Friday, September 28, 2007

No nothing

Here we have:
No pregnancies, ongoing or otherwise (so Vivien is quite safe here)

No trying to get pregnant, either - Mr Spouse has decided that we will be OK using Persona-as-it-was-intended for the next month. We'll see how he feels after 10 red days...

No foster carer preparation course (it starts before we go away to Foreign Parts but we wouldn't finish it)

No social worker (she was supposed to come round and check our forms, but got held up at work - not complaining - but she didn't call - I think this is common - still, they aren't as bad as workmen, eh?)

No actual tears, yet, but they may be triggered by either my neighbour/workmate bringing her sick baby in to the office as she can't go to nursery and there's a big job on at the moment or the thought that our lovely family house that was supposed to have nappies in the airing cupboard and a new loo under the stairs when they grew into bathroom-hogging teenagers, may never see children, if my pending job application goes anywhere.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I'm not quite sure why we bothered with all that, erm, as Mr Spouse put it, activity, as it's CD1, bang on time, today. Of course I did a small test yesterday, and of course I've been wondering what would happen if I were pregnant. What would have happened was:

  • I wouldn't be able to have my travel vaccinations tomorrow
  • I would have had to wait to see if I miscarried at 5w again to book our overseas trip
  • If I hadn't we wouldn't have been able to go to malarial parts at the end of October
  • Mr Spouse would have been very cross as he has arranged for his last day at work to allow this trip
  • and to use part of his large redundancy payment for the trip, too - I'm going for work but he's going along for the ride
  • Things would have got very complicated with a potential new job application too as
  • I have a very very long notice period and although
  • I actually am hoping applying for this will nudge my current employers into a possible promotion
  • I wouldn't have been able to say anything to either of them and
  • if I had moved jobs I wouldn't have got salary-related maternity pay.
I think I may bite the bullet and see if we can't use contraception this month - we go away a week after my next period is due - Mr S will be a lot less stressed after that and a lot more up for late mornings in bed, so it's a good month to waste - and if I get an interview for the new job things won't be clouded by that, though the length of my notice period means I could still be without decent maternity pay, though I'd be unlikely to be without adoption leave as the process takes so long.

But it's scary doing that for a non-medical reason - which is why we haven't since I had a complete meltdown two months after the first miscarriage and Mr Spouse insisted. I feel like I have about 10 eggs left and skipping a month leaves me with 9.

Edit, in response to comment, as it seemed simpler than a v long comment myself, or a whole new post:
I've had four miscarriages, and apart from the most recent one, no pregnancy has effectively developed beyond 6 weeks. This doesn't fit the pattern of an anatomical irregularity, though I'm not completely familiar with this, my understanding is these are usually later first-trimester. My most developed foetus was only just under 8w.

But I've also had: lap & dye, numerous internal scans, and very good care from one of the main research centres in the UK in recurrent miscarriage. RCOG guidelines (medics' version here) suggest that internal scans are just as good as HSG (which I've effectively had, anyway) in diagnosing these.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Seven weird things

Okay, I'll do it!

  1. I can speak pretty fluent Swahili (though it's not as good as it used to be)
  2. I play the bassoon. Though rarely these days.
  3. I once moved 4 times in a year, and three of the moves were between continents, the fourth being across a whole continent
  4. I used to live next door to someone who was on Big Brother 1 - after she was famous. She was actually pretty nice. She had a housewarming party and no slebs were invited - only her real friends.
  5. As a child, I went to a nursery in a foreign country but only picked up my colours, numbers, and the phrase "That's mine".
  6. I'm not allergic to anything except penicillin - but at one point when I was a child we thought I was allergic to marinated artichoke. We couldn't think of anything else I'd never eaten before, and I'd even had steamed artichoke. But I think it was a red herring and I had in fact been in contact with some poison oak*
  7. As it's late, I'm going to say, I need a ridiculous amount of sleep - I could probably sleep for 10 hours a night if I had the time to do it, even when not pregnant. So I'm going to go and do that now.
I guess if I have to tag three people... er... people who haven't been tagged, and aren't about to give birth... well, I don't know for sure if they have been but I tag Geohde, Becky and Perceval (let me know in comments if you read that you are tagged and/or did it already, but I'll try and remember to tell you in your comments!)

*nasty plant growing in US West, for my UK readers

Sunday, September 16, 2007

How to try to get pregnant

  1. Go to the south of France
  2. Drink lots of wine
  3. Ditto coffee
  4. And Diet Coke
  5. Eat lots of unpasteurised cheese
  6. Sit in smoky cafés
  7. Climb some steep hills
  8. Get dehydrated and spend lots of time obsessing over mucus*
  9. Don't wear very many clothes
  10. Spend lots of time in bed with your husband

I think the only things I've missed are blue cheese and paté.

*I've been having a protracted online argument with a rabid RC type (male of course) over whether natural family planning, relying on identifying mucus production, works because you can't get pregnant if you don't have fertile mucus, and therefore anyone who thinks they have didn't know how to recognise it, or whether it doesn't work because for a lot of people all they get are patches for a day or two, followed by a long, but fertile, gap.

PS I know I've been tagged by May - will do that when I get my breath back.

Sorry but...

a) this isn't really an update and b) this could turn into a bit of a rant.

The very nice and extremely well-informed Aurelia blogged about a variety of things, including some not-very-new (sorry) "news" that there has been an increase in the number of babies removed from their mothers into foster care. Apparently as well as the Torygraph this has also appeared in the Daily Mail and the Times - both noted anti-social-worker papers. Yes, I am a woolly lefty. But I'm also a member of the British public who reeled in shock as we read about how Victoria Climbie fell through the cracks of the system - and yes, how two adoptive parents were accused (but acquitted) of killing their son.

If we become either adoptive parents or foster carers, we will have social workers in our face, mithering us to death. If I carry a baby to term, I will have a health visitor come to the house before the birth, as well as the midwife. If my birth or adoptive child is injured, the hospital will inform at least the health visitor. The HV will also check for signs of antenatal or postnatal depression. I believe this is right.

I do not believe that babies are being "taken for adoption" - I do believe that the childcare system - hospitals, HVs, midwives, social workers - has become a lot more jumpy. It is true that potential adoptive parents would like healthy white babies, but currently the choice is a) adopt a baby with a disability, a non-white baby (and that's pretty hard if you aren't black or mixed race yourself) or adopt an older child or siblings or b) don't adopt at all, what potential adoptive parents want and what they get bear little relationship to each other. Many people I've chatted to online have rung up their local social services to be told "there are no white children under 5" or " we aren't taking adopters on at the moment" (the latter being more or less what our county told us).

Loads of funding DOES go to women to help keep their babies. If we end up fostering that will be our main purpose - to help care for children while they have contact with birth families and the birth families sort their lives out. Where a child is in temporary foster care, it's for their safety, but children aren't placed directly for the adoption in the UK, ever - they are all placed in foster care in order to give the birth families space and time to be better able to care for them. It's only when that can't happen that a permanency plan that doesn't involve birth family is made - I know that this sometimes means that birth parents who later get their lives together do lose a child but for the sake of the child long periods of uncertainty are bad.