This year I celebrated Christmas in sunny California, rather than going home to eastern Ontario. This meant many things. I got to pick out and decorate a real Christmas tree for the first time in years. I chose our tree because it was sustainably harvested from a reforestation plot that needed to be culled, because if one is going to celebrate a Californian Christmas it seemed appropriate to go as granola as possible. I’m a sucker for the Charlie Brown Christmas tree esthetic, and our scrawny, spare, hilarious tree was the perfect size for our ornaments, which previously adorned a 1.5 ft tall fake tree. As Pea said “our tree is one that failed to thrive in the competition for sunlight. It is a failure tree, so we will love it now that it is dead”. We bought twinkle lights on sale, and gingerly strung them on it, and now the upper half won’t light up, so only the bottom of our tree is twinkly. It’s a good look, actually. We can’t add more lights or the whole thing will likely collapse. I love it.
Not going home meant Pea and I filled each other’s stockings for the first time, allowing us to pick out a myriad of tiny “I love you” gifts. He got me a new toothbrush as a joke, as mine is a travesty. I got him fancy floss as a joke, as all things related to dental hygiene make him happy. The toothbrush probably wasn’t a joke, come to think of it. We both got each other ornaments so that we have shared ones for our tree. We’re a good pair. He (adorably) completely failed to take into account the size, shape, and relative stretchiness of a stocking, leading to randomly piled wrapped items cascading to the floor. I got him a little lego set that was immediately put together. We ate the clementine oranges from the stocking toes together in bed, shared a chocolate, and warily contemplated the weirdest Christmas candy I could find for Pea before deciding to make pancakes and get on with our day (at noon, a timeline which would never fly at home).
Not going home meant we spent several hours on Skype, saying hello and merry merry to our various households. We caught everyone except Pea’s sister, who is in Cambodia for the holidays, and who is tricky to track down because of time differences and erratic internet. It was really nice to see everyone, and more than a little bittersweet, as I miss my family deeply, and I love our various traditions. It was interesting that most of our parents were having relatively small Christmases: one set with a small family gathering, two sets having a relaxed dinner for just them, and one set hosting a medium-sized gathering with friends. Of the eight parents and eleven children and seven grandchildren that make up our immediate families, only one child was ‘home’ for Christmas: my younger sister at my mother’s house. Which underscored for me how very normal it is to not be home for Christmas, despite how strange it felt for me.
We made an elaborate lentil and eggplant dish for dinner, which was fun to make, but disappointing to eat. We opened one of our wine country bottles of wine that we’ve been ‘cellaring’ on our kitchen counter for a year, and had nice wine and ate shortbread cookies and watched episodes of Mad Men. Our hilarious tree twinkled. It was a good day. It was a fun Christmas, and the mini-break Pea and I went on for the three days prior was delightful in every way. We’re good travel companions, and spending Christmas alone together was just what I thought it would be: warm, loving, silly, and a little bit offbeat. We’d worried a bit about starting new traditions before deciding that was too big a thing to tackle, and just enjoyed the day and did what we wanted. It was lovely.
Lab book update: I am on CD5 today, after AF finally appeared on day two of our trip, accompanied by cramps the likes of which I have never experienced. Not debilitating, but definitely some active contracting happening in my uterus. I don’t recommend long cycles followed by progesterone supplements followed by a very late and unlikely ovulation (which, based on temperatures, is exactly what happened). It gives your body a lot of time under proper hormonal conditions to build nice plushy linings. Which then have to shed. It took exactly 14 days after my last prometrium pill for AF to show, and I ovulated three days after that last pill, giving me a 10 day LP. Which is still short. Which is not ideal, but I can’t really believe that ovulation was anything like what someone would call “strong”, so am trying not to add LPD to my list of worries.
Today is day 1 of my last cycle of clomid, at 150 mg. Last, unless this dose works better for me which is not unheard of. If I can actually ovulate on a regular schedule with clomid, I’ll stick with it for a few more months, but if this cycle is yet another long odd one, it is off to the fertility specialist next ‘month’. I managed to ovulate a total of three times in 2013. In September, I wanted to have ovulated before Christmas, and I pulled off two, so I am technically doing as well as I had hoped.