You Couldn’t Make This Up

I didn’t start blogging until Harry was seven months old, but regular readers will not have managed to escape the fact that my pregnancy with him was precarious. A spontaneous, unexpected conception, he took root in Cameron (my didelphic uterus of zero-lining-at-all-times and presumed poor blood-supply, as opposed to Blair, which boasts the juiciest lining ever) because only Cameron’s ovary works, even half-properly.

Harry spent the next 31 weeks struggling, like the determined little fighter he still is, to stay alive in there. I lived every hour on a knife edge, hearing his heart skipping beats and slowing down to… well, to a stop… on a daily basis. I bled every 10 days or so, in increasing quantities. His growth slowed to virtually nothing. I was a near-permanent fixture in the labour and delivery unit. When Harry did finally decide that conditions were shit and he would be better out than in, he reacted violently to the big wide world with massive desaturations and acute blood pressure issues. He required fully ventilating and remained in NICU for 10 days – at 3lbs 12oz and (comparatively) mature gestation, the biggest kid in the place by a fair margin. His subsequent stay in SCBU was some weeks longer.

I cannot even begin to give you a flavour of how badly these experiences affected me. The one topic I have been increasingly immovable on (particularly since it became apparent that my uterine artery was not necessarily attached in any way whatsoever to Cameron) is that of never, under any circumstances at all, attempting another pregnancy in that benighted uterus – also now intermittently (?!) filled with adenomyosis, complete with synechium. I have been filled with horror at the thought of subjecting a baby to the same challenges to survival that Harry faced. He largely overcame them, but he still clipped the bullet. His marked fetal stress is almost certainly not unconnected to his continuing profound poverty of language, his ongoing mobility issues, some of his behavioural oddities and his 1st-centile height.

My anxiety on this issue has increased as parts of Harry’s development continued to fall behind and his short to medium term prospects in mainstream education became much less sunny. The last six months in particular I have been uber-careful concerning contraception, tracking LH surges, watching mucus like a hawk, and insisting on using condoms.

The thought of needing IVF in future to transport the good eggs all the way over to the good uterus was offputting, but not near so much as feeling another child struggle to stay alive inside me – and perhaps lose the fight against my inadequate housing this time around.


That’s all sorted then!


Or… not.

What, and I realise this is a cliche, the fuck?

Yes, it’s in Cameron again. This is my fifth pregnancy (count my children and work out my likely odds of success for yourself, btw) and I can totally tell where the action is taking place.

No, I don’t yet know how pregnant I am. Probably between 4 and 5 weeks.

No, we don’t understand how this has occurred, what with the boingy rubber barrier an’ all.

And No, I’m not certain what to do about this just yet, but… I’ll work it out.

Without too much… ummm… opinionated advice, if that’s ok.

The next few months are going to be shitty awful, whatever happens.

Hold my hand?


38 Responses

  1. What with everyone and his dog finding this blog lately (which is fine, btw, don’t be shy, you can comment and everything if you like) I’ve entirely lost track now of quite who might be reading along who also sees me on a regular basis. It’s not a secret blog (well, not since I deleted half my archives, at any rate!) but I don’t go around telling people it exists either, because I’d feel like a self-publicising arsehead.

    The same goes for this pregnancy: it’s not a secret as such and several people, for a number of reasons, have already been told about it, but I’d feel an absolute proper chump announcing it to the world on bloody Facebook or something when it’s probably barely visible to the ultrasounded-eye yet.

    I am distressingly prone to false starts in this area.

  2. I am holding your hand.

    Aaaaand I’ve chewed all the nails off the other hand I wasn’t holding with.

    Oh, Ann. *hug*

  3. Oh wow!

    Oh shit!

    Oh good!

    Oh be safe!

    I think that summarises my thoughts.

  4. Consider your hand held. By a total stranger. From across the Atlantic.

    I’m not sure if that’s comforting or spooky, but fingers crossed for you just the same!

  5. Oh, honey. I’m so sorry you’re worried, and I can totally understand why, and well, fuck. I know you support our friend May but did you really have to do THIS in a show of solidarity? I’m wringing my hands from afar. xox

  6. Oh my. Well, if the fetus is anywhere near as determined as that feisty little spermatazoa, it will definitely have a good fighting chance. Thinking hopeful thoughts from all the way across the Atlantic.

  7. As others have said before me… oh my. Big *hugs* from me too.

  8. Oh wow.
    Lots of long distance good vibes.
    But I bet your brain feels like you’ve had a blender put through it

  9. Another across-the-atlantic reader here, regular reader though rarely commenting as it’s been ages since I’ve done anything with my blog … but wanting to let you know I am here, virtually holding your hand …


  10. Oh goodness. Why does Cameron get all the luck? I’m crossing fingers/toes/eyes for you, from halfway round the world.

  11. Oh, um. Goodness.

    You are the fourth pregnancy announcement to stun me in a week, but I can suck it up more and hold YOUR hand because it’s not the same as the other first-cycle-trying-heir-and-spare friends of mine.

    Them, for telling me via facebook or email and not even directly, I want to slap. Hard.


  12. Another hand coming at you from across the pond!! Maybe Cameron will pull through for you this time!! Crossed fingers! 🙂

  13. My, my, my.

    Well, well.



  14. Wow…Not what I was expecting as I read the post. Here virtually holding your hand and giving an ear if needed. Good luck my friend.

  15. I’m sure you have no hands left to hold…so I’ll just sit here and fantasize miracles for you. Like, spontaneous embryo migration to Blair. Or Cameron got into shape with that last workout and has turned his (her?) life around and now will behave. Or, due to incredibly weird genetics, your innards have rearranged themselves yet again, and now everything is reversed, so there’s no telling what’s going on where. Or! Even Better! You’ve suddenly discovered a previously hidden, fully functional, third uterus – with superhuman strength that can reach out and puncture latex!

    Regardless, good thing that surgery scheduled got all f’d up,no?

    Much luck – I’ll be saying some prayers for you.

  16. I’m glad Womb for Improvement thought of just the right words so that I didn’t have to!

    Honestly, that’s totally it. I’m happy for you, I’m chewing my nails, I want everything to be OK. Sending love to you all–I guess that’s always a good response no matter what happens!

  17. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!!!

    While holding your left toe (what? all your hands were taken!) I would like to suppose that Blair’s tube managed to pick up an egg from Cemeron’s ovary, or that SuperSperm-Charged-Embryo managed to find a well-vascularized patch of (Pre-Stretched!!) Cameron wall. Or both. Wait, hmm…

  18. Oh shit.

    Oh my.

    I’m rarely lost for words, but this time I am. Good good good vibes for all of you. Hand-holding going on here too.

  19. crying for you, if that’s ok.

  20. Ready for hand holding duty. Although, that might be enough to get me pregnant given how fertile you seem to be !

    abs x

  21. Oh crap.

    I’ll indulge in some shoulder massaging in view of the fact that all available hands are clearly held.

  22. OH DEAR GOD. What a thing to happen. It’s hard for *me* to get my head round, I can’t imagine what it’s like for you and John. Oh, Ann.

    We are here for you, no matter what. Hand-holding, tea-making, talking, quietness, whatever you need. And no opinions whatsoever.

    Thinking of you. Many many hugs.

  23. You realize you’re gonna have to start having people hold just fingers, or you’ll run out of hands very quickly! That said, congrats! And I’ll take the ring toe, right next to May.

  24. Oh my word. Hand holding commencing.

  25. Look, this may be a really stupid question but do you KNOW it’s in Cameron? I know the duff versus good ovaries are an indicator, but have you had a scan to proove it? Because I know several people who have no tube on the side of their good ovary and they’ve got pregnant too, those pesky eggs can (for some of us and not for others) sometimes find their way to the right place.

    I’m just asking, is all.

    And I hope very very very very hard that this turns out not to be the same experience revisited.

  26. Do you know, when I read the first sentence in my Google Reader, I though ‘hmm, why the mention of pregnancy?’.

    Well. The Best of All Possible Thoughts headed your way.

  27. Since your hands are all taken, I just have to hold my own on your behalf. And wring them a little.
    For such a tenuous aquaintance, I think of you often. For one thing, every morning when I watch Shaun the Sheep, I think that the Hairy Farmer Family probably found this funny too. I wish all good things for all of you.

  28. Hand! Hand! I’m coming over with a wheelbarrow and will wheel you about for the next nine months covered in cashmere blankets hand knitted with love in every stitch. Oh my poor, poor girl. Your head must be well and truly in the wok as my very strange friend says. Let me know if there is anything I can do. I will risk life, limb and motorways to be of any help I can. Including you telling me to ‘fuck off Katy’ and I will do just that.
    Lots and lots and lots of love.xxxx

  29. Oh. My. I just gasped aloud here at my desk upon seeing that picture. I am holding hope and fear and whatever appendage of yours is left to grasp, all while crossing my fingers and toes. Isn’t that just like life, to fuck around with us when we are so certain we have it all under control?

    Yet another heart of a stranger across the ocean is keeping you close. Whatever happens, all of us in here will be with you and John and Harry.

    (I suddenly have an urge to knit you something warm and cozy… off to the yarn store…)

  30. Oh shit… in a good and bad way.

    One good things, the weight loss for the surgery is now completely immaterial!

  31. Struck dumb. Holding my own hands across the pond & wringing ’em, as for Lynn…
    I’m so glad to be past all that now (but no relief for you, poor dear).
    Hang in there.

  32. I read faithfully, but comment rarely. All I can say is that I’m thinking of you and wishing you good luck.

  33. […] lovely Thalia, who has kindly rescued me from embarrassing myself with science before now, sensibly asked how […]

  34. Well, I cross over to the other side of the country for a few days of corporate grind and return to this amazing news.

    Rarely short of a word or three hundred I am uncharacteristically silent and cannot find anything that feels appropriate. I feel your fear.

    Crossing everything for you all and rummaging about for that old reliable…my ra-ra skirt. For remote cheerleading you understand.

    xx and a big hug from me. R.

    PS. I could can the remote cheerleading and swing my pompoms in person in July should you care for a demonstration.

  35. Oh my goodness! I’m just digging my head out of the jet-lagged sand and I thought I was hallucinating when I saw the test! My hand is washed and clean and ready for holding! xoxo

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