so that, whatever the difficulties encountered in the journey, the states that have accompanied this journey can be digested and understood.

        I invite you to read not only the families who have experienced assisted fertilization, but also the educators, teachers and health professionals who accompany this process.

        Author: Cristina Cortés Viniegra.

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