IVF land vs real world Mid West USA

So while the herd chill out (ha) in the deep freezer at the baby factory, awaiting a verdict on their future, life continues back in Gotham city. We have received a nice pile of follow ups from some of our friends as to where we are at since visiting the baby factory. Telling them that nothing is going on seems to take them by surprise. “IVF is a long wait and come in fits and spurts” seems to disappoint them as they become more wound up in our ongoing saga and associated drama.

I have spent this week in mid west US of A on a work trip, which is always interesting. The people are really nice but they struggle with my Australian accent at times – trials and tribulations amongst the strip malls of the US flatlands.

I had an interesting discussion with one of my peers today. She complemented me that I have lost lots of weight and wanted to know how. ” I gave up booze and coffee and hit the gym”. I am learning that this is a little too honest to tell people, but noticing the Sprite King at work dinners and Mr Peppermint Tea (no caffeine) during the day (um – every day) is, lets admit it, weird.  So, the detox line has been my cover, but having been this way now for, well, over a year, the excuse is looking tired and that maybe people think we are part of a secret “no fun” cult. “That Mr IVF – (- note – not the name I use at work ) – seems like a nice enough bloke, but i don’t get this puritan thing” …. you can just imagine the water cooler conversation (if we had water coolers).

Anyway – most people leave me alone after the general detox line, but my rather savvy peer was on a bit of a weight loss mission herself and was really intrigued to see how I could cure myself of modern day temptations. It wasn’t an easy chat. I told her that I have just worked at it and really just “got into” losing the pounds and wanted to see how far I can push it. “yeah – ok” she says ” but for a year?” …. Um ” I really don’t like to booze that much given how busy this role is” … .” I had a skiing accident last year that landed me in hospital with a ruptured kidney, so I take it easy”….. “I am thinking of training for a marathon or maybe a half” ….. argh… All of these things are actually 100% true, but I think I just emit a “fun pub guy” image that gives the “no fun cult” thing some legs as something doesn’t smell right.

The two weeks in the baby factory (without explaining it) was also weird, (and probably helped feed the “he is a freak in a freak cult” feeling as well) . Ok – yes – advice from a few “inner circle”  folks “say its a holiday” but that threw up 2 problems. (1) when I do have a  real holiday it just looks like I holiday all the time and (2) I was dialed in every day working pretty normally as I didn’t want this to be a holiday ( I would rather have a holiday on my holiday thankyou!) So,  if I was officially on holiday I looked like one of those sado’s who is just a workaholic who cant take a break and personally, I think shows poor leadership. Why? well, because when my team is on holidays they would be thinking I expect them to dial in / blackberry / check voice mail / listen to the  jungle drums of work… which to be honest, is a US cultural thing I really try to wean my teams off. (fyi – how have I weaned people off this behavior in the past? ” Steve, if I or anyone hears from you in the next week you owe us all beers…”  hmmm

Anyway – how did I explain away the baby factory? I briefly told the crew that Mrs IVF (not her real work name) had a few Dr issues we were sussing out. I had to dob her in as I look fine, so saying I was sick was weird, and they don’t know her so that would work. I didn’t want them sending me stuff like get well cards etc for what was basically dumping baby yogurt in a cup. An ailment that I appear to recover from quite quickly and hardly worth a card for.

So dealing with IVF fun and games in the real world continues. Anyone with 2 brain cells has probably worked out that 2 people “on the dark side of 35” with no kids and random (but repeating) sets of time (normally the same time each month) with intense Dr sessions isn’t probably seeing out of state medical experts about a reappearing splinter Mrs IVF gets from gardening.

So the illusion continues. I say nothing and thankfully, neither do they and one way or the other this WILL go away in time.

One last footnote: I got interviewed yesterday for an article at work. “So tell me a bit about your life out of work…. Married? Kids?”….. “Yes married and 11 kids…yes, amazing hey? .. what… oh, they are all five days old, yes … all of them.. yes, Mrs IVF is tired…. .what’s our secret? No booze / coffee and gym, oh and chicken nuggets – yeah –  nuggets! – who would have thought. Yup, we are lined up for Oprah on Thursday and TLC starts our series next spring….no, Dr Phil didn’t deliver them… oh yes exciting times” …. That is a far better answer than “No kids” and you know what, this is the only time in my life when I probably will have 11 kids. It felt good. (daunting yes, but real, it had a very real feel. Some caveman-esque long term dormant thing rumbled inside me that currently, I am a father.. no, not my dad, I am the dad.)… oh but this is so so fleeting… dear reader, we all know Mr and Mrs IVF are facing significant loss, we know this cant last…

….. and then here was the question that really had me bursting at the seams…

“So tell me something about yourself that most people wouldn’t know about you”… “Oh I have shitbox sperm, that have mangled heads, swim in fucking circles or lie there and do nothing, but my baby batter volume, well, that’s double the average Joe’s dump but its a shame its full of little fellas that are as useful as poppy seeds in getting Mrs IVF some long overdue maternity leave.”

“You know what”  I actually say ” I really can’t think of anything, I think my teams sees me as a pretty random fella so nothing really surprises them”

…and life goes on


4 Responses

  1. I had to laugh at your reply to the “Tell me something about yourself”. Wouldn’t you LOVE to do that just once? Just to see their reaction? I have daydreams sometimes- when someone says- “You never know, it might happen.” I sometimes want to say “oh, yeah my husbands vas defrens and seminal vesicles might spontanously form.” Or the sperm might migrate out of his hair follicles on his scrotum”….you just never know!! I never would though….but a girl can have a giggle producing daydream huh?

    Good luck during this wait. I can’t even imagine.

  2. Cheers for a boss who wants vacation to be vacation! I fully appreciate you not wanting the trip to see the elves to be your vacation. I have had this discussion with my husband, but unfortunately the Army breeds the idea that vacation is what you do in between moves and usually with zero lead time to make plans. 🙂

    I got a kick out of visualizing you, “fun pub guy” having your interview where you bust out with pictures of the eleven snowbabies and discussing the migratory patterns of sperm. Love it.

    And in the midst of all the humor, it’s so disheartening knowing that you have that niggle of worry in the back of your mind. In reading your blog all at once to catch up on your story, I think you and Mrs.IVF have been incredibly strong and enduring in your quest to have a munchkin. Each step you take doesn’t alleviate the odds. It’s like holding your breath for months at a time. I hope that you can enjoy the knowledge that your snowbabies await you for now because that is a wonderful wonderful thing.

  3. I think that is the most creative story telling I have ever read, brilliant! Isn’t is amazing that we can come up with some of the best stuff concealing IVF in real life? You take the prize though, i love it! Wishing you the best in this cycle. I added you to my blogroll, i look forward to following along.

  4. I LOVE your blog. I am sitting her cracking up. I don’t know how many times my husband said similar things during our last cycle (I think the best one was that at least when our dog chases her tail she usually catches it…).

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