Infertile Women on Spring Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And how about a few hands of Progesterone Poker?:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Woman's Desperate Attempt to Inject Spring Spirit into Infertility

One Woman's Desperate Attempt to Inject Spring Spirit into Infertility.  (Did she have to say: 'inject'?) At this time of year, as we approach the Easter and Passover holidays, I'm sure, like me, you can't help pondering how much this spring holiday season reminds you of your fertility treatments.

"What? Why? What are you talking about? I've never thought that even once."

I mean, take Easter for example. True, infertility doesn't make us feel resurrected...

"Resurrected? No. That's not quite the right word. Maybe: "Angry"? "Defeated"? "Pissed?"

Okay... maybe that wasn't a good example. How about: Infertility reminds us of getting all dressed up and heading to church with the whole family?

"How? It's more like throwing on a sleeveless T-shirt and baggy sweatpants so the nurse will have easy access to my vein and the doctor will have easy access to... somewhere totally different. And there aren't enough seats in the waiting room for the whole family and who wants them there anyway? Yeah, I'll tell you how infertility is like Easter. I feel like I'm the only idiot in the egg hunt still swinging an empty basket!"

Infertility is like spring.

"No it's not. I keep planting but nothing's growing. Groundhogs  are morons. Every last one of them. They may be cute rodents but they're sucky meteorologists."

Let's move on, shall we?

Infertility is like Passover where we celebrate Gd liberating us from slavery.

"Hm... liberation from being a slave.  Well let's see... Every single minute of every single day of my life revolves around doctors, nurses, blood tests, stomach shots, prescriptions, butt shots, appointments, and probing examinations. Nope. Not feeling the liberation. More like: Infertility is like Passover: Everybody tells you what you can eat and what you can't eat and 99% of what you are supposed to be eating, you would never eat in a million years if you had the choice. More precisely: Infertility is like Passover food: Monotonous, bland, and hard to digest. Yeah yeah... that's it."

Well, okay. I guess I see your point. But I can't end our little discussion on a negative note. So let's wind this up with a positive thought, shall we?

No matter whether we're talking about IVF or Easter, or the Passover Seder plate: My wish for you is the same:

"May none of your eggs be filled with Laffy Taffy."

 

What It's Really Like...

When you've been trying to get pregnant, people can relate to that. Maybe they themselves tried for a month or two and it wasn't until month four when they finally conceived. Or maybe they got pregnant the first weekend they tried but their sister or best friend wanted to get pregnant as soon as she was married but "struggled" for six months. So whether directly or indirectly, people have lived through that. But then when you move into the neighborhood of: "I've been trying for a year or five years or ten years and I've been to a Reproductive Endocrinologist, and I've had a test to see if my tubes are open and I might have endometriosis or PCOS..." Once you start to get into the mechanics of your innards- what strangers in labs are probing and things that cause you to miss work... most people mentally drift off. Even the ones who are interested and supportive, most of them don't really understand what you're talking about. If you've ever wanted to tell them what a day in your life as someone trying to get pregnant is really like but you are just too emotionally drained or too private a person to go into it... Well, I have a new essay in Pregnantish Magazine at the link below that might help. In fact, it's called: "What IVF is Really Like: A Day in the Life". See if any of it rings a bell. http://pregnantish.com/what-ivf-is-really-like-a-day-in-the-life/

And one last thing...

Have you taken a look at my book? Recommended by renowned infertility professionals around the U.S. and abroad. Now available in eBook & paperback. (Amazon/ B & N / Kobo)  https://www.amazon.com//dp/0692950117/

Religion, Infertility, & Humor (Really?)

Do you ever feel awkward around people who you feel you have nothing in common with? Now that I've lived in the southern part of the U.S. for more than a decade, I've felt a little less weird about it. But having lived in New York-- the suburbs and then the city-- my entire life, it was quite an adjustment when we first moved here. I remember when we first arrived, it felt like all of the conversations included church, everybody owned a gun, and my husband and I were the only ones who cursed. So here I am, 10+ years later, I'm still me, but the conversations around me startle me a little bit less.  Enter Sarah's Laughter.

Sarah's Laughter is a non-profit faith-based infertility+ support organization. Does this look like some place that would want anything to do with me? Turns out, they've been around a long time just loving, helping, supporting, & yes, praying for people dealing with infertility & related ordeals. I did a podcast interview on their site. Maybe it's just me, but despite the name of the organization, religion & humor doesn't sound like peanut butter & jelly or fish & chips. I was scared to death. Would I be asked "religious" questions? Would I be able to get through it without uttering a profanity? What if I said something that isn't a profanity to me, but it is to them? I was bound to let something slip in vain. All in all... Come have a listen@ http://podcast.sarahs-laughter.com/episode-59-laughing-is-conceivable-lori-shandle-fox

And if you would like to purchase my book (not riddled with profanity, but certainly containing a few more than in the podcast) Available on Amazon, Kobo, & Nook.  Comments by renowned fertility professionals inside.

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

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

 

 

Infertility & Romance. Romance? What Romance?

One of the way infertility ruins our life is that it's sneaky. It toys with us emotionally, physically, financially & in every other way but it does it so cleverly, little by little, that we barely notice it's taken us over completely, body, mind, heart, & soul. The damn thing is a cult. And one of the first aspects of our life that infertility gets its grimy clutches into is our love life. One day you're walking hand in hand along the sun-kissed beach, the warm breeze of the ocean blowing your hair against his face. The next you're walking hand in hand into a fluorescent lit examination room, lifting yourself with one hand onto the table and holding your backless gown shut with the other so you won't flash passersby if it catches the breeze from the a/c . "What the hell just happened?" All of a sudden,just like that, our warm, lovey-dovey, kissy-kissy partnership  has turned into somewhat of a business partnership: "Well we have to have sex by Tuesday. Wednesday of the latest. Ideally if we could meet up on both days... Are you available at 4 on Tuesday and 7:15 on Wednesday? 7:30 after Jeopardy! in the bedroom? That'll be fine. See you then."

This week's post: "Infertility & Romance. Romance? What Romance?" can be found at IRMS Reproductive Medicine at St. Barnabas' blog-- thanks to the lovely Dr.Serena H. Chen who allows me to sully their blog with my two cents.  http://www.sbivf.com/blog/infertility-romance-romance-what-romance/

Please take a look at my very own personal infertility / IVF journey  in my own warped point of view in my book.- Available in paperback & eBook. (Amazon, Kobo, Nook.)

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

Valentine's Day: Finally: The Perfect Holiday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

 

Infertility Groundhog Day

Infertility Groundhog Day is almost upon us. Infertility Groundhog Day is much like regular Groundhog Day. If you're  not in the U.S. or Canada and are unfamiliar with Groundhog Day, you're really missing out. Every February 2nd, if this groundhog in Pennsylvania sees his shadow, it is considered a prediction that we will have six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, it means an early spring. Infertility Groundhog Day is similar. If the groundhog sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of infertility. If he doesn't see his shadow, it means things will be blooming sooner than later. And for most of us, the groundhog feels about as good as a predictor of what we can expect next as just about anything anybody else has told us.

But let's face it: Most of us who are going or have gone through infertility can relate less to the holiday and more to the Bill Murray movie variety of Groundhog Day.

Monday: The alarm clock rings. You get up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get into your car, drive to the doctor's office, say "good morning" to the receptionist, choose a chair in the waiting room where you won't have to share an armrest with anyone, read the same paragraph of a magazine over and over trying to make sense of it while anxiously waiting to be called, go in, roll up your sleeve if you somehow forgot to wear sleeveless, get your blood drawn, get a cotton ball taped to your vein instead of an actual Band-aid, return to the waiting room, get called to the examination room, get undressed, slip into a paper tablecloth from Party City, climb aboard the examination table,  move all the way down on the table until your lower half looks like a capital "M" so that the fluorescent lights shine where the sun don't shine, do your best to hurriedly put your clothes back on right side out, drive to work so you can earn $14 an hour so you can pay the $10,000 medical bill, pretend your morning is normal, go home, call a nurse, ask an online support group what the nurse meant, read way too much into it with your best online stranger friends, have a short private freak out, stick a needle in your belly and go to bed.

Wednesday: The alarm clock rings. You get up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get into your car, drive to the doctor's office, say "good morning" to the receptionist, choose a chair in the waiting room where you won't have to share an armrest with anyone, read the same paragraph of a magazine over and over trying to make sense of it while anxiously waiting to be called, go in, roll up your sleeve if you somehow forgot to wear sleeveless, get your blood drawn, get a cotton ball taped to your vein instead of an actual Band-aid, return to the waiting room, get called to the examination room, get undressed, slip into a paper tablecloth from Party City, climb aboard the examination table,  move all the way down on the table until your lower half looks like a capital "M" so that the fluorescent lights shine where the sun don't shine, do your best to hurriedly put your clothes back on right side out, drive to work so you can earn $14 an hour so you can pay the $10,000 medical bill, pretend your morning is normal, go home, call a nurse, ask an online support group what the nurse meant, read way too much into it with your best online stranger friends, have a short private freak out, stick a needle in your belly and go to bed.

Friday: The alarm clock rings. You get up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, get into your car, drive to the doctor's office, say "good morning" to the receptionist, choose a chair in the waiting room where you won't have to share an armrest with anyone, read the same paragraph of a magazine over and over trying to make sense of it while anxiously waiting to be called, go in, roll up your sleeve if you somehow forgot to wear sleeveless, get your blood drawn, get a cotton ball taped to your vein instead of an actual Band-aid, return to the waiting room, get called to the examination room, get undressed, slip into a paper tablecloth from Party City, climb aboard the examination table,  move all the way down on the table until your lower half looks like a capital "M" so that the fluorescent lights shine where the sun don't shine, do your best to hurriedly put your clothes back on right side out, drive to work so you can earn $14 an hour so you can pay the $10,000 medical bill, pretend your morning is normal, go home, call a nurse, ask an online support group what the nurse meant, read way too much into it with your best online stranger friends, have a short private freak out, stick a needle in your belly and go to bed.

There's a loophole with the real Groundhog Day. Sure, the official groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil in Western Pennsylvania but then there are groundhog knock-offs all over the place. (We had "Mortimer" who retired. Now we have "Snerd") So if Phil doesn't predict what you want to hear, you just keep searching. Somewhere there is a groundhog who will give you a prediction that's more to your liking. Same with Infertility Groundhog Day. Here's to an early spring for everyone!

 

Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you first got here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please take a look at my book- now available in eBook & paperback. It's my true account, written as I went through them, of my travails with infertility, IUI, IVF, FET, waiting rooms, losing my mind, worthless health insurance, my husband, nosy people with dumb advice....  (Available on Amazon / B & N/ Kobo (eBook only))

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

IUI, IVF, FET & Other Random Letters

Like most people going through infertility online, when I first read all of the abbreviations in people's posts, I found it daunting. I mean I knew most of the medical ones: IUI, IVF FET... (I found out about the last one the hard way... by going through it.) But I had to scramble around googling and infiltrating various infertility groups to reveal the hidden meaning behind the conversational abbreviations: BFP, BFN, AF, DH. Then people started to mix the medical abbreviations and the conversational abbreviations with texting chatter.

 

"So I told my DH & BTW, I was LMAO..."

And one woman went one farther and said: "BTdubs..." Whoa... I just got used to BTW like two weeks ago, now we're moving on to "BTdubs?" Will you give me a break here? The ironic thing is that I'm a language person. I speak English, Spanish and some French but I'm drowning in all of these abbreviations.

Dpi, stims, embies.  The truth is, I think I'm a little jealous. When I went through my IUIs, IVFs, & FET (Look: I'm so proud that I know 3 abbreviations. I'm going to keep using those same 3 over & over again. And nobody can stop me! Sometimes I respond to posts in the support group like that just so I won't feel left out. Post: "My DH was so happy with my BFP!" and I'll post back: "That's great! FET!") So when I went through my treatments, there were no online support groups. Okay... maybe there were and I didn't bother to find them. I was busy hiding my IUIs, IVFs, & FET (leave me alone, I know what I'm doing.) Hiding them from my coworkers. Hiding them from friends and acquaintances and probably, hiding them from myself as much as possible. I didn't realize I was hiding them from myself back then but if I hadn't been hiding them from myself, I might have snuck onto the computer in the wee hours under the cloak of darkness and found me some support groups. But I didn't. Oh I was on the computer plenty back then I'm sure, maybe looking up historical information or celebrity gossip or something but definitely not looking to chat about my infertility issues. That was reserved for that little black hole in my mornings, that Twilight Zone somewhere between brushing my teeth and going to work, when I slipped into the doctor's office every other day or so, where  they told me a bunch of stuff I couldn't mentally process and did stuff to me I was emotionally overwhelmed by.

So I'm astounded and so impressed by all of you people going through IUI, IVF, & FET etc. (hey! That's 4!) who so eloquently reach out every day in these support groups to get support and give support to others.

When I was going through (ready? You know they're coming.) my IUIs, IVFs, & FET (that's 5!) I was so mentally, physically, and emotionally in over my head, I didn't have the strength to put any part of it into words, let alone acronyms.

Thanks a lot for stopping in! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense and help me pay my mortgage...: My book has been purchased/ downloaded by 1000s of people dealing with infertility & is recommended by renowned infertility professionals. Now available in eBook & paperback:  Amazon / B & N (eBook also on Kobo)

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

January 1st: A New Chapter in an Old Book?

I think one of the biggest problems with making New Year's Resolutions is that we don't know ourselves at all. So we take our goals to La La Land. Like people who vow to go to the gym four times a week to replace their habit of going to the drive-thru four times a week. Is that really going to happen? New Year's Day this year was on a Monday. So, Thursday they went to McDonald's. Friday they went to Wendy's. Saturday they went to Arby's. Sunday they went to KFC. Then Monday thru Thursday they went to the gym. And if we're not all or nothing, we're  half-assed. Like we go to Burger King and then the gym. Or we join Planet Fitness, work out for twenty minutes then have three slices of their complimentary pizza on the way out the door. At least we could show some valid compromise: Make Sunday our Chick-Fil-A day since they're closed. Sometimes with trying to have a baby we take our goals to La La land. I'm all for optimism and positive thinking... but not La La land. La La land is for those quiet moments when you're driving and hear Brad Pitt whisper into your ear how fabulous you look over there driving with no make-up, a ponytail you haven't taken out for two days and your husband's sweats, (Now back to our originally scheduled post.)

A few women whom I know through infertility circles have told me that their goal for 2018 is "have a baby". Great! Throw it onto your vision boards and into your visualizations, prayers, mirror exercises and whatever else you do. That's exactly where "have a baby" belongs. It's a goal, but sometimes I think women make the mistake of putting it on their "to do" list instead. And that's what has kept so many with this 2018 goal so stressed out for all of 2017 and maybe 2016 and 2015. Let "have a baby" be the prize you keep your eyes on and then be open to all the details of how it unfolds. Yes, it's so hard to give up control of exactly how things take shape especially when you want something so desperately. But I really believe in taking teeny steps in a positive direction and not worrying whether it's right or not. I've found that if you pay attention and follow your gut, you soon know whether it's right or not.

long-list.gif

So let's say the first on the "2018 "To-Do" list is: "Find an egg donor".  There you go: Homework. Now, you may get into your egg donor research and by January 26th decide it's not for you. But during those two weeks you may have talked to someone or gotten back a test result that sparked a new path.

The stress and hormones turn us all into nut-jobs but trusting your gut will keep you from doing any of the following:

"My husband has a low sperm count. This year I'll get his half-brother drunk &.... I hope the slow sperm thing runs on his mother's side."

"My doctor told me I'm having trouble conceiving because of my age. I think I'll find a different doctor and tell him I'm 28. Or... I did see something on the Discovery Channel about a time machine that worked. Oh wait. That was on the Big Bang Theory... or maybe it was the History Channel. Or...oh yeah... It was the Flintstones."

"I think my problem getting pregnant is that we're just too tired to have enough sex. This year we'll both quit our jobs, buy a convertible, buy a condo in Maui on the beach... wait... What were we talking about?"

"This year, I'm going to find resourceful ways to generate more income so we can finally afford IVF. Hey, I hear egg donors get paid well. Wait, that doesn't make any sense."

The idea is to find those teeny steps- those real tasks to keep you from feeling helpless and without direction while remembering: Every infertility success story you've ever heard is different than the one before. No two women seem to get there in exactly the same way. So expend no energy on comparing yourself or your situation to theirs as you let your story unfold.

I like yoga. You probably already assumed I did because of my serene blogging demeanor. Like my yoga instructor, I like to eat right and exercise and strive to live a very happy, peaceful, long life. But my yoga instructor, if she practices what she preaches, and I assume she does, does frequent cleanses, is a strict vegan, and never eats junk food which in her world,  includes any cooked food. It works for her.

But if I started to eat that way I would live a very happy, peaceful, cleansed, two weeks. Then I'd shoot myself. I know me.

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Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please check out my book: (Now available also in paperback- The eBook has been downloaded by 1000s of infertility sufferers, and recommended by many top infertility professionals. See their comments in "Look Inside on Amazon below ) Available on Amazon / B & N/ Kobo.

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

Have a wonderful 2018!

The Healing Power of Laughter

Humor, comedy-- whatever you call it-- people who write or say funny things on a daily basis do it to help themselves and those around them process those millions of microscopic bits of life that compound to make huge bits of life. Humor tries to make sense of all of the  anger, fear, stress and uncertainty. There are all of these complex, giant issues in this world and in our own personal lives that are wrapped up in other complex issues... Somehow if we can tidy up something so massive into one comedic movie or even one joke, the issue, whether it be infertility or global warming, for at least that moment, shrinks down into one tidy, manageable, byte-size package that doesn't overwhelm us.  In the January/February 2018 edition of Carolina Woman, I have an article entitled: "The Healing Power of Laughter". There's stuff about me being "stalked" on the NYC subway, and a funny dentist. It's what we all deep-down want in life, isn't it? A funny dentist? And if you'd like to start 2018 with some infertility-related laughs, please check out my book. It's recommended by renown infertility professionals around the U.S. & is available on Amazon, Nook, & Kobo.  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

To read my article in the winter edition of Carolina Woman, come on over: http://carolinawoman.com/body_2018_01.php

 

 

 

When Infertility & The Holidays Collide

Happy Holidays to Everyone!! Do you guys know what a "holiday schedule" is? I had no idea. That is, until I went to the dentist a few weeks ago. Between their gabby hygienists and their little doorless cubicles with the half walls, it's amazing how much you can learn just by going to the dentist and being a good eavesdropper. It's also astonishing how we may all come from different places, different cultures, and different traditions, and yet when we're dealing with infertility during holiday time, and then we all get together online or in person to compare notes, we find that our experiences are all eerily similar. No matter who, where or how... we all have relatives who seem to fall into certain categories: "The Inquisitor", "The Clueless", "The Jokester".

Dr. Serena H. Chen at St. Barnabas IVF- IRMS Reproductive Medicine was kind enough to let me horn in on their blog this week, so for the rest of this post, please join me there:  http://www.sbivf.com/blog/

Looking for more laughs while navigating infertility & the holidays at the same time? My book is now available in both eBook & paperback on Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo (eBook)

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Year-in-Review

January:

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

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

February

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

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

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

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

 

Expect to have Holiday Expectations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, remember:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Infertility at Work- at the Company Holiday Party

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

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

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

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

Or our response:

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

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

woman-arguing-to-man-in-care

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

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

1920_hero_too_drunk_holiday_party

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

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

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

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

 

Microblog_Mondays

Down the F'n Tubes: Interview with the Authors

Quick Note: My eBook is now (finally, mercifully) in paperback.  Regular price- $9.99 USD. New launch price through November- $8.49

The eBook is also on sale this month. Usually $4.99/now $3.99. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692950117

(Contact me directly for orders of 5 books or more-I'll hook ya up.) Now back to our regularly scheduled blog.

So I started chatting with someone online who had written a new book called: Down the F'n Tubes: An Ode to Fertility Futility.  I'm really big on titles. I love a good play on words and phrases and can't think of one that would better sum up the feelings of anxiety and frustration of infertility than that one. (Is it too late to change my book title?) Unlike most infertility books, this one isn't written by a medical professional or "the woman" but "the couple". I cyber sat down with "the couple", Tom and Virginia Hanada for an interview.

Down the F'n Tubes: an ode to fertility futility by [Hanada, Virginia and Tom]

Available in eBook & Paperback on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B076YXQ2TV

LSF (That's me): A lot of people find it helpful to write out their thoughts when they're dealing with infertility but most of them just go under their covers with a syringe and scratch their angst into notepads they stole from the doctor's office. Why a book?

VH - In general, we’re private people, but we also try to be honest and open. A few years ago, we went out for lunch with some friends. Someone asked if we had any travel plans and we responded that we couldn’t really plan anything because the infertility treatments made things so unpredictable. As soon as we said that, one of our friends completely dropped out of the conversation and didn’t say more than two words for the rest of the afternoon. We found out later that she and her husband were about to start their first round of IVF. Apparently she really wanted to talk to us about it, but she didn’t feel comfortable. And that’s unfortunate. We could have supported each other. At that moment, we knew we wanted to start a conversation.

LSF: How long have you been dealing with infertility? So, what made you pick this time to write about it?

 VH- Four years. It seems like forever to us, but we know people who have struggled with infertility for much longer. I felt the need to CREATE something to make up for the fact I couldn’t procreate. Writing creatively gave me a sense of control and purpose. I got to control the narrative, and it felt great to define infertility—instead of being defined by infertility.

LSF: Tom, the vast majority of non-medical infertility books are written by women. Did you get roped into this or was this all your idea? 

TH: I was more than glad to be a partner in all of it. Virginia was enduring 98% of the awfulness of the experience (my 2% was having to masturbate into a cup at 7 am in a sterile hospital room without lubricant or porn; and for that I shall always be a martyr!).

LSF: Yeah, yeah, we all know what your 2% was. Boy, you people have to spell out everything.

TH: Just because of biological realities I wasn’t able to be the equal partner during infertility that I strive to be in all other areas of our lives. The least I could do was be an equal partner in a project that brought us both joy and expression.

LSF: "The least I could do"?... Virginia, are you telling him what to say? My husband has never put those 5 words together... Moving on... How did this collaboration work? Did you write the book together or did each of you come up with material independently and then compared notes?

TH- We’d walk the dog at night and decompress about the day, how we were feeling and what we wanted to say in the book.

(LSF: This is actually Tom and Virginia walking the dog.)

 

TH: ...And then we’d both write different sections of the story and come together and compare our work. Virginia is a college professor, and she approaches all problems with a scientific mind. So when we started composing the rhymes in anapestic tetrameter (aka the “Dr. Seuss meter”), the only way she could wrap her head around it was to create an Excel spreadsheet where she broke down each line by syllable and stress. I’m sure Dr. Seuss is rolling in his grave at the thought of us composing poetry in Excel spreadsheets, but we’re very happy with how the rhymes turned out!

LSF: Really? Those fricken little boxes drive me nuts.... Yeah, where did that Seuss-like rhyme pseudo children's book idea come from? I mean it's not like a normal game of word association: Syringe, nurse, blood, Seuss! I mean, what the hell?

TH - We came up with the rough idea together while driving back from an IUI appointment. But the thing was, we didn’t actually get the IUI because the doctor didn’t like the looks of the ultrasound – it looked like there might be polyps in the uterine lining, but could only be confirmed with a different kind of ultrasound, which couldn’t be done that day (and would be another couple hundred bucks). Virginia was really frustrated on that drive home. I commented that I envisioned the polyp as some mean old lady who lived on the uterine lining and was shouting at all the kids passing by to “Stay off my lawn!!!” Virginia laughed at that. And it was good to hear Virginia laugh. We decided at that moment that we were going to find some fun, imaginative way to tell the infertility story. Our good friend, Amanda is a talented artist. She really added a lot with her illustrations.

LSF: There's a lot of raw emotion in this little book. A lot of yelling and some cursing and even a few sexual positions mentioned. (One I had to ask my husband what it was. He said: "You know when I want some and you want to watch a TV show and we compromise? That's what that is.") Anyhow... Did you set out to give a good, honest, form of venting that we can all relate to or did it just evolve into that?

TH - I don’t think we would have ever finished it if it weren’t an honest expression of how we felt. We were angry. We were frustrated. We were annoyed. We were ashamed. I’m not sure we could write an infertility book that didn’t contain those emotions.  We wanted to do it in a way that was both relatable to those who are familiar with the experience, and accessible to those who aren’t. Something that you can hand to your best friend, or your mother-in-law, or a young couple who just hit their first road block in the process. Hand it to them and say “Read this. And then let’s talk.”

LSF: Wait... Whoa... Your mother-in-law? I mean, you've got that sexual position that I didn't know had a name and you said the "M" word just a few minutes ago, and the "F" word's in the title...

TH - EVERYONE we know has been invited to read this! In fact, the book’s cover is going to be the image on our Christmas cards this year. Many of our elderly aunts will now know that we have a book about infertility on Amazon… even if they don’t know that “Amazon” is more than a jungle in South America.

LSF: Or a very large warrior woman.

TH: Right. One of our intentions in writing this book was to “come out” to our family and friends. We wanted to express our frustration to them, but to do it in a fun, entertaining way. It’s a narrow target to hit (serious yet whimsical), but the response from everyone we love has been amazing.

VH: The most amazing thing has been how many friends have seen our book and then reached out to personally share their own infertility struggles with us! These are friends whose Facebook pages are plastered with photos of their beautiful children. I never knew the anguish they went through to have those children. Everyone seems to fight infertility alone, and it’s not right that something so emotionally and physically draining is also so lonely and isolating.

TH: I think it’s been great. The more we can get other people to accept infertility without stigma, the easier it’s been for us to accept it too.

LSF: Thanks a lot you guys for taking time to chat... And for you know, only saying "masturbate" once.

Down the F'n Tubes: an ode to fertility futility by Tom and Virginia Hanada. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B076YXQ2TV -

 

 

Infertility Writing is as bad as Infertility Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

****

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

 

If Walmart had a Fertility Clinic

 

"If Walmart had a fertility clinic" I admit. There are several disturbing elements in that title.  I will calm some of your fears right here by saying this post won't have much to do with the ongoing fashion show at Walmart. You don't need me. You have your own eyes and YouTube for that. Although, I do think the mentality when we're getting dressed to go to a fertility clinic is similar as to when we're going to Walmart:

"Who cares what I wear to Walmart? At least half of the shoppers will look worse."

"Who cares what I wear to the fertility clinic? Ten minutes into the visit, I'll be in a backless couture hospital gown with my ass hanging out."

So, dressing for infertility or Walmart success notwithstanding-- Walmart has eye centers. So why not fertility centers? The best part would be that they could run them just like they run their seasonal items. In and out. No delays. Fast and furious. Bathing suits are gone in June. School supplies are done in July and on to the  Halloween candy because you know everyone wants to get a jump on their Halloween candy buying. I'm sure that August bag of candy is just laying around the house unopened waiting for October. (I wonder how many people actually finish the candy on the way home and turn around and head back to the store. I mean, it's August. You can't take a chance on it melting in the trunk.)

Well, why not a fertility clinic at Walmart? In and out. No delays. Fast and furious. No waiting ten days for your first consultation. No waiting until next month to try the next procedure. No two week wait to find out if you're pregnant. Here's the schedule at Walmart's Minute Fertility Clinic:

Monday 8am: First and only appointment. You say "hi" to Dr. Total Stranger and tell her everything you can think of about your menstrual cycle and your sex life, editing out only the parts about the whipped cream and the crack in the windshield. While you're chatting, a nurse takes blood out of your arm and sperm out of your spouse and then tosses away her latex gloves and goes to lunch. You then proceed onto the examination table behind the curtain. The doctor directs you to open up and say "aaah". You ask how everything looks. You probe her mind. She probes everything on that diagram in sixth grade Health class. You swallow a handful of fertility drugs that your spouse picked up at the pharmacy while you're on the table as the doctor stares at your ovaries to see if the pills have taken effect. She decides you need IUI. She uses something from Housewares to shoot your spouse's sperm up north. You leave the Minute Fertility Clinic, go to Subway next door and have a sandwich then return to the clinic. If you're still not pregnant, the doctor does an egg retrieval, sprinkles in some of the spouse's sperm for IVF and then sends the combo into your uterus. Now is the hard part: The 2hw: The two hour wait. You get a flu shot. You go into the pharmacy area, kick off your shoes and stand on Dr. Scholl's machine. You peruse the trial size aisle. You could take your blood pressure if Walmart hadn't replaced the machine with a garbage can last year. (A simple matter of priorities.) You buy some non-perishable comfort food and return to the clinic. Success! You're pregnant! You'll return next week to buy maternity clothes, pick up your "It's a boy/girl!" cake at the bakery, and stop in at the Walmart Ob/Gyn to deliver the baby on your way out.

Hey...Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you had a few laughs while  you were here. If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please sign on to my newsletter http://laughingisconceivable.com (top) and check out my little book: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. (It's been downloaded by 1000s & is recommended by top fertility professionals around the U.S.) Available on all Amazons, Nook, & Kobo & in Spanish as La Risa ES Concebible.   https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

 

 

Halloween IVF- (Is Very Frightening-Ooooh!)

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

Read on... if you daaaaare.

"The Vanishing Fertility Patient"

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

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

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

"The Tale of the Odd Triplet"

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

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

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

One was... a red head...

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

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

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

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

"The Old Yenta and Her Sink Full of Knives"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Thanks for stopping by! Please sign up for my bimonthly newsletter (http://laughingisconceivable.com -very top) and take a look at my eBook: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. It's recommended by renowned infertility professionals and has been downloaded by 1000s of people looking for a way to de-stress from all of the anxieties of infertility. It's available on all Amazons, Nook, & Kobo & In Spanish: (La Risa ES Concebible)  https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/

"It's Infertility, Charlie Brown!" - A Holiday Classic

Every year at this time, it is a tradition to re-post this. 50% nostalgic tradition. 50% lazy tradition. But a tradition nonetheless. Hope you enjoy it! xo 

I've never hidden the fact that I love the autumn and every corny thing associated with it: Football (not the least bit corny), Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (cool with many corny parts), fall foliage.

So in the past, I've written about going through infertility later in life ("The Autumn of My Fertility") and spooky infertility stories for Halloween.

I can't see what could possibly be left to write about that's autumn-related except, of course the obvious: Charlie Brown.

peanuts-gang-dancing

This long lost Charles M. Schulz classic, "It's Infertility Charlie Brown!" was shown on TV for years in between the Halloween and Thanksgiving specials. I can't believe you haven't seen it.

I'm not ridiculous enough to suggest that Lucy Van Pelt grew up and battled infertility. With that attitude of hers, likely the only men who would even talk to her would be chiropractors and orthopedists looking for an explanation as to why their patients are in such terrible shape. Namely: Charlie Brown for ailments caused by decades of her pulling away that damn football and Schroeder being hunched over the piano to avoid looking at her shamelessly flirting with him. Then again there are lots of men who seem to adore crabby women: Remember Bridezillas?

Here's the episode in its entirety. It takes place in the classroom. Hope you don't have a Peanuts allergy. (ar ar ar):

I present to you: "It's Infertility, Charlie Brown!"

charlie-brown-at-his-desk

Teacher: Today, boys and girls we are going to be discussing "Infertility". (Peanuts Translation: "Wa wa wa wa wa").

I know that several of your parents have had fertility treatments. Can any of you tell me if they were successful? ("Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa?")

Marcie: I got a sister.

Violet: I got a brother.

Franklin: I got boy/girl twins.

Charlie Brown: I got a rock.

Peppermint Patty: Good one Chuck.

Teacher: There can be many reasons for a couple's infertility: Weight, medical issues, low sperm count, age. As for your parents... I think being invisible is the likely cause. (Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa)

Charlie Brown: Ma'am? Could you tell me ma'am?

Teacher: What is it now, Charlie Brown? ("Wa wa wa wa wa?!")

Charlie Brown: Ma'am if we were created in 1950, how are we only somewhere around eight years old?

Teacher: Have your parents ever mentioned freezing their embryos, Charlie Brown? (Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa?)

Charlie Brown: The thing is Ma'am- Do we even have parents? What I mean is, Ma'am: Don't we kind of live by ourselves? Like when Linus stays out all night in the pumpkin patch every Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin, his sister Lucy always goes out to get him in the middle of the night and she's not that much older than he is. And I've been wearing the same shirt for over sixty years. And my little sister Sally's hair has just kind of been stuck like that forever and none of us can get it down. And Pig-Pen hasn't taken a bath once through eleven presidential administrations. And Peppermint Patty wears her open-toed sandals outside all year long, even in the Valentine's Day special and that's in February. And Linus' blanket has NEVER been washed. And Marcie hasn't been to an optometrist since 1968. And Snoopy eats turkey on Thanksgiving with his bird friend Woodstock and nobody ever tells him how wrong that is. And nobody's ever told Schroeder to sit up straight while he's playing the piano. And Lucy takes money for giving psychiatric advice without a license and nobody ever tells her how wrong that is either.

Lucy: You Block Head!

Charlie Brown: Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh

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The Infertility State Fair- Do I Have to Go Every Year?

Can you believe it's Infertility State Fair time again already?! Let's go everybody! My husband and I have been going for the past three years. Our  admission ticket is $15,000, and that's because we bought it online in advance.

The Infertility State Fair is the same every year. Everything is exactly in the same place as it was last year and the year before and ten years ago. And as predicted, the first thing we see is the first thing my husband wants to do: The Geico insurance tent. Yeah, yeah, we know the drill. We tell you we already have Geico insurance. You thank us. I ask: "So do you cover Clomid now? How about Follistim? How about the egg retrieval? How about the egg freezing?" The bored teen mumbles: "Ma'am, this is vehicle insurance" as she points us around the ropes towards the giant plastic container crammed with stuffed geckos just aching for me to guess how many are in there. "What if we do the butt shots in the car?!" I yell over my shoulder while writing "218" on the slip of paper. I always guess my birthday. Then we step into their truck and do karaoke Rolling Stones. "I can't get no... satis-fac-tion!" an odd song option for an insurance company but how very apropos nonetheless.

Then onto the rides! IUI bumper cars. We get in. We go forward. We hit a wall. We back up. We go forward. We hit another wall. We back up again. We go forward. We hit that same wall again. We back up. We hit the first wall again. Ride over.

And of course the Infertility State Fair ride zone is loaded with... oh my gosh... that is the longest roller coaster I've ever seen in my life! I can't even see the end of it. I think it goes all the way to the highway! Hell no. I'm not getting on that.

 

Oh look, that woman won first place for the longest continuous mood swing. Okay, so she was forced to move out of her neighborhood because of some property she destroyed, and she lost her job because of somethings she said to her boss, and her husband just now disappeared into the Fair crowd, but that is quite the handsome blue ribbon. "Congratulations Lady!" Uh oh, what did I say? She looks pissed.

Then, just like I humor my husband by dealing with the Geico tent, he comes with me to see Smokey the Bear. I like Smokey. I always ask him for advice about infertility fires. "Smokey, how do I stop the bills from coming? How do I deal with nosy coworkers? I'm still terrified of needles. What do I do?." Every year, Smokey offers the same wise words. "Only YOU can prevent forest fires." Each year, I leave his area  knowing that all of my answers are hidden within that one simple sentence. I feel very zen as I ponder, mouthing each syllable, ignoring my husband muttering: "It's a recording, you idiot."

And finally, we reach our destination. Never does the true value of the Infertility State Fair become clearer. It's nirvana: The only place in this vast fair where I feel I truly belong. Where I feel truly understood. Miles and miles of concession stands: Deep-fried comfort food on a stick as far as the eye can see.

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