NEW YORK (CNN) — Jo Zmood wanted to find a book to help explain to her son how she brought him into the world.
She couldn’t. So she wrote her own.
Zmood’s son, now 3, and her 11-month-old daughter were both born using a sperm donor.
Zmood began considering IVF at 38.
“You choose this path because you want to be parent, not because you want to change the order,” she told CNN.
She’s from Melbourne but now lives in New York.
“While there are many books out there that talk about different types of families, I couldn’t quite find the right book to share with my son; to provide him some explanation of my choice to bring him into this world alone,” she said.
She began thinking about the book when her son was 18-months-old. “As your child gets into a level of self-awareness, questions will eventually pop up: ‘Why am I different? Why don’t I have a dad?'”
“I wanted to have a child-friendly way so he could understand my motivation for taking this path, and that he came into this world with pure love, and that he should never feel that he is not loved because he doesn’t have a dad.”
The book tells the story of Lilly, “a little girl with a big imagination.”
Lilly grew up dreaming of being a mom, “but she also wanted to study, to work, to travel and have some fun.”
“Lilly accomplished all her dreams, all except one.”
The book then explains how Lilly went to the doctor who told her that “some families have one mummy, some have a daddy too,” and how the doctor helped her become a parent.
Zmood has not published the book but has shared it with other moms. “I never want my son to think of this topic as taboo,” she said.
She sent shared her story with CNN in response to an op-ed by Sarah Lenti, a political strategist, about her she made her family.
Jo and Sarah shared their stories, now share yours: Every family is different: Tell us how IVF, adoption or your unique family structure has shaped your life with #ToBeMe or text/WhatsApp us on +1-347-322-0415