Infertility Season: The Girls of Summer

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Baseball is a pretty big thing this time of year in the U.S. Of course infertility goes on all year everywhere. Joy. So while the “boys of summer” as baseball players are referred to is totally a misnomer because baseball season starts in February and lasts at until October, the infertility season keeps going and going and going without a day off.

During both seasons, there are:

Delays in the game: “I thought we would have you back into the office Tuesday but take one more dose and we’ll see you on Wednesday,”

Rain-outs:“Sorry, you’re hormone levels are too high, we’ll have to cancel your retrieval.”

Changes to your team's roster:“Dr. Jenkins hasn’t returned from vacation. Oh wait. Maybe he wasn’t on vacation. Maybe he said he was retiring.”

Medical issues that have to be dealt with during the season: “What do you say we just see if we can unblock whatever that blockage is that’s blocking it first?”

In baseball as in infertility, you want the season to be shorter when things aren't going well so you can put it behind you as quickly as possible and look with hope toward next season. But if things are going as you had hoped, you want them to  go on as long as they can—to the World Series or a full-term pregnancy.

You enter Fertility Clinic Stadium. There are a lot of people. There's a lot going on. It's overwhelming. Your first time up at bat, your ovaries don't respond well to the treatment, you strike out swinging. Your second time up, they respond better, but not well enough. You grounded out. Your third time up, your ovaries respond better, the egg retrieval is done but none of the embryos make it to day 3. You slid headfirst and got tagged out. So, okay, you're physically in pain, angry, exhausted and covered in dirt, but still you gotta believe that the next time you’ll make it to 3rd base, and after waiting there for 2 weeks, your IVF coach will finally wave you around to score.

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It's vital to remember through all of this, how quickly- sometimes seemingly in an instant- events can  completely turn around: In life, in infertility, & in baseball. Things can seem dismal- hopeless even- for weeks, months, years. Then all of a sudden life looks so much brighter, you have a healthy newborn, and the Mets are in first place.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please take a gander at my 2 books, both recommended by IVF patients and renowned medical professionals: http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Receptionist: Queen of the Fertility Clinic

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Am I the only one with revolving receptionists at their fertility clinic? Even though my clinic had you sign in on a computer and the receptionist mainly just sat there every visit while I sweated out the insurance questions on the screen: “What version of this insurance do I have? ‘Select’? ‘Advanced’? ‘Prime’? ‘Platinum’? No, it’s definitely not ‘Platinum’.” No matter. I wanted a good, permanent receptionist at that desk. I deserved a good, permanent receptionist at that desk! It's nice to have doctors at a fertility clinic. But, let's be honest. Just like the rest of us, they're at the mercy of the receptionist. I don't care who signs whose checks. Receptionists aren't in it for the money. They're there for the power. And we as patients have to understand this. We have to make nice with the receptionist or fertility game over.

If she doesn't set up your next appointment: Game over. If she doesn't tell the doctor you're waiting and he goes home for the day: Game over. If she doesn't give the nurse your message: Game over. If she doesn't record your visit and you don't get charged...Well that would be okay.

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When I started going to my fertility clinic, there were two receptionists, Jessica and Jamie. They complemented each other beautifully. Jessica was lovely but as smart as a tuna fish sandwich.

Jamie was speedy, intelligent, and as nasty as a summer rash in the crack of your sweaty… knee. (I do have some class you know.)

The pair sparked childhood memories for me.

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My sister and I had identical twin babysitters who switched off watching us. Wendy would let you juggle knives while she fell asleep at 7:30 watching TV. Cindy followed us everywhere including into the bathroom. (Even at eight, I knew that was creepy and had enough presence of mind to politely close the door in her face.)

We longed to morph the identical twins into one solid babysitter who would be awake while we were awake and not stalk us throughout the house.

And that’s what the fertility clinic needed: Not these two half-assed receptionists but one good one capable of multi-tasking: Being pleasant and competent at the same time.

Of course the pleasant one got canned first. I've never figured out why doctors’ offices hang on to intolerable receptionists for decades. If business falls off, doesn’t anyone ever look at the surly, passive aggressive troll who greets the patients and answers the phones and say: “Maybe it’s her”?

Anyway, after the pleasant one went, there was always a new receptionist at the desk.

They were all named Giselle, Jessica, or Jenna… It got way too complicated. I just called them all Becky.

Becky One went to lunch and apparently kept on going. Becky Two gossiped on her cell phone about her coworkers while you waited at her desk for her to look up. Becky three was "in training" for a year and a half. Any time I had to approach the reception desk for any reason, I would repeat my mantra in my head: "It's okay. She doesn’t touch your prescriptions or needles. She doesn’t touch your prescriptions or needles."

I try not to complain too much to the higher-ups about crummy receptionists. 1) I don't want to be responsible for someone losing their job. 2) You don't know who she is.

Once my chiropractor ushered me into his office and closed the door. As I lay face down on his bench, I said through the face hole:

"That lady at the desk is always so rude." To which, of course he responded:

"That's my wife."

"Ow! My spine!"

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. Please consider subscribing to my newsletter and if you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please check out my books . ( The blue cover is about my daily struggles with infertility / IVF.. The green starts with IVF and , well, the cover says it all. Both are recommended by top fertility & Maternal / Fetal professionals around the U.S.) http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Please Remember this Father's Day & Beyond: You Picked Him!

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I love whenever Judge Judy has a case where a woman is suing an ex and the woman goes on and on about how irresponsible and useless he is. Judge Judy's response is always the same: "So what do you want from me? You picked him!"

The vast majority of infertility blog readers are women, likely because the vast majority of infertility blog writers are women. I'm sure that comes as a huge surprise to not one person. Infertile women generally have a short agenda when we blog or post on social networks:

1) Kvetch to other infertile women (Kvetch= Complain + Whine)

2) Help other infertile women

Kvetch and help...Help and kvetch. Sometimes we kvetch and hope it helps. Sometimes we help and it comes off as kvetching. Other times, we kvetch knowing that it helps nobody at all, (least of all ourselves), but we keep on kvetching nonetheless.

So this time each year, I like to pay a little more attention to the men in our lives. We all know that Mother's Day when you're trying to conceive is no picnic. I imagine Father's Day is the same for them. Of course, most of them will never tell you that.

The last time I wrote about how men feel during the madcap infertility adventure was when I was going through fertility treatments myself. I grilled my husband like a burger on the Fourth of July so I could get the deepest insight into the innermost thoughts and feelings of the male half of a couple. I put on my best Barbara Walters face and aimed my most probing questions right at him while he checked his email on his phone:

"How do you really feel about Father's Day?" "How does all this make you feel as a man?" "How do you feel as a husband watching your life partner go through treatments month after month?" "How do you feel at family functions when there are kids running around everywhere?" "How do you feel when people ask you why we don't have kids yet?"

I could have put his entire response on a Post-it note:

"I don't know what to tell you. I never really thought about it."

So I'm sure this whole infertility thing weighs heavily on men...Even more so, I'm certain, if modern medical science declares that they're the culprit. But most of them, from my experience anyway, won't actually tell you they're sad or depressed or frustrated about the whole damn thing. They're usually not part of the "kvetch and help" brigade like we are.

So today, and maybe from now on, I think every woman should ditch the notion of getting into his head to find out what he really feels about all this infertility crappola...and just show extra love and appreciation for the guy you picked.

Think back...Think way, way, way back... to when he was not your balding business partner in this fricken baby making project, but a cute guy at the party, a first date, a serious boyfriend...or, if you'd prefer: Think back to just a week before you went to your first fertility appointment when he was an unshaven, gas-filled, beer gut taking up 2/3 of the couch. Either way, he's yours and, like Judge Judy says: "You picked him."

And when you consider why you picked him, if your answer is: "I've never really thought about it." Please...we're women...Of course you have.

The posts that follow are all designed to help men and women alike get thru Father’s Day and the whole month of June in fact. There’s my usual nonsense but also a posts from a renowned expert and a guy currently going thru all of it. And if you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please subscribe to my newsletter and check out my books@ http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Let Me Shut Up for Once: Philip Cottraux: A Guy Goin' Thru It All

I’ll introduce you to Philip in a sec. I just wanted to say: Women dealing with infertility publicly torment themselves and each other with the torture that is Mother's Day. But what about the men and Father's Day? Do we think that just because they're not publicly announcing their anguish they don't feel it? Or is this just a woman's view of what a man is feeling? Are they all like my husband whom I begged and pleaded to "let out all of his bottled up emotions" to which he replied following my ten minute-long tirade: "What are you even talking about"? Here’s Philip. He’s a guy. He’s going through it all. Let him tell you what he’s feeling. What do you need me for?

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The Horror-Comedy of Infertility

By Philip Cottraux

I met Lori on Twitter when her book on infertility randomly showed up in my feed.  She’s asked me to contribute some thoughts for her Father’s Day blog.  Because as you may know, women talk all about this stuff but we men are notorious for staying hush-hush about it.  Or as she said in her blog dedicated to me, “acting like it doesn’t bother us.”

So trying to break my usual act, here’s our story, such as it is.

My wife (Beth) and I met online.  She was a young widow.  Well, sort of.  Her fiancé had died tragically a few months before their wedding.  It was four years before she was ready to date again.  I’m originally from Atlanta, and she is a North Carolina native.

We were both 26 when we got married.  We were so excited about having kids, we already had four baby names picked out!  Two boys, two girls.  I’m an only child, so I couldn’t wait to have a big family to make up for my lonely childhood.  I’m also the last Cottraux.  So if I never have kids, my family name is going extinct forever.  Maybe I should be placed on the endangered species list?

Beth is the youngest of four, but she was still as enthusiastic as I was!  We didn’t wait too long, maybe less than a year.  People had already started asking if we were trying.  Back then, we would answer by looking at each other and giggling like idiots.

When talking about infertility, I usually start by asking “You know what the worst part is?”  Then after explaining the worst part, I’ll follow up with “But you know what the worst worst part is?”  Before long, I’ve described everything we’ve gone through for the past eight years, and all of it is the “worst part.”

I had a common condition among men called a varicocele, an enlarged vein in my…nether-regions…that can cause low sperm count.  The doctor told us to keep trying for a year, and if we still hadn’t conceived, I might need to think about surgery.

The following year got very awkward as people started asking why we didn’t have kids yet.  We were still trying to keep hush-hush about my condition, so we would just give a generic shrug and say “Who knows?  Maybe soon!”

A funny thing I observed was that people automatically assume that the husband doesn’t want kids.  As time kept passing, my mom would tell me that women from our church gossip circle were wondering “I wonder why Philip doesn’t want any kids?  Poor Beth.  She’s probably begging!”  As if I’m Daffy Duck trying to shoot the approaching stork out of the sky with a shotgun and rigging the house with booby traps.

Despicable!

The doctor determined I needed surgery.  I found out that my grandfather had had the same condition and had the operation before my mother was born.  Over the phone, he told me to prepare for my balls to swell up as big as golf balls.  I thought, nah.  He had his surgery back in the olden days, when they bopped people on the head with a mallet for anesthetic and used rusty bone saws.  Turns out he was right.

I tend to be curious by nature, which did me no favors.  The night before the operation, I was glued to YouTube watching videos of “varicole-ectomies” that involved a “laparoscopic ligations along the spermatic chord.”  Or something.  Not exactly what I needed to see, since I’m a bit squeamish.

“They’re going to do that to me?  No!  Don’t cut it!  Don’t…ack, he cut it!  I can feel it already!”

Early the following afternoon, I was wheeled into the OR.  They put the mask on me, I looked up at the anesthetic dripping through the IV bag…and then next thing I know, I was waking up in an upright position, feeling like I’d been hit by a truck.  Beth was worried to death since I hadn’t eaten all day.  As I opened my eyes, groaning “Wha…happened…?” the first thing I saw was an apple being shoved into my face to my wife’s voice saying “Eat this apple!  Hurry!”  I thought I’d died during surgery and gone to apple heaven.  It didn’t matter, because they had forgotten to administer the proper amount of anti-nausea medication, so as soon as my mangled body was wheeled to the car I barfed it all back up.

But, at least it was over.  A week-long recovery, and a follow-up sperm count, and I was good.  Ready for action.  Locked and loaded.  Look out, Beth, cause I’m about to put a baby in you!  After about two years of trying, we’re going to make it now!  The first time we tried was like playing with a loaded gun.

And…it still didn’t happen.  Weeks passed.  They turned into months, which turned into more years.

About 3-4 years into our marriage, the people (most of whom still didn’t know about my surgery) asking about when we were having kids reached a fever pitch.  Then it sort of waned.  Obviously, my parents know.  But all the family/friends/coworkers/church members started asking less and less.  Now, they act weird around us, like walking on eggshells.  Do we have an incurable disease now, or something?

Doctors have determined that since my surgery, Beth must be the reason we can’t get pregnant.  But unfortunately, that’s as far as we’ve gotten.  We were very fortunate that the insurance covered my operation; but they refuse to touch testing, artificial insemination, or IVF.  These things can cost a fortune (and I’ve contacted my company’s benefits department begging on bended knee for help), so we’re stuck for now

As a result, Beth has sought natural treatments.  Over the years, this has gotten ridiculous.  Everything from slathering castor oil on her stomach, to acupuncture and getting her tailbone cracked by the chiropractor, to doing weird nightly belly massage rituals, to a medicine cabinet filled with dandelion extract and whatever else miracle cure for infertility she can find on the internet.  You can’t make this stuff up.  And as of yet, none of it has worked.

The only people who ask anymore are random acquaintances.  For example, the dental hygienist when I’m getting my teeth cleaned.  Or a fired coworker I run into that I haven’t seen since the wedding.  I call it the “dreaded question” now.  It’s almost like they’re flirting with you.  Their eyes get big, they bat their eyelashes, then give you a sneaky smile.  It’s like they’re prodding for some kind of major secret.  Then, in a low voice so no one will hear, they whisper, “So?  Have you guys…talked about…maybe…just maybe…starting a family???”

Instead of beating around the bush, now I just croak “Infertile.”  It’s amazing how fast their demeanor changes to wide-eyed horror.  “Oh!  I’m so sorry!  I shouldn’t have asked!  Oh, I’m such a horrible person!  Please forgive me!”  I have to reassure them that it’s okay while they beat themselves up.  Then it’s time for an awkward subject-change!

Anyway, as you can imagine, it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is the “worst part” of all this.  It could be how I feel like we’ve let so many people down that were excited about us having kids.  It could be the horrible combination of guilt-jealousy-trying-to-be-happy-for other couples that announce they’re expecting.  It could be how fast time is flying by, and how hopeless it makes you feel as the years sift through your fingers, like grains of sand.  Or how you picture what your kids are going to look like, and fantasize about pushing them in backyard tire swings and holding their hands while they ride a bike for the first time or take them to their first day of school and read them bedtime stories. The fantasies that are ripped away from you every day by cold hard reality.

Or the fear that you might be slowly turning into your crazy aunt who never had kids.  You know the who I’m talking about; we all have one.  The one who sends out Christmas cards every year with pictures of her bichon-frises sitting in Santa’s lap.

But instead of focusing on what hurts the most, let me describe what helps the most; meeting other people such as Lori who have been through this and knows exactly how we feel.  Especially if they can put a humorous spin on what has otherwise been life’s most crushing disappointment. 

Philip Cottraux is a Pentecostal Christian Blogger, Bible Teacher, Writer for Jesus and Husband. http://www.depthsofpentecost.com/

**Update: A new doctor recently diagnosed Philip’s wife, Beth, with a thyroid issue and they are optimistic. .

**Please continue reading for more Father’s Day / Male-oriented posts… And if you’d like to get more laughs at infertility’s expense, please subscribe to my newsletter and check-out my books @ http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Expert Advice from a Therapist: For Men & The Women Who... Oh Whatever

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Helen Adrienne is a well-respected therapist in NYC who specializes in individuals and couples dealing with infertility.So what you'll be getting from her today will be tried and true sound advice unlike the smart-ass remarks you typically get from me. She talks about both men who have their own fertility issues as well as men dealing with an infertile wife who's turned into a nutjob. (I don't think Helen actually uses the word "nutjob", but, as many of us know from personal experience, that's exactly what you turn into.)

NEWS MEN CAN USE

by Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD

Making your way through an infertility struggle is an ordeal in so many ways.  The emotional component of the journey tops the list.

Men – there are two little factoids to consider:

First, it’s no secret that women are generally freer to feel and express their emotions than men.  You may be at the mercy of the cultural scuttlebutt that emotions in men are looked upon as   weakness.  But, Father’s Day is a reminder that you are not a parent yet either.  On top of that, if the difficulty in conception is due to male factor, you may be in a tangle based upon a failure to separate fertility from masculinity.

Despite what you may be feeling yourself, you still may feel obliged to take a posture of strength for the sake of your partner.  Every crisis is an opportunity and you now have an opportunity to free yourself from what might be an emotional prison so you can be there for yourself as well as your wife.

Second, whether you can claim your right to experience your upset or not, news you can certainly use has to do with how to feel more at ease with the emotions of your spouse if you are feeling unqualified in this realm. This may be especially true if she seems inconsolable and wants you to “fix” not only the conception issue, but also perhaps a financial issue, a who-to-tell- or-not-tell issue, and so much more.

How can you find relief from the many demands?  Let’s take a peek at what might be your history.  See if this resonates:  As a small child, did you have a mother who was often frantic or tearful about situations?  Did you intuitively sense that your mother specifically demanded that you “fix” her upset?  If so, you would have been tossed into a place of panic and helplessness. A small child cannot make mommy’s life better.

If this was your history and you have not “worked it through,” then as an adult, you would be vulnerable to and maybe avoidant of anyone who is overwrought emotionally.  It would become an unconscious reflex for you to want to remove yourself from those early imprinted feelings of panic and helplessness.

Now, if your wife, like any wife in a quest for a baby, is thrashing around with her emotional reaction to all-things-infertility, you may unwittingly be tossed into this ancient place, without either of you realizing what’s happening, creating distance when what you need is closeness.

When I explain this to men, women or couples, I watch the tension release like air from a balloon.  Why wouldn’t you feel triggered, wanting to literally or figuratively run away, get annoyed, judge or scold?  Here you are again, feeling the pressure to fix a problem as if you are back in that untenable place of your childhood.

Compassion needs to go in both directions.  You each have every right to expect understanding from each other and you both have an opportunity to develop coping strategies that take the needs and emotions of each of you into consideration.

Words are unsatisfactory when seeking to fix this issue – now!  Simple words can matter, if you say, for instance, “I know how hard this is. It’s hard for me, too. We’ll get through this.  Let me just hold you.”  For now, living with uncertainty is a bane.

What is called for—feeling and showing a strong connection, determination to make it through, and love, may not seem sufficient, but it is.  The only real and satisfactory fix is coming home with your baby.

The infertility journey has its own timetable.  It gets resolved as it can.  Meanwhile, you both need to keep your love for each other at the center of this story.  Love thrives best in truth – the   truth of both of you.

Helen Adrienne

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Helen Adrienne has been the go-to professional for over three decades for women who are struggling with infertility.

As a seasoned psychotherapist, trained in mind/body therapy and clinical hypnotherapy, Helen is uniquely qualified to teach field-tested, effective techniques for managing stress, rediscovering inner strength and resources and reclaiming control on this journey. Her best-selling book: On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility. https://www.amazon.com//dp/1452853754

And while you're on Amazon anyway, you may as well check out my book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It’s the meek, unassuming one down below that Helen’s book is towering over trying to intimidate.. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/,

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June is: "Thank You for Not Being a Schmuck" Month

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Every time I visited my 84 year old father in Florida, I couldn't help noticing that he spent much more time talking with women in his community than men. Finally I decided to ask him why that was: "Well, the wives are all very nice." He said. "But their husbands are a bunch of schmucks."

So while many reading this may not be in a position to, or at all interested in, celebrating Father's Day this year, I propose an alternate holiday:

"Thank You for Not Being a Schmuck" Month.

Sometimes we’re so busy crying, kvetching and freaking out about this whole infertility crappola that we don’t realize how upset, angry, & frustrated our spouse/ partner/ husband/ willing participant really is. Or that he might dread Father’s Day as much as you dreaded Mother’s Day. That’s why this Laughing IS Conceivable blog here is going to be filled with posts about him and for him all month.

Your spouse/partner/husband/willing participant/ happy ejaculator --whatever he is-- probably does some things that irritate you. That's normal, of course. And yet, even with those small annoyances, minor aggravations and colossal pet peeves that drive you up a fkn wall... He's the one, the only one, you've hand-picked to have romantic calendar-induced copulation with and to father your future children. You know you wouldn't have your eggs in a freezer, snuggling together for warmth with anyone else's sperm.

So he's not perfect...

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I would have to say that all of the stereotypical bad habits that we accuse most men of having... well, that's pretty much me: 

1) I watch every ballgame I can. If I can’t get it on TV, I’ll stream it on my phone…and I’ll yell at the players, managers, umpires and announcers.

2) I have road rage.

3) I easily fit curse words in as nouns, verbs or adjectives in any sentence.

4) I scratch whatever itches no matter where I am or who is looking.

And I'm not the neatest person. Some couples have problems in the bedroom. We have problems in the kitchen. He doesn't like the way I rinse stuff off. I rinse it off so it looks fine to me... but not to him. Then if I rinse it off adequately, I shouldn't have left it in the sink. Also, if the dishwasher has clean dishes in it, apparently that's my cue to empty it out. I'm aware that we usually have clean dishes in the cabinets. I just never knew (or cared) how they got there. And then we have a peanut butter issue.

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A common breakfast for me includes sticking a teaspoon into the peanut butter and eating it...and repeating this action... three times... every morning. A serving size is a tablespoon. Sure I could dip one tablespoon once instead of one teaspoon three times, but my way just feels like a bigger breakfast. After watching my husband for months stand there saying: “Ugh”, “Nasty” and putting his hand in front of his eyes, I finally took the hint and got my own private jar of peanut butter to slobber into every morning. Incredible. Of all the things my husband's seen me put into my mouth in the past 15 years, he thinks my peanut butter spoon is the most disgusting. Go figure.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. Please stay tuned all this month for more humor posts, articles etc specifically about him and for him. And if you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please subscribe to my newsletter and check out my literature (okay— books). http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

The Infertility Tennis Match

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This is tennis season. It’s also infertility season. Okay, when is it NOT infertility season? But as I spend my days dazed in front of the TV watching the Grand Slam events, I can’t help noticing how much infertility and tennis truly have in common. Right now it’s French Open time. I don’t like to watch stale sports. What I mean is, I don’t like watching sports a day later. And being that I’m in the U.S. and the tennis is live in France, I have to get up at 5 am to watch tennis while they’re actually playing tennis. And here is where the similarities with infertility begin.

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THE HOURS YOU KEEP

When I was going through all of it: IUI, IVF, FET, I always took the very first doctor’s appointment of the day because:

1) I wanted to get it over with and go on with my day as though the whole ugly episode never happened.

2) I wanted to sneak out of my apartment under the cloak of darkness so I wouldn’t have to explain anything to my nosy neighbors. (If anyone did see me leaving in the wee hours, hopefully they just assumed I was a drug dealer or a prostitute. It may not be a perfect scenario, but preferable to standing in the street going: “Well, I was older when I met my husband and my hormone levels were fine and his sperm were fine but blah blah blah blah blah.” I had no interest in discussing my internal organs or bodily secretions with my neighbors.)

3) As a rule, I always like early morning doctor’s appointments so if they keep me waiting, I can go up to the desk and say: “What’s the hold up? I know you can’t be backed up with appointments. I was the only one here when you unlocked the door and turned on the lights..”

4) The doctor’s office liked to get me in and out early so I would stop going up to the desk and saying: “What’s the hold up? I know you can’t be backed up with appointments. I was the only one here when you unlocked the door and turned on the lights.”

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THE PRICES

Forget how much the tickets cost to attend a major sporting event. Have you ever bought food at the concessions? Oh let’s see: I have a burger, fries, and a soda. $62. That seems fair. I think IVF uses the same price list. Blood test: $200; Cotton ball to stop the rest of your blood from seeping out of the needle hole in your arm: $140; Tape to hold cotton ball on said arm on said hole: $110. Once I said to the billing person: “Don’t you people do anything here that costs fewer than 3 digits?” I really didn’t expect her to be amused. Her desk was strategically situated by the exit. I always suspected that if anybody ever tried to leave without paying, they would get tased in the back on their way out the door.

So if you live somewhere where all of your infertility-related expenses are covered, keep your address to yourself or some jealous uninsured infertile woman might come to your house and stick a syringe in your neck because it’s the only thing we can get for free. (And those are free only because they don’t want infertility patients and other drug users to share needles. Not that any of us really wants to use a needle that’s just been in some other woman’s ass.)

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THE BACK AND FORTH

You watch a tennis match. She hits the ball and then the other woman hits the ball on the other side. Back and forth. Back and forth. You go to a fertility specialist’s office to get your blood drawn and maybe your uterine lining checked then you go home and wait for the nurse to call with instructions. A few days later you go in to get your blood drawn and maybe your uterine lining checked then you go home and wait for the nurse to call with instructions. Back and forth. Back and forth. And even through months and months of blood, sweat, tears and heartbreaking losses, we stay focused on that one moment when we’ll be able to finally, one day, raise our arms in victory… and somebody will put a baby in them instead of a fricken trophy.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, come back every week to my blog, join my newsletter mailing list, check out my books…. http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

3 Day Weekend- Infertiles: Grill or Be Grilled!

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Dedicated to the men and women who risk their lives every day protecting the countries they serve. **************************************************************

For those of you not in the U.S., our Memorial Day weekend is a time to commemorate all of those who have lost their lives serving our Country.

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Then there's the "other" Memorial Day weekend. The lovely 3 day weekend that commemorates the unofficial start of summer with people who start drinking at sun-up so they can be ready to shoot off fireworks and possibly a body part at sundown, people who join the highway traffic line to take a 5 hour ride to a beach 40 minutes away, and people who flock to stores to get 1/2 priced bathing suits if there are any left. And, like virtually every other holiday in every country and culture, food is a focal point. On this particular weekend, it’s customary to eat your body weight in potato salad. But the main event is barbecuing. Grilling. Grilling everything: Shrimp, hamburgers, chicken, steak, hot dogs… and often each other. Infertiles: Don’t let that last one happen to you!

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Are You Stuck in Someone’s “Infertility Niche”?

We all have people in our lives who put us into a go-to niche. They focus on one thing about us and that’s the subject of their small talk every single time you see them. When they see you coming down the street, that niche label is on your forehead. You’re “The 2nd Grade Teacher”, “Don’s Wife”, “The Catholic”and every conversation they start with you will revolve around that. “Are you still teaching 2nd grade? “How’s Don? I haven’t seen him in a while” “Did you see the Pope was in Brazil?” (Because apparently if you’re Catholic you keep constant tabs on the Pope.) So if you’re “The Infertile One”… get ready.

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"So, are you trying to have a baby?"

"You've been married for a while, don't you want kids?"

"Maybe you just need to go away and relax. My cousin's a travel agent. I can call her and tell her your situation."

"Don't you like kids?"

"You probably shouldn't be waiting this long to have a baby. I mean, you are nearing 35."

"You're not going for those treatments are you? I mean if it's not meant to be..."

So, I thought, when better than Memorial Day weekend to return the favor? Invite a few of your most annoying neighbors, relatives, and friends up to your back deck and sear their asses to the barbecue...then wedge a spatula under them, flip 'em over... and do their other side:

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"Hi Martha. So glad you could come. I love your hair. You can barely tell where it leaves off and the weave begins."

"Hi Marcus. Do you still have that girlfriend? I haven't seen her car in the driveway in the afternoon lately.... Whoops. I'm sorry… I just assumed Marilyn knew."

"Hi Denise. Glad you could make it! I wasn't sure what the exact rules of house arrest were.”

"Hi Tracy. Don't worry. I bought lots of water and ginger ale for Mike so you won't have to throw his lifeless body over your shoulder to get him to the car like last year."

"Hey Dana and Ed! Wow. You guys are still in that sham marriage?"

Please remember this weekend: He who grills you in your “infertility” niche is likely stuck in their own sucky one.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel at least a little bit better than you did when you first got here.

If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please sign on to my newsletter and / or check out my books. They’re recommended by renowned OB / GYN & IVF professionals and patients alike. http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

It's "Give Yourself a Cookie" Week

So how'd your mother's day go? Guess what? No matter how it went, you survived. It's over. And damn am I proud of you. If you cried. If you hid under the table. If you never got out of bed. If you blew off family festivities because you were too depressed. For you, I hereby proclaim this week: "Give Yourself a Cookie” Week. (Look, they have a national day for everything: Corn, hedgehogs, Spandex, so let us have our “Give Yourself a Cookie” Week!)

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For you who sat through your mother-in-law telling you how proud she is of all of her grandchildren (even the imbeciles among them) and wishes she had more... Give yourself a cookie!

For you who spent time at a family gathering watching your nieces and nephews run around as you secretly hoped they would throw up on one of their parents just to bring a little joy into your day... Give yourself a cookie!

For you who bit the bullet while your mother cornered you in the kitchen and reminded you of how much younger you're not getting...

Give yourself a cookie!

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For you who endured cousins showing pictures of their kids on their iphone, while the kids were there, right in front of you... Give yourself a cookie!

For you who listened to your siblings kvetch about how hard it is being a parent and how they never have enough time for themselves... And if only you knew how lucky you were...

Give yourself a cookie!

For you who went out with the extended family to some crowded family restaurant and had to stand there while everyone counted six times how many high chairs and booster seats your party needed... Give yourself a cookie!

For you who just couldn't deal with the holiday at all and stayed home and bitched to your spouse... Give yourself a cookie! (Even you who yesterday gave yourself a case of cookies and washed it down with a gallon of ice cream. Give yourself a cookie!)

And for you who got so fed up, you told a relative who gave unsolicited advice, or made a thoughtless remark to "Screw-Off"... Give yourself one of those giant bakery cookies. (Preferably one with a huge smiley face looking up at you… See how pleased he is with you? That’s one happy cookie.)

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And for you who did nothing, avoided everyone, went nowhere, turned off the lights and pulled the blankets over your head...You survived the day...and that's plenty... So..."Give yourself a cookie!"

***I really appreciate you stopping by and hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense (& at life in general) please subscribe to my newsletter and take a look at my books- all on my home page. http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Microblog_Mondays

Microblog_Mondays

Mother's Day Living in The Land of What Ifs

The Land of Infertility is sometimes referred to as: The Land of If. (As in Melissa Ford's Book: http://www.melissafordauthor.com/navigating-the-land-of-if/) In the weeks approaching Mother's Day, we modify it further to: "The Land of 'What Ifs'. "

Those who are going through infertility are typically pretty spectacular at conjuring up "What Ifs" at record speed. But hey, the blasted holiday known as Mother's Day is set to take place in four days. How many "What Ifs" can one woman with an infertile body but incredibly fertile mind possibly create in her head in a mere four days?

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Some quick calculations here: 270 per minute, x 60 minutes in an hour x 24 hours in a day, carry the 6, divide by my BMI... Got it. The average woman going through infertility can create 8,626,509 "what if" thoughts in four days. And how many are positive thoughts? Quick calculations here... Carry the 4. Subtract my zip code. Divide by my BMI again. Okay, the answer is "zero". I took a poll (just don't look for it online) and compiled our top Mother's Day infertility what ifs in the list below followed by my dollar store advice.

What IF:

...I run into someone I know on Mother's Day and they say: "Happy Mother's Day"?

If they don't know you don't have kids, you can't be that kind of close to them. So who gives a…..? Say "You too!"... even if it's a guy... and keep on walkin'. The last thing you want to do is have an actual conversation with this person.

What IF:

...I don’t feel up to going to my mother’s for Mother’s Day but I feel pressured by my family?

Drink herbal tea and hear Deepak Chopra's voice in your head until the feeling passes. Later, you can call your mother from the spa, the gym or the inside of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to wish her a happy day.

What IF:

. ...I actually go out with my family for Mother's Day like every other year and everyone starts asking me when I'm going to become a mother already?

All of the following are acceptable answers: "I don't think now's the right time to discuss it." "I'd rather not talk about it." "I'll tell you later" and then just don't, or my favorite::…………………… (That space represents the bit where you just walk away and leave them standing there..)

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What IF:

...I feel depressed the whole day?

See "Ben & Jerry’s" comment above.

The point is: Just like there's no wrong way to eat a Reese's peanut butter cup (and I truly believe that with all my heart and soul- like how Oprah always asks: "What do you know for sure?" That's what I know for sure.), there's no wrong way to spend Mother's Day. The only obligation is to yourself. If you want to go out and feed your body and soul at the beach or hiking in the woods or at a spa, great. If you want to hide from the world and be depressed... uh...am I wrong or isn't that what guilty pleasures were invented for?: Reading your back issues of US magazine, bubble baths, manicures, watching a Real Housewives of Everywhere marathon or using only curse words for 12 straight hours... This weekend... it's up to you... it's all about you.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better (about Mother’s Day especially) than you did when you got here. If you would like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please consider signing up for my newsletter and taking a look at my books. (Both books are recommended by renowned infertility doctors and OB / GYNs): The first is all about my bout with infertility & IVF. The 2nd deals with IVF & the “aftermath” (namely high-risk pregnancy & caring for many newborns simultaneously.) http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility:

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility:

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

mother's day- And the point of it is?

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What is Mother's Day really about and what does it want from our lives? It was bound to happen. My anger was bound to break loose sooner or later over this. Usually I reserve my ire for those driving in front of me at 43 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone. (You can't do the whole 45? Would it kill you to put a little extra pressure on your big toe?) So this is the state that mother's day has put me in.

Here are these millions of wonderful women around the world more than worthy of motherhood, more than up to the task, who are struggling to get pregnant. I know. I was one of them… One of you. Like many of you, all mother's day did for me was send me screaming head first into a pint of Haagen Dazs. (And did you know that just as 50 is the new 40, 14 ounces is the new pint?) Women trying to conceive who have yet to become moms, are angry, sad, depressed and anxious. Certainly mother's day isn't doing them any favors.

Then over here, you have women who are mothers. Most of us have had one of those in our lives. That woman who cooked, cleaned, and yelled at us through gritted teeth in the supermarket aisle. So, in return, once a year, we honored her for all of her love and tireless devotion by making her something out of tinfoil, macaroni, and a paper plate.

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Nowadays, mother's day has become more meaningful. We've expanded our displays of love and devotion for our mothers by taking them to the pancake house or Cracker Barrel. The celebration to that wonderful woman who has given us life is culminated by waiting / rocking outside for an hour until they call your name for the privilege of sitting all 8 of you at a table for 5.

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So let's sum this up shall we? Women who don't have kids but are trying are devastated by this day. Women who have kids are treated to a chain restaurant that's going for the world record for the number of adult children with the same lame mother's day plan that can be jammed into a room with 15 tables.

So, who is this damn day for again? I'm fed up. I've had it up to here! (I have my hand three inches above my head, making me a whopping 5'5")

Note: I’ll be mocking mother’s day all month, so be sure to check back!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please check out my books / subscribe to my newsletter. http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility    (This is all about my bout with infertility & IVF)

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

(This is all about my bout with infertility & IVF)

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy    (This is my IVF & it’s “aftermath”- high-risk pregnancy, multiple newborns)

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

(This is my IVF & it’s “aftermath”- high-risk pregnancy, multiple newborns)





Infertility Awareness Week: Trust Me, We're All Aware

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Next week is National Infertility Awareness Week. It’s an annual event exactly like the Rose parade except that the first words that come to mind when you think of “infertility” are “hell”, ”hormones” and “sucks” instead of  flowers, sunshine, and football. When I first learned about National Infertility Awareness Week, I’ll be honest: I wasn’t at all sure that I liked the idea. I’m thinking that a woman still stuck in the infertility mire didn’t come up with this tribute of sorts. Can you picture it?

“I’m always emotionally and mentally drained. I’ve stuck so many needles into myself, I’m considering renting a corner in a crack house. I don’t let my husband touch me without consulting a calendar first, because ‘why waste my time?’ Even if I got pregnant today, I’d still be freaking out, because I spent the baby’s four year college tuition plus book money on treatments." OR:

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"Hey, I wish I could share this wonderful time in my life with more people. It’s really not enough that my grandparents, my cousin, his frat brothers, and the woman at work who reads my emails over my shoulder know. I wish I could shout it from the rooftops so the whole world would know!”

No, if infertility sufferers banded together to declare a week, it probably wouldn’t be “National Infertility Awareness Week”. It might be, however,:

 “National 'Free IVF in the U.S.' Week"

“National 'Give Me Good News For A Change So I Can Finally Go On With My Life' Week"

“National 'Nurses Returning My Phone Calls' Week"

 “National 'Turn the Two Week Wait into a Two Minute Wait' Week"

“National 'Mind Your Own Business' Week”

“National 'Please Let Me Crawl Into A Hole And Be Left Alone' Week"

“National 'Ask Me Again Why I Don’t Have Kids And I’ll Kick You In The Neck' Week"

 Yes, I feel confident that any one of the above would pass easily through the committee.  

 As sensitive, caring, and unselfish as most of us are, we might even suggest the spotlight be taken off of us altogether and put on equally challenging afflictions that have been, far too long, taboo in our society:  By a show of hands, how many for “National Jock Itch” month? I feel that even with an entire month dedicated to this underappreciated condition, sufferers would barely be able to (dare I say it?) scratch the surface.

But no, all I could think of during my first “National Infertility Awareness” week was: “Do I really want people to be aware?”

Hey, thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please check out my books and subscribe to my “not-overly-frequent newsletter on my home page- http://laughingisconceivable.com and subscribe to my new YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3tj7Bk9QkqarCevJL9j3eQ?view_as=subscriber

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Microblog_Mondays.png
Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Infertility Awareness Week: Shhh! Not So Loud.

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Most of us already know that National Infertility Awareness Week is almost upon us.  The thing is:  When I was going through infertility, I didn't want anyone to know I was going through it.

So here I am trying to blend, trying to pass as a fertile person, and then along comes National Infertility Awareness Week: I was like:

"Shhhhhhhh! Will you people lower your voice?!"

I'm hiding in my little foxhole of shame and they've rallied the other 7.3 million infertile troops to stand up and yell: "Hey! We found her! Over here everybody!"

I didn't know from chat rooms or support groups. I didn't want to share with anybody online.

Maybe that's why I always made my NYC doctors' appointments in the wee hours of the early AM. I wanted to sneak in and out of there under the cloak of darkness before the "City that Never Sleeps" woke up. 

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I was okay to go for the treatments but once I was flung out of the fertility clinic and back into society, I wanted to just pretend it didn't exist. So this organization comes along and tries to blow my cover with their week-long tribute. I thought: "Great, what next?"

We'll be "out" and that's it I guess.

My husband and I will have to start wearing tight black leather pants and hanging out at “Infertile Only” clubs. (No music. But oooh the drugs: Follistim, Gonal-F, Clomid, Lupron.)

We might even have wild threesomes in the back room: My husband, me, and a calendar. 

Maybe we’ll start going to a gym where ninety percent of the clientele are infertile... Just to check them out:

"Oh look at her prancing around in her leotard. She thinks she's something special because they took twenty eggs out of her at her retrieval."

There would be jealousy in our community: "Aw, her butt is so much nicer than mine. I bet her husband doesn't whine about injecting THAT every night." 

We'd naturally have our own parade on Fifth Avenue during National Infertility Awareness Week.

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Our parade colors would be gray and black.

We'd have our very own chant: "Free IVF in the US!" "Free IVF in the US!" (Of course we'd probably have to stop along the parade route several times to explain that "IVF" is a treatment and not a political prisoner.) 

And naturally I would be the Queen of the parade...Or at the very least: "The Baroness of Barrenness".

Hey, thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please check out my books and subscribe to my “not-overly-frequent newsletter on my home page- http://laughingisconceivable.com and subscribe to my new YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3tj7Bk9QkqarCevJL9j3eQ?view_as=subscriber

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Microblog_Mondays.png
NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Spring Break- Infertile Woman Edition- What a Mess.

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Hmmm... Spring Break for Infertile Women. We all could really use a Spring Break. Maybe I should pitch the idea to MTV. What's hotter than watching a group of women in thong bikinis doing shots on the beach at sunset? True, it would be a group of angry, frustrated, infertile women doing hormone shots...

MTV would never air it. They'd be out of business in hours. Clearly women going through fertility treatments desperately need a crazy, wild, college-esque Spring Break. It would just be too disturbing to televise... All of us...thousands of us...living together... every day... all day...in one big alcohol-free sorority house: The Delta Gamma Gametes. How long do you think it would be before our "House of Fun" became a "Fun House"...like at a carnival? Or do I mean "House of Horrors"?

I think everything would start out all warm and fuzzy and chummy and supportive. Ah, but how long before we would lose that lovin' feeling and devolve into "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Hormones?"

And let's see what's on the week's agenda, shall we?

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Day 1:  So who's bringing what to the pity party? 

"You people just don't understand what I'm going through! I know that you're all going through it too. That's my point! If you know what I'm going through, then why don't you understand that I just want all of you to go away and leave me in peace so I can go through what I'm going through by myself?! All I ask, is that for the time the thousands of us are living together in this house that you respect my personal space. I feel so alone. You people just don't understand."

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Day 2: Spring Break Work Out: Let's Get Critical...Critical...

"The only thing I hate more than people going on and on about their kids in front of me, is when a bunch of infertile women go on and on about how much they hate when other people talk about their kids in front of them, in front of me!"

Day 3:  A Little Unhealthy Competition Among Total Strangers aka: Offering Less Support than a Dollar Store Bra.

"I know it's horrible that you've been going through this for two years...and I do feel for you...I really do...but I've been going through this for two and a half years!"

"Two and a half years?! OMG. If I have to go through this for another six months I'll kill myself!"

"Thanks a lot! I've been going through this for five years."

And how about a few hands of Progesterone Poker?:  

"Really? Well, I've been going through this for six years AND I've had two surgeries and three IUI's."

"Well, I had an IUD before I had four IUI's, one IVF and an FET. They drained my entire IRA! Did you have your IRA drained?!"

Day 4: You know the fun is on the wane when housekeeping becomes a top priority.

"And if you guys are going to throw baby dust at each other, which I think is great...I'm of course all for it...who wouldn't be?... could you at least clean it up when you're done? I'm sure I'm not the only one here who knows how to use a vacuum!"

While we women would be roughing it with very limited access to technology- namely a single red phone each... A hotline to our fertility doctors for "emergency" questions...

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Our spouses/boyfriends/lovers/partners would be on Spring Break too in a separate wing of the house. Way over there. Just them, air conditioning, big screen TVs, a 24 hour open bar, pool tables, putting green, stocked refrigerators, two toilets each, and, most importantly... sound-proof walls.

*****

I really appreciate you stopping by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. I’d love for you to subscribe to my new Laughing IS Conceivable… And Humor Heals YouTube channel / newsletter and take a look at my books: The blue one is my entire infertility, IVF “adventure” and my new green one down there is from IVF to what it’s really like to take care of multiple newborns. Here are the links:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3tj7Bk9QkqarCevJL9j3eQ?view_as=subscriber

Newsletter / Book info: http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

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Spring Break for Infertile Women… Oh, If Only

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This is a unique time of year for people dealing with infertility. While the rest of the world is reveling in college basketball, the beginning of baseball season and gearing up for Easter, Passover, and warmer weather, people dealing with infertility have National Infertility Awareness week to look forward to. Don’t get me wrong: It’s a very important and necessary week but do you look forward to it when you’re going through IUI or IVF? To me, when I was doing meds and treatments, I found it about as much fun as seasonal allergies. So for the next few weeks, I’d like us to focus on a happier, more festive event: Spring break. Okay, sure, infertility has a way of sucking the festiveness out of just about everything. Well, let’s see how it goes, shall we?

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First on the to-do list for spring break is to make travel plans. So that’s what this week’s post will focus on. Warning: It ain't a pretty sight.  

"Hi I'd like to book Spring Break... I'll be traveling with my husband and thirty vials of liquid and a few dozen syringes.  I always over-pack. Ask my husband. Anyway, do you think this will be okay on the plane? Or should we maybe go by boat? …Then again, I'm taking a drug that makes me nauseous, so it probably wouldn't be wise to throw the high seas into the mix….And definitely not by car. What do you mean, what do I mean? Have you seen the gas prices lately? I can't afford $3.60 a gallon! I have a fertility clinic to support!…”

“…I also can't drink. It's not good for fertility, you know. And anyway, did I mention I'm taking like a million different drugs? Some I swallow, some I inject, some I insert...sorry... anyhoo... So I can't drink, however, I think it would be a good idea to be around heavy drinking. Occasionally, out of nowhere, I get really depressed or have these wicked mood swings and it would be really nice if nobody noticed. I hear Daytona Beach is a hot spot. It's just that I'm on this one drug and I'm not supposed to be out in the sun. Do you have some place that's not sunny?”

“…You're right, England does sound nice. It doesn't sound very Spring Break-ish though and I'm afraid of the language barrier. I mean, duh, I know they speak English. That's like where it gets its name... but I can't afford to have any communication gaps. Like what if I have to refill my prescription for Gonal-F and Gonal-F in England is a laxative or something? I mean, this may sound a little paranoid but what if 'Gonal-F' is one of those 'crisps-chips', 'boot-trunk', 'bonnet-hood' things?…And if you can find some place near a medical facility. I really don't like needles, but I do better... well I faint less... if a total stranger gives me my shots.  I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm too embarrassed to pass out in front of new people.”  

Travel Agent:  "Okay, so let me get this straight: You need some place where they speak English but not "English", that's not sunny, has a nurse on-call, and is within walking distance."

"You got it." 

Travel Agent: "There's an Assisted Living Facility three blocks from your house."     

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"My grandparents live there. I could stay with them for a few days! That's a great idea! Just what I need: Wise older people for compassion and advice.  Although I'm not sure how much help my grandma could be with fertility info. She went through menopause in the '60's. Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it. You don't expect a commission do you? I’m not trying to sound cheap but I do have a fertility clinic to support you know."

****I really appreciate you stopping by. I hope you’re feeling even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please check out my books pictured below, subscribe to my newsletter, (http://laughingisconceivable.com) and my new YouTube channel @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3tj7Bk9QkqarCevJL9j3eQ

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

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St. Patrick's Day- The Luck of the Infertile

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Maybe it's just me, but I feel like as every new month begins and each holiday in it approaches, all infertile people collectively suck in a deep breath, hold it and panic: "Oh no, it's another holiday. Will there be parties and gatherings I don't want to attend? Will I have to come up with yet another reason why I can't? Will I have to listen to endless stories about everybody's kids' milestones? Will I have to stand there for twenty minutes, waiting for some yutz to figure out how his SmartPhone works so he can show me pictures of them?"

So how did YOU do on St. Patrick's Day? When I lived in NYC, I went to the St Patrick's Day parade every year. It was always cold and dreary but I still loved all of it: The bagpipes, the kilts, the girls dancing with hair that, for some reason, I thought was their natural curls for the first 20 years of my life. Hundreds of NYC police officers proudly marched down Fifth Avenue. As a New Yorker, I had mixed feelings: I felt incredible pride seeing the scores of our amazing first responders while at the same time wondering who was left to respond if I got attacked on the way home and called 911.

When you're trying to get pregnant you live on egg shells from one holiday to the next. At least that's how it was for me. I always loved August. The one month of the year with no major holidays. Finally! A thirty-one day long break from ill-will towards others. Then both my mother and my mother-in-law had to go and die in August and louse that up for me. How could I not take that personally?

I understand that holidays probably don't affect regular people as negatively as they affect infertile people. I accept that most people don't have a strong reaction to the lesser ones like Ground Hog's Day or Arbor Day. That's because most of the rest of the world doesn't spend every day and night staring at the wall calendar.

And to make matters worse, suddenly every day is some kind of a holiday and when you’re obsessed with dates and time going by without you getting pregnant, and how you and your eggs are both aging— all roads lead back to us:

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“National Pancake Day!” - “My right Fallopian tube is flat as a pancake.”

“National Lefty Day” - “My Reproductive Endocrinologist is a lefty. That figures.”

“National Grandparents Day” - “I’m 32 years old. I could be a grandparent by now (at least on the Maury show.) “.

And somehow some way St Patrick's Day must be all about us too. We're not sure how, but if we obsess on it long enough, there must be some very good, extremely logical reason why we dreaded St Patrick's Day this year. Maybe it's one of these:

1) St Patrick was the patron saint of fertility

2) St Patrick was the patron saint of insurance that covers nothing

3) St Patrick was the patron saint of slow sperm

4) St Patrick was the patron saint of blocked Fallopian tubes

5) St Patrick was the patron saint of relatives who don't mind their own business

6) St Patrick was the patron saint of paper examination gowns that fit like a big doily.

Or...maybe we just dread St Patrick's Day because we're taking medications and can't go to a pub and get stinkin' drunk on St Patrick's Day like all of our moronic fertile friends.

********

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. Please check out my homepage: You can subscribe to my not-overly-frequent newsletter & check out my books. (also on Amazon.) http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

NEW ! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Sometimes the Only Support I Can Rely on in My House…

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Whenever a new season begins of a show like The Voice or American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance, there are three things that always strike me: 1) The passion these people have for what they do. 2) The hardships so many have gone through and 3) The extreme sacrifices parents make to make their child’s dreams come true. I particularly marvel at that last one. Parents quit their jobs to travel with them, families live in their car to afford dance lessons… The same thing happens on Shark Tank. A fourteen year old will come on with a fresh new way to recycle. The sharks will ask where they got their funding and they’ll say: “My parents took out a second mortgage on our house.”

Where I grew up, that would have been a joke not a suggestion.

Dad: “What do you want me to do, mortgage the house for you?” The real, unspoken suggestion would have been: “Go away. I’m trying to watch the news.” I kind of feel sorry for those Shark Tank kids…. growing up in a house with no sarcasm.

The sacrifice that some of these parents make really is astounding: Emptying out their 401K so the kid could take piano lessons. I could just see that playing out at my house:

Me: “… but my music teacher at school said I’m a prodigy.”

Dad: “So let her pay for your lessons.”

Or:

Me: “It’s always been my dream to be a film actress. Why can’t we move the family to Hollywood?”

Dad: “Yeah, you’ve got a case.”

I’m not going to lie. As a kid, I felt constantly disappointed, frustrated, and even deflated by my parents’ apparent lack of enthusiasm for my interests, passions and achievements. At my high school graduation, as a total surprise, I was called up to the podium to receive a $1000 scholarship award. After the ceremony, I hung out with friends and drove home later. When my mother opened the door upon my return I said:

“I won an award! Did you hear them call me up there?!”

Her response was; “Yeah. That was great.”

“Could you be a little more excited?”

“What do you want me to do? Jump up and down?”

“That would be nice.”

On the other hand, my parents drove two of my friends to the graduation because their parents didn’t attend.

And while I always felt let down at the time, I understand now where their poker faces came from. They were great loving parents who grew up as children of immigrants during the Great Depression. I don’t know how much hope or expectation there was in their childhoods but security was everything. The only goal you should ever have: Get a steady job with good pay and a pension plan. A child who was determined to write and make people laugh made them very nervous.

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So now that I’m the adult and I’m the parent, I’m the one in control of all these things: I call all the shots: Where we move. What gets mortgaged. So if one day I decide that I have a burning desire to sing and a calling to audition for The Voice, I can just pack up the family, say: “get in the car!” and head west and nobody can do much about it. And then it will finally be all about me. Standing up on that stage singing out my soul, willing those chairs to turn- the judges drowning me in praise and thunderous applause. Then I’ll run off stage, ignoring Carson Daly, to celebrate by recounting every minute detail of my ecstatic, life-changing, out-of-body experience with my loved ones in the wings to which they will reply:

Husband: “I know. I was standing right here.” (showing me his phone) “Did you see who the Mets traded?”

Child 1: “Are you finally done? Can we go now? We’ve been here forever.”

Child 2: “Can I borrow your phone? Mine is only 12%.”

Child 3: “I’m starving to death. Did you bring any snacks?”

So I suppose “lack of support” doesn’t run in families… It just apparently runs in mine.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at life’s expense, visit my home page / sign up for my newsletter/ peruse my books. And always remember: Laughing IS Conceivable…And Humor Heals. http://laughingisconceivable.com / Amazon link to books including that new one: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=laughing+is+conceivable

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Weekly Wal-Mart Waltz

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Let’s face it: I’m only calling this a “Weekly Wal-Mart Waltz” because it sounds nice with all of those “W”’s. I mean there’s nothing less waltz-like than turning down a Wal-Mart aisle on a Sunday morning. Waltzes are so soothing and melodic. You know: Bom bom bom bom…. bombom bombom while shopping in Wal-Mart on a Sunday is more like squealing brakes as you skid aimlessly in an ice storm, shattering a store window on the way to crashing into the middle of a Black Friday door buster sale.

Two main problems I have:

1) Wal-mart’s aisles keep getting narrower while we, the clientele, do not.

2) Personal Shoppers. I love you when you’re cashiers, shelf stockers, “associates” but not when you’re schlepping those bright blue plastic, double-wide monstrosities around the already over-crowded store looking like you just robbed an IKEA.

The key to Wal-Mart shopping sanity (if such a thing exists) is to arrive early. Especially if you’re shopping on a weekend. Especially especially if you’re there on a Sunday. The downside about being there after church lets out: You could go to reach for something on a shelf and accidentally suffocate between two humongous hats. The upside: Hopefully people still have that post-church service glow and treat each other with more patience and respect. If not, well, I can usually outrun people in dress shoes.

But switching your schedule isn’t always problem-free either. I find myself running into neighbors I have nothing to say to and it’s hard to hide behind your shopping cart when there are only 20 other customers in the store. It’s not that they’re bad people. It’s just that you’ve heard of “drug-free” neighborhoods and “neighborhood watch” neighborhoods. Well we’re kind of what you’d call a “Hi-Goodbye” neighborhood. We’re not big talkers. We’re big wavers. We all get along fine. Not as friends exactly. More like drive-by acquaintances. I know what vehicles everybody drives and what my neighbors all look like from the waist up. It’s not that I’m trying to avoid seeing them in a store. It’s just that sometimes, embarrassing as it is to say, I don’t recognize them standing up. Then when I finally get past the frantic mental “Who is this person?! Who is this person?! I know I know this!” phase, I get stuck on being mesmerized by how tall they really are…or aren’t. I have flashbacks to my dating days when I would meet a guy somewhere where we were both sitting down (call it “a bar”if you must) and he seemed to be a good size and then he’d stand up and I realized that he had really short legs and that his sitting height was all there was. (Says the mammoth 5’ 2 1/4”. woman.)

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Then one time we turned into the bread aisle and the lone shopper in the entire aisle was my daughter’s Science teacher. The second the woman spotted her, she opened her arms wide: “Nice to see you outside of school! Come give me a hug!” So now, my daughter has dough-a-phobia- an unnatural fear of bread. Every time we need something down that aisle she’ll wait at the end cap, sending in one of her siblings first to make sure the coast is clear like they do with police dogs checking for booby traps. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to convince her that this woman really does have a life beyond teaching her Science and hanging out in the bread aisle.

But ultimately Wal-Mart always wins in the end. It’s weird. Besides apparently deciding for us what items we need to buy and in what sizes, quantities etc, they also have control over our personal Karma. You do everything right. You get to the store pre-10 am, tranquilly free float your way through the store, barely ever seeing the other 20 shoppers strewn around the cavernous floor plan. Then, just as you’re nearly home-free, so full of yourself for dodging the Wal-Mart Sunday shopping mob bullet, you find yourself standing behind the other 20 shoppers in the only open check-out line.

Hey listen: I really appreciate you stopping by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at life’s expense, sign on to my newsletter, check-out my books etc etc… all on my homepage. http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Microblog_Mondays.png

What's Today's Date? 1982?

I cringe when I catch myself sounding like my father. (Somehow, girls turn into women and then begrudgingly, their mother. I’m turning into my father. Should I be concerned?)

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The other day I put a Queen song on the car radio and then heard myself say to my kids: “Hear that? That’s what good music sounds like…Not like the modern stuff you listen to.” When did I start using the word “modern”? Or calling things by the totally wrong words? Like “How many balls of ice cream do you want? What color?” I loved my Dad. I really did. But if I start saying “She drives a Royals Royce”, I’m going to kill myself.

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And of course starting sentences with: “When I was a kid…” Well, I guess it’s better than “In my day…”

My kids were whining the other day (maybe that’s just their voices. They can’t just be making that sound every time they talk by accident can they?) “Why can’t we get Netflix? We’re missing all of the good shows!” To which I naturally replied:

“Be happy you have cable. When I was your age, there wasn’t even cable. We had seven channels.”

“Where did you grow up? The Alaskan frontier?”

“I lived in New York. Shut up.”

I really do try to stay current. And so did my dad. He took a computer class when he was 77. I didn’t even flinch when my daughter suggested I learn Instagram or make a YouTube video. I mean I don’t want to start talking like Maury Povich… He has guests on his show in their teens and twenties and before you know it, he’s telling them: “So, you flipped the script!” and “You wouldn’t do her like that, would you?” I’m a big fan of yours, Maury but come on…You’re 80 years old. Nobody wants to hear that.

My son asked me the other day why I don’t have a flip phone like the old people on the commercials. He didn’t even have the decency to smile when he said it. He just basks in lumping me in with those older actresses who are made to look like senile bitties: “What are the 3 P’s?”… Damn you, Alex Trebek! I have a problem with most insurance ads in fact: “If you’re between the ages of 50 and 85...” Whoa… How did I just get dumped into the same category as my father-in-law?

I have no concept of time anymore. The other day I commented: “That’s a brand new store. They just opened it in 2002.” But my kids are even worse. They have no concept of time or history. If we went on a field trip to the museum to see an exhibit on Ancient Egypt, they wouldn’t notice if somebody put up a Deborah Harry poster by mistake. Actually there’s a little field trip of my own I’m considering. There’s still a working pay phone only a few miles from our house. I’m thinking of dropping those little smart-asses off with a quarter just to see if any of them figure out how to call us to pick them back up before they dehydrate.

*****Speaking of YouTube— I have a brand new channel. Come check out the intro! https://youtu.be/Uedl-eM6H_g

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here a little while ago. To peruse my books and / or sign up for my newsletter… go to my home page: http://laughingisconceivable.com - Both books are now available in both eBook & paperback.

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

The Most Devastating 3 Hours in My Tween's Life - According to Her Anyway

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I’ll admit it: My 12 year old daughter has been through some trying times in her life thus far: She got separated from us at a playground at age 4 or 5. (You’d think I’d remember exactly when that was, wouldn’t you?). She fell at school in 3rd grade and had a small skull fracture and concussion. She’s an insect magnet: Her arms and legs are a favorite for wasp and mosquito family brunches. But by far the most traumatic event this child has sustained so far happened this past Sunday night when the Internet was out for an entire 3 hours (FYI: It took the cable TV service along with it.)

I won’t get started on my kids’ ridiculous school schedule that left them out of school from before Christmas until this past Monday. Suffice it to say, it only fueled my daughter’s “victim” status. Less than a minute after the Internet outage began, she came barreling down the stairs like she was on fire or her sister had done something she couldn’t wait to snitch about.

Her: “It’s the last day of our break and I got cut-off from facetiming with Ashley!”

Me: “You’ll see her tomorrow at school. Can you remember her face until then?”

Her: “She was right in the middle of holding up a shirt she just got! She asked me: ‘This is nice, right?’ and then the screen froze!

Me: “So? She’ll wait until tomorrow to find out if you like it.”

Her: “I wonder what Ashley’s doing now.”

Me: “I’m sure by now she’s put the shirt down and gone on with her life. May I suggest you do the same?”

Her: “What am I supposed to do?! It’s the last few hours of my vacation and now there’s nothing to do! Great!”

Me: “Why don’t you clean out your lunch bag that’s been sitting in your backpack for 5 weeks?”

Her: “You want me to spend the last few hours of my break getting ready for school? That makes no sense!”

Me: “Why don’t you guys play a board game?”

Her: “Mom. Really Mom? There’s a reason it has ‘board / bored’ in its name.”

Me: “Read a book. Draw. Paint something.”

Her: “What is this… 1982?”

Two things I should probably mention at this juncture to show you what cruel parents we truly are:: 1) Her phone is an old one of mine which doesn’t have phone service and I wouldn’t let her use mine to call Ashley back and 2) My husband has a Hot Spot which gets his phone onto the Internet no matter what.

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So while she was ranting and raving and criticizing us for trying to force her into pioneer life, my husband sat on the couch in front of her playing baseball on his phone. Clearly, this threw both kerosene and gas onto the fire seeing as he wasn’t only sitting there two feet away totally ignoring her, he was sitting there two feet away, immersed in his own private Internet service. As if that wasn’t sadistic enough, as she began the second stanza of her “Woe Is Me” poem, he turned to me on the couch, put his phone in my face and said: “Do you want to log in on your phone? This is the password.” See? My daughter was wrong. This was not pioneer life. If this were pioneer life, Pa would have been playing the fiddle not electronic baseball.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you would like more laughs at life’s expense, please subscribe to my infrequent newsletter and / or take a look at my books-all happenin’ at the bottom of my Home Page @ http://laughingisconceivable.com - (Books also on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_16?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=laughing+is+conceivable&s

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility

Microblog_Mondays.png
Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy