Review of Ever Upward Chapter 5: Evolving Relationships
Over the last few weeks, I have been posting chapter reviews from Justine Brooks Froelker’s upcoming book Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life. So far I have read and reviewed Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.
Today, I want to share my review of Chapter 5 – Evolving Relationships
As you can tell from my other reviews, I have been enjoying reading snippets of this book. I have been enjoying learning more about Justine and the path her and her husband (Chad) have chosen for themselves after multiple unsuccessful IVF procedures. As Justine tells her story, I have always been left wanting more, and have also felt connection with her journey as we both share in the experience of losing our babies to miscarriage. While, we are bound together in our shared expierence of loss, our paths have been different. Justine’s path has been largely about an inability to conceive and maintain a pregnancy through the use of a surrogate. Whereas, my journey is defined by an ability to get pregnant and a subsequent inability maintain a healthy pregnancy. But, this chapter bridged our differences, and I felt connected to her in a whole new way. At times, it was almost surreal reading her story because some elements were so similar to my own that it was almost too hard to believe.
This new found connection meant that I enjoyed this chapter immensely. The part of the chapter that really spoke to me was her discussion of how two of her friends were negatively changed through her infertility journey. Almost like an additional casualty of the infertility experience, adding insult to an already injured heart.
Justine discusses the emotional impact that losing these friendships caused her. For me, it was spot on to my own experience in losing two of my own friends.
She discusses the jealousy we harbour when a dear friend becomes pregnant, yet the sheer happiness we feel that they have avoided the perils of infertility and that they will get to parent a child.
She also discusses the hurt when a friend chooses to put distance between us and them once they become parents. The hurt of not being able to be part of their lives, or the lives of their new child.
The disappointment that comes with being cast aside, for whatever reason.
The hurt that goes along with not being accepted by our friends due to circumstances beyond our control.
She goes on to share the soul crushing, hurtful comments people make when they disagree with our choices and our reality.
For me, dealing with hurtful and insensitive comments from people who I thought would have behaved better has been a real challenge for me. Unexpectedly losing one of my best friends to our recurrent pregnancy loss struggles has been one of the most hurtful things I’ve experienced. I have also had someone who went through infertility themselves make very hurtful comments to me, which has left our friendship in disarray as I had to walk away from them in order to save myself from more hurt. I honestly didn’t realize that people could be so insensitive, and that people could be so hurtful. So for me, reading this chapter, reminded me that I am not alone in my experiences.
Justine also reminded me to continue to cherish our true friends who have stood by us and cheered us along with each step we have taken. She has reminded me to continue to nourish and treasure the friends that we continue to hold onto, and to let go of the incapables in my life who will probably never understand.
Needless to say, I am hooked on Justine’s booked and looking forward to reading the entire book shortly.
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