On Thursday 29th June 2017, a book I had been waiting for what felt like forever was finally released, Dare To Dream by Izzy Judd. For those of you that don’t know who Izzy is, she is a former member of the electronic string quartet group Escala, wife of McFly drummer Harry Judd, and mother to 18 month old Lola. Some of you may be wondering why I was waiting so eagerly for this book, while others may already know Izzy’s story or remember my previous post last year thanking her for everything she’s done. Like so many of us Izzy really struggled with fertility. She has PCOS, sadly had a miscarriage, and has been through IVF, but instead of keeping quiet she’s decided to use her voice and public status to speak up about fertility issues and start the conversation.
Izzy’s motivation for writing Dare to Dream was simple. While struggling to conceive herself she found that there were hundreds of books about infertility just all written from a medical point of view and that there was next to nothing from a personal side of things. Since having Lola, Izzy has become a big voice in the infertility community. She regularly posts inspiring messages that helped her through when she was struggling, and she takes the time to respond to messages she receives whether that’s privately or in the comments sections of her posts.
I was actually lucky enough to receive my copy the day before release date (thank you waterstones!) From the minute I got home I didn’t move until I’d finished it two hours later. While reading it I laughed, I cried, but most importantly I felt less alone and like there was finally someone who understood. Parts of it I actually felt like I could’ve written myself because of how similar they were to my experiences and what I’d been thinking and feeling.
Throughout the book Izzy discusses the whole of her journey, beginning to end and everything in between, including her battle with anxiety and how she feels that also played a big part when it came to her struggling to conceive. One part that really resonated with me was how she felt when other people would announce pregnancies or she would see pregnant women in the street and they were the same thoughts that the rest of us all have. “Why them and not me?” “Really? another one?” and that she felt everyone around her was having babies or already had them. Unfortunately though it took her sister in law announcing her pregnancy and then sadly suffering a miscarriage for Izzy to change her perspective on other peoples pregnancies. Izzy says in Dare to Dream that when her brother told her they were expecting she felt anger instead of happiness, and honestly I think a lot of us can relate to that. She then says that when her brother and sister in law suffered a devastating miscarriage at 13 weeks that it suddenly hit her that every pregnancy is sacred and special no matter who it is or how much it can hurt deep inside. After that she then started to find herself walking down the street and in her head saying “I hope you have a wonderful and healthy pregnancy” when she saw a pregnant woman and that doing something as simple as that really helped change her attitude towards things finding that she was now less negative.
In other chapters Izzy goes very into detail about her two rounds of IVF and the things she did to keep herself positive and take her mind off of things during the two week wait. She also discusses the things that made it so wonderful for her and romantic, as a lot of people view IVF as a very clinical non-romantic way of having a child. Izzy goes past this and talks about the beautiful experiences you can have that you wouldn’t get when conceiving naturally.
Dare to Dream is one of those books that could help so many in the infertility community and in multitude of ways, as no persons story is exactly the same but we all have similarities that bring us all together. I’d really recommend giving it a read as it may help you or someone you know feel less alone, after all Izzy’s aim is to start the conversation. People may make us feel like we aren’t allowed to talk about it, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.
I was lucky enough to meet Izzy yesterday (8th July) and she knew exactly who I was from our chats online and remembered everything I had told her, wanting updates on how things had been since then. I told her about this blog and she was kind enough to sign an extra copy of her book for me to giveaway. I’ll be hosting this giveaway over on my Instagram which you can find here. This giveaway is open to everyone and I will ship worldwide as all I want is for someone to find as much comfort in Dare To Dream as I have.
I’m going to end this post with a section from the book that really hit home with me.
“Harry got down on his knees and said, ‘Izzy, worst case scenario, it’s you and me. That’s still a pretty great scenario, right?’ In that moment I was reminded what an amazing husband I had. Sometimes, you get so lost in a situation that you forget what you have and how lucky you are. I knew he was right, that it was a good scenario. Even if we never had children, I knew life with him would be enough to make me happy. That was a huge moment for me, one I’ll never forget”