Happy Advocacy Day!

So, it’s Wednesday again.  I’ve missed a few bullet-point Wednesdays recently, so I thought I’d return to form. Ready?  Today’s list: Things you can do to make Mrs. But IF a very happy gal:

  1. Write or call your elected representatives TODAY in support of the Family Act (S 881/HR 1851) and the Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act (S 131/HR 958).
  2. See number 1.

You see, today was Advocacy Day.  I strongly believe we need advocates and Advocacy Day.  Today, 115 brave women and men traveled to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the infertility community to support our cause.  All day I found myself longing to be in the company of these amazing women and men!  Why don’t you review their stories on Twitter at #advocacyday2013?  Better yet, why don’t you stand alongside them and make your voice heard with your own letters, emails, phone calls, and tweets?

And, to put my money where my mouth is, here’s generally what I sent to my senators and representative.  (Though, I added detail to each to personalize it to the congressperson addressed.)

Dear XXX,

I am writing you today as a proud new resident, homeowner, and tax-payer in [City, State].  Last year at this time I was conducting a national job search hoping to advance in my profession.  I received competitive offers from three prestigious universities, but I chose to move to [your state].  One of the primary motivators of this choice was that, aside from being a wife, a professor, and an educated and politically-engaged member of my community, I am also an infertile 29-year-old woman who has struggled for 3.5 years to see her dreams of parenthood become a reality.  Unfortunately, these dreams have as of yet gone unfulfilled, but you can play a large role in helping me make my dreams – and the dreams of so many other [state] couples – become a reality by supporting the Family Act (S 881/HR 1851).

I am one of 7.3 million Americans that has a medical condition fully recognized by the CDC, but that is yet often totally ignored by the health insurance industry.  This time last year I was writing my elected officials in [old state] urging them to follow the lead of states such as [new state] in mandating some form of infertility coverage benefits.  Though your colleagues in the state government have taken a large step forward with the [state law], in-vitro fertilization – a procedure that may hold the key to my becoming a mother – is still excluded from the mandate.  Similarly, countless fellow state residents have found that they are not subject to even this weak state mandate due to the variety of loopholes that exist in the code.

The Family Act will help thousands of people seek medical treatment that otherwise would be out of reach for them.  These women and men are not denied treatment because it would be medically harmful or inappropriate for their situations, or because they are not interested in seeking it out, but solely because they do not have the financial means to secure diagnosis or treatment.  Finding out you have a life changing medical condition is heart-wrenching enough; realizing that your medical condition – in most instances in this country – will not be acknowledged by the insurance plan your employer has selected for you, is even more devastating.  Finding a way to financially assist couples seeking treatment with tax credits is of immense importance.

Last year I founded [old state’s] first and, currently, only RESOLVE-backed peer-led infertility support group.  I was initially unsure what level of attention or involvement this new group would engender, but have been truly humbled by the number of women and men the group reaches.  I can tell you first-hand that countless Americans are in need of your support to help them build their family’s through infertility treatment.  The stories I have heard have been nothing short of heartbreaking.  I have met women whose serious medical symptoms – red flags for endocrine disorders, autoimmune diseases, and anatomical abnormalities that all are and will continue to impact their overall health and well-being – have been ignored because they could not afford to seek out the appropriate medical specialist since visits to reproductive specialists are not covered under many insurance plans.  I, myself, was told last year that surgeries to correct my endometriosis – a lifelong medical condition that impacts my daily well-being and quality of life – would not be covered under my [old state] insurance since such surgeries could “potentially help me become pregnant,” and, as such, were “lifestyle choices” akin to breast augmentation surgery.  Having my bowel removed from my abdominal wall where it had been fused by endometriosis adhesions is NOT a lifestyle choice.  This issue goes beyond the question of whether or not one believes in the ethics or appropriateness of assisted reproductive technologies, and directly to the question of preserving the health and safety of the women and men you serve.

Please help me, my husband, and my countless sisters and brothers in the infertility community bring new [state residents] into the world.

With Regards,

<Insert My Super Secret Identity Here>

Living constantly on the edge of total breakdown

The phone just rang.  “Unknown number” is never a good thing.  My heart sank when it began, “Hi this is <insert random peppy nurse name here> and I’m calling from your rheumatologist’s office.”

As regular followers of this blog (or my life) already know, we’ve been sidelined from trying to get pregnant since early March due to suspicious-looking ANA results.  My RE is requiring a clean bill of health from a rheumatologist before he will cycle with me again.  I finally saw the rheumatologist a couple weeks ago, and she felt that my results were nothing to be concerned about but wanted additional testing to be sure.  So, I had another million liters of blood drawn last week, spent a full hour in an MRI tunnel yesterday, and my followup was scheduled for today.  I went to sleep last night confident that in 24 hours time I’d have my answers.

But, that was too easy, wasn’t it?  I should have learned long ago that nothing is ever as simple as it seems (getting pregnant certainly isn’t).  The call I just received informed me that my doctor is out sick today.  No appointment and, since she never signed off on them, no ability to release any results to me the blood donor and tunnel sitter.  Yet more waiting.

The hardest lesson for me to learn in these past 3.5 years has been that no matter how good I’m feeling, no matter how great life is going, and no matter the timetable I see set out in front of me, I’m always living on the edge of total unexpected breakdown.

The lesson started dawning on me in the months following my first miscarriage, our 2011 ectopic.  Nearly 3 months after the double injection of methorexate that terminated the pregnancy, I returned to my RE for a very simple office procedure.  After 3 months of waiting to try and become pregnant again due to the chemotherapy drug that ended my pregnancy, I had a few tiny little diagnostic hurdles left to jump over.  Some blood work here, an office hysteroscopy there, and an HSG for good measure.  The last two procedures had to be done in the early part of my cycle, but after my period had stopped.  In all my menstruating years I’d never have bleeding last longer than 6 days, so I scheduled the hysteroscopy for day 7 and HSG for day 8.  On the morning of day 7 I woke with a surprising amount of blood on my pad.  I had already requested the morning off work so drove myself into the doctor.  I shyly admitted I was still bleeding a little, and the NP said, “We’ll let’s just take a look.”  Sure enough, procedure cancelled.  I spent the next hour crying uncontrollably in the medical complex parking lot.

Why did that event, the simple rescheduling of a procedure for a few days later, lead to quite possibly my biggest IF breakdown in all these many years?  At the time I said it was because I was just so frustrated that my body couldn’t get it together and be predictable for just one damn cycle.  And, of course, that’s probably a large part of it.  But, the other part I wasn’t acknowledging was that it took a full 3 months for me to grieve that loss, for me to fully drown myself in the misery of it, for me to realize that I had just barely been holding it together.  One spark started the forest fire that engulfed my being for the next several weeks.

Today is another one of those days.  I’ve been crying alone in my office since I hung up the phone.  I can’t find any way to stop the tears, to quiet the sniffles, to mend my heart.  Why is my doctor sick, on this longed-for day, after so many months (and years) of tortuous waiting?  What if my followup had been scheduled for tomorrow?  What if I had gone to a different doctor?  What if she’d simply signed a release so that I could view my own records?  So much heartache could have been avoided.  Sure, this appointment will be rescheduled (next Monday it seems), but the damage is done.  The flood gates have been opened and I’ll be spending the next several days clawing back to the surface.  This is what happens when you live your life on the edge of your next greatest triumph or, more often, next greatest letdown.  Each time I don’t cry over a negative pregnancy test, each time I calmly and bravely explain my reproductive history to a new specialist, each time I smile as I hold a friend’s new baby, I generate pain that I hold deep in my core.  Until days like today when a 30 second phone call leads to sudden, explosive agony.  I don’t know how many more days like this I can endure.

What a (little) difference a year makes

A year ago yesterday we went in for what would ultimately be our last consult with RE#1, though we didn’t know it at the time.  I was just barely pregnant (beta of 9.6 at 14dpo) and knew yet another cycle had failed. This would be my forgotten miscarriage, the one I tend to leave out of my medical history and the one whose due date I usually have to look up to remember.  When you’re only chemically pregnant for 48 hours, it’s hard to get those facts indelibly saved to memory.

It was also the day we decided to do IVF for the first time.  A year, a miscarriage, and 9 months of birth control later, we’ve still never come close to doing IVF.  I’m having a little trouble accepting that today.  The solid hour I spent in the MRI tunnel this morning isn’t helping any either.

The thing no one really recognizes about infertility treatments until they are knee deep in them is that treatment protocols are rarely dictated by what’s medically appropriate, what is most likely to achieve pregnancy, or what is least likely to have negative side effects.  First and foremost, infertility treatments are guided by one’s health insurance policy and bank account balance.  In the case of our old insurance this meant a number of things.  First, I could use the oral ovulation medication Clomid every day for ten years and they wouldn’t bat an eye.  Never mind the fact that all it would do was aggravate my endometriosis, that it never caused me to ovulate within a “normal” timeframe, that I always had abysmal progesterone while on it, and that the hot flashes, headaches, and mood swings it caused me made me long for the simplicity of menopause.  As RE#1 said, “It’s definitely not the best treatment for you, but I guess we’ll try it since it’s inexpensive.”  So, try we did.  And, fail we did.  Two of my three miscarriages have been the result of Clomid cycles.

Aside from the fact that our insurance covered Clomid, it was also our longtime go-to option because of this lovely little thing I like to call the “asinine catch-22.”  When doing everything up to and including Clomid with timed intercourse, my insurance covered all consults, ultrasounds, blood work, and surgeries that happened in the course of my infertility workup.  As long as you were only using Clomid and trying to get sperm to meet egg the old fashioned way, you were still considered in the “diagnostic” phase of infertility.  Two years of diagnostics?  No problem!

The moment we skipped to harder drugs (injectable stimulation meds) or moved to assisted reproductive technologies (IUI or IVF) my insurance would automatically assign me the classification of “infertile.”  From that point on, all future consults, medications, ultrasounds, bloodwork, and surgeries would be subject to an infertility rider and not my normal coverage policies.  Essentially, from the moment I took that first injection, I’d pass a point of no return.  For the rest of my lifetime under that policy all non-pregnancy ultrasounds, all RE visits, all blood work, and all surgeries (whether coinciding with fertility treatment or not), would come out of a $10,000 lifetime limit for which I was subject to 25% coinsurance (insurance pays 75% of charge, I pay 25%).  That’s scary enough to think about in the first place, but when you factor endometriosis into the equation and the very real need for future laparoscopies to control the spread of endometriosis, it becomes downright terrifying.  And, once we passed the point of no return there was no coming back.  No returning to simple sex and Clomid, no “hey, just kidding, please let me have another insurance-paid-for lap,” and no routine bloodwork.  So, my insurer, not my doctor, got to tell me what treatments I was allowed to try.

But, when it became obvious Clomid was most certainly not going to be our miracle drug, we had a difficult choice to make.  Injectables stood a good chance of working, but at about $1,500 for just the medication, $100 per ultrasound (and I averaged 5 ultrasounds per cycle on Clomid due to my late ovulation), and several hundred dollars a pop for blood draws, it was a pretty expensive game of “hope this works.”  Given my PCOS, RE#1 was also fairly concerned I would overrespond on the injectable stimulation drugs and produce too many eggy targets for Mr. But IF’s boys.  This would mean canceling the cycle.  Canceling after paying for the meds, after paying for the ultrasounds, after all the blood work.  The only other alternative would be moving forward despite the over-response and seriously risking a high-order multiple pregnancy.  The thing with injectable stimulation medications is you really don’t know how you will respond until after you’ve tried them.  Injectables with timed intercourse was a pretty expensive gamble with the real possibility of a canceled cycle.  So, what was left?

Ultimately, we opted to go with IVF.  Sure, the cost was much higher, but the control was too.  Over-response wouldn’t spell doom for the cycle, and, in the unlikely event that I under-responded we could still cancel the egg retrieval and embryo transfer (the most expensive procedures) and resort to timed intercourse.  The reverse was not true, however.  If we opted for timed intercourse and I over-responded my insurance did not permit us to convert a timed intercourse cycle to an IVF cycle.  IVF required pre-authorization by the fertility department at my insurer and that paperwork took too long to be completed to allow for conversion to IVF.  On May 5, 2012, we decided we’d go for broke.  Shoot the majority of our infertility benefits on one attempt at IVF and hope for the best.  I did all the additional pre-screening required (carrier testing for cystic fibrosis, nutrition evaluation and food logs, etc.), started acupuncture, began birth control pills, paid a non-refundable “cycle fee” of $300, got my insurance pre-authorization, and waited for RE#1’s IVF coordinator to call.  I waited, and waited, and waited.  Finally, my IVF cycle was pre-approved by my insurance on May 29, coincidentally the same day I was two states away interviewing for what would ultimately become my new job.  With pre-approval secured and a month of birth control suppression under my belt I was certain I’d be starting my cycle any day.  Then the IVF coordinator, a woman I’m thoroughly convinced is both the nastiest and stupidest woman I’ve ever met, called to schedule my cycle.  On May 29 she scheduled my cycle to begin on July 28.  I was devastated.  I asked why I had to wait and she said “our June and early July cycles are full, this is the best I can do.”  I crawled into my hole and settled in for a long wait.

On June 12 I received an email from the IVF coordinator informing me that the RE’s negotiated rates with my insurance for IVF cycles was doubling beginning July 1.  At our consult on May 5 we had been told our $10,000 lifetime max typically stretched to include the bulk of two fresh IVF cycles.  (Medications came from a separate $10,000 pot which helped a ton, and we anticipated I’d need low doses of meds due to my PCOS.)  Now, with the new negotiated rates, my insurance would not even cover one fresh cycle in its entirety.  I was furious.  It became very clear to me why, exactly, I’d been bumped from the June cycles — had I cycled in June the RE’s office would have made half as much off of my case.  I retired to my special “phone calling room with a door” at work (also known as our broom closet) and proceeding to scream and cry at every individual that worked at my RE.  I ultimately told them to shove their practice, shove their IVF, and shove their horrid IVF coordinator out a window.  (And, that’s probably being a little gentler than I actually was.)

On Friday, June 15 we canceled our IVF and separated all ties with our first RE.

On Monday, June 18 I was offered a new job in an infertility mandate state at nearly twice my old salary, 10 times the respect and responsibility, and 100 times the potential for upward mobility.  With no potential for fertility treatments in our future, I jumped.  I’m typing this from my gorgeous new (old) house, in my sleepy friendly village, a few blocks from my amazing new workplace.  In many regards, life couldn’t be better.

Except for one thing – I still regularly wonder what would have happened had we gone through with that IVF.  I love my new home, my new job, my new friends, my new colleagues, but I’d love being the mother to the two week old that I’d have from that IVF right now even more.  But, we can’t spend our lives wondering, I suppose.  Or can we?

One of the primary questions you confront when battling infertility is whether you should live for the now or live for the what if.  When I opted to accept a new job and move, I did a little of both.  Most certainly my “now” is better.  Our social life, home life, work lives, and relationship our stronger here than they were in our old state.  Separating myself from the physical reminders of so many painful memories – my first miscarriage, my Hashi’s diagnosis, the room I’d always planned would be our nursery – has been welcome.

But, a small part of me still admits that the “what if” factored into the decision as well.  Sure, the path to pregnancy here wouldn’t be as immediate as it might have been had we stayed behind and bounced to the competing RE practice across the medical complex parking lot from RE#1, but here I would have a slightly more infertility friendly state on my side.  Unlike our previous insurance, this state mandates that infertility treatments up to, but excluding, IVF must be treated by the insurer as if they were any other medically necessary treatment.   Our next cycle (should we get the green light to try again from the rheumatologist tomorrow) will involve injectable stimulation meds, an injectable trigger, injectable blood thinners, and injectable progesterone support all for the cost that I routinely paid for Clomid last year.  There is no switch we can trigger to cut off my lifetime supply of benefits and, though it still isn’t entirely in my or my doctor’s hands, some amount of choice has been returned to us from the hands of my insurer.  As an unfortunate trade off, IVF is permanently off the table for us here unless we save up and take the plunge 100% out of pocket.  All visits, tests, procedures, and medications used in conjunction with IVF are specifically excluded in full from my new insurance.  My state mandate still lists IVF as “experimental.”

There’s one final element of our decision to move that I classify as addressing the “what if.”  Should we ever succeed, motherhood here will be incredibly more fulfilling than it would have been there.  Living in modern-day Mayberry – this land with beautiful parks, friendly villagers, devoted schools, and neighbors who don’t own keys to their homes because their front doors have never been locked (NOT an exaggeration, btw) – literally makes my uterus ache with want.  Now that spring is springing I hear the babies on our block giggling and crying through open windows, I see the little ones in the park run in their awkward little goose-steps, and I’m eyeing my next-door neighbor’s suspicious little belly that I fear portends a sibling for 2-year-old T.  And it all smacks of two very different what if’s.  First, the what if that brought us here.  That silent hope that someday I’d be carting our little ones to the weekly farmers’ market in their little red wagon.  Second, and much more common these days, is the what if that may chase us from here in coming years.  What if I’m never able to join in fully in this community?  What if the giggles and strollers and parks and la leche league posters in the coffee shop become too much?  What if this is just another stop in my career, rather than my permanent professional home, because I can’t bear living child-free not-by-choice in Mayberry?  What if, it seems, we made entirely the wrong choice last summer?

A year ago yesterday I was at peace.  For the first time in over a year I had hope.  Tonight, I have a different type of peace.  The peace of a sleeping husband by my side, a lovely kitty at my feet, and a new patio furniture set on our deck.  But, I don’t have hope the same way I did back then.  Another year spent in this infertility demolition derby has left its dents.  I’ll let myself wish.  I’m wishing right now for good news from the rheumatologist tomorrow.  But, wishing is different from hoping.  Wishing is somehow more whimsical, more ethereal.  When one wishes they don’t always expect it to deliver, so the soul is crushed less when it doesn’t.  Hope is for those that desperately want and expect a desired outcome.  I just don’t have the energy to hope anymore.  I left my hope up on the shelf next to my ill-fated IVF.

Bloggers Block

I’ll be honest.  I want to post.  I feel the need to post.  I’m itching for a post.  (Read: I’m an attention whore and my stats are way down, man!)  But, I swear, I seriously don’t know what to post today.  Here’s a few reasons why:

1. There’s absolutely nothing going on over here.  And, that’s really no different than it’s been the entire time I’ve been contributing to this blog.  What is different, however, is I’m seriously teetering on the edge staring straight down in to a whole lot of something.  It’s been nearly 3 months since my D&C and 2 months since my suspicious ANA results.  I did the blood work for my rheumatologist on Wednesday, I have my MRI on Monday, and my (hopefully final) follow-up with the rheumy on Tuesday.  In 4 short days we may be given the green light to try again.  Those 4 days are going to be agony.

2. I’m in a bit of a post-NIAW slump.  (And, it certainly didn’t help that the latter part of that week was spent away at a work event.)  I really gave it my all last week, and now I feel a little lost and dazed.  Have you read the Furrowed Fox’s tremendous NIAW Aftermath post?  That one really hit close to home and triggered a lot of internal monologue in the past day.  I’m a very happy RESOLVE volunteer, treasure NIAW, and feel so grateful that that organization exists, yet I do often feel that as time as gone on my relationship with RESOLVE has changed.  For me, it’s become more a relationship of giving (giving my time, my energy, my support), than a relationship of receiving (receiving support, receiving guidance, receiving and redistributing a general message), and I think that is OK.  And, I also think that’s why I feel so spent right now.  All that effort went out last week, and not so much back in.  But, then again, it’s specifically because  so little comes back in that I feel the need to put so much out.  Can’t win, eh?

3. I’m kinda focusing my IF efforts elsewhere for the time being.  After meeting my first “IF friend in the computer” in real life last weekend, I’m now 100% committed to getting the rest of the gals in my IF group together (if at least virtually).  I’m trying to get this whole Google Hangout thing straightened out so we can “meet” this weekend.  Seriously, how cool is that going to be???

4. The semester is winding down here and the work/life balance is swinging wildly to the work side these days.  Great for providing distractions from IF, not so great for, oh, getting sleep, alleviating stress, spending time with Mr. But IF, not having work-related nightmares.

5. This weekend I will be taking my last shower at home… at least for a while.  When we bought our lovely old lady of a house, we knew it needed TONS of work, so we’ve just been waiting with bated breath for spring to, uh, spring so that we could get the serious projects rolling.  A contractor will arrive at our house early Tuesday morning and tear our bathroom apart.  Luckily, we still have a small downstairs bath with toilet and sink, but otherwise we’ll be sans-sanitation for the foreseeable future.  Thank goodness for having access to a beautiful college gym facility and faculty showers! 🙂  So, anyway, yea, that’s gonna be “fun.”

There’s been a lot of chatter on Twitter today about the appropriate nomenclature for describing infertility.  Is it a journey?  Experience?  Trip?  Shit storm?  Quest?  War?  I honestly don’t know, but all I do know is that right now I’m not moving forward or backward, I’m not experiencing much, I have no idea of the direction I’m headed or what I’m even searching for, I don’t know what the weather is like outside my door, and, if this is war, I’ve most certainly reached a stalemate.  So, for now I think it’s best to just drink and be merry.  And, that’s exactly what I plan to do in T-minus 20 minutes.

Happy weekend all!

Rage Against the Media Machine

Ok, I think I can see straight again.  Maybe.  I mean, the twitching has died down for the most part, the pulsing veins have receded from my temple, and I can hold my hands steady enough to at least type these sentences.   Yes, big improvement.

So, did you all see this little gem that hit the airwaves yesterday?  When I saw the title, “Double the Trouble: My wife’s expecting twins — and I’m not happy about it” my infertile spidey senses started tingling and told me in no uncertain terms, “Look away!!!”  How I wish I had listened.  Instead, I read as this future dad-of-the-year wrote of their first IVF cycle,

Thankfully, we nailed it on the first try. But while we were hoping for one girl, instead we got two boys. My initial reaction was full of disappointment, anger, fear, and guilt. My wife, who had been dreading the possibility of twins for weeks, took it worse. In her mind, this was her fault, since she’d encouraged the fertility doctors to put in two embryos to stack the deck.

Wait, what?  OMFG, WHAT?  You did IVF, made the decision to put back two embryos, and you’re pissed you’re having twins.  And nasty little boy twins at that?  Someone bring me vodka and a hammer so I can dull this overwhelming rage.  (Vodka’s for me, hammer’s for dada’s testicles.)

I tried to write this post last night, but the rage was too raw.  Most I could muster was a quick share with my friends in the computer which elicited by a flurry of my favorite cuss-words.  Then, I went to bed at 9pm.  This shit got to me.

As I lay there trying to sleep and envisioning brutal bodily harm, I realized what it was that bothered me the most.  It wasn’t the smugness of the horrid little man that would write, “We nailed it on the first try,” the unjustness of a world that would grant this one-bedroom-apartment couple immediate IVF success and baby boys 2 and 3 as I watch hundreds of others fail cycle after cycle and be ineligible for adoption due to similar living arrangements, and it wasn’t even the idiotic chimings-in of many commenters.  What got under my skin is that this man was given his soapbox, that this story went viral, and that this is the article that my aunt will likely forward me in a few days with the subject line, “Are you sure you want to put all those unnatural hormones in your body?”

National Infertility Awareness Week is an amazing time in the fertility community, but for the past three years I’ve struggled with how it is handled outside of the infertility community.  My skin has been thoroughly thickened in the past several years, but living through that exceptional week, even this year, was still an internally divisive experience.  I felt so connected to my infertility sisters and brothers, I received tremendous support from many in my life (inside and outside of the community), but I still struggled with the way this week was covered in the mainstream media.  When I tuned in to Huff Post Live’s “The Hard Truth About Infertility” last week, I wasn’t remotely surprised that the first words out of the host’s mouth were, “Fertility treatments have made it easier for women to conceive well into their 40s but waiting still comes with risk.”  The story of infertility is still written on the margins of our experiences.  A happily married, home-owning, hard-working, well-educated, 26-year-old infertile woman is not remotely as sexy a story as pregnant 46-year-old Halle Berry or the world’s biggest douchebag discussed above.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone should have their voice, all should feel free to express their feelings in all venues available to them, and freedom of the press is a good thing.  Hell, I’d be the biggest hypocrite in the world if my blogging ass advocated for a shuttering of free expression.  And, I’ll be honest, I’m sure raising twins isn’t a walk in the park and, as someone that knows she is going to be beholden to artificial reproduction techniques, the prospect of multiples scares the bejeezus out of me.  We certainly should all feel free to discuss the bad and the ugly of infertility along with the good.  Post-partum depression after years of infertility, the stress and worry of being pregnant after infertility, and the process of coming to terms with living with infertility after you are no longer trying to conceive  (whether that life includes children or not) are all avenues that should be explored more, not less.  But, the content we are exposed to in mainstream media is curated by someone, it’s collected and disseminated and through that process it’s also interpreted.  Bias is inherent in the publication of the world’s stories.  What I have trouble with is the fact that those curating the story of infertility on the most public of stages incessantly rehash the rare, promote the exceptional, and cold-shoulder the common.

To Babble’s credit, the Disney-sponsored parenting blog published “Expecting Twins? Don’t Freak Out: 10 Pieces of Solid Advice” somewhat in response to the asshat above, but that story won’t get remotely the same mileage as the other.  The harm’s been done.  My twin mom friend in the computer is still correct when she wrote to me, “He’s also just encouraging all the assholes at the supermarket who say shit like ‘better you than me.'”  My aunt will still tell me to, “Hope harder and stop trying to play God.”  And, the most damning of all, another cohort of individuals will go around with one lone quote from an ignorant ingrate on constant loop:

Of course I’m sympathetic to people who can’t get pregnant, or who spend a couple of years trying IVF after IVF. But having kids is a selfish endeavor, and in these cases it’s all very relative and highly personal.

Thanks for giving me your sympathy, anonymous coward; however, if you really thought this was all “highly personal” why are you out there on the airwaves throwing the world’s biggest pity party and damning the rest of us through your unattributed words?  Thanks, but no thanks!