Lately I’ve been all about calming my mind, understanding what I can and cannot control, trying to take it easy, and not sleeping very well because it’s the 9th circle of hell here. I’ve been up since 4am. I’ve listened to some meditations and tried to go back to sleep and can’t so here I sit. Blogging for the first time in more than a week.

Looking at my IVF journey so far, there is a tremendous amount of it that’s been out of my control. Yes, I’ve been doing what I can to better my outcomes, I eat properly *most of the time* sleep as much as my body allows me to, I get acupuncture and now chiropractic therapy for my whiplash. I’ve had cycles I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and I’ve had 2 cycles that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

In the last 10 months, Ive had 9 egg retrieval’s, 1 failed transfer, created 2 blastocysts, my mother has been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer. I’ve been in a car accident, my cat of 13 years died, I’ve fought (pointlessly) with my idiot sister, my dog has had a surgery so expensive, we had to cancel our vacation plans entirely. I’ve struggled with faith, trust, hope, believing in myself and wondered if I am doing the right thing for my husband and stepdaughter by pursuing this dream of mine. Its his dream too, but this is my blog. I’ve made some friends for the first time since..forever. Among our/my smaller accomplishments, I’ve taken another Mandarin class, re-landscaped the backyard with the hubs, learned how to bake the perfect croissant (yes it is in fact, the water) and made enough jam to provide every child in Orange County with toast and jam on their first day of school. I’ve made “fertility bracelets” from semi-precious stones and am about to open an Etsy store to sell them. Next month, I intend to learn to knit, and will undertake a complete redesign and architecture of my husband’s business website. If all goes according to plan, my fertility treatments will continue.

I’m a big believer in occupied hands lead to a more peaceful mind. The last 10 months have been anything but boring.

I’ve talked a lot about Chinese symbolism, I suppose that since I am Irish and Scottish I should be taking about Celtic symbolism. Symbolism has always been fascinating to me. It began when I was learning about my background and history, continued when I was learning Arabic, because to understand classical and colloquial Arabic you have to find the roots, to understand the roots, you need to understand the history, to understand the history you need to understand the evolution of language and sociology. All of which leads back to symbolism. In symbolism you can usually find more human similarities than differences. Understanding symbolism to me is like deciphering a message. Learning what the symbol is, what it means, why it means that, and its overall intent.

The symbols of my IVF journey are a few bracelets where each bead has a meaning, each charm symbolizes something, a necklace, my intentions, this blog, my hopes; and the things I’ve learned about myself. The necklace and bracelets are tangible reminders of what I lack, what I need to focus on and no matter the outcome, the person I hope to be.

I’ve learned that some words are very powerful when you need hope or faith or to believe. That offering those words to the person suffering is like offering water to a thirsty person. I’ve also learned to try to quiet my incredibly noisy mind, focus on my dreams and live there for a little while every day. Some days are harder than others but ultimately, I am getting the hang of it.

I wonder, when I reach the end of this journey, what my little symbols and talismans will mean to me then.