Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm a media slut

In the last 48 hours I've spoken to about 10 newspaper journalists and been interviewed for no less than 6 radio programmes (first one: scary; last one: blasé). A piece of my work which a friend described as "the cutest research ever" has been jumped on with a frenzy.

I'm not going to post a link here, but suffice to say if you've hear or read anything about children's language in the British media today, it's almost certainly me. But nothing will stop me going to Brownies tonight. Except maybe John Humphrys.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The women of this nation...

apart from those who like football, or have more than one TV in the house, are currently amusing themselves.

I've been doing a little browsing on the internetty web (as Mr Spouse and I call it), and a little sewing on two baby quilts. One is for my new niece, and one is either a faith quilt, or is for some other lucky child of a friend or relative. Not for my cousin's - I'm sorry, but having your second child due less than 3 years after your first does not count as "it's so difficult and upsetting not being able to have another child". Definitely not as "everyone in the family needs to know even your 97-year-old grandfather". Although the latter may have been her big-mouthed mother. Just because she is 13 months younger than her brother.

At least that may be the last of it for a while, unless my brother decides he can't live without a son. I have one remaining unmarried cousin my age, who is currently messing around with, and I suspect messing around, a very good friend of mine. No wedding bells or pregnancies I don't think - she wants to adopt from China, as a first choice, but he's under pressure to keep the family name going. The other side are all either under 30 and living in a different country to their spouse, or unattached, or both.

Going through my cycles in real time is rather a lot like watchin paint dry, so I'm not subjecting you lot to them. Suffice to say I madly decided to take my temperature this month, but at least it tells me, once again, I'm ovulating fine. In other news, no news from the miscarriage clinic (why does my mother ring to ask if I've heard from them four days after I've gone to the gynae? that's hardly enough time for a letter to get there and back!), and Mr Spouse and I have agreed that if "nothing has happened" six months after my last miscarriage, we will start going for adoption.

Details are yet to be worked out. Will "nothing" include another early miscarriage? Will we go with the agency we visited, or think about concurrency (where you foster a very young child and then if they don't get reunited with their birth parents- which does not happen 90% of the time - you adopt them)? The concurrency agency is quite a long way away - there are only about 4 in the country - and we might have to twist their arm to get them to consider us. We'll see.

A radio programme

This is a BBC Radio 4 programme about miscarriage that I suspect will only be up till Monday 26th June, as usually they keep them up for a week.

I'm putting this post up before an actual text one so if the programme expires, but I don't get round to updating, you won't have to keep looking at it.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I'm a university lecturer, and we've been on "strike" (a boycott of assessment activities - at the busiest time of year for assessment) - no marking. So now that our strike has ended, I have a huge pile of marking to do. You, gentle reader, are very lucky.

I had my next (maybe final) gynae appointment today, and went along with as usual a long list of things to ask. I forgot to put one thing on it, and I didn't sleep well last night, so not surprisingly I forgot to ask about it. But it is not fertility related*, and this is what she said about the fertility things:

My FSH level is 7. Not hopeless, but not as good as it could be (it seems that 2-6 is "excellent" and 6-9 is "good"), and another reminder that I don't have forever to do this pregnancy thing. So I didn't really need the gynae to tell me "it all gets harder after you're 40".

She's redoing the "online" clotting tests (the ones that measure actual levels of substance in your blood, rather than the ones that test for a gene mutation, which is not going to change). She also arranged for a test for the MTHFR mutation- she hadn't heard of it but the fact that it's in a book by the miscarriage guru lady in London, rather than off-a-random-website, made her take it seriously. But given that apparently a third of people have the mutation, there must be a lot of people who get and stay pregnant just fine with it.

She's referring me to the recurrent miscarriage clinic - the local one - the only thing I can find in the London clinic's book that I don't know if they do is the real-time clotting test (how fast does your blood clot in actual fact) and if they don't, I'll try and arrange for it to be done privately. She also said that, if I get pregnant again but have not yet had a diagnosis of a clotting factor, then it would do absolutely no harm to take low-dose aspirin. I am not sure if I'll extend this to "it will do no harm to take it during the second half of the cycle every month". I'm tempted.

And she said when we have some answers from the miscarriage clinic, IUI might make sense, and can be done at a fairly local hospital (1/2 hour away) with good results.

So reproductively I feel as if I've had a few answers. But parenting-wise, I'm not sure. If I knew we could not get (or stay) pregnant, I would want to go for adoption as soon as possible. But will I ever know that?

*it is a Barthelin cyst, and no, you don't want to know what it is.