Monday, August 27, 2007

Another bizarre dream

I do seem to specialise in these. Last night I dreamt that I got up early and took a pregnancy test, and there were two lines on it but I knew this meant I wasn't pregnant, and I was relieved. Then Rory Gilmore and Logan Huntsberger were having coffee, dressed in 19th century Life and Death Brigade clothes, and they were just finalising their divorce*, following which they went to bed and slept together for the first time**.

Then I woke up, patted Mr Spouse on the hand as he had been sick, and didn't take a pregnancy test: my period is due tomorrow or the next day, I do occasionally take one the day before it's due and not actually based on any symptoms, more based on desperation/mood, but I went on a long walk with my dad, who is staying, today, and I reckoned that ignorance was probably better in this case. It's a Bank Holiday here and the weather was actually OK - neither too hot nor pouring with rain - the latter being typical for this particular Bank Holiday.

Work continues to be actually reasonable - a more satisfying than expected conference last week, some tasks accomplished despite my poor expectations of my own performance - and I'm feeling reasonably upbeat. Probably because we are going on holiday to the South of France on Sunday. Might have something to do with it. Two weeks in Nice.

*I don't think they actually got married in Gilmore Girls, at least if they did I wasn't paying attention, or it was in episodes we haven't got here yet. So don't spoil it if they do.
**I do however remember that they did sleep together.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The roller blind

Giraffe roller blind
Originally uploaded by katiea
I said I'd do a picture - well, here, finally, it is. It looks quite professional but is actually not very straight, and rather wavy. But it charmed my niece.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I am boring

No-one ever lands here having googled anything exciting. Not since the "I am a media tart" post, over a year ago.


Slightly eccentric, and mildly hard of hearing

but very pleasant and normal - that was the social worker, who came for a "chat" last night. She happens to live about 10 minutes walk from us, and the support person who will sort out some of our paperwork lives on the next street. We live in a small town.

I am not going to post masses of detail about interactions with social workers, partly as I know this is not great from the point of view of security. To be honest most of the information about what's involved in the process of being approved as a foster carer or adopter is a) pretty much public domain and b) extremely variable from agency to agency. It's more the kind of answers you "have to give" to be approved that I am going to try and be more cautious about.

Anyway she seemed happy with us, our house, and our motivations - she didn't delve too deeply into our fertility issues, in fact I felt she rather glossed over the miscarriages, but it did prevent me from bursting into tears. It seems unlikely that we'd be doing respite care for real babies, though there are apparently quite a few in foster care, as there's a lot of drug use around even our leafy little city and its bigger run-down seaside neighbour. Under-3s, and especially nursery and primary age, however, seem very possible.

She also agreed with my indignation about my brother and sister-in-law's ideas about bringing up their two (lack of bedtimes and routines especially - the latest however is that the younger one, aged 15 months, is going to be at one set of grandparents' while the older one is at my mum's, for a month, while they are on a course. I have politely suggested they look into the onsite nursery, or a child-minder's, so the younger one doesn't actually forget her parents).

We now have to wait for them to timetable a foster care preparation course. I have to say (I think I have to say a lot of things - it seems to be a phrase I like) that I do think this seems like the right thing for us now, based on the fact that I am not incredibly anxious about the next step, and feeling like I want everything to happen Right Now, nor am I worried about what happens if I get pregnant, or if I don't get pregnant.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I have a recurring image in my head of the lab extracting tissue to do the genetics testing on Sprout. I keep wondering what it would have looked like, whether it was recognisably a foetus or whether it was all mashed up. If it had been a still-birth I assume they would do a post-mortem and I think that must be very affecting for the pathologists, even if they see lots of them, and I just keep wondering what the geneticists are thinking when they do post-miscarriage tests.

Nothing else to say. Just that.

Monday, August 06, 2007


We had our followup appointment with the consultant today and neither the results, nor my reaction to them, were quite what I was expecting. For some reason I thought the foetus was male - and was convinced they'd find a trisomy. In fact the results came back as a normal female. They only test for sex and 5 other chromosomes, but the ones they test for cover 60-70% of trisomies - the others available cost about £1000 per probe to use and even if we'd been asked if we would pay for that, I think the answer would have been no.

I had thought that if we were given this result, I would be completely unconvinced that they had cultured foetal material. But from what he told us about the lab report (that they managed to get material to grow from the "solid" material) then it/he seemed reasonably confident that it was foetal. And he referred me to this study which found less than half of samples were abnormal. I believe the same group also found developmental abnormalities in about 1/3 of specimens but they don't do that analysis at our hospital.

Oddly I feel quite positive about this. I think it might have been rather depressing to be told there was a trisomy, with the increased risk of future trisomies. We are of course assuming that the other miscarriages were major genetic problems, but we've nothing officially on our slate, so to speak. Risk of miscarriage goes up by about 3-6% per subsequent miscarriage, but doesn't seem to be exponential by any means. He's not as convinced as the previous doctor that getting to a heartbeat means we've a better chance in the future, nor (like the pessimists we are) that having tried everything and failed means less chance. Mr. Spouse says he felt that he - like the smiley doctor - feels more than just professionally sympathetic.

I am quite tired, but feel quite positive in a way, even though we are of course assuming the previous miscarriages were chromosomal abnormalities. I think we are prepared to go on trying for the moment - we have agreed to think about a best-before-date, after which we probably won't go on trying, though I'm not sure it would be the age of 46 (their oldest patient to date with a successful delivery).

(*see Wayne and Waynetta)