Cold comfort

I went back to work this morning. Work was mostly deserted. I spent a good half of the day chasing all over the various offices to get someone, anyone to cover my afternoon shifts for me today and tomorrow so I could go to my medical appointments. By the time I had to leave, I was astonished to realise I’d actually made a fair ol’ dent in the intray. How?

My boss cornered me as soon as she got in, so she could say, quietly, that she was very sorry about what happened. And then she sighed, and added sadly ‘it’s just not fair.’ And I damn near burst into tears of gratitude. Managed to restrain myself from begging her to visit my family and give them lessons in Appropriate Responses.

I left early, to go and see The Professor again, for our WTF just happened? appointment. The clinic was busy, and we had to wait for over half-an-hour, which I wasn’t bothered by as we were rather jammed into the schedule there because of Circumstance, but which The Professor nevertheless apologised for. Huh. The NHS don’t apologise for any wait under 90 minutes. Ask me how I know.

But that was, really, the best of it. Not that The Professor had anything Scary-Bad to announce. But she didn’t really have anything else to offer either. Basically, she reasons:

  1. Eurydice was lost so very goddamn early, that she (The Professor) is quite sure it was a chromosonal problem. Basically, the cells went divide, divide, implant, divide, shit we’ve lost the instructions, tank.
  2. This kind of very early loss is ‘normal’, in that it happens to ‘normal’ people, and doesn’t indicate any actual chromosonal problem in the parents. Making eggs and sperm is complicated, you know. So there’s no reason not to keep trying and no reason to suppose anything will be wrong with the next embryo. And H and I are both chromosonally normal, you see. We have a bit of paper to prove it. Later H and I talked about it, and decided Zombryo, who tried so hard to hang on for so long, was possibly the only chromosonally normal embryo we’ve had. Maybe Pikaia was too. Sometimes anembryonic ‘pregnancies’ were embryonic at one point, but the embryo got reabsorbed, as can happen when they stop developing before six or seven weeks. But the others? All amazingly fucking early miscarriages. Therefore, by The Professor’s logic, all chromosonal screw-ups, and not Starved Out By Clottiness. Which is rather a high attrition-rate of Screw-Up. So I do not feel The Professor’s optimism on this one at all.
  3. The Professor is confident that aspirin is the right treatment for us, I did the right thing in taking it, and next time, I must take it again as soon as I see the second pink (or, possibly, blue, but I favour pink tests) line. Naturally, she will at that juncture re-do my clotting panel blood tests to see if I need heparin as well.
  4. We firmly broached the subject of my stupid short luteal phase and my stupid late ovulation. The Professor is quite quite certain that drugs to stimulate ovulation are not for me (well, you and me both, Prof.). She is also perfectly certain that the quality of my eggs and my luteal phase is being affected by my weight (fucking fucking arsing fuck), and that the more I lose, the more my cycles will shorten and my luteal phase will lengthen and my eggs will improve in quality and my risks of miscarrying again will go down. But very well done for losing the weight I have already lost. (At this point H tried to discuss the fact that after I lost a stone, my cycles went haywire, but then I had the cyst, and The Professor looked at him in blank incomprehension, and we all took a detour through the history of my reproductive tract, and we agreed we’d let the NHS clinic look for cysts tomorrow, as arranged, and H’s point about the weight-loss not necessarily doing jack-shit in terms of improving my hormonal balance got… drowned. (But then, I think my cycles went haywire because of the cyst and my weight-loss in the end had nothing to do with it either way) (None of this answers the perenial wailing in my heart of ‘ but women who weigh 50 pounds more than I do get pregnant easily and carry to term. What the fuck, Universe?’).
  5. So, said the Professor genially, carry on trying.

We all shook hands, and The Professor said kind things about this latest loss being so frustrating and difficult for us, and positive things about 2011 being our year, and then we trooped out to reception to pay the bill, which felt a bit, well, what have we just spent this money on exactly?

In News Of The Innards, I’m pretty sure I ovulated on the evening of the 1st of January (my God, Satsuma was in fine stabbing form – is this a good sign?). And H and I have been at it like knives since Christmas. Seriously. Like knives. Grief is a funny thing. (Note to H – remember how your wife turns into a raging harpy in the lead up to ovulation and you inevitably end up having a row? Usually about the whole ‘but I might be ovulating why are you avoiding me‘ thing? Did you notice how that didn’t happen this time? Do you think it could have had anything to do with all the sex? Because she does (*wink wink*)).


11 responses to “Cold comfort

  • Betty M

    All sounds quite convincing I suppose but it is one of the deep deep frustrations of this whole area that there is so much they just don’t bloody know or even if they do, that they have zero clue how to change. (Stamps feet in frustration at the injustice of it all.)

    In assvice corner I can’t remember what the ivf boards’ top tips for better egg quality were – and obviously any such tips would be backed up by hard science (snort) – but I am sure they included water, protein and brazil nuts in large quantities.

    Hopefully the late 2010/early 2011 shagathon will be the one you have been waiting for.

  • a

    So you’ve had karyotyping done, then? That’s good to find any obvious mutations that might be causing you problems. Now, are you going to get that monitored cycle to see what your hormones and Satsuma are doing? I know weight can affect that sort of thing, but so can a million other factors.

    As far as chromosomal abnormalities, my doctor also claims that they are very common. I think the problem for someone like you is that you’ve been monitoring things so closely for so long, you see/feel things that the average woman would just ignore. So you know you’re pregnant well before it would register on most women’s radar. Which leads to heartache when it all goes to hell, rather than a “Huh, well, that was weird. My period was a few days late AND I had food poisoning at the same time. You’d think I was pregnant or something” response that another person would have. I’m guessing this is where that “Just relax and it will happen” asinine advice comes from.

    January was a good month for us to make a baby…and September/October is a fine time to give birth. Fingers crossed…

  • Quiet Dreams

    I have absolutely no words of wisdom in the babymaking realm.

    And, yes, Universe, what the fuck?

  • bionicbrooklynite

    apologizing after only half an hour? i’d double-check that she really has a medical license.

    also, well done, H. that wasn’t so bad, was it?

  • Laurel

    If I understand correctly, I think I see where the Professor is coming from. She thinks that your previous miscarriages were caused by the clotting issue; but *this* one, since you were taking the aspirin and did not need the heparin, she attributes to a more common type of chromosomal blip that every woman likely experiences without knowing (but you, as a. noted, did know, because you have every cause to pay good attention). With possibly the weight thing throwing some extra confusion and issues into the mix.

    Of course, the only way to know if she’s right is to try, try again; so, easy for her to say. But at least the fundamental part of trying is going quite smoothly! In terms of the outcome … I am wishing you your heart’s desire in 2011.

  • runnyyolk

    I’m so sorry… but you’re funny, so that’s good. Er… well it’s something right?

  • Amy P


    *raises glass*

    Here’s to a pregnancy that ends because its been 9 months since it started.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Reading the phrase ‘divide, divide, implant, divide, shit weve lost the instructions, tank.’ has made my year.


  • The Sheila

    Dr Sher from SIRM published an article today on luteal phase defects that you might be interested in?

  • twangy

    Ah May – all very frustrating, and sad.

    Like HFF, am deeply impressed by your sense of humour (like knives, indeed! Of course, not like forks or other utensils) – heroic, you are, and nothing less!

  • Korechronicles

    I started laughing at the lost instructions as well. Thinking of you both and hoping that the medical advice combined with all the knife sharpening results in long-term success.

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