This weekend I read ‘Ever Upward’ by Justine Brooks Froelker, a woman has bravely suffered the pain of infertility.
Justine’s own story is different to mine, yet much of what she writes resonated closely with the feelings and emotions I had experienced. At times I felt she was truly talking to me as she captures the pain and misfortune associated with her own quest to be a mother. Each woman who is dealing with fertility struggles has their own unique story. In essence, this book shows that we are not so different, and like Justine, we need to redefine our destiny to focus on finding a rich life with or without children.
Justine’s story also enlightened me through the process of IVF and surrogacy, options I may need to consider if I want to continue my own pursuit of a family. Reading the first few chapters helped me prepare my own emotions and thinking towards these paths. I agree wholeheartedly with fears Justine portrays about the myriad of hormone treatments and medical procedures that form a part of IVF. Following our own losses, we have had many suggest IVF or even adoption as our ‘next step’ in this journey, assuming that these options will quickly lead us to our ‘rainbow baby’. Justine quite aptly highlights the stress, trauma, costs and physical impacts of IVF, and similarly with adoption, she rightly states that nothing is ever guaranteed, and it is certainly not a straightforward process. Both have their own unique challenges, and are not decisions to be taken lightly as a couple.
Like Justine, my biggest priority is the relationship between my husband and myself, and we have remained strong so far, but we need to continue to focus on our strength as a couple. Whether we do decide to pursue these options, they would be considered for all the risks and factors involved. One of my favourite chapters was ‘reigniting the spark’. Whilst I feel both my husband and I have continued to prioritise our relationship through our journey so far, the process has taken its toll at times. So we are taking a leaf from Justine’s book, and capturing unique and exciting date ideas, and each month we will surprise each other to create our own ‘year of dating’. After all, we deserve to invest in time out, just for us!
What I loved about Justine’s story was that she tells the reader how it was important to focus on her self, and feeling okay about being a childless couple. She owns being a family with her husband and dogs, something I have started to reconcile for myself. Whilst many still question us, I am accepting that it is okay to have a lifestyle that doesn’t involve children of my own. I found comfort in Justine’s own journey, and it enabled me to picture how our lives will be fulfilled regardless of the direction it takes.
In any effect, it comforted me and relaxed me to hear how Justine has approached her options, and knowing that I am still in the midst of my journey in trying to conceive, it potentially relieved a little of the pressure I’m placing on my own situation.
Justine, I hope to live by your own words: ‘ever upward to dare greatly with great courage’. Thank you!
Ever Upward is available on Amazon
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