temporary insanity

Death By (Word) Association

I think one of the hardest things to explain to the "outside world" when you're dealing with infertility is how ANYTHING can trigger our sadness or negative thoughts and feelings.  It really doesn't take much to set us off. Last week I waxed poetic (sounds nicer than "talked sht") about how truly impossible it is to have a normal conversation with an infertile woman.

And the closer you are to us, the more you're in trouble. Spouses have no chance at all. Sometimes we're so stuck in our own heads and what we're going through, we don't even want to look at our spouses and there's probably a million times they'd rather not listen to us.

But we won't tell him to get lost. We need his affection. We need his support. We need his sperm.

And he won't tell us to get lost... I have absolutely no idea why.

And while hubby/boyfriend/spouse (I first heard the term "spouse" when I was eight playing the board game "Life". To this day, whenever somebody mentions their "spouse". I picture a blue or pink peg with no face, only a head.) Anyway...  

Whatever you call your peg that rides beside you in that game o' life... He or she is not the only one who has the privilege of having disturbing, bizarre, hormone-drug induced chats with us. 

Anyone who came into my personal space during one of my frequent spontaneous, anxiety-ridden moments was fair game. Even the sixteen year old cashier at McDonald's. 

Even through the intercom and my driver's side window that barely opens, this poor girl could see that I wasn't "right".

"Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"

"Yes, Hi. I'd like a six piece McNuggets meal with a large Coke please."

"Is that for a girl or a boy?"

"No, I don't want the kid's meal. Do you see any kids in my car?"

"Ma'am, I can't see into your car from here. It's just a microphone."

"Not everybody has kids you know.  Some people just choose not to have kids, young lady.  Some people aren't ready to have kids. Some people try and try over and over and over and think about nothing else but STILL can't have kids! Do you just assume because I'm a woman that I have kids?"

"No Ma'am. I just assume when you order a six piece McNuggets meal that you want the kids' meal. The regular extra value meal comes with ten pieces... but you can get it with six... if you want medium fries and no toy."

"No, you'd better give me the kids' meal. I deserve a toy. I need a toy... And, (sniff sniff boo hoo) could I have extra napkins please?"

"That'll be $5.62. Next window please. Have a nice day."     

As I approached, the cashier grabbed my money and tossed my red Happy Meal box through her automatic window and into the car while my wheels were still rolling, like I had cooties.

I pulled into a parking spot. In my altered state of rationality, I felt quite confident that I would be comforted by my 6200 fat calories,  5000 milligrams of sodium, two months worth of caffeine...and, of course...my toy.

If you'd like to see more Laughing IS Conceivable merriment, please subscribe for a weekly newsletter about goings on and further discussion about each week's blogs. Also, please visit my post on Fertility Authority.

This week:  Come dine with me at the "Infertility Cafeteria" where there are never any value meals and everything's strictly a la carte. http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

Stress & Fertility Treatments: What Could it Hurt? (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Don't you want to look back fondly on February before jumping head first into March?) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. An article on AOL about a study in the U.K. that concluded that stress has no negative impact whatsoever on fertility treatments. And it was on AOL so you know it's got to be... okay," read by a lot of people" is about all I can come up with at the moment.

As we bask in the glow of both the result of this study and the Oscar's, I think it appropriate to consider our own acceptance speeches. Now that we have reason to believe that stress during fertility treatments doesn't hurt our chances of conception, when we get pregnant, whom would you like to thank? Let's prepare our lists shall we?

"Oh this is such a wonderful surprise! I really wasn't expecting to be expecting! I'm really not prepared!" (Whip out foot-long acceptance speech) 

"I'd like to thank my husband without whom this wouldn't be possible." (And that's no lie.) 

And now that we have that reason to believe that stress during IUI/IVF etc won't hurt our chances....

"I'd like to thank my mother-in-law who called me twice a day to ask me when I was going to get pregnant."

"I'd like to thank my cousin Sue who has five kids under five."

"I'd like to thank my monthly cycle for always being so prompt and not keeping me waiting."

"I'd like to thank my Human Resources manager who told me I had to use my vacation time for my doctors' appointments."

"I'd like to thank my insurance company for reimbursing a portion of my fifteen thousand dollar treatments... All eighty-five bucks worth." 

"I'd like to thank my ovaries for shutting down when I needed them most. ("For twenty years I put up with cramps and bloating and headaches and mood swings and exhaustion and asked nothing in return! Then, when I want ONE LITTLE favor from you...apparently it was too much to ask!")

"I'd like to thank my manager for docking me twelve minutes for returning from my IUI eleven and a half minutes late." 

"I'd like to thank my coworker Marlene, for suggesting kids be included in the company holiday party every year."

"I'd like to thank my four bridesmaids who all got pregnant within two months of each other."

"I'd like to thank my high school girlfriend who looked me up just in time to invite me to her baby shower."

"I'd like to thank the state in which I live for leaving 'whether or not to cover my treatments' up to my boss. (Guess which way he went?)"

"And last but not least I'd like to thank Colin Firth. Just Becuz."

Well, it's not "The King's Speech" but that would be my speech. If you'd like to get a little more of Laughing IS Conceivable, consider subscribing. It's free, and it's painless: Just a weekly email about what's going on here and why oh why I wrote what I did that week. Plus there will be some decent blog-related offers soon for subscribers. 

Listen, I gotta go. Awards shows always exhaust me.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

I'm A Double Threat: Infertile AND Uninsurable (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Mondays are like the GPS of my blog. They head you in the right direction for the rest of the week. Although I know someone who plugged an address into GPS and was directed to make a right turn through a tree....And if you'd like to be led astray by me once more on the weekends with more of my nonsense and some insider blog scoops, please subscribe. I'd love to have you.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The best part of infertility treatments.... Paying for them. Exciting no... Important... frankly not to me... but it probably is to the person with the calculator at the doctor's office. You know, the person who works for the doctor who's providing the treatments that might help you have a baby... so I guess making those payments should matter to us afterall.  

There are about a million jobs I would rather not have. And ironically, I've had most of them. So this isn't an uniformed statement. I've had the job and now know I'd rather not have it again.

But there are about ten jobs that I would really hate to have. Collections of any sort is right up there. (I guess it's technically the "Billing" department. It just seems that by the time I get around to making my first paltry payment it's already become the "Collections" department.)

I think that most of the billing people I've dealt with at the fertility clinics have been pretty decent.

I say "I think" because it's hard to hear much of anything that anybody says to you when you're busy crying and begging. And it's almost impossible to hear anything when you're crying and begging into your knees in a crumpled heap on the floor in front of their desk.

If I had to work in billing/collections I would have to collect on something that didn't matter that much. Like winter clothing in the summer. "Hi Mr. Jones. This is Lori from Don's Jacket Farm. You never paid your bill for that ski jacket you bought in January. Here we are in July, it's 87 degrees outside, and there's still an outstanding balance. I'm afraid we're going to have to take the jacket back."

I think I wouldn't mind trying to get money from people who bought "As Seen On TV" products either. 

"Good afternoon Ms. Williams. I'm calling about your Bacon Genie.... Our records show that we've never received your payment on this exclusive offer of $19.95.... No ma'am you are not on a 'six easy payments of $3.32 a month' plan. We ask that you kindly send us the payment within three business days or return the Bacon Genie. And... please, Ms. Williams...Keep the rubber spatula and the 'Artery De-Clog-O-Matic' as our free gifts to you just for trying the Bacon Genie."     

But I don't think I'd be comfortable collecting funds for an infertility clinic. Even though they don't have to be mean or ruthless. And some can be extremely helpful. There might be solutions or at least suggestions that they can offer. I did get a discount on one of my go-rounds. I mean, gee, I was so pathetic-looking, sitting there boo-hooing. Who could say "no" to that face?

On the one hand the decent billing people...and I truly believe most of them are... feel for your situation and will help in anyway they can.... On the other hand, if she doesn't get the money from you, the people who pay her don't get paid. Then they in turn have no money to put into the account from which her bi-weekly check is paid and then her check bounces around town faster than the free rubber spatula.

So even though I would like the opportunity to help people going through treatments to explore payment options and less expensive treatment options, I still don't think I have the heart or at least the stomach to work in Billing at a fertility clinic... unless, of course, it involved commission.

"Look! You people owe us 15,000 simoleons. 1500 of that is mine!  Tut tut, none of your whiny excuses! Yeah I feel sorry for ya. But sympathy don't put gas in the Jag. Now fork it over or there  are a couple of guys in Jersey who will come and unblock your tubes for ya.... Whether or not they're blocked."

Listen, I gotta go.  I have to be on the midnight train to Georgia. I'd rather live in his world, than live without him in mine.... This, by the way is the first sign of senility: You can't remember what you went into the hall closet for, but you remember the words to songs from when you were five...okay...nine.... Maybe I can go on "Don't Forget the Lyrics" Seniors Edition. No songs from after 1970.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow. Check out Kevin Haney's post about this very topic (infertility finances, not Gladys Knight hits) at:  http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=1623. And if I haven't lost you already, you have a strong constitution and might enjoy being a subscriber. So please consider it.

I'm A Double Threat: Infertile AND Uninsurable (Monday)

A couple of weeks ago I posted a wonderful article by an insurance agent named Kevin Haney. I should say that I posted a wonderful half of an article. After I posted that part, Kevin had the audacity to run off. He claims he ran off to get married. Whatever.  So anyway, I decided to not print the rest of the article and threw it back in his face, miffed that he chose his fiancee over my blog... Well, that's how Star magazine reported it anyway. What really happened is: Kevin did get married a week or so ago. That part is true. But I'm pretty sure he didn't do it just to spite my blog. In fact, his nuptials had nothing to do with me only printing half of this fantastic article.  There was so much great information about infertility and taxes, and infertility and insurance, and infertility and everything else financial... I thought I'd let everyone digest the first half for a week and return this week and post the rest. 

Some of us have never dealt with these topics before and are understandably a little, shall we say, turned off, if not totally freaked out by them. In my house growing up, like car troubles and weekly allowance... insurance was my father's domain.

My mother was in charge of meals, boyfriend problems, wardrobe problems, extracurricular activities problems, school problems,  college application problems, fight with the best friend problems,  and sibling problems.

My father was in charge of the car and the cash.

Sexist, yes. Old fashioned, yes. But it was the '70's-'80's and there it was.  

So in case any of you have had similar familial experiences, I didn't want to overwhelm everyone and send all of you running, crying to your father: "Daddy she's talking about investments and insurance. What does it all mean? Please make it stop!"

So this week, we're going to chat about the stuff that Kevin is discussing in his article. I'm not going to explain what he's saying. Who the hell am I, the UN? He does a great job of laying it out there in plain English.

(Geez I keep praising this guy over and over. There are only two reasons anyone  kisses up like that: 1) They're being paid handsomely to do so or  2) They want to touch the person in an inappropriate manner. Well, I'm the third category: An idiot who's just really excited about the article and the valuable information it provides.)

As for my part in all this: What I will attempt to do this week is to get into some of the crazy rules, regulations and red tape that Kevin so eloquently brings to light.  Geez, I complimented him again. Maybe we were related in a previous life... I must have had decent relatives in one of my lives. 

Listen I gotta go. My biweekly direct-deposit disappointment just went into my account and I have to start making the round of sincere phone calls to my adoring creditors.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow. Check out Kevin Haney's article under "Non-Health Experts" at:  http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=1623

We Too Shall Overcome Someday, I Do Believe (Friday)

(Start with "Tuesday" if you can now that we're entering the sign of Aquarius. Wow, that is deep, man.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Honoring the venerable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an incredible man of peace, courage, and vision by bitching about the laundry list of bs that infertile people had better get their ass in gear and overcome.

What Do We Want? To Overcome the Dopes Around Us! When Do We Want it? Now?? ... I Mean... Now!!

Okay, so many times on this blog we've discussed the insufferable people who don't get what we're going through, probably will never get what we're going through, only half-care what we're going through, and give ridiculous advice about what we're going through. But somehow, we still let them get to us. And we have to overcome that.When I was trying to get pregnant I took my cat to the vet. (That's unrelated, by the way. I don't want you to think that in my crazed hormonal fog, I thought I found a loophole and perhaps an animal doctor might give me more affordable treatments:

"Hi, Doc. Do you take Cigna? I'm looking to get some fertility treatments. What do you do for dogs when they can't get pregnant? I mean, I know that there's a high risk of multiples anyway with fertility treatments, that's okay, I mean like twins or something, but I really don't want to have seven or eight like a german shepherd if possible. And I've been having these mood swings, so maybe you could throw in a distemper shot."

So anyway, as I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself: I started talking to this vet about my conception woes. Of course back then I would pour my heart, soul, and spleen out to anybody--I can't even say anybody who would listen--it was more like anybody who would stand right there instead of running as fast as they could in the opposite direction. Fast food cashiers were always a captive audience. They're paid to stand right there. "Hi, may I take your order?"

"I'll have a number two value meal, but boy, you just don't know. If I could order what I really want, I would be able to be done with these shots. They are such a pain in the butt. Literally. That was a funny joke, but I could see why you wouldn't get it. But, boy, if you had to go run to the doctor three times a week, and give blood, and then wait those agonizing hours for the nurse to hopefully not forget to call you to tell you what dose to take... I don't know. I guess you haven't been there...You're like, what? In eighth grade?"

"Would you like apple pie with that ma'am for a dollar more?"

So this veterinarian, that I mentioned about an hour ago, gave me the ol': "I couldn't get pregnant right away either. You need to get away. Go on a vacation. That's what we did"  bit of bs advice.

And I listened. And I responded. And I listened. And I processed..... Now I ask myself politely: WHY????

What I should have done was said: "I'm forty-one now.  My infertility issues are age-related. So if I go on vacation and come back two weeks older, how is that helping?" What I really should have said was: "Fk you, give me my cat back!"

This is the problem that we really need to overcome: It's not so much about not being disappointed in how people respond to our fertility issues--- It's about not sharing our fertility issues with the whole world in the first place!  That rule alone would eliminate a lot of the craziness and confusion we feel from idiotic responses.

When you finally decide on a select few to blab too, feel them out....Don't expect that just because they're good shopping buddies and confidantes that this will be an issue they'll be helpful with. I remember the actor George Hamilton saying once that he dated different women because one was great to go skiing, but when he took her to parties, she was a dial tone.

Okay, so, forget about the "womanizing" message. My cousin once told me the same thing when I was single: "There's no man who's going to give you every single thing you need." And the same goes with friends.

Listen, I gotta go. It's Friday...need I say more?

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

We Too Shall Overcome Someday, I Do Believe (Thursday)

Sorry for the late post. Better late than never I guess.  No matter what: The blog must go on. I guess it doesn't have to.    (Start with "Tuesday" if you can... or I'll blab about every sordid detail from American Idol last night. Gee, I hope you didn't tape it.)

And if you like what you read, become a subscriber. You get the inside dish on the seedier side of Laughing IS Conceivable (okay, the blog IS the seedier side). There will also be some good subscriber offers down the line.

Also, read Kevin Haney's article: "Bad Enough I Have to Go Through Infertility Treatments, Now You Want Me to Pay For Them Too?" He gives some amazing ins and outs of infertility treatment-related insurance and taxes.  http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=1671

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday made me reflect on the things we as the infertile have to overcome.

What do we want to overcome? Agonizing over infertility decisions! When do we want to overcome it?! Now! 

A major issue I think we've all grappled with is: If and when to move on. When do you know you've done enough and you're ready to throw in the IVF towel?

Infertility treatments are addictive. They're like M & M's. You have one. You want more.

With infertility treatments, you just hang on, even if you've been through it twelve times before. Maybe the next time will be THE time. (Just like M & M's. The 86th one may be the one that makes you vomit, but it's a risk worth taking.)

And if this doctor tells you it's probably time to call it quits, there are other doctors out there... lots of them. And if your parents tell you it's time to give up...who ever listens to them anyway?   Their dog doesn't even listen to them.

And if you listen to your best friend...well she's the same fool who told you you'd get pregnant if you went on vacation and drank plenty of cranberry juice because she was confusing infertility with a bladder infection. So she has no credibility.

And if you go on infertility support forums, you might get advice from ten women who are also drugged up on hormones, lack of restful sleep, stressed out, and broke like you are. None of us is in any shape to give advice on this matter. I mean, comeon, at this stage in our lives, do we look like a reliable group? We're a messy heap.

So of course the answer is: There is no right answer. The answer is up to you and the guy you're sleeping with (I'm going to assume that's your husband/partner. But I don't want to be presumptuous....I really don't know who the hell he/she is. As long as you do, it's fine I guess...)

The only way to overcome this indecision-making is to try to look at the whole thing objectively. Okay, that's impossible. You've been needled, stuck,  and hormoned to death.  

But somehow you have to jump out of it. Let's do that ridiculous job-interview question that makes me retch mid-interview.  Shall we?

"Where do you see yourself in five years?" (I always want to look at the interviewer and say: "Living in your house and looking out the window, watching you mow my lawn, you bastard.")       

Would you be okay without a baby? Of course you would. But what would your life be like? Would you consider adoption? Would you become a Psychologist to counsel others in this situation? Would you just leave it and move on?  

So, whom do you listen to?  You listen to you. Not the high on Gonal-F, anxiety-ridden, hair- falling-out- from- nerves, sitting-on- the- couch- for- two-days-in-a- donut-induced-depressive funk, you. The real you. See if you can put the infertile nutjob aside for a minute and talk to the real heart and soul. Trust me: That nutjob doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.

Listen, I gotta go. I'm having more dental work done later, so I'd better make the rounds of the drive-thru's now, just in case I can't eat for a couple of months.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Infertility, Holidays, & Coworkers: 3 Full-time Jobs (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. This week is all about co-workers. You may want to forward some of the posts to them...or maybe not... Well at least look them over before forwarding with the subject line: "Read this and thought of you."  And if you so desire, please subscribe to this blog. You get nifty weekly insider updates and get to hear what I really think of my own posts...not as boring as it sounds..geez I hope not anyway.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How the fertility-challenged among us are reluctant to go to the company holiday party, and, lo and behold...so are most people.

As we've discussed this week, the reason most of us are nervous about going to these parties, according to me anyway, is because at work you're expected to talk about work. The company party is the one time a year when there are (supposedly) no managers, supervisors or employees...No back stabbing,  no letters from the boss saying: "Bonus?! You're lucky you have a job."  No favoritism. No sht list. It's almost like a religious retreat. Just chums, buddies, comrades, and friends.  And friends talk to each other about their families...and introduce you to them.

And let's face it: If your buddy/chum/friend who also happens to be your manager every other day of the year shoves her new baby in your face it's not so easy to say: "I'm sorry, but I'm really not comfortable with this." and just walk away. On the other hand, never underestimate the power of imperfection. What I mean is: She's your boss and she has this new baby, but you have no idea what else may be going on there.

Years ago, my husband and I went to his company party at his boss's house. I'd heard he had not only a beautiful new baby, but a beautiful wife, and a beautiful home (and it was a beautiful home from what I could tell from the roped-off area the employees were restricted to).

My husband pointed out the suspects from across the room: "That's him. That's his baby. That's his wife. And that's his girlfriend. Get it? Did you catch what I just said?"

So there I was all evening, turning from chartreuse to lime to forest green, and I shouldn't have been because true, we didn't live in a mansion on a mountain top and we didn't have a new baby; My husband didn't have his own company or a million dollars-- but he also didn't have a girlfriend. And you know how I know he didn't have a girlfriend? Not only are we still married, but he's still living.

Personally, I think it's okay to just be cordial to the "big" bosses at these functions and keep it moving. Meet their kids, their wives, their husbands, their lover/caterer and move along. Forget how ill-at-ease you are around their kids, who wants to hang out with your boss? The longer you schmooze the greater the chance you're going to talk.

Maybe this is just me and you're more discreet and less paranoid than I, but I always assume that the more I talk, the more words are going to come out of my mouth. And the more words that come out of my mouth, the more words the boss will be able to string together and, in one way or another, use against me for the rest of my employment.     

I don't know. You and your boss may be soul mates.  But most of the "big" bosses I've had in my life come over and shake my hand at the annual party: "Nice to see you" but truth be told, they couldn't pick me out of a three person line-up. One December I swear they're going to come over with their handshake and their "Nice to see you" bit and I'm going to say: "Oh really? What's my name?"  Let's see them break eye contact to discreetly scan my clothing on the outside chance I pinned my ID badge to my little black dress.   

If you have another moment, please look into Psychologist Andrea Braverman's article in Health Experts on the theme of the month: "Get Through the Holidays Anyway You Can". She's an amazing asset to the infertility community. http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=642

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

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 (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.

Things That Go Bump in the Night of the Infertile (Tuesday)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right... Fears. And people going through infertility treatments are loaded with them. Some of our fears are injected into us by our "well-meaning" relatives who had a friend who had a neighbor whose sister's  cousin's dry cleaner had an IVF nightmare. My answer to this relative is: "Prove it." I'm not kidding.

If you're going to open your big trap and scare the follicles out of me, I insist that you produce this person.... Come, I've got some things that could use some dry cleaning. Where does she work?

Some of our fears are hormone-induced. Take this pill, shove this suppository, stick this needle in the front cellulite, stick this needle in the back cellulite... And the next thing you know, you're saying:

"Please, please, I need your help. What if I don't get pregnant this month? What if I have to go through another cycle? What if I never ovulate? What am I going to do? I'm not going to make it through it. I just can't. What if it never happens? I just can't. I won't make it through it"...to the woman behind the deli counter. That's the last time she'll ever use the phrase: "May I help the next person?"

And then some of our fears are caused by our fatal mistake of watching the news.

Somewhere in the back recesses of our minds we all have this crazy fear: "What if they inseminate me with somebody else's sperm by mistake and I get pregnant?"

Positive side: Bragging rights. I could finally say to my husband: "See? I told you it was your fault all along!"

I actually do remember on one of my IUI go 'rounds, waiting in the insemination room all dressed-up like a paper doll, when the nurse came with a mostly- full sample cup in her hand with my husband's name written on it.

"I have to confirm this is yours." She said, showing me the cup.

Me being me, even when naked from the waist down (perhaps even more so then) I answered: "Well, yes, that's my husband's name on the label. I have no idea who you've got there in the cup, but that's definitely his name on the label."    

So we have this fear, and maybe we don't take it too seriously... and then it  comes true. Not to us. Not to anyone we know. One- in- a- million, no way it could happen, and then there it is on the news.  

There's a book out now called "Misconception" written by a couple that it actually happened to.  I haven't read the book, but the doctor who wrote the article I read about it believes that the error may have been in miscommunication or mislabeling a sperm sample, but almost definitely involved the fact that the two women had the same last name. Well, that's all I had to hear.   

Time to make a phone call.

"Hello, is this my fertility clinic? Any other patients there with the last name Shandle-Fox? Or Fox? Or Shandle?

Are there any employees named Shantell? Or Lori? Cory? Tori? Is there a doctor named Lori, Cory, or Tori? Or a doctor whose wife is named Lori, Cory, or Tori? How about a cat?

My Hebrew name is Hana. Any Hanas? Are you within delivering distance to a Benihana restaurant? I don't want any confusion if I happen to be getting inseminated when someone's ordering lunch.   

Are there any embryologists with heavy accents who might say anything  that might sound like Shandle-Fox to someone? Like 'Handle Box.' That's a phrase an embryologist might use.  Handle box. Shandle-Fox. It could happen. 

Please tell me who among the staff has the best handwriting. The woman who vacuums at night? Please, please, I implore you... Next time, let her label my husband's sperm."

And, PS. in the case I mentioned above, the woman who got pregnant with the sperm of the other's husband: She carried the baby to term and handed the baby over to them. (wow!)

Listen, I gotta go. Today's election day and I have to figure out who I'm going to vote against.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Statistics Shmastistics (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. If you're going to hear me kvetch about being told I was  too old to get pregnant, you may as well get the full cumulative effect. By tomorrow my voice will sound like an ambulance siren in your head. By Friday, a police car chase over three states) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How, according to the fertility clinic's statistics, things didn't look too good for this old broad.

If the statistics were correct, something in my body would implode way before I ever got pregnant and/or had a baby:

Maybe my estrogen levels would drop until my voice changed and I had sudden urges to open beer with my teeth (and then, even worse, drink the damn thing).  

I'd live the rest of my days childless, trying to maneuver around to see the hair accumulate on my back.

And the rest of my nights filling my empty ovaries with Keebler Fudge-Striped cookies. (I feel sure that's where they would go next, once my stomach and colon hit capacity. Like the overflow parking at the State Fair.)

So according to Resolve.org (a truly fantastic resource, all kidding aside), every statistic was compiled with me in mind:

"1 in 8 couples in the U.S. have fertility issues".

Maybe we should just move to Singapore. 11.4% of the households there are millionaires.

And why concentrate on the negative? "1 in 8 couples have fertility issues." Can't we just say:

"7 in 8 couples don't have fertility issues and get pregnant after heavy fondling" and leave it at that? 

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

Okay, so my husband and I didn't even meet until we were pushing 39. Did we have normal functioning reproductive systems then? Couldn't say.

The closest I can state with confidence is that we had normal functioning external reproductive organs. (Geez, I tried to put that as nicely as I could. I think I failed miserably.)

Okay, so between 29 and 33, there is a 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 chance of getting pregnant each month.

So, when we got married and started trying at age 39 1/2, there was, let's see, --carry the 2. Add the 4. And he's 9 days older than I am, and February is the 2nd month, and we were married on a Sunday... in Florida which is in a different time zone from New York I think...

Okay... so the day we got married there was a 0 in 2800 chance I would get pregnant in any give month.

Listen I gotta go. I have to find a mirror to stand in front of to do some positive affirmations: "You're young and beautiful." "Your reproductive organs have not shriveled like a worm in the sun."

I'll talk with you again tomorrow. I promise there is a light at the end of my dark long tunnel (take that anyway you like)

Statistics Shmastistics (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I feel that I was amusing yesterday. If you agree, please feel free to email your friends. If you disagree, let it be your own dirty little secret.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. How nobody at my first fertility clinic go-round bothered us with statistics.

We then proceeded to our second fertility clinic (it's like eating M & M's: You can't stop at just one) and found out how truly merciful that first joint had been.

We didn't know the success rate of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) before I went through four cycles of it, but we suspected it might be a shot in the dark. Perhaps I should rephrase that.

The next step was IVF. My husband and I were thrown into a room with 4 or 5 other happy couples. Like most orientations, it was completely disorienting. (And the fluorescent lights didn't help any.)

We were all handed a stack of paperwork: Charts and percentage signs galore.

All I recall is that all roads led to: "We're screwed".

To refresh my memory, I just glanced a moment ago at the website of the clinic where I had my treatments. Happy to report, they are still in business.

It would be quite disconcerting to find I had put my money, trust, and family expansion in the hands of a prominent medical facility who, a few short years later, had sold out to Wal-Mart.

Needless to say, I'd likely never order anything from the deli counter... and would wonder obsessively whose future generations had previously been stored where the Ben & Jerry's now resided. (And where music icon Jerry Garcia has been cryogenized as a luscious dessert)

So, I went onto my clinic's website (I did pay for at least a wing or two of it) and there were those depressing numbers.

Those pesky digits are forever on the case of all of us old broads who have some nutty idea about conceiving. As if  having a baby is our last lucid thought before  Alzheimer's takes hold... Or maybe the first sign of its onset.

First I saw on the chart: "Under 35" Then: "1979"

I thought "Woo hoo! I was under 35 in 1979!"

Then I realized that "1979" was not meant to be a year, but rather how many immature eggs (oocytes) women under 35 had produced at that clinic during a six year period.

Using their own, non-donor, fresh embryos via IVF, 52% of them had resulted in live deliveries.

Women 35-37: 44 %  had resulted in live deliveries 

Women 38-40: 32%   

Women 40-41: 20%

So there I was, nestled between the 20% and "Lori, why don't you just give it up and learn how to play canasta?" percentile.

That was just the first path along the statistical road to "We're Screwed".

Listen, I gotta go: The U.S. Open tennis is on tonight. We used to go all the time when we lived in Queens. I miss the great players and the smell of $16 hamburgers wafting through the night air.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Statistics Shmastistics (Monday)

For some reason unbeknownst to me, I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of being told anything when I first entered a fertility clinic. I know I must have said something like: "Hi, my name's Lori. This is my husband. We're both pretty old. Can we still have kids or should we just buy an RV and travel? And we don't mean to rush you, but there's a movie that we'd like to catch that starts at one."

The only thing I recall even approaching a statistic came after the doctor saw my age on the... what do you call it... forms? (I'm leaning towards saying "application", but what the hell was I applying for?

"Hi, I'm Lori. I heard your clinic was looking to expand its geriatric division. Something about your oldest client graduating or passing away or moving into a senior community where they don't allow babies.

Anyway, I'm trying to have my first child even though my girlfriends from high school all have kids with BA's... so I think I'm an excellent candidate. Here's my resume. Yes, those are the actual dates I attended school.")

So like I was saying... The only thing the doctor ever said to us that even approached a statistic was: "How long have you been trying to get pregnant?" I told him "a year". And he said "That's long enough." 

Let the fertility treatments begin.

Then I went to my second clinic:  The first one had been such a merry moment in our newlywed lives, we thought we'd heighten the experience by going fertility clinic hopping.

It's like bar hopping except there's no laughter or enjoyment, and your "bar" tab is about $15,000...

Then again, you have no worries about waking up the next morning, looking over, and being unpleasantly surprised at whom you've been sharing your sheets with either.

All things considered, if you're planning to visit NYC any time soon do yourself a favor: Skip the fertility clinic tour. It doesn't include either the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.

And for the $15,000 IVF fee you'll save, you could see five Broadway shows and maybe even have brunch.

So we really had never been burdened with any infertility statistics.  Ignorance had never been more blissful. Then we got to the  second fertility joint, when the numbers came out...and all hell broke loose.

Listen, I gotta go. There's a knocking on my back door. "Lori. I know you're in there." I went to a wonderful mind/body/spirit conference today where I left all of my negative energy... and I think its found its way back. 

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Infertility Alternatives to Last Week's Infertility Alternatives (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. It's Friday. Only fanatics do any real work on Friday.) (And don't forget to check out the new "Health Experts" feature at the top if you get a sec.)  So what were we talking about? Oh right. Chiropractics, acupuncture and yoga...  And whether or not any one of them offers a huge amount of  help on our quest to become pregnant...or even a little.

I think all three come from the same basic principle: We're screwed up. If we can only get our bodies back to their natural state:

What they were before we started shlepping six bags of groceries from the car at one time so we don't have to make two trips, carrying a twelve pound pocketbook on our shoulder because it's cute, matches our favorite pants, and holds three pairs of footwear;

Carrying gigantic laundry baskets up the stairs while bending to retrieve stray socks that tried to jump ship, or (as in my case) grew breasts three sizes too big for our bodies.

Not sitting upright at the computer, not doing exercise, (or not doing it correctly), eating the wrong foods, dating the wrong people: I'm sure all of the above have contributed to our demise.

Now we're all just a bunch of slouchy, hunchy, unbalanced, heaps.

If you've read my posts this week, you know that I'm far from objective: I'd be open to acupuncture, I love yoga and I'm fed up with chiropractors. But I like that none of them claim to get you pregnant.

They all claim that, depending on what causes your infertility: 1)They might work well in conjunction with IVF and 2) Regardless of what other treatments you are or aren't getting: They create the opportunity for your body to be repaired and restored to allow it to, in essence, be available to become pregnant.   

What I do like about both yoga and acupuncture is that their proponents always mention creating positive energy in your body and mind. This I completely buy into. When, in our infertililty treatment-filled lives do we ever get a needleful of positive energy?

In the Gonal-F vial? On the examination table with our feet reaching for the skies? When the bills arrive?    

Isn't it interesting, though, that when someone is "in the business', whatever business they happen to be in, all roads lead to them?

"Hi I'm an acupuncturist: Oh, you're infertile? You really need acupuncture. You have headaches? You really need acupuncture? You have jock itch? You really need acupuncture. You can't open the sealed plastic wrap from the turkey breast you just bought at the deli? You really need acupuncture."

"Hi I'm a chiropractor. Oh you're infertile? You really need a chiropractor. You have headaches? You really need a chiropractor. You have pink eye? You really need a chiropractor. You can't break uncooked spaghetti so it's small enough to fit into your pot? You really need a chiropractor."

It makes you wonder:  Is it a passion for what they do or what they charge?

Listen, I gotta go. I've got a bunch of juicy, red, nasty-looking bug bites on my leg. I can't wait to have the whole neighborhood pool to myself this weekend.  

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

When You Don't Fit Into The Baby Club, Be Your Own Hero (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I promise that my blog week will go a lot faster than your work week.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. How to fill our time now that we won't be wasting it with the pregnant cousin, next door neighbor, and coworker.

Any activity where the chances are slim to remote that you'll run into anybody in baby-making mode will do. And there are a lot to choose from.

There's no need to beg AARP to bend their minimum age requirement rule for you. (Besides, the only thing more irritating right now than  expectant parents would be expectant grandparents.)

Here are a few suggestions:

1) Get off your birthin-to-be hips and do some exercise. And if it's with others, find some vain women: They wouldn't dare get pregnant. What are you kidding? After all the time and money (and surgery) they put into that body?

But only exercise around vain women. Part of being a vain man is proving that he can fertilize his female. 

Two weeks into your exercise routine, while he's prancing and flexing between the free weights, he'll have to report in his best deep, Ted Baxter, testosterone-infused voice that his woman is pregnant or quit the gym in disgrace. 

2) Book clubs- Conversation will mostly revolve around the book, (Gee, Lori, is that why they call it a "Book Club"?) and What To  Expect When You're Expecting is rarely on the agenda. 

3) Yoga. Everybody's trying so hard to not pass out or tumble over, there's little time for chit-chat. 

4) Learn a foreign language. Just don't learn how to say: Assisted Reproductive Technology, Reproductive Endocrinologist or In Vitro Fertilization. Not that any one of them is likely to be included in the beginners' class. 

And if you somehow get cornered by another student who's dying to mention pregnancy or children or another verboden topic, toss them one of these:  

"No quiero hablar de eso."

"Je ne veux pas en parler."

"I don't want to talk about it"...in Spanish and French.

5) Animal lovers groups: These people are repulsed at the very mention of human babies.

But of course the risk here is:  The doggy's "mom" will tell you everything: From when she stopped breast-feeding him to how they both cried at his first day at Dachsund Daycare.

And at the meeting, it's possible you'll look down and realize: "Oh, crap. Her 'son' and my ankle are apparently dating. And it must be serious. I can't imagine my ankle putting out on a first date."  

I recommend all of the above to take our minds off that subject from which our minds rarely wander these days.

But of course, some of the above can help with our weight and general health, and all of the above can help with our stress levels by keeping our minds and bodies a little lighter and freer:

Which could help with...you know... that subject we're not dicussing today.  As my Dad used to say: Anyway, "It couldn't hoit."

Listen I gotta go. I have to go to the hardware store and buy some duct tape. My windshield cracked and that's all my car insurance will cover.

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

When You Don't Fit Into The "Baby Club", Be Your Own Hero (Thursday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. It'll take you back to a simpler time (three days ago) before news of Bristol Palin's engagement had thrown your life into a tailspin.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. The "Baby Club" or more precisely: How to completely shut out the most important women in our lives for the entire duration of their pregnancies.

Of course, if my ideas yesterday of hiding, ducking, avoiding and running away from your pregnant cousin, next door neighbor, and coworker seemed too extreme for you, you can always go the childish route:

Every time they try to talk to you about anything baby-related, stick your fingers in your ears and hum. "What? MMMM Sorry, I can't hear you. MMMM"

Or play a game of "Hide" with them. It goes like this: They hide.  That's it.

You never "Go Seek" until either your infertility issue clears up or they're child is in high school.

I think the most important thing to learn about this whole "Baby Club" BS is that there are a lot of other clubs to join.

I know you desperately want to be a part of this club. You want to be a cheerleader and I'm telling you to join the stamp collectors.

I'm just suggesting that while we're all so busy running away from our pregnant cousins, next door neighbors and coworkers, shouldn't we be running towards something fun and interesting? 

And I'm not talking about  infertility-related groups.  They definitely have an important place in all of this, but would those clubs remedy this situation? And ask yourself: Are those clubs interesting? They're sure not fun.

"Oh, you didn't make cheerleader either? There are a bunch of us: That girl with the broken leg; the one who can't do a cartwheel to save her life; her sister who's hair isn't long enough to put in a ponytail; the girl with small pom poms. Yeah, we all got rejected too. Ho hum. Wanna join our club? It'll be fun, I suppose."

My husband and I decided to take a break from bemoaning the fact that I wasn't pregnant yet, by grabbing every opportunity to do things we might not be able to if we had a newborn to care for... never knowing if that time could be almost upon us. 

We ran away for cheapy little day trips. We saw lots of movies, read lots of books, (nothing even remotely reproduction-related) and went to every concert in the park no matter the music (okay, we drew the line at the New Kids on the Block cover band. I knew I had two choices here:

1) Not go at all or... 2) Listen to my husband say, thirty or forty times: "You're kidding me right? This is a joke. You're really not going to make me sit through this. Right?)    

It's totally understandable why this pregnancy is ruling the lives of our cousin, next door neighbor, and coworker, but should it be allowed to rule ours too?

Listen I gotta go. I'm riveted to the developing Bristol Palin story. I have to go turn on the TV in case there's a breaking news bulletin. I fear a tweet simply couldn't do it justice.

I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

When You Don’t Fit Into The “Baby Club”, Be Your Own Hero (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Unless you're on vacation. Then get away from the computer as fast as is humanly possible.) So what were we talking about? Oh, right. Keeping yourself from being sucked into the pregnancy merriment vortex of those around you: Your pregnant cousin, coworker, next door neighbor.

Avoid these women at all costs. It's easier than explaining why you're not in any mood to be part of all of their giddy rituals and festivities.

The next door neighbor is the easiest to ditch. For me, it would be extremely easy to not talk to my neighbor for nine months. We've lived here for three years. I couldn't pick out my next door neighbor in a three-person line-up.

Like right now for instance. I just saw some teens running down the block and into the house across the street. I have no idea if they live there or are robbing it. I'll watch the news later and see if there's any mention. 

So just plan your newspaper retrieval, moving of garbage cans and picking up of mail when the neighbor is not in view.  And if you see her coming during one of these duties, just remember, you can out-run her.

One preggo down.

The cousin is also easily dismissed. All you need to do is avoid all family functions for nine months. Sounds impossible.

More impossible than spending the holidays ducking behind poinsettia or a menorah so that nobody will talk to you about how good your cousin looks or pry into what's going on in your ovaries? 

Of course if you don't attend the holiday festivities this year, those who do attend will spend all night talking about you and why you didn't attend. I'd be good with that.

You know how people always say: "If you have something to say, say it to my face."? What for?

Personally, I'd just as soon have them talk behind my back. Why waste my time with their stupidity? Like Billy Joel says: "You can speak your mind. Just not on my time." 

Of course some do-gooder like your mom or your sister who was at the bash (a bash in every sense of the word) will be hitting your number on speed dial as she's backing out of the party house driveway to give you the nitty-gritties.

And, that, my dears is what call waiting is for: To pretend you have another call so you can politely hang up on somebody. Or, even better: Caller ID. So you don't have to answer it in the first place.

Two preggos down.

The third chick on the list is the hardest to ignore: The coworker.

She sits just one thin-walled cubicle away. Not only does she spend all day searching for cute maternity crap online, she keeps calling other coworkers over to ask their opinion on it. And you have to hear all of it.

You hear her being excited about everything and the parade of coworkers being bored out of their skulls.  

Destroy something. Yeah, if something were broken in your cubicle, perhaps you could  just pick up your plant and your photos and sashay over to that one...way over there...next to the unbelievably noisy copier, on the other side of the twelve foot sound-proof wall.

Or, ear buds. Shove some nearly invisible ear phones into your ears and listen to music if you can. My mother's eighty year old cousin slips his hearing aid into his pocket whenever his sister starts talking.

Right now you're doing the infertility hokey-pokey... And "self-preservation"--That's what it's all about.

Three preggos down.

Listen, I gotta go. I'm going to put on the eleven o'clock news. I've piqued my own curiosity about that house across the street. I wonder if anybody does live there.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

When You Don't Fit Into The "Baby Club", Be Your Own Hero (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. No, you won't be lost if you don't. I don't pretend to be Tom Stoppard...I wonder if he has a blog.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. What to do when you're suffering through all of your infertility woes...

And your best friend from college, your next door neighbor, your coworker, (just one measly cubicle over) and your overachieving cousin who won the second grade art contest by drawing a perfect map of Bolivia complete with a special blue-green Crayola shade that she patented herself to replicate the rainforest, all came up pregnant last Tuesday. 

I know it's hard. It's more than hard. It's excruciating. Right now, at this very moment only, (I can't speak for tomorrow and neither can you) you're not part of that club. And whatever you do:

Don't accept a guest pass from these people!

What I mean is:  Don't let them sucker you into feeling guilty for not being thrilled for them or make you feel obligated to celebrate with them.

I was recently at a meeting at work where the guy in charge of Security spoke about how we shouldn't hold doors for anyone entering the building. I opened my big mouth and said: "A lot of us here are from NYC. We're not interested in being polite."

Not to say we're rude. We're just not worried about hurting feelings when our security might be at risk. And when we're around pregnant women, our emotional security is at risk. 

My two cents to you: Volunteer for nothing.

Don't go on cutesie girls day out baby clothes shopping sprees.

Don't offer to help pick out wallpaper for the baby's room.

And for Gd's sake: Don't make any baby showers.

Don't help decorate any baby showers. Don't attend any baby showers. Don't shop for any gifts for baby showers. If you can,  don't even use the term "baby shower".

Just call it:  "Balloons, streamers, a sheet cake, and a woman in no condition to be sitting in a wicker chair for two hours." (At the end of the two hours, three partygoers will be summoned to hoist her out of it.)  

Stick some money in an envelope and slip it to the woman who would be the next best candidate to do the wretched event and tell your next door neighbor, college roommate, cousin: "Sorry, this is a very tough time for me. I gave Anita money for the shower. It's the best I can do right now. Hope you have a great time."

End of story. Goodbye and good luck.  

Then treat yourself to a movie, a trip to the beach, a cuddle on the couch with your honey, (preferably all of the above) the day of the big gala.

If you can manage to coincidentally be doing all of the above in another county, state or time zone, even better.

And for heaven's sake. Don't check any emails or social networks. Some loser (usually my sister)(I apologize)...

So anyway, some loser (usually my sister) (Geez I did it again) will plaster the giddy photos of the shindig while the horrid shindig is still going on.

Here's a photo of Lisa, the guest of honor, eating cake. She's laughing. She's having a good time. This one is of Kate, her sister-in-law. She's laughing and eating cake. She's having a good time too. This is Kate with Lisa. They're both laughing and eating cake.

This is Lisa's husband Rick. He's laughing and drinking in this photo. A baby shower with an open bar. Classy.

Here he is laughing to excess and drinking his third drink beyond excess. He'll be a good daddy.

Oh now, these must go at the front of the baby book: Mommy being greased and pried out of a wicker chair with a spatula and daddy being rolled off the cake table and onto a stretcher by EMS workers.

Listen I gotta go. I have a feeling I'd better give my sister a head's up. Can I plead sudden turrets syndrome? Anybody know?

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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

(Start with "Tuesday" if you can. It's a short post, I promise. Short week, short post, short woman. Apparently I'm shrinking. But nevermind about that.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. The low-life broads who have the audacity to get pregnant before us.

The Clueless 

We're smart women. Many of us eat right and exercise. Don't smoke. Take vitamins. A lot of us are educated. It's a shame none of those things apparently affect your fertility. In fact, they may work against you. Has anyone done a study on pregnancy rates among the clueless? I'll bet they're out of the stratosphere.

Part of this phenomenon, I think, can be explained. Clueless people have a lot of sex.

While we're busy at the library or a museum or the ballet, they're making nice nice. Or if they are at a library, museum or ballet, they're probably having sex in the stacks or in the parking lot with the valet during intermission.

They may know nothing about anything, but even they've figured out that "that goes there". 

Maybe fertility is their gift from Gd  instead of  a brain. Everybody's got something. Nasty people can be physically attractive (if you believe the tabloids about Naomi Campbell) and homely people can be rich. (Look at the British royal family pre-Diana). 

My "favorite" is the clueless girl who keeps getting pregnant over and over. The first child is ten months older than the second and then they start coming closer together. I don't think she has figured out how it all works. She hasn't seemed to make the connection between the beer part and the birth part.

She hasn't realized that every time she and her beau cuddle on the couch with beer and nachos, nine months later she has a baby. Do we really want her to analyze this? "Hm. I keep having these babies. It must be the nachos."

So she does away with the only innocent party in this: The nachos, instead of what she should really be getting rid of:  The couch. And the beer. And definitely, the beau. 

Then there are those who don't even know they're pregnant. She was out roller blading one day, had a twinge in her side, went to the emergency room, and had a twelve pound person yanked from her loins.

I totally understand that some women don't have regular periods to start with so they don't notice missed ones.

I also completely see how the first couple of months you may not catch on if you don't feel queasy. Or notice a little weight gain later on. (Could be baby fat or just Burger King fat?)

But somewhere down the line, you'd think you'd know if you were harboring another whole human being inside your body!  Unless of course....You're Clueless......

Listen, I gotta go. My husband and I just took pictures of ourselves at the photo booth at the mall and I have to get mine retouched. I'll talk to ya tomorrow.

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.