Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cycle Gifts

Every IVF cycle that I have done (this makes three) I have made a point to give myself a gift. In part it's a gift to me, and in part it's a gift for the baby/babies that have yet to grace us with their presence. An IVF cycle is tough--it's demanding on your physical body, it's challenging for your emotional state to say the least, it's relatively unpredictable (we have a roughly 3-day span for when retrieval might be, and then transfer is 3-5 days after that, and then testing two weeks after retrieval--which makes planning for anything in that span of time very, very difficult). Social obligations are difficult to fulfill when you have a) very little expendable cash and b) you have to rush home for an injection that has you c) feeling like total crap. So, as a bit of a reward for putting myself through this, and as a recommendation from Elizabeth Swire Falker in her book, I decided to purchase a present each cycle.

My first present was my owl purse. I was feeling the owls and thought that the purse (which I spied at the Park Avenue Festival) would be the perfect present for me. Little did I know that that purse would bring me to my yoga group. The woman who makes the purses did so to fund her own treatment, which came out when I picked up my goody. She introduced me to the healing center where I go for fertility yoga, maya massage, acupuncture, and a support group. Shortly after joining the group, my friend the Purse Lady had a successful frozen transfer and her little girl was born this month. Pretty amazing stuff! I have loved my purse to death, but it wasn't quite the magic present for me. Instead of bringing me a baby, it brought me a community of amazing women and ways to increase my chances of success. When the time is right I will probably order a diaper bag in the same fabric.

The second cycle I decided to do things a little differently. I bought three things, all for FutureBaby and not for me. I was in Anthropologie and found this beautiful pop-up book about fairies--each interactive spread was a different kind of fairy house. Well, it was old fashioned and beautiful and something I would have loved as a child. Bryce is convinced we will have girls, so I bought the book as a present to my FutureBaby girl (knowing that if we had a boy and he liked it, cool, but if we had a boy and he didn't at least I would still like the book). I also followed the advice of a yoga group friend who has been successful twice and bought some items for FutureBaby. I bought a onesie and a bib set. The onesie was adorable--white with blue trim and a frog in a lotus pose on the front (the bibs matched). It was feasibly unisex and adorable. I washed it and the bibs and set it out in the room that will be a baby's room in the future but is still firmly a guest room. The bibs I stuffed into each of our pillowcases, for good luck. These items are still here for the FutureBaby, but they are hidden away. They didn't work. Or, as Bryce said, "they didn't have the right magic." (This, coming from ultra-logical Bryce, is pretty amazing. Either my craziness must be rubbing off or he's really good at effortlessly appeasing me.) I don't even know where the baby clothes are--when the cycle failed I was so upset I had Bryce remove the items and hide them somewhere I couldn't see them.

So now, for this third cycle, I need new presents. I can't use the other onesies, so I went on a hunt for new ones. And what better place to hunt for cute, good-juju onesies than Maine? It took days of searching. All the stores in Bar Harbor have decided to sell the same brand of onesie, which can be cute (like Duck Duck Moose) or absolutely horrific (a cute blue whale on the front with "BLOWOUT" printed across the butt. Classy.). The biggest problem was that the cute ones were obviously one sex or the other. When looking for good-juju onesies, it's important to pick out unisex styles. You don't want the Universe to think that you are asking for a particular brand of baby. I wanted to leave all doors open. So much so that I bought not one onesie, but two. I didn't want to discourage the idea of twins (far from discouraging, I encourage the notion). Onesie number one I found in our favorite out-of-state Mexican restaurant--El El Frijoles (get it? Loosely "L.L. Beans?" hahaha). I almost cried, it was so perfect. 
Yup, that's a lobster in a taco.

It was yellow (non-sex-specific), and soft, and commemorates a restaurant we love. And there's a wall of pictures in the restaurant with people and babies wearing the t-shirts/onesies in different cities. We want our baby on that wall next year! (I am resisting the urge to stuff Abner into the onesie and send a picture of that for now.)

But then I was in trouble. I didn't want to buy TWO El El Frijoles onesies, but I needed a second. And I'd already combed through most of the shops in Bar Harbor, only to find more of the same crap. One onesie was awfully close--it was orange and brown stripes with a brown patchwork moose on the front, but it kind of overwhelmingly screamed "boy" to me. So it was a pass. I was feeling discouraged.

On our last night, we found it--a non-crappy onesie, also yellow, from Maine. I'm really not sure what it means, but it will do. I don't know if Moose Rock is an actual place, or if it means "Moose ROCK!," or if it's like a Jailhouse Rock kind of thing. But it's cute and it's tiny and soft and it has a little moose on it, so it spoke to me.

As Bryce said when I bought "Moose Rock," I may have to get another onesie if I see one that speaks to me between now and retrieval (as an extra, not as a ploy for triplets. I'm not crazy). Actually, I don't know why I would need to curb my baby prep at retrieval--I guess I can still dream up until testing. These onesies are special--they are washed and set up in our room to bring good baby juju our way. We are NOT "nesting" or preparing a nursery by doing these small purchases. We are NOT opening ourselves up to gifts of baby stuff. It's a hard distinction to make, but the juju only works if it comes from us, it's the right onesies, and there's a small enough number of them that they won't break my heart if I need to put them in storage again. The last thing I want is a tub full of bad-juju-onesies, but I have a really, really good feeling about these. I have a really good feeling about this cycle, period. Am I nuts for collecting a small trove of baby stuff? Maybe. It seems I just can't dial back the pre-cycle exuberance. I can see a little baby (or babies) stuffed into these adorable yellow outfits. Maybe, with the extra-special magic of Acadia, this will be the extra push we need.

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