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Holiday Strategies for People Dealing with Infertility

If you’re in the U.S. and celebrate Thanksgiving… or any holidays anywhere…and are dealing with infertility, you have to have a strategy. Why not? The Macy’s Parade organizers have a strategy. The football teams have a strategy. The dog show has a strategy (Theirs is: Cram 3000 dogs into a 2 hour show.)

Infertile Person’s #1 strategy for Thanksgiving and other holidays should be avoidance:

Running away from your problems is never a good idea unless you’re dealing with infertility and your relatives are the problem. Then run Forrest run.

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I remember years ago my aunt and uncle were throwing a huge family shindig. My mother said:

“I’m not going.”

My father asked: “Why not?”

And my mother simply responded: “Because they’re ridiculous people.”

If you avoid the ridiculous celebration, you avoid the ridiculous relatives and the ridiculous things that come out of their mouths. (I'm starting a new reality show called: "Relatives Say the Most Ridiculous Things!!")

To attend or not to attend...that is the question...

Hopefully you didn’t obligate yourself to actually hosting a big Thanksgiving or any holiday feast this year.  I mean, it’s much harder to avoid when it’s at your house and you’re cooking it. The only advice I can give you in that case is, wear ear buds and play loud music the whole time. Relatives drift into the kitchen, you see their mouths moving, just smile. Smile and stir. Smile and baste. Smile and bake at 425.

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But if you’re getting in your car and going over to someone’s house:

1) Avoid the kitchen. It’s a trap; A recipe for disaster: A crowd of nosy gossipers, a bunch of hot and sharp things and one exit.

2) Avoid sitting next to anyone annoying. I understand. This may leave you no choice but to take your plate of food and eat it on the toilet. Well, it’s your choice: Do you want to be comfortable or be left alone? But you’re smart. You know your family. You can identify the biggest problems: Your father’s cousin who has been carrying around an article in her pocketbook for the past six months waiting for this moment when she could whip it out and show you— about a woman in Connecticut who after 10 years of trying went on vacation and came back pregnant with twins. Or your nephew’s wife with 7 kids who claims that he just has to look at her and she gets pregnant. (Maybe that’s why she has so many kids. She hasn’t quite made the connection yet of how it really happens.) Or the one who tells you to sit next to the one with the 7 kids so maybe “you’ll catch it”. Or the guy who winks at your husband and says: “Maybe you’re not doing it right.”

But back to my original idea of avoidance: To attend or to not attend— That really is the question. You have no obligation to be anywhere for any of these people.  No matter if your mother says you do or your sister tries to guilt you into going and you’re all packed up and everybody is counting on you to be there and you're supposed to bring the rolls and at the last minute you think you can't deal with going and your aunt calls and asks: "Where are my rolls?" Tell her to lift up her shirt and back up slowly toward the full length mirror. Then consider this: Will you feel better or worse about yourself if you go? Will you be glad you dealt with it head on or will you be mad for subjecting yourself to it?

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I advise this: If you don't want to be with the ridiculous branches of the family tree, fine. Just have a better plan. Something you'd rather be doing. Don't instead send yourself an invite to the biggest pity party of the year.  And be thankful that you made your own decision… whatever it turns out to be.  

And if laughing is part of your holiday plans, or you want to explain what you’re going thru to someone who just doesn’t seem to “get it” in a fun, easy,way (since yelling and rolling your eyes haven’t seemed to work), consider my little book as a gift for yourself or for them. (It’s been read by 1000s and recommended by renowned infertility professionals around the U.S.) http://laughingisconceivable.com  

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

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Middle School Prep- Triplets Style

My triplets already started middle school this week. I know every parent would be tempted to follow that statement with: "My babies are getting so big!" Or... "Where does the time go?" but I'm not surprised that my kids just turned eleven or already graduated from elementary school. This middle school thing is just another blur to me which is a small part of a much bigger blur that began somewhere around 2005 when I first got pregnant. The night before school started-- middle school eve, erev middle school-- each of my kids prepped for the big first day in his or her own inimitable style:

Carly called all her friends whom she knew were going to be attending that school to find out what they would be wearing and to compare schedules. A half hour-long conversation with each ensued as follows: "Who do you have for home room? 1st period? 2nd period? 3rd period? 4th period? 5th period? 6th period? Are you taking the bus home? What bus are you on? Which stop?"

Jacob called his friend Michael. I walked into the room about a minute after he'd asked permission to call him. As he put the phone down, I inquired:

"He wasn't home?"

"He was home. We're done."

"Is he in any of your classes?"

"I don't know. I forgot to ask."

Hayley's middle school eve prep consisted of studying human behavior in the technology age, aka watching a Catfish marathon on MTV.

They each then packed their backpack. The teachers were very good about providing us with a list of supplies to be brought in the first day. Nobody offered any suggestions however on how a sixty pound child was going to hoist a seventy pound backpack up on their shoulders and schlep it around all day. Apparently every year when sixth graders are faced with the challenge of mastering a combination lock, they collectively go catatonic and stroke out in the first week of school. So this year, the school decided to avoid the overwhelm of the locker trauma the first week and save the whole debacle for a future week. So in the meantime, I have my three Quasimodos stalking the hallways looking like they've been sentenced to a week of hard labor.

All of my kids were very concerned about getting lost in this new, cavernous school. The school provided a map of the floor plan. Jacob's excellent with maps so he happily grabbed one and followed it meticulously on the first day like he was on a treasure hunt.

Carly wasn't leaving anything to chance. She practiced over and over in our house. "I go out here, then I make a left, then another left, then I cross the hallway..." creating landmarks to remember along the way. (Hopefully the school has a hall closet and a stain on their living room carpet. Otherwise, I fear she's screwed.)  Once she mastered the actual locations of everything necessary on the map, she practiced walking around to get the pace of her gait just right to ensure that her hair would rhythmically move to and fro in the breeze she'd created behind her. I didn't dare mention that it would be harder to get her speedometer up to 12 miles per hour with 200 other kids in the hallway.

The only chance Hayley had of knowing her way around was if the principal was cyber-dating someone on Tinder and MTV had a camera crew inside the school to interview him.

A few weeks ago, before school started, the school had a boot camp to show the kids what to expect and to meet the teachers. Then the week before school started, they had an open house to get them even more acquainted. Then they gave them maps of the floor plan and they'll do a locker clinic. I don't know. When I was in Junior High, there was no prep. The front doors opened the first day and everyone poured through them and tried to get to their classes without getting trampled. I do remember getting some support. I didn't know which way to go to get to my locker. The guy mopping the floor pointed it out.

***

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Yoga: Could it BE More Stressful?

If you haven't visited my blog in a while, take a look at the last post regarding a big change in blog topics. ("This Blog Has Taken a Turn... Hopefully not for the Worse.") Anyone will tell you that yoga is great for relieving stress. I beg to differ. I've never been so stressed out until I started taking it. The first day was a dilly. First of all, every instructor loves to whisper. (I'm guessing there aren't many New York Jewesses such as myself who teach yoga. I, for one, am not genetically pre-disposed to being a good whisperer. "YOU IN THE BACK! WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO DO THAT POSE? IT'S ALL WRAAAAWNG!") When I first walked into the yoga room/studio, whatever, it was dark. "What happened? They canceled the class?"

Apparently it wasn't darkness afterall but tranquility. Then the instructor spoke... very very softly. It was like she'd started the volume on her inner remote control on a 7 and hit the minus button three times. I couldn't make out a word she was saying. And it was too dark to try to read her lips. All I kept thinking was: "Crap, I hope she's not calmly telling us there's a fire in the building and we have to evacuate immediately."

I had flashbacks of going to the cheapy movie theater in Florida with my father and he and all of the other 80 year olds would bring their ear phones that were supposed to enhance the sound of the film. All you would hear the whole movie were the rustling of baggies containing smuggled-in snacks, the ear-splitting squeal of sound-enhancement devices when they were turned up too high and the entire audience "whispering" in their New York whispers to the person next to them: "WHAT DID HE SAY? CAN YOU HEAR WHAT THEY'RE SAYING? WHY IS EVERYONE TAWKING SOOO LOW?!"

So getting back to yoga hell. Among this serene environment created by and emanating from the instructor and wafting around the room to the others, there I was wreaking of negative energy mumbling to my neighbor trying not to move my lips: "She's not really saying anything. She's just screwing with us, right?"

She responded: "Socks" I thought that was somehow yoga code for: "Shut the hell up". I was pretty sure she wasn't using the acronym: "Serving Our Community with Kindness" Finally, I looked down and realized I was the only one in the room who wasn't barefoot.

Having spent most of my life in a big northern city, I haven't had the opportunity to run barefoot much. When we moved, and I mentioned to a woman in the park that her kid was running around without any shoes or socks, she said:

"It's okay. You're in the South now." To which I replied:

"You have no broken glass in the South?"

So anyway, I pulled off my socks wondering whether the class would abruptly change the "barefoot" rule once they'd all gotten an eyeful of my yellow toenail.

A friend of mine who takes yoga elsewhere said they have a rule that you're not supposed to eat before coming to class. I assumed it was so that you would somehow be cleansed and purified and more connected to your inner spirit before entering the sanctity of the room. She said she's pretty sure it's so that nobody lets out gas mid-pose. ***** If you'd like to get emails about Laughing IS Conceivable please subscribe to the right. Also consider my ebook at the right: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. (Free at Kindle Library)

How to Get Relatives Off Your Back & Out of Your Ovaries This Holiday Season

I've been writing the past few weeks about how to best dodge impertinent, indiscreet, and very personal questions from our so-called family and friends during this holiday season. Relatives are a necessary evil at holiday time. There are three categories of kinfolk:

1) Those we can't wait to see. 2) Those who are great to see a few times a year and 3) Those who make you certain that in a past life you stole from a children's charity and their visit is your little holiday gift from Cousin Karma.

Sometimes infertility turns holidays into one big ugly sixth grade dodge ball game for us. You spend family gatherings ducking and side-stepping personal, obnoxious, stupid, and embarrassing questions. And you spend (did I just misspell "waste") weeks before the family powwow anticipating who's going to ask those questions and trying to duck and side-step those people altogether.

Here's the solution: Present them with a nice gift. A book. Wait! I know you probably think this is about me trying to hustle my ebook which I do on a regular basis. You don't have to give them my book. It would be damn well appreciated. But my book might not be the one they need to read. (Did I just type that? My fingers must be possessed. Where's my eraser?)

The point of giving them a book is to minimize your angst and your pain. Sure, it's gift tag has their name on it in your handwriting, but make no mistake, it's a gift you're giving yourself.

It doesn't really matter when you give the gift. You can do it a week before the family brouhaha. Call it preventative medicine. Instead of waiting for the holiday joy to nose-dive: When you're mid-holiday soiree and the yentas corner you in the kitchen and your only response to their barrage of conception questions is to squirm and hyperventilate.

Days before the big family gala, give the book (even better-- send it--what you pay in postage you'll save in hand sanitizer). And make sure you include a note in big bold, neon letters:

"I'm really not comfortable discussing what we're going through, but this pretty much covers it." OR

"I know you've been concerned that I'm not pregnant yet. I think you'll really enjoy this and it will explain it better than I can at the moment."

I recommend you start your statement with something to the effect of: "I'm not ready to get into my personal business..."

By starting off with a statement like that you're swatting the gnat before it starts buzzing in your ear. So if after reading your generous gift, they come back and say:

"I was shocked by chapter 8! You're not really doing what's in that chapter are you?!" Now you can just hit "rewind" and say:

"Remember two weeks ago when I said I wasn't ready to get into my personal business? Yeah...well...ditto this week...Bye"

The point of giving them your present is: You're giving them lots of information about your infertility situation without giving them any information about your infertility situation. For example..just an example..not hustling: If you give them, let's say, my ebook, I'm spilling my infertile guts to them so you don't have to. I don't care if they know my business. I'm not related to them. Screw them. They mean nothing to me. My ebook, I'm told, is fast, fun, humorous reading. Your family and friends will get what it's all about, and what you're going through daily, but it's not profound enough to leave them feeling overwhelmed or freaked out.

But maybe you don't want anyone to yuk it up over infertility. Maybe you want them to better understand your particular issue that's causing your infertility. Then find a book written by a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

Or maybe you want them to understand the emotional toll it's taking on you better and a more serious book by a psychologist is in order.

The point is: No matter what the title of the book you give them, the sub-title is: "How to Get You Off My Back & Out of My Ovaries...(You Nosy B)"

Below are just a few books out there you may want to consider for yourself this holiday season or as a gift which, as we said earlier...is really a gift for you too. You just can't lose with this system. It's fool-proof. Remember that ebooks can also be given as a gift via Amazon if the giftee has an account. These are just ones I know about. Nobody's giving me any cash or sexual favors to tell you about them...except the last one.

1) Dr. Richard Marrs' Fertility Book http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Richard-Marrs-Fertility-Book/dp/0440508037

2) On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility (Helen Adrienne, LCSW) http://www.amazon.com/On-Fertile-Ground-Infertility-ebook/dp/B00529QMOM

3) The Fertile Secret: Guide to Living A Fertile Life (Robert Kiltz MD) http://www.amazon.com/Fertile-Secret-Guide-Living-Life/dp/0983845891/ref=la_B005EIXDWU_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355191947&sr=1-1

4) Conquering Infertility- (Alice Domar Phd) http://www.amazon.com/Conquering-Infertility-Domars-Enhancing-Fertility/dp/0142002011

5) Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility (Yes this IS MY ebook. It's my blog for chrissakes. Throw me a bone will ya?) http://www.amazon.com/Laughing-IS-Conceivable-ebook/dp/B007G9X19A

Holiday Shopping Weekend: What? No "Infertile Friday"?

Skip next paragraph if you've had it up to here reading about my ebook. (If you've wanted to help someone understand what you're going through with infertility but don't want to get into your own personal details with them, consider my ebook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility as a gift. $3.99 on Amazon. Free at Kindle Library- Chapter Previews & Reviews: www.amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A or click icon at the right)

Stores are really revved up for this holiday shopping season. This year, they didn't wait until midnight or 4am to start peddling their wares. On Thursday, Thanksgiving...Somewhere between the time everyone finished getting drunk on turkey and football and had time to sleep it off on the couch, the stores already had busted their doors open and were welcoming every form of payment. I've always prided myself in being too good to be caught up in the melee. I'm just...well...above it all. This year was different. This year I needed a TV.

My husband called me from Wal-mart to see if I needed any parmesan cheese. Apparently that's where they kept the masses waiting to purchase a cheap TV at 10 pm: In the parmesan cheese aisle. So everybody was bucking for our business this Thanksgiving weekend. From the Thursday Turkey Trot at Wal-mart to Black Friday to Cyber Monday... Everybody was fighting to give us the best holiday deals. Everybody except the fertility clinics... Where the hell were they?

Door Busters? No I don't remember my fertility clinic having a door buster. I do remember a few times showing up at 8:30 am for an 8:30 am appointment and staring at a locked door waiting for someone to come with a key. (And yet, when I finally got inside there would somehow magically be an entire medical staff already there. How did they get inside and more important... Why wouldn't they open the door for the crazy hormone-riddled lunatic banging and scratching on their door?...I just answered my own question didn't I?)

Why can't fertility clinics offer free treatment just one day a year? Could you imagine? Once word got out, they'd need every doctor, nurse, phlebotomist, nursing assistant and the entire cast of Twilight to draw blood.

I got a lot of emails this year from places reminding me over and over about their deals on sofas, and mattresses and ipads. Anybody hear from the pharmaceutical companies?

"Infertility Friday! Clomid only 10 cents for the first 50 infertiles!"

I bet women would line up in the parmesan aisle for that one. In fact, it could be a fabulous excuse for infertile women all around the Country.

"Listen Aunt Amelia, I'd love to spend my entire Thanksgiving addressing your list of "108 most obnoxious ways to ask why I don't have a baby yet", but there's this great sale that starts in 20 hours that I can't miss and I saw on the news just now that they're already starting to line up on the sidewalk in front of the pharmacy. Bye."

Obviously a big holiday sale at a fertility pharmacy would be a prescription for disaster. Sometimes people who do the whole Black Friday thing become angry, desperate people. So now you take those people in that shaky state and you change one component: The object of their desire is not a toy or an electronic...It's drugs.

Now you've got angry, desperate, broke people... most of whom are on the brink of hormone therapy withdrawal. The needles would be flying.

Women would start waiting on line November 10th. Canadians would come over the border for our drugs by the bus load. Women would bring stand-ins to wait on the line and pretend they don't know each other to avoid the "Maximum four drugs per customer" rule. Women would pull into the parking lot, open the back of a van and out would pour extraneous cousins, sisters-in-law and the neighbor whose name they never bothered to learn and now that she's been living there for eight years it's kind of too late to ask.

One thing we could feel good about at least. We certainly would be helping the economy. Pharmacies would have to add a lot of holiday employees that day... Sales people and cashiers, of course. But mostly security.

Not skinny, pimply high school kids mind you. Moonlighting S.W.A.T. team members and Army snipers. And maybe zoo employees who know how to handle a tranquilizer gun. A few of us might have to be taken down... even before the doors open.

Holiday Gatherings: Mastering The Art of the Escape

(If you get a chance, consider subscribing to Laughing IS Conceivable for updates and discussions on posts etc. If you get a second chance, look into my ebook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. Available on Amazon for Kindle and all Kindle devices (Ipads, phones etc) Free at the Kindle Library. Reviews on http://licthebook.com. More reviews and chapter previews by clicking the book icon @www.amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A)

When I moved out of NYC for the first time in my life, I took with me, as all NYers do, a healthy dose of paranoia. When I took a job in an office, my first thought as I scoped out my new surroundings was how I didn't have an escape route. (Hm, I'm a writer who was taking an office job. And I freaked out because I had no escape route. I wonder what that means. Anyhoo...)

I mean, here I was working in a huge building where it seemed like anybody could walk in and out as they pleased. Strangers could come to your cubicle, stand two feet away from your face, and you had no exit, no physical way to get away from these people in case of emergency....Much like a holiday gathering. And this is why planning your family gathering escape routes ahead of time is vital.

Let's say it's Thanksgiving and your curious aunt, (feel free to replace "curious" with "nosy") or sister-in-law or second cousin corners you between herself and the stove or her husband and an end table, or her chunky son and the vase with the dusty silk flowers that seem to be growing and starts a conversation which the pit of your stomach tells you is a'goin' down the ol' "So...Why don't you have a baby yet?" path ... This is an emergency. And you need an escape route. Maybe your physical well-being isn't in danger like paranoid NYer me in the office, but certainly your mental and emotional well-being are in jeopardy.

So what are your options at one of those black tie, high end holiday bashes that your family throws every year?

1) The Ol' "There's that person across the room whom I've been dying to talk to since March" standby.

Two choices here. When the person in front of you seems like they're revving up to pose some embarrassing questions about your fertility either:

a) Wave across the room and yell at no one in particular: "Hey! When did YOU get here?" or if you want to emphasize the urgency to ditch this person yell: "Oh, you're leaving already?! Wait! I have to talk to you!" and head in that direction. You may not want to name a specific person because your aunt probably knows the same people in the room that you do...On the other hand:

b) Screwing with her works well too. "Hey Judy! I really have to talk to you right away!" You and your aunt have both been attending these holiday shindigs for the past 17 years. Let her spend the evening wondering who the hell this Judy person is all of a sudden.

2) The "Imaginary vibrating phone" trick--

So you're considerate enough to keep your phone on "vibrate" during the holiday festivities. But wouldn't you know it, just as this aunt/cousin/sister-in-law starts rambling on about her kids and how lucky you are you don't have any, you glance at your phone and it's a call that you must take. Not only must you take it...but you must take it in private (hint hint) and/or you can pick up the call in front of the aunt/cousin/sister-in-law but then quickly dash off to a place where you can hear your fake call better.

Or if you're more daring and want to get rid of the person for not just the duration of the party but weeks to come as well just feel your pocket and say: "Oooh something's vibrating down there. I can't wait to be alone so I can find out what it is."

She'll probably knock over you and a lamp to get out of there first.

This Halloween: Bewaaare of Idiots

(If you haven't seen my ebook yet, please take a look....it's $3.99 here..and free if you're part of the Kindle Library. Reviews when you click on the book icon to the right or at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007g9X19A.. Also, would you like to join my merry band of subscribers? (also to the right)) So last week's post dealt with my own version of Ghost Stories--Infertility Style. But you really do hear a lot of infertility horror stories... almost entirely from, by the way, people who have never dealt with infertility and haven't a clue what they're talking about.

Somehow, you never hear the tragic report directly from the person who's gone through the traumatic experience. They're from her sister's best friend... or her nephew's second cousin...or her neighbor down the block--not the one who lives there now.. or the one who lived there before those people, but the one before that.

A lot of times, this poor unfortunate infertile woman who had some unnatural infertility disaster happen to her, lives all the way over THERE... in that other county... or two states away...or Nova Scotia. Or the tragedy happened in Serbia, but not now...when it was still Yugoslavia. I think one woman's uterus exploded right there on the examination table, or they put the needle in the wrong place during IUI and perforated her ear drum..One or the other...maybe both. Maybe her uterus exploded first, then they went ahead with the IUI anyway and the doctor was so shaken up she perforated her ear drum.

Then there was the one who had a psychotic reaction to Clomidin and started hallucinating and thought the pills were gummy bears and popped 40 of them. I'm sorry but I'm from New York City, the "Show Me" state (okay, I know that Missouri is the "Show Me" state and that NYC isn't even a state at all, but I thought it was politer to say: "Show me" instead of "Put up or Stop talking Sht!")

I'm serious. If you're going to pull some story out of thin air to scare the fudgicles out of us, I want proof. I mean if this lady's uterus exploded during the procedure, it must have been a mess. There must be cleaning people who would remember. What clinic was this in? I don't imagine that happens a lot there. They must all still be talking about it.

You're telling me a friend of your mother's had a baby with her own eggs at age 70? Wow! Where is this "miracle of science" woman? I'd like to invite her to tea. I want to know her secret to eternal ovarian youth. There are several possibilites, of course, of what's REALLY going on: a) She used a 25 year old egg donor and didn't see any reason to tell you about it, because, well, it's none of your business. b) She carried the baby for her daughter who couldn't and she's really the grandmother. c) Her daughter had the baby and she's raising it d) Your mother was just joking when she told you about her "friend" but it went over your head. And, the most likely possibility: e) There is no 70 year old woman and you just pulled the whole story out of your crack to get attention.

So, this Halloween season (and forever after), I beg you: Keep your finger on your "I doubt it!" button. I have yet to figure out why people make up or exaggerate infertility horror stories. I think they somehow just want to fit into the conversation or like to impress us with their vast knowledge of infertility experiences. Maybe it's to deflect the truth: They really know nothing about infertility or the whole idea freaks them out. Regardless....there are enough spooky infertility goblins to scare us without their tales from the darkside. So if somebody starts to tell you a story that seems to be heading down that dark, shadowy path, run! And if you can't run, just get your finger on that button and keep saying the mantra in your head: "I doubt it", "I doubt it", "I doubt it"...that's assuming you're too nice to chant: "Bull Sht" Bull Sht" "Bull Sht"

The Season of My Infertility--The Joys of Fall

Okay, I wrote the title and already I'm depressed. I love autumn. I think subconsciously it's a self-love thing. I have odd hair that changes from blond to brown to red all by itself. So somehow I think I've always fit into the autumn. (Why people don't pack up the family and head to my house every October to see my hair turn colors, I have no idea.)

Autumn outdoors is beautiful. The autumn of your fertility is a lot less attractive.

Normal fertile people love to discuss their biological clocks. "I'm 34. I'm starting to hear my biological clock ticking. Quiet. Can you hear it? Tick tick, Tick tick. I'd better get pregnant. Oh look I'm pregnant. Whew that was close."

When you're diagnosed with infertility AND you're in your thirties AND you've been doing treatments, AND nothing's happened, AND a few years have gone by, the biological clock turns into a frickin' gong. It's like living with your head stuck in the Liberty Bell, yet ironically, the last thing you feel is liberated.

Well I didn't get married until I was thirty-nine and a half.

(Only two categories of people say their ages in half years: People under eight and women over thirty-five who want to have a baby.

The people under eight do it because they just can't wait until their birthday. The women over thirty-five do it because with each passing moment they picture another one of their eggs turning into saw dust. We would tell you our age in minutes if we thought we could get away with it without getting slapped.)

After trying mightily for a year to have a baby the so-called "normal" way, I realized that my eggs were a year older than they were when they walked down the aisle and that a few were "no longer with us." (Maybe they were captured on the wedding video. I'll check.)

My biggest gripe with infertility in general is the gigantic question mark. You never know what you're getting into or how long you're going to have to be into it. That's the worst part of being an older mother-to-be-one-day-soon-I-hope-when-the-fk-is-it-going-to-happen-already?:

You have no way of knowing how many eggs you have left, or which ones are in good shape and which ones have turned into Pixy Stix powder.

Once you're over say, thirty-seven, you don't need a doctor. You need a psychic:

"I see fifty good eggs left that will remain good for another five years."

"Okay, great! So there's no hurry for treatments. We can just screw around (as it were) for at least another four years. Thanks. Here's your five bucks. You really earned it!"

All of these high tech tests and procedures and treatments. All of the doctors. Isn't there anybody who specializes in just taking a flashlight, looking up your woo-hoo and telling you how many decent eggs you have left?

Isn't there some easy do-it-yourself home device? It doesn't have to be anything complicated. It can be an "As Seen on TV" item.

"Ova-the-Counter": Just 3 Easy Payments of $19.99. And if you order now, we'll throw in a second one free!" (Why would anyone need two? One for each ovary?---Or have they had a rash of women whose hands were shaking so violently while trying to read it, they dropped one in the toilet?)

"And that's not all... If you order in the next ten minutes (start clock on screen) you'll get this handy "Ova-the-Counter" carrying case (Where would you be taking the damn thing? To work so you can count your eggs on your lunch break to see if you still have the same number as when you left home that morning?) It can also hold bobby pins or odds and ends, and it drains spaghetti..."

I'll be like any resourceful woman: If I can't find an "Ova-the-Counter", I'll just have to invent it. "Hello? Shark Tank?"

(And, if you haven't yet, please check out my little ebook over there to the right. See what top fertility experts are saying about: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility) $2.99 - Free at Kindle Library

I'm Infertile: Shhh..Pass it On

I think we all go through a phase when we don't want to discuss our baby-making issues with anyone. And sometimes we don't even know whether it's because we're too emotional or just too pissed. We teeter on the fence between: "This is so personal and painful I don't want to talk about it." and

"Screw you. This is none of your business!"

Maybe we think if we tell people we can't get pregnant they're going to think:

"They're probably just not doing it right. I don't know about him, but I know in high school SHE wasn't too swift."

Or maybe we're protecting our loved one.

"I don't want to tell them I can't get pregnant. They already think my husband's gay."

And what does "gay" have to do with being fertile? Nothing to the smart people in our lives, everything to the imbeciles.

I think if it weren't for the intimate nature of what it entails to get pregnant one way or another, we would talk about it more openly. But bad enough we start mentioning our endometriosis, and motility issues, and irregular period issues, and ovaries that don't work...then we REALLY tell them what's going on: You bring up the whole sperm donor or egg donor or surrogacy issue. Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me?

Bad enough we're talking about our delicate body parts- now you're going to bring a stranger's unmentionables into the conversation too? Some other woman's eggs?

"Do you know for a fact where this woman's ovaries have been?"

And a sperm donor?

"What exactly does a man have to do to be a sperm donor? Nevermind! I don't want to know!"

And a surrogate? "Are you kidding me? You're going to let your baby come through somebody else's 'you-know-what'?"

If it weren't for all of these "dirty little infertility secrets" that most of us have had to deal with, like I said, we could talk openly about infertility...just like any of the disgusting and often idiotic afflictions those close to us make us listen to:

"I've had this wart on my toe for like a month. Can you see it? It's not really on my toe. It's between the third and the fourth--the middle and the ring toe or whatever it's called."

How dumb would it be keeping every ailment and injury from everybody like we do with infertility?

"I have a broken leg."

"Oh my gosh, Danielle! I can't believe you're telling total strangers! You're embarrassing me. Just suck it up and drag it along!"

The problem with infertility: It's too easy to keep it a secret. You have the choice to keep it to yourself. If you don't tell anyone, nobody will ever know. They may hint, cajole, and annoy, but the ultimate decision to tell or not to tell is yours.

I mean, infertility is something you can physically hide. You look okay. Nothing's gangrene. Nothing's falling off. Your skin's not a funny color. Maybe you don't want to flaunt being short or obese. But if you ever thought of keeping either a secret... Let's face it: If your profile on Match.com says you're 5'11, 130 lbs and you show up looking 5'2" 320, the jig is up. For better or worse, infertility gives you the option of being a big fat liar.

I mean your fallopian tubes look fine from where I'm standing. You know, when they closed shut, nobody heard a door slam like when one of your friends signs off of AOL. It's almost a test of sorts. You can pass yourself off as a fertile person if you want. Be my guest. I promise, I won't be the one to "out" you.

(If you like to laugh about infertility, feel free to do so at my expense. My ebook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility is $3.99 on Amazon /Free at the Kindle Library. See reviews @http://licthebook.com /More reviews & previews of each chapter) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A Click on book cover)

Infertility: Pssst: Your Boss Thinks It's a Scam

It's tough to be go through fertility treatments. No kidding. It's extremely tough going through fertility treatments while you have a full-time job. I mean, infertility is a full-time job. And there are some things during treatment that have to be done when they have to be done. Not the day after. Not on Saturday instead of Tuesday. Most employers don't want to hear it. And I'll have to admit, to someone who hasn't been through it, infertility does sound like a pack of lies. "Okay, so you had to come in late today. But you'll be in on time tomorrow, right?"

"That's a tough one. It depends. You see I have to wait until the nurse calls me to see if I have to go back tomorrow morning...And she won't call me until tonight...when you're already gone for the day."

Even the employers who are trying to be understanding,... we're really trying their patience.

"Okay, so you took off Wednesday afternoon. So, Wednesday's are good for you to go to your appointments. That's perfect. I can just get someone to cover your Wednesday afternoons until your treatments are over."

"Well, no. You see they check my blood and my uterine lining (Please note: Studies have shown that nobody hears a syllable you say, once you've said: 'my uterine lining' in a sentence ) and then they'll call me to let me know if I have to alter my shots...let me back up...you see, every night I have to give myself hormone shots in my stomach with a pen and the nurse tells me if I have to dial the pen up or down and whether I have to come back the next day or the day after that."

Luckily, the boss hasn't heard a word you've said since "my uterine lining" otherwise they would probably think your issues aren't really about fertility-related illness nearly as much as they're about mentally-related illness.

I mean, I've been through the treatments and yet when I tell people, it still sounds like I'm making it all up.

And then, if on top of it, you're trying to maintain some sort of privacy...forget it. Your whole story already sounds like a bad pot-induced hallucination. Now you're going to be all cloak and dagger about it on top of it and expect someone you work for to just go along?

"So, I have to go to an appointment tomorrow morning."

"You mean a doctor's appointment?"

"Well let's just say it's an appointment."

"What kind of an appointment? It's a job interview isn't it?"

"It's not a job interview."

"If it's not a job interview, what's the big deal? Why can't you just say it's a doctor's appointment if it's a doctor's appointment?"

"It's an appointment. My husband's coming with me. He's taking off also."

"Oh...your husband...It's one of those appointments. I'm sorry, I can't give you time off to have sex with your husband."

"It's a dental appointment. Okay? Let's just say I'm going to the dentist. I have this tooth, you see it? Way back heeeah. Ya see bach heeah?" *** And if you have a chance, please subscribe to this blog, consider buying my ebook and/or reading reviews of said ebook by top fertility experts around the U.S., (all can be done with a simple click at the right).

Also, (my husband's right: I AM a demanding broad): Please visit my posts at Fertility Authority and The Fertility Blogs: http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368 & http://thefertilityblogs.com/trying-to-conceive/the-infertilit…other-olympics/4711/

Infertility... Oh the Guilt

We've all got something to deal with. With me, it's that I'm pretty old. And most likely that's solely to blame for my fertility issues: My eggs were apparently even older than I was. Even though I got married and started trying to get pregnant at 39 1/2 +, I still felt pretty spry. Come to find out my ova were sitting down there rocking away in my ovaries wearing shawls and bifocals just waiting for the white truck to drive up to the front porch and cart them away to the nursing home for the reproductively shriveled. I'll be honest: I never understood my age. Year after year I see it written on paper at the doctor's office and I still feel like: "Who are they talking about?"

I know there are worse explanations for a diagnosis of infertility than: "Old Fart" but I just couldn't accept it. People always told me I looked younger than I was. I always exercised and kept in fair shape not to mention that I've always prided myself on being immature. I play hopscotch on a regular basis and go to the playground for the twisty slide. (I'm sure my picture's displayed prominently on some parent watch website with red flashing exclamation points around it.) So how dare my eggs wither away into Pixie Stix dust?

Artists, if I may be so bold as to refer to myself as such, just tend to be that way. Our hearts and souls stay young while the rest of us rusts from the inside out. Every time I see on TV,the Rolling Stones in a recent concert, and there's Mick Jagger leaping all around the stage I'm saying to myself, "He's going to wake up tomorrow morning (or afternoon) aching from head to toe and the first thought in his head will be: 'What the f was I thinking?' (If you've now paused to ask yourself who Mick Jagger is, please just log out. I'm already depressed enough.)

Infertility may keep you from breeding but it breeds plenty itself: Plenty of guilt, blame, anger...whether you admit it aloud or just keep it quietly tucked between your third rib and your lung.

"It's his fault I can't get pregnant. If I'd married someone else, I'd have kids I'm sure."

"It's my fault I can't get pregnant. If I wasn't so fat...so old...so skinny... such a ho'...so stressed out... If I didn't have endometriosis, or PCOS...or long cycles...long eye lashes...short cycles or a short temper...if only I'd known sooner that I didn't ovulate... Right...

And as one of my favorite expressions goes: "And if grandma had balls she'd be grandpa."

Of course if I had met my husband a decade earlier, I might have married him a decade earlier. Or maybe I could have married somebody else before my eggs turned into papier mache. Or just did a guy for his sperm. That's romantic. Done the deed, got impregnated, wiped up and went home. Yeah, that would have been better. I could have hooked up with a loser so I wouldn't have to go through IVF. Sounds like a solid plan. I could've named the child Baby Booty Call.

But that's how human nature is sometimes. And that's definitely how woman nature is sometimes. Blame and guilt. Guilt and blame. "Unexplained Infertility" is probably the worst. That's definitely our fault.

"I'm so screwed up, nobody can even explain why I can't get pregnant. Fertility Experts from around the world, doctors who've won the Nobel Prize for Infertility, people who have won Tony Awards for 'Infertility the Musical'... the greatest minds in Reproductive Endocrinology can't figure out what's wrong with me...It MUST be my fault."

And of course the point is: What's the point? How does endless stirring of the self-pity pot help this whole pregnancy trek? Next time you're about to blame yourself or someone else for your infertility issues, just remember what they used to say on TV way back when this old lady was young, when the show you were watching came on with just the picture but no sound, the explanation was: "Due to Technical Difficulties Beyond Our Control..."

And if you'd like to hear more of my ramblings, (look to your right) please consider subscribing to this blog and/or purchasing my new ebook about my infertility travels: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. (More Reviews and excerpts from the book available at Amazon.com- Laughing IS Conceivable)

Oh What to Call This Infertility Mess!

Okay, so I wrote a post last week for a great website: Fertility Authority.com (http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368) I wrote it very innocently. (Saying you wrote something innocently is always a nice disclaimer in case you end up offending every third person or just simply making a total schmuck of yourself.) In the post, I got all riled up about calling this infertility thing...this cancerous mole in our lives... a "journey". Part of the offense I take to this expression "Infertility Journey" is purely from a writer's point of view (Or POV as they like to say on "Food Network Star" The first twenty times they said it, I was like:

"What does the military have to do with the Food Network?" I'm thinking: MIA, POW... POV: I don't know. Prisoner of the Vatican?)

When we don't know what to say, infertility bloggers particularly (me included), call the damn thing an "Infertility Journey".

"Journey" sort of fits into the category of trendy expressions. And as a writer or maybe just an annoying uptight person, I'm none too fond of trendy expressions. Everybody's on some kind of a journey these days.

"I'd like to thank the academy and the director of the film. It was a great journey." Just like professional athletes at press conferences, if an actor throws it in during his acceptance speech at an awards' show it's undoubtedly one of those irritatingly overused phrases.

Maybe that's another reason this whole "Infertility Journey" thing bothers me. We go through so much. We all have a lot in common. And yet we're each of us unique. Who wants to be dumped onto the pile with a thousand other catch phrases? After it's been used a zillion times it has no meaning. We need something to call our own. We deserve it.

So I've been chatting with some great ladies over at the Creating a Family: Talk About Adoption and Infertility group at Facebook ( (http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/40688106167/) and they've come up with some good thoughts on what to call this sucker.

One said: "Crusade". I think that has potential but I have three minor objections to "Infertility Crusade".

1) It sounds like we're going to have to march somewhere

2) It sounds a mite too noble for people who spend much of their days crying, kvetching, and shooting drugs into their belly fat and

3) For me personally, it carries a negative connotation. My people didn't fair too well during THE Crusades.

On another site, someone, of course rightly so, suggested we refer to this mishmash as an "Infertility Rollercoaster", obviously because of all the ups and downs.

My issue with this: (Naturally I have one.)

Rollercoasters can be fun and exciting. If infertility is a rollercoaster, it's one of those that gets stuck and leaves you eighty feet in the air hanging upside down, waiting for "your savior" -the carny- to finish smoking his joint so he can climb up the hundred rungs on the ladder to rescue you.

I admit, "journey" is a de-sensitizer and maybe we all need one. Nobody, even those of us who have experienced infertility first hand, wants a brutally blunt term of what this is like. Anybody want to go around saying: "I'm going through the 'Infertility Vacuum'? It sucks months and months out of your social, romantic, emotional, and financial life. It sucks and sucks and boy does it suck!"

Even if you trendied it up, "Reproductive Liposuction" doesn't sound much better.

So, I recommend, if that's too harsh an approach, we can just call it, drumroll please: The "Infertility Schlep".

On a "Journey" you're standing proudly erect with a back pack and a walking stick, a sense of purpose in every stride. It's an adventure. This is nothing like that. This is a slow, tired, head hanging down to your knees, bent over shuffle. Some days you're depressed. Some days even defeated. You're 32 but you feel like 109. Can barely move another step. "Infertility Schlep". I like it.

And if you can bear more of me, peek over to your right and please think about subscribing to this blog to receive info & updates and/or getting my ebook. (That's me on the book cover. Okay, it's so totally not.) (Available on Kindle & any device with free Kindle app download (phones/iPads etc).

Infertility: Just Another Day at the Theme Park

Whether you've been embroiled in the infertility drama for a few weeks or decades, you probably don't need me to tell you that emotionally and physically there are thousands of ups and downs. (Financially, it's just one big plummet into a bottomless pit. I personally never found any financial "Up's". Has anybody?) But emotionally, this BS infertility ride is one giant roller coaster. Welcome to my infertility theme park.

"I'm on this nightmare of a ride! Hey, there's a seat available next to me. Jump right in! Let's ride together! We brought oodles of us to this infertility theme park today. Do we get group rates? Can we get all 7 million of us into the ride at the same time? Maybe if we squeeze. Hold your breath everybody. I hope nobody had a big breakfast! Ow, could you move your elbow? Okay, hang on, here we go! Weeeeeee! Oh my gosh look at that hill. I told you I didn't want a front seat on this ride. Weeeeeee!"

"Hey look... Let's go on the Life Altering ride next! Wait, I'm not sure I'm going to like this one. It looks like it just keeps spinning and spinning and spinning out of control. Is it ever going to stop? I'm soooo dizzy. I feel nauseous. Maybe I'm pregnant? I heard this ride is two weeks long. I hope that's just a rumor. I don't really have to wait two weeks to get off this ride do I?"

"Let's sit for a while and get something to eat. Look at the menu. Oh good. They specialize in comfort food. Let's see, they sell ice cream, only by the gallon (no sharing). I'll have the deep fried onion ring and french fries combo meal... extra salt with a side of lard please. What does that come with?" "Napkins. That will be $35."

"And over there they have the games. There's "Shoot-the-Water-into-the-Infertile-Lady's-Mouth". Look, the balloon grows out of her belly as you aim the water into her mouth. The first balloon belly to pop wins! Uh oh...Look at that sign: 'Not a winner every time'."

"And there's a manly looking game. You shoot the rifle and try to hit that target right there that says "Infertility". I get it, you're trying to kill infertility with the bullets. Clever. That doesn't look so hard. Oh, wait, I see. Some of the guns are shooting blanks. Wait, is it just me, have I been going through this too long, or are those rifles shaped like a...no it can't be...I know this is a theme park, but that's a little... okay, you're right, it is kinda funny."

"Look over there! This one's a little water tour. Look there's a display of a couple in Japan. Look! He's giving her a butt injection. Oh, they're so cute. And there's a Dutch couple in that display. Awww it's a little fertility clinic .. Look! Can you see? She still has her little wooden shoes on while her feet are in the stirrups! And there's a couple in a fertility clinic waiting room in Ireland. Look! They don't have magazines to entertain them while they're waiting like we do. They have Riverdance performing live!... Well, I guess we're not the only ones in this boat. It really is a small world after all!"

And if you'd like to see more of my stupidity, please consider subscribing to this blog and/or reading my ebook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility--- Info for both to your right.........

Have a wonderful 4th of July week and/or Canada Day etc etc week!

Finding Strength In Infertility (Yes, It STILL Sounds Ridiculous)

So, if you tuned in earlier this week, this is the second entry from Chapter 10 of Helen Adrienne's book: On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility. If you are just showing up for the first time this week, I'm too pissed to even speak to you... Okay, this is what you've missed. A) I'd still like you to click on that book cover over there to the right and purchase my ebook for your Kindle or Kindle apps (on your phone or iPad) for a scant $3.99. Or at least read about it and check out the reviews (and then purchase it for a scant $3.99)

B) All this week, I'm posting excerpts from Helen Adrienne's book. She's an acclaimed psychotherapist and licensed social worker who deals with a lot of infertility patients. This chapter that I've ripped out of her book and pasted here (she probably won't even notice it's missing) is discussing how women have found their inner strengths at the toughest times in life...in this case... infertility which we all know is no walk in the park. (Not even a park at 3am in a bad neighborhood where you're likely to be attacked, thrown to the ground and robbed.)

So start with the last post if you'd like to catch up. When last we spoke, we left off with a quote from Melissa. If you've already read the first post this week, I realize that this first paragraph was in that post as well. I'm just trying to give everybody a running start into this second post. I'm not senile. Well, I am senile, but I think I got this one right... mas o menos... yes, I do realize I slipped into Spanish for no apparent reason. It's just one of those things we geniuses do that cannot be explained: (Oh geez, Lori, shut the hell up already and post the damn thing) Okay, here it is:

Melissa, an artist, put it this way: "If it had not been for this amazing challenge in my life, I would still be afraid of the great unknown and would wonder if I had the balls - I mean ovaries - to get through it. I now know that I can and will get through anything."

But some of us are born into environments where developing inner strength is not encouraged and may even be discouraged. This kind of environment can rob us of the drive to feel and use our capacities, leaving us likely to form an inaccurate picture of ourselves. Personalities, or aspects of our personalities, get formed around distortions. When adversity brings us face to face with ourselves, we have a chance to course-correct. All of us get tossed around by life. As Gilda Radner once said, "If it ain't one thing, it's another." My point is that with awareness, if our sense of ourselves has gotten distorted, we can set the record straight.

Self-awareness can open us up what needs to be changed and your resolve to work toward change can be fortified. And as you continue to navigate turbulent waters, self-awareness can bring you to a realization of what has changed due to your efforts. Reveling in the self-awareness that develops cannot help but call attention to increasing levels of inner strength. In the process, we stand to discover or rediscover who we were really born to be and as a consequence, connect with our in-born authenticity. Inner awareness and inner strength make for a wonderful partnership and form the substrata upon which gains from pain accrue.

The Heart of the Matter

Seeking authenticity or connection to your in-born realness does not mean that you have been inauthentic. It just means that the lessons that come from the impact of unavoidable stress give us a chance to evaluate what feels right and what does not. It is up to us to recognize and honor the messages which bubble up from the inside. Honesty about aspects of our life style which are not working or facing stress warning signals are gifts if you let them be. Recognizing these messages can be challenging. They can be quite subtle. Sometimes we don't have access to our true selves. Sometimes our suffering can block access to hearing that inner whisper. Sometimes we don't hear what is coming from within even if it screams at us. As Oscar Wilde once said, "Some of us trip over the truth. Most of us get up and keep going as if nothing happened."

Realness is simple when we are infants. When we are hungry or uncomfortable, we scream. When we are afraid, we scream. When we are content, we are free to vocalize and play with abandon.

As we get older, with years of experiences stamped on our templates, that inner knowing and freedom to express how we feel can get glossed over. The infertility diagnosis all but guarantees that even those of us who are usually in touch with what we are feeling, get bumped off track. Now you have a chance to quiet yourselves, the better to learn to hear or see or feel - and trust - the whispers or shouts from within that can put you back on track. You will feel the resonance of you truth if who you are is congruent with where you are going. The synopsis of how others gained from their pain can be a beacon shining on what you can gain as well. Read on.

(Well, I would like you to read on and so would Helen. I will post the next bit later this week. Please look for it. And did I mention about clicking on to that fab book cover to the right and purchasing...oh I did? Sorry I'm a bit senile.)

Mother, Mother on the Wall: Who's the Fairest of them All? Mother's Day Comedy Blitz

So have you ordered my e-book yet? (Geez, that was subtle. I promise I'll peddle quickly and then move on to the real reason you've come for a visit.) My e-book is on Amazon. It's available on Kindle or if you have a phone or other device like i-Pad that has a free Kindle app. It's called: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility.

It's a measly $3.99 and got some great reviews from people I'm not related to, have never slept with, and am not planning to be related to or sleep with any time soon. See for yourself if you'd like and get a sneak preview and more reviews when you click to "see more" or "see inside": www.amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A Thanks!             

So, why did I name this post: "Mother, Mother, on the Wall: Who's the Fairest of them All?"? I have no idea. Sometimes when things pop into my head I just let them pop out into the blog. I figure it's cheaper than getting a prescription for schizophrenia medication.

So have you started holding your breath yet in anticipation of Mother's Day?

"How will I feel? Will I be depressed all day? Will I be around people who will make me feel sad or anxious? Will people ask me when am I going to become a mother? What will I say? I never know what to say. How do I respond to people saying: "Happy Mother's Day"? Should I say: "Thank You. You too" and let it go at that? Or should I tell them the truth? Why don't people just shut up? Why are they always in my business? Look how their kids turned out. Who needs to see these losers on Sunday anyway? I just saw them at Christmas. Why don't people ever stay at their own house? "... Okay, I got a little distracted at the end there.

So for this Mother's Day, (Warning: The following visual may not be suitable for sensitive audiences) I decided to stick my finger down my throat and vomit up all of my old Mother's Day posts from Mother's Days gone by. (I hope nobody was snacking while they read that. Well if they were then, they're not now. )

Here's my Mother's Day blitz. I think there will be a little humor somewhere in the blitz for everyone. Also, there are a couple of posts by Tracy Birkinbine. She's a counselor who specializes in infertility as well as an infertility survivor herself. You probably won't find her posts funny...I mean you shouldn't. I mean, she's not trying to be funny so please don't email her and tell her it was hilarious. I've sandwiched her posts in among my own so you can get a break from my ranting and listen to a voice that's calmer and more reasonable.

Have you bought my e-book yet? Okay, I'll stop...Here's the comedy blitz or so I say.

This first group of posts was written about a month after I first started this blog in May 2010.  Back then, I had some delusion of grandeur that I could write a spectacularly hilarious post every day of the week for the next 70 years or until it killed me. I think I had visions that I would be sitting at the keyboard at 91 typing: "And don't you hate when you go to the fertility clinic..." and then my head would hit the keyboard and that would be it. I should have realized even back then that I was fighting a losing battle. I was the infertility blogger version of Lucy Ricardo at the chocolate factory. And that is why this set of posts was written the week after Mother's Day. So pretend it's not would ya? Hopefully you'll still get a smile or two out them anyway. Without further ado, I present to you:

Because Every Woman Has Been Some Kind of a Mother to Someone 

first posted: Monday May 16, 2010

Obviously Mother’s Day is an extremely touchy subject when your blog is largely read by people in the infertility community.  For those in that community...stay with me...I'm rooting for you as much as ever this week...For those still unfamiliar with the infertility community, it’s the same as a senior living community: A bunch of cranky people who go to several doctors’ appointments a week and whose hobbies include comparing medications and side effects, and asking each other for a second opinion. In fact, the only difference between the two groups is that we’re a little younger and they eat out a lot more.

So the $64,000 question here is: Why in the world am I dredging up Mother’s Day two weeks after most women have already rolled their eyes at their husband, thrown the gift back in his face, and asked the rhetorical question as it was heard around the globe simultaneously through clenched teeth in 803 languages: “Do you know me at all?!”

Followed usually by the shocked husband’s standard comeback: “I didn’t have to get you anything for Mother’s Day. After all, (all together now) you’re not MY mother.”

This warm repartee usually sentences the husband to a week of getting the wife’s cold shoulder followed almost certainly by all of her other body parts being temporarily relocated to the freezer section as well.

So most women have celebrated Mother’s Day, seen Shrek every time they looked at their husband for a week or so…and now moved on. But most of you going through conception issues probably didn’t feel much like celebrating and are getting extremely mad at me right now, mumbling under your breath: “I made it through that horrible weekend and now this sadistic bitch with the blog wants to drag me through it all over again?”

I’m sorry if that’s the case. I suspect, however, that some of you haven’t moved on. And now you feel guilty because everybody is telling you it’s time to move on…including you. Mother’s Day was two weeks ago. But maybe some of you still can’t move on.

I totally get it…to make a long story short (my sister’s favorite preface to a story via telephone which usually indicates I have enough time to put down the phone, take a shower, and shave my entire body, including my head, before she gets to the wind-up…a family trait, I suppose.)

Let’s just say there was nearly a twenty year period in my life, nineteen Mothers' Days to be exact, when I was neither a mother nor had one. That’s all I’ll say lest I suck the entire word “Humor” out of “Humor blog”.

So hang in there. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that by the end of the week, Thursday, Friday of the latest, I will have beaten down this holiday so badly, people will be embarrassed to admit they ever heard of it, let alone celebrated it.

Listen I gotta go. I’m going to sit down by the pool in our development. It doesn’t open for another two weeks, but the dues are so high… it’s the principle of the thing. Even if I blister. I’ll talk to ya tomorrow.

Tuesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I promise to wait until you get back)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. You were holding your breath waiting for Mother’s Day to be over, and then, just as the sun finally set on the wretched holiday, you came up for air and I shoved your head back down into the Mother’s Day mire.

I really don’t want you to be so upset over this holiday, because, well, like most holidays, it’s a stupid one. I’m sure it didn’t start out as stupid. Probably none of them did until someone decided there was money to be made.

Maybe the Jehovah’s Witnesses have it right: No celebrations: No Mother’s Days. No Thanksgivings. No birthdays. Nobody gets depressed. Nobody gets bloated. Nobody gets older.

Let's look at Thanksgiving, shall we? At what point did the pilgrims gather round, raise their goblets, and announce: “We have survived the long, hard winter. We must now rejoice with football, a giant Kermit The Frog balloon, Seinfeld’s Mr. Peterson announcing a Dog Show and many Tums”?

Our family Thanksgiving tradition usually includes me watching every bit of the Macy’s parade on every channel by myself. Most people’s Macy’s parade experience ends every year with Santa riding gloriously into Herald Square.

Mine ends with my husband standing in front of the TV with his winter coat and gloves on, looking as far up Broadway as our 26” screen will allow, and muttering: “I want to get out of here already. Where the hell is he?”

Now here are all of my Mother’s Day memories growing up……………………………..

I admit, I was the kid, not the mother. Maybe I don’t remember anything about any Mother’s Day because it wasn’t about me. I don’t remember anything I ever made for her in school. I don’t remember going anywhere, doing anything, a particular card I gave her, buying her anything. 

Honestly, I doubt if my mother were still around, that she would have had any memories of any Mother’s Day either. She wasn’t sentimental over stuff like that.

On the other hand, I have a few vague memories from Thanksgivings past. My sister and I basically use Thanksgiving as a point of reference of when people died. “No. You’re wrong. Aunt Blanche definitely didn’t die in 1996. She was at that Thanksgiving. She brought her same crappy cake that nobody ever liked….The next year, the one on Long Island---She wasn’t there. I don’t remember if she was still alive, but she wasn’t there.”

Mother’s Day, if you can believe everything you read on the Internet, began as part of Lent in seventeenth century England. Older children were either away learning a trade or working as servants. On this special day they all came together, there was a feast instead of fasting, and Mom was honored.  I would have remembered doing that.

I suppose shelling out sixty bucks for a dozen roses, guilt-laden commercials from mall jewelers and dinner at Cracker Barrel came much later. 

Listen, I gotta go. It’s the sixth inning, two out, bases loaded, and the Mets desperately need me. I'll talk to ya tomorrow.

Wednesday

 (Start with Monday if you can. I'll await your return with bated  breath)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. I was saying how pointless a holiday Mother’s Day really is.  There’s no parade, no football, and no good food. Who makes the best food? Mom. But she has the day off. So in honor of her, the great cook, let’s cram eight people around a table for six at a restaurant chain.  Personally, I’d just as soon visit the drive-thru.  At least there aren’t forty other loud happy families in my car.     

I mentioned the other day that for nearly twenty years, I was neither a mother nor had one. Big deal.  Don’t cry for me Argentina, or Cincinnati, or Madrid. It’s life. We all live through one.  My point is, that for all of those Mother’s Days I never knew how to respond when people would say “Happy Mother’s Day.”

I took a little poll of women in my life to see how they handle it. Neither Julia nor Leonore have kids though they both breastfeed their dogs.

When someone asks Julia if she has children, she says: “No. I’m allergic.”

When someone says “Happy Mother’s Day” to Leonore she says “Happy Mother’s Day to the mother in all of us.” So, what we can conclude from my little study, I believe, is that, I’ve surrounded myself with smart asses. Go figure.

I’ve come to the realization that there are only two response options to the “Happy Mother’s Day” debacle: Educate or Evacuate. You decide.

Do you want to explain things to this person or do you just want them to go away? Personally, nothing is more pleasing to my ear than the sound of a greeting trailing off as the well-wisher gets smaller and smaller into the horizon. “Happy Mother’s Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.”  And they’re gone.

For years I used the “You too” method to keep 'em movin'.

“Happy Mother’s Day” “You too!”

“Happy Vacation” “You too!”

“Happy Birthday”    “You too!”

“Happy Anniversary” “You too!”

“What’s your favorite band?” “U2!”

About once in a thousand, it’s actually an appropriate response.

I mean, I could have taken the “Educate” route. If someone said “Happy Mother’s Day”, I would have gladly explained that I didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day because I had no kids because I was an old broad when I got married and apparently my eggs had turned to ash...

...... and then I went broke going for treatments and did 3 IUI’s that didn’t take...

...... and then the doctor OD’d me on hormones the fourth time so they had to cancel it...

...... and then I had an egg retrieval and they took out 21 eggs and 16 looked good...

...... and then they put 4 inside of me and froze four more…”

I think I'll stick with: “You too.  Keep it movin’."  It's so much simpler.

Listen, I gotta go. My lunch hour was over two hours ago and it's time to go home.. I’ll talk with ya tomorrow.

Thursday

(Start with Monday if you can. If you can't, don't worry. You'll just be hopelessly lost forever.)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. We were discussing how Mother’s Day began as a beautiful annual Spring ritual to worship Mother Earth, evolved into a tribute to the many attributes of women and has, after centuries, culminated in the pancake house visit we know today. 

If you can’t ignore the idiocy of that which is Mother’s Day altogether, consider this: The holiday is for you too. Even if you don’t have kids (yet), I guarantee you’ve still done plenty of mothering in your time.

When I was in my mid-thirties (back when we were still worshipping Mother Earth), I worked with girls in their late teens and early twenties. It wasn’t a counseling center. Not officially. Officially, it was a limousine company. I literally worked with them. 

I did customer service and in between clients, practiced social work without a license. I may not have been their biological mothers, but I spent many hours a week nurturing them in the same way my Mom nurtured me: 

“Why are you still dating that loser? You must be a moron. Only a moron would date a loser.”

“Don’t you think those pants are a little tight? I can see what you had for breakfast. Don’t you dare leave this office looking like that!”  

“You think this is funny? Don’t make me come over there and knock you out of your cubicle!”

“You were fifteen minutes late coming back from lunch. Did you even once consider that I might not be able to sleep at my desk because I’m up worrying?”

“I told you you should have gone to college. See what happens to people who are uneducated? They work here.” 

“Look at this desk. It’s a pigsty. Never you mind about the nine-layer pile of gas receipts, fast food napkins/coasters and candy wrappers on my desk young lady. Do as I say not as I do.”

Did I overstep my boundaries as their coworker when I put parental controls on the company computers? I think not.  You see what I had to deal with.

Listen I gotta go. I have to measure the grass. We have up until four and a half feet before the housing association reports us to the county.

Friday

(Start with “Monday” if you can. If the boss comes by, just minimize, Sista, minimize.)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. I was telling you how I felt entitled to celebrate Mother’s Day while I was going through fertility treatments because of all the babies I had to deal with at my job.

Mainly we were discussing the immature and irresponsible young ladies I worked with who needed my guidance and/or the toe of my shoe in the back seam of their extremely short skirts.

“What are you planning to wear for “dress down” day? That skirt without underwear?” 

“You are aware that in Customer Service, we don’t actually service the customer?”

I guess the maternal instinct just comes more naturally to some of us.

I also had an employer who was a whiner and a tantrum thrower: Going through his terrible 52’s I guess. “Where’s that paperwork? You said I could have it yesterday….You prooooooooomised. Where iiiiiiiiis it? Waaaaaaaaaa! I want my paypawok!” 

I apologize if this post is a bit of a mishmash, but there’s so much disdain I still want to share with you about Mother’s Day and here it is, Friday already. So here are some rambling thoughts. Call it stream of consciousness. Call it hormone injections that never wore off. 

If you didn’t get a Mother’s Day card this year, I truly am sorry. Your efforts to become a mother deserve a truckload of cards…

Now, please allow me to catch you up on the great literature you missed because, after all, a Mother’s Day card does say a lot.

A three page card says you paid four bucks and ticked off Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel for something with eight words on it:

“Happy Mother’s Day” (cover), “Mom” (page one), “You are” (page two) “the BEST!” (Page three). End of card and four bucks. Five bucks in Canada. I love Canada but I’ll admit I’m always grateful I don’t live there when I buy a greeting card.

A card with eight hundred words in fancy script writing says you paid four bucks to watch your mom squint, and skip every other word. (Why do you think nobody ever reads those cards out loud? If she read it aloud she couldn’t skip could she?)

Then there are the whimsical Mother’s Day cards, every single one of which has a kid’s messy room as the wind-up:

“Mom, here’s a great Mother’s Day gift just for you!” (Open card. Messy room.)

“I know it’s in here somewhere.” OR “I promise I’ll find it by the Fourth of July.” OR “I’m sorry I still haven’t found last year’s gift.” OR “Don’t feel bad. Dad’s Father’s Day gift is in here also.” OR “I think it’s in here anyway.” OR “Look! I cleaned my room” OR… please, someone, uncurl my fingers from the keyboard so I can stop. 

The point is, I suppose, what I’ve been beating into all of us all week: Mother’s Day, like most holidays is totally overrated. Some people get great joy out of holidays while probably a lot more suffer through them because of some phantom ideal of what it’s supposed to look like.

You want a Mother’s Day card? I’ll give you a Mother’s Day card.

“Mom, I took money out of your wallet every week when I was twelve.” “Just kidding! Promise to pay you back! Just Kidding!” “Happy Mother’s Day!”

“Mom, remember when I was sixteen and I told you about my boyfriend Robert?” "Happy Mother’s Day! It was Bob, your boss! Have A Great Day!”

“Mom, thanks for paying for my entire college education. I’ve decided to finish my sixth year at the University of Cancun! I even have a job lined up! I'm the alternate judge at the wet T-shirt contest during Spring break! You’re the best! Happy Mother’s Day!”

“Mom, you’re irreplaceable! That’s why I left my wife and drove right over with the three kids, two St. Bernards, and a giant U-haul! You’re number one! Happy Mother’s Day!”

Listen, I gotta go. There’s someone outside yelling my name.  I think it’s Hallmark calling.  I’ll talk with ya on Monday.

Now here's Tracy Birkinbine's posts:

Surviving Mother's Day for Those Facing Infertility   

Could there be a more painful day for a woman experiencing infertility than Mother’s Day? All the cards in the stores, the commercials on TV showing the joys of being a mother, the little kids scurrying around to find just the right gift or bringing home the nauseatingly cute homemade gifts made in school or daycare…it’s enough to make one want to boycott the whole darn thing. Well, I’m here to tell you if that’s what you need to do, do it!

The level of pain or comfort that you have when dealing with such holidays is something only you can gauge. If you can muddle through it with the fake smile while hurting inside (or wanting to strangle someone), then you go for it. If the pain is just too much to handle, then why put yourself through it? It’s perfectly understandable and normal for you to want to just get away from it all and seclude yourself from all the festivities and pain that it might bring. Like I said only you know how much you can handle.

Mother’s Day celebrations often include time with the family. It can bring with it the uncomfortable questions of, “So, will we be celebrating your first Mother’s Day next year?” Or, “So, when are you two going to get busy and bring us another baby into the family?” Or, for those who know of your struggles, how about the tried and true favorites of, “Just relax and it will happen. Take a vacation; people tend to get pregnant while on vacation.” Or, how about, “Why don’t you just adopt? You can have a child that way, and you know what they say, just adopt and you will get pregnant.” But, my favorite has to be, “Just relax!”

Relax? Are you serious? Have you been in my shoes? Do you know what I am going through? You try sticking yourself with needles every day and running to and from the hospital for blood work. You try buying boxes and boxes of pregnancy tests, so many that you realize you should have taken stock in them. You try having the disappointment month after month upon seeing the first drop of blood denoting yet another period beginning, and therefore, another FAILURE! Yes, you try crying yourself to sleep every night while thinking of how much you want a baby and then tell me again to RELAX!”

Now, maybe I’m getting a little carried away with myself. Not all families react this way. Some are very supportive and loving and truly do understand what you are facing. Some family get-togethers can be the perfect refuge during such an emotional time. Sometimes surrounding yourself with those who love you and care about what you’re facing can be very comforting. So, like I said, only you can gauge your level of comfort regarding how you plan to spend this year’s Mother’s Day. I personally just like the idea of imagining slapping the next pregnant woman you pass or encounter who decides to rub her belly longingly in front of you! But, that’s just me! ;-)

Keep in mind that you are a mother already—in spirit. You are in heavy duty training that will pay off big for you when the time is right. I loved the way I saw it put in writing the other day (unfortunately I can’t give credit as I don’t know who wrote this), the writer stated, “A woman experiencing infertility is already a mother whose child just hasn’t been placed in her arms yet.” Beautiful, huh? So, celebrate yourself…no matter where you are on this journey. And celebrate the way you want. If others around you don’t understand, does it really matter? Happy Mother’s Day…or not! ~Tracy

Tracy Birkinbine is a licensed professional counselor specializing in infertility and adoption. She bases her private practice out of St. Louis, MO.  You can find information on Tracy Birkinbine and her private practice, Counseling With TLC, LLC by going to www.counselingwithtlc.com.

The next is also from Tracy:

Don't Tell Me "Happy Mother's Day!" (Unless you want to risk getting slapped!)

I have been noticing more and more that I have been getting a lot of Mother's Day greetings.  I went to the store to buy cards and the cashier sent me on my way with, "Happy Mother's Day!"  I was at the bank and the teller cheerfully ended our transaction with, "Have a nice Mother's Day!"  I went to get a morning latte and the barista handed me my beverage and stated, "Enjoy your Mother's Day!" 

Hmm.  Now, I will admit to sometimes wearing the occasional awful Mom Jeans, and perhaps, at age 40 I have now developed a very matronly appearance despite my effort at still trying to look "cool!"  But, at each of these places I didn't have any children with me.  I didn't open my wallet to show pictures of any kids.  I didn't have those "oh so typical" #1 Mom necklaces on, and I wasn't sporting a World's Greatest Mom t-shirt.  So what made these individuals assume I was a mom? 

I got to thinking back to my days of struggling with infertility and how desperate my feelings were to be a mommy and to have a child.  My minutes were consumed with overwhelming urges, needs, wants, and desires to become a mom.  I was more aware of the day called "Mother's Day" than most moms I felt!  I would treasure that day more than anything if I could just have a child.  I would love having people tell me to have a good Mother's Day...someday...

But, I hated hearing that then.  It was like driving a knife further into my chest and made me even more keenly aware that I was not celebrating what I so badly wanted to be...a MOM!  I hated the Hallmark commercials.  I hated the 1-800-Flowers ads.  I hated the card aisles at the stores.  And I absolutely hated the items stating the above mentioned "World's Greatest Mom," or #1 Mom!"  Surely none of the moms out there were as good a mom as I would be.  Surely none of the moms appreciated the day as much as I would.  So, the last thing I wanted to hear was someone say "Happy Mother's Day!"  It made me just want to slap that cheerful grin off their face! 

So, now, even though I have been blessed to be a mom, I still remember those feelings of hurt and pain as if they were yesterday.  I urge you to be careful when wishing a stranger a "Happy Mother's Day."  Those simple words, however well intentioned, may be the most hurtful thing you could say to someone longing so desperately to be a mom.  Proceed with caution.  Never assume.  Unless you know for sure that someone is a mom, take a moment to consider your words.  I'm sure you would hesitate about asking a woman when she is due if there was a chance she could just be overweight!  Food for thought!  For now...have a good DAY! 

*********************************************************************************************************************************

The final set of posts were from Laughing IS Conceivable at this time last year. In fact, precisely one year ago today. Please enjoy:

I've Met All Sorts of Mothers in my Life

Monday

About twice a year I have a serious moment. So here's one now and then we're a'movin' on:

Before I went through infertility treatments, in fact, before I ever knew I would have difficulty conceiving, in fact, before I even met my husband... I was this nearing 35, single woman living in an apartment- a four floor walk-up- in Queens NY.

One day, I was at my girlfriend's apartment across the hall (about 8 feet away from my front door). We were all hanging out there: The six of us: My friend,  her two pre-teens, my low-self-esteem, my self-pity, and me. 

I made a comment: "I know I would be a good mother."

Her daughter, who was about twelve at the time said:

"Lori, you're already a good mother. You just don't have any kids yet."    

Not many things can make me shut up but that sure did. And  I guess it had enough impact for me to remember it since that twelve year old young lady just turned 26. 

I thought I'd pass along that sage quote by a twelve year old, in case, by chance, it might also apply to you.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans:

So this week of posts will attempt to ease you out of the horrible little holiday that was yesterday and maybe, hopefully, a little bit back to the world of "When in doubt, ridicule everything."

So this week I may mock the wretched holiday and its traditions: 

Taking that special woman in your life out to a buffet lunch. Show how much you love her by giving her the motive, means, and opportunity to eat twice her body weight in macaroni and cheese.  

Or the men who treat their wives or girlfriends like crap all year, then on that one day a year, yesterday, spent $200 on a bouquet.   

Or saying "I love you" with a card that costs more than a gallon of gas. So if you drived a few miles to buy the card---there goes eight bucks you'll never see again.

Then we might delve into all of the mothers in our lives:

The Mother Teresa's for instance: Those women who are so needy they give and give and give  even though nobody asked them to and then get pissed that nobody appreciates it enough.

Just let's all hope that my posting time is up for the week before I run out of different types of mothers  to discuss.

If I only get to my Mother A, B, C, D and E files, we'll be fine. But if I have to dip into my Mother "F"  files, it could get messy. It's a very thick file---I'm on Volume 42... and adding new entries all the time.

Listen, I gotta go. My boss has been really nasty to me lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with my "Mother 'F'" file. I noticed the other day that Volume 14 was in front of Volume 9... and  I don't remember ever putting it there. 

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Tuesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can.  When I get going ridiculing a holiday, you don't want to miss anything.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Now that the horrible little holiday is history for another year....What do you say we make fun of it behind its back? 

Mother's Day was always a great holiday for me. Except in 1988, 1989, 1990, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95, '96. '97, '98, '99, 2000, 2001, and 2002.

You might say, during that time period, spanning two centuries, I was in a Mother's day drought.  

My mom was no longer around (I'm trying not to be morbid... I figured  "no longer around" sounds like maybe she ran off to Bermuda with a flamenco dancer) and I had no babies arriving in the foreseeable future.

And for those fourteen years, I never could figure out how to respond when random people would say:

"Happy Mother's Day!"

Being a non-Christian, I had the same predicament with "Merry Christmas!"

I apologize that I've mentioned this before, but I've created a system that I think works well in these awkward or at least, pesky situations that I always like to share.

When people wish you well on these holidays that you don't celebrate, I feel there are three possible solutions: 

A) Be sarcastic- (My first choice for most everything) 

Pesky Person:  "Merry Christmas!"

My response: "Happy Rahmadan!"

Pesky Person: "Happy Mother's Day!"

My response: "Happy AA Meeting!"   

B) Educate (My least favorite option)

Pesky Person:  "Merry Christmas. Did you buy your tree yet? "

My response (against my better judgment):  "I'm not Christian. I'm Jewish. We celebrate Chanukah."

This is my least favorite option because it's too much work and never goes well. The dialogue usually continues thus:

Pesky Person: "Oh. But did you get your tree yet?"

My response: "I told you we don't celebrate Christmas. Will you stop with the tree already?!"

And educating people about your Mother's Day situation is ten times worse.

"Happy Mother's Day"

"I don't celebrate Mother's Day. My mom passed away and I have no kids."

Well that's going to brighten anyone's day.  That's why the best choice is usually #3.

C) Don't Educate...Evacuate...(For those of you who are rock fans: aka "The Bono Method")

"Merry Christmas"

"U2"

"Happy Mother's Day"

"U2"

And keep on walking.

Listen, I gotta go. "Dancing with the Stars" is on for two hours tonight and I've got to plan something else to do for two hours.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Wednesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. We're looking back at Mother's Day and giving it the kick in the teeth it deserves.... And speaking of kicks, please consider subscribing to this here Laughing IS Conceivable blog to receive weekly blog happenings, offers, and chats on why in the world I wrote what I wrote that week.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How to respond to those who wished us a Happy Mother's Day, the bastards. The reason why I'm discussing this now is that there may be an aftermath. Like an after-shock from an earthquake.  

As if it wasn't bad enough to have all these yutzes wishing you a Happy Mother's day, now they might boomerang back at you with:

"So, how was your Mother's Day?"

Friday they wished you a good Mother's Day, and now the psycho control freak wants to know if her wish for you came true. Like she's your fricken fairy godmother.

As we discussed a bit yesterday: The way to handle anybody who is trying to suck you into any holiday that that you're desperately trying to avoid is: "Don't Educate...Evacuate". 

There are precisely two ways to approach the following question: 

"So, How was your Mother's Day?"

1) Educate:

"Well, I don't have any kids yet. We've been trying to have a baby for two years. First we went to this one clinic and I was on some drugs to regulate my cycle and then we were going to do artificial insemination, but now we think maybe my husband also has a sperm count issue.

And I know Mother's Day should be time I spend with my mom, but I'm really too depressed and watching her celebrate with my sisters and their kids and having to listen to them all tell me 'not to worry so much...if it's meant to happen it will happen' really just depresses me more...."

OR

2)  Evacuate

"So How Was Your Mother's Day?"

"Fine thanks. See ya tomorrow!"

It's all about keeping the goal in mind. You really don't want to confide in the average passerby. You want them to keep passing you by.

That's why it's vitally important that you don't use too many words (obviously I'm still working on that). You don't want to say anything that they have to break their stride to catch.

You also want to speak loudly and clearly. If you whisper, not only will they slow down (or Gd forbid, stop) to hear what you said, they'll come closer.

And whatever you do...I mean WHATEVER you do... Do not, I repeat, DO NOT "and yours" them!

"Hey, how was  your Mother's Day?"

"Great. And yours?"

Don't do that! This is no time to be polite!

"Great" was good enough. In fact it was perfect. Not only is it just one word, it's only one syllable. Nobody would have to slow down to hear that. You could yell it while they're closing the car door.

You had one quick altercation with them. Then you couldn't resist throwing in the "and yours?" and now you just obligated yourself to go another round.  

So remember: "Don't Educate... Evacuate."  I'm considering putting it on a bumper sticker and sticking it on schools in heavy natural disaster zones... Or on the side panel of an enema.

Listen, I gotta go.... Okay, it's how I always end my posts, but maybe an unfortunate choice of words directly following the enema remark. 

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Thursday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. We're giving Mother's Day and the days following, the tribute they deserve: With plenty of good old fashioned anger and violence.)

(And if you'd like to see other aspects of my agressive personality, please do subscribe to this blog for weekly newsletters always guaranteed to be full of... well let's just say... info.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The depressing, Hallmark-induced, pancake house celebrating, 24 dollars a dozen half-dead roses delivered to the wrong house on the right day or the right house on the wrong day---holiday that we affectionately (and sarcastically) refer to as "Mother's Day".

Enough I say! Today has been declared another holiday for all of us who survived Sunday's debacle. I proclaim today to be: "Give Yourself a Cookie Day!" For those 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 those who spent time at a family gathering watching their 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 those who bit the bullet while their mother cornered them in the kitchen and said:  "You know the only thing that would make this day better, would be if you were finally going to make me a grandma"... Give yourself a cookie.

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

For those who listened to their siblings complain to each other about how hard it is being a parent and how tired they always are, and how they never have enough time for themselves... Give yourself a cookie.

For those who went out with the extended family to some family-style BS restaurant and had to watch while everyone counted six times how many high chairs and how many booster seats they needed... Give yourself a cookie. 

For those who just couldn't deal with Sunday at all and stayed home and bitched to your husband... Give yourself a cookie. (Even if you already gave yourself twenty or forty on Sunday.)

And for those who were fed up to here with the whole stupidity of the holiday and told even one family member with unsolicited advice, or a thoughtless remark to "Screw-Off"... Give yourself a whole box of cookies.

And for those of you who did nothing...You survived the holiday...and that's plenty... "Give yourself a cookie" 

Listen, I gotta go. Father's Day is a month away. I barely have time to jot down all of my gripes. I'm probably the only person who brings a giant calendar with me to the shooting range.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Friday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. And I had a little glitch yesterday on this site and had the privilege of waiting on hold for eight minutes to speak to a nasty fool at godaddy.com on top of it, so if you missed yesterday's post, it's actually not half-bad I think, so please take a look. In fact it may even be better than what I'm about to write. Who knows? Surely not I.)

So. what were we talking about? Oh right. How proud of ourselves we should all be just for surviving Mother's Day. And it makes absolutely no difference how you did it.

Whether you were sociable, or merely polite, or ignored people, or avoided people, relationships got fractured, people got arrested, charges were filed...doesn't matter.

The only significant factor is that THAT was Sunday...Today is Friday...and, guess what? You made it.

I began this week with the title: I've Met ALL SORTS of Mothers in My Life: Now, in winding up our week long tribute to the wretched holiday, I'd like to spend a moment this last day, saluting some of those types of Mothers.

In fact, I think we'll do a twist on this all next week:

One of the biggest cruelties, of having to deal with infertility is all of the women around us who seem to have babies so easily. And in many cases, I personally take a good hard look at those who are pregnant, and they may not be the nicest most pleasant person and my first question is:

"I don't get it...Who would have sex with this woman?"

So here are some of the mothers we'll look into next week:

Mother Teresas

There's no way this woman wouldn't make any kid neurotic or drive any man crazy...and yet many reproduce with ease.

They give and give and give...Nobody asks them to. They'll tell you they do it because they're "just a good person" or "have a good heart".

No, this is a lie. They do it because they are fueled by a low self-esteem engine.

People who truly give for the right reasons, are satisfied just because they love to do for others. Mother Teresa's (unlike the real Mother Teresa) give and give and give without anybody asking and then are pissed that nobody appreciates it enough.

Mother Superiors

Women who have to top you at all costs. Whenever you chat with them, if takes about thirty seconds to discover that they only know highly educated, well-paid, extremely respected pillars of the community. 

If they've known me since high school, they'll never admit it. I'm just a short, broken-down impoverished writer with too much hair...what an embarrassment.

Mother Two-Faces

Perfect, friendly, happy,easy-going, smiley-smiley 1960's sit-com mom (June Cleever, Donna Reed) to your front, and nasty, bitchy, (possibly hard drinking) Roseanne-mom  to your back.

So please join us here at Laughing IS Conceivable next week when we further explore some of the lovely moms among us and mull over the question: "Who would sleep with this bitch?" 

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

IVF--In Vitro Financing?

Quick note: Sorry for the delay in posting. I've been putting the final touches on my e-book. It's about my daily infertility adventures, written as I went through  treatments: The waiting rooms, what in the world my husband had to do with it all, nosy people who are constantly asking ridiculous and ridiculously personal questions. It will be out soon and is priced at a mere $3.99.  More details to come.   So who would have thought it possible? An institution giving a loan for fertility treatments?  And I admit, my first choice for the title of this post was indeed "IVF- Instant  Vagina Funds?" but I thought that was too crass even for me. (Notice it was too crass for the title, but I'm totally at peace with putting it in the first paragraph.) 

So I read recently about companies offering loans to couples for fertility treatments. Of course, as with everything with both infertility and life, this is not without controversy.

Doctors apparently don't get a cut from the deal even if they are the ones to tell you about the loans in the first place. Supposedly they can corner you in a cold, dark examination room, force the pen into your hand and hold it while you sign the loan application and they still don't get a cut from it. 

Of course some people say doctors could be driving you towards a loan company that they have invested in. Some doctors/decent human beings refuse to offer loans to their patients altogether, and many others probably just do it to legitimately help patients out.

As usual...I'll be honest. Right or wrong, It always skeeves me just a mite when someone who performs a pricy service hands you a brochure entitled:  "How You Can Pay Me Faster!" 

Case in point: I once had this dentist (this sounds like the start of a nasty limerick: "There once was a dentist from Blunt..." ) And notice the tense..."I once had..." as in no longer, as in: I  told him to screw off.

Well this dentist, like a lot of dentists, referred patients to a company where you can pay out your dental payments. Well, that certainly sounds great. Especially for people like most   Americans who tend to spend 80 cents a year more than they earn.

(No really, it's a  statistic: People who make $20,000 a year spend $20,000.80. People who make 3 million a year spend $3,000,000.80. It's the American way.) 

The way the deal worked with the dentist was: You had 6 months to pay the whole amount interest free. If, by chance, however, you didn't get around to paying the whole thing by that date, the cost of a $500  dental treatment would now with accrued interest, end up costing you a ballpark figure of about 27 million dollars.           

I won't tell you what my husband suggested we do to the dentist. It's not as cruel as it sounds.  I think the dentist was done having kids anyway...and it probably wouldn't be that painful if we'd iced the area first.

So, dumb me, I went for the deal behind curtain number 1. My date to pay off the cumbersome sum was the 14th of the month. Lo and behold, I get paid on the 15th. I mean, I could have told the loan company to try to take the amount out on the 14th, but they would have been sorely disappointed with the outcome.

So I did what any decent law-abiding citizen with sucky teeth would do. I called the loan people and asked if, by chance, could they possibly hold off sending the guys over to break my knee caps just one more day.

The answer was "no". Apparently the company would have gone bankrupt and become a Papa John's if they'd waited twenty-four hours for my lousy $278. I never felt so important in my life. The company's  financial well-being, it seems. hinged on my monetary contribution. When does THAT ever happen?

If you'd like to read more about the Infertility Loan Biz, look for my new post coming later this week at Fertility Authority. http://fertilityauthority.com/1013368

And please, do become a subscriber to this blog, Laughing IS Conceivable. Get insider info and updates about my upcoming e-book, new "Health Experts" on this blog, etc etc....

Clues to Getting Pregnant from the Clueless

Every time the statistics on teen pregnancy come out, don't you just want to hurt somebody? Apparently the latest data show that while teen pregnancy is down, it's still higher in the U.S. than in any other developed country.

I think this is why the likes of us can't get pregnant. We know too damn much.  We have to think more like a schmucky teenager. You know, think back. Remember when you knew nothing but thought you knew everything?

Let's see if we can key in on what all of those teens are doing right. Here are some tips I've come up with:      

1) Be a horny fifteen year old.

So here we all are wasting our time looking at calendars and ovulation kits and telling our husbands that it's not that we mind  doing it now, but why bother when it's not the optimal day, hour, minute to get pregnant? Instead, we should just be doing it constantly--Any time of day. During lunch period. Standing up in a locker. So forget your comfy queen size in your master bedroom...that doesn't seem to be working.

How about your parent's bedroom? (ew) Or a high school locker? Or under the bleachers during a football game, or sex on a beach?...It doesn't have to be just a drink you know. 

2) Listen to what a teenage boy tells you

Stop listening to doctors and nutritionists and yoga people and chiropractors and other infertile women. Seek the advice of a teenage boy. A full quarter of the teenage girls who got pregnant in the latest stats, apparently did so because their boyfriend (let's call him "boyfriend" anyway)...because their "boyfriend" didn't want them to use any birth control. 

I imagine that you and your husband have already figured out that the first thing you should do when you're trying to get pregnant is to not use birth control.   (I do envision some yutz somewhere saying to his wife: "Oh man! Nobody ever told us. You should probably stop taking those pills. You know what Sue, I'll bet that's why you can't get pregnant.") 

So, I know you're not one of those yutzes...but somehow medical advice just seems to mean more when it comes from a fifteen year old boy....a hormone-infested male who's just months away from driving a car with a back seat... or a pick-up truck...designed for picking up.

3) Use a teenage girl's calendar

Sure, your ovulation calendars are fine... the one that has blinking lights during your most fertile days...the one with the clock that counts down every hour after your period starts like the clock in Times Square on New Year's Eve. But nothing beats a teenage girl's calendar.

31% of the young ladies in the study who got pregnant, didn't think they could get pregnant "during that time".  I think the issue is: Define "during that time".

Because of all of our constant, obsessive fertility-related thoughts, "during that time" means to us:

Something to do with ovulation and most fertile days. But now let's think like a teenage girl:

"I didn't think I could get pregnant 'during that time'"....could mean...

a) When Americal Idol is on

b) When I have sex with a guy I don't really like

c) When the sun has gone down

d) When I'm drunk

e) After eating Taco Bell

(I can think of a few dozen reasons why you wouldn't want to touch anyone after eating Taco Bell...especially twenty minutes after.....anyhoo.")

So maybe we should all shred our calendars and burn our ovulation kits and try getting it on during some of the above.

And one last tidbit if I may: 21% of the teenage girls who got pregnant in the study said they were using birth control at the time. I think we probably should clarify that it doesn't count as "using birth control" just because you can see it over his shoulder on the dresser while he's lying on top of you. On that note....

If you'd like more of my Laughing IS Conceivable shenanigans and info, please consider  becoming a subscriber. Also be sure to take a look at my latest post and wish for all of you in this new year: "Don't Let Infertility Suck the Life Out of Your Life" .

It can be found at Fertility Authority.com http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

Infertiles on the Island of Misfits

So my last post was all about Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Since then, there have already been the Charlie Brown Christmas special and a smattering of lesser known ones like: "What's that Rash, Charlie Brown?!"  

Every year at this time, I must see my required programming. All of the Peanuts specials of course, "It's a Wonderful Life", all twenty-six versions of "A Christmas Carol" (even though all I have to hear is "Jacob Marley was dead dead as a doornail" and I'm freaked out for the rest of the show... Even in the Flintstones version.)   

And I admit, I probably shouldn't watch Rudolph. I haven't lived in NYC for 4 1/2 years now but it's still in my heart and soul and other internal organs. When they won't let Rudolph play in any reindeer games, I want to pull every last reindeer out of the TV and, well, fk him up. There's the holiday spirit for you. 

So tell the truth: Has having infertility made you feel like YOU belong on the Island of Misfit Toys?

This whole infertility stupidity can make us feel like those unwanted toys on the island in the Rudolph cartoon. We don't have a baby. Right now, at this very moment anyhow, we can't have a baby. So sometimes, we feel a little cast off by society. 

Like those toys, we're still very lovable, it's just that we don't do what the world (and maybe ourselves) expects us to do.

On the show, the train has square wheels, the Jack-in-the-Box is named Charlie....And in life, many of us are married for a long time and have no kids.  

And maybe I'm just a misfit more than most, or prouder of it than most, but every year I watch Rudolph and I don't get what's really wrong with those toys.

So the elephant is pink and has polka dots? Please, that elephant should see my nose. I can open beer bottles with it.

And what's wrong with the doll except that she has messy hair? I kind of admire that. Why is she on that island and the Chucky doll, who's a mass murderer is still allowed to roam free? What's wrong with this world?

I mean it's not like the doll vomits on you or the elephant soils your couch....or the other way around.  

Or "Maim in a Box": Jack in the Box that jumps up, exposes his wire and takes out your cornea. 

What is this concept about misfit toys anyway? Every year when I was a kid, my sister and I would get something for Hannukah that was not quite right. Somehow it just always worked out that way for us. It was just part of the tradition. We thought Jews everywhere gathered with their families to open toys with missing parts or puzzles with missing pieces.

Every Hanukkah of my young life, the festivities would wind down by the warm glow of the menorah with my sister and me looking for the missing puzzle piece from our new puzzle. It was a sealed box, but there was always a piece missing. 

My mother, watching us turn the empty box cover over and over and combing through the shag carpet would comment:  "You lost a piece already? That was quick."

And my father would spend the next six hours sitting on the floor next to us trying to assemble some toy that was advertised as: "So simple, a child can do it."  And there he was: "Cursing all the waaaay....ha ha ha ha ha...Bells on bobtails ring... "

Island of Misfits? I'm a proud native. How about you?

The Infertility Fairy Tale-Once Upon a Time

It’s easy to love a fairytale. Some of them we love so much, they seep out of the book and into our bloodstreams and live with us for decades. At ten years old we think:

“I don’t want to get married young. I’m going to wait until I’m at least twenty. And I’m going to have a big wedding on the beach and Marcy in my class is going to be my maid of honor because we’ve been best friends since third grade.

I’m going to marry a man named Michael because I really like that name and we’re going to have two kids, one boy and one girl, Michael Junior (I REALLY like that name) and Marcy after my best friend since third grade. I'll probably have my boy first so my daughter will have a big brother.”

And then, of course, since most of us don't live in Oz, reality rears its ugly head and the fairy tale turns down a less rosy path.

We find "Mr. Maybe" at seventeen, "Mr. Possibly" at twenty-two, "Mr. Definitely Not" at twenty-eight and "Mr. Right" at thirty-five. Then, as all too many of us know, the pregnancy fairy tale doesn’t always pan out either.

(Maybe that's why you never see Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Snow White knocked up. The stories always end at the wedding kiss. It's goes: Wedding--Kiss--Happily Ever After--The End. Maybe that's the key to living "Happily Ever After"...Quitting before things get ugly.)

And, believe it or not, when infertility starts, so does the beginning of a new fairy tale... in our heads anyway.

"Once upon a time in a land far far away from any "fertility" doctor who didn't also deliver cows and goats in his back room, there lived a fairy princess who needed fertility treatments.

So this fairy princess and her handsome prince (whom she was married to by the way... so let's not start spreading rumors around the kingdom)

So anyway... as the fairy tale in our heads goes... the fairy princess and her handsome prince headed in their pumpkin coach to the fertility clinic on Monday and by the following Thursday they had their little princelet and presented him at the ball.

And people came from miles around and said he was the most beautiful creature they had ever seen except perhaps for his mother the princess who, just three days after having had the baby weighed eighty-three pounds with a ten inch waist, looked stunning in her ball gown and incredibly steady on her stillettos... And they all lived happily ever after."

Of course you don't hear women on fertility support sites talking about this fairy tale... not directly. But it's a very narrow tight rope we walk between staying positive and Disney cartoon.

First we spend all day flicking baby dust at each other left and right like it's a magic wand we're  waving over each other's uteruses and writing things like:    

""I’m starting treatments today so I should be pregnant by early spring of the latest! I can get some spring maternity clothes cheaper if I buy them now in the off-season. I think I’ll go shopping tomorrow…and maybe on my way home,  I’ll check out the schools in the neighborhood to see if they’re any good.”

What? I feel like writing back:

"What do you know that the rest of us don't? No, I'm serious. Do you have a dead aunt who comes to you in dreams at night?:

'Spring...Pregnant...Buy clothes now...Big discounts... Just not day after Thanksgiving...Crowds...Crazy People...'"

I want to say: "Could you ask her about the rest of us tonight? And while you're at it... Does she have any stock tips or lottery info?...I live in Boise...Could you make sure it's the Idaho lottery?"

I'm telling you, it's hard not to let our thoughts turn us into Alice in Fertility Land. But could we at least do away with the baby dust? I for one really don't have the hair for it.

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For an autumn post---(the autumn of my fertility that is)--and some Halloween-inspired (not so scary) infertility tales..please click over to my latest posts at Fertility Authority: http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

World Contraception Day---I'm In (Part 1)

You know how everything has it's own day now?  There's "National Peanut Butter Day" in January, not to be confused with "National Peanut Butter Lovers Day" in March. I wonder if there are thousands of angry allergic protesters marching each year. I suppose they'd have to shake their signs and wave their fists a mile away from the event so nobody passes out.  

I don't know what's happened to us. We're all so frail nowadays. Only a few years ago I'd throw a bologna sandwich and an apple in a paper bag in my sweaty hall locker at school, mid-June, let them sit there next to my sneakers which were just slightly riper than my apple, for five hours and then eat them for lunch... without washing the apple or de-botchulising the bologna. 

Now we talk to someone over the phone, across the Atlantic Ocean who ate  some gluten-filled pasta and washed it down with a Reese's Peanut Butter cup an hour ago and our throats close up and we fall on the floor.

Getting back: So everything has a day of its own nowadays. And September 26th every year is World Contraception Day. (It's also my cousin's birthday. I'm wondering how she feels about that. It kind of leaves you conflicted about how to celebrate your birthday and also makes me realize for the first time in my life how close the words "celebrate" and "celibate" really are.)

The ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) is having their own "Contraception Day" on October 18th at their national conference.

I'm all for as many contraception days as we can muster. 

I'm just thinking that I'm enthusiastic about it for far different reasons than they are. 

Those who have created these days seem to be interested in informing young people about their contraception options and to make sure all babies are wanted and everyone stays in good health and passes nothing between the sheets but happy, healthy stuff. (Was "stuff" a poor choice of words perhaps?)

I, on the other hand, am thinking that while many of us have been working hard to get pregnant, there are those out there who need to zip it, clip it, or dip it in cement.   

And maybe I'm more critical or pettier than most, but I'm not even talking about people who abuse, neglect or abandon their kids...I think there should be mandatory contraception for those who just give their kids stupid names.

Join me again on Monday for "World Contraception Day-Part 2- Zip It, Clip It, or Snip It" as I give my basic rules on how to avoid "Idiotic Baby Naming"-- a primer course for those working so hard toward that day when there will be a baby to name, and a warning to those who should be severely punished for the monstrous names they've stuck their kids with. 

In the meantime, please join my wonderful group of subscribers for weekly Laughing IS Conceivable info, updates, and background stories on each week's post.

Also, if you've had it with mounting infertility fees, come read about my infertility clinic where there are no package deals, no prix fixes, no value meals, and everything is strictly a la carte.   "Infertility Cafeteria" http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.