It’s my very first IUI. The clinic, which is in a hospital, is like a food stamp line in the former USSR. The ultrasound room is in the centre of the floorplan and other offices surround it, and surrounding that on the perimeter is a waiting area and the blood lab. We IUI or IVF women line up to get our gowns, to wait for a change room where there are no lockers or security, waddle through the waiting area in front of hoardes of patients that don’t have anything to do with fertility, and wait in the hallway for one of two seats where our blood is taken. Then we walk back and wait in another part of the hallway, in full view of patients not in those pathetic hospital gowns, for our turn with the wand. I feel like one of those people on a long term care ward, walking around with her gown open at the back, except of course mine isn’t. But other patients still give us querying looks because they’re not in gowns.

Finally I’m in the ultrasound room. But I don’t even get to see the doctor. A nurse and a fellow do everything. Like he knows what he’s doing. He’s a newbie! I’m sent out to change and someone will call me in the afternoon after all the charts have been reviewed with the actual doctor. I am immediately sceptical of this process and it turns out that I have reason to be.

My dose of Clomid is the same as everyone else’s and apparently I’m a super-responder. So my ovaries are blown out and they fiddle and fiddle with my cycle until it’s time for my ovaries to pop. I line up again for the actual insemination, which is done by the nurse and the fellow and it isn’t too bad at all. But I’ve had every possible side-effect. Migraines, dizziness (I was really worried about driving), loss of appetite and more. I’ll skip ahead here and tell you what you must already know: it didn’t work. And the following month, I got cysts from the Clomid, which is a typical side effect but they don’t warn you about it.

What really gets my goat, is that they don’t warn you about anything. Drugs are prescribed and it’s assumed you’ll just take them without question. No one sat me down and explained side effects and no one talked about the possible link to ovarian cancer. And this is an elective process, one for which we pay dearly. I don’t want one of those dear things to be my health.

It’s our second visit to Dr. G. Guess what? We’re normal. Not a thing is wrong with us. We are so relieved, we’re smiling. In fact, we’re a bit smug. Ha! Take that, infertile world! We are normal!

But wait. If we’re normal and nothing is wrong… why is it not working? Dr. G- suggests that we head straight to IVF. Whoa there, Nelly! I am not — repeat, not — interested in invasive in vitro. That is like science fiction and we’re normal, right? Surely there has to be an easier way. In fact, says Dr. G- there is: intrauterine insemination or IUI. Although she recommends using Clomid, the success rates are low, about 10 to 15 percent for unexplained infertile couples. Apparently our diagnosis is “unexplained infertility.” It’s better than having something wrong with one of us, we think. How wrong we are, we find out much, much later. In the world of infertility it is much better to have a problem that can be fixed. But this is in retrospect. Way back at this second visit, IUI sounded like the perfect plan.

The husband is so grateful that I’ll try this — try anything at all — he is floating on cloud nine. Wow. Well, we’ll see how it goes, I think to myself and tell him that this is as far as I’m willing to go. How little did I know.

Thank god I took the day off work. Today was the first step in a horrifyingly undignified process of conception that will culminate in the most degrading act of all: birth. Most people think that having sex is the beginning, but no. I’ve learned – and perhaps I’ve come full circle to grasp hands with the desperate womenfolk desiring pregnancy (except I’m not doing this out of desperation) – that sex is simply a quick, painless tool to achieve the end result.

Somewhere in that process is a whole lot of cold steel, catheters, ultrasound wands and vomiting. If sex isn’t effective, as is our case, we need to find out why. And in this fast-paced world of medicine, my doctor has scheduled all the tests very close together. She’s not waiting to find out about the husband’s sperm motility; she’s having my insides evaluated pronto. I was leery of this at first because, well, it’s an invasive procedure and I’m pretty queasy about these things. After today all I can say is, the husband’s sperm had damn well better be swimming like Olympic medallists for me to have gone through this.

Everyone tells me not to worry, it’s not a big deal, it just seems that way. Well, they are wrong. First of all, I’m in the medical imaging center for hours. The initial ultrasound isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s like sticking a vibrator up there and waving it around for a few good uterine close-ups. But then we get to the tubal patency test, which means a lot of instruments and poking about in a region that generally doesn’t like that kind of interference. Perhaps it’s different for each woman. For me, it takes the doctor five tries to insert the catheter after so much prodding and poking that my cervix is bleeding. At the fifth attempt, I am honestly thinking of telling the two doctors and one tech to just forget the whole thing because I can’t even hold my legs up in those stirrups for another minute (it has been 40 minutes at this point). My legs are aching. And then, the catheter slips in and stays in; but the balloon is inflated, my insides completely revolt and I yell bloody murder. Not intentionally, of course. It’s a bit embarrassing, but it hurts like hell. I can only imagine what birth feels like, and I am not interested in feeling it. What are they thinking, telling me this feels like a mosquito bite? Apparently they’ve never had the procedure, otherwise they’d know that it’s worse than a thousand mosquito bites. It feels more like the worst day of my PMS cramping times a hundred. Of course, my blood pressure plummets, I’m sweating buckets, and my legs are shaking. After the whole thing is over, I’m so faint I vomit. The technician doesn’t even allow me to get up; she makes me lie down for a half hour. She brings me cookies and ginger ale – what an angel – and hails a cab to take me home.

Bottom line: reproductive medicine is barbaric. I can hardly believe that a nose puff has been developed to help men with erectile dysfunction, but no one has thought of a way to anesthetize a woman’s uterus during an invasive, painful procedure.


Oh gosh, it’s time to face the music and even I — the penultimate denier — know it. My husband and I are having a very uncomfortable conversation. It’s the one about seeing a fertility specialist. I desperately do not want to go. The roles here are reversed: usually the man is the one that’s reluctant to get tested. I’ve always been squeamish about medical stuff and now we’re talking about a very private, internal part of my body. Let’s just say the imagery is not enticing.

But the husband is visibly frustrated. Why, oh why, I wonder, can’t things just be easy for once? Why do I always come to the fork in the road where I either have to do something unpleasant in this baby business, or I have to contemplate divorce? It’s a question that will recur many times in the future on this crazy journey. Honestly, I have no idea if divorce is a palatable option to the husband, but I know the stats. The main cause of divorce is money; the second is children. I am painfully aware that marriage is a partnership and that this is one of those huge compromises that I’ll be making if I want to stay married. And I unequivocally do.

This is why we end up in Dr. G’s spartan office that’s painted hospital-issue-peach with its pathetic baby wallpaper trim and 1980s computer monitor that looks like it can’t turn on, never mind compute. Ugh. I am not inspired nor confident. Oh, but she is! She is horrified that we have waited so long to conceive and lectures us on the stats. We leave her office crestfallen, with requisitions for a battery of tests, mostly that I have to do. (One thing I cannot get over is how nice other specialists are and how forceful and superior infertility docs are.)

I don’t know what to think at this point. I am disbelieving of the fact that I could be infertile. I mean, how is this possible? There is no infertility in my family; my mom had her last child in her thirties! Can it be that I’ve reached the past-due date? Are my eggs shrivelled up, grey-haired little things that don’t have the strength to pop out of my ovaries? Am I all cobwebbed and mothballed inside? Has that ambivalence I’ve always felt indeed an indicator of the fact that perhaps I’d never been fertile in the first place?

Well, we are about to find out. Oh joy.


It’s ten months since we started TTC and things are progressing albeit slowly. I think I’m actually with the program now! The husband jokes that for someone that likes change, this is one change I clearly have not wanted. Yep, it’s taken me quite a while to get comfy with the idea of being a mommy. TTC every month is just a matter of fact now; instead of being freaked out at the consequences of pregnancy I am calm. The workouts have helped immensely; besides the endorphin boost, I feel like I’m being proactive. It’s so important for me to know I can control something.

The other thing is that I am starting to notice kidlets everywhere and I see that people manage somehow. I’ve also seen the husband with our friends’ kids and he has such a good time. They adore him. I still do not like other people’s children. Don’t you love it when parents say, When they’re you’re own, it’s different. Actually, not so much apparently. According to G- you do have an innate irrational love for your kids but that doesn’t change the fact that when they are being monstrous little devils, you can have second thoughts! And G- is a real bona-fide mommy. So you see, I have not been worrying about parenthood in vain.

The other way I know I’m with the program is dinner conversations with friends have changed. A few months ago I lost my appetite talking about this and believe me, I am still horrified at times. But here’s an example.

We’re having dinner with same couple from last December and they want to know how it’s going. It’s obvious we’re not yet expecting a little bundle of joy. So they think we need more pointers:

  • Every TTC couple needs a thermometer. The mommy-to-be takes her temperature every morning at exactly the same time and records it in a chart. after about 4 months you’ll get the hang of your ovulatory cycle. Apparently when the temperature is at a certain point you’d better book off some time for TTC sex or you’ll miss your two-day window.

I raise an eyebrow and look at the friend’s wife. She’s a busy lawyer. “Do you have time for this?”

“God, no!” she says. “But some people have sworn by it.”

I know it’s not going to work for me, because I don’t have the time or inclination to do it!

  • Get a pregnancy book; apparently these also come with thermometers and charts and advice — whose advice, I’d like to know?

You know it’s an industry when there are baby-planning books in pink and blue binding at the local book shop. Argh. Are they more informative than the baby boards online? If they’re written by anyone like my doctors then they haven’t got a clue. Besides, why does everyone take such a happy tone in these types of things?

  • Ovulation predictor kits take the guesswork out of the temperature method and they are quite expensive unless you can get them in bulk. I can imagine the mail carrier’s smirk. Although peeing on a stick beats a thermometer.

All this I can handle but here’s the one that makes me choke on my food:

  • Egg whites are your new best friend. If you are beat from trying and just can’t get excited anymore, egg whites are a similar consistency to mucous. Unlike other gels, egg whites won’t hurt hubby’s swimmers.

I guess we haven’t arrived at the point where sex is awful. Wait — this means there actually is such a point. I cannot believe they’re telling us this and secretly hope that  we never have to resort to it otherwise I’ll never eat eggs again.

Oh, dinner table conversation: so honest, so appalling.

Late December

The husband and I are having a big fight. I am absolutely furious with him. It’s only been four months since I went off the Pill and it feels like Everyone Knows. It’s the last thing I want. I want us to feel no pressure. Not from family, or friends, or colleagues. It seems that pressure is the one thing that does not help get anyone pregnant and not that I’m in a hurry, but I don’t want everyone to know about my personal life. I’ve read enough of the desperate mommy web site forums that I know I don’t want people to feel sorry for me if I don’t conceive ‘according to schedule’. I do not want people talking about me behind my back and how ‘sad our situation is.’ I’ve heard enough talk like this to last me a lifetime.

To make things worse, it seems that sometime in the past two months, the husband has let the word slip to his mother. Every time she phones, there is a tentative and slightly insinuating, “Anything new?” I wondered what that was all about until I heard the husband and the mother-in-law on the phone the other night. “No, we’re not pregnant yet,” said the husband. “We haven’t been trying that long. Anyway it’s a major lifestyle change for her, so we’re trying to get her used to the idea.”

I almost freaked out right there.

Then tonight, the husband raises it over dinner. Over dinner, of all places! I almost slide under the table.

The odd thing is, our friends – who are really the husband’s friends so I don’t know them all that well – they were all ears. They are eager to hear all about it. It’s like we’re in some sort of “Trying Couples” club. They have lots of free advice to offer: stories of fabled conceptions, surprise miscarriages, the best herbs, foods, drinks, etcetera. I sit politely and stone-faced throughout this ordeal. I want to change the topic as fast as possible.

As we get into the cab on the way home, I spit my venom. I don’t care that I berate the husband in front of the cab driver.

“Can’t this wait until we get home,” the husband tries to shush me.

“Who cares?” I say. “Everyone else knows! Why not the cab driver?”

“Damn it! You’re blowing this all out of proportion. My mother deserves to know, doesn’t she?” I shoot him a dagger glance.

“No, no she doesn’t”

“Well, she’s my mother and I can tell her things that are important to me.”

“No, you can’t. Not if they have to do with me! This is between you and me and no one else. If someone is curious, that’s too bad. Maybe some day I’ll be comfortable speaking about it, but I am not. Comfortable. Right. Now. Can’t you understand that?”

“Alright, alright,” he sighs. “I guess you’re right. I can see that it’s not fair to you.”

“Damn right, it’s not fair!” I shoot back. “And what’s up with raising the topic with them? This is the 21st century – conception is not a community event!

“Oh c’mon. They’re good people. They care. And I didn’t raise the topic, I’ll remind you. They asked if we’re considering kids and I simply told the truth.”

“Well, sometimes you shouldn’t tell the whole truth,” I say acidly. “Sometimes one should avoid a conversation.”

I run up the five flights of stairs, let myself into the apartment and slam the door. We had agreed we weren’t going to be One of Those Couples…. And here we are. Our intimate details being shared with other couples that want to share their intimate details. I guess the husband got the message, because during the next conversation with the mother-in-law, I hear him telling her that he’ll inform her if we have news, and otherwise not to ask about it.

Sometimes I wonder what to tell my thirty-something friends who long to find their ideal partner and get married. It sounds too precious when I ask them why they desire marriage. Unfortunately, marriage is not the romantic voyage DeBeers makes it out to be. Now that I’m grappling with my feelings about motherhood, I am acutely aware that marriage is, more than anything else, a contractual agreement. That’s why I should have been paying more attention to the priest in our marriage class. I’ve realized that life is a set of circumstances and marriage is a matter of two people’s goals fitting those circumstances at the same time, with some lust sprinkled on top. As a goal in itself, marriage is sublimely absurd. Yet some of my friends – female and male alike – cannot articulate why they strive for it.

I always joke and say, why get hitched? It’s a hassle. Anyway, marriage is not better than being single – it’s just different. Just like the saying the grass is always greener on the other side. You can meet a compatible partner and not get married. But a wedding is always seen as The Next Step. Matrimony is so accepted as an ideal measurement of happiness and fulfilment, that we don’t question it. Instead, we use it as a yardstick to measure ourselves and others. And after marriage, the yardstick is family – how soon, how many, how good, how smart are your kids? There are so many people who want to jump on this train, I always feel like an oddball when I question why the tracks have been laid this way.

Often, I have long discussions with a colleague over lunch. N- just doesn’t understand my ambivalence about marriage and children. Ever since he joined the office, he wanted to know all about my life and how I managed to get married and stay married. This is all coming from a man who is only thirty years old but thinks he has so many issues that he sees a psychiatrist every two weeks. He appears completely normal to me, with exactly the same issues all middle class children have, except perhaps his guilt over being middle class is a bit out of whack. Perhaps it’s his deep Russian soul that’s causing all the trouble.

Actually, I should clarify that I met N- when he was twenty-nine. His complaint was, “I’m turning thirty and I’m not married yet! I’m not even in a long-term relationship.” His constant questions were, How do you meet the right person and how do you have a happy marriage? About my notions, he just said, “But you are married, and you’re happy. How can you have an ambivalent or negative attitude towards something that makes you happy?”

“Marriage doesn’t make me happy. My husband does.”

“Ah, yes, but would you get a divorce just to prove you don’t need marriage?”

“Well, no. I’ve worked hard at my marriage and I’m proud of our relationship. But it was very hard in the beginning. I felt those matrimonial bonds as if they were steel shackles on my wrists. You can’t just do whatever you want whenever you want. You have to put the other person first. Do you have any idea how hard that can be?”

“But one should already do that if one is in love with someone,” he insists.

“Of course, but one shouldn’t feel duty-bound; it should be a by-product of love.”

“My father would say you are like a little bird that flits this way and that,” he jokes.

“Ha! He sounds like my grandmother.”

“I can’t believe it! I get it – I get it, and here you are and you don’t get it, yet I’m the one that’s not married!” he whines.

“Listen, you should stop spending all that money on psychotherapy and spend it on a woman. Then see how fast you’ll get married.”

“Ha, ha. You have no idea how many issues I need resolved.”

“Well, maybe I should see your shrink before I start pulling Lucy Ricardo stunts on my unsuspecting husband.” He arches an eyebrow and gives me a look.

“I’m kidding,” I say. “Really.”

November 3

Okay, I’m not pregnant. This time I’m half relieved, half wistful. Maybe the husband’s constant pestering is getting to me. He has started asking me The Question. “Did you get your period?” It’s so awful when I have to look into his expectant face and tell him yes. His eyes get sort of sad-looking. I’m not sure how many months I can put up with it.

November 19

Last night we had our annual gala and I wore the sexiest slinky slacks and outrageously high and expensive stilettos. I loved that sexy, powerful look. If I get pregnant, will I ever be able to fit into those pants again? Not that I want to wear those same pants exactly, but shrinking back to the same size would be nice.

I refuse to buy into the crunchy granola aesthetic that says it’s okay for a woman to give up her figure, her beauty, her style, in sacrifice to children. Until recently, prevailing logic had it that child-bearing was a beautiful, natural event and that women should settle into it comfortably and without complaint. Women are doing  a goddess-like service to the human race and should embrace their distended bodies and ensuing flabbiness. Interestingly, popular culture (or the Me Generation?) has refuted that line of thought and brought maternity into the modern age. Instead of celebrating the motherhood part, we’re now celebrating the pregnancy part: fitness and style have graduated. There are exercise classes, new sexy maternity wear, magazines, all for moms-to-be. I don’t care whether this is strictly a money grab on the part of savvy trend observers; I think it’s marvellous.

I decide that if I am going to blow up like a balloon, I’d better be fit enough to deflate quickly. A gym membership seems to be the answer. So after checking out a few gyms, I walk into one on the Upper East Side and plunked down my credit card. It’s a beautiful place that caters to the new trend in lifestyle, with the right music, a spa,and the sleek accoutrements to make a person feel she will be beautiful if she belongs here. As soon as the gorgeous wannabe-actor-but-currently-a-gym-membership-sales-associate finishes with my registration I schedule a consultation with a personal trainer.

The next week I meet with Mimi, as cute as her name. She is adorable and lithe, like a dancer. In fact, I find out that she indeed is a dancer so I pump her for all exercises that can give me those sleek dancer legs. I tell her I don’t just want to tone, I want to get fit for pregnancy. Wow, I’m admitting it in public. Am I on the road to acceptance? “Well, that’s very proactive of you,” she says. Indeed.

November 27

I’m rushing to get back to the office after my noontime Pilates class. Not that there is anything pressing, but there is an office baby shower that I should show up for. I really, really hate office parties, in particular wedding and baby showers. The truth is, no one particularly likes the gifts they get at these parties and co-workers are forced to second-guess what an appropriate gift is. For this particular colleague, I went to one of the French baby stores on Madison — only for their convenience — I explain to the husband, whose eyes widen in disbelief over where I shop for people I hardly call friends. A generic gift in beautiful wrapping from a high-end store is always the way to go in these instances. It makes people feel special and at some point, one can always call on that goodwill.

As I walk into the conference room, our mamma-to-be is being festooned with a ridiculous paper hat with coloured bows, tendrils of curled ribbon hanging over her face. Note to self: take early maternity leave so I don’t have to go through this humiliation.

I remember way back then, in the midst of my story, a friend’s wedding was coming up and she was being coy about TTC. But I dragged it out of her.

“I mean, why wait?” she says sheepishly. Then she gets down to business. “The clock is ticking. I can’t afford to wait. I’ve already got the fiance booked for a motility test and I’ve got my exam the same week. Actually, I lied to my doctor’s nurse and said we’d been trying for six months.”

Is the whole world having babies all of a sudden, or am I suddenly in tune with another plane of this universe — the one where wannabe moms convene? We can sniff each other out and offer all sorts of useless information and advice, no matter how personal.

“Well, you’re not wasting any time.”

“Nope. We’re not. But I figured you guys would be ready to start trying by now too. We should have kids around the same time so they can play together.”

“But we live in different countries!” This is ridiculous — I’m getting pressure and it’s not even from my mother-in-law. “Have you been talking to my husband,” I ask suspiciously.

“No, of course not. Listen if you’re trying, you need to start with folic acid. You should have about three months’ worth in your system beforehand. And, I’ve been reading that drinking coffee and alcohol reduces your chances…”

I cut her off. “That’s nice. Look, que sera, sera. I’ve gotta get back to work.” As soon as I hang up on her, I lean back in my chair and exhale deeply.

I really can’t help how I felt back then. In retrospect, maybe I should’ve picked up on her urgency. But with unexplained infertility, there is no telling what would’ve happened back then anyway. By writing this down, I am reliving it, but I am also expiating. It’s important, I think, to not have regrets, to remember everything good, and learn and go forward.

On another note, here’s a recent situation with the shoe on the other foot.

I am having lunch with a good friend that is also 41. I used to buy into all that crap about 40 being the new 30 — yeah, well tell that to my ovaries! But she is still buying into that crap and I am not going to lecture her. I can, however, offer what I have learned over the past six or seven years.

She is still TTC after about eight months. Appallingly, her doctor told her last week that she just needs to try more often, from day 8 to 20, every day. I raise an eyebrow. Yet I know exactly how she feels. I was there (as you’ll read in upcoming posts). No one wants to think he or she could have a fertility problem. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I caution my inner instinct to pounce with warnings and dire statistics. So I tell her about cycle monitoring.

Up here in the cold north, cycle monitoring is covered by provincial health insurance. It’s probably covered by loads of insurers in the US. It is also cheap. And some of the least invasive help you can get when you’re TTC. My friend had no idea about it. Her doctor hadn’t told her. My opinion is that everybody — but everybody — trying to conceive should be told about cycle monitoring. Those of us in the DE boat already know that at 41, you should only cycle monitor for about three months before you try something more drastic.

Why is it that doctors are so ill-informed? I actually think her doctor is doing her a huge disservice by not fully informing her of the various options out there. Never mind the frequency of sex, they should tell you that you can only get pregnant about two days out of 30. How about those numbers? That’s 24 days out of 365. That’s 15 per cent. You’d think the way we were indoctrinated in grade school about original sin, that so much as a smear of semen would impregnate you no matter what point your cycle (and right now, I’m wishing it were so!). My friend has never had an in-depth conversation or consultation about fertility with her doctor. She’s getting all her information from me. Me, of all people! It’s always the women that have to pass it on. Have we not moved forward the last couple of thousand years?

End of October, late one evening, my Civil Disobedience ends

Okay, I give up! I need sex. Now. Tonight.

“You win,” I proclaim to my husband.

“Win what?” he says absently.

“Let’s have sex. Now.”

“But we just ate.”

So I invoke the magic words, “I might be fertile, you know.”

And that’s that. Am I really fertile? I honestly don’t know, which as we all know can be a teeny little problem when you’re TTC.


At work, I surf the Internet (c’mon, we all do it!). Here’s what I find:

  • Pre-conception is now its own industry: stress relief, yoga, ovulation predictor kits, naturopathic herb, acupuncture and more are being hocked to women who don’t know why they’re not knocked up.
  • There are a lot of desperate women out there who want to be knocked up.
  • The desperate women’s chat rooms are whiny and depressing. How on earth could G’s friends have found any comfort in that?
  • There is a lot of unsubstantiated information on conception advice, apart from timing. Hardly anywhere do I find tough, hard, medical facts to support “helpful” advice from friends that got pregnant. Every article is presaged by “there is no definite medical evidence to suggest…” This is where people get crazy ideas about no longer colouring their hair or cutting out coffee.

Clearly the Internet is a waste of time and I get back to work, which is a good thing as that day I have to finish a presentation to the Board.


A few weeks later, 10 am at work

Fuck. My period is late. What if IT happens this month? I am sitting on the toilet, disappointed that it’s just drippy mucous and not blood. I know a lot about mucous now. According to the pregnancy sites and chat rooms, a woman’s cervix releases mucous at various stages of consistency throughout the month, and this consistency is to be analyzed to determine what stage of fertility one is at. It seems like a lot of work. Just remembering which stage is which is hard enough. I think if it’s clear and filmy, you’re fertile; when it’s dry and white, it’s over, baby. Or is it the other way around?

Whatever the stage, this detection method is entirely useless, since when you’re in a particular stage, it’s too late already! You have to catch it just before it changes. That’s why I didn’t pay too much attention to the articles. It’s pointless. The preconception writers (who are they, anyway?) counsel women to check their mucous every day, record it and after a few months, infer a timeline of fertility. I can’t imagine doing that. In fact, I will never do that. I mean, who has the time? I don’t know if the husband has been reading about this; he’d probably think it’s some kinky fertility sex thing. Well, I’m not sharing.

10:05 am

But what if I were pregnant? Would it be so bad? Apparently nothing shows for about four months and that’s almost halfway through. Hmmm. Would I want a girl or a boy? Definitely a girl. Easier. Cuter. More fun to dress. I can imagine a girl listening to me; but a boy just might defy me and stretch me to the limits of my (non-existent) patience. Everyone says you acquire oodles of patience when it’s your own kid, but you know what? I don’t believe them. Look at the number of babies that are shaken to death by their parents. Of course, they’re to blame, but clearly patience is not everyone’s main strength.

Alright, I’m not thinking about this anymore. There is nothing I can do at this point except get back to work.