At A Crossroads with The Naked Podcaster is changing to Becoming Parents Podcast!
Join me for an exciting new chapter!
For 4 years and 9 months, and 256 episodes, I have been interviewing brave individuals who were willing to trust their most intimate struggles and stories to me — a stranger — to hold space for them while they bared it all.
It has been an honor and privilege and one I do not take lightly. Some of my now closest friends have come from this storytelling, and for that, I am exceptionally grateful.
This change is pretty massive, and to tell you the why, it’s going to be a longer blog post — and I promise it will be worth the read.
If you would like to schedule under the new platform, just click the link below and jump on! I trust that you read this, you’re a good fit and you’re excited to be involved moving forward.
To explain why I’m making changes, and since I’m all about storytelling, here’s the history.
Almost 30 years ago my first biological child was born. I can’t believe she is turning 30 — since it feels like I was that age yesterday.
Before her birth, I went through nearly a year of infertility — 7 surgeries and maxed on Clomid and Provera — ending when IVF became an option, and I declined, waving the white flag in my infertility journey. I was weaned off all the meds, and in that process, the doctor told me not only was I pregnant, but I also got pregnant OFF the schedule he had put me on.
He told me it was my miracle — he didn’t know how it was possible I became pregnant.
When she was born, (transferred from a birth center to a main hospital based on my midwife’s intuition that something was wrong) I was told I would hold her for the first time after she had died of the lung disease she was born with. The above picture is the first time I held her at 9 days old, still hooked up to what seemed like every machine possible — although on day 3 we knew she had turned the corner and the doctors had hope she’d survive.
This experience and my upbringing (which I wrote a book about — message me if you want a free pdf copy) along with the positive examples in my life -drew me to doing foster care and adoptions.
I knew the odds of getting pregnant again were low, and I was oddly OK with that.
Not only did I do foster care for 12-years total, but I also worked as a recruiter and trainer of foster parents, with a total of 15-years in the foster care sector. Over those years, I adopted 5 and had 5 more kids who were long-term.
I also got pregnant 6 times after Bri — 3 more births — all at home with a midwife (2 of them water births), and 3 miscarriages. I guess doctors don’t have every answer in their books.
In my 7th and final pregnancy, I lost twins at 19-weeks resulting in 3 more surgeries. A D&C, which was unsuccessful, resulting in a hysterectomy — also unsuccessful, as I had internal bleeding resulting in the 3rd surgery — which saved my life.
I was dead on the table and had 5 blood transfusions during that final surgery.
My biological journey was pretty intense, to say the least. With a total of 7 pregnancies and 10 surgeries over the course of 13-years, I can relate to most of the struggles women go through, as well as the joys.
Let’s go back 30-years again. My daughter was born and I had such great experiences within the struggle of her birth and the weeks following — one of which was the Lactation Consultant that talked to me on day 3. That woman made such an impact, by the time my daughter was a year old, I was a licensed Breastfeeding Counselor.
When she was just over two (and I lived in Vermont), I was running LaLeche League meetings, and before her 3rd birthday, I was enrolled in night classes to complete the prerequisites to become a midwife.
When she was 3, I moved to Alaska, started foster care, had 2 miscarriages, and — when she was 4 — had birth #2. Within that life — pregnancies, foster care, adoptions, home school, starting a LaLeche League meeting in my town, I also worked on — and received — my IBCLC — the International certification as a Lactation Consultant AND I began apprenticing with midwives to get my CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) license.
Life felt so good, and I loved everything I was able to do.
And then life happened again. Had I been more assertive about getting my CPM, life could have been different. I wasn’t assertive enough, I got caught up in a life I loved and didn’t push myself to finish. When my daughter was 12, we moved from Alaska to Reno, Nevada. I found myself getting divorced and in a very difficult situation. I hadn’t worked in a traditional sense in over a decade, needed to go back to work, and had full custody of my kids.
It was one of the most trying periods in my life. I worked up to 4 jobs and felt at my rock bottom emotionally — not to mention, that 7th pregnancy and 3 surgeries happened within a year prior to this move.
About a year after moving, I got a notice that my IBCLC had expired — how I didn’t realize this I don’t know. I called and asked if I could reinstate my license, and was told no. I’d have to start over completely. I was absolutely deflated.
It was at that moment that I gave up on my dream of being a midwife.
For the past 17-years, I’ve worked in great jobs, not-so-great jobs, and jobs I detested. I wrapped up the foster care work I had done, my career as a recruiter and trainer of foster parents ended, and I was living life based on what was in front of me. My goal 5-years ago was to be a Digital Nomad — working from home at freelancing jobs — and I did, until September 2021. Since September 2021, I have applied for more jobs than I’ve ever applied to — and I can’t seem to even get an interview.
That has been discouraging.
Two years ago, one of my daughters had her first baby and I was blessed to be there right after his birth to help. In the last two years since he was born, she has gone back to school to become certified as a CD- certified doula, CPD- certified postpartum doula, CBC- certified breastfeeding counselor, CBE- childbirth educator, CPNE- certified perinatal nutrition educator, and prenatal yoga instructor.
It feels like I’m watching her live a life I once lived. A life I loved. She asks me — “Mom, why don’t you do it again with me?”. My only answer is that I gave it up 17-years ago and honestly, I don’t know how. How do I take the time and the money to go back and re-do what I loved and do it over the way I want to.
And my heart hurts every time we talk about it.
Recently, on a particularly wonderful date night to this man I am over the moon in love with, who has taught me how to heal, how to love better, and how to accept love more openly, he posed some fascinating questions.
If you could go back in time — in this life — and choose any career you wanted, what would it be?
If you could be born in any culture in the world, what would it be and why? And then — what job would you want?
If you could be born in any time (say the 1800’s) what would it be and why? And then — what job would you want?
In every situation, I chose the same thing. Not just the same thing — I didn’t hesitate for a second.
I WOULD BE A MIDWIFE
Then he asked me — why don’t you do it now?
Because it would take 2–3 years. During that time, I wouldn’t bring in any income. Not only would I not earn money, but I’d also need to spend it.
And he told me to do everything in my power to see if we can make it happen.
From that conversation, I have gone down the deepest of rabbit holes to determine IF we can make this possible. I’m applying for scholarships and looking at all my options.
One thing I knew I would need to do is either — end the podcast OR change it.
And here we are. Long story long — I’m changing my entire life to go back to what I love. I’ve found the school I want to attend, I’m interviewing to be an apprentice with local midwives, I’m changing my entire life back to what I wanted 30-years ago — what I walked away from out of necessity 17-years ago.
Do I have it all figured out? Absolutely not!
Since I’ve had the podcast for 4 years and 9 months, THAT much, I know how to do. I really didn’t want it to end, so I’m changing it to fit my life as it is now, which means I won’t lose past episodes, and moving forward I won’t lose the analytics I’ve worked hard for (top 5% in the world) -
I’d love for you to be a part of it!
The Podcast Name is
Sharing stories about infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy, labor and delivery, bottle feeding, breastfeeding & relactation, self-care after birth, sex to get pregnant and after kids, birth options, to medicate or not to medicate, adoption, midwife vs hospital, the struggles, surprises, joys and exhaustion, and — holy cow — you’ve become a parent! WHAT NOW?!
There are so many different and unique stories that allow insight into the emotions we experience in calling ourselves parents — and there is definitely no “right way”.
Expect to laugh, cry, and be inspired!
Here’s what you need to do:
If you want to share YOUR story of becoming a parent — the highs, the lows, the unexpected twists and turns, FOLLOW THIS LINK to schedule your episode.
I’m expecting to have predominantly women on the show, however, I’d LOVE to interview men from their perspective.
Episodes will be LIVE on the day and time you schedule. This means it might take some time to be ON, however, it’s all live, so you’ll have your episode complete the day it happens.
This also means to be respectful of rescheduling as it’s difficult to replace your spot last minute.
I can’t wait to share our stories!
BECOMING PARENTS — SEASON 1 EPISODE 1 — JENN SHARES SOME OF HER STORY: