Infertility

Infertiles Have No Friends During the Holidays... Fine By Me

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When I was dealing with infertility, IUI, IVF, FET, M.D.s, R.N.s and R.E.s, I felt like I had no friends during the holidays. And frankly, that's the way I wanted it. Call it self-preservation. Why subject myself to being around people at a time when all they talk about, even more than the rest of the year, is… the kids? “I don’t know what to get for… the kids.” “We’re going to my mother’s with… the kids.” “We’re going to see Santa with… the kids.” (The only thing worse they can say in my opinion is “kiddos”. How annoying is that word?) I never felt bad about avoiding certain people around the holidays. Why should I? They probably didn’t want to be around me any more than I wanted to be around them. My friends knew what I was going through trying to get pregnant. So having me around them during the holidays, I’m sure a lot of them said to themselves: “Oh great. Here comes childless Lori. Maybe I should ixnay talking about the idkays” and then they’d get so caught up in their own holiday crappola that they would forget all about being sensitive and watching what they said and go full throttle into asking me to help them pick out toys and onesies. But that’s okay. Like I said, it was a two-way street. I think people dealing with infertility make a big mistake in believing that this is the time of year you really need your friends the most. Your infertility-friends, sure. But the rest of them? Are you kidding? For one thing, our friends are boring as hell at this time of year.

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For example: Infertile or not, does anyone want to stand next to their friend for 20 minutes while they scroll through their phone to show you all of their kids’ holiday pictures? First, you’re just standing there like a jerk waiting for her to find them on her phone. Then you’ve got to look at every combination. Joey and Stella. Joey, Stella, and Lily. Joey and Lily. Stella and Lily. Just Lily. Just Lily in her Santa pajamas. Just Lily in her teddy bear pajamas. Just Joey in his Santa pajamas. Joey in his Santa pajamas and Stella in her elf pajamas. And you have to have a ready reaction for every stinking photo while trying not to reuse any: “Cute!” “Sweet!” “Awww.” By the 9 minute mark, you’re thinking about giving up on the whole IVF thing. Who wants kids anyway if this is what it’s going to be like? After 14 minutes, you’re thinking about getting your tubes tied. 16 minute point, you’re picturing yourself as a nun whether or not you’re Catholic. As you excitedly realize that she has finally, at long last, reached the final photo, your mind has regained its proper focus and you just want to take the scissors away from the wrapping paper and plunge them into her neck.

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At least if they have the old-fashioned camera print photos, they typically just hand the massive stack over to you. So even if they’re looking over your shoulder so they can narrate every photo, you usually can get away with looking at only every third one by “inadvertently” moving a few that “stuck together” to the bottom of the pile at the same time.

And anyway, have you seen the shape of your friends lately? They’re not a pretty sight at this time of year. They’re running around, clothes disheveled, hair a mess, yesterday’s Target popcorn out of their pocketbooks, frantically mumbling to themselves: “One more store! Just one more store! I know I can get it cheaper! Or maybe online! I shouldn’t have bought that stupid thing for Stella. Now she has 6 things and Joey and Lily only have 5. What was that toy called? I know it must still be available somewhere!”

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Geez look at her. I don't even want to go near her. So, right, my friends didn’t want to be around me during the holiday season. Well, as luck would have it, I didn't want to be around them either. I didn’t go within a hundred yards of any friends. (I'd say fifty yards, but my normal speaking voice tends to carry without me really trying.) Who really wants to be near all of that stress, exhaustion, frustration and financial freak-outs? Wow. I never realized how much infertility and holiday shopping had in common.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. This holiday season, give the gift of laughter to someone going through infertility, or yourself, or someone in your life who really doesn’t “get it” which would also be a gift to yourself. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 Laughing I S  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

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Why Holiday Parties at Work Don't Work for Infertile People

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"At This Company, We’re Really Like Family" 

Why do people think that's a selling point at a job interview? So you're telling me that you get on each other's nerves, push each other's buttons, talk behind each other's backs, and hold grudges for generations?

Mercifully, most of our extended real family, the ones with whom we spend holidays, are people we don't see that often. So whatever idiocies are said at the big family gathering at holidays…

"I really think you should start having children. You're not getting any younger."

Or our response:

"I really think you should stop talking. You're not getting any smarter."

...are said and then we all get into our respective cars, gripe to anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in there with us for the long & getting-longer-by-the-minute-ride-home, or a BFF on the other end of the hands-free. Then we rehash the emotional leftovers in our minds and to our spouses for the next 12 months. It's different after the company holiday event.

Infertility at Work: The Company Holiday Party: (Gd help us all... everyone.)

If someone you've confided in at work about your fertility struggles starts gabbing at the big company celebration, maybe opening up at the open bar, or maybe you yourself start sailing your secrets down the River Rum... unlike with your family, you won't have to deal with the backlash until.....Not next Thanksgiving. Not next Christmas..... Monday.

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And since a juicy bit of gossip is often the best holiday bonus people can bring home nowadays- Any seeds of "news" employees start spreading at the holiday party 2018 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2018) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2020. When finally you'll be able to get up off the hot seat because at least one of the following will have taken place:

  1. You'll be pregnant (yeah!) and they'll switch from discussing how infertile you were to how fat you are.

  2. You'll be a parent and they'll switch to discussing how much time you're taking off.

  3. People will finally have grown as tired of your infertility as you have.

  4. A fair number of employees at the December 2018 holiday party won't even be at the December 2019 holiday party because those holiday parties are only for company employees— Something which, for one reason or other, many will no longer be a year later. Of course, the most likely thing to occur to get you off the hot seat:

  5. Something new and way more delicious than your humdrum infertility will emerge at the 2019 party as the new reigning scandal:

A good old-fashioned boisterous, public cursing out; The manager feeding appetizers to the assistant manager from her cleavage; The CFO going to get her coat to leave and throwing up in the cloak room window... The possibilities are endless.

(I really appreciate you taking time at this very busy time of year to stop by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughter 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 and consider subscribing to my not-overly-frequent newsletter. Both can be done at the bottom of my home page: http://laughingisconceivable.com (Amazon direct link: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/)  

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Being Thankful for Knowing How to Handle the Relatives

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To me, it’s not really quite the holiday season yet. But since Halloween wasn’t over for an hour when stores started having their Pre-Pre-Black Friday sales and the Hallmark Channel already started replacing my beloved Murder She Wrote with their heartwarming holiday “classics” (which already put my husband in a thankful mood… He’s thankful for anything that cancels Murder She Wrote. He doesn’t care whether it’s a holiday movie or a power failure.) Anyhoo…

People prepare for holidays in many ways. Some people buy decorations the year before when they’re heavily discounted and put them away in the closet. Some people buy presents at the last minute. A lot of us have to emotionally prepare for the holidays. Especially if you’ve been trying to have a baby for a while.

So this year, whatever holidays you’re celebrating, whatever gatherings you’ll be attending with family, friends, or co-workers… the turkey, ham or whatever may be roasted but you won't be. I simply refuse to let it happen.

You won't be roasted (or grilled or fried) by the relatives on whether or not you're finally pregnant, if you're really trying to get pregnant, if you've taken a vacation recently to unwind because that’s probably all you need to get pregnant, or “have you seen a doctor?” or “tried adopting?” because women always get pregnant once they decide to adopt…

Or have you spoken to cousin Kathy who has six kids because she must be doing something right...

Or if maybe you're husband isn't doing "it" right...

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Or do you want me to move over so you can sit next to pregnant cousin Marianna because maybe you'll catch it "stupidity, stupidity, don't know what else to say to you so I'll say some more unimaginative, stupidity, stupidity, and... more stupidity" 

No, you will not be grilled, roasted, or fried by the end of this holiday season. I will not permit it.

So over the next month or so, as everyone starts to get ready for the holiday season frenzy, this blog will help everyone to get mentally and emotionally prepared.

You will not be alone. Together, as a group, we will tackle the holiday season and your relatives right here at Laughing IS Conceivable.

(Yes, I said "tackle". At this time of year, I feel compelled to use football terms... and truthfully, aren't there at least one or two of your relatives whom you'd love to see a barrage of angry infertile women throw to the ground and hold down on the front lawn until someone blows a whistle?)

From dealing with whether or not we should even attend these heinous holiday shindigs to--if we go: Who to hang out with, which rooms to avoid, who not to sit next to, and how to divert the conversation without blatantly cursing people out, although…

"Do you guys still want children?" 

"Screw off".

Yeah, that could work.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’re already feeling just a little less anxious about the upcoming holidays. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please consider subscribing to my infrequent newsletter or checking out my little book. It’s been read by 1000s like you who have looked to laughter to de-stress from infertility / IVF and is recommended by renowned fertility professionals nationwide. 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

"It's Infertility, Charlie Brown!" - A Holiday Classic

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A quick note: If you’re in the New England area or will be on Saturday November 3, 2018, I strongly recommend you register for RESOLVE New England’s 25th Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices, & Adoption Conference. Great speakers planned. Lots of info. Lots of support. Register@ http://www.resolvenewengland.org/conference/

Every year at this time, it is a tradition to re-post this. 50% nostalgic tradition. 50% lazy tradition. But a tradition nonetheless. Hope you enjoy it! xo  

I've never hidden the fact that I love the autumn and every corny thing associated with it: Football (not the least bit corny), Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (cool with many corny parts), fall foliage.

So in the past, I've written about going through infertility later in life ("The Autumn of My Fertility") and spooky infertility stories for Halloween.

I can't see what could possibly be left to write about that's autumn-related except, of course the obvious: Charlie Brown.

This long lost Charles M. Schulz classic, "It's Infertility Charlie Brown!" was shown on TV for years in between the Halloween and Thanksgiving specials. I can't believe you haven't seen it.

I'm not ridiculous enough to suggest that Lucy Van Pelt grew up and battled infertility. With that attitude of hers, likely the only men who would even talk to her would be chiropractors and orthopedists looking for an explanation as to why their patients are in such terrible shape. Namely: Charlie Brown for ailments caused by decades of her pulling away that damn football and Schroeder being hunched over the piano to avoid looking at her shamelessly flirting with him. Then again there are lots of men who seem to adore crabby women. (Seen Bridezillas lately?)

Here's the episode in its entirety. It takes place in the classroom. Hope you don't have a Peanuts allergy. (ar ar ar):

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I present to you: "It's Infertility, Charlie Brown!"

Teacher: Today, boys and girls we are going to be discussing "Infertility". (Peanuts Translation: "Wa wa wa wa wa").

I know that several of your parents have had fertility treatments. Can any of you tell me if they were successful? ("Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa?")

Marcie: I got a sister.

Violet: I got a brother.

Franklin: I got boy/girl twins.

Charlie Brown: I got a rock.

Peppermint Patty: Good one Chuck.

Teacher: There can be many reasons for a couple's infertility: Weight, medical issues, low sperm count, age. As for your parents... I think being invisible is the likely cause. (Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa)

Charlie Brown: Ma'am? Could you tell me ma'am?

Teacher: What is it now, Charlie Brown? ("Wa wa wa wa wa?!")

Charlie Brown: Ma'am if we were created in 1950, how are we only somewhere around eight years old?

Teacher: Have your parents ever mentioned freezing their embryos, Charlie Brown? (Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa?)

Charlie Brown: The thing is Ma'am- Do we even have parents? What I mean is, Ma'am: Don't we kind of live by ourselves? Like when Linus stays out all night in the pumpkin patch every Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin, his sister Lucy always goes out to get him in the middle of the night and she's not that much older than he is. And I've been wearing the same shirt for over sixty years. And my little sister Sally's hair has just kind of been stuck like that forever and none of us can get it down. And Pig-Pen has taken a bath only once through eleven presidential administrations and that was in The Peanuts Movie. And Peppermint Patty wears her open-toed sandals outside all year long, even in the Valentine's Day special and that's in February. And Linus' blanket has NEVER been washed. And Marcie hasn't been to an optometrist since 1968. And Snoopy eats turkey on Thanksgiving with his bird friend Woodstock and nobody ever tells him how wrong that is. And nobody's ever told Schroeder to sit up straight while he's playing the piano. And Lucy takes money for giving psychiatric advice without a license and nobody ever tells her how wrong that is either.

Lucy: You Block Head!

Charlie Brown: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh

(Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you're feeling a little bit better than when you got here! Please consider subscribing to my newsletter and/or checking out my books which can both be accomplished at the bottom of my homepage: http://laughingisconceivable.com

  Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/   (disponible en Espanol- La Risa  ES  Concebible  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B018Y136Y8/ )

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

(disponible en Espanol- La Risa ES Concebible https://www.amazon.com//dp/B018Y136Y8/)

  Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

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Insanity in its Infancy

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This week, I wanted to give you an excerpt of my new book that’s just out (currently in eBook). It’s all about what it’s REALLY like to get pregnant with, stay pregnant with, give birth to, and take care of more than one baby day after day. Even though the book is a sequel of sorts to my infertility book, this first chapter is all about my infertility experience so readers would be up-to-speed and fully appreciate how I got myself into this whole “multiple babies” situation in the first place. In fact, as you can see, that’s what I called the first chapter. Hope you buy it! (I mean “like” it. Did I say “buy” it? Wow. That was awkward.)

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

Chapter One: Getting Pregnant with More than One Baby aka How I Got Myself Into This

Even if you haven’t read my first book, Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility, you just read my summary-length title which I’m thinking is enough of a hint as to how I got myself into this whole “multiple babies” situation. And this is how I got myself into the situation that got me into that situation.

A.    Waiting for Mr. Right... and Waiting... and Waiting... So what’s the holdup? Is he stuck in traffic or what?

My wedding, actually the engagement, actually the actual dating is when the lunacy began. If my husband-to-be and I had been younger, that common remark: “Let’s get married and start a family” might have been a two-part undertaking. We’ll get married and then, at some later date, down the road apiece, over yonder, start a family like a normal couple. But since we were both in our extremely late thirties when we met and neither of us had ever been married or had kids, we went from speed dating to speed mating. It was about as romantic as it sounds.

“Hi I’m Lori.”

“Hi I’m Lloyd.”

“Our names sound cute together and you smell nice. We should get married. If you don’t mind me asking: How old are you?”

“I’ll be thirty-nine in two months.”

I’ll be thirty-nine in two months!”

“Wow, that’s another cute thing to tell our kids!”

“Do you want kids?”

“I do!”

“Congratulations! I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

“Speaking of kids...uh oh look at the time on my biological clock... Half past thirty-nine. We’d better go. The rest of you can stay. The band is booked for another hour.”

After having waited so long to find the right person, I would have liked to have been a fiancee for more than twenty minutes. The only problem is that when you’re older, so tend to be everyone and everything around you. Families, both the ones we already had and the one we hoped to create, played a large part in the decision to set our plans on warp speed. Had we waited even another year or two to get married, who knows how many elderly relatives-- or potential children-- we would have had left? We weighed the pros and cons of waiting.

“On the negative side, we might not have some of our family at the wedding. On the positive side, we might not have some…of...  Hmm. It sure would un-complicate the seating chart. And we could probably save a few bucks by lopping a tier off the cake.”

But waiting was too much of a crapshoot. Who really knew how many good eggs I had left or how long our relatives would linger?   

Our plan was simple: We were going to get married and start a family all in the same day. After all, everyone gets pregnant on their wedding night, right? 

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Boy was I going to be productive that day. I was going to dance with all four of my new sisters-in-law and create their future niece or nephew all in a three hour span. Following the reception and conception, Lloyd and I would celebrate in the bridal suite / baby moon Jacuzzi (after I cleared it with my OB/GYN, of course) from which I would order everything non-alcoholic on the room service menu because, after all, I was eating for two, right? Maybe I could even speed up the pregnancy process and have a water birth since I would already be in the tub and check-out wasn’t until noon.  

Well I didn’t get pregnant on my wedding night or the night after that or the night of our first anniversary.

A.    Who Needs Medical Intervention When You Have Divine Intervention?  

During our brief engagement, Lloyd and I met a monsignor at a barbecue who blessed us, finishing with:

“Usually when I bless couples they end up having twins.”

Wait, what? I don’t know much about Catholic prayers but isn’t “Amen” Latin for “The End”? What’s with this “Oh by the way” he just tossed in there? You’re allowed to add asterisks to prayers? My first thought was:

“Oh geez, how do you undo a blessing? Isn’t that like trying to squeeze eye drops out of your pupils?”

If I’d known then how excruciatingly complicated, exhausting, and expensive the next year of my life would be, I might have taken the monsignor’s generous no-hassle twin set offer more seriously instead of gambling on what was behind Door #3. That’s the last time I ever try to undo a blessing.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Both of my books are available on Amazon.

 Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (also on Nook & Kobo)

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (also on Nook & Kobo)

 NEW! Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

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Infertility Horror Stories (Not Really... Humor Blog Here)

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I thought it would be nice to welcome in Halloween with a few Infertility Horror Stories... spooky, spooky, stories. (Not real infertility horror stories... I mean, come on. Who needs more of those? I mean, this is a… you know… humor blog.)

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So now, everyone gather in a circle, turn off the lights, get those smoke machines going that make you choke, and those flashlights under your chins...(Flashlights, not buttercups...nobody cares who likes butter right now.) ...And let the infertility horror stories begin.

Read on... if you daaaaare.

Infertility Horror Stories Exhibit A: "The Vanishing Fertility Patient"

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"Ooooooooooh there was this woman who lived alone with her husband in the house at the end of a dead end street. It was the one with the broken street light with the jagged edges that nobody ever replaced. The house was always drafty and the boards on the porch creaked when it rained.

Well this woman, legend has it, couldn't afford her fertility treatments. So one cold and stormy night, about 3 AM, under the cloak of darkness, she and her husband packed up and moved to a place in Canada where the treatments were covered...and they were never heard from again.

But they say that every Halloween, to this day, when it's a full moon and the wind is blowing from the North, the sound of a woman's fingernails scraping on the door of the very same fertility clinic that woman used to go to in the U.S. can be heard...along with the faint cries of a woman's voice:

'I don't get paid until the 15th! I promise I'm good for it. What the hell's wrong with you people?!'"

Infertility Horror Stories Exhibit B: "The Tale of the Odd Triplet"

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"Oooooooooooh years ago, in the old country, there was a woman whose sister went through fertility treatments. Suddenly she got pregnant and had triplets...

And as the children grew, everybody said there was something not quite right about them.

One of them...as the story goes... was ambidextrous...

One was... a red head...

And the other one...nobody ever saw...

People say she never went out. And when she did... she didn't speak... And she never looked anyone in the eye. Some say she had those eyes that look right through you. Some say she had no eyeballs.

They say she might have been deranged...or possessed... or from another world...

Last anyone heard, she'd married, moved to the suburbs, and joined a reality show on Bravo... No one will ever know the real story of who she is, where she came from, whatever happened to her original nose, or why people find her the least bit entertaining.

Infertility Horror Stories Exhibit C: "The Old Yenta & Her Sink Full of Knives"

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"Ooooooooooh there was this couple who went to his mother's house for every birthday, every anniversary, and every holiday-major and minor alike. And every time they were there his mother asked them:

'When are you going to have a baby?' 'When am I going to be a grandma?'

Month after month, holiday after holiday, the old woman badgered and bothered and tormented them:

'Why isn't she pregnant yet?' 'Why don't you want me to have grandchildren like all of my friends have?'

Finally the couple could take no more. They had had enough. That Halloween was the last holiday they would ever spend with that kvetchy old lady.

That evening, it was late...after midnight. Technically not Halloween anymore but that didn't matter to the couple. They were still filled with all of the evil that the spirit of Halloween seems to bring. That evening, they were in the kitchen watching the old broad clean up.

One by one, she washed the plates, and the forks... and the knives. There she was, washing...at the sink...those knives...with her back to the couple as she continued to torment them:

"You know, my sister-your Aunt Tilly- has four grandchildren...and her daughter got married after you did."

That was all the couple had to hear. All of those days, weeks, months, and years of torture at the mouth of this old bitty came rushing back...all of those words...mounting up, building up over time... They were awash with her words.

While she stood at her sink, her back to them, washing those knives, the couple snuck out of the kitchen and out the front door into the frigid, Halloween night, mumbling to each other: "Who needs this s%&t?"... and never returned.

Let’s face it: The scariest part of Halloween usually takes place the day after Halloween. When you go to the store and find that the $19.98 bag of chocolates has been discounted 10% and if you really want it anyway, you’ll have to maneuver around the employee on the ladder who’s putting up the candy cane display.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you feel just a little bit better than you did when you got here. Please consider signing on to my infrequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page & checking out my book (on the book page. Really?) It’s been read by 1000s, many of whom wanted some laughter during infertility, IVF etc. It’s been recommended by renowned infertility professionals around the U.S. It’s not only my book— it’s my true story.

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

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Infertility Hayride

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Let me start by apologizing profusely for the deluge of autumn-related posts that I have already begun and will continue to thrust upon you. I’ve always loved this season although I never realized it until my early 20’s, when the beautiful feelings of crisp air and impending Halloween and Thanksgiving excitement were no longer blocked by the knot in the pit of my stomach that signaled back-to-school doom.

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Every year at this time I fall into the autumn marketing conspiracy trap. I run to purchase (and eat) every seasonal pancake and pie and I’m a total sucker for everything on the shelf— things I never buy until they have “spooky” or “pumpkin spice” in front of their name. And then there are the autumn activities: The State Fair, The Scarecrow Festival… and won’t you join me for a roll in the hay or at least climb aboard my infertility hayride?

Did you know you might have trouble getting pregnant? I didn’t. (Maybe I should have because I was in my late late late 30’s but I didn’t.) A lot of us don’t. We just decide we want to have a baby. We figure it's just going to take a few simple rolls in the hay and then we'll get pregnant. After all, we've heard the song our whole lives: "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes me driving an embarrassingly sensible minivan."

So then week after week, month after month, you two roll in that hay and all you have to show for it is a lot of sweaty hay lodged in various parts of your person. So you get yourself up, dust yourself off... and climb aboard the infertility hayride.

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"Move all the way to the front and scooch together."

You guys aren't alone anymore. The hayride is crowded. Dozens, hundreds, thousands are on the ride with you. Some wear scrubs or white lab coats - an odd fashion choice for a bumpy jaunt through the woods. But most of them look just like you, like they shop where you do: At the “Overwhelmed and Exhausted Mess” boutique.

There will be no rolls in this hay. Oh no, we can't have that. All of this hay is neatly packaged. The lab coats will tell you where to sit, when to sit-- when to touch the hay-- when not to touch the hay.

"And while you're sitting there enjoying the ride, we'll go into the hen house and collect some eggs and... no no, shoo rooster shoo... we're not quite ready for you yet. Just hold your horses... and your plastic cup."

The ride will go up hills, into ditches, scrape bottom on a rock or two, smell like manure, and pass your car that's been patiently waiting for you in the parking lot, several times. You'll get rocked from side to side, you'll lean on each other so you don't fall overboard backwards, and all the while a bunch of the lab coats will be steady on their feet, calmly walking up and down the ride. Unlike the polite folks at the food court, they will be taking samples... from every ready, willing, and able female arm crease and ovary they can get their little latex hands on.

And while they seemingly are spending all of their time talking to you about needles: The needles that go into your arm, the needles that go into your stomach and the needles that go into your butt cheek, what they‘re mostly doing is giving you hope so you won’t think that the chances of you ever having a baby are about the same as you finding the one in the haystack.


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 eBook Now Available!

eBook Now Available!

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Hey, I really appreciate you taking a hayride with me through my buffoonery. Come have more laughs at infertility’s expense (and others) by signing on to my newsletter at the bottom of my homepage and checkin’ out my books: http://laughingisconceivable.com.

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Fertility Autumn: What the Hell Kind of Season is That?

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When I was doing stand-up comedy in NYC years ago, I went for color analysis to figure out what shades of make-up and clothes would be best for me to wear onstage. Back then, when it came to “right” colors and “wrong” colors, every person on the planet was divided into the four seasons. I was declared to be an autumn as was my fellow-comedian friend, Jane Stroll. In fact, Jane had a bit in her act: “I’m an autumn: A short season where things wither and die.” Autumn has always been my favorite season but back when I first tried to get pregnant, I was indeed in the autumn of my fertility and it felt exactly like Jane had described in her act..

I had no indications that I would ever have trouble getting pregnant. Sure I knew that older women have a harder time but nobody ever thinks that’s going to be them. And celebrities do it all the time: “Hey, Kelly Preston had a baby at 48! And Janet Jackson was 50!: If they can do it so can I! After all, what have they got that I don’t except maybe great health insurance and extreme wealth to cover their co-pays giving them access to medical options that I’ve never even heard of!!”

It was four months before my 39th birthday when I got married and therefore started trying to get pregnant. (Call me old-fashioned.) For over a year, I tried on my own to get pregnant. (well, not totally on my own. I'm not a complete idiot.) That’s when it first hit me that there really might be something to this whole “fertility autumn” thing. Jane’s whole “wither and die” scenario. What the hell kind of autumn was this? Autumn to me meant pumpkins, hayrides, candy apples, and the state fair not blood tests, hormone shots, egg retrievals, and nightly butt injections. The emotional roller coaster of infertility was about as close as this crap ever came to the state fair. “Your egg retrieval went great! We got 112 eggs out of you! (Yay!) But only 10 of them became embryos. (Aww) But they all made it to day 5 for transfer! (Yay!) But you didn’t get pregnant. (Aww) But we froze other embryos that we can try! (Yay!)

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To be honest, it’s amazing to me how women so openly discuss every step of their infertility / IVF adventure in online groups. They’re incredible. They ask questions. They seek advice. They give comfort and encouragement. I sure didn’t. When something comes into my life that’s so overwhelming, so all-consuming as infertility, I kind of tune out. I went through the motions okay. I went to the fertility clinic. I went to all of my appointments. I did what I was told and not anything more. I never did special diets or ovulation kits or took my temperature,or even took home pregnancy tests. On the positive side of my denial: I never read any statistics on what a long shot it was to get pregnant at 41.

"When you're 28,  the chance of getting pregnant in the first three months of trying is 1 in 2. At 32, it's 1 in 12. At 38, it's 1 in 1200. At your age, it's 1 in 54 million... better odds than winning the Power Ball lottery… but only slightly."

Every autumn, my family and I do a corn maze. We're notoriously terrible at it. It can be the same exact maze every year and it still takes us two hours to find our way out. I’m sure we make the exact same wrong turns every year. One year, there had been a storm that ripped through the maze the week before we went leaving half of it gone altogether and the other half cut down to about four feet high. Didn’t matter. Just because we could see the exit the entire time doesn’t mean we could figure out how to get to it any faster. They give you a flag so if you get lost and give up you can wave it and the staff will come rescue you. Throughout the fun-filled afternoon you can hear the sweet sound of wives yelling at their husbands: "We've been in here forever! Everybody’s hungry and exhausted. Will you wave the damn flag already?!!"

All things considered, I'd rather be hopelessly lost in a corn maze than an infertility maze.... and I've been hopelessly lost in both... a few times.

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Thanks a lot for stopping by! Two ways to get out more of my shenanigans: 1) Subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the home page 2) Check out my books under: “Books” (no kidding) http://laughingisconceivable.com

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Coming Soon! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy. (That green book right there.)

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Women Who REALLY Make Infertile Women MAD

Okay, it's true. A LOT of women make infertile women mad. And, let's face it, what almost all of those other women have in common is that they're fertile when we're not. Maybe it's our hormones from everything we shoot into our stomachs, butts, or anywhere else on a daily basis. Maybe it's just the exhaustion. We're so worn down from all of this crap. Whatever it is, people get on our nerves like never before.

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Infertile women have to deal with other women inviting us to baby showers, and to go baby clothes shopping. Infertile women endure stupid advice on how to get pregnant: "If you take a cruise to Portugal... I got pregnant on a cruise to Portugal."  And insensitive comments disguised as spiritual comfort:: "If it's meant to happen..." 

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But when I was going through it, the hardest thing for me to suck up was dumb people who got pregnant so easily. And even worse, irresponsible people who not only weren't they trying to get pregnant, they just as soon not.  

 First the clueless: 

They don't know how they got pregnant, when they got pregnant, why they keep getting pregnant and sometimes, occasionally-- They don't even know that they are pregnant.

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One day she's trying on shoes at the shoe store and just happens to look down and see a little face in the little rectangular shoe mirror. And she exits the store in search of a whole different kind of pump than what she had intended when she entered twenty minutes before.

But back then, clueless women who got pregnant easily only made my eyes roll. Irresponsible women who got pregnant easily made me wretch repeatedly. Two words:

Maury anyone?

For those of you who aren't up on your daytime TV because you're dead set on doing something productive during working hours: A Maury show staple: Women get DNA tests done on an ex-husband, an ex-boyfriend, a boyfriend's son, a mother-in-law's husband, a husband's twin, an ex-boyfriend's boyfriend,  the guy who sat next to her at church --or all of the above--to confirm her child's paternity. 

Here's a direct transcript from the show, or something I'm making up as I go... You be the judge.

"Miss A" is seventeen and has four kids with four baby-daddy. All of them have their respective daddy name. I'm not sure which is the most irresponsible part: Having all of those kids at such an immature age, having four different baby-daddy, or saddling all four kids with the same name and then calling all of them, even the girls, "Junior".

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"Miss B" is twenty-four and has a husband. He is even a possible contender to be the baby-daddy. Hoo ha.

So are eight others guys: A few of his cousins and a few of their friends who happened to stop by at the family barbecue on that fateful late summer afternoon...leaving them all to rethink the true meaning of the "labor day weekend"... and to ponder if, perhaps, the grill should be the only thing turned on and heated up during it.       

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"Miss C" has been stalking poor David for two years trying to get him to pay up for his child. There she is on TV calling him a bastard and belittling his little body parts.

Where does a young lady learn such behavior? Oh, wait, there's her mother sitting next to her calling David a c*** sucker into the camera.

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And naturally, when Maury and his official DNA report finally get a word in edgewise, David is officially declared to be not the baby-daddy. 

So, irresponsible "Miss C" has been barking up the wrong guy's little tree for two years, while her child has gotten two years older and the real baby-daddy, with a two year head start, has probably made his way over the border into Mexico, Canada, or Indiana.   

I didn't know those people. I was ashamed of myself for judging them by a TV show. But when I was dealing with infertility, I had such a tough time looking at the guests without forming some serious opinions. Maybe it was jealousy. Maybe it was the hormones. Maybe I should have just stopped watching. If only it wasn't so damn entertaining. And, I'm thinking I'm not alone. It's been on the air for 27 years. 

***

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Has my buffoonery made you feel just a little bit better during this trying time? I really hope so. Please consider subscribing to my infrequent blog newsletter at the bottom of the home page and to get more laughs at infertility's expense, come read about my own personal fkd up journey in my little book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's recommended by world renowned infertility professionals and can be found on this website under "Books": (Duh)     

  

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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!)  

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"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.)

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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. 

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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?

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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 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?"

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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.

 

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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."

 

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

"Year-in-Review"- Why oh Why Must They?

We all know that holidays can be tough for people dealing with infertility. We brace ourselves for getting attacked from all sides: Family, friends, coworkers... Even though it's almost always unintentional, everybody throws their kids in your face with great enthusiasm: They'll tell you what they're buying the kids for Christmas or Hanukkah. They'll ask your opinion on what to buy them. They'll take the adorable items out of the bag and show them to you. They'll scroll through the photos on their phone and narrate every single one: "This is their first Christmas." "This is the first Christmas that they understood what was going on." "This is the first Hanukkah where they didn't put the dreidel in their mouth. It's the first Hanukkah we didn't have to do The Heimlich Maneuver." But for me, over the many years before, during and after my bout with infertility and IVF, the worst torture is the one that comes in the mail.  Has anyway ever sent you an "Our Year-in-Review"  card?

 

Don't get me wrong: I love and really appreciate when people mail an actual personalized holiday card. You so seldom get those. Sometimes I only get one from the dentist. "Happy Holidays! Time for a cleaning!" But an "Our Year-in-Review" card or letter is quite... different.

If you've never received one, they're similar to the friends on Facebook whom I call the "Living the Life!" people. They only post to make people jealous with their "spectacular" life. It's like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And they add exclamation points to everything like US magazine does to make sure we get properly excited over very little.

"Stephanie turned 12 this year! She spent the summer in Brazil!"

"Doug just opened up his third hardware store! Business is booming!"

"Doug Jr. won the Science Fair! He's sooo smart!"

Why oh why doesn't anybody ever include any details worth waiting the whole year to see? Something we really might be interested in?

"Stephanie turned 12 this year! She spent the summer in Brazil! The judge said it was either the camp for troubled tweens in Sao Paolo or juvenile detention!"

"Doug just opened his third hardware store! Business is booming! So what if he sleeps curled up in a ball on the floor and started sucking his thumb?!"

"Doug Jr. won the Science Fair! He's sooo smart! I knew he could figure a way to convert his meth lab into a water purifier!"

Even worse than the people who give an overview of their year in-review are those who give it month by excruciating month. They make you not even want to live another year. Let me end it now, so I won't have to suffer through this again a year from now.

They have to highlight the dullest details they can dig up.

Our Year-in-Review

January:

"Leslie started gymnastics! (How unique of her.) The teacher says she's a natural! Maybe she'll be in the 2022 Olympics!"

(And of course there is only the winter Olympics in 2022. So Leslie had better either double up on her classes so she can get in on 2020 or take it easy until 2024.)

February

"Gymnastics are still going super super super well for Leslie! She also started dance class! (And? So?) She takes tap, jazz, and modern! The teacher says she's a natural! (Imagine that.) Maybe she'll be on "So You Think You Can Dance!"

(Or maybe "Cops" getting cuffed for selling crack: Rebelling for being forced into a life of extra-curricular activities at a tender age.)

Every day of December I go out to get the mail like I'm walking to the electric chair. The driveway is my green mile. I open up the mailbox and take out the contents, my hands shaking: A bill, good. Another bill, good. Another bill, whew!  Oh no. I "whewed" too soon.  A greeting card from Lisa. I know her handwriting. I suck in my breath. The envelope is unnaturally thick. I'm pretty sure she's enclosed neither a check nor a gift card. I pull off my glove, drop it on the driveway and tear into the envelope right then and there. Let's rip off that Band-Aid as fast as possible (and while I'm still within tossing distance of the garbage can.) I see several folded sheets of paper which are about to punish me for all of her boring bullshit, which, for twelve months, I successfully ignored on Facebook. Shoot me.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you feel a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like a few laughs while going through infertility during these holidays, I'd be honored if you'd consider reading my little book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. Available on Amazon, Nook, and Kobo.  https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117

 

Expect to have Holiday Expectations

So you think you dread the holidays this year because you're dealing with infertility? How about before you were dealing with infertility? I truly believe that many many people- those with normally functioning reproductive systems included- either dread or at least would rather not go to these family soirees and there's one main reason: Expectations: Either we fear that our holiday gatherings won't live up to what we expect. Or, even worse: They will.

Approaching holidays fill us with expectation: Expectations to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to skip down memory lane, all of us together, hand in hand.

So here we have on perfumed stationery our dainty, holiday expectation list, engraved in gold calligraphy. And on the other side, scribbled in leaky pen with a mayonnaise stain on it, is our real expectation list.

We expect that everyone will get together. We expect that most don't want to be there. We expect that most are for one of four very good reasons or a combination thereof: 1) They couldn't get out of it. 2) Free food 3) Free alcohol 4) They don't want to be the person who's talked about behind their back.

We expect that at least one person will say something about himself that he shouldn't have and at least two people will say something about someone else that they shouldn't have.

We expect some cousin to tell you how well he's doing in his business even though everyone present, even the kids, know it's bullshit.

We expect your aunt to continue the charade of how well her kid is doing and everyone else to be thinking: "Does she really not know he's a loser?"

We expect some to over-drink and all to over-eat. And we expect that some of the ones who over-drink, will somehow find a way to over-drink even if there's no alcohol served.

We expect all the food will be great while we're sitting within earshot of the person who made it and most of the food will stink when we all talk about it on the drive home in between popping Tums.

And we expect at least one person in each vehicle to put in the request:

"Remind me not to do this again next year."

But those with infertility issues also expect scrutiny and being judged and being made to feel uncomfortable:

Personal questions, embarrassing questions, extremely "not-anybody's-business" questions.

And I'm here to remind you that, while all of their baby plumbing may be functioning correctly, (although you might not be so sure when you see what they were capable of producing), your dear relatives have plenty they don't want to talk about either:

So, remember:

Don't ask  your cousin Brian why he's 42 and still living in his bedroom at home with the New Kids on the Block posters on his wall.

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news hiding his face.

Don't ask your sister-in-law Brenda why she lives in a mansion and drives a BMW to the food stamp office.

Don't ask your brother-in-law Sam how he failed his driving test four times and his GED three times.

Don't ask your mother-in-law why every time she makes her "special-family recipe" stuffing, there's always an empty Stove Top box in the garbage.

Don't ask your second cousin Bill why he spends his days collecting disability and training for an Ironman triathlon.

And the ultimate goal for the family festivities: After the whole debacle is over, be that person in the car who says:

"Remind me not to do this again next year".......

And then put it down as #1 on your New Year Resolutions' list.

Thanks a lot for taking time during this busy season to stop by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than when you first got here.  My eBook is now available in paperback too. So if you want to have a copy for when you could use a laugh during your infertility travels, or you're tired of the waiting room magazines.. (That's Chapter 6, by the way) Or want to give as a gift to someone in your life who just doesn't get what you're going through.  https://www.amazon.com//0692950117/  

 

 

Infertility at Work- at the Company Holiday Party

"My Co-Workers are like Family" office-of-angry-people

Why do people think that's a good thing? So you're telling me that you get on each other's nerves, push each other's buttons, talk behind each other's backs, and hold eternal grudges?

Mercifully, most of our extended real family, the ones with whom we spend holidays, are people we don't see that often. So whatever idiocies are said at the big family gathering.:

"I really think you should start having children. You're not getting any younger."

Or our response:

"I really think you should stop talking. You're not getting any smarter."

...are said and then we all get into our respective cars, gripe to anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in the vehicle with us for the long & getting-longer-by-the-minute-ride-home, or a BFF on the other end of the hands-free. Then we rehash the emotional leftovers in our minds and to our spouses for the next 12 months. It's different after the company holiday event.

woman-arguing-to-man-in-care

Infertility at Work: The Company Holiday Party: (Gd help us all... everyone.)

If someone you've confided in at work about your infertility starts gabbing at the big celebration, maybe after confusing the open bar with the buffet two or twelve times, or maybe you yourself imbibed more than you should have and, mistaking catty coworkers for friends, sailed your own secrets down the River Rum... unlike with your family, you won't have to deal with the backlash until.....Not next Thanksgiving. Not next Christmas..... Monday.

1920_hero_too_drunk_holiday_party

And since a juicy bit of gossip is often the best holiday bonus people can bring home nowadays- Any seeds of "news" employees start spreading at the holiday party 2017 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2017) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2019. When finally you'll be able to get up off the hot seat because at least one of the following will have taken place:

  1. You'll be pregnant (yeah!) and they'll switch from discussing how infertile you were to how fat you are.
  2. You'll be a parent and they'll switch to discussing how much time you're taking off.
  3. People will finally have grown as tired of your infertility as you have.
  4. A fair number of employees at the December 2017 holiday party won't even be at the December 2018 holiday party because those holiday parties are only for company employees: Something which, for one reason or other, many will no longer be a year later. Of course, the most likely thing to occur to get you off the hot seat:
  5. Something new and way more delicious than your humdrum infertility will emerge at the party as the new reigning scandal:

A good old-fashioned boisterous, public cursing out; The manager feeding appetizers to the assistant manager from her cleavage; The CFO going to get her coat to leave and throwing up in the cloak room window... The possibilities are endless.

(I really appreciate you taking time at this busy time of year to stop by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughter at infertility's expense, please check out my book above- now available in eBook & paperback: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. (Recommended by renowned infertility professionals) https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117)

 

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