holidays

Infertile Woman Having Labor (Day) Pains

labor day workers.png

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:

pool1.jpg

"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?

cartoon woman meditating on beach.jpg

"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

Microblog_Mondays.png

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

peter-griffin-drunk-passed-out.jpg

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...

man with road rage.jpg

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.

peanut-butter-jars.jpg

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

Mother's Day Living in The Land of What Ifs

The Land of Infertility is sometimes referred to as: The Land of If. (As in Melissa Ford's Book: http://www.melissafordauthor.com/navigating-the-land-of-if/) In the weeks approaching Mother's Day, we modify it further to: "The Land of 'What Ifs'. "

Those who are going through infertility are typically pretty spectacular at conjuring up "What Ifs" at record speed. But hey, the blasted holiday known as Mother's Day is set to take place in four days. How many "What Ifs" can one woman with an infertile body but incredibly fertile mind possibly create in her head in a mere four days?

woman-with-question-marks-around-her.jpg

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 four days. 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". I took a poll (just don't look for it online) and compiled our top Mother's Day infertility what ifs in the list below followed by my dollar store advice.

What IF:

...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 who gives a…..? 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.

What IF:

...I don’t feel up to going to my mother’s for Mother’s Day but I feel pressured by my family?

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 Ben & Jerry’s to wish her a happy day.

What IF:

. ...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." "I'll tell you later" and then just don't, or my favorite::…………………… (That space represents the bit where you just walk away and leave them standing there..)

woman-angry-yelling.png

What IF:

...I feel depressed the whole day?

See "Ben & Jerry’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 Everywhere marathon or using only curse words for 12 straight hours... This weekend... it's up to you... it's all about you.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better (about Mother’s Day especially) than you did when you got here. If you would like more laughs at infertility’s expense, please consider signing up for my newsletter and taking a look at my books. (Both books are recommended by renowned infertility doctors and OB / GYNs): The first is all about my bout with infertility & IVF. The 2nd deals with IVF & the “aftermath” (namely high-risk pregnancy & caring for many newborns simultaneously.) 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

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

happy holidays sign.jpg

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.

photos on your phone.jpg

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.

photographs.jpg

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!”

woman bw photo freaking out.jpg


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

Microblog_Mondays.png

Why Holiday Parties at Work Don't Work for Infertile People

holiday party at work.jpg

"At This Company, We’re Really Like Family" 

Why do people think that's a selling point at a job interview? So you're telling me that you get on each other's nerves, push each other's buttons, talk behind each other's backs, and hold grudges for generations?

Mercifully, most of our extended real family, the ones with whom we spend holidays, are people we don't see that often. So whatever idiocies are said at the big family gathering at holidays…

"I really think you should start having children. You're not getting any younger."

Or our response:

"I really think you should stop talking. You're not getting any smarter."

...are said and then we all get into our respective cars, gripe to anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in there with us for the long & getting-longer-by-the-minute-ride-home, or a BFF on the other end of the hands-free. Then we rehash the emotional leftovers in our minds and to our spouses for the next 12 months. It's different after the company holiday event.

Infertility at Work: The Company Holiday Party: (Gd help us all... everyone.)

If someone you've confided in at work about your fertility struggles starts gabbing at the big company celebration, maybe opening up at the open bar, or maybe you yourself start sailing your secrets down the River Rum... unlike with your family, you won't have to deal with the backlash until.....Not next Thanksgiving. Not next Christmas..... Monday.

holiday office party guy.jpg

And since a juicy bit of gossip is often the best holiday bonus people can bring home nowadays- Any seeds of "news" employees start spreading at the holiday party 2018 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2018) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2020. When finally you'll be able to get up off the hot seat because at least one of the following will have taken place:

  1. You'll be pregnant (yeah!) and they'll switch from discussing how infertile you were to how fat you are.

  2. You'll be a parent and they'll switch to discussing how much time you're taking off.

  3. People will finally have grown as tired of your infertility as you have.

  4. A fair number of employees at the December 2018 holiday party won't even be at the December 2019 holiday party because those holiday parties are only for company employees— Something which, for one reason or other, many will no longer be a year later. Of course, the most likely thing to occur to get you off the hot seat:

  5. Something new and way more delicious than your humdrum infertility will emerge at the 2019 party as the new reigning scandal:

A good old-fashioned boisterous, public cursing out; The manager feeding appetizers to the assistant manager from her cleavage; The CFO going to get her coat to leave and throwing up in the cloak room window... The possibilities are endless.

(I really appreciate you taking time at this very busy time of year to stop by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughter 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 and consider subscribing to my not-overly-frequent newsletter. Both can be done at the bottom of my home page: http://laughingisconceivable.com (Amazon direct link: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/)  

Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg
Microblog_Mondays.png

Infertile People are NOT the Only Ones Who Dread Holiday Gatherings

I don’t buy those smiles… not for a minute.

I don’t buy those smiles… not for a minute.

Expectations. They’ll get you every time. Approaching holidays fill people with expectations and people dealing with infertility with our own dirty little list of expectations tacked on to those.

Year after year, a lot of people seem to head towards the holidays expecting to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to open up fabulous gifts that we’ve always dreamed of, to give fabulous gifts that our friends and family members have always dreamed of, to skip down memory lane, everyone together hand in hand, fa la la la la, la la la la. Okay, let’s all shake ourselves awake for a second here. Here are the REAL expectations that we can REALLY expect. (Do note that most of these are “include alls” meaning- they will apply to holidays with friends, families, and coworkers equally.)  

Laughing+is+Conceivable+web+banner+(1).jpg

First, we expect that we’ll feel obligated to spend too much money to buy presents for people who don’t deserve them and won’t appreciate them. Then, we expect that everyone will get together. We expect that many don't want to be there. Many are simply there because they don't want to be the person who's talked about behind their back… and also, of course, for the copious amounts of free food and alcohol. 

We expect that at least one person will say something to humiliate him or herself and at least one person will say something to humiliate someone else.

As for specifics with family gatherings:

We expect some cousin to tell you how well he's doing in his business even though everyone present, even the kids, know it's bullshit.

We expect some aunt to tell you how well her kid is doing and everyone else to be thinking: "Does she really not know he's a loser?" 

We expect some to over-drink and all to over-eat.

We expect all the food will be “great” while we're sitting within earshot of the person who brought it and most of the food to be declared to be “crap” when we all talk about it on the drive home. 

And we expect at least one person in each vehicle to put in the request:

"Remind me not to do this again next year."

But those with infertility issues also expect scrutiny and being judged and being made to feel uncomfortable:

Personal questions, embarrassing questions, extremely "not-anybody's-business" questions.

And I'm here to remind you that, while all of their baby plumbing may be functioning correctly, your dear relatives have plenty they don't want to talk about either:    

So, remember:

relatives- nosy.jpg

Don't ask your 40 year old cousin Brian why he's still living with his college roommate. (Better to keep thinking it’s a beautiful romance than to suddenly confirm it’s a really creepy bromance.) 

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news with his jacket over his face.

Don't ask your designer-obsessed sister-in-law Brenda why she lives in a mansion and drives a BMW to the food stamp office.

Don't ask your brother-in-law Sam how he failed his driving test four times and his GED three times.

Don't ask your mother-in-law why every time she makes her "special-family recipe" stuffing that’s been passed down from generation to generation on her father’s side, there are always a bunch of empty Stovetop boxes in the garbage.

Don't ask your second cousin Bill why he spends his days collecting disability from a fall at work and training for an ironman triathlon.

couple unhappy in a car.jpg

And the ultimate goal for the family festivities: After the whole debacle is over, be that person in the car who says:

"Remind me not to do this again next year".......And then write it on your appointment calendar so you don't forget!

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here a few minutes ago. If you’d like more laughs at this moment in your life, please consider subscribing to my not-overly-frequent newsletter and / or buying my book for yourself or someone else who could use it this holiday season. All can be done at the bottom of my homepage: http://laughingisconceivable.com

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

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

Microblog_Mondays.png

Being Thankful for Knowing How to Handle the Relatives

family at dinner table.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

family-nosy relative-good.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Do you guys still want children?" 

"Screw off".

Yeah, that could work.

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

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

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

Valentine's Day: Finally: The Perfect Holiday.

Valentine's Day is the perfect holiday for people trying to conceive.  I know you think I'm about to go into the importance of rekindling our romance. Yeah yeah... I'll get to that in a minute. But first and foremost:

Most of us have cringed at some time or other during our infertility adventure just at the thought of holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Thanksgiving... whatever you celebrate, wherever you celebrate it, most holidays include children in your face: They are in relatives' phone galleries, old fashioned photographs, albums, or even worse... in person. At some point during the course of the holiday, you know some oblivious-to-your-pain person is going to shove some form of a child in your face. But not on Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is the one day everyone is trying to abandon their kids... drop them off... leave them somewhere... so they, the parents, can be alone. That's the beauty of the day: If you're trying to conceive and you go out to a romantic  dinner at an elegant restaurant on Valentine's Day and somebody brings a small child... it's the one evening of the year when everybody around you is irritated too. There is camaraderie in the restaurant. We are not alone for once. Everyone in the restaurant exhales an angry huff simultaneously. We give that couple and their plus one dirty looks in unison. Everyone is outraged at their insensitivity... not just us. That is the incredible power of Valentine's Day...

And then, yes, there is that re-kindling aspect of it too. No, we don't have to wait until February 14th to be romantic and proclaim our love. A sexy, sultry, lovey-dovey spontaneous moment can happen any time, anywhere: Like when we are getting a butt shot in the bathroom:

"Hey... I like the way you stuck that needle in there... Same time tomorrow?"

Or at the doctor's office, as he's about to enter the donation room with his  plastic cup:

"You know that see-thru nighty I have hanging in our bedroom closet with the tags still on it?... Just something to think about while you're in there... No no... not the price on the sleeve... think higher up... or lower down."

Or when you have prepared a beautiful candle-light dinner for two at home:

"How about we feed each other flax seeds,  pumpkin seeds, and lean meats? And then we can move over to the couch to have our milk instead of coffee, wine, or beer. You know there's nothing sexier to me than strong bones."

Let's face it: Valentine's Day is a dopey holiday and a perfect excuse to put down the vials and the pens and the calendars and go somewhere together that doesn't smell like antiseptic for a change.

***

Thanks for 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- take a look at my own Infertility / IVF /FET "adventure" recommended by top fertility professionals across the U.S. -Available on Amazon / Nook / Kobo  https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

 

"Year-in-Review"- Why oh Why Must They?

We all know that holidays can be tough for people dealing with infertility. We brace ourselves for getting attacked from all sides: Family, friends, coworkers... Even though it's almost always unintentional, everybody throws their kids in your face with great enthusiasm: They'll tell you what they're buying the kids for Christmas or Hanukkah. They'll ask your opinion on what to buy them. They'll take the adorable items out of the bag and show them to you. They'll scroll through the photos on their phone and narrate every single one: "This is their first Christmas." "This is the first Christmas that they understood what was going on." "This is the first Hanukkah where they didn't put the dreidel in their mouth. It's the first Hanukkah we didn't have to do The Heimlich Maneuver." But for me, over the many years before, during and after my bout with infertility and IVF, the worst torture is the one that comes in the mail.  Has anyway ever sent you an "Our Year-in-Review"  card?

 

Don't get me wrong: I love and really appreciate when people mail an actual personalized holiday card. You so seldom get those. Sometimes I only get one from the dentist. "Happy Holidays! Time for a cleaning!" But an "Our Year-in-Review" card or letter is quite... different.

If you've never received one, they're similar to the friends on Facebook whom I call the "Living the Life!" people. They only post to make people jealous with their "spectacular" life. It's like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And they add exclamation points to everything like US magazine does to make sure we get properly excited over very little.

"Stephanie turned 12 this year! She spent the summer in Brazil!"

"Doug just opened up his third hardware store! Business is booming!"

"Doug Jr. won the Science Fair! He's sooo smart!"

Why oh why doesn't anybody ever include any details worth waiting the whole year to see? Something we really might be interested in?

"Stephanie turned 12 this year! She spent the summer in Brazil! The judge said it was either the camp for troubled tweens in Sao Paolo or juvenile detention!"

"Doug just opened his third hardware store! Business is booming! So what if he sleeps curled up in a ball on the floor and started sucking his thumb?!"

"Doug Jr. won the Science Fair! He's sooo smart! I knew he could figure a way to convert his meth lab into a water purifier!"

Even worse than the people who give an overview of their year in-review are those who give it month by excruciating month. They make you not even want to live another year. Let me end it now, so I won't have to suffer through this again a year from now.

They have to highlight the dullest details they can dig up.

Our Year-in-Review

January:

"Leslie started gymnastics! (How unique of her.) The teacher says she's a natural! Maybe she'll be in the 2022 Olympics!"

(And of course there is only the winter Olympics in 2022. So Leslie had better either double up on her classes so she can get in on 2020 or take it easy until 2024.)

February

"Gymnastics are still going super super super well for Leslie! She also started dance class! (And? So?) She takes tap, jazz, and modern! The teacher says she's a natural! (Imagine that.) Maybe she'll be on "So You Think You Can Dance!"

(Or maybe "Cops" getting cuffed for selling crack: Rebelling for being forced into a life of extra-curricular activities at a tender age.)

Every day of December I go out to get the mail like I'm walking to the electric chair. The driveway is my green mile. I open up the mailbox and take out the contents, my hands shaking: A bill, good. Another bill, good. Another bill, whew!  Oh no. I "whewed" too soon.  A greeting card from Lisa. I know her handwriting. I suck in my breath. The envelope is unnaturally thick. I'm pretty sure she's enclosed neither a check nor a gift card. I pull off my glove, drop it on the driveway and tear into the envelope right then and there. Let's rip off that Band-Aid as fast as possible (and while I'm still within tossing distance of the garbage can.) I see several folded sheets of paper which are about to punish me for all of her boring bullshit, which, for twelve months, I successfully ignored on Facebook. Shoot me.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you feel a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like a few laughs while going through infertility during these holidays, I'd be honored if you'd consider reading my little book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. Available on Amazon, Nook, and Kobo.  https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117

 

Expect to have Holiday Expectations

So you think you dread the holidays this year because you're dealing with infertility? How about before you were dealing with infertility? I truly believe that many many people- those with normally functioning reproductive systems included- either dread or at least would rather not go to these family soirees and there's one main reason: Expectations: Either we fear that our holiday gatherings won't live up to what we expect. Or, even worse: They will.

Approaching holidays fill us with expectation: Expectations to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to skip down memory lane, all of us together, hand in hand.

So here we have on perfumed stationery our dainty, holiday expectation list, engraved in gold calligraphy. And on the other side, scribbled in leaky pen with a mayonnaise stain on it, is our real expectation list.

We expect that everyone will get together. We expect that most don't want to be there. We expect that most are for one of four very good reasons or a combination thereof: 1) They couldn't get out of it. 2) Free food 3) Free alcohol 4) They don't want to be the person who's talked about behind their back.

We expect that at least one person will say something about himself that he shouldn't have and at least two people will say something about someone else that they shouldn't have.

We expect some cousin to tell you how well he's doing in his business even though everyone present, even the kids, know it's bullshit.

We expect your aunt to continue the charade of how well her kid is doing and everyone else to be thinking: "Does she really not know he's a loser?"

We expect some to over-drink and all to over-eat. And we expect that some of the ones who over-drink, will somehow find a way to over-drink even if there's no alcohol served.

We expect all the food will be great while we're sitting within earshot of the person who made it and most of the food will stink when we all talk about it on the drive home in between popping Tums.

And we expect at least one person in each vehicle to put in the request:

"Remind me not to do this again next year."

But those with infertility issues also expect scrutiny and being judged and being made to feel uncomfortable:

Personal questions, embarrassing questions, extremely "not-anybody's-business" questions.

And I'm here to remind you that, while all of their baby plumbing may be functioning correctly, (although you might not be so sure when you see what they were capable of producing), your dear relatives have plenty they don't want to talk about either:

So, remember:

Don't ask  your cousin Brian why he's 42 and still living in his bedroom at home with the New Kids on the Block posters on his wall.

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news hiding his face.

Don't ask your sister-in-law Brenda why she lives in a mansion and drives a BMW to the food stamp office.

Don't ask your brother-in-law Sam how he failed his driving test four times and his GED three times.

Don't ask your mother-in-law why every time she makes her "special-family recipe" stuffing, there's always an empty Stove Top box in the garbage.

Don't ask your second cousin Bill why he spends his days collecting disability and training for an Ironman triathlon.

And the ultimate goal for the family festivities: After the whole debacle is over, be that person in the car who says:

"Remind me not to do this again next year".......

And then put it down as #1 on your New Year Resolutions' list.

Thanks a lot for taking time during this busy season to stop by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than when you first got here.  My eBook is now available in paperback too. So if you want to have a copy for when you could use a laugh during your infertility travels, or you're tired of the waiting room magazines.. (That's Chapter 6, by the way) Or want to give as a gift to someone in your life who just doesn't get what you're going through.  https://www.amazon.com//0692950117/  

 

 

Infertility at Work- at the Company Holiday Party

"My Co-Workers are like Family" office-of-angry-people

Why do people think that's a good thing? So you're telling me that you get on each other's nerves, push each other's buttons, talk behind each other's backs, and hold eternal grudges?

Mercifully, most of our extended real family, the ones with whom we spend holidays, are people we don't see that often. So whatever idiocies are said at the big family gathering.:

"I really think you should start having children. You're not getting any younger."

Or our response:

"I really think you should stop talking. You're not getting any smarter."

...are said and then we all get into our respective cars, gripe to anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in the vehicle with us for the long & getting-longer-by-the-minute-ride-home, or a BFF on the other end of the hands-free. Then we rehash the emotional leftovers in our minds and to our spouses for the next 12 months. It's different after the company holiday event.

woman-arguing-to-man-in-care

Infertility at Work: The Company Holiday Party: (Gd help us all... everyone.)

If someone you've confided in at work about your infertility starts gabbing at the big celebration, maybe after confusing the open bar with the buffet two or twelve times, or maybe you yourself imbibed more than you should have and, mistaking catty coworkers for friends, sailed your own secrets down the River Rum... unlike with your family, you won't have to deal with the backlash until.....Not next Thanksgiving. Not next Christmas..... Monday.

1920_hero_too_drunk_holiday_party

And since a juicy bit of gossip is often the best holiday bonus people can bring home nowadays- Any seeds of "news" employees start spreading at the holiday party 2017 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2017) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2019. When finally you'll be able to get up off the hot seat because at least one of the following will have taken place:

  1. You'll be pregnant (yeah!) and they'll switch from discussing how infertile you were to how fat you are.
  2. You'll be a parent and they'll switch to discussing how much time you're taking off.
  3. People will finally have grown as tired of your infertility as you have.
  4. A fair number of employees at the December 2017 holiday party won't even be at the December 2018 holiday party because those holiday parties are only for company employees: Something which, for one reason or other, many will no longer be a year later. Of course, the most likely thing to occur to get you off the hot seat:
  5. Something new and way more delicious than your humdrum infertility will emerge at the party as the new reigning scandal:

A good old-fashioned boisterous, public cursing out; The manager feeding appetizers to the assistant manager from her cleavage; The CFO going to get her coat to leave and throwing up in the cloak room window... The possibilities are endless.

(I really appreciate you taking time at this busy time of year to stop by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughter at infertility's expense, please check out my book above- now available in eBook & paperback: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. (Recommended by renowned infertility professionals) https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117)

 

Microblog_Mondays

Down the F'n Tubes: Interview with the Authors

Quick Note: My eBook is now (finally, mercifully) in paperback.  Regular price- $9.99 USD. New launch price through November- $8.49

The eBook is also on sale this month. Usually $4.99/now $3.99. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692950117

(Contact me directly for orders of 5 books or more-I'll hook ya up.) Now back to our regularly scheduled blog.

So I started chatting with someone online who had written a new book called: Down the F'n Tubes: An Ode to Fertility Futility.  I'm really big on titles. I love a good play on words and phrases and can't think of one that would better sum up the feelings of anxiety and frustration of infertility than that one. (Is it too late to change my book title?) Unlike most infertility books, this one isn't written by a medical professional or "the woman" but "the couple". I cyber sat down with "the couple", Tom and Virginia Hanada for an interview.

Down the F'n Tubes: an ode to fertility futility by [Hanada, Virginia and Tom]

Available in eBook & Paperback on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B076YXQ2TV

LSF (That's me): A lot of people find it helpful to write out their thoughts when they're dealing with infertility but most of them just go under their covers with a syringe and scratch their angst into notepads they stole from the doctor's office. Why a book?

VH - In general, we’re private people, but we also try to be honest and open. A few years ago, we went out for lunch with some friends. Someone asked if we had any travel plans and we responded that we couldn’t really plan anything because the infertility treatments made things so unpredictable. As soon as we said that, one of our friends completely dropped out of the conversation and didn’t say more than two words for the rest of the afternoon. We found out later that she and her husband were about to start their first round of IVF. Apparently she really wanted to talk to us about it, but she didn’t feel comfortable. And that’s unfortunate. We could have supported each other. At that moment, we knew we wanted to start a conversation.

LSF: How long have you been dealing with infertility? So, what made you pick this time to write about it?

 VH- Four years. It seems like forever to us, but we know people who have struggled with infertility for much longer. I felt the need to CREATE something to make up for the fact I couldn’t procreate. Writing creatively gave me a sense of control and purpose. I got to control the narrative, and it felt great to define infertility—instead of being defined by infertility.

LSF: Tom, the vast majority of non-medical infertility books are written by women. Did you get roped into this or was this all your idea? 

TH: I was more than glad to be a partner in all of it. Virginia was enduring 98% of the awfulness of the experience (my 2% was having to masturbate into a cup at 7 am in a sterile hospital room without lubricant or porn; and for that I shall always be a martyr!).

LSF: Yeah, yeah, we all know what your 2% was. Boy, you people have to spell out everything.

TH: Just because of biological realities I wasn’t able to be the equal partner during infertility that I strive to be in all other areas of our lives. The least I could do was be an equal partner in a project that brought us both joy and expression.

LSF: "The least I could do"?... Virginia, are you telling him what to say? My husband has never put those 5 words together... Moving on... How did this collaboration work? Did you write the book together or did each of you come up with material independently and then compared notes?

TH- We’d walk the dog at night and decompress about the day, how we were feeling and what we wanted to say in the book.

(LSF: This is actually Tom and Virginia walking the dog.)

 

TH: ...And then we’d both write different sections of the story and come together and compare our work. Virginia is a college professor, and she approaches all problems with a scientific mind. So when we started composing the rhymes in anapestic tetrameter (aka the “Dr. Seuss meter”), the only way she could wrap her head around it was to create an Excel spreadsheet where she broke down each line by syllable and stress. I’m sure Dr. Seuss is rolling in his grave at the thought of us composing poetry in Excel spreadsheets, but we’re very happy with how the rhymes turned out!

LSF: Really? Those fricken little boxes drive me nuts.... Yeah, where did that Seuss-like rhyme pseudo children's book idea come from? I mean it's not like a normal game of word association: Syringe, nurse, blood, Seuss! I mean, what the hell?

TH - We came up with the rough idea together while driving back from an IUI appointment. But the thing was, we didn’t actually get the IUI because the doctor didn’t like the looks of the ultrasound – it looked like there might be polyps in the uterine lining, but could only be confirmed with a different kind of ultrasound, which couldn’t be done that day (and would be another couple hundred bucks). Virginia was really frustrated on that drive home. I commented that I envisioned the polyp as some mean old lady who lived on the uterine lining and was shouting at all the kids passing by to “Stay off my lawn!!!” Virginia laughed at that. And it was good to hear Virginia laugh. We decided at that moment that we were going to find some fun, imaginative way to tell the infertility story. Our good friend, Amanda is a talented artist. She really added a lot with her illustrations.

LSF: There's a lot of raw emotion in this little book. A lot of yelling and some cursing and even a few sexual positions mentioned. (One I had to ask my husband what it was. He said: "You know when I want some and you want to watch a TV show and we compromise? That's what that is.") Anyhow... Did you set out to give a good, honest, form of venting that we can all relate to or did it just evolve into that?

TH - I don’t think we would have ever finished it if it weren’t an honest expression of how we felt. We were angry. We were frustrated. We were annoyed. We were ashamed. I’m not sure we could write an infertility book that didn’t contain those emotions.  We wanted to do it in a way that was both relatable to those who are familiar with the experience, and accessible to those who aren’t. Something that you can hand to your best friend, or your mother-in-law, or a young couple who just hit their first road block in the process. Hand it to them and say “Read this. And then let’s talk.”

LSF: Wait... Whoa... Your mother-in-law? I mean, you've got that sexual position that I didn't know had a name and you said the "M" word just a few minutes ago, and the "F" word's in the title...

TH - EVERYONE we know has been invited to read this! In fact, the book’s cover is going to be the image on our Christmas cards this year. Many of our elderly aunts will now know that we have a book about infertility on Amazon… even if they don’t know that “Amazon” is more than a jungle in South America.

LSF: Or a very large warrior woman.

TH: Right. One of our intentions in writing this book was to “come out” to our family and friends. We wanted to express our frustration to them, but to do it in a fun, entertaining way. It’s a narrow target to hit (serious yet whimsical), but the response from everyone we love has been amazing.

VH: The most amazing thing has been how many friends have seen our book and then reached out to personally share their own infertility struggles with us! These are friends whose Facebook pages are plastered with photos of their beautiful children. I never knew the anguish they went through to have those children. Everyone seems to fight infertility alone, and it’s not right that something so emotionally and physically draining is also so lonely and isolating.

TH: I think it’s been great. The more we can get other people to accept infertility without stigma, the easier it’s been for us to accept it too.

LSF: Thanks a lot you guys for taking time to chat... And for you know, only saying "masturbate" once.

Down the F'n Tubes: an ode to fertility futility by Tom and Virginia Hanada. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B076YXQ2TV -

 

 

Halloween IVF- (Is Very Frightening-Ooooh!)

Here we are in the throes of the Halloween season. (Of course if you consult your local supermart, the Halloween season started August 29th.) So now everyone gather in a circle, turn off the lights, get those smoke machines going, and light those flashlights under those chins... And let the infertility horror stories begin. (Not those kind of infertility horror stories, I promise. Who needs more of that?)

Read on... if you daaaaare.

"The Vanishing Fertility Patient"

"Ooooooooooh there was this woman who lived with her husband in a sleepy Midwestern town in the house at the end of the dead end dirt road. It was the one with the broken street light with the jagged edges that nobody ever replaced. The house was always cold and the boards on the porch creaked when it rained.

Well this woman couldn't afford her fertility treatments. So, legend has it, one bone-chilling, stormy night, about 3 AM, under the cloak of darkness, she and her husband packed up and moved to Canada where the treatments were covered...and they were never heard from again.

But they say that every Halloween when it's a full moon and the wind is blowing from the North, the sound of  fingernails scraping on the door of the very same fertility clinic that couple used to go to in the U.S. can be heard...along with the hoarse pleas of a woman: 'I don't get paid until the 15th! I promise I'm good for it. What the hell's wrong with you people?!'"

"The Tale of the Odd Triplet"

"Oooooooooooh years ago, in the old country, there was a woman whose sister went through fertility treatments. Suddenly she got pregnant and had triplets... with three different fathers...

And as the children grew.. everybody said there was something not quite right about them.

One of them...as the story goes... was ambidextrous...

One was... a red head...

And the other one...nobody ever saw...

People say she never went out. And when she did... she didn't speak... And she never looked anyone in the eye. Some say she had those eyes that look right through you. Some say she had no eyeballs.

They say she might have been deranged...or possessed... or from another world...

Last anyone heard, she'd married, moved to the suburbs, and joined a reality show on Bravo... No one will ever know the real story of who she is, where she came from, whatever happened to her original nose, or why people find her the least bit entertaining."

"The Old Yenta and Her Sink Full of Knives"

"Ooooooooooh there was this couple who went to his mother's house for every birthday, every anniversary, and every holiday-major and minor alike. And every time they were there his mother asked them:

'When are you going to have a baby?' 'When am I going to be a grandma?'

Month after month, holiday after holiday, the old woman badgered and bothered and tormented them:

'Why isn't she pregnant yet?' 'Why don't you want me to have grandchildren like all of my friends have?'

Finally the couple could take no more. They had had enough. That Halloween was the last Halloween they would ever spend with that kvetchy old lady.

That evening, it was late...after midnight. Technically not Halloween anymore but that didn't matter to the couple. They were still filled with all that the spirit of Halloween seems to bring. That evening, they were in the kitchen watching the old broad clean up.

One by one, she washed the plates, and the forks... and the knives. There she was, washing...at the sink...those knives...with her back to the couple as she continued to torment them:

"You know, my sister-your Aunt Tilly- has four grandchildren...and her daughter got married after you did."

That was all the couple had to hear. All of those days, weeks, months, and years of torture at the mouth of this old bitty came rushing back...all of those words...mounting up, building up over time... They were awash with her words.

While she stood at her sink, her back to them, washing those knives, the couple snuck out of the kitchen and out the front door into the frigid, Halloween night... and never returned."

*****

Thanks for stopping by! Please sign up for my bimonthly newsletter (http://laughingisconceivable.com -very top) and take a look at my eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's recommended by renowned infertility professionals and has been downloaded by 1000s of people looking for a way to de-stress from all of the anxieties of infertility. It's available on all Amazons, Nook, & Kobo & In Spanish: (La Risa ES Concebible)  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

"It's Infertility, Charlie Brown!" - A Holiday Classic

Every year at this time, it is a tradition to re-post this. 50% nostalgic tradition. 50% lazy tradition. But a tradition nonetheless. Hope you enjoy it! xo 

I've never hidden the fact that I love the autumn and every corny thing associated with it: Football (not the least bit corny), Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (cool with many corny parts), fall foliage.

So in the past, I've written about going through infertility later in life ("The Autumn of My Fertility") and spooky infertility stories for Halloween.

I can't see what could possibly be left to write about that's autumn-related except, of course the obvious: Charlie Brown.

peanuts-gang-dancing

This long lost Charles M. Schulz classic, "It's Infertility Charlie Brown!" was shown on TV for years in between the Halloween and Thanksgiving specials. I can't believe you haven't seen it.

I'm not ridiculous enough to suggest that Lucy Van Pelt grew up and battled infertility. With that attitude of hers, likely the only men who would even talk to her would be chiropractors and orthopedists looking for an explanation as to why their patients are in such terrible shape. Namely: Charlie Brown for ailments caused by decades of her pulling away that damn football and Schroeder being hunched over the piano to avoid looking at her shamelessly flirting with him. Then again there are lots of men who seem to adore crabby women: Remember Bridezillas?

Here's the episode in its entirety. It takes place in the classroom. Hope you don't have a Peanuts allergy. (ar ar ar):

I present to you: "It's Infertility, Charlie Brown!"

charlie-brown-at-his-desk

Teacher: Today, boys and girls we are going to be discussing "Infertility". (Peanuts Translation: "Wa wa wa wa wa").

I know that several of your parents have had fertility treatments. Can any of you tell me if they were successful? ("Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa?")

Marcie: I got a sister.

Violet: I got a brother.

Franklin: I got boy/girl twins.

Charlie Brown: I got a rock.

Peppermint Patty: Good one Chuck.

Teacher: There can be many reasons for a couple's infertility: Weight, medical issues, low sperm count, age. As for your parents... I think being invisible is the likely cause. (Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa)

Charlie Brown: Ma'am? Could you tell me ma'am?

Teacher: What is it now, Charlie Brown? ("Wa wa wa wa wa?!")

Charlie Brown: Ma'am if we were created in 1950, how are we only somewhere around eight years old?

Teacher: Have your parents ever mentioned freezing their embryos, Charlie Brown? (Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa?)

Charlie Brown: The thing is Ma'am- Do we even have parents? What I mean is, Ma'am: Don't we kind of live by ourselves? Like when Linus stays out all night in the pumpkin patch every Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin, his sister Lucy always goes out to get him in the middle of the night and she's not that much older than he is. And I've been wearing the same shirt for over sixty years. And my little sister Sally's hair has just kind of been stuck like that forever and none of us can get it down. And Pig-Pen hasn't taken a bath once through eleven presidential administrations. And Peppermint Patty wears her open-toed sandals outside all year long, even in the Valentine's Day special and that's in February. And Linus' blanket has NEVER been washed. And Marcie hasn't been to an optometrist since 1968. And Snoopy eats turkey on Thanksgiving with his bird friend Woodstock and nobody ever tells him how wrong that is. And nobody's ever told Schroeder to sit up straight while he's playing the piano. And Lucy takes money for giving psychiatric advice without a license and nobody ever tells her how wrong that is either.

Lucy: You Block Head!

Charlie Brown: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh

(Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you're feeling a little bit better than when you got here! Please consider subscribing to my newsletter and/or checking out my eBook: It's been downloaded by thousands of infertility patients & professionals. (Their reviews in "Look Inside" on Amazon. Also available on Nook & Kobo y en Espanol- La Risa ES Concebible.)  http://laughingisconceivable.com) subscriber sign up at top.

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

Labor Day Pains for the Labor Pain-less

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 "Labor" Day as a personal affront to me and my kind. Just another conspiracy to screw with those trying to conceive I think. I mean it's great everyone gets a long weekend off... I know. To all of those who live somewhere where there is a Labor Day, only those trying to conceive could be offended. Most holidays offend us, or at least hurt our feelings. So why should Labor Day be any different? It's 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!

I know that 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 Time Warner Cable nestled between Lifetime and  OWN.) For everyone else it means:

"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 homeowner's fees?"

"RIP Jerry Lewis and when did the MDA telethon become only 45 minutes long? It seemed a lot longer when I was a kid."

"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 for the rest of the year I can justify buying a $2700 barbecue by posting the 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 a party, wedding, christening, or bar-mitzvah, typically conveniently-located to nobody?

"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. You do. I mean, even if you don't work in a traditional sort of way, you know, like where you have to turn off daytime TV occasionally and generate some income, you deserve this holiday. Because let's face it: Infertility all by itself is a full-time job... maybe two.

Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope this little detour into the ridiculous helps. Please consider subscribing to my newsletter & if you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, take a gander at my little eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's my own infertility story and has been downloaded by 1000s. (Comments from renowned fertility experts in "Look Inside") Available on all Amazons, Nook & Kobo.

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

Heat up the BBQ: Here We Go Again!

Here in the U.S., this 4th of July weekend, a lot of people spend time barbecuing. (Until I moved to the South, I had no idea that "barbecue" was actually a food instead of just an adjective in front of a food.) Some people call it "grilling". On this blog, during any such holiday- like I did for Memorial Day weekend, I like to talk about "people grilling".  It's not as barbaric as it sounds. It's probably just a little worse.
 

All of us at some point in our lives have people in our lives who seem to have nothing better to do than grill us on our lives. Is it a superiority thing on their part or are they just scrambling for small talk? I've mentioned this before: Sometimes people just give you labels and once you've got a label, that's who you forever are to them and all conversation heads in that direction. You see them coming down the street and you think: "Oh crap. Here we go again." To them you're "The childless couple." That's your label. I've had a million labels in my life: "The Jewish woman". "The New Yorker".

There was a story years ago about a Jewish woman who disappeared in Asia. A coworker actually asked me: "Do you know what happened to her?" Luckily I was prevented from saying: "No. We don't all check in with each other" by another coworker saying: "How the hell would she know?"
I fully acknowledge that this grilling business by relatives, acquaintances, and various busybodies is in no way limited to people dealing with infertility. People grill us on when we're going to find someone to be with, when we're getting married, when we're going to get a job, when we're going to leave that person, when we're going to get a better job... and other squirm-inducing topics that are none of their business. But few are quite as hurtful as: "When are you going to have a baby?" You know how people -Hollywood celebrities-- sports stars-- and just everyday folks love to say: "Give back"? Well, for this holiday week, Deutschlander and Cristy, a couple of my cyber friends have offered to give back to their friends and family exactly what they've been giving to them for years. Fire up those barbecues ladies. Let the grilling begin.
To my cousin's wife:
"Thank you for constantly asking us nosy questions about if and when we want to have kids and then remarking that our house is too big for just the two of us and would be ideal for a family of four. I've been wondering, when are you finally going to lose the baby weight. Your children are in their 20's now, isn't it about time?"

"Hi coworker who put me on the spot and asked me all about my family planning in front of several other colleagues. How is YOUR sex life since your wife had a baby? How often are you doing it now? Are you using condoms or any contraceptive method? What positions?"

(Dubliner in Deutschland's blog about well, a Dubliner living in Germany with her husband and their experiences can be found at:  http://dublinerindeutschland.blogspot.de/)

****************************
"Hi Aunt Mable! Yes, I know, I’m not getting any younger. But funny thing is, neither are you. How are those funeral arrangements coming? And which husband are you planning on being buried next to? That whole eternity thing must have a whole new level of meaning for you!"

"Hi Cousin Jenny. Yes, I know you want to give me your kids so I can understand how lucky I am (don’t worry, you’ll still be mom). Was going to ask, don’t the saggy boobs bother you? I mean, it’s clear you lost a cup size after all your pregnancy and they seem to droop a lot. Which must be so said for Stan, because, you know, he’s a self-proclaimed breast man."

"Hi Frank. Yes, I know, I just should have sex with you to get knocked up. Because clearly my husband isn’t capable to doing the job (even though the issue is with me). But I guess my question is, what happens if we have lots and lots of sex and I’m still not pregnant? I mean, what does that say about you? I’m not so sure I want my baby sister dating a guy who’s sperm may be questionable."

Is that singeing hair I smell? Okay, grillees, you can go now. I think you're done.

Cristy's "Searching for the Silver Lining" blog can be found at: http://searchingforoursilverlining.blogspot.com/

Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please join our newsletter and take a look at my little eBook. It's my funny, fast-reading tromp through infertility and has been downloaded by 1000s of infertility patients who could use a little laughter right about now. (In "Look Inside" on Amazon, there are reviews by top fertility experts around the U.S.) Available on all Amazons, Nook, & Kobo.

newsletter sign up at the top: http://laughingisconceivable.com

eBook: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

"Thank You for Not Being a Schmuck" Month

Although my 84 year old father lived among a lot of couples in his retirement community in Florida, I couldn't help noticing every time I visited that he spent much more time talking with the women than the 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 we 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.

Your spouse/partner/husband--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 calendar-induced copulation with and to sire 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...

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. I watch every ballgame I can and argue every play with the TV. I have road rage. I easily fit curse words in as nouns, verbs or adjectives in any sentence. 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. Clearly, it should have been transferred into the dishwasher. But if I'm the dish washer, why do I have a dishwasher? And apparently after I rinse off the food and gunk into the sink, I'm supposed to clean the sink. I don't skeeve many things, but kitchen sink drains is one of them.

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 how they got there.

And then there's the peanut butter issue. A common breakfast for me includes sticking a teaspoon into the peanut butter and eating it...and repeating this action... three times... every morning. It's not my fault: A serving size is a tablespoon. Three teaspoons equal a tablespoon. Sure I could dip one tablespoon once instead of one teaspoon three times, but my way just feels like a bigger breakfast. I finally did the only sensible thing and got my own private jar of peanut butter to slobber into. Still, I don't get it. Of all the things my husband's seen me put into my mouth in the past fourteen years, he thinks my peanut butter spoon is the most disgusting?

So maybe "Thank You for Not Being a Schmuck" isn't quite right. I mean, we're all schmucks sometimes. Maybe: "Thank You for not Being a Total Schmuck" is better.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you smiled a few times during your stay. Please sign on for my newsletter at the top of my home page. http://laughingisconceivable.com

...and take a look at my eBook. As a then-stand-up comic and (still) humor writer, I wrote it during my own bout with infertility and treatments to help me make sense of it all. It's been downloaded by 1000s of people looking to de-stress from their infertility hell. (Comments by top fertility professionals inside.) 4.5 stars/ 66 reviews. Available on Amazon/Kobo/Nook. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

Laughing IS Conceivable

 

For Those Who Think the Best Part of Mother's Day is Now

Have you heard of "Give Yourself a Cookie" Day? If the best part of Mother's Day to you, right now, at this very juncture in your life, is the moment it ends...

I apologize if you've seen this theme before in my posts but I think it's necessary... especially for people who don't do well on certain holidays. And if you've been trying to get pregnant, Mother's Day is one of those holidays.  So what I do, a few times a year is proclaim it: "Give yourself a Cookie Day".

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 today as: "Give Yourself a Cookie Day!"

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!

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

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

Give yourself a cookie!

For you who went out with the extended family to some family-style BS restaurant and had to stand there while everyone counted six times how many high chairs and how many booster seats were 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.)

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!"

(Yes, her again!)

I know. There's a rampant obesity epidemic, and we shouldn't reward ourselves with food... So call it: "Give Yourself a Protein Bar" Day or "Give Yourself a Foot Massage" Day. "Give Yourself an Afternoon Off from Work" Day... Whatever you consider a reward for a job well done... That's the day today is!  And if you're not reading this until a week and a half after Mother's Day? So? "Give Yourself a Cookie Day" is what you'd call a floating holiday. It floats into your life anytime after a holiday-- whenever you need it.

If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense:

Please consider signing on to my newsletter / downloading my eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. (It's been downloaded by 1000s of infertility patients & professionals- some nice enough to review it online or on the inside pages. Available on Amazon/Nook/Kobo.)

http://laughingisconceivable.com (subscribe at top for newsletter)

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ (eBook)

https://www.amazon.co.uk//dp/B007G9X19A/ (Amazon UK)

https://www.amazon.ca//dp/B007G9X19A (Amazon Canada)

 

 

 

Microblog_Mondays

Mother's Day in The Land of What Ifs

The Land of Infertility is sometimes referred to as: The Land of If. (As in Melissa Ford's Book: http://www.melissafordauthor.com/navigating-the-land-of-if/) In the weeks approaching Mother's Day, we modify it further to: "The Land of 'What Ifs'. "

Those who are going through infertility are typically pretty spectacular at conjuring up "What Ifs" at record speed and this year, seeing as the blasted holiday known as Mother's Day doesn't occur until the 14th, we've had 2 whole weeks to create "What Ifs" specific to Mother's Day. Well, it's not such a big deal. After all, how many "What Ifs" can one woman with an infertile body but incredibly fertile mind create in her head in 2 weeks?

woman-with-question-marks-around-her.jpg

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". I took a poll (just don't look for it online) and compiled our top Mother's Day infertility what ifs and my dollar store advice.

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 fuck '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?"

woman-angry-yelling.png

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.

3 things before  you head out-- (links below)

Check out the bonus Mother's Day infertility humor post from guest blogger, James Doherty aka Scantily Dad.

"Mother's Day Post from an Infertile Dad": http://laughingisconceivable.com/dadsviewofmothersday

Please consider signing on to my newsletter at the top of my home page:  http://laughingisconceivable.com

Please consider downloading my eBook: It's been downloaded by 1000s who have needed some laughs during infertility. There are comments from top fertility experts around the US inside.

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ Available on Amazon, Nook, & Kobo. (cover below)

https://www.amazon.co.uk//dp/B007G9X19A/ (Amazon UK)

https://www.amazon.ca//dp/B007G9X19A (Amazon Canada)

The Dreaded "Our Year-in-Review" Holiday Card

We all know that holidays can be tough for people dealing with infertility. We brace ourselves for getting attacked from all sides: Family, friends, coworkers... Even though it's almost always unintentional, everybody throws their kids in your face with great enthusiasm: They'll tell you what they're buying the kids for Christmas or Hanukkah. They'll ask your opinion on what to buy them. They'll take the adorable items out of the bag and show them to you. They'll tell you what great deals they got on them. They'll ask you to accompany them to the mall to shop for them. They'll invite you to parties where the kids will be running around. They'll tell you what the kids will wear to the holiday party. "This is their first Christmas." "This is the first Christmas that they'll understand what's going on." "This is the first Christmas where they've been able to tell me what they want." "This is the first Christmas they've helped decorate the tree." "This is the first Hanukkah they've played dreidel instead of putting it in their mouth." It's torture. For me, over the many years before and during my bout with IVF, the best way to get over the torture was with more torture. Has anyway ever sent you an "Our Year-in-Review" card?

I love when people mail an actual personalized holiday card. You so seldom get those. Sometimes I only get one from the dentist. Some people integrate the "Our Year-in-Review" right into the card. My friend Lisa cleverly sneaks folded sheets of paper inside the card that turn my holiday smile upside down. If you've never received an "Our Year-in-Review":

The beauty of the "Our Year-in-Review" is that while it still highlights the children, it typically also highlights the most boring, mundane aspects of parenthood. The most entertaining part is that the parents never seem to have a clue how boring and mundane all of this is. So instead of focusing solely on our situation and that every other living soul in the world apparently has kids during the holidays, we can shift our focus to how incredibly dull our friends have become.

People never sum up their whole year of tedium in one sentence:

"Our Year-in-Review": 2016 was a great year for the Gibsons! Hope it was for your family too!"

No, they have to go month by excruciating month. And of course they have to highlight the dullest details they can dig up.

Our Year-in-Review

January:

"Leslie started gymnastics! (How unique of her.) The teacher says she's a natural! Maybe she'll be in the 2018 Olympics!"

(Does everything require an exclamation point? What is this, US magazine? And of course there is only the winter Olympics in 2018. I'm only up to January and already I have a dilemma. Was she serious about the Olympics? Should I casually mention that Leslie can either take it easy because she has an extra two years to practice or learn how to do the balance beam in a parka?)

February

"Gymnastics are still going super super super well for Leslie! She also started dance class! (And?) She takes tap, jazz, and modern! The teacher says she's a natural! (Imagine that.) Maybe she'll be on "So You Think You Can Dance!"

(Or maybe "Cops" getting cuffed for selling crack: Rebelling for being forced into a life of extra-curricular activities at a tender age.)

March

Stephen is on the honor roll!

(Which of course brings up the elephant in the review: Nary a word about the honor roll anywhere else in the card enclosure. Is mother implying that Stephen was an imbecile the other eleven months?)

If you've got to send us this nonsense, could you at least throw us a bone and include some of the juicy stuff?

January: My husband Frank nearly drove us all into a tree watching our twenty year old neighbor in size zero jeans cross the street.

February:  I tried to return an ugly night gown that Frank bought me for Christmas. The manager at JC Penney said I waited too long. I got a little upset and security escorted me out. It was really no big deal. Made the local paper though. The cover. Continued on A-3.

March:  Got the phone bill. Our son Stephen apparently racked up $1200 calling 1-900-lick this.

But nobody ever gives us anything like that to hold us over until the next year. Every December I walk to the mail box like I'm walking to the electric chair. The driveway is my green mile. I open up the mailbox and take out the contents, my hands trembling: A bill, good. Another bill, good. Another bill, good. A greeting card from Lisa. I know her handwriting. I suck in my breath. The envelope is unnaturally thick. I'm pretty sure she's enclosed neither a check nor a gift card. I open it up right there on the driveway. Let's rip off that Band-Aid as fast as possible. And I see several folded sheets of paper in the envelope which are about to punish me for all of her boring BS that, for twelve months, I successfully ignored on Facebook. Shoot me.

(Thanks for stopping by! I hope you feel a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like a few laughs while going through infertility during these holidays, I'd be honored if you'd consider my little eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. Downloaded by thousands. Reviewed by a few dozen. Click book cover below or: http://laughingisconceivable.com)