Sunday, 8 December 2013

Keep Calm and crochet tiny Christmas balls

That's the best title I could come up with for events of the past few days.

So, my period decided to show up about 6 days sooner than expected/hoped. I started spotting on day 19. Hoped  against hope that it was just some mid cycle spotting, which I can get occasionally. But no. By today it was definitely full flow.  19 day cycle = depressing. Even though I have known my POF diagnosis for several months, such a short cycle just makes me relive the feelings of defeat and hopelessness over again, at least for a few hours. I feel like the acupuncture sessions have been useless, that my eggs are all gone, menopause is imminent, IVF will fail, and genetic/biological motherhood is just a stupid fantasy I'm indulging in.

Apart from all that, I started worrying about my IVF timeline. Several months ago Mr. Turtle and I planned a trip to Michigan to spend Christmas with his mother and brother and sister-in-law. We were both looking forward to this trip. Mr. Turtle is of course happy to spend time with his mother and brother. I am also happy to see them (I have lovely in-laws) but also because it is an excuse for me to not do much for Christmas at home. Last year we went all out; tree, Christmas lights, full dinner for family. It was fun, but I'm completely uninterested in doing any of that this year. The infertility probably has something to do with it; it's certainly not helping me get in the mood. This is the first year I can recall that the rampant Christmas music, commercialism and chatter is grating on me. A lot.

Anyway, when I sat down with my calendar and started to add up the numbers for IVF, I got worried. This cycle is a "rest cycle" where I take BCP. Easy enough, but 18 days after starting the pill, I have to go in for the baseline ultrasound. And of course, I calculated that the scan would be scheduled during our trip to Michigan. 

In hindsight, I'm not sure why this was so holy upsetting to me, but it was. My mind was going a mile a minute: do we have to cancel IVF? or cancel the trip? I'm so disappointed! Mr. Turtle will be so upset! Nobody understands how disruptive IVF/infertility is to life except me!! I can't bear to have plans put off again. Can I get an ultrasound in the US? Can I drive to Windsor and get an ultrasound at an Ontario clinic? What clinic would take me in if I'm not a patient? What clinic is going to be open on Sunday December 29th (that's when I calculated I would need to have the scan). If we cancel this cycle, then the rescheduled one will interfere with the other planned  family trip in March. No.no.no.no.no.no! Why did I have to have a wonky cycle now? Why couldn't it be a long wonky cycle instead of a short one? And many variations on said themes.

Now, what actually happened. I told Mr. Turtle over breakfast, with a very long face, that I was worried about the IVF schedule. He is working on the final paper for his graduate course this weekend, and I felt awfully guilty about putting more stress on him, and especially about threatening (I felt) to cut short his time with his family at Christmas.  Mr. Turtle, because he is awesome, quickly dissipated my anxiety. No, he assured me, we are not going to cancel the cycle. We decided that if the scan had to be done during our trip, we would simply reschedule my flight. And that is what we did. The clinic helpfully called me back today to give me the dates. My baseline ultrasound scan is for December 30th. My flight home is rescheduled for December 29th. Yes, we had to pay a few hundred to reschedule it, but that's OK, IVF is a priority. It's all OK.

And there is a silver lining. My brother, who lives in Ontario, will be in Alberta for Christmas for the first time in a few years. Because of our trip to Michigan, I wouldn't have seen him at all this Christmas. Because I am back early, I will get to see him. Only for a day, but it's better than nothing.

So. Deep breath. OK.

I guess the lesson here is to take this IVF stuff one day at a time, talk it over together, and not freak out over the what-ifs. Hopefully I can remember this lesson, because it is all just beginning.

Now, I haven't been a total Scrooge about Christmas. I may not care about the music or traditions or the schmaltz this year, but I do care about the people in my life, and I have enjoyed planning/buying for them. And I am involved in a couple of fun events, which are Christmas-themed but enjoyable for their own sake. Here's a run-down of what has been keeping me happy:

First, my step dance class performed a routine at a farmer's market. The teacher wanted us to wear plaid skirts if at all possible. I don't own one and was unable to find one, so on an evening we had a wild blizzard and there was nowhere to go and nothing to do, I created my own. 


I'm not really into sewing, and don't even own a machine, but I hand-sewed this using a pair of dance shorts, a plaid scarf I found at a discount store, a bit of ribbon, a couple of snaps, and some buttons. It is sewn to the dance shorts on  one edge and then wraps around. Very simple but it got quite a few compliments and I could probably take on a commission or two if I wanted!

The dance routine was lots of fun to perform. Here is an blurry and therefore conveniently anonymous photo of me (in the back) dancing - you can see I am happy in a blurry sort of way.



In addition, tomorrow my band is performing with the other adult community bands and choirs in the annual Christmas concert. This should be fun too, and I will post pictures or video if anybody gets any. I have an enjoyably challenging part on one song playing chimes, bells, and marimba, and on the song Sleigh Ride I get to play the part (on percussion) of the clippety-cloppety horse. Wish me luck.

My Christmas shopping is done. Although I dislike the commercialism associated with Christmas, and positively despise the fear-based marketing that goes with it, I do enjoy finding presents for people. Some of the final presents were donations to charity, which I  make a part of every Christmas.

I also had a pile of credit card reward points that I keep forgetting about, so this morning I got to have fun doing some shopping without spending any money. Bonus.

And one more crafty piece. This was a great nerve-calmer this morning while I was waiting for the clinic to return my call. I had bought these cute animal decorations for my colleagues at the Chapters. But after I got home,  I noticed the squirrel one was missing the nut he was supposed to be holding. Somehow I had bought a damaged piece. I could have gone back and exchanged it, but that felt like more trouble than it was worth. So I decided to make a tiny Christmas ball for the squirrel to hold. Check it out:


Aw, he's so cute! And I feel so much better now.

10 comments:

  1. I don't know why but our bodies always have a knack of choosing the absolute worst timing for things. I'm pretty sure my cycle will make it so that our FET would coincide with M's out of town business trip. But if there's anything to make us feel better, it's squirrels with tiny crocheted balls. :)

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    1. You are so right about the inconvenient timing. I just have to keep taking deep breaths and mentally putting things in the "things I can control" "things I can't control" column. That sucks about your husband possibly being away for your FET. I hope even if that happens he is able to find a way to be "there for you." Everything is so much better with a partner's support. Hehehe, the way you said "Squirrels with tiny crocheted balls," it sounds like I made an anatomically correct squirrel. Who knows, if I get stressed enough I just might start doing that.

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  2. You are so multi-talented!! I'm so impressed :) And what a relief everything worked out, including a visit with your brother! It sounds like you have a good partner to help keep you sane :)

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    1. Thanks! Yup, one day at a time. Yes, I feel so lucky every day to have my husband....it really makes it much easier to just roll with things.

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  3. Our bodies real do a number on us when it comes to timing. Glad you guys were able to make it all work out and find a silver lining!

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    1. Yah, I should really just stop expecting any of this to be convenient or well timed. But there's just so many things on my mind lately that it really was stressful to have to think about choosing between the trip and starting IVF....at least we were able to compromise.

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  4. I wish I could sew like you! I also dislike the commercialism of Christmas, but I think you've made it a lot more meaningful with your performances, creative work and donations to charity. It is wonderful that you have such a supportive husband and lovely in-laws. Sorry about the short cycle - I can understand how upsetting it is to be "betrayed" by your own body! And also how annoying to have to plan your life around IVF. It is a good idea to "take this IVF stuff one day at a time, talk it over together, and not freak out over the what-ifs.", as you said. This is an unpredictable roller-coaster ride and it helps to make some mental adjustments.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, Christmas and other occasions are what we make them. When I get too sulky I try to remind myself that there's no reason at all that I can't make this time meaningful and beautiful, whether or not it fits the cliche, and life is too short to wish away any of it, even the sad, hard stuff. I did enjoy all the performances. Our band director said this past concert was the best he's heard the band play in 4 years, and I know I enjoyed myself a lot. Small victories. And yes, one day at a time. Thank you for the comment.

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  5. I am so impressed by your creativity! I love the plaid skirt, and the squirrel is adorable. I bet he looks cuter with the crochet ball than he did with the original nut. A "flaw" turned into an asset, I love it! I'm so glad the scheduling for your IVF worked out. And how perfect that you will get to see your brother because of your flight change. It's kind of like the squirrel situation--something you thought was a disappointment actually turned out to be a good thing :)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I'm glad it all worked out in the end! enjoy your vacation.

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