Do you know about IVF shoes? They're not the shoes that you wear into the retrieval room, but the shoes you buy yourself as a prize for bearing all those damned needles. I'm not even a shoe whore, and I had IVF shoes.
The first clinic I went to was right around the corner from a Taryn Rose shoe store. Daily trips past the window, and one day I just had to go in and buy an expensive pair of sweet black heels with a teensy strap across the instep. In point of fact, they weren't even IVF shoes, they were IUI shoes - that was the sticking-the-toes-in-the-water cycle. No baby. Just shoes.
The next cycle, the first IVF cycle, resulted in a necklace. It was something I'd been eyeballing, coveting even, for quite a while. I can't now remember when we bought the necklace - whether it was during the cycle, or the wait, or after we found out that I was pregnant. It seemed to me a perfect necklace for a mother-to-be, two similar stones, one a little bigger than the other.
And then we lost the baby.
Probably out of some vague superstition - another necklace, another miscarriage? - we told almost no one about the second IVF cycle, and it garnered no trinkets. It lives on, but just in memory, mine mostly, and on some scraps of paper with cryptic notes as to E2 and lining and units.
The third IVF has a very tangible aide memoire in that raucous, tiger-loving, clothes-horse who climbs into my bed for a snuggle every morning.
Back to the necklace. After the miscarriage, the necklace became my memory. It's all that remains of that pregnancy and the two rocks now represent my two children, the big one getting bigger, the small one never to be.
I was thinking about this the other day - Niobe is doing a babylost memorial walk this weekend and offered to remember the "baby or babies that you hold only in your heart" if you send her the names and dates. There is no name, there is no date, there's only what's in my heart - and the necklace.
07 May 2009