|  Blog Post   |  It’s Always Been For You: An Ever Upward Circle Back

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.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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