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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 1, 2023


I was on a bit of a two week jaunt, running around, getting a lot of things done in my life, and I took a little step away from the podcast, which full disclosure I had a ton of judgment about because I felt like something was wrong with me for not being able to pull it all together and keep it all going.


But that is why the power of coaching is so amazing. I paid attention to the thoughts that I was thinking and the way that it was making me feel, and I realized that it was not. Useful for me to think that I was disappointing you because I knew that you had 69 other episodes beyond this one to listen to.


And so here I am, episode 70, a new episode where we are gonna talk about why it is so scary to fail when you are infertile. So this is a general statement that I'm gonna say. It's not if you're a student of mine, this is not a circumstance. This is a thought that  one of the most scary feelings humans feel is failure.


and generally humans do not like to fail. And yes, this is not a fact, but it is my thought and probably a thought that is adopted by most.  People have a fear of failure, especially after fertility treatments finish and you did not become a mom because you probably spent an extraordinary amount of time hearing the word fail and failure and failed All be used to describe us and our fertility journey.


All this to say. It's no wonder that those of us who have been classified as failed fertility patients have this extraordinary relationship with failing something. We've been accustomed to hearing  the outcomes of cycles, embryo transfers and all of that being associated with the word failure. If you've been done with your fertility treatments for a while and you notice that you are shying away from opportunities or shying away from circumstances, that might be a little bit risky. . Ben, let me just tell you first, you are normal and I would say that the majority of the women that I work with have had this sort of reservation about life and trying new things, and it's something that we work on quite a bit and thrive after infertility, and we try to understand why does failures scare us so much?


How it creates a paralysis of the state we're in when we finish fertility treatments and we're not a mom because the way we come out of it is thinking that there's absolutely no more room in our life to fail at anything else. . If we feel that becoming a mom, we sure as hell better not find ourselves in a predicament, where we are failing elsewhere.  Something that I've noticed, and you may relate to this too, you may feel like, I really, really wanna feel better, but what if I try to, and it doesn't work,  this preservation you are giving yourself. What if it's one more thing that you try to do that doesn't turn out the way that you hoped, so your action or inaction is not going out and seeking the tools, like coaching or working with your therapist or working on some pointed things after a job.


Dating, working on your relationship. Whatever it is, it is normal. And I just want to tell you that there's nothing wrong with you if you have found yourself shying away from doing those types of things.  Maybe you're thinking I'm just. ready to figure out how to get out of this sense of heaviness.


 You might be desiring this sense of lightness and this feeling like you're thriving and feeling fulfilled again, but you  are telling yourself that it's not possible for you.  And what if it doesn't work out for me, then I'm really screwed because this is your last hope in your mind.


I know I was there. You're telling yourself, what if I don't have this special power? . What if I'm one of these people that just doesn't have an in 'em to feel better, or maybe my story is just too sad? And the people that I hear doing well after fertility treatments fail and they've done work on themselves and they come to the other side of things.


They're just special people. And I just don't have that in my dna. . So you avoid putting yourself in circumstances or in a situation to try something because not working out the way that you wanted it to When it comes to feeling better is just sort of the end all. Be all of your hope.  I know I did that.


I did a lot of that. I would say the majority of students that I've worked with have had some sort of version of that in their past that runs through their brain, which impacts the actions that they did not take in their lives. So they continue not to seek opportunities to feel better out of the fear that they won't do it right and that it won't work for them.


and they just didn't have this superhuman power that you need to feel better. Maybe you think that people that have this much growth and change happen in their life are just an anomaly. So instead you stay there in your warm fuzzies with your blanket around you on the sofa, and you dream of a day that you'll feel better.


but you just never actually go out and try to achieve it for yourself.   When I decided that I wanted to have a new definition of failure,  and I wanted to work on failure. Not being something that scares the hell out of me doesn't mean I'm not scared of failure. Doesn't mean that I don't judge myself if something doesn't go the way that I had planned.


But I've been working on creating a relationship with failure. I was going to invite it in. This is something we do in my coaching practice. You say failure. I know you're here. I see you. I feel you. You're really, really prominent right now. But I wanna try something different today. Failure and you're gonna tell


failure. Let's go on this ride together. I know you're gonna be there. But I'm gonna just maybe put you in the back seat instead of the front seat. It doesn't mean that I'm not gonna pay attention to you, but I just, I don't want you to be right there on the side of me. I just want you to be behind me a little bit and I'm just gonna try something new today.


  Fear of failure, for many of us it might stem back a very long time. , you know that it's gonna be there. And so when it's there and it pops up and it shows you that it's there and you get this nervousness that you might not do something right, or you try something and you stumble a little bit, you say, okay, I know I plan for you.


I know you're here. We planned for this. I knew you were gonna come with me on this ride. I knew you were gonna be sitting in the backseat failure. But listen, I'm trying. . I'm trying my best. I am. I wanna make a difference in my life. Failure, and I just, I don't wanna be scared of you anymore. Okay? So if you're listening to this and you think it sounds kooky to talk to a feeling, welcome to my world.


 Let me tell you, this is where the difference happens. This is where you  realize a feeling is just  a reaction in your body. Failure might make you get pricklies on your neck. Maybe your cheeks might get flushed, but fear is just a reaction to a feeling, and it doesn't last forever.


But if you just bring it along for the ride and tell it, you're, tell it that you're welcoming it with you and that, you know, it's there. It just becomes less prominent. So if you find yourself wanting to go after things and are worried about what will happen if they don't work out the way that you had planned, let me challenge you to pick something that you've been wanting to try and just write it down on paper.


You do not have to commit. I will not follow up with you and ask you how it's going or what you've done or what the outcome is. It could be maybe more than one thing. So for me, my big thing was my career. , and we talked about this in one of the previous episodes, how I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my corporate life, because I just thought I was gonna become a mom.


I thought that I'd have my beautiful babies, and I might go part-time at work. I might stop working altogether. I might go back to work after the kids are in school. So when it came to my career, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't think that far ahead. . And so I challenged myself to say, knowing who I am now and knowing what I've been through, knowing where my desires lie, I wanna put together a development plan for myself.


I wanna figure out what interests me, what am I good at? What are the things that make me feel like I'm alive and thriving again? So for. . I started that work with my corporate job, and it's amazing when I just allowed myself to lean into the fact that I was just exploring something and asking questions and connecting with others, things just got to be less scary for me.


 For me, it was my career. Maybe for you, it's something else, but if you  tell yourself that it is. Okay.  to try something and maybe not know the answers right away and maybe interview for a job. That's my reality right now. I'm interviewing for the first time in 14 years for a job, like I'm super rusty, y'all, but you know what?


I know. I have decided ahead of time that if I don't get this. , it doesn't mean that I'm not qualified. It doesn't mean that I'm not good at what I do. It doesn't mean that I will never find another job that I want to interview for. It just means that either my timing wasn't right. Or maybe there's somebody who's been working on this job longer than I have and has put feelers out greater than mine are, and I'm not gonna make it mean anything about me because failure is just a little physical reaction in my body.


And because I have the power to decide what it is, I make failure mean to me. I've decided what I want  failure to mean that I am trying and that if I were good at everything and I never put myself in a predicament where I had the opportunity to learn and stretch and grow myself, I'd be really freaking bored because that was not the Lana before my infertility diagnosis.


So I love you and know. , even though you've heard the word failure  to describe attempts at motherhood, know that failure does not have to define you, and you can create your own definition in your own relationship with failure. So I love you.


You've got this, and remember, It is never too late to discover your meeting. I'll talk to you next week.