Category Archives: Clomid take 1 – little white pills of anxst

Spot the Hell-Hound

Spotting. Indeed. And cramps. Both getting slowly worse.

(Also, I now have H’s cold, though (so far), not quite as badly as him).

When I first saw the spotting, the pink smear on the toilet paper, I went over to H (we are both working from home today) and told him, and he hugged me and let me sigh in his ear. I muttered ‘at least the poor brat won’t be cursed with a Christmas birthday.’ And then I developed a headache and shuffled away to sulk it off in bed.

The problem with having cycles, even craptastic ones, is the tiny little not-quite-ghost each one generates. The October cycle and the fragment of a ghostelet due in the summer, the extra-long cycle whose wisp of possibility was just-as-I-finish-my-dissertation, the barely more possible sprite whose birthday would have probably been so close to his or her dad’s that maybe no one would have remembered poor H in the excitement. Gossamer things that barely exist, and that because I tried so very hard not to think about them.


I have a bad feeling about this

This morning, my temperature was right back down to the cover-line on my fertility (fertility! Hah! And double hah!) chart.

I have had vague, dull, pre-menstrual cramps and back-ache all day.

It is eleven days post ovulation.

*sigh*

Oh, and poor H is still ill, and so unbelievably full of cold he sounds like he’s talking into a bucket at the bottom of a duvet-filled well. We neither of us are getting much sleep.

Aaaaaand… back to the essays.


Damn, good, oh help and double-damn

Damn – H complained of a sore throat last night. I had a look, and yea, verily, the Tonsils of Doom had taken over. He is currently playing on his computer in the other room, in his dressing-gown with his hair sticking out at seventeen novel angles, having declined to spread Tonsils of Doom throughout his place of work. Poor lamb.

Good – Leaving work yesterday I bumped into a friend (hello! You know who you are), and we went off and had coffee together, which turned into a two-hour chat, and it was MARVELLOUS. We sat in the cold sunshine outside the cafe and dissected life, plumbing, husbands, work, studying, how other countries do things differently, her baby (due in the summer, and so very much a lovely happy thing to look forward to – I like babies), my lack of baby, the NHS and its funny little ways. Good GOD, but it’s nice to chat freely with someone, without editing myself or being braced for ‘difficult’ topics or assvice. So, thank you very much for that, my friend who knows who she is. I went home in an excellent mood and finished my job application in double-quick time, instead of wailing and moaning over it for hours as expected.

Oh Help – Did I mention the job application? It’s for Dream Job, which I first mentioned back in February – did I also mention dick-headed hoops of bureaucracy? Anyway, have now jumped through them all, except the job interview itself, and it would be morally wrong to assume I have the job interview despite all the encouraging and cuddly remarks Future Possible Boss has been making, so we wait, in case the Job Applicant From Heaven (as opposed to the other side of the office, like me) comes along. Having finished and sent off the job application, I now feel as if someone had filled all my clothes with fire-ants. Sit still? Concentrate on essays? Ah ha bloody ha.

Double-Damn – and just so the Not-Getting-Pregnant Drama doesn’t feel left out, I called the ACU this morning to get my 7dpo progesterone levels and my protocol for the next cycle. Well, heading this section Double-Damn was a bit of a give-away, isn’t it? None of you are expecting good news. 7dpo (though actually 6dpo, and this is THEIR FAULT, as they aren’t open for blood-draws on the weekend) progesterone, 29. I have no idea 29 what, exactly, but they prefer it to be 30. Nice Lady Wand-Monkey, who was giving me the news in her role of Nurse, Actually, said something or other about it being something or other to do with my ovulating more than a week later than ‘normal’. Fuck normal. I personally would point to my admittedly brief and wonky history of pathetically short luteal phases and say this is clearly normal for me. Anyway. As I clearly had ovulated and this is borderline too low, they think they’ll just do exactly the same again, 50mg of Clomid, that is, and, and this really is damn-it-to-arse annoying, monitor me every week this cycle too. How in crap am I going to explain that at work? I mean, one month’s worth of disappearing for scans, yes, I just muttered about hospital appointments and ‘remember the surgery I had last summer?’ and everyone was happy to leave it at that. But a whole ‘nother cycle?

I could simply come clean at work, but I don’t know if I dare, as I am applying for a job there, and while you and I know very well fertility treatment in no bloody way equals fertility, the Lay Person of Today does not know this and I really don’t want to banjax my career prospects over this, because if it doesn’t work, and I have no nice better job, I will be so utterly screwed it’s not even funny.


Time is not my friend

I haven’t been very talkative, have I? I am busy. I am writing. Writing essays takes TIME. Most of the TIME is spent looking things up I’m sure I read a few weeks ago that may or may not be relevant. Usually, they are spectacularly irrelevant, and I have clearly misremembered everything except the name of the author. Also, though a combination of my supreme pratt-headed ineptitude and H’s brisk desire to close all these darn browsers lying open all over my desk-top so as to get the damn computer to run properly, the half finished online job application was lost. And I am rewriting that too, as it’s due in on Monday. H is feeling bad about this, so I am feeling bad about this AND bad about H feeling bad as it wasn’t really his fault. Busy busy.

Anyway. In other news, Friday morning I went for my 7-day-post-ovulation scan and blood-test. To my persistent bewilderment everyone kept referring to it as ‘day 21′. It was actually day 31, and six-days-post, because the ACU doesn’t DO weekends. The ‘day 21′ thing was making me feel like a rather underachieving slacker. I was slightly late, because the bus had gone for a nap in traffic, and so of course I was booted to the back of the to-do list. This made me very much later for work than I said I’d be. Fret fret.

The scan itself was done by Nice Lady Wand-Monkey again, who was pleased to note a corpus luteum where the follicle had been, and a sensible uterine lining, which she measured, and I forgot to ask for details, but ‘sensible’ is her word and I am happy with it. She then explained that I could phone on Monday for my blood-test results and depending on those we can discuss the protocol for the next cycle – whether I need more Clomid, monitoring again, that sort of thing. And then she wished me luck and sent me off to get my blood drawn.

I didn’t have to wait very long in the blood draw waiting area, which is very good, as this is also the Ante-Natal clinic waiting area, a fact that never ceases to royally piss me off. Half-a-dozen elderly people swapping grandchild anecdotes, three pregnant women smiling away, and me. I was positively looking forward to being stabbed at that point. The phlebotomist however was very good and very gentle and also found a vein in my right arm, which is interesting, as my right arm has no veins at all and the blood circulates in it by osmosis alone. He confirmed who I was and what my blood was being drawn for, and when he’d taped cotton-wool over my puncture, he too said ‘good luck!’ and seemed to really mean it. After all, what reason on earth could a woman have for a ‘day 21′ progesterone test except That Reason, for which ‘good luck’ is an appropriate remark?

And I felt all moved and flustered.

And I charged madly back across town to work, late as hell and, having forgotten my mobile phone, AWOL into the bargain. Of course, everyone at work was worried that I might have ended up under a bus and not in the least bit cross with me, which was very touching too.

I lost it altogether on Friday evening. H was out at a work ‘do’, which seemd to involve getting rather drunk, and I planned my own private evening of debauchery to revolve around pizza and Torchwood. The pizza was good. Torchwood made me cry. The documentary on Thomas Tallis and William Byrd that preceeded it made me cry. I sat and wept at the telly all evening, in fact, and when H came back, somewhat tipsy and in an indecently good mood, he failed to notice I had been crying and so we had a row and I cried even harder.

I really am not dealing with the stress and grief of all this very well at all. Not least because I don’t have the TIME to deal with it.


Am moping. Send cappuccino.

I think I have definitely ovulated now. My body is doing all the Game Over symptoms. I think Saturday morning was probably IT, and my temperature was so low on Sunday because I woke up with the blankets half off me, blue with cold. But who can say.

I have booked my seven-days-post-ovulation wanding and blood-tests, for Friday. Not that Friday is seven days post, exactly, but the ACU is not open at weekends, and in any case, they believe the OPK more than they believe me and my shaky knowledge of Queen Satsuma. Who is probably smirking like the Cheshire Cat right now. I could shake her by the non-existant shoulders until her non-existant teeth rattle.

*sigh*

I feel rather deflated, and I think I have already written this stupid cycle off as completely annoying and pointless. Despite the pretty almighty amount of beautifully timed sex we managed (and it was even fun! How did that happen?). I mean, said egg must have spent so long swilling about in a stew of hormones that it’s completely hard-boiled.

Anyway, I have no intention of getting all hopeful. It plays havoc with my powers of concentration and makes me introverted to the point of Howard Hughes. I have work to do, husbands to chat with. And I have plenty, nay, excessive quantities of studying to do. I have no excuse and no reason to sit about the house moping like a giant sloth in a down-pour. None at all.

*blows nose*


Did I say breathe? I meant hyperventilate

Despite the positive OPK on Friday (at 11:47 am, in fact, and ooh, how sad is it that I know that?), and despite the really quite painful pain that afflicted my lower-right-hand abdominal quadrant on Friday night, Satsuma seems to have flipped the LH surge the bird. As of this morning, I seem not to have done anything nearly so interesting as ovulating. Either that, or I am having the Slow Rise to End All Slow Rises, temperature-wise. I currently loathe OPKs and Clomid and the Satsuma, in equal measure. Even H was driven to say, kindly, that he is finding my insides a little tiresome.

And yes, I do know I have PCOS and once had a blood test in which my LH was quite high at about ninety-seven light-years from ovulation, and so an OPK-test is merely a best guess and in no real way indicative of anything at all and in fact, the only way I will ever know for sure I ovulated this weekend is if in nearly ten months time I find an entire human being in my vahaha.

All of this twitchy anxst gloriously aided and abetted by a huge family party yesterday, in which no less than seven aunts, uncles and assorted cousinage asked me if I had kids/ was going to have kids/ wanted kids at all. To all of which, I answered, with absolute truth, ‘we’re working on it.’ This satisfied six out of seven perfectly, who then went on to talk of other things. The seventh, an aunt-by-marriage I hadn’t seen for five years, patted me kindly on the shoulder and looked sympathetic, but we were interrupted by others and I was left somewhat baffled, in that, was I starting to look a little strained? Was a vein beginning to pulse visibly above my left eye? And also, she has three beautiful and charming kids, so, errr, umm? Anything? Nothing? What? And now it will probably be another five years at least until I know, should there be anything to know, or possibly she wanted to ask me about my (absent) father, whose carryings-on often get me sympathetic shoulder pats.

Oh, and of course we were meeting soon-to-be-new additions-by-marriage to the family for the first time, and Minx, my four-year-old niece, was feeling fond of her doting Auntie May, and there was a little explaining to do in that, despite the fact it was my leg she was clinging to like a little candy-pink leech, she was not, in fact, my daughter (her actual mama being the skinny one outside in the rain, smoking with the Cool (and, heh heh, damp) Crowd of cousins and disreputable uncles). This cheered me up immensely. As did the follow-on comment that I am clearly ‘great with little kids!’

Hurrah.


Breathe, relax, and as you were

Item: Friday’s smuggled OPK stick came up positive. So very positive, it started turning positive as I held it up to put the cap back on before laying it down on the sink to ‘mature’ (on a sheet of toilet paper. I am hygenic and considerate, unlike the person who used the loo before me). I nevertheless smuggled it to a window and got a good peek at it. Positive. Aha.

Item: Guess who then went to the other library during her lunch-break, dug around in her bag to pull her ID out, and flicked what looks, actually, exactly like a positive pregnancy test, across the room? The security guard went to pick it up for me, saw what it was, and, err, let me pick it up. And smirked. Oh hell, oh flop-sweat.

Item: We shall draw a discreet veil over last night’s panic-stricken desperate re-writing of my bloody stupid mindless cretinous vomitably-poor dissertation proposal so I could email it to my tutor BEFORE midnight, AFTER an evening in the pub, and technically meet my deadlines. In my defence, I have been preoccupied with my innards, and my family’s health (seriously considering whether discussing this last at length will cheer me up or plunge me to the inner depths), and this last week at work was hell and I had to go to the pub as it was my beloved line-manager’s leaving-do and I had one half-pint only, and I clearly have a recklessly dim-witted attitude to academic deadlines and if I were my own student I’d kill me.

Item: And H had a sore throat and ended up leaving work early to go home and suffer.

Item: And I still screwed him. After I’d finished driving the poor ailing lambkin mad with dissertation vapourings. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his body for his neurotic, fertility-obsessed wife.

Item: Jayzus, but Satsuma is giving me a hard time. Anyone would think I’d hit her with a brick.


Let’s play scientist! or, how May p*sses money away

I spent entirely too much time on the internets yesterday. So much so that my common sense ran away screaming and left me at the mercy of that annoying Inner Child who always pokes at things until they break.

According to one set of instructions, one should pee on the OPK stick first thing in the morning, as that’s when you’ll have the most and most concentrated urine sample. According to a second set of instructions, this is all hooey and one should spend the morning with crossed legs and cotton-mouth so one can get a reasonably concentrated, four-hours-worth sample, which will, crucially, include LH as apparantly we produce it in the early hours of the morning and it doesn’t get into a girls wee until a little later. And I went back and forth between these two sets of instructions, and dithered as to whether I should stay with the late morning thing, or do an early morning thing.

So I did both.

Early morning OPK stick – very pale result line.

Late morning OPK stick – much darker line, darker than yesterday’s even, but still not quite as dark as the control line.

Dammit.

Tomorrow I shall have to take yet another of these so-expensive-they-might-as-well-be-gold-plated sticks into work with me, and spend elevenses lurking in the disabled toilet. And as the artificial light in there is too hideous, I am somehow going to have to smuggle a peed-on stick to a window, in a busy university, so I can obsess over my stupid little lines.

Did I say dammit?

I cannot shake the feeling that this is all very unnecessary and a criminal waste of time and money even when I’m not playing Miss Empirical Evidence. Satsuma lets me know she’s done now, thank you, and pass the tissues, by good old-fashioned temperature spikes, no more egg-white, and a suddenly low and beak-hard cervix. It’s only the ACU that has no faith at all in these things and holds up OPKs as the gold standard for home ovulation.

I bet I never get a peak reading and I bet Satsuma ovulates mysteriously at some unspecified time that I can’t prove to them and I wonder if I should just fib and claim I got a positive OPK that day, when it comes, should it come (what are you doing in there, oh Ovary With Follicle On?)

Meanwhile, Satsuma was very very cross this morning and gave me fiery burning colick, but this may have been because I wasn’t showing an ounce of common sense and peeing in a timely and comfortable manner. Unless my temperature is up tomorrow. In which case, do I bother peeing on another stick under less than ideal circumstances (in the disabled toilet! During coffee break! Miles from daylight or even decent lamp-light! Sheesh!), or do I simply not bother and flannel the ACU?

For the third time, dammit.


And… pause.

I dutifully ‘held on’ for several hours this morning, so I could have a late-morning-but-fairly-concentrated sample for the OPK, as recommended in the slightly patronising leaflet that came in the box.

Pee. Wait three minutes. Examine lines on pee-stick.

Well, stronger than yesterday’s line, but still not QUITE as strong as the reference line. Nearly. Not quite. Can we stop staring at the silly thing now?

Dear Satsuma, bless you for trying, but can we have that positive surge now, please? Those OPK stick things cost a startling amount of money, and I will be very cross if you use up an entire packet on just the one cycle.

Geodhe, thanks for the warnings. Yes, indeed, waiting to ripen is slow and tedious. Do you suppose pear-trees feel like this?

And thank you everyone for being so sweetly complimentary on the powers of my wit. I blush. I blush muchly.

Right. And back to your currently programmed schedule of nothing very much.


Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

It would seem that spending Easter lying on the carpet, playing Civilization IV with a husband who is actually in the other room on the other computer (this is deeply sad. I know it is. But I’m winning), eating cake and drinking port, is quite good for bone-idle slacker ovaries.

Today’s scan – one follicle, sixteen millimetres across. Due to pop in the next 48 hours, should it agree to grow another millimetre or two, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, according the the completely-different-from-any-other-consultant-I’ve-yet-seen consultant, who was quite happy about it, even though it’s day 21 already and I am seriously thinking, if we can’t manage any sooner than day 21 ON Clomid, and happily manage around day 21 OFF Clomid, what the freaking freak is the freaking point, not that I put it quite like that, as she was actually talking to me as if I was an adult and not a house-plant. Which is a novelty.

I was also firmly ordered to pee on OPKs, even though the very packaging says they don’t really work for PCOS people, because apparantly the Clomid overrides the PCOS, and to call them the second I got a positive.

I peed on an OPK this afternoon. Not positive. This gives H the night off. H is relieved. But he is very politely pretending not to be.

You see, H and I have been dutifully making the beast with two backs for days and days on end, just in case (and, oddly, the day H referred to it as ‘baby-dancing’ was the day that we did not, and I’m sure the violent nausea and general desire to set fire to the next person to mention baby-dust had nothing to do with it). Poor us. You may as well force-feed yourself 30 chocolate truffles every day for a week. It sounds extremely nice in theory, and even a little in practice, right up until day five or so, when the desire for a nice cool glass of water and an episode of Antiques Roadshow overwhelmes you completely.

Continuing with the policy of Sharing Everything So No One Can Invent Spurious Nonsense, a policy, by the way, that H tipped me head-first into and which I would have probably eschewed for its complete opposite left to my own devices, my mother now knows about the existance of The Follicle (but NOT, and I must stress the NOT, the endless humping – H may have no shame, but my mother is a Lapsed Catholic), and is Excited About It. I haven’t the heart to disabuse her too firmly (though I did try to do it very gently, which she found amusing) because there are bad health worries in the family and it’s all a little depressing, and it’s her birthday next week and ohhh, this’ll end in tears whatever I do, won’t it? Yes. It will.


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