Site icon Women Fitness

Shannon Leach: Struggle With Infertility to Become a Fitness Coach & Mom of Five Kiddos

Shannon leach

Shannon Leach wears many feathers in her cap, she is a mom of Five, wife, nurse practitioner, and an online Health and Fitness Coach.

After qualifying for the Boston Marathon twice, once in 2008 during the Seattle Marathon and in 2012 at the Portland Marathon. She finished the Boston Marathon with a personal best on April 15, 2013. Today she is an inspiring mom of five along with a fitness coach.

In her Interview with Namita Nayyar, President Women Fitness , she answers common doubts, questions, fear women undergo by sharing her infertility journey to living a healthy lifestyle besides being a proud mother of five, Today. She shares input from her diet, fitness routine to prove fitness is achievable for all women.

Namita Nayyar

You have been into an active lifestyle, fitness, and sports since childhood. Share your journey from being a soccer player to finish the Boston Marathon with a personal best.

Shannon Leach

My family has always been active — growing up, my siblings were all involved in year-round sports. We would go on family hikes, bikes, and even runs. Throughout junior high & high school, I ran track and played softball, basketball, and soccer. Soccer became my primary sport and passion, and I was fortunate enough to play college soccer at a Division 1 school from 2003-2007. After college, I no longer had a built-in fitness routine, so, to stay active, I took workout classes at our local YMCA and trained for half marathons, marathons, and triathlons.

I fell in love with running, and quickly set the Boston Marathon as a bucket list item. I qualified for the Boston Marathon twice, once in 2008 during the Seattle Marathon and then in 2012 at the Portland Marathon. It was on April 15, 2013, that I finished the Boston Marathon with a personal best. That was the most memorable and amazing athletic event I have ever been a part of… until the bombs went off. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about and say a prayer for those who were injured or died as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing.

However, we then decided we wanted to start to grow our family, and it was then that I learned I wouldn’t be able to have children on my own. A huge part of my life and my story is that I struggle with infertility. I’ll be sharing more later on this, but we have been incredibly blessed that our fertility treatments were successful — our first child, a daughter, was born in December of 2014.

Sports, fitness, and exercise had played such a strong role in my life that, as I neared the end of my first pregnancy, I started panicking about the available time I would have to work out. I knew it would be harder to get to a workout class at the gym or train for a marathon or triathlon. I feared I would never again feel fit and strong… that is, until I saw a friend sharing an at-home fitness program she started and invited me to a virtual health and accountability bootcamp.

Before starting my first program, however, I was a bit skeptical about working out from home and whether I would be motivated enough to do it in my living room, and whether I’d be challenged enough.  These programs completely changed my mind about home workouts — they were HARD (but modifiable and so much variety it is possible for anyone at any fitness level to do). I quickly fell in love with the support system from the virtual bootcamps, so it was easy to stay motivated.

I quickly realized that, with a newborn baby, I didn’t want to and couldn’t devote extra time to get to the gym. By the time I would unload the car seat, take her to childcare, race to my class, race to grab her, feed her, and get home, it was a 2+ hour process for a 30-45-minute class. I realized that I had been looking for a cost-effective, time-efficient way to get back into a healthy lifestyle and I had found it.  Best of all, I could do it at home and stay active despite being a busy, working mom.

It has been six years, nearly, since I started my first program. And while I primarily do at-home workouts, I weave in my running. I have yet to run another marathon since the Boston Marathon (it’s a little harder these days with 5 young kids to find the time to train for a marathon), but I have done a few half marathons and triathlons, and I love running a few short runs a few times a week. I’d love to run another marathon; the NY and Chicago Marathons have always been bucketing list items. And I’d absolutely love to run the Boston Marathon again one day. But I know there is a time and season for all things. Marathon training is not in the cards for me right now and I’m totally okay with that.

I absolutely love to swim, and pre-COVID shutdowns, I was swimming once a week. I also love a good cycle class or session at home (we have a used spin bike I bought a few years back during one of my pregnancies IVF cycles) because I wanted a low-impact cardio exercise. I also belong to a Triathlon Club (unfortunately haven’t been able to meet because of COVID), but it’s a local club through our YMCA where most Sundays throughout the year, we meet to swim 40 minutes, bike 40 minutes, and run a 5K (3.1miles). It’s a wonderful community and a kick-butt workout. I look forward to doing that again in the future.

But 90% of my workouts are programs that I stream from home, usually 30 minutes or less per day. And it’s in my basement. It’s not fancy. It’s not well-lit. But it’s allowed me to stay healthy and active, and sneak in a quick workout before my kids even wake.

Full Interview is Continued on Next Page

This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President and should not be reproduced, copied or hosted in part or full anywhere without an express permission.

All Written Content Copyright © 2021 Women Fitness 

Namita Nayyar

Please share an insight into your experience with infertility, reasons for the same. The emotional & physical turmoil and how you handled the same.

Shannon Leach

Going through my infertility journey was, by far, one of the hardest experiences I’ve had in my life. But because of all that I had to go through during that journey, I built greater strength and resilience for challenges I’ve faced since and challenges yet to come. Life is filled with obstacles, as well as great beauty, and my infertility journey helped to prepare me for both.

There were times I wavered in my faith and commitment, but he stayed strong. My first round felt incredibly lonely, as I didn’t know many women who had gone through fertility treatments. I didn’t know where to turn. I also felt isolated and guilty — afraid that I had somehow caused my own infertility and ashamed in a way I didn’t even fully understand. I grew up thinking that becoming a mom was something that happened so “naturally,” that when I learned I would never become pregnant without fertility treatment, it was a hard pill to swallow. But I also wanted to become a mother so badly that I knew I would do everything in my power to stay positive, hopeful, and to follow every word of the experts’ advice.

Emotionally, the infertility journey was incredibly difficult. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cause me moments of anxiety and depression. But I have an incredibly supportive husband. Only my husband, my sister, my parents, and a few friends knew about our first 2 IVF cycles. I was very private, as I was afraid what would happen when/if we failed. I didn’t want to have to share that failure with everyone in my world. But, as a result, that time was one of the darkest periods of my life.

“IVF is an emotional roller coaster.”

You are giving yourself shots in the stomach (or booty) for up to weeks or months at a time. Your body is responding physically to the medications. You must go to the fertility clinic in the heart of the IVF cycle, sometimes DAILY for blood draws and ultrasounds to ensure that your body is responding properly. For two of our cycles, my body responded slowly. In fact, one nurse told me, “I’ve never seen someone NOT respond like this.” It made me feel even LESS normal than I already did. But, thankfully, my body just was slow to respond. I had to do injections longer than most, but, in time, to my relief, I responded appropriately.

The emotional toll is real. Will I produce eggs? How many? How many will they be able to retrieve (extract?) How many will then fertilize? How many will continue to grow and be viable embryos to be able to transfer? (Ideal is a 5-day old blastocyst). Will we have any embryos to transfer? Will the transfer work? If it does, will I maintain a healthy pregnancy?

These were the nonstop questions that ran through my mind. And, above all of this, even beyond the physical and emotional stress, IVF is also unimaginably expensive! And many insurances don’t cover the cost of treatments. Mine did not — despite being a nurse practitioner and working for a hospital, the only “coverage” was for very initial consultation for my diagnosis — there was a $500 maximum allotment that was not even sufficient to cover our first fertility appointment.

After our first IVF cycle we ended up with 3 viable embryos. We did a “fresh” transfer of two embryos and waited the almost unendurable 9 long days after transfer to see if it had worked. I waited all day long that day — I hadn’t taken a home pregnancy test, so I was relying on the blood results from the doctor’s office. Finally, in the late afternoon, my doctor called me. “Shannon, I’m so sorry. It didn’t work.” In that moment, I felt hopeless. I truly did not know if I would ever become a mother.

But we had one embryo left. So, we prepared in the upcoming months for a frozen embryo transfer… our third of the 3 embryos. And that is the embryo that is now our beautiful six-year-old daughter Brooklyn.

Within the next 5 years, we did 2 more IVF cycles. IVF Round 2 gave us 3 embryos. We transferred 2 fresh, but only one made it — our son Jameson. Our 3rd embryo was a frozen embryo transfer, who became our son Madden. Our final IVF round, the 3rd of our rounds, resulted in just 2 embryos. We transferred both embryos, and our twins Camden & Chloe were born on November 14, 2019.

We have been incredibly blessed beyond our wildest hopes and imaginings!

To be honest, though, I have a lot of guilt mixed with my pure gratitude when it comes to reflecting upon my journey. Guilt that we could afford the treatments when others cannot. Guilt that we eventually were successful when others are still waiting to bring a baby home in their arms. And my one and only goal in sharing my story is that it gives hope to others who are struggling the same way I once did.

Namita Nayyar:

What motivated you to opt for IVF treatment. How long did it take you & your spouse to decide to go for it?

Shannon Leach

We were in a unique position. Starting my senior year of college soccer, I stopped having a menstrual cycle, which is not uncommon for female athletes. I finished my BS in Public Health and then went on to get my BS in Nursing in upstate NY.  While I was getting my nursing degree, I saw a specialist regarding my lack of menstrual cycles. He said my hormone levels were “possibly a little low, but nothing I would worry about, as you’re not trying to have kids yet.”

Fast forward to 2013 when my husband and I decided we wanted to grow our family. I was finishing my Boston Marathon training, so, my OB/gynecologist suggested that I complete my marathon, allow my body to “normalize” with reduced activity, and see if my cycles returned. A few months later, they still hadn’t, so my OB ran some blood tests that indicated that my hormone levels were low. I was immediately referred to Seattle Reproductive Medicine for further testing. I quickly received a diagnosis of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Essentially, I don’t ovulate on my own.

My only option for becoming pregnant was fertility treatments. But it was possible we could get pregnant through intrauterine insemination (formerly called artificial insemination). After 2 unsuccessful IUIs, however, we were told that IVF was truly our only option if I wanted to become pregnant.

We went home that night and talked it through, but it really wasn’t a question. We trusted the clinic’s expertise, and we wanted so desperately to become parents. We had talked about adoption, too, as my youngest brother was adopted from Korea at the age of 4 months (he’s now 32), and he is truly one of the best gifts ever given to my family. But we decided to pursue IVF before exploring adoption.

Namita Nayyar

You found out on April 3, 2014, that you were pregnant for the very first time. Were you successful at the first go?

Shannon Leach

April 3, 2014 was the day my whole life changed. After our first transfer of 2 “perfect” embryos failed in January of 2014, we had just 1 embryo left from our first IVF cycle. My frozen embryo transfer looked quite different from my first IVF cycle. I was on different medications and had a little less monitoring and fewer appointments. It was also less expensive than a full IVF round since no egg retrieval was necessary. But the emotional toll was equally as high, with the same consuming worries, fears, and stressors.

We transferred that final embryo and waited for 9 long, painful, doubt-and-hoped-filled days again. The embryologist had graded her “fair” that day that they had done the embryo transfer. Fortunately, blissfully, she was, and still is, anything but fair, and decided to stick around. Two weeks after we transferred this embryo, we found out we were pregnant for the first time.

That day, April 3, 2014, is a day I’ll never forget. Our fertility doctor called me at work. I was shaking and terrified to answer the call. Why? Because of that call I had received from her 2-month prior when she told me I wasn’t pregnant — the day that I felt completely hopeless, like the world was closing in on me.

But April 3rd, 2014, was different. My fertility doctor, Dr. Klein, said to me, “Shannon, you’re pregnant. It worked.”

Namita Nayyar

Many women spend several years taking up on IVF as an optional treatment. You Advice for them.

Shannon Leach

Trust the advice of the experts — your doctors. Find a clinic where you felt seen and heard, where you feel supported and can ask questions. Find your people who will help keep your hope alive — your partner/spouse, close friends, family. You should not and cannot do this alone. It might be dark and lonely at times, but I promise you that, at the end of it all, you will be stronger, and you look back and see that every step along the way was getting you one step closer to your next chapter.

Namita Nayyar

The whole process of treatment is not as easy as it sounds and involves highs and lows, failures, and disappointments. How did you handle the same as a couple?

Shannon Leach

I am incredibly lucky to have one of the most amazing and supportive husband in the entire world. He was my rock through everything. I personally joined a support group through my fertility clinic, and eventually, I created a Facebook Group of my own to provide support to others. Because, aside from a small handful of people in that initial support group, my husband and very few others, I felt so alone on my first IVF journey! I never want anyone to feel alone through this — this is a journey that needs to be shared and supported by those who love and care about you.

When it comes to alleviating my stress, exercise has always been an outlet for me. So, I ensured that this was a part of my daily routine through all my IVF cycles, while pregnant, and on my postpartum journeys. But I always had a conversation with my fertility doctor and OB to determine what was appropriate and safe during each step of my journey to and through motherhood. I wanted to be my healthiest self, and that included my mental health, which is far better when I exercise.

Namita Nayyar

You have maintained a great fitness routine despite being a mother of five. Share an insight into your fitness routine, especially post-natal fitness recovery.

5 exercises every woman should practice regularly for staying fit all through pregnancy.

Shannon Leach

Staying active throughout my pregnancies was something I honestly believe helped me have incredibly healthy pregnancies, relatively uneventful deliveries, and healthy babies. If I could recommend a few exercises you should absolutely incorporate into your pregnancy, here’s what I would suggest:

1. Walk: Anyone can do this. Make it a point to go for a walk each day and move your body. Like any exercise, it is one of the best things you can do to reduce stress!

2. Prenatal Yoga:  Prenatal yoga has tremendous health benefits. As it helped with increased flexibility, strength, but it also focuses on breathing and relaxation techniques (which come in handy during labor). But it also has many other benefits:

3. Prenatal Barre: This is a low-impact way to gain strength, tone your muscles, & stay active, with some great benefits, like:

4. Strength Training: This is SO helpful in increasing strength that will help you with your pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. You can use your bodyweight, free weights, or machines. I personally love free weights & my body weight as they are exercises; I can do at home.

A few tips: Make sure you’re using proper lifting technique. Avoid most moves that are on your back. A rule of thumb my doctor taught me: if you feel short of breath on your back, your baby(babies) likely does, too. I avoided lying flat on my back pretty much after my 1st trimester. Avoid any core exercises that put too much pressure on your core muscles. This can weaken them and make you at higher risk for distastasis recti postpartum (which might be inevitable anyway, but at least you can reduce your risk!). Move cautiously during your workouts and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

4. Swimming: I increased my swimming during my second pregnancy when I began experiencing back pain and sciatica. Swimming was nearly one of the only forms of exercise that didn’t cause any pain, and I honestly believe it’s what helped to improve my back pain. For me, I love feeling WEIGHTLESS especially while pregnant. I love the serenity of the pool.

5. Try at-home fitness program: I was 6 weeks postpartum with my first daughter when I found the home workout programs that I have now been doing for the last 6 years. As a busy mom of five kiddos under the age of six, I absolutely need workouts that are:

  1. Easily accessible
  2. Cost effective
  3. Time efficient (my ideal is 30 mins or less per day)
  4. Modifiable to any fitness level (from the newly postpartum mom to the experienced athlete wanting to maintain their strength and weight)
  5. Enjoyable and varied
  6. Challenging and will help me reach my health and fitness goals

But I also knew I wouldn’t be able to do it alone. I needed to be surrounded by a community I could check-in with (virtually) to help keep me motivated and on track.

I found all the above in these programs and cannot tell you how much they have changed my life. When I work out has varied along the years…. newly postpartum, it might be during naptime or after kids go to sleep. Now, it’s before the kids wake. As women and mothers, we often pour ourselves into others. Early morning is the ONE time of day I can pour into myself without distraction! But in getting up and working out, it sets my entire tone for the day. I have more energy. I’m happier. And, I can honestly say, I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been.

And, best of all, I get to coach other women & moms in find the best program for their personal journey so that they, too, can find their confidence and strength again!

Immediately postpartum, though, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking it SLOWLY.

Far too often, I see women jump back in too quickly. They expect to be able to do what they did pre-pregnacny, but our bodies are not quite there yet. It is extremely important to let your body heal from the inside out. Listen to your doctor’s recommendations for when it is safe to begin workouts. EASE back in.

Six weeks postpartum is the first time I started my workouts, and I took it even more cautiously and slowly after my C-sections. My doctor advised me ONLY walking after my C sections and walking only a relatively short distance per day. No lifting anything for 6 weeks post C-section except for my baby/babies. A C-Section is a major abdominal surgery, and I surely didn’t want to make the mistake of doing something to impede my recovery.

You will want to find SAFE postpartum programs to regain core strength (especially the lower abdominal muscles) and your pelvic floor muscles.

Namita Nayyar

5 Tips to manage food cravings while breastfeeding? Diet you followed to keep up with an adequate diet with macro and mini nutrients.

Shannon Leach

Breastfeeding is absolutely a time where you need a LOT of calories, but there’s a fine line between having an excuse to eat everything in sight and ensuring you’re getting enough of the right calories (macro and micronutrients) and enough calories to maintain your supply.

Since I had my daughter, I’ve been drinking a superfood shake daily that is packed with nutrition — probiotics, prebiotics, antioxidants, superfoods, adaptagens, and more. I’ve also been incredibly intentional about eating foods that have been considered galatogogues (foods that can increase supply), including green leafy vegetables, whole grains (especially oats), chia seeds, carrots, garlic, and nuts/seeds (I’m OBSESSED with nut butters).

Tips to manage cravings while breastfeeding?

  1. HYDRATE! Your brain will often tell you that you are hungry, when, in fact, you need water.  A non-breast-feeding person should be drinking ½ of their body weight daily in water (Ex: If you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 oz per day). If you’re breastfeeding? That should be even higher. When you first feel hungry, have a glass of water and reassess.
  2. Make sure you know how many calories you need per day, as well as how many servings of all the essential food groups you need (protein, fats, carbohydrates, fruits, veggies, etc). Good fats, carbs, and protein especially have been essential in my breastfeeding & postpartum journey. Since on average, a breastfeeding mom burns 500 calories extra/day, you must account for those calories and make sure you’re getting enough.
  3. Eat smaller meals every few hours and be sure to have protein with every meal. This has certainly helped me stay fuller throughout the day. I’ve followed a meal plan that helps me pair macronutrients in the right way and have helped other moms how to use this same plan!
  4. What are you craving? It could mean your body NEEDS something else. For example, are you craving chocolate? Sometimes this means your body needs magnesium, which can be found in nuts, green veggies, and raw cacao nibs. You might find that you’re able to satisfy your cravings with healthier options.
  5. Have HEALTHY snacks on hand so that you can grab those instead. Are you craving something crunchy? What about carrots & celery with hummus. Craving sweet? What about yogurt + honey or baked apples?

I followed a nutrition plan designed to follow while pregnant and then while breastfeeding, too! I used it during my twin pregnancy, to ensure I was getting plenty of the right calories. Then used the same plan (still do!) while breastfeeding. Saying that, ENJOY the treats!

I satisfied my cravings during pregnancy & while breastfeeding when I had/have them (burger, kettlecorn, ice cream, you name it!) But all in moderation! No nutrition plan should be one in which you feel deprived or have anything that is totally off limits. Enjoy that slice of cake every now and again. Just do your best to fuel your body well most of the time.

Namita Nayyar

Tips to overcoming fitness plateaus, especially on your postpartum journey.

Shannon Leach

Enjoy the journey, focus on your progress, and never expect perfection of yourself. It’s OKAY when you miss a workout (or two!). Eat the dang slice of cake if you want it. Most of all, I hope for all women that they have a healthy relationship with food — that they never have guilt or regret for what they have eaten, that they get to a place and lifestyle in which they enjoy the treats in moderation, are exercising consistently, and most of all, that their mental health is the best that it’s ever been, so that they feel happy and fulfilled.

My goal was never to get my “pre-baby body back,” like you so often hear. I am so GRATEFUL to my body that was able to endure two rounds of IUI, three rounds of IVF, and to help me become pregnant four times (including a twin pregnancy) and have relatively uneventful (aka healthy) pregnancies. I was able to carry all five to term and had safe deliveries. I was able to recover from two C-Sections. I was able to breastfeed my first two kiddos to 9 and 10 months, respectively and my third kiddo for a full year. I was able to breastfeed my twins exclusively tandem (who are still breastfeeding at 13 months).

 And now, I am a mom to 5 kiddos — kids I once wondered if I’d ever have.

So, no, I don’t want that pre-baby body back. I’m so unbelievably thankful for my journey to and through motherhood, and I focus instead on what I can do now to be my healthiest self, stretch marks, loose skin, C-section scars, and all. And my hope is for every other woman out there, that you, too, can love your body just the way it is!

Namita Nayyar

Key essentials to follow while training with IVF pregnancy.

Shannon Leach

I had a different exercise regimen during my IVF cycle than while I was pregnant. During my IVF cycles, I was advised to keep my exercise low impact with no twisting (some yoga moves, as an example), because while taking the IVF medications, my ovaries were enlarging.

I always took a few days off from exercise on the day of, and a few days after, my egg retrieval, as well as the day of my transfer. I then chose to solely walk for exercise during the “two-week wait,” or, in my case, nine days. I felt that time was so critical (the implantation window), and because I knew exactly when we transferred. I chose, then, not to exercise for a few days immediately post transfer. I did all the things many women who do IVF do to help aid in implantation. Eat pineapple. Eat warm foods. Foot baths. Keep your feet warm. Acupuncture. I did my best to keep myself busy and distracted until we knew if the transfer had worked (or didn’t work).

And only after I found out I was pregnant; did I slowly start to exercise again after a discussion with my fertility doctor and OB. At first it was low impact — I swam, cycled, walked, and did light weightlifting. I was so nervous that first pregnancy, especially, given how long the road to become pregnant was for me. But I also knew that exercise is such an important aspect of a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum journey. I certainly took it easier the first trimester, as I had an irrational fear that I could do something to cause harm to my pregnancy in the form of exercise. This is not, for the most part, true.

Chat with your doctor about what is safe for you, and generally, start from your baseline. If you weren’t exercising before, don’t overdo it. But, also, DO NOT FEAR EXERCISE while pregnant! There are so many things you CAN do safely during pregnancy. Ask someone who can guide you properly!

My healthiest pregnancies were those where I found home workouts that allowed me to modify programs with the help of my coach or to choose programs specific for pregnancy — all streamed and done from home! I even found a prenatal barre program that was added to the prenatal strength and yoga workouts!

I MOVED my body every day, if even just a long walk.

Namita Nayyar

Recently you delivered twins. Congratulations! How did you feel when you found out that you were pregnant with twins?

Shannon Leach

Thank you so much! Me: Elated, surprised. My husband? “Holy $#*!” Let’s just say, he was a bit overwhelmed at first. But that was only immediately after we found out. It very quickly turned to pure JOY, with only a bit of apprehension, for both of us.

We are often asked in regarding to finding out we were having twins, “Were you surprised?”

Well, yes and no — I knew that twins were a strong possibility, given that we had transferred two embryos, but I still think it’s always a surprise for any mama to see TWO heartbeats! I came across a statistic recently that shows in the US 1/3 of twin pregnancies come from those assisted by fertility treatments, so it was less a surprise than it could have been. But before this time, we had never had two embryos stick! The first time we transferred two, and NEITHER stuck. During our third transfer, our strong little Jameson stuck around, but we lost the other embryo. So, when we transferred our final two embryos in March 2019, we knew twins were a possibility, but didn’t seriously expect it to happen!

For some reason, I always had a vision that twins would be a part of our family and it had finally come to fruition! And, I cannot tell you how much joy our twins bring us. They completed our family, and I cannot imagine life with just ONE 1-year-old — being a twin mom feels like something I was always meant to be.

Namita Nayyar

Your present diet routine looks like. 5 foods you like to start your day with.

Shannon Leach

I am all about BALANCE. I love a good burger and a beer. But I also love a hearty, nutrient-dense salad.

Namita Nayyar

Message for Women out there waiting to go in for IVF treatment as a big option. 

Shannon Leach

If the road has been, or might be, know that you WILL become a mother…one way or another. If your desire is strong enough, you will find a way to create a family. And if that way is IVF, all the tears, shots, money, heartache, losses will be a part of your story that made you STRONGER and that led you to hold that sweet baby in your arms, for the first time and as they grow.

Find an affirmation and hold on to it. For me it was, “There is always hope.” And I wore a bracelet throughout my entire IVF cycle and pregnancy. Each IVF cycle was something new. “Breathe.” Or “Faith.” But I always came back to, “There is always hope.”

Find people in your life that will be your life raft when you feel you are sinking — the people who will hold onto that hope FOR you when you are having a tough time doing so for yourself.  I realize that others have not been so lucky as we have been, and that breaks my heart.

I share my story with the hope that it can help others find hope and support through this difficult journey.

Namita Nayyar

How does it feel to be a mother of five kids? Share their name and age.

Shannon Leach

It is far greater than I could have ever imagined. Because all five are from fertility treatments, I feel eternally grateful to have the family that we do. We often get comments like, “Wow, that’s a handful!” or “You sure must be busy.” To which we answer, “We feel so blessed.”

Yes, having five kiddos six and under (our oldest JUST turned six) has its challenges. One is in virtual kindergarten. One is in pre-K 3 hours a day. Then we have a terribly busy 2.5-year-old toddler and recently turned one-year-old twins.

Our house is loud. Usually, messy. Often chaotic. But it’s the most beautiful chaos I’ve ever experienced. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Follow Shannon Leach on

This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President and should not be reproduced, copied or hosted in part or full anywhere without an express permission.

All Written Content Copyright © 2021 Women Fitness 

Exit mobile version