I do not think about these things

I finally spoke to Miss Consultant’s secretary, because I’d finally caught her at her desk, after several sets of answer-phone tennis and quite a lot of listening to the phone ring while I imagined Miss Consultant herself, sitting at the bigger desk, wondering what on earth that noise was and when would Secretary come back from the photocopier and make it stop. Secretary took down notes of all I had to say on the matter of clomid, provera, anovulation and unmonitored cycles, and promised to get Miss Consultant to call me on Monday. Monday is good. Monday gives Satsuma three more days to get this right and embarrass me in front of medical professionals again.

Because, yes, Satsuma was arsing about yesterday. Temperature had dropped again this morning. None of the ‘fertile things’ had stopped either. No ovulation yet.

I think it was the disappointment that put me over the edge. But this morning I broke, with an audible spanging noise, and started crying all over H, and couldn’t stop. So I stayed home, and had a headache, and did laundry.

I don’t suppose I’ve taken An Unwarranted Number of Sick Days yet, but I do worry about it – that my boss will want to know why I keep getting ‘headaches’ and what is going on with me? Perhaps I should have gone to work. And cried uncontrollably all over the issue desk instead. Perhaps not. Because I can’t face discussing my reproductive issues with my bosses (I have two. I have two jobs. In the same office. At the same desk. But half the time I answer to Phi Boss and half the time to Alpha Boss, who is Phi Boss’s boss). (No, it makes no sense to anyone else either). Where was I? Ah yes. The Uterus, she belongs not at work. For why? Well, I have a list for why:

  1. It’s embarrassing enough having to take a day or two off every time I get my period. It’s even more embarrassing explaining that actually, no, I cannot discretely mark these days in advance in my shared calendar with a little code word so the Bosses know I won’t be in then. I am *whisper it* irregular. And everyone sucked their breath through their teeth, as if I’d just confessed to having a recreational drug habit.
  2. In my office, people do not have babies. Those who have had babies are now all old enough to have grand-babies. Those who are married and Of Reproductive Age do not have babies, and do not talk about babies, and are all rather driven career-people (yes. In a library. I agree it’s sad). (Oops. Did I just call a half-dozen of my colleagues sad?). The Single Set are, well, dating, or moaning about dating. I do not know how to be The One Who Wants Babies. And, as many of you know, the second you mention fertility treatment, your bosses assume it’ll work. I can’t be the one who keeps not having the expected babies either. I just can’t. It occurs to me that this is why the Married Career-People don’t talk about babies. Perhaps all four of us want babies very badly and therefore daren’t mention it…
  3. And I don’t want colleagues to know that I am a wreck and not really concentrating on work so much (luckily, I can do most of my job in my sleep) and I’d happily chuck the lot for a viable foetus. I don’t want them to know I am bored and frustrated. Or being repeatedly shafted by the Anxiety Goblin.
  4. I think I have Issues about vulnerability and openness, and I know I have Issues about not being able to cope or, more specifically, being seen as not being able to cope.

Point 4 may be the briefest point, but it is the hugest point. Me and my issues. I can’t cope with not being able to cope. I’d go on and on about my childhood now, and bore you all shitless, but I’m too nice. Suffice it to say, as far I am concerned, me saying ‘I hurt and I need looking after’ is pretty much the same as me saying ‘Please kick me good-and-hard in the soft bits. And again. Any betraying, ridiculing, and blaming you want to get in while you’re at it? Bring it on.’

This is not exactly fair on H, who has spent the best part of 16 years being kind and reliable and gentle and caring, and yet still hasn’t managed to pry my hands away from this most cherished delusion.

I think I made a deal, once, with God, not that I believe in God, but if you have deals to make at 3 in the morning, a deity comes in handy. I said, I don’t think I can spend my entire life working quietly in an office, helping other people achieve Stuff. I have irrevocably screwed up my academic career. Given that one Treasured Dream has gone down the pan, can I have a creative career, possibly as a writer? And can I be a parent? Well, now, my career is the exact opposite of creative and writery (we forgot to discuss crippling self-consciousness in the Deal, or the unshakable conviction that I Talk A Whole Lot Of Trouser Potatoes Sometimes), and, well, how long, oh Lord, how long?

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5 responses to “I do not think about these things

  • Betty M

    I’m sorry that Satsuma is still refusing to play ball.

    As a person who was that married career -person who never mentioned babies at work throughout about 6 years of trying/treatments I would guess at least one of your lot is like me. I couldn’t face the idea of anyone knowing let alone at work in case it failed : no pitying me please.

    Hoping for a nice and very short time to wait before that deity comes through with its side of the bargain for you.

  • womb for improvement

    Desperately searching fro words of wisdom, but I have none. All we can hope is Satsuma decides to embarrass you in front of your medical practitioners by turning up on Saturday. xx

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Clomid worked wonderfully for me for 2 cycles. Then worked less well. Then dicked me about appallingly. Periods never arrived, after 45 days or more. Blood tests ‘indicative of ovulation’ – were taken 2 days before period started. etc. etc. etc. My body sussed how to fight back and re-establish its beloved hormonal chaos.

    I have had a funny feeling for a little while now that Satsusma has somehow picked up on these tricks, and has worked out How To Get Around Clomid And Not Ovulate. I keep crossing my fingers that you will have a textbook cycle and have glorious two-lines success, but Satsuma and the Cute Ute between them are beginning to cast a gloomy outlook for May+Clomid.

    Unmonitored cycles when you have a single ovary who is playing absolute merry hell on Clomid? You’ve got to be lucky. And none of us are lucky at this particular game, else we wouldn’t have found this place. Perhaps Miss Consultant may begin to talk more about IUI on Monday?

    On that note: IUI is pretty intensive in terms of endless scans – you seem to spend an entire fortnight sat in the bloody waiting room – but knowing exactly what your wayward innards are up to on a day to day basis is illuminating. Not knowing what on earth is going on in there is so bloody frustrating. And depressing. And then the Anxiety Goblin has things all his own way.

    Could go on for paragraphs about Point 4 and Issues. We are far too stereotypically British for our own good, you & I. My Counsellor spent well over a year simply trying to get me to cry if I needed to when I talked to her – talked about trivial things, like, you know, my babies dying – without feeling so mortified at my lapse of stiff upper British lip that I could die right there and then of sheer embarrassment

    This counsellor thing is so important to get sorted, sweetheart. I know it’s shockingly expensive in London, and the work thing is admittedly fairly difficult – but you really need some help on this before you really start to feel like you’re circling a drain: a broken-in-half May would not only be very, very sad, but also mean you’d be in even worse mental shape to take on the rigours of an injectables cycles. I know being told not to get stressed is deservedly in the centre of the IF BINGO card, but all the same, it does make sense to give yourself every opportunity to help yourself.

    God, I’ve gone on for pages. Sorry. And I’ve told you a big bunch of stuff you already know allllll about. Sorry again.

    Thinking and worrying about you, out here in the sticks.

  • Nina

    I sooooo get what you’re feeling right now. I just want a viable fetus, and a reasonably uncomplicated pregnancy all with a happy ending. Like College, careers, owning their own home, and grandbabies. That’s my happy ending. I know it’s yours too, and just know that we’re all thinking of you!

  • a

    Please don’t worry about not being able to cope – you seem to be coping admirably now. The occasional outburst is merited; you’ve been through a lot.

    I understand your issues about vulnerability and openness. I think there is a time and a place for everything. But, aside from the nebulous internet support, it sounds like your husband is doing a good job of helping. And it would seem like you met up with another support system recently.

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