TTC

How Infertile Women Should Deal with Pregnant Women

When you’re trying mightily to get pregnant, it just always seems like everyone around you is. Doesn’t it? (Especially nurses and teachers…I’ve always wondered about that.)

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My advice; Keep yourself from being sucked into the pregnancy merriment vortex of those around you: Your pregnant cousin, coworker, next door neighbor. Avoid these women at all costs. It's easier than explaining why you're not in any mood to be part of all of their giddy rituals and festivities.

The next door neighbor is the simplest to ditch. For me, it would be extremely easy not to talk to my neighbor for nine months. We've lived here for 12 years. Talk to them? Are you kidding? I couldn't pick out my next door neighbor in a three-person line-up. Like right now for instance. I just saw some teens running down the block and into the house across the street. I have no idea if they live there or are robbing it. I'll watch the news later and see if there's any mention. 

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So just plan your newspaper retrieval, moving of garbage cans and picking up of mail when the pregnant neighbor is not in view.  And if you see her coming during one of these tasks, just remember, you can probably out-run her.

One preggo down.

The cousin is also easily dismissed. All you need to do is avoid all family functions for nine months. Sounds impossible. More impossible than spending the holidays ducking behind poinsettia plants, blow-up reindeer or a menorah so that nobody will talk to you about how good your cousin looks or pry into what's going on in your ovaries? 

Of course if you don't attend the holiday festivities this year, those who do attend will spend all night talking about you and why you didn't attend. I'd be good with that. You know how people always say: "If you have something to say, say it to my face."? What for? Personally, I'd just as soon have them talk behind my back. Like Billy Joel says: "You can speak your mind. Just not on my time." 

Of course some do-gooder like your mom or your sister who was at the bash (a bash in every sense of the word) will be hitting your number on speed dial as she's backing out of the party house driveway to spill the tea. And, that, my dears is what call waiting is for: To pretend you have another call so you can politely hang up on somebody. Or, even better: Caller ID. So you don't have to answer it in the first place.

Two preggos down.

The third chick on the list is the hardest to ignore: The coworker. She sits just one thin-partitioned cubicle away. Not only does she spend all day searching for cute maternity crap online, she keeps calling other coworkers over to ask their opinion on it. And you have to hear all of it. You hear her being excited about everything and the parade of bored coworkers pretending to be excited for her. 

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Destroy something. Maybe an electrical outlet or a computer. Yeah, if something were broken in your cubicle, perhaps you could just pick up your plant and your photos and sashay over to that vacant one...way over there...on the other side of the wall nestled between the huge creaky copier and the white noise machine.

Or ear buds. Shove some invisible ear phones into your ears and listen to music. Maybe some club tunes or ‘80s metal bands. My mother's eighty year old cousin slips his hearing aid into his pocket whenever his sister starts talking.

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I know, there are those pregnant women who are close family or friends who want you to be involved in their baby showers etc. We’ll deal with them next week, I promise. Just please remember: Right now you're doing the infertility hokey-pokey... And "self-preservation"--That's what it's all about.

I truly appreciate you stopping by and I really hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you first got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please check out my books at the link. http://laughingisconceivable.com

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

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

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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

















We Are the Many, The Proud, The Infertile Insane

When we enter into the landmine of infertility and its treatments, most of us are relatively sane, emotionally stable, mentally competent people. But sometime shortly thereafter, we start to go bonkers. It could be the stress of our situation, the medications, the hormones, the attack of fluorescent lights, the constant flow of blood siphoned out of our arms, the probings…

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I remember being at the clinic for my egg retrieval and looking at myself up and down as best I could from head to toe. (The clinic dressing room didn’t have a mirror. All dressing rooms should be this merciful.) There I stood wearing a hospital gown accessorized with a paper hat and paper booties. All I could think of at that all-important moment was: “I’ll bet this is how they’ll dress me at the asylum.”

When you read the posts on online infertility support groups, people are crying, hugging, on their very last nerve, beating the daylights out of each other with baby dust, venting about an insensitive partner, mother-in-law, coworker, or BFF, tossing out emojis like Frisbees, and forever on the verge of a total nervous breakdown. What a pretty group we are.

Sometimes I think we should be required to wear bumper stickers on our backs like new drivers have on their cars. to give everyone who comes near us fair warning. Instead of it saying "Student Driver" it could say: "IVF Patient". They would send the same vital messages as friends, family, and unsuspecting strangers approach: "Stay back. Stay way way back. This person is not responsible for her actions. This person could lose all control at any moment."

When you see that "Student Driver" bumper sticker what do you do? Stay away. Stay far far away.

The same could apply to the "IVF Patient" in the supermarket. People would run out of the aisle like they had just seen a Walmart personal shopper with their freakishly big carts. (I call them “Tray Trolls”) Shopping cart wheels would squeal and leave skid marks as people switched check-out lines.

"No, that's okay. I think I’ll just take the bar of soap I’m buying and get on that line over there behind the woman with the six screaming kids, two jam packed shopping carts, overflowing accordion coupon file, three gift cards and a checkbook.

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Yeah, the one with the cashier with the 'Trainee' name tag, (I think that's French). Yes, her: The one who can't seem to master the art of finding the end on a roll of receipt tape, has switched on her blinking number light and is nonchalantly calling for 'the key' and asking if she can go on break. Don't worry. Yeah, yeah, I'll be fine."  

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I look at infertility treatments as a door. We're pushing, with all of our might, on that door: The door perhaps to our future. But for now our screws are loose and we've become unhinged.

I really appreciate you stopping by. I hope you feel just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please do check out my books below. 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

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

The Infertility Tennis Match

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This is tennis season. It’s also infertility season. Okay, when is it NOT infertility season? But as I spend my days dazed in front of the TV watching the Grand Slam events, I can’t help noticing how much infertility and tennis truly have in common. Right now it’s French Open time. I don’t like to watch stale sports. What I mean is, I don’t like watching sports a day later. And being that I’m in the U.S. and the tennis is live in France, I have to get up at 5 am to watch tennis while they’re actually playing tennis. And here is where the similarities with infertility begin.

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THE HOURS YOU KEEP

When I was going through all of it: IUI, IVF, FET, I always took the very first doctor’s appointment of the day because:

1) I wanted to get it over with and go on with my day as though the whole ugly episode never happened.

2) I wanted to sneak out of my apartment under the cloak of darkness so I wouldn’t have to explain anything to my nosy neighbors. (If anyone did see me leaving in the wee hours, hopefully they just assumed I was a drug dealer or a prostitute. It may not be a perfect scenario, but preferable to standing in the street going: “Well, I was older when I met my husband and my hormone levels were fine and his sperm were fine but blah blah blah blah blah.” I had no interest in discussing my internal organs or bodily secretions with my neighbors.)

3) As a rule, I always like early morning doctor’s appointments so if they keep me waiting, I can go up to the desk and say: “What’s the hold up? I know you can’t be backed up with appointments. I was the only one here when you unlocked the door and turned on the lights..”

4) The doctor’s office liked to get me in and out early so I would stop going up to the desk and saying: “What’s the hold up? I know you can’t be backed up with appointments. I was the only one here when you unlocked the door and turned on the lights.”

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THE PRICES

Forget how much the tickets cost to attend a major sporting event. Have you ever bought food at the concessions? Oh let’s see: I have a burger, fries, and a soda. $62. That seems fair. I think IVF uses the same price list. Blood test: $200; Cotton ball to stop the rest of your blood from seeping out of the needle hole in your arm: $140; Tape to hold cotton ball on said arm on said hole: $110. Once I said to the billing person: “Don’t you people do anything here that costs fewer than 3 digits?” I really didn’t expect her to be amused. Her desk was strategically situated by the exit. I always suspected that if anybody ever tried to leave without paying, they would get tased in the back on their way out the door.

So if you live somewhere where all of your infertility-related expenses are covered, keep your address to yourself or some jealous uninsured infertile woman might come to your house and stick a syringe in your neck because it’s the only thing we can get for free. (And those are free only because they don’t want infertility patients and other drug users to share needles. Not that any of us really wants to use a needle that’s just been in some other woman’s ass.)

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THE BACK AND FORTH

You watch a tennis match. She hits the ball and then the other woman hits the ball on the other side. Back and forth. Back and forth. You go to a fertility specialist’s office to get your blood drawn and maybe your uterine lining checked then you go home and wait for the nurse to call with instructions. A few days later you go in to get your blood drawn and maybe your uterine lining checked then you go home and wait for the nurse to call with instructions. Back and forth. Back and forth. And even through months and months of blood, sweat, tears and heartbreaking losses, we stay focused on that one moment when we’ll be able to finally, one day, raise our arms in victory… and somebody will put a baby in them instead of a fricken trophy.

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, come back every week to my blog, join my newsletter mailing list, 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

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

Infertility Awareness Week: Shhh! Not So Loud.

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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. 

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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.

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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

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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

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.)

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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.)

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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.

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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..

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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

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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

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

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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.)

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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.)

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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

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Being Thankful for Knowing How to Handle the Relatives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Do you guys still want children?" 

"Screw off".

Yeah, that could work.

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

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

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