Monthly Archives: October 2012
This weeks writing challenge is to finish the sentence, “I wish I were…”
I wish I were fertile dammit!
That’s the obvious answer. Wishing for fertility won’t make it happen and will only cause me more grief. But I came to another realization this weekend while baking brownies…from scratch…
I wish more people were aware brownies needn’t come in a box.
My Mother instilled in me a joy for baking. About once a week she would bake some sort of treat for the family. Cookies, cakes, pies for the holidays, she had a variety of recipes to choose from that could be made with staple ingredients she always had on hand. Once in a while she would use a box mix for cakes, but never brownies. Her brownies were always made from scratch. A recipe she knew by heart that was passed down from her Grandmother. One that she’s been practicing since she was a little girl.
Being the first born, I was Mom’s little helper in the kitchen when it came time to bake.
My first responsibility was Mixing Bowl and Beater Clean-up. She would hand me the bowl and beaters after the batter was in the oven and expect me to lick up all the excess batter remaining. I loved that job. Hunting for every scrap of gooey goodness before placing the bowl in the sink and filling it with soap and water. A job I resisted sharing with my sister when she grew old enough to help too.
I then graduated to mixing pie crusts. There were no frozen pie crusts in the freezer section of the store, we had to make it. Mom would place the shortening and flour in a bowl, then hand me a fork. I would sit there mixing until all the flour changed color and the clumps were as small as possible. She loved how flaky her crust would turn out whenever I mixed the batch, making it my permanent job whenever she baked a pie. A fact I took great pride in.
Holiday cookies were always so much fun. Rolling the little balls to make “snowball” cookies. Cutting out the sugar cookies and decorating them. Hand cranking the nut grinder for any recipe requiring chopped nuts. Tasting the first warm cookies to make sure they turned out well. Plus there was always a bowl or beater in need of cleaning!
I’ll always remember those times spent in the kitchen with my Mother. Fond memories relived whenever I get in the mood to bake something.
This last weekend when my wife was craving chocolate, I thought “brownies” and wanted to surprise her. I found a recipe for brownies on the Internet matching the ingredients in my kitchen and went to work. (I was missing a couple ingredients for my Mother’s recipe.) I started measuring, mixing, chopping and even tasting just as I always did with my Mother.
My wife had never made brownies from scratch, and questioned how I could make brownies without a box mix. I wonder how many others think the recipe for brownies starts with buying a box mix from a store? Needless to say she loved the brownies and they satisfied her chocolate craving at a time when the only chocolate in the house was chocolate powder.
I wish I were able to share the joys of baking with my child. Establishing wonderful memories that will last their lifetime. But since I won’t be able to…I sincerely wish you will with yours!
Edit: My Mother was happy to share her recipe.
Mom’s Homemade Brownies (not out of a box)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350*. Grease baking pan. 13x9x2 inches. Melt chocolate and shortening in a large saucepan over low heat (can now be done in microwave) Remove from heat. Let slightly cool. Mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in pan. Bake 30 minutes or until brownies start to pull away from sides of pan. Do not overbake. Cool slightly. Cut into bars. About 2×1-1/2 inches. Makes approximately 32 cookies
“Bandit! I need to talk to you about your addiction problem.”
“We need to talk about your addiction to grass.”
“I am serious. I’m worried about what this addiction is doing to you.”
“Oh, but I do have proof. How do you explain this?”
“Okay, but what about a few seconds later?”
“What about this?”
“Quit denying your problem!”
“I’m not saying it will hurt you. Just that you might not like how you look when you’re on grass.”
“I tried to warn you about your grass addiction.”
“No I’m not. Chicks love these photos.”
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I was feeling pretty good. I’d just finished taking Bandit for a walk and the three of us were sitting on the couch enjoying a movie when my phone buzzed. The wife is the only person I text with on a regular basis, and since she was sitting next to me…I was curious who it was from. I picked up the phone and saw, “Text from +1 (555) 555-8203.” Okay the 5’s were really other numbers, but you get the point it was a completely strange number to me.
Me: “Babe, Do you recognize this number?”
Wife: “Uh, no”
Naturally I unlocked my phone and saw…
At which point my Jealous Infertile Demon burst out of its cage and immediately started typing…
Thanks you jerk for reminding me I can’t have children and completely ruining my day by sending your baby picture to the wrong number!
Before he was able to hit “send” I managed to wrestle the phone away and quickly deleted the message. He was raging with fury and I knew I had to get this demon back in restraints before he hurt someone!
“Now look here JID, you’re not going to tell off some stranger for sending you a baby picture! They have no idea you’re infertile. They aren’t doing this to you on purpose. Get a grip!”
The Demon just stared me down. Seeing the wisdom, but he would not be appeased. In a flash the phone was snatched from my hands and he grunted, “Then they must be educated.”
Cute baby, but you should be more careful who you send these pictures too. I recently found out I won’t be able to have kids of my own and your mistake is causing me a lot of pain…
“NO!” I shouted in my head as we fought for control of the phone. “You’re not doing that either! It’s probably some grandparent happily sending photos to friends and sent it to you by mistake! These are your issues! There is no reason to make these folks feel bad over a simple mistake! Let them be happy…”
To my surprise the Demon was now cowering back in his cage. Swiftly I closed the door and set the latch. Then proceeded to erase what was written.
Exhausted by the struggle, the tears began to flow. I mustered my remaining courage and wrote…
Cute kid, wrong number
And pressed SEND.
Yesterday fellow blogger rarasaur caught the poetry bug and wanted to write a limerick or a haiku about other blogs and was asking for requests. Curious and amused by this request, I submitted my blog for consideration. I was completely blown away with the result. The request line is still open if you’re interested. Without further ado…
IVF Male and the story of his folding mistress and battle for children to be.
A man tells a tale of fertility,
from a bathroom designed for sterility,
a small folded chair
keeps him grounded in where
parenthood is founded — humility.
Howdy folks. Well unlike last week when the cupboard was bare, this week was a cornucopia of new search requests. Let’s jump right in shall we…
—“my testosterone increased”
Well whoop-ti freakin do! Now I don’t say that to put you down, only to make you cautious. You see, my testosterone increased while on hCG too. Two months later my sperm count actually went down. What I don’t know for sure is why it went down. It may have been the hCG, or could have just been a bad time for me. There is also the possibility about a week before my S/A test, I had the brilliant idea to keep the sperm factory cool by removing all the hair in the area using a depilatory cream…which, as it turns out, is a BAD IDEA. Don’t do it! Try to keep the crazy infertile thoughts at bay.
Anyway, I hope you have better luck, but don’t get your hopes up like I did.
—condoms used in fertility clinics
They have loads of condoms in fertility clinics. Every time my wife had to get an ultrasound with Mr. Dildowand they used a condom. But did they think to provide me with one to use for my sperm collection? Hell no! Do you know how much easier the whole process would have been if I could have collected into a condom instead of trying to work it with one hand, hold the cup in the other hand, all the while worried about missing the cup and having to do it all over again a few days later? The targeting isn’t very accurate. If you’re lucky they will have a sign in the room saying you can request one if needed. But honestly, by the time you notice the sign you’re halfway there already. We’re guys! We don’t ask for directions, why would they think we would be willing to ask them for a condom? Just leave one on the counter next to a sign saying, “Use it if you need it!” Sheesh.
I could go on all day about this topic, but other people need help.
—wife doing ivf become a complete bitch
I know I’ve answered this before, but I thought this was a good example of how to clearly state your problem to Mr. Google to get a result that may actually benefit you.
You don’t say. It’s the medication talking! I know it feels like a long couple of weeks, but you’ll be fine. I’m sure you’re buddy will be more than happy to hide your weapons collection for a few days.
—unmarried couple having a baby through ivf
This is what bothered me about having to wait 6 months to use donor sperm from someone you knew, but not married to. I honestly don’t know what the requirements are for going through IVF if you’re not married. But my RE did clarify that the 6 month wait was for donors from people you’re not having sex with. It’s all pretty vague to me. Do you have to sign some legal paper saying person X and person Y are regularly having sex and are exempt from the 6 month waiting period? I’m not sure how they checked we are married. I may have needed our marriage license in the beginning, but I don’t recall.
Either way you can still have a baby using ivf. The only questionable point is if the male partner can donate using fresh sperm, or if the doctors must follow the procedures outlined by the FDA and go the frozen route. Assuming of course your are in the United States. If you reside in a different country, your doctor should know what laws they must follow. It’s best if you ask the reproductive specialist these questions.
—Other Search Terms
—Uknown Search Terms
Now a few weeks ago I received this one and I ignored it as a fluke. But this week it popped up on my list again…twice. What the hell are you looking for? And why are you compelled to click on a link to a blog about infertility?
Or did the search term get lost and Google provided a generic “Other Search Terms” as filler. Maybe these are what Google provides us when the privacy mode is turned on. If that’s the case…it is entirely unfair and is depriving me of being able to poke fun at them! Hmph!
Any ideas what this could possibly mean?
For this weeks challenge, we are being asked to write about a controversial topic. And the question for the chosen topic is…
How do you feel about children in adult-oriented places?
No, not strip clubs and titty bars. Of course not those places you perv. We’re talking about fancy restaurants, art museums, symphonies or plays at a theater. The root of the question is: “How do you feel about children in locations where adult behavior is expected?” And that my friends is where the question falls flat on its face.
I’ve met some very well behaved children that I would have no problem sitting nearby while I ate my $60 steak. Are these kids perfect…of course not, they’re just kids. They act up, the parents correct them, and the evening continues. If that isn’t enough, the parents will remove the child until the child calms down. More than likely those types of parents would hire a sitter next time and try again when the child is a little older.
I’ve also been embarrassed by adults that should really know better. Climbing on a statue for a photograph when there is even a sign posted, “Please do not climb on statue.” Or the time some jerk threw a whole bale of hay into the bonfire almost burning the party host’s house down. I can’t help but wonder if they would behave better as adults, if their parents actually taught them etiquette by including them in activities where proper behavior was expected.
I say if you are wanting to teach your children how to behave like an adult, you should expose them to situations requiring that behavior. If you have no interest in your child’s behavior, then please get a sitter; but more than likely you’re going to be annoying me anyway with phone beeps while texting with your friends all evening.
For me, restricting children from these events depends on if the child is ready to learn these lessons, and each child is different. This happens to be one of those lessons I had tucked away for my child. I was willing to risk leaving a pleasant evening early over a misbehaved child to teach lessons that would be beneficial for the rest of their lives. Just as my parents did with me.
Now if we could just ban idiots. In my Venn Diagram parents who don’t watch their children are already included.
“Is that comfortable Bandit?”
“You’re just too cute!!! Come here buddy.”
“I’ve got a puppy dog with FLUFFY FLOPPY EARS.”
“You don’t like me playing with your ears, but I can’t help it…they’re just soooo FFFFLUUUUFFFFFYYYY!”
“I’m sorry. I’ll let you sleep”
“Well that wasn’t long. You wanna play?”
“OUCH! Hey, my fingers are not chew toys buddy.”
“OOOOOUCH! What? You need to go outside? Okay, let’s go outside.”
“Will you stop a minute? I need to put your leash on. Come here! Good boy!”
“Good job walking down the steps Bandit; you’re getting the hang of it.”
“Good boy! Here is your treat.”
“It’s Super Bandit!”
“Hold on…let me get a picture.”
“One more…oh you’re done playing Super Bandit.”
“I know! Let’s go this way. We can probably get some good pictures on the grassy hill.”
“Stay with me buddy.”
“This will be a good spot.”
“Perfect. One, two…” Click
“No buddy, you don’t get a treat yet.”
“Get back there. Sit! Stay!”
“Very Good.” Click
“Ignore the crap Bandit.”
“Sit! Look over here.”
“Bandit. Look over here buddy.” Click
“BANDIT NO! Leave that alone!”
“Come back here.”
“Sit! Stay!” Click
“BANDIT NO!!! GROSS!”
“BAD DOG! BAD DOG! SPIT IT OUT NOW! SPIT IT OUUUT!”
“GET AWAY FROM IT!”
“IT’S BAD ENOUGH I HAVE TO CLEAN UP YOUR MESS! I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO CLEAN UP OTHER DOGS MESSES JUST SO YOU WON’T EAT IT!”
“All gone! Now sit!”
“I’m sorry I yelled at you buddy.”
“But you really must stop eating that. It’s gross and you’ll catch worms.”
“Come here Bandit. Yes. I love you buddy.”
“No, you’re not licking my face right now.”
“Let’s try again.”
“Sit! Stay!” Click
“It’s all gone bud!”
“I’m starting to think this is a hopeless cause.”
“Last attempt and then we will go get something to eat…okay?”
“Love you too pups.”
I’ve found blogging to be a big help dealing with the emotions throughout this process. The problem I’m facing is previously there was always a new step in the process to talk about. A funny story to share about an uncomfortable Urology visit, or being attacked by an overhead cabinet. Now I’m struggling with what to write about without every post turning into, “woes is me…I’m infertile and IVF didn’t do donkey balls to help me.”
The Dear Ivfmale posts are fun to write. But it’s really hit or miss if I have anything good to talk about. Twice now I’ve given up and posted something anyway, just to have a plethora of search gems pop up later that day. So I decided to start participating in the weekly “Daily Post Challenge” to keep the blog interesting and relevant to it’s purpose about issues dealing with infertility.
But another part of me wanted to do these challenges in hopes of getting Freshly Pressed. I know I can bring the emotion and I’m pretty sure if the right people would read one of these posts, it would be a good candidate for being selected. Sure it’s simply an ego boost. Frankly, after the dark thoughts running through my head this past weekend, I’m not ashamed to admit I need some ego boosting right now.
So I wrote the poem and posted it hoping that maybe being Freshly Pressed, it might raise my confidence and make me feel there is more to my future than just having a child.
With all the positive comments the poem received, it was a big help in bringing me out of my funk. I felt maybe I do have a shot at being chosen.
Then on Tuesday, my wife read the poem. She loved it! She loved it so much she posted it to her Facebook not caring who read it. It doesn’t matter hardly anyone has clicked her link. It doesn’t matter whether I’m chosen to be Freshly Pressed or not. I was Wife Pressed. She loves my poem and she loves me. And that’s all that really matters.
This week looks like a bust. Not much on the search engine list of note. A new one for “DPchallenge” since I’ve started participating in the Daily Post Challenge for fun. But I must admit, “Daily Post” is not what comes to mind when I think of DPchallenge. Probably what caught my attention in the first place.
I also had one person looking for “IVF poetry” that caught my attention. I have been in a poetic mood as of late. I’ve found it very therapeutic in expressing emotions that I’m struggling with. I’ll be doing more of it to be sure, but poetry should also be about helping others. I’m interested in writing poems on topics that are normally overlooked.
I haven’t seen much poetry dealing with peeing on a stick (POAS). Barrenart has a lovely one called Pink that touches on the subject. But nothing on the addiction that is afflicting the infertile community.
For inspiration I turned to self-confessed POAS addict and good online friend Belle from Scrambled-Eggs, and her post on Tuesday about her latest experience with POAS.
I already made sure she wasn’t offended by the poem. 😉 She loved it! 😀
A P.O.A.S. Story
By Matthew Wanner
Who is this Chick?
Her name is Belle.
If life is a journey.
She has been through hell.
Belle has an addiction.
One you may not see.
She will purchase a stick,
and on it pee, pee, pee.
She pees in the morning.
When she knows it’s best.
But she will also pee at night.
Just to get some rest.
These sticks aren’t cheap,
they cost quite a lot.
When the bill will arrive,
the Professor will be hot.
But what can he do,
she is the love of his life.
He said those magic words,
that made her his wife.
Then something happened,
as Belle was peeing with glee.
A hint of a line,
one she could barely see.
She called the Professor,
begged him to come quick.
“Do you see a line?”
And showed him the stick.
“I think I do.”
he proudly exclaimed.
Agreeing to caution.
Excitement should be contained.
Belle continued to pee,
until her hearts delight.
Buying fresh sticks,
to pee on day and night.
She wanted to be sure.
A line everyone could see.
She would be a Mom.
Announcing her BFP!
Green with IVF
By Matthew Wanner
Green is the money spent on a wish,
for a child to call our own.
Purple are the bruises on my wife’s back,
just inside each hipbone.
White are my knuckles as I readied each shot,
frightened I am causing her pain.
Red is the love I feel for my wife,
for a resolve that never did wane.
Green are my wife’s beautiful eyes,
I once hoped a child would share.
Brown would be fine, just like mine,
eye color I no longer did care.
Yellow is the road of our hopes and dreams,
wondering what it’s gender might be.
Blue are the tears, hopes replaced by fears,
for a child we never would see.
Green I am with envy,
watching coworkers ask off to give birth.
Black is my shame for feeling that way,
tying fertility to my own self-worth.
Orange will be tomorrow’s sky at dawn,
certain the sun will rise.
What color comes next is anyones guess,
waiting on life’s next surprise.
This weeks challenge is to add a splash of color to your blog.