Fertility treatment sucks, but there can be some funny aspects to your new secret society—take it from someone who's been there: a writer who goes by the nom de plume 'Hilariously Infertile.'
Going through fertility treatment is the worst. Correction: It's the absolute worst. But there can be some funny aspects to the underground world of infertility and with a bit of humor, I've found it's sometimes (just sometimes) a little easier to get through it. Here are four of my funnier fertility moments that might just let you crack a smile, even in your darkest days of trying to conceive.
1. You are part of a Fight Club, you just don't know it yet
The first rule of the fertility clinic is: You do not talk about the fertility clinic. Why is it that no one seems to talk about infertility? Maybe it's because we're not dying or at the very least our face hasn't turned into Ryan Reynolds' character in Deadpool. Or maybe it's because it's really a secret society.
In addition to no one talking about fertility, while you are inside the clinic there is also no talking. NO talking! No talking to other patients. No smiles. No side-smiles. No general niceties or salutations. You walk in anonymous. You leave anonymous, and you never ever acknowledge the fact that you are totally checking out your fellow infertiles, who, despite my expectations, came in every age, background, shape and size. What is up with that?
2. Your vagina's über-popular
Even with a relatively healthy sex life at home, your vagina will feel like the most popular girl in school while going through fertility treatments. Not since your most promiscuous days in college has your vagina received this many visitors. (I'm talking to you, Sophomore Year.)
Let me explain: Once you're at the clinic and you've had your blood taken, you will be put into a room with a gynecological table, told to undress from the waist down and wait, with a cloth draped over your you-know-what. In walks the doctor to check the follicular growth in your ovaries and before you can say, "Good morning, beautiful weather we're having isn't i-" he has a lubricated wand so far up you that you swear you can taste last night's Greek salad.
The doctor takes some measurements, presses lots of buttons, ignores you and then woosh: The wand inside of you is thrust to the left side of your body. You hold on for dear life as you realize that with enough strength this doctor could literally fling you around the room. Fun! Deep breaths in. Hold on. Wait for it. Woosh—the wand is now bludgeoning the other side of your body. You give a slight groan of discomfort and the doctor looks at you, "some light pressure," he says. Are you kidding me? The wand that you just inserted in to my vaginal canal is touching my hip bone! You make a mental note to look online for an application for Cirque Du Soleil because apparently your vagina is incredibly flexible.
When the doctor is done he tells you to wait for the call. You stand up. You take the cloth that was covering your 'most likely to succeed' vagina and you wipe off the pounds of lube. Little do you know, it has staying power—and your sex life might just thank you for it later.
3. You have a love/hate relationship with 'the call'
One of my favorite parts of the day is getting what the clinic calls "the call."
This typically comes at the busiest and worst time—between one and three in the afternoon. If you're doing IUIs (intrauterine insemination) the call tells you when to go back into the clinic for monitoring. If you're doing IVF (in vitro fertilization) the call tells you what injections to do for the next few days and when to go back to the clinic.
I like using it as an opportunity to kill 'em with kindness. One lovely nurse called me one day with the following information, "Ok, so you are not responding to the Follistim like we hoped, so we are going to add another injection called Menopur. I already called it in to your pharmacy. With the Menopur you're going to have to mix it, watch the video. Oh and one last thing, the Menopur will sting when you inject it into you."
"Fantastic!" I responded emphatically, just for fun.
"What? No. So, um, like I said it is going to sting you. But I want you to know this because I don't want you to think you're doing something wrong or that you mixed it incorrectly."
"Yup, got it! Looking forward to it," I say grinning.
"Um, ok, can you hear me?" she adds (she's now concerned.)
"Yes, I can totally hear you. Thank you for your call. Have a wonderful day!"
4. Your house looks like a drug den
If you're going through IVF or IUIs with injectables, your kitchen, bathroom, or wherever you happen to do your shots looks like a junky's paradise. This totally fulfilled any rebellious desire I had to inject hardcore narcotics. It also didn't help that while going through IVF my husband and I were also binge-watching Breaking Bad. Those scenes where Jesse and his drug addict girlfriend were shooting up felt almost relatable, minus the risk of death or rehab. Here's hoping the only aftermath from my injections will be a baby.
Hilariously Infertile is a school teacher who underwent IUIs and IVF to conceive her children. She wrote a book about her experiences and blogs anonymously on the website Hilariously Infertile.