I am practicing my patience, some days with gritted teeth and total white knuckles, but I am actively practicing it trying to relax in the hammock (I explain below I promise). The patience I need as Ever Upward gets into the hands of those who need it, is seen by the eyes that need to read it and is felt by the hearts that need the connection of it. This sometimes painstaking patience is lit up by the messages and reviews Ever Upward is slowly receiving.

Ever Upward is a book of my story. My story through the losses of infertility. My story into the acceptance and ownership of a childfree life. These words had to be on the cover because I trust the infertility community to help me get the full story out to the rest of the world. But they were also words we thought about leaving off the cover because Ever Upward is so much more than an infertility story that ends in owning a childfree life.

It is our story.

It is a book about life. A crazy epic story about overcoming the hard stuff and finding and fighting our way to being okay; to being better than okay.

I want this book to be the permission we need to talk about our stories,the permission to embrace them, the permission to fight for our recovery and our version of the happy ending, and most definitely, the permission to own it all.

I hope people fighting their way through the darkness of infertility treatments find comfort in my words.

I hope people trying to figure out what happens next when it didn’t turn out how they hoped find their way in my words.

And, I hope anyone struggling with the darkness of life finds the light they need in my words.

What I was not prepared for was the messages and reviews from mothers, mothers of all kinds; mothers to living children, mothers to angel children, mothers to living and angel children.


One of my favorite mothers, my friend Casey, and my chosen child, McKinley surprising me at the launch party.

One of my favorite mothers, my friend Casey, and my chosen child, McKinley surprising me at the launch party (all the way from Vegas).

Me, the woman who cannot be a mother, the woman who wrote a book with the term childfree in the subtitle, is being lovingly embraced by the very club she will never be a member of.

And, yet it feels like home.

A home we all belong to.

Because, somewhere along the journey of surviving and thriving this life and especially in the making of our family, we have all lost and suffered somehow, somewhere.

Because it is not a club of just mothers. It is a club of anyone who has struggled, lost and survived.

So, a club we are all members of.

Because, when does life ever really turn out how we had planned or hoped?

And, yet we can do this work.

We can choose to be okay.

We can choose to be better than okay.

We can find our ever upward.

This surprising acceptance, this warm motherly embrace, has left me finding even more ever upward in this journey. This wholehearted embrace by the very group of women that I may forever long to fit into has allowed me to let this all be just little bit more this week.

*Or as my therapist helped me with my metaphor in letting this be…I think I am actually sitting in the hammock.

Let me explain.

The endless work of the last year or so are the fishing poles I have cast out into the crystal clear turquoise water. I must stick those poles into the warm white sand of the beach and walk away. They are cast to the big fish that could easily change my life and show the world Ever Upward with one tiny chance they give me. They are cast to every single person who needs to give themselves permission to find their own ever upward. They are cast out to you. And, I must stop putting my toes and hands in that beautiful water and allow it to become that crystal clear calm glass so you can be drawn to the amazing light that is this work. So, I am actively working on walking away, grabbing my sangria (served in a carved out pineapple of course) and sitting in that comfy hammock to soak up the embracing magic of the sun and of my own light.

This is how the perfectly imperfect person I am is going to muster up the strength to let this be, trust the work I have done, trust the universe and get the hell out of the way.

Sitting in the hammock, soaking up the sun, breathing in the salty air, sipping my sangria and truly allowing myself to really receive that warm embrace from the club I’ll never belong to.


Make sure to purchase your copy of Ever Upward today!

12 thoughts on “The Warm Embrace From the Club I’ll Never Belong To

  1. Congratulations, Justine! (((HUGS)))
    Love, Gracie
    P.S. Pass over the sangria! 😉


    1. Thank you so much Gracie! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine says:

    Lovely, Justine. 🙂


    1. Thank you so much Catherine, as always!!! ❤


  3. When you have a sincere voice, your struggle resonates with anyone, whether they can identify with that particular struggle or not. It is one of the amazing things about being human. Congratulations to you, and continued good luck!


    1. Thank you so much, you are so right! Thank you for reading and commenting! Justine

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am always reticent to assume compassion on behalf of others but I will say it surprises me little to know that women who have experienced loss and yet have the good fortune to parent a living child (which is the group I assume you mean when you refer to “mothers” though that also remains a little unclear to me, perhaps because my definition of mother is not the same as yours…?) embrace your book and you for the story behind it. I have not read your book but I have said here before that to me you are a mother. As a mother of one living and 9 not-living children I know that I became a mother the moment I fell in love with the first little life inside of me that was lost far too soon, over four years ago, even if society only provided me with the title of mother some years late after my one and only live birth (to date, fingers crossed). Of course I view your identity as comprised in part of “mother”notwithstanding your choice to live “childfree”. I cannot see it any other way. All the best with your book, practice and childfree life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and leaving this thoughtful comment. I’m actually referring to all of us mothers, those with living and without living children. The book has been greatly embraced by both and more so! Which is more than I could even dream or ask. If you are interested you can order the book here (http://ever-upward.myshopify.com/collections/all), would love your feedback on it! Thanks again! Justine


  5. I am not surprised at all that you are being welcomed by mothers of living and non-living children. We all share a common love and a heart, and this makes you part of the club, just as much as it makes me part of the club.


    1. We are part of the club! I’m learning that maybe it is just a village of amazing women… ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sherryd32148 says:

    It IS a village of amazing women. No matter what goes on inside – whether we have children or not – we are all women who struggle with womanhood from one time to another.

    It’s more than a club, it’s a family.



    1. Sherry, You are exactly right, we are family. Thank you so much! J


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