To The Moon and Back For You – Emilia Bechrakis Serhant

This illustrated children’s book is about infertility. It shows how the diversity of families are created by finding their miracle baby. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, which this year carries the theme ‘Empowering you and changing the conversation’.

With so many face-to-face conversations shut down by the COVID19 pandemic, organisations like The Fertility Hub are raising our voices. We have been talking about the issues faced by those trying to build families at this difficult time.

To The Moon and Back For You, is a beautiful example of how a conversation can be changed. It is written to explain to her child the great lengths she went to, to become a mother. Although does avoid the medical details and terminology.

Life-changing experiences with IVF

This is author Emilia Bechrakis Serhant’s first children’s picture book. It poignantly explores her own difficulty conceiving and her life-changing experiences with IVF.

The book is beautifully illustrated by the New York Times bestselling artist of ‘A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo’, E J Keller. It depicts families of different shapes, colours and sizes. The characters must cross deserts, navigate rough seasons and climb mountains all to find their special babies.


“I wanted you so badly.

Sometimes I thought I’d never reach you.

But I never did give up.”

Speaking to Forbes Magazine, Emilia explained the idea started off as a beautiful poem to her own IVF-conceived daughter, Zena, who is now one. She started writing the ideas and scenes when she was still pregnant.

Emilia said, “I wanted to write a beautiful poem for my daughter, my miracle baby. As I heard more and more stories from other women who struggled to conceive, I wanted to write this children’s book for their babies too. I wanted something to memorialize the journey, the obstacles, the help, the many ways we become parents.”

There are messages for both parents and children in the book

She writes for parents, “Was I the only one who felt afraid? Were other people struggling and hurting in the same way?”

And in terms of children she says, “I want them to know that no matter how they came into being, no matter the struggle, no matter the method, no matter the timing, they are so loved and beyond cherished. As parents, as mothers, we would do it all over again, if it meant that was the only way to have them.”

If her name sounds familiar, you may know her from US reality TV show ‘Million Dollar Listing New York’. She is the wife of show star Ryan Serhant. Regarding husband Ryan, she posted on Instagram last year, “The process of IVF took its toll, but I wouldn’t change any of it. There were enlightening highs. When Ryan and I got to see one another, we were at our strongest and even our best. We bonded more than ever before. While the show followed some of our personal struggles and our relationship, it only showed a mere glimpse of how much this difficult time impacted me.”

Supporting others with infertility

The book has given her a reason to speak out about what she went through. She says, “It was an opportunity to lend an ear to others who have been there before me and who are currently going through worse.”

She feels honoured to have worked on the book with the famous artist E J Keller. She said, “One of my favourite pages is a special interpretation of the rainbow baby.”

Rainbow babies are, of course, those babies born after a traumatic event such as a miscarriage. The picture that she refers to shows a mother holding rainbow-coloured balloons in one arm, while holding her baby in a basket in the other.

All the people who made the miracle baby possible

Another cherished image illustrates all the people and roles who made the miracle baby possible. It is illustrated by a tower of people reaching to the moon with the mother at the top reaching for a baby on a star above the moon.

This is an excellent book for starting those conversations about where a child, conceived with the help of assisted reproduction comes from. It does so in a natural way and gentle way, while reassuring the child that it was all a labour of love.

Emilia said, “I hope parents will use this book as a chance to talk about how their miracle baby came into being, or a chance to talk about how there are different types of families and different ways children come into the world. I hope they’ll feel like this book represents their story of loss, regaining hope and never faltering determination. I hope mothers out there will read this book and know they are not alone; that there is an entire community out there of women who have been through similar struggles and that they are bonded not only in their painful journey, but in their unwavering strength.”

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