Show and Tell: Jaded

January 19, 2009

Three orders of business.

#1. The Meds Fairy! I have most of a 900 IU pen of Gonal-F (probably about 700 IU worth) left over from IVF #2 that just ended. I won’t be starting the next IVF for a couple of months, and the pen is supposed to be used within a month of being opened. Since I paid out of pocket for all of my meds they are extra precious, and I don’t want them to go to waste. It would be even better if I could save another self-payer a few hundred dollars. Please, if you can use some Gonal-F in the next couple of weeks (or know someone else who can), leave a comment or email me.

#2. Update on the IVF storyline on ER: the first time I can remember seeing subcutaneous FSH injections incorporated into daily life on television. This episode also illustrated the way that the meds make you a complete maniac, alternately bitchy then fragile — something most of us know all too well. Good stuff.

#3. Show and Tell! During my trip to Asia in the fall, I insisted on a detour to a Jade Market. Not for jewelry (okay, I did also buy some jewelry), but for fertility talismans. Also because I thought it would be cool to go to a Jade Market.

There were several dozen stands. A few were simply a table covered with a sheet (often an amusing sheet like Snoopy rather than a tasteful plain sheet); untold riches lay under the sheet, but you had to get a special sit-down. Most stands had hundreds of items on display. Some had particular specialties, but others had a wide range of jade offerings. Here’s an example of a typical jewelry-oriented stand.

Jade Market

Ahead of time, I’d done my research and determined that traditional fertility symbols included dragons, bunnies, and double fish. Dragons allegedly benefit male fertility, and are recommended regardless of whether problems are male factor or female factor (the ancient Chinese seemed be more cognizant of potential problems in either partner than many other cultures).The rabbit is a fertility symbol for obvious reasons — even though we all know that more sex does not necessarily mean more babies. Fish represent fertility because they have hundreds of babies.

Dragons were plentiful. I chose a red one for maximum power. He now lives on my husband’s nightstand.

Dragon

Rabbits were also plentiful at the Jade Market, since they (along with dragons) are among the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. I chose purple because, uh, I like purple. This little bunny lives on my nightstand, to achieve feng shui balance — since there’s a dragon on his side of the bed, I needed something on my side too.

Bunny

Finally, I had to find the double fish. This was quite a challenge. Most stands didn’t have any; a few had double fish that were quite ugly, with giant open fishy mouths. One was very nice but was a couple hundred dollars — a bargain, actually, considering that it was several hundred years old, but not what I was looking for.

At last, I found this little necklace. I wear it occasionally, always hidden under my shirt, but the day of my egg retrieval for IVF #2, I kept it close at hand. While driving to the retrieval, I had the cord wrapped around my hand while driving. Then, during the retrieval, because I would be wearing only a hospital gown and my striped socks, I made DH keep the fish necklace in his pocket until everything was over.

Fish

Here are all of them together, accompanied by our old pal Wonder Woman Pez, for scale.

Scale

The funny part is that I don’t actually believe in good luck charms — we’ll talk more about that on Thoughtful Thursday. But I sought these out for two reasons:

  1. I thought it would be a great blog entry.
  2. Although I don’t believe in them, they can’t hurt. Seriously, I can use all the luck I can find.

In honor of Delurking Week, I’m going to donate money to a specific charity (more on that next week) for each comment. Regular comments from beloved existing readers get $1; comments from soon-to-be-beloved delurkers get $2. C’mon, spend my money! To make commenting extra easy, you can answer the following question:

Do you have a good luck charm (either in general, or specific to fertility)?

Go see what the rest of the class brought to Show and Tell.

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