Share Your Story: Meet Lenora Jenkins

Welcome to the Share Your Story series on InfertileAF, where we feature women and men willing to boldly share their personal insight into their diagnosis or their journey alongside Infertility.

Want to share your story? You can complete your interview HERE!
Without further ado, please meet Lenora Jenkins.

Name: Lenora Jenkins

Age: 38
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA

Give us your quick bio:

I have been a stepmom to three amazing humans, (16, 18 & 23) since 2006. What’s remarkable about these kids is that they love me and I was the other woman that their father left their mother for in 2003. 
No one grows up hoping to be a home wrecker. In fact, I only wanted to be happy. That was my answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I came from a home filled with spiritual, physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

What is your personal experience with Infertility?

I met my husband when I was 22. He was 26 and had three kids so we agreed that we didn’t want any children together. He proceeded to get a vasectomy in 2004. I told so many lines over the years: “I don’t want kids. I only want these three. I love them like my own and that is enough. I would ruin children”. I said anything I could as I hadn’t worked through my trauma.

At your lowest point, how did Infertility impact you?

What happened for me was that I realized I wanted a child with my husband. I loved these kids that I get to help raise so much and it hurt to send them home. I couldn’t imagine loving my own child more than them but I yearned for a miracle. I would plead and argue with my husband over the years as I turned 25, then 29, 30, 35. It was a topic that brought up a lot of fear and shame for both of us.

What was the turning point in your mindset? What helped you find happiness outside of Infertility?

The turning point (there have been several), that brought us to today, trying our second IVF cycle, was that with the help of therapy (his, mine and ours), and so many open conversations, my husband let down his own wall and he is ready to be a present, adult father. He’s no longer equating being a dad with his teen pregnancy or the shame of walking out on his family. I no longer equate pregnancy with being unable to care for a human in a healthy way. I haven’t repeated the traumas that I grew up with and I have a full and loving relationship with my babies (step kids), husband and I have a kind and respectful relationship with my husband’s ex wife. I am so grateful to her for her forgiveness and the gift of allowing me to be another “bonus” mom all of these years.

What actions did you take to help you heal?

Therapy, loads of therapy! I also belong to a 12 step program and I work hard for that program and my serenity. In our home we are honest and open. We share about our therapist’s suggestions and we work with others to guide them in their recovery journey.

What would you tell other people facing an Infertility diagnosis?

I would love to tell any other women that have infertility as well as depression, anxiety or PTSD and are afraid of their journey, to share openly if they can. Take this one day at a time. Reach out to other people that have been where you are. It takes a village to face multiple diagnoses and you are not alone. You are whole. You are valuable.

How do you views align with the InfertileAF Mission?

I believe in living with courage and empathy while taking the necessary actions to always put all of my health first. Mental, physical and reproductive health are so aligned. I want this journey to be one that anyone can freely share and receive love and kindness in return.


~Thank you, Lenora, for sharing you amazing words with our audience. 

If you would like to be bold and share your perspective, be sure to submit your story HERE!