Justine Froelker’s story of loss and learning to live, and honor her three, afterward.
While we at InfertileAF are sometimes cheeky and rely on humor to help us through some of infertility’s cruelest happenings, we are also truly aware that - sometimes - giving people serious love and support, and seeing and acknowledging their stories is truly powerful. With our mission to speak to the often silenced, taboo topics, we felt it was important to talk about October, as it’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
So, for this month we are taking a break from our regularly scheduled Share Your Story submissions and including highlights on a few women who have bravely decided to share their stories of loss. You will see that each of these stories is completely different, but each woman carries a piece of her own journey into her new life after loss. We encourage you to take in each week’s highlight with open eyes and arms. Their bravery in sharing their stories should be applauded and supported.
Why the features?
Because, if you’ve been in the infertility world long enough to know that 1:8 couples is impacted by infertility, you also know that 1:4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Issues such as recurrent miscarriage plague many couples who eventually seek infertility treatment to help them maintain a pregnancy, and even then we know a healthy, viable pregnancy isn’t guaranteed.
If you’re reading this, you probably know all of those facts or you know someone who is directly impacted by the statistics we highlighted above. Maybe it’s you. We truly believe that highlighting voices of women who have experienced miscarriage - whether infertile or not - is something that helps all of us come together, not because of our pain, but in spite of it. Better together, always.
With that said, we want you to be mindful of your own place in your journey as we tell these stories. They are important, worthwhile, and hard, and we know some of you might not be in a place to read beyond this post this month. If that feels like your truth, please know we do not want you to do anything you’re uncomfortable with and respect your boundaries. Please also respect our decision to highlight these brave women for being ready and willing to share with us their stories.
Before we begin, we’d also like to personally thank the owner and stylists of The Color Room in Wentzville, Missouri for giving each participant a day of pampering and fun, quick makeovers. These ladies came in on their day off and dedicated five full hours to making sure each woman who participated felt beautiful and special. They supplied food and drinks and welcomed us fully. We’d also like to thank Mel of The Velvet Suitcase for allowing us to play dress up with your amazing boutique clothing, with a wide range of sizing options for all of the varying body types, and Courtney of CMS Photography for donating your time and talent to capture the gorgeous images we feature.
Each Monday this month you’ll get a glimpse into the life of one of the women who signed on to share their stories, and we hope you’ll be as open and supportive of them as you always are of everyone else we feature. This issue - miscarriage and loss - is one of life’s most heartbreaking and should, despite the why or how or when bring us all together to lift up those who are forever changed - for better or worse - by their unique journeys.