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

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

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

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

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

What IF:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See "Edy's" comment above.

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

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

 

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Laughing IS Conceivable: Not Just for Infertility Anymore

(The original "Ted Talks")

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Infertile Women on Spring Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And how about a few hands of Progesterone Poker?:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valentine's Day: Finally: The Perfect Holiday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by! I hope you feel just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense- take a look at my own Infertility / IVF /FET "adventure" recommended by top fertility professionals across the U.S. -Available on Amazon / Nook / Kobo  https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Year-in-Review

January:

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

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

February

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

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

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

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

 

Expect to have Holiday Expectations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, remember:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Infertility at Work- at the Company Holiday Party

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

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

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

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

Or our response:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Infertility Writing is as bad as Infertility Living

People love to say that history repeats itself. I don't love to say it, but I'm living proof. (In about 3 minutes, you'll find out why I've lately grown to hate the word "proof"'s guts.) I went through my own infertility adventure a while ago. Suddenly I find myself going through it again... without really going through it.

I dealt with trying to get pregnant naturally for a year after we got married. Call me old fashioned, but it never occurred to me to try a year before we got married. I imagine it would have been a bad idea anyway since I only met my husband ten months before we got married. Anyhoo...

Once I called a fertility clinic and they heard that I was almost 41, they sent an ambulance to my house with sirens blaring to escort me to my first appointment. In fact, because of my elderliness, everything about my treatments was kind of aggressive and at warp speed.. like them tossing in 4 embryos at each transfer. So this is why I started writing it all down- to unclog my brain. Anybody who goes through fertility treatments knows how overwhelming it is to go from your regular life to one that routinely includes blood tests, hormones, injections and a million other weird and scary things... and then mine was also sped up. The belief was that I didn't have years- maybe not even months- to get pregnant, so it was pressure on pressure. I spent most days in a hormone-induced pressure cooker: Every hour or so I would take a break from crying just so I could make time for freaking out. So I started jotting down notes and creating Word documents in an attempt to center myself like how my fellow psychopaths were given basket weaving classes and adult coloring books in prison. (I also made sure my computer screen was always clean so I could see my husband's reflection should he ever come up behind me with a scarf or a knife.)

Okay, now we're years later. I'm in the menopause zone and I've decided to make those notes which became an eBook into a paperback. More hormones and more pressure. Years have gone by and once again, I'm a human hand grenade. This time, instead of needles, doctors, and meds, it's margins, proofs, and fonts. Writing about infertility back then helped my infertility stress but it's not doing a thing for my publishing stress. Once again, you can set your clock by my meltdowns. (This past weekend we set the clocks back one hour leaving me plenty of time to squeeze in an extra meltdown.)

"The spacing isn't right! Why does the cover look like that?! It's too many pages! It's not enough pages! Is it getting hot in here or is it just me? What's a mirror margin?! How do I embed a font?! Hey, did you hear the one about the font that was embed with the margin?"

My poor husband: Oktoberfest ended and Nutfest is still in full (mood) swing.

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The eBook is on sale ($3.99 USD) for November (Amazon, Nook, & Kobo). The paperback will be available also at a special price on Amazon & Createspace in a week or two- (And, depending on how it goes, the last page will either be a lovely comment by Dr. Spencer Richlin- from RMA Connecticut or my suicide note.)    https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

Halloween IVF- (Is Very Frightening-Ooooh!)

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

Read on... if you daaaaare.

"The Vanishing Fertility Patient"

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

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

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

"The Tale of the Odd Triplet"

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

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

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

One was... a red head...

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

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

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

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

"The Old Yenta and Her Sink Full of Knives"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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Hurricane IVF- Just Another Storm to Weather

Hurricanes & IVF: The similarities are endless. It looks like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia... the whole gang will mercifully spare our area. Last year, we weren't quite as lucky with good ol' Matthew, the bastard. I dedicate this post from last October to those caught in the devastation of these hurricanes  and / or the horrors of September 11, 2001... and as always... the suckiness of infertility. Whoever came up with the idea of building houses in North Carolina that run solely on electrical power must have been out of their minds....  So here I am in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, sitting in my dark bedroom for the second day, staring at my TV, not watching my football game that, according to my blank clock on the cable box, started without me, waiting for a team of strangers lurking somewhere out there in the night to flip a switch, duck tape a wire hanger to a post or super glue something so I could get on with my life.

 

What if what they're doing doesn't work and they have to start all over again? What if the person working on my case, isn't the right one for my situation and doesn't know what they're doing? What if what they think is the problem turns out not to be the problem at all? What if this goes on for a really long time? What if everyone else around me has their situation resolved and I'm the only one left? Am I supposed to go on with my life as usual as though everything was normal? How can I still go to work, get along with my husband, deal with my friends,  deal with my family (who are a trying group to begin with), have fun, laugh like nothing's wrong... when I'm so emotionally and physically tired and it feels like my whole life is turned upside down?

Waaaaait a minute. This feels eerily familiar.

Didn't I feel just like this while I was going through infertility? Hurricane IVF. I remember it well. 

My Time in The Bathroom:

Hurricane Matthew: My electrical blackout:

Can't flush the toilet. The water comes from a pump that runs on electricity.

Feeling around in the dark to make sure the lid's not down, the seat's not up, and all of my parts are where I've always been led to believe they are. The term "Personal Hygiene" has become highly subjective.

Hurricane IVF: My emotional blackout:

  1. Checking to see if there's any sign of life in my underwear: "Hello? Any unsettling fluids of any amount, shape or color down there?"
  2. Having to pee with a pregnancy test in my hand.  50% of the pee on my hand. 50% on the stick. In my overwrought, hormone-induced state, I invent Pee-on-a-Stick, coming soon to a State Fair near you.

The Detours

My Hurricane Matthew electrical blackout: I head to work. Can't go that way, the traffic lights are out and the road is closed. The detour sign takes me to the left. A tree is down. The detour sign takes me to the right. The road is flooded. The detour sign takes me to the left. I drive and drive and drive. No more detours... or detour signs. Where the hell am I?

My Hurricane IVF emotional blackout: I head to work. But first I have to take a detour twelve miles out of the way to the doctors' office for blood tests. Detour over to the histeralalalagososososososogram (HSG for short) test to see if my Fallopian tubes are blocked causing a detour to surgery and/or IVF. Fallopian roads are open and clear. Headed straight to IUI. Didn't work. U-turned back to where I started and went down the same road again. Didn't work. U-turned back to where I started and went down the same road again. Didn't work. U-turned back to where I started and went down the same road again. Didn't work. Took detour to the left and headed toward IVF. Didn't work. Took detour to the right toward the freezer and then a quick left to a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). Success. Finally got to where I was going.

And the moral of the story is: No matter what blackout we're in the midst of, the lights always come back on eventually.

And that light can lead you to all you've been wishing for. Some days that's the family of your dreams. And some days it's a toilet that flushes.

Thanks for stopping by! I truly hope you feel a little bit better than you did when you first got here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter and/or looking at my eBook above. It's been downloaded & recommended by 1000s struggling with infertility as well as top fertility experts around the world. (Comments in "Look Inside") Available on all Amazons, Kobo, & Nook.(newsletter- sign-up at top): http://laughingisconceivable.com  eBook:  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

 

Microblog_Mondays

Autumn of my Fertility- The Suckiest Season

Autumn of my fertility. I admit, it's not quite as exciting as autumn itself. Waking up this morning, I didn't even need to experience the 64 degree temperature first-hand. Just seeing it in the lower left corner of my local TV news was good enough to get me pumped up. Then there was the autumn of my fertility: Getting married at 38 1/2+ and, for an entire year trying to get pregnant naturally by myself (well, not totally by myself. I'm not a complete idiot.)

In both cases, the real autumn and the autumn of my fertility, my heart pounded with anticipation but let's face it: The prospect of pumpkins, hayrides, candy apples, and the state fair is more thrilling than the prospect of emotional, physical, social, and financial devastation. And truth be told, when you're trying to get pregnant on your own (not totally "on your own"-- why do I keep doing that?), you only half think about fertility treatments and you never think what that might entail. Before I ever even considered going to a fertility clinic, I definitely saw images of those elevator doors closing on my motherhood opportunities and me wedging my foot in there to hold them open as long as I could.

But I never really entertained the thought of a never-ending parade of blood tests or constant probes or sticking this in there, or insurance or what to tell my coworkers about why I was switching my schedule... In fact, I think I was kind of in denial about how difficult it was all going to be. Even though I knew conception got a lot harder as you got older, I still just figured I would cuddle with my husband, get pregnant, and then watch the news. I never did ovulation kits, or temperature taking, or special diets. And I never read any of those debilitating statistics about exactly how difficult it could be.  "When you're 28,  the chance of you getting pregnant in the first three months of trying is 1 in 2. At 32, it's 1 in 12. At 38, it's 1 in 1200. At your age, it's 1 in 54 million... Well, that's still better odds than winning Power ball." (Please do not be either encouraged or discouraged by my numbers. Clearly I pulled them out of a spot six inches to the left of where the Progesterone shots went.)

Every fall, we go do a corn maze. We're notoriously terrible at it. They give you a flag if you get lost so you can wave it and the staff will come rescue you.  Throughout the fun-filled afternoon you can hear the sweet sound of wives yelling at their husbands: "We've been in here for 2 hours. Wave the damn flag already!!"

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

***

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Labor Day Pains for the Labor Pain-less

Labor Day is almost upon us again in the US. Okay, so I'm not saying I'm paranoid, but while I was going through infertility and treatments, I always took "Labor" Day as a personal affront to me and my kind. Just another conspiracy to screw with those trying to conceive I think. I mean it's great everyone gets a long weekend off... I know. To all of those who live somewhere where there is a Labor Day, only those trying to conceive could be offended. Most holidays offend us, or at least hurt our feelings. So why should Labor Day be any different? It's just the beginning:

Halloween: Grabby, greedy kids looking for candy.

Thanksgiving: Grabby, greedy kids wanting my turkey leg.

Hanukkah: Grabby, greedy kids wanting gifts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Barbecue!" Yeah, It's my last chance to take the cover off the grill so for the rest of the year I can justify buying a $2700 barbecue by posting the pictures of us in our aprons with the caption: 'We barbecue every summer!'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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School Bus-ted Yet Again... (Part 2)

If you read part 1, you know that school started for my kids three weeks ago and that thus far their "regular"school bus driver was present and accounted for precisely five of those fifteen school days, having taken a smattering of days off, culminating in a full blown week-long scheduled vacation. This leaves me wondering whether announcing that she was our "regular" school bus driver wasn't referring to her bowel habits and not her work habits.

So today she was back from her vacation. Well, maybe she was. She didn't come back to work though. Is she coming back or isn't she? Did she flee to destinations unknown? I have no idea if school bus drivers have many advancement opportunities but I didn't think they had any embezzlement opportunities.

Meanwhile in her absence, my kids' bus route has had various revolving school bus drivers.

Since I stand like a tree stump blocking the roadway while my children cross over to the door side, I can't really describe the different school bus drivers, but I know they're different. It's not that I can see their faces or anything. I'm both quite short and quite near-sighted. But I know that there have been at least four different drivers. Call it my intense Murder She Wrote  and Columbo training, but I've become quite adept at discerning which left arm I see dangling out of that little school bus driver's window. In those scant three weeks, I have already assessed skin tone, tautness... These are my findings:

All of the arms are female. Two are in their mid-thirties. One is in its late forties. Three appear to be Caucasian limbs. One seems to be African American. One has a tattoo of a rose. One does bicep curls. The others do not. And if any of these women injects Heroin, it's not into her left arm.

Hopefully it will never come to that, but I feel I'd be a competent witness in a police line-up: "Could you have #3 roll up her sleeve please? The other one."

All of the school bus drivers do hand signals to my kids designed to tell them when it's safe to cross. I can do the alphabet in American Sign Language. I know all of the official baseball signs; I know all of the official football signs; and I had a bad case of road rage in NYC that lasted thirty years. But I have no idea what the hell these bus shadow puppet signs are supposed to mean. And more important... neither do my kids.

My kids have been instructed that despite the flashing red lights, the flung out stop sign and their mother barricading the roadway with her body, they are to look up to the school bus driver, awaiting her signs that it is safe to cross. So every day, they step off the bus and look up. Okay, she gave the "stop" sign. Okay, that one's clear. Now it gets sketchy. "Thumbs up". Okay, they're good to go. They start to move forward. Wait. No. The stop sign hand goes up again. (Is this woman even directing them or is she just singing along to a Supremes song on the radio?)

"Thumbs up" apparently wasn't the "Okay to move" sign after all. So my kids rock back into their original positions. This is lovely. Traffic is backed-up three blocks deep. I'm standing in the middle of the street facing oncoming traffic- my headlights playing chicken with their headlights- and there are my kids stutter-stepping and rocking back and forth. One looks like he's doing the cha-cha, one looks like a hobby horse, and the other ran up the back of both of them like it's a Three Stooges routine.

***

Join me next week for more on the Bus STOP! saga. If you've enjoyed this post, I know you'll really like my latest little eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End  of School to Back-to-School (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!). Available on all Amazons & Free at the Kindle Library.

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Why I Couldn't Wouldn't Shouldn't Be an IVF Nurse

Not only don't I think all nurses are created equal, I don't think all nurses' jobs are created equal. Even if I could pass all of the medical, scientific stuff (which is highly unlikely), I'd fail miserably at the "bedside manner" stuff. Maybe I could slide by as an emergency room nurse where you see the person, then they leave. Or at a doctor's office where you take blood pressure and temperature, ship them off to the doctor, then they leave. But never an IVF nurse. You take their blood and they leave. Then a few days later they come back. Then a few days later, they come back. Then a few days later, they come back. You've surely heard the expression: "Familiarity breeds contempt". I can't think of a place that contempt would breed faster for me than at a fertility clinic. I was a fertility clinic patient for a year. I would have no patience for those patients. It was hard enough to be me, now I'd have to deal with me?

The IVF nurse, in my humble opinion, is the heart and soul of the fertility clinic. I went to two different clinics over my infertility "career/stint/nightmare", and in each of them, the nurses talked me down off of my hysterical ledges, answered my questions that I asked over and over like a savantless idiot, and showed me repeatedly how to give myself the stomach shots because I kept zoning out at the word "subcutaneous". They escorted me from the waiting room every time during the day, and then called me every evening to give me my new instructions. And when I called the doctor and left a message, I can count on zero fingers how many times it was the doctor who called me back.

I really appreciate all the doctors do, but ninety percent of the time, it was the nurses I was dealing with. In fact, sometimes I'd be assuming the position on the table and the doctor would float in and out. Later, the nurse would ask me: "Which doctor did you see today?" To which I'd respond:

"I have no idea. I don't have any eyes where he or she was looking."

(A few times, I felt like a car with the hood up. You don't see the mechanic's face, you just feel their fingers tinkering.)

Dealing with emotionally wrecked, hormonally challenged patients day in and day out? Not for me, Sista. The first time a patient acted like I did, that would be it. I'd search the appointment schedule every day for her name.

"Oh Debbie Johnson is coming in Tuesday at 10:15? Good to know. Can I have Tuesday off? Oh. Then, can I at least take an early lunch?"

After I got to know each patient intimately, as an IVF nurse, I would be highly efficient if not highly compassionate:  "Okay, I'm getting ready to take some blood here. 'Whiner', you're up. 'Irritating Neurotic', you're next and 'Asks-a-question-and-then-talks-over-me-while-I'm-answering', you're after her. When I call your label, come in, sit down, put your arm out and don't say a word. I'm interested if your vein moves, not your mouth."

Yeah, I missed my calling alright.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please join my monthly newsletter & take a look at my little eBook. It's been downloaded by 1000s looking to find laughter during their infertility adventure. (Comments by top fertility professionals around the US in "look inside") Available on all Amazons, Nook, & Kobo.  

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Messy Kids: Maybe They're Just Born That Way

Messy kids. I have three of them and I might know why. I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not a tidy person. I don't like to look around and see things in disarray. I don't like an unmade bed or dirt, filth, or grime, but I'm naturally a messy person. People who are messy like to say: "I'm messy, but not dirty. There's a difference." I agree. There is a difference, and I'm both.

I've been married to my husband for 13 1/2 years and I have no idea if he's messy or not. It's because no matter how messy he might be, I'll always out-mess him. He always cracks before I do. If there are dishes in the sink or a pile of newspapers on the counter, he can't take it before I can't take it. My "can't take it anymore" threshold is disturbingly high for mess. So this is the example I'm setting for my triplets.

I've been observing them for eleven years now. What I've witnessed is perfectly natural. I just haven't decided whether they're naturally messy kids or naturally lazy kids.

My daughter will come from playing outside and attempt to lie on my bed. I'll yell the signal: "Dirty clothes!" She'll take them off, drop them onto the floor and step over them en route to getting clean clothes to put on. Did I mention that the clean clothes she gets are usually stacked neatly on the dryer in the laundry room six inches from the dirty clothes basket? So that tank top you just dumped on my floor... was it too heavy to take with you?

Both daughters have a way of leaving things where they lay. If they're playing a board game on the floor now, that's where you'll find it tomorrow. If one day my husband and I simultaneously collapse somewhere in my house, we'd better drag ourselves to somewhere dignified before we die, because that's where the messy kids are going to leave us for all eternity.

My son is the best of the bunch. His messy disasters are confined to two categories: Edible and Wearable. Yeah, he's a lovely child, but everyone agrees you can't look anywhere near him when he eats. He doesn't discriminate. It can be peanut butter, chocolate, tomato sauce... The boy can't eat a Tic-Tac neatly. Clearly this is not a picture of my messy kid above. I couldn't find one of an eleven year old. Every time he eats, he needs a bib for his whole body which still wouldn't save his hands, face, ears or glasses. As for the wearable mess-- He doesn't leave stuff laying around the house like his sisters, he just has a dirty clothes moat surrounding his bed. I'm sure some child psychologist would tell me it makes him feel comforted when he sleeps like he's back in the womb. Or maybe it's a home security tactic. If anyone breaks into his room in the middle of the night, he's hoping they'll either kill themselves tripping over the mounds of t-shirts and underwear or they'll just open his door and the stench will drive them back into the hallway. Screw his sisters in the neighboring bedrooms.

But like I said: This whole messy / laziness messy kids thing might be inherited. I have rows and rows of empty bottles on my sink because I'm too lazy to throw them in a bag to recycle.

 

So when the kids come into my bathroom to grab sunscreen every morning before camp, I have to say my morning mantra to each of them:

"Not that one, it's empty. No, that one's empty too. The one behind it... to the left. Not the right. That one's empty."

****

Thanks for visiting! If you'd like more laughs at your /my kids' expense, please join my monthly newsletter & check out my new edition eBook for parents of school aged kids right now at this time of year!: "  Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School.

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Infertility & Money: The Day My Uterus became a Money Pit

IVF, well, fertility treatments in general, as most of us know all too well, are costly: Emotionally, physically, and well... monetarily. Ah, infertility & finances. Infertility & money. 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.

Infertility & Money & babysitting

When I was going through IVF, I thought about getting a second job, maybe babysitting. How can watching someone else's kids not be a fun and rewarding experience when you've been desperately trying to get pregnant for two years with no sign of success? (Actually, we all know certain kids--- spending a few hours with them might make you forget the whole thing.)

Okay, so, nowadays a babysitter makes, what?  At least, forty dollars a night.

Laughing IS Conceivable

So, okay. Let's say I worked at my regular job every day and worked overtime every night. And then, afterwards, I babysat. Every night. 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'd be ready to start treatments three weeks before I turn fifty-two.

Infertility & Money & a lemonade stand

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. And maybe he could wear a thong bikini bottom to bolster business. (Like the young women selling hot dogs, roadside in South Florida used to...That is... until the old women complained their husbands were putting on too much weight... and crashing their cars due to distracted driving.)

Infertility & Money & family (a very short paragraph)

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

Infertility & Money & Amex

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

Infertility & Money & a bake sale

Or we could do a bake sale. How many chocolate chips do you need to make $20,000 worth of cookies? I'll probably need a bigger bowl.

Infertility & Money & online shopping

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

Infertility & Money & whoring my BA

Or we could barter. I have a degree in Foreign Languages. Do you know a Reproductive Endocrinologist who could use $20,000 worth of Spanish lessons?

So, the moral for this week is the moral for every week on this blog: If you're dealing with infertility in general or IVF in specific: The diagnosis, the treatments, and on top of all that... the financial issues... and you're worried that you're losing your mind. Don't worry. You are.  We all are. With infertility: Abnormality is the norm.

(If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense: Please check out my little eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. 66 Reviews/  4.5 stars from people who don't know me from a hole in the wall. 

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ Also available on Nook & Kobo.) (cover above)

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you arrived.

 

Infertility Busy Bodies - You Know, Family, Friends

So last week was sort of an introduction to infertility with a few terms and definitions sprinkled in among my usual smart ass remarks. http://laughingisconceivable.com/infertility-virgins/ This week, let's discuss "Infertility Busy Bodies, You know, Family & Friends etc" in other words-- those who deserve smart ass remarks.

Besides dealing with the medical side of infertility- the drugs, the tests, the doctors- and the emotional side of infertility- the stress, the sadness, the fear- there's also the social side of infertility: What to tell. How much to tell. Whom to tell. When to tell.  First there's the sense of obligation. "I have to tell him. He's my husband."  "I have to tell her. She's my sister." "I have to tell her. She's my mother." "I have to tell her. She's my best friend." Some of us even extend our sense of obligation from the reasonable to the ludicrous: "I have to tell her. She's my coworker. I work with her every day." "I have to tell her. She's my neighbor. I see her at the mailbox every day." "I have to tell him. I've been going on his line at the supermarket every week for five years."

As far as I'm concerned, there are three categories of people in our lives when it comes to who to tell and how much to tell:

The People Who Have the Right to Know Everything: That would be the direct contributor to the other 50% of your future child's DNA. Whatever you call him: Partner, spouse, husband, lover boy, neighbor with the tight jeans. End of list.

He should know every step of the procedures and be in on the decision making because even if he's not lying on that table getting probed every few days, "oh Honey, I could never have done this without you" is literally true. You should be there as emotional support for each other and so you both need to know what's going on all the time. So, "The People Who Have the Right to Know Everything"? Make that "The Person" Who Has the Right to Know Everything. He's it. 

       

The People Who Have the Right to Know Some Things:

a) Your boss. Your work schedule will be constantly affected by fertility treatments. He or she will know something is up and have to know there's a good reason for you needing time off or coming in late or leaving early frequently. Still, there's no need to get into all of it: "I'm going for a procedure that requires a lot of doctor's appointments and may take a few months or so. But I'm fine. Nothing to worry about." (Meaning: No need to train my replacement.) As opposed to: "You know, I've been married for a while now and we've been trying to have a baby for a while, and you might remember I was in my sister's wedding party last year... Remember I took off that long week end last May because she had a destination wedding to the Bahamas? So anyway, she's already pregnant. And, even though  my periods are regular..."

b) Your Human Resources person- or whoever handles your specific insurance questions. Tell your personal business only to the actual person with the answers. My human resources person was just the nasty, vindictive woman whose sole job was to give me the runaround when I was trying to get reimbursed for mileage for using my car. If you've got one of those, just do what I did: Politely and professionally get the number for the benefits person from her, yell "& send my mileage already you useless...!" and slam down the phone.

The third category is:

People Who Have the Right to Know Nothing.

Everybody else. Your mother, your sister, your BFF since elementary school, your Facebook friends, your LinkedIn connections, your cousin who's more like your sister than your sister, your neighbor who you see at the mailbox every day, your coworkers who you work next to every day, the cashier at the supermarket who you've seen every week for five years. Screw them all. If they're not a direct contributor to this child's DNA or directly involved in your insurance or keeping your job--- they have no rights. There are a lot of people in our lives who you're close to, so close in fact, that you just know you're not going to get the response or reaction you need from them right now. Or it's all so draining and you just don't want to get into all the details with them right now. Or you're afraid if you start telling them something, they're going to keep annoying you for updates, or it's someone who's got a big heart and an even bigger mouth and the whole family/ office/ neighborhood /supermarket / school/ post office / gym / yoga studio will know your business within the hour.

So, if you feel guilty because you're not ready to share with those people closest to you--- get over it. Because you know if your gut (that's the spot right above where the doctor keeps poking) keeps telling you not to talk to this person about it and then you finally give in and talk to this person about it, the next feeling out of your gut will be: "I knew I shouldn't have talked to this person about it!"  

I'm not saying this will be easy-- especially with people you have historically shared everything with or people you see or talk to all the time. Acceptable answers to their proddings should be short: "I'm really not ready to discuss it now." "I'm fine. It's nothing to worry about." "It's kind of personal."

And to this question: "When are you going to have children?" I like this response: "We're working on it." People like things that sound dirty.

Even if you have to tell them more than once, a reasonable person will give you your space. An unreasonable person will ask you every day trying to wear you down. The appropriate response to them is:

"Mind your own fucking business." Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please check out my little eBook of my own personal bout with infertility & treatments: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's been downloaded by 1000s of infertility sufferers, their friends, family & medical personal. 66 reviews on Amazon. amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ Also on Nook & Kobo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Year-in-Review

January:

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

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

February

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

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

March

Stephen is on the honor roll!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Infertility Rules (That's a noun not a verb)

Infertility Rules. And clearly I'm talking noun not verb. Obviously, "Infertility Rules!" would be both obnoxious and ridiculous. For most of us, infertility feels so unfair and frustrating. One reason is because most of us grew up with a set of rules and stinking infertility doesn't play by them. rules-list

"Be a good person"

I'm polite, I'm friendly, I escort bugs outside of my house to safety, I donate clothes to charity and don't take a receipt and yet I can't get pregnant. There are loads of mean, nasty, hateful, rude, lying, bug killing, cheating, spiteful, law-breaking, receipt-taking women getting knocked up left and right. What the hell's going on here?

"Eat well and exercise."

Okay, so I didn't start eating vegetables until I was 26. (25 if you count V-8 juice.) But I've been pretty good since then. And I'm a runner. I don't smoke anything. I don't drink. I'm probably one of the healthiest infertile people you'll ever know. But does infertility care? Nooooo. Pregnancy cares. But infertility couldn't give a crap. I worked with a woman who ate fast food for lunch (and sometimes breakfast) every single day two years before she got pregnant, the year before she got pregnant, the year she got pregnant and during the whole pregnancy. I told her that when it was time to give birth that baby was just going to fly out of her on a river of grease like she was a water slide.

Infertility Rules (Still not a Verb)

  1. You can't get pregnant because you don't weigh enough.
  2. You can't can't get pregnant because you weigh too much.
  3. If you take this antibiotic for your throat infection, it will definitely clear it up. But if you take this pill and those shots, you won't definitely get pregnant.
  4. If you go to school every day and do everything you're supposed to, you'll graduate in four years. But if you go through fertility treatments for five years and do everything you're supposed to, you might have a baby in six years... Or not.

Applying Infertility Rules Elsewhere in our Lives

Can you imagine if we tried to apply infertility rules to other parts of our lives? People would think we're nuts.

"If I give you $40,000 for IVF, will you guarantee that I'll get pregnant?" "Sorry, I can't."

"If I give you $40,000 for that brand new car, will you guarantee that it will start?" "Uh... Yeah. What?"

Infertility's Cruelest Rule-- The Glorious Two Week Wait

In the IVF office: "I just did my embryo transfer, can you tell me before I leave the office if I'm pregnant?" "Uh... No... What?"

Every other single place in the world:

"Here-- Scratch off this instant lottery ticket and give it to me. Come back in two weeks and I'll tell you if you won anything."

"And the Final Jeopardy! question IS: 'The first settlers in the New World ate this for breakfast."...(cue Final Jeopardy! music) "That's all for tonight ladies and gentlemen. Be sure to tune in again in two weeks when we reveal the answer."

"What do you feel like having for dinner?" "I'll let you know in two weeks."

"Thanks for the birthday present. Call me in two weeks, and I'll tell you if I like it."

"I've been reading this murder mystery for a month. I can't wait until two weeks from now when I read the last three pages."

"Thanks for the lovely marriage proposal. I'll give you my answer in two weeks."

Infertility rules are just stupid.

(If you enjoy my Laughing IS Conceivable blog, please subscribe to my newsletter or peruse my eBook above or at the link below. I mean, it would be nice if you did both. Just sayin' http://laughingisconceivable.com )  

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All Roads Lead to the Infertility Ditch

The Infertility Ditch. I've been in it many times. In fact, for a while, I spent so much time down there, I furnished it. Some people have a beach house. I had my infertility ditch. At some point between the diagnosis of infertility and the final resolution, we all drive ourselves into the infertility ditch. Some of us back out of it faster than others. Some of us drive ourselves in and out of it, in and out of it, in and out of it, over and over again the whole time. car in a ditch

This Way to the Infertility Ditch aka a Game of Word Association Gone Terribly Wrong 

During this time of your life, there's virtually no happy, blissful, glorious thought that doesn't have the potential to quickly devolve and deteriorate, or if you prefer, crash and burn into the dark, dank, ditch of infertility.

"Beach"...............(blissfully happy thought) "Oh, it's a warm beautiful day (so happy), I'll dig my toes into the sand (blissfully happy), I'll lie on my blanket (so happy) and read my book: '1200 Reasons Why Women Don't Get Pregnant'" (and here we go).

"Of course, I've gained some weight since I started my treatments so I'll have to wear a one-piece bathing suit.... (good old-fashioned self-pity) and maybe just lie under the blanket..." (meeting up with good old-fashioned self-loathing)

"And I can't go into the water. I don't want to get any of the ocean into my uterus." (Mental state in as bad shape as emotional state. Going downhill fast.)

"When it comes time to do the IUI, my husband's sperm might get all confused and swim towards Japan." (sirens in the background. Jaws of life en route to the ditch.)

Romance in the Infertility Ditch aka And Sometimes the Infertility Ditch is an Embankment aka Another Game of Word Association Gone Terribly Wrong

"Moonlit Stroll"........."It will be so nice. Just the two of us... Walking hand-in-hand with the one I love (humming Neil Sedaka tunes). Then maybe he'll sneak a kiss. (plummet alert)... And then he'll want more. We'll both want more. But we can't have more. The egg retrieval is not until Tuesday. If he empties out now, there will be nothing left for Tuesday. I have this image of him filling up as slowly as the water in our toilet. Call it 'woman's intuition.'" (or "mental breakdown")

"He says I'm wrong. How does he know anyway?! Does he have a gauge somewhere on him that I'm unaware of that has an arrow pointing to "F"?! I can't take that chance." (Fasten your seat belts: It's going to be a bumpy night.)

"And why does he even want to touch me anyway?! I'm not attractive right now. I've gained weight. I'm a little stressed out!..." (Residents from nearby homes run in the direction of the ditch---Extinguishers in hand. Sirens in the background coming with the jaws of life. Luckily there was another infertile couple just down the road and they were still in the neighborhood.)

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel at least a little bit better than you did when you got here. Please consider subscribing to this blog at the top there and looking at my eBook by either clicking the book cover icon above (Amazon) or returning to the home page: (Amazon, Nook, Kobo) http://laughingisconceivable.com. It's been downloaded by thousands of infertility patients, family, friends, and medical professionals and reviewed by dozens.) 

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