If you don’t know Justine Froelker, you should. She’s one of a few warriors around who openly talk about walking away from treatment without success. With a growing community of life-after-treatment warriors rising, Justine should be considered an OG, leading the way for others since stopping treatment in 2012.
Despite trying IVF and surrogacy, Justine and her husband, Chad, decided to walk away from treatment after it didn’t end with a take-home baby. And now she’s thriving:
With four best-selling books and two TEDx talks under her belt, she has trained under Brene Brown to help others learn how to overcome fear and shame, to live a vulnerability life of courage, and to create your own happy ending despite the life-long complications of grief.
Justine often talks about grieving the loss of children she was never able to meet and how, sometimes, society doesn’t understand her pain. Despite society’s cruel assumptions that - sometimes - you just need to “get over it” Justine works hard to stop people from competing in the pain olympics.
Because who wins there, really?
To never know your only three chances at parenting, to only guess at who they could have become, is a pain that many miscarriage and loss mommas understand, and I (Lindsay) am thankful Justine is able to articulate exactly what it feels like to experience this type of loss. Not because I’m glad she feels it, but because there are so many people who have suffered the way she has that don’t feel like they are well represented in the infertility or loss communities.
Justine chooses to honor her three by mothering as best as she can, whether that be with the kids she chooses to pour into, through helping love her friends and family, and by pouring her entire soul into her work. She believes we’re all capable to thriving despite our circumstances, if only we open up and bravely connect with one another.
That message alone is worth sharing, right?
When I (Lindsay) first entered into the world of infertility as an author, Justine was the first person to embrace me. No, I hadn’t started IVF yet, but I didn’t need to be that far into treatment for her to see my story as worthy and valid and worth-supporting. Her open arms played a part in creating my own, and I am forever thankful for her friendship and her voice: both of which inspire me to be a better person every day.