Monthly Archives: April 2010

Where was I?

We were talking about something before I went off into a colossal sulk and had to be rescued from it by the Power of the Meme. Counselling. That’s what it was. And I did get some awesome comments of advanced awesomeness. So I shall address points raised, in an attempt to knock the volcanic ash out of my synapses.

Item – A couple of people pointed out that I should perhaps see a counsellor that ‘does’ infertility and loss, what with infertility and loss being such a total mind-fuck of immense fiddliness. My ex-counsellor is a specialist in infertility and loss. That was why we went to her in the first place. The latest counselling FAIL has thrown me for a complete loop for that very reason. She should get this! Why doesn’t she get this?

Item – As to H and my communication issues, I’ve had to apologise to him several times this week, for leaping forth on minimum provocation with a cry of ‘have at you, scurvy knave!’ and briskly slapping him about the beard with a handy Glove of Ridiculously Short Fuse. H is adopting a good-naturedly saintly attitude about it all, but has signally failed to offer to rub my feet.

Item – Eh, well, it’s not really a communication issue, is it? It’s a ‘May is being a spectacular harpy’ issue.

Item – HFF’s comment (my God! The love!) on the issue was Very Wise (she is very wise. Also, very funny and very kind. Also also, very good at cake). Did we set goals with Counsellor? Did I let go and weep hysterically in her office while shouting (incoherently, snottily, hiccoughily) about just how Not OK I was? No, and no. We set goals during the first set of sessions, and they were goals about communication, getting May to depretzel long enough to ask for help and support, and getting H to loosen the hell up and admit to his damn feelings once in a while. (It worked rather well. H was talking about his feelings only last night. It was very moving and sweet). On the second go-around, I think we talked some vague piffle about not really feeling OK what with the 2009 Mucho Shit Avalanche With Added New Year Arse-Gravy, 2010 edition, and then proceeded to demonstrate a beautifully interlocking and mutually-supportive communication out-break the like of which normally only happens in the ‘after’ case-studies in psychology text-books. Benevolent and baffled, Counsellor sent us away to get on with the communication lark we were clearly so bloody marvellous at.

Item – On the other hand, given that we are communicating as smoothly as the Dancing Cars in the Italian Job, and given that since she last saw us we’ve piled on a few more miscarriages and a diagnosis of ‘your uterus, it borked’, I do wonder what the buggery hell she thought we were there for. People don’t cheerfully chuck away £65 an hour for the ‘meh, bored now’ of it all. There’s a cinema just down the road if things have got a bit like that.

Item – I think I expected her to notice, or realise, there was more to it than that, and maybe pry a bit. l wanted her to pry a bit. I feel a right feckin’ eejit just marching into a room and saying ‘hello, I’m all unhappy and shit, let me tell you why. Even when I’ve paid for the damn room exactly so I could march into it and say exactly that. This is making me sound deranged, isn’t it? See? I need counselling.

Item – HFF is right, and H’s presence is very inhibitory. Not because I want to tell a therapist all about my plans to steal H’s credit-card and run away with a Bolivian Hell’s Angel called Marion. Not because I want to tell a therapist about all the ways in which H is Doing Me Wrong, starting with his habit of leaving the lid off the shower-gel and working my way up through ‘getting all defensive and refusing to listen when I go off on one about the shower gel’ to finish in style with something deeply unkind about the (rare! I hasten to note, rare!) occasions our sex life jumps the rails and topples over what with the stress and ‘do it NOW DAMN IT’ thing not being a turn-on after all. No. I can’t talk with H in the room because I feel deeply uncomfortable about letting H know just how miserable and frustrated I truly am with the way my life has turned out.

Item – I find myself just pointing at it all, at it all, and shouting ‘NOT! WANT!’. I fucked up a lot of things, my PhD (enough! We do not speak of that!), my health, my career. I gave up on ambitions because I just didn’t feel I could keep asking other people to help and support me while I worked for them. I felt ashamed for being so financially dependent. So I followed the path of ‘sensible’ and the path of ‘what other people think is right’ and the path of ‘fiscal responsibility, also, not being a leach on your spouse’. And then, H wanted to wait until we were solvent and adult and married before chucking out the contraceptives, and I went along with that too. I agreed to it. It was sensible.

Item – I am really too old and too intelligent to sit about blaming my parents/teachers/doctors/husband for my own spinelessness or lack of nous. The mess of Things I Fucked Up Single-Handed and Things I Let Other People Fuck Up For Me is impossible to unpick now.

Item – I am not the person I meant to be, and I still have to get up every morning and be this other, lesser, human being and pretend I like it. For H’s sake. I have to believe I did the right thing in giving up on being an academic, and that I did the right thing in getting a full-time job in the one career-path I hadn’t completely unfitted myself for. I have to believe that waiting until I was 30 before trying to get pregnant wasn’t the most appallingly stupid thing I’ve ever done. I have to believe that the life I have now is enough for me, and I don’t need or want more. Alas, I am an atheist, and belief is, among all things I suck at, the thing I suck at most.

Hooray and up she rises

The sweetie that is Secret D nominated me for this, which was timely and kind of her, given that I am in Blogging (And Everything Else) Funk, and I needed a ‘cheer the hell up already’ intervention.

The rules: List 10 things that make your day & then give this award to 10 bloggers.

That seems fairly simple. Off we go. Ten things that turn a grumpy May into a smiley (or, sod it, a slightly less grumpy) May: -

  1. Things in flower. I am well aware that this makes me sound like I’m on a permanent Wordsworth bender. Um. There’s no talking my way out of that one, is there? I am on a permanent Wordsworth bender.
  2. My husband gets up before me and brings me a cup of tea every morning. Every. Morning. The only times he hasn’t, it’s because he’s either been not actually in the same city as me, or so ill I couldn’t possibly be so cruel as to make him. On the morning after the first night we actually slept together, back when he was 18 and I was 17, he got up, saw I was still asleep, meandered downstairs in my parents’ house, said good morning to my Dad, made a mug of tea, brought it back upstairs, sat on the end of the bed watching me surface, and when I opened my eyes and looked blearily at him, he smiled and handed me the tea. At which point, I decided that, yes, actually, I was in love with him. And H hates tea himself and never drinks it.
  3. Coffee from the best coffee-stand in London. It saddens me to admit they are New Zealanders, not Italians – given my childhood, I bloody well should prefer Italians – but the other (big, chainey) chains with Italian names that you can try? Are not as good. Or, to be brutal, as Italian. So there.
  4. Massively getting my geek on at work and cataloguing something weird and abstruse from scratch, perfectly, with elegance and economy and a great deal of detective-work. Even when I’m the only person who’ll ever know or notice.
  5. At the moment, watching Dr Who. I don’t want to make mad passionate love to the new Doctor (H was getting a little… worried… about my David Tennant enthusiasm), but he is adorable, and Weeping Angels? Rock.
  6. Knitting. The pair of cheerful Gay-Pride-bright-and-rainbowy socks I am making for myself right now make me smile every time I pick them up.
  7. Clean sheets.
  8. Getting comments on my blog. Especially long ones. Look! People like me! Real people really like me!
  9. Spending an hour or so lying on the bed and reading a good book. Most restorative to the frazzled synapse.
  10. H spontaneously offering to rub my feet (hint hint).

Some people who also regularly make my day:



Ann of Hairy Farmer Family

Twangy Pearl





MFA Mama



One word answers

I stole this from Thalia (hi, Thalia!), because, seriously? My brain? Has dissolved. One word at a time is about my level right now. (We’ll talk about the causes of brain dissolution when I finish scooping the remains of my intellect into this bucket here).



Not as easy as you might think…

1. Yourself: Shattered.

2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend [husband, actually] : Depressed.

3. Your hair: Frazzled.

4. Your mother/stepmother: Abroad.

5. Your dog: Imaginary.

6. Your favorite item: Duvet.

7. Your dream last night: Ditches.

8. Your favorite drink: Coffee.

9. Your dream car: Spider.

10. The room you are in: Living-room.

12. Your fear: Miscarriage.

13. What you want to be in 10 years: Mother.

14. Who you hung out with last night: Husband.

15. What you’re not: Contented.

16. Muffin: Yuk.

17: One of your wish list items: Holiday.

18: Time: Bed.

19. The last thing you did: Nail-bite.

20. What you are wearing: Flip-flops.

21. Your favorite weather: Today’s.

22. Your favorite book: Uncountable.

23. The last thing you ate: Chocolate.

24. Your life: Unsatisfactory.

25. Your mood: Sad.

26. Your best friend(s): Appreciated.

27. What are you thinking about right now? Pikaia.

28. Your car: Nonexistant.

29. What are you doing at the moment?: This.

30. Your summer: Yearning.

31. Your relationship status: Taken.

32. What is on your TV?: Nada.

33. What is the weather like?: Blissful.

34. When is the last time you laughed?: Earlier.

Pre-shrunk. Like denim.

A few weeks ago, what with me being in a permanent rage and H in a permanent funk, we asked our old counsellor if we could come back for another go.

And we had two goes. One just before Easter, and one the week after, and then she sent us off to get on with our lovely lovely lives. Because we don’t need counselling, you see. Our communication has massively improved. We seem able to talk throught things sensibly. We seem perfectly ‘with it’. And she waved us good-bye.

Counselling, massive failure of, because we are so freakin’ advanced.

It’s perfectly true that H and I communicate better these days. It’s perfectly true that my new improved ‘tell the truth and shame the Devil’ stance on ‘those’ questions (from family, from colleagues, hell, from random passers-by in Sainsburys) is actually liberating and shuts people the fuckitty-fuck UP when they’re being inappropriate (not that I’ve had to use it much. Also, totally failed to use it on H’s family at Easter when they were all being serial dill-weeds about the Christmas miscarriage. Um…). It’s perfectly true that I don’t feel nearly so lost and hopeless as I did after losing Pikaia. [N.B. I'm not hopeful that I'll get a kid out of this. I'm just no longer convinced childlessness = nothing but endless suckitude until I die. This is good, right?].

Yeah, but. But but but. H and I communicate better overall, but we still have spectacular failures of mutual comprehension. Last night, for example, we managed to reduce each other to tears. Actual tears! And it was the most pointless argument in the history of arguments (though I still think H was being a self-rightous, pompous twat-weasel. And H no doubt thinks I was being an unreasonable harpy. Whatever). I still have lovely twitchy anxiety attacks when cheerfully clueless colleagues insist on telling me all about The Joy of Parenting, Now With Added Cute edition, or demand that I lavish coo on their grandchildren’s photos and ask me, wistfully, if my mother minds not being a grandmama (answer, she is a grandmama, thank you, *frosty stare*).

And the fact I didn’t get knocked up last cycle is making me crazy.

I am aware (see? Go me and my awareness!) that this is in part because Jesus Christ, could my periods get any more horrible? (disclaimer: pleasedon’tanswerthatI’msuretheycould). Three days, three days, of puking and being unable to stand up straight and counting the motherfucking minutes until I could take another painkiller and I was taking diclofenac AND cocodamol. I feel like a small nail bomb went off in my pelvis. I sat down on a bench in the park this lunch-time and had a discreet little weep out of sheer self-pity. It hurts, damn it. And if I don’t get (oh, and stay. Staying would help) pregnant next cycle, I shall have to go back there for another few days. And again after that. And again. And again. Only way out? Sterilise myself. Temporarily, permanently, either way I’m 35 in May and I do not have time for this shit.

*Cue full-blown hyperventilating panic attack*

See? I’m not so sure I am so freakin’ advanced. I do not feel I am coping, and I do not necessarily feel H is coping with me.

But perhaps I expected more from counselling than it could give. I was hoping to have the Bad and the Crazy lifted off me. Instead I was given a block-and-tackle (some assembly required) and left to get on with it. It dawns on me that this is all counselling can do, and all it will ever try to do. Allen key. Instruction leaflet. Flat-pack. You’re on your own, kiddo, and that’s the point.

I still feel cheated, though.


I woke up to the most astonishing message this morning. At least one of my Gentle Readers (hello, whichever sweetheart you are!) nominated me for the MAD Blog Awards.

(Hence very colourful badge on sidebar).

I am flattered and flustered to the point of giggling fuchsia. And very, very grateful.

I did spend quite a while this morning wondering why whoever nominated me did nominate me for a MUM AND DAD BLOG award. No one who reads this blog can have failed to notice the extreme and looming complete and utter lack of Mum and/or Dad status therein. H and I are cute as buttons, I agree, but we’re not parents. Not for want of trying, but, totally, not parents. We don’t even have a cat. Hell, we barely have half-a-dozen house-plants.

I can see people clicking over from the MAD Awards site, glancing through this lot, and thinking ‘WTF?’. Or, as parents are well-known to be proper, decorous grown-ups, not ‘WTF?’ at all. More ‘oh deary me, this is all very odd and sad and weird and distressing and not about parenting and if I don’t get my daily fix of lisping toddler antics I start to remember how much I used to like going to Alice Cooper concerts and that will not do.’

Not that I know a single parent who is really like that. I don’t read a single parenting blog that is like that either. I am vapouring.

However, I have read a great many ‘normal parenting’ blogs (none of which I consider to be by my own special Gentle Readers, by the way) (also, why in hell do I read ‘ordinary’ parenting blogs? Yes, there are many funny, interesting and thoughtful ones well worth reading, but why sandpaper my soul like that? What am I, masochistic?) where, in between the snot and the cuteness and the nappies and the recipes and the ‘why is my child doing that, why?’, I have not seen even a glimpse of the notion that parenting is anything other than The Norm.

You know. Mummy and Daddy love each other very much, and have a Special Cuddle, and nine months later, lo! Junior is born! And then Mummy and Daddy still love each other very much and when Junior is about 18 months old they stop bickering about the ironing long enough to get drunk and lo! Nine months later Juniorette is born! And so on. Blog after blog where the writer’s, bless her (usually her. Bless the hims as well, obviously) fertility worries are all about ‘oops, didn’t mean to have a second/third just yet’. And yes, I can see, and do know (coming from a fucking enormous family myself) that messing up the child-spacing can be a big ole disaster. And dealing with toddlers while pregnant is hard. And dealing with teenagers while pregnant (either you or the teenager. Or both) is hard. And dealing with numb-nut partners who just don’t get it is just unGodly hard. And it all makes for excellent, interesting, supportive and very useful blogging. I approve of it all thoroughly, even though I am a sort of burnt-out lifeless satellite of the parenting world. I bask in the reflected glory. (Honesty compels me to add, I am occasionally scorched by the reflected glory).

I just think that when the organizers of the MAD Awards actually take a moment to flick through Nuts in May, they will delete me from the lists. It’s a parenting blog award. I am not a parent. I am half-killing myself trying to be one, but I don’t suppose that will count. It would be perfectly fair of them to remove me.

However, for as long as I do hang around on the nominees list, and believe me, I am so pleased and moved that I’m on it at all, let alone in two different places (Butlins MAD Blogger of the Year and Best MAD Blog Writer), that I actually had a little cry this morning, where was I? Oh, yes. As long as I get to remain on the list, I like to think I am advocating for my fellow infertiles. Some people will go exploring on that list. Some people will end up here. Some people will no doubt shy away in confusion. Some people will read a bit, and some will think ‘meh’.

But a few, I hope, will understand a little more about infertility and miscarriage before they wander off. That babies don’t always just ‘turn up’ as and when. That not being able to have any really, really hurts. That losing them is awful. That their friend/cousin/sister-in-law/colleague is not being just some crazy lady about this, but is struggling with constant, ongoing grief. That their own children are miracles. That their own parenting dilemmas and anxst are immense (difficult, painful, yes, but immense) privileges. I’m sure most parents know very well that their children are the gift beyond all gifts, the honour and reward above all others, the luck, the hope, the future and the precious glory of the world. I can only hope that they’ll keep a tiny corner of their already big and generous hearts for those of us who are, really (beautiful and meaningful as a moon can be), still only burnt-out satellites of the parenting cosmos.

Not want!

I’m not sure if this makes it worse or better, but H and I are coming to the conclusion that there was no stomach-bug. The throwing-up? Happened, invariably, when the cramps were at their worst and shortly before I passed blood-clots the size of, well, I’m not sure, I didn’t care to look closely. But they were horribly impressive.

Basically, the Cute Ute has turned into an Evil Dictator, and when she is unhappy, the rest of the body must suffer too.

I have thrown up from pain before, but usually only when I was actually miscarrying, which I feel to be, if no-fun-at-all, then at least reasonable. Vomiting on a ‘mere’ period?

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Damn it all to hell

There is, surely, a good time (OK, OK, no such thing as a good time for this. Less bad? Hideous-but-doable?) to get a stomach bug.

I contend that it is not during a violently painful period (thanks, adenomyosis!), when your very ability to stand up and stay conscious depends on keeping your cocodamol tablets in your stomach long enough to digest them.

Also, the hurling action has a deleterious effect on the irritable uterus.

I am not having a good day.


I peed on another stick last night. You know, what with feeling itchy and icky and ouchy and shouty.


I ended up lying on the bed, staring at the blank, blank pee-stick at all angles with the assistance of my ferociously bright bedside lamp, while H stroked my back and said, occasionally, apologetically, ‘I just can’t see any second line, sweetheart.’


And this morning my temperature had dropped and then at work I started spotting and now I am crampy and ohhh, bugger.

And now we have to start all over again. The wait for Miss Satsuma decide whether she’s feeling cooperative, or Tired and Emotional. The constant, increasingly frantic and resentful, shagging, like courtiers leaping and dancing on the whim of a bored adolescent absolute monarch. The self-doubt and anxst and obligatory migraine which almost, but not quite, entirely doesn’t presage ovulation. Shouting ‘I shall get more provera! I shall! I’m not kidding!’ at my own abdomen sometime around day 30 of the cycle. Wanting to throttle anyone who says ‘at least you know you can get pregnant.’

Meanwhile, I award this month’s Oscar for Best Supported Actresses to my breasts, for their convincing and deeply moving portrayal of Newly Pregnant Titties.

Lying bitches.

Resistance is futile

I cracked. I peed on a stick.


Waste of a Goddamn gold-and-seed-pearl-encrusted expensive peestick.

Meanwhile, just so we all know exactly what a dill-weed thing to do that was, I’m not 100% sure when I ovulated. I think it was the evening of Wednesday 31st, based on Satsuma pitching a fit, and my fertility chart thinks it was Thursday 1st, due to temperature and *cough* other signs. And H and I had last had sex on Monday, since when H has been knocked flat by the Real Flu (which, incidentally, is still kicking his arse, poor bloody H). So, really, unless H has managed to produce a handful of SAS endurance sperm-squaddies that Monday, peeing on sticks is an exercise in futility.

Period is due either Tuesday (by Satsuma-fit timing) or Wednesday (by chart), and, frankly, dpo 11 or only 10 is a stupidly early time to pee even on an expensive pee-stick.

But H might have produced a mighty squaddie. I might have ovulated Wednesday.

And this Universe might be a smiling and benevolent one.

And I am still a raging dill-weed.

We’ve been here before

What on earth is the matter with me? I have been going about these past few days in the most almighty snit. And I mean almighty. Even the fragile ailing H (I did mention he had Real ‘Flu, you know, Proper, With Fever And Everything, didn’t I?) got the rough and sharp sides of my tongue briskly round both ears before I stormed off and slammed the bedroom door a few times (oh, please don’t ask what I was yelling about. It’s too pathetically petty for me to ever admit to. So pathetically petty I’m not quite sure I can remember exactly what it was. H was probably breathing intrusively. It quickly segued into ‘you never bloody listen to me, do you? Huh? DO YOU?’ anyway).

And work, oh my God, work. The drama. You’d think I was going there to be skinned alive. It’s a perfectly nice job, I swear. Not vastly stressful or demanding (goes with being really rather badly paid, I suppose), with some intellectual challenge. But I do have to deal with the public, and I do have to deal with my colleagues, and this week, both sets of persons were making me go all ‘Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’ I think I would happily bitch-slap a heavy-weight boxer if I thought it would get me well away from work for a few weeks.

It’s not work, though, is it? It’s everything.

And being persistantly irritable is giving me serious heartburn. I haven’t had heartburn this bad for ages. Damn, but that makes me irritable. Oh, and headaches. I’ve had a headache every day for a sodding week. How on earth can I not be irritable?

On Thursday, I felt crampy. Really crampy. Stabbing cramps, as if Satsuma had found an ice-pick somewhere and was executing a bas-relief on Cute Ute’s side-wall. Ow. And on Friday. I mentioned them to H, who expressed due sympathy, then stared thoughtfully at me. Odd chap, I thought, squishing my breasts to see if they were still sore. Well, yes, but the soreness keeps coming and going.

And today, while rubbing my crampy lower belly, belching like a whale, and wondering where the paracetamol had got to as a little goblin hammered about behind my eyes, pondering the metallic, bloody, persistant taste in my mouth and thinking it made me feel sick, I remembered. The last time I felt exactly like this was when I got pregnant in October. And yes, H had worked it out two days before I did. (He’s not really my husband, you know. He’s my wife).

It’s only 10 dpo. Let’s not get our knickers in a bunch and start shouting ‘test! Test! Test!’. I get enough of that from the Positive Thinking Fairy, who has even bought pom-poms.

Yes, I do have four pregnancy tests left.

But, people, this won’t end well. Either I won’t be pregnant, and I will be disappointed and miserable. Or I will be, but my track record on that is now so appalling… argh. Anyway. The Positive Thinking Fairy may have pom-poms, but Bitter McTwisted has bought the entire stadium on that one. Positive peestick=miscarriage chez May now. Sucks, huh?

If anyone wants me, I’ll be roaming the neighbourhood, necking flat ginger ale and looking for puppies to kick.


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