Friday, October 12, 2018

My Book: Badges of Motherhood SNEAK PEEK

I've dropped some hints over the past few months about the book I have been writing. I am stoked to announce that it is finished! I have spent years writing these stories that have impacted me the most as a mother. Sometimes, my daughter's health issues put the book on hold for months at a time, but I began working on the book again when life settled down. It has been a dream of mine to see this thing out to completion, and I'm excited that it is now accomplished.

Badges of Motherhood: One Mother's Story about Family, Down syndrome, Hospitals, and Faith is the story of my life as a mother over the last 12 years. If you are a regular here on the blog, you know a little about my life and my children. If you don't, let me fill you in. I am the mother of two children, Jaycee and Elijah. Jaycee has many diagnoses including: Down syndrome, a twice repaired heart defect, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, GERD, asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, and recurrent pneumonia. When she gets a simple cold virus, it attacks her lungs in unpredictable ways. I have been at her side through many hospital admissions and stays in the Intensive Care Unit.

As you can imagine, the events I have lived through as a mother have impacted me spiritually and emotionally. I have had to understand my Christian faith in new ways as I watched my sick child suffer again and again in the hospital. I have had to work through stress, anxiety, and fear from certain diagnoses. When people said or did things that made our situations worse, I have had to choose forgiveness. My book delves into all of these topics.

In Badges of Motherhood, I move the story from one chapter to the next using the concept of badges. The badges represent the especially rewarding and challenging experiences or emotions a mother has with her child. The first chapter in the book is the Delivery Badge, which tells the story of the births of both of my children. Chapter two is the Diagnosis Badge. In this chapter, I recount all of Jaycee's major diagnoses by sharing how they came about, who gave the diagnosis, and how her life and mine changed as a result of them. From there, we move to the Hospital Care Badge where I describe what it's like caring for a child in the hospital.

In all, there are 17 chapters or badges in the book. The most difficult chapter to write was the Intensive Care Unit Badge followed closely by the Miscarriage Badge. The most revealing chapters into my thoughts and emotions can be found in the Faith Badge and the Stress Badge. Not all of the chapters are serious and intense. The Wish Badge describes Jaycee's wonderful experience through Make-A-Wish, and the Child Baptism Badge tells how I successfully prepared Jaycee for baptism at church.

It is true, Badges of Motherhood, is as much about my daughter's story as it is mine, but our lives are connected and intertwined. She is the person experiencing the illness in the hospital bed, and I am the helpless mother wondering how I can help her. I can't imagine how she has felt as she has endured everything in her life, but I do know how I have felt as her mother.

I know that many people cannot imagine a mothering experience like mine. But, I am convinced that most mothers have their own badges too that make them who they are. It is my desire that readers can reflect on their own lives and appreciate their own badges. I also hope that Jaycee's miraculous story inspires them in some way.

Badges of Motherhood is only available on Amazon in both an eBook version and a print version. The print version is available right now. The eBook will be available November 2nd, but you can pre-order it today too! There are a few more pictures in the eBook version that aren't in the print version, but all the written content is the same. Just follow this link: BADGES OF MOTHERHOOD
Just for you- here's a look at the book's full introduction:

The signs are all there: you get less sleep, your day is centered around a tiny version of yourself, and you look forward to Mother’s Day. Yes, you are a mother. Maybe motherhood has been everything you have dreamed about. Maybe it was nothing like you thought it would be. Still, you find yourself in this unique, yet timeless, role of a mother.

Motherhood has only one requirement: to have a child. That child may have come through natural means, adoption, or marriage. No matter how the child became yours, a new world has come to you that you may have otherwise not have known so intimately.

Once a woman has entered motherhood, she begins learning new skills and having new life experiences, which are referred to as “badges” in this book. These badges tell the story of the achievements and challenges of the mom and her child’s care. The badges are symbolic of particularly special times in the mother-child relationship. Some of these badges are kept throughout a mother’s life, no matter how much time passes. Other badges can be discarded or lost.

There are some badges that all moms will go through like the Delivery Badge. There are some badges that only some moms will receive, such as the Diagnosis Badge. Some badges are highly anticipated (i.e. Child Baptism Badge) while others are not (i.e. Hospital Care Badge). Some badges can be earned multiple times for separate events or for each child, but some badges are earned only once in a mother’s life.

In all, the badges represent triumphs in the mother’s life, hardships that have been overcome, skills that were necessary for those moments, and the basic journey of a mom raising her child.

Since 2006, I have been acquiring several badges while parenting my two children. I had no idea just how much my life would change when I became a mother. Parenting has provided the most fulfilling, beautiful, and challenging moments of my life. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my badges and can value the badges you have earned in your journey as well.

Thanks for reading today's post. If you have a question for me, submit it in the comments below. (Comments are moderated, so they will not show up immediately once submitted.) Please feel free to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I hope you enjoy reading Badges of Motherhood!

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