Monday, 26 February 2018

Ritual objects and offerings

Speaking of procrastination, there are some jobs I might never do if I think about doing them, but if I just start doing them, somehow they get done.

Some stuff that I am not currently using has been taking up shelf space. I started going through it yesterday morning and did a photo shoot as I went. I may be weird but if anyone can understand I figure my blog audience will.

As I laid out each item I thought about the role it has played in my life for the past two years, or longer.  For these aren’t just tools, though they are that: they are ritual props. Each was part of a routine that helped form the structure of my life. Putting each one away I thought about those routines and rituals and how they shaped my daily life. I think perhaps this is only doable in hindsight.

Exhibit 1: fertility supplements 

Folic acid, CO Q10 and DHEA for egg health, low dose aspirin for implantation, and I can’t remember what the B6 was even for. I guess the prenatal vitamins should be here too but I’m still working through the last bottle.

As far as taking drugs and medications goes, we got off easy. But taking the supplements meant I thought of fertility with every meal, at least until I stopped taking them regularly.

Exhibit 2 fertility monitoring

OPKs, preseed lubricant, Ovacue fertility monitor, and one pregnancy test left over from this spring. 
I went through a 9-pack of OPKs every month, usually.

What should I do with this stuff? We haven’t made any decisions about birth control yet. I have ambivalent feelings about BC. I’m sure we could successfully avoid pregnancy with fertility awareness, especially since we are not very fertile. On the other hand, I don’t know if I could actually follow through on preventing pregnancy; old habits die hard.

I kind of wish I’d used up that lone pregnancy test in the spring. Under what conditions would I use it now? I don’t like to speculate. If Dani was my final  pregnancy, I’d rather my last memory be of a positive test.

I think I’m done with the Ovacue. It wasn’t working too well the past 2 years, though it helped achieve first pregnancy.

Exhibit 3: pregnancy stuff

So much fun. My anti nausea pills, which helped me survive first trimester and early second trimester. Much appreciated, but I don’t want to see them again: going to drugstore for disposal.

My blood sugar monitoring kit. I can’t say this was an fun part of being pregnant either.  The diet restrictions....the stress of wondering if I was keeping my sugar in the right range. And yet.....after giving birth it felt odd and even sad at first to not be monitoring. The only way I can explain it is that the controlled diet and sugar testing were concrete things I was doing for my baby. It was not enjoyable but it was meaningful.

Finally, here is everything packaged up for storage or disposal:

Live your adventure.....hahaha Eddie Bauer. I sure have. 

Not pictured: some weeks ago I finally threw out the positive pregnancy tests from both pregnancies. They were so old I could hardly see the positive and.....they were gross. Like another blogger observed, my children are enough proof I was pregnant. And I still have the photographs and blog entries from the embryonic stages, which are better records anyway.

Since I was cleaning up, I pulled up a chair and looked in the highest cupboard of the house for the remnants of our one cancelled IVF. Yikes, I’d forgotten how much medication was involved. And there was a fair bit of it left. I sorted it as quickly as possible into garbage, recycling and remnants to go back to the drugstore. I have no emotional attachment to any of that stuff. I guess our non starter IVF is one experience from which I have truly moved on.

Maybe in four years I’ll be able to say that of all the other ones too.

But in the meantime the sight of the fertility and pregnancy stuff causes me to catch my breath a little. If the items were the ritual objects, the ritual offering was all the time, thought and emotional energy given in the hope of having a child.

I hope finding a new place for all the objects helps the emotions find a new place too.


  1. This post is so reflective; I love it. I can completely identify with what you write, especially having the emotions tied up with seeing all those bottles of pills. And I am right there with you...although we have had our last baby, not being in bc and trying to “avoid” getting pregnant doesn’t really’s like some innate thing to “try” without trying. So much so that it’s killing my heart every month AF arrives, still. So we are seriously discussing going back to condoms, because anything hormonal is off the table and neither of us really wants to go the surgical route.
    I am with you at trying to find a way to move on.

    1. Heh, glad it’s not only me (though I figured it wasn’t). It’s funny how one can have every good reason to be glad an experience/trial is over and yet struggle to leave it completely in the past. I am not interested in surgery or hormones either so we’ll see.

  2. That's a heavy thing to do, sorting through everything -- but hopefully you can feel lighter with those things gone, physical reminders sent off on the next adventure. I can see how it would catch your breath, for sure. Some things just bring you right back to those moments of uncertainty and pain and loss. I'm so glad you did a cleanout and have clear space where all those things once were!

  3. Yes it always feels good to be organized and extra shelf space is marvellous. I’m glad o did the cleanup. Even if in the moment it doesn’t feel like anything is resolved, I still feel a sense of accomplishment and moving forward. Good luck with your tidying up projects as well.