133 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: @lana.manikowski to learn more about the opportunities available for you to live childfree, with meaning and purpose.

The "So Now What?" Podcast Lana Manikowski

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 58 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: @lana.manikowski to learn more about the opportunities available for you to live childfree, with meaning and purpose.

    Discovering Your Purpose After Infertility

    Discovering Your Purpose After Infertility

    Discovering Your Purpose After Infertility Welcome back to another episode! I'm thrilled you're joining me on this journey through life, where sometimes navigating can be challenging. Today, I want to open your mind to a new perspective on purpose.
    Navigating Conversations About Childlessness: I've just launched a valuable resource for those struggling with discussing childlessness. If you've faced unwanted opinions or advice, visit Instagram (@Lana.Manikowski) or email me at HI@LanaManikowski.com to access this resource.
    Rethinking Purpose: Let's dive into the concept of purpose. We're often told it's this elusive, singular thing we must find. But frankly, I call BS on that idea. Society often links purpose with motherhood, leaving many of us who are unexpectedly childless feeling adrift.
    My Unique Perspective on Purpose: Through my work and personal journey, I've come to redefine purpose. It's not a single mission statement but a fluid, personal connection to oneself. Purpose isn't about selecting one grand thing; it's about living deliberately and authentically.
    Thrive After Infertility Mastermind: Launching October 1st, Thrive After Infertility offers a supportive community to explore and define your unique path forward. It's not just about finding purpose; it's about embracing a life you love, despite its unexpected turns.
    Creating Purpose in Everyday Moments: Purpose isn't confined to one monumental achievement. It's found in everyday actions—how we connect with others, contribute at work, or nurture relationships. Living purposefully is about finding joy and connection in the present moment.
    Inspiration from Unexpected Sources: Reflecting on my music teacher's funeral, I saw firsthand how one person can embody different purposes for different people. Her impact on my life wasn't about motherhood but about nurturing confidence through music education.
    Joining Thrive After Infertility: If you're resonating with this journey of self-discovery and purpose beyond motherhood, consider joining our 12-week program. It's designed to empower you to build a life you're proud of, free from the burden of societal expectations.
    My Commitment to You: I became a certified life coach to support women navigating life after infertility. Thrive isn't about replicating my life; it's about helping you craft a life that resonates with your values and aspirations.
    Embrace Your Unique Journey: Remember, your purpose isn't limited by one experience or identity. By reconnecting with yourself and living authentically, you'll discover a life filled with meaning and impact.
    Closing Thoughts: As we wrap up, I want to remind you—it's never too late to uncover your purpose and embrace your unique journey. Wishing you a beautiful week ahead, filled with self-discovery and meaningful connections.
    Join me next week as we continue this empowering conversation. Remember, your journey matters, and your purpose is waiting to be discovered.
    I look forward to our next chat!
     

    • 13 min
    Embracing Independence After Infertility

    Embracing Independence After Infertility

    Welcome back to another episode of The "So Now What?" Podcast. I'm Lana Manikowski, and I'm thrilled you're joining me today. As we dive into the heart of summer here in the US, with July 4th Independence Day celebrations just around the corner, it feels fitting to talk about a different kind of independence—personal independence, especially for those of us navigating life after infertility.
    Reclaiming Independence Post-Infertility
    After enduring years of fertility treatments, the constant start and stop, and the endless cycle of uncertainty, finding independence can feel daunting. This week, I want to explore ways you can reclaim your sense of independence and make decisions that empower you.
    Exciting New Resource Coming Soon!
    I'm thrilled to announce a new resource designed specifically for women who have faced relentless questions about their motherhood status. This free resource will help you navigate those difficult conversations with confidence. If you're interested, reach out to me on Instagram at @lana.manikowski and send me a DM. I'll add you to the waitlist and ensure you get early access!
    My Personal Journey to Independence
    This week is particularly special for me as I transition out of Corporate America. After working since I was 14 and always relying on an employer's paycheck, I'm stepping into a new chapter. On July 8th, I'll be dedicating myself full-time to my coaching practice, leaving behind a successful corporate career.
    Since 2021, alongside my demanding corporate job, I've been nurturing my life coaching practice. Completing my life coach and grief certifications has equipped me with the tools to support women like you and me—women who are unexpectedly childless and striving to find fulfillment.
    Believing in Yourself
    Often, we think we need someone else's approval or a perfect plan to pursue our dreams. But I'm here to challenge that belief. You have the power to make decisions for yourself and create the life you've dreamed of. Even without a clear roadmap, you can take steps towards your goals. 
    Action Steps to Embrace Independence
     
    1. Identify Your Dreams: Think about what you've been wanting to pursue—whether it's a new hobby, education, or career change.
    2. Trust Your Instincts: Believe in your innate ability to make decisions and create change.
    3. Start Small: Begin by writing down your ideas and evaluating them. You don't need external validation—your inner voice is powerful enough.
    A New Chapter
    As I close this chapter of my corporate life, I reflect on the purpose it provided during my infertility journey. My career gave me meaning and allowed me to thrive during a challenging time. Now, I'm proud to embrace this new independence and dedicate myself fully to helping women create lives they love.
    Connect with Me
    I hope this episode inspires you to embrace your independence. Remember, it's never too late to discover your meaning. 
    Follow me on Instagram at @lana.manikowski or on YouTube at lana.manikowski and reach out if you want to be part of this journey.
     
    Subscribe & Review
    If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review. Your feedback helps me reach more women who can benefit from these conversations.
    Stay Tuned
    Join me next week for more insights and encouragement on living a fulfilling life after infertility.
     

    • 15 min
    Feeling Like a Failure After IVF Fails

    Feeling Like a Failure After IVF Fails

    Feeling Like a Failure After IVF Fails
    Introduction: Welcome back to another heartfelt episode of Thrive After Infertility. I'm Lana, and this week, we are rolling up our sleeves and diving deep into what it means to feel like a failure, especially after the challenging journey of IVF and fertility treatments. This episode is for all the incredible women out there who have struggled with these feelings and are ready to redefine their stories.
    Key Points Covered:
    Understanding the Fear of Failure:
    The fear of failure often starts at a young age, influenced by family and cultural norms.
    Many of us have been taught to hide our struggles and present a picture-perfect life.
    Navigating Infertility and IVF:
    Personal reflections on the pressure to do everything "right" during fertility treatments.
    The emotional toll of feeling like you're not good enough as a fertility patient.
    Changing the Narrative:
    The impact of being labeled as a "failed" IVF patient and how that affects self-perception.
    The empowering shift from viewing oneself as a failure to seeing IVF treatments as the ones that failed.
    Personal Growth and Life Coaching:
    How becoming a Certified Life Coach helped me change my perspective on failure.
    The importance of deciding how to relate to the word "failure" and choosing a narrative that empowers you.
    Introducing the Thrive After Infertility Mastermind:
    Exciting news about the upcoming Thrive 2.0 program, designed to help women find fulfillment and thrive after infertility.
    Details on how to join and the benefits of being part of this transformative community.
    Special Announcement: I'm thrilled to announce a new resource for those of you on my mailing list, all about handling the things people say and how to respond to them in empowering ways. This unique resource is created especially for you, so be sure to follow me on social media and sign up to get access.
    Closing Thoughts: Remember, you are not a failure. You are a beautiful, courageous soul who has shown immense strength and resilience. Let's redefine what it means to thrive and embrace a life full of meaning and fulfillment, even without the children we dreamed of.
    Thank you for joining me this week. I love you all, and remember, it's never too late to discover your true meaning.
     

    • 12 min
    Top 10 Misconceptions About Marriage After Infertility

    Top 10 Misconceptions About Marriage After Infertility

    Episode Summary This week marks my 15th wedding anniversary, a significant milestone that feels both like yesterday and a lifetime ago. Reflecting on our journey, I've decided to discuss marriage and relationships when you find yourself unexpectedly childless. In this episode, I'll uncover the top 10 misconceptions about childless marriages, shedding light on the unique challenges and bias we experience when we eave fertility treatments without a child.
     
     
    Key Points Discussed Lack of Fulfillment
    Debunking the myth that true happiness and purpose in a relationship only come from raising children.
    Selfishness
    Addressing the misconception that childless couples prioritize personal desires over responsibilities.
    Incompleteness
    Challenging the belief that a marriage is incomplete without children.
    Loneliness in Old Age
    Confronting fears about being lonely and unsupported in old age without children.
    Lack of Family Bonding
    Explaining how childless couples create their own meaningful traditions and bonds.
    Temporary Decision
    Discussing the notion that being childless is just a temporary phase.
    Regret
    Exploring the assumption that childless couples will inevitably regret their decision.
    Marital Problems
    Debunking the myth that childlessness indicates or causes marital issues.
    Social Isolation
    Addressing the belief that childless couples are socially isolated.
    Biological or Medical Issues
    Clarifying misconceptions about the reasons behind childlessness after infertility.
     
     
    Thrive After Infertility Mastermind In my Thrive After Infertility Mastermind, we focus on relationships, of of 3 crucial pillars in the program which is  often overlooked for those navigating life without children. Whether it's with your spouse, friends, family, or coworkers, Thrive offers support and tools to help you create a life you love without the children you thought you were going to have. I'm excited to announce the next launch of the Thrive After Infertility Mastermind in October, which includes advanced tools and support from my certification in grief coaching.
     
    Conclusion
    As Jack and I celebrate our 15th anniversary, we've learned that a fulfilling, meaningful marriage is possible even without the children we once envisioned. If you're feeling stuck or wondering about the future of your marriage, remember that there is no right or wrong path. Whether you stay together or part ways, it's essential to find what works best for you and your partner.
     

    • 10 min
    The Three Letter Word That Will Change Your Life After Infertility

    The Three Letter Word That Will Change Your Life After Infertility

    Hello, lovely listeners! I'm so glad you're joining me today. If you haven't already, I invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel, Lana.Manikowski. Look for my profile picture with a yellow shirt—if you see me in a red shirt, that's an old channel I no longer update. Subscribe to stay connected and catch some funny outtakes that don't make it to the podcast.
    Why Your Reviews Matter
    Before we dive into today's topic, I want to thank everyone who rated and reviewed the podcast last week. Your $5 Starbucks gift card is on its way! If you haven't yet, please rate and review on your preferred platform. Your feedback not only helps me understand how the podcast impacts you, but it also boosts our visibility. This way, more women who are searching for ways to create a fulfilling life after infertility can find us and join our community.
    Advanced Certification in Grief and Post-Traumatic Growth
    Did you know I have an advanced certification in grief and post-traumatic growth? It's something I don't mention often, but it’s a significant part of my journey and my coaching. When I realized my infertility journey wouldn't end with a child, I felt immense grief. But society often overlooks the grief of those who lose a dream rather than something tangible. This certification helps me guide you through that nuanced grief and find post-traumatic growth.
    The Power of "And"
    Today's episode focuses on one of the most powerful words in navigating grief and creating a fulfilling life: "and." It's a simple three-letter word, but it opens up a world of emotional possibilities. Society often presents emotions as binary—either you're sad, or you're grateful. But why can't we be both? Why can't we be sad about not becoming mothers and also grateful for other aspects of our lives?
    Breaking Free from False Binaries
    I remember hearing that you can either be sad about not having children or grateful that you don't have to raise them in today’s world. But this binary thinking isn't helpful. You can be both. Grief is nuanced, and so are human emotions. It's perfectly okay to feel multiple emotions at once. For example, you can have a great day at work and cry when you receive a baby shower invitation. Both feelings are valid and can coexist.
    Embracing All Emotions
    Trying to force ourselves into constant gratitude or happiness suppresses other valid emotions like sadness or anger, which can resurface even stronger. Instead, allow yourself to feel everything. Replace "but" with "and." You can be proud of yourself and feel anger. You can feel lost without motherhood and discover strengths you never knew you had.
    Ditching Toxic Positivity
    We often think we need to be grateful 24/7 to love our lives, but that’s not true. You don't have to be grateful for every difficult aspect of your infertility journey to love your life. Embrace the "and." Love your life and acknowledge the tough parts of your journey. Both can exist together.
    Actionable Insight: Using "And" in Your Life
    Next time you catch yourself thinking in binaries, try to use "and" instead. Notice how it opens up space for all your emotions and makes life feel more manageable and authentic.
    Join the Conversation
    I’d love to hear how you plan to incorporate "and" into your daily life. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments or on social media. Let’s support each other in embracing our full emotional selves.
    Thank you for listening, and remember, you are a beautiful human navigating this path of life. Until next time, take care and be kind to yourself.

    • 14 min
    Finding Joy and Self-Love After Infertility

    Finding Joy and Self-Love After Infertility

    Welcome back to another week of The “So Now What?” Podcast! I’m so grateful you're here with me. As we welcome June, it's the perfect time to reflect on the goals and dreams we set for ourselves at the start of the year. Maybe you’re reassessing some plans or realizing that some things didn’t pan out as easily as you hoped. Remember, it's never too late to recalibrate and adjust your path.
    Episode Highlights: Reflect and Recalibrate: With nearly half the year behind us, it’s a great moment to reevaluate our goals. What were your intentions at the beginning of 2024? What’s working, and what’s not? It’s okay to pivot and refocus your energy on what truly matters to you.
    The Power of Ratings and Reviews: I need your help! Your feedback is crucial for reaching more women navigating the unexpected journey of childlessness after infertility. Please rate and review The “So Now What?” Podcast on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Send me a screenshot, and I’ll send you a $5 Starbucks gift card as a thank you.
    Shame vs. Self-Love: This week, we discuss the harmful habit of shaming ourselves into action. Have you ever felt pressured to do something just to meet others' expectations? Let’s shift that narrative. It’s time to embrace self-love and motivation from a place of joy and curiosity.
    Envision Your Future Self: Picture the person you want to become. What does she look like? What brings her joy? Write down these visions and start embodying those feelings today. You don’t have to wait until you’ve achieved all your goals to love yourself.
    Compassionate Self-Talk: Engage in kind, supportive conversations with yourself. When you miss a goal, instead of judgment, offer understanding and encouragement, just as you would to a dear friend.
    Takeaways for This Week: Reevaluate Your Goals: Take stock of what you planned for this year and see if it aligns with your current path. Don’t be afraid to weed out what no longer serves you.
    Rate and Review the Podcast: Help us reach more women who need support by leaving a review. Your feedback can make a big difference.
    Shift from Shame to Support: Recognize the areas where you might be shaming yourself and consciously replace that with positive reinforcement.
    Love Your Future Self Today: Visualize the joyful, fulfilled person you aim to become and start living with that mindset now.
    Engage in Positive Self-Talk: When challenges arise, treat yourself with the same compassion and encouragement you would offer a friend.
    I want all women who are childless after infertility to know they can love themselves and create fulfilling lives. If you need more personalized support, I’m here to help. Let’s discover together how you can create a life you love.
    Have a beautiful week, and remember, it’s never too late to discover your meaning. 
    Connect with Me: Website: www.lanamanikowski.com
    Instagram: @lana.manikowski
    Email: hi@lanamanikowski.com
    Don’t forget to share this episode with friends who might benefit from it. Your support helps us grow and reach more women who need this community. Thank you for being here!
     

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
58 Ratings

58 Ratings

Melissa - The F.E.E.L Podcast ,

Open, Safe, Kind, Necessary

Lana addresses a complex topic with such compassion and insight. She provides inviting conversations and gives women walking through this a safe place to land, to feel seen, offering resources to support them with.

Snow White 25 ,

Understood!

Lana’s podcasts help someone experiencing a journey without children feel understood and hopeful. She is insightful and inspiring for someone to create a life child free life they didn’t see before.

Aggiedes ,

Help yourself THRIVE again!

Lana covers great topics to help you feel supported and offers helpful methods to help you move forward wherever you are in your journey. Definitely worth the time to listen and invest in your self care. ❤️

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