Sunday, March 25, 2007

Writer's block

I have been suffering from an extreme case of writer's paralysis at work, which has made me reluctant to try and write anything else - plus the usual technical difficulties meaning I can only really write on Blogger from one computer, and I haven't been at that one very much. Anyway I'm here. We went to see one of our favourite singer-songwriters on Friday and he talked about "writing the cr*p out". So I felt the urge to write something, but then had my usual post-stress (end of term) migraine yesterday. But today we went for a country walk along some extremely flat lanes in the sunshine. So that was good.

I was thinking the other day about waiting - and about how infertility and miscarriage both involve a lot of waiting, usually for CD1. Although this month's CD1 (Friday, if you care) was something I was slightly waiting for, it isn't as big as these genetic test results, which are still a week away. I can't believe how long it has seemed we've been waiting for them. I also know I've been feeling like they will automatically decide us one way or the other - and I'm trying to prepare myself for still feeling uncertain.

Dream Mommy over at You Could Always Adopt posted about an incredibly rude person asking "which of you can't have children"? Although no-one's asked us that I have a feeling that if one of us turns out to have a translocation, people will if we tell them what is happening. Unfortunately those people may be family, and therefore may have a right to know - I have several cousins without children, and one of Mr. Spouse's cousins has a 20-year-old son, and it would save a lot of heartbreak if they knew miscarriages were likely. When I say "people", I actually mean "my family". They are the nosy ones - and also, given their general irritating fertility, the ones that are less likely to actually have any business asking.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


That's what the dental treatment that Mr. Spouse probably needs will cost. It's also, coincidentally, the cost of one round of IVF+PGD, give or take. Good thing we have plenty of equity in the house - that's what comes of both of you moving into one house, both from more expensive cities.

I was at a small, friendly conference last week and shared with the colleague (from a different institution) who gave me a lift a small taste of our difficulties - while mainly talking about my horror at my brother's childrearing (or lack thereof) principles. One of the main things I'm concerned about is that he smacks his older girl, and I imagine will do so with the younger one when she's a bit older. If we adopt, then I'm not sure I would actually dare leave my children alone with him. Even if we had birth children, I'd be very wary, but for a child who has experienced abuse to be smacked - well, you can imagine.

This is sort of by way of saying that we are starting to think about adoption again. Ironically I think we are more likely to decide in favour if there is nothing wrong with either of our chromosomes - though I'm sure you all understand that, because nothing wrong = no fix. I was thinking about this after my conversation with C on the way to the conference and decided when I got home to have another look at the copy of Children Who Wait* which had arrived a few weeks ago. But there was a new one. One little girl - now aged exactly 12 months - had been in the previous two issues, and is half British, half-country-I-lived-in-for-2-years. There are children of a surprising variety of nationalities - I counted about 5 European ones plus American - usually the SW depts ask for a family that can "reflect and promote" or "reflect or promote" the child's ethnic origin (perceval, I haven't seen any part-German kids but I'm sure they are in the system - neglectful families come in all ethnicities). They were also looking for a family who were practicing Christians, though this particular child was a "reflect AND" not a "reflect OR". The nationality bit made me go "ooh" and the Christian bit made Mr. Spouse go "ooh". So even if this child is not for us, it made us think. I'm trying not to Google the meaning of her first name (it is similar to the name a friend over there's son has)

We are going to our next appointment just before Easter and have a nice break in London (with the clinic open evening) and Belgium (with beer and chocolate. Fruit beer. Mmm... Guess who's given up alcohol for Lent??) and the Isle of Wight (long story). We plan to touch base with our social worker briefly before going away, on the assumption that she won't make an appointment for a few weeks anyway, if that's what we decide to do.

*if you don't know it, it's a publication in which local authority social work departments can advertise children who are looking for adoptive families, who are "hard to place" for one reason or another. They have to pay for this so don't do it if they can avoid it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Knitting again

The girl in the house down the road/office over the corridor has had her baby - rather late - she was hanging around work two days ago looking very bored. Baby's first name - same as my niece. Baby's second name - same as my mum (whose second name is the same as my other niece). And, in fact, one of my preferred names for girls - though if we adopt obviously we will get no choice in first names, but could use it as a second name.

Time to get knitting again - a very good way of not dwelling on things I find.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Erm... okay

Haven’t been particularly well – I have a recurrent inner ear inflammation (symptoms – dizziness, slight nausea, can’t drive or ride my bike, tired, doctor prescribes something which I think is antihistamine) which I suspect flares up when I’m busiest because it’s stress related; and I’ve been very busy at work; and I can’t really blog at work because a) I don’t have time and b) Blogger and Macs don’t mix; and I don’t really want to blog from the PC at home because I would rather veg on the sofa. Hence no posts.

I read the article on miscarriage that Thalia linked to, and emailed the authors to ask if they had analysed their risk factors separately for recurrent miscarriers. I did phrase it in fairly statistical terms so hopefully it will have made sense to them (though I am not a statistician, medics think that only statisticians know about statistics, but psychologists are supposed to do their own statistics, so I sound a little like I know what I’m talking about, but medics never believe that I do anyway). But they haven’t replied. However apart from some minor things (like multivitamins, which are probably just an indicator of a) caring or b) eating properly in general), the article also had a strong suggestion that stress – either one-off or long term- has a significant impact on miscarriage. And I have only ever got pregnant out of university term times, and two of my miscarriages have been during busy teaching periods. Including this last one. And I am beginning to wonder if I should really be pregnant and working; and of course feeling very guilty and sad that dashing around between 4w and 5w could have been bad for this one, when I ended up off work at 5w anyway. Something else to talk to the consultant about, I think.

Speaking of which, after a bit of phone runaround, the consultant’s secretary thinks my FSH/LH must be fine (or the consultant would have given her some wording to the contrary to send/tell me) but the genetic tests aren’t back yet. I assume that it’s quicker to do PGD than to do this because they know what they are looking for – clearly people can’t wait 10 weeks for genetic testing on an embryo. I’m going to ring again 2 weeks before our early April appointment, anyway, just in case. I’ve booked us in for an open evening at Small But Perfectly Formed Clinic which a) does PGD and b) happens to be right round the corner from our bijoux flat-ette pied-a-terre type thing. If we did IVF there we’d have to consider not just the cost of treatment but the lost income… But as we’ve just watched the Money Programme “The Cost of Kids” (£180K per child, pregnancy-18, apparently) and have decided any children are only having Oxfam or Freecycle clothes and equipment, perhaps we’ll save at that end…