baby daddy

Men,Men,Men,Men,Manly Men, Men,Men (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can.  Yes, all this week is about men: Specifically, our men and their roles in our infertility journey: From us getting them prepared for their IVF husbandly duties specimen to the history behind the nightly "jab her in the butt cheek" ritual.)   I have to say these guys deserve all of our gratitude. If you're lucky enough to have someone amazing, they're indispensible across the board.  But anyone who's ready, willing, and able to give you tush injections is golden. 

There are a lot of people who volunteer for great causes: Donating blood with the Red Cross. Building homes with Habitats for Humanities. Building schools in developing countries with the Peace Corps. Maybe you're luckier than I, but trust me: There's no waiting list for volunteers to hold ice on my butt every night. Most people would just as soon risk malaria.

Even my husband asked: "Are you positive you can't find somebody else? Have you tried Craig's list... or Match.com?" 

Besides the emotional support of someone who takes on that task, there's the actual physical support.  

I've read online instructions for injecting yourself with progesterone. Has anyone ever tried taking this 1 and 1 /2 inch needle and injecting their own tuchas? I don't know about you, but I'm not nearly that coordinated. Twice in my life I tried to curl my own eyelashes. I ended up in the emergency room both times.

I just can't picture it: "Okay so I think this the upper outer quadrant of my buttock. Yeah, now I've got it. Right...about... here! Oh crap. There goes my spleen."

The husband may have seemingly only a few responsiblilities on this journey with us. But it is an unpleasant little list.

You know when people have a loved one who's sick or suffering and they say: "I wish it was me. I would trade with them in a second." I'm sure our guys really mean it. Sure, some of it is love... But consider the scenario:

"Mr. Jones, your wife will take several drugs, undergo a battery of tests, have doctors' appointments several times a week perhaps for several months during which she will be wearing nothing but a giant paper napkin and socks, lying on a table in a position developed by cirque du soleil...    and for you we have this cup."

"That's okay. I'd rather do the drugs and paper napkin."

"Oh, and by the way. The stress of the whole infertility thing piled on top of the hormones your wife's being given isn't always a pretty concoction. You may find living with her for the next several weeks, months, or years to be difficult if not intolerable. She may be moody, anxious, depressed or just hate being around you for apparently no reason."

"No, I'm serious. I want the drugs and the napkin. Where are they? Give them to me now!"     

Whether it's female infertility or male infertility, or both, or nobody's sure which: If you can really bond together against the odds, and the relatives, and the bills, and the relationship actually manages to survive infertility, the next sixty years should be a piece of cake.

Listen, I gotta go. I have to submit my timesheet at work to payroll. I may goof off, go to lunch and not return until the next morning, chat online all day, and call in sick every Monday and Friday... but I'm always very prompt for the good people in payroll.

If you haven't already, don't forget to check out this week's excellent Health Experts article: "Ways to Boost Male Fertility" by Natural Fertility Specialist Ian Claxton.  http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=642

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

Things That Go Bump in the Night of an Infertile (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can... if you dare...whoooooooooooooo and if you like what you read, consider subscribing. It's easy and you'll get some weekly blog behind-the-scenes...If you dare.... whoooooooooo0oooo.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The one-in-a-zillion mishap when a qualified fertility doctor slips the wrong sperm into the right uterus.  Or, you might say, the sperm is in the wrong place at the right time.

Perhaps even more frightening (but definitely rarer) is when a woman goes to an infertility clinic, gets inseminated, and nine months later has a baby who's the spitting image of her..... fertility doctor.

There was a doctor named Cecil Jacobson who, in the 1980's apparently inseminated some of his patients with his own sperm.

(Is that so bad? I mean for the $1500 a pop for IUI, they should throw in more than a stork refrigerator magnet with their phone number dangling from his beak. Obviously this doctor was just looking to give his patients more bang for their buck (I didn't just say that did I? I didn't think so.)  

In a bunch of the cases, he claimed that these women were scheduled to be inseminated with anonymous donor sperm and the guys never showed up. 

That's horrible. In that crucial moment in your life you get a sperm donor who's such a total jerk-off (I didn't just say that either did I? I didn't think so.)

So, anyhoo.... the good doctor decided to step in and fill the guys' shoes... so to speak.

This doctor Jacobson must have been a real dynamo around the office. I mean if the temp receptionist didn't show up was he answering the phones all day between inseminations? If the cleaning crew didn't show up, was he vacuuming the office between inseminations and phone calls? 

He must have been quite the control freak. "Do I have to do everything around here myself? If I don't do it, it just doesn't get done! The phones don't get answered, the rugs don't get cleaned, the patients don't get pregnant."

Turns out he didn't have a sperm donor program at all... or if he did, he was the only donor.  I wonder if the staff found it odd that, after every sperm donor insemination, he went outside to smoke a cigarette or curled up on his couch for a nap.

What kind of an ego do you have to have to do such a thing? I'm curious to know if he had a belt at home with seventy notches on it. Or maybe this was just one of those innocent little naughty things you do at work that just gets away from you.

Like one day you slipped a handful of rubber bands into your purse. Nobody noticed, nobody cared. A few weeks later, a box of paper clips. Nobody noticed, nobody cared. A few weeks after that, a laser printer. Somebody noticed. Everybody cared. 

So maybe that's what happened with Dr. Jacobson.  A distraught woman came into his office. He offered her a tissue.  She was grateful. A few weeks later, a distraught woman came into his office. He offered her a magazine.  She was grateful. A few weeks later, a distraught woman came into his office, he offered to father her children. Like the printer incident... it just kind of got away from him.  

Thought you'd like to know that former Dr. Jacobson is now in Utah working in agricultural research. So if you buy a head of lettuce grown in Provo that resembles ex-Dr. Jacobson, you'll know he's up to his old tricks. 

(Yes, I'm fully aware that made no sense and that lettuce isn't a major crop of Utah. Leave me alone will ya?)

Listen, I gotta go. I'm working on a research paper of my own entitled: "Crappy Halloween candy: Why does it rear its ugly head only on October 31st and where is it hiding the rest of the year?"

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Anger: Not Just For Breakfast Anymore (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Anger is like a good grudge: It builds over time.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. My friend who believes that anger is a great motivator. She's the only woman I know who is actually easier to be around during PMS time.

Yesterday I was talking about how misinformation and missing information are a big part of what makes me angry---infertility-wise.

When I finally did get pregnant, I was bleeding almost all of the time early on. So of course I was freaking out all of the time. That seemed like the appropriate response. Don't you think? The more you bleed, the more you freak.

When I called the doctor, the phone was shaking so much in my hand it looked like I was brushing my hair with it. And I was sweating all over the phone. So here I am, grooming myself with my Verizon wireless, trying not to electrocute myself: "Dr. Dr, I'm bbleeeding."

He responded: "Well, of course, you're bleeding. Your hormone level is very high."

Okay. I didn't know that. Did anybody else? Apparently he did. Could he have shared sometime between "Your pregnancy test is positive" and me drowning in my own perspiration?

And it was such a pleasant, nonchalant conversation we had, as if I'd asked him:  "So, do you want  to order lunch?"

"Yeah, get me chicken salad." Just your casual, average, everyday chat.

"And how's the wife? The new house? The boat? The beach house on the Riviera? Okay, well, I've got to go now and take a shower and find a good strong feminine product. Nice talking to you, Doc."

Besides misinformation and missing information, "Fertility Overachievers" irritate me no end.

Like now, there's this woman in Utah who has, count 'em, TWO uteruses. Whom is she trying to impress? (My father used to say I ate like I had two assh.... I think that's totally different.)

Apparently this is a condition that takes place when the mom-to-be was an itty bitty baby fetus herself. She could go her whole life without knowing it. Oh, wait...Did I mention she was presently pregnant in both uteruses?

I heard that she was pregnant with two different men's babies and she wasn't sure who the baby daddies were because she was pole dancing and high on crystal meth and there was this big orgy at the club.

Okay, some of that isn't true. Or any of it after the part about her being pregnant in two uteruses. I just thought I'd feel better about myself if I could spread a rumor along with my usual sunshine.

To make matters worse: This woman in Utah is a ...you guessed it (no I wasn't going to say "mormon") She's a delivery room nurse! What's next for this overachieving female? Her kids will grow-up to be the first double-uterine co-presidents of the United States? 

If anybody reads somewhere that she delivered her own babies, please don't tell me. I have enough trouble putting on pantyhose standing up without falling into the wall.

Listen I gotta go. I think I'll get a mirror and try to count my uteruses. Ya never know. I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

Infertility News: I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up (Wednesday)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. Wacky infertility news from around the world.  Yesterday it was the 45 year old lady in Australia, in jail for Welfare fraud, who won the right to continue her IVF treatments during her incarceration. Apparently her window of opportunity to get pregnant was about six months shorter than her jail sentence.  

A case of poor planning I think. It's like that old saying: "If you do the crime, you gotta... make sure you don't get caught until after menopause."

Another hot topic on Infertility News Channel (Please someone tell me if I'm not making that up): Europeans who don't feel they can get the treatments they need in their own country, so they head over to someone else's. 

Medical professionals don't seem to care much for the term "Fertility Tourism" . I can understand that. It sounds like there's going to be some guy standing at the airport selling live sperm key chains.

And rows and rows of gift shops crammed with infertility chachkis: Mugs that say: "Kiss me I'm Infertile", T-shirts with a picture of an egg that read: "I'd Rather Be Fertilized" or bumper stickers that proclaim: "Proud Parent of an IVF Patient".

Of course I would opt for the one that read: "Back up! Only my husband and my Reproductive Endocrinolgist are allowed this close to my ass!"

(Wouldn't you love to read the lips of the person behind you squinting to sort out "Reproductive Endocrinologist" on a bumper sticker? How many collisions would that cause?)

Well, what this is all about is that some people in the UK, let's say, are considered too old to qualify for IVF there, or the prices are too steep. So they go all the way to Amsterdam. Or single women or lesbian couples are denied treatment in France and step over to Belgium. Italy's restrictions on sperm and egg donors has sent Italians packing more than any other country.

I'll be honest. In the U.S. you don't see as much of that. You probably wouldn't go over to New York City  because you couldn't get the treatment you sought in New Jersey. You might go for the pizza after treatments... 

So, as I said, much of the medical community doesn't like the term: "Fertility Tourism". Apparently they prefer  "Cross-Border Reproductive Care". Which to me sounds like you lift up your night gown every night, jut your butt out over the state line, somebody injects you and you go home to bed. But whatever.  

Listen, I gotta go. I have to call the mechanic and see if my car is ready. Apparently the only thing that didn't need to be replaced was the ashtray. It must still be under warranty.  I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

Infertility News: I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up (Tuesday)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. I thought it would be nice to take a break from all of our own personal roller coaster infertility news and see what's happening in the world of infertility news at large. So apparently there's a woman, Kimberley Castles, in jail in Australia who was doing IVF at the time of her incarceration. (I don't mean to imply she got arrested because she was caught shooting up and it turned out to be progesterone.)

She petitioned the court to be allowed to continue with treatments while she's in jail. And won.

Her lawyer's argument was that while she's been in prison, four babies have been born to prisoners who had conceived during conjugal visits. So if they're allowed to make babies in prison, so should she.

Gee, I hope serving a jail term isn't getting in the way of anybody's social life. Free people go years without "getting some". Apparently jailed people don't.

And she couldn't wait until she got out of prison, next year, because then she would be too old to be eligible for IVF in Australia. Man, is that inconvenient. I don't think jail is meant to be inconvenient. Is it?

So, here's this old lady (okay, a year younger than I am) who's in jail. Forget about hiding a saw in a cake, she's going to be permitted to bring in shiny, pointy hypodermic needles through the front door with the blessing of the Supreme Court.    

I must say, jail seems quite pleasant in Australia. The hotel on my honeymoon was less accommodating. I wonder if the warden stops by every night to shoot her in the upper outer quadrant of her butt cheek.

And, you might ask, "What is this woman in jail for?" Welfare fraud. Do you think somebody caught on when she paid her own way through IVF? 

Listen, I gotta go.  I have the sudden urge to commit a crime. Maybe I'll litter or choke someone nasty.  Yes, one destroys our environment, but the other improves it. I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

Infertility News: I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up (Monday)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Before the weekend rudely interrupted us, we were discussing how baby showers alone could suck all the positive energy out of our lives, and: Which would be easier?: If all of our pregnant girlfriends left the country or if they stayed and we went. Because, right now, clearly the nation isn't big enough for us and them.

At some point I'm sure I'll go off the deep end and exploit all of the celebs who are fifty and had their twins "naturally".  Yeah, we know. Their noses are natural. Their boobs are natural. Their tans are natural. Their hair is natural.

Of course if you ever saw a  picture of them from high school, (somewhere between five and thirty years ago-depending on which set of dates you believe), you'll compare it to present day photos and wonder if somewhere over those five to thirty years she went through the witness protection program.

Nowadays she looks younger, thinner, blonder, taller, and perkier (all over). But it's all natural as are her twins who happen to be of a completely different race than her or her husband.

She herself, and her family, are what scientists call "Genetically Impossible"

No, we'll save the tabloidy stuff. This week we're going to be chatting about real life infertility news:

"Infertility tourism" (Seeing the infertility sights, I guess) Or

The female prisoner in Australia who petitioned the court to continue her IVF treatments in jail (You won't believe what she's "in" for)

Or the IVF teens who were part of a study to see if they're like "normal" teens. (The frozen embryoed teens probably like the cold more than  "normal" teens.)

Listen, I gotta go. I write my posts the night before and now I have to do my usual pre-Monday morning rituals: 1) Get my work clothes ready for the morning.  2) Prepare my lunch to bring to work tomorrow. 3) Cry myself to sleep because it's almost Monday again.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

When You Don't Fit Into The Baby Club, Be Your Own Hero (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I promise that my blog week will go a lot faster than your work week.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. How to fill our time now that we won't be wasting it with the pregnant cousin, next door neighbor, and coworker.

Any activity where the chances are slim to remote that you'll run into anybody in baby-making mode will do. And there are a lot to choose from.

There's no need to beg AARP to bend their minimum age requirement rule for you. (Besides, the only thing more irritating right now than  expectant parents would be expectant grandparents.)

Here are a few suggestions:

1) Get off your birthin-to-be hips and do some exercise. And if it's with others, find some vain women: They wouldn't dare get pregnant. What are you kidding? After all the time and money (and surgery) they put into that body?

But only exercise around vain women. Part of being a vain man is proving that he can fertilize his female. 

Two weeks into your exercise routine, while he's prancing and flexing between the free weights, he'll have to report in his best deep, Ted Baxter, testosterone-infused voice that his woman is pregnant or quit the gym in disgrace. 

2) Book clubs- Conversation will mostly revolve around the book, (Gee, Lori, is that why they call it a "Book Club"?) and What To  Expect When You're Expecting is rarely on the agenda. 

3) Yoga. Everybody's trying so hard to not pass out or tumble over, there's little time for chit-chat. 

4) Learn a foreign language. Just don't learn how to say: Assisted Reproductive Technology, Reproductive Endocrinologist or In Vitro Fertilization. Not that any one of them is likely to be included in the beginners' class. 

And if you somehow get cornered by another student who's dying to mention pregnancy or children or another verboden topic, toss them one of these:  

"No quiero hablar de eso."

"Je ne veux pas en parler."

"I don't want to talk about it"...in Spanish and French.

5) Animal lovers groups: These people are repulsed at the very mention of human babies.

But of course the risk here is:  The doggy's "mom" will tell you everything: From when she stopped breast-feeding him to how they both cried at his first day at Dachsund Daycare.

And at the meeting, it's possible you'll look down and realize: "Oh, crap. Her 'son' and my ankle are apparently dating. And it must be serious. I can't imagine my ankle putting out on a first date."  

I recommend all of the above to take our minds off that subject from which our minds rarely wander these days.

But of course, some of the above can help with our weight and general health, and all of the above can help with our stress levels by keeping our minds and bodies a little lighter and freer:

Which could help with...you know... that subject we're not dicussing today.  As my Dad used to say: Anyway, "It couldn't hoit."

Listen I gotta go. I have to go to the hardware store and buy some duct tape. My windshield cracked and that's all my car insurance will cover.

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

When You Don't Fit Into The "Baby Club", Be Your Own Hero (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. It'll take you back to a simpler time (three days ago) before news of Bristol Palin's engagement had thrown your life into a tailspin.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. The "Baby Club" or more precisely: How to completely shut out the most important women in our lives for the entire duration of their pregnancies.

Of course, if my ideas yesterday of hiding, ducking, avoiding and running away from your pregnant cousin, next door neighbor, and coworker seemed too extreme for you, you can always go the childish route:

Every time they try to talk to you about anything baby-related, stick your fingers in your ears and hum. "What? MMMM Sorry, I can't hear you. MMMM"

Or play a game of "Hide" with them. It goes like this: They hide.  That's it.

You never "Go Seek" until either your infertility issue clears up or they're child is in high school.

I think the most important thing to learn about this whole "Baby Club" BS is that there are a lot of other clubs to join.

I know you desperately want to be a part of this club. You want to be a cheerleader and I'm telling you to join the stamp collectors.

I'm just suggesting that while we're all so busy running away from our pregnant cousins, next door neighbors and coworkers, shouldn't we be running towards something fun and interesting? 

And I'm not talking about  infertility-related groups.  They definitely have an important place in all of this, but would those clubs remedy this situation? And ask yourself: Are those clubs interesting? They're sure not fun.

"Oh, you didn't make cheerleader either? There are a bunch of us: That girl with the broken leg; the one who can't do a cartwheel to save her life; her sister who's hair isn't long enough to put in a ponytail; the girl with small pom poms. Yeah, we all got rejected too. Ho hum. Wanna join our club? It'll be fun, I suppose."

My husband and I decided to take a break from bemoaning the fact that I wasn't pregnant yet, by grabbing every opportunity to do things we might not be able to if we had a newborn to care for... never knowing if that time could be almost upon us. 

We ran away for cheapy little day trips. We saw lots of movies, read lots of books, (nothing even remotely reproduction-related) and went to every concert in the park no matter the music (okay, we drew the line at the New Kids on the Block cover band. I knew I had two choices here:

1) Not go at all or... 2) Listen to my husband say, thirty or forty times: "You're kidding me right? This is a joke. You're really not going to make me sit through this. Right?)    

It's totally understandable why this pregnancy is ruling the lives of our cousin, next door neighbor, and coworker, but should it be allowed to rule ours too?

Listen I gotta go. I'm riveted to the developing Bristol Palin story. I have to go turn on the TV in case there's a breaking news bulletin. I fear a tweet simply couldn't do it justice.

I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

When You Don’t Fit Into The “Baby Club”, Be Your Own Hero (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Unless you're on vacation. Then get away from the computer as fast as is humanly possible.) So what were we talking about? Oh, right. Keeping 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 easiest to ditch. For me, it would be extremely easy to not talk to my neighbor for nine months. We've lived here for three years. 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. 

So just plan your newspaper retrieval, moving of garbage cans and picking up of mail when the neighbor is not in view.  And if you see her coming during one of these duties, just remember, you can 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 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. Why waste my time with their stupidity? 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 give you the nitty-gritties.

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-walled 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 coworkers being bored out of their skulls.  

Destroy something. Yeah, if something were broken in your cubicle, perhaps you could  just pick up your plant and your photos and sashay over to that one...way over there...next to the unbelievably noisy copier, on the other side of the twelve foot sound-proof wall.

Or, ear buds. Shove some nearly invisible ear phones into your ears and listen to music if you can. My mother's eighty year old cousin slips his hearing aid into his pocket whenever his sister starts talking.

Right now you're doing the infertility hokey-pokey... And "self-preservation"--That's what it's all about.

Three preggos down.

Listen, I gotta go. I'm going to put on the eleven o'clock news. I've piqued my own curiosity about that house across the street. I wonder if anybody does live there.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

When You Don't Fit Into The "Baby Club", Be Your Own Hero (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. No, you won't be lost if you don't. I don't pretend to be Tom Stoppard...I wonder if he has a blog.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. What to do when you're suffering through all of your infertility woes...

And your best friend from college, your next door neighbor, your coworker, (just one measly cubicle over) and your overachieving cousin who won the second grade art contest by drawing a perfect map of Bolivia complete with a special blue-green Crayola shade that she patented herself to replicate the rainforest, all came up pregnant last Tuesday. 

I know it's hard. It's more than hard. It's excruciating. Right now, at this very moment only, (I can't speak for tomorrow and neither can you) you're not part of that club. And whatever you do:

Don't accept a guest pass from these people!

What I mean is:  Don't let them sucker you into feeling guilty for not being thrilled for them or make you feel obligated to celebrate with them.

I was recently at a meeting at work where the guy in charge of Security spoke about how we shouldn't hold doors for anyone entering the building. I opened my big mouth and said: "A lot of us here are from NYC. We're not interested in being polite."

Not to say we're rude. We're just not worried about hurting feelings when our security might be at risk. And when we're around pregnant women, our emotional security is at risk. 

My two cents to you: Volunteer for nothing.

Don't go on cutesie girls day out baby clothes shopping sprees.

Don't offer to help pick out wallpaper for the baby's room.

And for Gd's sake: Don't make any baby showers.

Don't help decorate any baby showers. Don't attend any baby showers. Don't shop for any gifts for baby showers. If you can,  don't even use the term "baby shower".

Just call it:  "Balloons, streamers, a sheet cake, and a woman in no condition to be sitting in a wicker chair for two hours." (At the end of the two hours, three partygoers will be summoned to hoist her out of it.)  

Stick some money in an envelope and slip it to the woman who would be the next best candidate to do the wretched event and tell your next door neighbor, college roommate, cousin: "Sorry, this is a very tough time for me. I gave Anita money for the shower. It's the best I can do right now. Hope you have a great time."

End of story. Goodbye and good luck.  

Then treat yourself to a movie, a trip to the beach, a cuddle on the couch with your honey, (preferably all of the above) the day of the big gala.

If you can manage to coincidentally be doing all of the above in another county, state or time zone, even better.

And for heaven's sake. Don't check any emails or social networks. Some loser (usually my sister)(I apologize)...

So anyway, some loser (usually my sister) (Geez I did it again) will plaster the giddy photos of the shindig while the horrid shindig is still going on.

Here's a photo of Lisa, the guest of honor, eating cake. She's laughing. She's having a good time. This one is of Kate, her sister-in-law. She's laughing and eating cake. She's having a good time too. This is Kate with Lisa. They're both laughing and eating cake.

This is Lisa's husband Rick. He's laughing and drinking in this photo. A baby shower with an open bar. Classy.

Here he is laughing to excess and drinking his third drink beyond excess. He'll be a good daddy.

Oh now, these must go at the front of the baby book: Mommy being greased and pried out of a wicker chair with a spatula and daddy being rolled off the cake table and onto a stretcher by EMS workers.

Listen I gotta go. I have a feeling I'd better give my sister a head's up. Can I plead sudden turrets syndrome? Anybody know?

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

When You Don't Fit Into The Baby Club, Be Your Own Hero (Monday)

As any infertility vet can tell you: If you dabble in infertility treatments long enough, eventually you're going to run into a slew of friends and colleagues who are pregnant/recently had a baby. You can't even protect yourself against it anymore.

It used to be, if you wanted to stay away from potentially pregnant people you would just avoid young married couples.  That was then.

Now, there's nowhere to hide.

I have single friends with kids. Friends who have never had a date... with kids. Lesbian friends with kids. Friends over forty-five with... new kids. Gay male friends with kids. Friends who swore they would never have kids... with kids. Friends who swore they could never have kids... with kids.

You start saying to yourself: "I know they're all just doing it to spite me!" 

And they're probably not... Okay, they're definitely not. But, knowing that  doesn't make the going any less tough for you.  

You're counting down days to your next cycle of whatever assisted reproductive therapy you're doing at the moment, 

and they're counting down days until they give birth or celebrate their baby's first birthday, baptism, tooth, vomit, public humiliation, zit, whatever. 

I aim this week to get you to appreciate all of the "haves" in your life and to take the focus away, for at least a split sec, from your current "have-not".

And maybe we'll scratch the surface of your "just-had-a-baby" friend  and see what lurks under that new mom smell... as beautiful as the whole experience is, some of it might stink just a little.  

As for this week's title: "When You Don't Fit Into The Baby Club, Be Your Own Hero"

I had been toying with the idea of writing this week about the social isolation that comes along with infertility when I stumbled upon Connie Shapiro's blog post on that very subject: Of not fitting into "The Club"  http://connieshapiro13.blogspot.com/ and knew it was meant to be, kismet, or bashert as they say in my neck of the woods...or at least in my original neck.

Daytime talk shows, especially, love to talk about heroes and being your own hero.

It would be great, if after reading this week's posts you feel inspired like that, but if you just appreciate the sandwich pun, I'm good with that too.  

Listen, I gotta go. If I'm at the computer for too long, my husband assumes I'm checking out young male co-eds on My Space again.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

The Fertile Riff Raff (What? What Did I Say?) (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. It's good to get blogged as much as you can on a Friday, in case you have to go blogless on the weekend.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Women who get pregnant easily. Yesterday we discussed "The Irritating Irresponsibles": Women who just get pregnant for no apparent reason other than... well, for no apparent reason.

The most harmless of the annoying chicks who get pregnant easily are the imaginary ones. (Bear with me if you can.)

There are two types of imaginary pregnant women:

1) Mom's like to brag about their kids. This is tough when there may not be a lot to brag about. 

So, these Mom's work with what they've got: To everyone who will listen, they brag about their daughters' one crowning achievement: Getting pregnant easily.   

"My daughter was going to be a psychololologist, but she got pregnant and gave me a beautiful granddaughter (for my 34th birthday)."

"Then she was going to be an anthropololologist, but she got pregnant and gave me a beautiful granddaughter."

"Then she was going to build homes in South America with CoHabitation for the Homeless, yeah them...but she got pregnant and gave me  a beautiful grandson."

"Then she was about to become a general in the Air Force, but just as she was scheduled for her first flying lesson...she got pregnant and gave me a beautiful granddaughter." 

"Then she was going to be crowned Miss USA....but she got pregnant and gave me a beautiful (I think that one was a) grandson."

"Then  she was going to become the first lady of Monaco, but she got pregnant and gave me a beautiful granddaughter."

I like to think these white lies are just a mom protecting her young and trying to put a positive spin on things.

I'm sure she'd rather use the above answers when asked: "So what's your daughter been up to?" rather than: 

"Nothing much. She got thrown out of two online GED programs and three rehab facilities and has been knocked up six times."  

So, this daughter isn't 100% a figment of  mom's imagination. She does indeed have a daughter: Just not the one she's been telling you about.

2) The second imaginary pregnant woman is (oxymoron alert) really imaginary: Invented by someone who feels the uncontrollable need to top your story every time: Even if this means creating a great work of fiction.  

If you just bought a house that's twenty-seven million square feet, her imaginary niece just built one that's thirty million square feet.

If you just got a job as CEO of Microsoft, her nephew's faux step-son is your boss's boss's supervisor.

But, as luck would have it, he's in charge of the Guatemala office, so you'll probably never meet him. Unless you go to a conference in Guatemala, at which time he will have just been notified of his emergency transfer to Kuala Lumpur or maybe Cincinnati. 

So if you can't get pregnant, her first cousin can't stop getting pregnant, even though her only first cousin, you're pretty sure, is about sixty-eight.  

Her poor cousin, according to Madame La Raconteur, has tried everything not to get pregnant:

Separate bedrooms, green tea, taking a hatful of birth control pills after every meal, having a hysterectomy, gender reassignment surgery, becoming a nun... Nothing works!  

Listen I gotta go. I like to swim naked and the neighbors all signed a petiton requesting I do it before daybreak. I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

The Fertile Riff Raff (What? What Did I Say?) (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Anything with the word "riff-raff" in the title is worth reading from the beginning, don't ya think?) So what were we talking about? Oh right. Clueless women: Women who don't know anything.

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.

One day she's trying on shoes at the shoe store and just happens to look down and see a little round 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.

But clueless women who get pregnant easily only make my eyes roll.

Irresponsible women who get pregnant easily make me wretch repeatedly. Two words:

"Maury" anyone?

Somewhere down the line I'll have an entire week's worth of blogs dedicated to Maury Povich's show. Maybe even a "Maury" month. You just can't do his guests the injustice they deserve in one measly post.

For those of you who haven't seen it: A show staple: Women (mostly 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 --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, has four kids with four baby-daddy. All of them have their respective daddy name  with an "A" at the end: Marcusa, Jamesa, Joshuaa, Anthonya.

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 those innocent tots with names that are absurd...and then calling them all "jr" anyway.

********

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

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 getting hot 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.

And naturally, when the DNA finally gets 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, or Canada, or Indiana.   

So these women got pregnant irresponsibly and now are doing something that may also be irresponsible: Bringing their child on TV to parade him and their "mashugas" (let's say "dirty laundry") for the nation to see.

If only they weren't so damn entertaining.

Listen I gotta go. I'm doing a triathalon next week and I have to learn how to swim. I hear it's like riding a bike. Which I can't do either...Maybe I'll just stand along the running route and hand out water.  I'll talk with ya tomorrow.