Monthly Archives: June 2011

First World Problems

Item – H’s place of employment doesn’t finally fold its tents and silently steal away until after the New Year. So until then, H and his colleagues have to Sort Things Out and Finish Projects Properly and Hand Over and Sign Off and, you know, behave like responsible adults.

Item – I keep telling him he should booby-trap every website and database that’s being handed over with random pop-up messages pointing out that the Powers That Be are, variously, berks, trolls, lickspittles, Judases, dissembling cod-pieces, ridiculously bad in bed, morons, despoilers, pigeon-lickers, toad-eaters, urine-scented, and wearing pink frilly nylon suspenders, and pointing out there’s no more faith in them than in a stewed prune. H laughs immoderately at all these suggestions, but says ‘no’. I suppose he wishes to remain employable.

Item – So, yes, we do have a fair while to job-hunt and plan and think and lament and carry on and cuss and get a grip in. I say get a grip, because, given that H will get redundancy pay, and given that I have savings (I checked. I have saved nearly a year’s wages. Go me!), this whole situation is totally a First World Problem.

Item – H is wildly suggesting moving to Yorkshire and buying a yarn shop. He has never run a shop in his life. Yes, OK, so living with me is very much like living in a hallucinatory cross between a second-hand bookshop and the haberdashery department at John Lewis after a reasonably sturdy earthquake, but still. He has in the past also suggested crofting with chickens, crofting with ducks, sponging off my mother, building a house from scratch out of hay-bales and mud, emigrating, and me becoming a bestselling author à la J.K. Rowling, so I am assuming he isn’t serious. Bless the man.

Item – A few days after we got That News, I wrung my hands and asked H if he thought we should, maybe, you know, what with the uncertainty, stop trying to have a child right now. ‘God, no!’ he said. ‘We don’t have time to take a break any more. And anyway,’ he added, smiling seraphically, ‘Even if we did have a kid, we’d be fine.’ So I felt better. Also, sad that even H gets that I’m 36 and my remaining eggs are going stale. But mostly better. I think.

Item – To return to the ever-fascinating subject of meeeee, the first two days back at work this week, I garnered NINE separate remarks, from nine separate people, on my pallid (or ‘peaky'(TM)) complexion. I took my allegedly sugar-white face back home to H, and asked him if I really did look that remarkably ill. He peered at me, and said I looked much the same as ever. I think I must be allergic to my office. Or H is depressingly used to me looking like a boiled tea-towel. Both? Anyway, he insisted on cooking me a steak earlier this evening, as a precaution. We shall see how many people I render snow-blind with the dazzle from my cheekbones over the weekend.

Item – I feel like I ought to be doing something energetic and useful. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like doing something energetic and useful at all. I just feel like I ought to be.

Surprise pack-ice

We’ve been rather thrown on our beam ends this week.

[Incidentally, isn't 'thrown on our beam ends' and delightfully Shackletonian way of expressing oneself? I shall keep it].

Now, H is the main hunter-gatherer of our tiny tribe (two humans, a cactus, and several hundred books), earning as he does pretty much double what I do. He also enjoys his job, is good at it, and finds it pretty fulfilling. I find my (crappily paid) job increasingly tiresome (I’m only in it for the maternity leave these days ahahahahahah. Oh, and the pension. The pension’s not bad), I’m fresh out of promotion opportunities, and I’d very much like a chance to do Something Else if only someone would pay me to shut up and go away. So if one of us was to find out that there was to be a Merger and a Shutting Of Offices and a General Relocation, with concomittant Uncertain Futures and Redundancies All Round, wouldn’t it be nice if it were me?

Of course it isn’t me.

Neither of us care for a) change or b) uncertainty, you know.

The next few months are going to be the donkey’s scrotum, they really are.

My name is May and I am an eejit

OK, yes, so I was (am) menstruating, and regular readers will know that for me this is less of a natural, normal process showing how my body is healthy and in tune and obeying the rhythms of life and more of a farrkin’ ELL who set this nail bomb off in my pelvis?

However, this time it was going quite well. For me. I took enough painkillers early enough, and so, OK, I was crampy most of Thursday, but I was functional, and OK, so I really started bleeding and hurting on Friday, and yes, it really hurt, but it didn’t hurt as much as I alas know it can hurt. (For example, on a really bad day, it hurts so much I can’t speak coherently, I can’t stand up straight, I can’t stand at all for long before I feel dizzy, and I puke a lot. I spend hours on end lying face down on the bed, groaning and whimpering at intervals, not because I want to, but because I really, genuinely, can’t do anything else).

This time, I was sore, and had to lie down a lot, as standing made the cramps worse, and I was grouchy as hell and bitched non-stop from the moment I woke up to the moment H left for work and I had no-one to bitch at, but I did not puke or go all incoherent and sheet-white in the face. And I did not lie down on the living-room carpet because the bedroom was just too far to crawl to. Saturday was even better, in that there were hours of infuriating constant cramp and ache that made it hard to concentrate on anything much, but I managed to eat a little something, read, and bitch at H all over again. Sunday, I felt great. I woke up in no pain at all. I read books. I had a shower. This was fabulous. I… forgot to keep taking the painkillers. What? I felt fine, didn’t I? Why would I need to keep taking these, after all, worryingly strong painkillers if I felt fine?

So, obviously, by mid-afternoon I felt like shit again, degenerating through bitching at H, to lying down, to lying down with whimpers and nausea.

Aaaaand back on the painkillers.

I think they must lower my IQ by about 90 points.

Knocked out loaded

Meanwhile, in two-week-wait-land, I have been feeling sicky and acidic and bosomy and tired and blood-hound-nosed. As I do every goddamn month since Satsuma worked out how to ovulate on her own.

And I have been peeing on sticks. Which went variously:

  1. Nope.
  2. Still nope.
  3. Lady, I said no already.

So today I did not pee on anything, because my temperature had dropped and I felt crampy, and this evening I feel even crampier, and, yeah, well. Not this month.

One of the drugs I take, to try and keep Cute Ute from making me puke myself into a hernia, is mefenamic acid, and for it to help much, I need to start taking it before the cramps start. But it is a category C drug, that is, disagreeable to embryos, so I daren’t start taking it until I’m sure I’m not pregnant. So today, like many other cycles, I played brinkmanship with myself all morning, and then, finally, at lunch, caved and took a tablet. I mean, for God’s sake, I was spotting and cramping and my tits had deflated and everything.

Still, it’s a bit of a moment, the one where you finally declare the cycle a bust and prioritise your own life over that of any possible offspring. I’m always haunted by the fear the pee-sticks will lie to me and I’ll fuck up one day and poison a blastocyst just as it was getting nicely tucked in to the lining.

Not this time, though. I feel crampy as shit. Crampy and shit. And that’s the end of the fourth cycle since I was last pregnant.

Well, there I was

Actually, the wedding was fine. Yes, I know, very anticlimactical. Sorry about that. The bride looked beautiful (she’s a very pretty girl anyway), the groom handsome and flustered, Minx (one of the flower girls) behaved (mostly) and looked extremely cute even when not behaving (she saved the naughtiness for the reception, and was positively seraphic in church. I was so proud). Only one poor lassie was sick in the loos at midnight, the bridesmaid didn’t lose her shoes after all, the decorations were lovely, and the food was good. So.

Comedy highlights included the priest, who may as well have been Father Jack Hackett, and who hurtled through the entire service like a man with a lit firework up his arse who can’t have the water bucket until he says ‘the Mass is ended, go in peace.'; the elegant, dry, measured, witty, and startlingly filthy speech of the Father of the Bride (his wife didn’t know whether to kiss him or kill him by the end); the sight of half-a-dozen heavily bearded men earnestly playing croquet; and me, discussing our large, Catholic families with the (more Catholic than I realised) chap next to me, remarking that we always ended family gatherings with a rousing chorus of Monty Python’s Every Sperm Is Sacred [will sing! NSFW!], and only then realising I’d shocked the poor bugger to his devout core.

However, when he asked me if I wanted a large family, he did carefully add, ‘or is that a sore subject?’ I laughed and said ‘I’ll take what I’m given,’ and with great relief we turned to our relative neighbours and ignored each other for the rest of the evening.

Only a couple of people, both of whom I did not know, asked if I had kids, and had absolutely nothing jerktastic to add when I said ‘no, not yet.’ Not even an encomium on the joys of parenthood.

Baby Edna was very good, and very sweet, and her parents were also very good, and very sweet, in that they clearly adored their new baby, but were very happy to talk about practically anything except babies.

As for Interrogation By Aunt, I think the fact I was dressed like an adult and wearing my hair up might’ve intimidated them. Oh, yes, the new dress was a success. Hurrah! And I got very good at spotting someone I hadn’t said hello to and sashaying off into the crowds whenever the conversation veered towards anything I couldn’t be having with. Such as why I was looking so fit and trim (comparatively. We all know I’m still decidedly plumptious). On the minus side, that meant any dramatic ‘and I’m suffering, so don’t be arseholes, thank you,’ revelations also got bottled. Feh.

We were not able to escape to our room and watch TV, alas, because our hotel was about six miles from the (fancier) hotel where the reception was happening, but hey, we were fine. And we even had fun.

Meanwhile, on Planet Fucknutterly, my Dad upped both the emotional blackmail and the weird. He took to playing phone-tag with Mum as well. My mother, who hasn’t been married to him for 30 years, remember, nevertheless felt bad about his not getting to see his daughters (i.e. Trouble and me) on Father’s Day, so invited him to an early dinner at her place on the Sunday, by which time we’d’ve all reconvened there for a post-wedding gossip (H and I and Trouble and Minx had all been asked to the post-wedding lunch, so couldn’t get back to my mother’s before 5pm). Dad promptly called back to ask Mum if he could stay the night, and she had to say no, as she had six (six) other people staying, plus Baby Edna (who technically didn’t need a bed, but did need, you know, a room). I don’t know how he responded, but she did offer him the sofa, if he liked, after that. He replied to that with a phone message saying, in essence, ‘thanks for nothing,’ and buggered back off the 500 miles home instead.

Trouble was furious, because she’s been emailing him back and forth for months, and yet, suddenly, when he was planning a trip to this end of the island, he not only doesn’t email her, or reply to her emails, but tried calling her at her ex-husband’s house. The ex she has a fairly acrimonious, craptastical relationship with. The ex delivers his message garbled and several days late, natch. Trouble can’t understand why her Dad, her own Dad, would arse her about like this.

It seems all of a piece to me. Dad has all our mobile phone numbers, all our emails, and yet choses to plan his visit via the most unreliable forms of communication available to him. Dad knew he was going to come to our end of the country weeks ago, yet only contacted us about it all less than two days before he set off. And then blames us when we have (major, very bloody hard to change, set WEEKS ago) plans. Self-sabotage. Forcing us to reject him, so it can be all our fault that nothing works out between us. Avoiding having to deal with one sickly, miserable daughter, and one divorced, miserable daughter. He’s a coward. The last time I visited him he probably freaked himself out with his confessional moment about his horrible childhood. And so on.

But, you know, I’m old and leathery and wise and filled with a kind of bitter empathy for the man. I can take it. Trouble can’t. Trouble still really yearns for his approval.

I am bloody cross.

Well, I’m here.

Item – I am writing this, painfully slowly, on an iPad in a hotel room in the deepest, dampest countryside. It’a very nice hotel room, but it’s chilly, or at least, I’m chilly. And baffled by how startlingly clumsy I am without nice clicky solid keys with edges to guide me. I’m a ferociously good and speedy typist usually. This is like being back in school, when we used to troop into the ‘Computer Lab’ to practice touch-typing for half and hour every Thursday.

Item – Someone found my blog by searching for ‘insubordinate trollop’. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

Item – Diet, which was going so well I actually PEELED THE PASTRY OFF A SAUSAGE ROLL before eating it, blown to smithereens within five minutes of entering my mother’s house earlier this afternoon. I have eaten chips. I have eaten cake. I have *sob* eaten ice-cream.

Item – My Dad left me the most passive-aggressive message in the history of telephony, complaining that we never answered his calls, we don’t visit, we don’t write, so, anyway, he was going to be our end of the country on Saturday, and wanted to come over for dinner. Of course, we’re at this wedding, 200 miles away, this weekend. I burst into tears, feeling instantly stricken with guilt (God, my Dad is good. He’s like Portnoy’s mother) that we’d missed his call and weren’t going to make him dinner. It took H a while to talk me down, poor lamb. Then I called Dad back, to point out he hadn’t called since my birthday, that calling before 7:30 was counterproductive as we both actually work long hours, that we’d been invited to the wedding months ago, as had he (only he refused the invitation), and that ideally, we needed more than 36 hours’ notice to fling all our plans into the air. Oh, and we had visited him in September, so the ‘I haven’t seen you for YEARS’ was uncalled for. He folded like a table napkin, and I left him a lotus of his own making.

Item – It was actually bizarrely liberating to realise, and in under two hours too, that actually, none of this particular ballsup was anything to do with me. I’m 36 and married and live 500 miles from him and he can still play me like a violin on the (rare) occasions he wants something from me. *sigh*

Item – still, wedding tomorrow. I’ve already met baby Edna. Naturally, she found her impending lunch of considerably more interest than yet another bloody cousin, and blanked me completely. Wise child. Onwards.

Teeth gritted

Well, it seems Satsuma is becoming drearily predictable. I ovulated on Saturday, day 19 of the cycle. I’ve ovulated between day 18 and 22 for the past seven cycles (and for quite a few cycles before that, too, interspersed with a few random very long and/or anovulatory cycles, just so I don’t relax or anything. Hmm. I take back the ‘dreary predictable’, in case she takes offence).

My next brisk and totally unwarranted jaunt through The Seventh Circle of Hell, Outer Circle (River of Blood and Fire), is therefore due on the 24th or 25th, a weekend I had plans for, damn it to buggery.

Of course, H and I have been having sex, lots and lots, yada yada yada, so the River of Blood and Fire has a 30% chance of being delayed for a few days, followed by utter psychological devastation.

No, I am not feeling in the least bit positive and hopeful.

I used to be downright euphoric for a few days after ovulating. The relief that Satsuma hadn’t packed her bags and gone to join the choir invisible. The excitement that I was. In. With. A. Chance! Wheeee! The comfort in not being entirely, totally, 100% broken after all.

After a while it faded to pleased, anxious, and reassured.

And now I’m underwhelmed, terrified, and oh, I know I’m 100% broken. I hate the idea of spending the next week in miserable uncertainty. I hate knowing that I am trudging slowly back to the trenches for another vicious kicking.

This is no fun anymore.


Item – I weighed myself, I was distressed, I decided to go back on the Stern and Stringent diet. And then I ate a cheesecake.

Item – I weighed myself again, I yelped in alarm, I told myself firmly that I was getting right back on that diet wagon and then stocked up on Reese’s Pieces (made of equal parts nicotine, crack, marijuana and sugar) to have with my morning coffee.

Item – I weighed myself a third time, debated bursting into tears, and have been sticking to The Goddamn Diet for, oh, two days? now. I’m a bit slow on the uptake, me. Mentally. Alas, not metabolically.

Item – H and I were shopping for smart clothes this weekend. Moths ate his suit trousers, you may remember, and there is a family wedding next weekend which is turning into The Clan One-Upmanship Olympics. So H needed a suit. And I? Well, I have several summer dresses now, but they’re all a bit ditzy hippy with cleavage (don’t get me wrong. I like being a ditzy hippy with cleavage). And my other smartest frock is also ditzy hippy but with added sequins and my mother disapproves of it (she says it looks as if I’m not taking ‘it’ seriously. Whatever ‘it’ is). She also vetoed the floor-length backless satin ball-gown, on the grounds that it’s poor etiquette to upstage the bride. So I agreed to get something ‘smart’, with the caveat that if I couldn’t find anything that didn’t make me look like Hyacinth Bucket, I reserved the right to wear a ditzy hippy dress and be damned with it.

Item – I’m 36, you know. This is ridiculous.

Item – With much cantering about town in the rain, we found a new good suit for H, the price of which didn’t make him pass spark out on the floor. He looks very handsome in it. Flushed by this triumph, he even bought a tie. Good Lord.

Item – I then tried on a good dozen very grown up, smart, ‘hello, I’m a wedding guest at a formal British wedding in June in church in the rain’ dresses. The one I adored was, of course, not in my size (fat girls don’t want cute frocks, you see. They want to look like a cretonne-covered sofa). The one I liked very much clung to my tummy fat with surprising determination and made me look like I was smuggling a 12-pound pain de campagne (in case the buffet is delayed). The one I didn’t care for fitted, but showed my bra in several unflattering places. I tore my hair and the fitting room assistant eyed me nervously and then I tried on one H had spotted and good golly, it was flattering. And short (H is obsessed with my knees. Obsessed, I tell you). And so amazingly neon-vivid in hue you’re all going to spot me in the photos from the moon. It is also very tailored and smart and not in the least ditzy or hippy. So there.

Item – For reasons that give me a headache, I am now expected to go to the pre-wedding dinner, the pre-wedding breakfast, the wedding, the wedding dinner, and the post-wedding lunch. Not only am I expected to go, I am expected to go in my mother’s place and Uphold The Honour Of This Corner Of The Clan.

Item – My aunts have not seen me for a while, and have always taken what I thought was an unseemly and unmannerly interest in the size of my waist and the contents of my uterus. Also, my cousin who recently had a baby should be there. And last time I saw the cousin who is actually getting married, she went on and on and onandonandon about all the hints her parents and her fiancé’s parents have been making about grandbabies, aren’t they competitive, isn’t it funny. Oh yes indeedy ha ha ha. I have a horrible feeling that I shall be interrogated, judged, made to hold babies, nagged, and eviscerated, and come home in tears on Sunday.

Item – I am planning on totally being brutal and upfront, both on the multiple miscarriages and on telling people right to their face when they say something judgemental, crass, or dismissive. I will probably wimp out, simper, and hide in the loos a lot. Give me strength.

Item – And for this I bought a new dress.

The Positive Thinking Fairy and Bitter McTwisted write a poem

But let us drop the turgid and clearly slightly eristic (another one for Ann, Bionic and H, there. You’re welcome) subject of my reproductive plans for the moment.

Sometimes, when I’m trapped in an interminable meeting and it’s not my turn to take the minutes, I indulge myself by writing verse (or drawing cats. And rectangles. Hello, Dr Freud, knock yourself out). Today I wrote a sonnet. About H.

Now, now, those of you who felt the urge to run away and puke (I know you’re out there), it’s not that sort of sonnet. Remember, I am made of knives and snark.

Enjoy. Or not. Or get all confused. All responses acceptable.

But what is more important? Come now, child,
A kind, a loving man, makes tea, gives flowers,
And braves the sanitary products aisle
Unasked, remembers chocolate has a power
To sooth, as does the washing-up being done –
He even listens to you, child! So what,
Exactly, mithers you? You aren’t so young
Or pretty any more; he thinks you’re hot
Regardless. He is still a handsome man.
Your world agrees you have ensnared a jewel
By some surprising, obscure, clever plan.
You’re loved and envied. Enjoy it, little fool.
Ignore the sour thoughts. Your mouth turns grim
Whenever you notice no one envies him.

Woe is me… wait what?

So here we are again. Waiting to ovulate. Isn’t it boring? My God, but it’s boring. I am so bored of this. No wonder I go sex mad. Hormones be damned, I just need to blot out the boredom.

And this cycle is being so mutinously painful. Satsuma is on fire, and has been for days. I sit about gloomily prediction, variously, endometriosis, cysts, piranhas and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (to go with the Plague of Moths, naturellement). Oh woe, oh misery.

And I had to sit through someone at work whine-snivel-bitching for hours (OK, nearly an hour) about how stress is making her so ill, and that’s why she had many many days off work, and then she turned to me and said ‘and you’d know about that sort of stress, wouldn’t you? You’ve had to take a lot of time off work too.’


And I gave a very tight-lipped smile and I did not say ‘Actually, I take time off work because either my insides are tearing themselves to bloody shreds or I am miscarrying and my insides are tearing themselves to bloody shreds. Stress? Ah ha ha ha. I wish. Two weeks off because I’m stressed. Bring it on.’

Damn. Lost opportunity to create world-record-breaking Cloud of Awkward right there.

Not that I approve of Pain Olympics. No, really, I don’t. Pain, especially emotional pain, is too subjective and too dependent on a bazillion variables of personality, circumstance, luck, support, yadayadayada, for anyone to be able to say ‘mine’s worstest, because I went through X and you only went through Y’.

But I do think my ‘failed’ cycles are made extra-specially ultra shitty for me because my periods are so almighty fucking painful, and because I get so many aches and pains in the week leading up to ovulation. And I think it’d be all less shitty for me if I my body wasn’t ripping itself to bits in slow motion.

I’m not in a good place right now. Oh, who am I kidding. I haven’t been in a good place since, argh, *counts on fingers*, dammit, when was I last perfectly content with the way my life was going? When I married H in 2005? That was wonderful. That was perfect. That was what I wanted.

Since then, there’s been the endless, and growing, disappointment and sadness over Lack of Baby. And the grief over the miscarriages, which is merging from individual attacks of agony into one amorphous mass of anxst and sorrow that just will not fuck off. And the worry and distress of having such royally fucked, screwed, buggered and blasted innards, which seem to be getting a tad more craptastic month by month (well. Yes. That’s adenomyosis for you).

I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

On the other hand, I’m not ready for the history of my reproductive years to simply be ‘We tried to have a child for years and years. Most of it hurt like hell. We had seven miscarriages. And, err, that’s it.’

At least, not without something else of wonderful emerging from it instead.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I thought I was having a self-pity party, but it seems to have been invaded by some kind of anoetic epiphany. I need a pencil.


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