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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.  


Feb 15, 2022

I want to talk a little bit about this transition that we go through, or this obstacles that it seems as though we're faced with. And for me, it took a long time to put these thoughts into words. I recently had a get together with a friend that I've known for a very long time, who doesn't live in the Chicagoland area. And he happened to be in town and we grabbed dinner the other night and just kind of got to talking about my coaching career, my transition in life and the way that I've been moving obstacles out of the way, and really discovering that a lot of the thoughts that I've been having, and the beliefs that I had about my life without children, how they were really keeping me feeling stuck, and feeling as though I did not have any other option but to feel like my life was just going to be dreadful. And that my future was not something I could really see myself dreaming of and being excited about. I loved our conversation, just really feeling like I uncovered some amazing things and was able to finally put into words some things that I harbored in my mind for so long. 

When you become childless, not by choice, versus somebody who maybe already knew that she or he just didn't want to be a parent. They cognitively chose that for themselves. But for those of us that have issues with infertility and went through fertility treatments, and were unable to have children, we did not choose this path for ourselves. I know speaking from my own experience, I always envisioned children and motherhood in my life. And I really didn't plan for much beyond the motherhood part because I was just really looking forward to a future that was filled with milestones based on being a parent.  

I also sometimes wonder if the men out there are going through this same thinking. I mean, do men attach their future to fatherhood as much as women do?  For me, that's really what I planned on my future being full of 

-being a parent and sending kids to school and off to college and having a wedding and grandchildren and watching them grow. And when we don't have the opportunity to embrace that and experience that it's, as I, I shared with my friend the other day, it's almost like, you get to the end of your fertility journey, when you don't achieve your goal of motherhood, there's just this mass of dead space that's staring back at you, when you're looking into your future, it can be super daunting to think about the remaining years of your life, you're feeling like you just really haven't had anything prepared for what you want your future to look like. But when you actually choose your future for yourself, you're able to decide what you want and what you want to fill your time. Well, what I'm starting to realize on my journey is that even though I have so much heartache and so much sadness around not being able to be a mom, and that it really for so long felt - really still to this day - feels like it really wasn't my choice. But when you're able to work your way through that weight that just lies on your chest and consider a possibility that you may love your life one day, and you may understand things about yourself in your mind that will offer you so much awareness in how you actively choose to live and experience your life. 

Many of us with infertility have a really hard time forgiving ourselves for not being able to have a baby. So we really never allow ourselves to seek a silver lining in our lives. So many of us judge ourselves because we think that if we move to a point where we see ourselves, loving our future or see ourselves, loving our life Even though we don't have children, it's almost that we believe that we're not respecting the heartache and the helplessness and the feelings that we went through during our journey of fertility treatments, telling yourself that you can love yourself in your life and still keep a segment of loneliness and defeat in your heart. And that it can still coexist with this new life that you're creating. There's just such a liberty to know that you're not abandoning that woman that tried so hard to get pregnant and the woman that did everything she possibly could, you're not abandoning her because you're choosing to love your life and to create a future that you can love. Maybe if you're out there listening, and fertility is not part of your journey, but maybe it's a partner or a job or a promotion, that you're waiting to have happen to you so that you can feel that your life is complete, or that you can start to dream about a future because that portion of your life has a checkmark next to it.


I'm here to tell you that having those things aren't going to be what's magically completing you or your life or it's not the reason that you're going to love your life. Once you get to understand that regardless of what it is you are embarking upon in your life, you have the ability right now to choose or even start to identify what it is that you want your life to contain. And so many of us are afraid to really dream until we feel like we have all of the boxes checked of the things that are going to tell us that Okay, it's alright to dream right now. So I just I had this epiphany of thoughts of, we just need to give ourselves some time to pick what it is that we want in our future and how we want to live our lives. And what are some of the things that if we could just choose what we would have in our lives, if it's not going to be a child. And we can just tell ourselves, you can choose anything, it just can't be motherhood or a child because we know that that part of our life is not where we are right now. 

Give yourself the liberty of just starting to dream a little bit about what you would want. And what you would have if you didn't have any hindrances, or if you didn't have any roadblocks. 

Where do you envision yourself being? 

What do you see yourself doing? 

Who do you surround yourself with? 

What do you look like?

 When you see yourself, how do you envision the best version of you? 

What are you wearing?

 What's the look on your face? 

How do you appear to yourself. 

Once you get to have a stronger understanding of who that version of you is, you can start to set your goals for how you're going to get there. But as long as we're telling ourselves that there's this black mass in front of us that seems to be this future. And we didn't want to have to choose and we didn't want to have to plan and we didn't want to have to envision who we would be. But the opportunity we have to do this, you will start to see is such a gift. And I'm not saying that people with children don't have this opportunity to do this for themselves. They absolutely do. But so many of us just hang our hats on motherhood and children and those milestones related to parenthood as being what our future is full of. 


I am here to tell you that the opportunity we have to choose deliberately for ourselves, what we want is such a gift. You don't have to trade wanting to have been a mother or the years that you put into fertility treatments and those heartaches; you don’t have to wash it away and be grateful that you went through it. But if you can just keep a little segment of your heart that you know that's always going to be with you. But looking back at it, having that retrospective view of who you were in what you did is the thing that gets you to the next version of you is really going to be such a gift. So short and sweet this week, just take an opportunity to just close your eyes and start to dream. Who would you be if there were no obstacles? What would you look like and what would you be doing? Who would you be surrounding yourself with? What do your surroundings look like? Are you living in your current home? Are you living in your current geographical state and just start to dream from there? So I hope you have a wonderful time with this practice. I hope you're doing your paper thinking and taking some BFAs and looking at your beliefs, your feelings and your actions in your paper thinking this week, and really allowing yourself to dream about your future again. Have an awesome week and remember, it is never too late to discover your meaning. Talk to you soon.