Category Archives: Clomid take 3 – once more with feeling

What I did on my holidays by May aged 33-and-one-third

Holiday highlights:

  • Hairy Farmer Family.
  • We saw a seal. And two red kites. And a stag. And hills covered in electric-pink heather. And the isles of Shuna, Jura, Mull and Islay all at once in the sunset. And waterfalls in full spate. And a hitherto unsuspected ruined castle near my Dad’s place. And the sea as smooth and still and slick as glass. And some cairns. And calves with astonishing eyelashes and a very very large Highland Bull and some amusing sheep. And some more castles, including Castle Anthrax (yes!). And 200-odd varieties of rhododendron. And we nearly ran over a red squirrel.
  • The food! My word, but we struck lucky this trip! My word, but my trousers regret it! Tablet ice-cream! Fillet steak! Scallops! Cooked breakfasts!
  • H’s terribly terribly organised B&B vetting paid off fabulously as well. All the B&Bs were good, and two were FABULOUS. With King-sized beds and sherry decanters and hosts of exceeding niceness.

Holiday low points:

  • It rained. And rained. And rained. And rained. And then it rained some more. And again. And rained. And drizzled. And rained.
  • H developed a stinking cold. Which, naturally, lifted as soon as we headed home again.
  • H tried a flying leap over a deeply muddy patch of mud, landed on a cunningly hidden patch of further mud, and fell backwards into the mud he’d just leapt over. And his horrible wife sniggered herself silly. Luckily, only his pride and the sleeve of his jacket were hurt.
  • And then karma bit his horrible wife on her ample bottom. Shortly afterwards we were walking along a rocky beach, and I was burbling away about the cleverness of limpets in grinding a little hollow for themselves so they could extra-stick extra-fast to the rocks, because karma likes irony, and wallop. Only, bloody OW, in my case, and yea verily, a thundercloud covered the full moon.
  • Oh, and my period turned up exactly on Sunday, as I said it would, and then decided that as it was here anyway and had already spoilt my mood, it may as well hurt like the bloody blazes, sneer at all offerings of paracetamol, aspirin, and nurofen, and wake me up at 4 am every morning in some kind of existential protest at having to share an abdomen with a bladder. Gah.
  • Every single garment I packed has mud on it somewhere.
  • H’s grandmother had a stroke while we were away. It wasn’t a particularly bad one, but she is very frail anyway and not really able to bounce back from these things, and can’t eat, and won’t accept a feeding tube, so we are now on Elderly Relative Watch, and may spend the tail-end of our days off rushing about being useful and hospital visiting. Oh joy.

Holiday WTF moments:

  • I think I mentioned we were spending a few days with my Paternal Relations in Glen Arse-End, Nowhere Peninsula. It is a very beautiful glen. And full of rain. And huge hairy dogs that smelt of wet dog. And, naturally, quite a selection of Paternal relations. Who are all a gigantic WTF moment each anyway. And my Dad drinks too much, smokes so much you could safely say he smoulders, is a good two stone underweight, and now, apparantly, has developed cardiac arrhythmia. Oh good. He announced that he was worried the doc might try to get him to give up drinking. I bit my tongue. Extremely hard.
  • My Sister-in-Law excelled herself by trying to compare my situation to her daughter’s. (NB, SIL is 20 years older than me, so this does all make sense). Her daughter has two children under three, one miscarriage, and is now pregnant with her third. Apparantly, this is just like me. Indeed. Except for the very small detail that I have no children at all of any age and all that my belly contained at the time was tea, toast and bile. Which isn’t to say SIL’s daughter’s loss doesn’t suck horribly, because it does, but her situation is not the same as my situation. Comparing the two rather devalues both, don’t you think?
  • My sister (yet another one, who usually doesn’t appear in these chronicles because she never really says anything stupid) gets to live in a cabin with a view of the loch and write novels for six months. I was so jealous I think I bit through the edge of the coffee table.
  • If you are going on a walk in the Trossachs, which are mountains, you see, on a path marked ‘steep gradient’ and ‘narrow’ and ‘requires sturdy footware’, why would you attempt it in either a) five inch stiletto-heeled slouch-boots, b) Uggs, c) trainers with the laces undone and trailing about in an unnecessarily cool manner, or d) a large push-chair?
  • In certain small towns in the North, teenagers are apparantly still hysterical with astonishment at the sight of a grown man with long hair. H was luckily oblivious to most of this, but I feel quite tigerish on his behalf.
  • Risotto is not boiled rice with grated cheddar cheese on top. Just saying.
  • A moth flew into my hair, pursued by a bat, which perched on my shoulder for a second while I went ‘eeeeeeeeeee’ exactly like a great girls’ blouse, and then it flew off again in disgust. And the silly thing is, I quite like bats.

Two Week Wait, I haz it.

So, you know. Two week wait. My sixth ever. Yes, only my sixth ever. God, but Satsuma is a lazy little stinker, bless her.

Of course, I shall be ignoring the two week wait, as H and I will be On Holiday. In a car. Somewhere all points North of current location. And we will be ignoring pee-stickery. Yes we will. either I will get my period on Sunday week, or I shan’t, but I will still be on holiday and it will not be my problem apart from a certain manic-ness about avoiding alcohol and coffee which will of course suck flaming green donkey backside as I will be on holiday, ferChrissakes. I need a drink at the very thought.

But I will be taking the pre-natal vitamins. I have been taking the stupid things on and off for bloody buggering ever. The latest box really ground away at my nerves. It had a picture of a smiling slender lady proudly showing off a dainty naked bump. Ewwwwwww. The first thing I did on getting out of hospital back in June was to chuck the box to the back of a dark cupboard and pray for cockroaches. I recovered my equanimity sufficiently to fish the astonishingly smug object out again before taking the provera and starting this cycle properly (oh, don’t panic, I was taking vitamins with lots of lovely Folic acid in before then too. Just not pre-natal ones). At last, at last, I am about to take the last tablet, and can rip the box into teeny tiny shreds and stuff them into the recycling. So today I went into the Fancy Organic Shop to buy more prenatal vitamins, and to make damn sure this box didn’t have a smirking nincompoop fondling herself all over it.

I got very expensive ones.

I sort of wish I hadn’t.

And I know very well I couldn’t possibly do otherwise.

If I do get *ahem*, anyway, that, this cycle, which I shan’t, because really, I will feel justified in getting the Expensive Pills. Only the best for my spawn.

But if, no, when, I don’t, and I shall have been leaving a trail of seriously over-priced widdle all over the British Isles, and for what? For the benefit of the manufacturers, that’s for what, arse feck etc., where was I? Oh yes. I take expensive vitamins. My uterus sneers thereat. I menstruate on cue. I look sadly into my wallet. I decide the minimalist packaging is just as smug and annoying as Cheap’n’Cheerful version.

But then, what if? What if not? Bitter McTwisted and the Positive Thinking Fairy have set up camp in my fore-brain and are flicking pop-corn at each other.

And I really had no idea how extra extra paranoid I’d become having lost one. Dear God, this sucks.

After this cycle, we visit the ACU again, to see the specialist. We will probably be given three more goes of Clomid and be sent off again. We will take our three more goes. And then it will be yet another childless Christmas, and whatever shall I do to survive that?

Getting somewhere possibly and with much back-tracking

When not crying so hard I forget what lungs are for, I get on with my life. I go to work. I hold conversations with colleagues. About tennis. And cataloguing. And the weather. My mother and I went to a knitting craft show on Saturday, and we both spent Far Too Much Money on yumminy scrumminy yarn ( I am now knitting a scarf in colours so festively lurid you could spot the wearer from the Moon). We even had a calm, civilised discussion about my ongoing pregnancy quest. And Christmas. Obviously.

And I feel a little empty.

I know this is very much to do with Finishing The MA, and not being allowed to take my dissertation back for a good going-over with the perfectionist stick, and having nothing to do of an evening beyond cook dinner and watch University Challenge. Oh, and screw, of course. There’s always that.

So. On Sunday, H and I are hiring a car and wandering off across Blighty for a week or so. That should be taking my mind off things quite nicely, despite the Duty Visit to my dad plonked in the middle of it all.  Relaxation. Fun. Staring at castles in the rain in a contentedly soggy way. National Trust coffee shops. Sex in strange beds. Heh heh.

Aaaaaaannndddd… Satsuma has scuppered that. She produced a positive OPK this morning, and then spent the early evening doing her trade-mark John-Hurt-in-Alien whingeathon (I always think her pinging away might be ovulation pain right up until she does that, and oh, so that’s actual ovulation pain. Ah. OW.). So we shall be spending the two week wait on holiday. We are considering leaving pee-sticks at home. This will no doubt end in embarrassing and farcical attempts to find a chemist in Bog-End, Middle-Wilderness at ten-to-midnight. Will on no account forget the sticky-back duvets. Am packing them right now. By the cubic foot.

And then I fell down really quite hard

Item: Hell Boy II inadvertantly set off a rather large bomb in the May household.

Item: Spoiler alert.

Item: There’s a bit where it is posited in heart-felt seriousness that Hell Boy needs a reason to live, and that reason turns out to be impending fatherhood. Which is well and good, and H squeezed my hand very tightly for that bit.

Item: Incidentally, the plot of that film is all over the place. Seriously. It lurched from non-sequitur to McGuffin to nonsense. Also, Luke Goss makes a startlingly good pissed-off Fairy Prince. And I still enjoyed it rather a lot.

Item: So where was I? Oh, yes. Bomb chez May. H and I were discussing the movie, as you do, and, after a pause, I casually asked if the hand-squeezing had been on my behalf or H’s own behalf. And H said ‘For me…’ – and I thought, oh, thank God, thank God – ‘But mostly for you.’ And I burst into tears. And H couldn’t for the life of him work out why. Can you work out why? I ended up sat on the top of the stairs (prime howling location) bawling that I felt so alone and that I was the only person who cared that I’d had a miscarriage or remembered it. H pointed out quite firmly that he did care. I demanded why he didn’t show it then, sob sob. H stood there looking bewildered. Because I had enough to deal with without dealing with H’s grief as well, of course.

Item: At this point, I was crying so hard that a small calm inner observer was pointing out that I had pretty much stopped breathing, and that going blue about the lips and sliding to the floor unconscious was certainly one way of getting out of the argument. Am I the only woman afflicted with a small calm inner observer who treats any and all ongoing dramas like a good episode of Blake’s 7?

Item: I explained, I think, to H, that actually, I felt that as I was the only person who minded about Pikaia, I daren’t forget her or stop grieving for a second. Because I had an anembryonic miscarriage, because there was not and never had been an embryo. That all the existance Pikaia ever had was in our hearts and minds, and if no one cared, Pikaia would not only no longer exist, but have never existed at all. And I couldn’t bear that. And I had been trying to not think about it while I finished my dissertation, so I could finish the sodding dissertation, and yet not daring to put it out of my mind, see above, and no one else would take over the minding for me. In fact, were putting me under pressure to forget about her.

Item: At least, that’s what I meant to say. I highly suspect that what with the howling and failing to breathe, all that was coming out was a succession of bubbling noises.

Item: Anyway, end result, H does care. And is very sad and frustrated. And was trying to spare me. So. Much hugging and kissing and blowing of noses on both sides.

Item: I suspect I shall be a lot calmer hereafter. I hope so. Because that sucked. Hugely.

Item: Satsuma is working her way v-e-e-e-r-r-r-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y towards ovulation. OPKs each ever so slightly darker than the day before’s, but so far not actually positive. Satsuma herself increasingly owie and pingy. Temperatures trundling along below 36 C. And so on. And H and I are nobly and determindly carrying on with the Plan. This being day 17 of the cycle already, we’re, well, still surprisingly enthusiastic. Good for us.

Item: Going on holiday in a week’s time. And clearly not before-time.

It’s a delicate subject.

Satsuma was obviously politely waiting for me to finish the beastly dissertation and be in a position to give her my full attention. Today she managed some twinging, a high soft cervix, wateriness, general desire to take flying leaps at husband, a splitting headache, nausea, and dizzy spells. This is what I do when I’m gearing up to ovulate. There must be something about LH and oestrogen that I find profoundly disagreeable. Based on past experience, she’ll probably pop on Friday.

About the flying-leaps-at-husband thing. It’s… it’s annoying, actually, is what it is. There am I, spending a week all bright-eyed and eager and such-like etcetera, and there is he, having nobly signed up ‘for every other night and one for luck on the day of the positive OPK’. And he manfully does his duty. And I want more. And he doesn’t want more. He’s happy with The Plan. He’s braced for The Plan. He’s not in the mood for more than The Plan. The Plan is plenty for a red-blooded young man who has after all been with the same woman for the past fifteen years. And I end up in the sort of temper where I don’t even want to see him wandering past with his shirt off as it’ll only set me off and it’s the other every other night and I shall be so very peeved to be turned down, however politely, that it’s not even funny.

I’m very glad we get back into sync for most of the month. But these few days when my hormones are screaming ‘Shag! Shag for England! Shag right now this minute!’ and his, er, aren’t, are difficult.

Also, embarrassing, as every magazine article and advice column and TV show on the subject EVER assumes it’s the man who is being demanding and insatiable and difficult and selfish and inconvenient and why can’t they grow up and stop thinking with their groin, tsk, honestly. And that women would much rather have a bath with scented oil and some chocolate. And that the way to get around this is to offer to make dinner so she can have the bath?

Of course, there are many nights when this is precisely the case. Bath, heaven. Horizontal folk-dancing, nope. Husband gets slightly pouty. But what is a girl to do when her hormones are going jiggety-jiggety-jiggety-jig, and her husband has suddenly gone tone-deaf, and she made dinner and washed up and husband still doesn’t like baths?

Never mind. Breathe deeply. Think of Johnny Depp. By the weekend, you won’t give a toss. Ha ha.

I was much further out than you thought


The dissertation is finished.


Honestly? It was horrible. And exactly the sort of thing May persistantly does when faced with a deadline. Flail, cry, write write write, delete delete delete, stare at screen in numb agony, like a rabbit waiting to be run over by the approaching head-lights, waste a good dozen hours calling self every name under the sun for not having finished dissertation in July, miss outing with friends because of stupid bloody bedamned migraine, type madly into the night several nights running, wake up too tired and stupid with sleep deprivation to carry on, carry on nevertheless, decide the hell with the word-count, just keep going and hand in whatever resultant three pages of misspelt scrawl result, writers’ block promptly takes hold of soul and wrings it like a damp flannel, more staring at screen, suddenly realise that there are quite a few words on the lap-top and staying up the whole of the last possible night will actually do it, drink coffee, am actually writing! To the finish! Wheee! Press print at 3:30 am, printer refuses to work, small and terrible interval in which pact is made with house-hold demons, press print, it prints! It prints! Realise have forgotten about mandatory 1.5 inch left-hand margin, own margin is less than one inch, muffled shrieking, reformat entire fucking thing, print, go lie down next to H and watch dawn through the window blinds.

Handing it in this morning was absolutely euphoric. Tired, pale, navy blue under the eyes, and delighted with self and entire darling adorable fluffy-clouded universe. Dancing in streets.

And then I came home and watched Hell Boy, to try and blot out the rapid crash into ‘it’s a heap of crap and I’ve handed it in now and there’s nothing I can do to de-crap it and my life sucks and I hate everything’ which inevitably also happens when May hands in course-work, sends job applications or, on bad days, hits ‘post’ on a blog entry.

This being a whole dissertation, produced under rather a strain, the crash is fairly almighty. Hell Boy helped (we’re going to see Hell Boy II later this week. I wasn’t being solely random). And I am also now tormented by the feeling I ought to be doing something really really important. This is also traditional. It will fade.

And now, back to reproducing. On which front I have no news. It is day eleven of the cycle, and jack shit is happening down below. Ah well. Satsuma is a slow starter at the best of times. She was this slow on the Successful Cycle of Slow Doom, in fact. And I was stressed out of my tiny mind that time too. Hah hah hah to ‘just relax’, I say.

Carry on

Item: Period has stopped messing about with the watery spotting and settled into its usual full-on clotty down-pour. I’m quite pleased. Well, I’m not pleased, as I’m tired and in pain and my collection of super-plus-extra tampons is shrinking rapidly, but I am satisfied. I was tormenting myself with all sorts of cheery worries about the ERPC/D&C and endometritis screwing my lining and/or ability to grow a nice plump one ever again. Of course I was. I am a Silver-Medal Olympic worrier. I twitch if someone hangs my bras on the wrong laundry rack to dry. But it’s all acting normal, well, normal for me, so I can go back to worrying about, variously, my dissertation, the fact I owe about seventeen people emails, work, the dissertation, eating enough fruit and vegetables, caffeine intake, the dissertation, and failing to respond to the clomid this time just because.

Item: Speaking of eating fruit and vegetables, I had a good look at my *ahem* waistline (we shall call it that. It’s where the waist is supposed to be, after all) in the mirror at work the other day, and I said to myself, hmmm, someone has been spending the past two months comfort-eating, hasn’t she? And oddly enough, I did not then go and find a coat-hanger so I could flagellate myself from the comfort of my desk while scarfing pastry. No, I sighed, metaphorically patted myself on the hand, and had a banana instead of a flap-jack with my coffee.

Item: Took first clomid last night. So. Citius, altius, fortius. Or so I am telling H. Heh heh heh.

Bulletin From No-Man’s-Land

Must write 2000 words a day for the next six days. This is doable. I can do it. I have taken several days off work to do it in. Admittedly, it involves those peculiar skills I have spent my whole life failing to aquire, patience, persistence, and ignoring the strapping young men in teeny tight shorts on the telly. Also, am wrestling with desperate temptation to turn entire dissertation into an extended whinge called ‘Students Today: Why They Suck, or, Get a Grip and Learn to Fucking Spell Already.’

Meanwhile, the innards are lurking. I finished the provera on Sunday. It is Wednesday morning. Beyond some slight crampiness, no signs at all of period. Where is period? Why is it not here? Does it not know I have a timetable to keep and starting yesterday would have been favourite, so I didn’t have to leave the house during worst bits? Stupid period. Oh, I do know it can take over a week for a period to start after provera. I’m not worried. I am irritated. I made plans. I had time-tables. Grrrrrrrr. Pass the chocolate. First person to mention PMS gets Glared At.

And at some point in the next few days I will take a little break from ‘Students: Who Needs Them Anyway?’ and come round and kiss each and every one of you on the nose. Because I am thinking of you, even if I am carefully ignoring your blogs in a desperate bid not to get completely distracted. If anyone’s house has burnt down while I wasn’t looking, I am so, so sorry.

And back to ‘Who Let These Thickies Graduate In the First Place?’

All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

ETA: Wrote the above, went to the loo, tah-dah! Red spotting. So. Start of my third clomid cycle, at last.

For Pete’s Sake

You know, the plan, to get the third clomid cycle underway, and so forth, involving provera, what with own body flailing about in hormonal limbo? Yes. Well, no, I haven’t taken the provera yet. And why have I not done this? Well, everytime I leap up to retrieve the little white box from the top of the fridge, Satsuma also leaps up and grabs my wrist, crying: ‘No no no, I can do this, I know I can do this. Look! EWCM! Extremely low temperatures! Migraine! I’m ovulating any minute now, I promise!’ And I, like the tomfool banana-brain I am, give her the benefit of the doubt. Hey, I even pee on an OPK (always, astoundingly, amazingly, negative) to humour her. And then I have to wait three days to see if she means it or the OPKs change their little white minds, and nada, obviously, and I leap up again shouting ‘That’s really it! I am totally taking the provera RIGHT NOW!’, rinse, repeat.

So, following the two hottest nights of the year, my BBT has managed to drop to 35.72 C. Seriously. It was pretty much that in the bedroom. An I were not typing this at you now, I’d assume I was a corpse cooling to room temperature.

And then, this morning, my temperature was considerably higher than it has been for ten days. So, either I ovulated (ah hah hah hah hah), or I am coming down with something (hah. And, again, HAH), or the heat of the weather has finally penetrated my carefully constructed insulating blanket of lard and will now take another ten days to percolate back out again. I begin to see why the NHS ACU will have no truck at all with fertility charting.

So we’re waiting for another three days. And THEN we’ll take the provera. And I will not be fooled

A thousand thank yous and/or complications

As I was peregrinating blogland, as I do from time to time, I noticed a thing. I have my own blog dashboard – no, really! – and it is telling me that I shall very shortly, unless you all decide you can’t bear me, be receiving my 1000th comment. Cool, huh? I will be looking out for the 1000th commentator very carefully, and I am wondering what on earth I could do to them to celebrate. Cry on them, knowing me, she added cheerfully.

Meanwhile, the madness becomes infectious – H (yes, I know, a husband!) is now hypnotised by my Cycle of Mysteries and has taken to encouraging me to pee on OPKs. All of which are coming back resoundingly negative, nay, buggeroffish even, thank you for asking. But the confused delay in taking provera is not bothering me overmuch – it occurred to me and my handy little desk-top calendar at work that if I leave the provera until next week, I wouldn’t have to worry about testing for, you know, resulty results, until after I hand the dissertation in, and that might just about save my marriage, if not my degree.

Incidentally, very behind on the dissertation, because of the Month Off For Doom-Laden Purposes. Curses.

If I ever start flicking wistfully through a university post-graduate prospectus again, please, someone, snatch it off me and beat some sense into me with it.

P. S. Found myself in a coffee shop queue at lunch-time behind two remarkably skinny young women, one of which was squealing to the other at the top of her remarkably shrill voice that she hadn’t even been trying yet and her husband was so thrilled and they’d always wanted a large family and her parents were going to buy them a push-chair and they hadn’t even been really trying and it was amazing and she’d better not have any coffee of course and she didn’t even feel sick yet and it was amazing. And I stood there thinking, how very un-British of her to tell the entire coffee-shop, and also, she was clearly gestating a bat and training it to echo-locate in utero because really, the squealing. And then I went back to the office and was hugely unproductive all afternoon.