You’d think, given my all-pervading desire for peestick-derived knowledge, and frequent wishing for an effective womb-cam, that I would have been clamouring for a repeat beta by now.

I did ask Nursey when she rang me Tuesday morning with the whole 117 news, but, inexplicably, she said it wasn’t a fertility issue any longer, and that I would have to contact The Professor for one, who is based separately over in fetal medicine and obstetrics. Inexplicable, firstly, because I feel that establishing a satisfactorily rising hCG is pretty squarely still the responsibility of the reproductive medicine clinic, and inexplicable, secondly, because they’ve always drawn repeats for me before.

Still. My ‘always before’ was nearly 5 years ago, and I was basically too cheerful to argue. Plus, she rang at 8.30am, and I’m never at my best first thing. The dawn needs to have the shine rubbed off it quite a bit before I can expostulate properly. I spent the rest of that day meaning to ring The Professor and sort something out, but didn’t, and most of yesterday too – before it dawned on me that I didn’t actually want a beta quite enough to warrant chasing down people by phone, asking nicely, driving 62 miles, and losing half a day of glorious sunshine and happy home-pottering. In short, I couldn’t be bothered.

Of course, I’ve regretted this all day today when uterus turned grumpy-crampy (why are the symptoms of pregnancy and imminent-non-pregnancy so goddamn alike?) and my worry levels rose. I have been reassured this evening by a trusty peestick (I am back BFF with my internet cheapies) turning very considerably darker than yesterday morning (in a triumph of sleepiness over paranoia, I didn’t bother peeing on a single thing this morning. If there was a self-help group for Compulsive Peestick Disorder sufferers, there would be hugs and much positive affirmation at this point) and my other uterus is occasionally joining in the general ache-fest, which I feel exonerates Turbo as the sole source of the disturbance.

It is now a frenzy of Bank Holidaying here until next Tuesday, with yet another brace of them buttressing either side of the following weekend, too. We are taking the caravan away somewhere on Saturday – probably to stay at a 3-star traffic snarl-up initally, but hopefully Yorkshire as a final destination. Harry has requested ‘Mountains’, as he has never seen any, so he will be duly shown the Yorkshire Dales and Lied To About Height.

If all goes well, I will return mid-next-week at about the same time I usually begin to feel grotty as hell, and I will potter off for another beta then. If all does not go well, then I shall be miscarrying in either a campsite toilet block, or our caravan’s chemical loo. Choose your optimum location!

The caravan is now on the drive, and Harry is deliriously excited. He has the vocab to express it now, which is undescribable joy to me.

I have meant to post more about his growing speech skills, but for one reason or another, haven’t. The last 6 months have seen a truly incredible gain in expressive skills, and, especially the last 2 or 3 months, every week has brought noticeable gains. 6 weeks ago I was delighted with his handful of 4-word sentences; yesterday he came out with a 9-word sentence. The verbal tide is rushing with startling swiftness across this particular stretch of sand.

His pronunciation remains very patchy; ‘k’ and ‘g’ are still a little way beyond him, he substitutes ‘d’ all over the place and his pace/delivery is a little stilted and unnatural – but, again, he is making weekly strides. In the last couple of days ‘tu-tu’ has become first ‘tu-poo’, and then ‘poo-poo’. In another few weeks, given the polished language usually emitted from his mother, I expect he will merely say he is off for an almighty dump. I expect he’ll still want his bottom wiped, though: it’s a task he seems strangely unwilling to take on for himself so far, but given his co-ordination skills, perhaps that’s for the best.

His diagnosis, still not settled, is now looking likely to be dyspraxia. Although he does not conform to many of the diagnostic criteria, his extreme high-energy levels, tantrums, clumsiness, frequent falls, sensory processing disorder, tics, near-ambidextrousness, slow response to instructions, and, most of all, his severe expressive language difficulties, seem to point more in that direction than any other. On the other hand, he hit all his motor milestones bang on time, (albeit looking like he’d had a fair few pints beforehand), pedalled early, has good fine motor skills, and has highly imaginative play skills  -which we have much more of an insight into now the language is there. He is seeing a neurologist at some point later this year, to see if we can pin it down properly, but I’m not too worried about Harry’s labels these days. He is considered a bright, clever little boy by more people than just his adoring mother, and I know exactly who we have behind that impish giggle now. I can see blossoming potential, and none of the dreadful, life-altering limitations whose spectre kept me awake for so many nights. We have watched and waited – because there was bugger-all choice else – and, in our happy case, Harry has flowered and developed beautifully. Whenever he is poorly – flu and chicken pox both made him temporarily regress significantly – I really see just how far he’s come.  

This is not to say that there are no clouds in the sky. He does have dyspraxia, or something similar. His paediatrician seemed a little taken aback recently in clinic at what her follow-up letter referred to as now ‘very marked’ joint laxity in his legs. His hypermobile joints + low muscle tone/ dyspraxia /whatever the hell is not an improving situation whatsoever – rather the reverse – although his coping skills continue to refine themselves a little, and his balance is evidently not fundamentally flawed – in re the scooter-leg waggling.

John has always been far more concerned with Harry’s mobility than his speech – rightly, as it turns out. Contact sports look like being a non-starter for the duration of his life. He is not, I fear, going to be able to take full part in things like school sports day races in the foreseeable future; although he spends a large proportion of his day racing about, the concomitant falls are so frequent that I doubt he’d make it to the end of even a short course without falling on his nose. The thought of him being excluded because of his sheer lack of co-ordination and bodily ability makes me want to bawl like a wounded bull elephant and run amok – and then I remember the dark days in NICU after he was born, when we were warned he’d likely had a neurological knock, and we were just hoping A) that he would survive, and B) survive to live a reasonably normal life.


I think we’ve been exquisitely fortunate already. And here I am, watching peesticks like a hawk, wincing at every twinge, and hoping for More Good Fortune, Please. 

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