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If Jane Austen Were Infertile ...

If Jane Austen were infertile.jpg

a blog by Lori Shandle-Fox, Laughing IS Conceivable, August 29, 2011

To read more of Lori Shandle-Fox's Trust Me: Laughing IS Conceivable blogs, CLICK HERE.

The problem with Infertility is it's ugly. Any way you look at it. 

For example, take your online support forums for infertility. They are not your typical "chat rooms." Nobody really just "chats." People cry, kvetch, vent, retch and spew ... but they rarely "chat." To me, a "chat" is pleasant — easy, breezy, Cover Girl. It's genteel and lady-like.

Yeah, that's what we all need: We need to discuss infertility in a lady-like, genteel fashion. Like a conversation in a Jane Austen novel.

You know. One of those 300-page books that's made into a four-hour movie in which an action-movie star would starve to death.  

That's because for every minute of those four hours, the only characters are women in high collars and corsets, and the only actions are walking, talking, tea sipping and snobbery.

And on your way out of the film, as the lights come up, you can see in the carpet the deep indentations of a thousand heel marks, made by scores of men who had to be dragged into the theater.

(My husband won't go to any movie that he files under the triple "B" category: Boring British Bullshit.)
Here's an excerpt from Jane Austen's latest novel: "Sense and Infertility." (Or, if you'd rather: "Pride and Progesterone." Or "Sticking a needle into Howard's End." Okay, that last one makes no sense ... Jane Austen didn't even write "Howard's End." Lots of walking, talking, tea-sipping and snobbery, though.)

    "Good morning Elspeth. Starting your fourth round of treatments today I hear."

    "Indeed I am, Millicent."

    "Oh my. What a bother."

    "Yes. Quite."

    "Will there be Clomid again, my dear?"

    "Yes. So I've been told."    
    "Will James bring the carriage around to transport you to the clinic?"

    "Yes. Just before tea time."

    "It will interfere with tea time? I must say, that is a bother. How is your Reginald taking it all?"

    "Of course he's not happy about it, I imagine. What lord would be happy about not producing an heir after all?"

    "Has his sperm production been sufficient?"

    "Yes, it's ample I believe. Of course he wouldn't discuss that sort of thing with me. And frankly, I'm not at all sure I would like him to."

    "I agree. Quite a distasteful business. Is he still giving you the shot in the buttocks every evening after dusk?"

    "I'm afraid so. I daresay his aim would be better by candlelight but it doesn't seem quite decent now does it?"

    "Heavens no." 

    "The whole experience has taken quite a toll on my poor Reginald ... in a financial way I'm afraid. He has been forced to sell the estate in Lancastershire and the one in Hamptonshire as well. The castle in Devonshire would be next should we require another dreadful go-round."

    "Oh, dear lord, no. That's ghastly. I am sorry. I had no idea."

    "Yes, of course. How could you?"

    "Pardon my impertinence, Elspeth. But there had been some talk about a blockage. I do hope your tubes are free of discomfort presently."

    "Oh, yes, they have been quite clear for sometime now."

    "Oh good. Father had a blockage last Derby day. Of course, of quite a different nature. Nasty business though."

    "Oh, Millicent. You are droll. It is quite nice confiding in you I must say. The procedure is to be in a fortnight. Do come 'round with Ernest afterward. Perhaps you can join us for a brandy or scones."

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