TTC

Infertility Awareness Week: Shhh! Not So Loud.

fingers in ears.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

woman running being chased in the dark.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

parade.jpg

Our parade colors would be gray and black.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Break for Infertile Women… Oh, If Only

spring in black & white.png

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?

taavel brochurs spring break.jpg

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."     

elderly people.jpg

"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

Microblog_Mondays.png

Chained to the IVF Calendar

I’m usually in bed by 9:30. Last night I decided to stay up until midnight to see the great lunar eclipse of 2019. If you missed it, it was the new moon, the first full moon of the year, the Moon, Sun, and Earth all lined up perfectly, Jupiter aligned with Mars, peace guided the planet, love steered the stars and it was the dawning of the age of Aquarius. (And apparently astrophysics collided with the musical, Hair.)

aquarius flower power.jpg

Call it “all in your head” or “being neurotic” or finding a great excuse to shirk my responsibilities and be totally unreasonable (I’m okay with all of the above) but the full moon affects me. I’ve luckily never really felt too bothered by PMS, but the last few years, I totally get it. A few days before the full moon, I get really tired and am even more of a pain in the butt cheek’s upper outer quadrant to be around than normal. But hey, if you’re trying diligently to get pregnant—especially if you’re doing fertility treatments— you’re a slave to the almighty calendar.

First I figured out my ovulation dates, which by the way, after I traded that in for IUI, IVF and FET, I realized: “Hey, you know what? I may have been calculating my ovulation date / window of conception opportunity wrong all that time. Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the head if I really didn’t need any medical assistance at all and put myself through: 2 clinics, 6 doctors, 16 nurses, 5 receptionists, and 3 billing people all because I couldn’t add?”

Then I started seeing a fertility specialist—a Reproductive Endocrinologist. (I skipped the whole “should-I-stick-with my OB/GYN-and-see-what-they-know-or-head-to-a-specialist?” step. I was two months away from turning 40 when I decided I might need conception help. My OB/GYN saw me coming, locked the door, turned off the lights, pulled down the shades, and put up the “For Rent” sign.)

calendar.jpg

It was time to take out the calendar again to mark down the first day of my period. So that’s easy enough. Except that I was never quite sure what the first day was. I mean, if I got it at night… was that the first day? Or if I thought I saw something but it wasn’t much… was that the first day? Or if it started in the morning but slowed down to nothing and didn’t really get going until the next day… was that the first day? I understand your point of view completely. And those are totally reasonable questions you’re asking yourself: “Why was this 40 year old woman with almost average intelligence asking herself this? Didn’t she think to ask anybody in her past 28 years of menstrual cycles? Why was she waiting until 6 months before the onset of menopause to find out?” So, I finally did inquire and just in case there are any other grown women reading this who should, like me, have asked someone when they were 11 and who are sitting at the edge of their seat hoping I’ll give the answer: A nurse told me that you start counting from the first full day of your normal flow. Good to know… better late than never… I guess.

Then, you have to mark your calendar for when you’re going to be tested. They have to make sure all of your parts are present and accounted for, located where they should be, and open for business. And then he has to be tested to make sure his contributions to the process are ready, willing, and able instead of few and far between, lost, or lazy.

cartoon nurse with needle.jpg

Then you have to mark your calendar for the appointment to get your blood drawn and your uterine lining checked. And then in a few days to get your blood drawn and your uterine lining checked. And then in another few days to get your blood drawn and your uterine lining checked. (Cut and paste. Cut and paste. Cut and paste. Too bad I still use an old-fashioned wall calendar instead of an electronic one.)

Then there’s the scheduled date of the insemination, and if needed, egg retrieval and embryo transfer— “Do I mark day 3 or day 5?” Better do it in pencil. Then you mark down the date of the pregnancy test 2 weeks later. Like anybody has to remind us of that date… We all remember precisely when that official pregnancy test date is… it immediately follows the 8 unofficial ones we’ve taken that we were told not to. Somehow, those never make it to the calendar.

Lots of people have planned pregnancies but nobody can plan a pregnancy like we can..

**********

I really appreciate you stopping by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here a few minutes ago. I’ve got a lot of things brewing- YouTube, podcasts, new books… so please subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated. (I promise not to annoy your inbox with constant emails. How irritating.) Also, if you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense or infertility & its “aftermath” , check out my books: Everything’s on my homepage: http://laughingisconceivable.com

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

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

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

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

La La Land: Good Movie, Lousy New Year’s Resolution

la la land.jpg

So last week we discussed how “This Year I Will…Get Pregnant” is maybe not a great New Year’s resolution. This is sort of a follow-up to that. (Suddenly I feel like my sister who calls two weeks later and starts the conversation with “As I was saying…” instead of “Hello”.)

I think one of the biggest problems with making New Year's resolutions is that we don't know ourselves at all. So we take our goals way overboard to La La Land. Like when we want to lose weight in the new year. Why can’t we just start by trading soda for water or not parking in the fire lane because the actual parking lot isn’t close enough, instead of vowing to go to the gym four times a week to replace our habit of going to the drive-thru four times a week? Is that really going to happen? So every week, we’ll start strong: Sunday- the gym. Monday- the gym. Tuesday- McDonald’s, then the gym. Wednesday-Wendy’s, then the gym. Thursday- the gym, then KFC as a reward. (At least we could attempt a valiant compromise: Make Sunday our Chick-Fil-A day since they're closed.)

jake gyllenhaal.jpg

And, if we’re truthful, sometimes in trying to have a baby we take our goals to La La land too. And like I mentioned last post, I'm all for optimism and positive thinking... but not La La land. La La land is for those quiet moments when you're driving and hear Jake Gyllenhaal whisper into your ear how fabulous you look over there driving with no make-up, a ponytail you haven't taken out for two days and your husband's sweats, (Now back to our originally scheduled post.)

A few women whom I know through infertility circles have told me that their goal for 2019 is "have a baby". Great! Throw it onto your vision boards and into your visualizations, prayers, mirror exercises and whatever else you do. That's exactly where "have a baby" belongs. It's a goal, but sometimes I think women make the mistake of putting it on their "to do" list instead. And that's what has kept so many with this 2019 goal so stressed out for all of 2018 and maybe 2017 and 2016. Let "have a baby" be the prize you keep your eyes on and then be open to how all of the details unfold. I know. Infertility makes us feel like we have no control over anything—especially once we start treatments. (Geez, they tell you when you can ovulate, when you can touch your honey bun… I always particularly enjoyed peeing during IVF. Peeing was all up to me. And since they did the pregnancy test at the clinic, not only could I pee any time I wanted, I didn’t have to do it on a stick… or on my hand.)

happy new year.jpg

So let's say first on the "2019 "To-Do" list is: "Find an egg donor".  There you go: Homework. Now, you may get into your egg donor research and by January 26th decide it's not for you. But during those two weeks you may have talked to someone or gotten back a test result that sparked a new path. The stress and hormones turn us all into nut-jobs but trusting our guts will keep us from doing any of the following:

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

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

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

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

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

I like yoga. (You probably already assumed I did because of my serene blogging demeanor.) Like an instructor I had, I like to eat right and exercise and strive to live a very happy, peaceful, long life. But she does frequent cleanses, is a strict vegan, and never eats junk food which in her world, includes anything cooked. It works for her. But if I started to eat that way I would live a very happy, peaceful, cleansed, two weeks. Then I'd shoot myself. I know me.

***********Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please subscribe to this blog / check out my book: It’s my own infertility / IVF / FET story. It’s recommended by renowned infertility professionals (reviews in “Look Inside” at Amazon link below) and has been read by 1000s of people like you, who are looking for a way to de-stress from infertility. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ / 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

Microblog_Mondays.png

Being Thankful for Knowing How to Handle the Relatives

family at dinner table.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

family-nosy relative-good.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Do you guys still want children?" 

"Screw off".

Yeah, that could work.

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

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

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