Sunday, 4 December 2011

My Super-Classy Infertility Glossary

Fertility treatments,,,,,,, ahhhhh good times! I don't know many people who have gone through them who don't look back in horror at some of the indignities they entail.

I know, I know,,, you will tell me that bringing home a healthy baby is worth all the needle sticking and vaginal probing. And I'm not one to disagree. If in fact I am able to bring this baby home so it can cry all night and poop and pee on me I will be eternally grateful. However that does not take away from some of the things I've chosen to endure in order to get there.

What I'd like to talk about today is the actual process of getting pregnant via these doctor-assisted means. If anyone had told me that someday I'd be injecting myself with needles and doing twice daily suppositories in order to get and stay pregnant, I'd have told them they were crazy. It truly is amazing the things we are asked to do on the quest for our take-home babies.

I have found over the years that the only way to cope with losing what was left of my dignity is to laugh and make jokes. To that effect, I have given the various bits and bobs of my infertility journey nicknames. Nicknames that I am now going to share with all of you. An infertility glossary of sorts. I should probably preface this by saying that I am super classy and so of course my glossary is full of very classy terminology (insert sarcasm here).

Still interested? Then read on, but you have been warned!

Auntie Flo- Your period, which either comes when you don't want it to. Like when you're hoping you might actually be pregnant. Or doesn't come when you do want it to. Like when you're wanting to start a new IVF cycle.

My bag-o-meds.
Bag-O-Meds- The giant bag you end up having to buy to house all your super-expensive IVF drugs.

Beta Test- A form of torture. You think you might be pregnant (especially if you've cheated already and peed on a stick) but you still have to take the blood test to see if your hormone levels agree. If you get a 0 then you're out. If you get anything besides a 0 then you have to test several more times to see if your cycle was a success or a failure. It's a long drawn out process and even then you end up having to wait for the ultrasound to see if you're actually pregnant.

Collection Room- The one and only sacrifice our dear husbands have to make. And when I say sacrifice I am laughing hysterically. This is the room where you hubby goes to wack off into a cup. My hubby has been in many of these and tells me that the quality of both the accommodations and reading material can vary widely depending on the facility. From the bathroom of a lab with no dirty magazines to the Rolls Royce of all collection rooms which has leather reclining chairs, porn on demand on the TV, and a remote control. He thinks that a tour of this room should be done before final clinic selection.

Egg Donor- An angel from heaven. A woman who decides to donate her eggs so that sad, sorry, grieving, over 40, infertile women like me can have a baby. I believe there should be a special place in heaven for egg and sperm donors.

Frosty- Our little frozen embryo who has decided to stick around for the past 10 weeks. I am hoping and praying that our little frosty grows into our take-home rainbow baby who will cry all night and pee and poop on us.

IVF- A process that relieves you of your future children's college money before they are even conceived. Unless you are lucky enough to have health coverage that pays for it, in which case I am super jealous and am not sure I can be friends with you!

My jabby jab survival kit.
Jabby Jab- All the injections you have to do along the way. Some are tiny needles and go into your belly. Others are large needles and go into your leg or hip muscles. Some of you have your husbands or friends do them for you. Others, like me, have to jab yourselves. Either way, they leave you with bruising, swelling, numbness, and sometimes itchiness too. Oh, and what they don't tell you is that you have to continue them even after you find out you're pregnant!

License to Carry- The note you get from the doctor that says you can fly on airplanes with all your drugs and needles. Having travelled from the US to the UK for treatment and also travelling from the UK to a few countries in Europe for vacation, I have found this note completely unnecessary. None of the security screeners I encountered ever even asked me about the mass quantities of needles and liquid hormones in my bag. They were always much more concerned with my big boobs and the fact that my underwire bra always sets off the metal detector. I got lots of extra pat downs, but never a bag search.

Mr. Wandy- The beloved vaginal ultrasound wand. This tool of joy is used for all sorts of things. To check your ovaries and follicles, to check your lining, and also to check if you have a viable pregnancy. He is usually dressed in a condom with some lube, but at one of my clinics they just stuck a bright blue rubber glove on him. Nice!

Pee Stick- The Magic 8 Ball for women trying to conceive. You pee on it and it tells you your future, pregnant,,, or not pregnant. The fancy digital ones not only tell you if you are pregnant, but they also tell you how far along you are. It is the only item I am aware of that is socially acceptable to pee on, then take photos of (to post on your  blog of course), and then pass around to your friends and family to examine. Just imagine trying to pass around a wad of used toilet paper and see what kind of responses you would get.

Poking The Bear- All those hormone injections can make a girl a bit testy. At times one can feel like a raging bear ready to explode. At some of these times, The Hubby thought it was funny to say things to try and set me off. At these times I would glare at him and say, "Don't poke the bear." Sometimes it worked and sometimes he went ahead and poked the bear anyway. He paid dearly for those times.

Shoot The Cooch- After receiving the good news that you don't have to inject your progesterone in your leg anymore you may want to cheer. Until you find out that you have to use this plastic popsicle stick looking "applicator" to inject it into your vagina twice a day. I took to referring to this a shooting the cooch because cooch is such a classy word for vagina. Oh, and no one tells you in advance that sometimes this can cause spotting. Until you start spotting and freak out and have to call the nurse. Spotting is bad!!

Shoot The Pooper- After you start spotting and are sure you are having a miscarriage they tell you that the vaginal form of progesterone can sometimes be the cause of the bleeding. You sigh in relief because you know that you are not losing your baby, you just have a sensitive cervix. Your doctor tells you he will switch you to the anal form of progesterone. Good times!! Since I could no longer announce I was shooting the cooch I changed my terminology to shooting the pooper since that was now what I was doing. Amazingly, this process is not nearly as horrifying as it may sound. Or maybe I've just got no boundaries left.

Sunglasses- Another side effect of all the hormone injections is random crying episodes. I have found these episodes especially enjoyable and not at all embarrassing. Ok, I lie. I find them absolutely horrifying and terribly embarrassing. As a result, I highly recommend carrying a large pair of sunglasses with you wherever you go. That way you can pop them on when your hormones decide that crying in a grocery store, or on public transportation is a great idea.

So there you have it. My super-classy glossary of infertility. Have I missed anything? Do you have a few of your own that you think should be added to this list?? If so then feel free to add yours in the comments,,, or email me if you're too embarrassed to admit yours in public.


  1. "Shoot the cooch" & "shoot the pooper" are my favourites. ha!

    Crazy what you'll do for the chance at a take-home baby, huh? :)

  2. Love how you named them! :-) Made me chuckle!

  3. "Poking the bear" - such a useful phrase! Perhaps I'll modify it to "poking the pukey bear" in our house.

    This was actually pretty informative...thanks?

  4. I have to admit the first thing I realized is that IVF has its own language.

  5. I second the no more boundaries left. My husband turned into the "cat wrangler" during jabby jab time since they were proving to be enamored with what the human was doing.

  6. When I had bleeding because of the suppositories I just stopped using them. No one ever suggested I put them up the poop shoot...thank goodness. Maybe that's a new thing? I've been doing this so long my RE and his entire staff know me on a first name basis. :)

  7. Love the collection room description and shoot the cooch! Visiting from Monday Mingle

  8. Thanks for sharing that. At least you can find humor in these things considering all the things you have to do just to try and have a take home baby. I myself had good times "shooting the cooch" for 12 weeks, lol.

  9. Shoot the pooper. So funny. I'm pleased I haven't needed to do that one. I don't know what it would be in our home, as shoot the cooch is known as tea and toast to us. I like your glossary.

  10. All I can say is wow. That is one lucky little Frosty in there. Sending you all of my good energy. I had some diffucult pregnancies and am familiar with Wandy, which is a whole, weird thing and totally creepy to have someone coming at you with that bad boy!

  11. Shoot the cooch!!!! AHAHAHA! I died. Ah... that erased a lot of residual resentment right there. Amazing.