de-stress

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

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

















When You're Dealing with Infertility, It's Always Grilling Season

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This past weekend in the U.S. marks the unofficial end of outdoor barbecues aka “Grilling Season”. Unfortunately, when we’re trying mightily to get pregnant, grilling season goes on all year long. No matter what month it is, our friends, relatives, coworkers & neighbors have no problem stopping us at family functions, houses of worship, Wallgreen’s or our mailbox to grill us:

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

"Why are you waiting so long to have kids?"

“Did you take the supplements I recommended? My cousin’s sister’s neighbor couldn’t get pregnant either and they worked great for her.”

“Did you write to Dr. Oz? Or Dr. Phil? Or ‘The Doctors’?”

"I can't believe you still haven't gotten pregnant. I was only married a month before...  

Etc, etc..whatever, whatever, blah-blah blah,

Well, a few times a year, I like to post about turning the patio tables as it were. And here we are again: Time to shove a spatula under their collective asses, toss those busybodies onto the barbie and grill them for a change on some things that are totally, unbelievably none of OUR business.

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Fire-up the barbecue and let the grilling begin!

"Hi Barbara! I see you came out to get your morning newspaper. Speaking of news...

What's that blue truck doing in your driveway every afternoon about twenty minutes after your husband leaves? At first I thought that Don traded in his precious red Honda for a manly blue pick-up. But then there was that twenty minute thing. I never saw anybody leave to trade in a car and come back twenty minutes later with a truck, have you?  So what exactly is going on there?” 

*************** 

"Hi Marietta! You don’t mind if I just come up on your porch to sit with you for a few minutes do you? Something I’ve been meaning to ask you: I noticed the other day that you had your boobs done. I mean, they look nice and everything but they don't really go with your body. I mean your body moves in all directions and your boobs only look forward. Like, look right now. You're sitting down and your boobs are still standing up. And I’m just curious, you didn't have a boob job to keep people from looking at your butt did you?I mean if you're going to have plastic surgery, you probably shouldn't leave your ass behind. I mean, just look... there's like a twenty year age difference between your boobs and your butt.”

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“Hey Cindy! Have you ever noticed that every Monday morning when we see each other at the office, the first thing I always ask you is: ‘How was your weekend?’ and the first thing you always ask me is: ‘How are your fertility treatments going?’ I’m happy you’re so interested in that but you know infertile people have weekends too. I mean we go to the mall and the movies and restaurants just like regular people. Oh, while I’ve got you, I’ve been meaning to ask: ‘What exactly do you do at our company?’ Everybody else starts working at 8 but you come in at 8:20 every morning, have breakfast at your desk until 9:20, then you talk on your cell phone about what you did last weekend and what you’re going to do next weekend while you make coffee in the kitchen and then you go back to your desk, watch videos on YouTube, go to lunch and go home. I’m just not sure what position at the company has that job description. What’s your title supposed to be again? Do you know by chance if that department is hiring?”

I really appreciate you stopping by and sincerely hope you all get the wonderful outcome you seek. If you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please check out my books at the link below. The blue one down there is my bout with infertility, IUI, IVF & FET. The green one starts with my IVF & FET and is a sequel of sorts. They are both recommended by top medical professionals & infertility patients / survivors. http://laughingisconceivable.com

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

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

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

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

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Infertile Woman Having Labor (Day) Pains

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Labor Day is almost upon us again in the US. Okay, so I'm not saying I'm paranoid, but while I was going through infertility and treatments, I always took the name "Labor" Day as a personal affront to me and my kind. Just another conspiracy to screw with those of us trying to conceive. To all of those who live somewhere where there is a Labor Day, only those trying to conceive could take the name of the holiday personally. Most holidays offend us, or at least hurt our feelings. If it’s not the name of the holiday, it’s the traditions that take place during it. Everything seems to revolve around family… especially kids. Believe me, Labor Day is just the beginning:

Halloween: Grabby, greedy kids looking for candy.

Thanksgiving: Grabby, greedy kids wanting my turkey leg.

Hanukkah: Grabby, greedy kids wanting gifts.

Christmas: The birth of... Oh come on!

Only to hormone-infested raw nerves does Labor Day immediately conjure up thoughts of pushing a person through their love channel. (The Love Channel: Found on Spectrum Cable nestled between Lifetime and  OWN.) For everyone else it means:

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"Damn-- Why is this the last day the town pool's open when it's still 96 degrees outside?"

"Damn-- Why is this the last day the neighborhood pool's open when I'm paying $1800 a year in HOA dues?"

(If you’re over 45) "RIP Jerry Lewis and the MDA telethon."

"Oh no, school's starting. I have that pain in the pit of my stomach. I think I'm going to have to miss the first day."

"Football! Baseball playoffs! U.S. Open Tennis!"

"Clothing sales! Shoe sales! Tape sales! Ironing Board Cover Sales!"

"Last day to wear white" (unless of course it's January and the last clean crumpled item laying at the bottom of your closet happens to be white.)

"Barbecue!" Yeah, It's my last chance to take the cover off the grill so I can post pictures of us in our aprons with the caption: 'We barbecue every summer!'

"Time to curse out my cousin again." Why oh why must every family have a relative who kills every joyously restful three-day weekend by clogging them up with parties, weddings, christenings, or bar-mitzvahs, conveniently located to nobody?

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"Heading to the beach!" Last chance to get a tan or, in my case, a third degree burn.

And last but not least, for those drivers living in my beloved New York City:

"Yeah! A holiday! I don't have to move my car to the other side of the street until Wednesday!"

I hope everybody does enjoy Labor Day this year if you celebrate it where you are. You really deserve it whether you work or not because, let’s face it: Infertility all by itself is a full-time job... maybe two.

Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please take a gander at my little books below. They’re recommended by infertility patients & survivors, & 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

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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

Friends, Family & Random People Who Are Infertility "Experts"

People and their infertility advice. Is it just me or does the vast majority of infertility advice you get come from people who have absolutely no personal or professional knowledge whatsoever about infertility? But that doesn’t stop them. Sometimes people are so into giving infertility advice, you don't know whether to be touched by their concern or wonder if they have stock in whatever jerky idea they're peddling. And let the infomercial begin.

contraption

contraption

"Have you heard about the 'Ovulator'? Here's the ad in this magazine. Just 19.99"

First the disclaimer: She has to let you know that unlike yours, there's nothing wrong with her reproductive system.

"The Ovulator is an amazing product. Of course I never tried it myself. You know I never have any trouble getting pregnant. All my husband has to do is look at me and I get pregnant. (Hm. I don't… think…that’s…the way it works. I wonder if she really does?.)

Now for the infomercial:

"I used to work with a girl whose cousin had the exact same problem as you... until she tried the Ovulator"

Who is this co-worker? Who is her cousin? Bring them to me. I don't believe either exists. This woman just pulled them out of thin air (or somewhere else) to add credibility to her ridiculous infertility advice. Notice it's always a former co-worker’s cousin. Nobody you know. Nobody she sees every day. This way if you want to ask the lady personally how she liked the Ovulator she is totally untraceable. Nobody's heard from her. Nobody knows where she lives. The day your “friend” left the job, the coworker and her cousin both moved, changed their cell phone numbers and closed all of their social media accounts.

And if going along with the charade you ask this person who dishes out supermarket check-out tabloid infertility advice—no doubt she’s found the Ovulator breakthrough story next to the photo of Khloe Kardashian and Prince Harry’s love child—-what problem the ex-coworker’s cousin had she’ll say: “Same as you… She couldn’t get pregnant.” There, you go. It's amazing how simple it was. I wonder why your team of fertility specialists hasn’t figured out that that was your issue all along: You can’t get pregnant.

(Does she offer her same common sense infertility advice to lesbian couples?: "Hey, I think I just figured out why you’ve been together for 8 years and neither of you has gotten pregnant...")

And as your eyes are glazing over and she senses her sales pitch has been a flop, she has to make one last valiant effort:

"I just thought, before you wasted any more time or money with those doctors... The Ovulator...It might be worth a try because... (Here it comes. Wait for it.) Hey, you never know..."

And it makes sense. Whenever I have any health concerns, on my way to the pharmacy at the back of the store, I always peruse the "As Seen on TV" shelf first. Doesn't everyone? Because... hey, you never know.

Thanks so much for 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 take a gander at my books: The blue one is about my own personal experiences with infertility / IUI / IVF / FET and the green one is a sequel of sorts beginning with IVF. They are both recommended by IVF patients & 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

Microblog_Mondays.png

What Teens Can Teach Infertile Women (Apparently)

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

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

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1) Be a horny seventeen year old.

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

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

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

1) When you’re drunk

2) When you do it standing up.

3) Or in a car.

4) Or standing up in a car.

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3) Use a teenage girl's calendar

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

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

a) When The Voice is on?

b) When I’m not that into him?

c) When I didn’t even like it?

d) After eating Taco Bell?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Receptionist: Queen of the Fertility Clinic

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

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

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

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

The pair sparked childhood memories for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"That's my wife."

"Ow! My spine!"

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

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

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

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

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

Please Remember this Father's Day & Beyond: You Picked Him!

homer simpson

homer simpson

I love whenever Judge Judy has a case where a woman is suing an ex and the woman goes on and on about how irresponsible and useless he is. Judge Judy's response is always the same: "So what do you want from me? You picked him!"

The vast majority of infertility blog readers are women, likely because the vast majority of infertility blog writers are women. I'm sure that comes as a huge surprise to not one person. Infertile women generally have a short agenda when we blog or post on social networks:

1) Kvetch to other infertile women (Kvetch= Complain + Whine)

2) Help other infertile women

Kvetch and help...Help and kvetch. Sometimes we kvetch and hope it helps. Sometimes we help and it comes off as kvetching. Other times, we kvetch knowing that it helps nobody at all, (least of all ourselves), but we keep on kvetching nonetheless.

So this time each year, I like to pay a little more attention to the men in our lives. We all know that Mother's Day when you're trying to conceive is no picnic. I imagine Father's Day is the same for them. Of course, most of them will never tell you that.

The last time I wrote about how men feel during the madcap infertility adventure was when I was going through fertility treatments myself. I grilled my husband like a burger on the Fourth of July so I could get the deepest insight into the innermost thoughts and feelings of the male half of a couple. I put on my best Barbara Walters face and aimed my most probing questions right at him while he checked his email on his phone:

"How do you really feel about Father's Day?" "How does all this make you feel as a man?" "How do you feel as a husband watching your life partner go through treatments month after month?" "How do you feel at family functions when there are kids running around everywhere?" "How do you feel when people ask you why we don't have kids yet?"

I could have put his entire response on a Post-it note:

"I don't know what to tell you. I never really thought about it."

So I'm sure this whole infertility thing weighs heavily on men...Even more so, I'm certain, if modern medical science declares that they're the culprit. But most of them, from my experience anyway, won't actually tell you they're sad or depressed or frustrated about the whole damn thing. They're usually not part of the "kvetch and help" brigade like we are.

So today, and maybe from now on, I think every woman should ditch the notion of getting into his head to find out what he really feels about all this infertility crappola...and just show extra love and appreciation for the guy you picked.

Think back...Think way, way, way back... to when he was not your balding business partner in this fricken baby making project, but a cute guy at the party, a first date, a serious boyfriend...or, if you'd prefer: Think back to just a week before you went to your first fertility appointment when he was an unshaven, gas-filled, beer gut taking up 2/3 of the couch. Either way, he's yours and, like Judge Judy says: "You picked him."

And when you consider why you picked him, if your answer is: "I've never really thought about it." Please...we're women...Of course you have.

The posts that follow are all designed to help men and women alike get thru Father’s Day and the whole month of June in fact. There’s my usual nonsense but also a posts from a renowned expert and a guy currently going thru all of it. And if you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please subscribe to my newsletter and check out my books@ http://laughingisconceivable.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Horror-Comedy of Infertility

By Philip Cottraux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despicable!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June is: "Thank You for Not Being a Schmuck" Month

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Every time I visited my 84 year old father in Florida, I couldn't help noticing that he spent much more time talking with women in his community than men. Finally I decided to ask him why that was: "Well, the wives are all very nice." He said. "But their husbands are a bunch of schmucks."

So while many reading this may not be in a position to, or at all interested in, celebrating Father's Day this year, I propose an alternate holiday:

"Thank You for Not Being a Schmuck" Month.

Sometimes we’re so busy crying, kvetching and freaking out about this whole infertility crappola that we don’t realize how upset, angry, & frustrated our spouse/ partner/ husband/ willing participant really is. Or that he might dread Father’s Day as much as you dreaded Mother’s Day. That’s why this Laughing IS Conceivable blog here is going to be filled with posts about him and for him all month.

Your spouse/partner/husband/willing participant/ happy ejaculator --whatever he is-- probably does some things that irritate you. That's normal, of course. And yet, even with those small annoyances, minor aggravations and colossal pet peeves that drive you up a fkn wall... He's the one, the only one, you've hand-picked to have romantic calendar-induced copulation with and to father your future children. You know you wouldn't have your eggs in a freezer, snuggling together for warmth with anyone else's sperm.

So he's not perfect...

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I would have to say that all of the stereotypical bad habits that we accuse most men of having... well, that's pretty much me: 

1) I watch every ballgame I can. If I can’t get it on TV, I’ll stream it on my phone…and I’ll yell at the players, managers, umpires and announcers.

2) I have road rage.

3) I easily fit curse words in as nouns, verbs or adjectives in any sentence.

4) I scratch whatever itches no matter where I am or who is looking.

And I'm not the neatest person. Some couples have problems in the bedroom. We have problems in the kitchen. He doesn't like the way I rinse stuff off. I rinse it off so it looks fine to me... but not to him. Then if I rinse it off adequately, I shouldn't have left it in the sink. Also, if the dishwasher has clean dishes in it, apparently that's my cue to empty it out. I'm aware that we usually have clean dishes in the cabinets. I just never knew (or cared) how they got there. And then we have a peanut butter issue.

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A common breakfast for me includes sticking a teaspoon into the peanut butter and eating it...and repeating this action... three times... every morning. A serving size is a tablespoon. Sure I could dip one tablespoon once instead of one teaspoon three times, but my way just feels like a bigger breakfast. After watching my husband for months stand there saying: “Ugh”, “Nasty” and putting his hand in front of his eyes, I finally took the hint and got my own private jar of peanut butter to slobber into every morning. Incredible. Of all the things my husband's seen me put into my mouth in the past 15 years, he thinks my peanut butter spoon is the most disgusting. Go figure.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. Please stay tuned all this month for more humor posts, articles etc specifically about him and for him. And if you’d like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please subscribe to my newsletter and check out my literature (okay— 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

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

It's "Give Yourself a Cookie" Week

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

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

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

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

Give yourself a cookie!

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

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

Give yourself a cookie!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Microblog_Mondays

Microblog_Mondays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“National 'Nurses Returning My Phone Calls' Week"

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

“National 'Mind Your Own Business' Week”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

What's Today's Date? 1982?

I cringe when I catch myself sounding like my father. (Somehow, girls turn into women and then begrudgingly, their mother. I’m turning into my father. Should I be concerned?)

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The other day I put a Queen song on the car radio and then heard myself say to my kids: “Hear that? That’s what good music sounds like…Not like the modern stuff you listen to.” When did I start using the word “modern”? Or calling things by the totally wrong words? Like “How many balls of ice cream do you want? What color?” I loved my Dad. I really did. But if I start saying “She drives a Royals Royce”, I’m going to kill myself.

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And of course starting sentences with: “When I was a kid…” Well, I guess it’s better than “In my day…”

My kids were whining the other day (maybe that’s just their voices. They can’t just be making that sound every time they talk by accident can they?) “Why can’t we get Netflix? We’re missing all of the good shows!” To which I naturally replied:

“Be happy you have cable. When I was your age, there wasn’t even cable. We had seven channels.”

“Where did you grow up? The Alaskan frontier?”

“I lived in New York. Shut up.”

I really do try to stay current. And so did my dad. He took a computer class when he was 77. I didn’t even flinch when my daughter suggested I learn Instagram or make a YouTube video. I mean I don’t want to start talking like Maury Povich… He has guests on his show in their teens and twenties and before you know it, he’s telling them: “So, you flipped the script!” and “You wouldn’t do her like that, would you?” I’m a big fan of yours, Maury but come on…You’re 80 years old. Nobody wants to hear that.

My son asked me the other day why I don’t have a flip phone like the old people on the commercials. He didn’t even have the decency to smile when he said it. He just basks in lumping me in with those older actresses who are made to look like senile bitties: “What are the 3 P’s?”… Damn you, Alex Trebek! I have a problem with most insurance ads in fact: “If you’re between the ages of 50 and 85...” Whoa… How did I just get dumped into the same category as my father-in-law?

I have no concept of time anymore. The other day I commented: “That’s a brand new store. They just opened it in 2002.” But my kids are even worse. They have no concept of time or history. If we went on a field trip to the museum to see an exhibit on Ancient Egypt, they wouldn’t notice if somebody put up a Deborah Harry poster by mistake. Actually there’s a little field trip of my own I’m considering. There’s still a working pay phone only a few miles from our house. I’m thinking of dropping those little smart-asses off with a quarter just to see if any of them figure out how to call us to pick them back up before they dehydrate.

*****Speaking of YouTube— I have a brand new channel. Come check out the intro! https://youtu.be/Uedl-eM6H_g

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here a little while ago. To peruse my books and / or sign up for my newsletter… go to my home page: http://laughingisconceivable.com - Both books are now available in both eBook & paperback.

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 Most Devastating 3 Hours in My Tween's Life - According to Her Anyway

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I’ll admit it: My 12 year old daughter has been through some trying times in her life thus far: She got separated from us at a playground at age 4 or 5. (You’d think I’d remember exactly when that was, wouldn’t you?). She fell at school in 3rd grade and had a small skull fracture and concussion. She’s an insect magnet: Her arms and legs are a favorite for wasp and mosquito family brunches. But by far the most traumatic event this child has sustained so far happened this past Sunday night when the Internet was out for an entire 3 hours (FYI: It took the cable TV service along with it.)

I won’t get started on my kids’ ridiculous school schedule that left them out of school from before Christmas until this past Monday. Suffice it to say, it only fueled my daughter’s “victim” status. Less than a minute after the Internet outage began, she came barreling down the stairs like she was on fire or her sister had done something she couldn’t wait to snitch about.

Her: “It’s the last day of our break and I got cut-off from facetiming with Ashley!”

Me: “You’ll see her tomorrow at school. Can you remember her face until then?”

Her: “She was right in the middle of holding up a shirt she just got! She asked me: ‘This is nice, right?’ and then the screen froze!

Me: “So? She’ll wait until tomorrow to find out if you like it.”

Her: “I wonder what Ashley’s doing now.”

Me: “I’m sure by now she’s put the shirt down and gone on with her life. May I suggest you do the same?”

Her: “What am I supposed to do?! It’s the last few hours of my vacation and now there’s nothing to do! Great!”

Me: “Why don’t you clean out your lunch bag that’s been sitting in your backpack for 5 weeks?”

Her: “You want me to spend the last few hours of my break getting ready for school? That makes no sense!”

Me: “Why don’t you guys play a board game?”

Her: “Mom. Really Mom? There’s a reason it has ‘board / bored’ in its name.”

Me: “Read a book. Draw. Paint something.”

Her: “What is this… 1982?”

Two things I should probably mention at this juncture to show you what cruel parents we truly are:: 1) Her phone is an old one of mine which doesn’t have phone service and I wouldn’t let her use mine to call Ashley back and 2) My husband has a Hot Spot which gets his phone onto the Internet no matter what.

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So while she was ranting and raving and criticizing us for trying to force her into pioneer life, my husband sat on the couch in front of her playing baseball on his phone. Clearly, this threw both kerosene and gas onto the fire seeing as he wasn’t only sitting there two feet away totally ignoring her, he was sitting there two feet away, immersed in his own private Internet service. As if that wasn’t sadistic enough, as she began the second stanza of her “Woe Is Me” poem, he turned to me on the couch, put his phone in my face and said: “Do you want to log in on your phone? This is the password.” See? My daughter was wrong. This was not pioneer life. If this were pioneer life, Pa would have been playing the fiddle not electronic baseball.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you would like more laughs at life’s expense, please subscribe to my infrequent newsletter and / or take a look at my books-all happenin’ at the bottom of my Home Page @ http://laughingisconceivable.com - (Books also on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_16?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=laughing+is+conceivable&s

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

New Year's Resolution: This Year I Will... Get Pregnant

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For the past couple of years, we’ve been going to a lovely New Year's celebration downtown. It’s the exact same every year. Everything occupies the precise spot as the year before. As this was my fourth year, I could probably be the organizer next year if they needed me to: The juggler goes right there. The band is on that corner. The singing trolley ride picks up over there. And smack dab in the middle of it all is that damned six foot high “This Year I Will…” chalkboard wall looming over the festivities, taunting us, just daring people to walk over and fill in its blanks.

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It’s such a popular activity, I’m always hoping that a bunch of people will put: "This Year I Will... not selfishly hog the whole wall with my freakishly big handwriting."

Before committing to anything myself, as is my tradition, I checked out what others had written for inspiration and to be nosy. As per usual, the entries were pretty noble: "This year I will... be kinder." "... be a better daughter." "...volunteer more." "...be more patient." I wondered: Does this wall bring out the real decency inside all of us? Or just our socially acceptable side tailor-made for public consumption? It was 3 in the afternoon. Hmmm. I wonder what people would write in private… or under the cloak of darkness… or after they had imbibed a vat of New Year’s Eve self-esteem.

"This Year I Will... push my husband’s face into the living room window while he’s watching the neighbor mow the lawn in her bikini top."

"This Year I Will ... run down my neighbor for mowing her lawn in a bikini top.”

“This Year I Will… give my two weeks notice at work both verbally and with hand gestures."

"This year I Will... lose weight and keep it off at least until Valentine’s Day candy hits the shelves.."

So what about this: "This Year I Will... get pregnant"? Is that a valid resolution?

I don't think so. Not being negative here. Are you kidding? I believe in everything- universal energy, positive thoughts, visualization, the mind/body connection . Please: Put notes up everywhere: On your mirror, by your bed, in your wallet: "I'm pregnant!" and visualize every itty bitty detail of a positive pregnancy test over and over again and how you're going to tell your family and friends and everybody congratulating you. Looking at those notes over the next several weeks and months is the part we can control.

I think the mistake a lot of us make is to phrase it like a New Year's Resolution: "This Year I Will... get pregnant." So, what are you saying? Last year and the year before that you weren't really trying? All of the doctors and blood tests and ovulation kits, and temperature taking, and eating crap you would never eat, and the most unromantic romance you’ve ever had in your life was just practice? You’ve really been holding back on your efforts all of this time because you thought 2019 would look better on a birth certificate?

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“This Year I Will…get pregnant”? I don't know. Sounds kind of like a stressful, totally overwhelming resolution to me. Why can't we just set goals that are doable on a daily basis? Ones that actually have a simple action attached to it to get us going on the path?

"This Year I Will... try a new doctor. —Okay, so this afternoon I'll ask a friend I met on the support site if she likes her doctor or call that one in the next county and see how I feel talking to them on the phone."

"This Year I Will... start the adoption process.—Let me read up on it today and find out how to go about it.”

"This Year I Will... look into an egg donor.”

"This Year I Will... raise money for IVF."  

These are all things you can physically set out to accomplish. It just feels a lot more manageable than this mess:  "This Year I Will... get pregnant." Oh okay. Let’s go do that!

“But Lori, you don’t understand! We've been trying for three years. The names I picked out aren’t even in anymore. This has to be the year! We're the only couple in our group of friends who doesn't have a baby. My parents are the only ones who aren't grandparents! I just can't go to another baby shower for someone else. It's my turn to have the baby shower already! After all I’ve been through, I deserve it!"

Believe me, I know it's tempting to make: "This Year I Will... Get Pregnant!" a resolution. But if we make that as a resolution, we should also make another one: "This year I will... move into a mental institution." Whatever happens with the first resolution, we should definitely be able to keep the second one.

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

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I wish all of you a very happy, healthy, & productive new year! And if you’d like more laughs at infertility & IVF’s expense, come read about my personal story: The husband, the needles, the nurses, the waiting rooms, the nosy coworkers, the dumb advice, the money… This book is recommended by top fertility experts and has been read by 1000s like you who are looking to de-stress from all of the crappola. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/



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Infertiles Have No Friends During the Holidays... Fine By Me

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When I was dealing with infertility, IUI, IVF, FET, M.D.s, R.N.s and R.E.s, I felt like I had no friends during the holidays. And frankly, that's the way I wanted it. Call it self-preservation. Why subject myself to being around people at a time when all they talk about, even more than the rest of the year, is… the kids? “I don’t know what to get for… the kids.” “We’re going to my mother’s with… the kids.” “We’re going to see Santa with… the kids.” (The only thing worse they can say in my opinion is “kiddos”. How annoying is that word?) I never felt bad about avoiding certain people around the holidays. Why should I? They probably didn’t want to be around me any more than I wanted to be around them. My friends knew what I was going through trying to get pregnant. So having me around them during the holidays, I’m sure a lot of them said to themselves: “Oh great. Here comes childless Lori. Maybe I should ixnay talking about the idkays” and then they’d get so caught up in their own holiday crappola that they would forget all about being sensitive and watching what they said and go full throttle into asking me to help them pick out toys and onesies. But that’s okay. Like I said, it was a two-way street. I think people dealing with infertility make a big mistake in believing that this is the time of year you really need your friends the most. Your infertility-friends, sure. But the rest of them? Are you kidding? For one thing, our friends are boring as hell at this time of year.

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For example: Infertile or not, does anyone want to stand next to their friend for 20 minutes while they scroll through their phone to show you all of their kids’ holiday pictures? First, you’re just standing there like a jerk waiting for her to find them on her phone. Then you’ve got to look at every combination. Joey and Stella. Joey, Stella, and Lily. Joey and Lily. Stella and Lily. Just Lily. Just Lily in her Santa pajamas. Just Lily in her teddy bear pajamas. Just Joey in his Santa pajamas. Joey in his Santa pajamas and Stella in her elf pajamas. And you have to have a ready reaction for every stinking photo while trying not to reuse any: “Cute!” “Sweet!” “Awww.” By the 9 minute mark, you’re thinking about giving up on the whole IVF thing. Who wants kids anyway if this is what it’s going to be like? After 14 minutes, you’re thinking about getting your tubes tied. 16 minute point, you’re picturing yourself as a nun whether or not you’re Catholic. As you excitedly realize that she has finally, at long last, reached the final photo, your mind has regained its proper focus and you just want to take the scissors away from the wrapping paper and plunge them into her neck.

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At least if they have the old-fashioned camera print photos, they typically just hand the massive stack over to you. So even if they’re looking over your shoulder so they can narrate every photo, you usually can get away with looking at only every third one by “inadvertently” moving a few that “stuck together” to the bottom of the pile at the same time.

And anyway, have you seen the shape of your friends lately? They’re not a pretty sight at this time of year. They’re running around, clothes disheveled, hair a mess, yesterday’s Target popcorn out of their pocketbooks, frantically mumbling to themselves: “One more store! Just one more store! I know I can get it cheaper! Or maybe online! I shouldn’t have bought that stupid thing for Stella. Now she has 6 things and Joey and Lily only have 5. What was that toy called? I know it must still be available somewhere!”

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Geez look at her. I don't even want to go near her. So, right, my friends didn’t want to be around me during the holiday season. Well, as luck would have it, I didn't want to be around them either. I didn’t go within a hundred yards of any friends. (I'd say fifty yards, but my normal speaking voice tends to carry without me really trying.) Who really wants to be near all of that stress, exhaustion, frustration and financial freak-outs? Wow. I never realized how much infertility and holiday shopping had in common.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. This holiday season, give the gift of laughter to someone going through infertility, or yourself, or someone in your life who really doesn’t “get it” which would also be a gift to yourself. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

Laughing I S  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