BandofMothers

I gave birth to a paper baby!

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When I was in high school, I liked English. My teacher however made it very clear to me, on more than one occasion, that English did not like me. She held my paper up, covered in red marks, in front of both classes, and announced that I made the most mistakes in both her classes. It was a defining moment. From that point on, I became pretty insecure about my ability to write throughout high school.

Imagine my surprise then, when I tested out of the basic English composition class to move onto the next level when I arrived at college! It gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, I could actually write. Combine that spark with years of journaling, and I decided to ignore my high school teachers decision of my ability.

I did this when I started blogging for the community coffee shop I opened in Northern Ireland called The Press. I would share about the experiences in the coffee shop and announce our upcoming events. I LOVED IT! Writing had always been an outlet and at that point I started to find my own voice.

Fast forward a few years. Bryan and I decided to give IVF one last shot, no pun intended! I figured the easiest way to keep people informed of our progress was through my personal blog. I had only one or two entries at that point. I guess I also need to rewind and insert this little fact. Through the years that we struggled with infertility I also journaled. I used my writing as a way of processing my pain, as a way of praying, as a way of dealing with the grief I carried, but didn’t always want the world to know. I also didn’t want to consistently be “Debbie Downer” by always talking about the sadness I felt. This could be partly my personality or partly the lies we believe that people can’t handle our pain and suffering, I’m not really sure.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. Years before the blog started, Bryan and I had made a special trip to London to see Phantom of the Opera with the London cast. It was one of my bucket list items. It happened around my 30th birthday along with our first failed round of IVF. As we sat having dinner in a little Italian restaurant across from the theater, we decided that someday, when our family had finally arrived, by whatever means it came, that we would share our story in a book.

That moment has arrived. The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants is our story from my personal perspective. I allow you to crack open pages of my own journals, private pictures, sketches and my honest response to the struggle of infertility. I really hold nothing back. I am not trying to shock people, but I am trying to wake people up. This issue is painful. Painful for those struggling and painful for those who are watching someone struggle. 1 out of every 8 couples will deal with infertility now, 1 out of 8!!! Next time you are around that many couples, just look around because I would bet my own money that someone you know really well is struggling. It’s that real friends.

This book took me almost two years to complete. Life happened in a not so kind way almost immediately after I had the full manuscript completed. My father was diagnosed with cancer. At times the book felt like a burden I couldn’t shake while dealing with the grief of watching my father deteriorate. Other times it felt like an escape and a lifeline. What definitely helped was writing. Writing has become a way of life for me. Thanks to authors like Shauna Niequist, Jen Hatmaker, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Brene′ Brown, I began to believe in the power of my own voice. I also had my husband and amazing family and friends cheering me on too!

So the other night, March 12th at 7 p.m. I had my very first book launch! I was overwhelmed to see so many lovely faces come. Some I hadn’t seen in years, and some I have only recently become friends with. It was a beautiful collection of people and I am so grateful for each person taking the time to come and support me in such a tangible way.

Now I have the privilege of promoting this much needed book. I get to share my story again and again with people. Validating each time that what I went through, what we went through, and maybe what you are going through will not be wasted if we let it help and guide others. Our pain truly can bring comfort to someone else’s suffering, if we will let it. It means standing with our hands open instead of with clenched fists.

“I would describe infertility as a process of purification. You go through the fire, but at the end you come out your truest self.” p. 51 The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

What have you experienced by way of pain in your life? Are you willing to open that area up to even just one person? If so, I think you will find there is healing there. There is purpose in your pain there. There is also forward momentum that helps you leave the past in the past and move towards your future with hope and joy. Please share your story, the world needs it!

You can find me on Instagram @breannachud and on Facebook @breannajochud. If you would like to purchase the book you can find it herefile11Bre Book - Front Cover V1 (1)file17file6file8file16file7file9file-2 (2)file5file10file12file15

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Band of Mothers…

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Autumn is coming. I know this because I watched leaves fall from the trees as I ran on Sunday afternoon. I know this because I watched my boys experience their first pumpkin patch. I know this because the air is getting cooler, requiring another layer of clothing most days. I love this time of year and being back in the Pacific Northwest for it has been sweet. So many beautiful colours on display with the contrast of mountains and evergreens as the backdrop, it’s stunning!

This season of year is also a busy one for our little family. Bryan is in full motion coaching which means long hours and some trips away with the team. The boys and I try to be at as many home games as we can and it’s so much fun! This past Saturday his team had a game and we went(they won which was great!) While we were there I met another young Mother who was there supporting the opposing team. As we stood on the sidelines, watching the game as well as our little boys playing together, we chatted. And I mean like serious chatting. We covered everything from potty training to how we met our husbands to the place of transition we are both currently in to our philosophies on ‘letting go’ as Moms. She was refreshing, genuine and a kindred spirit. She is part of the Band of Mothers I admire so much.

A big reason I could stand and connect with her in such a deep way was because the rest of the Band of Mothers and future Mothers stepped in to care for my boys and make sure they stayed safe, entertained and well-fed while I enjoyed making a new friend. The time they gave me with this fellow Mom felt like a gift and that’s what I took it as.

I am thankful for this ever expanding Band of Mothers. I have some who are years past where I now stand, others who are a few years ahead, some right smack in the middle with me and others who are just beginning. We have so much to share, gain and learn from each other. It is a privilege to know so many incredible Moms and feel like I can glean from them anytime I need to. Knowing this group of women are with me has helped make this transition so much easier. Do you have a Band of Mothers you turn to? Who is in your Band of Mothers? Go to them, ask them, just chat through life. I promise, you won’t regret it.

PS For those Moms who are making it through each day but could use a bit of fun and encouragement that you are not alone, check out tryingtofeedmykids. This is an Instagram page I recently started that is helping me enjoy feeding my kids a little more. Not all of us can be Nigella Lawson or Betty Crocker!