Monthly Archives: March 2009

You’re supposed to be dead

So. Scans. Yes. This morning I trimmed my undertrimmings and had a thorough shower and put on nice lady-like knickers (for why? I am behind a curtain when I take them off, and behind the curtain again when I put them back on. I could be wearing split-crotch rags with tea-stains on, and Nice Lady Wand-Monkey would never ever know), and hauled ass to The Hospital Out In The Country, so we could all have a good look at Satsuma.

Nice Lady Wand-Monkey remembered I had only one ovary. Isn’t she great? She asked which one it was before sending me off to take my lovely underwear off and tuck it discretely under my jeans. I was so pleased. And I settled down on the couch, and she came over and re-condomed the dildocam – oh, the amount of condoms we infertiles get through, heh heh – insert, and… pause.

Long pause. With the wand held perfectly still, which made a nice change from the truffle-hunting technique normally used, but was somewhat disconcerting considering.

‘Hmmm,’ said Nice Lady W-M. ‘What side did you say your ovary was?’

‘The right. My right, that is.’ *Twitch*.

Now she went for a good rootle, all over the left side. And said ‘hmmm’ again. And then turned her attention to the right and peered at Satsuma. Click click, measure measure. She withdrew the wand, and turned to me.

‘You still have some ovarian tissue on the left side,’ she said.

‘No I don’t,’ I exclaimed, somewhat gracelessly, but, you know, my insides, and I have spent half my life in the secure belief that I have one, (1), one ovary, and the other is in a pickle jar in a hospital in North London. Also, I have had eighty-bazillion scans and a lap since then, and no one mentioned any damn left ovary.

‘Yes,’ she said calmly. ‘You can see it now because it has a couple of follicles on it. It probably doesn’t produce follicles very often, and being small, wouldn’t normally show up.’

…., said I.

‘And your other ovary,’ (other! She said other!) ‘your other ovary has sixteen follicles. They’re all still very small. We can’t tell at this stage if any of them are going to develop. We’ll have to have another look in a few more days’ time.’

It’s day thirteen of this cycle, by the way. Thirteen and no lead follicle. Christ, Satsuma is such a slacker. I put my knickers back on.

And then I popped my head round the curtains and asked ‘Does that mean I could ovulate on the left side?’


Ah. I don’t have a fallopian tube that side.

I have been booked for another scan on Friday morning.

And then I went to work. In a temper. Because now I do have two ovaries? Well, one and one eighth, or something, but there’s still something functional in there? Really? Because I don’t have a fallopian tube on the left, and any ovulation on that side would be a complete fucking waste of a cycle. Which complicates matters a little. And made me say sweary words under my breath all day at work. Luckily, the office was deserted.Because I would have said them even if it hadn’t been.

What the hell else is hiding in there? The fallopian tube as well? The lost treasure of the Sierra Madre? Lord Lucan?

I shall call her Kumquat.



While we wait for anything at all to happen within the recesses of my person, I thought I had better write that post I’d been carefully putting off, about the size of my arse. A couple of weeks ago, I made notes and everything. So. But because I am incapable of organising my thoughts into anything cohesive, I have made no improvement on the notes and shall present them in all their bullet-pointed glory. With rambling addenda. Of course!

  • I find talking about my weight boring and embarrassing. Very very boring, and very very embarrassing. If I am going to diet and exercise, I shall do so quite quietly, and absolutely avoid any and all advice about exercise plans, good and bad foods, and vitamin supplements. I certainly hate getting into discussions with people about diets and exercise, most particularly when the other person snivelling about their squashiness weighs a good two stone less than I do. In fact, all you people out there who like to discuss your fat arse at length in the office canteen, etc., for the love of God, look at your conversational partner. Is she fatter than you? Yes? Then SHUT THE FUCK UP. Save it for blogging, where those who can’t take it can escape and those who can will actually be interested. Thank you.
  • Context: I am the only Fatty in a Skinny family. A Skinny family who, bless them and all their tormenting little ways, have an infuriating habit of ‘suggesting’ diets and exercise regimes (all involving seaweed, brown rice, and extreme mortification of the flesh), while feeding me chocolate biscuits and second helpings. And then we have ridiculous coversations along the line of: ‘Well, have you tried eating only raw food? It’s so detoxing and healthy, and then if you do yoga every day and avoid yeast it’ll be so good for you, have some more roast potatoes, what do you mean, you don’t want more potatoes? They’re good! And it’s silly to leave only a teeny bit. And then we can have chocolate hobnobs for tea – oh, you and your silly fancies, not liking biscuits, have one, go on, and have you read this book on the 1000-calorie-a-day diet? Do you eat too much bread? I bet you eat too much bread.’
  • I think they like having a token Fatty around. You can’t feel properly Skinny-smug without a Fatty to patronise. I am perfectly aware most slim people do not go around sneering at fat people, by the way. My family are not most people. My family are a bunch of neurotic, self-obsessed, competitive, rivalrous, snobbish, judgemental and low-self-esteem-afflicted loud-mouths. Feel that your marriage is cracking up? Hey, at least you’re not as fat as May! Unable to keep a job? But you’re skinnier than May! Children driving you batshit? Hey, May is twice your size, go and stand next to her for an hour, you’ll feel marvellous!
  • Also, oh, the raging irony of having a biscuit-obsessed 10 stone mother, whereas I hate biscuits and weigh 14 stone 7. Rage, rage.
  • It has taken me years to get to a place where I have stopped equating my wobbly tummy and over-ripe thighs with sheer hideousness, where I am comfortable in my skin, where I do not automatically equate slimness with beauty and moral worth. I do not want to go back to a place where food is the enemy and I am the enemy too for eating it.
  • When I was a teenager, I was very thin. Yes, I was. Ribs. Hands like bird-claws. I did it by Not Eating. I was a bit depressed, you see. I also had  a side-line in self-harming. But hey! I was thin!
  • And I was also very ill. I had glandular fever, badly, which turned into post-viral fatigue syndrome just in time for A-levels, and I had a giant ovarian cyst that was slowly twisting my left ovary into a pretzel and caused me constant pain, deeply whacked out cycles, outbreaks of haemorrhage and a fetching moustache. I had to have emergency surgery in the end, because I collapsed shrieking in agony, my ovary beginning to actually tear itself in half. I now have a scar that runs from hip to hip along my knicker line. The cyst was 18 cm across when they removed it (and the ovary. And most of the fallopian tube, which had also got tangled up in the action).
  • I now, neurotically, associate being thin with, perhaps, looking good and being virtuous, but also with pain, depression, hospitals, scars, being neglected by the medical establishment (‘Oh, all teenage girls get painful irregular periods! There’s nothing wrong with you! Have some!’). I am scared of being thin.
  • But being fat is making me barren. And is preventing me from doing IVF. And, frankly, makes wearing skirts in the summer uncomfortably rubby in the thigh area.
  • So I must diet and exercise.
  • Being fat is a big fertility issue, and my fertility, lack of, is a big fat issue, so I am getting it off my chest (Hah hah. Bwahahahah, in fact). I am only venting about the issue and why I find it difficult and saddening. Only venting.
  • Therefore I’d like everyone to seriously resist the temptation to give advice and tips. Please. Be considerate. Remember that you don’t actually know that much about my eating habits and exercise regimes. Remember that ‘just relax’ and ‘have you tried cough medicine/ pineapple/ propping your hips up/ a vacation?’ are craptastic things to say to an infertile person. Well, ‘have you tried the South Beach Diet/ smaller plates/ larger plates/ Pilates/ colonic irrigation?’ are craptastic things to say to a fat person.

She said crossly

Item – I’d comment more, but the Blogosphere has ejected me. Ejected me, I tell you! I visit some delightful and meaningful blog or other, spend hours, well, minutes typing the cutest, coolest, funniest comments ever, and I hit ‘post’ and the blog goes — nah. I’m looking at you, mu, typepad, blogspot. I hate you all. I am not spam. I am offended.

Item – I am falling back into No Sleep Land. I entirely blame the counselling. Oh yes, we’re still going to that, every fortnight. We spent the last session discussing the way we discuss purchases and money, and I spent the entire hour wanting to hurl myself through the window, screaming ‘Shut up about the fucking speakers! I refuse to talk about how I talk about the fucking new speakers! I do not care how we decide what fucking speakers we buy!’ And yet the conversation ground relentlessly on, me being polite and cooperative and wondering why H had his head so far up his arse – this is the INFERTILITY counsellor, not sodding John Lewis, so why in the name of Christ aren’t we talking about Clomid 5, or the fact I’m to fat to do IVF, or bloody buggering Mothering Sunday, for that matter?

Item – Went home after that and lost my temper good and proper. With myself, as much as anyone. But also with H, because he was there. And, as it turned out, also slightly bewildered at how the conversation ran so relentlessly on and unstoppably on about the, ohhh, damn it, speakers. Wish I had flung myself about and said sweary-words now. Rather wonder why on earth I want the counsellor to think I am a nice sensible calm and normal woman. I’m paying her £65 an hour because I’m not.

Item – I am seriously abusing the italics button in this post, aren’t I?

Item – I have an appointment with Nice Lady Wand Monkey on Monday, in which we look through the round window and see what Satsuma is doing. Please let the little slacker be cheerfully growing a fat juicy follicle. Please. Please.

Item – I was accosted by Alpha Line Manager yesterday afternoon, wanting to know what the hospital appointment was for – was it for migraines? Alpha seems to have got hold of the impression somewhere that one migraine every four to twelve weeks is somehow serious, whereas any fule kno that real migraine sufferers get them weekly, or even daily, and no neurologist is going to waste his or her precious time on me unless I start having convulsions or grow antlers. Anyway, I bravely answered that I was seeking *ahem* ‘treatment’, what with the ghastly miscarriage thing last year. Alpha replied that it all sounded very stressful and she hoped they would be kind and helpful. I said thank you, and went away feeling pleased with Alpha, for saying exactly the right thing. So this was good.

Item – I am a chilly mortal with pale blue feet, most of the time. For the past week, every few hours I suddenly get terribly hot and pink and sweaty and tear my sweaters off. Whatever I am doing. I could be sitting by an open window thinking crikey, it’s draughty, I’ll put my cardigan on, and wooosh, hotness. FFS. I was only taking 50 mg of Clomid and I have never had hot flushes on that dose before. Harrumph.

Mithering Sunday

You know what? I ignored it. That day. That day that was supposed to be the first one in which I received cards and possibly flowers rather than giving them. I totally ignored it.

I am not a complete cow. On the Friday, I sent cards to my mother and to my step-mother, and checked H was au courant and knew where the stamps were so he could do likewise for MIL (and, being H, he had a card picked out and everything, so I went from Life-Saver Wife Of 24-Carat Gold to Nag in 0.2 of a second).

And then, I embargoed the whole thing. I spent most of the actual day scrubbing floors on my knees and de-limescaling the shower taps. H hoovered and tidied the study and the living-room. We watched the Six Nations finals (we’d taped them as we’d been out the day before) and bellowed happily at fouls and tries and, in my case, mighty thews. We did not leave the house. I spent the day in one of H’s old tee-shirts and a pair of tracksuit bottoms rolled up above the knee. H spent the day in even less.

We neither of us phoned our mothers.

If I’d tried to, I would have wept. Which would have been so nice and celebratory for my mum, daughters Second and Third forgetting, because they always do and always have, and First howling with grief and rage down the phone, and not being in the least bit grateful, damn it.

I have no idea what H’s rationale was.

In any case, I’m on clomid, and feel anxious and irritable when sitting peaceably alone in the middle of a nice clean living-room, with tea and a good book. Add in trying to do something that inevitably makes me anxious and irritable, and Tempers Will Fray. Case in point, on Sunday morning I chewed H a new one for buying the wrong sort of vacuum cleaner (he bought it six months ago), because I hate hoovering, especially with the wrong bloody sort of bloody buggering vacuum cleaner (and buggering ones are Very Wrong Indeed).

Colleagues at work this morning had a great deal to say about whether their children had been attentive or not, or how they had attended to their own mothers. I am given to understand thereby that sending a card is Simply Not Good Enough, and I should have added flowers, a phone-call, and dinner somewhere with actual cloth table-cloths. I stayed very quiet, in case my filthy secret was dragged from me.

I ignored Mothering Sunday.

Yay boo yay boo

Yay: I am going to divorce H and marry Naproxen Sodium. I heart it this much. Those of you who have been casting your benevolent eyes over this blog for any length of time will know that I have PAINFUL periods. P. A. I. N. F. U. L. All done by the one small uterus, without the aid of endometriosis, fibroids, or its very own meat-grinder. Said uterus laughs in the face of paracetamol, sneers at ibuprofen, never even notices aspirin is in the building, and grudgingly shuts up for an hour or so when bludgeoned with codeine. Big, prescription only post-surgery doses of codeine. On Naproxen? She goes quiet. For hours and hours. There was a bad bit yesterday evening when she wore off before I could get another dose, which very nearly led to me thumping H for sensibly saying ‘it’s only for another hour or so,’ and then I got my dose, and within 40 minutes I was all, like, bliss, man. Rainbows. And unicorns.

Boo: The bleeding is ridiculous. Survived yesterday at work changing super plus extra tampons every two to three hours. Today, Ute ups the ante and decides, unilaterally, that I want all my blood on the outside, and the super plus extra (can absorb 15 to 18 g!) tampons are caving in less than an hour. For fuck’s sake. I had the day off work. H and I were going to go to museums and things. Ah ha ha ha.

Yay: About yesterday, which was our wedding anniversary, the dinner at the fancy-pants restaurant was marvellous, and the food was unnaturally fabulous, and I had a glass of wine, and talked incessantly about meta-data and H let me. Cute Ute decided to have a crampy hissy fit during dessert, and then I had to haul her home on foot (normally not a problem, and a nice walk), and like I said above, nearly whacked H at one point, but even she failed to spoil the evening. So there.

Boo: Yeah, but I couldn’t finish my dessert, which was creme brulée, which I love, and which this restaurant does SUPERBLY oh God drool dribble mmmmmmmmm, and that I had been looking forward to for weeks, solely because bad cramps invariably make me feel a little sick.

Yay Yay Yay: H and I have been married for 4 years, and have been an item for 17 years, and I still adore him, and he still seems to adore me, bless his heart (and he is being extremely sweet about the non-museum-visiting, and has promised to go post the Mother’s Day cards and do the shopping while I lay at home in a heap, and also he gave me a new and very pretty gold chain for my grandmother’s opal pendant (the old chain was getting manky and revealing it’s less-than-gold nature rather badly)). And H is handsome and smells nice and is funny and gentle and almost terminally good-natured and generous, and all my family adore him nearly as much as I do, and (SF&F geek bonus) he looks like a Rider of Rohan. (But I still might have to turf him out for the Nap, which rocks).

No pokey the owie girl

Item: It’s been three months since my last period. I don’t think I’d forgotten as such, how much they suck, but it’s a bit of a grumpy moment when you are sitting in the toilets at work thinking ‘ah, yes, this is exactly how much they suck when they suck this much.’

Item: But hey! It’s Day One of a shiny fresh new cycle! With monitoring and everything! And because she is being monitored, Satsuma will no doubt behave like a little angel, and everyone will wonder what the feckitty all the fuss was about. Which is just fine by me. Enough anxst, thank you.

Item: I am experimenting with naproxen sodium (we can get it over the counter now! In Boots!) this period, to see if I can at least get some freakin’ sleep, and the results are inconclusive. It got rid of the cramps last night, but then last night I wasn’t really bleeding yet. I was fine until lunch-time today, so I didn’t take any in the morning (as instructed on the packet – don’t take unless you need to! Failure to comply will result in the Gate of Hell spontaneously opening in your stomach lining!), and then I was less fine, so I did take some more, and while the cramps have not knocked me to the floor in a pale green sweaty mess, I do NOT feel happy, and I am cross, and I am tired. Does this mean Cute Ute is saving the worst for Day 2, as is her wont, just because it is our wedding anniversary, or has the naproxen sod-it-um taken the edge off and I won’t be quite so *whimper sob thrash argh* this month? (‘Month’, she says, as if this was anything to do with the time of the month. Month! Hah! This season, perhaps? This calendar year?). Tune in for tomorrow’s thrilling installment.

Item: Trying to work, when you need to go to the loo every hour, and hurt, and feel a little wheeeeeee on analgesics, and therefore have the attention-span of a stoned gold-fish, and have a lot of heavy lifting and book-cart shoving to do, and also cataloguing pre-war books from scratch, about which you have to actually think, not recommended.

Item: Also, well done colleagues for chosing today to talk about a) childbirth, amazing stories of, involving your relations and/or the legendary Friend of a Friend, also full supporting cast and scenography of crowded jammed elevators, shopping centres, theatres, airplanes mid-Atlantic and one London bus, b) why you really don’t want children, c) why your grandchildren are just about the cutest things on God’s green Earth, and, for shit and giggles, d) all the pregnant women you saw on your commute (also, bonus points for saying ‘It seems as if the whole world’s pregnant right now!’ several times over to every colleague in the room, making it a grand total of SEVENTEEN repeats before you even got to me and yes, I did leap up and trot smartly away, didn’t I? Can’t think why).

Item: So, Clomid Take 5. Anyone else got any clever but hopeful names for this cycle? Because I am fresh out of clever and have been out of hopeful for months.

Item: I’d like to post intelligently rather than just whine at you all. But it ain’t gonna happen tonight. I shall go and lie down and snivel to myself some more, shall I? Yes, I shall. Send absinthe.

Cute ute muscles in

Still spotting, if more so. But bloody ow the cramps have got in early. Ow ow ow. And I feel this bad now? What am I going to feel like by Thursday?

Actually. I’ll tell you what I’m going to feel like by Thursday. I am going to feel like shit on Thursday. And why am I going to feel like shit on Thursday? Because Thursday is our 4th Wedding Anniversary, and H booked the exceedingly smart and wonderful restaurant weeks ago.

Thanks, uterus. Love you too, you mutant heart-shaped whining freak.