I’m really excited to be part of the 2016 Block of the Month Quilt for Charity from Fat Quarter Shop. This year’s design is called “Crossroads” and has such a great vintage vibe (although I’m planning to do mine with a decidedly bright, bold, contemporary feel). The 2016 Charity quilt will be helping to raise funds for March of Dimes which is a U.S. Based Charity that funds lifesaving research, programs and works to end premature births, birth defects and infant mortality. In the lead up to the launch of the monthly pattern release Fat Quarter Shop have asked the Crossroad Bloggers to share a crossroad moment from their lives.
It’s kind of got me stumped because I think that, unlike the movies, rarely do we realise we’re standing at a crossroad until the moment has passed and we can reflect back on what brought us to this moment-in-time. I remember when I was finishing Grade 12 and having a complete anxiety attack about having to choose my university course and committing to what I thought was going to be the decision that shaped my life. Turns out that decision was nothing in the scheme of my life, and it’s been the little decisions that I’ve made on the fly that have had the biggest impacts.
The spur of the moment decision to move from Townsville to Canberra which lead me to meeting the man that would become my best friend and husband. Our middle of the night unplanned discussion that lead to us to getting married. The whim that lead me to taking a quilting class. It’s all just been things that I’ve followed my gut on and just enjoyed the ride. Sometimes it’s worked, sometimes it’s been less-then-successful.
I think the biggest decision we ever made that was a total crossroads moment (that I just flew right through) was deciding to pursue IVF, and really it was the decision to do the final round that I often look back on and think “That was a moment that changed our lives”. For those of you that haven’t read the novel that is my about page, I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis. It’s nothing special, lots of women have it. It manifested itself by helping me grow a football sized 2.5kg ovarian cyst that did some damage to my fallopian tubes. The doctors said that the chances of us falling pregnant without the use of IVF would be next to none and so we embarked on the very expensive and emotional journey of trying for our little family.
We went through 6 years of trying to conceive and in the process did 5 rounds of IVF. Our first round we got something like 14 embryos and thought we’d end up with a football and basketball team. Those 14 embryos were the first 4 cycles with no baby to show for it. It was heartbreaking.
I remember sitting in our bed after our second round and not getting a result, crying like my world was falling apart (and even now thinking about it I get teary) and telling my husband that I was done. I’d had my heartbroken with each round and it was taking everything I had to pick myself up, push myself to go back through it all again, and we were getting no where. We sat up all night talking about it. All I wanted was a “sign” that we could get pregnant. That was it. I knew that if we could just get pregnant, not even go full term, just get pregnant that we’d be alright and it would happen. We talked all night and at the end of the night we had a plan.
We’d do one more round (couldn’t leave those embryos behind) and if nothing happened we’d stop. We’d accept that it was never going to happen and we’d do something else instead. We decided we’d move to Canada and have an adventure. I knew in my heart that whatever happened our lives would be rich in blessings, full of laughter and love and that we’d be cool as non-parents or parents. We had each other and that’s all that mattered.
I went into that round thinking it wouldn’t happen and so I spent most of it researching where to live. (Well, it was more like researching where they filmed Supernatural… this was pre-quilting days and so if I was to do it now I’d be researching where all the good quilt shops are!) I was daydreaming about our life in Canada and secretly hoping and praying that we’d get pregnant.
The pregnancy didn’t last past 2 weeks and while I was heartbroken I now had hope. I knew that we’d get there and I was so pigheaded about doing it. I went into the next two rounds with blind determination. The fourth round we got pregnant again, but as with round 3 it didn’t stick. Then the fifth round it stuck and we got our little miracle.
I remember standing in our kitchen the night before our first lot of results were due. I was eating take-out from our favourite Chinese restaurant (the same restaurant we ate from on the night we moved into our first home, the night before I went in for my c-section, the night we brought our son home and the last night in that house) and I remember clear as day thinking “This is it. It’s all going to change tomorrow.”
And it did. I got a little piece of my heart come to life and I’m still waiting to get to Canada.
During that last round of IVF I took my beginners quilt course and found out I was pregnant shortly after finishing the course. I actually credit two things with that round being successful… 1. Pineapple Juice (ask google) and B. being so chilled because I was having so much fun learning to be a quilter. It’s like my heart exploded with all the things I never knew I needed at once. My Son has been with me through each quilt I make and I’m really looking forward to snuggling under this quilt with him in 2016.
If you’d like to join me and sew your own version of this amazing quilt you can find out more information (including where to purchase fabric kits, donate to March of Dimes and see who else will be making a version of this quilt) below or on Fat Quarter Shop’s Blog by clicking here.
Fat Quarter Shop’s Crossroads Quilt Along benefits March of Dimes. they are an amazing organization whose mission is to prevent premature births. Today, one in ten babies are born prematurely, and many will not survive. Join us along with March of Dimes to ensure all babies have a fighting chance.
Fat Quarter Shop have created a limited supply of quilt kits and pieced backing sets using the Strawberry Fields Revisited collection by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics. If you want to use your own fabrics, the Fabric Requirements PDF will be available February 2016.
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