nobis opus splendeat: we need more glitter

The headphone reno

I really love these headphones. They’ve always sounded great and they’re comfortable. After trying to replace the fluffy parts twice, I decided to try making my own covers.  They worked for years to not only keep my headphones operational, but they’re also very “me”.  When those covers wore out, it gave me the opportunity “renovate” again… check it out…

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This time I went for an all-over cover in a rainbow palette. I used 6 colors of Lily Sugar & Cream and an F hook.

More baby ninjas

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Tiny ninjas on silk from spoonflower plus purple minky equals a blanket fit for a baby ninja girl.

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I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted in that frame. It was originally something far more explicit and frustrated… but that’s just not me. I hate that infertility has put those thoughts in my head and essentially infected the undertone of my every thought and action. But I think this is a far better representation for infertility – it’s all any of us want… our happily ever afters. It was the theme at my wedding and I really believe it’s the theme of our entire relationship, so I really believe that we will get our happily ever after, how ever that might look. Maybe it’s just the two of us, maybe it’s more, but I know it will be for ever and ever and ever.

I just want to mention now that it’s Infertility Awareness Week this week. You can find out more about the disease of infertility, infertility etiquette, and what you can do to help at RESOLVE, or the Canadian support site IAAC (even though Canadian Infertility Awareness Week isn’t until May!)

When you think “fertility treatment”, you probably think of medications. Some medications are oral (Clomid is one or more pills one or more times a day for about 5 days a month). Some are suppositories (I have nothing to say here besides EWWWW!). Some are injections – today we’re going to be talking specifically about injections because these are the most disruptive to a normal life-style just by virtue of set-up and lack of portability.

Last cycle my medication was in “pen” form – much like a diabetic has an insulin pen, you just clean the injection site, dial the dose, stab, and press. Even the antagonist (taken later in the cycle) was pre-mixed and the trigger (hcg) was mixed by the nurses and taken only once. The “pens” were in a nice little bag that I could take around with me wherever I was because they have to be taken at the same time every single day for between a week and two weeks.

My response to those drugs was bad. Well, it was okay, but it wasn’t good. This cycle we’re trying a new drug which actually has to be mixed immediately before injection. This is my living room table right now:

And there are 8-10 days of this...

And there are 8-10 days of this…

In a couple more days I’ll go back to the dr, they’ll take a look around, and probably give me the antagonist. This injection is not so nice… this was mine from last cycle:

This one kind of hurts...

This one kind of hurts…

but the word on the street is that I’m getting a different one this cycle, again that has to be mixed. This one has to be taken at exactly 8pm every night. What’s that? You want to have a life? Okay, start packing everything up to take it with you… you don’t want to screw up your $5k or $10k cycle because you didn’t take your injection on time!

But wait – remember the Boxy-Bag from last time? Hmmmm… This is my “Med Bag” rendition of the Boxy Bag.

Minky inside and out for delicate glass vials

Minky inside and out for delicate glass vials

I decided to go for purple minky inside and outside – nice and soft for those delicate glass vials! Additionally I used a purple flannel for what I like to call “overhead compartments”.

Please ensure syringe and needle are safely stowed in the overhead bins... open carefully as contents may have shifted.

Please ensure syringe and needle are safely stowed in the overhead bins… open carefully as contents may have shifted.

I used this successfully yesterday – I was going to be away from home and on the other side of town at lunch, so I took my meds with me! I’ve now regained some of my mobility for the first time this cycle!

Successful stowage of meds.

Successful stowage of meds.

I just want to mention now that it’s Infertility Awareness Week this week. You can find out more about the disease of infertility, infertility etiquette, and what you can do to help at RESOLVE, or the Canadian support site IAAC (even though Canadian Infertility Awareness Week isn’t until May!)

One thing that you may or may not know about fertility treatments is that you are supposed to and aren’t allowed to do the strangest things. Everyone knows things like you aren’t supposed to have a lot of caffeine or alcohol, or that you are supposed to take folic acid starting at least 3 months before start trying to get pregnant. But did you know that it’s not recommended that you take any pain relievers besides acetaminophen during a medicated cycle? And that hot baths and hot tubs are discouraged after transfer/IUI? Or that there are certain herbal teas that can actually counteract the work that your medications are trying to accomplish?

With all of these rules, plus all of the old wives tales that may or may not have any salt to them at all (can eating a plethora of green peas can act as a natural birth control? And don’t ever leave home without your fertility idol!), it’s hard to get any relief during a medicated cycle. Add to that the facts that a)the things that are causing problems with your fertility often cause a lot of physical pain and discomfort, b)the medications you’re taking to overcome these problems generally have a lot of side effect, many in the realm of mood and overall well-being, and c)a lot of these meds are prescribed super-charge guess and test method. For instance, our treatment protocal right now is “superov iui”, meaning that they’re trying to get you to ovulate as many eggs as safely possible naturally (without a retrieval and without too much chance of higher-order multiple pregnancy). So hormones are going nuts and it often feels like there’s a rodeo going on in your stomach before, during, and after the transfer.

Enter the Boo Boo Bag and the Boo Boo Bag Cover. The Boo Boo Bag is the workhorse here – it doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be functional – two square pieces of any old fabric (I like a plain cotton muslin) sewn together almost all the way around and filled with something (rice, buckwheat, some sort of dried legume) before being sealed up… you don’t even need pretty edges if you don’t want to.

The Boo Boo Bag Cover is the window-dressing – it’s the thing that makes you smile when you’re feeling like all you want to do is hide under the bed and cry and cry and cry (I’ve actually done that… ask my husband). It’s the soft part the cushions the blow and feels nice when the rest of the world feels sharp and pointy (and I don’t just mean the huge needle for the trigger shot). It’s also the part that is washable and swappable. This can be just as simple as a small envelope pouch with or without a clasp – this part isn’t going in the freezer/microwave so it can have anything that looks pretty and feels nice.

To use, first decide if you want hot or cold – hot is nice for cramping anything when you can’t take an Aleve or an Ibuprofen and cold is nice for soothing and stinging, swelling injection site. I like to have some bags for hot and some for cold because if you use a single bag for dual duty you should let them come to room temperature before switching roles. I like to put a glass of water in the microwave with mine and warm it for about a minute and then 30 seconds at a time afterwards – at each interval I take the bag out and shake it up to thoroughly mix the contents from the inside with the contents closer to the surface to get a more even heating. The cold bag I just leave in the freezer and take out and shake when I need it. Some people add oils to their bags to make them smell pretty, but to me the smell of whatever is in the bag is a symbol of the relief to soon come, so I usually leave mine unscented.

Here are a couple of covers that I made… the first one took 9 MINUTES! The first is all minky, the second is flannel + minky. The first one has a horizontal flap, the second has a vertical flap. They were both made to fit the same ice pack that just slides in beween the two parts of the flap. Both are super soft, super purple, and do the job!

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I just want to mention now that it’s Infertility Awareness Week this week. You can find out more about the disease of infertility, infertility etiquette, and what you can do to help at RESOLVE, or the Canadian support site IAAC (even though Canadian Infertility Awareness Week isn’t until May!)

Fertility yoga is a popular tool among those who suffer from infertility. It’s a way to calm your mind and try to unite your thoughts with your actions while thing you feel least like doing is being calm. By creating a safe space for your body full of support, you can let your mind relax a little bit.

I’ve taken several fertility yoga and restorative yoga classes over the past few years, and a common thread seems to be the “Goddess pose”. I’ve done it with one or two bolsters which you lay back on, letting the bolster support and cradle your body while you let the front of your body release. As someone who is constantly either at a computer or at a sewing machine, this pose feels like pure bliss at the end of the day. ANYWAYS, I was trying to figure out where to get my own bolsters for home practice and I found some 9″x22″ at fabric.com . Then my mind started racing with ideas on how to cover them!

I had some details that I wanted in the cover. I wanted a stiffer fabric, but something soft against the skin, so I instantly thought of a light linen canvas like Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Rising or Heather Ross’s Far Far Away II. I also wanted handles on the ends, a zipper up the side, and a flap with which to cover/hide the zipper… there are few things in this world that are LESS relaxing than a zipper poking into your back… or neck… or face.

So I had a general idea of what I wanted this cover to look like. I chose some Far Far Away II and tried to match up some colors. I ended up with this yellow rose fabric and this green sleeping beauty with an orange zipper.

The zipper is hidden behind a flap that just looks like a seam running the entire bolster... much softer than the metal head of a pointy zipper!

The zipper is hidden behind a flap that just looks like a seam running the entire bolster… much softer than the metal head of a pointy zipper!

The longest zipper I had was about 15″ or 16″ (which I’ve now rectified by ordering an assortment of 20″ & 22″ zippers but they haven’t been delivered yet), so I decided to put it at one end of the cover (not in the center) and have it open towards the center. I used the green as a base with a wide rose strip through the center, perpendicular to the opening.

Once I had a tube shape that sort of fit the pillow (with no pattern there’re a lot of “fittings” and “alterations” involved) I made two “handles” and two “end caps”… two strips and two circles. The first time I put it all together the zipper flap ended up being sewn down while pushed the wrong way rendering it completely useless… I didn’t make that mistake twice!

With a handle at each end, it's really easy to grab and reposition... even if your eyes are closed!

With a handle at each end, it’s really easy to grab and reposition… even if your eyes are closed!

Another problem I had was that the cover was too long and the circles (at 11″) were too big… but as my mom always says about haircuts, it’s easier to try to take more off than to try to put more on after the fact. But once I honed in on the right size I ended up with a beautiful and very comfortable bolster!

I just want to mention now that it’s Infertility Awareness Week this week. You can find out more about the disease of infertility, infertility etiquette, and what you can do to help at RESOLVE, or the Canadian support site IAAC (even though Canadian Infertility Awareness Week isn’t until May!)

When I saw this tutorial floating around, I knew I’d found a winner. Being thrown head-first back into fertility treatments again I knew that my cycle was going to be all sorts of screwed up again and so I like to have spare “Princess Pads” at my convenience. I’ve been thinking about a bag for a long time but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. I made one for someone else last year, and it’s pretty awesome but not quite what was in my vision for myself. So when I saw the box bag, I knew this was it – I need something just as cute as the pads themselves to store the pads in!

My first try, last year.

My first try, last year.

Laminate inside, holds 2-3 Princess Pads.

Laminate inside, holds 2-3 Princess Pads.

I spent most of the last weekend on Princess Pads, but after completing 5 of them I decided to attack the bag. I knew I wanted something cute for the outside – probably something heavier than a quilting cotton – and something cute for the inside – something in a laminate for sure.

I ended up going with a Spoonflower kawaii-type rainbows-sunshine-rainclouds pattern in a cotton canvas for the outside and a rainbow-colored apples pattern from the greenhouse collection for the inside (left over from this project).

Cute on the inside AND the outside! Laminate is waterproof and easy to wipe.

Cute on the inside AND the outside! Laminate is waterproof and easy to wipe.

At first the tutorial was really difficult for me to get a handle on. I’m used to kind of glancing over the instructions and getting a feel for what’s going on, and then winging it myself in my own style. I actually had to sit down and read every word of this tutorial to “get it”, and even then my attention wandered periodically and I ended up ripping stuff out when I didn’t follow her directions.

Exceptionally cute handle and pull tab - the instructions worked perfectly.

Exceptionally cute handle and pull tab – the instructions worked perfectly.

Once I got the hang of what was going on, this bag come together beautifully. I went with the default sizes in the tutorial, just because I didn’t feel like I had a good enough understanding to make adjustments. Now that I understand the pattern I’m planning on making one of different dimensions for a different purpose – carting around my injectable vials of several medications and their mixing mediums, plus everything that goes with them – needles, syringes, alcohol swabs, transfer caps, sharps bag, plus all the other oral medications.

Fits about 4-8 Princess Pads - depending on size. There are 2 big, 2 medium, and 1 little in this one.

Fits about 4-8 Princess Pads – depending on size. There are 2 big, 2 medium, and 1 little in this one.

I just want to mention now that it’s Infertility Awareness Week this week. You can find out more about the disease of infertility, infertility etiquette, and what you can do to help at RESOLVE, or the Canadian support site IAAC (even though Canadian Infertility Awareness Week isn’t until May!)

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