Infertile Holidays: No Grilling Allowed

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I truly hope with all my heart that there was no grilling at your Thanksgiving table this year. I mean, of course it’s okay if somebody grilled the green beans or the squash. But if you’re celebrating/enduring “infertile holidays” this year, I just really hope nobody grilled you. But knowing how relatives are… I wrote this post for you… juuuust in case…because…

grilled-cheese

It happens every year. The first cool breeze wafts through the air and with it comes the smell of panic from infertile people everywhere. Everyone– Infertiles and Fertiles alike– anticipates the holidays… Everybody thinks: Family, food, traditions. But Infertile folk also think: Interrogations. For those of us in the US who have been through infertile holidays, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season when all those struggling mightily to conceive hold their collective breath. Continue reading

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? Continue reading

The Season of My Infertility–The Joys of Fall

Okay, I wrote the title and already I’m depressed.

I love autumn. I think subconsciously it’s a self-love thing. I have odd hair that changes from blond to brown to red all by itself. So somehow I think I’ve always fit into the autumn. (Why people don’t pack up the family and head to my house every October to see my hair turn colors, I have no idea.)

Autumn outdoors is beautiful. The autumn of your fertility is a lot less attractive.

Normal fertile people love to discuss their biological clocks. “I’m 34. I’m starting to hear my biological clock ticking. Quiet. Can you hear it? Tick tick, Tick tick. I’d better get pregnant. Oh look I’m pregnant. Whew that was close.”

When you’re diagnosed with infertility AND you’re in your thirties AND you’ve been doing treatments, AND nothing’s happened, AND a few years have gone by, the biological clock turns into a frickin’ gong. It’s like living with your head stuck in the Liberty Bell, yet ironically, the last thing you feel is liberated.

Well I didn’t get married until I was thirty-nine and a half.

(Only two categories of people say their ages in half years: People under eight and women over thirty-five who want to have a baby.

The people under eight do it because they just can’t wait until their birthday. The women over thirty-five do it because with each passing moment they picture another one of their eggs turning into saw dust. We would tell you our age in minutes if we thought we could get away with it without getting slapped.)

After trying mightily for a year to have a baby the so-called “normal” way, I realized that my eggs were a year older than they were when they walked down the aisle and that a few were “no longer with us.” (Maybe they were captured on the wedding video. I’ll check.)

My biggest gripe with infertility in general is the gigantic question mark. You never know what you’re getting into or how long you’re going to have to be into it. That’s the worst part of being an older mother-to-be-one-day-soon-I-hope-when-the-fk-is-it-going-to-happen-already?:

You have no way of knowing how many eggs you have left, or which ones are in good shape and which ones have turned into Pixy Stix powder.

Once you’re over say, thirty-seven, you don’t need a doctor. You need a psychic:

“I see fifty good eggs left that will remain good for another five years.”

“Okay, great! So there’s no hurry for treatments. We can just screw around (as it were) for at least another four years. Thanks. Here’s your five bucks. You really earned it!”

All of these high tech tests and procedures and treatments. All of the doctors. Isn’t there anybody who specializes in just taking a flashlight, looking up your woo-hoo and telling you how many decent eggs you have left?

Isn’t there some easy do-it-yourself home device? It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. It can be an “As Seen on TV” item.

“Ova-the-Counter”: Just 3 Easy Payments of $19.99. And if you order now, we’ll throw in a second one free!” (Why would anyone need two? One for each ovary?—Or have they had a rash of women whose hands were shaking so violently while trying to read it, they dropped one in the toilet?)

“And that’s not all… If you order in the next ten minutes (start clock on screen) you’ll get this handy “Ova-the-Counter” carrying case (Where would you be taking the damn thing? To work so you can count your eggs on your lunch break to see if you still have the same number as when you left home that morning?) It can also hold bobby pins or odds and ends, and it drains spaghetti…”

I’ll be like any resourceful woman: If I can’t find an “Ova-the-Counter”, I’ll just have to invent it. “Hello? Shark Tank?”

(And, if you haven’t yet, please check out my little ebook over there to the right. See what top fertility experts are saying about: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman’s Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility) $2.99 – Free at Kindle Library

Do You Feel Left Out? Should You Care?

So how did everyone do for Father’s Day?

I think the most difficult part of any of these holidays- the hardest part about being around people in general when you’re going through infertility is: The feeling of being left out.

All of a sudden, when you don’t have a baby, life feels like one big mother of a party that you and only you haven’t been invited to.

Suddenly you can’t get pregnant, and it seems like the whole world decides to get pregnant just to mock you.

“Just this week, two gay guys I work with, my 80 year old grandmother, and a nun at my church… pregnant!… Last week it was my cousin who had a hysterectomy, her sister who was born with testicles and my husband’s boss who just had twins last week and is pregnant again!”

Maybe for you guys this is all new to you…this whole “being left out” thing. I don’t know… I feel like I’ve gone through this my whole life. I’m kind of used to it.

Nevermind the small stuff like being picked last for kick ball in first grade…or waiting on line for an hour for a carnival ride and having them close it just as it’s finally your turn because the carney has to pee (I thought it would be politer if I said “pee” instead of “shoot up” or “dodge a cop showing a ‘wanted’ poster to the guy running the tilt-a-wheel.”).

Can we talk prom for a moment?

I had a lot of male friends but no particular boyfriend at the time. When it came to prom, my male friends either didn’t want to go or preferred to go with someone they liked in that special “I hope to fall in love with or at least do you someday” way.

I probably asked a half dozen guys and got nowhere. Texting wasn’t invented yet so I got to see their facial expressions in real time when they actually told me to screw off.

Finally, at the last possible moment to reserve my spot at the table, my friend Michael agreed to go with me. Michael was a very nice guy and probably just a wee bit gay.

I’m not sure what happened but I also somehow was at my all-time chunkiest at that time in my life. And I decided for some unknown reason to wear a yellow dress. (There’s no reason in the world why any pale woman whose family is of Eastern European descent should ever willingly wear large pieces of yellow anything.)

After the prom, we all went to the shore. Michael didn’t go. Even my maybe gay date baled and I went with my sister. To sum it up, the Jersey Shore wasn’t as nice to me as it is to Snooki. They overbooked the hotel so my sister and I got bounced, I went for a nice stroll on the beach and found the stretch of Jersey with no ozone layer. Who needed to go out for breakfast? You could have fried eggs on my arm and bacon on my back. And then, my friend’s boyfriend, whose eyes looked in two entirely different directions was hitting on me.

So I was nearly left out of the table, then left out of having a date, then left out of the hotel (literally), then left out of having a good time with my friends.

And then from the time I was in my twenties until I was almost 40 and not even close to being married… I was left out of the couples’ world…Then of course when I couldn’t get pregnant… I was left out of the pregnant and/or I have kids world. My point is: So what?

So you’re out of the loop, out of the clique for a while. In this moment of time, we’ve made our own loop… of the millions of others trying to conceive. Okay, it’s a neurotic, depressing, desperate loop a lot of times, but it’s still ours.

And then, guess what? One day, in one way or another, every one of us will graduate from this loop and be back in their old cliques… and probably say to ourselves: “Did I really hang out with these idiots?”

Mother’s Day…What a Lovely Day…Glad THAT’s Over

I dedicate this announcement to anyone who will humor me for eight seconds. Please consider purchasing my e-book. It’s a scant $3.99 and guaranteed to make you laugh out loud at infertility. To read the reviews/see excerpts from each chapter/buy the damn thing (available on Kindle and all devices like phones and Ipads with Kindle apps) click on a book cover at the waaaaaaay bottom of the page or for those who sit in their car for twenty minutes waiting for the lady with six kids and two shopping carts full to load, unload, buckle and return the carts so they can get the parking spot closest to the door…don’t worry…I won’t make you scroll….  www.amazon.com/dp/B007G9X19A    

I dedicate this post to all of you who just didn’t know what to say when someone said “Happy Mother’s Day”. Thought you were alone? Yeah…I don’t THINK so.

Oh well, another Mother’s Day bit the dust. And as we drive away from it, we look at it through the rear view mirror of life and mutter to ourselves: What was that I just ran over?

By now the view from the rear view mirror of life should appear to be nothing but a spec on the calendar of life. Objects are closer than they appear? No they’re not. Mother’s Day doesn’t need to be dealt with again for another 355 glorious days.

Mother’s Day like a lot of holidays to me is nothing but a rash on the epidermis of life. They never do any real harm, they’re just there to irritate. I feel like wrapping up a six pack of calomine lotion and handing it out to well-wishers on holidays: “Here… Happy Whatever Day! Good luck with your itch.”

I’ve mentioned before, usually at this very time of year, but Mother’s Day was a black hole in my life for many years…So if you’ve been trying to have a baby for two years or three years or five years…consider this grand example of “My misery is worse than your misery”…. Between the time I lost my mother, and including my infertility fiasco, there were, count ’em, 19 years when I neither had a mother nor was one. So how does one respond all those years to the dubious comment: “Happy Mother’s Day”?

It could be a daunting and depressing task to be confronted with to be sure… unless you’re blessed with the gift of being a smartass and couldn’t care less what nonsense you say to people who mean nothing to you anyway.

I’ve often pointed out that in these situations the best solution is to achieve your goal. And what is your goal? That people speak to you as little as possible and then go away. That’s why explaining your plight about trying to conceive, and going to this doctor and considering being a foster parent and getting a puppy for the time being, is all well and good but gets you further and further away from your goal of getting these people to keep on walking away from you as fast as their stubby hairy-except below the sock line–little legs, will take them. 

The other alternative is to screw with them. 

“Happy Mother’s Day”— “What do you mean by that? I’m only twelve, you slob!”
“Happy Mother’s Day”–“I’m sorry, what? I can’t hear you. I’m sorry, what? I can’t hear you. I’m sorry, what? I can’t hear you.”

(Ten or twelve rounds should do it.)

“Happy Mother’s Day”–“I don’t celebrate Mother’s Day. We’re (fill in the blank) Canadian, Lutheran, Autistic, Vegetarians, Shriners, Racists, Democrats, Nudists….”

“Happy Mother’s Day”— Oh we love Mother’s Day. It’s been a family tradition passed down from generation to generation: We all get up early so we can run to the florist, pay 40 dollars for a dozen roses and then sit around the pancake house for 2 hours waiting for our table, then another hour for someone from the waitstaff to acknowledge we’re sitting at it.”   

“Happy Mother’s Day”– “Screw off”… (Concise, to the point, and translates easily into 112 languages.) 

And I hope next year when somebody says: “Happy Mother’s Day” you will consider spitting back some of the above. No, actually, next year when somebody says “Happy Mother’s Day”, I hope you will just be able to say “Thank You.”.. and mean it.

It’s Infertility Charlie Brown!

Okay, now I’ve done it. 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 parade (cool with many corny parts), fall foliage.  

So in the past few weeks, 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 for the obvious: Charlie Brown.

This long lost Charles Schulz classic, “It’s Infertility Charlie Brown!” was shown on TV for years in between the Halloween and Thanksgiving specials. 

I’m not ridiculous enough to suggest that Lucy Van Pelt grew up and battled infertility. With her stank attitude, likely the only men who would even talk to her would be a chiropractor or an orthopedist treating Charlie Brown for ailments caused by decades of her pulling away that damn football. (Then again there are lots of men who seem to adore crabby women: Have you seen “Bridezillas?”).

Here’s the episode in its entirety.  It takes place in the classroom. Hope I don’t give anybody a Peanuts allergy. (ar ar ar):

I present to you: “It’s Infertility Charlie Brown!” Continue reading

But Are You Infertile ENOUGH?

I recently read a post by a poor woman who was ousted from an online infertility support group. Okay, I’ve been unceremoniously told to not return to a few myself. (You know that sound of a door opening when one of your friends logs on to AOL? Think of someone yelling: “Screw off!” and slamming the door shut. It was kind of like that.)

Of course I might occasionally say something offensive, thus encouraging the “screw off” order in my direction.

But this poor woman, as she tells it anyway (of course there are always twelve sides to every argument but enough about Real Housewives of Wherever) was told to leave an infertility support group because she has a child.

I’m not sure how long she’s been trying to conceive this go ’round but she’s apparently infertile. I mean what lunatic would spend their days kvetching about their infertility to a bunch of other stressed and depressed infertile strangers online if they weren’t really infertile?

I’m not thinking there are dozens of fertile women just clamoring to get into one of those groups. It’s not something you’re likely to put on your resume as a group you belong to, to impress a future employer and it’s definitely not as exciting as hanging with the Kardashians.  

Geez, I know people go to extremes to fit in to cliques but who the hell would be dying to get into this miserable sisterhood enough to fake being infertile? I mean, I’ve met literally hundreds of phenomenal women via this road, but to be perfectly honest, I’d just as soon as met each and every one of them somewhere totally different.

So I don’t think anybody doubts this woman who was banished is infertile. It’s just that she has a child. So apparently she’s not infertile enough.  Maybe if she agreed to ship off her daughter to be raised by relatives in another state, to show how serious she was about joining, she could be let back in the group.

We all get how hard it is when you’re dealing with infertility to hear about kids, so maybe we SHOULD have standardized guidelines that all infertility forums should adhere to.

In order to be eligible to join any online infertility forum: 

1) You must never have been pregnant. (Chemical pregnancies DO count!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

(Okay, that lets out probably 90% of us right there.)

2) You may not have any children of any kind living in your house.

(This includes step-children, adopted children, your younger siblings, foster children, exchange students,  your neighbor’s kids that you babysit at your house twice a week while she’s at work, to help pay for your fertility treatments, or excessive trick-or-treaters .)  

3) Your husband’s sperm count must be no greater than 1/2 of a tank full at any given time.

4) If you are over thirty-five, you must have gone through menopause. (Please provide proof that there’s not even one stray egg rattling  around in there)         

5) You must be having unprotected sex at least five times a week (wow!) for a minimum of 6 months before you are eligible to join a group.

Let’s face it: The whole thing is ridiculous. As long as you’re legitimately a self-declared infertile person and not just someone trying to infiltrate an infertility forum so that you can get women to buy your new invention: The Egg GPS that tracks the egg on the way down your fallopian tube (“Continue South 1.3 millimeters. Make a slight right to stay in the fallopian tube. Your destination will be…Nevermind. Just stay where you are and let  that swarm of squiggly guys with lust in their eyes find you.”)

I am also ready to give the woman who banned her from the group the benefit of the doubt. Once the infertility hormones, anger, stress, and frustration set in, I like to think we’re no longer responsible for either our actions or our foul mouths.   

So either “fertility brain” is the culprit or it’s like what my father used to say about the pesky 80 year old security guy at the senior facility in Florida where he lived: “See Lori: This is what happens when you give a moron a little authority.”

If you’d like more Laughing IS Conceivable, please do subscribe to this blog. Also check out my latest at Fertility Authority: Some info about surviving Halloween followed by my post “The Season of My Infertility” http://fertilityauthority.com/blogger/1013368

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: Continue reading

Funny Fertility Flashbacks (I Hope Anyway) #3

Taking a moment to look back at some of the (hopefully) funniest Laughing IS Conceivable posts. I’ll be back posting “live” on August 1st. Meanwhile: Please think about becoming a subscriber to get a weekly Laughing IS Conceivable newsletter with blog-related info, updates, and explanations on why I thought something was funny at the time I wrote it and realized it wasn’t too late.

“Let the Grilling Begin!”

Originally posted: May 25, 2011

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The grand tradition in the U.S. of having a barbecue every Memorial Day Weekend. This year we’ve decided to add some variety to our grilling.

Besides the usual BBQ fare: Hotdogs, hamburgers, and ribs… I think it would be a good idea to throw some neighbors on the barbie.

Afterall, a lot of them have no problem grilling us all year long. (“When are you going to have kids? Are you trying to get pregnant? Did I tell you my sister’s pregnant with her third?”) 

So, maybe on Memorial Day Weekend, we should invite our nosiest neighbor over for a barbecue, scrape a spatula under his or her ass and flip ’em onto the grill. (Start with Monday’s post if you can.)

“Hey look! Here comes Marietta! Hi Marietta! Come on up!… So, Marietta. It’s really great to see you. There’s been something I’ve been meaning to ask you…

I noticed the other day that you had your boobs done. I mean, they look nice and everything but they don’t really go with your body.

I mean your body moves in all directions and your boobs only look forward. Like, look right now. You’re sitting down and your boobs are still standing up. 

And I don’t mean to be the one to bring the whole thing up, but I figure you want everyone to look at them because you wore a bikini top to my barbecue and we don’t have a pool and you can see my backyard from your backyard so I’m thinking you totally know that we don’t have a pool and you can’t be coming from your pool because, look, there’s your backyard right there…No pool.

Unless you’re planning to go somewhere afterwards to swim, but you don’t really look like you’re planning to budge from my adirondack chair any time soon…. Pass me some hotdog buns, would you please?… 

Speaking of buns, you didn’t have a boob job to keep people from looking at your ass did you? I mean if you’re going to have plastic surgery, you probably shouldn’t leave your ass behind…sorry for the pun… I mean, just look… there’s like a twenty year age difference between your boobs and your ass.

I hope you’re planning to rectify…I mean take care of that. I mean, it’s just not fair to the rest of us. We have to see you every day. Could you at least wrap a sweater or something around it until you can get it taken care of?

My husband’s really near-sighted and he looked out the window the other morning and said: ‘Hey look at this. Marietta’s walking her dog. I didn’t know she had a dog.’

And I said ‘what dog? She doesn’t have a dog. And I ran over to the window and sure enough it was your ass you were dragging along the driveway.”

Listen, I gotta go run next door and tell my neighbor Marietta that it’s just a coincidence that the woman in my post is named Marietta and that her butt looks just fine.

I’ll talk with ya again tomorrow.