The Envelope Please- Awards for my Family, Friends, & Co-Workers

award- academy award envelope.jpg

My kids recently got a bunch of year-end awards at school. I'm proud to say that among the three of them, they amassed a whopping twelve awards. When I was a kid, the awards they gave in school were based mostly on academic achievement. If you did the best on a standardized test or had the highest grades, or were the best athlete, you got an award. If you didn't, screw you. But things are different nowadays. Even the older kids are given awards for being the friendliest or the most helpful or most respectful. Why can't life be like that? We should get a certificate of achievement for everything. And I have a few I'd like to give out myself: 

Co-Workers:

The Practice Makes Imperfect Award- For the coworker who started out okay and as time goes on, actually, somehow, inexplicably, seems to get worse at their job. 

The Consistency Award- For the coworker who made a lot of mistakes at the beginning and five years later, is still making the exact same mistakes. 

The Selfish Bastard Award: For the coworker who regularly shows up late, leaves early, and does nothing in between, totally unconcerned if they're lousing up everyone else's schedule or doubles their workload.

The Selfish, Annoying, Bastard Award: For the coworker who meets all of the requirements of the previous award recipient plus, when they finally do show up to work, they sit there and talk to you the whole time. So not only are they giving you more work because they're not doing their job, they won't leave you alone long enough to do yours,

Friends & Family:

The "I Couldn't Be On Time If My Life Depended On It" Award: Pretty self-explanatory. For that person who makes plans to meet you at 2 pm and while you're still standing on the corner waiting for them like a dumb-ass at 3, finally answers your text: "Sorry I'm running late. I'm just going to jump into the shower."   

The Worst Timing / Pervert Award: For the person who only calls or knocks on your door when you're, for whatever reason, naked.

The "I Can Wear Anything." "No You Can't" Award: For the person who wears clothing whose shape, size, and / or color were never ever intended to be worn by them.   

The Promise But Don't Mean It Award: For that person who will always be there for you, any day, any time to_________ (babysit, help you move, help you pick out your wedding dress, plan a birthday party, return your library book) just not that Thursday, Friday or Tuesday that you________ (need a babysitter, are going to pick out your wedding dress, are planning the birthday party or your library book is due.)    

The "Most Likely" Awards:

awards medals.jpg

To The Teacher Most Likely to get pregnant and quit before the end of the semester.

To The Family Member Most Likely to hold a grudge for more than a decade.

To The Coworker Most Likely to flip out on a client.

To: The Child Most Likely to interrupt a private urination with a very important story involving a TV episode.   

To: The Cashier Most Likely to go on break and be replaced by the "Trainee" when it's my turn.   

To: The Friend Most Likely to interrupt my story so they can top it with their story. 

To: The Neighbor Most Likely to mow the lawn at 5 a.m.   

To: The Relative Most Likely to say multiple times that they'll come visit next time they have time off but never does. (And with this award comes my heartfelt thanks.)

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at life's expense- please consider heading over to my home page and signing up to my not-overly-frequent newsletter or purchasing one of my little books.   

Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg

Live Chats Will Be the Death of Me

I like to think of myself as a relatively intelligent person. So then tell me: When I need customer service or tech support, why oh why do I fall prey to the "Live Chat" option every single time? 

I think I get lured in because "Live Chat" sounds like the best option, doesn't it? I have a question or an issue and there's a highly trained professional waiting there in the wings like my personal customer service / tech support butler just waiting for me to beckon. No searching for a viable email address to send my question or concern to where I wait with my fingers on the keyboard for 72 hours for an answer. (Where the only immediate answer I get is: "Assisting you is our #1 priority. A representative will get back to you within 3-5 business days.") Personally, I usually prefer a good old-fashioned phone conversation. But hey, "Live Chat"- no waiting on hold listening to the same music, sales pitches and messages-- "I know my call is important to you. You've told me that 40 times in the last 20 minutes." And when there's finally a break in the music, messages, and sales pitches, no getting my hopes up that the silence is an indication that someone's finally about to actually pick up my call.  Plus, a lot of places I've dealt with lately don't even offer phone support anymore. Maybe word about me has gotten around. So "Live Chat" it is. Don't get me wrong. I've had excellent "Live Chats"  a few times. 3 out of 72 isn't bad. Most of the others, no matter how seemingly simple or complicated the issue, this is pretty much how every one of the other 69 "Live Chats" has gone:

I start with the obligatory contact form. Name. Got it!  Email: I'm on a roll. Subject: I can't type it. Oh no. It's got a little arrow. It's the dreaded drop-down menu... The first option: Definitely not. 2nd: Maybe but not really. 3rd: Don't know what that is. 4th: Definitely getting colder. 5th: Colder. 6th: Freezing! Freezing! 7th: Am I even on the right website? I just pick anything and head for the "Message" box. Finally. I can freely express myself. I can pour out all of my details: Everything this company's put me through since I first got involved with them in 1986 and ending with: "Quick question: The promotion that I had with your cable company is about to expire. I see that in the new packages, in order to get the football channels, I would have to sign up for the whole sports package which is mostly soccer channels. Can I just pay separately for only the football channels?" A few minutes later, after promising that a person will be right with me, they really are.

"Hi Lori! I'm Jamie! Hope you're doing great today!"

I always wonder if there really is a "Jamie" or it's just a generic unisex name they give anyone willing to be verbally abused for minimum wage so that when they leave, another batch of "Jamies" can seamlessly take over.  

"How can I help you?"

"Didn't you read my 6 page message with footnotes and a bibliography?"

"Great question! (Yay for me.)... One moment please."

Then nothing. Finally it says: "Jamie is typing" and the little ellipses dots start floating. 

"If I understand you correctly, you're looking to get The Soccer Channel, right?" 

"No. I'm looking to not get The Soccer Channel. I want football only."

"I can help you with that! One moment please..." 

(Jamie is typing.)

"I just checked with my supervisor. Yes! Football is part of the soccer package."

"I don't want the soccer package! What is so difficult?" I cut and pasted photos with arrows pointing to them. "I want this. Not this. Can I..." 

football players in game.jpg
soccer ball with line through it -no soccer.jpg

(Jamie is typing.)

Oh great, now we're typing at the same time. Now I'm getting frustrated. I've gotten pretty good at typing frustration.

"Can... I... get... the FOOTBALL channels without buying the whole soccer package? N-F-L. A-La-Carte. Possible??? Yes or no?"

woman on an escalator.jpg

"This question will have to be escalated to Customer Service. They will be in touch with you in 2-3 business days. Nice chatting with you!"

"Customer service? Then who the..."

(Jamie has ended the chat.)  

"Jamie?! Jamie?!" Where did he / she go?

The good news is: I've been escalated so many times, the next time I get suckered into a "Live Chat", I won't have far to go to jump off the roof.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like Laughing IS Conceivable updates, please subscribe to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page. And if you'd like more laughs at life's expense, kindly check out my books at the menu at the top.

 

Microblog_Mondays.png

The Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic: Could You Imagine?

(This post was originally, well, posted in October. I've jumped on the reboot wagon while I put together my brand spanking new website. Enjoy... & stay tuned!)  

walmart-crowded.jpg

"The Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic" I admit. There are several disturbing elements in that title.  I will calm some of your fears right here by saying this post won't have much to do with the ongoing fashion show at Walmart. You don't need me for that. You have your own eyes and YouTube. Although, I do think the mentality when we're getting dressed to go to a fertility clinic is similar as to when we're going to Walmart:

"Who cares what I wear to Walmart? At least half of the shoppers will look worse."

"Who cares what I wear to the fertility clinic? Ten minutes into the visit, I'll be in a backless couture hospital gown with my ass hanging out."

So, dressing for infertility success or Walmart success notwithstanding-- Walmart has eye centers. So why not fertility centers? The best part would be that they could run them just like they run their seasonal items. In and out. No delays. Fast and furious. Bathing suits are gone in June. School supplies are done in July and on to the  Halloween candy because you know everyone wants to get a jump on their Halloween candy buying. I'm sure that August bag of candy is just laying around the house unopened waiting for October. (I wonder how many people actually finish the candy on the way home and turn around and head back to the store. I mean, it's August. You can't take a chance on it melting in the trunk.)

halloween-candy.jpg

Well, why not a Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic? In and out. No delays. Fast and furious. No waiting ten days for your first consultation. No waiting until next month to try the next procedure. No two week wait to find out if you're pregnant. Here's the schedule at the Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic:

Monday 8am: First and only appointment. You say "hi" to Dr. Total Stranger and tell her everything you can think of about your menstrual cycle and your sex life, editing out only the parts about the whipped cream and the crack in the windshield. While you're chatting, a nurse takes blood out of your arm and sperm out of your spouse and then tosses away her latex gloves and goes to lunch. You then proceed onto the examination table behind the curtain. The doctor directs you to open up and say "aaah". You ask how everything looks. You probe her mind. She probes everything on that diagram in sixth grade Health class. You swallow a handful of fertility drugs that your spouse picked up at the pharmacy while you're on the table as the doctor stares at your ovaries to see if the pills have taken effect. She decides you need IUI. She uses something from Housewares to shoot your spouse's sperm up north. You leave the Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic, go to Subway next door and have a sandwich then return to the clinic. If you're still not pregnant, the doctor does an egg retrieval, sprinkles in some of the spouse's sperm for IVF and then sends the combo into your uterus. Now is the hard part: The 2hw: The two hour wait. You get a flu shot. You go into the pharmacy area, kick off your shoes and stand on Dr. Scholl's machine. You peruse the trial size aisle. You could take your blood pressure if Walmart hadn't replaced the machine with a garbage can last year. (A simple matter of priorities.) You buy some non-perishable comfort food and return to the clinic. Success! You're pregnant! You'll return next week to buy maternity clothes, pick up your "It's a boy/girl!" cake at the bakery, and stop in at the Walmart Ob/Gyn to deliver the baby on your way out.

Hey...Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you had a few laughs while  you were here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please sign on to my newsletter and and check out my little book in the menu: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. 

Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg

Fair Food-Part 2- Gotta Be NC Fair: The Triplets, The Husband, & Me

state-fair-sign.jpg

 

Food Glorious, Disgusting, Absurdly Over-Priced Food

Last time I talked about my family going to the Gotta Be NC Fair and how wonderfully I dealt with 11 year old triplets, inclement weather, ride wristbands and every parent's gift from Gd-- bumper cars.  But there was one aspect of fair life that I didn't mention: The fair food. (Feel free to take that as a pun.) Last time, I omitted it intentionally. I thought that the fair food required and deserved a blog post all its own. And this is it.

As I explained in the first post, "Gotta Be NC" held every May, is a smaller version of the state fair held every October. This way, we North Carolina residents get two opportunities a year to pay homage to local farmers and eat our body weight in saturated fat. I've always considered that having the two events in spring and fall respectively, serves a dual purpose: The weather is most likely going to be pleasant, and our digestive systems will have several months between events to successfully complete the five stages of gastronomic grief:

homer-simpson.gif

Denial: "I didn't eat that much fair food. Last year I ate way more. And that deep-fried butter should be no big deal. Last year I had three of those."

Anger:  "I can't believe I wasted an hour and a half at Planet Fitness that morning. If I was going to eat all that fair food, why oh why did I go to the gym when I could have been sleeping? Oh right. They had bagels.

Bargaining: (Day of the Fair) "Please don't let me get sick! Please don't let me get sick! I swear if I don't get sick, I won't eat another thing all day." (Day after the Fair) "Please let this pain be an 'antacid' blockage situation and not a 'surgical' blockage situation. If this ache can be cured by TUMS, I swear I'll only eat organic, unprocessed, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleontological vegan food from now on."

Depression: "Oh... the Thanksgiving feast in an egg roll... I can't believe I missed that booth. I saw it advertised on TV the week before and stupid me I didn't even notice it at the fair... And those chocolate covered knee caps. I forgot about those too! I mean, I don't think they're actual knee caps but I never got the chance to find out!"

Acceptance:  "Well, the next fair is coming up in just a couple of months. I'll get them then."

50% of all fair attendees never go on any rides or play any games. We just eat our way from one end of the festival to the other. Basically, the rides, the games, the blue ribbons, the bands, and all of the other attractions are just something to occupy yourself with in those brief bouts of eating downtime between: "I'm so full I never want to see fair food again" and "Hey, that smells good, let me go ask her where she got it."

Many of us fair-goers convince ourselves that we will "walk it off" during the sprawling event, failing to realize that it's difficult to do so when you're strolling with a turkey leg in one hand and a deep-fried Snicker's bar on a stick in the other. (If you never thought you could actually feel your BMI rising, you've never been to a state fair.)

state-fair-food-vendors.jpg

And gluttony doesn't come cheaply. I always prefer to get my fair food from a local business or charity that has a stand there. This way I know that it's likely to be decent food at a somewhat reasonable price because they either want your business again next week at their restaurant or the money's going to a good cause.

However, my son always wants chicken tenders and fries from one of those: "Have a good day. Scam you next fair!" tents.

I always think to myself as I order: "$7 for frozen chicken and potatoes they throw into a deep fryer. I'm surprised they call them 'french fries' instead of 'pommes frites.'" This year was different. This year the same meal was $10. I knew what was going on. It was lousy weather all weekend and attendance was way down... While the executive chef stood over the fryer tending to our order, I said to the person at the front of the tent, as politely as I could... and as quietly as I could so as not to upset the person actually touching and within spitting distance of my son's fair food:

"How come the price went up from $7 to $10 this year? The people who showed up have to make up for the people who didn't?" I knew I wasn't going to get any satisfactory answer, especially since it was more or less a rhetorical question.  But the young lady was friendly and said she didn't know because the owner usually kept the prices the same at a particular fair from one year to the next. When we got our fair food and left, my son looked at me:

"Why did you have to say that?"

I said: "Because I'm me. And no matter where I live, I'm a New Yorker. New Yorkers don't mind paying more for something that's worth it, but there's nothing a New Yorker hates more than feeling like they're getting ripped off." He still stared at me. So I  continued: "And... like I said...I'm me."

***

I really appreciate you stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my buffoonery. If you'd like to check out Part 1 of this post (which is largely about mean punishing my kids with bumper cars for a year of misdeeds): "Gotta Be NC: The Triplets, My Husband, and Me" immediately follows this post.. Also, please consider subscribing to my not-so-frequent-you'll-want-to shoot-your-inbox newsletter or check out one of my Laughing IS Conceivable books, all on the home page... or you can do both. I won't fight you on it. 

 

Laughter is conceivable final Back to School cover .jpg
Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg
Laughing_is_conceivable_cover_spanish_-_by_removed.png

Gotta Be NC- The Triplets, The Husband, & Me

state-fair.jpg

And how many family outings have you regretted while still in the middle of them?

Fit To Be Tied... with a wristband

Every year my husband and I and our triplets (now 11 1/2) head over to "Gotta Be NC" which is a smaller version of the state fair. If you buy a $20 wristband per child instead of tickets, they can go on unlimited rides. The people selling them are very particular. They have to wrap the wristband tightly around each child's right wrist. Not the left.  Not over a sleeve. Not dangling. (Gd forbid the kid has no right arm. "Sorry, those are the rules.") If the ticket booth people worked for the criminal justice system, people on house arrest wouldn't be slipping out of their tracking bracelets every other day. This past weekend when the fair was held, the weather was a little iffy. But there are no refunds for inclement weather. If you factor in the cost of tickets and how many tickets are required for each ride, we figured each child would have to ride 5 rides for us to break even.

cloudy-day.jpg

So we got the wristbands and I looked up at the clouds and my kids were standing around deciding what they should go on first while my husband started off the day's festivities by yelling at them:

"What are you standing around for? I just spent $60! Go on something before it starts pouring!"

Finally they all agreed on a tween-approved helicopter ride. The girls went together. My son disassociated himself altogether and went on by himself. They got off the ride. They're sauntering through the exit while we're looking up at the clouds:

"Come on! Come on! What do you want to go on next? How about this one?" My husband shoved them through the gate of the adjoining ride as I called after them: "You're doing great. Another four rides and we'll break even. After that you can go on whatever you want."

Triplet C yelled back: "I'm starving! I want to eat!"

"There will be plenty of time to eat once we break even! The sooner we break even, the sooner we can eat!" Not that I had a one track mind or anything.

My Two 11 Year Old Daughters and Their Geriatric Triplet Brother 

Triplet B knew what rides she wanted to go on. Triplet C looked at Triplet B to tell her whether she too wanted to go on the ride or not. Triplet A, my son, looked up at most rides and commented thusly:

"I can't go on that. It would upset my equilibrium."

I looked at him: "Upset your equilibrium? How old are you?"

He prefers to take the can-never-be-too-careful approach to amusement park rides. He likes the rides that never leave the ground and look like an eighty year old church lady is driving them. You know how kids are always crying at carnivals because they're too short to go on the rides? My son is the opposite. He laments that all the rides he would feel safe on have a height limit of 3 feet tall. The only other would-be riders who are ever turned away are those who haven't yet mastered sitting up by themselves.

If I hadn't been a somewhat crucial part of their birth, I would swear that my daughters were born two minutes apart and half a century after my son.

Fasten Your Seat Belts... It's Going To Be a Bumpy 4 Minutes

bumper-cars.jpg

Bumper cars are something we can all agree on. Although, the second time my son went to get on them the other day he said:

"I'm not sure if I should go again. I think I pulled something." I said:

"Get in the seat. Your Medicare will cover it." I was adamant. Nobody will stop me from sitting behind the wheel of my own bumper car with all three of my children driving around the pit. Bumper cars with your kids. What a wonderful idea and legal in all 50 states. I'm never prouder of having passed my road test 37 years ago than during a round of bumper car derby with my kids. I like to personalize my hits as I gun it towards each child: "This is for crying during Final Jeopardy!" "This is for finishing my Mother's Day cake before I even got any!" "This is for handing me your report card to sign Monday morning as the bus is coming!"

I've considered renting out the whole bumper car pit for an hour or two so I can "reconnect" with my family without any innocent people getting hurt. It gets tiresome yelling at strangers: "Get out of my way! She's the one I want! You're blocking my shot!"

I suspect I'm not the only parent who feels this way. In fact, I know it. Lots of times while I'm driving around on my mission, a parent will call out to me from the other side of the gate: "Over there! Blond hair, blue shirt! Hurry! He's getting away!"

If you'd like more laughs at the triplets' expense, please subscribe to my not-overly-frequent newsletter and check out my eBook written especially for parents at this time of year: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!!).. Both doable from the home page.

 

Laughter is conceivable final Back to School cover .jpg

Mother's Day for Women with Infertile Bodies & Fertile Minds

The Land of Infertility is sometimes referred to as: The Land of If. On Mother's Day, we modify it further to: "The Land of 'What Ifs'. "

How did you handle the "Mother's Day What Ifs" this year?

Those who are going through infertility are typically pretty spectacular at conjuring up "What Ifs" at record speed. But really,  how many Mother's Day "What Ifs" can one woman with an infertile body but incredibly fertile mind create in her head?

woman-with-question-marks-around-her.jpg

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 two weeks. 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".

What IF:

1. ...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 screw 'em: 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.

2.  ...I feel pressured by my family to go to my mother's for Mother's Day?

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 Edy's cookies and cream to wish her a happy day.

3. ...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." And if they still persist: "I'll tell you later" and then just don't, or my favorite: "None of your fucking business. Will you people let it go already?"

woman-angry-yelling.png

4. ...I feel depressed the whole day?

See "Edy'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 Anywhere marathon or using only curse words for 12 straight hours... This weekend... it's up to you... it's all about you.  And I'm talking as an expert here. Between the time I lost my mom to the time I got finally pregnant, there were count 'em- 19 Mother's Days. So for once I know what I'm talking about here. Hang in there! xo

And if you'd like some more laughs at infertility's expense... -please consider my book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's recommended by renowned fertility professionals around the U.S. and subscribing to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter-- both are on the home page.

 

Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg

Laughing IS Conceivable: Not Just for Infertility Anymore

(The original "Ted Talks")

"It all started at a 5000 watt radio station in Fresno California." Of course this is Ted Baxter's story on The Mary Tyler Moore Show not my story but this is what I feel like I'm about to tell you. Laughing IS Conceivable started while I was struggling to get pregnant as a way for me to get my frenetic ramblings out of my head and onto paper where they luckily evolved into a book instead of one very long, incoherent suicide note. I've known since I was little that I saw things in life at an angle. (This coming from a girl who barely limbo-ed her way under the geometry bar before it crushed her trachea.) Maybe it's just me mentally and emotionally removing myself from situations that I can't handle or understand. Maybe it's self-preservation. Maybe it's denial. All I know is my mind has always gone into joke mode at seemingly the most inappropriate times. (Speaking of The Mary Tyler Moore Show- See the "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode. That would be me- wisecracking at a funeral.)

Like just yesterday, a friend posted that her ex, her children's father, had died. So I'm scrolling down and everyone's sending their condolences and prayers and then I notice one post from one of her neighbors I guess: "I know this is a bad time, but if you're done with my step ladder, could I please have it back?" Obviously this particular ridiculousness wasn't just in my head. All I could think of was: "We're talking a step ladder here. So he's not looking to save a cat on a roof or anything. He's looking to make himself three feet taller." I felt like replying: "Yeah, now may not be the best time for her. Don't you have a kitchen chair you could stand on?"

So, realizing that everyone's mind doesn't go astray like mine does in times of crisis, I wrote that Laughing IS Conceivable book for others going through infertility who actually just try to deal with their problems without mocking them, hoping that my mocking and sarcasm might help.

From there, I started this Laughing IS Conceivable blog to further help others and to help sell the damn book. So now what? The whole theme of almost everything I've written over the years to me has always been: Laughing IS Conceivable... and Humor Heals.  With that in mind, I'm now looking to branch out into other areas besides infertility. Don't get me wrong (or like they say on the Maury show: "Don't get me twisted!") 12 1/2 years and 3 kids later, infertility is still and will always be a part of my life and my writing. But I'm exploring other topics that interest me and are, in my opinion, as equally worthy of mocking and sarcasm as infertility. What do all of these topics have in common? They're all extremely stressful seasons in a person's life. And they're times that many many people have to deal with in a course of a lifetime--and they're all things I've personally gone through like: Living below the poverty line, losing your parents, raising multiples, having a dead-end job (or several), relocating, anxiety issues, dieting and exercising...  No. No heartrending stories of abuse or neglect. Just stresses that I've been through in the course of my life so far... How about in your life so far? Anything sound familiar? Ring a bell? Anything?

Everything in Laughing IS Conceivable world is being revamped to reflect the shift. In the coming months, I will have a brand new website, a new book, audio-book versions, and a podcast where I can publicly interview renowned professionals and ask them personal questions that nobody ever asks them.

"Would you still be a fertility doctor if it paid $40,000 a year?" (Would that be wrong?--  It's one thing to read my words, but what a treat it will be for you to hear my actual voice. It's soothing  melodic, and uplifting: Like a hybrid of Deepak Chopra,  the Little Mermaid, and Joy Behar.)

I will keep posting here regularly while it's all in the works. I really appreciate all of your support. I hope you will come along with me on this Laughing IS Conceivable adventure... (For updates, please join my list of subscribers: http://laughingisconceivable.com- top of home page)

Current Books in the Laughing IS Conceivable Series on Amazon, B & N, & Kobo:

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

La Risa ES Concebible. (Spanish Version of Infertility Book) 

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School- I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE my kids.   

Flip the Script: I Will If I Must

Flip the script? What's that all about? If you haven't heard, this week, the last full week in April every year in fact, is NIAW: National Infertility Awareness Week. Resolve.org (a great place for all things infertility & family building-- resources, advocacy etc) comes up with a specific theme every year for NIAW. This year's theme is: "Flip the Script". I can't accept that. Couldn't they call it something else? Anything else? I know it's just me. But see, this is the thing: My guilty pleasure (okay, 1 of 26) is watching Maury.

To sum it up: People want to find out if they're really the baby-daddy or if their boyfriend is cheating so they think it would be a good idea-- I still have no idea why-- to find out on national television. Anyway, I adore Maury the host, but in an attempt to sound hip and current, things come out of his mouth that should not come out of any 80 year old's mouth like: "You accused your man of cheating and now he's flipped the script. You wouldn't do him like that, would you?"

RESOLVE likely didn't expect "Flip the Script" to be as controversial a phrase choice as it's turned out to be. (The controversy beginning and ending with Maury and me of course.) I think their intention is  to inspire everyone dealing with infertility to be out and proud... maybe not proud... just not ashamed about it: A catalyst to get people suffering in silence to at least talk about it, share, help, and inform those around us within and without the infertility community.

Funny thing is: I've always been the biggest in the closet out of the closet infertile person. I mean, I have this blog about my own personal infertility exploits. And I have a book about it. And I'm forever skulking around the support groups talking about it... but with my friends, family, neighbors and coworkers... I really don't discuss it much and never really did... not even while I was going through treatments.

I've never felt shame or embarrassment. It was more: "This is so not at all your business" or "I spend half my day living it, I really don't feel like spending the other half recounting the first half."

I've always felt strongly that infertility is so personal that you have to do what's best for you. If you're honest with yourself and you're honestly suffering because you're not sharing what you're going through with friends, family, the general public., open up, let it out. Expect no particular reaction. They might be supportive. They might be judgmental. They might say a bunch of dumb things. Or a combo platter of all three. Nothing you can do about that. Your only goal should be to share with them what you feel you need to. Screw how they react. That's their issue, not yours.

I've always spoken candidly about my IUI/IVF/FET experiences with others going through it and family of others going through it... but as far as my own family and friends... whatever. I've always been wildly inconsistent with the details, I'd make some vague comment like: "Yeah, I'm going back to the doctor today. I'm trying to get pregnant." Let them think I was sleeping with the doctor. Who cares? Then two days later they'd ask how it went and I'd say: "Fine" and walk away or just act like I didn't even know what they were referring to. When people at work compared notes behind my back, I'm sure it just sounded like I was making stuff up as I went. I figured that was okay because it was right in line with the treatments themselves: The medical staff  sounded like they were making things up too. I remember the first time the nurse told me in her cheery "no big deal" voice:

"So every night you're going to pinch your stomach and give yourself an injection subcutaneously."

I was in a fog: "Wait. Hold up. I'm going to give myself injections? Are you sure? That doesn't sound right."

"It's easy. You dial this pen..."

"I'm sticking myself with a pen? Do you really work here? Don't take this personally, but is there maybe another nurse I can double-check this with?.. Or a doctor? Or the billing person? She always seems to be around."

If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please check out my book- Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's been downloaded by 1000s & is recommended by renowned Reproductive Endocrinologists around the U.S. Available in eBook & paperback. (Amazon / Nook / Kobo) http://laughingisconceivable.com /Amazon: https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

 

Infertility Season: The Girls of Spring meet The Boys of Summer

The "Infertility Season" has so much in common with Baseball Season.

An infertility season often lasts longer than one three-month-long calendar season just like the "boys of summer" actually start playing baseball in February and finish, if they're lucky, in October.

During both seasons, there are delays in the game, rain-outs, unforeseen changes to your team's roster, and maybe health issues that were going to be taken care of when the season was over that just couldn't wait after all.

You want both seasons 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... like all the way to the World Series / the World Series of Infertility - 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 ground out. Your third time up, the ovaries respond better, the egg retrieval is done but none of the embryos make it to day 3. Long fly ball-- caught at the right field fence. Your fourth time up, you get hit by a pitch. So, okay, you're physically in pain, angry, exhausted and covered in dirt, but at least this time you made it to 1st base. They did the egg retrieval. They only got out 2 eggs but you're eager to keep up the positive momentum.

You think about stealing 2nd base but the 1st base IVF coach tells you:

"Not so fast. Stay where you are. We think these might make it to Day 5."

So you stand firmly on first base, peering over at 2nd base, feeling like it's miles away instead of just 90 feet, helplessly waiting to be assured that you can finally get there safely. Finally you get the signal from the coach. Run! Run! 2nd base- Day 3- Everything still looking great! Run! Run! 3rd base- Day 5- Everything still looks great! Transfer Done! Rounding third, heading for home.

"Whoa! Not so fast!" Yells the 3rd base IVF coach.

"I thought you said everything looked great and the transfer went well. So why am I still standing here at 3rd base?"

The 3rd base IVF coach explains: "Everything has gone great so far. But you can't just run home and score. Not just yet. Now you have to stand at 3rd base for two weeks and wait to be told whether you're going to make it all the way or be left stranded right where you are. and have to start all over again. These games have rules. You can't just do what's easiest for you. So for two weeks you stand on third base, whine to the coach, the total stranger playing third base for the other team, and fans in  the bleachers, while you stress eat your hourly $60 delivery of two hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks that's in no way included anywhere in your $60,000 of IVF. (That's one difference between our "seasons". When there is a lousy, unproductive season, baseball players still get paid handsomely while we still pay handsomely.)

Finally, the 3rd base IVF coach tells you the transfer was a success and you can head toward home. It takes another nine months to reach it, but finally, mercifully... you're safe!

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, 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.

If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, come read about my personal IVF adventure. It's been read by 1000s and recommended by top fertility professionals to their patients to de-stress while dealing with all of the anxiety-producing moments of infertility. Available on Amazon, B & N, & Kobo.  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ 

Infertile Women on Spring Break

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?

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."

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...

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.

One Woman's Desperate Attempt to Inject Spring Spirit into Infertility

One Woman's Desperate Attempt to Inject Spring Spirit into Infertility.  (Did she have to say: 'inject'?) At this time of year, as we approach the Easter and Passover holidays, I'm sure, like me, you can't help pondering how much this spring holiday season reminds you of your fertility treatments.

"What? Why? What are you talking about? I've never thought that even once."

I mean, take Easter for example. True, infertility doesn't make us feel resurrected...

"Resurrected? No. That's not quite the right word. Maybe: "Angry"? "Defeated"? "Pissed?"

Okay... maybe that wasn't a good example. How about: Infertility reminds us of getting all dressed up and heading to church with the whole family?

"How? It's more like throwing on a sleeveless T-shirt and baggy sweatpants so the nurse will have easy access to my vein and the doctor will have easy access to... somewhere totally different. And there aren't enough seats in the waiting room for the whole family and who wants them there anyway? Yeah, I'll tell you how infertility is like Easter. I feel like I'm the only idiot in the egg hunt still swinging an empty basket!"

Infertility is like spring.

"No it's not. I keep planting but nothing's growing. Groundhogs  are morons. Every last one of them. They may be cute rodents but they're sucky meteorologists."

Let's move on, shall we?

Infertility is like Passover where we celebrate Gd liberating us from slavery.

"Hm... liberation from being a slave.  Well let's see... Every single minute of every single day of my life revolves around doctors, nurses, blood tests, stomach shots, prescriptions, butt shots, appointments, and probing examinations. Nope. Not feeling the liberation. More like: Infertility is like Passover: Everybody tells you what you can eat and what you can't eat and 99% of what you are supposed to be eating, you would never eat in a million years if you had the choice. More precisely: Infertility is like Passover food: Monotonous, bland, and hard to digest. Yeah yeah... that's it."

Well, okay. I guess I see your point. But I can't end our little discussion on a negative note. So let's wind this up with a positive thought, shall we?

No matter whether we're talking about IVF or Easter, or the Passover Seder plate: My wish for you is the same:

"May none of your eggs be filled with Laffy Taffy."

 

What It's Really Like...

When you've been trying to get pregnant, people can relate to that. Maybe they themselves tried for a month or two and it wasn't until month four when they finally conceived. Or maybe they got pregnant the first weekend they tried but their sister or best friend wanted to get pregnant as soon as she was married but "struggled" for six months. So whether directly or indirectly, people have lived through that. But then when you move into the neighborhood of: "I've been trying for a year or five years or ten years and I've been to a Reproductive Endocrinologist, and I've had a test to see if my tubes are open and I might have endometriosis or PCOS..." Once you start to get into the mechanics of your innards- what strangers in labs are probing and things that cause you to miss work... most people mentally drift off. Even the ones who are interested and supportive, most of them don't really understand what you're talking about. If you've ever wanted to tell them what a day in your life as someone trying to get pregnant is really like but you are just too emotionally drained or too private a person to go into it... Well, I have a new essay in Pregnantish Magazine at the link below that might help. In fact, it's called: "What IVF is Really Like: A Day in the Life". See if any of it rings a bell. http://pregnantish.com/what-ivf-is-really-like-a-day-in-the-life/

And one last thing...

Have you taken a look at my book? Recommended by renowned infertility professionals around the U.S. and abroad. Now available in eBook & paperback. (Amazon/ B & N / Kobo)  https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

Religion, Infertility, & Humor (Really?)

Do you ever feel awkward around people who you feel you have nothing in common with? Now that I've lived in the southern part of the U.S. for more than a decade, I've felt a little less weird about it. But having lived in New York-- the suburbs and then the city-- my entire life, it was quite an adjustment when we first moved here. I remember when we first arrived, it felt like all of the conversations included church, everybody owned a gun, and my husband and I were the only ones who cursed. So here I am, 10+ years later, I'm still me, but the conversations around me startle me a little bit less.  Enter Sarah's Laughter.

Sarah's Laughter is a non-profit faith-based infertility+ support organization. Does this look like some place that would want anything to do with me? Turns out, they've been around a long time just loving, helping, supporting, & yes, praying for people dealing with infertility & related ordeals. I did a podcast interview on their site. Maybe it's just me, but despite the name of the organization, religion & humor doesn't sound like peanut butter & jelly or fish & chips. I was scared to death. Would I be asked "religious" questions? Would I be able to get through it without uttering a profanity? What if I said something that isn't a profanity to me, but it is to them? I was bound to let something slip in vain. All in all... Come have a listen@ http://podcast.sarahs-laughter.com/episode-59-laughing-is-conceivable-lori-shandle-fox

And if you would like to purchase my book (not riddled with profanity, but certainly containing a few more than in the podcast) Available on Amazon, Kobo, & Nook.  Comments by renowned fertility professionals inside.

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

https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

 

 

Infertility & Romance. Romance? What Romance?

One of the way infertility ruins our life is that it's sneaky. It toys with us emotionally, physically, financially & in every other way but it does it so cleverly, little by little, that we barely notice it's taken us over completely, body, mind, heart, & soul. The damn thing is a cult. And one of the first aspects of our life that infertility gets its grimy clutches into is our love life. One day you're walking hand in hand along the sun-kissed beach, the warm breeze of the ocean blowing your hair against his face. The next you're walking hand in hand into a fluorescent lit examination room, lifting yourself with one hand onto the table and holding your backless gown shut with the other so you won't flash passersby if it catches the breeze from the a/c . "What the hell just happened?" All of a sudden,just like that, our warm, lovey-dovey, kissy-kissy partnership  has turned into somewhat of a business partnership: "Well we have to have sex by Tuesday. Wednesday of the latest. Ideally if we could meet up on both days... Are you available at 4 on Tuesday and 7:15 on Wednesday? 7:30 after Jeopardy! in the bedroom? That'll be fine. See you then."

This week's post: "Infertility & Romance. Romance? What Romance?" can be found at IRMS Reproductive Medicine at St. Barnabas' blog-- thanks to the lovely Dr.Serena H. Chen who allows me to sully their blog with my two cents.  http://www.sbivf.com/blog/infertility-romance-romance-what-romance/

Please take a look at my very own personal infertility / IVF journey  in my own warped point of view in my book.- Available in paperback & eBook. (Amazon, Kobo, Nook.)

https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

Valentine's Day: Finally: The Perfect Holiday.

Valentine's Day is the perfect holiday for people trying to conceive.  I know you think I'm about to go into the importance of rekindling our romance. Yeah yeah... I'll get to that in a minute. But first and foremost:

Most of us have cringed at some time or other during our infertility adventure just at the thought of holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Thanksgiving... whatever you celebrate, wherever you celebrate it, most holidays include children in your face: They are in relatives' phone galleries, old fashioned photographs, albums, or even worse... in person. At some point during the course of the holiday, you know some oblivious-to-your-pain person is going to shove some form of a child in your face. But not on Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is the one day everyone is trying to abandon their kids... drop them off... leave them somewhere... so they, the parents, can be alone. That's the beauty of the day: If you're trying to conceive and you go out to a romantic  dinner at an elegant restaurant on Valentine's Day and somebody brings a small child... it's the one evening of the year when everybody around you is irritated too. There is camaraderie in the restaurant. We are not alone for once. Everyone in the restaurant exhales an angry huff simultaneously. We give that couple and their plus one dirty looks in unison. Everyone is outraged at their insensitivity... not just us. That is the incredible power of Valentine's Day...

And then, yes, there is that re-kindling aspect of it too. No, we don't have to wait until February 14th to be romantic and proclaim our love. A sexy, sultry, lovey-dovey spontaneous moment can happen any time, anywhere: Like when we are getting a butt shot in the bathroom:

"Hey... I like the way you stuck that needle in there... Same time tomorrow?"

Or at the doctor's office, as he's about to enter the donation room with his  plastic cup:

"You know that see-thru nighty I have hanging in our bedroom closet with the tags still on it?... Just something to think about while you're in there... No no... not the price on the sleeve... think higher up... or lower down."

Or when you have prepared a beautiful candle-light dinner for two at home:

"How about we feed each other flax seeds,  pumpkin seeds, and lean meats? And then we can move over to the couch to have our milk instead of coffee, wine, or beer. You know there's nothing sexier to me than strong bones."

Let's face it: Valentine's Day is a dopey holiday and a perfect excuse to put down the vials and the pens and the calendars and go somewhere together that doesn't smell like antiseptic for a change.

***

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you feel just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense- take a look at my own Infertility / IVF /FET "adventure" recommended by top fertility professionals across the U.S. -Available on Amazon / Nook / Kobo  https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

 

Infertility Groundhog Day

Infertility Groundhog Day is almost upon us. Infertility Groundhog Day is much like regular Groundhog Day. If you're  not in the U.S. or Canada and are unfamiliar with Groundhog Day, you're really missing out. Every February 2nd, if this groundhog in Pennsylvania sees his shadow, it is considered a prediction that we will have six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, it means an early spring. Infertility Groundhog Day is similar. If the groundhog sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of infertility. If he doesn't see his shadow, it means things will be blooming sooner than later. And for most of us, the groundhog feels about as good as a predictor of what we can expect next as just about anything anybody else has told us.

But let's face it: Most of us who are going or have gone through infertility can relate less to the holiday and more to the Bill Murray movie variety of Groundhog Day.

Monday: The alarm clock rings. You get up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get into your car, drive to the doctor's office, say "good morning" to the receptionist, choose a chair in the waiting room where you won't have to share an armrest with anyone, read the same paragraph of a magazine over and over trying to make sense of it while anxiously waiting to be called, go in, roll up your sleeve if you somehow forgot to wear sleeveless, get your blood drawn, get a cotton ball taped to your vein instead of an actual Band-aid, return to the waiting room, get called to the examination room, get undressed, slip into a paper tablecloth from Party City, climb aboard the examination table,  move all the way down on the table until your lower half looks like a capital "M" so that the fluorescent lights shine where the sun don't shine, do your best to hurriedly put your clothes back on right side out, drive to work so you can earn $14 an hour so you can pay the $10,000 medical bill, pretend your morning is normal, go home, call a nurse, ask an online support group what the nurse meant, read way too much into it with your best online stranger friends, have a short private freak out, stick a needle in your belly and go to bed.

Wednesday: The alarm clock rings. You get up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get into your car, drive to the doctor's office, say "good morning" to the receptionist, choose a chair in the waiting room where you won't have to share an armrest with anyone, read the same paragraph of a magazine over and over trying to make sense of it while anxiously waiting to be called, go in, roll up your sleeve if you somehow forgot to wear sleeveless, get your blood drawn, get a cotton ball taped to your vein instead of an actual Band-aid, return to the waiting room, get called to the examination room, get undressed, slip into a paper tablecloth from Party City, climb aboard the examination table,  move all the way down on the table until your lower half looks like a capital "M" so that the fluorescent lights shine where the sun don't shine, do your best to hurriedly put your clothes back on right side out, drive to work so you can earn $14 an hour so you can pay the $10,000 medical bill, pretend your morning is normal, go home, call a nurse, ask an online support group what the nurse meant, read way too much into it with your best online stranger friends, have a short private freak out, stick a needle in your belly and go to bed.

Friday: The alarm clock rings. You get up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get into your car, drive to the doctor's office, say "good morning" to the receptionist, choose a chair in the waiting room where you won't have to share an armrest with anyone, read the same paragraph of a magazine over and over trying to make sense of it while anxiously waiting to be called, go in, roll up your sleeve if you somehow forgot to wear sleeveless, get your blood drawn, get a cotton ball taped to your vein instead of an actual Band-aid, return to the waiting room, get called to the examination room, get undressed, slip into a paper tablecloth from Party City, climb aboard the examination table,  move all the way down on the table until your lower half looks like a capital "M" so that the fluorescent lights shine where the sun don't shine, do your best to hurriedly put your clothes back on right side out, drive to work so you can earn $14 an hour so you can pay the $10,000 medical bill, pretend your morning is normal, go home, call a nurse, ask an online support group what the nurse meant, read way too much into it with your best online stranger friends, have a short private freak out, stick a needle in your belly and go to bed.

There's a loophole with the real Groundhog Day. Sure, the official groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil in Western Pennsylvania but then there are groundhog knock-offs all over the place. (We had "Mortimer" who retired. Now we have "Snerd") So if Phil doesn't predict what you want to hear, you just keep searching. Somewhere there is a groundhog who will give you a prediction that's more to your liking. Same with Infertility Groundhog Day. Here's to an early spring for everyone!

 

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you first got here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please take a look at my book- now available in eBook & paperback. It's my true account, written as I went through them, of my travails with infertility, IUI, IVF, FET, waiting rooms, losing my mind, worthless health insurance, my husband, nosy people with dumb advice....  (Available on Amazon / B & N/ Kobo (eBook only))

https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117

IUI, IVF, FET & Other Random Letters

Like most people going through infertility online, when I first read all of the abbreviations in people's posts, I found it daunting. I mean I knew most of the medical ones: IUI, IVF FET... (I found out about the last one the hard way... by going through it.) But I had to scramble around googling and infiltrating various infertility groups to reveal the hidden meaning behind the conversational abbreviations: BFP, BFN, AF, DH. Then people started to mix the medical abbreviations and the conversational abbreviations with texting chatter.

 

"So I told my DH & BTW, I was LMAO..."

And one woman went one farther and said: "BTdubs..." Whoa... I just got used to BTW like two weeks ago, now we're moving on to "BTdubs?" Will you give me a break here? The ironic thing is that I'm a language person. I speak English, Spanish and some French but I'm drowning in all of these abbreviations.

Dpi, stims, embies.  The truth is, I think I'm a little jealous. When I went through my IUIs, IVFs, & FET (Look: I'm so proud that I know 3 abbreviations. I'm going to keep using those same 3 over & over again. And nobody can stop me! Sometimes I respond to posts in the support group like that just so I won't feel left out. Post: "My DH was so happy with my BFP!" and I'll post back: "That's great! FET!") So when I went through my treatments, there were no online support groups. Okay... maybe there were and I didn't bother to find them. I was busy hiding my IUIs, IVFs, & FET (leave me alone, I know what I'm doing.) Hiding them from my coworkers. Hiding them from friends and acquaintances and probably, hiding them from myself as much as possible. I didn't realize I was hiding them from myself back then but if I hadn't been hiding them from myself, I might have snuck onto the computer in the wee hours under the cloak of darkness and found me some support groups. But I didn't. Oh I was on the computer plenty back then I'm sure, maybe looking up historical information or celebrity gossip or something but definitely not looking to chat about my infertility issues. That was reserved for that little black hole in my mornings, that Twilight Zone somewhere between brushing my teeth and going to work, when I slipped into the doctor's office every other day or so, where  they told me a bunch of stuff I couldn't mentally process and did stuff to me I was emotionally overwhelmed by.

So I'm astounded and so impressed by all of you people going through IUI, IVF, & FET etc. (hey! That's 4!) who so eloquently reach out every day in these support groups to get support and give support to others.

When I was going through (ready? You know they're coming.) my IUIs, IVFs, & FET (that's 5!) I was so mentally, physically, and emotionally in over my head, I didn't have the strength to put any part of it into words, let alone acronyms.

Thanks a lot for stopping in! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense and help me pay my mortgage...: My book has been purchased/ downloaded by 1000s of people dealing with infertility & is recommended by renowned infertility professionals. Now available in eBook & paperback:  Amazon / B & N (eBook also on Kobo)

https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117

January 1st: A New Chapter in an Old Book?

I think one of the biggest problems with making New Year's Resolutions is that we don't know ourselves at all. So we take our goals to La La Land. Like people who vow to go to the gym four times a week to replace their habit of going to the drive-thru four times a week. Is that really going to happen? New Year's Day this year was on a Monday. So, Thursday they went to McDonald's. Friday they went to Wendy's. Saturday they went to Arby's. Sunday they went to KFC. Then Monday thru Thursday they went to the gym. And if we're not all or nothing, we're  half-assed. Like we go to Burger King and then the gym. Or we join Planet Fitness, work out for twenty minutes then have three slices of their complimentary pizza on the way out the door. At least we could show some valid compromise: Make Sunday our Chick-Fil-A day since they're closed. Sometimes with trying to have a baby we take our goals to La La land. I'm all for optimism and positive thinking... but not La La land. La La land is for those quiet moments when you're driving and hear Brad Pitt whisper into your ear how fabulous you look over there driving with no make-up, a ponytail you haven't taken out for two days and your husband's sweats, (Now back to our originally scheduled post.)

A few women whom I know through infertility circles have told me that their goal for 2018 is "have a baby". Great! Throw it onto your vision boards and into your visualizations, prayers, mirror exercises and whatever else you do. That's exactly where "have a baby" belongs. It's a goal, but sometimes I think women make the mistake of putting it on their "to do" list instead. And that's what has kept so many with this 2018 goal so stressed out for all of 2017 and maybe 2016 and 2015. Let "have a baby" be the prize you keep your eyes on and then be open to all the details of how it unfolds. Yes, it's so hard to give up control of exactly how things take shape especially when you want something so desperately. But I really believe in taking teeny steps in a positive direction and not worrying whether it's right or not. I've found that if you pay attention and follow your gut, you soon know whether it's right or not.

So let's say the first on the "2018 "To-Do" list is: "Find an egg donor".  There you go: Homework. Now, you may get into your egg donor research and by January 26th decide it's not for you. But during those two weeks you may have talked to someone or gotten back a test result that sparked a new path.

The stress and hormones turn us all into nut-jobs but trusting your gut will keep you from doing any of the following:

"My husband has a low sperm count. This year I'll get his half-brother drunk &.... I hope the slow sperm thing runs on his mother's side."

"My doctor told me I'm having trouble conceiving because of my age. I think I'll find a different doctor and tell him I'm 28. Or... I did see something on the Discovery Channel about a time machine that worked. Oh wait. That was on the Big Bang Theory... or maybe it was the History Channel. Or...oh yeah... It was the Flintstones."

"I think my problem getting pregnant is that we're just too tired to have enough sex. This year we'll both quit our jobs, buy a convertible, buy a condo in Maui on the beach... wait... What were we talking about?"

"This year, I'm going to find resourceful ways to generate more income so we can finally afford IVF. Hey, I hear egg donors get paid well. Wait, that doesn't make any sense."

The idea is to find those teeny steps- those real tasks to keep you from feeling helpless and without direction while remembering: Every infertility success story you've ever heard is different than the one before. No two women seem to get there in exactly the same way. So expend no energy on comparing yourself or your situation to theirs as you let your story unfold.

I like yoga. You probably already assumed I did because of my serene blogging demeanor. Like my yoga instructor, I like to eat right and exercise and strive to live a very happy, peaceful, long life. But my yoga instructor, if she practices what she preaches, and I assume she does, does frequent cleanses, is a strict vegan, and never eats junk food which in her world,  includes any cooked food. It works for her.

But if I started to eat that way I would live a very happy, peaceful, cleansed, two weeks. Then I'd shoot myself. I know me.

***********

Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please check out my book: (Now available also in paperback- The eBook has been downloaded by 1000s of infertility sufferers, and recommended by many top infertility professionals. See their comments in "Look Inside on Amazon below ) Available on Amazon / B & N/ Kobo.

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

Have a wonderful 2018!

 

The Healing Power of Laughter

Humor, comedy-- whatever you call it-- people who write or say funny things on a daily basis do it to help themselves and those around them process those millions of microscopic bits of life that compound to make huge bits of life. Humor tries to make sense of all of the  anger, fear, stress and uncertainty. There are all of these complex, giant issues in this world and in our own personal lives that are wrapped up in other complex issues... Somehow if we can tidy up something so massive into one comedic movie or even one joke, the issue, whether it be infertility or global warming, for at least that moment, shrinks down into one tidy, manageable, byte-size package that doesn't overwhelm us.  In the January/February 2018 edition of Carolina Woman, I have an article entitled: "The Healing Power of Laughter". There's stuff about me being "stalked" on the NYC subway, and a funny dentist. It's what we all deep-down want in life, isn't it? A funny dentist? And if you'd like to start 2018 with some infertility-related laughs, please check out my book. It's recommended by renown infertility professionals around the U.S. & is available on Amazon, Nook, & Kobo.  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

To read my article in the winter edition of Carolina Woman, come on over: http://carolinawoman.com/body_2018_01.php

 

 

 

When Infertility & The Holidays Collide

Happy Holidays to Everyone!! Do you guys know what a "holiday schedule" is? I had no idea. That is, until I went to the dentist a few weeks ago. Between their gabby hygienists and their little doorless cubicles with the half walls, it's amazing how much you can learn just by going to the dentist and being a good eavesdropper. It's also astonishing how we may all come from different places, different cultures, and different traditions, and yet when we're dealing with infertility during holiday time, and then we all get together online or in person to compare notes, we find that our experiences are all eerily similar. No matter who, where or how... we all have relatives who seem to fall into certain categories: "The Inquisitor", "The Clueless", "The Jokester".

Dr. Serena H. Chen at St. Barnabas IVF- IRMS Reproductive Medicine was kind enough to let me horn in on their blog this week, so for the rest of this post, please join me there:  http://www.sbivf.com/blog/

Looking for more laughs while navigating infertility & the holidays at the same time? My book is now available in both eBook & paperback on Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo (eBook)

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/