Two Good Eggs

Two cracked eggs find the sunnyside (and funny side) of trying to conceive

How do you know when to stop?

Recognizing personal limitations is one of the hardest things to do.

My husband’s grandmother is elderly and sickly.  She lives alone in a home that needs repair.  She forgets to eat.  She forgets to take her meds.  Yet, she wants to remain in her home.  How can she tell herself it’s time to stop?  Time to stop caring for herself, and let someone else help?

My uncle has been diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s Disease.  He’s cognizant of most things, but has momentary lapses in memory or presence.  His favorite thing to do is drive his old truck.   It’s too dangerous for him to do this at all, much less alone.   Yet, he feels capable.  How can he make the decision to stop doing the one thing he loves?  To give up his independence?

It’s easy for other people to see when it’s time.  When loved ones have had enough.  When they’ve reached the limits of their capabilities.  When they need to move on, walk away, let go.

It’s not so easy for the person holding on.

This weekend was tough for me.  It was the one year anniversary of my miscarriage.  Last year, on Good Friday, I found myself in the ER at almost 6 weeks pregnant, in excruciating pain.  Last Good Friday I was released from the hospital and told there was nothing to do but wait out the inevitable.  Last Easter, through a painted on smile, I soldiered through Easter celebrations at my home as my uterus shed all evidence of a pregnancy no one knew about.

A year later, the wound has healed, but the emotional scar remains.  A year later, we celebrated Easter with the same family members again.  A year later, on Easter Sunday, I got my period.  A painful, bloody reminder of what I haven’t been able to achieve over the past year; of what I lost a year ago.

A painful reminder of the past 16 months of unsuccessful attempts at having another baby.  Of giving my sweet boy the sibling for which he continues to ask.

How much more can I take?  How many more months do I try, and fail?  How do I know when it’s time to stop?  Every time I think I can let it go, to settle in to the life we have and accept the cards I’ve been dealt, I find that I’m wrong.  I see the signs of ovulation, and think “maybe, maybe this is the month.”

I think it would be easier to let go and move on if I was just harboring the pain.   But, I’m harboring pain mixed with hope.  That’s a strange cocktail to imbibe.  When the bitter pill is wrapped in the sweet coating of hope, you keep swallowing the pill.

How do you know when to stop?

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Russian Dolls and US Weekly drive me to drink

Sorry folks.  I dropped off the planet.   First of the year is always a little nutty for me in my “day job” – and this year in particular was more crazy than usual.

You see, I got promoted at work (yay, me!).  And that changed my job scope and volume tremendously.  This has become a good distraction for me in this whole baby-making adventure.  It was working wonderfully!

Until last week.

Remember the Jennifers?  The ones who do everything together, including (apparently) ovulating and sexing?  The ones who waddled past my office together to the bathroom every day for 9 months last year, and all went on maternity leave at one time?

Yeah.  They’re pregnant.  Again.  And yes, I said “they.”

I know you recall my Christmas Party from Hell where they’re non-Jennifer friend announced her pregnancy just before Christmas (and the same day I got my period).  Well, a month later, one of the Jennifers announced she was pregnant again (after only being back from maternity leave 3 months).  She sent it out in a weird “thumbprint” email announcement– her thumbprint, her husband’s thumbprint, her baby’s thumbprint making a little flower.  And, yes, I got my period the same day she announced.

The good news is, when the next pregnancy announcement came, I didn’t get my period.  Not because I didn’t get my period at all – THAT would be absurd.  It was because the next one came a mere TWO weeks later.    Another Jennifer.  Pregnant again.    She told us by way of an email depicting three little Russian dolls decreasing in size – Lindsay Beth (due in July!!), Jennifer 1 (due in August!!) and Jennifer 2 (Due in September!!!).

I came home and turned into the girl from the Exorcist – screaming, throwing up pea soup on anyone who came near me.  I get on Facebook (with wine in hand) to try to distract myself from the day’s announcement, when what do I see?

ANOTHER teammate announcing her pregnancy on Facebook.  Except SHE created a personal US Weekly cover to announce the news.  What IS IT with these people?  When did pregnancy announcements become the new birth announcements?

Next thing I know we’ll be getting professionally designed cards in the mail proclaiming, “WE OVULATED!”  or “WE UNFROZE THE SPERM!”  or simply “WE SCREWED LAST NIGHT!”

For those keeping score at home, that’s FOUR women on my team (of only 20 people) who are all pregnant and due between July and September.  FOUR.  THREE of whom announced within 2 weeks of one another; TWO of whom announced the same.damn.day.  People.  I can’t make this shit up if I tried.

Remember when I said I was getting better at dealing with it?

Yeah.  Just kidding.

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Are you there, God? It’s me, Scrambled.

Previously, I wrote about how I must be on this Earth solely to be comic relief for God.  And while I do enjoy making people laugh, I’m kind of over being His punching bag.

It ain’t funny anymore.

Ok, it sort of is.  A little.  But only 3 weeks after it happens, and a lot of wine has been imbibed.

Before Christmas, I promised to tell you how AF arrived in the worst possible way.  Well, here goes.

First, I need to set the stage.  I once told you about all the many pregnant women around me at work.  Last year, three women on my hall had a baby.   No lie – the mothers were all named some variation of Jennifer (Jennifer, Jenny and Jen).  They all sat next to one another, and always – repeat, always – walked waddled to the bathroom together.  Always right past my office.

Finally, they all had their damn babies, went on maternity leave and I had 12 weeks of unpregnant bellies crowding me in the bathroom.

Fast-forward – now, it’s Christmas and time for our annual department Christmas lunch.  I’m officially three days late for my period and somewhat hopeful that maybe, just maybe, this month we nailed it (so to speak).   I live by the motto “Drink til it’s pink” – so I was enjoying a few vodka tonics with my friends while we awaited the beginning of the party.   My three girlfriends/coworkers and my “work husband” were all standing around shooting the shit.  The convo went something like this:

Friend A:  wait… I thought that was Jennifer?

Friend B:  No, that is Jenny.

Work Husband:  Which one is the red head and looks about 12 years old?

Me:  That’s Jen.

Work Husband:  Well, which one is the really skinny one?

Friend A:  That’s Jenny.

Friend C:  Shit.  I thought the one with the curly hair was Jenny?

Me:  No, that’s Lindsay Beth.

Work Husband:  Oh yeah… she’s the hot one.

[silence as we all stare at him]

Friends A, B, C and me:  You think SHE is hot?

Work Husband:  Well, she’s got a nice ass.

Me:  I thought MY ass was the only one you’re allowed to look at (noting that his wife gives him permission to be my work husband, and occasionally Friend B’s work husband, too).

Work Husband:  Have you SEEN her in a pair of jeans?

Just when we’re all about to tear into him about his admiration of Lindsey Beth’s denim ass, we hear the *ting ting ting* of a knife on a wine glass as our department head kicks off our Christmas lunch with a poem she wrote about our department getting bigger this year with the addition of two new groups, and then she slowly added, “Annnnnd, speaking of GROWING…”

People – I kid you not.  I became short of breath.  I started to sweat.  The room shrank.  The sides went dark.  I was in a tunnel of DON’T FUCKING SAY IT, WOMAN!

And, in what sounded like whale-speak, in slow motion she said, “We’re about to have another baby in the group!  Congratulations…. LINDSEY BETH.”

are you KIDDING ME?  Are.  You.  Kidding.  Me.  First, her ass trumps mine, and now her uterus does, too?!

BITCHASS.

In that moment, I hear work husband let out a long, slow, SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH of an exhale and he muttered, “Well, THAT was the worst.  possible. cosmic.  timing.  EVER.”

I turned and said, “YOU DID THIS!  YOU MADE THIS HAPPEN!”

Work Husband:  I’m pretty sure I didn’t.

Me:  Well, I hope you enjoy her ass as it gets big as hell.    And I stormed to the bar.

When I returned to the table, work husband looked sheepish and sad and truly sorry.  It became laughable at that moment, because he was acting like maybe he DID do it… which made me giggle.  But only a little.

So, I soldiered on through the party.  But when it was over, I was near my breaking point.  I desperately needed to go scream, cry, punch something.  I needed to be alone.   I said my goodbyes, polished off my drink, and headed to the parking lot.

En route to my car, I STARTED MY PERIOD.

Kids, I can’t make this shit up.

I let it all out.  Sobbed in public stumbling to my car through tear-filled eyes and didn’t care who saw.  I sat behind the wheel before cranking the car and just let out a big ol’ rebel yell.  Except, unlike Billy Idol, I cried, “NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE.”

And from there, I screamed til I was hoarse.  I begged God to answer me:

WHY DO YOU HATE ME?

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING FROM THIS?

TELL ME WHAT TO DO!

By the time I got home, I was all cried out and without a voice.  In a sick, mental way, it was cathartic to just let it all out.  It also helped that two days later, Sunnyside came to visit and we put all this behind me.

Over the holiday, I let go of some anger, let in some perspective and just tried to be happy in my current life.  I have no idea what 2013 is going to hold, but I’m hoping that God will allow me a little hiatus from his Comedy Troupe, at the very least.

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Just when I thought I’d heard it all…

Tis the season for Christmas cards, holiday parties and seeing family you haven’t seen in a while.  The loving, caring, interested, nosy, entitled, uncensored family.

We’ve posted several times about the ridiculous things people say to you about having a baby.  Whether it’s the “helpful” advice about how to get past your infertility issues or the Spanish inquisition about why you haven’t had a baby (or another baby), one thing is for sure.  Most people are annoying.

Last weekend, I went to our annual extended family Christmas gathering.  I’m the youngest grandchild of a litter of kiddos.  I came from the youngest of seven siblings – so my aunts and uncles range from 85 on down to 60.  The older they are, the more ridiculous things they say.

I hugged the neck of my oldest aunt, and said, “Merry Christmas!”

She replied in her squeaky, nasally tone, “Are you done?”

“Done?  Done with… work?  My company is closed from Christmas Eve to the New Year – so, just a few more weeks.”

She looked confused.  “No.  Done having babies.”

Sigh. Queue canned answer that is only half true, but is the safest one I have:   “I don’t know… we’re just enjoying life, and enjoying [kiddo] while he’s small.  Maybe one day.”

She now looked confused, and annoyed.  “He’s too old!!  You’re waiting too long.  Don’t wait too long – or I’ll be dead before you have another one and I’ll never see it.”

I’ll.  Be.  Dead.

And as I try to digest this ridiculous conversation, her eyes fill up with tears.  She’s truly upset by the fact that she may die before I have another baby.  At which point, I just had to walk away, because guess what.  SO AM I.  I’m afraid I may die before I have another baby, too. 

So then, I sit down to eat dinner and am just glad to be away from that conversation.  I’m approached by one of my many first cousins – this one is in her early 50s, never married and living with her twin sister (also never married).  She asks, “Are you going to have any more babies?”

WHY THE HELL do people think it’s ok to ask this?  Why don’t they ask, “How’s work?” or “Do you like your new house?” or “Are you traveling for the holidays?”  Shit – I’d rather you ask, “Why’d you cut your hair?” or “What’s hanging out of your nose?” than to ask me if I’m having another baby.

I sigh, and reply again, “Maybe one day… we’re just enjoying him while he’s still young.  He’s so much fun, and we want to devote our time to him right now.”  To which she said, “But, he’s FOUR already.”     OH SHIT – really????  He’s FOUR?  How the HELL did I not know this?  Let me throw DH down next to the Christmas Ham and get things rolling NOW.

At this point, I’d had it, and I snapped, “Well, sometimes it’s not as easy to do as you may think.”

Her eyes got big and I saw the “Oh shit” flash through her head.   VICTORY!

She then softened and said, “I’m sorry.”  And then I felt it.  The prick of tears behind my eyes.  DON’T DO IT.  DON’T DO IT!

Damn it.  I did it.  I cried.  Fuck me.

And then she began asking sweet questions, and pointedly asked me if I’d miscarried.  So, I didn’t lie.  And she was kind.  It actually felt kind of good to talk about it.  The more I talk about it, the easier it seems to process it all.

It was in that moment that I realized something.  I don’t mind if people inquire… as long as they don’t do it like an asshole.

Progress.

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‘Tis the Season…for Baby Announcements

Amidst the rich foods, lights, football and parades part of my mind inevitably wanders to children during the holidays. I think of my friends who are celebrating their first Thanksgiving with a new little one and the ones whose children are old enough to really enjoy these weeks. I envy the parents rushing about to buy gifts for their tots and their efforts to hide every last one until Santa arrives. I want to develop a tradition and revel in the excitement, but until we have a little one of our own, the holidays just don’t feel the same. And no amount of bourbon-spiked egg nog can change that. Well, maybe a large amount for a brief reprieve.

Oh, great. Christmas Shoes just came on the radio. It’s my favorite, but geez does it get me!


…and it’s a song from a child’s perspective. Even better.

The holidays are a tough time for those who are longing in some way. 
-The twenty-something who will miss Christmas with her family for the first time because she can’t take off work.
-The infertile couple.
-The man who lost his mother earlier this year.
-The family who cannot afford gifts for their children due to a recent job loss.
In spite of the joy and hope in the air, it can be a difficult few months for many of us, for many reasons.

But guess what?! It’s also a very happy time as couples announce engagements…and pregnancies. Oh, joy! I had a conversation with my Dad on Thanksgiving about how rough this holiday season may be for us even though we’re stepping off the baby-making wagon for a few months. I was terrified to check Facebook because I KNEW there would be baby announcements. The same announcement I had planned to make if I were pregnant. (Side note: I will NOT make any type of baby announcement publicly during the holidays to protect fragile folks like me in the future.)

My announcement will look something like this…

And sure enough….

When He taketh one, He giveth one…..

July 2013 our family will welcome yet another blessing! Our God is AMAZING!

(Maybe wait a week to announce your new bundle after Grammy passes?? Just an idea…)

And another…

[Husband, daughter] and  I would like to announce what we are most thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend…the newest addition to our family! “Nugget” is due to arrive June 5, 2013 and we could not be more excited!

…and go ahead and pass me a noose.

And another today…yeesh…

Well [daughter] may get her Christmas wish after all… I’m Pregnant!!!!

Congrats, ladies. I’m thankful for your fertility and openness. God bless!

I’m sure there will be more before the ball drops in NYC. Guaranteed. 

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‘Tis the season for happy family moments and announcements. I just need to find some of my own, without children.

“So excited to announce that this Christmas I will polish off several bottles of wine, chase them with White Russians, cry while singing sad carols, binge on a giant cheese ball platter, and sleep ’til noon… five days in a row…because I can.” 

I dont need those glasses. Straight from the bottle is fine.

Obviously, food and spirits do the trick for me 😉 What gets you through the holidays when your unfulfilled wish is a little one? 

PS: I’m so grateful for all of you. Though we have not met, each of you has helped me through a very trying time and I’m extremely thankful for your support. 

Just please don’t do this…

umm..no. No.

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Suggestion Box at Maximum Capacity

Deciding how and to whom we open up about TTC and fertility problems, and how we will deal with the responses is a real and difficult part of struggling to conceive.

I’m a very open person. Yes, I understand that’s a bit ironic since I’m writing under a pseudonym. 🙂 I find comfort in conversation, but this topic has been a tricky one for me.  Like many women, talking it out makes me feel better, but for some odd reason people squirm, avert their eyes, and blurt a hackneyed phrase as soon as the words “We have been trying for a while” leave my lips.  It’s as though I have told them I’m growing a tail and will be featured in a Discovery Channel documentary with my new appendage. “Weird Science: Woman grows tail, but no baby.” It’s SO awkward. Why? Millions of couples are struggling with the same thing, but if you talk about it in real life, you’re quickly led to believe infertility is a rare, horrible condition and you’re served a fat platter of pity and poor suggestions. Thank goodness for the blogosphere to keep us sane and help us realize we’re not alone or (completely) crazy.

I appreciate the genuine, heartfelt suggestions and words of encouragement, but they can be easily lost in the giant pile of crap dealt out by the majority.  Just when I think it’s safe to bring it up, it backfires and I want to shove feet in everyone’s mouth, including my own. After nearly a year, I’ve learned the hard way to keep my lips zipped more often than not. It’s unfortunate, really.

When someone shares a job loss, death in the family, or serious problem in their life, the responses are generally sympathetic, despite the sensitive and unfortunate nature of the situation. We listen, take pause, and carefully craft a loving, albeit brief, response. We often hear or say:
I’m so sorry. What can I do to help?
I’m here for you, no matter what.
What do you need right now?
Will it help you if I give you some space or would you like to talk about it?
I love you and I know you’ll get through this.
You’re a very strong person, but lean on me as much as you need to.
Do you want to go somewhere and get your mind off things for a while?

Why is the topic of infertility not dealt with in a similar fashion? I think any of those responses would be received well by most men and women struggling with conception.

Now, lets talk infertility. You share your story or mention your struggle to a friend, coworker, or family member. What do you hear in response?

Have you heard any of these?

I’m sure it will happen soon. 

At least you can have fun trying. 

Ooooh, fertility treatments are expensive. If you can’t afford that, how do you plan to afford a child?

Maybe you’re just thinking about it too much.

Maybe you’re trying too many things. 

Sometimes it just takes a while. Be patient. 

Have you thought about changing your diet? Exercising? Relaxing?

You guys are young. I’m sure nothing’s wrong. 

Are you sure you want to have kids? 

Are you sure he wants to have kids?

Why is now a good time to have a baby? 

Your job is too stressful. 

You can’t plan your whole life around TTC. Let it happen naturally. 

Oh, that sucks.  Did you see Suzie’s new baby? So cute!

You know being a parent is going to change your life, right? 

I know how you feel. I had an abnormal pap once.  It was so scary. (WTF?!)

Ugh! WHY do people think this is a good next move??

You’re lucky. I totally wasn’t expecting this pregnancy. I’m so busy already. 

Some people try for years and years. Why are you so stressed already? How are you going to handle it a year from now if you’re still not pregnant?

It’ll be okay. One day. At least you can sleep now. You won’t later. 

You can have my kids!

 

WHAT?! Can you imagine a variation of these statements being offered to someone who lost a job or loved one? I’m not saying that death is the same thing as infertility, but there is a common emotional thread that runs through both. We experience a degree of sadness, denial, anger, frustration, emotional outburst, failure, stress, loneliness, and a sense of loss with infertility, death, and job loss. I wish others better understood the emotional correlation. I know who to lean on now, after much trial and error, but maybe if people were more delicate in their approach, I wouldn’t be so reluctant to speak up. Until that time comes, my suggestion box is at maximum capacity. I can’t take another “just get over it, no big deal” offering. I’m at my limit.

What are your thoughts? (My suggestion box is wide open to you guys!)

(I just said my box is wide open.)

(Thats what she said.)

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The lucky ones who get pregnant…

A friend just witnessed this…

Some people suck! That poor child…I hope that Virginia Slim is worth it.

 

I’m appalled! I will refrain from repeating what I initially said when I received this photo.

I was nice and cropped out her “pretty” little head…

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[Un]Happy Infertility Anniversary

Another month has come and gone.  And, with the appearance of AF today, another dream is squashed.

This month marks our one-year anniversary of trying to conceive Baby 2.

I’m defeated, and broken.  Sad and numb.

And, as if the universe wanted to flip me a second middle finger in one day, this is what I found on the shelf when I went to buy tampons today.  Consider your audience, people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Middle finger] right back atcha.

So, now we drop back and punt.  We consider our next steps, which may include pursuit of IVF.  Stay tuned for the next steps of our journey.

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I just gave Judd Apatow his next movie scene (aka, there’s nothing romantic about TTC)

In pop-culture – movies, TV, books – getting pregnant is portrayed in one of two ways:

1) A beautiful miracle resulting from a gloriously romantic night of passion, love and plans for a future.  One beautiful night, followed by one simple pregnancy test read together sitting on the edge of the bed, a single tear trickling from your eye.

2) A hilarious train wreck as scripted by Judd Apatow.

I’m pretty sure after this weekend, Baby #2’s baby book will mysteriously be missing the “where you were conceived” page.

I’ve already told you about my baby-making lab – the OPKs, the BBT thermometer, pee cups, Preseed and after-sex pillow.  So, you know that this journey hasn’t been one fit for a Lifetime movie.

This weekend, I hit an all-time low.

     Friends, that is my OPK strip.  Stuck to the side of my bathtub.

    I was feeling under the weather, and wanted to take a bath.  While the water was running, I POAS and brought it with me to the tub to await the reading.  I guess I sloshed some water and the OPK went overboard.  I couldn’t find it anywhere, and thought for sure it was going to circle me like a tiny little boat in the tub.  As I got out, I saw it stuck to the side of the tub.  All.time.low.

You might be obsessed with TTC if you take your OPKs to the bathtub with you.

As I regained my composure (and promptly texted Sunnyside with my faux paus), I thought to myself, “Wow.  I’ve hit an all-time low.  It doesn’t get any worse than this.”

Oh, I was wrong.

My ovulation has been completely jacked this cycle.  After TEN days of fertile CM, and four days of positive OPKs, I still have not ovulated.  But, I was pretty sure that this weekend would be our last opportunity before the O-ship sailed.  We were unable to get busy on Saturday or Sunday due to family staying at our house.  Last night, both DH and I were under the weather and agreed we’d go to sleep and BD first thing this morning before work, and before our 4-year-old woke up.  DH had a migraine last night, so he slept in the guest room in an effort to let me sleep.  He slinked in at 6:30am and said so romantically, “Are we gonna do this or what?”

I sighed and said, “Yes, let’s get to it before he wakes up.”

We proceeded to fire up the baby lab.  Preseed inserted, sex pillow in place, let’s do it.  As SOON as we started getting busy (in a spooning position), we hear our bedroom door open.  In walks little man, dragging his blanket behind him.  Half-asleep, he just crawled into bed next to me and went back to sleep.  DH and I were frozen like two dogs stuck together and didn’t know what to do.  So, I did what I always do in awkward situations.  I start giggling.

And DH’s little friend retreated in humiliation.  Clearly we couldn’t go on with little man asleep in the bed with us.  That was just… wrong… even for Judd Apatow.

This is truly our last dance of the month…all signs point to this being our last chance for another two weeks.   Carpe Diem!

So I whisper-bark, “Go to the bathroom.  Go!  I’ll meet you in there!”

Confused, and totally disturbed, DH runs to the bathroom.  I get ready to get up and little man sleepily says, “Where you going?”  I tell him to go back to sleep, I’m just going to potty.

I meet DH in the bathroom and lock the door behind me.  We stare at each other for a minute – him buck naked; me only wearing a t-shirt.  Suddenly, I can’t stop laughing.  After looking around the bathroom helplessly, I take command of the situation and bend over to hold onto the side of the bathtub.

“C’mon.  Hurry let’s do this.  It won’t take long.”

Suddenly, DH can’t “perform” because he thinks little man can hear us on the other side of the door, even though he’s back asleep in our bed.  So, we retreat further to the toilet room in our bathroom and close that door.  The only thing to grab hold of is the toilet tank.  So, I do.  And, careful not to clear off the baby-lab provisions that reside on the window sill (Preseed, BBT thermometer, used pee cups, faded OPK strips, a fertility monitor), we try to knock this out in record time; but, he’s still afraid little man will hear us.  Things are not progressing.

So, I did the only thing that made sense to break the silence.  I flushed the toilet.

That did the trick.  We exited the bathroom, mentally recorded a little heart on our TTC chart, and went about our morning.

I realized at that moment that if this is a successful month for us,  I have just secured a life-long inferiority complex for Baby 2.  You, sweet child, were conceived in a moment of love and adoration … over the toilet.

Judd – you can have the rights to this storyline.  Just pay me enough to send this kid to therapy.

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Wow… do you have a medical degree for that advice?

Sunnyside recently wrote about our surprising cyber sisterhood.  Now, you can see why we’re friends.

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