de-stress

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

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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

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

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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

Trying on Halloween Costumes As An Adult- Oh The Joy

None of these is me. None of these was ever me. None of these will ever be me.

None of these is me. None of these was ever me. None of these will ever be me.

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Dressing up for Halloween- some years I'm into it, some not. If I go ahead with it, I choose what I'm going to be very carefully. My costume has to meet strict criteria: I must be able to see. I must be able to breathe. I must be able to pee. I also don't do props. On a long night of party-hopping or trick-or-treating, I can't be bothered wondering every twenty minutes where I left my pacifier or my sword.

Some years I think I'm making it easy on myself by going for a store-bought costume. No cutting, gluing or hunting for accessories that they have every day at every dollar store all year long, until you need it. I can just buy the thing and be done with it. It's always a mistake. More costly than the ridiculous price of the costume itself is the emotional price. Trying on Halloween costumes is about as much fun as trying on bathing suits. The costume always looks so cute on the girl in the picture on Party City's wall but somehow, when I try it on, my parts never go where her parts went on Party City's wall.

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This year, I tried on a white Wilma Flintstone costume. I figured: "It's one simple piece. How bad can it be?" (Better left as a rhetorical question I soon discovered.) I scrunched up the dress from the bottom and shimmied my head through it. And that's where the journey ended. Not one single part of the dress made it over my shoulders. It may have been a costume for someone else, but it was basically a forty-five dollar neck brace for me. I debated whether to take it off or put one bone in my hair and another sticking out of the dress and go as a victim of a Stone Age hit and run accident (or a prehistoric prostitute since I was in my underwear from the neck brace down.)

Doesn’t every single one of us know we're doomed when anything is marked: "One size fits all". Granted, sales would probably plummet if the tag told the truth: "One size fits nobody." They try to be more diplomatic nowadays and say: "One size fits most". Even still: Define "fits" say I, the woman wearing the pricey neck wear.

One aspect worse than bathing suit shopping: The fitting rooms at our party store has the mirrors outside the dressing rooms. Now how could this go wrong? Allow me to tell you. There are two unisex dressing rooms side by side. Forget the fact that every time you emerge from one of them to look in the mirror, the person next in the sprawling dressing room line makes a beeline for the swinging open door, leaving you to explain that you're not actually done with it yet. This isn't a sneaker store. Chances are you weren't planning to throw your clothes in a bag and wear your naughty nun outfit home.

Truthfully, you really don't have to even look at yourself in the mirror. You can tell if your ensemble's a disappointment by the looks on the faces of the strangers in line. All around there are people pretending not to notice you-- people looking at their phones, asking their kids what they want for lunch-- all in an attempt to keep their faces from revealing their feelings of pity and horror. After which, dozens of customers around the Country every year quietly hustle back into the dressing room, close the door, and shoot themselves. Then as two employees drag out the bloody lifeless body through the store and into the window display. all the while whispering into her ear: “No returns after October 21st”, a third employee stays behind and signals to the next person in line: "This room's free."

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Hope you had a few laughs at my expense. If you’d like more of my buffoonery, please consider signing up for my not-annoyingly-over-frequent newsletter and checking out my little books—all at the bottom of my homepage. http://laughingisconceivable.com But most of all, please always remember that no matter what’s going on in the world or what you’re personally going through: Laughing IS Conceivable… And Humor Heals.

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility  Recommended by renowned IVF professionals around the U.S.   https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility Recommended by renowned IVF professionals around the U.S. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

NEW! Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

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Insanity in its Infancy

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This week, I wanted to give you an excerpt of my new book that’s just out (currently in eBook). It’s all about what it’s REALLY like to get pregnant with, stay pregnant with, give birth to, and take care of more than one baby day after day. Even though the book is a sequel of sorts to my infertility book, this first chapter is all about my infertility experience so readers would be up-to-speed and fully appreciate how I got myself into this whole “multiple babies” situation in the first place. In fact, as you can see, that’s what I called the first chapter. Hope you buy it! (I mean “like” it. Did I say “buy” it? Wow. That was awkward.)

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

Chapter One: Getting Pregnant with More than One Baby aka How I Got Myself Into This

Even if you haven’t read my first book, Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility, you just read my summary-length title which I’m thinking is enough of a hint as to how I got myself into this whole “multiple babies” situation. And this is how I got myself into the situation that got me into that situation.

A.    Waiting for Mr. Right... and Waiting... and Waiting... So what’s the holdup? Is he stuck in traffic or what?

My wedding, actually the engagement, actually the actual dating is when the lunacy began. If my husband-to-be and I had been younger, that common remark: “Let’s get married and start a family” might have been a two-part undertaking. We’ll get married and then, at some later date, down the road apiece, over yonder, start a family like a normal couple. But since we were both in our extremely late thirties when we met and neither of us had ever been married or had kids, we went from speed dating to speed mating. It was about as romantic as it sounds.

“Hi I’m Lori.”

“Hi I’m Lloyd.”

“Our names sound cute together and you smell nice. We should get married. If you don’t mind me asking: How old are you?”

“I’ll be thirty-nine in two months.”

I’ll be thirty-nine in two months!”

“Wow, that’s another cute thing to tell our kids!”

“Do you want kids?”

“I do!”

“Congratulations! I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

“Speaking of kids...uh oh look at the time on my biological clock... Half past thirty-nine. We’d better go. The rest of you can stay. The band is booked for another hour.”

After having waited so long to find the right person, I would have liked to have been a fiancee for more than twenty minutes. The only problem is that when you’re older, so tend to be everyone and everything around you. Families, both the ones we already had and the one we hoped to create, played a large part in the decision to set our plans on warp speed. Had we waited even another year or two to get married, who knows how many elderly relatives-- or potential children-- we would have had left? We weighed the pros and cons of waiting.

“On the negative side, we might not have some of our family at the wedding. On the positive side, we might not have some…of...  Hmm. It sure would un-complicate the seating chart. And we could probably save a few bucks by lopping a tier off the cake.”

But waiting was too much of a crapshoot. Who really knew how many good eggs I had left or how long our relatives would linger?   

Our plan was simple: We were going to get married and start a family all in the same day. After all, everyone gets pregnant on their wedding night, right? 

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Boy was I going to be productive that day. I was going to dance with all four of my new sisters-in-law and create their future niece or nephew all in a three hour span. Following the reception and conception, Lloyd and I would celebrate in the bridal suite / baby moon Jacuzzi (after I cleared it with my OB/GYN, of course) from which I would order everything non-alcoholic on the room service menu because, after all, I was eating for two, right? Maybe I could even speed up the pregnancy process and have a water birth since I would already be in the tub and check-out wasn’t until noon.  

Well I didn’t get pregnant on my wedding night or the night after that or the night of our first anniversary.

A.    Who Needs Medical Intervention When You Have Divine Intervention?  

During our brief engagement, Lloyd and I met a monsignor at a barbecue who blessed us, finishing with:

“Usually when I bless couples they end up having twins.”

Wait, what? I don’t know much about Catholic prayers but isn’t “Amen” Latin for “The End”? What’s with this “Oh by the way” he just tossed in there? You’re allowed to add asterisks to prayers? My first thought was:

“Oh geez, how do you undo a blessing? Isn’t that like trying to squeeze eye drops out of your pupils?”

If I’d known then how excruciatingly complicated, exhausting, and expensive the next year of my life would be, I might have taken the monsignor’s generous no-hassle twin set offer more seriously instead of gambling on what was behind Door #3. That’s the last time I ever try to undo a blessing.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Both of my books are available on Amazon.

Laughing  IS  Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (also on Nook & Kobo)

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (also on Nook & Kobo)

NEW! Laughing  IS  Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

NEW! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy https://www.amazon.com//dp/B07J2QSDL9/

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Infertility Hayride

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Let me start by apologizing profusely for the deluge of autumn-related posts that I have already begun and will continue to thrust upon you. I’ve always loved this season although I never realized it until my early 20’s, when the beautiful feelings of crisp air and impending Halloween and Thanksgiving excitement were no longer blocked by the knot in the pit of my stomach that signaled back-to-school doom.

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Every year at this time I fall into the autumn marketing conspiracy trap. I run to purchase (and eat) every seasonal pancake and pie and I’m a total sucker for everything on the shelf— things I never buy until they have “spooky” or “pumpkin spice” in front of their name. And then there are the autumn activities: The State Fair, The Scarecrow Festival… and won’t you join me for a roll in the hay or at least climb aboard my infertility hayride?

Did you know you might have trouble getting pregnant? I didn’t. (Maybe I should have because I was in my late late late 30’s but I didn’t.) A lot of us don’t. We just decide we want to have a baby. We figure it's just going to take a few simple rolls in the hay and then we'll get pregnant. After all, we've heard the song our whole lives: "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes me driving an embarrassingly sensible minivan."

So then week after week, month after month, you two roll in that hay and all you have to show for it is a lot of sweaty hay lodged in various parts of your person. So you get yourself up, dust yourself off... and climb aboard the infertility hayride.

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"Move all the way to the front and scooch together."

You guys aren't alone anymore. The hayride is crowded. Dozens, hundreds, thousands are on the ride with you. Some wear scrubs or white lab coats - an odd fashion choice for a bumpy jaunt through the woods. But most of them look just like you, like they shop where you do: At the “Overwhelmed and Exhausted Mess” boutique.

There will be no rolls in this hay. Oh no, we can't have that. All of this hay is neatly packaged. The lab coats will tell you where to sit, when to sit-- when to touch the hay-- when not to touch the hay.

"And while you're sitting there enjoying the ride, we'll go into the hen house and collect some eggs and... no no, shoo rooster shoo... we're not quite ready for you yet. Just hold your horses... and your plastic cup."

The ride will go up hills, into ditches, scrape bottom on a rock or two, smell like manure, and pass your car that's been patiently waiting for you in the parking lot, several times. You'll get rocked from side to side, you'll lean on each other so you don't fall overboard backwards, and all the while a bunch of the lab coats will be steady on their feet, calmly walking up and down the ride. Unlike the polite folks at the food court, they will be taking samples... from every ready, willing, and able female arm crease and ovary they can get their little latex hands on.

And while they seemingly are spending all of their time talking to you about needles: The needles that go into your arm, the needles that go into your stomach and the needles that go into your butt cheek, what they‘re mostly doing is giving you hope so you won’t think that the chances of you ever having a baby are about the same as you finding the one in the haystack.


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eBook Now Available!

eBook Now Available!

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Hey, I really appreciate you taking a hayride with me through my buffoonery. Come have more laughs at infertility’s expense (and others) by signing on to my newsletter at the bottom of my homepage and checkin’ out my books: http://laughingisconceivable.com.

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Fertility Autumn: What the Hell Kind of Season is That?

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When I was doing stand-up comedy in NYC years ago, I went for color analysis to figure out what shades of make-up and clothes would be best for me to wear onstage. Back then, when it came to “right” colors and “wrong” colors, every person on the planet was divided into the four seasons. I was declared to be an autumn as was my fellow-comedian friend, Jane Stroll. In fact, Jane had a bit in her act: “I’m an autumn: A short season where things wither and die.” Autumn has always been my favorite season but back when I first tried to get pregnant, I was indeed in the autumn of my fertility and it felt exactly like Jane had described in her act..

I had no indications that I would ever have trouble getting pregnant. Sure I knew that older women have a harder time but nobody ever thinks that’s going to be them. And celebrities do it all the time: “Hey, Kelly Preston had a baby at 48! And Janet Jackson was 50!: If they can do it so can I! After all, what have they got that I don’t except maybe great health insurance and extreme wealth to cover their co-pays giving them access to medical options that I’ve never even heard of!!”

It was four months before my 39th birthday when I got married and therefore started trying to get pregnant. (Call me old-fashioned.) For over a year, I tried on my own to get pregnant. (well, not totally on my own. I'm not a complete idiot.) That’s when it first hit me that there really might be something to this whole “fertility autumn” thing. Jane’s whole “wither and die” scenario. What the hell kind of autumn was this? Autumn to me meant pumpkins, hayrides, candy apples, and the state fair not blood tests, hormone shots, egg retrievals, and nightly butt injections. The emotional roller coaster of infertility was about as close as this crap ever came to the state fair. “Your egg retrieval went great! We got 112 eggs out of you! (Yay!) But only 10 of them became embryos. (Aww) But they all made it to day 5 for transfer! (Yay!) But you didn’t get pregnant. (Aww) But we froze other embryos that we can try! (Yay!)

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To be honest, it’s amazing to me how women so openly discuss every step of their infertility / IVF adventure in online groups. They’re incredible. They ask questions. They seek advice. They give comfort and encouragement. I sure didn’t. When something comes into my life that’s so overwhelming, so all-consuming as infertility, I kind of tune out. I went through the motions okay. I went to the fertility clinic. I went to all of my appointments. I did what I was told and not anything more. I never did special diets or ovulation kits or took my temperature,or even took home pregnancy tests. On the positive side of my denial: I never read any statistics on what a long shot it was to get pregnant at 41.

"When you're 28,  the chance of getting pregnant in the first three months of trying is 1 in 2. At 32, it's 1 in 12. At 38, it's 1 in 1200. At your age, it's 1 in 54 million... better odds than winning the Power Ball lottery… but only slightly."

Every autumn, my family and I do a corn maze. We're notoriously terrible at it. It can be the same exact maze every year and it still takes us two hours to find our way out. I’m sure we make the exact same wrong turns every year. One year, there had been a storm that ripped through the maze the week before we went leaving half of it gone altogether and the other half cut down to about four feet high. Didn’t matter. Just because we could see the exit the entire time doesn’t mean we could figure out how to get to it any faster. They give you a flag so if you get lost and give up you can wave it and the staff will come rescue you. Throughout the fun-filled afternoon you can hear the sweet sound of wives yelling at their husbands: "We've been in here forever! Everybody’s hungry and exhausted. Will you wave the damn flag already?!!"

All things considered, I'd rather be hopelessly lost in a corn maze than an infertility maze.... and I've been hopelessly lost in both... a few times.

***

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Two ways to get out more of my shenanigans: 1) Subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the home page 2) Check out my books under: “Books” (no kidding) http://laughingisconceivable.com

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Coming Soon! Laughing IS Conceivable No Matter How Many You’re Carrying: Insanity in its Infancy. (That green book right there.)

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Bringing Lousy Customer Service into my Life

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I'm one of those people who is a big believer in universal energy and that we play a major part in who and what we attract into our lives. So, what's so appealing about lousy customer service that I've been attracting it in droves lately?

1) The "stylist" at Great Clips. I know. I know.  But between the time I checked my son in and he had come off their hair-cutting assembly line only about 12 minutes had elapsed. Shouldn't everybody in the world over 17 be able to keep their surliness, disdain, boredom, and eye rolls under raps for 12 minutes? 

2) The sales guy at Eyecare Center. Over a 3 month period, we got severely overcharged, my husband's glasses came back wrong 3 times and all was made worse by his patronizing attitude. He "yes ma'amed" me to death and constantly said things like: "I know it's hard having a husband and kids to take care of." to which I replied: "Not to mention a business." Another time he said something about me having to cook and all the things that come with being a mommy to which I responded:"Yeah, Lori don't play that."

3) The substitute dentist. I adore my dentist. So why oh why did the bastard have to go on vacation? I've only been going there for about 6 months and got the same guy twice. Well this time he was on vacation. I got a different dentist / used car saleswoman. All I wanted was to fill a cavity in a wisdom tooth. She wouldn't hear of it--- Okay, a lot of dentists agree with just pulling them out.... but this is what I got when I pulled onto her lot: "Why don't you fill the one in the front instead? Wouldn't you feel worse if you lost that one? And then pull those 2 wisdom teeth. And I would take out all of those old fillings and replace them. And those 3 are going to need build ups and crowns. But if you can't do the crowns, let's just do the build-ups, and Beth, set her up with Care Credit if her insurance doesn't cover that...." Needless to say, I drove off her lot, drove back a week later when the other dentist returned and had the receptionist add the substitute dentist to my list of allergies. I think they actually put a sticker of her face with a line through it on my chart.       

4) Scooper at the local ice cream place. She gave me the ice cream for 5 of us. I gave her my frequent shopper card that was full. Fine. Then I asked her for a new card to start. She said they had run out of them. I asked if I should just mention the 4 credits next time. She begrudgingly scribbled her initials 4 times on a slip of paper and handed it to me saying: "Well, if you want to keep track..."  

5) Wal-Mart cashier. I know. I know. Our interaction was maybe 7 minutes. I know that Wal-Mart doesn't treat employees well and many of them might hate their job. I know. But can you at least be pleasant? Half of them look like they're slipping in and out of consciousness. This one the other day just started ringing up the next person's order and tossing his items into bags while Lloyd put the credit card back into his wallet and I grabbed the last few of our bags off the carousel. As I looked to be sure that I had gotten all of them, she finally decided to speak: "I gave you all of your bags."... I said: "I'd like to double-check for myself if that's okay with you." So she hates her job. I've hated most of mine too over the years. So what? Apply elsewhere. There must be dozens of places looking for people with your sparkling personality. Can you cut hair?.

On the other hand: Once we found her, The EyeCare debacle was straightened out by a fantastic regional sales director. and the office manager, my dentist, and his assistant all went above and beyond to rectify the situation at the used car dealership.. 

So maybe all of my signals being sent out to the Universe aren't going totally haywire lately..  But really, the Universe has been around a while. It should know better than to accept messages sent via peri-menopausal hormones. 

Thanks a lot for stopping by for my buffoonery! Please consider signing up for my newsletter at the bottom of the home page and taking a gander at one of my books under well, "books". They are designed to de-stress during some of life's most anxiety-producing moments. After all: Laughing IS Conceivable... And Humor Heals.  

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Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

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One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother

"One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother." 

"One Person's Hug is Another Person's Smother." 

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I've realized recently how much you can tell about people in your life by the way they hug. My husband Lloyd and I are very affectionate with each other partly because we like to hug and kiss and partly because it skeeves our children. My one daughter in particular, Carly, always attempts to wedge her entire 62 pound self between us to pry us apart. She was probably the only child ever to secretly wish for a crowbar for their twelfth birthday who is not on the FBI's radar. It's her fault that our G-rated hugs sometimes go further down the alphabet in front of our kids. In an attempt to not have her succeed in pulling us apart, Lloyd will grab onto whatever part of me he can. (You're right. Now that I'm typing it, it does seem like an obvious ploy on his part.) Sometimes he will even fuel Carly's fire. She'll be in her room minding her own business doing her homework and Lloyd will yell up the stairs: "Carly, I'm home! And I'm about to kiss Mommy!" The interesting thing is that neither my husband nor I grew up in a home where our parents ever hugged, kissed, or even held hands. So of course back then I always thought that parents showing affection to each other was normal only on sitcoms. I once was at my friend's house in high school and saw her parents kissing and flirting. I said to my friend: "What is this like a second marriage thing?"

 

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But I'm not comfortable hugging everybody. Let's face it, nobody is comfortable hugging people whom you know are not "huggers"... like my sister and my father-in-law. They both hug from three feet away like I'm still eight months pregnant. They don't squeeze. They sort of just tap your back with their hands.  It's about as warm and fuzzy as hugging a cinder block. 

And what about friends? Anyone else still stumped on what the protocol is when you run into a friend on the street or meet up with someone you haven't seen in a while? I always get it wrong. I over think. In that three seconds it takes to visually identify the person and make my way over there, I've already weighed the eighty possible scenarios: "Oh geez, is this the one who kisses one cheek? Or is she the one who kisses both cheeks like we're in France? No, wait, I think she's a double hand grabber. Or is this the one who hugs? I guess she'll hug over and I'll go under because I'm shorter. And remember the number one unwritten rule: If we have an accidental boob bump, neither party will ever ever mention it. And then what do I do with her boyfriend? What's currently acceptable for a woman hugging a straight male friend? Do I shake his right hand and put my left arm around his back like another guy would? Or do I hug him like when I G-rate hug Lloyd and then forever wonder if he was trying to cop a feel like Lloyd does? When you see someone you know approaching and know it's going to end in an embrace, I say: Yell out instructions: "Grab both hands! Kiss right cheek!" For me, it might clear up all of my indecisiveness which typically results in something closer to a mugging than a greeting.   

Thanks a lot for stopping by!  Please stay tuned for previews of my latest book:

"Laughing IS Conceivable: No Matter How Many You're Carrying". Insanity in its Infancy

It's about getting pregnant with, staying pregnant with, giving birth to, and caring for-- more than one baby. Coming Soon! In the meantime: If you'd like Laughing IS Conceivable updates, please subscribe to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page. And if you'd like more laughs at life's expense, kindly check out my books in my Laughing IS Conceivable series at the menu at the top... (One book is for parents right about now & one is for those dealing with infertility anytime.) 

 

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The Envelope Please- Awards for my Family, Friends, & Co-Workers

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My kids recently got a bunch of year-end awards at school. I'm proud to say that among the three of them, they amassed a whopping twelve awards. When I was a kid, the awards they gave in school were based mostly on academic achievement. If you did the best on a standardized test or had the highest grades, or were the best athlete, you got an award. If you didn't, screw you. But things are different nowadays. Even the older kids are given awards for being the friendliest or the most helpful or most respectful. Why can't life be like that? We should get a certificate of achievement for everything. And I have a few I'd like to give out myself: 

Co-Workers:

The Practice Makes Imperfect Award- For the coworker who started out okay and as time goes on, actually, somehow, inexplicably, seems to get worse at their job. 

The Consistency Award- For the coworker who made a lot of mistakes at the beginning and five years later, is still making the exact same mistakes. 

The Selfish Bastard Award: For the coworker who regularly shows up late, leaves early, and does nothing in between, totally unconcerned if they're lousing up everyone else's schedule or doubles their workload.

The Selfish, Annoying, Bastard Award: For the coworker who meets all of the requirements of the previous award recipient plus, when they finally do show up to work, they sit there and talk to you the whole time. So not only are they giving you more work because they're not doing their job, they won't leave you alone long enough to do yours,

Friends & Family:

The "I Couldn't Be On Time If My Life Depended On It" Award: Pretty self-explanatory. For that person who makes plans to meet you at 2 pm and while you're still standing on the corner waiting for them like a dumb-ass at 3, finally answers your text: "Sorry I'm running late. I'm just going to jump into the shower."   

The Worst Timing / Pervert Award: For the person who only calls or knocks on your door when you're, for whatever reason, naked.

The "I Can Wear Anything." "No You Can't" Award: For the person who wears clothing whose shape, size, and / or color were never ever intended to be worn by them.   

The Promise But Don't Mean It Award: For that person who will always be there for you, any day, any time to_________ (babysit, help you move, help you pick out your wedding dress, plan a birthday party, return your library book) just not that Thursday, Friday or Tuesday that you________ (need a babysitter, are going to pick out your wedding dress, are planning the birthday party or your library book is due.)    

The "Most Likely" Awards:

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To The Teacher Most Likely to get pregnant and quit before the end of the semester.

To The Family Member Most Likely to hold a grudge for more than a decade.

To The Coworker Most Likely to flip out on a client.

To: The Child Most Likely to interrupt a private urination with a very important story involving a TV episode.   

To: The Cashier Most Likely to go on break and be replaced by the "Trainee" when it's my turn.   

To: The Friend Most Likely to interrupt my story so they can top it with their story. 

To: The Neighbor Most Likely to mow the lawn at 5 a.m.   

To: The Relative Most Likely to say multiple times that they'll come visit next time they have time off but never does. (And with this award comes my heartfelt thanks.)

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at life's expense- please consider heading over to my home page and signing up to my not-overly-frequent newsletter or purchasing one of my little books.   

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Live Chats Will Be the Death of Me

I like to think of myself as a relatively intelligent person. So then tell me: When I need customer service or tech support, why oh why do I fall prey to the "Live Chat" option every single time? 

I think I get lured in because "Live Chat" sounds like the best option, doesn't it? I have a question or an issue and there's a highly trained professional waiting there in the wings like my personal customer service / tech support butler just waiting for me to beckon. No searching for a viable email address to send my question or concern to where I wait with my fingers on the keyboard for 72 hours for an answer. (Where the only immediate answer I get is: "Assisting you is our #1 priority. A representative will get back to you within 3-5 business days.") Personally, I usually prefer a good old-fashioned phone conversation. But hey, "Live Chat"- no waiting on hold listening to the same music, sales pitches and messages-- "I know my call is important to you. You've told me that 40 times in the last 20 minutes." And when there's finally a break in the music, messages, and sales pitches, no getting my hopes up that the silence is an indication that someone's finally about to actually pick up my call.  Plus, a lot of places I've dealt with lately don't even offer phone support anymore. Maybe word about me has gotten around. So "Live Chat" it is. Don't get me wrong. I've had excellent "Live Chats"  a few times. 3 out of 72 isn't bad. Most of the others, no matter how seemingly simple or complicated the issue, this is pretty much how every one of the other 69 "Live Chats" has gone:

I start with the obligatory contact form. Name. Got it!  Email: I'm on a roll. Subject: I can't type it. Oh no. It's got a little arrow. It's the dreaded drop-down menu... The first option: Definitely not. 2nd: Maybe but not really. 3rd: Don't know what that is. 4th: Definitely getting colder. 5th: Colder. 6th: Freezing! Freezing! 7th: Am I even on the right website? I just pick anything and head for the "Message" box. Finally. I can freely express myself. I can pour out all of my details: Everything this company's put me through since I first got involved with them in 1986 and ending with: "Quick question: The promotion that I had with your cable company is about to expire. I see that in the new packages, in order to get the football channels, I would have to sign up for the whole sports package which is mostly soccer channels. Can I just pay separately for only the football channels?" A few minutes later, after promising that a person will be right with me, they really are.

"Hi Lori! I'm Jamie! Hope you're doing great today!"

I always wonder if there really is a "Jamie" or it's just a generic unisex name they give anyone willing to be verbally abused for minimum wage so that when they leave, another batch of "Jamies" can seamlessly take over.  

"How can I help you?"

"Didn't you read my 6 page message with footnotes and a bibliography?"

"Great question! (Yay for me.)... One moment please."

Then nothing. Finally it says: "Jamie is typing" and the little ellipses dots start floating. 

"If I understand you correctly, you're looking to get The Soccer Channel, right?" 

"No. I'm looking to not get The Soccer Channel. I want football only."

"I can help you with that! One moment please..." 

(Jamie is typing.)

"I just checked with my supervisor. Yes! Football is part of the soccer package."

"I don't want the soccer package! What is so difficult?" I cut and pasted photos with arrows pointing to them. "I want this. Not this. Can I..." 

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(Jamie is typing.)

Oh great, now we're typing at the same time. Now I'm getting frustrated. I've gotten pretty good at typing frustration.

"Can... I... get... the FOOTBALL channels without buying the whole soccer package? N-F-L. A-La-Carte. Possible??? Yes or no?"

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"This question will have to be escalated to Customer Service. They will be in touch with you in 2-3 business days. Nice chatting with you!"

"Customer service? Then who the..."

(Jamie has ended the chat.)  

"Jamie?! Jamie?!" Where did he / she go?

The good news is: I've been escalated so many times, the next time I get suckered into a "Live Chat", I won't have far to go to jump off the roof.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like Laughing IS Conceivable updates, please subscribe to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter at the bottom of my home page. And if you'd like more laughs at life's expense, kindly check out my books at the menu at the top.

 

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The Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic: Could You Imagine?

(This post was originally, well, posted in October. I've jumped on the reboot wagon while I put together my brand spanking new website. Enjoy... & stay tuned!)  

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"The Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic" I admit. There are several disturbing elements in that title.  I will calm some of your fears right here by saying this post won't have much to do with the ongoing fashion show at Walmart. You don't need me for that. You have your own eyes and YouTube. Although, I do think the mentality when we're getting dressed to go to a fertility clinic is similar as to when we're going to Walmart:

"Who cares what I wear to Walmart? At least half of the shoppers will look worse."

"Who cares what I wear to the fertility clinic? Ten minutes into the visit, I'll be in a backless couture hospital gown with my ass hanging out."

So, dressing for infertility success or Walmart success notwithstanding-- Walmart has eye centers. So why not fertility centers? The best part would be that they could run them just like they run their seasonal items. In and out. No delays. Fast and furious. Bathing suits are gone in June. School supplies are done in July and on to the  Halloween candy because you know everyone wants to get a jump on their Halloween candy buying. I'm sure that August bag of candy is just laying around the house unopened waiting for October. (I wonder how many people actually finish the candy on the way home and turn around and head back to the store. I mean, it's August. You can't take a chance on it melting in the trunk.)

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Well, why not a Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic? In and out. No delays. Fast and furious. No waiting ten days for your first consultation. No waiting until next month to try the next procedure. No two week wait to find out if you're pregnant. Here's the schedule at the Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic:

Monday 8am: First and only appointment. You say "hi" to Dr. Total Stranger and tell her everything you can think of about your menstrual cycle and your sex life, editing out only the parts about the whipped cream and the crack in the windshield. While you're chatting, a nurse takes blood out of your arm and sperm out of your spouse and then tosses away her latex gloves and goes to lunch. You then proceed onto the examination table behind the curtain. The doctor directs you to open up and say "aaah". You ask how everything looks. You probe her mind. She probes everything on that diagram in sixth grade Health class. You swallow a handful of fertility drugs that your spouse picked up at the pharmacy while you're on the table as the doctor stares at your ovaries to see if the pills have taken effect. She decides you need IUI. She uses something from Housewares to shoot your spouse's sperm up north. You leave the Walmart Minute Infertility Clinic, go to Subway next door and have a sandwich then return to the clinic. If you're still not pregnant, the doctor does an egg retrieval, sprinkles in some of the spouse's sperm for IVF and then sends the combo into your uterus. Now is the hard part: The 2hw: The two hour wait. You get a flu shot. You go into the pharmacy area, kick off your shoes and stand on Dr. Scholl's machine. You peruse the trial size aisle. You could take your blood pressure if Walmart hadn't replaced the machine with a garbage can last year. (A simple matter of priorities.) You buy some non-perishable comfort food and return to the clinic. Success! You're pregnant! You'll return next week to buy maternity clothes, pick up your "It's a boy/girl!" cake at the bakery, and stop in at the Walmart Ob/Gyn to deliver the baby on your way out.

Hey...Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you had a few laughs while  you were here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please sign on to my newsletter and and check out my little book in the menu: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. 

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Mother's Day for Women with Infertile Bodies & Fertile Minds

The Land of Infertility is sometimes referred to as: The Land of If. On Mother's Day, we modify it further to: "The Land of 'What Ifs'. "

How did you handle the "Mother's Day What Ifs" this year?

Those who are going through infertility are typically pretty spectacular at conjuring up "What Ifs" at record speed. But really,  how many Mother's Day "What Ifs" can one woman with an infertile body but incredibly fertile mind create in her head?

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Some quick calculations here: 270 per minute, x 60 minutes in an hour x 24 hours in a day, carry the 6, divide by my BMI... Got it. The average woman going through infertility can create 8,626,509 "what if" thoughts in two weeks. And how many are positive thoughts? Quick calculations here... Carry the 4. Subtract my zip code. Divide by my BMI again. Okay, the answer is "zero".

What IF:

1. ...I run into someone I know on Mother's Day and they say: "Happy Mother's Day"?

If they don't know you don't have kids, you can't be that kind of close to them. So screw 'em: Say "You too!"... even if it's a guy... and keep on walkin'. The last thing you want to do is have an actual conversation with this person.

2.  ...I feel pressured by my family to go to my mother's for Mother's Day?

Drink herbal tea and hear Deepak Chopra's voice in your head until the feeling passes. Later, you can call your mother from the spa, the gym or the inside of a pint of Edy's cookies and cream to wish her a happy day.

3. ...I actually go out with my family for Mother's Day like every other year and everyone starts asking me when I'm going to become a mother already?

All of the following are acceptable answers: "I don't think now's the right time to discuss it." "I'd rather not talk about it." And if they still persist: "I'll tell you later" and then just don't, or my favorite: "None of your fucking business. Will you people let it go already?"

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4. ...I feel depressed the whole day?

See "Edy's" comment above.

The point is: Just like there's no wrong way to eat a Reese's peanut butter cup (and I truly believe that with all my heart and soul- like how Oprah always asks: "What do you know for sure?" That's what I know for sure.), there's no wrong way to spend Mother's Day. The only obligation is to yourself. If you want to go out and feed your body and soul at the beach or hiking in the woods or at a spa, great. If you want to hide from the world and be depressed... uh...am I wrong or isn't that what guilty pleasures were invented for?: Reading your back issues of US magazine, bubble baths, manicures, watching a Real Housewives of Anywhere marathon or using only curse words for 12 straight hours... This weekend... it's up to you... it's all about you.  And I'm talking as an expert here. Between the time I lost my mom to the time I got finally pregnant, there were count 'em- 19 Mother's Days. So for once I know what I'm talking about here. Hang in there! xo

And if you'd like some more laughs at infertility's expense... -please consider my book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's recommended by renowned fertility professionals around the U.S. and subscribing to my not-ridiculously-frequent newsletter-- both are on the home page.

 

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Laughing IS Conceivable: Not Just for Infertility Anymore

(The original "Ted Talks")

"It all started at a 5000 watt radio station in Fresno California." Of course this is Ted Baxter's story on The Mary Tyler Moore Show not my story but this is what I feel like I'm about to tell you. Laughing IS Conceivable started while I was struggling to get pregnant as a way for me to get my frenetic ramblings out of my head and onto paper where they luckily evolved into a book instead of one very long, incoherent suicide note. I've known since I was little that I saw things in life at an angle. (This coming from a girl who barely limbo-ed her way under the geometry bar before it crushed her trachea.) Maybe it's just me mentally and emotionally removing myself from situations that I can't handle or understand. Maybe it's self-preservation. Maybe it's denial. All I know is my mind has always gone into joke mode at seemingly the most inappropriate times. (Speaking of The Mary Tyler Moore Show- See the "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode. That would be me- wisecracking at a funeral.)

Like just yesterday, a friend posted that her ex, her children's father, had died. So I'm scrolling down and everyone's sending their condolences and prayers and then I notice one post from one of her neighbors I guess: "I know this is a bad time, but if you're done with my step ladder, could I please have it back?" Obviously this particular ridiculousness wasn't just in my head. All I could think of was: "We're talking a step ladder here. So he's not looking to save a cat on a roof or anything. He's looking to make himself three feet taller." I felt like replying: "Yeah, now may not be the best time for her. Don't you have a kitchen chair you could stand on?"

So, realizing that everyone's mind doesn't go astray like mine does in times of crisis, I wrote that Laughing IS Conceivable book for others going through infertility who actually just try to deal with their problems without mocking them, hoping that my mocking and sarcasm might help.

From there, I started this Laughing IS Conceivable blog to further help others and to help sell the damn book. So now what? The whole theme of almost everything I've written over the years to me has always been: Laughing IS Conceivable... and Humor Heals.  With that in mind, I'm now looking to branch out into other areas besides infertility. Don't get me wrong (or like they say on the Maury show: "Don't get me twisted!") 12 1/2 years and 3 kids later, infertility is still and will always be a part of my life and my writing. But I'm exploring other topics that interest me and are, in my opinion, as equally worthy of mocking and sarcasm as infertility. What do all of these topics have in common? They're all extremely stressful seasons in a person's life. And they're times that many many people have to deal with in a course of a lifetime--and they're all things I've personally gone through like: Living below the poverty line, losing your parents, raising multiples, having a dead-end job (or several), relocating, anxiety issues, dieting and exercising...  No. No heartrending stories of abuse or neglect. Just stresses that I've been through in the course of my life so far... How about in your life so far? Anything sound familiar? Ring a bell? Anything?

Everything in Laughing IS Conceivable world is being revamped to reflect the shift. In the coming months, I will have a brand new website, a new book, audio-book versions, and a podcast where I can publicly interview renowned professionals and ask them personal questions that nobody ever asks them.

"Would you still be a fertility doctor if it paid $40,000 a year?" (Would that be wrong?--  It's one thing to read my words, but what a treat it will be for you to hear my actual voice. It's soothing  melodic, and uplifting: Like a hybrid of Deepak Chopra,  the Little Mermaid, and Joy Behar.)

I will keep posting here regularly while it's all in the works. I really appreciate all of your support. I hope you will come along with me on this Laughing IS Conceivable adventure... (For updates, please join my list of subscribers: http://laughingisconceivable.com- top of home page)

Current Books in the Laughing IS Conceivable Series on Amazon, B & N, & Kobo:

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

La Risa ES Concebible. (Spanish Version of Infertility Book) 

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School- I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE my kids.   

Flip the Script: I Will If I Must

Flip the script? What's that all about? If you haven't heard, this week, the last full week in April every year in fact, is NIAW: National Infertility Awareness Week. Resolve.org (a great place for all things infertility & family building-- resources, advocacy etc) comes up with a specific theme every year for NIAW. This year's theme is: "Flip the Script". I can't accept that. Couldn't they call it something else? Anything else? I know it's just me. But see, this is the thing: My guilty pleasure (okay, 1 of 26) is watching Maury.

To sum it up: People want to find out if they're really the baby-daddy or if their boyfriend is cheating so they think it would be a good idea-- I still have no idea why-- to find out on national television. Anyway, I adore Maury the host, but in an attempt to sound hip and current, things come out of his mouth that should not come out of any 80 year old's mouth like: "You accused your man of cheating and now he's flipped the script. You wouldn't do him like that, would you?"

RESOLVE likely didn't expect "Flip the Script" to be as controversial a phrase choice as it's turned out to be. (The controversy beginning and ending with Maury and me of course.) I think their intention is  to inspire everyone dealing with infertility to be out and proud... maybe not proud... just not ashamed about it: A catalyst to get people suffering in silence to at least talk about it, share, help, and inform those around us within and without the infertility community.

Funny thing is: I've always been the biggest in the closet out of the closet infertile person. I mean, I have this blog about my own personal infertility exploits. And I have a book about it. And I'm forever skulking around the support groups talking about it... but with my friends, family, neighbors and coworkers... I really don't discuss it much and never really did... not even while I was going through treatments.

I've never felt shame or embarrassment. It was more: "This is so not at all your business" or "I spend half my day living it, I really don't feel like spending the other half recounting the first half."

I've always felt strongly that infertility is so personal that you have to do what's best for you. If you're honest with yourself and you're honestly suffering because you're not sharing what you're going through with friends, family, the general public., open up, let it out. Expect no particular reaction. They might be supportive. They might be judgmental. They might say a bunch of dumb things. Or a combo platter of all three. Nothing you can do about that. Your only goal should be to share with them what you feel you need to. Screw how they react. That's their issue, not yours.

I've always spoken candidly about my IUI/IVF/FET experiences with others going through it and family of others going through it... but as far as my own family and friends... whatever. I've always been wildly inconsistent with the details, I'd make some vague comment like: "Yeah, I'm going back to the doctor today. I'm trying to get pregnant." Let them think I was sleeping with the doctor. Who cares? Then two days later they'd ask how it went and I'd say: "Fine" and walk away or just act like I didn't even know what they were referring to. When people at work compared notes behind my back, I'm sure it just sounded like I was making stuff up as I went. I figured that was okay because it was right in line with the treatments themselves: The medical staff  sounded like they were making things up too. I remember the first time the nurse told me in her cheery "no big deal" voice:

"So every night you're going to pinch your stomach and give yourself an injection subcutaneously."

I was in a fog: "Wait. Hold up. I'm going to give myself injections? Are you sure? That doesn't sound right."

"It's easy. You dial this pen..."

"I'm sticking myself with a pen? Do you really work here? Don't take this personally, but is there maybe another nurse I can double-check this with?.. Or a doctor? Or the billing person? She always seems to be around."

If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please check out my book- Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's been downloaded by 1000s & is recommended by renowned Reproductive Endocrinologists around the U.S. Available in eBook & paperback. (Amazon / Nook / Kobo) http://laughingisconceivable.com /Amazon: https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

 

Infertile Women on Spring Break

Hmmm... Spring Break for Infertile Women. We all could really use a Spring Break. Maybe I should pitch the idea to MTV. What's hotter than watching a group of women in thong bikinis doing shots on the beach at sunset? True, it would be a group of angry, frustrated, infertile women doing hormone shots...

MTV would never air it. They'd be out of business in hours. Clearly women going through fertility treatments desperately need a crazy, wild, college-esque Spring Break. It would just be too disturbing to televise... All of us...thousands of us...living together... every day... all day...in one big alcohol-free sorority house: The Delta Gamma Gametes. How long do you think it would be before our "House of Fun" became a "Fun House"...like at a carnival? Or do I mean "House of Horrors"?

I think everything would start out all warm and fuzzy and chummy and supportive. Ah, but how long before we would lose that lovin' feeling and devolve into "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Hormones?"

And let's see what's on the week's agenda, shall we?

Day 1:  So who's bringing what to the pity party? 

"You people just don't understand what I'm going through! I know that you're all going through it too. That's my point! If you know what I'm going through, then why don't you understand that I just want all of you to go away and leave me in peace so I can go through what I'm going through by myself?! All I ask, is that for the time the thousands of us are living together in this house that you respect my personal space. I feel so alone. You people just don't understand."

Day 2: Spring Break Work Out: Let's Get Critical...Critical...

"The only thing I hate more than people going on and on about their kids in front of me, is when a bunch of infertile women go on and on about how much they hate when other people talk about their kids in front of them, in front of me!"

Day 3:  A Little Unhealthy Competition Among Total Strangers aka: Offering Less Support than a Dollar Store Bra.

"I know it's horrible that you've been going through this for two years...and I do feel for you...I really do...but I've been going through this for two and a half years!"

"Two and a half years?! OMG. If I have to go through this for another six months I'll kill myself!"

"Thanks a lot! I've been going through this for five years."

And how about a few hands of Progesterone Poker?:  

"Really? Well, I've been going through this for six years AND I've had two surgeries and three IUI's."

"Well, I had an IUD before I had four IUI's, one IVF and an FET. They drained my entire IRA! Did you have your IRA drained?!"

Day 4: You know the fun is on the wane when housekeeping becomes a top priority.

"And if you guys are going to throw baby dust at each other, which I think is great...I'm of course all for it...who wouldn't be?... could you at least clean it up when you're done? I'm sure I'm not the only one here who knows how to use a vacuum!"

While we women would be roughing it with very limited access to technology- namely a single red phone each... A hotline to our fertility doctors for "emergency" questions...

Our spouses/boyfriends/lovers/partners would be on Spring Break too in a separate wing of the house. Way over there. Just them, air conditioning, big screen TVs, a 24 hour open bar, pool tables, putting green, stocked refrigerators, two toilets each, and, most importantly... sound-proof walls.