Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Warning: FAR too much information, explicit language and full-on emotion in this post. In fact, you probably don't want to read it.

OK, maybe I'm innocent or complacent or something but this was pretty much the one thing I didn't think could happen to us.

Among my recent round of blood tests (nine and counting) I had a couple of vaginal swabs. I had the same ones done before when I thought I had a vaginal infection and they both came back negative. No big surprise. But now one of them has come back positive.

The C word.

That's right, chlamydia. Now I already know it's not very good for my tubes, and I also know it's sexually transmitted.

Which brings us to a slight problem. Before meeting Mr Spouse, and I know this is going to beggar belief, neither of us had had intercourse (defined as: what W. Clinton thinks is sex) with anyone. We had both fooled around, and this wasn't a secret, and I know (at least, I know now - I didn't know in my 20s and early 30s when I was doing this fooling around) that oral sex can transmit chlamydia. So it is of course possible that one or other of us caught it (he has also confessed to some fooling around). I trust him that he had not had intercourse before and I also completely trust him that he is faithful. Might as well give up now if I don't, to be frank.

Okay, so it's possible for either of us to have caught it (should have listened to those youth leaders, shouldn't we? the ones that told us we should stick to holding hands), but given that before we got together I had been single for over two years, and him for at least a year, it looks like we've been passing it between ourselves for about five years. Not good for my pelvis, I don't think.

My reasons for not having that sort of sex with previous blokes have mainly been that I didn't feel that committed to them. My reason for ultimately going ahead with Mr Spouse was the same: finally someone I felt sufficiently committed to that, for example, if I did get pregnant (Ha!) it would not be a disaster. I'm probably an extreme case, but I think I have a similar decision-making process to a lot of women when it comes to sex, it's just mine has been coloured by an early and quite lengthy brush with fairly conservative Christianity, followed by years of very occasional, very brief relationships. If I had taken seriously the horror stories those youth workers told us, would I have done differently? I don't know. I might have. I might have asked to be tested for STDs after a couple of those relationships. I doubt it, though.

There is a small possibility it's a false positive though the consultant said it's less likely than my previous swab being a false negative. I imagine they'll treat both of us even if we both test negative again. So I also imagine we'll never know.

So, how does a former-nice-Christian-girl react when told she probably has an STD? One that might be the cause of infertility? Well, let's just say I'm feeling a little fragile and emotional, and a few swear words were uttered. Also something I don't normally do.

Later: I've just had a very satisfying thought. Perhaps I can get the clinic to ring up one, in particular, of my exes? The smug one who has two kids with a part-time primary school teacher, who left me to go back to his ex who, at the time, was pregnant with someone else's child??

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Messirs Boring, Boring and Boring, with a serving of Boring, and a side helping of Pain

Not too much of a surprise to get three negative tests in a row. But actually although my experiment has not thus far shown anything, it is true that my hypothesis was not that I’m conceiving every month, but that I’m conceiving every three to four months. So nothing disproved yet.

Also, I think it made me a bit more prepared for the inevitable, and nerdishly on time, bleeding: 12.03 am on CD29/CD1…

The pain, however, is definitely worse. I am really hoping in some way they find something to remove when I have the lap and dye, so that I can feel less pain, even if it doesn’t make any difference to the chances of conception. I’m still confused, though, why it’s so much worse since the miscarriage: if I do have endo, why haven’t I had it all these years? Why now? How come it was so easy to get pregnant the first time?

But at least I have my friendly neighbourhood drug dealer aka Mr Spouse.

Me: How many of these can I have?
Him: Ibuprofen? It’s 400mg. You can have ONE.
Me: Pleeese…. It hurts…
Him: No.
Me: Oh well. But remember to get some more when you go to the GP, OK.

Being diabetic has one compensation: free prescriptions. Which means topups of things we both use. But don’t tell the NHS. We pay enough taxes, I think, and at least I’m not taking the piss and getting free cotton wool, which they used to offer him – he prefers to use tissues for his fingers post-fingerprick…

More on "One and Only"

I know two people who have one son who has an autistic spectrum disorder, and he is in each case an only child (well, I know the boys have fathers too but it is the mothers I know - so I suppose that's four people).

In one case they struggled to have children and their son is a surprise, late life child (don't know them well enough to know if fertility treatment was involved). In the other case he was just a surprise, which led to a rapid decision to move in together, and finally get married after he was born. Both are clearly loved, nay, doted on. But I'm not sure if I'd feel differently about having another child if the first had some kind of disability, or an illness that might need extra care.

If it were me, I think I would worry about a child that would need extra care, having no relatives once we reached old age. I'm sure that some selfishness - a child who needs care themselves is not going to be able to care for me - comes into it. But would it be fair to bring a second child up who knew that they would have elderly parents and a sibling in need of care? And, given that most parents have some kinds of expectations, but tend to reduce them for children who are less likely to meet them, would the other child then have all those burdens on them alone?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The one that got away

I'm a cheap tart.

I got some £1 a shot pregnancy tests (the sensitive kind, but also the naff "stick it in a jar" kind) from the intenetty web, as Mr Spouse calls it. And I'm going to use them. Promiscuously.

I'm hoping to have my intuition - that I'm conceiving about once every three to four months but it isn't sticking - confirmed.

When I was doing the fertility meter trial they asked you to keep a diary with caffeine and alcohol intake, as well as any pregnancy tests taken. They asked you not to test until your period was late - I had one definitely late, with a pretty certain early miscarriage, and one less certainly positive, and only borderline late.

But now I feel under no obligation to wait, and I'm going to be a testing tart.


Two students just came in as I was composing a post... not a nice, acronym-filled post or a deep thought-piece, but a pretty plain post about pregnancy tests.

I had my browser open in the background but had forgotten about it... you can guess the rest... one recalcitrant USB drive later, a quick attempt to shut down all the programs...

and one very red Dr Spouse. They are nice students, and one of them (the boy, unfortunately) isn't very bright. But I have a nasty feeling the girl saw everything... and worked it out.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Oh dear

Someone found my blog by searching for "spouse not happy about pregnancy" on MSN. Hope they are OK... Someone else I know with a blog, whose son is one and has spina bifida (but has already started standing up, and whose physio said "if I hadn't been told about him I'd wonder why I was seeing him"), had a Google hit with "20 week scan bad news". Those random people we worry about...

In other news, I am now seven (count them, seven) vials of blood lighter. It's a classic 2 week wait for the results... though there is one (I suspect one of the clotting factor ones that requires a genetic test) that takes longer. But before then I'll know if I'm ovulating (well, that won't be too surprising!) and if I'm immune to rubella (again, pretty sure I am).

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Odd, and annoying

I was kind of hoping this cycle would be quite long (well, you know, 40 weeks long but if not, maybe 29 or 30 days!) and the next one as my lap and dye is scheduled for what would be day 7 of a 28 day cycle; if it was, say, day 3 then (perhaps I'm being naive here) I might be Up For It as normal in the middle of that cycle.

But today's day 18 and already (in fact, yesterday) I've been getting post-ovulation breast tenderness. I'm supposed to have my day 21 progesterone test on Thursday (along with lots of clotting tests) and I'm assuming that a) the reason I get this every month is because I have plenty, in fact loads, of progesterone and b) the timing isn't that crucial. In fact, the gynae told me it wasn't - although I can't for the life of me remember if she told me what the day 21 test was for. But I may be suffering from source amnesia (where you know something, but don't know where you got the information from). I already know what the test is for, so didn't bother noting a new provider of that information...

Monday, January 16, 2006

One and only?

Julie asks: If you're infertile and don't yet have a child, have your feelings changed about how many you'd like?

Before I met Mr Spouse I assumed I'd have two, by whatever means (maybe adoption - a good friend has two adopted boys and is single, and I would not have wanted donor insemination or a helpful friend or anything like that to get me pregnant if I was still single). He is an only child, and was a happy only child, and when I brought up the topic of child(ren) his reaction was: "one is scary enough, but two??" Most of the happier families I've known have had children more widely spaced, so I assumed we'd do that, too.

When I was pregnant we referred to the baby as Nigel-and-Delia (you need to watch Shameless to understand that. I just googled "Shameless Nigel Delia" and about the 8th link was a post by me on a pregnancy board about calling them that, from this time last year). I think we had at that point decided there might be more than one.

Now we are hoping to get pregnant in the fairly near future obviously but if it does happen but takes a fairly long time - say, more than a year from now to getting pregnant - then I think I will be more content than I would have been to have one child. I am not sure we'd look into adoption for a second, if we found we couldn't get pregnant again. And I think knowing Mr Spouse's contentment with only-child-dom makes me feel better about that. But if we did try for a second it would be pretty sharpish after the first.

However, before all this fertility palaver, I had, as I say, considered adoption, and we'd discussed it as well in a hypothetical sense. I had always thought adopting one child at a time would be ideal, and I was sure Mr Spouse would think the same. Now, however, knowing more about adoption and the procedures, adopting two might be a better option - we aren't very far down that route, and things could change, but Mr Spouse didn't seem wholly negative about the idea of adopting siblings.

So, oddly, this whole thing has completely flipped: from wanting two, from fairly widely spaced pregnancies, to wanting one from a pregnancy that might or might not be followed closely by a second pregnancy. From wanting one, maybe two but not at the same time, through adoption, to thinking about adopting two at the same time.

Friday, January 13, 2006


I just noticed the consultant put "Primary infertility" on my blood test requests. And after what I posted the other day...


that was really not too bad.

The (nice, female) gynaecologist combined with a (nice, female) medical "studant" (I'm guessing the nurse who can't spell wrote up the board this morning) agreed that yes, I'm probably ovulating fine, did not say anything approaching You Are Too Old Why Are You Bothering, and wanted to get all my tests sorted out ASAP.

I thought she was going to be the same person we saw when I had just had my scan showing an empty sac but either I was too out of it to remember, or we have TWO female gynaes at our local hospital. Wonders will never cease. The only person who wanted to be a gynae in my (one) year at medical school was a bloke who, er, would never willingly put his hands on women's bits in any recreational setting...

So this means day 21 together with multiple clotting factor tests next week (and no messing with "you haven't had three miscarriages", which leads me to wonder why they don't do that after every miscarriage), and day 2 FSH/LH at the start of my next cycle (I am very pleased I go past the hospital on the way to work... I could go to the GP practice nurse but it's actually more inconvenient), and a lap and dye (and she'll burn off any endo she finds) on March 6th.

This could have been sooner but I want to take up her recommendation of a full week off work and it would be harder to rearrange things before then; Mr Spouse has to do his business too before then, and given the unearthly time he has to leave for work in the morning, it's going to mean taking a day at home and taking it in himself, for which I am actually pretty grateful. I did suggest finding a clinic near work and nipping in to use their magazines but, funnily enough, he wasn't too happy with that. Perhaps on a day off he could cope with that but not in his lunch hour...

Now it occurs to me that of all the major causes of infertility, I'm only having one test for PCOS (I assume I'm right in thinking that the LH test is for PCOS). So I guess when I do go in again I will need to ask if there are other tests for that - one would imagine a clear view of my ovaries will mean a clear view of any cysts, though. But my symptoms are much more suggestive of endo than PCOS.

I'm also wondering if the praise for my nice midcycle mucus and injunction to jump on Mr Spouse at the weekend would have seemed quite so appropriate coming from a male gynae...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Ms Smug is one of the many pregnant people on the message board where Mr Spouse and I met. I blogged about hearing she was pregnant here. Today she is complaining she has a cold and can't take Lemsip. I do actually sympathise as I remember feeling rotten and not being able to take anything. But those cold sachets are basically just overpriced paracetemol, so I posted as much, and was told to take my advice and shove it, basically. Apparently the brand she wants to take has a decongestant in it.

What do you think - is it worth pointing out that I would love to be in her position?

Secondary level...

I found out a little while ago that what I have can also be called "secondary infertility". I thought that was only infertility after having a child, but apparently it can also be after miscarriage, or even ability to conceive followed by recurrent miscarriage. Confusing... but perhaps that answers the question in my blog's title.

But I can't be fagged to change it, to be honest.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


No, not mine, for a change, though there were some earlier in the week...

I walked into a colleague's office (to be fair, she did say "Come in") and found her weeping into a tissue. My first thought was "she's just found out she isn't pregnant". Obsessed? Moi?

To be fair, I had had lunch with my other colleague, S, who told me she's been trying on and off for five years. They are now looking into overseas adoption, although she is still trying to work out if there are some non-IVF treatments she can have, despite Stupid Consultant putting them on the year-long waiting list, when they don't want to do that. So I guess it was on my mind.
But she also says she has a good feeling about us, and it made me happy when she said "well, we should just get pregnant together, and go off and leave the department in the lurch. That would show them."

It was quite helpful actually talking to her as she and her husband have a similar age gap to us - both he, and Mr Spouse, have clearly spent years thinking they would never have children, and now with advent of Young Things the idea has been placed in front of them, but it is much easier for the two husbands to go back to thinking "actually, it probably won't happen for me" than it has been for S and me, who have spent most of our young adult life thinking that this would be in our future. It made it easier for me to see how Mr Spouse must be feeling.

I have an obsession with wanting to know what is next, and what after that, whereas Mr Spouse does not; hence the tears on Sunday. He doesn't really want to discuss what-if and what-then, whereas I want to know exactly what will happen a week on Tuesday in 2011. But he knows this more now, and we did discuss some of the options in more general terms, and he doesn't seem entirely negative about the idea of adopting younger children (if we can, which seems possible - at least, it doesn't seem to depend on our age quite as much as I thought), and even possibly adopting two together (which seems like the best way of adopting under-5s in the UK). So, although this may not be what is in store for us, it feels like there is another door we might be able to choose if door A is closed. Perhaps that is door A, the first one being door P...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Plans for the year

Last year at this time, I had already made several travel plans for the year: chaos ensued when I found out I was pregnant, had to make contingency plans, find out about travel insurance that would covere both pregnant me and diabetic Mr Spouse, and then re-make those plans after the miscarriage. I confirmed a conference I had been going to cancel, or rather, the conference organiser confirmed before I did, which was a bit irritating. And I cancelled a conference I was too worn out for, after I'd overdone it on one trip, which led to a snotty email from the organiser of that one, all about how this was clearly due to my bad planning, and he was going to "tell the committee". Happily for my professional reputation, I only told him part of what I thought of him in my reply...

And then we had a holiday planned to coincide with, and distract us from, my due date, cancelled a regular festival attendance when I would have been 38 weeks. All of this planned last minute, on the fly, to make up for things and "if this we'll do this, if that we'll do that".

This year, I've made out a list. Things we are going to do and when. Where we are going, pretty much planned till the end of the year, including where we might spend next Christmas.

We already had a nice night away (last night, in a Restaurant with Rooms we've been trying to go to for a while). And you know what?

It actually feels good to say "we may not get pregnant this year, but we will take advantage of being able to travel".

After that... I have no idea!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

That was quick...

We have an appointment with the gynaecologist on the 13th January - so I'm going to get going on the HUGE list of questions I want to ask. Please contribute yours here...

I have just updated Firefox at work and wonder if this will stop Blogger from crashing, and losing posts, all the time. Doubt it, but if it does that will be yet another major waste of time to keep me from concentrating on work!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Eve

Last New Year's Eve I had found out I was pregnant the previous day; we weren't telling anyone, but we went to a party an hour away and I was happy on a small glass of champagne, and happy to drive home.

This NYE I woke up in the night, 1 day late, no bleeding yet; at 9 a.m. Mr Spouse was confiding his fear of parenthood; by 9.10 of course my new, Christmas present pyjamas had a nice red stain on them. I know I am superstitious and believed completely irrationally that we'd get good news at the same time this year as last. But I was sorry to see Mr Spouse go down the same road. He was very sorry he'd started to express hope, as he knows it upsets me more.

But we do have these superstitions, and the New Year is one of the biggest: this year, none of the bad things will happen that dogged last year. It's a completely arbitrary date change. But here's to 2006!