Saturday, August 24, 2013

Let's Peck Each Other to Death

It's Saturday, my darling sex goddesses.

I am currently sitting on my couch in booty shorts, my husbands knee socks and a t-shirt with a picture of Grumpy Dwarf that says "All Grumpy, All the Time".  The Justin Timberlake prophecy is true, friends, I am single-handedly bringing sexy back.

Thought I would take a break from turning everyone in Los Angeles on to pop on here and talk about the world of online infertility as it seems to be sort of a shit storm recently. I'm apparently on some kindness kick - last time it was about being nice to yourself now let's talk about each other.

I've said it on here before, but my favorite book of all time is probably "Like Water For Chocolate". It's simple, it's an easy-read, it's folklore, it's a cookbook, it's fairy tale, it's romantic, it's funny, its heartbreaking, it's everything I want in a damn book. Whenever I read it I feel like Fred Savage in The Neverending Story.  Gimme gimme this shit is crazy.

Anyhoo - at one point some farm chickens are fed some food that was made when someone was righteously angry.  Lovely little community of chicken friends are handed a little bit of anger-laced-food, they ingest it, and then everything gets all Quentin-Tarantinoey/Lord of the Flies/Lux Aeterna real fast. They're pecking each others eyes out, munching down chicken feet, ripping out each others feathers and wearing them as fashionable victory beards - it is CRAY CRAY time in chicken town. They turn their energy on each other in such an epic way that they force themselves into a literal tornado of evil chickens, blow themselves away from their real purpose (which was to lead happy chicken lives, I assume) and out of the whole damn book.  No more chickens.

My point is - at best, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, forums, all the shit that we use in the infertile online community is amazing. At best it's a place to meet other women like ourselves, keep invested in each others stories (because gawd knows we're probably boring the less understanding people in our real lives to tears), we help each other, we keep informed... I can get on Twitter at any time and say something along the lines of "Dear Facebook, I don't give a shit about what anyone's baby had for lunch" and I will undoubtedly be embraced by the warm, ample, hormone-riddled cyber-bosom of many women who agree with me. Which, and I can't stress this enough, is awesome.

At worst, when we're hopped up on a little bit of anger we turn on each other like a goddamn psychotic chicken tornado hellbent on our own destruction which is a pretty big 'at worst'.


Let me state for the record here, I'm not saying any of this in response to anything specific.  Much to my horror, there is no specific.  If there was a specific, I would be animatedly retelling it to my doubtlessly eye-rolling husband and not looking up pictures of angry birds. Most unfortunately there are countless examples so I can't even narrow down a specific.

I've been in blogland for over a year, and occasionally the blow ups happen.  I've been in forums off an on for years, occasionally the blow up happens. I've been on Twitter for 3 months, and though it is overall lovely (never will I again go a day without talking to another infertile) holy shit me it happens every other week. Most of the time when there's a whiff of negativity, I spend 2 seconds investigating, get lost, get distracted by a butterfly or shiny object.

Sometimes when I notice them, I think 'oh I get where they're both coming from, they're both living out a nightmare, afterall'.  Sometimes for me, it's a clear case of 'wooaaaah girl, you are being CRIZAY'.  I stick to making ludicrously unhelpful comments and the occasional fertile-bitch.

This is not to count myself out of it or claim innocence.  If someone went way over the line I'm not going to delude myself in thinking I wouldn't go to bat.  I'm a peaceful, mellow person who tries to stay out of things, because I'm naturally goofy - and I also know my tongue can be the equivalent of a nuclear bomb. No one should yank me out of the arsenal unless all is lost and we've resigned ourselves to death-by-chicken-tornado.

But yeah, I'm infertile.  No matter how good I am at shoveling all my emotions into a ball in the pit of my stomach and throwing jokes on top of it, there's some part of me whether I feel it or not that is probably pissed everyday.  I'm wrestling the crazy pissed stork into a nice little mental closet, but if someone jiggled the handle the right way out would come Storknado.

Some of us are way better about keeping in check than others, but all of us - given that we're all living out some version of a psychological cunt punt nightmare - are capable of being nasty if pushed in the right way.

We have all this great technology that we've been blessed with to bring us together in the first place.  On an off day, however, that technology can be used as a rocket launcher and hurl everyone into a lady-on-lady bitch spiral of doom.

I know I've talked about this before and I will undoubtedly talk about it again, but just a few thoughts I had on how we can keep ourselves from turning on each other and destroying an otherwise peaceful infertile farm.

Be super duper nice to the lady that's in the middle of treatment. It's a shitty situation to begin with as you well know, and she's now orbiting in outerspace between two planets called "all your dreams come true" and "haha just kidding you're fucked".  Being grounded is a card girlfriend desperately wants but wasn't dealt. That alone is going to make her more sensitive - plus she's hopped up on hormones. What. Are You. Doing.

If an infertile gets pregnant - yes every pregnancy is a sock in the gut, however, I think we should remind ourselves that at least it's one on the scoreboard for our team, and she's not taking a pregnancy away from us.  (Yes, I know, close to impossible, but we can try).  Yes she's achieved pregnancy, but she still doesn't belong at the fertile table so let's try not to hurl her away from ours so she's not forced against her will to sit at the not-belonging-anywhere table those people are freaks.  You don't take an artsy-drama nerd and force them to sit with the band-nerds it's uncomfortable and frankly blasphemous. Let's try to keep in mind that this was always the goal here.  We supported her, we wanted this for her, she's one of us.

If you are an infertile who gets pregnant - for gawds sake don't become a born again fertile.  Yours are the only pregnancies we can handle hearing about, and the only ones we can muster up happiness for. Yes you're still a member of our club, and we're happy that it worked for you (because you deserve it).  That being said - keep in mind your pregnancy does not magically transform us all into totally unscarred fertiles who are going to want to endlessly debate nursery color choices.  I am trying to keep my happiness for you as upbeat as I can - please try to remember what it feels like.  I would love to be happier for you and more involved than I am.  It pisses you off that I'm  not?  Me too. There is absolutely no way under the sun that my inability to feel giddy about a pregnancy makes you feel worse or more guilty than it does me.  If your very best friend was recently widowed, yes absolutely you should still expect her to support you in your wedding/marriage but prrrrobably not deduct points for lack of enthusiasm.

I've said this before, but we've all booked passage on the Titanic thinking it was going to be a lovely vacay and that shit sunk. If you're still in the water waiting for a lifeboat, trying to poke holes in the boats of people floating by is not really going to do anything (though I understand the impulse).  And if you're in a lifeboat, for gawdssake try not to complain too much about how chilly it is to people still in the water (though I understand the impulse). To sum up  - we should all keep in mind how fucking awful it is to make someone feel bad about their luck and/or something they can't control.

Unfollow.  Do it.  Life's too short.  While I have to say overall our community has an extremely, extremely (shockingly!) high rate of lovely, there are people on this planet who were mean and/or batshit to begin with.

If at all possible (and I'm allowing room for everyone to be out of control every once in awhile, we're human) ask yourself before engaging in something - is this really going to be worth my time?  If someone is a friend of yours that you really care about, then yeah - have the argument.  Bleed out the toxins. If it's not... let it go. Let them go.  Every time I write a post where I talk about my unshakable support of gay rights, I lose a follower.  For a second, I feel bad.  Then I remember that person has left me to go continue their life of being a miserable person.  God speed.

Let's try not to categorize ourselves.  Which is close to impossible, I know.

The fact is, if pregnancies and babies were handed out based on who had put in the most time and effort, more than likely all of our families would look different.  Some of us with 0 kids would have 20 and some of us with 3 would have 1.  Who gets to return home after this war isn't organized by battle scars.

Some girls are going to get pregnant their first round of Clomid, some are going to end up like me and be a problem within IVF.  My easily knocked-up half-sister with 0.0 dollars and a life out of Maury Povich is 8 months pregnant, still smoking pot, and posting about it on Facebook. (I think we can all agree here that Mark Zuckerberg is a sadistic dominatrix who whips us all daily). The one thing we can probably all, infinitely and forever, agree upon is that pregnancies and babies don't happen based on readiness, motherliness or general awesomeness. If they were, we'd all have babies by now.

Apart from when someone asks, don't say anything along the lines of 'if I were you' to someone on the front lines.  Are you shitting me?

If you say something not-so-pleasant to someone, and they call you out on it... Assess it, man up & own it, justify or apologize.

If someone seems to be going off the rails and having a day and a half, let's be kind and try to disarm - because we've all been there, and if at all possible we don't want them to be a henpecking catalyst.

If someone has gone way over the line, and it's not in a misunderstanding way but a malicious one, then by all means, let them know.  But be clever and firm - if they can write you off as 'crazy' then they're even less likely to get your point.

Yes I realize this is over simplifying, and I realize I don't even do these all the time.  But if we could just.... try to keep them in mind.  That way when there's a tornado of chicken feathers or an animal attack, it's at the very least necessary.  Then I'll take my earrings out, rip my weave off and verbally beat someone over the head with it.

(And speaking of psychotic animals, is it me or is the trailer for "You're Next" not so much a trailer for a horror movie as it is just a very vivid and realistic portrayal of what it's like to live with a cat?)

You people are my safe haven.  Let's just be kind to each other how we can, when we can, shall we?


  1. I like the Titanic thought. I have been at this for about 3 years and every pregnancy (including infertiles) do sock me in the gut but the ones of the infertiles are a bit easier to swallow. I'm finally pregnant but not in the safe zone yet. You are right, I don't belong at either table. On thing I promised my followers is that there wouldn't be tons of "bump updates" and "what should my nursery theme be" I completely agree with you, it stings. :) Nice post!

  2. I've seen a lot of blow ups in my times too (started my blog and joined forums about 5 years ago)... I think this is a great post. It's definitely good to keep things into perspective and step back sometimes.

  3. Well, nailed this one...AGAIN...on our evening walk a neighbor said something about not wanting her daughter after she gets to a certain age....the IFer in me went all batshit nutty. I smiled, even laughed a little uncomfortably, but a rage was building in me. Funny thing is, I'm walking with my husband, my 2 dogs and my daughter in the stroller I was pushing. Not to mention the protruding belly I have that is evidence of a second child coming. I did not achieve these children easily. I worked my ass off for them and though there are times my daughter drives me insane, I love her with all my heart and wouldn't trade her for anything. The kicker is one of the other neighbors standing in the group was an IFer who is still in the trenches. 8 IUI's, 2 IVF's and one miscarriage later, she's still waiting for her take home baby. The punch to my gut hurt, but the hit she had to have taken had to really REALLY suck. I was angry on her behalf. So yeah, I look like any other "fertile" parent out there, but I know the dark side. I know what it is to struggle, fight, give blood, sweat and tears to get my kid(s). I'm in that in between place because I don't belong with those other fertiles, but I don't look like I belong at the IFer table either. I do my best to be sensitive. But sometimes, well shit happens. Thank you for this reminder...we must all be kind to one another no matter where we are in our journey. And it's moments like this that make me so happy I found you and can call you my friend....HUGS!

  4. I've been really lucky so far, and have only experienced wonderful, positive, supportive women. Of course, I'm new, so.... But honestly this community has been the most supportive I've ever been involved in. It's good to keep this in mind, though, and I hope everyone who reads it absorbs it.

  5. This is all so true. I was attacked by my friends in real life (who are pregnant) because I said baby showers were hard for me to attend and I didn't like them. Them attacking me about those thoughts did not make me like baby showers - or them for that matter- any more. It's so important to be understanding. Ohh and I loove the sharknado reference lol

  6. This is a nice reminder. It's easy to judge, at least I seem to be really good at it. I think it's a knee jerk reaction to immediately compare what someone is going through to what you have gone through already and try to wager who has it worse...I definitely catch myself do just that. When you feel like you have put your body through hell and back (not saying I have because I haven't experienced any miscarriages or IVF yet and I know that's a whole other can of emotional and physical worms) for years to try to conceive and some whiny bitch who has only TTC'd for like two minutes and is acting distraught, it's challenging to empathize. But we should. What she is feeling is really bad for her and who am I to dismiss and devalue her feelings? It's hard though....real hard.

  7. I love your Titanic analogy. This is all great advice, served nicely inside a crunchy ball of hilarious. So thank you for that :)

  8. Great post and very funny. Thanks.

  9. And again!!! You nailed it again!!!! Damn sister you word everything just as it should be. Should be yes, and I do know some infertiles tend to forget about all they have been through. But I agree some I have followed have seem to forgetten the pain of it all. Does it ever go away. I was talking to my friend the other day about infertility and how it still shakes me and her as well to the core when someone gets pregnant by winking at their partner. But it's true, I agree while going through the process it's important to be supportive whether we've gotten pregnant or not, or have a baby or not. Infertiles do need to remember, do need to stick together, but above all be there for one another. No other women or man can understand the depths of how we feel in all of it, but if we are infertile... Which I am, I'm just one of the lucky ones who got to add a point to the scoreboard.

  10. Great points, and the one about thinking before engaging is especially well taken. The relative anonymity of the Internet makes it especially tempting to criticize someone or disagree with their point of view for the sake of disagreeing. But really, is it worth it if there is no point or the only point is to score points? I would say no. Everybody comes to IF with their own beliefs and baggage and they use whatever resources they have to try to deal with it. But at the end of the day everyone could use a little TLC - and a little humour and sauce, which you are good at dishing out!

  11. You're so right stork! Right on all fronts. I'm not sure what camp I fit into anymore. I think once you have a baby as an IF you block some pain but a lot lingers always.....
    I've had negative experiences in forums, blogs,Facebook, even email.....unfortunately I stoped using them for support long before I became a parent as the occasional negative blow ups when you're at your most fragile are more detrimental and outweighed the positives....for me.....I'm actually so proud of any woman that has thick enough skin to continue using these resources regardless.

  12. I love love love love love love love love looooove you for this post. I cannot tell you how right on this is and what a great and much-needed reminder this is for us first as women and Secondly as infertile women. Seriously. Thank you so much for posting. Oh and for bringing so much sexy back. Dayum. 143

  13. 'now orbiting in outerspace between two planets called "all your dreams come true" and "haha just kidding you're fucked" yeah, that is where I've resided for the past 26 months thus far. I may have to re-use that description, because it is SO spot on. I relate to everything about this post.

  14. Great post, as always :-) Hope you are doing well xoxo

  15. i just stumbled upon your blog, and first off, girl, you are cracking me up! i'm lucky that so far, i haven't had any negative experiences on forums, blogs, etc. but i think its a great message to send out to be nice and positive!

    Following now!


  16. Visited your blog for the first time today. Thank you for a kind, caring and interesting post!