DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are the proud parents of beautiful 4-year-old twins. After years of infertility, we found out that my husband has a low sperm count. Additionally, I have very few eggs. Ultimately, we conceived our miracles with IVF and the help of a sperm donor.
We do not want to keep this a secret from our children. We want them to eventually know, understand and be proud of the journey it took to bring them into this world. However, my husband and I are very private people. We understand that once the dialogue with our children begins, others will naturally find out.
My husband still feels very uncomfortable discussing his condition. How do we explain to our children, friends and family without becoming the focus of gossip and whispers? -- PROUD PARENTS
DEAR PROUD PARENTS: Infertility among couples is no longer a deep, dark or shameful secret, and the fact that you needed help to have your children shouldn't generate gossip or whispers because, frankly, it isn't shocking or titillating anymore.
When your children are old enough to be told the facts of life, they can be told that they were conceived through in vitro fertilization. They do not have to be told every detail all at once. When they are older, they may ask questions about why it was necessary -- and when they do, their questions should be answered honestly and in an age-appropriate manner.