The journey to motherhood was not an easy one for Buderim mum-of-two Cassie Fitzpatrick. Inspired to write a book her children would one day treasure, she published Oh How We Wished For You and it has struck a chord with parents struggling to conceive, those undergoing IVF, those who have lost a baby or simply those on the emotional rollercoaster that is life with a newborn.
“When I was going through IVF, I wanted my child to know how much we hoped and prayed for her,” she says.
“I’d see a shooting star and I’d make a wish. When blowing out birthday candles, I’d make a wish. See a fallen eyelash, I’d make a wish.”
The book captures each of these special moments in a story accompanied by watercolour illustrations by Sunshine Coast artist Cass Deller.
Due to endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, Mrs Fitzpatrick went through a harrowing time, fearing she’d never be a mother. A primary school teacher who has always loved children, this was unthinkable.
“I was broken, I felt like a failure and I struggled to deal with all of this news,” she says. “I felt ashamed and like I had failed as a woman, failed my husband and failed my family.
“My job, as a woman, was to conceive and carry our child safely to make our little family, however, I couldn’t even do this. I felt like a financial burden, the medical bills were crazy and it was all because of me and my failed health,” she says.
Through IVF, Mrs Fitzpatrick and husband Sam had their first daughter Willow, in 2016, with baby Hali following in 2018.
Throughout her first pregnancy, she began jotting down ideas for a book, and while laying awake at night feeding her daughter, she wrote Oh How We Wished For You.
Mrs Fitzpatrick says the book is a beautiful keepsake regardless of what kind of journey the parents took to conceive their children and even for those who have sadly lost children.
“This book is not just for IVF children, but for all children brought into this world who were wished for. Since releasing the book, I am often contacted by parents of adopted children, parents who have miscarried, parents who have used surrogacy and parents who have been trying for years to meet their little miracle,” she says.
“It’s a beautiful little bedtime book and is quite repetitive so a mummy and daughter or a mummy and son can read it together.”
Mrs Fitzpatrick’s story has struck a chord with many parents and would-be parents, who contact her through Instagram to share their stories.
“I’ve had mums buy them for their future babies because they’re currently trying to conceive and have had a long journey, and I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me with stories of babies lost through miscarriage or stillborn babies.
“It’s very close to my heart. Originally it was close to my heart because it was for my children and now I have turned it into a little business.”
Due to the book’s popularity, Mrs Fitzpatrick is now planning to release prints and other products that match the book.
Visit littlejane.com.au or @_little.jane_ on Instagram.