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The 12 Pains of Christmas and Infertility

By Tracey Minella

December 5th, 2016 at 9:36 am


image credit: james barker/free digital

There’s a funny Christmas song that parodies “The Twelve Days of Christmas” called “The 12 Pains of Christmas”, by Bob Rivers. It starts out calm and as the verses go on repetitively, the frustration escalates. My favorite parts are the lines about rigging up the lights (“One goes out, they ALL GO OUT!”), facing my in-laws (“She’s a witch, I hate her!”) and sending Christmas cards (“I don’t even KNOW half these people!”).

But when you’re suffering from infertility, the holiday season is particularly hard and just about everything having to do with it is frustrating. It’s hard to be festive at office parties when that water you’re drinking is sure to prompt smirks or comments about the pregnancy your co-workers think you must be hiding. Maybe you don’t feel like decorating a tree or attending a cookie swap. The idea of facing the toy stores for the kids in your life’s wish list is simply daunting.

And don’t get me started on the cards. The photo cards. The perfect little baby photo cards. The deluge of pictures of families that flood the mailbox. Every. Single. Day. It hurts to receive them. And it hurts to have to send your own out without a baby photo on it—again.

And it hurts to feel guilt and sadness over feeling how you’re feeling.

So in a small attempt at levity, I propose the following song—an anthem if you will—“The 12 Pains of Christmas with Infertility”, set to the same tune as The 12 Days of Christmas:

Here goes:

The first pain of Christmas with Infertility is…

1-    Hiding Your Infertility;

2-    Pregnancy announcements;

3-    Nosy in-laws’ questions;

4-    Specimen collection;


6-    Facing Toys R Us®;

7-    Booze-free office parties;

8-    One line on the pee stick;

9-    Photo cards with babies;

10- Daily injections;

11- Hiding blood work bruises;

12- Aunt Flo comes to visit.

I’m offering you hope and humor, strength and peace this holiday season.

* * * * * * ** *  ** * *** * *

What would you add to the list?


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Infertile? You’ll Need the Strength of Ten Grinches… Plus Two

By Tracey Minella

March 2nd, 2016 at 6:22 pm

photo credit: T.Minella


Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Just hearing his name calls to mind our favorite childhood books with their catchy rhymes and quirky characters. Green Eggs and Ham. The Cat in the Hat. And countless others.


My personal favorite, the Grinch, was also a TV movie back in the day. I remember my parents checking the TV Guide for the Christmas TV specials. There were no TiVos, DVRs, DVDs, or even video tapes back then. If you missed a special, you had to wait until the next year to see it again. Imagine that? But it made us appreciate the magic of these childhood stories even more.


So what does Dr. Seuss have to do with infertility, you wonder?


Well, it just so happens that one of his books, Oh, the Places You’ll Go speaks directly to the infertile soul, as evidenced by  the following few excerpts:


“…And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.”

“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”


“… And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on…”


However, no tribute to Dr. Seuss would be complete without mentioning a fabulous book adapted from his work, similarly entitled Oh, Baby, the Places You’ll Go!  It’s specifically intended to be read to your baby in utero during your pregnancy. It is a great way for your developing baby to get used to your and your partner’s voice. Be sure to pick this one up before or right after that positive test.


Here’s another tip: If you can handle it emotionally, consider occasionally buying and putting away some other classic children’s books. It’s a positive step you can take in a journey that you have little control over.


By the time your Thing 1 and Thing 2 arrive, you could have a nice collection.


I’ll give you a positive send-off, with a final excerpt from Oh The Places You’ll Go:


So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!


*  * * * * * * ** *** ** * * * * ** * **  *


What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Do you collect books or anything else while TTC?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 contest…two years in a row!

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 28 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help. 631-752-0606.

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Will YOU Win Long Island IVF’s Fur-Baby Holiday Photo Contest?

By Tracey Minella

December 14th, 2015 at 1:59 pm


Photo of Minion by Liz

Plenty of people love their pets. But no one loves them like those suffering from infertility. When you’re longing for a baby to hold, that four-legged furry thing becomes your “fur-baby”.

Many couples’ pets help get them through the infertility journey. While they are not babies, of course, they definitely help fill the void. They are soft and warm and needy. They offer unconditional love and tons of kisses. And many even tolerate being dressed up for holiday pictures.

At this time of year, it can be particularly hard to handle the onslaught of baby photo holiday cards from friends and family. So last year we decided to create a diversion and give you all a chance to celebrate the adorable fur-babies in your life by holding a fun photo contest.

Want to show off your pet(s)? Send us a photo of your fur-babies. They can be dressed up for a holiday… or not. Upload the photo in the comments section of this post on our Facebook page anytime from now until 5:00 pm EST on December 21, 2015. That’s one week, so get snapping!!!

[We’re required to post a bunch of rules despite the simplicity of the contest, but don’t let the obligatory legalese dampen your enthusiasm to enter your fur-baby! But do read the rules at the bottom of this post in their entirety (sorry!)]

We will randomly select three (3) fur-baby photos, using (or a similar automated random selection system) and announce the selections on December 22, 2015. Each of the three (3) Fur-babies will receive a $50.00 Petco Gift Card!

You do not need to be a patient. You can only enter once. You do not have to “like” our Facebook page in order to enter (but we’d love it if you did!) Remember the selections are by an automated computer system, it is not a judged contest.*

So go on and grab that camera! We can’t wait to see your adorable fur-babies.



Long Island IVF 2015 Furbabies Contest Rules

CONTEST RULES: We’re looking for your best photos of your furbabies! Whether they’re dressed up, doing something funny, or just plain being cute, post your photo in the comments below and you could win a $50 gift card to Petco!

*Only provide photos for which you own the rights (i.e. you took it). By submitting a photo, you represent that you own the rights to it, and consent to Long Island IVF’s public usage of your photo on their website and social media channels. There will be no compensation for use but photo credit will be provided. This contest is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

1. Eligibility: Contest open to anyone over the age of 18 with a Facebook account. Employees of Long Island IVF (the “Sponsor”), its advertising or promotion agencies, parent companies, service providers, agents, officers, subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other persons or entities directly associated with the Contest (collectively, the “Contest Entities”) and members of the immediate families of and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Contest. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. This Contest is void where prohibited.

2. How to Enter: To enter, submit a photo that you have taken of your furbaby on the Long Island IVF Facebook page. There is a limit of one entry per household. Prior contest winners may enter again, but must submit a new photo. No responsibility is assumed for late, lost, damaged incomplete, illegible, or misdirected submissions. No responsibility is assumed for technical, hardware, software or other online entry malfunctions of any kind or unavailable network connections, or failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications caused by the sender, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest which may limit the ability to participate, or by any human error which may occur in the processing of the submission. If for any reasons (including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause beyond the control of the Sponsor, which corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest), the Contest is not capable of being conducted as described in these Official Rules, Sponsor shall have the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest with no obligations of any kind to entrants.

3. Requirements of Entries: Each entry must be the original work of the entrant, and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. If the entry contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant, and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, before submission of the entry, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the entry by Sponsor in the manner set forth in these Official Rules, including without limitation, name and likeness permissions from any person who appears in or is identifiable in the entry (or their parents or legal guardians if such persons are minors). Sponsor reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to Sponsor from any entrant at any time. Failure to provide such proof may, if requested, render entry null and void. Entrant understands that Sponsor has no obligation to display, publish, or otherwise include the entry in any Sponsor publication or Website. By submitting an entry, entrant warrants and represents that he/she, on his/her own behalf and on behalf of any children or legal wards of the entrant, if any, depicted in the entry, and any persons appearing or who are identifiable in the entry (or their parents or legal guardians if such persons are minors), consent to the submission and use of the entry in the Contest and to its use as otherwise set forth herein. By submitting your entry, you agree that your entry conforms to these Official Rules and that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may disqualify your entry for any reason, including if it determines, in its sole discretion, that your entry fails to conform to these Official Rules in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content as determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion. By submitting your entry, entrants grant to Sponsor and its parent companies and affiliates an unlimited, transferable, exclusive license to use their entry/photograph on Facebook, in editorial publications, advertising material, for promotional purposes, on websites or in any other media form whatsoever that Sponsor may choose without further compensation unless otherwise prohibited by law. By submitting your entry, you agree to assume all liability for and indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor, Facebook, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, contractors and agents from any and all claims arising out of the publication or use of your entry, including without limitation any failure of your entry to comply with these Official Rules or any representations being made by you herein.

4. Judging: Winners will be selected randomly using a random number generator in conjunction with a list of entrants organized in chronological order of submission date.  Winners will be announced on the Long Island IVF Facebook page on or by December 22, 2015. It is the entrant’s responsibility to check the Facebook page for this announcement, and follow the provided instructions for claiming the prize. Failure to do so within 10 days will result in forfeiture of the prize.

5. Prizes: Three (3) winners will be chosen to receive one (1) $50 gift card to Petco.

6. General Conditions: By participating in the Contest, each entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor, Facebook, and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, contractors and agents from any and all liability for injuries and damages sustained in connection with participation in the Contest and publication of winner’s photo.  By accepting a prize, each winner grants to Sponsor and its parent companies and affiliates the right to use his or her name, likeness, image, voice, testimonial and/or biographical information, as well as the name, likeness, image, voice, testimonial and/or biographical information of any children appearing in the entry, in advertising and promotion in all media without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law.
Sponsor of this Contest is Long Island IVF (Sponsor) 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, NY 11747.  This Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.


* Hey did we mention that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and each entrant or participant completely releases Facebook from any and all claims??

And if you’re not too tired to keep reading…

LONG ISLAND IVF was nominated BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2016 contest. If you’d like to vote to help us win… and keep our title from last year… you can vote once per day from now through Dec 15 here:


Photo credit: our good friend Liz and her taco dog, Minion


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Thanks, Mariano, for the “Mo”-ments You Gave Us (and the Journey We Shared)

By Tracey Minella

September 30th, 2013 at 6:48 pm


credit: wiki free public domain


You don’t have to be a sports fan to appreciate what’s been going on in major league baseball this week. The regular baseball season just ended amidst a host of emotional moments surrounding the retirement of long-time superstar Yankees relief pitcher, Mariano “Mo” Rivera, who made his major league debut in May, 1995. It’s been a while since I penned a “Just for Guys” post at the end of the month, and this “Mo”-ment demands attention.

Married to a diehard Yankees fan and unable to escape the Mariano frenzy even if I wanted to, I watched in awe as Rivera’s personal life and professional stats were highlighted. An extremely poor boy who first played baseball using a milk carton for a glove, Mariano has quietly invested tons of his own money in a namesake foundation that’s building schools and starting programs designed to improve life back in his native Panama and elsewhere. He is a humble man and still married to his childhood sweetheart. And as the All-Time Saves record holder he is a pitching legend, destined for first ballot induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Of all the stats and milestones that were rattled off, one leaped out at me. Although he didn’t start a major league game until 1995, he signed as a free amateur agent with the Yankees in 1990. That’s when I started trying to conceive. He’s been in baseball all the years I’ve been infertile…and for as long as you’ve been trying to conceive, too. In fact, today’s youngest infertility patients probably can’t remember a time when Mariano wasn’t pitching for the Yankees. So I’m joining in the farewell tributes with this light-hearted comparison of our respective “careers”.

Mariano’s journey with the Yankees, like my infertility journey, officially started years before anyone knew about it. He spent the 5 years after signing in relative obscurity; I spent a few years trying to conceive without medical intervention and unbeknownst to anyone else. His big league career began as a starter. Mine as an IUIer.

He moved on to relief pitching in 1996 and I moved on to IVF in 1993 and over our long careers we both racked up impressive records:

His all-time post-season ERA of 0.70 over a 19 year career is legendary. But my 7 fresh IVFs over 9 years and my all-time ECA (Earned Cryo Average) of 0.028 is nothing to sneeze at. His “most strikeouts by a Yankee reliever in a single season” record of 130 is impressive, but doesn’t hold a candle to the number of my follicles that struck out. He never got to play center field. I never got to have a FET (frozen embryo transfer). He emerged from the bullpen to Metallica’s “Enter the Sandman”. I emerged from my retrievals to Garth Brook’s “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House”.

He had 18 consecutive seasons with at least one save. I had 7 consecutive cycles with at least one embryo. His pitching talent was a “gift from God”. My third cycle was a G.I.F.T from Dr. Kreiner. He never hit a triple. I had one double that was almost a triple. We were both MVPs …him the “Most Valuable Player” and me the “Most Victorious Patient”. And we were both on the disabled list with a groin strain in 1998 and 2002… though mine was due to childbirth. He was the three time “Delivery Man of the Year”. I was a two time “Delivery Woman of the Year”. We both received rocking chairs at the end of our careers, but his…made from broken bats…was much cooler.

He had longevity and consistency. So did I.

We’ll never see another Mariano, much less one with a two decade career. And fortunately, advances in reproductive technology have made long infertility journeys like mine just as rare. So, Mo and I will quietly take our respective places in the records books and watch as the next generation takes the field. And we will cheer you all on.

May your journey be a quick one. And may you bring home as many championship rings as you’ve been dreaming of.

Congratulations, Mariano on your retirement. Thanks for providing many in the infertility community some much-needed “Mo-ments” of entertainment…and distraction… during some difficult times over the past 19 years.

* * ** * * * * ** ** * *

How long have you been on your infertility journey? Do sports help distract from or relieve the stress of infertility for you or your partner?


Stat Sources:

Photo credit: Public Domain Orig released by BuickCenturyDriver


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Favorite Infertility Injection Stories

By Tracey Minella

July 2nd, 2013 at 9:51 pm


image courtesy of sakhorn 38/

The hardest part of the initiation into the “Infertility Injectables Sorority” is… well… the injectables. Once you’ve moved on from popping Clomid, there’s no other way to nudge your ovaries into high gear without facing a needle…or…”about facing” a needle, to be more accurate.

You’ve got your little needles. And then you’ve got your big guns. Determining who the injector will be is as easy as… seeing who doesn’t pass out at injection-teaching. Seriously, more often than not, one partner injects the other. But some women inject themselves. It’s good to be prepared to do that, because life is never predicable, right? Overtime, traffic, surprise visitors, flat tires, poorly-timed wedding receptions…all conspire to de-rail the planned “window of injectability”.

I have countless crazy injectable stories from 3 IUIs and 7 fresh IVFs. I will save my self-injecting IM to the thigh story for another time. But I’ll share this favorite one now.

As a pre-requisite to acceptance into an intended P.A. program, I was taking an evening college biology course during an IVF cycle and… wouldn’t ya know it…it fell smack in my “injectability window”. So, I figured I’d better tell the professor what I was doing. Never know when slinking off to the bathroom with syringes and vials of white powder every night might raise an eyebrow.

Then, Lupron gave way to the big guns…the IM injections. More explaining to do. Foggy windows in the parking lot where my husband the designated injector met me for the nightly ritual. We were like spies with synchronized watches in the pre cell phone days.

Finally… the final. Yeah, sorry but that’s the night of my hCG shot and I am NOT doing that precisely-timed, majorly-important shot in the backseat. I’ll need a make-up exam, please.

The professor was very understanding. I got an A- from him, missing the A by a mere nano fraction of a point. I lost my passionate but good-natured argument for a rounding up to compensate for points lost for “Lupron brain”. On top of all that, I did not get pregnant that cycle.

Fast forward about two years to me working part time as a hospital phlebotomist (another pre-requisite: 500 hours of actual patient care experience). One afternoon, I walked into a patient’s room, with my cheery greeting preceding me. As I rounded the edge of the curtain, he was sitting in the bed. I wonder if he recognizes me.

I moved to his bedside, checked his wristband, and laid out my blood-drawing tools. As I wrapped the tourniquet around his arm, I looked up with a smile and our eyes met. At that moment, I knew our minds met as well.

“Bet you’re wishing you gave me that “A” right about now, huh?” I whispered.

* * * * * * * * * ** * ** *

What’s your favorite injection story?


Photo credit: sakhorn38 and


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No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Infertile Folks’ Dirty Looks

By Tracey Minella

June 20th, 2013 at 7:36 pm


Ready to trade in the twice daily yellow school buses for an overabundance of neighborhood children in your face 24/7 all summer?

Well, neither are their parents.

Starting this week in our neck of the woods, you can expect to dodge bikes overloaded with boys and baseball equipment heading to the park and little girls in wet bathing suits running back and forth between their houses, selling warm and weak lemonade on the driveway. And don’t forget the toddlers in blow-up turtle pools on the front lawns. Or the tons of teens hanging out at the mall or beach.

During the school year, you could possibly arrange to miss the crowded bus stops when going to and from work. But kids are simply unavoidable in summer.

Is it me or does Mr. Softee park smack in front of your house, too? Seems like every 15 minutes that tune… the one that could make war criminals confess… drones on as blue-tongued rugrats scrape Italian ices sitting on your curb. Sometimes, this sight hurts. Other times, it can set off a daydream of the day your own little one will be bolting out the door bellowing “Ice cream maaaan! STOP!”

That’s what seeing little kids does to infertile people. It makes us hurt and it makes us happy. We want the kid and the whole package. We want to buy Disney towels, Happy Meals, and cool bikes. We want to set up playdates… and pretend we like the mom of our kid’s best friend of the week. We want to plan outrageously-priced kiddie parties, complete with the annoying goody bags full of useless junk.

Just once, we want to make…not buy… that lousy, weak lemonade at the stand.

And not having any of this…or knowing when or if we ever will… is just devastating.

So, here’s a message to the fertile folks. First, stop offering us your poorly-behaved children as a substitute for the perfect baby of our dreams. And more importantly, stop complaining about how you can’t wait for them to go back to school.

You don’t know how lucky you are.

* * * * * * * * * * **

What is the hardest thing about summer time when you’re facing infertility?

Photos credit: Maliz Ong/

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Infertility and Twisted Thoughts

By Tracey Minella

June 7th, 2013 at 9:52 pm


image courtesy of freedigital

Do you ever wonder if other infertile women think the way you do? I’m talking about those really crazy, twisted thoughts we sometimes feel. The ones we don’t speak out loud.

You know the ones.

The thoughts that would prompt a knowing nod (or howls of laughter) from other infertiles…and condemnation from the rest of society. 

On your lowest days, could you relate to any of these scenarios (tongue-in-cheek, of course!):

·         Tell me you haven’t imagined peeling the stick figure families off those minivans? Would you spare the pets or just leave the couple standing alone?

·         Do you always call out to the mother when you see a kid’s “binky” go missing in a public place? Or do you sometimes let the inattentive mom learn a lesson?

·         Ever bought a sort of ugly baby outfit…or a Diaper genie… for a baby or shower gift because the thought of 235+ dirty diapers crammed into the nursery corner would bring you a shred of comfort during an unbearably painful event?

·         Have you ever been in such a bad mood that, instead of mustering a smile, you actually kind of “stared down” a baby when its mom wasn’t looking…and it cried? And you didn’t feel guilty?

·         Ever want to (or actually) “unfriend” someone on Facebook for posting too many pregnancy updates, maternity photos, or baby pictures?

If you related to any of the above scenarios…or have your own list…it doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. Occasional jealous or angry thoughts are common when you’re infertile.

But if the ache of empty arms or the depression and frustration of infertility is significantly interfering with your ability to get through your daily responsibilities, you may need a little help coping. Consider an infertility support group led by peers or professionals.

Anyone interested in Long Island IVF’s professionally-run support groups and counseling sessions should contact Bina Benisch, M.S., R.N. at Bina counsels both women and men in separate support groups as they navigate their infertility journeys. All are welcome to join, even if you are not yet a Long Island IVF patient. You can read more about Long Island IVF’s Mind-Body Program and counseling services here.

* * * * * * * * **

Did you ever think any of the above thoughts? Or do you have others to share? Have you tried Bina’s support groups, and if so, what did you think?

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles and


Infertility and the Irony of Birth Control

By Tracey Minella

August 18th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

credit: brandon sigma/


What better day than National Birth Control Day to look back at the time when we used to use birth control? Can you even remember?

The embarrassment of buying condoms, the gynecologist visits for prescriptions. Oh, what we went through just to be sure we would not get pregnant. Because really, that would be the worst thing that could ever, ever happen.

Maybe you even experienced a time or two of sheer hysterical panic worry over a birth control “lapse”. Isn’t it amazing how totally opposite surviving that “two week wait” is from surviving today’s two week wait?

And the money wasted!!! Why, if we only knew then that we didn’t even need birth control because some sinister infertile force was lurking within, we could have dumped all that money into the future fertility treatment savings account instead. Heck, we could have steamed up all the car windows with reckless abandon.

When I think of the years on birth control, the irony kills me. I imagine the fertility gods laughing at me behind my back. Well, not really, but you know what I mean. I feel a little stupid, like life made a fool of me, and I resent feeling that way. Here I was the responsible one. We used birth control until we were ready to start a family. We had a plan.

Ha! A plan.

If we only knew.

* * * *  * * * * * *

Do you ever feel resentful about the time and money you spent on birth control?

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7 Tips For Surviving the Fourth of July When Infertile

By Tracey Minella

July 3rd, 2012 at 2:59 pm

How exasperating is that title?


How awful that infertile folks live their lives in “survival mode” during the holidays. But it’s the sad truth. Infertility often takes the fun out of living and it certainly dampens the holidays.

For those perky types… who can handle their Clomid or Lupron, and still manage to wear a real smile to a picnic with 58 sparkler-toting toddlers… my hat’s off to you. Stop reading.

But the rest of you… who see the marshmallow stick not as a smores instrument, but rather as a weapon to take out your nagging, grandbaby-wishing mother-in-law… I have seven suggestions to get you through the festivities (be sure to read through to number seven):

  1. Put Yourself First. Give yourself permission NOT to go to any event you don’t really want to go to. And to NOT be around someone who twists you the wrong way. You come first. Their picnic will go on without you.
  2. Indulge. If your doctor is okay with it and you’re not cycling, consider allowing yourself to indulge in something that’s otherwise on your “off-limits” list…maybe a big ice cream sundae if you’ve been weight-watching, an extra jolt of caffeinated coffee, maybe even a small glass of wine. Haven’t you felt deprived enough?
  3. Pamper Yourself. Go get a massage or a kicky red, white and blue mani-pedi. Or whatever else you treat yourself with!
  4. Embrace the Solitude. Go for a walk alone (or with your partner) on the beach. There’s something about the water and the sand and the horizon that is calming and hopeful. And there’s lifeguards.
  5. Be Grateful. Find something in your life, no find three things, to be thankful for. Maybe your spouse, having a job, a home? Catch a parade and remember all the lives lost for our independence. Feeling grateful about something can actually help you feel slightly less depressed about what’s missing. And be grateful the holiday fell on a Wednesday, so you don’t have 3 straight days of barbeques to attend!
  6. Adjust the Focus. If you are going to be with folks who see you as the woman who doesn’t have/can’t have kids yet, show them another side of you. Bake and share a kickass apple pie from scratch and give them something else to talk about you over!
  7. Make a Wish. Your mission is to find a fireworks show. I don’t care if it’s your neighbor’s illegal cheesy display, a large, local professional extravaganza, or (my least favorite option) a televised fireworks show. Get thyself to something sparkly and explosive. Then make a quiet wish. Make it on the biggest boomer that lights up the night sky…or on a sparkler crackling in your hand. Let yourself believe it.

Here’s hoping your independence from infertility begins now… and that by this time next year you’ll behave yourself around the marshmallow sticks.

* * * * * * * * *

What are your plans for the holiday?

Photo credit:


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Behind the Curtain Antics in the IVF Clinic

By Tracey Minella

June 26th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Okay ladies, I’m about to encroach on your personal space. (Guys, conservatives, prudes, or easily embarrassed types should bail now.) You may laugh or be a little uncomfortable. But, I just gotta ask:

What’s going on with you behind that exam room curtain?

We’ve all been there. Blood work and sonograms each morning. Sent to the bathroom to pee. Then to the exam room. Drop the panties. Fashionably wrap that paper sheet around as much of you as it covers and hop on the crinkly paper-covered table to await the invasion of the wand.

Some of us may be so overwhelmed and depressed by the infertility experience that we just plod through this routine on auto-pilot, maybe even unwittingly “letting ourselves go” in the hygiene department. Others have a morning grooming routine that takes on almost OCD-like attention to detail.

Where do you fit in?

Okay, so the ladies who painstakingly hide their holey granny panties under their pile of clothes are turning scarlet about now. But don’t be. Where else you gonna wear those big ol’ comfy panties? There is no place for Victoria’s Secret in the IVF office anyway. Or is there? Any zebra thong-wearing patients out there? Well, you go girl!

And how about those women who twist themselves like contortionists just to pick every last microscopic piece of Charmin off. I hear you laughing. What? You never even thought of that? Well, um, awkward.

It’s not over once you emerge from the curtain…

Then, there’s the placement of the paper napkin. Sure, they call it a drape but we know better. You’re lucky if it fits all the way around you. Most of us are left to close the gap with a strategically-placed arm behind our awkwardly-twisted torso. Or by assuming the laying-back-in-a-hammock pose, with hands behind the head.

And what the heck do you do with your feet? Put ’em both in the stirrups early and skootch down? Let them dangle? Sit Indian-style as if you were playing cards? Hey, did you ever put just one foot in a stirrup and cross the other leg over it, like you’re casually hanging out? Yeah, well it doesn’t work.

Maybe you avoid all this by being the snoop…the one who boldly stands there (with her crack away from the door) peering over her open chart until the nurse or doctor walks in.

I could go on…about things like toting a hair pic or the wisdom of waxing…but you get the idea. We all have our ways.

Now I don’t expect any of you will have the nerve to confess your own “behind the curtain” antics, but I hope the next time you’re in there doing your thing, you’ll think of this post and smile. Or laugh out loud…just to keep ‘em guessing.

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So, are YOU on auto-pilot or from the contortionist camp? Too shy to answer with specifics? Then just say  “guilty” if you’ve ever done ANYTHING mentioned here. I dare you.

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