Monthly Archives: May 2010

To [Insert Name Here], sorry

To all of you who remarked that I ‘only’ had seven pounds of misery-weight to work off, bless your dear dear hearts, but it was seven EXTRA pounds on top of err, *counts on fingers, blenches* the enormous quantity of basic lardiness I am gifted with anyway, and which I had managed to whittle down a bit before October struck (all that hard work gone for a burton, gah, damn). So, you know, I have merely veered from Fat to Fatter, and not in the least from Fine to Oops Tight Trousers. If only.

Sorry. Just, all the ‘well done on only gaining seven pounds’ was making me feel like an almighty fraud.

To the dear In Real Life friend who doesn’t know about this blog, and who got pregnant just before Christmas, and who, crucially, didn’t spend January miscarrying, the F*ceb**k (ooh, sudden longing to spell it ‘fuckb**k) updates about your puffy ankles are cute and funny and I’d sympathise but as I think at this point I’d even kill (well, maybe not kill. Maim? Maim bad people only?) to have your ankle problems myself right now, I do not know how to deal with you. I do not really like being this pea-green-with-envy person who can’t deal with you. But, you know, you’re less than two weeks ahead of where I should have been if Zombryo had survived, so pea-green it is. Sorry. [Memo to self. Stay away from fuckb**k whenever drink has been taken. This is important].

On which note, to all those bloggers out there who are heavily pregnant and planning nurseries, or who have their precious baby now, I’m sorry I don’t really comment any more. It’s not that I don’t care or have stopped reading or am in any way Not Pleased with, at, by, for or over you. In fact, I am usually extremely pleased for you, and your blog makes me smile. It’s just… I have nothing to say. And I don’t really want to say anything either. Especially to those of you who are trying to forget just how miserable the whole Getting There process was. It is, after all, an unmitigated Good Thing that you, having scrambled out of the Trenches at last, are cantering away from them as fast as your heels can carry you.

To H, I’m sorry I’m angry and miserable so much of the time. You are very kind and patient with me, and I do appreciate it, I really do.

To all the people I have spectacularly failed to email in a timely and mannerly fashion, I am dreadful and, again, I am sorry.

And to all the people who are longing to see me be more cheerful and hopeful, I’m sorry about that too. I promise to sort out that shortlist of local therapists as soon as I get back from Wales.


What Dante said

When you read this, I will be 35. I’ve set it to post at the exact hour of my birth, because I have a widget that lets me do just that and this amuses me.

Still, 35. Dante Italy’s answer, or rather, prequel, to Milton – started the entire epic Divine Comedy with the joys of turning 35:

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.

[Many, many versions in English here]


No. No sighing. Enough sighing. I have all my limbs and most of my reproductive organs. I have a damn fine husband. I have a damn fine husband who can cook. I have a job and a place to live and 100% cotton sheets and a birthday cake. I have a wide-screen hi-definition television. I have freshly shaved legs. I have a MacBook Pro. I have friends who are so amazingly sweet, funny, cute, intelligent, wise and generous it’d melt the heart of a stone weasel. I have new polka-dot undercrackers. I have ringlets and a curvy, muscular back and elegant hands and feet. I have a vast and highly amusing soap-opera of a family. I have gin and bitter lemon in the fridge, for when the family get too amusing. I have a glass of cold white wine right here. Or did have. I think I drank it. I am not being attacked by a leopard, and I do not have to go to Hell and chat to bleeding trees unless I become seriously unwise about my drug choices. This that I am trudging through is merely Purgatory, and therefore one day it will stop. Meanwhile, I have a life. I have a good life. I will now go forth and make a determined attempt to enjoy it.

Did I mention I’d been drinking?

Notes and queries

Item – Dear all, especially those of you that delurked to express your concern and outrage over the whole (grr! Argh!) NHS appointments debacle, you are all quite right and the Thing To Do would be to make an almighty MP-involving fuss, both about the balls-up and about the ridiculous lack of doctors and clinics and such to treat Recurrent Miscarriages.

Item – I, however, am fighting through a slough of exhaustion, depression, period-induced misery and anaemia, weight-loss, family-being-difficult, work sucking out my brain and soul. I do not have the strength or time or anything else, really, to be fighting the good fight up and down the political systems of Britain. When I am, say, 40, and have given up on all this crap and accepted my childless state, perhaps then I will have the time and righteous zeal to go forth and smite mightily on behalf of my Sistren-and-associated-brethren. Now, I barely have enough me left to keep myself and my marriage going without going postal at work. I don’t have enough me to do my creative writing course, or any creative writing at all, or to enjoy most of my hobbies, or even read Big Interesting Books properly.

Item – Yes, I know I very clearly need a good counsellor/therapist. I haven’t found one yet. I have a short-list. It’s progress. Admittedly, at this rate, by the time I settle on one the whole question will be moot because I will be 97, but still.

Item – About the piss-poor infertility treatment lottery and the even more piss-poor miscarriage treatment lottery in Britain, even I, who am doing both because I am gifted like that, think that really, holding up the NICE gold standard of 2 free goes of IVF to all (NB, just because NICE says so, doesn’t mean your NHS trust is doing as it’s told, ohhh no. You may find they think little magic water pills* are a better use of your taxes) and yet being so utterly shit at looking after women who miscarry over and over again, is a cretinous set-up. For example, whenever we do speak to a gynaecologist (you Americans call the REs, we call them gynaecologists who specialise in infertility or reproduction. Your way is possibly better, because our lot are fucking morons about endocrinological reasons for infertility) he or she pushes Getting Pregnant, specifically IVF, as the thing to do. So, wasting thousands of your actual pounds to get a woman who can get pregnant, pregnant, but not having anything at all to offer in terms of keeping her pregnant, is the way to go. (We wouldn’t be having PGD or ICSI because we’re both chromosonally normal. Ha ha ha ha ha). This makes me crazy.

Item – And anyway, I’m still too fat for IVF. Do you know why? Because I keep getting pregnant. Fuckin’ A.

Item – On a cheerier note, I tried on all my summer-weight trousers and they all still fit, so the half-stone of double-miscarriage misery weight is not the sartorial disaster I was fearing it to be. I could do with a smidgeon less lard about the waist-band, to make sitting down in comfort all that more achievable, but still. I lost two pounds last week (I probably found them again last night, what with the Ben&Jerry’s Chocolate Macademia and the *cough* many *cough* glasses of white wine. What can I say? I’m on holiday).

Item – The Cute Ute has discovered a new fun game. Bleeding slows down to spotting and stops. Hurrah! Only, wait for it, it hasn’t! Blood everywhere! I mop up, in a fury. Cute Ute stops haemorrhaging at once, looking all ‘who, me?’ innocent. Wait 14 hours. Rinse. Repeat. It’s only day 7, so I’m not freaked out, as such, but I will be if that sodding useless piece of rusting out-of-warranty deformed junk doesn’t Cease and Desist in short order.

Item – For my 40th birthday, I shall be giving myself the increasingly appealing gift of a hysterectomy. So bloody there.

* If you are a firm believer in homeopathy, good for you. But not on my bloody NHS until they agree to do some proper double-blind controlled trials and FUCKING PROVE IT. It might not be wise to get into an argument with me about ‘orthodox scientific methodology’ being ‘too restrictive’ or ‘not getting the fundamental holistic basis of homeopathic treatment’. I am the child and daughter-in-law of homeopaths. I have read the research on both sides. I have read the trials on both sides. I have been stuffed full of little magic water pills myself (did they work? Do you see any babies round here? Well then). The trials could easily be set up to allow for placebo effects and for proper full-length consultations and for variable prescribing, and the scientists have frequently said so. The fact that the Homeopaths keep claiming the trials won’t be makes the Homeopaths look… flakey. Also, running scared. I would do links, but I’m hungover and it’s Sunday. Google is your friend. Ignore any and all articles by the Daily Mail or published on a homeopathic practicioner’s website. Take one Ben Goldacre for every three ‘Scientists hate us’. You may have noticed that the entire subject makes me extremely cross. Sorry about that.

Peine forte et dure

Life, as many wise people have ever-so-often remarked, isn’t fair. Of course, there’s no reason on earth why life should be, what with life being a complex biological process and in no way having any organ or other method for appreciating such human gibberish as Justice, Equality, Common Sense, etc. But anyway, being human and full of gibberish myself, occasionally it gets mightily on my wick.

For example, followers of this blog may have noticed that on Sunday evening I went down under the weight of 1 (one) uterus (bijou, several previous short-term tenants, unusual architecture, must be seen to be appreciated) having an internal (and external) haemorrhage and thereby rending itself in the gobberwarts, see if it doesn’t. I limped back into work on Wednesday, still in considerable discomfort, hoovering down pain-pills like Smarties, or rather, in the manner I’d like to eat Smarties given half a chance, only to find the office semi-deserted and those denizens still in residence lying about in various stages of malaise.

It bodes well, doesn’t it?

So, I, keeping in mind that I am trying not to double over or faint, to my intense astonishment find myself landed with extra shifts to cover for everyone else, while the people I’m supposed to be on shift with alternatively

  1. announce their sore throat is just too awful and go home early (to be fair, this may have been true),
  2. complain about the effects of nervous stress on their immune system while I do most of the heavy lifting,
  3. have hangovers,
  4. don’t want to do anything that would aggravate their wrist, which was sore last week after all,
  5. explain to me in great detail just how awful their headache is (I want brownie points for not pointing out that when I have my most awful headaches, I can’t actually speak at all),
  6. fail to turn up altogether.

Does the fact that I am pea-green and walking about like an L-square mean nothing to anybody? The frequent and prolonged trips to the Ladies with my bag, large and obvious as it is? The taking of many, many drugs? Anyone? Bueller?

Also, one day, I will take slightly too many pills and point out to my boss that, actually, if I stayed in bed every day my uterus pitched a fit, I’d miss over a week of work a month, so ‘it’s nice that you feel all better!’, even if you mean it very kindly, is possibly not the ideal remark to make to me when I am scrabbling about in my desk drawer for some ibuprofen to wash down with the soluble cocodamol fizzing away before the both of us.

Never mind. Tomorrow will be better. And next week I won’t be going to work at all and they’ll all have to make do without me and my almighty biceps.

Meanwhile, the NHS has been batting my PA (H) about like a cat faced with a hamster in a ball. Eventually, he cornered and spoke to some kind of facsimile of a human being who, well, I’d like to use the word ‘confessed’ but ‘boasted’ is probably more like it, that the reason we hadn’t heard anything yet about our follow-up appointment with Miss Consultant – the one we watched her make notes about all over my paperwork back in February, the one to discuss the adenomyosis and any further recurrent pregnancy loss testing, yes, that quite important appointment that Miss Consultant noted on my notes – well, the reason we hadn’t heard anything about it was because it hadn’t been booked. Despite the notes. How does October suit us?

(It doesn’t. We were supposed to be seeing Miss Consultant at the end of May, which is already over three months after the previous appointment).

I wish I could blame the Tories for this, but alas Labour were still in power when Miss Consultant’s staff ignored her very fucking clear and surprisingly legible request that I be booked for another visit three months thence.

Also, if, as the supercilious jobsworth H dealt with explained, the RMC is understaffed and overbooked and has waiting lists out the wazoo, why in fucking fuck isn’t the NHS spending more cash on RMCs? Elsewhere in Britain hospitals are going delirious with the amount of noughts they can fit on a cheque and buying computer systems no one has a clue how to use, and no one has a clue how to keep data confidential on, so the whole thing ends up overbudget and, crucially, still in its bubble-wrap. Why, the local RCM could probably get a clinic manager who can read for the system-designers’ biscuits-and-tea budget alone.

I am 35 on Monday. I do not have time for this ‘handle your own borked innards/recurrent loss’ crap. I. Do not. Have. Time.

Charming Gardeners

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom” — Marcel Proust.

This cycle, this two-week-wait just gone, I was Not Hopeful. Unlike the previous cycle, I had no interesting or vaguely-could-be-pregnanty symptoms to mess with my head, my breasts went back to sleep a few days ago, no nausea, no sudden hatred of mayonnaise. My temperature started dropping on day 11. My main feeling was one of irritation, because, really, we’d had so much sex (oh, which was a bonus all by itself, admittedly) and it had all been so beautifully timed, but, argh. No dice. On 11dpo I took a pregnancy test (a super-sensitive 10 mIU cut-off one. It could’ve picked up the pregnancy of the last lady to pee in the water supply before it was filtered, chlorinated, and pumped back through my tap), it was negative no matter what angle I held it at, so I checked I had plenty of tampons and painkillers and adopted the Brace Position. Because I like being braced, and I don’t like getting my hopes up only to have them dashed into the gutter and danced-up-and-down on.

H was playing ‘it ain’t over til the fat lady screams,’ and politely ignoring my updates re: uncooperative breast-tissue and dropping temperatures. This is half touchingly sweet, and half utterly infuriating. Infuriating, because then I feel that when the Crimson Menace sweeps majestically in-shore I am dashing his hopes and dancing up-and-down on them.

Perhaps I should stop projecting quite so much.

My main concern was that the Cute Ute would be in full-blown hysterics over the weekend, and as I had Friend Plans for the weekend, I really really didn’t want to spend any of it with a 1000-yard stare, mute, in a heap, or puking. I had socialising to do, dammit. But Cute Ute was feeling benevolent, and let me have a 13-day luteal phase, bless her. I felt positively spry on Saturday, and on Sunday, I’d only just started spotting and a steady intake of the mild version of cocodamol was keeping me nice and comfortable and, what’s more, talkative and sociable.

(Today, it has taken me eight hours to write this much of this post because I keep having to stop and go foetal for an hour or two. Heigh ho).

Anyway, on Friday evening, the fabulous Ben and her adorable husband arrived from Up North, to stay the weekend, and we got out the booze and talked very very much indeed for a very long time and eventually staggered off to our various beds.

The ostensible point of the weekend was for a bunch of Internet Weirdos, who Weirdly Met on the Internet about ten (was it ten? Ten-ish?) years ago and *gasp* all turned out to be more or less who they said they were, to check we all still existed and were none of us avatars or reptilians, and, being mostly British, get pie-eyed in a suitably large hostelry. We did go round a major art gallery first, or, at least, some of us did, because we’re all terribly clever and cultured. And then we, that is, H and Ben and her adorable husband and my Friend Who Knows Who She Is (hi, Sol!), talked our collective heads off in the enormo-pub until at least two of us (oh, alright, I was one) were finding the noise and tiredness was beginning to make whole brain circuits fizzle, spark and pop.

(I adore my friends, but oy, I am so bad at loud noises and crowds)

(Also, a man on a stag-night asked Sol and me to spank the groom. Errr, no?)

Sunday was even more marvellous, because I got to keep Ben and her adorable husband and Sol and S, and we were joined by Ann, and we had brunch and we had talking-where-we-could-hear-each-other, and look! Look! My internet friends all like each other! This is cool!

Not cool, damn that unpronounceable volcano spelt Eyjafjallajokull, was the cancelling of Ben and Co’s flight back Up North, so they had to go early *sob* and catch a sodding expensive train instead *sob*.

And, I confess, by mid-afternoon my back was sore and it was beginning to rain, so I commandeered the remnants of the party and dragged them back to my place for tea and cake and more tea. This meant I could lie on the floor, which was soothing, and be immensely entertained by Sol and Ann, who are both ladies with extremely excellent conversational skills.

And Ann, who couldn’t be more fabulous, brought home-made fudge (squee!) and home-laid eggs (squee again!) and a birthday present for me (SQUEEEEEE!) which I am keeping on the kitchen table to admire because she wrapped it in the paper I remember telling her once I thought was particularly cute. I shall open it on my birthday, with immense ceremony, and spending a week looking forward to that is going to test my Dealyed Gratification circuits to their utmost. Whereas the fudge is nearly all gone, alas. I am trying to eat most of it, but H keeps interfering, on the monstrously sophistical grounds that he likes fudge even more than I do. Bah.

Anyway. My birthday is also the anniversary of my first miscarriage, and my uterus is pulling its usual nail-bomb-in-pelvis stunt, and I should be a little melting puddle of self-pity right now, but the weekend has made me so happy, so very, very happy. Thank you, you guys. I don’t deserve you, but I’m very glad none of you have cottoned on to this yet.


I’m tired. Everyone at work is either on leave or off sick, and I am doing overtime and extra dealing-with-hysterical-students-who-have-exams duty, and it’s exhausting. And not particularly rewarding. I’m tired and peeved when I get to work, and tired and peeved when I get home again. My commute takes me over an hour each way – do you think this helps? I don’t.

And anyway, it’s the two week wait, and I am sick of two week waits, and I am sick of vapouring on and on about my aching breasts and suddenly being covered in blue veins and how I’ve developed this strong desire to club each and every smoker I pass to the ground with a bucket of Thames water. It happens every two-week-wait and it’s boring and stressful every two-week-wait and incidentally, H himself is getting his knickers in a twist this month, poor sod.


I shall think of something clever and interesting to say tomorrow. Or maybe next week. Or eventually. It’s too close to midnight and I am tired. Did I mention that?

It’s a little messy round here.

Item – Are you guys sick of ‘item’ posts yet? Tough.

Item – Still using H’s computer while H watches the F1 Grand Prix preliminaries and eats dried banana chips next door. (Dried banana chips! What human on the planet willingly eats dried banana chips? Apart from H. And you, whoever you are, reading this. You’re all weird).

Item – We take the laptop to the Lap-Top Doctor this afternoon. Please Universe this’ll be quick and non-stressy. Not good at stress this week.

Item – British Elections – So, the Conservatives got in with such a tiny majority it’s still a minority, and we all get to run around unGoverned for a few more days while Clegg tried to work out whether sucking up to Cameron (hypocritical smooth bastard, had been sneering at Lib Dems for entire campaign), sucking up to Brown (wounded Grizzly), or maintaining firm and independent jut of jaw would be the least catastrophic for his party’s electibility next time round. I very much hope he tells Cameron to stuff it sideways up his own right nostril. But then, I’m left wing. Your mileage may vary.

Item – If that made no sense to you, then welcome to the British Electoral System. No, really, you’re welcome to it.

Item – However, any Americans attempting to be patronising about our quaint little ways will be sarcasmed limb from limb. I’ve had a face-full of this in Real Life and I am done with it. I will mention Florida. I will mention Newt Gingrich and his inability to understand the words ‘ United States of America Birth Certificate’. You have been warned.

Item – But let us leave the divisive and unpleasant topic of politics [what? you brought it up, May] and return to the wonders of my uterus and ovary.

Item – I ovulated on Monday. Day 20. I aten’t dead! She sayeth among the trumpets, ha ha!

Item – It has just occurred to me that my period is now due to start Sunday week. Hello, dear people who are coming to lunch next Sunday, I am so glad it’s you and I won’t have to think of a good explanation for why I am looping-the-loop on codeine or locked in the bathroom peering obsessively at little wee-stained sticks. In fact, thank God you lot are giving me something else to think about. Do you like aubergines?

Item – I note, with wry astonishment, that I now no longer think of pregnancy as an impossible, unobtainable, fantasy. It just means a slightly longer wait before I get to start in on the codeine.

Item – Christ, that last item was cynical and bleak, wasn’t it?

Item – I am not in the best head-space right now. The fact that I always, religiously, give up coffee in the 2 week wait is NOT HELPING.