Sunday, November 28, 2010

I think we've crossed the line to 'crazy animal people'

I knew it would happen. Just knew it.

We volunteer with a local Labrador rescue group; it's how we got our dog Ellie. They run an absolutely amazing organization and have saved more than 1,000 dogs over the last three years. Last week they had an emergency - three labs were at a high kill shelter and about to be put down. So, despite our mixed up and wacky life right now, we decided to take in one of the dogs to foster. Yes, that's right, I said, "foster," meaning to take care of temporarily until someone decides to adopt. hahahahahahaha....

Umm...yeah... we now have two dogs.

There's no way we could give up this special little girl. She's actually better behaved than Ellie and since progress with getting our son home is slow and scary, we have opened our hearts to yet another four-legged "child." That's a total of five for us - two yellow Labs and three cats.

You might recall that I just brought cat number three home from China back in July. Jack said that four cats was crossing the crazy cat people line. So, instead, we've crossed it with a dog that, at least weight-wise, would be the equivalent of four more cats.

So, despite our new status as "manic pet adopters" or whatever other moniker you'd like to give us. Our house is clean, and, for the moment, quiet. Actually, Hermione, the new dog, seems to be at least 4-5 years old, and she is incredibly calm.

Even my sweet and sensitive eight-year old nephew called our decision in to question, "Aunt Lu, how are you going to manage two big dogs and three cats and Nate?" Boy, I can't wait to find out.

Of course, at this rate, we'll have another couple pets within the year. I'm hoping the next one is a horse.

I wrote a blog about "Adding Cats Instead of Kids" a few months ago after we adopted our newest cat. One of my theories is that infertiles who want children have a lot of love to give, so they have furbabies to parent, spoil and adore, until the human version arrives.

I guess Jack and I are in "wanting a child" overdrive. I promise not to end up on Animal Hoarders, though.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why I am thankful for porn

Got your attention, did I? This Thanksgiving instead of the traditional gratefulness for my awesome husband, family, and friends, and many, many other blessings, I have decided to pay homage to nudie pictures.

Here's why (an excerpt from my soon-to-be-available book The Inadequate Conception):

As I have talked to women across the country who are going through fertility procedures, I have noticed a common theme that probably doesn’t happen under many other circumstances—the specialized and authorized use of pornography. In fact, many women are buying their husbands porn so they can create their half of the blessed embryo.

One of my girlfriends from college said that she and her husband had gone through several fertility procedures and were getting ready for her husband to go do “his thing” yet another time. “He turns to me and says, ‘do you mind if I buy some new magazines for their office? The ones they have are so old.’ I agreed…and with that treatment we got pregnant!”

A woman I met from church relayed a great story about her IVF experience. It seemed that her husband was pretty anxious about the whole “deposit” process. Men have to produce the magical fluid on the day their wives go into surgery to have their eggs removed, so that they can be immediately joined in the romantic locale of a petri dish. Apparently, her husband couldn’t produce that morning within the sterile and clinical confines of the hospital, so this lovely church-going woman mentioned as she was being wheeled back for surgery that she had a nice porn video for him at home. He rushed home, threw the video into the VCR, performed the vital deed and raced the precious liquid back to the hospital. It was worth it; she was able to get pregnant from one of the resulting embryos.

A well-prepared husband of a friend had planned out his sperm producing session in advance. Forget the magazines that the fertility clinic provided. He had downloaded some porn videos from the internet (with his wife’s permission) onto his small laptop and brought it with him instead of using the visual aids in the doctor’s office. If only our guys gave as much thought and organization to other things like planning for in-law visits or packing for vacation…

Yet another friend told me that when her husband went back to give his sample, they provided the donors with a DVD player to watch movies. But, their player was broken. Ever the Mr. Fix-It, he proceeded to tinker around with the player in order to make it work. Ten minutes later, he finally remembered why he was in there and grabbed a magazine.

During a friend’s so-called “turkey baster” or artificial insemination cycle, her sweet husband went back to produce his part of the equation. After the doctor performed the task of sending the sperm into her uterus, she laid there for two hours waiting for the sperm to make their way to her egg. As she lay there, her husband delivered some less-than-optimal information. Yes, there was porn in the “sample producing” room, and he got to see an issue of the latest porn magazine with Jenna Jameson, the so-called “Queen of Porn.” “Great,” said my friend, “he was thinking of her while producing one half of our potential spawn.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

National Please Don't Send Me a Christmas Card with Only Your Kids Month

I hate to be bitter and snarky, but sometimes it's hard, particularly with the start of the holiday season, and the focus on children - Santa, ToysRUs commercials and my one nemesis: Christmas cards with only kids photos on them.

So, this year, I am encouraging all infertility bloggers to participate in National Please Don't Send Me a Christmas Card with Only Your Kids Month. Let's save our friends their $0.44 stamp and have them refrain from addressing a card to us.

It drives me and Jack crazy to get cards that only have kids on them. What happened to the parents? After all, those are the people that we know. We want to see how they're doing, too.

Family photos with mom, dad, and kids are totally acceptable -- it's just the ones with only kids that drive us batty.

Bitter? Hell, yes. But, please respect our wishes this holiday season; it's just a reminder of what we want, but don't have.

And, if you want to add the NPDSMCCWOYKM badge to your blog for holiday season, shoot me an email at and I will send you the file.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is this normal?

Several years ago, I was an expert on baby showers because I gave and attended so many. I could belt out an awesome brunch menu, find the cutest invitations and tell you about the must-have jogging stroller.

As time passed and I wasn't having any of these celebrations of my own, I would make excuses as to why I couldn't attend them. You know, ones like: I had to wash my hair; the Queen had invited me over for tea; and that I might disrupt a party by stabbing the mom-to-be in the rear end with a fork (I promise I'm not a violent person, but all of the baby birthing was really getting to me at one point).

Anyway, I know showers feel more like monsoons to infertiles, and I totally think it's acceptable not to go, good excuse or not.

However, a younger friend of mine who seems to be attending bridal and baby showers every other weekend told me that she printed off a baby registry recently which included nipple/breast pads and nipple cream for a breastfeeding mom. Really?!?! Is that normal? She told me she thought that was like having condoms on a wedding registry. I don't ever recall seeing those items on a gift list, nor would I ever buy them for someone.

Actually, she played a trick on her husband by circling those and a few more items from the list she printed out and asked him to go pick up the gifts for her. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the breastfeeding paraphenalia.

I think those are just things the waiting mom should get on her own. Ever see any inappropriate things on a gift registry?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How old is too old? Remix

Back when I was a young newlywed and didn't know about my fertility challenges, I always said I wouldn’t try to have a baby after turning 35 since that was too old. Little did I know.

I just had my 38th birthday (and my 13th wedding anniversary), and I’m technically still trying, albeit, not trying that hard. We’ve given up on the hard core fertility treatments (ran out of embryos, money and, let's face it, hope) and are now just keeping it to the ol’fashioned nookie-in-the-sack. No more worrying about peak fertile days, either.

It’s funny how your perception of what’s old changes the more you age. I can’t say for sure when or if I’ll be a mom, but I’m cool with trying for at least another year or so. After all, I’ve waited this long.

Still, it makes me feel crappy when I think about people ten years younger than me with newborns and my girlfriends who have kids who are in middle school.

And, I still feel young. Heck, half the time I can't remember how old I am anyway. In some ways, I feel like I've been 29 for several years. But, I also don't want to be the oldest parent in my kid's class, either. I don't want to show up at his high school graduation using a walker or showing his date a trick with my dentures (OK, so I am now overexaggerating), but you get the picture.

And, I do believe there is a point when it is completely irresponsible to give birth - those closer to a grandmother's age than a mother's age, should definitely reconsider.

If I have to wonder if it's my diaper or my kid's that needs to be changed, I'm too old to be a "new" mother.