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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 7, 2023

I am teaching a training class in Minnesota. I just feel so grateful to play a role in the lives of folks that are starting out their career and folks that are energized and ready to embrace what it is to create their own brand for themselves in the corporate workplace.


Being a sales trainer is something that is definitely an honor. To be chosen to be one for my organization.  What I wanna talk about today is energizing. It is when you allow yourself the possibility that you can possibly feel better. So I bring this up, it's very timely because if you follow me on social media, you know that my  Thrive After Infertility Mastermind started this past weekend so I had my first class with my Saturday group. Even as the coach, even as somebody who knows how wonderfully the tools I teach can create impact in your life.


There's still always, you know, this nervousness in me that the people that have said yes to me, I will deliver to them in the way that they're wanting to receive the information. So when we got on our call for our Saturday morning cohort, the minute that screen turned on and I saw these faces and these squares on Zoom, there was just this instant connection that was created.


And I would say it's not just a connection to me, but it was a connection to the other people that showed up and said yes to them and said yes to a desire that they felt somewhere inside of them that they knew that life  could feel better even though our dream of motherhood was not achieved. Let me tell you first that I do not take for granted that there is  courage one needs in order to lean into that voice that is telling you that you want more, and that voice that is telling you that this life that feels very stuck right now and this life that feels disappointing because you did everything you should have.


Or you followed your protocol, or you followed your dreams and your timeline of becoming a mom to the best of your ability, and it turned out in a way that did not result in a family and in children. It takes a lot of courage to look at yourself in the mirror and believe you're willing to make that investment in you, not financially like the financial part.


Yes, there's a component to that, but looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, you are worth it, and I believe in you, and there's a glimmer of hope in you that it's possible for you. That feels very scary to most of.  So let's talk about why that is scary and I believe that a lot of it is because we spend an extraordinary amount of time acting, and I say acting like we are okay.


If you are somebody who feels like you, show up in your life every day acting strong, acting like you are okay, worried that people are gonna look at you as somebody who is weak or somebody who is broken, or somebody that needs to be treated with kid gloves because you couldn't become a mom, there's nothing wrong with you for feeling like you need to show up strong.  than you actually feel inside. I remember doing that. I remember going to corporate events, going to social events, going to church events, going out with friends, and not wanting them to know how broken I felt inside. So you might feel that way.


You might feel like you go out into the world every day and you come home from your. Journey each day exhausted because you have spent all your energy acting like you are somebody stronger than you truly feel inside. I remember just feeling exhausted from being an actor in my own life. And there's nothing wrong with feeling that way, but when you learn that you have the ability to truly show up in your thinking and feeling the way that you do and not judging yourself for it, you now allow yourself to feel less exhausted each day because you're not acting in your life every day in a way that is different than how you truly feel. Having these women show up, Being the ones that raised their hand and had the courage to say, you know what, I'm sick of acting like I'm okay.


I really want to figure this out, and this is my opportunity. There is so much energy. When I turned my screen on, I felt like there was just this energy of connection, even though it was over  Zoom.  When you say Yes, I want to try to find this solution that is better for me.


You are for the first time, probably in a very long time, allowing yourself to put these guardrails down. And when you put these guardrails down, it takes.  and an extraordinary amount of courage to allow yourself to feel that rawness again, cuz let's be honest, going through years of fertility treatments or miscarriage after miscarriage and not knowing what your outcome is going to be, you want to build these natural guardrails around yourself and you think that you are helping yourself by doing so, and in the short term you might.


And if you feel that way right now, like you have these guardrails up, I applaud you for even acknowledging that you needed that for yourself because you wanna to continue on and be the strong person in your life. But oftentimes those guardrails prevent you from truly growing past this area of.


Feeling like you can operate only in this small, safe space. And that is why so many of us get jarred when somebody offers us what they think is something hopeful to us. For example, my big one that I worked on was telling someone I couldn't become a mom and then telling me that “I could always adopt”. 

For them that is their way of trying to give me hope and showing support for me, but for me,  living in a space that I felt like the minute someone said that to me, I got defensive, I got angry with them. I thought that they were jerks for offering me that those were my guardrails, that I was okay. I could function unless somebody said something to me that threw me for a loop.


Things like, you're lucky you can have mine. Kids aren't all what they cracked up to be. Those might be yours. So when you learn, you can function and you can receive somebody's words in any way that you want because you have learned the tools of understanding your story and understanding who you are and what you stand for As a woman.


Without children, your freedom to be you becomes so much greater.


So if you are somebody who wants to start feeling better, you can start doing that today. And that's why I show up every week on this podcast offering you opportunities to consider things. Some weeks it's activities that you can try on your own. So I'm gonna offer you one that I started out with our Saturday cohort is understanding how you define thriving and how you define infertility. What are some of the feelings that come up with you when you think about infertility? Maybe it's disappointment, maybe it's sadness, maybe it's despair, maybe it's hopelessness, and list all those things out. What are all the words that you think of when you think back to how you feel about your infertility, or maybe when you got the news that your journey was over and you were presented with the first time, the reality that you had to move onto this.  place of knowing that you would move into your future being childless. Think about some of those feelings that came up for you.


It may be emotional and I know, but if you are able to write all those things down on paper, you can then know what are some of the feelings that are commonly coming up for you and decide what you want to think about yourself when you feel  that specific way. . Then the other thing we do is decide what it means to thrive because we know that we want to feel better.


We know that we want life to feel easier, and we want to feel proud of who we are. But what does it truly mean for you to thrive? When you hear the word thrive or when you see someone that appears to you as somebody who is thriving, what are some of the ways you think you would feel? , when you are thriving, maybe hopeful, in control, at ease.


Proud. There's a host of different words.  I'd love for you to work on that this week and think about those words of thriving and where you can see yourself feeling those feelings. What are some of the thoughts that you're thinking? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? What are you surrounding yourself with when you are feeling that way?


So that. Some of the work that we start out doing in the Thrive After Infertility Mastermind, we then take it to the next level. As we continue on through our 12 weeks together, we're gonna go through and really start to get clear on these feelings. I'm a certified coach in causal coaching. So that is why I spend a lot of time understanding how we feel or the feelings that commonly come up for us, because if we're able to identify those feelings, we can then peel back the onion and understand what is causing us to feel that way.


We often want to believe that it is the circumstance we are in, so we wanna believe that it is our infertility that is causing us to feel that way, and certainly our infertility plays a role. And how we are feeling. But the true movement and the true growth that I teach amongst my community and with my students is understanding what is the cause of us feeling that way beyond our infertility. Is it the thoughts that we're thinking? Is it the actions that we're taking that are creating those feelings for us? So this is some beautiful work that I hope you can work on independently this week.

Have an awesome week, and remember, I love you and it is never too late to discover your meaning.