As told to Brandi Lytle
Shannon, of the Happily Ever After (Without Children!) podcast, reached out to me on Instagram and asked if I’d like to be featured on her show. After learning that she, too, tries to find the positives of the what is and believes that every childless story is worthy of being told, I eagerly agreed to chat with her. Of course, I asked if she’d be willing to share her story here at Not So Mommy…, and she agreed!
So, let’s find out how Shannon found joy after infertility and miscarriages…
What difficulty were you struggling with?
For five years I struggled with infertility and miscarriages. The closest thing to a diagnosis was that I had a controversial (controversial because not all medical professionals recognise this) autoimmune condition that appeared to be fighting sperm (bad sperm! Do not come in here!) in the first instance, which is why I only got pregnant once a year, sometimes twice. The autoimmune condition also meant that my body was fighting the pregnancy hormones as though they were signs of an illness. I realised when I had a hip replacement operation that I had Factor V Leiden which is quite common. It is perhaps the cause of the first few miscarriages because it is a blood clotting disorder which can restrict blood to the embryo.
Why had you lost your joy?
I was jealous of women who I deeply loved and found it difficult to engage in honest and positive friendships that I used to enjoy. I felt as though my life was simultaneously on hold and also slipping away from me. I was angry with my husband for not feeling what I felt or for not being able to communicate that he indeed, was feeling what I felt. We had been trying for a baby ever since we got married and so every occasion and milestone that should have been a celebration (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays) felt like a reminder of what we were still failing to accomplish.
What good thing (no matter how big or small) helped you to start focusing on the positive?
A book that my mom gave me, called Attitudes of Gratitude, by MJ Ryan. At first I found it presumptuous, insulting and a bit schmaltzy. How can I be grateful after all I have been through!? No one understands! It is not fair! What have I done to deserve this?! But when I let that go, I realised that you cannot be grateful and miserable at the same time. I prefer to not be miserable, so I make an effort to focus on my gratitude list every day.
What would you like to say to others who are going through the same struggle that you have overcome (or are in the process of overcoming)?
You are not alone. There is more than one path for you. You did nothing wrong. It is not your fault. You are not being punished. You would have made an amazing mother. I understand.
Shannon, you truly are a fabulous one! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your joy…
Fabulous ones, please check out Shannon’s podcast, Happily Ever After (Without Children!) here… (And while you’re there, check out Part 1 & 2 of my chat with Shannon!)
Won’t you inspire others and share your Good Things Story? To find out how, click here…
Featured Photo: Xochi Romero on StockSnap.io