There you are, scrolling along down the "Top News" on your Facebook account, and BAM! There's nothing like getting blindsided by a pregnancy announcement or picture on your favorite social media network, is there?
As the geeky wife of an even geekier computer scientist, I realized the other day that someone needs to make some infertility-friendly Facebook applications. So here, I present some suggestions for some new apps:
(And apologies in advance if anyone finds this offensive or insensitive as I poke some harmless fun at the state of infertility.)
1. The Pregnancy Announcement Filter
Surely this would be easy right? You could set up filters on all your news alerts to pull out anything containing the words "pregnant, knocked-up, having a baby, etc." You could have an even stronger setting that would pull out things containing more generic terms like "expecting" or "due." More sophisticated versions could have recognition technology that would filter out pregnancy photos and ultrasounds.
You could maybe have it corral all of these announcements into a separate folder or tab, so you can wait until your next CD1 to get drunk and read through them all in one blow.
2. SuperPoke - the Infertility Edition
I don't know if you were on Facebook when the movie "Juno" came out, but SuperPoke ran a movie-related campaign where one of things you could throw at a friend was, yes, a pregnancy test. It was all kinds of funny back then as we were just starting to think about TTC, but I can't imagine how I would've reacted if I had been dealing with my infertility at the time.
So to turn the whole thing on its head, I propose we have an "Infertility Edition" open to infertiles only where we can drown in the irony and throw at each other not just pregnancy tests, but opk's (both positive and negative), prenatal vitamins, tubes of Pre-Seed, packs of Clomid (in 50mg, 100mg, and 150mg varieties), sperm collection jars, Instead cups, Mucinex, salivascopes etc. (The sad thing is that all I had to do to come up with this list is look in my dresser drawer.)
I don't play online games like Mafia or FarmVille, so I may be totally off on this description, but I wonder if you could educate "civilians" about infertility through one of those games where the object is to build your family.
The game would be rigged so as to give only 1 out of 50 players the ability to do this in an easy and straightforward manner. Everyone else would have to go through virtual Clomid cycles, IUI cycles, injectible cycles, IVF cycles, where success would reflect the real statistics. The game would only allow one chance a week to try for a kid, and that time could be made unpredictable, or trackable only through a virtual OPK.
Players could earn and save up "points" (to be spent on different cycles and strategies) by lending support and services to other players. Telling another player to "just relax" would automatically result in a loss of points. Babysitting another player's child would rack up major points.
Anyway, dear readers, I'm sure you know that I'm not trivializing IF by trying to make a game out of it or anything. It's just hard when a fun distraction like Facebook can turn into a virtual minefield with people posting pregnancy news, baby pictures, etc. I certainly don't blame others for sharing their joy, but I figure we infertiles need to find a way to make Facebook work for us.
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