Tuesday, 27 June 2017

(In)fertility Book Club: Dare to Dream by Izzy Judd

I strongly believe there is a solace to be found in reading and comfort to be found in the words, expertise and stories of others. So as I wait for referrals, tests and whatever else may come, I'm picking up books that are specifically related to infertility, fertility treatments or encouraging hope and strength. 


Dare to Dream - Izzy Judd: Review

Starting with Izzy Judd's brand new book, Dare To Dream.

Technically, it's not due out until June 29th, so thank you to Waterstones for getting my copy to me so early. 

I'm not sure what originally alerted me to Izzy and Harry's story or their journey with infertility but I shared my previous blog post with her and received the sweetest words of encouragement in response.  

For those who don't know, Izzy is a violinist, Britain's Got Talent finalist and the wife of Harry Judd, from McFly. Dare to Dream is her story of the struggle to become a mum: documenting the ups and downs of infertility, anxiety and motherhood.

I read the whole book in less than 24 hours, I don't think there's ever been a non-fiction book that I've read that quickly. I was desperate to finish work yesterday so I could come home and read. 

Izzy describes her story as one of heartache and hope. Both of which really resonated with me throughout the book. I found myself recognising myself within the pages. It was refreshing to have someone voice part of an internal monologue. From the feelings of anxiety in early life even before conceiving came into the picture, to the trying not to obsesses when it's natural instinct to plan and prepare, to the feelings of failing and everything in between. 

But in voicing some of these feelings, Dare to Dream has drawn these to account. It's made me more aware, even within the last two days of trying not to think "well I might be pregnant by then". I've really tried not to put my life on hold on this journey, we've continued to book holidays, celebrations, events. But it's easy to think as soon as a date comes up "Will I be pregnant then?", "Can we still do that if we have a baby?". Instead, I'm challenging myself to live in the moment. Also, to take each stage of this journey one step at a time (i.e. appointment by appointment) instead of one long means to an end! 

More than just hope, I found Dare to Dream to be incredibly practical. Pinpointing and signposting specialists who Izzy spoke with as well as referencing some diet and lifestyle changes she made (please keep in mind she's not a specialist, but the advice lines up with a lot of what I've read around fertility and polycystic ovary syndrome diets). 

The inside covers contain words of affirmation and encouragement, such as "even miracles take a little time" and "amazing things will happen". I really wish these were made available as affirmation cards with the book, I'm tempted to create my own for moments of needed encouragement. 

I've finished Dare to Dream now, but I think I'll pick it up again and again. I know there will be some difficult and sometimes dark days ahead and I pray that in those times I'll be reminded that there is hope and it's ok to dream. One piece that really struck me was a quote from Harry that I shared with Andy earlier today "worst case scenario, it's you and me. That's still a pretty good scenario, right?". Isn't that a fantastic reminder to count your blessings and live in the moment? Sometimes you get so lost in the situation it's easy to forget how blessed you are.

I'm also planning on pre-ordering the audio book for myself and for Andy to listen to. If you're on this journey too, I urge you to pick up Dare to Dream and I pray you also find some hope and inspiration in the tough times. If you're not, but know someone who is, this is a really easy place to garner some better understanding, it might help in those moments when you just don't know what to say (it's ok to have those moments, by the way).

Thank you to Izzy and Harry for using their status to break a taboo and for being so open and honest about their journey. Here's to daring to dream! 

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