Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Ruby Necklace

I know many of you are my #fellowinfertiles, but for those of you who aren't, you should know that while going through treatment, routines are acquired, traditions are made. 
When I was doing treatment while still living in the Bronx, I wouldn't get to work in time to drink my morning coffee, rather I'd stop at the Dunkin Donuts on the way to work and get my iced coffee.  Now that I don't eat before my appointments since I drive in so early in the morning, I go for lunch at my favorite Moss Cafe.  It is almost always a cause of anxiety if I can't stick to my routine.  
I haven't heard of many people who have routines for their regular appointments, but traditions become established at the culmination of the cycle: special transfer socks, a particular lunch afterwards, I always take my picture with Dr. B, and I recently heard of the traditional ruby necklace.

The even takuma (pronounced evan tah koo muh) is a raw ruby stone worn on silver necklace. I did not know about the silver part when I ordered! It is to touch the skin and it's believed to promote fertility and prevent miscarriage.  This is a kabbalistic belief, a segulah: something we do to promote the good of something, in this case, fertility and pregnancy. 

I searched for ruby necklaces on Etsy, and was thrilled when one of the stores, Annalis Jewelry, was located in Israel. I felt that made the connection even stronger.  

I know, of course, that this necklace does not hold the power to control the outcome of any treatment, or the success of a pregnancy.  However, it does give me something tangible, a constant reminder, of who is really in control of the situation.  

How dainty is that clasp?  

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I donned the necklace the morning of my transfer, in the parking lot of the office, right before walking in; I have yet to take it off.  I've gone to the gym in it, showered in it, slept in it, and not thought twice about how it looks with any given outfit.  

I often forget I'm wearing it, but then it will get a little tight on my neck and I have to readjust it.  And in that moment, I'm reminded just where my faith needs to be.  

Tomorrow is 10 days post transfer.  We pushed back the pregnancy test until Monday so we have a more clear picture, as oppose to what we went through with low hcg numbers and then ultimately a complete drop a few days later.  

Ironically, the two symptoms I've had in every other cycle: heartburn and exhaustion, have not been present. Ironically, I'm no longer looking for symptoms.  Ironically, as if a sign to remind me who is really in control-the night after starting progesterone, I had some bad heartburn, a common side effect, making it clear to me symptoms were not going to be an indication of the success of this cycle.  
One of my close friends, so lovingly confiscated my pregnancy tests so I wouldn't be tempted to check early and fall into the rabbit hole that is comparing lines on a positive test.  
So here I sit, 10 days later, with not a single idea of what tomorrow's at home pregnancy test will read.  

Because I do like to have some light material, I will share a funny maybe symptom related story from this morning. As it is Dr. Seuss' birthday, many schools celebrated.  The school I see kids in was making green eggs and ham. Now, having not been exposed to much ham and bacon growing up, I usually find the smell repulsive.  The first time I smelled it in 8th grade home economics class,  I almost had to leave the room to prevent from vomiting.  When I see people eating meat in the morning, I just don'  But today that ham smelled so good, I wish I could have sat in the room all day! 

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