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What Teens Can Teach Infertile Women (Apparently)

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Teen pregnancy in the U.S. has been going down in the past several years and yet, when you hear about a 15 year old having a baby, don’t you want to hurt somebody? People not dealing with infertility might be angry at the girl, her parents, society. But women struggling to get pregnant have a whole other bag of resentment: “Why should she be pregnant? She hasn’t been trying for 6 years like I have. She hasn’t been in a stable relationship for more than a decade.” . I think the reason why the likes of us have trouble getting pregnant is: We know too damn much.  We have to think more like a schmucky teenager. You know, think back. Remember when you knew nothing but thought you knew everything?

Let's see if we can key in on how so many teenagers are getting pregnant and so many of us are having issues. Here are some tips I've come up with from what I've observed from teens:

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1) Be a horny seventeen year old.

So here we all are wasting our time looking at calendars and ovulation kits and telling our spouses that it's not that we mind  doing it now, but why bother when it's not the optimal day, hour, minute to get pregnant? Instead, we should just be doing it constantly--Any time of day. During lunch period. Standing up in a locker. So forget your comfy queen size in your master bedroom...that doesn't seem to be working. How about your parent's bedroom? (ew) Or on a high school cafeteria table? (worse things have been on it) Or under the bleachers during a football game? Or sex on a beach? It doesn't have to be just a drink you know.

2) Listen to what a teenage boy tells you: They are so wise.

Stop taking advice on getting pregnant from doctors, nutritionists and other people with advanced degrees. Where has it gotten you?? Start listening to the brilliant reverse psychology used by a teenage boy. To guarantee you DO get pregnant, follow these sage words on when you CAN’T get pregnant:

1) When you’re drunk

2) When you do it standing up.

3) Or in a car.

4) Or standing up in a car.

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3) Use a teenage girl's calendar

Sure, our ovulation calendars are fine for getting pregnant... the one that has blinking lights during your most fertile days...the one that counts down every hour after your period starts like the clock in Times Square on New Year's Eve... The one that plays Rod Stewart's "Tonight's The Night." But nothing beats a teenage girl's calendar.

31% of the young ladies in the study who got pregnant, thought that it wasn't possible to get pregnant "during that time".  I think the issue is what exactly "during that time" means:

a) When The Voice is on?

b) When I’m not that into him?

c) When I didn’t even like it?

d) After eating Taco Bell?

So maybe we should all shred our calendars and burn our ovulation kits and learn something from those who clearly know more than we do about getting pregnant.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please take a look at my books recommended by top medical professionals around the U.S. & infertility patients & survivors alike. http://laughingisconceivable.com

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility— (My infertility / IUI / IVF / FET “adventure”)

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility— (My infertility / IUI / IVF / FET “adventure”)

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Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy (From my IVF adventure thru the “Aftermath”)

Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy (From my IVF adventure thru the “Aftermath”)

Infertility Season: The Girls of Summer

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

During both seasons, there are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Receptionist: Queen of the Fertility Clinic

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

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

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

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

The pair sparked childhood memories for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"That's my wife."

"Ow! My spine!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Horror-Comedy of Infertility

By Philip Cottraux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despicable!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEWS MEN CAN USE

by Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD

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

Men – there are two little factoids to consider:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helen Adrienne

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

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

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

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3 Day Weekend- Infertiles: Grill or Be Grilled!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Don't you like kids?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's "Give Yourself a Cookie" Week

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

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

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

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

Give yourself a cookie!

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

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

Give yourself a cookie!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“National 'Nurses Returning My Phone Calls' Week"

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

“National 'Mind Your Own Business' Week”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Break for Infertile Women… Oh, If Only

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

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

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

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

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

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

"You got it." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trying on Halloween Costumes As An Adult- Oh The Joy

None of these is me. None of these was ever me. None of these will ever be me.

None of these is me. None of these was ever me. None of these will ever be me.

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Dressing up for Halloween- some years I'm into it, some not. If I go ahead with it, I choose what I'm going to be very carefully. My costume has to meet strict criteria: I must be able to see. I must be able to breathe. I must be able to pee. I also don't do props. On a long night of party-hopping or trick-or-treating, I can't be bothered wondering every twenty minutes where I left my pacifier or my sword.

Some years I think I'm making it easy on myself by going for a store-bought costume. No cutting, gluing or hunting for accessories that they have every day at every dollar store all year long, until you need it. I can just buy the thing and be done with it. It's always a mistake. More costly than the ridiculous price of the costume itself is the emotional price. Trying on Halloween costumes is about as much fun as trying on bathing suits. The costume always looks so cute on the girl in the picture on Party City's wall but somehow, when I try it on, my parts never go where her parts went on Party City's wall.

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This year, I tried on a white Wilma Flintstone costume. I figured: "It's one simple piece. How bad can it be?" (Better left as a rhetorical question I soon discovered.) I scrunched up the dress from the bottom and shimmied my head through it. And that's where the journey ended. Not one single part of the dress made it over my shoulders. It may have been a costume for someone else, but it was basically a forty-five dollar neck brace for me. I debated whether to take it off or put one bone in my hair and another sticking out of the dress and go as a victim of a Stone Age hit and run accident (or a prehistoric prostitute since I was in my underwear from the neck brace down.)

Doesn’t every single one of us know we're doomed when anything is marked: "One size fits all". Granted, sales would probably plummet if the tag told the truth: "One size fits nobody." They try to be more diplomatic nowadays and say: "One size fits most". Even still: Define "fits" say I, the woman wearing the pricey neck wear.

One aspect worse than bathing suit shopping: The fitting rooms at our party store has the mirrors outside the dressing rooms. Now how could this go wrong? Allow me to tell you. There are two unisex dressing rooms side by side. Forget the fact that every time you emerge from one of them to look in the mirror, the person next in the sprawling dressing room line makes a beeline for the swinging open door, leaving you to explain that you're not actually done with it yet. This isn't a sneaker store. Chances are you weren't planning to throw your clothes in a bag and wear your naughty nun outfit home.

Truthfully, you really don't have to even look at yourself in the mirror. You can tell if your ensemble's a disappointment by the looks on the faces of the strangers in line. All around there are people pretending not to notice you-- people looking at their phones, asking their kids what they want for lunch-- all in an attempt to keep their faces from revealing their feelings of pity and horror. After which, dozens of customers around the Country every year quietly hustle back into the dressing room, close the door, and shoot themselves. Then as two employees drag out the bloody lifeless body through the store and into the window display. all the while whispering into her ear: “No returns after October 21st”, a third employee stays behind and signals to the next person in line: "This room's free."

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Hope you had a few laughs at my expense. If you’d like more of my buffoonery, please consider signing up for my not-annoyingly-over-frequent newsletter and checking out my little books—all at the bottom of my homepage. http://laughingisconceivable.com But most of all, please always remember that no matter what’s going on in the world or what you’re personally going through: Laughing IS Conceivable… And Humor Heals.

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility  Recommended by renowned IVF professionals around the U.S.   https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility Recommended by renowned IVF professionals around the U.S. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

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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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.

***

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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Bringing Lousy Customer Service into my Life

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I'm one of those people who is a big believer in universal energy and that we play a major part in who and what we attract into our lives. So, what's so appealing about lousy customer service that I've been attracting it in droves lately?

1) The "stylist" at Great Clips. I know. I know.  But between the time I checked my son in and he had come off their hair-cutting assembly line only about 12 minutes had elapsed. Shouldn't everybody in the world over 17 be able to keep their surliness, disdain, boredom, and eye rolls under raps for 12 minutes? 

2) The sales guy at Eyecare Center. Over a 3 month period, we got severely overcharged, my husband's glasses came back wrong 3 times and all was made worse by his patronizing attitude. He "yes ma'amed" me to death and constantly said things like: "I know it's hard having a husband and kids to take care of." to which I replied: "Not to mention a business." Another time he said something about me having to cook and all the things that come with being a mommy to which I responded:"Yeah, Lori don't play that."

3) The substitute dentist. I adore my dentist. So why oh why did the bastard have to go on vacation? I've only been going there for about 6 months and got the same guy twice. Well this time he was on vacation. I got a different dentist / used car saleswoman. All I wanted was to fill a cavity in a wisdom tooth. She wouldn't hear of it--- Okay, a lot of dentists agree with just pulling them out.... but this is what I got when I pulled onto her lot: "Why don't you fill the one in the front instead? Wouldn't you feel worse if you lost that one? And then pull those 2 wisdom teeth. And I would take out all of those old fillings and replace them. And those 3 are going to need build ups and crowns. But if you can't do the crowns, let's just do the build-ups, and Beth, set her up with Care Credit if her insurance doesn't cover that...." Needless to say, I drove off her lot, drove back a week later when the other dentist returned and had the receptionist add the substitute dentist to my list of allergies. I think they actually put a sticker of her face with a line through it on my chart.       

4) Scooper at the local ice cream place. She gave me the ice cream for 5 of us. I gave her my frequent shopper card that was full. Fine. Then I asked her for a new card to start. She said they had run out of them. I asked if I should just mention the 4 credits next time. She begrudgingly scribbled her initials 4 times on a slip of paper and handed it to me saying: "Well, if you want to keep track..."  

5) Wal-Mart cashier. I know. I know. Our interaction was maybe 7 minutes. I know that Wal-Mart doesn't treat employees well and many of them might hate their job. I know. But can you at least be pleasant? Half of them look like they're slipping in and out of consciousness. This one the other day just started ringing up the next person's order and tossing his items into bags while Lloyd put the credit card back into his wallet and I grabbed the last few of our bags off the carousel. As I looked to be sure that I had gotten all of them, she finally decided to speak: "I gave you all of your bags."... I said: "I'd like to double-check for myself if that's okay with you." So she hates her job. I've hated most of mine too over the years. So what? Apply elsewhere. There must be dozens of places looking for people with your sparkling personality. Can you cut hair?.

On the other hand: Once we found her, The EyeCare debacle was straightened out by a fantastic regional sales director. and the office manager, my dentist, and his assistant all went above and beyond to rectify the situation at the used car dealership.. 

So maybe all of my signals being sent out to the Universe aren't going totally haywire lately..  But really, the Universe has been around a while. It should know better than to accept messages sent via peri-menopausal hormones. 

Thanks a lot for stopping by for my buffoonery! Please consider signing up for my newsletter at the bottom of the home page and taking a gander at one of my books under well, "books". They are designed to de-stress during some of life's most anxiety-producing moments. After all: Laughing IS Conceivable... And Humor Heals.  

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Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

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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".

********

"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.       

********

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

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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:

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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.)

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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. 

 

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

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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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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/