49 episodes

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. I will share the many tools I have acquired through my Certification in Life Coaching and I will share it all with you here on The "So Now What?" Podcast.

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.

Follow me on Instagram: @stitchcoaching to learn more about the opportunities available for you to live childfree, with meaning and purpose.

The "So Now What?" Podcast Lana Manikowski

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 45 Ratings

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. I will share the many tools I have acquired through my Certification in Life Coaching and I will share it all with you here on The "So Now What?" Podcast.

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.

Follow me on Instagram: @stitchcoaching to learn more about the opportunities available for you to live childfree, with meaning and purpose.

    Finding Your Purpose Without Children

    Finding Your Purpose Without Children

    Thank you for coming to listen to another episode, as you know, I am getting close to my 52nd Episode hard to believe it's gonna be almost a year that I started this podcast.
    I started it out super simple just by deciding to tell my story for the first time, and it has flourished into something more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Since that first episode I have been showing up here every week and continuously offering you opportunities to realize that you are not alone in this journey of yours.
    And even though you aspired and dreamed your whole life to become a mom, if that didn't happen to you, I show up here every week to let you know that the things you are thinking about your journey and the ways you're feeling about yourself for not being able to become a mom are not obscure, not crazy and to let you know that you are not alone.
    Many of us have felt the way that you feel today. I show up every week letting you know that you can come to the other side of things, even if you're feeling sadness and believe that your life could never feel full and abundant, unless you could become a mom.
    One of my goals is to reach 10,000 unique downloads by my 52nd episode (in early September).  The algorithm gods will filter this podcast out to other women searching for resources within fertility, if I have rating and reviews actively being put up about the podcast.
    I started this podcast to help women with infertility know that they're not alone on this journey and that. No matter how many rounds of IVF you have or haven't done, your infertility and your inability to become a mom does not have to define who you are, the rest of your life.
    So if you would put a rating and review up, I would so appreciate that.
    This week's topic, we are going to talk about having purpose. It's something that I have worked with so many of my students because we have this idea as women, that our purpose is to become mothers and to give birth and to contribute to society through having a baby.
    We do not have to accept that as our definition of purpose and can decide today that you no longer want to believe that your purpose in this world is to become a mom. It's not something that I've ever seen written anywhere that when we were born on our birth certificates, we were told that our purpose is to have children and to become moms.
    This week, we were going to talk about what it's like to decide your purpose.  We make it so much harder than it has to be. We've come to contrive this idea that your reason for being here on this planet, it comes down to one sentence and one definer, one adjective, whatever it is, decide now that it's not true.
    There are so many women, I know that are mothers that have a purpose in my life that isn't being my mom. And there's so many people that I've encountered in my life that serve a purpose or fill a need that I've had in my life that aren't my biological mother. If we're sitting here believing that the only reason that we don't have a purpose on this planet is because we're not a mom, we are wrong. You do not have to have the title of mom or have to have given birth to a child or be raising a child to have purpose in this world. I want to offer a couple thoughts for you to ponder and work on this week.
    What purpose do you serve in your own life?
    And I think that is something that we just breeze past. And we don't ever question the purpose that we have when we wake up every day. What purpose do we want to serve in our own lives? I think we oftentimes think of a purpose as. Something to somebody else or serving somebody else. And we're constantly looking for approvals or acknowledgement from other people in order to feel as though we have purpose in this world.
    If we continue to wait for other people to need us or fill a void that somebody else has in their life, we're constantly going to be yearning for a reason why we are in the existence of other people. When it's so much easier if we decide how we wan

    • 14 min
    Finding New Friends When You Are Childless

    Finding New Friends When You Are Childless

    I am feeling so full, so grateful and so energized by the amazing students that I've been working with and all of the people that have been so receptive to my new coaching collective that I presented to you on Episode 47 last week. 
    First, I just want to say thank you for your interest in becoming the best version of you. For so long. I lived my life believing that if I couldn't become a mom, I would always be at 80% max and that my life would be good, but it would never be great.  I've learned that that is just wrong. 
     
    My ability to create a life that I love, even if I'm not a mom, is so real and so available. I show up here every week with a message for you to hear and start to believe that that is possible for you too.  You don't have to live your life at. 80% max, you don't always have to look around and think or believe that you are missing just a small piece of the puzzle, and if you just had that one piece, things would be great for you. It's not true.
    I only know, because I spent many years believing that, and I know you do too.  There was no one out there talking about what life could look like feel like, and be like, if you weren't a mom. The stories that we heard were always the sob stories and the sad stories and the stories of broken women and women that never felt complete. I'm here to tell you that completion is available to you and you have everything you need right now within you, but maybe you just don't know how to find it within you.  That is why I show up here every week and do my best to bring to you the topics that come up often within my coaching practice and with my students.
    Last week we talked about a topic a lot of people feel sadness around and a lot of people feel judgment for themselves. If they're feeling like they're outgrowing friendships, or if the friendships that they've had for their lifetime just don't fit in the same peg that they once did. You heard me talk about that in Episode 47 if you haven't listened to it, I advise you to go back, take a quick listen and know that it is okay. If friendships change in form, and the role that you play in someone's life or that someone has played in your life historically changes. And that is the beauty of us evolving as humans is that life is fluid.
     
    And how boring would it be if we only had the same four friends for the rest of our life. So listen to episode 47 and then come back to episode 48, where we are gonna talk about  the things that I created as sort of a laundry list that has come up as I've been coaching my students on this very topic.
     
    Yes. We know that we have friendships we might have outgrown. We might not feel the same that we once did when we are in the company of certain people. But how do we meet new people without being creepy and without feeling like we're on a dating app to meet other women that we solely wanna have friendships with, how do we find ways to engage ourselves in activities that will allow us to find people that align with the interest that we have at this point in our life.
     
     I went through and I created a list of ways to  expand your friendship circle
     
    There are a lot of people that are not used to being initiators in their friendships and decide now that if you are one of those people who historically was not comfortable with walking into a crowd and introducing yourself or being the one to propose plans, decide now that you are just curious enough to try it a few times.
     
    You can go back to not being an initiator and not being one to make plans after you just promise me that you'll give it a shot just a few times. When we decide that we can try to come out of our comfort zone and try new things, we just might be able to uncover some new qualities that we've acquired as we've grown through this process of being new people and creating a new life that we truly love, even though we couldn't become moms.
     I've always been a connector. If you've ever taken Strengthsfinder,

    • 12 min
    Friendships When You Are Childless

    Friendships When You Are Childless

    As women without children, you are not alone if you question your relevance in your existing friendships, especially when there’s lots of mom and kid talk in your social gatherings.  So many of my students wrestle with the feelings of alienation, lacking or detachment when thinking that you don’t have anything in common or you can’t relate to a friend or a group of friends that used to be your crew, your people, your ride or dies.
    I get it.  Having feelings of alienation, detachment or feelings of lack aren’t ones that often go out seeking, so when we notice we have them more often while navigating a childless future, it doesn’t sit well.
    We have a few options and you have the ability to decide if any of these feel good for you. 
    Show up and sit there thinking, when are they going to stop talking about how great Joey is in t-ball and how well Susie is doing with her potty training. I’m just going to keep smiling and say, “That’s so nice.  That’s awesome.”
    Tell your friends that you are having a tough time, but you love them and really want to see them, but you’d be so appreciative if there’s no conversation about kids at today’s outing.  
    Decide that you are going to pull back and sit this girls night out.  
    These are just some ideas that have come from coaching I’ve worked on with my students.
    And maybe you listening to these options and questioning if your difference in circumstances has you thinking that things just won’t be like they used to, and that is OK, too!
    Think of how many things have changed in your life… careers, hairstyles, home decor, personal interests, the list goes on of things you have outgrown in your life as your life has taken shape.  
    Friendships are no different, yet we judge ourselves and expect ourselves to consistently show up to conversations and events that don't offer us personal growth.
     
    What I find most students struggle with is showing up for themselves first because there is security and familiarity with a group of humans that somehow seems more impartnat to be part of than how you are feeling and the story you are believing about you and your worth because you fit in anymore.
    So let’s talk about how you know when you’ve outgrown a friendship.  
    Frankly, I think we just know. It’s just weather we what to take action because of it.
     Are you excited about the time together because it will be enjoyable or are you getting together because you are worried you will be judged if you don’t show up?
    Oftentimes your friendships change  because you're changing as a woman.  You are not the same person anymore. If you are more recently navigating your journey out of IVF there’s so much that is different and things may just be tender and raw right now.  That is to be expected.  Maybe you just need to hit the pause button on things right now and you are settling into this chapter of your life.  
    I did that with my friend groups.  I was disconnected for a long while.  I remeber judging myself for not wanting to see their babies or buying a baby gift because it was too painful for me.  So on top of having sadness that they were able to enjoy this dream that I knew would never be mine, I judged myself for being a selfish awful friend.  If you are doing the same, know that it is not a requirement.  You can put your needs first.
    I love my girls.  We all have different journeys and we have loved ourselves through them:
    Mom of identical IVF twins
    Single mom
    Foster mom and me
    But if you have found yourself, outing after outing feeling like you have less and less in common with old friends, that doesn’t need to freak you out that you’re moving in a different direction. Maybe, over time, the chemistry and the connection and the bond that you had is no longer there.
    Here are a few steps to take, some things to think about before you’ve noticed that you've  outgrown a friendship. And I also want to note that when you’

    • 20 min
    What Type of Childless Life Will You Fight For?

    What Type of Childless Life Will You Fight For?

    We fight for thoughts that don't feel good to us.
    Many of us have a past that did not go as we had planned, dreamed and hoped for. We commonly feel defeated or like we were helpless in a circumstance of going through IVF, and doing all the things that our protocols asked of us, our doctors asked us and we couldn't become moms. But that is in your past.
    If you are attracted to what I teach every week on the podcast, you are probably like I was - somebody who thought:
    I was never lucky.  I had bad luck. Things don't work out for me. Everyone else "has it" but I don't. These were beliefs I accumulated probably even way before my IVF treatments and my diagnosis of infertility, but when things go wrong, and things don't go as they planned, they're so easy to reach out and grab.
     It's so easy to walk around like the walking wounded saying things like "I am so not lucky. This is the worst day of my life. I have terrible luck", and that is just because we're used to it. Our brain has over 60,000 thoughts a day and when you've been conditioned to tell yourself those types of things, it's pretty common to not want to think great things about your life when things don't go as you planned. 
    Last week I had a super crazy day with so much going on.  I went into my parking garage, got in my car, pushed the button, but this time my car did not start. 
     It was like bone dead and I was not going anywhere until I got it towed somewhere or got jumper cables, but we got it all figured out. My husband works the late shift on Thursdays, so he helped troubleshoot and I was back in my car within a couple hours. If you're gonna have your car not start, it couldn't have been a better outcome. Things just worked in sequence and worked in flow. But as the day went on and I was talking to a couple of friends and telling them I had the worst day; my car wouldn't start and I had so much going on and all I kept thinking was I'm gonna have to put all this money into my old car right before I get rid of it. 
    All these crazy mismanaged thoughts were going through my mind. I finally stopped and I noticed what was coming out of my mouth and I said, Why am I fighting for these s****y thoughts? 
    I was so committed to making it be such a greater deal than what it was. You would have thought that my car blew up on the side of the expressway, and I was stranded there for eight hours by the way I was talking about it. 
    It made me realize how often our minds like to lead us in a place that seems dramatic and a place that seems like we have the worst luck. 
     I literally stopped myself. And I said out loud, why am I fighting for these thoughts? Why am I fighting to feel stressed out about something that worked out just fine.
    My brain was so fighting for me to believe that my day was awful, and that I had the worst luck and that nothing works out right for me. But that simply was not true. Think about what you are fighting for to believe about yourself. Do things go okay, and pretty well in your life, but you get focused on this thing, or this mishap or this hiccup in your day and you are allowing that to define your whole life, and to classify yourself as someone who's not lucky, or somebody who does not have good things happen to them? 
    Start thinking about what thoughts you want to fight for in your life. Yes, certain things don't go as I planned, but to say that I had the worst day of my life or that I have the worst luck are not thoughts or beliefs that are worth fighting for in my life and noticing them and recognizing that I had them was all I needed to do. 
    Next time things don't go as you've planned, or when one small hiccup happens in your life, are you creating a belief that your life just never works out right? And that the worst things always happen to you? If you just notice them and stop and ask yourself one simple question. 
    Is that really true? 
    Sit with yourself and the answer and listen to yourself. Maybe it's not always

    • 13 min
    Feeling Out of Control After Failing IVF

    Feeling Out of Control After Failing IVF

    This week we are talking about feeling in control. It’s easy to feel out of control during your fertility treatments, but when your fertility treatments end and you are left without a baby that’s a whole nother set up uncontrollables you feel like you have been dealt. The reason we feel out of control isn’t actually because we have less control than we did before we started on our fertility treatment journey. It’s because we spend a lot of energy  focused on what we can’t control that we block ourselves from seeing what  we can. I’ve learned that  we don’t have to control everything to feel in  control of our lives. We just have to know the difference between what’s  controllable and what isn’t and adjust accordingly. 
    When we spend less energy focused on what we can’t control the more  energy we have to focus on what we can.
    I have gotten a few more listener reviews and I wanted to read a couple because you know I am on my mission to get 10,000 downloads of the So No What Podcast.  I chose this goal because the more downloads we get of the podcast, the more the algorithm gods will get the podcast showing up in the feeds of infertile women like us that are searching for ways to love their life even though they couldn’t become a mom
    REVIEWS
    Okay, let’s dive into what I really want to talk about today which is  controlling the controllables. I know what it’s like to feel out of control of your life. I know what it’s like to go through life thinking things are going the  way they’re supposed to go, or the way you dreamed they would go and then all of a sudden you get diagnosed with infertility, go through years of treatments don’t end up having a baby and feel completely out of control, start to question everything, especially our luck and our future.
    It seems like we’re more out of control than we’ve ever been and that we have less control than we ever have. And maybe that is the way that we’re experiencing it. 
    But the reason that we’re experiencing that way isn’t what we think it is. It’s  not that we actually have less control than we have had in various other  points in our lives. It’s usually because we’re starting to spend more energy  focused on what we can’t control which then leaves us less energy to focus on what we can. And we start getting very confused about what we  can control and what we can’t. But what’s important to remember is that we  can sort these things out.  
    You can figure out the difference between what you can control and what you can’t -  it’s often not what we think it is. 
     
    In this week’s episode I’m going to give you some  examples of where you  might be confusing what you can control from what you can’t in your own  life. To be quite honest, we really don’t have to control everything, we just have to  know the difference between what we can control and what we can’t and  then adjust. And then by adjusting, by spending less energy on what we  can’t control, we have more energy to spend on what we can. And that’s where I have seen the magic happen in my life
     
    Here’s what’s not controllable. 
    Whatever’s  happening in your brain and your body due to grief is not controllable. Our  body responds in many different ways to grief. Our brain has changed as a result of our greif. What’s happening in our brain is not something we can control.  If you are having infertility fog and  things feel cloudy to  you, you can’t control that. You didn’t cause it. There’s nothing wrong with  you because it’s happening. It’s not something you can control.
    When you don’t have a baby and know you never can, your brain is tries to trick you. Sometimes that means walking through Target or Buy Buy Baby and dreaming of creating a registry for your baby shower or shopping in the maternity section. Our brain just has to have some time to adjust.  
    So, there’s a lot of things happe

    • 15 min
    You Can Always Adopt

    You Can Always Adopt

    I am so appreciative for the reviews that have been coming in on the podcast.
     
     I got one this week, and I wanted to share it with you. 
    Listening has helped me view my life as child free instead of childless, shifting, my mindset helped me so much. 
     
    Asyou know, I have a goal of 10,000 downloads of the podcast by September of this year. The more ratings and reviews I get, the more likely it's going to be that people will come across the podcast when they're searching for 
    ways to cope with their life after infertility,
    ways to love their life if they can't become moms.
     
    I so appreciate you taking the time to give me a review, and a rating of the podcast. If you do one, please screenshot it and send it to me and I will send you a Starbucks virtual gift card as a thank you for helping me in my mission of 10,000 downloads. 
     
    This week's topic is going to be super juicy. I want to tell you a little bit about how it came to be this week. I was recently interviewed on @infertilityandme podcast. I was a guest on this podcast, we had a really good interview. One of the things that came up was talking about adoption. And the decision that my husband and I made not to adopt. I got a lot of messages from listeners thanking me for talking about it. It’s a tough topic to talk about publicly, it leaves me vulnerable to people's judgments on whether I they believe I should have adopted or I could have adopted or if I was a better person. If I adopted, I decided that putting myself out there and sharing my opinion is so worth it because I fully believe that I made the decision that was right for me and my husband and I made the decision that was right for us as a couple. It's clearly something that haunts a lot of people after you've gone through multiple rounds of IVF and always dreamed of being a mom.  Aot of people have been struggling with judging themselves for choosing not to adopt. A lot of my students and Me included carried shame for not adopting. That's probably why, it becomes very gut wrenching and very infuriating when someone offers you the words “you can always adopt”. That is really a trigger for many people. Many of us have a pain point about those words. And we spend a lot of time being offended by people saying that to us. 
    Why it is we might carry resentment for people saying that?  
    People choose not to adopt, because of unknowns on the history of the family of origin 
    poor prenatal care  judgment that they'll have from others,  child may grow up feeling unwanted.  how you’ll explain to a child that they were given up for adoption.   worry they would never be able to let the child know how much they were truly loved.  no guarantee that you'll actually be able to take a child home don’t have the bandwidth to go through that emotional turmoil of not knowing what would happen and trying something and it not turning out the way that you thought.  financial constraints after IVF  
    Its hard to admit that adaption isn't the right choice for you-  it's easy to believe that others are or others will, or others should have the ability to judge you for that decision you make. 
    You do not have to feel judged for making this decision for yourself. You don't need to apologize for your decision. And you are not selfish for choosing not to adapt. Many of my students have talked long and hard about feeling like they believe others view them as not wanting to have been a parent bad enough because they did not adopt.
    We can just drop that right here. You can have tried so hard and have gone through IVF or have done IUI is all the things that you did to become a mom, just because you did not choose to adapt does not mean that you did not try hard enough and you did not want bad enough, you did everything you were capable of doing to become a mom, even if you chose not to adopt. 
     People may think that you could have done more to become a mom, but it's your choice to believe tha

    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

silcoxt ,

Lana is so motivating

Thank you Lana for bravely sharing your story and putting yourself out there to help others. The world needs more people like you. You are inspiring, motivating, and you’ve helped me understand that life is not perfect but how we manage it is the important thing. I encourage everyone to tune into Lana’s podcast.

GervingC ,

Amazing!!!!

Thank you for sharing your story and heart!

kristizann ,

Child Less or Free

Listening has helped me view my life as child free instead of childless. Shifting my mindset helped me so much.

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