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Infertility is Like the Oscars

By Tracey Minella

March 3rd, 2014 at 10:32 am

 

photo credit: Ellen DeGeneres


Extra attention was paid to the pregnant woman. Cruel jokes were rampant. There were more losers than winners. It ran longer than planned.

So if you tuned in to the Academy Awards last night for a little distraction from your infertility journey and found yourself less entertained than you expected, maybe you subconsciously sensed these odd parallels.

Like most of America, I love Ellen. I also feel that laughter is the best medicine. But I couldn’t help but notice how the audience started to squirm when the “good-natured ribbing” began. By the time she roasted Liza Minelli with that male impersonator barb and then hammered home Jennifer Lawrence’s latest trip on the red carpet, it seemed that every actor…while smiling and laughing nervously…felt like a sitting duck. Would the next light-hearted joke be aimed at their personal perceived short-coming and expose or humiliate them? If so, will they be able to take it graciously and smile through their pain or embarrassment? How often has this happened to infertile folks in social situations like holiday gatherings or baby showers?

And isn’t it funny (actually no, it’s not) that although there were a few pregnant women proudly showing off their bumps on the red carpet, that the very pregnant Kerry Washington got showered with all the attention? And a coveted slice of pizza. Not much different than in real life…except of course in real life, they’re literally everywhere! Remember the days when pregnant women hid their bellies under ugly frocks and we infertiles could at least pretend they weren’t pregnant? (Me neither.)

And who didn’t feel bad for the losers? Ellen even had consolation prizes. After all, they worked so hard, invested their hearts and souls, and dreamed their whole lives for this all-important goal. Would this be their only chance at the dream? If they lost would they ever get back here again? They came so close and things were looking good.

Yet for every winner, there were four or five others who went home empty-handed. Who can’t relate to that level of disappointment? Who hasn’t crumbled to the bathroom floor at some point along this journey to the crib?

The Oscars ran longer than planned. And cost more than expected because of that. Doesn’t that sound familiar, too? Whoever expected their family-building to take this long…or frankly, to cost anything? Time is no friend to the infertile.

Maybe in the Oscar world, where a gold statue is the prize, it really is an honor “just to be nominated”. But nominations just don’t cut it in infertility. We’re going for the take-home baby. And thankfully, with continuing advances in assisted reproductive technology, the odds of winning get better every day.

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What was the best/worst part of the Oscars?

Photo credit: Ellen DeGeneres

 

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Oscar’s Relationship with Infertility

By Tracey Minella

February 25th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

image courtesy of free digital photos.net

Last night was the 85th Annual Academy Awards celebration. As I watched the show, a small part of me…the cynic…couldn’t help but shake my head at the ridiculous amount of money entertainers make for what they do. (Was I the only one secretly wondering how many IVF cycles could have been funded by that gown Jennifer Lawrence tripped over?) But then, they only make it because we’re willing to pay it to see them. In fact, America loves Hollywood so much that millions of us watch not only their movies, but also shows where they give awards to each other!

Why are movies so important to infertile people? Well, they are still an affordable date for most folks. They’re a good choice for an outing when you have to socialize with those annoying friends that would otherwise talk your ear off about their children. But most importantly, movies are an escape from reality for the infertile couple. True, it’s a temporary one. But as anyone who’s walked a mile in our stirrups knows, we’ll take any escape we can get.

There are dramas that make you cry—a great release of all that pent up emotion and stress. Dramas also make us realize that others are suffering from their own burdens, which is something we may lose sight of when wallowing in our own sadness. Surely, misery loves company.

Then, there are comedies. Sometimes a great comedy is the only thing that can coax that true, long-forgotten belly-laugh out of an infertile person. Laughter really is the best medicine sometimes. (And it beats the heck out of Clomid.)

Of course, there are also animated films. These are tricky. They are usually made for a young audience and attract families, which may make viewing them anything from challenging to unbearable. But some infertile people like them…possibly viewed at home on DVD… because they think of bringing their future child to see such movies someday. I used to buy the Disney DVDs and put them away for my future child “before they went back in the vault for another 10 years”. Anyone else do that?

Then, on only two occasions I can remember, a movie will come along to deal with infertility head-on. This past year saw the release of the Disney movie, The Odd Life of Timothy Green. It was about an infertile couple at the end of their journey who, on the night they decide to give up trying to conceive, wrote down on paper scraps the qualities of the child they longed to have. Then, with heavy hearts, they buried the scraps in a box in their yard. A kick of wind, some Disney magic, and then the next morning, their son “grew” from the garden. The other film I remember starred Nicole Kidman doing IM fertility injections. Anyone remember the name of that one?

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What type of films do you escape with? Or do you escape another way? Did any of this year’s nominees’ or winners’ performances touch your heart?

 

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Movies_Theater_and_C_g202-Oscar_Su_Sfondo_Rosso_p12046.html

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