yentas

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

People & Our Infertility Business

When you have to deal with infertility, you quickly realize that there are three types of people in your life: 1) People who really care about your infertility business. 2) People who really don't care about your infertility business and 3) People who only care about your infertility business so they can focus on your life instead of their unbearably humdrum one. So are we supposed to gather up everyone in our lives and hold a meeting to periodically update them on our infertility issues like that nice lady below is doing? woman-talking-to-crowd-featured

What Baby Making / Infertility Info You Owe Family, Friends, & other Random People 

To whom do we owe information and how much information do we owe them? You know, are we obligated to tell our parents that we're having trouble getting pregnant but not that we're going to a Reproductive Endocrinologist? Or do we owe it to our sister to tell her we're doing treatments but not that we're considering an egg donor? Or do we owe our employers details on which procedures we're having done on which day? My strong belief regarding us and our personal infertility business is: Screw 'em all. We don't owe anybody anything. Your husband/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend should be in on all of this infertility crappola since they're the other half of this upheaval. They should hear everything you hear and see everything you see. Just them. That's it. My philosophy is simple: If your body parts aren't involved in this process and you're not going to be primarily raising the person or persons who are born as a result of this process,  you don't need to know anything about the process. So shut up and go away. Don't call us, we'll call you. Laughing IS Conceivable

Your Best Friends during Infertility Should be Total Strangers

This is why infertility support forum strangers are sometimes better to talk to than people you know. You can go on and on and on and on and on and on and:

  1. Nobody thinks you're a nut-job. Or, let me rephrase that: They know you're a nut-job because at this moment in their lives, they're also nut-jobs.
  2. You don't have to explain why you're acting so pissy, sad, depressed, frustrated or like you want to punch everyone in the face... because everyone in the group is acting that way.
  3. You can share your day-to-day infertility business or not and nobody's going to grill you like a patty melt at Denny's.
  4. They won't compare you to your sister with three kids, your best friend from high school who got pregnant a week after she got married, or your mother's neighbor's daughter who just had a baby. They don't know your sister, best friend from high school, or mother's neighbor's daughter. Even more important: They don't give a crap about your sister, your best friend from high school, or your mother's neighbor's daughter.

The outside world may think you owe them something. And you don't. For some reason, people ask very personal, indiscreet, intrusive questions about getting pregnant and having a baby much more easily than other medical issues and somehow it's okay. Could you imagine? Let's get this cocktail party started.

Them: Are you still trying to have a baby? It's been months already. How's that going? .

Us: Are you still not having sex? It's been months already. How's your husband's erectile dysfunction going?

Them: You shouldn't be waiting so long to have a baby. Don't you want to have children?

Us: You shouldn't be waiting so long to have that gastric bypass. Or are you planning to be Jabba the Hut again this Halloween?

Them: A friend of a friend's cousin started the adoption process and then got pregnant. Just saying.

Us: A friend of a friend's sister ate a barrel of cotton candy and it cured her diabetes- Just saying.

So, I'm not saying keep all of these frustrating, overwhelming, infertility emotions to yourself month after month... I'm just saying vent and pour your heart out to total strangers... or prepare to become Denny's next menu item.

(Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more humor at infertility's expense, please check out my eBook:

Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility by clicking the book icon above or heading to the homepage. http://laughingisconceivable.com)

 

Microblog_Mondays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Funny Fertility Flashbacks (I Hope) #8

So today is the last day of us looking back at some fan fave posts of the past year+. Hope you've enjoyed a yuk or two down memory lane. I'll be getting off my fat ass and posting some new stuff on Monday. Have a great weekend! "Holidays: I'm Not Convinced"

Originally Posted: Sept 8, 2010 (Wednesday)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. This week is filled with holidays for me. From Labor day to Rosh Hashanah, (the Jewish New Year).

Yesterday we were talking about how the infertile among us dread holidays and despise family functions. And my theory (my Masters thesis) is that most people, those with normally functioning reproductive systems included, also hate going to these wingdings. And this is why:

Approaching holidays fill us with expectations: 

Expectations to be happy, to celebrate, to be around family, to skip down memory lane, all of us together, hand in hand.

But then, when we turn over the engraved expectation list written in dainty gold calligraphy on perfumed stationery, and on the other side, scribbled in leaky pen with a mayonnaise stain on it, is our dirty little real expectation list.  

We expect that everyone will get to together. We expect that most don't want to be there. Most are there because 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 to humiliate himself and at least one person will say something to humiliate someone else.

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 B.S.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, remember:

Don't ask  your cousin Brian why he's 40 and still living with his college roommate. 

Don't ask your uncle Steve why he was on the news with his jacket over 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 Stovetop 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 write it on your appointment calendar so you don't forget!

Listen I gotta go. If you don't get to the cake early at a Jewish family function, you could starve to death.

When is OUR Independence Day (From Infertility)? (Friday)

Okay, I admit it. I've completely botched this week's posts. Life had the chudspa to interrupt my blog for a few days this week. You were nice enough to log on and I gypped everyone out of a couple of days. I'm sure many are speculating that I haven't yet recovered from my drunken fourth of July stupor. I don't drink or do anything elicit.  The craziest thing I do is yoga (yawn). So what excuse can I possibly have? I got myself twisted into a yoga pretzel and my husband just now found me and pulled me apart?   

So there's really no excuse. I've had car issues and neck issues but who cares?  I don't expect you to. I don't even care that much.  

So, what were we talking about way back on Tuesday when I last posted? Oh right. Independence. When will we ever be free of this crappy infertility? When will we ever get our freedom from it?

I made mention on Tuesday that infertility is like a big fricken ball and chain attached to our our ankles. You'd think we'd all have amazing inner thighs from schlepping it around month after month (at least in one leg--the other one's deteriorating like the rest of our bodies...and  minds, and souls.)

It's time we created our own fireworks. So bring on John Philip Sousa, "Donn, donnn, don don don.. Don don don don don  (That was supposed to be the opening of "Stars & Stripes Forever".  I spent fourth of July with a crick in my neck from an Adirondack chair. Humor me will ya?)

Well if we can't be free of our infertility just yet, maybe we can at least start some fireworks.

You know people always ask:

"What would you do if you knew you only had one more day to live?"

Well I ask:

"What would you do if you knew you only had one more day of infertility?"

(It's my version somewhere between

"What would you do if you knew you had only one more day to live?" and 

"What would you do for a Klondike bar?")

So, think about it. You know you're definitely going to be pregnant tomorrow. You know it's going to be a great, carefree, fabulous pregnancy followed by as many more after that as you want all of which would be obtained as Gd had intended it:  By telling your husband how cute he was and hitting the button on the adjustable bed.

So, consider and ponder and Monday we'll head into it the topic full force. And you may be thinking: "I'd call everyone I know" "I'd run out and get great maternity clothes and adorable baby clothes that I've always wanted"

I, on the other hand, would do all of those things... and yet still find time to tell several people- medical and non-medical- who had been with me along this lovely infertility journey,... what I REALLY thought of them.

Listen, I gotta go. I'd better get going on next week's posts. Making excuses about why I'm not writing is actually more exhausting than writing.

If you haven't clicked over to my latest post at Fertility Authority about: "The Worst Infertility Nurse Ever"... please do. http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368   

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

Get Your Free Fertility Advice- Just $19.99 (Tuesday)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Our forever well-meaning friends and relatives peddling their useless infertility advice to us...free of charge...The only catch is: We have to listen to it. Yesterday I told you about this Health Fair that my husband and I went to a few weekends ago. It had everything we ever dreamed of in a Health Fair: Free admission and air conditioning.

My husband went around filling out contest entries and shoving them into every box with such gusto, you'd have thought he was voting in a country that was holding their first-ever elections.  

PS. We won two guys who came over to our house and made us a dinner with some pricy cookery that we obviously can't live without. (One skillet...no exaggeration... cost $92 more than my mortgage payment. My husband and I discussed the benefits of selling our house and moving into a frying pan. Needless to say after "Well, it would force us to throw out things we don't REALLY need", the discussion was over.)

And this joyous experience brought back fond memories of our friends and family...While we were embarking on our infertility journey... and all the things they peddled to us that we had less use for than the frying pan house.

"Step right up... to our fancy, one of a kind, no nonsense, once in a lifetime offer to a three day vacation in Boulder Colorado. Guaranteed to get you pregnant in no time!"

"I had a friend whose sister-in-law's cat was put in a kennel in Boulder Colorado and two months later that cat had a litter of kittens! She had that cat for six years, had it spayed and neutered...Are you following me ladies? Tell me if I'm goin' to fast fer ya... But like I said before I interrupted myself...still with me ladies?"

"I know everybody always goes skiiing in Aspen. But I'm telling you, I saw it on Dr. Oz, the Doctors, The View and South Park. Plus Sanjay Gupta wrote a book about the air in Boulder and how women are drinking the water there and getting pregnant.

It was something about natural springs there... A woman on the show was talking about it. Something happened to her in the hotel room there that got her pregnant.

I don't remember right now if it was the natural springs in the bath water ... or the natural springs in the mattress... I can't believe you haven't heard about it."

Listen, I gotta go. Suddenly I'm thirsty...for knowledge...or if the soda machine's out of that...then Cherry Coke.

And, Hey...please consider joining my fantastic group of blog subscribers to receive a weekly email of info, updates...and of course more nonsense.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Let the Grilling Begin! (Tuesday)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Preparing for the long weekend ahead and the mandatory Memorial Day barbecue: The unofficial start of summer for grill gluttons and beer guzzling alcoholics everywhere.  (Start with Monday's post if you can.) The perfect place to celebrate Memorial Day weekend for me would be at a monastery where the monks take a vow of silence: The ideal barbecue: Plenty of food and no talking.

And even if there was talking, nobody would be talking about their kids, and there'd be none running around (perhaps there'd be some running around at an apartment complex a half-mile down the road with a connecting underground tunnel to the monastery, but nobody would likely bring that up at the cook-out.)  

But since most of us don't have many monks attending our block parties, we have to work with what we got.

Sometimes as infertiles, you hold your breath as a big wingding approaches. "Will people ask us personal questions? Will we have to explain why we have no kids yet?"

No need to worry this time. For this weekend's barbecue, don't be concerned about the baby-making details. And don't bother buying a cattle car full of beef, pork, or chicken either. Look around the neighborhood. Plenty to grill right here. 

"Hey, look, it's Joan from down the block! Hi Joan. Glad you could make it.... So, Joan,  I've been meaning to ask...:

How much are you selling your house for? Is it really $440,000 like it's listed online? I mean, I'm sure all the other neighbors looked it up also.

I mean you can't really expect everyone to drive by that sign every day for six years and not go onto the realtor's website and search your address. I mean, it's not like we don't know the address.

So are you really asking $440,000 or is that some sort of a bargaining sales ploy? I mean you're not really expecting to get that are you? And it's been the same price for six years. I mean I know the housing market's in the toilet...But six years? And $440,000? It's kind of a pipedream...you know...maybe even a hallucination.

I mean, it's not that we're all nosy, Joan, it's just that we're all curious to know what houses in this neighborhood would be going for.

I mean, most of us are comparing your house to our own, and figure if you could get $440,000 for your termite-infested one-floor cramped mess, which by the way did you realize it's listed as three thousand square feet?

I mean, even if you count the garage, the deck , the hammock out back, and the mailbox, it couldn't possibly be three thousand square feet.

So do you really want to sell or are you just listing it to further piss off your ex-husband who built the house with his own two hands and lost it in the settlement when he ran off with that hula instructor?

Like I said, I know it's not really my place, but I just figured while we're standing around in this relaxed friendly atmosphere on this holiday weekend just chatting... and grilling...      

Listen, I gotta go. The long weekend's only a few days away and I've got to go buy some deck furniture.... and build a deck.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Sweeping up After National Infertility Awareness Week (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. You'll want to read every word this week, especially on Thursday when, for no apparent reason, I drifted onto the subject of prostitution (I actually compared myself to a street-walker if I remember correctly) and stayed in that seedy neighborhood for 400 words or so.   And if you can possibly handle a little more of my ramblings and would like to know future happenings about Laughing IS Conceivable (this blog) and some insider info on why I write what I write (I'll give you my best guess) please subscribe...

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. National Infertility Awareness Week--I've written those four words so many times in the past 2 weeks I actually programmed a key on my computer to type it just by me looking at it. (Call me lazy...May as well... there's no other word for it.)

Hopefully you were all involved in the big hoopla surrounding (my eyes are going towards that key) National Infertility Awareness Week. I trust that you partied responsibly.

I know none of you shot up hormones without a designated driver and then drove yourself home.

I mean, I hate when people drive and talk on a phone--nevermind drive and text-- but driving while kneeling on the front seat to give  yourself a butt injection? That's just going too far.

(I suppose you could stick your butt out the window at a red light and moon the guy in the next car and hand over the syringe: "Excuse me ! Sir?!  Sir?!! Excuse me?! Would you mind? Come on, come on, it's not that long a light.)  

Of course I'd hate to have to explain that to a cop.... Or a judge... or maybe a jury... Or the local newspaper... Or your relatives in Iowa who get your local newspaper online... Or their boss who somehow connected that you're related to them...    

So listen: Today's Fertility Authority Friday. So if you'd be so kind, click over to their website and you'll get more of Laughing IS Conceivable and the clean-up and aftermath of (eyes to the key) National Infertility Awareness Week...According to me anyway.

Here's the direct link in case you're lazy like me and too lazy to scroll down. http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368 

Listen, I gotta go. I have a big date with my boyfriend/fiance/husband/boy-toy/lover man/hunka-hunka burnin' love tonight...I'd tell you more but it's kinda private.

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

Infertility Treatments Overseas: Mixing Misery with Pleasure (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Earthquakes and tsunamis are all over the planet. The U.S. government is ready to put up a "Gone Fishin'" sign. My blog's about the only thing in this world you can still count on. And if you can handle a bit more of my BS over the weekend...please subscribe to receive my weekly newsletter.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Fertility clinics around the globe replacing both Disney and South Beach as the hottest vacation destinations.

I've been writing about this all week and I'll be honest: Up until about an hour ago...I still didn't get it. 

Lots of people, mostly travel agents and doctors abroad, have been singing the praises of other countries for fertility treatments: "The weather's great! The beaches are beautiful! Try to come during opera season!" 

All week I kept thinking: "I'm going there for a medical emergency. A family crisis.  And you're trying to sell me on the weather?!"  

How do I put this delicately? Who gives a sht about the weather?!  Where the doctor will be looking, the weather's always the same: "Warm and Dark".

I'm coming over there to get my uterus poked for less money than they charge to poke it over here. I'm glad the opera will be in town. Maybe during my procedure, their screaming will drown out mine.   

Then, about an hour ago, I finally realized my problem: All week, we've been looking at this from a fertility patient's point of view. I think we need to stop...

And look at this whole "Traveling Abroad for Treatments" thing... From a Jet-Setter's point of view. (To be continued at:)

http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

Today is Fertility Authority Friday. Please head over there for the rest of this brand new post. I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

Spring Break: Does Anyone Ever Get A Break From Infertility? (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. What else ya got to do? Oh that work thing...Well maybe you can do that later.)  So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The madcap adventures of a gaggle of infertile people on Spring Break. Oh the mischief and mayhem.  

So here we are on Spring Break...It's the romantic getaway we've all earned and needed so badly. Just my husband and me...and two hundred infertile strangers... and all of our Reproductive Endocrinologists by our sides. Well, we couldn't very well go away for a week without them.

So, the expenses for this Spring Break trip aren't too bad: The rental house. Well, there are two hundred of us. So our share wasn't too bad:  $1.50. Plus meals...well, you know, some of us get pretty depressed during treatments...and we eat... so meals (+snacks) : $2000 + accommodations for the doctor- $1200 in a luxury hotel suite--you don't think they went to school for twenty something years to be imprisoned for a week with two hundred infertile people?... These doctors may not have borders... but they have limits. + airfare + cost of treatment. All totalled, five days in Fort Lauderdale: $70,000... not bad.      

I don't know. I feel kind of weird going wild with my doctor here. It's like misbehaving in front of the principal...I feel strange grabbing my husband's butt in front of him (and yet, the doctor has touched me in much worse places... am I creating my own double-standard?)

It's like he's my boss or something. Every time he walks into the house, I automatically minimize my computer screen.  

I mean, I don't even know my RE's first name.  A couple of them at the clinic I don't even know their last names. One guy I called Dr. Pa for a month before I realized that PA on his name tag meant he was the Physician's Assistant.

But, oh, when the RE's aren't around! Like 3 PM, when they're done for the day... and Tuesday afternoons, and Fridays... Boy do we let loose!  Party! Partyyyy!

"Hey everybody let's do drugs! Wanna shoot up? I brought my Follistim pen. We can dial a really high number of IU's and see what happens."

"Let's go cliff-diving. Dare me to do it? What can we bet to make it interesting? How about an all expenses paid round of IVF?... or the last muffin in the fridge?"

"Anybody got connections? Anybody know where we can get some good Progesterone way out here?" 

"Hey I just won the wet T-shirt contest. Wow, do my boobs feel sore. I must be ovulating. Hey, get out of my way! I've got to find my husband! No time! Hey you! Lifeguard! Come here and save my life! Trust me, it's fine. What happens on Spring Break stays on Spring Break."

"Oh man. This party is out of control. You know a bunch of guys were just in the living room giving their wives subcutaneous injections..."

"Hey I can beat that. I just peed on a stick."

Listen I gotta go... To find  a cliff in Fort Lauderdale. (names and cliffs have been changed in this post to protect the innocent... I suppose, instead of a cliff, I could have said I went jumping off a retiree.)

And if you don't mind my nonsense please subscribe. It's free and easy and will give you access to some Laughing IS Conceivable deals in the near future. If you'd like more of my nonsense, please click over to my weekly post at Fertility Authority. http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Spring Break: Does Anyone Ever Get a Break From Infertility? (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can.  Mondays are always a road map of sorts for that week's posts. I myself refer to Monday's post constantly during the week. It helps me remember where I had originally intended that week's blog to go before I GPS'd us all into a ditch.)  And if you yearn for a little more misdirection in your life, please subscribe to this blog over there to your right, and/or take a short jaunt over to my page at Fertility Authority: http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368. So, what were we talking about? Oh right.  As crazy co-eds around the world finish up their mad-cap Spring Break adventures, we were pondering what a wild rollicking ride it would be if all of us, a giant heap of infertile people, had our own Spring Break.

So let's consider all of the things people do on Spring Break. Okay, so, drinking isn't good for fertility and it's probably a bad idea when you're doing the meds too. And smoking's not good for fertility. And hot tubs aren't good for fertility in men or women.

So, let's just all rent a great house down by the beach and sit in it and... look at each other I guess. We could order pizza. Or watch Mr. Belvedere reruns. Or do each other's hair (my husband would enjoy that) or talk about our boyfriends (my husband would enjoy that) or go skinny-dipping in the lake... hey there may be something in that idea. 

I mean, before I ever went through infertility and its ensuing treatments, I probably would have never considered jumping into a body of water with a bunch of other strange naked bodies. (Okay, I probably would have...but play along anyway will ya?) But once you've embarked on the infertility ordeal...I mean, really... who hasn't seen me naked from the waist down?

My fertility clinic (pardon me for calling it "my" fertility clinic. I do so because 1) I feel a sense of kinship to that joint because of all the time I spent there. 2) I feel a sense of ownership to that joint because of all the money I spent there...I should at least have my own wing or plaque or something.) Anyway...

My clinic had many wonderful doctors working there. And they all took a poke at my uterus at one time or another...most more than once...or twice... Then there were nurses. And students. And curious receptionists... and passersby on the way to the podiatry clinic next door... and that busload of tourists from Brazil. (I knew it was okay. I figured anybody who sees Brazilian beach bodies all the time isn't going to give any part of me a second look. Except maybe to whisper among themselves: "Oooh. I don't think that's supposed to look like that" in Portuguese.)

So I'm certainly not ashamed to flaunt my woo-hoo in front of a bunch of infertile strangers. If they went to the same clinic I did, they've probably already seen it at some point...Everyone else there did.

And anyway... My sagging boobs will cover most of what comes beneath.      

On that note....

Listen I gotta go. If you want to knock that last visual out of your head...and I could see why you would... (even I'm having a hard time getting my granola bar down at the moment), take a gander at my weekly post over at Fertility Authority. http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Spring Training for Infertility Virgins (Wednesday)

(Start with"Monday" if you can. Spring training is in full-swing here. You won't want to miss a single pitch.)  Anybody who has been around this blog for any length of time knows that when it comes to sports I'm a fanatic not just a fan. I planned my wedding around football season. I took a particular apartment in New York because it was within walking distance to both the New York Mets and the U.S. Open tennis. Well the Spring training involved here has nothing to do with all that...It has everything to do with infertility veterans, those of us who have been there (sometimes over and over) letting all of you just starting out, in on what you might have to look forward to.

So what were we talking about? Oh right. What us infertility vets want you newcomers to know:  

2) You know yourself. Your husband/wife/partner knows you. Your doctors will come to know you. Your friends, neighbors, coworkers and relatives know nothing.

Once you tell people or they even suspect that you're having conception issues, they will all come out of the wood work to offer you (almost totally worthless) infertility advice. All of a sudden everyone is a fertility maven. They're all experts on the reproductive system...even those who can't spell "reproductive"... and they all know what you need to do to get pregnant.

They may be sleeping on a couch with their boyfriend and their three kids in a basement in his cousin's house, but they know how to solve all of your problems.

They may think tsunami is the cashier at the Chinese buffet and Libya is a woman's body part, but they can solve your infertility.

They may think Philadelphia is the capital of New York and Los Angeles is just west of California, but they can resolve your issues.

So, these same people who ask you every year: What date does New Year's Day come out on this year? Or call you from down the block to ask "What time is it there?" ...will offer up their unbelievably uneducated guesses at how you can get pregnant.

"Go on a vacation. My cousin went on vacation and came back pregnant."  Of course she went "on vacation" at an army base and has no idea who the baby daddy is.  

"Just relax: If you don't think about it, it will just happen."  After all, that's probably how they got pregnant. They didn't think about birth control...and it just happened.

"Adopt. People who adopt always wind up pregnant" Yeah, I've heard of that happening too. So, do you think all of those millions of people who are on waiting lists and go through all of the red tape and fly to other countries to adopt...it's all just a big ploy? I've been wondering.

Maybe they don't really want to adopt. They just think it's an easy way to get pregnant. It worked for Ted and Georgette on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. (If you never heard of that show...yes, I am old... please be polite and just keep it movin')  

"You have to have sex all the time": Okay, I've got no argument for that one. 

The point is: Don't let them make you nuts. You're starting out. You're overwhelmed. That's understandable. Just don't assume every Num-nut knows more than you do. If you want to confide in people about your situation, go ahead. But don't run to people, whom you have no reason to believe know anything about anything, for advice.

Listen, I gotta go. My neighborhood's gearing up for a giant yard sale next weekend and I've got to get everything sorted and tag. Na, maybe I'll just leave the garage door open and the front door unlocked.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow. And if you'd like to see my bonus post, please head over to http://www.fertilityauthority.com/blogger/lori-shandle-fox/2011/03/17/wasted-infertility-related-hours-my-life-i-want-back

Infertility, Vacations, & Other Stressful Events (Tuesday)

So, presently I'm on the final days of a lovely vacation in Florida. For those buried under an avalanche of snow yet again...so sorry. When you can't get pregnant, every fool and her sister tells you to go on vacation. Apparently our reproductive systems know which climate we're having sex in. But how do we know if our eggs and sperm are snobs? Maybe you'd get pregnant in a five star hotel. But your husband's sperm refuses to be seen at a Motel 6.

It's all very confusing to me. People who fool around on their spouses say it doesn't count if they're away from home. And it doesn't count when you meet someone on Spring Break either. And it doesn't count if you don't know the person's first name, or where they live, or their natural hair color. So how do our reproductive systems know, when we're on vacation with the person we're supposed to be on vacation with, that THIS time is supposed to count?    

Okay, when people tell us to go on vacation to get pregnant, I think they're telling us to go away and relax. If our bodies and minds are relaxed, nature will do what it's supposed to and we'll come back pregnant. Okay, so I believe the mind/body thing and am a strong proponent of taking your mind off the rigors of the shitty journey as much as possible...hence this blog. But, oh, if only it could be that simple.

How fast-acting is this formula for pregnancy anyway? Maybe you could just go on the Expedia website and leave it on the screen while you do your husband on the floor by the computer.

Or maybe you could make love with the boarding pass sandwiched between you (Okay, that thought pretty much nixed my chances of ever applying for a job at the airport. "Sir, if I get this job working at the check-in counter, can I wear gloves? You just never know where those boarding passes have been.")    

Are there statistics on (let me apologize before I even type it) how many pregnancies have been achieved by members of the mile-high club? I'm figuring there have been way more bruises than pregnancies.  And let me confess, I probably haven't ever seriously considered becoming a member of that club, but when I've used one of the airplane toilets, I've often wondered how it's even possible. They're so teeny, where would everything go? There's barely enough room to pee.

So, that's what we'll discuss this week. No not urinating at high altitudes air in a cramped moving object. (Though it could be a fascinating topic and I could probably go on about it for an entire week...but, really, who would want me to?)  Instead, we'll talk about what really goes on during a vacation that might be helpful during this infertility time of our lives and if it's really possible to check our emotional infertility-related baggage at the border? 

Listen, I gotta go.  I've been on vacation for almost a week now and, needless to say, as I put on my bathing suit for the last time, I'm going to have to call for help. It's somehow shrunk a lot in the past few days... yeah that must be it.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

The Infertility Superbowl: Wanna Bet I'll Get Pregnant? (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Starting my blog in the middle of the week would be like starting War And Peace at Chapter 280. You'd never recover.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. Quenching my desperate, neurotic thirst to hold onto the football season by selfishly foisting the sport on my readers with a feeble attempt to connect it to infertility. But of course, football and infertility do have the physical contact part in common... not to mention the injuries.

Okay, so in the throes of baby-making passion, you probably never put on cleats, threw your spouse to the ground and stepped on his or her throat. But let's face it. For most people: If you incurred a sex injury, you'd probably tell everyone it was a sports injury.

"How'd you get that cut on your arm?".......... Which answer would you rather give?

A) My cousins and I were playing tackle football and I got slammed into a parked car and slashed my arm on the rear-view mirror. 

OR

B) Yeah we were working on a baby and I started to slide off the bed.  I grabbed onto the night table to keep myself from hitting the floor.

"What's that black and blue mark on your leg from?"

A) I was playing soccer and got kicked right in the shin by some brawny girl with monster calves and the widest knee caps you've ever seen.

OR

B) "Cramp! You're cutting off the circulation in my leg! Could you please just move a little to the left? Cramp!" 

 "What's that bump on your head?"

A) Yeah a bunch of us were shooting hoops and two of us went up for the ball at the same time and knocked heads.

OR

B) Yeah Jimmy always starts his moves too close to the headboard. It's hard to be passionate when you know that at any minute you might be knocked unconscious.

 "What's that rash on your face?"

A) "We were playing racquet ball in the woods and there were these branches and these vines and then there might have been some poison oak"

OR

B) "Why can't he shave first? Is that asking to much?"

"That's a nasty grass burn on your leg. How did it happen?"

A) "Well, I was playing hockey in the backyard and this big guy came at me with his stick."

Okay, so that one's a half-truth.

Listen I gotta go. My husband and I are going to play tennis. Just the two of us. We're not into doubles.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

I'm a Double Threat: Infertile AND Uninsurable (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Unless in addition to infertile and uninsurable you also find me unreadable. Then, frankly, I don't know what to tell you.... But if you find me even the least bit bearable, consider becoming a subscriber to get a weekly blog update and some insider info.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. How I would hate doing the billing for a fertility clinic. It's such a no-win job.

Maybe I could do the billing for a fertility clinic in Beverly Hills though. Unlike other fertility clinics who have clients who are there for treatments even though they can't possibly afford it, maybe the Beverly Hills clinics have clients who are only there because they can afford it. Maybe they're not infertile,  just lazy.

"You know I suppose I could go through all of that sweaty, messy, sex stuff with my husband...Naaa... I may as well just have some children implanted when I go for my tummy tuck. I'll be there anyway. What's another twenty thousand?"

So, in Beverly Hills, I wouldn't mind collecting the money: "You forgot your checkbook? That's okay, I'll take that ring. No, the other one."     

In Kevin Haney's article in the Non-Health Experts department; "Bad Enough I Have To Go Through Fertility Treatments, Now You Want Me to Pay for Them Too?", he brings up an oh so valid and disturbing point about the warm, nurturing, insurance companies.

I had always assumed that insurance companies chose not to insure us, or offered coverage that was so expensive that nobody's job every stuck it into the benefits package, because our treatments were way too pricy. I hate to admit it, but I believed in my heart that the insurance carriers hated the sight of us desperate infertile people and wished we were all dead or would just go take our procreation journey elsewhere.  Those racist bastards.

Not so, I've discovered.

Lo and behold, it turns out to be quite the opposite. Insurance companies, turns out, absolutely adore us: Fallopian tube clogged, endometriosis-ridden, shriveled elderly eggs, ovarian cystic, low sperm counting... Messy as we are, warts and all, or cysts and all, whatever...they just can't get enough of us.

And that's because, sure our treatments are expensive... to us. But according to what I gleaned from  the article, what's a mere twenty thousand dollars a pop for some go 'rounds of IVF compared to the cost of prenatal care, hospital stays, complications that may arise, etc etc, pediatrics, college tuition? (okay, as usual, I may have gone one or two too far,)

So, insurance companies LOVE infertile people. And as long as we stay infertile, we're a cheap date. We're a tuna fish sandwich and a can of beer on a snack tray watching "A Twilight Zone" marathon on the Sci-Fi channel. So, it's not that insurance companies don't want us to have fertility treatments. They just don't want them to work.

And let's then look at the positive: Infertility treatments work. And that's why insurance companies wish we didn't do them... Yeah for us. Here's that article that I mentioned earlier: http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=1623

Listen, I gotta go. It's Ground Hog day and I have this sinking feeling that I've written this exact post before.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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.

Which Will Come First: Their Breakthrough or Our Breakdown? (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can.  If you're somewhere in the U.S. where there's a big snowstorm, nothing will keep you warm like some infertility humor, and hot cocoa, and your blankie, and your cozy pajamas, and your warm socks and favorite slippers and your favorite loverboy or girl... okay, you really don't need the damn blog do you?...   But if you like it anyway... please subscribe... it's free, easy.. and the weekly emails are informative and sometimes even mildly entertaining)   So, what were we talking about? Oh right. New developments in the world of infertility. One thing going on right now is a discussion on ovary freezing. Well, why not? It's winter and it's cold. If guys are freezing their nuggets off, we should have something to freeze also. Okay, you're right. It probably isn't what the doctors have in mind.

Last May, there was a young woman, thirty-two, who had a baby. Big deal. Who cares? What was so miraculous was that she had some major cancer twelve years ago. Before she started cancer treatments, which she was told would leave her infertile, she had doctors remove an ovary and toss it into their freezer between a Snickers bar and a can of Coke that had exploded.

So, fast forward twelve years. Now that she was cancer-free and ready to have a baby, the doctor took her ovary out of the freezer (the Coke mess is still there by the way) put it under his armpit to warm it up a bit and then unzipped the woman and slipped her ovary back inside.

I wonder if her other ovary then looked over and said: "It's about time. Where the hell have ya been? What is that an icycle hanging off of ya?"

I can imagine the jealousy in her reproductive system. The other ovary, her uterus, her tubes, all had gone through cancer treatments. They were thirty-two years old and felt like sixty. And here comes this damn ovary twelve years later: Perky, well-rested, and not a day older than when it left.

I should have frozen my face twelve years ago. I'm at the point now where every month I look six months older.  Ten years ago people thought I looked ten years younger than I was.  Five years ago, people thought I looked my age. Now they just say: "I hate to guess. Please don't make me guess. I'm really no good at guessing." Nobody ever says that unless they know they're in a no-win situation. They're saying in their heads: "Geez this is terrible. There's not one thing I can say that she could ever forgive."        

So the idea behind this whole freezing your ovaries thing when you're in your twenties is: To prevent age-related infertility- Freeze your ovaries now in case you don't want children until you're forty.  So what's the book on this breakthrough going to be called?:

"Twenty-Twenty Hindsight Infertility" Or "My Crystal Ball and Me: Secrets to My Fertility"

I mean this woman who went through the cancer treatments- okay, freezing her ovary made perfect sense. She knew what she was about to endure. But what twenty year old is going to say: "I think I won't get married until I'm thirty-five and I probably won't want children until I'm forty-one, so I think I'll have some surgery and freeze one of my ovaries for twenty years."?

Then what? She'll go to a club that night (non-alcohol of course because she's underage), meet the love of her life and call the doctor the next day: "You know that ovary you took out of me yesterday? I need it back."  Or if it's a particularly immature twenty year old: "Hi. I was at the hospital yesterday. I think I left my ovary there by accident. You didn't happen to find it did you?"

I can't really see a healthy single twenty year old- with infertility as the last thing on her mind--going to have such a surgery. I could see some twenty year old chatting to her girlfriends online about whether they thought it was a good idea for her to have organs removed to give her a flat stomach so she could fit into a pair of size two jeans.  

Listen, I gotta go. The snow's really coming down now. I'm going to run outside with a vat of liquid fruit flavor and turn my backyard into one humongous snow cone. It's true. I can see an edible opportunity in almost everything.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Part II: In 2011, I'll Quit Cursing, Watching Football, etc etc, yeah yeah we know (Friday)

(Start with "Tuesday" if you can. I've written two thousand words this week: Each an every one a gem.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The importance of New Year's resolutions for those who have spent the holidays at Club Infertile. (A friend of mine went to a Club Med years ago. There was a hurricane and everybody was evacuated. She was so mad. She spent the entire two weeks crammed  in a shelter with thousands of strangers.... When she got back I said to her: "What do you want from Club Med? They promised you you'd meet people...)

Still sounds like a fun time compared to what goes on at "Club Infertile", doesn't it?

The point is: (besides me being a wiseass which seems to be a major theme in both my writing and my life)  She was mad at something nobody could control. And this is why New Year's resolutions are so important for those with infertility.

As we begin a new year, I think it's a fantastic time to jump out of the infertility cyclone.

One day you decide it's time to take that leap into a fertility clinic. The next thing you know, two years have gone by and it's all one big blur. It all becomes like Dorothy's nightmare in the Wizard of Oz when she gets bonked on the head at the beginning. Images swirling around our heads: Hormones, shots, blood tests, sonograms, uterine lining, alcohol pads, syringes, stupid, well-meaning stupid relatives, "and your little dog too!", Gonal-F, Clomid, "Auntie Em! Auntie Em!...

After a while, we forget that infertility is just a sucky part of our lives and don't even realize it has become our lives. This is a great time of year to take stock of ourselves and to basically... reclaim ourselves.  Here is a good sampling of my wish list for your resolutions list:

I alway start off my New Year's resolutions list with the same two:

1) Quit smoking

2) Give up coffee

I've never smoked and never had a cup of coffee in my entire life. So having conquered those two just by waking up on January 1st, I feel invincible enough to attack the other seventy items on my list.

Okay, I'm putting on my serious face now. I'm like Mrs. Potato Head. I'm going to put on my serious eyes.

1) Flirt with your spouse... Hey, remember that? When you used to like to kiss him because he was delicious not because if you kissed him enough you might have a baby nine months later?

2) Underreact to dumb comments. Did you not read my holiday posts? I've already told you that you have a few relatives who are total morons. Over the years, they've said dumb things about your hair and your cousin's girlfriend and your sister's wedding dress.

So, do you expect that now that you're going through infertility they've become Einstein? It's nothing personal. They're stupid. They're stupidity is like your infertility. You'd both cure it if you could, but you can't. The bright side is: Someday you may get pregnant...and they'll still be stupid.   

3) When your friends get pregnant, don't take it personally. They probably really wanted to have a baby and weren't just doing it to piss you off. Whether you think they're being insensitive or not by showing you pictures and wanting to take you baby clothes shopping and inviting you to their baby showers doesn't really matter. They have the right to be happy for themselves. And you have the right to tell them to screw off until you feel like being happy for them...whether it be days, months, years, or never.   

4) Introduce yourself to yourself. You're not an "infertile person". You don't have to wear a scarlet "I" on your chest. (Well at least not in 47 states) You're a person who has infertility and who should also have plenty of hobbies and interests. Who else are you besides this infertile person? Are you a reader? A chef? A dancer? If you don't know...find out. If you do know...find out more.

5) Leave the blanks blank.... Find time to breathe: Whichever feels right to you: Pray if you pray, meditate if you don't. Do yoga. Play tennis. Get your body feeling good and your mind feeling relaxed. It will help you to put everything in perspective and to stop trying to figure out every twist and turn of this stinkin' cement maze. Do whatever you can to kick all of those obsessive thoughts out of your head....Let them haunt somebody else for a change...They really must go.  

Listen, I gotta go too. I've got this hot date with my husband tonight. I'm not sure if I should let him kiss me goodnight. We'll see where he takes me to dinner first.

And hey... 6) Don't Ever Forget to Laugh. I'd be out of a job.

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.