Acrobats

The Chinese characters for goldfish are 金鱼. The pinyin is jīn yú and the word jīn yú rhymes with “abundant gold”.  By rhymes, I mean they are the same words with a different meaning, depending on where you put the emphasis. For years we had the traditional 50 gallon fish tank in our home, with the big white and red goldfish with raspberry heads, some big plain gold ones and usually a black one as well. Always 8 of them. Always a good number. The idea is that goldfish bring all the good things into your home. They bring in prosperity, life, abundance, happiness, good health etc. The black fish is there to symbolically collect the negative, and take it on so that it doesn’t affect or impact the family. But they are all still considered goldfish.

After many years as my husbands free time got taken with added work time, he stopped having the energy to properly care of it, so it sits in the garage waiting for the next time he wants to take on a project that will take a few hours each Sunday.

When I started IVF, I called my embryos goldfish. I’m not sure why, maybe it was because I know that goldfish are delicate creatures, who without proper care, are prone to sickness, that you can’t name them or pet them, you can only look at them swimming around and hope that the water/environment is the right balance for them. Somehow embryos seemed the same to me. Without proper care and love in the lab, they don’t survive, and sometimes even with proper care they don’t survive. With goldfish when they are happy the kind of skitter around the tank swimming through the water filter bubbles and nudging into each other. When embryos are happy, they grow, swell, divide and have lots of energy.

It’s a delicate balance that’s always shifting.

Today is a good day, because I can see myself chasing after a toddler calling “jīn yú”, or my little goldfish. It’s an old Chinese custom to call your baby after an animal so that the spirits from the netherworld don’t try to take the new soul away from you. My stepdaughter is still called “little piggy” by some of her relatives. It’s not a pejorative as it is in the US. It means she’s well taken care of, well-loved and well fed. To be clear, it’s a nickname it’s not anyone’s real name. No, I’d never name my kid goldfish. I’m probably doing it all wrong, Chinese probably only call their kids names of land animals and here I am equating a potential baby to a water animal. I’ve probably got this whole thing all wrong.

I’ve had some questions about why no egg retrieval this month. It’s because I had to have a bunch of X-Rays on my back last Friday, and today would have been egg retrieval day and it’s just not enough time between them to not be dangerous.

Cirque du Soleil is in town so I suppose I should come up with something appropriately circus-y. Its been quite a while so ok, here’s my comparison.

Lets talk about those acrobats that fly on a trapeze across great height, let go, and blindly hope, that their partner catches their wrists. That between the two of them they can hold on, finish their routine and neither of them dies. My RE *probably* says that working with me has been like that. That he hopes that, not only do we both successfully live through this venture, but that the outcome produces a child. In case you were wondering, he is the one that catches me and keeps me from falling to my death in this overly dramatic, although also kind of accurate and morbidly funny scenario. There have been times when I am positive he’s wanted to kill me. At times I’ve wanted to kill him too. But we have practiced a lot, and I’m hoping that when the time comes we can hold on. I’ve said lots before. Blind faith is something I’ve always struggled with, its not easy for me, and there is enough baggage in the reasons behind it, to fill a complete Louis Vuitton set of luggage. (Not that Id ever carry anything so pretentious)

Between Dr Yelian and Molly, I know I’m in good hands. I just need enough faith to get me through the blind spots and hope that they can catch me if I fall. If he doesn’t, well, I do have a net, with Jamie, Cindy, Dr. Paul, Suzy and a few others to catch me, but if I fall, it will be hard and it will of course be painful.
To quote my friend Bitter en Zoet from Mother Sugar, “Magical things happen at the Circus”

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4 comments on “Acrobats

  1. John Markham/Cap Curmudgeon says:

    I realize no pregnancy is a “sure thing” until delivery.

    If the embryo transfer “takes” this week, do you have a sense (for your body, your situation) of how long you’ll wait before you’re comfortable?

    If this question comes across as prying, please feel free to dump some noncommittal; answer on me. Really.

    • Jeanette says:

      Fantastic question for us older ladies. Normally at 12 weeks most women are comfortable. I wont be comfrotable until 16 weeks or until all the tests come back negative. :p

  2. Daryl says:

    I love both of these analogies! And that you’re picturing yourself chasing after your “little goldfish.” Kids are squirmy little things, so I think it works for a toddler just as well as an embryo!

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