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Don't Ignore...The Humor. Yes, I DID Say Humor!

a blog by Lori Shandle-Fox, April 26, 2012

If you ask any one of the 7 million people dealing with infertility what the worst part of being infertile is, they'd probably look at you like you were an imbecile, say something like:

"Not being able to get pregnant," followed by an implied: "Duh" look in case you hadn't picked up on the "imbecile" look.

I disagree. To me, the worst part of the journey is not the "I'm STILL not pregnant" part, it's the humongous question mark that looms over you from day one and grows bigger, darker and heavier with each passing menstrual cycle.

"Am I going to get pregnant next month?" "Am I going to get pregnant EVER?" "Will I ever be able to carry a baby for nine months?" "Will I ever have a SECOND child?" "Will this fertility drug work better than the last one?" "Will I need surgery?" "Will my husband stick around for all this?" "Will we go broke from the treatments?" "Will the fertility doctor come to the homeless shelter to do my next cycle?"

It's like reading the same murder mystery for seven years and never getting to the wind-up.

Freaking out is okay. It's expected in fact. If you're one of the extremely lucky ones who tries to conceive for a while by yourself (well, not totally "by yourself," that would be ridiculous) and then makes a simple change in your diet, or tries acupuncture, or yoga or makes a trip or two to your friendly neighborhood fertility specialist and then wham, bam, thank you ma'am, you're pregnant, you have a healthy baby and your infertility days are over … freaking out is okay. You freaked out for a few weeks and then went on with your life. No big deal.

But if you're like many of us and the nauseating adventure takes considerably longer, and that question mark starts to grow gray hair and wrinkles, think how life's going to be if you spend week after week, month after month, year after year fixated on only two things:

  1. Trying to get pregnant, and
  2. Freaking out

This is why I implore you: As long as you have that hideous 2-ton question mark hovering over you: "Don't ignore the Humor!"

And if you keep your eyes and ears open, I promise you, you'll find lots of opportunities to laugh … at yourself and even better … at other people. And now I feel compelled to give you an example to start you off. (She says as she throws her head back, does her best evil cartoon character cackle and twists the end of her Dick Dastardly mustache … Yeah I really should get me some tweezers.)

Family and friends advising you on how to get pregnant. I always told myself that they're just trying to help. Then I realized: "No … that's not it. In their whole life, this is the only thing they'll ever have a shot at being an "expert" at: getting pregnant."

They were mediocre in school, they married a loser, they don't know how to dress, their kids are brats, and they can't parallel park to save their lives … but they did get knocked up! Hooray for them! After all these years, they finally found something they can do better than you. So now they've named themselves your conception coach, and here comes their stellar advice that you can't live without. Ready?

"Stop trying so hard. Just relax."

I used to think people who said that were just blowing me off with those pearls of wisdom that loosely translate into:

"Do nothing, and you'll get pregnant."

Then I realized: They're serious. That really is they're best sage advice. The "Do Nothing" method. After all, it's what's always worked for them. Every time … She did nothing, and she got pregnant.

She didn't say "no" to a drunken Homer Simpson look and sound-a-like she just met at a bar …

She didn't stop at the drugstore to pick up a quart of milk, a People magazine and, oh, yeah … a box of THOSE.

She didn't tell the boozy loser to leave. Instead she had him move in, and (continuing to practice the "Do Nothing" method) she watched Real Housewives of New Jersey while he impregnated her.

Wash, rinse, repeat a year later.

So whatever you do this National Infertility Awareness Week and beyond, Don't Ignore the Humor. While trying to get pregnant you might undergo tests or procedures to make sure your body parts are healthy, strong, and working correctly. Please, please:

Don't ignore your funny bone.

For more information about RESOLVE and National Infertility Awareness Week, visit:


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