Thursday, December 29, 2005

Worry wart

Write down your worries, we are told... this will stop the 3am worrying. So in the last couple of days I've been worrying about:

  • work, irritatingly, since I have a week off - how far behind various people's expectations I am, how much I have to do when I go back, and how I am not doing any over Christmas, unlike, I suspect, many of my colleagues.
For some of them (D, who has a six-year-old with autistic spectrum disorder) this is because they really don't have time to get the basics done during term time, for others (perhaps S, whose main relationships before becoming a permanent member of staff were short-term ones with students, and who was warned off making this a habit so who has taken to teaching summer schools in order to meet new students...) because they don't have much of a life away from work, but for others (probably C, my mentor) because that's the way he meets his million obligatory obligations and million-and-one self-chosen obligations. Which is why he's a professor, and I'm not.
  • my current round of symptom spotting, of course - CD27 and I still have sore boobs [usually they start around CD21 and stop about 4 or 5 days later, but once they continued into about the next CD3], but nothing else to speak of [no cramps, thankfully, as I'm a bit fed up of sharp, miscarriage-style cramps before my period].
  • not sleeping well in my worry about whether or not my period will start - a common one, this.
  • driving to the snowy NE of England tomorrow, taking ages and/or getting stuck, or alternatively, staying an extra night at my mother's, having told our friends we'll be there tomorrow. And all the food we need to buy for the stay in the cottage as three of the other guests are coming on the train and the fourth is my empty-larder single-bloke cousin.
  • poor Mr Spouse having to spend an extra night at my mother's.
  • poor Mr Spouse having to drive in the snow.
  • poor Dr Spouse trying to persuade Mr Spouse that she also doesn't want to hang around her mother's house longer than necessary, and that we really won't get stuck in the snow.
  • that all the snow will have gone by the time we get to the NE.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


People always talk of "losing" a baby - often they use the phrase even for babies lost very early in pregnancy - in fact later on, babies are allowed to "die" rather than be "lost". Very careless of mothers...

Well, last night I dreamt that we had been looking after someone else's 18-month-old girl, Grace (this is a ficticious child but I do remember the name) and we had our own baby boy (I don't know what he was called!). But we lost them both.

As in, mislaid them. Misplaced them. Didn't know where they were. Grace, I think, was left unattended for a moment and we thought she'd wandered off, but then in our panic we left the baby boy in the hospital nursery and then he vanished. We were it seems in the middle of trying to adopt but they wouldn't let us have any children because we had lost those we were responsible for.

At this point I woke up - noisily, I suspect, because I woke Mr Spouse up too. I went back to sleep fairly rapidly and oddly resumed the dream. It got more dramatic, but had a partly happy ending - it turns out Grace was snatched by her father, who was wanted for something else by the police - a trap was set involving £65,000 in cash (never say my dreams do not have realistic details), he turned up and Grace was found. Of the baby boy, I do not know.

Friday, December 23, 2005

It's that time of year again...

when everyone sends out those Christmas cards, and, more annoying, those Christmas letters. We never do them (we made a small exception in sending wedding invitation/announcements when we were planning the wedding) and my usual rule is write a couple of lines by hand (shock horror) inside the card of people I haven't seen for a while.

So, when the news hasn't been great, what to do? I am afraid I did tell about four or five unfortunate friends about the miscarriage (and the two elderly relatives that died, and the fact that Mr Spouse nearly lost his job - told you the news hadn't been great). A few other people got a very cheery "Well, it's not been a great year, here's hoping 2006 is better!". Nothing like a bit of Christmas cheer, is there?

So this is by way of an apology to people who get inappropriate news in their Christmas cards... and thanks to my friend J, who I actually knew had had a miscarriage herself but at the time I didn't feel up to sharing the lovely news with absolutely everyone - and who rang me last night as soon as she got my card, and who I managed also to tell about our unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant again. I was welling up a bit on the phone, though.

It's good to talk...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Three years ago today...

I met Mr Spouse, in person, for the first time - we'd been emailing for about a month before that, but it wasn't Swoon at First Sight and in fact took another six weeks of emailing and MSN before another meeting and... well, the rest is history.

And it was a Friday... and I had said to a friend "why would I want to go on another blind date, all the rest were awful"... But I went, and I'm jolly glad I did.

It seems
both like much longer, and much less time. But you will be able to calculate on your fingers from the fact that we've been "trying" for over a year now, and that we got married in May last year, that I haven't exactly been "defying nature" as a certain irritating gynaecologist would have it - unseemly haste would be more like it.

Although I did spend some of my 20s and 30s gallivanting round the world, having children has always been on the agenda, just not on that of any of the men I met - nor, indeed, has pairing off with me. I'm heartily grateful, in retrospect, that it didn't work out with anyone except Mr Spouse, perhaps he could have crawled out from under his stone* a little sooner but given the age gap, and the kind of people we were in respectively our 20s and 30s, we are not too sure that would have made much difference.

*this is where we reckon he must have been hiding all that time, and the reason why no-one else snapped him up earlier.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Without any "props", the fertility meter from the trial I was on, any ovulation predictor kits or anything, I actually feel a lot more relaxed about both trying to conceive and whether I do or don't this cycle.

Whether this will last is another thing - this is the cycle I got pregnant last year, so emotions could still take over. And it could have something to do with the fact that I've been feeling like cr*p, with an inner ear infection that's made me dizzy and headachy for a week now - I was starting to come out of it yesterday, when we foolishly spent the day in Nearest Big City shopping, followed by a fairly quiet but quite late night at the house of a friend of Mr Spouse.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My first google

I didn't think my blog was googleable yet, but apparently it is, because someone got here by googling "does early pregnancy feel like impending menstruation".

I am faced with a bit of a dilemma. I am not sure (and scanning old posts doesn't help me, partly because I'm dreadful at skim reading and skipping things) if I've actually told Mr Spouse about this blog. I was reminded of this for a slightly circuitous reason, when I was using his smartphone and he said he had a link to my other blog (light, frothy, tales of knitting and snow and such-like) - I know he reads that one - I don't (think) I post anything here I wouldn't want him to read, and I know he always wants to hear if I'm upset or dwelling on something... but some of this blog falls into what a newly married, long-time bachelor aged 50 would count as "too much information". I am training him in the ways of womanhood and the fact that, when you are married and trying to get pregnant, there is not any such thing as too much information, and he is a quick learner, but he isn't entirely there yet.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My friend says...

No, not me, honest. I seriously thought I'd already blogged about this but perhaps the computer at work ate it. If you spot it in a previous post do tell it to make itself known...

I have a friend at work who is a year younger than me, and her husband is a couple of years older than Mr Spouse (early 50s), and they have been undergoing fertility investigations and also investigating adoption. Based on the publicly available information, they were told they couldn't adopt a child under 7 in the UK, and they already had various tests showing that she has no problems at all but he has borderline to low motility.

So far so irritating. They were talking about adopting from Russia, and then found they had an adoption information evening and a fertility clinic appointment on the same day.

Fertility clinic: Your only hope is IVF, we'll put you on the waiting list straight away, [they don't want to consider IVF], it's your eggs dear, you are too old, there is nothing wrong with your husband, we'll give you C.lomid to give you a bit of a boost (no mention of monitoring ovulation while on C.lomid).

Adoption information: yes, adoption of a younger child (under 5, anyway) IS possible where one of the couple is older, transracial ditto, for at least their local authority and another one neighbouring (neither of which is ours, but both of which are close enough that it might be possible to apply to them).

Just what I didn't need...

We had one weekend to ourselves before Christmas, which would have been a good time to either a) get excited about being pregnant (ha!) b) have a bit of bonding before another month of trying again or c) do some productive things in the house/related to Christmas.

So, instead, I choose to have an insecurity fit. This is where I decide I am being ignored and throw a wobbly, and Mr Spouse feels very guilty and hides in a corner.

And he's not sleeping (at weekends) and I'm not sleeping (during the week). Joy.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I was right...

about the spot.

Also didn't sleep at all well last night, and managed to lose my purse between buying a coffee on my way from the bus stop, and reaching my office.

I think this is what's known
in the business as a Bad Day.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


So far:

  1. I got a letter this morning to say I didn't get the grant. "Resubmission is not invited".
  2. Negative test also this morning - truly, clearly negative, not even "well, part of that line is a little blue even if it doesn't go all the way down" as has happened twice before when I've been late.
  3. I have a large spot. Highly predictive of impending menstruation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It seems highly likely...

that I will both get my period and hear that I have failed to secure four years' worth of funding for a large research project (and hence a chance of a promotion), in the next 2 days. Although the funding (my chances of getting which have been rated as so low as to be invisible, by colleagues) was supposed to be decided in November, but they are notoriously tardy. So perhaps the larger disappointment will hold off till next week.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I have comments!

Gosh... people are commenting... people other than Maria (who is deeply lovely but who I've known for ages, at least in my computer I have)...

My period is due tomorrow (if I'm having a regular slightly-under-28 day cycle), or on Thursday (if it's the same as the last one) or Friday (if I count from the first low reading on the fertility meter I have from the clinical trial. That will be the sixth month on the trial and I have to give the meter back. I am, not surprisingly, somewhat sad about this. Even with the best help there is, I can't get pregnant (or, possibly, I can but I can't stay pregnant). What hope without any props? And, more to the point, how am I going to be able to afford to pay for pregnancy tests?

The research says that sex every two to three days, throughout the cycle, is actually more effective than timing it with temperature/ovulation kits etc. I would say, I'll report back after another six months of trying that. But I'm not sure if either Mr Spouse or I have the energy...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Always the daughter, never the mum

I work with children - not so much on a day-to-day basis, so I have a store of "cute things they say", and enough contact to keep me positive about children being nice most of the time, and feeling good that I can give them back when I'm done. And I have a two-year-old niece and many of my friends have small children. But I don't see them every day, and I don't share all the celebrations, or have to cope with their difficulties, or mark their milestones.

So when people talk about, say their baby's first birthday, the only comments I have to make are based on experiences as a child, rather than as an adult. So this means I constantly feel like a child, in these conversations. I've talked to other childless adults about this - one, who I'm pretty sure is childless by choice, seems to quite like feeling like a child. But I don't. I don't really like that my acquaintances and friends seem to know more about being an adult than I do. I don't like that I talk to a colleague who is the same age as Mr Spouse and he lumps me together with his pre-teen daughters.

Being an adult seems to mean responsibility - in particular responsibility for children. If you don't have that, it seems you cannot be fully grown up.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

That was hard, but good

Today we went to a service held for all those who have lost a baby. Since the miscarriage was in February, we have kind of put this to the backs of our minds. I thought I would be sad, but I wasn't really prepared for quite how overwhelmed I was. I am not really sure how many of the families there had lost babies they got to meet, but we did feel particularly sad when at the beginning we were given a card to put our baby's name on - our baby didn't have a "proper" name, just one of those silly names that you give something the size of a baked bean. We had been watching "Shameless" and there were the twins Nigel and Delia, so the baby became known as NigelandDelia. We know that it wasn't twins, because there was only one sac, but that's how we still refer to it. So I decided to put N & D on the card - but I'm not sure if everyone else had a name for their baby. It's hard to escape the feeling that ours was not a "real" baby.

It was moving seeing everyone there - particularly affecting to see women on their own, women with their mothers, one very young woman with what I assume was her friend - both no older than their early 20s, one in a student team sports top. There was also one lone man, with his son who looked like he had mild learning disabilities or cerebral palsy - it's hard not to speculate about people's stories.

Anyway we sang Amazing Grace and Lord of all Hopefullness, all the good ones, and had some lovely readings, and it is very hard to write in a non-clich├ęd manner about such things!

Yesterday we were at a wedding, with two of the pregnant people from our internet group -
plus another couple of pregnant people, one of whom Mr Spouse knows fairly well, and who already has four children of her own, and her partner has two - and the youngest of her other children is 13, and she is at least four years older than me. Mr Spouse made me feel a lot better when he pointed that out! I bet her midwife loves her ("you're HOW old? and you've had HOW many pregnancies?")

And in about 3 weeks we have the infamous sister-in-law (she's very nice, really, though my mother doesn't think she's Good Enough for Her Amazing Son. Well, that's half the time.The other half she's the only one who does anything and my brother is a lazy so-and-so). Who, as I was reminded the other week may well be already showing at 4 months pregnant, as it's her second, and she's already been buying trousers at Mothercare. But I will probably be in mid-cycle leaping-on-Spouse mode so should have a moderately positive outlook at the time.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Last time I got pregnant the second month on the fertility meter, we'll get pregnant again then.

Last time I got pregnant the fourth month of trying, we'll get pregnant the same month this time.

Last time I had an awful cold and flu after ovulation, I ended up pregnant. That's bound to happen again this time.

I'm definitely going to get pregnant before my first due date, it makes sense for the "pregnancy" to continue.

I'll find out I'm pregnant just after my due date, it would make sense for that to happen.

I need to "complete" the first pregnancy, I'll get pregnant after my due date.

If we go to another wedding, I'll find out I'm pregnant after that. That's what happened last year.

My period is due on the same date as this time last year, so that would make my due date the same - this is bound to be the month I get pregnant.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Well, that wasn't too bad

The GP was pretty sympathetic and agreed it was time to refer, and said that because I'm fairly sure I'm ovulating, it might be time to look at more obscure things (tubes, Mr Spouse's sperm, and indeed factors that might cause recurrent miscarriage).

I asked him about the ibuprofen thing and he said he thought baby aspirin wasn't really recommended any more for anti-phospho-lipid people so I don't think I'll try self-prescribing that, though it's very tempting as I feel like I'm wasting what could be quite good fertility each month!

I also asked (which I forgot to write down, but remembered before I got there) about going private - he said since the wait wasn't that long (a month or two, and I believe him, as last time I was referred to a gynaecologist for something non-urgent, it took less time than that), it wasn't really worth it at this stage.

So we will see, and I will forge ahead with my plan of seducing Mr Spouse on a regular basis. Now, what can I have cooking in the oven "for at least half an hour" when he comes home tonight and goes upstairs to take off his work clothes? Well, the poor guy has to have some recompense for his next step, which is probably manipulation of his privates and production on demand of a sample...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Notes to self

Thanks for asking, whoever it was - yes I'm OK. I had been to a work conference and this is my first day spent all (or almost all) at home in about 3 weeks.

I have managed to get an appointment with my regular GP (it's a huge surgery, you can get an appointment with "just anyone" pretty quickly but I was threatened with waiting nearly 3 weeks to see the guy I normally see, who knows something of my history, only a space came up) for Monday. Advice from internet friends is that I write down what I want to say to him, so here it is:

  1. It's been six months of trying to get pregnant since the miscarriage (plus a couple of months of having a rest), and at 38 I don't want to wait any longer before investigating what might be wrong.
  2. Although things can change, I am pretty sure I'm ovulating and that we are having sex at the right time of the month, because a) I got pregnant before doing the same thing and b) I am on the Oxford Conception Study [which is a study trialling a fertility meter, which records both oestrogen and lutenising hormone surges] and it gives me high fertility readings at the same time each month.
  3. It is possible that I have actually conceived once or twice (or even more) times in the last six months - when I got pregnant before, I had a very very faint positive pregnancy test the first day I missed my period, and then a clear positive 3 days later. Since then, when I have been one day late, I have done a test - and twice is has probably been positive. One of those months my period (a bit heavier and more clotty than normal) started 3 days later. The other month, last month, it started the next day but had been preceded by extremely sharp pains, very unlike my normal period pains but quite like both the pains I got while pregnant and the ones I got while miscarrying.
  4. I am wondering therefore if it is possible to investigate for both fertility and recurrent miscarriage. It seems silly to do both, but then if it takes six months to find no cause for infertility and we move on to investigating early recurrent miscarrriage I have wasted a lot of time.
  5. In particular I am wondering about the blood clotting issue as I have read it can be linked to migraines, which I get. It may be a coincidence, but the only time I've been pregnant past 5 weeks, I happened to have taken a lot of ibuprofen just after I would have conceived. I know ibuprofen is not advised around the time of conception, and I have since been trying to avoid it as there now seems to be a link to miscarriage. But I am wondering if prophylactic baby aspirin would do any harm?
  6. I've run out of migraine tablets.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Deja vu

We held interviews today for a part-time post I recently got funding for: it went pretty well, we finished on time and didn't argue about who should get the job. Just waiting to hear from my preferred candidate...

I've interviewed job applicants twice here before, and the first time (when I was going to be the supervisor) it was in my own office. The second time was in my Head of Department's office. It was also the day I was running to the loo every five minutes, having had bleeding the day before at 10 weeks pregnant. After the interviews, I went to A&E. My "empty sac" scan was the next day, and my miscarriage was "completed" at the end of that week with medical management.

Today, expecting my period, running to the loo, and interviewing in - you've guessed it - my HoD's office. Hmm, where have I seen this before?

Later: yes, my period started, and it is very, very painful - much sharper pains than I normally have, and much more similar to when I was pregnant and got cramps - which is probably why I thought I might be, again. I never had pains like this with any pre-miscarriage periods, which worries me. It is time to make an appointment with the GP.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Another one bites the dust

Mr Spouse and I met through an internet forum (NOT a dating site, we hasten to add). It's quite a community and there has been a rash of weddings. We are one of the older couples who might be expected to have children. We were actually the first to get pregnant apart from one couple sadly pursuing IVF who have had very little luck even with embryos, unfortunately.

Now the second pregnancy of someone who got married after us, and is younger than us, has been announced. Both due dates a long way after my original due date.

And I have cramps.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I don't want that one, I want a blue one

I posted before about my brother and his disappointment over finding out they are expecting a second girl. Now, I don't think my brother would in any way go to these lengths, but I recently read about a trial use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for gender selection. Julie has blogged about this.

This reminded me of an article I read a while ago: you can read the article here and the most interesting table is here. They asked a group of hospital ethicists in
what conditions did they consider prenatal genetic diagnosis - amniocentesis - acceptable. Interestingly, when the risks of amnio were presented accurately, fewer ethicists thought it was acceptable. And when the conditions, such as Down Syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and type 2 diabetes, were actually described rather than named, fewer people thought screening was ethical.

These are professionals who know what they are doing, we would hope, and who have heard of these diseases, know something about the outcomes and the current research programmes, but I doubt that mothers being offered amnio are even given the limited descriptions of conditions that the ethics panel were given. Most people know little or nothing about Down Syndrome or cystic fibrosis.

Personally, I would be too afraid of the risk of another miscarriage to undergo amnio, should I ever get to that stage, but if I was at risk of carrying a fatal genetic disease (by which I mean one that precluded even childhood), I might think differently. I might think even more differently about the kind of genetic diagnosis Julie is talking about, which however involves IVF even if you are otherwise fertile.

But it shocked me that some of the hospital ethicists surveyed thought that prenatal testing for an embarassing condition (red hair and freckles) was justifiable.

I don't think even Mr Insensitive, my brother, would be interested in selecting children who don't have his (and my) goofy front teeth...

Torturing myself

My period is due tomorrow or the next day... of course I am imagining I'm pregnant, and this must be why I'm exhausted, and have nothing to do with the cold I had all last week.

Where is the nearest brick wall, so I can bang my head against it?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I managed that...

Visiting a friend's new baby, that is. I made sure we didn't stay long, and we talked a lot about other stuff - my friend is very sensitive, knows our situation, and I think she made sure her husband knew too. We talked about general stuff, our reasons for being in town for the weekend, our recent holiday. I think, but don't know precisely, that they may have had difficulties getting pregnant. I do know she's been on long-term medication that you can't take while pregnant, so it may just have been that she needed to make sure she was completely stable before getting pregnant.

Whatever, when she heard about the miscarriage she was about 6 weeks pregnant, and a month later when I talked about meeting up she was sure to let me know she was pregnant and ask if it was OK for me. In the end I didn't feel up to it* but I was grateful.

And I bought wool from Loop. Mmmmmm.......

*And as it was part of a trip to a conference which I also had to cancel, I was not too chuffed when one of the organisers got huffy when I told him I was (I think) "short of time and also ill" so wasn't going to be prepared for, or up to attending, the conference, and said he was going to "report me to the organising committee".

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Things that make me go "bawl bawl bawl"

Finding out that my sister-in-law is pregnant again and that their second baby is due in April. She got pregnant with the first one just after the time Mr Spouse and I met, and the second baby is also a girl. My brother told my mum he was disappointed. Disappointed! Living in the land of the clueless, more like.

This is the brother who, about a month after the miscarriage, had stopped asking how we were doing, and when I wrote in an email that we were still struggling, ignored it. This is also the brother who is incredibly cavalier with his daughter's safety, we feel (uses a carseat he picked up off the side of the road, put her in a carrycot in the car when she was a baby, thought a framed backpack would make a good carseat - you are getting the picture). I really, really want to say to him "if you'd lost a baby you'd be a bit more careful with the one you've got" but at least I am too polite to say that.

I am not too polite, however, to feel obliged to pretend to be happy for them. I don't want to be happy for them. I want them being happy for us.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Things that make me go "smile!"

When I was quite unhappy, earlier in the year, a couple of months after the miscarriage, a friend who's been through a lot of depression and who is also struggling to get pregnant, asked me "what do you do that makes you happy?" So I thought of some things...

  • Gardening... my tomatoes are just getting ripe (in October! "You spend more time talking to them than you do to me..." says Mr Spouse)
  • Making things... cooking, sewing (I just turned a never-going-to-squeeze-into-it-again ball dress from when I was 19 into a blouse that got 2 comments when I wore it to work... despite the rubbish pattern which made the arms reeelly narrow and meant I had to alter the (*(&*^& thing about five times)
  • Going out for dinner with Mr Spouse most Friday nights
  • Work. Well, some aspects of work. Getting the right kind of results. Seeing children do cute things... which brings me to...
  • Children. Well, I'd hardly be desperate to have them if I hated them, now would I? I am one of those girls who people said "oh, you should really have children" when I was about 10. I've been babysitting since I was 14, I reckon, volunteering with children on and off since I was 16 and they let me do that instead of sports, and working in research on child development since I stopped being a student. I don't do quite as much of the hands-on testing now (I have slaves lackeys well-paid research assistants and students who are lucky and grateful to be learning their craft at the feet of an experienced pro like myself. But it's still fun to play with them when they are done being tortured tested.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Way to mess with a girl's head

I have been taking part in a clinical trial of a "fertility meter": this involves peeing on lots of sticks, and trying to persuade Mr Spouse into bed at the appropriate time of the month. There are three groups in the trial: one gets information about when they have an LH surge (this is what the ovulation predictor kits you buy at the chemists' measure), one gets no information (I have ranted on various message boards about why women in this group should jolly well stay in the study and not go off in a huff), and one, my group, gets information about the oestrogen surge that comes before the LH surge.

Now typically this surge lasts a couple of days (I've only ever had ones lasting either one or two days), so given my pretty regular cycles, this means I usually get a "high" (i.e. "now would be a good time to jump on your husband") reading around day 12 and 13, with reversion to low around 14 or 15, and that means my period would come two weeks after that. The first of the low readings after a high are actually when a normal ovulation thingy would read "fertile".

So it's a very good way to make me extremely paranoid (has my body given up? am I going to have a three week cycle? am I not going to ovulate? is this the end?) when on day SIX I see a high reading. Although in theory, what this should mean is that I inveigle Mr Spouse into bed about every other day for a week or so before, as well as during, the most fertile time, which is actually a method that seems to work just as well as targeting the most fertile time [in fact, that is why this meter is only being trialed - though I don't doubt it will go on sale, as desperate women will probably pay loads for it].

But in practice what happens is that I'm feeling so paranoid that this rubs off on Mr Spouse, putting neither of us in the mood.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A brief story

This is an extremely well-written blog about infertility and miscarriage. Very brief, and I sense it is someone's need to tell their story and move on. Perhaps mine will turn into that. In some way, I hope so. I came across it when looking for a UK blog about miscarriage and/or infertility - so much of the system is different here that I can only learn so much about the practical side of what to expect from US blogs.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I don't seem to be very good at...


It's not helped by Mr Spouse having a cold and snoring loudly, but although he woke me up he did stop for a good half hour following liberal administration of Boots Snoring Remedy - he is a star, as it tastes disgusting. But then I went into fret mode, woke up more, went off to read a magazine in the living room, finished the magazine, felt no less awake, went to read other people's blogs (Julie and Hardscrabble, for the moment, though I have links to a load more). Then of course I felt more confused and alert, and less like sleeping, and more upset. Finally I went back to bed and removed my half of the duvet from Mr Spouse, who woke up and gave me a nice warm hug so of course then I really started crying.

Although I don't know much about the practicalities of doing IVF in the UK, and it can hardly be more expensive than doing it in the US, we have talked a little bit about whether we'd want to find out about doing it here - and I think we are pretty sure we wouldn't. It isn't the financial side (even if it was as expensive as in the US, we are actually OK in that respect, as I'm sure my grandfather would think it was a good use of his inheritance), but the emotional side - the success rate does not seem that high - and, from reading these blogs, the emotional side seems far worse than a normal "wait-and-see" approach - although of course we haven't got to the despairing stage yet, so perhaps having some hope would be better than none, but also the medical side sounds far, far worse than I though - and I'm married to a diabetic, and one of my very best friends has a baby conceived through IVF, and "siblings on ice" as she puts it.

So, falling asleep at the time I was normally supposed to get up, I then slept for 2 1/2 hours - I probably could have snuck into work late, but I still felt awful, including dizzy. I decided to claim "possible cold/side effects of flu jab yesterday", and ring in, or rather, email in sick. It is much easier to sound sick in print... I have a history of not sleeping very well, though it is not as bad since Mr Spouse came on the scene, and I have never come to a particularly satisfactory solution to the "I don't feel well enough to work today because I only slept for 3 hours last night" call to work... I know from experience that if I do go to work, I get nothing done, and then I do come down with the cold/migraine that has been threatening. So I usually just claim that it is current rather than future...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Not quite what I was expecting...

I was a little nervous about talking to Mr Spouse about my thoughts on asking the GP if it might be time to see if anything is wrong... I thought he would probably say "it's not been that long, let's wait" or "well, you know you're more worried than I am..". In fact, it went more like this:

Dr Spouse: I'm getting a bit worried that I'm not pregnant yet, it's been nearly six months.
Mr Spouse: Oh.
Dr Spouse: I'm not sure if I should ask the GP, he'll probably say it hasn't been very long.
Mr Spouse: Well, if you don't ask, you won't find out, will you?
Dr Spouse: Er, no, that's true.

Expecting a struggle, I didn't really know what to say...

Next day:
Dr Spouse: What would you think, if we asked about tests and there was an option to go private?
Mr Spouse (staunch, at least partly old-style, Labour supporter, diabetic with an excellent specialist, NHS champion): Well, let's see what's involved.
Dr Spouse: Hand me that feather, I think I need knocking over with it.

So now he's rolled over and asked for his tummy to be tickled at all my possible objections, what am I to do?!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I am starting this blog as I think I need somewhere (relatively) private to vent. I have another blog but most of the people who read it know me in real life, too.

To cut a long story short, I had a miscarriage in February at 10 weeks pregnant - you may or may not get more gory details later - and not surprisingly was quite depressed on and off for a while after that. I went to see The Counsellor With The Scary Shirts (in a slight mixup, Mr Spouse had also been referred to the same bloke, and three visits later between us, three different scary shirts had been sighted).

TCWTSS recommended a "negative thought dispersal exercise" where I imagine a train coming slowly towards me, filled with my negative thoughts ("I'm never going to have children" "I'm doing really badly at work" "I'm fat and ugly" "I think I'll scrape that guy's bodywork with my pedal, serves him right for cutting me up"), and then I put up my hand to tell the train to STOP!, and imagine it going slowly away.

Okay, so this is a moderately successful technique, although my trains look more like they should be in The General (whizz whizz STOP! whizz whizz) than Brief Encounter (gliiide). Very much needed today - which is kind of why I've started this - as my period started, which is officially Depressing.

This is now number 8 since the miscarriage - we have actually been "trying" for five of these - not numbers 1 and 2, firstly contra-indicated following medical management of miscarriage (try saying that with a blocked up nose) and secondly just not ready. No. 3 yes, but then Mr Spouse put his foot down about no. 4 when he saw me in bits when my period turned up. Then we've been "trying" (dreadful word, sounds like we could "try" harder...) for cycles 5 through 8.

So that's 5 cycles - and if you are over 35 (I am 38), according to that extremely reliable source, The Internet, you are considered Infertile if you have had no luck for six. It took us four last time - so we aren't far over, but are we at the stage where it's worth bothering, where anyone would take us seriously? Are we infertile?

But then having had one miscarriage, I am wondering if I actually had a second - a possibly positive pregnancy test (fading lines, almost at use-by date) followed by a four-day-late period, but was it really late, did I ovulate late that month? Am I nearly at the three-miscarriage definition of recurrent miscarriage?

It would be nice to know - but as you can see, I am still asking, What am I?