Monthly Archives: March 2008

Did I say breathe? I meant hyperventilate

Despite the positive OPK on Friday (at 11:47 am, in fact, and ooh, how sad is it that I know that?), and despite the really quite painful pain that afflicted my lower-right-hand abdominal quadrant on Friday night, Satsuma seems to have flipped the LH surge the bird. As of this morning, I seem not to have done anything nearly so interesting as ovulating. Either that, or I am having the Slow Rise to End All Slow Rises, temperature-wise. I currently loathe OPKs and Clomid and the Satsuma, in equal measure. Even H was driven to say, kindly, that he is finding my insides a little tiresome.

And yes, I do know I have PCOS and once had a blood test in which my LH was quite high at about ninety-seven light-years from ovulation, and so an OPK-test is merely a best guess and in no real way indicative of anything at all and in fact, the only way I will ever know for sure I ovulated this weekend is if in nearly ten months time I find an entire human being in my vahaha.

All of this twitchy anxst gloriously aided and abetted by a huge family party yesterday, in which no less than seven aunts, uncles and assorted cousinage asked me if I had kids/ was going to have kids/ wanted kids at all. To all of which, I answered, with absolute truth, ‘we’re working on it.’ This satisfied six out of seven perfectly, who then went on to talk of other things. The seventh, an aunt-by-marriage I hadn’t seen for five years, patted me kindly on the shoulder and looked sympathetic, but we were interrupted by others and I was left somewhat baffled, in that, was I starting to look a little strained? Was a vein beginning to pulse visibly above my left eye? And also, she has three beautiful and charming kids, so, errr, umm? Anything? Nothing? What? And now it will probably be another five years at least until I know, should there be anything to know, or possibly she wanted to ask me about my (absent) father, whose carryings-on often get me sympathetic shoulder pats.

Oh, and of course we were meeting soon-to-be-new additions-by-marriage to the family for the first time, and Minx, my four-year-old niece, was feeling fond of her doting Auntie May, and there was a little explaining to do in that, despite the fact it was my leg she was clinging to like a little candy-pink leech, she was not, in fact, my daughter (her actual mama being the skinny one outside in the rain, smoking with the Cool (and, heh heh, damp) Crowd of cousins and disreputable uncles). This cheered me up immensely. As did the follow-on comment that I am clearly ‘great with little kids!’



Breathe, relax, and as you were

Item: Friday’s smuggled OPK stick came up positive. So very positive, it started turning positive as I held it up to put the cap back on before laying it down on the sink to ‘mature’ (on a sheet of toilet paper. I am hygenic and considerate, unlike the person who used the loo before me). I nevertheless smuggled it to a window and got a good peek at it. Positive. Aha.

Item: Guess who then went to the other library during her lunch-break, dug around in her bag to pull her ID out, and flicked what looks, actually, exactly like a positive pregnancy test, across the room? The security guard went to pick it up for me, saw what it was, and, err, let me pick it up. And smirked. Oh hell, oh flop-sweat.

Item: We shall draw a discreet veil over last night’s panic-stricken desperate re-writing of my bloody stupid mindless cretinous vomitably-poor dissertation proposal so I could email it to my tutor BEFORE midnight, AFTER an evening in the pub, and technically meet my deadlines. In my defence, I have been preoccupied with my innards, and my family’s health (seriously considering whether discussing this last at length will cheer me up or plunge me to the inner depths), and this last week at work was hell and I had to go to the pub as it was my beloved line-manager’s leaving-do and I had one half-pint only, and I clearly have a recklessly dim-witted attitude to academic deadlines and if I were my own student I’d kill me.

Item: And H had a sore throat and ended up leaving work early to go home and suffer.

Item: And I still screwed him. After I’d finished driving the poor ailing lambkin mad with dissertation vapourings. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his body for his neurotic, fertility-obsessed wife.

Item: Jayzus, but Satsuma is giving me a hard time. Anyone would think I’d hit her with a brick.

Let’s play scientist! or, how May p*sses money away

I spent entirely too much time on the internets yesterday. So much so that my common sense ran away screaming and left me at the mercy of that annoying Inner Child who always pokes at things until they break.

According to one set of instructions, one should pee on the OPK stick first thing in the morning, as that’s when you’ll have the most and most concentrated urine sample. According to a second set of instructions, this is all hooey and one should spend the morning with crossed legs and cotton-mouth so one can get a reasonably concentrated, four-hours-worth sample, which will, crucially, include LH as apparantly we produce it in the early hours of the morning and it doesn’t get into a girls wee until a little later. And I went back and forth between these two sets of instructions, and dithered as to whether I should stay with the late morning thing, or do an early morning thing.

So I did both.

Early morning OPK stick – very pale result line.

Late morning OPK stick – much darker line, darker than yesterday’s even, but still not quite as dark as the control line.


Tomorrow I shall have to take yet another of these so-expensive-they-might-as-well-be-gold-plated sticks into work with me, and spend elevenses lurking in the disabled toilet. And as the artificial light in there is too hideous, I am somehow going to have to smuggle a peed-on stick to a window, in a busy university, so I can obsess over my stupid little lines.

Did I say dammit?

I cannot shake the feeling that this is all very unnecessary and a criminal waste of time and money even when I’m not playing Miss Empirical Evidence. Satsuma lets me know she’s done now, thank you, and pass the tissues, by good old-fashioned temperature spikes, no more egg-white, and a suddenly low and beak-hard cervix. It’s only the ACU that has no faith at all in these things and holds up OPKs as the gold standard for home ovulation.

I bet I never get a peak reading and I bet Satsuma ovulates mysteriously at some unspecified time that I can’t prove to them and I wonder if I should just fib and claim I got a positive OPK that day, when it comes, should it come (what are you doing in there, oh Ovary With Follicle On?)

Meanwhile, Satsuma was very very cross this morning and gave me fiery burning colick, but this may have been because I wasn’t showing an ounce of common sense and peeing in a timely and comfortable manner. Unless my temperature is up tomorrow. In which case, do I bother peeing on another stick under less than ideal circumstances (in the disabled toilet! During coffee break! Miles from daylight or even decent lamp-light! Sheesh!), or do I simply not bother and flannel the ACU?

For the third time, dammit.

And… pause.

I dutifully ‘held on’ for several hours this morning, so I could have a late-morning-but-fairly-concentrated sample for the OPK, as recommended in the slightly patronising leaflet that came in the box.

Pee. Wait three minutes. Examine lines on pee-stick.

Well, stronger than yesterday’s line, but still not QUITE as strong as the reference line. Nearly. Not quite. Can we stop staring at the silly thing now?

Dear Satsuma, bless you for trying, but can we have that positive surge now, please? Those OPK stick things cost a startling amount of money, and I will be very cross if you use up an entire packet on just the one cycle.

Geodhe, thanks for the warnings. Yes, indeed, waiting to ripen is slow and tedious. Do you suppose pear-trees feel like this?

And thank you everyone for being so sweetly complimentary on the powers of my wit. I blush. I blush muchly.

Right. And back to your currently programmed schedule of nothing very much.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

It would seem that spending Easter lying on the carpet, playing Civilization IV with a husband who is actually in the other room on the other computer (this is deeply sad. I know it is. But I’m winning), eating cake and drinking port, is quite good for bone-idle slacker ovaries.

Today’s scan – one follicle, sixteen millimetres across. Due to pop in the next 48 hours, should it agree to grow another millimetre or two, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, according the the completely-different-from-any-other-consultant-I’ve-yet-seen consultant, who was quite happy about it, even though it’s day 21 already and I am seriously thinking, if we can’t manage any sooner than day 21 ON Clomid, and happily manage around day 21 OFF Clomid, what the freaking freak is the freaking point, not that I put it quite like that, as she was actually talking to me as if I was an adult and not a house-plant. Which is a novelty.

I was also firmly ordered to pee on OPKs, even though the very packaging says they don’t really work for PCOS people, because apparantly the Clomid overrides the PCOS, and to call them the second I got a positive.

I peed on an OPK this afternoon. Not positive. This gives H the night off. H is relieved. But he is very politely pretending not to be.

You see, H and I have been dutifully making the beast with two backs for days and days on end, just in case (and, oddly, the day H referred to it as ‘baby-dancing’ was the day that we did not, and I’m sure the violent nausea and general desire to set fire to the next person to mention baby-dust had nothing to do with it). Poor us. You may as well force-feed yourself 30 chocolate truffles every day for a week. It sounds extremely nice in theory, and even a little in practice, right up until day five or so, when the desire for a nice cool glass of water and an episode of Antiques Roadshow overwhelmes you completely.

Continuing with the policy of Sharing Everything So No One Can Invent Spurious Nonsense, a policy, by the way, that H tipped me head-first into and which I would have probably eschewed for its complete opposite left to my own devices, my mother now knows about the existance of The Follicle (but NOT, and I must stress the NOT, the endless humping – H may have no shame, but my mother is a Lapsed Catholic), and is Excited About It. I haven’t the heart to disabuse her too firmly (though I did try to do it very gently, which she found amusing) because there are bad health worries in the family and it’s all a little depressing, and it’s her birthday next week and ohhh, this’ll end in tears whatever I do, won’t it? Yes. It will.

I’m excited! Which is stupid!

I have had headaches for the past two days! I felt dizzy today and had to sit down! And nearly cut my thumb off because I was slicing onions at the time! And H had to get me a glass of water! My lower right abdominal quadrant is achy and colicky! I even (gasp!) had about one molecule of eggwhite cervical fluid!

This all means crap-all, doesn’t it?

Happy shiny lucky grumpy May

It’s been a busy week. Oh, so busy. Mad crazy mad busy. In no particular order:

  1. HUGE piece of course-work to finish and hand in before the end of term. Yes, another one. There’s at least four more to do and all, and that’s not counting the dissertation. Tuesday night I fell asleep face-down on the keyboard of my lap-top at about one in the morning. Wednesday morning I was just printing out when I noticed a socking great mistake in the middle of my classification schedule, the correcting of which meant transposing every other damn thing. In pyjamas. Sitting cross-legged on the carpet in a snow-drift of notes. With the clock ticking relentlessly on to HAND IN TIME. On my wedding anniversary. Sob sob. Sob sob.
  2. Work. Mad. Also, darling line-manager’s last week before she skips off to her new life elsewhere. Things to arrange arrange arrange and oh so much to do and I shall have to explain what it is I DO do to her successor. What is it that I do? No one seems to know, least of all me.
  3. Scans. More on this in a minute, but really, running about the South East of England so people can poke me with cooter-cams at dawn, not so much the happy time.
  4. Did I mention it was my wedding anniversary on Wednesday?

The Wedding Anniversary was very nice, once I had printed out Version 2 (AKA ‘And If There’s Another Error Like Hell I’m Going To Look For It’) of the Coursework, put a skirt on, and dealt with work (quite a lot of people where away or skiving or simply not bothering to do anything at all as it was Easter, already, and there was me, trying not to tear my hair out as I’ll have double extra helpings of stuff to do after the holiday now and it’s all their fault).

And then I took a very deep breath, and went away to meet my husband for dinner at an exceedingly good restaurant. One of the best in the entire city, in fact. The sort where they don’t even have a table for the Archbishop of Canterbury on a week night. You have to book a time to book a table in. The sort of restaurant, in fact, with a wine-list the size of a good novel and quail’s eggs and trompettes de la mort and absolutely miniature little tiny teeny doll-house turnips in the Navarin of lamb, and blood-orange syllabub and coconut sorbet.

And there was jewelry. Oh yes. H got me earrings and a pendant of supreme prettiness. H is good. May is happy. May like shiny things. May likes H very much. In a special way.

And that is why I haven’t blogged about the Tuesday 18th scan yet.

Let me do that now… Well. I had another scan with Nice Lady Wand-Monkey at dawn in a semi-deserted hospital – I am being difficult, refusing to ovulate when expected, so my many many follow-up scans have to be fitted in wherever possible, no matter how bloody awkward the time and the transport at that time.

Guess how many lead follicles Queen Satsuma had? Go on. Do guess. Anyone? Bueller?

Who laughed bitterly and said ‘none’? Well done. Utterly correct.

Nice Lady Wand-Monkey was a little concerned. She turned the screen so I could see and we both stared hard at Queen Satsuma, who barely looked up from her copy of Vogue. Yep, lots of little stupid pointless follicles, no big follicles. I wondered if that one there didn’t look a teeny bit bigger than any of the others, but Nice Lady Wand-Monkey shook her head. She pointed out that my uterus had valiantly grown quite a nice lining, though, so there was that.

And then we stared some more, in case a good stare would shame one of the little slackers into sticking her chest out a bit or something. Eventually we both noticed I was still lying about nude from the waist down with a probe up me, and there was some hasty withdrawing and general re-application of clothing.

The plan is this. I go back next Tuesday for another scan. It is always possible that I could ovulate before Tuesday (on Sunday or Monday, given the time it would take to grow a useful follicle from scratch, as it were), in which case, I can always cancel the scan and ask for a celebratory 7-day-post-ovulation scan-and-blood-test instead. Nice Lady Wand-Monkey recommended using OPKs over the Easter long weekend, to see if anything is going on at all, and I gave her a Look, because the idea of wasting however many quid it turns out to be on yet more Sarcastic Pee-Sticks, when I could be spending it on chocolate… And in any case she didn’t seem very hopeful and kept shaking her head and pointing out that late ovulations weren’t of very good quality, which I did not want to hear as I clearly do everything late.

Anyway. You tell me. Should I bother with OPKs for the next few days?

Also, does having a decent lining at this stage mean jack?

Queen Satsuma spent today going ‘ping!’ at random intervals. I think she’s microwaving popcorn.