Very Nearly An Armful

I both love and hate the internet.

My consultant told me my day 3 blood tests were, and I quote, ‘normal’. I have therefore spent the last couple of days all Tra-la-la!-ish and not giving it another thought, until I have just now sat down to google the actual numbers involved, which I dutifully asked for and scribbled down.

FSH: 6 Good!

LH: 5 Better!

E2: 94 Not good. Not good at all. I’m now worried that the FSH figure is rendered meaningless, and that I am possessed of about as much future egg potential as the average cockerel.

Prolactin: 126do hope I have written this down wrong. I think I meant to write 26, which still seems the higher end of good.

SHBG: 27.1 The internet has no strong opinion on this.

Testosterone: 0.5 This seems awfully and suspiciously low. John has just rolled back from an infrequent trip down the local pub and, when I mournfully broadcasted this figure as being woefully insufficient, he nodded sagely and promptly and plaintively cited his sex life as also being woefully insufficient. Apparently, the two are linked.

Lastly, I have written ‘Thy’ which I suspect means thyroid stimulating hormone. I have 1.607 somethings of it, which is probably about normal.

I’m now attempting desperately to give brain space to the phrase ‘Diminished Ovarian Reserve’ in a way that doesn’t actually involve me chewing on furniture. Most of me is thinking that if my Beautiful Lady Consultant (Stunning. Face, figure, the lot. Obviously possessed of a simply humungous brain. And a kind, courteous person, too. Gah!) isn’t worried, then neither should I be. She impressed John and I once again – very much – and really, I just need to get off google and let her get on with it.

I told you that ‘it’ would likely take the form of knives or cameras: in fact, it will now involve both. Consultant number 1 will be driving cameras via my cervi (Cervixes? I’m never sure.) into both Cameron and Blair and zapping furiously away at anything adenomyosisy the cameras see, particularly this synechium thing, whilst Consultant number 2 (my previous Awfully Important chap, and apparently a particularly outstanding surgeon) will be slicing into me via the sunroof and having a good rummage about down the back of the sofa uteri for anything interesting. If they find any buried loose change, I must remind them that the landowner gets 50%.

They are, at my particular request, also going to have a look right behind my uteri, and see if I have any endometriosis sticking them to the front wall of my bowel. I’m royally fed up of sinking, cross-eyed in pain, to my knees and gasping like a gaffed fish every time I have concurrent lower-bowel peristalsis and a period. 

Surgery form

My surgery form highlights the fact that my BMI is 33 (I was slightly indignant about the upwards pointing arrow. It is exactly 33, thank you so very much. I feel the different ranks of Obese and Even Obeser need to be preserved here.) and that I will be in theatre for well over an hour. I’ve been knocked out by general anaesthetic a fair few times, but never for more than 30 minutes, so I expect John will be fielding the sick bowl on this occasion.

I was perfectly calm about it all until I spotted the bit about them requiring 2 units of blood. Eeek.

Beautiful Lady Consultant said two things to me that I had some difficulty processing:

Firstly, that ‘you have absolutely no problems with fertility at all.’ I was about to fall about laughing, until I grasped her meaning. I am, thus far, rather good at becoming pregnant, if an egg and a sperm are introduced into a candlelit womb and invited to slurp oysters together. I have never, in fact, failed to become pregnant from any finished course of treatment, and have managed to do so once from an unfinished course. My problem, of course, is that I refuse to either ovulate properly in the first place, or obligingly stay pregnant.

Secondly, she was sorting industriously through the towering piles of paper that constitute my notes, and pulled out a collection of scan photos. ‘Which pregnancy was this?’ she asked me, pointing to the date of January 2006. John and bickered conferred briefly, but could not decide whether it was the first or second IVF. ‘It was a twin pregnancy,’ she said, casting a quick upwards glance at me.

Which… is something I was never quite sure about. I had been told, albeit blurrily, in the midst of grinding pain, that they had seen a second sac, but this was during a scan the day after I had already miscarried, and I saw no further – evidence, shall we say? – over the next few days. So I had almost thought they were mistaken. But the photo BLC showed us was of two unmistakable pregnancy sacs, albeit collapsing, and I’m a bit confused how they missed telling me about this during earlier scans, although the evil was plenty sufficient to the day thereof in any case. I lie awake at night sometimes picturing these children of ours; these extinguished beginnings. Their sleeping faces, their soft limbs, their laughter. I’ve been counting three, and it should have been four.

She told me I had a month or so to get some blubber lost – not precisely her exact words – although I have been trying to get hold of their office all day to delay the scheduling more towards Christmas, as during November I will be flat-out working. Hopefully fat-out, too, but we shall see.

Of course, I’m now wondering whether delaying a whole extra month means wasting one of my puny number of remaining eggs.

*shakes head to dispel image of cavernously empty ovaries with a tiny handful of rice-sized eggs cowering, utterly endocrinally overcome, in the corner*

Lets talk about something else, hmmm?

I had a lovely surprise yesterday morning. Katie has knitted a beautiful, elegant and soft snuggler for me, as part of the Pay It Forward scheme, and my photo by no means does the fabulous knitwork justice. It even suits me! 


After admiring the workmanship, it occurred to me that I had actually better pull my finger out and get mine finished underway. So far I have stitched one (1) item of the three required, and not even completed the seams. Roll on the long winter nights, else they haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell.

15 Responses

  1. I’m sure the blood is only a precaution, the absolute maximum they can picture needing. And your TSH (if the UK figures and US figures jive, which I know they don’t always) is PERFECT. I have hypothyroidism and my endocrinologist is thrilled to see mine between 2 and 2.5 (with a hefty daily dose of Synthroid). TSH is one of those “the lower the better” lab values–forgive me if you already know this and I’m sure you could kick my arse in the arena of REPRODUCTIVE endocrinology but from a garden-variety endocrinology standpoint TSH exists in inverse proportion to actual thyroid function (with 0.5-3.0 being very desirable and the diagnostic threshold for hypothyroidism being somewhere between 3.0 and 5.0 depending on who you ask), so here goes:

    Your pituitary spits out TSH to tell your thyroid to get its arse in gear, and if the thyroid does not oblige the pituitary makes more TSH to chuck at it. If you’re ME your thyroid then makes a rude gesture in the direction of the pituitary and hangs up the “gone fishing” sign and chortles evilly until you give up on its sorry arse and start taking thyroid replacement hormones of some sort, at which point the pituitary breathes a sigh of relief and your TSH goes down. Apparently if you’re YOU your pituitary feels no need to exert itself because the thyroid cheerfully leans into the traces and pulls its weight just fine, which is excellent in re: fertility and pregnancy, because hypothyroidism can make you infertile.

  2. I know less than nothing about any kind of endocrinology, but will you get a chance to inquire about your specific concerns with Beautiful Lady soon? Or are they, er, “exploring” first? Either way I hope you press them on it; they’re your numbers, after all!

    About the BMI, I will offer the tentative explanation that maybe they were indicating it had risen from last time. Still not one’s favorite thing to see, but maybe a little better than what I think you had taken it to mean (although I am extremely tired and might be making a really garbled mess of it).

    Congratulations on your cringetastic entry! And thank you so much for that wonderful link on the archaeology find. That’s one of the things I envy most about your part of the world–the many (visible) layers of ancient history lying thick on the ground, everywhere.

  3. What a mixed budget of news. Yay for the book, yay for the party, yay for London (just sorry I can’t come and heckle / support).

    As for the rest – so many different ways it sucks. I hope you get your heart’s desire, and soon. I hope the grief is … well, I hope.

  4. Cervices.

  5. Um. I assume you did either chemistry or biology o-level. And if you remember back to those days you’ll remember that UNITS are very important. And now if I tell you that UK measurements of E2 are made in pmol/litre and US units (and the charts which show normal levels) are shown in pg/ml, you’ll hopefully start to blush a little, then feel relieved. Divide 94 by 3.67 (see here and you’ll get your actual level according to this chart ( 94/3.67=25.6 or NORMAL.

    Now stop worrying. hahahahaha

    • Christ alive, I DO love you, woman!

      Yes, I did chemistry and biology, Sucked at both of ’em! Sucked at practically everything that wasn’t English, drama, history or geography, really.

  6. Ohh so exciting about the book. I can certainly manage the signing as I have a drinks do in an extremely nearby pub that night although the previous night sounds more fun although I doubt I’d get a two night pass. I can but try though…

  7. I’d love to come the book launch. Were it not for the inconvenient location of the Irish Sea, I would be setting off now on my bike. Yah-boo, Irish sea!
    I’ll have to satisfy myself with the book itself.

    As for the lap, not so bad, I promise. Get help with Harry though for the first few days, as it’s a bit sore, and you’ll be dazed and confused (if you’re like me). Best to avoid toddler horseplay. Ooh, the thought of it. No, no. No-ness.

    And so sorry about the loss of the twin pregnancy. Very sad.

  8. Bugger – I don’t arrive in the UK until Oct 5th, so no Cringe or meeting you at the pub for me. It would have been lovely to meet you irl instead of lurking on your blog….sigh.

  9. Do you get the feeling nobody loves us?

  10. Oh, no, I can’t believe I went on about BMI while forgetting to say the most important thing of all: I am so sorry for your loss–losses. Yet another twist of the knife in what was already so painful.

  11. The news about the twins is a kick in the uterus – even if you suspected at the time, having it confirmed must have been a proper wound-opening blow.

    I have now studied, with care, your flickr picture so feel confident that I will be able to correctly identify you in the pub without looking like an odd-ball who is meeting someone for the first time from the internet. Ahem.

  12. Lovely news about the book. Hoping your one night escape is as pampering to your spirit as it sounds to me!

    Sorry about the medical crap and especially sorry that you had to hear about a twin pregnancy in such an offhand way. Although, and I could be putting my foot in here and please forgive if I am, I always think it’s better to know than not.

    Would come to the book launch if I could. Small matter of airfares and 19,000 odd kilometres. Any Borders store is my utter favourite – a bit more notice and I might have made it!

    Will have a wee drinkie for you if I can get the time differences right. Champagne ok?

  13. […] started to write out another surgery form, identical in every way to the one she wrote out last September… when she cheerfully bunged me on her laparoscopy waiting […]

  14. […] – ‘beautiful’, and I felt reassured. Once I’d got my head around the difference between US & UK lab units of measurement, that is. John, naturally, had been blithely complacent (the man is a congenital optimist, […]

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