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You Can't Make This Stuff Up!


a blog by Joy and Jim Meyers


When I think back to all the things we’ve tried in the name of fertility, I have to laugh. I wouldn’t normally describe myself as a risk taker. In general, I’m pretty fearful of new things. But when I started thinking about how I’ve been handling my fertility treatment, I guess I’ve been pretty experimental. If something is inexpensive and relatively painless, I’ll consider it. Here’s a little glimpse into a couple of the notable things I’ve tried:

If you’re reading this blog, then you’re probably familiar with this sight. The upper left of this picture shows all my Chinese herbs from my acupuncturist. One for my iron levels, one for digestion, one for anxiety, one for being addicted to The Hills. Once a week, I’d be on the slab, needles protruding from all directions, nodding eagerly as my acupuncturist would make suggestions about new things to try.

The rest of this image contains all of the prescription drugs I’ve used. I remember crying for two hours before taking my very first Clomid pill. I called everyone I know to ask whether they thought it would make me sick. What the hell does my brother know about fertility drugs? To think Clomid was one of the easier ones! What I didn’t realize then was that swallowing that pill gained me entrance into a world something like Dante’s Inferno. If I let myself think too hard about what all this junk might be doing to me, I’ll lose it. Better change gears now.

Okay. This is embarrassing. So I have sleep apnea, alright? On top of all the other bodily malfunctions I seem to experience, I also stop breathing several times a night. Needless to say, I was suffering. And so was Jim. He had to listen to me try and breathe through a pinhole each night and he was scared. I sought help. It turns out that my sleep specialist has some experience with infertility. So when he told me that he had a theory about poor sleep and infertility, I grabbed this mask as quickly as possible.

If you think about it, it makes sense: interrupted breathing throughout the night puts a great deal of stress on your body. Not the best environment for your eggs (or an embryo), I don’t think. So for two months I wore this thing to bed. Observe my beauty:

The first time I put it on, Jim actually teared up. The next night he reached around to snuggle and he said he “grabbed my hose.” I asked him not to look at me after I put it on.

For fear of turning into a monster, I returned the machine. Choking on my own tongue seemed a better alternative.



Most immature guys like myself can’t help but chuckle when a nurse hands them a cup and leads them to a sterile closet full of bad porn. Where do I begin?

First of all, I’ve never been so nervous to do the deed that I’ve relished in the privacy of my own bedroom many times before. Everyone knows that a guy enjoys a little quiet time every once and a while. But the pressure to deliver was something I did not anticipate. I’m following this nurse down the hall and both of us know what I’m about to do, but not a word is spoken. She makes me write my name on the cup as if to further rub it in that I’m about to rub it out. Our eyes meet for one uncomfortable second and I see that she is enjoying watching me squirm.

I’ve been around the block when it comes to fertility clinic sampling rooms, and I am amazed at the complete lack of thought and preparation that goes into making these rooms resemble something that would get a guy in the mood.

This particular clinic had me in a 4X5 bathroom/closet directly adjacent to the billing office waiting room. I can barely turn around in there and the door itself is made out of balsa wood. I’ve got impatient women waiting to pay bills right on the other side of these paper walls and I’m staring at a running toilet and my own pathetic reflection in the bathroom mirror. I’m supposed to get in the mood and I can’t get away from my own mug glaring back at me. This puts a cruel twist on the expression “having myself.”

Then, because guys are such apes, I have to fumble around to find the porn. Not a hint of its whereabouts. Oh, here it is in a drawer meant to hold toilet paper. This better be good stuff. I should have known I was in trouble when I entered this vault. This was well worn junk from the 80’s, Playboys I used to sneak from my Dad when I was twelve. How many guys have touched these things?

Oh yeah, they’ve got a DVD player in here! Great! The remote doesn’t work. Damn! Then I notice on the mirror, just above my miserable countenance, a small circle scribbled with a sharpie and the directions telling me to “aim remote here to activate DVD player” Now I’m flustered, I’ve got too many things to remember. Where do I aim? What if I miss the cup? I hit play on the remote and instantly the room (and the adjacent waiting room) is filled with frightening moans and grunts. I have to crouch down because I’m so close to the TV set. This video is sick--I’m glad I’m not wearing 3-D glasses. That gets turned off in an instant.

Looks like I’m on my own here. When I am finally able to block out the yentas in the other room long enough to complete my mission, I recall a distant memory of what sex used to be like. For a moment, Joy and I are a normal couple having fun. Finally, I’m out the door with my pathetic sample and into the waiting room. Everybody looks like they are waiting for me. “That’s it?” the nurse’s eyes say as I slide it through the glass partition.

I’m not making this stuff up. I might start a new career as a fertility clinic sample room consultant. I mean the guy (or girl) who designed this thing needs a lesson on the subtleties of the male libido.

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