Long Island, New York – A childless couple approaching middle age is purging their home of all TTC (trying to conceive) paraphernalia. It is a wistful tragic decrescendo from almost four years of trying to conceive that was plagued with one surgery and ten failed fertility treatments, most of which was paid for out of pocket. “It’s in every drawer, shelf, closet, everywhere I look. Our home is over-run with items that promised a positive outcome”, Sarah Chamberlin, 42, laments. As a result, everything connected with trying to conceive in any way must be gotten rid of.
Having decided this is no way to live, Chamberlin embarks on transforming their cesspool of unrequited hope with the determination of a Hoarder’s professional organizer.
Sharps disposal was the first project. “You’d think my doctor’s office would take them. But when I asked they would look at me like I was demanding to park my car in their baby and toddler infested waiting room or something”.
With reproductive medicine not wanting to break ranks and actually serve the patient, the tens of thousands of dollars many patients pay to not get pregnant apparently does not include on site sharps disposal.
Other reports confirm that infertiles do indeed get treated like shit by pretty much everyone, even the people they give their money to.
So amid fertility treatments and surgical procedures, Chamberlin had to constantly track down used sharps containers which the drug supplier kept forgetting to send her, and in the meantime kept her used sharps in paper bags and old cleaning containers. This is a grand public service all too often overlooked, as Chamberlin and many other infertiles go to great lengths to not reuse their sharps on people as they are brought to rage daily by their cluelessly self-centered fertile world counterparts.
“In grieving the loss of your children yet again, some things just aren’t on your radar screen” Chamberlin says as she stands sadly at the door of the room that was supposed to be the nursery. Referencing the refuse from her excessive drug protocol, she continues. “At times it’s like, what needles? This room was in constant danger of looking like a friggen heroin den.”
An extra container showed up with the drugs for her last fertility treatment, this one un-needed, thus giving her an extra of which to dispose.
At one point during the purge, Chamberlin waives two IV poles around in bewilderment. “But, I’m not even sick…” she says as she looks quizzically at the two poles, one of which was needed for her five intralipid (yes, that’s FIVE FOR NO REASON) infusions. The other was also sent as an extra for her last fertility treatment.
We contacted the medical supply business for comment on their level of efficiency, three different people returned our phone call. The method for recycling still unknown, both IV poles were thrown away.
Not one to hang on to false hope, leftover pregnancy tests and ovulation predictor kits made their way out too. “Get the hell out of my house!! I don’t ever want to see your lying face ever again!!” Chamberlin screamed in a psychotic rage at the ill-fated ovulation predictor kit, memories of the patronizing smiley face emblazoned on her heart forever. Upon calming down Chamberlin explains that in the past four years she got an estimated 46 smiley faces that led to nary a pregnancy. “That really fucks with a person’s head. Sheesh. If they made one for people who have been TTC for more than two years that gave you the god damn finger every time you ovulated, or a skull and crossbones, or a symbol for “just so you know you’re ovulating but you’re still screwed anyway”, that would at least be realistic.”
Chamberlin admits to having fantasized about fertiles taking her no longer needed meds as she chucked them into the trash. “People who pompously say “when you have kids, you’ll understand” should be forced to go on Lupron for the rest of their lives!”
Lupron is an ovarian suppressant that forces one into temporary menopause over the course of mere hours while often causing depression and suicidal urges.
The fruitless remnants from the world of holistic medicine offered up some stiff competition for the world of western reproductive medicine as to which one is more useless.
First, all yoga props had to go. “Namaste my ass,” Chamberlin quips as she wrestles with a pile of bolsters, sandbags, false yoga hope and holier than thou uninformed fertility advice.
Components from her once held high hopes for alkaline diet were all disposed of. Alkaline drops and pee ph test strips which were pointless, wheat barley grass powder that no one should have to mix into a drink unless they are in hell and their only other choice is to swallow fire, and almond butter. Screw almond butter,” Chamberlin sneers. “I’m an open minded eater. There’s like four things on the list of foods in the world I don’t like. I even eat almonds and drink almond milk. Almond butter tastes like someone stepped in shit and then ground their heel down into a deadly combination of almonds and sawdust in a fucking mud puddle. And I’ve got three expired jars because I’m an asshole. Welcome to baby making. AND Almond butter is so friggen expensive I can hardly afford the CLEARLY MORE SANE choice of peanut butter now.”
And as fate would have it she needed to clear some space in her medicine cabinet anyway for toe nail fungus medicine.
“The acupuncturists were sure my cold feet were the cause of my infertility, which makes so much sense being that it turned out I have endometriosis and an unfortunate genetic combination between me and my husband, so, I kept my feet covered all the time like a good little patient. I now have big toe nail fungus as a result” Chamberlin reported.
Studies that prove cold feet prevent pregnancy outright in women year after year after year could not be located. The field of acupuncture was busy warming feet and could not be reached for comment.
What someone trying to conceive will do is apparently limitless. Chamberlin’s alkaline diet came from an ayurvedic consultation where it was also suggested to her that she and her husband abstain from sex for 21 days before ovulation, and then to make the sex that followed “romantic”. “I looked at the lady like she was suggesting I go to the moon with no oxygen. She then changed it to fourteen days, since this apparently is not an exact science and I was still all like what in the hell? Let’s get one thing straight, if I have sex 21 days after not having it, there would be no romance involved. That would be a purely desperate situation. Plus, my cycles are often 26 days. I ain’t no math whiz, but doesn’t that equal, like, practically no sex? When you don’t get a baby, sex and wine are all you have left. Professionals working in this field really should know that. It’s not like that’s hard to understand or anything”.
Chamberlin and her husband tried this anyway, once, abstaining for fourteen days. In addition to again not getting pregnant, they found themselves also generally wanting to strangle people and thus resumed having regular sex.
The ayurvedic world declined to comment, and upon being told that wishful thinking does not qualify as actual evidence, shockingly failed to provide proof of any kind that “romantic sex” is more likely to produce a pregnancy.
However, much evidence that holistic modalities are adept at getting infertiles to chase their tails was indeed sited by our reporters.
The removal of egg quality supplements from the home was remarkably time consuming, although Chamberlin did plow through bottle after bottle with a vengeance rarely shown by other members of the human race. At the end of her purge she picked up a particular bottle and scoffed “Oh, look at this shit, no one would ever guess the cost of THIS on The Price is Right”, informing the entire crew that Life Extension “Mitochondrial and Co Q 10 what the fuck” cost upwards of $100 per bottle. “After our tenth and final fertility treatment failed and we knew we were not going to get to have children, I kept these out of guilt, telling myself I should finish them off on the account of their cost alone. Well, forget it, it’s not happening.”
In addition to all of the supplements she took, frequently exposing herself to her husband’s genetics orally (as part of the supposed remedy for their unfortunate combination of HLA allele genes) was included in her protocol for IVF #’s 3, 4, and 5. “It’s clear I’ve swallowed enough” Chamberlin stridently declares as she tosses her supplements, worthy of a small fortune. “Hindsight is 20/20. I would have been better off investing in gold. Or real estate. But in clearing out my supplements I now have space for a new couch, so I guess that’s good.”
The kitchen brings more frustration and blasts from the past. “What the hell is Nettles tea anyway? Does anyone even know? I got it from some dipshit midwife, which I now know is actually the last type of person who would know anything about baby making”.
Preliminary research does show that the brains of midwives are comprised of approximately 30% baby dust. Further studies need to be conducted.
Not wanting to perpetuate the stereo type that infertiles are indigestibly bitter, Chamberlin offers a concession. “Ok, ok, I suppose Nettles tea could help people get pregnant. Unicorns could come flying over my house and crap rainbows on my front lawn too.”
Down on their patio, Chamberlin calls up to her husband, “Honey, honey? Weren’t we told once that our patio furniture would help get us pregnant? Do we have to throw that away too?
Julio Velasquez, 38, couldn’t hear his wife over the rattle of capsules and bottles of semen enhancer supplements he was wading through. “I do nuh know how da hell I get all dees fudheakin cudap” (Spanglish for ‘I do not know how in the hell I got all of this freakin crap’), Velasquez, one of seven children himself and normally calm and placid, sputters.
Early on in their journey lab analysis confirmed that male factor infertility is not the cause of the couple’s inability to get pregnant.
He later assures that no, patio furniture is one of the few things in their midst that no one actually managed to connect to getting pregnant. “Maybe I should market it as such then,” Chamberlin muses. “I mean, look how long it took us to figure out none of this other nonsense works….by the time people figure out there is actually no connection between patio furniture and getting pregnant, we’ll have made a financial killing. Or at least we will have gotten back some of our $77,000 reproductive medicine, the health care system, drug companies, and holistic medicine now have in their possession”.
Her positive feelings over the purge come to a screeching halt when she realizes their wine is in jeopardy. “Oh, no. No. Noooooooooo……” Chamberlin shrieks in an all too normal border line alcoholic infertile conniption. She slumps to the floor as she recalls all of the times stupid turdy fertile people told her to “make sure to enjoy sex” and “have a glass of wine” in order to get pregnant; the isolation from these clueless comments alone leaving her feeling permanently exiled from the human race. “Enjoy sex? Duh, thank you Sherlock. And really, I’m one of the last people in need of prompting to open a bottle of wine. Why on earth would these women ever think I’d need THEIR permission?” Chamberlin desperately queries in her grief stricken stupor. TTC really does threaten to ruin everything good in life. In the name of all of the wine she ended up going without during her two week waits, along with quiet hopes of preserving a few shreds of sanity, Chamberlin decides to keep wine in the house.
The vast ripple effects of false hope find themselves in other random locations in the Chamberlin Velasquez household. Chamberlin runs across a C cup bra in her drawer, used when she was on progesterone, the only thing on earth that could ever turn her into a C cup. Progesterone is known as the “mental illness” hormone in infertile circles. After weighing it carefully she decides persistent homicidal tendencies are not worth having slightly bigger tits. The C cup makes its way to the trash.
The couple now has to add a new paper shredder to their TTC tab after having worn out their other one while obliterating their almost four years of medical records and Sarah’s BBT charts. Chamberlin may hold the coveted record for highest number of logged basal body temps, but unfortunately the sensitive nature of the evidence led to its rapid and premature demise.
The purge hit its low point upon the rediscovery of Doreen Virtue Angel Oracle Cards. Chamberlin held her own head down in shame. “A psychic told me to get these and that they would help guide me. But the truth is there is nothing or no one that can predict who has a baby, or explain why some people don’t get to. I hope one day the world can accept this truth. In the meantime, I hope I never ever let anything turn me into such a brainwashed pile of sludge ever again.”
Conventional wisdom says that one will “feel better knowing they at least tried everything”. “That’s because conventional wisdom is a dumbass” Chamberlin informs us. “I don’t feel better. My efforts make me feel like an insecure pile of scum sucking failure. REMOVING the evidence of everything I tried is the first step to feeling like a friggen human being again.”
“Screw this shit. Seriously. Screw it!” Chamberlin says.
Refusing to succumb to societal pressure that good people should be willing to opt out of anything right and normal in life, and accept the possible outcome of total self-annihilation all in the pursuit of parenthood, Chamberlin and Velasquez have found themselves recently twice in Vegas and are headed to New Orleans in the near future. Should they be able to locate the other one or two places left in the United States of America that are actually not families with kids centric, in their continued effort to “screw this shit” they will go there too.
They are not able to travel outside of the country due to Velasquez’s immigration status, what with immigration reform being yet another thing society and lawmakers have gotten completely wrong.
Although the “whens” of immigration reform and health insurance reform for the disease of infertility are still anyone’s guess, talks to expand the Staten Island Landfill as well as other landfills across the USA are underway as other infertiles, mad as hell and not taking it anymore, are cleansing their homes of the TTC mirage.
Writer’s Note: This piece came from the list of things we got rid of as my husband and I spent literally hours stripping our home of triggering and supposed baby making aides last spring, just months after our final failed fertility treatment. “It’s stunning how many things are supposed to help you get pregnant that actually don’t” I commented to my husband, and later made a list entitled “The Shit I Threw Away”. Thanks to The Onion for inspiring this piece, which ended up being my very first attempt at satirical writing.
12 thoughts on “New York Infertiles Purge Homes of TTC Items, Talks to Expand Staten Island Landfill Have Ensued”
I love this! All of the qualities of a good post, in my opinion (the f word, wine, sex, sarcasm, bitterness, and a unicorn thrown in for good measure).
This post is rather timely for me as we have been doing some spring cleaning and purging over the last couple of days. Low and behold I found a box with pregnancy and ovulation tests in it that I’d completely forgotten about. So I did what any self-respecting, logical, extremely bitter infertile would do-I took the box outside and smashed every damn one of them to smithereens with a hammer. And then I threw them in the trash can, because, you know, I don’t have to worry about recycling and saving the earth for future generations (now that’s some infertile logic right there). There is one closet that I can’t face yet so my default coping strategy its to pretend that it isn’t there.
Yes, aside from the absence of the word asshatery, I guess it does have all of the good stuff…..
The image of you (even though I’ve never met you) smashing preg. tests and op’s with a hammer settles me somehow. When I see it in my mind’s eye it just looks so…..right. It’s so awesome you did that!!
I hear you on the recycling. I went through a phase last year where I’d actually have to fight myself NOT to put plastic in the trash. If I cursed at the earth that often sufficed as the tradeoff to get me to recycle.
This post is GOLDEN! I couldn’t have said anything better. Scull and crossbones OV tests…forced Lupron on fertiles. I purged all of my TTC stuff about a year ago and it was freeing. We live in a world that unfortunately very few understand. Found your blog not too long ago and I am such a fan. Seems that few have the courage to write about life after TTC. It is a journey that I think most of us are still trying to figure out. Please keep doing what you do!
I really appreciate that, it helps to know I’m fumbling through this journey with others somehow.
All of the efforts I made to try to conceive ended up being traumatizing and decimating…so naturally I had to mock and laugh at them all. What else is there to do? And the physical reminders….that they were everywhere I turned in my house was such a depiction of the absurdity of it all. So glad someone else is enjoying my twisted head:-)
Good to hear you got rid of your TTC items. Running into them every day can be pummeling even if we think we are used to it.
This. Post. Is. So. Funny! it’s funny coz its true!
I’m sorry you had to go through all those terrible things. Seems to me that people really told you all kinds of crap in hope of getting you pregnant. I hear you. I’m going through infertility treatments right now and my family and friends are even like: “really? should you not try to conceive naturally for a while? If you just relaxed a little…” It’s been 1 year and 8 months now. I would love to see them trying so long and not get help from a clinic.
Love your cleaning up, it also helps my mind to throw away things. Thanks for sharing your feelings, more people must do that. I think that the world is simply too unaware of infertility issues and can’t cope with this problem so that’s why all these people (I’m reffering to your other blogposts) tell you all those shitty things all the time.
Hi Littledragon, thanks for your comment!
I elected to engage in a lot of holistic modalities and I had such faith that they would work – that part of it I guess I have to own. The holistic world lacks clarity on the difference between increasing one’s fertility and treating infertility, this manifests into many misconceptions (on more than one level!). I do think acupuncture and perhaps some other modalities have the potential to stack the fertility deck in one’s favor, but they are not able to pinpoint and treat most of the underlying causes of real infertility. Our deck was so stacked it crashed down on our heads, apparently. I did find the holistic practices useful in the self care department so I would recommend them in moderation to that end – I do think some of the things I did helped to balance my system as I ran the most depleting marathon of my life.
The response of your family and friends is all too normal as I’m sure you know. Can you imagine if you waited a year and eight months to seek medical attention for any other bodily malfunction? You’d be considered negligent and utterly in denial!
I am hopeful though that the world’s awareness of infertility and all of its ramifications will one day be up to par.
Brilliant! Love how you’re the protagonist here. There is nothing quite so cleansing and liberating as getting rid of items that carry so much baggage.
I had never addressed and then processed the TTC items in our home as a whole until last year’s clean out. The complete picture told a tragic story….but since it was absurd beyond reason I also found the entire thing hilarious.
I cannot begin to tell you how much this meant to me this week. The absurdity of it was just perfect. I literally was reading portions out loud while my husband gave me what may well be my last PIO shot (failed transfer — after countless failed cycles beforehand).
Dear Jen, Glad my twisted brain could provide a shed of “assistance” during such an excruciating time. The absurdity of my trying to conceive life was every bit as impactful as the heartache, compounded by the harsh truth the outside world doesn’t get it. I always say, when I tell people I went through one surgery and ten failed fertility treatments I may as well have told them I went to the beach and picked my nose.
I’m sorry for your losses. There is no magic bullet, I do know that being gentle with yourself is better than not.
The big bonfire was worth the coughing fits and burning eyes as I destroyed all evidence of our failed treatments.
Yeah, tripping over that stuff was slowly killing me. I’m loving the vision of a towering raging fire in relation to this experience…..