Monthly Archives: August 2010

Wastes of time

Item – FIL – you remember FIL had an accident at work and broke himself? – is still in hospital, and will need surgery all over again, as the shattered bones have shifted out of alignment. H and I are both strongly suspicious that this is almost certainly because FIL disregarded all medical advice and leapt out of bed like a cricket with ADHD. Not that FIL has confessed to doing any such thing, but seriously? We know the man. He wasn’t supposed to go home until tomorrow in the very best of circumstances and yet was happily telling people he’d be back at work on Thursday. With his limbs held together with multiple (multiple! FFS!) rods and any number of screws and widgets, like a moveable IKEA shelving unit. So, yes, he probably got up and attempted, I don’t know, car-tire changing or a little light sword-dancing. Gah.

Item – MIL was supposed to be visiting us at the end of September. I still don’t know if she will or not. So I would like to know if she’s still coming or not, so I can a) scrub the flat from floor to ceiling and end to end with bleach and sugar-soap, as MIL is tidy and house-proud and I’d be perfectly happy living in a swamp; and b) refuse or accept any of several, several invitations to cultural or artistic events of great importance, issued by people who are very dear to me, that will coincide with MIL’s visit. Wherefore c) H and I are supposed to be on holiday for two whole weeks starting next Monday, and will not be in a position to accept/refuse/scour anything on account of not being here. But MIL can hardly tell us now what she’ll be doing in four weeks’ time, as it all depends on FIL. Naturally. So I am in limbo. Common sense would tell me to scrub the flat anyway, as it has been a while since I last panicked about its social acceptability. Bother common sense.

Item – Incidentally, I am old. I went to an 18th birthday party at the weekend. I remember going to see the fireworks with the wee laddie when he was three. He loved the flashes and lights but was scared of the bangs, so I, being a brand-new responsible and caring adult myself, took him on my lap and put my hands firmly over his ears, and he was (to the surprise of his parents) perfectly happy. He has no business being several inches taller than me, drinking beer and waving his provisional driving licence about. He has grown up into an extremely nice, talented and sweet-tempered young man, bless him, but 18? Him? Already? And no longer running around in his bright-yellow romper-suit?

Item – I am being driven madder than Mad Jack McMad at work. They (you know, They. Closely related to Them. Every company has some) are renovating, and therefore entertaining themselves by drilling holes into the steel joists right underneath us. The noise is so unbelievably loud and all-conquering that I can feel my teeth chattering with the vibration. I think if I screamed out loud every time the drill started up no one would hear or notice. It’s that bad.

Item – Given that I am old and mad and disgruntled and deaf, it must be PMS time. Admittedly, I save the worst of my hormonally-driven raging whackjobbery for ovulation, because I like being odd, but still. Period due on Thursday. Possibly Wednesday (ie tomorrow). Because I ovulated on a Friday, possibly Thursday nearly two weeks ago (Satsuma was a little unclear about it, which is odd for her, and deeply disconcerting for me. We’re flying on basal body temperature and CM alone, here), and because I feel crampy, and because I have a 12 or 13 day luteal phase, underachiever that I am. If it does turn out to be an 11-day luteal phase I shall be really quite annoyed. How’s anyone supposed to settle down and make themselves at home in 11 days?

Item – In order to be absolutely utterly sure that I would not miss another pregnancy and that I would Save It With Aspirin! Yes! I have been peeing on sticks since 9 dpo. Negative, with evaporation line to gnash teeth over, which disappeared after an hour anyway. Negative. Negative. Damn. Fuck and alas.

Item – BBT falling, check. Cramps, check. Overwhelming desire to eat chocolate ice-cream, check. Did I mention three negative pregnancy tests in a row? Really really sensitive 10 mIU/mL ones? At least we can get on with booking car-hire and some hotels for our holiday. Right? Because we won’t need to be anywhere near any RPL clinics this September? Right? Right?

Item – And for added mind-fuckery goodness, I still have metal-mouth, occasional transient nausea and achey breasts. Transient nausea and smell sensitivity I seem to get every luteal phase, so we shall discard them. The metal-mouth is… worrying. As are the breasts being still in the game. Normally, by day 11, they have totally given up and gone home.

Item – H hates it when my body acts like this. He’s gone off to sit in the next room, rocking back and forth a tad and looking at nice logical comprehensible cameras online.


Oh, for f*ck’s sake

This week’s gone a bit… pear-shaped. I was going to have a jolly old bitchathon about 6 dpo, already nauseous and heart-burny, also, achey itchy breasts. 6dpo! 6! My progesterone levels have no sense of proportion.

But then my Father-in-Law fell at work and ended up with a compound fracture requiring surgery.

Oy fucking vey.

No idea what this does to any plans. No idea if we’ll be spending our holidays in a nice hotel or in the In-Laws’ spare room. No idea how MIL will cope, or how MIL will cope with her in-laws coping with their son being all borked, or how H will cope with his family’s coping skills either. Ridiculous thing to fret about, but I have no idea if MIL and FIL will visit us next month as planned or not, and if they’ll need our bed if they do (the spare is a fold-out futon right down on the floor. Oh, fuck it, if they come they’ll be in our room, that’s certain. Where oh where to hide the Japanese erotica? (kidding. Or am I? Of course I am. I wouldn’t dream of hiding the erotica).

No idea if the In-Laws will be OK or will need our financial support – FIL is self-employed, and already took weeks and weeks off to recuperate from open-heart surgery last February. Self-employed people don’t get sick leave. H and I do have some savings, so we can help. Especially as it looks like we probably won’t need the money for IVF after all, given my lively young ovary and my current penchant for getting pregnant every few months.

We’re spending the evening staring at the telephone, waiting for news.

Idle speculation

Item – I think, I think, Satsuma put out on Friday. We’d even had some of that sex my fertility doctors have been going on and on and on about.

Item – So that’s OK then.

Item – *Counts days repeatedly on fingers, glares at calendar*

Item – H and I were going to go on holiday for the first couple of weeks in September. H is now too nervous to book anything in case something happens. Hell, so am I. We were planning on visiting my Dad and listening to him rant on about immigrants and/or the Sixties for hours on end while being kippered to buggery by his incessant bloody smoking, the wood-stove, and the odour of wet dog. We were planning to stay in a nice hotel afterwards to recuperate. We were planning on lots of hiking and possibly some ferries and general remoteness. If (it’s a big if, so IF (did anyone mention a one in six chance per cycle? I’m sure I read that somewhere (mind you, me, hah hah, since I stopped arsing about with Clomid last summer I’ve been impregnanted four times in ten cycles, so how d’ya like them eggrolls?)) – where was I? Oh yes. IF I am in a delicate condition, I will need to be attending The Professor’s clinic sharpish, for more goddamn buggeration blood-tests and so on. Being 450 miles away will be… unhelpful. Not to mention the whole ‘what the hell do we do if it all starts going tits-up?’ enfrettlement, half-way up a moor in a fog out of phone range like-as-not, surrounded by wet sheep and bracken. And stoats.

Item – I am inclined to say the hell with it and book hotels anyway, because if I spend the first couple of days of September being disappointed, miserable, and stoned, as I probably will, I will certainly need some crisp white sheets and room service to get over it.

Item – Chickens, unhatched, countie countie.

Item – Samantha Cameron gave birth today, a few weeks early. It was the Big Sole Topic of Conversation in the office all afternoon. Which cheered me up no end, as you can all imagine. On the whole, though, I am grateful to Mrs Cameron for having (safely) got the whole thing out of the way now. I think watching the media go into a feeding-frenzy the same week Zombryo was supposed to be due would have done fucking wonders for my temper.

The other name game

Having thoroughly considered children’s names, I then innocently said:

Of course, we also have to discuss what our children should call us…

This may seem a non-issue to many, but I was brought up to call my parents (and grand-parents) by their first names – I realise this is fairly unusual for biological parents, although interestingly step-parents often automatically fall into this category.

May’s instant reaction though was to tearfully respond:

I’m not going through this hell to not have someone call me ‘mummy’

Ah. It seems I was right there is a need to discuss, but (as usual) I hadn’t realised it would be an emotional issue.

There is a specific reason why this first name approach was adopted in my family. It dates back to when I was a babe, and my grandmother started calling my mother ‘mum’, as in ‘Mum, does H need his nappy changed?’ (! ). Understandably this rather freaked my mother out.

I don’t think that the parents calling us ‘mum’ weirdness is likely to be replicated in this generation. However, I actually quite like the first name thing and really feel awkward having to refer to my parents by some form of ‘mum’/’dad’. The only mild disadvantage has been that I’m so used to it I automatically refer to them by first names to friends and unless they know they won’t understand I mean one of my parents.

So, what are the options? Can a compromise be reached? Will our relationship survive? [stop being over melodramatic – ed]

It’s an issue that has caused some debate, concern, sanctimoniousness and downright scary advice:

1. It is essential that your child show respect for your role as a parent. If your child attempts to blur that parent-child relationship by calling you by your first name, put a stop to it. 2. A child usually has many friends, but usually only one or two parents at home. Parents need to demand respect for the important role they are playing in their child’s life. [my emphasis, but honestly… it really comes across as ‘if they dare… slap ’em down’! ]

‘Disrespectfulness’ is often cited (in varying degrees of rationality), which I must confess I don’t really get (although in some cultures it might be, I guess) – kids can and will find ways to be disrespectful no matter what they call their parents.

I’m going to reserve the rest of my thoughts and feelings and our ideas/conclusions for a follow-up post [you’re such a tease – ed] as I’d like to hear May’s readers’ opinions, experiences, anecdotes and wise words first.

Hourly diary: 20th of August

I saw this on Twangy’s blog. Twangy, of course, did it in pictures, because she is genius. I can’t draw for nuts and I don’t even own a scanner, so I am doing it in words. This’ll work in words, right?

[Can’t draw for nuts! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!]

I have no idea why I am doing anything so very solipsistic, except that someone once commented (on this blog? On another blog? On their own blog? Can I be arsed to hunt the mention down in the dark backward and abysm of time?) that they liked details about people’s real lives, as well as all the stuff about Barren Woebollocky Dreariness? So, I suppose, this post is for you, whoever you are. (If you know who you are, could you enlighten us? Kthxbai).

It’s Friday the 20th of August. Some few details possibly should have been changed, to protect ma identiteh! Heigh ho.

  • 7am – The radio alarm flicks on to Radio 4 and the Today Programme. I am woken up by Justin Webb saying ‘Excuse me, that’s not the right piece of paper,’ before suavely moving on. This amuses me immensely.
  • 8am – I have taken my laptop back to bed with me and am reading blogs while drinking tea. This is decidedly unusual for me. Normally, by 8am on a weekday, I am in the shower or wandering around the kitchen half-dressed or even sitting in the living-room reading blogs when I should be in the shower (bad habit, that). But today, I am on a late shift at work, so…
  • 9 am – H is in the shower. I am reading a knitting magazine in the nude while waiting for him to get out of my way. Normally, I’d be fully clothed (alas not fully functional. Not before 10) and on my way to work. This is bliss! Haha!
  • 10 am – I am walking all the way to Nappy Valley, where all the gift-shops, cafés and yummy mummies live, to buy this gosh-darned present for V at last. Oh, I never told you guys – I went to John Lewis’s Baby Department a couple of weeks ago, to buy this sodding gift, and ended up standing in a bewilderment of light-up-and-dance infant entertainment centres and lurid plastic chew-toys, holding a machine-washable teddy in one hand and a baby-gro with elephants in hats on in the other, listening to all these happy bulging families choosing cribs, and thinking ‘JESUS FUCKING CHRIST GET ME OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW.’ I rationalised this, eventually, to, well, V’s baby is less than a month old. All he wants is nursing and cleaning and cuddling, and a teddy is not going to provide any of that, so I may as well ignore him and all this revoltingly coloured plastic tat and get a gift exclusively for V. Who is a grown-up lady. So. That is what I am on my way to do at 10 am on a Friday morning.
  • 11am – Help help I am trapped in a never-ending conversation about facial skin with the owner of the fancy toiletries shop.
  • 12am – Just getting on the train to work. The train is half-empty. This is also a pleasant novelty. Normally I do this journey at 8:50 am while being choked by the fumes of 27 different brands of deodorant and trying not to fall against the person wedged in front of me every time the carriage sways.
  • 1pm – I’ve been at work for 10 minutes now, and I am checking my emails and eating a sandwich I bought on the walk from Great Big Station. Nearly everyone else in the office has gone to lunch. I am tempted to have a quick peep at my blog and see if anyone has left any comments. Ooh! Comments!
  • 2pm – Have just discovered that all the previous editions of a book have been miscatalogued, so I am in the stacks trying to find them all so I can rip their spine-labels off and get them re-done correctly. Because it would be nice, would it not, if you could find all the copies of a given book in the same place rather than scattered over three floors according to the whim of my predecessors? I am also multi-tasking by thinking uncharitable thoughts about my predecessors.
  • 3pm – The Maintence Team are back in the office above us and are, I think, given the noise, battering a king-sized nipple gong to metallic smithereens with a complex hammer-and-drill ensemble. One of my colleagues is wandering pathetically round the office, begging for a paracetamol. I gave him my last one yesterday, when Maintence were still merely smashing the walls apart. Any minute now, something disastrous is going to happen.
  • 4pm – Yep, they sawed through the electricals, and now there are no working lights in any of the corridors on our floor. I am counting the minutes, nay, the seconds, until my tea-break. Also indulging in a virtuoso display of presentee-ism, as I can’t effing think with all the effing drilling going on above me. But I can stare at a cataloguing record with apparent intent for minutes on end.
  • 5pm – Have just been queuing in the post office to send V her parcel of scented ‘new mama’ bath goodies. No incidents of note occurred. I am now in a café, drinking tea out of a paper cup, and writing frantically in my diary (the paper version, with all the indiscreet bitching in). (Twangy Pearl, if you’re reading this, you know which café, and indeed, which table!). Today, I am mostly bitching about the fact my ovary is still on strike. Probably. Damn it. ARGH.
  • 6pm – Back at work. I am spending the evening on the Desk, helping our ‘patrons’ with their bibliotechnical questions, rather than up in my nice safe sequestered office. So far, I have been mostly giving people directions to other departments whose job it is to deal with lost passwords, deadline extensions, student bar opening hours, and laboratory equipment. Eventually I clamber over the desk to check that the sign still says ‘Library’ and not ‘I Know Everything! Ask Me Anything!’
  • 7pm – Still at the Desk. Am reading the Guardian online. So are my shift-colleagues. Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful.
  • 8pm – Again, you’ve missed all the excitement, as we roamed the library telling the patrons that we meant it when we said we were closing. I am now merely going round turning all the lights off. As I lock the front door, one last person scuttles out past me, making me damn near wet myself in terror. We had checked every floor – where the buggery fuck was he hiding?
  • 9pm – Nearly home. Just walking the last little bit through the quiet dusk. A few weeks ago, it was still light at this time. Have ‘Oh God, Time is fleeting, what the hell happened to the summer?’ soliloquy as I go.
  • 10pm – Footling about online again, as H has put the first episode of Dollhouse on, and I watched it already, so I can safely tune out. I love my laptop. It lets me (nearly) ignore everything and everyone from the next armchair. H hands me a large glass of red wine.
  • 11pm – Am having spirited conversation with Ann via F*c*B**k IM. We decide ‘PMSL’ is an outmoded and now boring way of telegraphing extreme amusement. I point out I have never PMSL in my life. I have, however, fallen off a chair and ended up lying on the floor in hiccoughs. Ann counters that she has been known to choke on her coffee. Pause. Then Ann types COCFOC! And the viral marketing campaign to spread a new, improved acronym is on! COCFOC, people! COCFOC! Remember, you read it here first! COCFOC!
  • 12pm – I am brushing my teeth. This is very boring.
  • 1 am – What do you mean, why am I still awake? Of course I’m still awake! I’m a professional insomniac! One who has Drunk Wine, too! I’m going to lie here in the dark listening to H’s gentle breathing (nice change, that. He has been known to do vigorous snorting instead) for hours and hours, thinking deep and meaningful thought….. zzzz

Grinding of teeth

Item – It has been a shitey week.

Item – So I topped it off with a migraine this morning. ‘Ray!

Item – Lack of sleep, especially night after night of it, will do that to a girl.

Item – As will being on shouty stressy raging terms with one’s husband.

Item – The In-Laws summoned us to their bosom for the weekend, you see. H and I were already having a tense, arsey, my-job-is-really-stressful-oh-really?-well-my-life-is-really-stressful communication misfire thing building up. What? It happens in the best of marriages (which mine is). Anyway. We went to the In-Laws, and I was being ungracious about it, because I, not being one to hold a grudge or anything, am still a teeny weeny eeny squeeny bit hacked off about the last time I saw them all and they all had a collective tact-and-sense FAIL.

Item – The In-Laws, for unfathomable reasons of their own (who knows? They might have been good reasons. But I am not privy to them) were all in a complicated assortment of weird and/or bad moods. So doing anything, anything at all, turned into an anxst-fest. Starting with whether eight adults in one house for four hours would overwhelm the plumbing (what? No. No they won’t. Sheesh), segueing through barbecue planning (anxst! aaaanxst!), and skirting round the ‘grandmama is much thinner and frailer than she was a couple of months ago, and thinks it’s November. Um…’ Nursing Home Visit sequelae.

Item – And we were sleeping in a converted garage. Why, yes, it was cold, damp, and like being trapped in a steel drum at the Notting Hill Carnival when the heavy rain started. Why, no, I didn’t sleep much. Eh.

Item – Did not ovulate. Satsuma has turned bunny-girl. She’ll dance about in stockings and a bustier, but she won’t put out. I preferred her when she was being an obedient little whore.

Item – While Satsuma was busy being a rotten little tease, H and I were going through a sticky patch, or, rather, not a sticky patch (see what I did there? I’m so freakin’ funny) what with the Forced March Sexathon, which made me feel panicky, because WHAT IF I OVULATE? HUH? HUH? WHAT THEN? Did this help with the lack of sleep? Marital harmony? General stressening? What do you think?

Item – This is not an issue I can really say anything further about, because, you know, I actually like and respect my husband. I do know I have been behaving like an utter bitch about it, and H deserves better.

Item – Mind you, I deserve better. What I got, was a stressed H, who if spending time with his parents while both parents are acting jinky, tends to emulate said parents. Chosen coping strategies of clan H tend to be Control-Freakery, Passive-Aggressiveness and good ol’ Ignoring The Problem Until It Either Goes Away Or Goes Nuclear. Alas for H, the chosen coping strategies of Clan May are Claiming-All-Responsibility, In-Your-Face-Aggessiveness and good ol’ Following The Person Room From Room Yelling And Bitching Until They Actually Pay Attention.

Item – I’m not sure who won the argument. H is being nice to me and I am having migraines and generally carrying on like the heroine of a gothic novel. Possibly H won. Who knows?

I’ve sprained my scowling muscle

Since Wednesday, I have, variously, had headache, had dinner with relations, had headache, gone down to stay with the In-Laws for a few days, survived staying with the In-Laws for a few days, returned home late last night, had yet another headache. I have not had sex.

And I haven’t ovulated yet. It’s day 29 of this cycle. Satsuma has already thrown several fake-out wobblies and has now spent the last (sexless) week shouting ‘I’m going to pop any minute now! I promise! Any minute now!’ I’m… not best pleased about all this.

Also, I have fought (more than once. Oy vey) with husband, cried, not had much sleep for several nights running, and said to myself, repeatedly, with heavy irony, ‘ooh, I wonder why I can’t get rid of this sodding headache‘.

Incidentally, the toe I broke a couple of months ago? Aches in cold wet weather. Yes, I know August is not normally the time one’d find this kind of thing out, but this is August in Britain.

Would very much like to buy a large bottle of port and a king-sized tub of Ben&Jerry’s Chocolate Macademia (what? It’s FAIRTRADE) and barricade myself into my room.