Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Car crash

Someone tell me, why am I compelled to watch/read these things?

In Mr Spouse's diabetes magazine, alongside the ads for stairlifts and bath hoists and comfy shoes, they have Real Life Stories. We read them, shocked ("She went blind at 19! He died of a hypo on his wedding day!"). This month was the story of a woman had seven miscarriages and two stillbirths. Now, diabetes increases the likelihood of miscarriage and stillbirth, and I have nothing for admiration for people who are, so to speak, further along in their allotted number of miscarriages (and possibly who can get pregnant more quickly than me), but in this case I didn't feel sympathy or admiration, or even glad that it wasn't me. It just made me angry. This woman wasn't controlling her diabetes, wasn't even really attempting to - she was in denial that she had diabetes, essentially.

Today I got home a bit early and was flicking through the offerings Tivo had decided we'd like when I came across Britain's Youngest Grannies. Another car crash - two who were upset their daughters had followed them by being teenage mothers (and in both cases the mother was 18 or 20 when their daughter was born while the daughter got pregnant at 15); and one who was pleased, and thought 25 was too old to be a mother. Then I turned off.

Anyway to get to my point, I was home early because of going to the GP who assured me I had no lumps in my breasts, that some pain at all points in the cycle is relatively common ("wear a supportive bra, take ibuprofen at the start of the cycle" - well, I am a 34F, so I know about supportive bras, thanks), and that there wasn't much point in doing day 2/3 FSH etc. - I definitely don't have PCOS, and I don't have any menopausal symptoms, and it wouldn't be a result I could do anything about, but that is worth repeating the day 21 progesterone. I am still pretty sure I am ovulating each month, but we'll see. I don't know if she'd be in favour of Clomid "just in case", if she'd give me it without sending me to the local hospital, or if she'll decide to refer me if the day 21 test is normal. I didn't get round to ringing the miscarriage clinic, and to be honest I think the local gynae will do another round of fertility investigations just as competently as they will (in fact she used to work with them), and will be easier to get to.

Oh, I forgot the best bit - she said "after all, you're only 41".

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yes, no, yes, no, yes...

That's more about our state of indecision and panic than in any particular order about decisions:
I didn't get my grant (boo) which means I'm going to have to bash away at several other grants (boo) in order to eventually get promotion (boo/hooray) and to have any chance, alternatively, of applying for another job. But it means that we are sorted as to what we are doing: we are going to Southern California for 8 months in August (hooray).

After dithering with Mr Spouse and dithering with the acupuncturist (who pointed out quite rightly that I don't have much time to be doing tests) but also getting increasingly irritated (boo) with the 3-4 days of somewhat tender boobs at the start of my cycle (not as tender as before my period, not tender enough to give me any thoughts of pregnancy, but tender enough to be very annoying), I decided to book in to see the GP. Mr Spouse wasn't too keen on the whole idea of more tests as he knows me very well ("you are just hoping they'll find something they can fix, I know you, and you know they won't") but was swayed by the "new symptom" card. I'm seeing the nice female GP who signed me off for four weeks after the last miscarriage, next week.

I'm going to try and call the clinic nurse, too, though as they are a) miscarriage not infertility for the most part and b) a long way away and c) a tertiary referral centre, I may need to get the primary-to-secondary referral anyway.

Both Mr Spouse and the acupuncturist (I'm regretting sending him to see her as I envisage them ganging up on me now...) asked what if I got pregnant before we went away. Mr Spouse and I had a little chat about it and I think we are both happier - if I was more than 12 weeks pregnant, I think we'd be confident to travel and would probably spend a few months there anyway (it would be nice to be preparing for leave, away from people who wanted a piece of me before I vanished!). If I was, say, 10 weeks pregnant we'd delay until we were more sure. If I got to the point where I could be 6 weeks pregnant at the time we left, I'd be the first one to call a break for a month. And if I found out I was pregnant while we were there, my medical insurance covers pregnancy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

You've got spam

I had a hugely long spam comment on one of my posts last night (it was a long post, and the spam was about 4x the length of the post). I've deleted it, but if anyone has any clues about how to deal with these - I think I'm probably quite lucky with just the one in 3 years.

I realised this morning that this is the longest I've lived in one dwelling and the longest I've been in one job/course of study since leaving school. Time for a move I think. I'm waiting to hear about the grant which will decide where we go for about 8-9 months, and when, but we are definitely going somewhere. I think Mr Spouse is more anxious than I am because his new job is continuing to bore him rigid.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Although he is, in general, Mr Sceptical, he has agreed with absolutely no argument to go to the acupuncturist when she next has a Saturday morning space. Isn't he nice? I think it should help his shoulder too, and she is a no-nonsense nurse so I think she won't tell him any guff about changing his diet and curing his diabetes, either. I went to a yoga class while on holiday and the teacher was waffling at the start about Ayurvedic medicine and how Western medicine has killed more than it has cured and I bit my tongue and didn't say "like my husband, you mean?".

He may get a bit suspicious if she tells him about the "more beans and pulses, lots of veg" as we had falafel burgers last night and he actually quite liked them...

It is nearly our fourth anniversary and I think I'm finally getting over the shock of being married, and becoming largely comfortable with it. I just ordered his present - it's "fruits and flowers" and he's allergic to most scented flowers, but aha! Hops are a flower, are they not? So he's getting this: not that he's a beginner but it only has one of each in case he doesn't like any of them. I've left an annotated Bravissimo catalogue lying around. I am not sure if he's being dense or subtle but he claimed not to have spotted it so I will have to put it in a more prominent place. I believe in having some surprises but also in getting presents that I actually want!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Would it be worth....

asking if the GP/local gynae/miscarriage clinic (as they are a general gynae clinic too) would do another day 3 FSH for me? Or getting one of those pee sticks**? As this is now about my 10th cycle. It's 2 years since my last FSH, which was 6 I seem to remember (just looking it up*). They might also suggest an HSG as none of the other factors are likely to have changed but they did a lap and dye after about 9 months without conception before, and I don't think I'm even slightly at risk of endo now (since I had none before, and no different symptoms). It just struck me that they might also want to redo the SA.

It doesn't seem worth them doing the LH (though they probably would - but all my Persona sticks are negative until at least day 14) or progesterone (as otherwise why would my boobs be hellish from about day 18 to about day 28?), but FSH might have changed.

Or would it just be really frustrating if the FSH was impossibly high, as we don't even know when we are going abroad (or in fact where, which is what determines when) and therefore when we'd come back and be able to move on to adoption - and the earliest it would be is a year from now? and therefore the plan has so far been just keep at it for the next year?

I have had a couple of random "will be nice when I can stop taking folate and vitamins pointlessly every bloomin' morning" thoughts and even one "should we just stop trying now, perhaps I'd feel better". I think the day may come when I actually feel OK about giving up (even if it's for a year or so) on trying to get pregnant. I'm not sure I actually felt it would be OK before - just that it would be necessary.

*It was 7.
**Edited for complete clarity - it would not be because of cost if I got a pee stick as all of this would be done on the NHS, and they have been very good about not making me wait too long for things, too. And I'm not sure if those FSH pee sticks are supposed to be that great, anyway - aren't they supposed to only tell you "sorry, luv, menopause all over"? The question is would the information actually help anything?

Friday, April 11, 2008


We've been invited to go on the foster carers' course - it's not till June, but at least that means we can be sure we'll be able to go, and it's something to look forward to. I think even if I do get pregnant again before then we'll go anyway. I am not completely sure how positive Mr Spouse feels about this, but he didn't say "no point in doing that, is there, as we won't finish our approval before we go abroad" - instead he agreed with me that we might just squeeze it in or alternatively we might do part of it.

I'm happy to say my powers of magical thinking aren't what they were, and all was well at Slightly Annoying But Friendly Couple's scan. Sadly (oh how gutted I am) this will mean no more joint skiing trips with them. Equally surprisingly (not) is that there was no mention of the twins they were sure it was when we saw them last week. Him: "you've put on SO much weight dear, it MUST be twins" Her: "Harumph".

Me to her later "It's mainly fluid, you know you need the extra blood, twins are pretty rare you know". Her to me: "Oh, but they run in the family" Me: "What, your family?" Her: "No, there's one pair of twins in his family". Erm, don't think that counts... Other thing I did not say: "You know your chance of a miscarriage even at 13 weeks is greater than your chance of twins?"

I'm very well behaved, aren't I?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back last night from our holiday - I did have internet while away (thank you to whoever didn't secure their Netgear box in the apartment block) but as my laptop was monopolised the whole time by Mr Spouse and, mainly the wife (but also the husband) of the couple we were with who needed to check Facebook hourly, and play Scrabble, and I didn't really want anyone looking over my shoulder while I blogged, no updates. But I have been reading. I think everyone managed without me.

Now, you may be detecting a tiny bit of resentment towards said wife. I am now going to totally exaggerate everything that is wrong with her in order to gain loads of sympathy from my dear readers. This is the couple made up of Mr Spouse's best man and his wife, who've been trying to get pregnant for (as far as I can work out) nearly 4 years - pretty much since they got married. They'd had 3 unsuccessful IUIs and were about to consider taking a break since the husband needed to go on a medicine that apparently causes birth defects (now I am not sure this is possible, since it's never been listed in all those Scare Story What Not To Do when you are TTC lists, but this is the woman who hasn't eaten blue cheese for 2 weeks every month for 4 years). Guess when they chose to tell us she was pregnant? That's right, the first evening of our holiday, when I'd just found out the activity I'd been longing to do had finished for the season an hour previously*. Obviously I am very happy for them. But.

This is also the wife that is "allergic" to everything in sight - not just the few things that lots of people can't have but are easily avoidable, but some of those ingredients that sneak into everything, and which I am pretty confident occur naturally in a lot of foods (funnily, she can eat those) and who is therefore a nightmare to shop and cook for. Add to that pregnancy restrictions ("darling, I don't think you can eat this pasta sauce, it says it has sheep's milk in it") and an unwillingness to go out to a restaurant that had main courses listed at about £10-£15 (they live in SE England, we are not sure whether they ever go out to dinner at home, and you should have seen the prices of lift passes!), and constantly telling us how she couldn't use the hot tub, what baby-related gifts she was going to buy her husband for his birthday present, how she kept having to email her parents to say she was still OK, worrying about falling over**, telling me she couldn't have a manicure "because they want to do something with your fingernails at the booking appointment" etc. etc.

She wasn't really that bad, in fact I think her husband fusses over her more (in general as well as now she is pregnant) and only moaned about the couple of infections she'd picked up rather than about pregnancy-related sickness, but you can appreciate that 10 days of this did not a relaxing holiday make.

I was very, very good and resisted telling her that when she went for her scan it was totally possible that there would be an empty sac. Hope you are all very proud of me. Now I feel mean as they were supposed to contact us when they had the scan and they should be back now, and no news, but then they do have all their Facebook contacts to update. And I may have offended her (though I think she understood) by asking for no pictures.

*Fortunately Mr Spouse is very very nice to me and we worked out it was cheaper to hire a car and go elsewhere where it was still happening, than for me to pay for a lift pass all week and ski with them and be miserable, and he even came with me and learned new things for part of the week.

**I had briefly considered what if I was pregnant on this holiday, and falling over didn't really bother me, but I thought I would probably sit on the sofa and watch DVDs/potter about on snowshoes/go shopping if I had been, not because of falling, but because of the exercise often being quite vigorous.