Thoughtful Thursday: Socks

March 5, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday
It’s a new month, and that means a new crop of Intelligentsia (people who have commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post for the month of February). Returning from her January Intelligentsia appearance is Wiseguy from Woman Anyone?, the only two-time Intelligentsia member. She has some fine company this month:

Ernessa from Fierce and Nerdy
Fattykins from I Can’t Wash My Jeans, My Fat Is In The Way
Heather from Joys In My Life
Leslie Laine from What You’re Not Expecting When You’re Trying to Expect
Mel a.k.a. Lollipop Goldstein from Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters
Shalini from By the Pricking of My Thumbs

Thanks for your diligence, ladies! If you would like the icon for your sidebar and need the code, let me know. Otherwise, enjoy your bling and your accolades. Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Onto the main event. This week’s Thoughtful Thursday will focus on socks. Huh? Yes, socks.

The topic was inspired by Kym’s Great Sock-It-To-Me Exchange (signups end on FridaySunday, but if you hurry you can still join in the fun!). Send a pair, get a pair. Make a couple of new friends. Fend off the winter chill, snuggle up filled with bloggy camaraderie, or bring yourself some good luck for an upcoming cycle (even though many of us have come to realize that we don’t believe in luck).

The Sock-It-To-Me exchange actually won’t be the first time I’ve sent socks to another blogger. You may recall the Mojo Sock giveaway, in which I found redemption following an unfortunate pottery calamity through the simple purchase and gift of some socks. I am so thrilled to say that the donor FET in which Miss Conception wore the Mojo Socks has resulted in a twin pregnancy, about to reach the 14 week mark. I don’t believe in luck, but I just might believe in Mojo.

Oh, and Miss Conception would like to pass along some kindness of her own. If you are in the U.S. or Canada can use any of the following extra meds, please email missyconception at gmail .com:

1 full box of Crinone (18 applicators) worth $400…free to a good home
1 bottle of Prometrium (100mg tablets x 41)
1 Bottle of Estrace (2mg tablets x 17)

Enough thoughtful giving. Now, time for the usual kind of thoughtfulness.

Thoughtful ThursdayOnce “lucky” socks have been worn for a fertility treatment (IUI, embryo transfer, etc.), what happens next?

It’s pretty clear what happens when the cycle works. There are many cases in the blogosphere of socks from a successful cycle being passed along to someone else, in the hopes that the success would also be passed along.

Before her transfer, Miss Conception talked about visualizing herself wearing the Mojo Socks at delivery, waddling down the hallway of the hospital as labor progressed. In addition to the transfer, she has worn them at several ultrasounds, continuing the power of the Mojo.

But what happens to socks from an unsuccessful cycle? Move them into your normal sock rotation? Banish them? Wear them for a future cycle?

I’m not so superstitious as to discard “unlucky” socks, but I can understand the impulse. The socks I wore for IVF #2 retrieval are in my normal rotation now — wool socks are quite useful under winter boots, regardless of the zany stripes. I don’t believe that they’re cursed or anything, but I still wouldn’t wear them for IVF #3, especially now that I’ll have my new Sock-It-To-Me socks.

There’s an added layer of complexity if socks are a gift. If you give someone socks for a cycle that turns out to be unsuccessful, should you feel bad? My happiness for Miss Conception was combined with relief that I didn’t jinx her.

I realize that this doesn’t have the gravitas of some of the other Thoughtful Thursday topics, but it’s something that many of us have to deal with, and something that I’ve never heard discussed elsewhere. You can play along whether you’ve worn “lucky” socks for a treatment, whether you’ve done IF treatments but haven’t worn special socks, or whether you’ve never done IF treatments.

What should you do with socks from an unsuccessful cycle?


19 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Socks”

  1. WiseGuy Says:

    What should you do with socks from an unsuccessful cycle?

    Maybe this is the toughest for me to answer. Because I did not wear socks. 🙂

    But let me capture your question in a less literal sense. Well, there was a particular gown that I was wearing when on bedrest after ET. It was a recent purchase, and was very comfortable.

    After ‘that’, my mother asked me to postpone travelling to City I, which I refused. And I wilfully chose to not keep the gown with me, when I was packing.

    But it was an IVF/ICSI cycle and my first one and so perhaps, very important as a landmark solution. But it was not the first unsuccessful cycle for me.

    I did not throw away underwears after high-hopes-dashed cycles, nor stop wearing particular colours, or think badly of some weekdays. I am still untouched by the ‘unlucky’ tagging.

    I am planning to get that blue gown here for the summers.

    Physical symbols of those times can be stashed away. But what do you do for those ‘healing touches’ that you supposed were so magical, that they could take away any pain. When even that illusion is taken away from a person, nothing really remains.

  2. Kymberli Says:

    Love it, and such a good question. Transfer socks (when special ones) end up in my regular rotation, but are never again worn to another transfer, clinic visit, etc.

    For the transfer which resulted in my surroson Sam, I wore camouflage anklet socks, and the next time I wore them was to the delivery. I can’t tell you where those socks are now. I find one every once in a while.

    I didn’t wear special socks for the two transfers after.

    You know of the funky matching socks that I bought for Chance and myself for our transfer. I wore those socks again to the (doomed) ultrasound. I connect the socks more to the bond I feel with Chance and not whether or not the cycle is successful if I’m just wearing them around the house. They’ll always be “special socks.” But I’ll be darned if I wear them to the clinic again. Then it will feel like some seriously bad mojo. I’m also wearing my Sock-it-to-Me socks next time, but given how they were received, I don’t think they’ll EVER be considered bad mojo, because their intent was to feel like a hug of support from the blogosphere, and I know that will be there come hell or high water.

    Your mojo discussion reminded me of posts that I wrote a year ago this month about the things some of us do to work up some good mojo over a cycle:

    Mojo Madness Contest:

    Great question, Baby Smiling!

  3. asballaban Says:

    I’ve never worn sock to a transfer, but if I did then they would most likely just get washed and then mixed up with all my other socks in the drawer since they all look pretty much the same. Maybe next time i’ll have to buy a bright stripy pair and wear them just for fun 🙂

  4. Brenna Says:

    I’m generally the no-sock type, though I do make sure my feet are nice and scrubbed and my toenails painted if I’m heading for the stirrups.

    The only clothing that holds bad energy for me are the nightgowns I wore while in the hospital on bedrest with our boys. When I play pieces of those weeks back in my head, those clothes are there–I washed them and gave them away immediately when we got home.

    I don’t remember what I was wearing for each of our IUIs, so clearly those experiences didn’t leave a lasting impression (or any socks to be avoided). I’m pretty sure I had on a pair of those hospital-issued socks courtesy of our clinic for our IVF treatment…the kind with the little rubberized strips on the bottom to keep you from slipping? I didn’t keep them.

  5. fattykins Says:

    Gosh…my blog title SO doesn’t fit in with the other ladies’ blogs…sorry. I’m on the other side of where you guys are but I still enjoy reading IF blogs.

    Socks. Yes, I purchased and wore special socks for proceedures, but not because I thought they were lucky. I just liked to have nice, new, entertaining socks for the professionals to look at. Something without holes and non-stinky. I would go pick out the cutest socks I could find, hoping to find something with a pattern even on the bottom.

    I did not discard them as unlucky if the proceedure didn’t go the way I wanted it to…but that’s probably because I didn’t consider them lucky in the first place. After the proceedure I added them to my usual rotation.

    Pretty simply, but I am a pretty simple girl.

  6. Rebecca Says:

    Although I’m superstitious about a lot of random crap, I think I’d wash the socks, to purify them, ya know, then wear them in regular circulation… But not for treatments.

    Then again, I rarely wear socks, I much prefer bare feet 🙂

  7. I wore my lucky roller derby socks to my IVF egg-retrieval and implantation. If it hadn’t worked, I would have given the socks to Goodwill. Back when I was dating, I used throw away everything that was heavily associated with a guy that dumped me — including a TV. I don’t consider myself superstitious, but I don’t believe in keeping anything that carries bad memories — rejection letters, socks, dresses, TVs — I’m willing to toss them all to keep bad vibes out of my house.

    P.S. — thanks for the shout-out, but it’s always a pleasure to comment on your Thoughtful Thursdays, and I’m always surprised by how much I have to say about the subjects you pick.

  8. Cat Says:

    Wow, all these barefoot commenters must live someplace warmer than me. We have only four months, tops, of good barefoot weather here in Wisconsin.

    The socks I wore for our FET-that-ended-in-m/c are back in my regular rotation and are NOT worn to any procedures or, now, prenatal visits. Thinking back on it, I was pretty scattered with my mojo logic when choosing those socks. They were given to me by a friend who was pregnant at the time, which is why I chose them. However, that same friend suffered a m/c in the fall of ’07 at six weeks and I then had a m/c in fall ’08 from that FET. First pregnancy for each of us. Hmmm.

    The socks I wore for the latest cycle are just some regular socks I picked up at my favorite clothing store that happen to be my two favorite colors and have snowflakes on them, of which I am also very fond. I wore them to both ER and ET, both betas, and to my ultrasounds, especially the one yesterday after a spotting scare. All is well and the socks are still mojo-ful.

  9. Nicole Says:

    I’m with you…normal rotation but no where close to the next cycle, or at least not the big days.

    I clearly have taken this sock thing a bit far (along with the Egg Mc.Muffin on the morning of transfer, pineapple during the TWW). We’ll see if it all worked next week!

  10. We have been through 8 years of infertility and more procedures than I care to remember. Of all of them, this past transfer cycle was the only one in which I wore anything that held any meaning. The socks that you sent to me are now in a very coveted position in the house and they are ONLY worn on the most special of occasions (i.e., ultrasounds and OB appointments). They are my “Mojo Goodness” and I love them.
    If they hadn’t provided the mojo needed, I would likely continue to wear them as PJ socks, but I wouldn’t wear them to any more procedures (not that there would have been any more procedures).
    Thank goodness for those socks!!
    Thanks also for passing along the information about the medications. I have already mailed out the Prometrium, but still have that huge box of Crinone to give away. Hopefully, we’ll get a taker. 🙂

  11. Mel Says:

    I am honoured to become part of the Intelligensia.

    We have a tradition in our family that everyone gets a wish on Friday night and puts it in the family wish jar. A few times, I have used my wish for another blogger and every single time, the other person has become a parent (twice through adoption, once through IVF) that month. One time, it even happened that night.

    Until there was the one wish made that didn’t come true. And you feel like…shit…I hope I didn’t ruin life for anyone by giving them the wish.

    I would roll up the socks and put them in a box–couldn’t throw them out but also couldn’t wear them.

  12. Phoebe Says:

    I’m not much on mojo socks, but I do want to pass on some good mojo to you. I wanted to let you know how much I heart your blog, so I gave you an award.

  13. Ana Says:

    This is interesting, I don’t have any (un)lucky articles of clothing (in regards to IF anyways). I’m not sure if I should or shouldn’t adopt this mojo sock habit—on the one hand, it seems fun & harmless, on the other, I try extra-specially hard not to make a big deal out of it all, because while I don’t know if I believe in luck, i certainly believe in jinx (do they both go together, or does one believe in one or the other due to their positive or negative personality traits). Anyways, thought-provoking question.

  14. Kristin Says:

    If I had socks from a failed cycle I think I would put them in my normal wearing rotation but never wear them to a cycle appointment again. I say think because while I adore funky socks, I’ve never had a pair of lucky socks.

  15. awakeintheworld Says:

    I also think they’d go into the normal rotation, but not be worn for a cycle appt or anything else “special.”

    Also, thanks for your support on my blog. I really appreciate it.

  16. Carrie Says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and welcoming me! 🙂

    As for the sock debate– I am in a funny position (yeah, in the stirrups) as my retrieval is scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, the Luck o’ the Irish and all that green beer swill. So I purchased some extra-super-lucky shamrock socks. And if they don’t work…they might be headed for Goodwill. But hopefully they WILL work and then I might frame them and hang them over my bed.

  17. I have to agree with the non-sockettes out there.

    I don’t wear socks to transfer or anything else fertility related really. I do wear them sometimes during the 2ww and they’re usually yellow and blue ankle socks, the kind that I wear to protect my feet because I’ve been (or rather, my cleaning lady has been) slack with cleaning up the floor. But I don’t identify with them as being lucky or unlucky. They’re just…tools. To keep my feet clean.

    My new clinic (well from last August anyhoo) loves having us dress in those horrible pukey blue/green gowns – complete with transparent shower cap for that mad hatter look – for transfers, so I doubt I’d be feeling any sort of happy lucky feelings in them.

    Like Brenna, I do have an outfit in the cupboard that I have never worn again. I used to wear it at least once a week, a flower patterned black & white skirt that made my legs look a little less ‘thick’. It soon became the skirt of the horrible ultrasound and the skirt I was wearing when I gave birth to my beautiful, dead child. I haven’t had the heart or the stomach to throw it out like I wanted to. Some morbid part of me is pissed off that I even washed it, because I wanted to hold it in my closest like a bloody reminder of something close to my baby girl.

    I’m a real fan of stripey socks, but don’t own any. Why? I’ve never really had a chance to. Odd!

    By the way, I like badges 🙂 so thank you for the TTI badge. I have no idea how to stick the icon on my blog though. xx

  18. P.S. why throw away perfectly functional socks just because they were part of an unsuccessful cycle? If I thought like that, then perhaps a bra would go in the bin too. Or a shirt, or undershirt. Then…I wouldn’t know when to stop, because I’m a lady of extremes.

  19. Leslie Laine Says:

    Hmmm…I wish I’d been able to read this post before yesterday’s retrieval because I’m totally into the whole symbolism thing. I actually wore socks that they clinic gave me for the retrieval, and I never really thought about them being symbolic of anything other than keeping my feet warm yesterday. I do have a pair of moonstone earrings, however, and they are my infertility symbol. Although I couldn’t wear them to retrieval, I wore them every day through stims (even when they didn’t match). My sister also has a pair, and our code for a big day during the cycle (ultrasounds, retrieval, etc) is “wear your moonstones tomorrow”. I love knowing that we’re connected in that way, and those earrings will be very special when we do in fact get to the baby on the other side of this thing.

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