sperm donor

Sperm Donors: Giving Till It Hurts

Am I the only one who cringed when I read the title? (And that's pretty bad since I wrote the damn thing.) So, my husband is always a great source of inspiration for my blogs. He finds me interesting tidbits and passes them along. It's a secure man who clips out sperm-related articles for his wife.  (And if you like what they get turned into in these posts, please join my fab group of subscribers to receive a weekly newsletter with info and future blog-related offers.)

So this latest tidbit was in the news about sperm donors running amok. (Another pretty visual isn't it? I can see this is going to be a long post.)

Apparently all, many or some sperm banks don't keep track of how many fish the donors send downstream.

What I mean is: They either don't keep track of how many sperm from one guy end up producing a child or they keep track and don't cut it off. (Was "cut it off" a poor choice of words?) 

It seems that sperm banks just keep letting more and more women pick the same sperm donor over and over and the numbers of children they produce keep rising like with the gas prices, and the number of customers served at the drive-thru.

Apparently this woman, who had conceived via sperm donor, decided to create a group online to keep track of her son's half-brothers and sisters. Well, he's seven now, and at last count he had 150 brothers and sisters. By the time he's twelve, they'll have to rent Rhode Island for their family reunions. 

So why's everyone up in arms about this? Because respectable women looking to have a respectable family go to a respectable fishmonger to fall in love with a respectable number that belongs to a respectable man so they can have a respectable baby.

Unregulated sperm donors...Is this breaking news? Hello?  Am I the only one who watches "Maury"?    

I guess I'm the one who's been keeping it on the air for some 20 years. I can see the network executives:

"Yeah, it's the same raunchy formula day after day ...but Lori likes it"

Look at all of the unregulated sperm donors on that show. A guy will come on the show 10 times because 10 women think he fathered their children. And those are only the ones who watch the show. (okay, they all watch the show. I'm the only idiot with a job.)

Then he dances around the stage like an imbecile, high-fiving the audience because he's only found to be the father of 8 of them. Then he leaves the show and continues to wear pants with zippers that are permanently stuck in the "down" position and is predictably back on the show 6 months later.

(I have a pair of pants like that. I just wear long shirts over them and try to remember not to bend so nobody sees my zipper smile.)

The classiness on "Maury" doesn't end there of course. There are usually a dozen or so moronic women with windshield wiper legs fighting over the dirt bag.

So, yeah, anyway you look at it,  it's probably not a good idea that one guy fathers not just a whole football team, but one child for every yard on the football field.

It's just that in the respectable world it's a dirty, dark secret. In the dregs world, it's 20 years' of good clean entertainment.

(If you haven't perused my latest post at Fertility Authority about how to have a lady-like conversation about the fkd up subject of infertility please have a look at):

"If Jane Austen Were Infertile" http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I didn't post last week so you're probably aching to get as much of me as possible this week. Or not.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Fears. Particularly fears shared by those of us with fertility issues. We were discussing a few occasional mishaps at a smattering of fertility clinics where the woman got inseminated with some stranger's sperm instead of the guy she came to the appointment with.

I also recently read a story recently (I read too damn much.. and watch too much news. I should stick to cartoons. Nobody ever gets inseminated in cartoons... well maybe on Family Guy or The Simpsons or American Dad... Okay, cartoons are out too. I'll just stare at the wall.)

Anyway, this news article was about a couple who had twins from a sperm donor. Well, apparently someone had a problem translating English into English. They had requested a caucasian sperm donor. Unfortunately the sperm came from a place in South Africa where "caucasian" means "of mixed race".

I'll be honest, I don't understand anything about this case. The parents were suing the facility because the kids were being taunted in school because of their skin color.

The kids were in school? How old were these kids when they decided to sue?

I admit it. I have a way of procrastinating, of letting things get away from me. Sometimes I don't do laundry for two weeks (a month if I tell the truth- I don't have a lot of clothes. I'm just a slob). I put off going to the dentist for that six month ordeal, and they stopped picking up our garbage because I simply forgot to pay the bill. But, I'm pretty sure even I would get around to that "Hey, I think our twins are the wrong color" issue before they started school.

Or maybe the parents were just living in denial. Sitting around saying to each other: "Let's keep them out of the sun and see what happens. Maybe they'll lighten up in the fall."

The judge basically told them: "You have two healthy kids. Goodbye and good luck."

But I've been thinking. (Always dangerous) About all of these insemination misadventures. I think there's a way it could work in our favor.

Okay, I admit it's a little tricky, but it could be done. Yes, I believe it could. Let's say you're married and have this little cutie boy-toy on the side. And you get pregnant by this shiny new bed buddy.

So you hurry and tell your husband that you have fertility issues, then grab his hand, run full speed into a fertility clinic, and let them inseminate you with his sperm.

Then they do a pregnancy test and tell you that congratulations are in order, you act thrilled and duly surprised. Then the baby is born and looks nothing like your husband. (Hm, wonder what could have caused that.)  So you call the Maury show and bring the fertility clinic on TV and demand they give you and your oblivious husband a DNA test.

Then the baby comes back not his (close-up of you looking duly surprised--again) and you make a lot of money and divorce your husband and live as a happy family with your baby daddy and keep your old (ex)husband on the side as your brand spanking new boy-toy since, now that he's got a lot of cash, he doesn't seem so bad afterall.

Listen, I gotta go. After that tirade I really should stop, shouldn't I? It's the only decent thing to do.

I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

Sperming without a License and Sexless Reproduction (Tuesday)

So what were we talking about? Oh right. Some of the weirder infertility news floating around lately: Illegal sperm, military wife surrogates, and organisms which can reproduce by themselves..with no mate. So a few weeks back I "reported" to you about these 2 guys in the UK who were selling  sperm illegally over the internet. The company was called "Sperm Direct" or maybe it was "First Come First Serve".

Well anyway, their business endeavor was made possible thanks to a new law which allowed any and all frozen sperm donated to a legitimate sperm bank,  to knock on daddy donor's door eighteen years later and say: "Surprise! Remember me? Do I look familiar?"

Isn't the whole point of being a sperm donor: "Fill out a questionnaire, watch a video, do something you'll probably not mention to your mom when she calls and asks: "How was your day? Did you do anything special?" because you're A) Too embarrassed and B) Too old to believe the "going blind" story? 

Then you take the check and run. Two banks: One sperm and one First National and two deposits in one day. And then the day is over. And you move on with life.

I've heard of men being contacted by their adult sperm child and being elated to hear from them. But I could also see why men wouldn't want this to happen.

Now you're married and have kids and a stellar career: A respected pillar of the community. And there you were, eighteen years ago, jerking your way through college...

So once that law was put into place in England, --that donated sperm could meet their donor daddy once they turned eighteen-- of course a lot of men shrank away from donating as quickly as if they'd just sat naked on a glacier, and the free-flowing sperm well dried up.   

So here come these two internet sperm entremanures to drive a seed truck through the law loophole.

They took sperm donors who were supposedly well-screened, including a health screening which I guess was a letter from a doctor confirming that he or she touched their part and it seemed to be a natural color and didn't fall off from some horrible disease.

(I admit, I'm a little skeptical about the documentation presented to the women who got the sperm. I know places on Broadway where, in ten minutes, I could walk out with an ID that proved I was one of Brad Pitt's adopted children... Hey...yummmm...moving on.)

So then the woman looking for some sperm would somehow communicate with the donor and let him know the moment she was ovulating and needed it for her self- insemination.

Then a courier would pick up his sperm while it was still hot off the presses and hand deliver it to the bottomless woman eagerly awaiting on the other side of her front door. 

I mean he probably wouldn't have to ask: "Are you Ms. Steinberg?"

The fact that she was opening her front door naked from the waist down would probably be confirmation enough.

They always tell you when you're dealing with customers at your job, how important it is to make good eye contact. I imagine it's especially important at this courier job.

They probably train the male couriers for weeks before their first delivery by making them take their wives to Hooters for dinner every night.

Personally, I would love that courier job. How many jobs can you hand over a package, say to your customer: "Go F yourself" and receive a generous tip?: "Thanks for the reminder! I'll do my best!"

Listen I gotta go. I hear there's still an ice cream man forty miles south of here who hasn't put his truck into hibernation yet for the winter. I'm going to drive to where he was last seen and sit quietly in my car until I hear his mating song. Oh, please, I've done a lot worse for a fudgicle.    

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow. And if you haven't checked out the articles from our Health Experts in a while, I invite you to do so!  http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=642

Sperming without a License and Sexless Reproduction (Monday)

Okay, so my headline this week sounds like some of the porno spam emails I receive. (Why does everyone want to enlarge my penis? Who says it needs enlarging?) There are a lot of interesting and/or weird stories going on in our little 7.3 million infertile enclave this week.

There's this research into organisms/microorganisms (Do I know the difference? Look---There's my tenth grade biology teacher, Mr. Fields. He's shaking his head "no".)  

Regardless, the article was about these organisms that can choose to reproduce with or without a mate.  Hm... What if we had that choice? Would we still choose to close our eyes and open our mouths? Or would we just leave him there sleeping....looking like road-kill?

We'll discuss this week....   

Then, there are those unlicensed online sperm banks.  It's computer dating for eggs and sperm to meet in a loving, confidential, environment. The women go online and pick a guy's stuff. They can specify if they want the sperm to be tall, dark, and handsome, or blond-haired, blue-eyed; if they want the sperm to be romantic or a college graduate.

Then the woman clicks "Send" and in no time it's hand-delivered directly to her door. (Yeah, it's probably not the kind of thing you'd want your neighbor to sign for.)

Then, you stand at the front door, bottomless, take the package from the courier who's trained to make eye contact with you at all times, then you slam the door in his face, and inseminate yourself in the room of your choice. 

So, two guys who were running one of these cyber-sperm sales events in the UK  just came out of court.

We'll discuss this week.

Then there are a lot of other fascinating tidbits on the infertility news wire which might find their way into Laughing IS Conceivable this week: Military wives making extra money by being repeat surrogates. (Well, they need cash. How many bake sales can you have?)   

A white woman who sued a clinic because she got sperm labeled "Caucasian" but apparently it came from somewhere where "caucasian" doesn't mean white...and her kids aren't. (I said some of these stories were weird.)

And, as for my headline, you're right.  "Sperming" probably isn't a word.  But trust me: When Dr. Phil gets hold of this post, it will become not only a word, but a household word. He alone has the power to do for "sperming" what he did for "parent"... ("It's not just a noun, it's also a verb.")

Listen I gotta go. I have to explain to my husband why I said he looks like a dead raccoon on the side of the highway when he sleeps. (Quick, somebody suggest something.) I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Statistics Shmastistics (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. It's the Friday before a long weekend. You're not really planning to do any work today anyway are you? Do you really want to be known as the company kiss-ass? Who says peer pressure ends at twelfth grade?) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How statistically challenged I am, fertility-speaking. Right.  My ovaries were about to celebrate their 41st birthday when they first saw the light of a Reproductive Endocrinologist's probe.

True, the statistics were stacked against me:

There was only a remote chance I was going to get pregnant using my own eggs.

But a 1 in 4 chance I would fall and break a hip trying to hoist myself onto the examination table.

There was a slim chance I'd ever give birth to a baby.

But a 1 in 3 chance that, by the time the baby was 2, he or she would have more teeth than I did.

But you know what? There was that now-infamous study in the mid-'80's stating that the probability of a single, white, college educated woman getting married past age 35 was 5%.

And, as Newsweek added:  At age 40 that same woman "would have a better chance of being killed by a terrorist" than of ever getting married. 

So, here I was, a 37 1/2 year old single white, Jewish, college educated woman, living in NYC at the time of 9-11.

But I ask you (and Newsweek if they're listening): What are the probabilities that a straight woman would meet her straight future husband at a gay Chanukah party?

And what are the statistics on neither of them, each pushing 39, having never been married before?

And what are the numbers on neither of them having had children before?

And what is the likelihood that he would be exactly nine days older than she?

And what are the odds that at age 42 she would have kids with her own eggs?

And what are the stats on them being born from frozen embryos? 

Yeah, so, where the hell was Newsweek when all of this was going on?

The answer in it all can be found, obviously in the NY Mets.  (There's a segue for ya. Sorry for the whiplash.)

My friend Kathy Foronjy made a great documentary about my people: NY Mets baseball fans, called "Mathematically Alive".

For those of you non-diehard baseball fans, the title refers to this: As the baseball season progresses, and your team continues to suck, you start to realize that they may not be able to ever catch up to the team that's in the lead of your division.

So then, refusing to accept what seems to be inevitable to everyone else, you get out your pencil, paper, and calculator and you crunch those numbers.

"Okay, so if Atlanta loses the next three games, and the Phillies win one but lose the next six, and Washington loses one but wins eight, and the Mets win every game but one between now and September....The Mets will win the division!

So, they're not statistically in great shape.........but they are definitely "Mathematically Alive".

So, for all of you old broads out there, or those who have blockages or PCOS or too high this or extremely low that and whose doctor, sister-in-law and the loser who sits next to you at work have thrown statistics at you left and right:

Yes, be informed and then do what ya gotta....and remember, in 2006, even though it was late in my season, I won my division.

Listen I gotta go. I've got to find some new statistics to throw in somebody's face.

Statistics Shmastistics (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. My blog is like "Dances with the Stars": It's so complex, if you don't follow it from the beginning, you'll be forever befuddled.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How I had entered into the world of fertility treatments oh so innocently. It was like that ad for the New York State Lottery: "All you need is a dollar and a dream".

That's what I thought fertility treatments would be for me. I expected to see the billboard as I got off the elevator to the clinic:

"All You Need Is Twenty Thousand Dollars and A Dream" 

Little did I know that at 41, I was not quite what the doctor ordered to boost his success rates.

Yesterday I quoted some statistics from Resolve.org. At 41, I was on the short end of most of them. So I did the only sensible thing: I went into a deep, but gloriously happy, denial. 

"Infertility affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. This figure represents 12% of women of childbearing age"

2.5% higher than the national unemployment rate! That's me in that VIP sorority.  You go girl! 

"A couple ages 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month"  

Yeah yeah, 29, 33, whatever whatever... Everyone knows women are only getting to their sexual peak at that age...Eight years later, I'm such hot stuff, they'll be impregnating me left and right. 

I don't need a donor sperm and still there are guys lined up around the block just aching to give me some.

The most recently available statistics indicate the live birth rate per fresh non-donor embryo transfer is 28%.

Okay, so they put four of those in me and none of them took. And everyone says that frozen embryos have even a lower success rate.

But that's for the average infertile woman I'm sure.

I've been building up to this my whole life. My innards have been in training to thrive in these sub zero temperatures. 

Sure, some of these other women are probably physically fit, but how many of them have actually subsisted on frozen Stouffer's macaroni and cheese and Haagen Dazs since the early '80's? 

Approximately 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures. Fewer than 3% need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

There I am again in an elite group. People are going to say I'm a snob. I mean, look, anybody can take some pills or have surgery.

But only a real woman can get her husband to travel on a NYC subway clutching a specimen cup, (his own personal "aquarium" if you will) under his jacket.

(I'm sure it happens every day on the NYC subway. And less than 1/10 of 1%; fewer than 1 in 10 million having anything even remotely to do with IVF.)

Listen I gotta go. I have to floss. I have a very deep cavity in one of my molars and a couple of M & M's went missing about an hour ago. It's like a dental Bermuda Triangle....Bad for the gums, good for weight loss though.    

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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

So what were we talking about? Oh right. The study done to see if teens who had been conceived via IVF were any different than those who had been conceived the "normal" way: With a little alcohol and the promise of forever. PS. Yes, they're equally obnoxious. End of study. In other infertility news: You may have heard that the Octo-mom and her doctor are planning to take over reality TV:  She with her own show and he on the eleven o'clock news.

You remember the original issues we all had with this doctor. Yeah, yeah, he took this single lady who appears to be nuts and implanted her about a million times. She had six kids, then she had eight more, now she has a reality show...

I mean this is Beverly Hills. I've heard of people addicted to plastic surgery; but in vitro fertilization? All in all, after the first slew of children, she probably should have just had a tummy-tuck and called it a day... Whatever whatever...Old news.

But now there are apparently a few other minor incidents revolving around her doctor which have come to light: Notably, a forty-eight year old woman in whom he implanted seven embryos.

I don't know how unhealthy that itself is, but can you imagine a sixty year old with seven pre-teens? The price of her IVF should include a lifetime standing reservation at the local asylum. (If only to drown out the chorus of hourly chants of "Why do I always have to go seventh?!")

So the medical community is outraged. The public is outraged...Could this man ask for better publicity?

There are literally millions of people searching desperately to make their conception dreams come true and here's this guy who can't stop getting  women pregnant...very pregnant. 

And you don't get any news bulletins running across the bottom of your TV screen when they don't get pregnant, so it seems like his success rate is 100%.

I wouldn't be surprised if he leaked these stories himself--like Madonna. If, when this seven embryo story dies down, you hear he's dating A-Rod, you'll know I'm right.

And he still has his license. And he still has his website. Which, oddly enough, still lists The American Society for Reproductive Medicine under "Resources" even though he's been expelled from it. He could at least have the decency to put an asterik, like this: ASRM*.

*Although you might not want to use my name.

I actually think that's damned magnanimous of him. I think of places I've been fired from. I wouldn't recommend any of them on my website.

Even on my resume, next to the name of the company, where the "Dates of Employment" ordinarily go, I've written: ("Yeah, I used to work for those MF's.")

Listen, I gotta go. We're having a neighborhood sock wash this weekend and I have to start sniffing to see what's clean and what's too dirty to be washed in public. I live in a very exciting town.

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

So what were we talking about? Oh right. What's going on on The Infertility Channel. Yesterday we discussed "Fertility Tourism". Couples who travel Europe with a map of the best five star fertility clinics under their arm. Also in the news: There was a recent Dutch study of kids who had been conceived via IVF who were now teenagers. Researchers wanted to know if there were any marked  differences in the mental health between teens who had been conceived naturally versus those via IVF. What they found is that:

Teens who had been conceived through in vitro felt more comfortable around medical personnel, liked the feel of latex gloves against their skin,  liked to be in the public eye ("under the microscope")...

Liked extreme cold; asked loved ones to put on a lab coat before hugging them...

Didn't mind being away from their parents for two to five days at a time, were turned on by hospital smells, and enjoyed dates in cozy places made of glass.

Unlike "regular" teens, they were not annoying or disrespectful, never drove too fast, begged their parents to borrow the car, returned it with no gas, drove 1500 miles with their friends to sleep overnight on a sidewalk to get concert tickets without mentioning that they were going or  blamed their parents for ruining their lives.

Okay, so after months of studies, of course they found, emotionally, no difference between IVF-conceived and naturally conceived teens.

The study didn't get into the social stigma issue of being conceived via IVF. Like having other kids teasing them: "Your mama's so ugly even your daddy wouldn't touch her." "He paid a doctor 15 grand to do it for him."

An earlier study did show an increase in depression and binge-drinking among IVF-conceived teen girls. I think the report got confused. I'm a mother of IVF- conceived multiples. You want to talk about depression and binge-drinking.

Listen I gotta go. My answering machine just picked up and Mel Gibson's leaving a message. This I gotta hear.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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

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

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

There are two types of imaginary pregnant women:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who's To Blame For The Infertile Insane? (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Preferably with a frosty beverage in one hand and a sparkler in the other.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How people, like your spouse, and society, and the medical staff, have conspired with hormones to make you go bonkers during your fertility treatments...

(Ever see the movie "Gaslight" with Ingrid Bergman? It's like that.)

And, of course, there are the bills...

Bad enough you have to go to all of those appointments and be subjected to proby things put up you and blood siphoned out of you.  Stuff injected, swallowed, inserted or shot into you.

Now, on top of all of that: The damn treatments expect to be paid for.

I thought about getting a second job, maybe babysitting. Okay, so, nowadays a babysitter makes, what?  At least, forty dollars a night. 

So, okay. Let's say I worked at my regular job every day and worked overtime every night. And then, afterwards, I babysat. Seven days a week.

I'm sure there are lots of couples headed out to have a date night at eleven on a Tuesday evening. 

So that would be at least  two hundred and eighty dollars a week just from babysitting. At that rate, I could have one round of IVF signed, sealed, and delivered in about ten years. Just from babysitting. Not bad. I could start treatments about three weeks before I turn fifty-two.

Or maybe my husband could set up a lemonade stand outside his office on his lunch break.

Why not? On a NYC corner, he could charge eight dollars a cup and nobody would blink. Nobody would buy, but nobody would blink. Well, tourists might buy. He's cute enough.

And maybe he could wear a thong speedo to bolster business. I suppose that would mean we'd have to do the treatments in the summer. We've gotten this far. No sense taking a chance on frostbiting his boys.

Or maybe we could do a 50/50 raffle. You know. You sell tickets to raise money. You keep half and the winner takes half.

Could get a little hairy if you have twins, though. Even worse with triplets, being that they're not divisible by two.  What in the world am I talking about?

Or we could borrow money from family...Wait, where'd they all just go?

Or we could max out our credit cards...if our credit limits hadn't been dropped from $35,000 to $12.95.

Or we could do a bake sale. How many chocolate chips do you need to make $200,ooo worth of cookies? I'll probably need to buy a bigger bowl.

Or we could sell stuff on e-bay. If I can find a way to market old crap as nostalgia.

Or we could barter. I have a degree in Foreign Languages. Do you know any Reproductive Endocrinologists who could use $20,000 worth of Spanish lessons? (I think I might have to throw in a Senorita.)

So, the moral for this week: If you're dealing with infertility- The diagnosis, and/or treatments, and you're worried that you're losing your mind. Don't worry. You are.  We all are. Abnormality is the norm.

Listen, I gotta go. I smell steak barbecuing somewhere within a six mile radius. I've gotta grab a bottle of A1 and hunt it down. If you could see my nose, you'd know I wasn't kidding. I'll talk with ya on Tuesday.

Who's To Blame For The Infertile Insane? (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Hey, ...If you were good enough to show up for work on the Thursday before a holiday weekend, you pretty much can create your own agenda for the day.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. How society is to blame for all ills and evils on the planet including, but not limited to, our infertility issues and subsequent loss of mind.

It's also possible that some of our nuttiness can be attributed to not only people but things as well. "Hormones" comes to mind.

I mean, you know how you don't feel quite like yourself around PMS time?

Maybe you feel a little off-balance, or spacy, or irritable or like you want to choke everyone in your path and punch them in the face until they stop yapping at you?

Well, so here we are: A group who has been diagnosed, tested, and probed to death.

Been prodded and annoyed by friends, neighbors, coworkers, relatives, and your random yenta on the street.

Gone through loss of money, friends, self-esteem and ultimately, our minds.

All we need now are 250 IU's of hormones coursing through our bloodstream at 80 MPH on a nightly basis to finish us off.

And this season's fashion trend will be a straight jacket. All of the upscale infertility patients will be wearing them (over their opening-goes-in-the-front examination gowns I suppose). 

So there I was, about four months into treatments and handling everything as well as could be expected. Translation: My straight jacket was coming apart at the seams. Then it happened. 

I had had three failed go-rounds with IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination). I switched clinics and Dr. Wiseacre at the new facility insisted I take a fourth journey into the IUI unknown.  Cutting to the chase: I was prescribed a few hormones too many.

Then there was "Steven". (I may as well take the quotation marks away because that's his name): My coworker, my friend. Yes, he was a little nit-picky at work about rules and cleanliness. But I adored him.

A Pre-IUI-hormone overdose conversation:

Steven: "Lori, you're really not supposed to eat at your desk."

Lori: "I know."

In the throes of my hormone high: 

Steven: "Lori you're really not supposed to eat at your desk."

Lori: "What's it to you? Why don't you mind your own business?! Who are you? You're nobody. You're just this pain in the ass who always has to be up everybody else's ass.

(He heads to his desk with an urgent gait. I stalk behind.)

What do you even do here anyway? Do you have a job? Do you even work here? You don't ever seem to do anything but irritate people!

So what if I eat at my desk? What's it to you? I'd better never catch you eating at your desk!"     

I waved my granola bar within millimeters of his face, having visions of beating him to death with it and stuffing his body in the trunk of his car.

The poor guy. Even in my damaged mental state, I could see he was mentally debating whether to call security or just pee himself.

Listen I gotta go. I'm going to run down to Mexico to get some fireworks for this weekend. Oh, I can get them at Wal-mart? I didn't know. I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

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Who's To Blame For the Infertile Insane? (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. You're headed for a three day week end. Why wait for the last minute to slack off?) So what were we talking about? Oh right. The fact that we all lose our minds just a little bit during infertility and its treatments. We're sad. We're angry. We're impatient. We're frustrated. We're stressed beyond stressed out. And someone must be to blame. (Not us. Clearly, not us.)

In yesterday's post, I tried to lay blame on my-- husband, partner in life, "So You Think You Can Dance" buddy,  fellow fondler, groping chum...whatever title is politically correct this week. And I failed miserably.

As much as I'd have liked it to be, I realized that it's not his fault that I had to go through millions of tests, thousands of appointments, and endless hours of  anxiety. But now I know whose fault it really is: 


Society is to blame for everything bad: Drugs, child abuse, premarital sex, teenage sex,  sex on the rides at Disneyland, plastic wrap that won't untwist, war, poverty, constipation, pollution, crocs, lousy schools, prostitution, thong underwear, NASCAR, the oil spill in the gulf, chin hair and tsunamis:  So why not our infertility woes? (Stay tuned. If I can't pin it on them, I'll try hiphop music next.)

Look at TV. Look at magazines. Everyone wants us to be 5'10, 110 pounds and have kids. But not too many. I'm not sure what the acceptable societal limit is.

When the Octo-mom had hers, everyone went nuts. When the Duggars had their nineteenth or thirtieth or whatever they went really nuts. 

But you definitely can't have "none". That's not allowed.

"Don't you want a baby? If you don't have one, you'll regret it. Like not going to your senior prom. Or college. Or not finishing college. Or not going back to college.

Or not taking that job. Or taking that other job.

Or not marrying that guy. Or marrying that guy.

Or moving. Or not moving sooner.

Or not becoming a nurse or a dancer or a methodist or a proctologist or a lacto-vegetarian. Mark my words: You'll regret it."

And you definitely aren't allowed to have only one child.

"What's the matter with you? Don't you want to give your child a sibling? You know what happens to only child /childs/children, don't you?" 

"My husband's cousin's mother was an only child. She wasn't potty trained until high school and she ran off with a drummer when she was thirty-six."

And you can't have more than four kids; five only if you absolutely have to. 

But at five, you're stretching it. (A pun of sorts.) People start to lose patience with you:

"Can you afford five children? Do you need five children? You know my taxes are paying for those children. Maybe you should buy a DVD. You really need something else to do in bed."

So, if society isn't responsible for our insanity, it's at least partly to blame for our infertility blahs, blues, and blechs.

Listen I gotta go. I want to have a big barbecue this weekend and I've got to go light a fire under my husband... So he'll get the barbecue ready...What did you think I meant?

Who's To Blame For The Infertile Insane? (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. You'd better do it. This week is about going nuts. If you don't read every word, people will know it's because you think I mean you.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How the only way to ever improve yourself as a human being is to blame all of your shortcomings on others.

I'm setting out this week to point the finger of blame at those responsible for our infertility insanity. So, here's the question at hand: 

"Who deserves the finger?"

The Partner

Frankly, I never cared for that expression: "Partner". It always reminds me of "Howdy Pardner" which makes me feel like my husband and I should be lassoing something on the Ponderosa.

It also sounds completely un-romantic. I've had bridge partners, tennis partners and business partners. Never slept with any of 'em. Unless you count...nevermind.

I prefer to slightly modify the title and introduce my husband to people as my groping partner.

It gives people a vivid visual into the true nature of our relationship, while allowing me to stare at their throat to see how well they control their gag reflex.

Anyway, whatever you call that person you nibble at night, they're the one to blame for your infertility insanity.  

I'll never question the amount of angst that men feel during infertility...no matter who in the relationship is diagnosed as infertile.

But if the woman has "the problem", he will likely remain sane... while she goes diving head first into Lake La La.

On Day One, my husband and I were both sent for tests. Mine entailed holding my urine for several hours. His entailed visiting the dark room at the way, way, back of the video store.   

Medical professionals encouraged him to let it out with a smile on his face. They encouraged me to hold it in with a painful wince on mine.

I spent the morning with John, the cold-handed tech who ran red dye #2 up my fallopians, through my small intestine, under my lungs, and out my eye sockets. (I think his degree was from the University of Mapquest).

My husband spent his morning with his two new best friends: Booby Brown and her magician pal Davida Coppafeel. (He wouldn't tell me if she really did magic or just tricks.) 

He then returned to the clinic with the fruits of his "labor" and waited while somebody tossed his cupful (or maybe half a cupful) under a microscope.

My diagonosis:  "Your tubes are clear.  Let's schedule another dozen or so tests to see what else could possibly be very wrong with you."

His diagnosis:  "These are the most perfect sperm I've ever seen in my life. They're handsome, virile, athletic."

So I'm whipping out my calendar, and trying to figure out how I'm going to stop my life for several weeks for my next battery of tests.

While all around me my husband's sperm are high-fiving each other, having just been inducted into the clinics's Sperm Hall of Fame.

We had entered the fertility clinic for the first time in our lives on a Monday morning.

By Tuesday afternoon, my husband's internal parts had been cleared of all charges of wrongdoing, thus completing their commitment to the infertility program.

As promised when we initially signed all of the paperwork, he received his sanity back as he passed through the clinic door. 

And all eyes turned back to me.

So maybe it's not actually the partner's fault that we go nuts and they don't. 

And, truth be told, if the infertility treatments are going to land me in a mental institution, I probably should have a designated driver to take me there.  

Listen I gotta go: I've got to get some gel. It's 98 humid degrees here and  my hair's about to take over the neighborhood.

Who's To Blame For The Infertile Insane? (Monday)

Last week I touched upon how we all start infertility treatments as relatively sane people and shortly thereafter go bonkers. I alluded to the fact that the fertility clinics themselves, were to blame for us going nuts. 

Don't get me wrong. I love fertility clinics. I mean,  so many doctors around the Country have been so generous to me and my writing I want to give them all hickeys.

Even though, I've always pictured patients in an insane asylum walking around wearing paper hats and matching booties: Exactly the wardrobe my doctors insisted I wear to attend my egg retrieval.

When you read the posts on online infertility support groups, there are a lot of people crying, hugging, on their very last nerve, beating the hell out of each other with baby dust and forever on the verge of completely flipping out. What a pretty group we are.

Sometimes I think we should be required to wear bumper stickers on our backs like people taking driving lessons. Instead of it saying "Student Driver" it might say: "IVF Patient".

They both provide those in close proximity with the same warning. "Stay back. Stay way way back. This person is not responsible for her actions. This person could lose total control at any moment."

When you see that "Student Driver" bumper sticker what do you do? Switch lanes. Get away as fast as you can.

The same could apply to the "IVF Patient" in the supermarket. People would hurry to switch aisles and check-out lines. You'd see shopping cart skid marks all over the place.

"No, that's okay. I know I'm only buying a bar of soap but I think I'll just go over to line #8 behind the woman with the six screaming kids, two jam packed shopping carts, and an accordion file-ful of coupons.

Yeah, the one with the cashier who's name, according to her name tag is  'Trainee', (I think that's French). Yes, her: The one who can't seem to master the art of finding the end on a roll of receipt tape and who is waiting for 'the key'. Don't worry. Yeah, yeah, I'll be fine."  

But the beautiful thing is that our insanity, our nuttiness, is never our fault. Or, at least, most of our actions have a good explanation behind them.

I look at infertility treatments as a door. We're pushing, with all of our might, on that door: The door perhaps to our future.

Well, now our screws are loose and we're becoming unhinged. And somebody is responsible!

This week, let's explore exactly who or what is indeed responsible. I mean it's not us. No, of course it's not us. What a silly notion.

Listen I gotta go. I'm incredibly messy, always late for everything, and can't wrap a present to save my life. While I'm at it, I may as well figure out who's to blame for ALL of my shortcomings.  

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You Have Entered:"The Infertility Zone" Doo Doo Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo Doo (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. This week is a take on "The Twilight Zone" and you know how lost you are if you come in twenty minutes into an episode.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. You walk into this fertility clinic. It may be in your own city. It may be in your own neighborhood. But it's like you just stepped onto another planet.

They look like people you know. You think they speak the same language. 

Then the nurse comes in and then the doctor, and before you know it foreign words start flying around the room:

"Reproductive Endocrinologist (Can I just call you Doc?) Gonal-F. Lupron. Follistim. Progesterone (Hey! That one I've heard of. Yeah for me!) subcutaneous, follicles,  retrieval, Medrol, ICSI, Intrauterine Insemination.

About a half hour into the first meeting, I realized that the last thing I had understood was: "Good morning. Have a seat." 

I turned to my husband and asked: "They're just screwing with us to see if we're serious about this right?"

And, truth be told, nobody said: "Good morning. Have a seat." I believe the nurse's precise words were: "Good morning. How are you today?"

Never being one to leave a rhetorical question unanswered, I responded: "Apparently infertile, thank you. And you?"  

So, you see, there's a specific reason why I thought they might be screwing with us: Payback for being a smartass.   

So there you are, a stranger in this strange land asked to come back a few times a week to visit. That's nice. The medical staff likes you so much they keep inviting you back.

In my hormone-induced + in-denial-about-the-whole-infertility-thing- altered-state, I could see me getting all confused and treating it like a job interview:

"Yeah, I think they really liked me! They want to see me again tomorrow!"

Or maybe I thought I was being invited to a glorious beach party with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Yeah, I think I'll wear my pink tankini to my egg retrieval.

You're prescribed all kinds of drugs you've never heard of and instructed to inject some of them into yourself: Making you feel like the love child of a guinea pig and a pin cushion. 

Your husband, spouse, partner, lover- whatever you call him in public- is sent into a room ten steps away from the waiting room and told to fall madly in love with a plastic cup.

Who wouldn't feel like they had just entered: "The Infertility Zone"?

Listen, I gotta go. I have a coupon for a free massage that expires at midnight...or whenever the man who issued it falls asleep on the couch watching the Sci-Fi channel.

I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

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My Private Infertility: Trying to Keep Everyone's Nose Out Of My Uterus- Tuesday

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I know what you're thinking. "I hated Monday. I thought it would never end. Now this chick wants me to relive it?" Yeah, I do. But just for a few minutes.) So, what were we talking about? Oh, right. I was about to introduce you to my new line of board games specifically designed to get people out of your infertility business and back where they belong: On their couches dipping chips and watching whatever's taken the place of "Dances with the Stars".

The first game in the series is called: "The 25 Cent Privacy Pyramid". It's the ghetto-bargain basement-trailer park version of the $25,000 Pyramid game show: You list things and the other contestant, your nosy opponent, has to figure out what everything on the list has in common.

Here's an example:

My Endometriosis

My Irregular Periods

My Husband's Sperm Count

The Number Of Home Pregnancy Tests I've Taken

Nosy Opponent: "Things That Are None Of My Business?"

 Me: "Right! You're great at this game!" Okay, let's try another one.

My Mood Swings

My Rocky Relationship with My Husband

My Taking Out A Second Mortgage to Pay for IVF

My Three Cutesy Pregnant Coworkers

Nosy Opponent: "I know! I know! 'Things That You Don't Want To Talk About!'"

Me: "Good answer! 'Things That Are None Of Your Business' would also have been an acceptable response.'" On to the next round!

Making Dinner

Calling Your Husband To See If He's Really At Work This Time

Mowing Your Lawn

Seeking Fresh Breath

Picking Up Your Kids From School

Tightening Up Those Thigh Muscles

Nosy Opponent: "Things That I Should Be Doing Instead Of Standing Here Wasting Your Time?"

Me: Yes! "Things That Are Your Business" would also have been an acceptable response. 

Learning a Foreign Language

Watching Football

Playing Golf

Squeezing My Husband

Writing Something Humorous

Sticking One Of My Needles In My Eye

Almost Anything Else

Nosy Opponent: "Things You'd Rather Be Doing Than Standing Here Dodging My Awkward Questions?"

Me: On the nose! "'Things That Are None Of Your Business' would also have been an acceptable answer.

Thank you for playing today's  25 cent Privacy Pyramid and remember, most of the time it's None of Your Business! 

Listen, I gotta go. The ice cream man's coming down the block and I'm a dime short. I'd better go change into something low-cut. I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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The Fertility Clinic's Medical Team (Or “Cast Of Characters”): Whichever You Prefer-Friday

(Start with “Monday” if you can. Tell your supervisor that having a ‘blog reading’ period on “Casual Fridays” has been clinically proven to boost employee morale. He’ll appreciate your proactiveness...proactivity...being proactional) So what were we talking about? Oh right. The medical assistant from Hades. (No, I didn’t mean the country with the horrible earthquake. I know what I’m talking about.)

I’ve talked a lot this week about medical and non-medical staff at the fertility clinic and my interactions with them.

But the one staff member who intrigued me most was someone with whom I had no contact whatsoever:                      "The Sperm Collector".

 Well that's what I called him anyway. I know that title makes it sound like he has dozens of samples from all over the world mounted in a glass frame on his den wall. I certainly hope he doesn't.

The young man who worked at my clinic had his desk front and center outside the donation door waiting for the man inside to complete his task. He sat there patiently reading a magazine (although unlike, I imagine, the ones on the other side of the door, his magazine looked fresh and unmangled).

He sat there reading away. So nonchalant. As though someone was in there baking and would, in a moment, fling the door open and hand him a plate of brownies.

I can understand the sounds from within not bothering him. He lived in NYC. I lived in NYC.

The walls in a NYC apartment are so thin you feel like you're in bed with everyone in the building.

You take sides on their spats, you know what their kids have for breakfast, you know what pets they hide when the landlord comes by.

But why does his desk have to be right there? I think if I were that man in the room, trying to accomplish, I would want him sitting across the street.   

Is he there because they had no where else in the office to put his massive one-drawer desk? Or to make sure nobody tries to barge in on the contributor?

Who would have something so vital to tell the man that it couldn't wait? His wife. 

“Aren’t you done yet?  I have a hair appointment at two. It never takes this long when you’re with me.” 

Most likely the Sperm Collector is posted there in case the man's a klutz. If the hand-off takes place right outside the door, it won't give the guy much of an opportunity to spill his future on his shoes.  

See, if I were a guy giving at the office, I wouldn't want a woman to be the Sperm Collector. And I certainly wouldn't want her right outside the door. What pressure. Yet another female waiting for him to perform.   

I guess the man contributing would have to forget that there’s a woman waiting outside the door.

And the female Sperm Collector would have to forget that in his mind, she might be filling in for a lack of imagination.

If the poor guy emerges with only a few drops in the cup, a male Sperm Collector could empathize: "Yeah I know. I have sucky aim too."

While the female Sperm Collector would probably say: "What am I supposed to do with this? I ask you to do one thing. One thing. Is that too much to ask? Do I have to do everything myself?" 

Listen, I gotta go. I'm going to buy a huge beach tube to put around my waist in the pool. It's easier than dieting and exercising.  I'll talk with ya Monday.

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