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Ever Upward: Overcoming the Life Long Losses of Infertility to Define Your Own Happy Ending. Paperback – April 7, 2015

4.9 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

In "Ever Upward" we join a professional therapist as she struggles with her own terrible luck, finds the strength to survive IVF and accept a childfree life, while redefining herself and her expectations to find her true ever upward.  

About the Author

Justine Froelker is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (based on the research of Brené Brown) with a private practice in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the author of her blog, Ever Upward, and an infertility advocate for breaking the shamed silence of infertility and fighting to recover thereafter. She also writes for St. Louis Health & Wellness magazine and appears regularly on the mid-day television show Great Day St. Louis.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan James Publishing (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1630473480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1630473488
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Justine writes her memoirs in both a heart-wrenching and uplifting way. I felt like I was right there with her, whether it was post-surgery and in her body cast, or when she and her husband got the results regarding the babies. I could see myself helping clear out the Mason House, laughing about the oddities that they found. Justine pulled me right in, and I blew through her book in approximately two hours.

As a therapist, Justine knows how to help her clients handle the gamut of emotions in most situations. As a human, it's not always that easy. Justine speaks to us, walks us through her journey- the different phases of infertility and how she handled it...and finally, to the point where she OWNED her childfree life. She delights in her chosen family, and shows us that there is life beyond infertility.

As a fellow warrior, I know the struggle of infertility. I was blessed with a first child, but suffered from secondary infertility. I know the feelings of shame and failure. I rode the crazy train of infertility drugs, hormones, and planned sex (ugh!!) as well, and finally accepted that my body was only able to bear one child. I thought I had made my peace with it, but reading this book brought up those emotions of doubt, shame, depression and failure again....but then, in the time since I've read it, re-owned those feelings.

Thank you, Justine, for sharing your journey in the most public ways possible. You are such an inspiration to so many people. Let your light shine!!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've done a lot of book reviews over the years, but none have come as close to telling my story as this one did. Described as "a voice to those silenced by infertility," Justine Brooks Froelker's Ever Upward does just that. Sharing personal stories from her life, Justine uses her voice to explain the stigma that comes with infertility; that if your story ends with a childless life, you have somehow failed to have your happy ever after.

Reflecting on the book:

Millions of couples are currently battling the silent pain of infertility. These same couples are subject to well-meaning, but often times embarrassing or humiliating questions, such as "Why don't you have children?" or "Why aren't you adopting?" I've questioned myself many times over whether or not I should write about infertility, when I hadn't taken every step necessary to obtain a child. Reading this book helped me realize that there are many other women out there like me, and just because we didn't do what society says we should have, doesn't mean our story is invalidated. We suffered the pain, heartbreak, and loss that comes with infertility, but our story ended differently.

Verdict

If ever there was a book written just for me, this would be it. Ever Upward is more than just a story. It is a challenge to us all. It gives us permission to own our stories, and stop making excuses to appease others. Everyone has an idea of what a "normal family" should consist of, but not everyone gets to make that choice for you. Justine says "I choose beautiful in my ever upward mess." Me too. Like Justine, I choose to own my happiness by knowing that I can be childfree, but still remain childfull.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I kind of struggle with how to review this book. As a reader I was frustrated by some of the repetition and grammatical errors/inaccuracies. As someone who has dealt/is dealing with infertiliity I was encouraged by Froelker's honesty, and I could definitely relate to many of the feelings and emotions she recounts having been through. I admire her continuing fight for her recovery, healing, and her "ever upward."
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has dealt with, or is dealing with, infertility in any respect - whether you're dealing with your own infertility journey or that of a friend or family member, counselors, clergy, medical professionals. Ever Upward offers a very unique and honest look into the life of the (seeming) minority - those who struggle with infertility and DON'T end up with children who are biologically or legally tied to them. And as part of that minority it is so nice to feel represented, accepted, validated, and connected as you say, "I thought I was the only one!"
*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I listened to the audiobook of Ever Upward, a moving series of personal stories about the author and her husband's journey through infertility, and how they arrived at the decision to embrace a life without children.

The passages where Justine describes the IVF process brought back memories of my own experience of the one cycle we did. I found myself nodding my head, remembering the process very clearly, even though my cycle was back in 2007. Her transparency in describing her feelings--the hope, the anticipation--moved me to tears. I remember how that felt.

Because my husband and I chose a different route post-IVF failure (adoption), I was quite interested in hearing Justine talk about why she and her husband decided to live childfree. (Side note: Not sure how much I like that term because Justine and her husband are very intentional about being involved in the lives of their friends' children.) I appreciated Justine's honesty in talking about adoption. She rightly points out that it's not like a couple "just" goes and adopts a baby. It's a lifelong decision and one that's not to be suggested or done lightly.

There was a section in which she talked about how she started taking better care of herself after the IVF failure. Because I've long since moved on, I was a bit distracted during this section. Her tips and advice are excellent for anyone who wants to embrace a healthier lifestyle. I loved the section about the home they found and the massive overhaul they did on it. She does a lovely job of describing this process in hilarious detail.

Overall, I think any woman who has experienced infertility will enjoy this book. As a woman whose path was quite different, this book helped me appreciate and understand couples who opt for childfree living. I value the honesty, humor, and vulnerability Justine conveys in this book. It touched me, and I'm sure it will touch many others.
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