Infertility robbed Frances Jones of her peace, joy, and happiness. She centered her identity and ego around having children, and the stigma of infertility weighed heavily. It consumed her to the point where she needed to go on a journey of self-discovery for inner peace. The journey was difficult, but Frances realized there was a purpose in it. She’s now an advocate, author, speaker, and coach for others experiencing infertility. Find out how Frances found her inner peace on Search and Replace.
More about today’s guest:
- Get to know Frances Jones at heartdesirescoaching.com.
- Connect with Frances via her Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
Explore these related stories:
- Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed, by Frances Jones.
- Resolve: The National Infertility Association website.
- Taking care of your mental health when on an infertility journey.
- Coping strategies for the emotional stress of infertility.
[00:00:00] Announcer: Support for the following podcast is provided by the user experience specialist at Johns and Taylor. More information follows this episode.
[00:00:09] Joe Taylor Jr.: What if there’s one thing you think you’re supposed to do in your life and you find out it’s never going to happen? I’m Joe Taylor Jr. This is Search and Replace.
Frances Jones wanted to have kids and, based on her family’s track record, she expected to have a lot of kids.
[00:00:36] Frances Jones: I came from a very fertile family. My mom, she conceived ten times. She had a sister that conceived ten times, another sister that conceived seven. All of my sisters have children, all of my adult nieces have children.
I remember back in time when I was about 19 years old, I had a conversation with an acquaintance, and she came from a very large family as well. And she asked me the question, did I want kids? And I’m like, yeah, I want kids. You know, I came from a big loving family. And she asked me, well, how many children do you want?
I immediately told her I want five kids. And she sounded amazed. She said, you want five kids? Yeah. And then she said, you a real woman. And when she said that to me, that did something for my ego.
[00:01:28] Joe Taylor Jr.: Frances fell in love, got married, and even got a little headstart toward her goal.
[00:01:33] Frances Jones: When I met my husband, he had full custody of a four and a half year old daughter at the time. And when I married him a year later, she was five and a half years old. And he and I and she, we were all excited. I was a full-time stepmom, but we never used the word step in my house.
As I began to try to get pregnant with my husband, we wanted to have children immediately add to the family, my daughter, who’s the only child, and I wanted to give her siblings.
And after trying for a few months, I began to wonder if something was going on. And so I told my husband, I think I’m gonna go and get checked out. And what I learned changed my life.
I was diagnosed with stage four Endometriosis, low egg reserve and low egg count. And when you add all those combinations together, it’s shown that I was gonna have real difficulty having children – if I would have the ability to have kids at all.
And just being able to see all of my family members having children and me not ever seeing like I was gonna have them. It did something to my ego. I felt like I was damaged goods and I felt like less than a woman.
[00:02:43] Joe Taylor Jr.: It’s common when the rug gets pulled out from under you like that to feel a little less than. Frances tells us that a sense of isolation set in.
[00:02:52] Frances Jones: I actually lost myself. I lost touch with the real Frances. I forgot about the wonderful things that I already had in my life; the many blessings. I was so consumed trying to have a child that I allowed infertility to control my life. I allowed it to rob me of my peace, my joy, my happiness.
I had to go on a self-discovery journey. I had to go back and find Frances. Who Frances really was, cuz I had forgotten who I was. What Frances really enjoyed, what Frances loved. Who she really was, who she was supposed to be.
I began to look at, all the way back to my childhood, the things that I enjoyed, like butterflies, how they would make me feel happy and cheerful. Rainbows, just looking at the green grass and the beauty of the earth. Those things brought me peace and I began to reconcile with myself and, as I went through that journey, I learned a very important lesson that I let other people define who I was.
And when I began to realize that just simply a part of my body wasn’t operating as it should, it wasn’t that I was less than, it was not a discount of who I was, and it wasn’t taken away of who I was supposed to be. And when I was able to determine that and saw Frances, saw the gifts that Frances had, saw the joy that Francies could bring to the world: the happiness that she gave others with her sense of humor, with her personality, with her kindness and her aura, the love that she shared. I began to come back together as the person that I was. The person before infertility came into my life. I had to find me again, and when I found me, I found peace.
[00:04:42] Joe Taylor Jr.: From that sense of peace, Frances tells us, a source of new inspiration grew.
[00:04:47] Frances Jones: I had no intention to share this part of my life. I kept it hidden behind a mask, I kept it a secret. But, in actuality, my life changed. I was intentionally writing a fictional love story and had started writing it. But after I had come to the place of peace, I realized that there were others who were yet stuck. And I felt it was my responsibility, for lack of a better word, to go and help others who were yet dealing with the struggles that I once struggled with.
And so I put aside all my reservations and I pulled back the curtain of my soul, and I realized that the pain that I had experienced, and as difficult as my infertility journey was, I realized there was purpose in it.
[00:05:36] Joe Taylor Jr.: Reflecting on that journey has left Francis with a sense of gratitude.
[00:05:41] Frances Jones: That was a scripture that I used to read, and that scripture said in all things, give thanks. And I could not connect with that scripture for anything because how could I be thankful for being barren. For something I thought was the most heart wrenching part of my life that I would ever experience.
But when I made the decision to use my heartache, to use my pain, to use my life to help somebody else through that struggle, I then was able to realize that yes, in all things I could give thanks for that.
I’m here to tell infertility you no longer will take control of anybody’s life anymore. It is a choice and it’s not an easy choice, but it’s doable. And I want people to see that you can make it through it. On the other side of the hardship, I promise you because I have made it across, there is light and there is peace.
[00:06:38] Joe Taylor Jr.: That’s author and certified professional coach Francis Jones. We’ve got links to her work in our show notes and on our website at searchandreplace.show.
Search and Replace was produced by Nicole Hubbard with support from Christine Benton, Connie Evans, Amelia Lohmann, April Smith, an executive producer Lori Taylor. Our theme music was composed by Alex or Refire. I’m Joe Taylor, Jr.
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