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.


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.


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.


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

26 Responses to “Show and Tell: Jaded”

  1. 'Murgdan' Says:

    Cool pictures…and talismans. Nope, no good luck charms here–but I’ll have to find one soon.

  2. Laughing about Wonder Pez.

    Great S&T, and even better idea about the donations!

    So I’m spending your dollar by telling you that I had a necklace of japa mala beads. I had a Sanskrit sentence inviting a soul to come play with us. Wish I could remember it or find it in my journals because it worked!

    Daily, I said the chant once per bead, around the strand.

    I started in June one year. We got The Call that our son was waiting for us in March the next year. Do the math.

  3. Tara Says:

    Cool talismans! I have 2 angels on my nightstand. Maybe I should put one on my husbands side for balance…

  4. s.e. Says:

    I have pomegranates everywhere around my house (dried ones in my dining room, reed diffusers, lotion, even yogurt in my fridge on occasional days).

    I also have been wearing a wishbone necklace from my sister and although I do not really believe, I do not dare take it off until an IVF cycle is officially over. I am really sick of looking at it too.

    I like the nightstand idea. Maybe the good ghostly vibes come out while you are asleep!

  5. April Says:

    this was such a fun post to read. i am going to have to think about good luck charms.

  6. Stephanie Says:

    Neat charms. And you know, they’re really pretty and they can’t hurt, so why not? Love the Wonder Woman Pez size comparison!

  7. fattykins Says:

    Wow, those are really cute charms. I totally get the whole not believing in them but still having them thing. Totally. Love your blog btw. If you click over to mine, by chance…I don’t talk about my IF on my blog at all but I do mention my kids….just didn’t want you to think I didn’t have to work for them ;).

  8. Malky B. Says:

    Cute charms. No I don’t have one but I’ve been sleeping with a neck pillow my sister gave me – it’s bringing me comfort right now.

  9. Danielle Says:

    I’d be MORE then happy to spend your money. Especially since it’s going to charity. I don’t have a good luck charm per se, but I do wear my mother’s pearls that had been handed down to her from her mother for comfort when I need a little extra. I love the little bunny, it’s so small and sweet! Thank you for sharing.
    Enjoy your day!

  10. In Due Time Says:

    Beautiful pictures and jewels. Thanks for sharing!

  11. fatty Says:

    I’ll delurk! Those are wonderful. I’ve always wanted a jade frog but they are hard to find here in the north west. I believe my wedding ring is my lucky charm.

  12. Rebecca Says:

    I love Jade. They’re so pretty! I’m not sure I have a good luck charm but I do have my dad’s St Christopher and I think it keeps me safe.

  13. Megan Says:

    I want. I want. I want. I LOVE stuff collected from travels. Expecially when there is a special meaning!!!

  14. Elizabeth Says:

    I won a quilt made by Julie from A Little Pregnant and got pregnant the next cycle. I always felt like that quilt was a lucky charm.

    I also developed pre-e and HELLP, just like her, though! Maybe the blanket was a mixed blessing…

  15. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    Wooooo….the first pic of the stand had me hung over the post lady. I totally love this kind of jewellery.

    Ummm…on a recent trip to Asia….you mean China, I suppose?

    You brought back fantastic stuff!

    P.S. If it works for me, it is lucky.

  16. Lea Says:

    Hi, I couldn’t resist your call to delurk. I just found your blog a short time ago and am now a regular reader. I really admire your intelligent, sensitive posts. I don’t have any good luck charms..I’ve thought about funky socks, but they usually make me put on those non-skid safety socks, so I don’t bother with my own. Right now I am on day 4 of stims for IVF #4, and things are feeling grim around here. This is probably our last shot at IVF unless my response to the meds is much better than last time. Maybe I should try to find something lucky after all!

  17. Kami Says:

    Those are beautiful!!!

    Also, I know a lady that will need gonal-F in a few weeks if she doesn’t get pregnant this cycle. If you haven’t given them away yet, let me know and I can let her know!! Thanks honey!


  18. Brenna Says:

    I want to go to the Jade market!!! Oh, me too, me too! My stepdad was born to missionaries in China and lived there until he was 12. He and my mom have traveled there a few times over the years. They always bring back the most amazing things. I suspect I could do some pretty good spending over there!

    I love your dragon, your rabbit and your double fish. So cool! We had no good luck charms. Unless you count the ‘egg bouquet’ my mom sent us, which I posted about several light million years ago on my blog. You know, I don’t even know if the egg bouquet made it through the move. And I’m not sure it would count as lucky, given how everything turned out. 😦 Oh well. I like your talismans and hope they bring you lots of luck this year! Like you said, they certainly can’t hurt! I’ll be sending my good vibes your way.

  19. shinejil Says:

    Ah, I’ve splurged on some fun ol’ Follist1m, but thanks for putting that G-F out there. You’re a good gal.

    …But how dare you imply I’m a maniac! I’m COMPLETELY SANE. I’m… oh boo hoo. [sobs inexplicably into keyboard]

    An attempt at injectible humor 🙂

    I don’t have a good luck charm, and I haven’t had much good luck of late. Is there a connection, you think?

  20. Jill Says:

    I actually do have a good luck charm related to fertility. I hired a woman to help me organize a room in my house and we got to talking and I ended up telling her that I was having some trouble getting pregnant and that I had just started seeing a RE and getting tested. She told me that a number of her friends and acquaintances have been passing around a little beaded fertility idol that one of them brought home from Africa ten years ago. She said that it has passed from woman to woman ever since that time, and that every single person who has had it in her possession has gotten pregnant and delivered a healthy baby — either naturally or via IVF or other fertility treatements — and that most of the women were my age (39) or older. You are supposed to hold onto it until after the baby is safely born and then pass it along to someone else who needs it. She said that everyone who has had it has thought that she would be the first one it didn’t work for, but that so far there has been a 100% success rate. She said it was a funny coincidence that she met me at this time, because she knew exactly who had it in her possession at that very moment and she had just spoken to her the day before and learned that she was looking for someone else to pass it along to. Well, this woman who was helping me to get organized called up the woman who had it as soon as she left my house, and made a special trip to bring it to me the very next day. She told me to put it on my nightstand next to me bed and to leave it there for as long as it took. Well, about a week later, I underwent an HSG (which I am told in some cases helps some women to get pregnant within 3 months) and I was also doing accupuncture….and two months later I got pregnant! I am now 18 weeks along and continue to rely on the idol’s protection as I await the results of my pre-natal genetic testing, etc. I really love how this idol found its way to me and love being part of this community of women who have benefitted from it. I look forward to passing it along to someone else this summer. This lovely beaded work of art really gives me a strange sense of peace and comfort and, during my times of worry, has helped me to believe that everything is going to be ok with this baby. I wish I could lend it to every person on this and every blog I read.

  21. Kahla Says:

    I think I need to go find me some Jade, I had no clue about the double fish. Interesting!

  22. coffeegrljp Says:

    You know, whenever I’ve heard others mention lucky charms I always thought I didn’t have any. Then I read your post and remembered the charms my husband and I bought when we were here in Japan. The first was one we bought early on when we were trying to get pregnant – it took nearly a year to work but I kept that thing in my handbag at all times. The second was one we got once we were pregnant, and ditto – kept it on me at all times. You can bet when we think about baby #2 I’ll be getting a charm ASAP.

  23. Magsy Says:

    I always wear my grandmother’s bracelet and the earrings my mom gave me, which she calls “ear kisses.” Your pieces are lovely. May they bring you the good luck you seek.

  24. Anita Says:

    I love the Pez dispenser & nope I don’t use/believe in good luck charms either.

  25. Awesome pictures. I particularly like the red dragon.(Not the movie, ha).

    I love how after reading your post this irrational part of my brain goes “hmmm maybe I need to start buying charms”. Particularly in light of a previous comment about an African fertility idol.

    I remember a funny incident a few IVF cycles ago. Probably 2 stimulated cycles ago. My superstitious mom sent me, all the way from India, a book of “spells”. I laughed so hard I nearly choked! She’s always sending me stupid stuff she thinks its helpful, but what it does is make me really mad at her. Like books on vitamins (yeah, like its that easy!), articles on stress (like anyone can live a stress free life?) and more articles on pregnancy vitamins and weird half-fiction articles on how to avoid miscarriages (can they really be avoided? I doubt it).

    Needless to say, before I threw the book out, we did the “fertility spell”. Hubby and I lit a candle, burnt some herbs (can’t remember which ones they were but man they stunk) and waited for a full moon night. It was hilarious and maybe that’s why it didn’t work. We were giggling like teenagers trying to smoke some pot in the halls. Read the “incantation” out et al, and lo and behold! That cycle did jack shit as usual.

    =) still. that red dragon is pretty awesome. and the book was neat too.

  26. St. Elsewhere Says:

    Just came by to look at all those pretty pics…

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