Oh What to Call This Infertility Mess!

Okay, so I wrote a post last week for a great website: Fertility Authority.com (http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368) I wrote it very innocently. (Saying you wrote something innocently is always a nice disclaimer in case you end up offending every third person or just simply making a total schmuck of yourself.) In the post, I got all riled up about calling this infertility thing...this cancerous mole in our lives... a "journey". Part of the offense I take to this expression "Infertility Journey" is purely from a writer's point of view (Or POV as they like to say on "Food Network Star" The first twenty times they said it, I was like:

"What does the military have to do with the Food Network?" I'm thinking: MIA, POW... POV: I don't know. Prisoner of the Vatican?)

When we don't know what to say, infertility bloggers particularly (me included), call the damn thing an "Infertility Journey".

"Journey" sort of fits into the category of trendy expressions. And as a writer or maybe just an annoying uptight person, I'm none too fond of trendy expressions. Everybody's on some kind of a journey these days.

"I'd like to thank the academy and the director of the film. It was a great journey." Just like professional athletes at press conferences, if an actor throws it in during his acceptance speech at an awards' show it's undoubtedly one of those irritatingly overused phrases.

Maybe that's another reason this whole "Infertility Journey" thing bothers me. We go through so much. We all have a lot in common. And yet we're each of us unique. Who wants to be dumped onto the pile with a thousand other catch phrases? After it's been used a zillion times it has no meaning. We need something to call our own. We deserve it.

So I've been chatting with some great ladies over at the Creating a Family: Talk About Adoption and Infertility group at Facebook ( (http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/40688106167/) and they've come up with some good thoughts on what to call this sucker.

One said: "Crusade". I think that has potential but I have three minor objections to "Infertility Crusade".

1) It sounds like we're going to have to march somewhere

2) It sounds a mite too noble for people who spend much of their days crying, kvetching, and shooting drugs into their belly fat and

3) For me personally, it carries a negative connotation. My people didn't fair too well during THE Crusades.

On another site, someone, of course rightly so, suggested we refer to this mishmash as an "Infertility Rollercoaster", obviously because of all the ups and downs.

My issue with this: (Naturally I have one.)

Rollercoasters can be fun and exciting. If infertility is a rollercoaster, it's one of those that gets stuck and leaves you eighty feet in the air hanging upside down, waiting for "your savior" -the carny- to finish smoking his joint so he can climb up the hundred rungs on the ladder to rescue you.

I admit, "journey" is a de-sensitizer and maybe we all need one. Nobody, even those of us who have experienced infertility first hand, wants a brutally blunt term of what this is like. Anybody want to go around saying: "I'm going through the 'Infertility Vacuum'? It sucks months and months out of your social, romantic, emotional, and financial life. It sucks and sucks and boy does it suck!"

Even if you trendied it up, "Reproductive Liposuction" doesn't sound much better.

So, I recommend, if that's too harsh an approach, we can just call it, drumroll please: The "Infertility Schlep".

On a "Journey" you're standing proudly erect with a back pack and a walking stick, a sense of purpose in every stride. It's an adventure. This is nothing like that. This is a slow, tired, head hanging down to your knees, bent over shuffle. Some days you're depressed. Some days even defeated. You're 32 but you feel like 109. Can barely move another step. "Infertility Schlep". I like it.

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