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a blog by Infertile Naomi, September 10, 2010

Dear TLC,

I am a big fan of your network and enjoy many of your programs. However, as a woman experiencing infertility, I kindly request that you think about changing some of the names of your shows.

    Show Title: Quints By Surprise
    A story about Casey and Ethan Jones who wanted to add one more baby to their family and were thrilled with their fertility treatment resulted in quintuplets. I would understand if the couple had not done fertility treatments and — surprise — you have five babies. Now, that’s a surprise. But when you have multiple eggs, sometimes you get multiple children. Where’s the surprise?
    Better Title: Surprise! Your Fertility Treatment Actually Worked this Time!

    Show Title: 19 Kids and Counting
    The story of the Duggar family, who can procreate at the drop of a hat and have named all their kids starting with the letter J. Please stop procreating already. While some of us can’t even seem to have one, you are already blessed with so many children. Perhaps Michelle Duggar can offer to become a surrogate for the rest of us infertile folks? She is a human fertility machine.
    Better Title: 19 Kids. Please Stop Procreating

    Show Title: I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant
    I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant is a series that reveals the astonishing stories of women who conceive and carry their babies all the way to labor and delivery with no idea that they were ever pregnant. Meet Lilah, a 35 year old woman who thought she had gained 30 pounds from too many donuts. Meet Cheryl, a 20 year old, who went to the hospital for a stomach ache and came home with twins. And, 29-year-old April thinks she has food poisoning, but it turns out it wasn’t bad barbecue, it was a baby.
    Better Title: I Didn’t Know I Could Be This Dumb

Here are some of my other suggestions for future, more realistic, TLC programming …

    Show Title: Why Didn’t IVF Work on the First Attempt?
    A story of women who spend thousands of dollars on in vitro fertilization, but the sperm and egg refused to fertilize.

    Show Title: I Am a Fertility Drug Addict
    The story of five women getting high on Clomid and fertility injections.

    Show Title: I Haven’t Ovulated Since 1980
    The story of women dealing with PCOS who haven’t seen their menstrual cycles since the TV show Family Ties went off the air.

And although I do enjoy all your pregnancy and baby-themed programming, I suggest that you think about putting an additional infertility warning before the show. Instead of “This program may contain material unsuitable for children,” change to “This program may cause tears and heartache for any couples dealing with infertility.”

Just a thought.

Thank you for taking some of my suggestions into consideration.


Infertile Naomi
Blogger of ‘999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility

Comments (63)

i think it would be great if some new shows were about the journey of is part of true life...i would watch them. just my opinion

This was so funny, on all those shows I have thought the EXACT same thing, especially the "I didn't know one' You are hilarious and love reading this site, thanks for bringing laughter to my day.

You should write one to MTV asking them to change the titles of "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" to "Are You Jealous of A Teenager?".

This is such a great post. Whoever said infertility is not funny is right, but we have to laugh at it anyways. If we don't laugh, we cry, and we do plenty of that already.

Thank you, Naomi, for making such a difficult thing like IF actually funny. Many of us laugh (and cry) at thinking about our overstuffed Sharps containers, or husbands stabbing our behinds, or whatever. I can't forget that bottle of wine I drank before that first Ovidrel shot and that was a tiny little needle! It takes laughter to survive and you are doing a great job!

Oh, and two thumbs up for "journey to the center of the uterus." Ha!! Love it! How about "Tubing down the...oh wait, there's a blockage." Or maybe "Swim team rejects (i.e. sperm)."

Why would you spend your precious time watching shows that "cause tears and heartache?" I'll admit this is a weird example but I am a little over-obsessed with buying a house (which we can't do right now) and I finally realized all those shows about home buying and renovating are not good for me. It just makes me want it more and obsess, why do that to myself when I could spend my time doing something productive? Our problems only consume us if we let them, and that goes for trivial things all the way up to infertility. Don't let it rule your life. Log off, turn off the TV, and go enjoy your life as it is instead of wishing these days away.

Love it!! I also hate the show on Discovery, "I'm Pregnant and...".

One title was "I'm Pregnant and... May be Having a Dwarf." Well, that's what happens when you have sex with a dwarf...


TLC did have a show for awhile that followed 4 couples through IVF. I can't remember what it was called - Baby Doctor or something.

They showed the preparations with injections and emotional struggles - they showed egg retrieval and fertilization - they showed the eggs as they grew and the discussion of the couple as they decided how many to implant - and they were there at the house when they got the call after the 2WW on if she was PG or not. I loved it and cried every single time. It was very real - sometimes all 4 would get a BFN - rarely more than one couple would conceive.

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

I hate that they put so many shows about "surprise multiples" when people are knowingly putting 8,6,5 ect embryos in there, they know their is a possiblity a very large one that they will get that many babies. And a side note to that is where do they find IVF doctors that are morally loose and will implant that many to begin with?

My husband and I call that show "I didnt know i was pregnant" "I didnt know I was pregnant because Im fat" because MOST of them are over weight people that dont notice.

I wish there were more shows about infertility because I have and still am suffering from infertility. I suffered for 2 years and we were saving for IVF when my husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer and is undergoing surgeries. So I am slightly bitter seeing people take advantage of what I would gladly give my left arm for.

i think it was a pretty funny post, except for the part about the Duggars. that part was the only part where the judgement/hate came through. they see children as a complete gift and i love the message that sends to others who might be terrified of children and put off child-bearing for too long. shouldn't we, as infertiles, be trying to prevent that from happening? i for one don't wish this infertility mess on anyone and if the Duggars show one person what a gift children are then i'm for it.

Why do people post such rude comments? It's meant to be a humor post. If you don't know how to laugh, leave.

Then just don't watch TLC. *Problem solved*

BTW, stop spamming message boards. It's rude to just drop by and post your link in a community you are not a part of.

If you don't like it how about you make it a private message board. It's a free country and you're not a dictator. Pull the stick out and get your panties out of a bunch.

Thank you Naomi for that halarious post! I totally agree that we laugh to keep ourselves from crying. Infertility has been the most frustating and painful thing I have ever gone through. I just finished my first cycle of IUI and am praying that it worked and I just get so sick of hearing about people like "octomom" and "19 kids and counting". I too am a christian and that doesn't mean that we don't feel anger or hurt. I loved that one of our pastors said "God never promised our comfort". SO true! But I think that's why we have humor and others to go through it with.

Of course there's humor in infertility! I joke that my husband is developing a pavlov's reaction to big needles. He thought for the longest time he was 'King of the mountain' because my rear end was propped so high on pillows. He probably looks for girlie magazines anytime he goes into a restroom now. I'm sure he will innocently ask the wrong person for a cup when he's going to the restroom....

Great email Naomi! I love how you can make such a painful subject humourous, and it's all so true! I cringe every time I see that "19 kids and counting" show... Stop with the kids and the counting! The last premie should have been a sign to stop... and I've also wondered if she'd have one for me!! I haven't seen the surprise quints show, but seriously, if you use fertility drugs, there shouldn't be a surprise!
I had my 3rd IVF retrieval this week in hopes of someday having a child of our own and my friends find the whole process very interesting... They are always asking "what next"?! I've had so many tests, needles, retrievals, transfers, drugs etc. that I would think that a show about what I (and many others like me!!!) have been through would be more interesting than "I'm so fat I had no idea I was carrying twins"... It's very personal so I don't know if I'd like a camera following me around for all of the world (including my co-workers who I've managed to keep all of this a secret from) to see.... but I'm getting more open about it all.
Thanks for sharing your email and I LOVE your website! :D

Great post as always. Though I have to say, I like the show "I didn't know I was pregnant" because it gives me hope that maybe, just maybe I am currently pregnant, its just that I don't know about it. I do wish there was more discussion on IF - on tv and in the real world.

Naomi, you are my new found hero! I say exactly what you've said in this every time I come across these shows!

Ah Naomi, I think the TLC show should be called Journey to the Center if the Uterus...but then, I'm biased...

I've often told people that if we don't laugh then we'll cry and there's nothing better than a dose of irreverent humor to go along with infertility.

Pay no attention to the naysayers! Laugh and laugh often!

Of course there's bitterness and rage in this post - there's bitterness and rage in infertility! I am Christian and infertile; I'm not angry at God but I am angry. I get jealous when I see pregnant women or babies. I'm working on it. It honestly helps me to know that I'm not alone, that other women get bitter and angry and jealous too. We're human, we're not perfect, regardless of our religious faith or lack thereof. I genuinely appreciate Naomi's honesty in sharing her struggles. God wants us to empathize with each other and bear one another's burdens.

Thank you, Naomi, for sharing so honestly with us. You're a gem.

And I'd subscribe to cable just to watch a TLC show about infertility!

I am the one who wrote the comment everyone is attaching and for your information my intention was not to be rude or holier than thou. To those of you who thought that this was the case, PLEASE, do NOT automatically go to the negative, especially when its a Christian posting it. I really meant it, I know what its like to not be able to concieve, I also know what its like to lose 4, yes read it again FOUR of my children. May be TLC would benefit from shows from the other side, I know I would watch them. I didn't see any humor in what she was saying, all I saw was a broken heart and I felt for her.

You should send this to TLC. They really should create a show on infertility. There are so many shows on pregnancy - even TEEN pregnancy, who's bright idea was that! - so there should be a show on the other end of the spectrum. I would LOVE to document the troubles I've had TTC AND Adopt. Maybe things will change a little bit if it gets publicity.

SEND THIS TO TLC! Let's unite!

This is coming from a woman who dealt with infertility, had 2 miscarriages and finally made the most heart-breaking, devastating decision to give up. Number one...I totally get everything Naomi is saying and find her very funny. Number two...I believe in the saying "you don't know a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes" and if someone hasn't been in my shoes, I can't expect them to understand my pain and suffering, therefore I try to be forgiving of that. Number three...I totally agree with everyone in that the pain of infertility needs to be talked about, because then MAYBE fertile people will at least have a glimmer of understanding of what we are going through.

I love this letter. I loved TLC, but now the babies are overwhelming. I'm thinking we should all send our own letters to TLC for such IF shows. And as for that one post about being bitter. I appreciate all the prayers I can get. Even if I am angery, bitter, and unforgiving- I still try to keep hope. But if she wants to give us her prayers, let's take them! Maybe that's what we're missing in this whole TTC journey. Instead of baby dust we are needing a stranger's prayers. Can't hurt at least, right?

LOVE THIS!!!! I think MTV's Teen Mom should be renamed also.... I'm open for suggestions on this =)

I just think there ought to be a sister show to Teen Mom for infertiles titled "I Wish I Got Knocked Up at 16."

YES!!!! You said it girl! The best part is that your suggestions for shows would actually be better than these dumb shows that TLC focuses on.

Love your PCOS and IVF suggestion. Althought, getting high on fertility drugs is awesome too!

The best laugh I've had in weeks!

As someone who struggled with infertility and was finally blessed with twins, I have to say this: Naomi, keep up the great work! Your blog hits very close to home, but never fails to crack me up. I hope TLC listens to you and does a show that will show all of the clueless, fertile people out there what we go though!

naomi's blog gives us one of few places where we can let all of our frustration, anger, sadness, etc. all hang out, in the form of sarcasm, satire, poking fun, etc. while women with children can spend all day at the office or over lunch talking about what little johnny ate yesterday, or what the consistancy of his latest poopy diaper was, or how sore her boobs are from breastfeeding, etc...we typically can't just drop random comments in most social circles about the hot flashes we are getting from clomid, or the bazillion-th semen sample hubby is providing today for the bazillion-th test, etc. this is our community to share openly and have a "sisterhood" of sorts with women who know all too well our secret lives behind the brave, fake smiles. no one is forced to be a part of this blog following. if you don't like it, go find a forum that is more in check with your opinions. every hear the phrase "live and let live....??" try it.

I love it...Im sharing your blog with my mom...I find it therapeutic to laugh and be sarcastic about it...I also wonder why people that haven't been through IF feel they need to point out how wrong we are for feeling the way we do... Im more then willing to share my story of IF with anyone that will listen...Anyway, Thank you for the laugh

Wow, how about that person up above who made the uncalled for comment show a little compassion for those going through something so horrible and trying to make light of a bad situation. It's so sad that people can't be understanding nowadays. Praying for more empathy and compassion in this world. I hope you never have to go through infertility, you wouldn't be able to handle it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love the TLC shows but usually end up incredulous or bawling my eyes out at some point.
What I wouldn't give to see a couple of shows on Infertility. Maybe some people would be more understanding if they saw the day to day of what we will put ourselves through to have a slim chance for a child and the heartbreak we suffer along that road.
As private as I try to keep my struggles, I'd offer in a heartbeat if it meant more/better understanding from others

Though I understand your pain and anguish, but some of what you are spouting is anger, bitterness, and unforgivness, they may listen to your pleas if they weren't laced with this. I will be praying for you.

Why is there always someone who decides to do this? Are you infertile? Are you just stopping by to show how inconsiderate you are of other people's feelings? I will pray for YOU. Because infertiles have their right to feel that way... you think we want to see a show about a 40+ year old who has been knocked and have had 19 children? I think there should be more infertility awareness.. shows about adoption, surrogacy, the pain of IUI and IVF, the heart aches and everything in between. If you're IF and saying this, I'll pray for you harder. Infertiles aren't always bitter, but we deserve a chance to have a family too. The end.

To this person above who wrote this---

"Though I understand your pain and anguish, but some of what you are spouting is anger, bitterness, and unforgivness, they may listen to your pleas if they weren't laced with this. I will be praying for you."

I strongly disagree with your comments. Haven't you read all the other posts that actually agree with Naomi's blog? I don't think you know what it's like to experience IF because if you did, you would agree with her. I would assume you want a baby considering you are visiting this website so why wouldn't you get it? Her post was not 'laced with anger," it's laced with sarcasm and humor. Try it sometime.

Do you really understand infertility? Of course, we are angry and bitter but we also still have humor. Naomi's post is awesome, sarcastic and still able to laugh. I will pray for you, lady.

Gotta love "holier than thou" Christians who obviously do not understand what going through infertility is like.

I actually felt there was extreme bitterness and anger in the blog post as well. As an infertile myself for the last several years I totally felt where you were coming from in writing the blog, but sending it to TLC without editing out the anger and sarcasm is not likely to make any changes. But who knows, they may add a good infertility show for us to watch. I sure hope so!

I think it is terrible that you are saying that Christians don't understand what infertility is like. You think that every Christian can get pregnant on command or something? Um, I am a Christian and an infertile. My husband and I have been struggling to get pregnant for over 5 years. You should not attack other peoples' faith. Especially when you have no idea if the person you are attacking is or isn't a Christian.

Wow...why do some people have to be so hateful when we're just trying to find humor in such a hurtful part of our lives.

Thank you :) This is sooo true!! I cannot watch TLC anymore just for the pure fact that they are throwing around people having babies like its in the water or something.

Naomi you are the best!!!! You can always make me laugh with your 999 blog. This is great I hope TLC listens!

I'd like to.see a show called "infertile house" where several coupled cohabitate during various IF treatments, sharps containers evetywhere, the shot cam, etc.

Keep up the good work my infertile friend.