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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 21, 2023

Hey, beautiful one. I have this YouTube channel up and bumpin, so if you haven't checked it out yet, go to YouTube and search for Lana.Mankowski. On YouTube and if you would just give it a follow, I would so appreciate it.

That way more women like us can find each other and create bonds and create a community that I know I so needed when my fertility journey ended and I didn't become a mom.  Hopefully you get something every week out of this podcast, so you following the channel will help other women like us find each other.

 Before we get started, wanted to give you a quick update you know, I've been interviewing for a new job at work and I finally got called back to a second interview, so I'm super excited about that. If you know what it's like, To finish your fertility treatments and not become a mom. 

You may find yourself wondering what the next steps might be for you at work. Maybe for someone it's a career change. . Maybe for some it's doubling down into what you were doing and getting back ingrained in that. Or maybe it's finding a new passion. Whatever it is, it takes such courage to interview again .

So for me, interviewing again was a huge step. So I'm so excited. I got invited back to the second rounds. I will let you know how it goes. We are actually leaving on vacation tomorrow, so every year over President's week, my sister and her husband and their two kids,  go on vacation together and it's commonly been skiing.

I do not ski. I don't attempt to ski anymore.  So Jack and my brother-in-law and the kids go skiing, and then my sister and I hang out and do sister stuff.  I'm looking forward to that. And we leave tomorrow,  I wanted to get this podcast recorded so that you have something to think about this week, because I feel like it's gonna start being baby shower season.

How many of you feel like when it rains, it pours and all of a sudden you're getting all these invites to baby showers that you weren't prepared for? So we are gonna talk today about how you can receive a baby shower invite and how you can respond to it, because I know that they take you off guard. I know that there's people that have been pregnant for many months around you, and the day that that invite shows up in your mailbox or on your email, it throws you way off.

So we're gonna talk about how to handle baby shower invites on this week's episode of the podcast. So I first wanna acknowledge that it's okay to get an invite and not want to attend a baby shower. I have been there. I have judged myself for it. You may judge yourself and think you're not a good friend because you don't wanna go to Jenny's baby shower, or that people are gonna think that you're selfish, or people might think you're super broken and you may think that you are appearing weak if you don't.

So let's just decide now that whatever you're feeling, allow yourself to  recognize that you feel it and tell yourself that there is nothing wrong with you if you are feeling any of those things that you are judging yourself for feeling. Okay, because I know I would not tell anyone because I thought, oh, they're gonna think something is wrong with me.

If I don't act excited though, I would put my game face on and we are gonna talk about how I got through it and give you some ideas of how things might work for you. If you decide to go or don't decide to go, that's another option too. So I first want to say that you might be somebody. Who will show up even though you don't want to.

And that is okay, so we're gonna think about ways that you can prepare yourself to go to a baby shower when you are not feeling super festive about going. What I first would like to think of is maybe chunking the event in time. So we talked about this just this past weekend in my Saturday cohort of Thrive After Infertility.

Maybe think about the event in chunks and tell yourself, okay, I'm gonna go there. I'm gonna show up. Maybe just to drop off my gift, say hello and leave. Maybe that's one chunk. Maybe you can stay.  for appetizers and just during the cocktail hour or social hour, and then decide I'm gonna do a quick check-in with myself.

I'm gonna see how I feel after that. If I wanna stick around, awesome. But if I don't, then I've already in my head told myself that that's okay. I'm just doing a check-in, and this check-in is to tell me either, yes, I'm good, I'm gonna continue on, or no, I. I did what I thought I wanted to do, and now I'm gonna leave.

So maybe the next one is staying for presents and maybe the opening of presents. Maybe after the presents you're like, all right, I gotta skate. Maybe you wanna stay and stick around for dessert or some after and stay for the whole thing. That is so great too. But what I really think is important is to just create a plan for.

and decide how you want to divide the day up, if you wanna just go for a portion of it, or if you wanna continue on. So if you find that you're somebody who likes to have a plan that might work great for you because you've sort of mapped out how long you wanna spend, what things you wanna stick around for in your mind, you're doing already know that you have this check-in.

So you've created this. Safety for yourself, that you've got your own back. You've already thought this through. I'll be here for you if you wanna get in your car and go home. We've already decided today that that is okay. All right. So having a plan to meet is an awesome, awesome opportunity to, to see where you are in things.

But maybe you got that invite and you don't want to go. So let's talk about. Telling someone that you don't want to attend or you can't attend, or maybe you want someone to give the news for you. Maybe you're not comfortable talking about it. Let's all acknowledge that however you wanna deliver that message, you are doing it from a place of love.

You are not doing it from a place of jealousy. You are not doing it from a place of. , you are not doing it from a place of sadness. You are just doing it from a place of love and acknowledgement for what you need and what you are striving for in your own life. So if you are the one who's gonna maybe pick up the phone and call the mom to be, think about how you want that conversation to go.

Talk about it. If you wanna call me and tell me, talk me through the conversation, I would so love it. DM me. I'd be happy to hear your message of how you wanna say it in practice. But if you even look in front of yourself, look in the mirror and say it to yourself and prepare for the fact that you might get emotional and acknowledge in the beginning that this is somebody who loves.

and they know that you not attending their baby shower has nothing to do with them. It's nothing about you not being a good friend. They know that you are just working through these things and trying to preserve yourself for what you can attend and what you can attend. And if for some reason this person is not on your team with this, that is okay.

there might be somebody who doesn't understand, who's never been through infertility, who's never known what it's like to want to be a mom and not be able to, so they just might not understand where you're coming from. So if that's the case, I get it, it's gonna be hard, but what's more important is that you don't turn your back on yourself.

Maybe you feel awkward even this is something that came up on Saturday. One of my students in the, in the Saturday cohort felt really taken aback because she wasn't part of the planning process of the event and decide today that there's probably a reason why you weren't asked to be part of the planning committee.

And I guarantee none of it is because people didn't want you to. . Your friends probably know that this might be something hard and maybe you would've wanted to be asked, but maybe they just don't know how to ask you. So if we can try to practice love towards people that maybe don't know what it's like and don't know what to say and how to say it, but they love you so much, let's decide that you not being involved in the planning process.

Or maybe you. Being asked personally, and you just got Anite in the maleic, it has nothing to do with the fact that you aren't important to these people. People just maybe are doing their best to let you know you're loved in giving you the opportunity to come forward and be more involved or stand back and say, I'm gonna set this one out.

So when it comes to getting invites, To these type of shot baby showers. The only thing I really want you to take away from today's podcast is that if you think about what you want ahead of time and do it from a place of love for yourself and preservation for your energy and for your emotional wellbeing.

That is paramount right now, and I know it may feel hard to think that you might disappoint a friend or not show up for them on a day that they think is super important and that's okay. That's why I am here. That's why this community is here, because we have been there before. So on that day or leading up to those days, if you need.

and you need just someone to hear you out. I promise you. If you post in the fertility community on anywhere, on social media or even reach out to me, I will be happy to let you know that you're heard and let you know that you're understood when it comes to not being comfortable about receiving a baby shower invitation.

So that's it for this week. I love you so much. You're so amazing and you're so brave, and you're out there doing the best that you can, and I know it. I see it every day. So have an awesome week, and remember, it's never too late to discover your meaning. I'll talk to you next week.