Calling Hell, handcart on stand-by May 10, 2008
Naturally, because I carefully peed into a pint mug this morning, and put said mug aside for testing purposes, there was a trace of half-hearted, brownish spotting on the paper when I wiped.
But I had already unwrapped the pee-stick (another little internet cheapo pee-stick of doom), so I dunked, counted, laid it down, and stomped off to get tea and check my email. I went back after about three minutes, saw it was negative, and stomped quite hard on my way to the computer and my tea. I let H know it was negative by bellowing ‘negative!’ at him as he wandered past in his jim-jams. Me classy. Mmm.
About an hour later, I remembered there was a wet stick and a mug of pee lurking in the bathroom, and decided I had better dispose of them, really, as there is slobbishness and there is Holy Hell, What Is Wrong With You? I went in.
And then I called out, in a wobbly and probably unnaturally shrill voice, ‘H, could you come in here a minute?’. And H entered the bathroom also, and from four feet away spake thusly: ‘Blimey, that looks like a faint second line.’
And we hugged, in a very tremulous way, for quite some time. And then I told us both quite firmly not to be so bloody silly.
Because, can it possibly count, if it was negative at 3 minutes, and vaguely thinking about it at an hour? Peeonastick.com is very stern about the dangers of looking at pee-sticks after the 10 minute mark. I do not know if this stupid little fuzzy ghost of a line came up before or after 10 minutes, because I was studiously ignoring it from the next room. For an hour. Shitshitshitshit.
The obvious thing to do, was test another stick before I poured the pee away. This, as expected, occurred to me as a possibility while I was washing the pee-mug. ‘Try again tomorrow,’ says H cheerfully, missing the point entirely, bless him, which is not entirely surprising as a quivering jelly of a woman is not the best person to explain scientific method as applied to HPTs.
I have spent an unfeasible amount of time today hunting for spotting. There has been no more at all.
I feel like I’m waiting for my exam results.
First person to congratulate me will get a sharp slap. I’m sorry, but they will. No dancing until the 44 Pee-Sticks of Doom have been beaten into unambiguous submission. Which they haven’t, not by a long chalk, and I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t let H talk me out of ram-raiding the chemist for every single brand of early HPT they possess.
Spot-watch May 9, 2008
Last night I lost control of my right arm, which dug the pee-stick back out of the bin for the umpteenth time and held it before my straining eyes. H came into the bathroom, and I held it out to him. He looked at it in poor light from several feet away for approximately one sixteenth of a second, which isn’t playing the game at all, and said ‘one line.’
Anyway, I asked him what he thought would be a good idea, pee-stick-wise, and he mentioned it might help to hold out until Saturday morning. Saturday will be 13dpo, and I have never in my life got to 13dpo without at the very least spotting prettily, so Saturday Might Mean Something, hormone level-wise. Despite, or possibly because, of his spectacular lack of skill at pee-stick obsessing, I decided to go with it. I did not pee on a stick Friday morning. I had a shower and went to work.
Naturally, I took tampons with me and I spent the day visiting the disabled loo at 37-minute intervals to check my gusset.
And I did not pee on a stick when I got home either.
The old ute feels heavy and unpleasant, like an unexploded grenade, which is not helping.
Things to put very firmly OUT of one’s mind May 8, 2008
- It is day 11 post ovulation. My temperature has not dropped. By this point last cycle, my temperature was bouncing off the coverline. However, the weather is very warm. This point is therefore being kicked across the local park.
- I received the results of my 7dpo blood test this morning (it was actually, I must re-iterate, a 9dpo test because of the Bank Holiday Weekend. Gah). Anyway, my progesterone levels this time are, and I quote, ‘really good’. I have no idea of the exact number – I did ask but the consultanty person on the telephone repeated that they were ‘really really good!’, possibly not quite fathoming that she was dealing with a demented control-freak who Needs Numbers. She also said ‘good luck!’ about eight bazillion times in an increasingly chirpy voice that finished somewhere in the ultra-sonic. Why the excitement? It made me Nervous. I simply must stop wondering about the meaning of ‘really good’ progesterone on day 9 when it was ‘very slightly pants’ on day 6 last time.
- Of course I cracked and peed on a stick. I am human.
- It was an evap line. Evap evap evap. Stupid cheap internet peesticks of doom.
- My mother made a crack, a few weeks ago, when I was whining about exams, and essays, and the Dissertation (hyperventilate), and the application process for Dream Job (hurrah! hurrah!), that this would be the most perfectly typical time for me to get pregnant. I said, hah! for what else was there to say? Hah! And again, HAH.
- I refuse to get the peestick out of the bin for a third time, I don’t care if the light in the bathroom is better now the sun is that side of the house.
Can you tell I’ve spent the day alone in the house ‘studying’? Can you? Can you?
Unnervingly pleasant May 6, 2008
I spent the Bank Holiday Weekend doing absolutely as I pleased – On Saturday H and I went to Kew and were overwhelmed by the ASTONISHINGLY cute families of goslings and ducklings and coot chicks trotting about the lake. We fed the Canada geese crumbs and the tiny fluffy babies came right up to our feet to eat them, while their parents stared carefully at us. On Sunday we vegetated, on Monday we went to the cinema to see ‘Iron Man‘, utter hokum, but really rather jolly for all that. It was exceedingly nice to spend a weekend NOT up to my eyeballs in coursework I am surreptitiously trying to avoid.
Today, back to business. I got up at sparrow-fart to go to the Hospital Out In The Country for my 7dpo scan and jab. The weather was astonishingly pretty, bright clear blue skies, warm by 7:30 in the morning – rather a shock considering that last week it was 11C and raining in a glumly unstoppable sort of way. So I was actually in a good mood by the time I arrived at the ACU, in a good mood throughout my scan despite the fact Nice Lady Wand Monkey forgot about the No Left Ovary Thing and asked me which side my follicle had been. Err. Same side as ever. She was prettily sorry and found a suitable uterine lining and corpus luteum for me. And I remained in a good mood even sat waiting for my blood test in the waiting room shared with the maternity clinic (though I did have a ‘but she has four! Four already! What is SHE pregnant again and I’m not? Why? Why? Why?’ moment, which was luckily interrupted by my number coming up for stabbing). I got the Excellent Phlebotomist again, who can find veins in my right arm though every other phlebotomist who ever tried has robustly declared there ARE no veins in my right arm. He wished me luck again. And I wandered off in a good mood still.
I even cheerfully went clothes shopping to buy a nice blouse or some such for my interview tomorrow – and I hate buying clothes. I have spent the afternoon reading up on cataloguing and watching Kurosawa DVDs. I feel lucky. Therefore I feel convinced something will now Happen with a capital Hah!
Good Lord, it’s May May 1, 2008
Complicated week, in the May-H household. Or, at least, it felt complicated, possibly because I was functioning on less than a full set of brain-cells after the Essay Thing. I think I have got them all back now. I think. Let us recap.
Item: The Essay Thing. We had better not speak of the Essay Thing ever again, because 1) I fouled the last one up even with the extra week, sob sob, and 2) As soon as I mentioned essays nearly all of the 50 or 60 people who visit me when I put a new post up couldn’t think of a single thing to say, and I felt like a very small beetle of exceeding unimportance. Clearly, I have yet to build up enough Bloggy Love to be forgiven a week or so’s inattention while I attend to a mere essay crisis. I am EXTREMELY grateful to the people who did comment during the Essay Thing, and I love them all more than I can say.
Item: Got a positive OPK on Saturday, and jolly well ovulated on Sunday, and jolly well know I did because bloody OW. I am very slightly baffled by the fact that ovulation in the human female is supposed to be ‘concealed’, even from the woman herself. Does no one else spend three or four days feeling a growing colicky ache culmninating in wrenching stinging pains in one or other lower abdominal quadrant? Is it a PCOS thing? Is it just me?
Item: It took me until Wednesday to book my 7dpo scan and blood-test, as the ACU were being remarkably bad at answering the phone. And, having got through at last, we realised day 7 would be the Bank Holiday Monday, and they would be shut. So my scan is on Tuesday. Never mind, between last cycle and this cycle, we average 7dpo scanning.
Item: I have THE job interview, for Job of Dreams, on Wednesday 7th. It includes a test. Me no likey tests.
Item: And I wandered away from work with my pockets full of vitally important keys last night, and had to rush in to give them back today despite the fact today is my day off. Obviously, I was kidding myself about the brain cells. Will I have them back by next week? Ah ha ha ha.
Item: H and I had been invited to stay with a friend weekend after next. H reminded me of it a few days ago, and I surprised H by becoming rather wild-eyed and snarling, so he dropped the subject, nay, leapt back from in it as from a hot coal. It eventually dawned on me I’d have to explain the problem, as H was obviously not in a mathematical mood. That weekend will be when my period is due, you know? Remember? The periods that practically knock me to the floor and turn me chalk white as my stupid uterus reacts to the shedding of its lining as I would were I being skinned alive? We will not even begin to consider any possibility at all of my NOT getting a period because I am not going to entertain Bitch Hope at all, even for a second, as I still haven’t finished darning up all the holes she chewed in me last time. So, what to do? Go, hope it won’t be too bad? Go, make friend feel bad by refusing to get off her couch? Refuse to go, make friend feel bad by said refusal? Explain all to friend, have hideous TMI moment, try to get her to decide?
Emotional drizzle April 26, 2008
While I was tearing my hair out and banging my head on the keyboard of my lap-top, in the throes of composition, I was pretty much ignoring Queen Satsuma. Based on the previous cycle, in which she flipped clomid the bird and didn’t produce anything even beginning to resemble a lead follicle until day 21, I grumpily assumed she’d still be painting her toe-nails when I went for my dawn-of-day 14 scan on Thursday. She infact only started fussing and whining on the Wednesday, and she can do that for weeks at a time (it’s like living with a toddler, honestly. How long does it take her to get dressed in the morning, even with help? How many pointless tantrums per day? Dear God, the whining…).
Nevertheless, day 14, a 19mm follicle. 19, people! Nice Lady Wand-Monkey was quite impressed. And the uterine lining looked splendid. She turned the screen so I could see and blimey, I too was impressed. I faithfully promised to pee on OPK sticks, and I ran outside and phoned H, to warn him his services were most certainly requested that evening.
That night H checked his email while brushing his teeth, and when I clambered (I do clamber. There is a small Matterhorn of books and knitting down my side of the bed) into bed to join him, he, instead of throwing his arms about me etc., was just sitting there, looking into the middle distance. I wanted to know what the matter was. Bless the dear eejit, he commented on how well I must know him. Now that you mention it, I’ve known you since you were 17, yes, but even a plank would spot something was up if they were expecting nookie and got a motionless lump with his hands folded in his lap. And it turned out that a very dear friend of H’s family, who had taught H music when he was a boy, and whom we usually go to have tea with when we visit that part of the world, a special person, a precious person, has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and it is very advanced.
No nookie for us that night, obviously.
And it makes me want to put Satsuma in a velvet-lined box and take her out once a day to kiss her, because while her rogue twin did have a feeble half-hearted go at killing me, and while the PCOS thing is very bloody annoying (bloody and annoying, heheh), she is not depth mining my entire person with destruction.
Friday, went into work, realised I’d forgotten the pee-stick, made stealth raid on the chemist’s as I ran through Main Station, duly crossed legs all morning, hid in disabled loo for private commune with own hormone levels. No surge yet.
H commented last night that it was a bit much, that an OPK stick, anywhere from not-a-surge-at-all upwards, looks exactly like a positive pregnancy test. I had been going to bitch about that myself, but decided now was not the time to indulge in Inner Bitter Infertile. It must be spreading. But, yes, it IS a bit much. Grr. Argh. We nevertheless worshipped at the altar of Queen Satsuma, in a very slightly gin-fuelled way.
Day 16 today. I have THAT piece of coursework to finish (dare I mention coursework? It seems to me the second I mentioned my degree crisis I set off some kind of chain-reaction of uncommunicative crises all over the blogosphere. I feel like a bad-luck kitteh). Humphrey Lyttelton died last night – I adored him. It’s all too much. I am beginning to develop a distinct flattening of affect.
Waving triumphantly from the top of the smoking ruins April 22, 2008
These last few days have been a genuinely unpleasant experience. I was alone in the house with more work to do than I could really cope with, I was not getting anywhere near enough sleep (I am one of those bloody annoying people who writes most fluently and cogently between 9pm and 2am) I had too many things other than my essays on my mind, I could see that one essay in particular, a great big one that involved considerably more research and library-trips than the others, was simply not going to be anywhere near finished by the deadline… The whole thing was resonating most distressingly with the Great PhD Fuck Up of 2001 (in which, I was trying to work on a PhD, we were living with my parents because H had lost his job, I was working part-time because of PhD so we couldn’t afford our own place, I was radically disagreeing with my supervisor about, ohhh, everything, but being too chicken to say so, then as soon as H found a job and we moved to our own flat, my mother was diagnosed with breast-cancer, I took a year off PhDing to look after her, she recovered after surgery, my PhD didn’t, I promptly became horribly depressed and made life completely miserable for H into the bargain, and spent the next four years drifting in and out of bizarre short-term contracts and long spells moping about being unemployed myself, consumed to the bones with self-loathing. Ugh. Indeed).
Anyway. H came back from his family on Monday and made the mistake of giving me a hug and asking how I was doing, at which point I quite naturally burst into tears and pointed to the heap of done essays and the horrible heap of the not-done essay that was due in in the next three hours. Poor H. I’d been sounding quite chipper on the phone, because I lie, I dissemble, hah hah. I hadn’t wanted to ruin his time with his family and make him worry about me when there was nothing he could do and anyway, some mad frenzied part of me half-believed, half-hoped, that I might somehow crack the beast, possibly by finding 42 extra hours made out of dust-bunnies under the bed or accidentally warping the space-time continuum.
With H there to re-introduce me to Real World (hello Real World!) and rub my shoulders, I decided the best plan would be to hand in the three done essays, and to email my tutors and apologize, with dignity and composure and no grovelling or begging for mercy, for failing to hand in the Horrible Fourth.
And then I had another little cry, and spent the afternoon trying to talk myself out of some rather tiresome feelings of self-disgust and a tendency to catastrophize one essay into ‘I’ve failed my entire degree’.
Whereapon my tutor emailed back to say, never mind, things do sometimes get on top of us, can you get the essay done by next week?
What a waste of some perfectly good grade A anxst.
So H and I went to bed and did our duty by the clomid. And today we’re both on holiday. And wobbly-kneed and shaky, I stagger back out into the sunlight.
Brain dump. Hence language. April 18, 2008
Too busy to process anything. These are today’s issues:
- I thought I had to write a 250-word supporting statement for my Dream Job Not-So-Dreamy Application That Never Ends. It was due in today (Friday). I decided to do it this morning, and then go to the library straight after lunch. So this morning, I duly looked at the supporting statement fulfillment details, and saw (ARGH!) that it was 750 words. No, no, it’s quite alright, I did it and sent it off, but it bit a HUUUUUGE chunk out of my scheduled library time, and did something fairly drastic to my blood pressure.
- Ohhhhh Christ the essays are killing me.
- A friend of mine announced her second pregnancy today. It’s early days, and it will be a Christmas baby, so clearly conceived just when my first clomid cycle was, err, not conceiving. She only recently decided she was going to try for a second child soon, and this is slightly sooner than she meant, because, apparantly, of wine and hormones. Also, her first childbirth nearly killed her and then she got PND. I am delighted and pleased for her and amused re: the wine and hormones and I think it’s very cute. But I also worry about her. And, dammit, my own fading little failed-cycle ghost would have been a Christmas baby too. I am feeling pretty COMPLICATED about this.
- I have eczema, my skin is so dry it is cracking and peeling (mmmm, we’re all about the winsome chez May), I look a good ten years older than I am my face is so frazzled, yet I still have Neck Acne. Fucking hormones. Fuck ‘em. Fuck it. Fuck.
- Did I mention the essays? I think I am going to drop a juggling ball on this one, and have the whole lot cascade down on my head. Several people have, while ‘wowing’ me for taking on so much at once, mentioned that at least the degree and the new job will take my mind of the whole infertility crapateria. Not so much. Think about it. If a woman is carrying a large and heavy armful of logs, does she really feel her mind has been nicely taken off them if some sod balances a bucket of water on top of her head at the same time?
- And I have done all this, deliberately, to myself.
Just when I feel completely frantic and needy for some cookies and head-patting, I am far too busy to go about talking to bloggy friends and garnering said cookies and head-pats the care-and-share mutual commenty way. Arse. Feck.
I am not here. I am not writing this. April 17, 2008
Seriously. I have essay deadlines. They loom. I am writing my essays.
I am. I really am. Why are you laughing at me?
These essays have been blighted from the get-go by the most gut-searingly acidic sense of doomed panic, a deep feeling of pointless depression, and a sort of raw sensation of being examined and found absolutely wanting. In short, I have been miserable about them since I got through the reading and research and sat down to actually write the beastly things. The agony. The agony. Why, oh why, such self-doubt and torment? And so on. For, in fact, the past five days.
Meanwhile, during the past five days, I have been taking the same-again 50mg of clomid every evening, dutifully, pointing out that this time I seemed to be perfectly even-tempered and not suffering from any kind of anxst or psycho-lite behaviour, hadn’t, in fact, tried to bite anyone at all, and was this a dud packet?
Hopefully I will have got the hell over myself by Friday and be in a reasonable frame of mind in which to just, you know, write something, this weekend.
Day 7 scan at dawn this morning. Nice Lady Wand-Monkey carefully counted my teeny-tiny follicles which may be the permanent ones (or Cysts that are Poly), or may actually be fresh and raring to go. Can’t tell which, as yet, but there are 14 of them. This was written in quite large letters in my notes and to my current self-irritation I was so busy dropping my shoes (repeatedly! Repeatedly!) that I forgot to ask how many boring little follicles I had had last cycle, and are these the same lot, still hanging about waiting to squish any over-achievers? Anyway, as my cycles are long and my life is complicated, my next scan is on day 14, by which time no one expects Satsuma to have done anything much. Nevertheless, Nice Lady Wand-Monkey solemnly adjured me to a life of riotous bed-spring stressing for the next week. Heh heh.
Not that that will go according to plan. H has gone away to spend a long weekend with his family, who store all their birthdays up for the one big festive bonanza every April (mine do it every January. April is better timing). As I am Afflicted With Essays and Scans, we decided I would stay here by myself in reach of the libraries and eat ramen and type like a maniac. The scans have worked themselves out so as not to interfere (typical), but the essays are biting my arse, so it is all for the best. Or will be, unless Satsuma loses her head entirely and decides to charge unexpectedly for an early ovulation, a consummation too annoying to contemplate.
Anyway. On the side of the angels arises H, who, feeling concerned that he is abandoning his post as Chief Supplier of Tea and Fruit to the Student, came home last night with the most exceedingly vast haul of treats and goodies to look after me in his stead – luxury-brand chocolate ice-cream, chocolate gingers, chocolate, err, chocolate, piles of instant ramen (for that ‘reverting to 19′ thing I do when studying hard), tea I like but can’t find in the shops easily, grapes, and a selection of soothing, or relaxing, or refreshing bath bombs and melts.
I love him. I love him to bits.