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The "So Now What?" Podcast


I am a Fertility Survivor.  The kind you enter into treatments hoping you will never be... childless.  After several rounds of IUI and IVF, at some of the leading Fertility Centers, I was told I was no longer a candidate for fertility treatment.  It left me asking myself...

So now what?

For the years that followed, I tried to put myself back together and tell myself I would be OK, but I wasn't.  I was shattered - I felt alone and failed by the whole process and especially, my body.  I yearned for others that felt the pain I felt and someone that could help me navigate a life without a child. 

I didn't find it, so I decide to create it.  

Fast forward to today. I am still childless, but my beliefs about my life have changed.  I decided that I can create meaning and purpose in my life even though I am not a mother.  I've learned to love myself and the body I felt failed me as a woman.

If you've been on this journey, hop on and join me as we create something we were not offered.  Let's create a sisterhood for the bravest women I know.  We brush ourselves off and don't let terms like: Failed, Unexplained, Miscarriage, Not-viable or Advanced Maternal Age define us anymore.  

 

Jun 12, 2024

Hello, lovely listeners! I'm so glad you're joining me today. If you haven't already, I invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel, Lana.Manikowski. Look for my profile picture with a yellow shirt—if you see me in a red shirt, that's an old channel I no longer update. Subscribe to stay connected and catch some funny outtakes that don't make it to the podcast.

Why Your Reviews Matter

Before we dive into today's topic, I want to thank everyone who rated and reviewed the podcast last week. Your $5 Starbucks gift card is on its way! If you haven't yet, please rate and review on your preferred platform. Your feedback not only helps me understand how the podcast impacts you, but it also boosts our visibility. This way, more women who are searching for ways to create a fulfilling life after infertility can find us and join our community.

Advanced Certification in Grief and Post-Traumatic Growth

Did you know I have an advanced certification in grief and post-traumatic growth? It's something I don't mention often, but it’s a significant part of my journey and my coaching. When I realized my infertility journey wouldn't end with a child, I felt immense grief. But society often overlooks the grief of those who lose a dream rather than something tangible. This certification helps me guide you through that nuanced grief and find post-traumatic growth.

The Power of "And"

Today's episode focuses on one of the most powerful words in navigating grief and creating a fulfilling life: "and." It's a simple three-letter word, but it opens up a world of emotional possibilities. Society often presents emotions as binary—either you're sad, or you're grateful. But why can't we be both? Why can't we be sad about not becoming mothers and also grateful for other aspects of our lives?

Breaking Free from False Binaries

I remember hearing that you can either be sad about not having children or grateful that you don't have to raise them in today’s world. But this binary thinking isn't helpful. You can be both. Grief is nuanced, and so are human emotions. It's perfectly okay to feel multiple emotions at once. For example, you can have a great day at work and cry when you receive a baby shower invitation. Both feelings are valid and can coexist.

Embracing All Emotions

Trying to force ourselves into constant gratitude or happiness suppresses other valid emotions like sadness or anger, which can resurface even stronger. Instead, allow yourself to feel everything. Replace "but" with "and." You can be proud of yourself and feel anger. You can feel lost without motherhood and discover strengths you never knew you had.

Ditching Toxic Positivity

We often think we need to be grateful 24/7 to love our lives, but that’s not true. You don't have to be grateful for every difficult aspect of your infertility journey to love your life. Embrace the "and." Love your life and acknowledge the tough parts of your journey. Both can exist together.

Actionable Insight: Using "And" in Your Life

Next time you catch yourself thinking in binaries, try to use "and" instead. Notice how it opens up space for all your emotions and makes life feel more manageable and authentic.

Join the Conversation

I’d love to hear how you plan to incorporate "and" into your daily life. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments or on social media. Let’s support each other in embracing our full emotional selves.

Thank you for listening, and remember, you are a beautiful human navigating this path of life. Until next time, take care and be kind to yourself.