Monthly Archives: February 2010

Shoot.

Period has started in earnest. Making for a dorkily short luteal phase of 11 days. And to think I was managing 13-day luteal phases before!

Never mind. I am chosing to put this down to General Post-Miscarriage Hormonal Weirdness. All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

I must go and finish my poems before I have to get out of my gourd on codeine. I must go and count my tampons. I must go and lie down.

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*perfunctory wave*

Item – I am really, really busy right now. I am trying to finish a poetry sequence for my Creative Writing course, and I am writing writing deleting, hours and hours of writing writing deleting, on these teeny wee shreds of verbiage, because I know what a reasonable poem looks like, and I know what a random heap of metaphors looks like, and I want the former, and if it takes me writing and deleting for ever and ever then so be it.

Item – So I will get around to answering my emails and leaving comments after my deadline. Sorry. Thank you. Sorry. Right.

Item – My period is due on Sunday. Today is merely 11dpo. So why in the name of sweet buggery do I have nasty ‘hello, bleeding, ooh, tomorrow suit you?’ cramps? Huh? Why? Huh? Huh? Bastard innards.

Item – I’ve had a couple of late shifts at work recently. Work in toto is kicking my chubby great arse. And I am still not sleeping well, and it’s reaching ‘so tired I will maim someone’ levels. Possibly H, if he hangs around snoring at me until one in the morning again tonight. Sorry, H.

Item – And next cycle we scramble back on the TTC wagon. Well, Miss Consultant did give us the green light. And we do want kids. Scramble scramble. Only, the prospect of being pregnant again now fills me with misery and horror. Thank you so much, Universe. I really needed that good hard wound-salting. I’m ever more happy now.


I have been busy

I had dinner with The Family on Wednesday. On Thursday H came home, and I was Pleased To See Him. Friday I worked the late shift. Tomorrow, my mother is coming to dinner.

I’m sure if I stopped and counted I would have hours and hours and hours of spare time to do whatever the hell I liked in, but somehow it never seems to work out like that. So I am about 87 miles behind on replying to emails, commenting on blogs, and responding to events generally. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Anyway, dinner with The Family (paternal assortment) went very well, and we all happily discussed nice light jolly subjects and I drank a leeeeeetle too much wine and let my Dad drive me home and he laughed at the desperately untidy state of the flat. Which served me right. Flat resembles explosion in the back room of an Oxfam shop.

Dinner with my mother will be somewhat less light and jolly as my mother does sometimes actually want to know about the contents of my pelvis, and it is currently a subject I am not feeling light and jolly about.

Last Sunday, for example, I am pretty sure I ovulated. I haven’t been charting fanatically at all since Christmas (it just all seemed so pointless, under the circumstances), so I can’t prove it with a neat rise in temperature and detailed descriptions of my cervix and its *cough* doings, but I had EWCM before and none since, and I got That Ovulation Pain Thing. Nobody get excited; H and I were contraceiving at the time, as despite Miss Consultant’s Green Light I really didn’t want to get pregnant this cycle.

(Not that I thought I’d be having a cycle, as such, as I have no faith at all in Satsuma despite her insanely cooperative attitude these past few months. But I digress).

I was thinking that I hadn’t really bled while losing Zombryo (apart from the bleed before my HCG levels rose (God, but that was all so confusing and weird)), and it seems a little… icky… to ‘carry on’ without, as it were, scrubbing the ole ute clean and growing a nice fresh lining from scratch. I did spot non-stop for two weeks, so that probably was ‘enough’ bleeding to remove the remains of the old lining, but still. It just seemed icky.

And I was thinking that I needed a marked and unmistakeable ‘place’ to leap back onto the TTC wagon from, because explaining when my last period was to the EPU was bad enough with Zombryo The Astonishingly Early Implanter. I’d rather not have to say ‘technically, before Christmas, but I’ve been pregnant since, and now I’m pregnant again, and no, I haven’t had a period’ ninety-eight times to as many different medical professionals in case I snap like a water-biscuit.

And I was thinking that I needed a little more time to ‘get over it’ and look forward to the idea of getting pregnant again with some kind of positivity, rather than sickening dread.

(Not doing so well on the last one. Might have to carry on regardless. Heigh ho).

And, mostly, I thought all the above vapouring would be moot, as Satsuma would no doubt be thrown by all the weird hormonal activity and go into a sulk and shrivel up like a prune and never do anything ever again ever at all ever so there.

However, Satsuma sprang into action again only a couple of weeks after my HCG reached ‘less than one’. Odd sense of humour, that gonad.

Or maybe she was faking. I wouldn’t put it past her. I’d love to be able to trust my body, and my interpretations of my body (especially after the deeply, deeply weird moment at the beginning of the latest misery-festival, when I knew I was pregnant, despite all sense and symptoms saying otherwise), but we’ve shared many, many years of uncooperative mutual hostility, my body and I, and that kind of history is hard to get over.

We will find out, one way or another, next weekend. Either nothing will happen, and more nothing will happen, and in a few weeks time I will give up and go to Doc Tashless and demand provera (hateful fucking drug) in an attempt to kick everything into action. Or I will spend Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday wishing I was a) dead, b) being prepped for a hysterectomy or c) menopausal, depending on how recently I had some codeine.

It feels quite odd, to be so nearly sure I did ovulate. That’s what normal human females do.

Oh, yes, I am hugely aware of the irony of being befuddled by my own ovulations despite having been pregnant several fucking times in the past couple of years. I live on irony. Prevents anaemia.


Keep Calm and Carry On

I was actually talking to my sister Trouble on the phone earlier. There’s a family dinner thing tomorrow, and these things need organising, which actually forces us siblings to talk to each other. Otherwise… we don’t, much. Because we’re lazy.

Anyway, we were talking, and Trouble had kind sweet things to say about my latest miscarriage, bless her (she is improving with age). I brought her up to date about how many I had had, and when, and being sent for tests, and I told her about the karyotyping, which segued into a running gag about David Icke (What can I say? we are funny, funny ladies). When Trouble had caught her breath after laughing her arse off, she said, admiringly, that I seemed to be in quite good spirits.

‘Ehhh,’ said I. ‘I’m dealing with it by sarcasm abuse.’

Cue Trouble collapsing into giggles again. (I rock).

Then Trouble told me about a friend of hers, who recently had a miscarriage, her first (and please Universe only) one, and dealt with it pretty much by declaring her life had been destroyed and locking herself in her room for a couple of months.

Oh God, I thought, the poor woman.The poor poor woman.

Meanwhile Trouble was remarking that perhaps this friend should be told about me, and maybe learn a few lessons in getting over herself from it, because, hey, I’d had several and I wasn’t locked in my room yelling ‘my life is in ruins‘ through the keyhole.

[No, Trouble doesn’t know this blog exists.]

Anyway, I nobly went to bat for this unknown sister-in-distress. I pointed out that everyone reacts differently, that her support system may not be as good as mine, that she may have had other issues hurting her (oh, hey, like a fucking miscarriage isn’t enough). I reminded Trouble that the hormonal crash-and-burn can bring on a good old-fashioned chemical depression. Trouble admitted she hadn’t thought of that.

We went back to discussing plans for tomorrow.

Argh.

Bitter McTwisted is now emitting a persistent high-pitched squeal of resentment, and it’s making it hard to think.

Funnily enough (keeping in mind she is Bitter and Twisted), the person she is resenting at the moment is not Trouble, but the unknown sister-in-distress. She got to lock herself in her room for months. She got to wail and weep and tell everyone her life was in tatters. I want to do that! I want to!

But I am soft enough to be flattered and happy that Trouble admires my insouciant bravado.

I like being the brave, calm, sensible one. I like being Ace Rimmer, dashingly making light of my own injuries while giving the last swig in my hip-flask to the person on the next stretcher and then stitching my own arm up before swanning off to do something amazingly cool in the next universe.

But it would be nice to feel that I could have a weeping, yelling, plate-hurling, refusing-to-get-out-of-bed, several-month-long meltdown and have everyone understand and admire that, too.


Bleeding hearts

And then there’s H.

It’s Valentine’s Day. H had to set off after lunch for a business trip, and anyway, we both agreed that Valentine’s Day was a heap of commercialised tripe and we were simply going to ignore it. Both of us. Ignore it.

So I sent him a highly witty and amusing e-card (it totally was, actually, and he laughed like a hyena), and he bought me a bunch of flaming orange tulips to ‘keep me company’ while he’s away.

And then we kissed goodbye on the station platform like teenagers, mildly embarrassing everyone else.

And I went back to our flat, which is annoyingly lonely, considering he’s only been gone a few hours.

Dear Readers, how can I praise H enough? He is gentle, and tender-hearted, and good-natured to the point of benevolent imbecillity. His neck smells delicious. His smile was almost the first thing I noticed about him, and still, to this day, after nearly 18 years, his smile melts my heart. He makes me tea, without fail, every single morning, and has done since the first time we slept together. He is funny, and clever, and sensible. He thinks I need looking after, bless him. He likes being needed, and, luckily, I am needy. He puts up with my temper, my awkwardness, my untidiness, my neuroticism. More than that, he adores them, as he adores my good qualities, because they are what makes me uniquely me.

See? And now you all quite rightly have jaw-ache from grinding your teeth so hard. It’s just all too cute and lovely.

And there are times when I feel quite guilty about even mentioning my relationship with H. Simply because it is cute and lovely*. I am aware that other people out there have partners who, though in many ways are wonderful human beings, are not, well, quite like H. (His habit of cheerfully doing the washing up and the cooking and buying tampons and filling hot-water-bottles and screening phone-calls and rubbing my back very nearly all at once on my ‘Special Lady Days’ seems to strike terror into the heart of men and rank, sea-green envy into the heart of women the world over (also, God, but he’d make a great Dad *weeps hysterically for some few seconds, pulls self savagely together*)).

I have done nothing whatsoever to deserve H. If anything, I gained an H in spite of myself. I never planned to get married. As a teenager, I thought of myself as fundamentally unloveable. In the early years of our relationship, I reacted to a bad patch we went through by behaving Spectacularly Badly, and yet H not only forgave me, but came back to me, learnt to be a better partner to me, and taught me to forgive myself. And yet there were still many, many moments when I thought ‘what the fucking fuck is he still doing here? Why hasn’t he dumped me for someone reasonable? Someone thinner and prettier? Someone with a job? Someone with functioning gonads?’.

(H even finds this sort of thing quite hurtful. He takes commitment very seriously, including the ‘for better, for worse’ bit. H says he’d rather have me with no kids, than anyone else and all the perfect kids he could handle. I told you I didn’t deserve him).

And so, I feel guilty. Maritally, I’m like the woman who landed boy-girl twins during the first three months of trying, had no nausea, carried to term, who gave birth in a tub making holistic whale noises, whose children are ‘very advanced’ and quite cherubic, and who has a flat and flawless belly to show for it. It’s… impolite… to boast of such things in front of the parent with tiger-bright stretch-marks whose pride-and-joy has just walloped a smaller child with a tricycle and is now in their nineteenth screamy melt-down of the week. It’s worse, to the point of cruel, to boast about it in front of the infertile.

And so, it’s Valentine’s Day evening, and I am spending it away from H, who I won’t see until Friday, and I want to shout out to the entire world just how much I love him, because I miss him (already! By Wednesday I will either be clutching the TV remote to my chest, happy as a clam, or having a nervous breakdown). I know I am showing off by doing so. I know it will sting, if any of my readers are looking at their own partner and thinking ‘gah!’, or have no partner and want one, and Valentine’s Day is quite unpleasant enough as is without me rubbing it in thank you. I know I don’t deserve H. I know that, like babies, relationships have very little to do with just deserts and a great deal to do with ‘eh, you know, life, random.’

I’m sorry. H is the greatest. I’m really sorry.

*(Disclaimer – Obviously, we bicker, because we are both humans, and though H likes his role as Angel of Light and Domestic Bliss, he can be spectacularly bone-headed when he chooses (and he sulks. Which would be fine, but I come from two clans both renowned for their shouty inability to sulk for more than seventeen minutes and I find sulking terrifying, infuriating, and just plain wrong. I am aware that this makes me unreasonable in the extreme)).


Type? Cast.

Blimey, it’s Friday already. In that case, we had better talk about Wednesday. Remember, I unleashed H and the Power of Testosterone Voice on the NHS a couple of weeks ago, and he came galumphing triumphantly back having swapped the not-until-effing-May (why yes, May was effing and blinding) gynaecology appointment for a brand new this-month appointment.

And I wangled most of the day off work.

On Wednesday morning, then, I went to visit the GP, to see if I could get hold of the recurrent miscarriage panel blood test results (oy vey the saga) before having to deal with Miss Consultant about them. I wanted to be braced and prepared because Miss Consultant is so very efficient and brisk and teflon-coated I get the yips in her presence. Doc Tashless was not available, but I did get to speak to the sweetie GP I saw in October, when I thought I might be miscarrying that time. And I got to feel almost cruel, because the way Doc Sweetie’s face fell, and went right on falling, when he realised I a) wasn’t pregnant with the October baby, b) had lost another one since as well, and c) was being seriously investigated by Mothership Hospital, was like kicking a puppy from here to John O’Groats. At which point he was prepared to somersault backwards through burning hoops for me.

And this was just as well, because my test results were not forthcoming, and he nobly tried two computers, three log-ins, and one animated discussion with the secretarial staff before realising that this GP’s surgery did not have access to Mothership’s computer system, and had never had access to Mothership’s computer system, and the Mothership nurse had misinformed me (GAH!). And that Mothership, despite having sent over the results of every single HCG beta I’ve had in the past few months, had not sent the RM panel results. And they should have. And we sat and looked at each other blankly for a few moments.

Anyway, we vigorously agreed that the RMC clinic was not behaving very well, even if the staff at the EPU were lovely (but confused).

On which note, I asked about NHS referrals to Lesley Regan’s RM clinic. He looked that up on the GP intranet, and said, eventually, thoughtfully, that the waiting list appeared to be six-to-eight months long, as we weren’t in the catchment area for that hospital. But he’d start the paperwork, if I liked. I did like, but am also going to make H call them and ask about going private (I have savings. I have a wealthy and anxious-to-be-useful mother). We can always wait or rush forward depending on what Mothership pulls out of the bag.

In the afternoon, H and I went down to the Hospital Out In The Country, where Mothership sends her Assisted Conception patients for monitoring and clinic visits (confused? Aren’t we all). We sat in the waiting room (hot, crowded, shared with the ear-nose-and-throat clinic, full of stone-deaf elderly ladies and flustered parents with toddlers) for over an hour. Apparently, the nurse had put the patient’s folders not in the order the appointments were booked, but in alphabetical order. So we were being called through in alphabetical order. I live about the middle of the alphabet. Pity the poor couple at the back end of the alphabet who were made to wait for nearly two hours. Also, smack the nurse for being an eejit.

Miss Consultant was in good form, however. And not in the least teflony. I felt as if H and I had passed some kind of special ‘fine, we can take you seriously now’ threshold. Apart from the moment when she smiled brightly at the pair of us and said ‘it’s excellent that you are getting pregnant!’ and I felt H flinch beside me. That made us both a little stabby.

Anyway, she did have my blood tests.

And, and, no clotting issues.

No clotting issues! Factor V Leiden, Lupus anticoagulant, Anticardiolipin, Prothrombin Clotting time, Partial Thromboplastin Time, all came back absolutely negative for clotting issues.

She then asked if my LH/FSH/estradiol had been taken at the right time of my cycle, and I said no, as it had been the week after ovulation, which even I now know is totally not the right time of the cycle. (Senior Doctor didn’t even ask what cycle day it was before ordering those, you know. Coupled with the Thyroid-Doesn’t-Cause-Miscarriages FAIL, this makes me think Senior Doctor may be a charming person but a dick-wad as a doctor). So Miss Consultant flicked briskly past those.

The eighth test had been a full blood count after all (I could see the screen) but Miss Consultant didn’t mention it, so I assume it was boring.

Right. Next steps. Miss Consultant decided that H and I needed karyotyping. Chromosonal issues are very rare, she pointed out, but then, so are three or four miscarriages in a row, and as we’re waiting for IVF, it’d be better to find this out as soon as possible. Today, even! (I reeled, mildly gob-smacked).

I then took a deep breath, and said, firmly as I could, ‘thyroid’. I pointed out my mother had thyroid problems. I pointed out that her thyroxine levels had been near-normal but her TSH (I think? Probably) had been completely out of whack and it had taken a while before her doctor had thought to check it and this while my mother was growing an actual goitre. Miss Consultant agreed thyroid issues could be hereditary. I stated that I had quite a few symptoms of burgered thyroid, see, for example, the painful heavy periods and crocodile hide. Oh, she said, have I noticed any hair thinning? Why yes, look, here is the thin patch on my temple. She promptly added a full thyroid panel to the list of follow-up tests.

And she may as well double-check my Anticardiolipin, as it’s usual to do that one twice.

H remembered my possible fibroid (seen on the where-the-hell-is-Zombryo ultrasounds) and valiantly spoke up. We discussed it briefly, though Miss Consultant thinks it won’t be a problem (what? Even if it’s submucous?) and she didn’t seem overly concerned, (so perhaps it isn’t). And yet she then casually mentioned that one of my many ultrasounds had shown three (THREE) small fibroids. Really? Seriously? What the fuck? Meanwhile H was struggling to remember the term ‘adenomyosis’ and I was too busy ghasting my flabber in confused silence (three fibroids? Seriously?) to be of any use at all at this point. (Three? But, the last ultrasound showed possibly one ‘area of vascularity’, and why is this all maybe-possibly-whatever let’s-not-bother-telling-May? Have I ever mentioned my periods are a bloody hell? Have I? Ever? So, you know, a diagnosis might be interesting to me? Why don’t I say this out loud?)

Miss Consultant understood something of the ghasting, as she signed me up for yet another ultrasound, ‘to make sure’. Only, not for another few months (oh), because pregnancy hormones can make fibroids grow a great deal, and we’d get a more accurate picture when they’ve had a chance to return to their cruising weight.

(Speaking of which, Miss Consultant is quite sure I started ovulating again because I lost weight, encouraging smile, encouraging smile. Indeed. I pointed out I have put some back on again. I knew she was going to have me weighed and I wanted to get in there first).

And we are to go back for a follow-up appointment when the karyotype results come back. This won’t be for three months at the earliest, for which she apologised, so we are seeing her again in June. Until June, we can hurl aside the condoms after all (and H had gone and bought lots, bless him) and see if we can get knocked up the standard way again.

Oh. OK. Good. I think.

And then H and I went off to the phlebotomy clinic with our blood test request forms, and ended up sitting facing each other across the room getting needled at the same time. H was very cheerful and brave about it, and deserves a lollipop, because the feeling of a needle in his vein (not the pain, just… the sensation of it) squicks him out. I was all gung-ho bring-it-on, swapping jokes with the phlebotomist (‘I always take an extra vial so I can have a snack later’), because I am a dusty-booted veteran of this kind of crap now and anyway, I used to donate blood for tea and biscuits. Am not bothered by needles. H gave two vials, for two sorts of karyotyping, and I gave six, for karyotyping plus thyroid panel plus anticardiolipin (I win!).

And as we were wending our way back from The Hospital Out In The Country, H suddenly said, but what about the FSH? Ah. Argh and ah. We’d agreed the FSH/LH/estradiol tests Senior Doctor had ordered were pointless, and that is as far as we’d got. I felt deeply half-witted indeed. Surely, I need a day 3 FSH/LH/estradiol test? I decided then and there I could get Doc Tashless to do those for me, though. He could write the request form and I could simply go to the GP phlebotomy service on the right day. It’d be fine. I could get it done with minimum fuss.

But still, AAAARGH. My gynaecology/ACU/RMC trifecta of dropped balls is still complete (dropped balls! Teeheehee).

We shall be sent the thyoid results in a few weeks, allegedly. I hope so, and I have my doubts. And I have H on stand-by for phone-call-making purposes.

So. Well. So. Hmmm.


Ceci n’est pas un blog-post

I want to tell you guys all about the visit to the Gynaecology clinic on Wednesday, because it was really quite interesting. But I have a cold and everyone at work has a cold and we are understaffed and I have to actually work when I’m at work and for some really irritating reason or other, this state of affairs is stealing all my words.

I’d advise you to come back at the weekend. Then I’ll be happily shouting advice at the Olympic skiers (who’ll be completely ignoring me, the buggers. Can’t they see me, this side of the Atlantic, in my pyjamas, as athletic as a pork pie, gesturing wildly and inaccurately at them through the telly?), but I am planning to blog during the tedious bits when we have to watch presenters in preposterous sweaters maundering on about cloud cover.

*achoo*

*Also, cough*