Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Well, that's a dampener

If it wasn't enough that my mother is staying (and demanding to be taken to the mall every day, after having said she "didn't really want to do much while she was here". When I said "it is cold here, you will need warm clothes" you'd think she was 10 and decided a short nightdress and one sweater and cotton socks were enough), I was told on Monday three times that I was not allowed to have any sex before having my HSG next Tuesday, which will be day 11. One of the nurses said "even with a condom" though the others said condoms were OK. And I have to go in and have one of their pregnancy tests on Monday, although I was sorely tempted to ask them why mine weren't good enough.

What do they think, that I'm going to magically ovulate on day 9 and Mr Spouse's swimmers are going to magically burst through protection?

To be fair, I know some people think they have had their period and in fact they are pregnant; and I also know some people have shorter cycles than me with much earlier ovulation. But are they thinking that the dye or X-rays would make the swimmers all funky and cause a miscarriage?? Bizarre.

In other news, this will be the first year during which I didn't know I was pregnant at some point, since 2003; as that was the last year in which (barring accidents) I couldn't really have been pregnant, this is a bit depressing. It is still possible (unless of course the clinic lock me in a chastity belt for the rest of the month, too) that I'll be technically pregnant for a few days of 2008.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"En la tierra paz entre los hombres"

A bizarre, but very good, Christmas. Highlights:

gorgeous weather, just hot enough to be lovely but not so hot we were uncomfortable. The locals were of course wearing winter coats and the children wooly hats to the:

Noche Buena mass, which was a great experience - the church in the little town we were staying in was rustic and whitewashed, rather than ornate and dark as some Catholic churches are. The music was actually pleasant and well-sung, at least by the 10% of the congregation who were singing (a slightly more typical Catholic feature in my experience), apart from the Spanish version of The Little Drummer Boy, which we could have done without.

Christmas dinner on a boat after a couple of cocktails watching the sunset.

My shiny new (red) iPod nano, fully loaded by the lovely Mr Spouse.

Riding a large and friendly horse along a beach by the Pacific.

Seeing two humpback whales

Lots and lots of Mexican food, including weird goat-flavoured caramels.

Lowlights of course also intervened including:

Being tossed off a different horse (fortunately onto some very soft sand and not into a cactus).

Eating far too much Mexican food (though we reckon probably less than a normal Christmas as there were not the usual piles of leftovers at home, but we still have loads of cookies etc.).

Unsurprising negative test on the 25th which actually did not upset me and neither did

My period starting only 2 days after stopping the progesterone suppositories instead of three like last time - why do I expect consistency? - so not having enough supplies with me. Not quite sure why Mexican sanitary products are made "with camomile", but they are.

A couple of somewhat painful, er, intimate experiences while I was still using said suppositories. Now I'm hoping this is something I can get some advice on from my lovely readers. What can I do about this? I have read it is better in the evening (so 12-14 hours after putting one in rather than just 8) but both for personal timetabling reasons (I go to bed earlier) and physiological reasons (well, you can work it out) evenings are not our best time. We get a couple of days, it seems, before my period starts, but perhaps this is nature's way of making us both desperate starting from around CD5.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You do the math(s)

CD1 of this cycle was Thanksgiving (i.e. a Thursday). I'm under instructions to use my progesterone from day 17 for 12 days i.e. till day 12 and then do a test on day 29. Which is... yes, you've guessed it.

Just as well I am fairly sanguine about negative tests.

In other news, although my blood sugar was high when it was tested, as my insulin and thingy-1c (long term blood sugar wotsit) were slap bang in the middle of Fine, the doctor thought it was a blip. Mr Spouse's observation that it was awfully late to be eating cake, the night before, leads me to believe she was right.

The HSG is not too pricey so I'll be ringing them up when we get back from our hols (nice warm part of Mexico, thankyouverymuch, we are pretty cold here and actually beginning to feel like Christmas, so we are looking forward to a bit of warmth). They sound like they book it pretty precisely early enough in the cycle to mean we may not miss a cycle too. We'll see what they say but I doubt I'll be having surgery while I'm here as I have a nasty feeling that is very much not covered.

Monday, December 22, 2008

When the going gets tough...

The tough get cooking.

I had a followup appointment with the RE on Thursday. I'm still slightly puzzled as to why no-one has looked at my lining before - is it not standard in the UK, is it just good fortune that both my previous appointment and this one were about day 21, did my clinic in the UK see my pre-period but also post-miscarriage (and therefore post-pregnancy, albeit only a 5 week pregnancy) uterus and think "ah, juicy", or was it actually OK when I had my uterine biopsy/doppler study when I was being potentially entered for the NK cell trial?

It actually occurs to me that I can email and ask whether a thickness was noted at that time, since the nice specialist's nice secretary said I could ask any further questions...

Anyway, it improved a little this month but not enough (5.7 - I think it was 4.9 last month). Apparently estrogen is used with women doing IVF who have this problem but as it may prevent ovulation, we don't want that. I hadn't found anything on the little blue pills in suppository form to show the RE but now I have so will perhaps take that along to my next appointment. As well as seeming quite thin, there appears to be a gap in the lining. She described is as "a dimple" which sounds so cute. But apparently it could be a septum - though she didn't think it would be too big.

So I'm supposed to have an HSG early next cycle. Thing is, this isn't covered on our plan (or at least, not unless we stick to the expensive plan we're on now, which is going up $300, so we were going to switch to the next one down, which is $200 less than we are paying now). I keep telling myself I only have to do this ridiculous coverage dance for another 4 months, but if this is not too pricey, I'd rather get the HSG done now and then if I need surgery I can set the wheels in motion when I get home. So I'm calling tomorrow to find out the price.

I felt OK about this on Thursday but with a combination of things I felt very weepy today - recurrent miscarrier friend delivered her second baby (anti-coagulation having enabled her to stay pregnant, which makes me feel even worse if they can't make my problem better, why can't I have a fixable problem?); two other people at the party we were at last night were pregnant; so is a lady in knitting group who insisted on discussing C-sections with one of the other ladies (I got back at them made everyone depressed by telling them about my friend who died last year - she was a twin but this was pre-scans but her mother was fully aware "unless it's one baby with two heads"**); and we had the Annunciation as the Gospel today.

Anyway, I have just made pomegranate pie and roasted pumpkin for pumpkin risotto - and Mr Spouse took me on a walk along the beach and we discussed our fostering plans.

I have been thinking about it and I actually think that even if one of my previous pregnancies had worked, it seems so unlikely that we'd have managed a second (or that we would do so now) that I think I'd have been talking about this when our child reached the age of 5 or so, anyway. I have been feeling a bit stuck over adoption - why wait and do fostering when we could forge ahead with adoption - but as he has pointed out, we'll be approved as foster carers pretty quickly but adoption could take ages, and it will be good experience, and even if we just have a couple of placements and only do it for 6 months, it will look less like we can't make our minds up.

**This is one of the funnier pregnancy stories I know, or at least it was until last year. So I tend to reel it out when the conversation turns to labour. In this case, it was particularly appropriate since one of the other girls there was also a pre-scan-era twin and her mother didn't know she was having twins. My friend's mother's midwife thought it would be a nasty shock to find out there were two in there but my friend's mother was well aware of the two heads and told the midwife so.

However, I can't say "I have a friend who..." any more because this is the friend who died 18 months ago and as I still think of her as my friend, I keep forgetting this and launching into the story.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Bernardeena just posted about being annoyed with her brother for choosing a name as an option for his baby, that she and her husband had named the baby they lost. I was reminded the other day that Mr. Spouse and I had discussed names for our first baby - we have not dared to do it since - but he says he has no recollection of the conversation.

I don't feel strongly enough that the names we discussed (and yes, we DID)
belong to that child to not use them for another child (if, of course, we have a child that we can name - though I think we'll be giving middle names to any child not too old to object). My brother's first name is an unusual, and I think, nice name and he is the 13th in line* and has two daughters. Our uncle has two young sons but neither of them have that name, and there are no other boys with our surname; one of the cousins has Cystic Fibrosis and so there is a faint possibility the other boy will have a son and use the family name, or a slightly more imminent possibility that I will have a son and use that name plus the family name as a middle name. I can't see Mr. Spouse having any say on that, frankly.

The other boy's name (probably the one we would have used day to day) is a nice, old-fashioned name that happens to be a common name for kings of England and we have a friend who is obsessed with one of those kings. Mr Spouse says I've been listening to her too much. But it also happens to be a family name for both our families.

I was relieved that my brother did not decide to name his second girl entirely after our mother - she has our mother's middle name as her first name - I wanted our mother's first name for a girl.

I can't believe I have this all planned out, but honestly, I was not the child who planned her wedding down to the shoes - I have always known roughly what I wanted to call my children.

I know some of you have later pregnancy losses but I'm just wondering if I am the only person who is willing to recycle names? I'm assuming I'm not alone in resisting discussing names following a previous loss, though.

*Yes, you read that right.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Repeat after me

Your Persona is not a fertility meter.

Some months my Persona gives me a nice cutesy egg symbol, and then about 3 more days of "if you want to be really careful, avoid sex today". I check the sticks as they are straightforward LH (and comparison with oestrogen I think) sticks and they show a darker LH line. Other months, I get two lines of equal darkitude but it doesn't give me the dinky symbol, and usually has days and days of "get off him, you slag".

When I was told by the RE last month to use my progesterone suppositories from day 17 I asked whether I should use OPKs and she said it wasn't really worth it - if I get the peak on day 15 almost every month in living history, I should be fine, and they work out pricey (she's obviously not looked on Ebay). And I got a pretty-dark line on day 15 and a lighter one on day 16.

But now I am panicking that either I wasn't about to ovulate this month (which would be the first time EVER) or that it was set to be a bit late and the progesterone is stopping it. Also, I got loads of cramps when I started them last month on day 23, I think, but nothing so far this month, and my F-cups aren't sore either. I know I never get pre-menstrual cramps before at least day 21, and some months the soreness is later too, but I am overthinking it as usual. And after I pounced on Mr Spouse all those times, too.

Please talk me down.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What, exactly, constitutes giving a present?

If I suggest a Christmas present for Mr. Spouse to my mother and she says "oh, can't you just get it and I'll pay you back?", does that constitute her giving him a present?

Somehow, I don't think so. Since I probably have more money than her, but less time, if I'm going to think of it, and organise ordering it I may as well just pay. I already have several things for him, and we are trying not to go all out this year (one big present each plus a few little things).

Incidentally we went to a craft fair on Saturday and I was buying something for a friend when I turned round and spotted him putting a bag in his pocket surreptitiously. It was very sweet. He was a bit annoyed, though, as I know which stall it was from so have an idea of what it was. But I don't mind. I didn't see it, and I get to be reminded of how sweet he is twice.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Coming a little early...

We have your regularly scheduled Christmas meltdown.

I suspect it was a combination of a slightly, er, frustrating and, er, incomplete "session" that morning, which is extremely unusual for Mr. Spouse - we suspect the blood pressure tablets the doctor thinks he needs despite having never measured even mildly hypertensive before - a very ambiguous email exchange and some ill-advised forum reading re. adoption, and the prospect of singing round the Christmas holiday* tree at our local festival, swarming with kids.

One hopes we have that out of the way for the year, but chances are slim, especially as there is a Christmas pageant scheduled for church next weekend. That would be the church that is doing full on Advent at the moment, not Christmas. Oh well.

Interestingly one of the ill-advised adoption message boards has a lot of parents with children who, either because of prior awful Christmases (presents taken away as punishment, or sold) or hopes dashed recently (birth parents whose lives are not together enough to contact them or buy presents, or who buy unsuitable ones), or because of special needs (too much unpredictability, too many bright lights, too many people), really don't do well in the "run-up to Christmas". Melt-downs, tantrums, and occasional tactical withdrawals from school, events, and parties seem common.

Although I love Christmas, I really appreciate the space that Advent gives me to prepare not just presents and cards, but myself. We don't put up decorations (we have an Advent wreath, and we put out any cards we get) and I tend not to listen to carols (at least not voluntarily). If I'm in a carol concert I try to be in one that is very close to Christmas, and then decorate after that, or bring in the tree and have it bare till Christmas Eve. Mr. Spouse also doesn't particularly go overboard at Christmas, though he is from a working-class and non-conformist background and apparently this means he can put up his tacky Christmas tree on the 1st of December.

I guess we'll be reasonably well-placed to handle children who also don't do well around Christmas, and fuss; we would love to have children around at Christmas but that doesn't mean we have to do loads of extra stuff "for the children".

*I have no objection to wishing people happy holidays, happy Hanukkah, happy New Year instead, or as well, as happy Christmas (note - Merry is what you get after a few glasses, not what Christmas is necessarily. Though it can be) - but it really isn't a tree of another kind. It really is a Christmas tree. And it shouldn't be decorated until Christmas Eve. Bah humbug.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


It was my older niece's birthday on Thursday. She is 5. She is finally going to school most of the time (they start obscenely young where she lives - the younger one, 2.5, is also going several days a week to a large classroom style place. I think it is like in Belgium where belgianwaffle reported she was told off for not sending hers full time at an equivalent age).

We chatted on line (and my determination not to use web-chat was fully justified - appalling sound AND video - couldn't even tell which niece I was talking to half the time). But my mum then sent some really cute pictures, in little kilts, and the big one is SO BIG and the little one is also growing madly. I miss them - I hardly ever see them, and my brother is so dogmatic about everything too, so it's hard to have a conversation with any of the family when he is there.