Gentle Readers, my period appears to be turning up a day early (I say ‘appears’. It hasn’t appeared. I have had cramps for 24 hours, I feel sick, my bowel has done its trademark premenstrual panic-and-empty routine, I feel so very grim I’ve called in sick, and yet? Not even spotting. But anyway), so I am in a sort of heap in the living-room with the Olympics on in the background (there appear to be… horses? What happened to the swimming?).
I haven’t been posting very much recently out of a giant, swamping feeling of anxst. And I am very, very bored of telling you all about my anxst. The whole infertility/RPL/borked innards saga has been pretty much nothing but anxst for six years (seven, really, but six blogged), and as well as being bloody unpleasant to live through, it is so fucking boring now. And this is not one of those excellent-reading heart-warming IF/RPL/Borkage stories that canters through high drama diagnoses and treatments and losses and! Finally! The Take-Home Baby! in two or three years, giving everyone a lovely story-arc with weeping-happy-tears resolution, crucially, before everyone gets royally sick of the whole thing and wanders off to find a blog less wall-to-wall tedium and frustration.
*Musical interlude in which we play May a concerto on the world’s tiniest violin*
However, my trousers are getting tight and I daren’t weigh myself, because I have been dealing with the Unspeakable Anxst Du Jour by eating rather more than I think is wise. The Germans, who have a splendid way with a compound noun, call this kind of ensquidgerey Kummerspeck, or grief-bacon, the weight you put on because you are comfort-eating your way through a crisis. (This, and ‘shark week’ for the days taken over by menstruating, are my new favourite terms. Oh, the infinite ways in which the raw, sarcastic, redolent-of-pain-and-blood ‘shark week’ is preferable to the twee, coy, tea-cosiness of ‘Aunt Flo’).
For the sake of my favourite jeans and my dignity in attempting to sit down therein, I shall now vent anxst all over this blog-post. You have been warned.
Your mileage may vary, but for me personally, the best way to be told of a friend/relation’s pregnancy is emphatically not by ultrasound photo on FuckBucket. If the announcer is not particularly close to me and has no clue as to my woes, or, perhaps, not much of a clue and is a clueless clot from the clue-free shopping channel anyway, I’ll let it pass. I might even say ‘congratulations’ (note lack of exclamation mark).
If, however, said person knows me, loves and is loved by me, knows my woes, and still thinks I can learn this alongside every twerp dick and hairball she went to primary school with, well, I get a twitch in my eyelid, is what I get. No, I don’t want a phone-call, either, though I appreciate the personal touch there, and will tough it out. Email me. Or write me a letter. I don’t need eighteen paragraphs of ‘I’m so sorry, I know this is so hard for you, I feel so guilty,’ either, because I don’t like being Bitter McTwisted the Kill-Joy Queen. A simple ‘Dear May, I am pregnant! Just thought I’d let you know before I start babbling about it on FuckBucket. Baby is due on [whenever]. Thinking of you, Much love, Friend-With-A-Clue’. Then I can have my ‘happy for you, sad for me’ moment in dignified privacy before emailing back ‘WHEEEEEEE! CONGRATULATIONS! SO MANY HUGS!’.
The real knife-in-ribs twist is, this friend answered the long, loving, concerned-all-for-her-and-her-toddler letter (with re-cap of our own medical disasters as shortest paragraph in said letter, and done in a ‘just to let you know our news’ way and NOT a ‘where were you, you unsupportive bitch?’ way) I wrote to her to restart our friendship with a brief ‘that was a lovely letter and I was really moved. In touch soon’. And then ignore me for months. While I, you know, had surgery and shit. And then, 24 hours before the Grand FuckBucket Announcement, email me a link to a completely unrelated funny and add ‘we should catch up soon’ at the bottom of that. Oh, hell, no, we should not catch up. She gets three kids (yes, twins. Ultrasound of naturally conceived twins) in the same time I get, what, three? Four? miscarriages. She can’t face me. She offers no support or love or even so much as a ‘how did the surgery go’? I think, right now, we will ‘catch up’ approximately as and when I become the Chief Rabbi of the British Isles.
Meanwhile, because we can’t do naturally conceived twins in a Surprise! ‘oh, goodness, I don’t know how we’ll cope!’ way *hiss*, we have to decide whether we want to blow an entire fucking house-deposit’s worth on, not a baby, but the mere chance of being allowed to buy a metaphorical lottery ticket for a baby.
H is still deeply pissed off with his job, by the way, and therefore is rather distant and preoccupied and also rather given to comfort-eating, which is getting a bit mutual-enabling. As have my gluten-free baking experiments – oh dear, if cake is good, we’ll eat it. Who knew?
And then there’s Olympics. You can’t have missed them. The last time they were on was the summer just after my first miscarriage, and I was grieving and angry and wondering if I’d be able to get on with the trying-to-get-pregnant any time soon. As I said then, on the subject of waiting to TTC:
No, the main reason they don’t want you TTC-ing at once is, apparantly, a) so you can take a month to ‘finish grieving’ and therefore not have a full-blown nervous break-down during the first trimester, and b) so they can accurately date your pregnancy from the date of your last period. To which I say a) finish? I was supposed to finish this already? But I’ve got enough left here to keep me going until the London Olympics, and b) how amazingly thick does a doctor or midwife have to be to assume the date of the last menstrual period means jack for a good 20% of the women they are going to see? No, wait, flash-backs to the Early Pregnancy Unit From Hell, don’t answer that.
And here we are at the London Olympics and, oh, God, nobody tell poor May-in-2008 what happened next or she really will have a full-blown nervous break-down.
I don’t think I mentioned it on the blog ever, but I found it in my old-fashioned paper diary (I’ve kept a sporadic diary since I was 8) – When I was first pregnant I had a lovely little fantasy of sitting watching the Beijing Olympics and feeling my baby move for the first time, and being able to tell her in 2012 that we watched (well, were in the room for) the 2008 Olympics together and she did somersaults along with the Olympians. And then I lost her. And all her tiny embryonic siblings since. And it’s finally 2012 and the Olympics are on again and I’m still not pregnant and another dream has died and I keep weeping whenever an athlete wins or loses or just, you know, turns up and represents. We’re all here again and all those embryos aren’t.