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

Superstitions

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.