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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.  


May 3, 2022

Hello beautiful people with Mother's Day going on May 1 In the UK, and on May 8 here in the United States, there are a ton of emotions coming up for those of us in the infertility community. And I know for me that there is this jolt, I feel when I'm walking through a grocery store or through Target or, you know, driving down the street and seeing ads that pop up on billboards. And I feel this jolt in my body when I walked down the aisle, for example, in Target and I am getting close to the greeting card aisle. And you see advertisements for May 8 Being Mother's Day, a lot of restaurants are advertising, Mother's Day specials and reservations and things all geared towards Mother's Day. And I find it so interesting how a date that's made up on a calendar can cause so much animosity for us in so much loneliness. And so this week, I'd like to talk about how to handle and process these emotions that are coming up around Mother's Day. And I first want to start by saying there is nothing wrong with you for feeling sadness around Mother's Day, it is so common for my clients to tell me that they get embarrassed or that they feel silly that they're feeling depleted, or they're feeling envy. Or they're feeling sadness around this holiday. And I was coaching a client last week about this very topic. And she told me she was feeling very selfish about not looking forward to a Mother's Day celebration for her own mother. So I'm sure that's something that many of us can relate to. We have this awesome mom who's been such a support and such a pillar of strength in our lives. And we're judging ourselves for not feeling excitement and happiness about celebrating this day for them and with them. So my client was telling me that she felt super selfish that her own sadness would overshadow the love and gratitude that she feels in her heart for her own mother. So think about that. Do you relate to that? Because I totally get it. It's really conflicting. I mean, I love my mother dearly. I know she's listening.

So hi, mom, I love you.

I feel so grateful to have her in my life to celebrate. But there were some years, especially when I was in the midst of my infertility treatments, or just finishing up with my infertility treatments. And those few years that pass that I was just sitting in limbo, that I really had to pull myself together to even be present on that day. And to get myself to the card aisle and pick out a card and make plans and think of a gift because I was so judging myself in the fact that I felt I was a failure that I wasn't able to celebrate this day for me that I really had to muster up all this energy, basically create this dramatic experience for myself in order to celebrate my mom. So I just want to tell you that you should not be judging yourself. If you are feeling this way and thinking this way you are just not alone. You're not a bad person. You're not selfish for feeling sadness around a day that you dreamed of celebrating with your own children. So we can begin by just deciding that we are going to love ourselves and telling ourselves of course, Lana, this is going to be a sad day for you know, of course, feeling empty on a day that's called Mother's Day when you dreamed your whole life of being a mom and you're not of course it feels sad, and it makes sense. I'm feeling empty today. Because I think that we compound the emotion that we're feeling by thinking we're some sort of alien for having feelings other than rainbows and daisies on a day we call Mother's Day. So I want to ask you, what are you making it mean about you that You aren't a mom. And I really want you to think long and hard about this. What are you making it mean about you? That may 8, the United States calendar is not celebrating you? Are you making it mean? That this one day in 365, you're not worth celebrating? Are you telling yourself that your efforts were not good enough at becoming a mom, I really want you to sit here and even pause right now and start to think about what it is you're making it mean that you are not celebrating Mother's Day. Maybe you're feeling some feelings of resentment. And maybe you're feeling resentful that your best friend has breakfast in bed that's going to be made for her as she wakes up in her kids bring her French toast and some eggs. Maybe it means that you feel resentment that your sister gets to go to a full day at a spa, to celebrate Mother's Day, and you don't, what is it that you're feeling resentful about? And again, not judging yourself, just start to identify what it is that it's bringing these feelings up for you. And maybe we're feeling resentful that our best friend's got pregnant so easily. And it has to be so hard for us. Maybe we feel that it's not fair, that we don't get to celebrate Mother's Day. But regardless of what emotion you're feeling, it's so important to show yourself that compassion that you need and tell yourself, it's okay. You're allowed to have these feelings. And of course, anyone in my shoes would feel this way. And we do you hear me talking about it on this podcast today. Because this is such a common thing that's been coming up with my clients. It's never going to feel good to have a Mother's Day come up. If it does, God bless, I'm happy. But even with all the work that I do, and I continuously am doing on myself, and my thought works about my inability to be a mom, Mother's Day always has a little tinge in a little jolt in my heart. And there is nothing wrong with me for feeling that way. There's nothing broken about me that I am not excited to celebrate Mother's Day or see the advertisements when I'm out walking through target. So regardless of what motion you're feeling, I'm just begging you to please do it without judgment for yourself. We can take that compassion a step further. And what can you do for yourself today, if you're thinking about Mother's Day, if you have someone that you're going to celebrate with? Maybe that's what you needed. Maybe you want to be the one to organize something for your mom, maybe you're going to call a friend if your mom's not local? Or maybe your mom's not with you anymore. Maybe you want to call a friend and say, Hey, do you care if I join you? I guarantee you that you're not going to get a no from somebody asking if you can join their celebration. And there's no one's going to judge you for asking to be part of their celebration. And you know what, maybe you want to stay under the covers. And maybe you want to stay at home watching the harm Hallmark Channel and you feel like that's some self care. In some years, maybe it is. And maybe this year, it's going to be different. Maybe you're not exactly sure what else you would do to pass the day. So I'm going to give you a few ideas. Is it possible to find a soup kitchen that's looking for help? I know that we have a lot here in the Chicagoland area that serve lunches and dinners to the homeless. So maybe they're looking for somebody to serve meals, because some of the people that commonly help them on these days are tied up with other family engagements. Maybe contact a women's shelter and ask what they're looking for for help. For the women that possibly are moms are maybe not able to be with their kids this Mother's Day given their situation. Maybe you could drop flowers off at local nursing homes and ask them to be distributed to their residents.

Maybe you can Google. I did this myself. I did a quick Google search. I googled the words Mother's Day for homeless and Chicago. So maybe Google Mother's Day for the homeless in whatever city you're in. And I was amazed to see how many nonprofit organizations there are that are doing things to recognize homeless mothers. And maybe it's helping their kids have a gift to give their mom because they just don't have the resources to go out and even get a card or make a card or drop crayons and construction paper off. So these kids can give their moms something on Mother's Day even if they're homeless. And what I decided for me to do and to start to create is The Other's Day, in my Other's Day brunch that's going on here next Saturday in Chicago on May 7, I know that I will find joy, I'd created this event because I love connecting to others. I love connecting others with eachother,, so I decided to host an event that's open to anyone feeling sadness around Mother's Day. So maybe they aren't a mom, maybe they couldn't become a mom, or maybe they're missing their mom. And I'm so excited to create an opportunity to offer connection at a time when so many of us are searching for it. And I'm absolutely thrilled by how many have reached out that aren't in Chicago that want to have local events. And they're serving as ambassadors for me for my Mother's Day and helping me to offer connection for women in their local cities. So I think that there's so much that we can do and I'm going to give you as I love to do one exercise that might help you this Mother's Day. And I want you to think of it as an opportunity to write a Mother's Day card to yourself. Imagine that you were a mom, and what would your card, say to yourself, about the awesome woman you are about those strong person you are about the beauty you bring into the life of others about the happiness and joy that you spread, despite not being a mom. So this week, I want you to work on your Mother's Day card to yourself. And even if you're not a mom, it doesn't mean that you can't be a mother to yourself. So I hope everyone has a beautiful week. If you're in Chicago and you are just hearing about Mother's Day and our Other's Day Brunch, please go on stitch Mother's Day and reserve your spot. It's only $20 For our awesome brunch buffet. We have an awesome goodie bag that is full of lots of nice treats from local vendors here in Chicago and we have a great group of women. Some I have yet to meet and some I know and we are just going to have an awesome time on May 7. So have a beautiful week and I can't wait to hear the difference that you made this Mother's Day. And remember it is never too late to discover your meaning. Talk to you next week.