Category Archives: Clomid take 5 – Surprise! Now with added ovary but no added egg!

And back again

Highlights, lowlights, and sidelights of the In-Law Easter Double Birthday Extravaganza, in no particular order:

– Sleeping on a fold-out sofa-bed in the living-room of your in-laws’ small house is… challenging to the shy and retiring. As, you see, there is nowhere to retire to. And there were people from three different countries and three different generations cantering about.

– Given that, it is not surprising that on being presented with an unexpected two hours all alone in the house with all other resident persons dispersed on assorted errands about the county, H and I found ourselves dans un position tres compromising on the living-room floor. Much as we had done when we were both eighteen, on the very same floor. Ah, memories.

– Said (wooden, uncarpeted) floor is a lot less forgiving on the knees when one is 33, though.

– I am sorry to have to report that by the time the resident persons reconvened, H and I both had our trousers back on and were sitting side-by-side, H demurely reading to me as I demurely wound yarn. I know this dreary lack of anecdotage is very disappointing, and we will try to do better next time.

– It takes nerves of steel to even so much as read emails and blog-lines, let alone blog oneself, when one’s Mother-In-Law has the unnerving habit of materialising stealthily behind one’s chair and chirruping ‘ooh, what are you reading then?’ in one’s ear. She has an uncanny habit of doing this when the thing being read contains the words ‘infertile’, ‘pregnant’, ‘fuck’, ‘my mother-in-law is driving me mad’, etc.

– Nevertheless, the dinners, teas, Easter-Egg hunts, and enforced conversations with relations who have grown two feet and quite a lot of chest hair since one last saw them, all went quite well.

– Dear God, but the fold-out sofa-bed is uncomfortable. I have a bruise – a bruise, people! – on my leg from just lying on the savagely uncompromising springs for four nights.  Why do you think we were doing it on the floor?

– No, I didn’t ovulate. I am very calmly, very peacefully, very reasonably, chewing my nails to the bone.


Into the dark

Tomorrow is the 11th of April. On the 11th of April, 2008, I extremely grouchily began the stressed-the-fuck-out, I’m-doing-too-many-essays, like-hell-this’ll-work cycle that ended with the conception of poor little Pikaia.

And I haven’t ovulated yet this cycle. And I haven’t had a positive OPK. This is not a good time for Satsuma to go on strike; this is not a good time for my body to mess with my head.

Tomorrow we also pack up our favourite socks and go stay with the In-Laws for four days. I do not know if I’ll be blogging from the In-Laws, I mean, they have the innernets and all (and running water and gin, working gravity and an indoor toilet). Technology is not the issue. Manners are, as in, it’s not good manners to sit brooding darkly over the lap-top in the dining-room when everyone else is sitting in the sitting-room (natch) having delightful conversations and wondering why the fu-hey I don’t want to talk to them. So I may have to get through the whole ‘it’s been a FUCKING YEAR since I was pregnant and I am so angry and sad about that and about my body’s total inability to give me a break since then’ all on my own.

I’m so glad they have gin.

Take your time, why don’t you

Day 23 of this cycle. Six days since I was told I had a 13 mm lead follicle, and it would ‘go’ in a couple of days. Ah ha ha ha ha. Ha ha. Hah.

No, of course I haven’t had a positive OPK yet.

It’s very annoying to be right all the time. I did say it’d take a week, based on previous experience. So, you know, I should’ve got a positive OPK today, and I went to Ikea, where all the pregnant people live, and I survived and I have four washing-up brushes, five pairs of rubber gloves, four pillow-slips, two mattress-protectors, a canteen of reasonable cutlery and a 30-piece crockery set, also, low blood-sugar and mild dehydration, oh, and some towels, and I held H’s hand as we sprinted through the cots-cribs-and-cuddly-toys section, and I still haven’t got a positive OPK, and if I don’t get one tomorrow I will scream and throw things.

You just keep me hanging on

Item: No, I have not ovulated yet. I told you ‘in the next 48 hours’ was optimistic. It once took a 19 mm follicle a further three days to pop. I ripen slowly, and this one was only 13 mm on Friday, so it could take, oh, I don’t know, a week?

Item: But H and I are at it like knives practically daily. Aren’t we good.

Item: We are making some progress on the counselling thing. We had a good session today, and felt all Achieve! Yes we can! And C got H to admit he was in denial, oh so very much so, Swimming With Crocodiles style, which I am sorry to say made me laugh and laugh (but quietly, to myself, heh heh heh, not BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!, because I was properly brought up). And we discussed just how nuts H’s side of the family is (very. Lots. Very very). It makes a nice change, not to be labelled the starkers bananas one in the relationship. It’s also good to understand H is a bit weird about his things what he is weird about because he and his family are starkers bananas, and not because H is on an I Shall Not Get It bender just to wind me up.

Item: Nevertheless, I am the Anxiety Queen at the moment. I am not sleeping. I am chewing my nails to the bleedening. I am screwing things up at work. Fun, huh? I was musing, today, for the prospect of seeing C makes me muse, on the anxiety thing, which has haunted me since I was a kid. It took me years and years to realise what I was feeling was, in fact, common or garden anxiety. When I feel it, it manifests itself as a kind of free-floating sense of shame and self-disgust, and it hunts about for something to attach itself to – ah yes! I buggered something up at work! Urgh. Shudder. The fact I spotted the embuggerment and gave up part of my lunch-hour to debugger it doesn’t get a foothold. It’s… wrong. I am wrong. I am wrongness personified. I spent from age about 8 to 28 feeling like this. Wrong. Sick. Bad. And do you know? It’s anxiety. It’s purely triggered by anxiety. I am not wrong, sick, bad. Not really. I’m actually quite cute. But as soon as something worries me, I assume the Mea Culpa Mantle with heart-breaking rapidity. Whyever the fuck do I do that? What the hell did my parents do to me? Why can’t I pinpoint it exactly?

Item: Anyway, this post has become very intense and gloomy all of a sudden. Shall we cheer the fuck up? Yes, let’s.

Item: Easter is to be spent in the bosom of the In-Laws. I’m not sure that is cheering me the fuck up. Four nights at the In-Laws, on the World’s Most Uncomfortable And Rickety Bed. Please God Satsuma will have popped by then. The idea of doing the Conception Shagathon on that bloody spare bed in the living-room with H’s parents right overhead is, oh well of course, making me anxious.

Item: Oh, yes, H said he could quite clearly see a definite surge in my anxiety levels just before ovulation. He thinks it’s hormonal, therefore. He has, however, carefully explained that that doesn’t mean the things I am anxious about don’t exist, or that my anxiety is somehow not valid. Just that the hormones aggravate it. I find this slightly embarrassing.

Item: I thought we’d agreed to cheer the fuck up?

Item: Cherry blossom. We shall think about cherry blossom. The trees in the local park are pink, and the one in the park near work is white. They are astonishingly lovely. There. That’s better.

Satsuma 1, Kumquat nil

Today’s scan, conveniently timed for 10:30 so I could miss the whole bloody morning’s work in one fell swoop, was A-OK. Kumquat, having made her point and proved her existence, had dozed off again. Satsuma had taken the challenge to her supremacy to heart and produced a lead follicle. Nice Lady W-M thinks it will go in the next 48 hours, but last time she said that it took four days, so I am not holding my breath. She did, however, solemnly remark that at least I now knew what my plans for the weekend were.

I love that woman.

Short post, because it is midnight and I have been fine-dining and like, totally, swanning at the opera all evening in a nice blouse, and am drunk and tired and absolutely must stop humming ‘Ruddier than the cherry’ to myself in a pathetic imitation of baritone.

You’re supposed to be dead

So. Scans. Yes. This morning I trimmed my undertrimmings and had a thorough shower and put on nice lady-like knickers (for why? I am behind a curtain when I take them off, and behind the curtain again when I put them back on. I could be wearing split-crotch rags with tea-stains on, and Nice Lady Wand-Monkey would never ever know), and hauled ass to The Hospital Out In The Country, so we could all have a good look at Satsuma.

Nice Lady Wand-Monkey remembered I had only one ovary. Isn’t she great? She asked which one it was before sending me off to take my lovely underwear off and tuck it discretely under my jeans. I was so pleased. And I settled down on the couch, and she came over and re-condomed the dildocam – oh, the amount of condoms we infertiles get through, heh heh – insert, and… pause.

Long pause. With the wand held perfectly still, which made a nice change from the truffle-hunting technique normally used, but was somewhat disconcerting considering.

‘Hmmm,’ said Nice Lady W-M. ‘What side did you say your ovary was?’

‘The right. My right, that is.’ *Twitch*.

Now she went for a good rootle, all over the left side. And said ‘hmmm’ again. And then turned her attention to the right and peered at Satsuma. Click click, measure measure. She withdrew the wand, and turned to me.

‘You still have some ovarian tissue on the left side,’ she said.

‘No I don’t,’ I exclaimed, somewhat gracelessly, but, you know, my insides, and I have spent half my life in the secure belief that I have one, (1), one ovary, and the other is in a pickle jar in a hospital in North London. Also, I have had eighty-bazillion scans and a lap since then, and no one mentioned any damn left ovary.

‘Yes,’ she said calmly. ‘You can see it now because it has a couple of follicles on it. It probably doesn’t produce follicles very often, and being small, wouldn’t normally show up.’

…., said I.

‘And your other ovary,’ (other! She said other!) ‘your other ovary has sixteen follicles. They’re all still very small. We can’t tell at this stage if any of them are going to develop. We’ll have to have another look in a few more days’ time.’

It’s day thirteen of this cycle, by the way. Thirteen and no lead follicle. Christ, Satsuma is such a slacker. I put my knickers back on.

And then I popped my head round the curtains and asked ‘Does that mean I could ovulate on the left side?’


Ah. I don’t have a fallopian tube that side.

I have been booked for another scan on Friday morning.

And then I went to work. In a temper. Because now I do have two ovaries? Well, one and one eighth, or something, but there’s still something functional in there? Really? Because I don’t have a fallopian tube on the left, and any ovulation on that side would be a complete fucking waste of a cycle. Which complicates matters a little. And made me say sweary words under my breath all day at work. Luckily, the office was deserted.Because I would have said them even if it hadn’t been.

What the hell else is hiding in there? The fallopian tube as well? The lost treasure of the Sierra Madre? Lord Lucan?

I shall call her Kumquat.


While we wait for anything at all to happen within the recesses of my person, I thought I had better write that post I’d been carefully putting off, about the size of my arse. A couple of weeks ago, I made notes and everything. So. But because I am incapable of organising my thoughts into anything cohesive, I have made no improvement on the notes and shall present them in all their bullet-pointed glory. With rambling addenda. Of course!

  • I find talking about my weight boring and embarrassing. Very very boring, and very very embarrassing. If I am going to diet and exercise, I shall do so quite quietly, and absolutely avoid any and all advice about exercise plans, good and bad foods, and vitamin supplements. I certainly hate getting into discussions with people about diets and exercise, most particularly when the other person snivelling about their squashiness weighs a good two stone less than I do. In fact, all you people out there who like to discuss your fat arse at length in the office canteen, etc., for the love of God, look at your conversational partner. Is she fatter than you? Yes? Then SHUT THE FUCK UP. Save it for blogging, where those who can’t take it can escape and those who can will actually be interested. Thank you.
  • Context: I am the only Fatty in a Skinny family. A Skinny family who, bless them and all their tormenting little ways, have an infuriating habit of ‘suggesting’ diets and exercise regimes (all involving seaweed, brown rice, and extreme mortification of the flesh), while feeding me chocolate biscuits and second helpings. And then we have ridiculous coversations along the line of: ‘Well, have you tried eating only raw food? It’s so detoxing and healthy, and then if you do yoga every day and avoid yeast it’ll be so good for you, have some more roast potatoes, what do you mean, you don’t want more potatoes? They’re good! And it’s silly to leave only a teeny bit. And then we can have chocolate hobnobs for tea – oh, you and your silly fancies, not liking biscuits, have one, go on, and have you read this book on the 1000-calorie-a-day diet? Do you eat too much bread? I bet you eat too much bread.’
  • I think they like having a token Fatty around. You can’t feel properly Skinny-smug without a Fatty to patronise. I am perfectly aware most slim people do not go around sneering at fat people, by the way. My family are not most people. My family are a bunch of neurotic, self-obsessed, competitive, rivalrous, snobbish, judgemental and low-self-esteem-afflicted loud-mouths. Feel that your marriage is cracking up? Hey, at least you’re not as fat as May! Unable to keep a job? But you’re skinnier than May! Children driving you batshit? Hey, May is twice your size, go and stand next to her for an hour, you’ll feel marvellous!
  • Also, oh, the raging irony of having a biscuit-obsessed 10 stone mother, whereas I hate biscuits and weigh 14 stone 7. Rage, rage.
  • It has taken me years to get to a place where I have stopped equating my wobbly tummy and over-ripe thighs with sheer hideousness, where I am comfortable in my skin, where I do not automatically equate slimness with beauty and moral worth. I do not want to go back to a place where food is the enemy and I am the enemy too for eating it.
  • When I was a teenager, I was very thin. Yes, I was. Ribs. Hands like bird-claws. I did it by Not Eating. I was a bit depressed, you see. I also had  a side-line in self-harming. But hey! I was thin!
  • And I was also very ill. I had glandular fever, badly, which turned into post-viral fatigue syndrome just in time for A-levels, and I had a giant ovarian cyst that was slowly twisting my left ovary into a pretzel and caused me constant pain, deeply whacked out cycles, outbreaks of haemorrhage and a fetching moustache. I had to have emergency surgery in the end, because I collapsed shrieking in agony, my ovary beginning to actually tear itself in half. I now have a scar that runs from hip to hip along my knicker line. The cyst was 18 cm across when they removed it (and the ovary. And most of the fallopian tube, which had also got tangled up in the action).
  • I now, neurotically, associate being thin with, perhaps, looking good and being virtuous, but also with pain, depression, hospitals, scars, being neglected by the medical establishment (‘Oh, all teenage girls get painful irregular periods! There’s nothing wrong with you! Have some!’). I am scared of being thin.
  • But being fat is making me barren. And is preventing me from doing IVF. And, frankly, makes wearing skirts in the summer uncomfortably rubby in the thigh area.
  • So I must diet and exercise.
  • Being fat is a big fertility issue, and my fertility, lack of, is a big fat issue, so I am getting it off my chest (Hah hah. Bwahahahah, in fact). I am only venting about the issue and why I find it difficult and saddening. Only venting.
  • Therefore I’d like everyone to seriously resist the temptation to give advice and tips. Please. Be considerate. Remember that you don’t actually know that much about my eating habits and exercise regimes. Remember that ‘just relax’ and ‘have you tried cough medicine/ pineapple/ propping your hips up/ a vacation?’ are craptastic things to say to an infertile person. Well, ‘have you tried the South Beach Diet/ smaller plates/ larger plates/ Pilates/ colonic irrigation?’ are craptastic things to say to a fat person.