It's Always Been For You: An Ever Upward Circle Back

Admit when you are wrong. Understand the mistake and make it better.

Learn from it.

Circle back.

I was wrong. I tried my best but now realize my misstep and want to make it better. So here I am circling back.

Ever Upward has started to gain some major traction. The universe is churning, my hard persistent work is paying off and I am trusting it all.

Between my HuffPost Parents piece, Acceptance in Infertility, my Twitter becoming more active especially because of my fellow warriors and more and more people reading, loving and talking about the book I am feeling and actually trusting that this bright shining light of ever upward is making change. And, that it will get the attention it deserves so it can grow.

All this churning means more and more conversation, which is the entire point of Ever Upward in many ways. Through this conversation and continued work on my own recovery I have come to realize that the subtitle to Ever Upward must change. Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life is not only the complete wrong subtitle but it also does not accurately portray the book at all. And, most of all, I fear it will keep people from picking it up when it could help them so much.

But, most importantly this subtitle was more about me than you.

I was adamant about having the word childfree in the subtitle. Adamant because I was working through my own stuff at that time of my journey. I have written about the semantics of childfree versus childless before and now often times use the phrase childfree, yet childfull, to describe my own life. When in reality I just need to fully accept that my journey; my life, my essence, my ever upward simply cannot be contained in a single word or even a couple of words, as it is just too much. I also need to fully accept that it will change, because being a survivor of infertility truly does mean lifelong losses, which means a lifelong journey.

I wanted children. I can't have children. I am not choosing adoption because I know it is not right for my family. But I love children and have many of them in my life. I am a mother, just not in your traditional definition of a mother.

The business side of me that wants this book to sell so our investment can at least break even knows that the word childfree will prevent people who are going through the infertility journey from picking up the book at all. Hell, you won't even read the back cover. Because most likely you are nowhere near ready to consider that childfree life. Just as I wasn't when we were in the midst of it all.

The advocate side of me that wants this book to sell so everyone can feel the freedom of fighting for and finding their ever upward journey knows that the word childfree does not accurately describe myself any longer. Because, the ever upward journey is simply about defining our own happy ending; it is about figuring out how to be better than okay when it just didn't turn out how you had hoped.


The everything of who I am knows the word childfree was more about where I was in my journey and that this journey is no longer about me at all.

And, that actually it never was.

This book is for you, it has always been for you.

This book is for everyone who is struggling. This book is for everyone who needs a good story to show them some ways out and that it is possible. That we all have the power to change our lives; the power to define our own happy ending.

And so, with both the sense of humbleness, and yet pride, I am here circling back. Asking for a second chance as I turn this book over to you because it was always for you. And I ask for your reconsideration and support, especially with the new subtitle: Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Define Your Own Happy Ending.

I give you your Ever Upward;my baby.

Because she was never really mine to begin with.


To stop proving it. To truly own it.

To fight for it. To break the silence.

To embrace it all. Living wholeheartedly brave.

This is my story. This is our story.

This is Ever Upward.

Book Cover Reveal Sneak Peek

After much work, effort and help from many people the book cover of Ever Upward is ready! I am so amazed at how it came out. And I hope you all love it as much as I do. I will post the full cover tomorrow some time. Make sure you like the Ever Upward Facebook page and follow here at the blog so you don't miss any updates or giveaways!

My dear friend and fellow vulnerability warrior Jen at Daring Happiness has lovingly heard my cry for help in building the platform. She is an amazing artist and will be doing a few pieces of art for me to use as giveaways to some of my supporters.

So here are your guidelines ;)

Blog giveaways

FB giveaways

  • 1st share on Ever Upward's FB of book cover reveal - free signed copy of the book
  • 20th share on FB of the reveal - free signed copy of the book and artwork
  • 400th like on FB - free signed copy of the book

And, here is your first sneak peek:

If you found this post enjoyable, inspiring, helpful, hopeful, interesting or even infuriating ;), please take the time and the chance to share it through your social media! More shares means more eyes, means more people helped and the message heard on a wider scale. Thank you! Justine

Understanding More of My Why While Practicing the How

It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks for me with the birth of my namesake and newest chosen child Abigail, the signing of my book contract for Ever Upward and my first podcast interview for infertility advocacy with Julie at Fertility Revolution. It has been a few weeks full of fear, exhaustion, love, excitement, pure enough moments and a sense that my ever upward is truly settling into my core, my spirit, my everything.

Building the platform for the book and doing my first interviews for infertility advocacy and for marketing Ever Upward has forced me to zero in on my message (more to come on this in a future post). It has also helped me to continue to wholeheartedly own all the parts of my story with brazen courage. It has also lit a fire inside of me that has brought me some considerable clarity.

Telling my story has brought me this clarity and the words to understand more of my why. This sense that even the painful, unlucky and just plain crazy parts of my story are okay; they are my path. They are simply my puzzle pieces of life.

These crazy twists of my life:

  • not one, but two, back surgeries both with a body cast.
  • IVF and gestational surrogacy not working for us and losing our three babies.
  • and the unexpected expansion of our surrogate's family, and therefore, my chosen children family.

are really enough to make anyone bitter, angry and forever scarred.

However, on this side of surviving infertility and recovering thereafter, I have come to embrace that I may never get the good enough reason why these things have happened to me. And I don't have to have this understanding to be okay or to even be fulfilled and happy.

And, as I have worked within my faith recently, I am also realizing that perhaps this is simply meant to be my story while also having the faith that it is not the end of it. Because I know with my whole heart that I have never done anything to deserve this amount of hurt and pain in my life. And even though I've always deemed myself as just unlucky, on this side of recovery I can truly say that this has nothing to do with luck at all.


Because as this light becomes more and more clear within me, what I am finding is that this is simply the reason I am here. This is my star soon to shine. I have loved which means I also have to choose.

I have to choose what I do with my story.

I have to choose what I do with my soul scars.

I have to choose to make it ever upward.

So, it is with more and more clarity and understanding of my why that I am still figuring out the how. Because, really, it is the how that everyone wants to know.

How did you survive two back surgeries? How did you survive living in a body cast? How did you survive losing three babies?

How have you not only survived but thrived?

In all honesty, I am not sure.

I have survived by fighting.

I have survived by practicing recovery.

I have survived because I didn't give myself any other choice.

I have survived because I have let go of needing the complete understanding of my whole why.

I am surviving because I am here; writing, struggling and owning it all every single day.

I am surviving, recovering and thriving because that is the light, the love, the soul of ever upward.