Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem*

*The only hope for the doomed is not to hope at all.

I have neglected you, Internets; I am sorry. If it is any consolation, I have neglected everything/one else, too.

No news means… well, no news, really. No bleeding, but with 800mg of progesterone going north every day, I think spotting would be highly unlikely, whatever state my innards are in. I am not precisely queasy, but am in that pre-sicky stage of







I have an uncharacteristic fad for lime pickle. I am generally a camel with my liquid intake – a pint of fluid will see me through til teatime, no problem – but I am currently drinking fluids like a thirsty fish.  I am heading to bed at around 8pm for preference, and have the energy levels of a hypoglycaemic sloth.

There’s plenty of not-quite-pain-but-enough-discomfort-to-worry-about, although, on the odd day when things have quietened down in there, I’ve worried about that, too. My non-pregnant uterus has, until the last day or so, been equally as prone to sensation as the other. I am in the miserable position of not actually being able to remember what precise type of pain has previously accompanied either successful pregnancy or gradual miscarriage, so I have no idea if this is digging-in pain or kicking-out pain.

I had sufficient pain and worry to ring up & demand a repeat beta last Tuesday, and a nurse at the early pregnancy unit kindly upgraded me to a scan. There was – last Tuesday – an appropriately-sized gestational sac with a perfect circle of yolk inside, in the correct uterus. I was ridiculously cheerful about that for 30 minutes before the pain recommenced, and I rapidly returned to my baseline state of Pronounced Stress.

Today should have been my 6 week scan, but it is a bank holiday, so next Monday is The Day. Not being a natural laid-back type, I am finding these weeks extremely hard. I am coping with them by A) displaying savage impatience and irritability to all around me (ask me how I am in a meaningful voice? I will cut you.) and B) spending as much time as possible reading, even if that means neglecting every other usual domestic activity. I do not want to talk. I do not want to go out. I do not want to see anyone. The only place my brain can go to close the shutters on this anxiety is into a book: it has always been thus.

Our caravanning holiday with Harry was not entirely successful. Yorkshire was Full, and so was Devon. FullFullBulgingFull. Derisory laughter greeted my every ‘I don’t suppose you have…?’ call. Rather than break Harry’s set-on-caravanning heart, I eventually managed to locate a tiny pitch on what was primarily a mobile-home site located behind an industrial estate in North Wales.

Now, North Wales, boasting, as it does, miles of beautiful coastline and mountainous National Park, is a very nice destination indeed. Our particular park, however, was not a touristy one, and was disturbingly reminiscent of Royston “You’ll never leave!” Vasey – I suppose we were lucky that the police only ended up having a major presence there one evening out of the three we were staying.

Harry had been off-colour, wheezy and feverish for a couple of days before we went, and I was expecting The Snot to make itself known in spadefuls pretty shortly after arrival. It didn’t, but by 3.30am on the first night, Harry was wide awake, having attempted to use his potty 4 times, with practically no success. He proceeded to rampage around the caravan in the small hours until I eventually gave him his iPod in order to bribe him back into bed and to lie down – this unwise case precedent has since bitten us on the bum, big styley.

We carted him down the local A&E the next morning – Easter Sunday – and proceeded to spent a torturous few hours waiting in a dark room looking at the high square of glorious sunlight at the top of the lightwell; Harry was now bored stiff of his iPod videos and wanted 1) to feel better and 2) hit the beach. His urine test was borderline maybe/maybe not for the UTI John & I were pretty certain he had, but his oxygen sats were only 93%, which meant we had to Wait For The Doctor. His sats on a different machine were 96%, which was enough to eventually score us A) the antibiotics we’d initially asked for and B) release. John took Harry out into the sunshine whilst I waited for the antibiotics to turn up from pharmacy. As I walked out of the hospital entrance, I couldn’t remember where we’d parked the car, and turned the wrong way. Stood watching me from the passenger-side footwell of our car, Harry leapt up in consternation – and headbutted the windscreen.

His poor, ivory-skulled head was, thankfully, not overly damaged, although I did spend the next hour or so dreading brain haemorrhage and collapse.

I was glad to come home, particularly as decent restaurant options avec children were thin on the ground, and we ate, in succession, Fish & Chips (delicious), McDonalds (meh), and KFC (double-meh). My intestines, already suffering mightily from All. This. Goddamn. Progesterone. pretty much stopped working altogether after 3 successive days of chips – (trans: fries, for all you Transatlantics. We call your chips crisps.).

And then, there has been the Progesterone Saga. IVF patients will already understand the misery of sending two of these small but oh-so-deadly lard torpedos up your choice of orifice daily. For the uninitiate, suffice to say that what goes up, must – in whatever modified form – come down.

The problem with repeated application Per Vagina is keeping the buggers in.

The problem with repeated application Per Rectum is ever getting the buggers out.

My initial hospital supply of progesterone torpedos ran out last night. I had duly despatched the prescription from my clinic to a respectable online pharmacy, who charged me half what the hospital pharmacy attempted to. These, sadly, are currently sitting in a courier depot Somewhere Unknown. Seeing the upcoming crisis, I visited my GP to cheerfully announce that it was now their happy responsibility to keep me propped up with heparin and progesterone for the next However Long. This particular GP is very part-time, and not very up on IVF (‘I have heard something about using progesterone to support early pregnancy’) but dutifully dug out my Professor’s clinic letter and prescribed me the necessary. There was a slight hitch when she discovered that heparin costs well over £4 per day/shot, and she was only prepared to prescribe me 10 days worth as she said she would have to check it wasn’t on their ‘black list’. (What I am supposed to do if it is: I have no clear idea, apart from having a firm intention not to be one of the parties that ends up duking the bill out between them.)

Anyhoo, I toddled off to the local pharmacy, who boggled a bit, said they’d not got much heparin or any progesterone, and after much to-ing and fro-ing and telephoning, agreed to order it and assured me faithfully that it would be there on Saturday morning to pick up. They made no mention that they were, in fact, closed Saturday afternoon, so it was a fairly acute disappointment to me to find their shutters down at 12.30pm. (I would have got there earlier in any case, had it not been that Saturday morning was when the chap from Autoglass eventually (another saga) turned up to replace my Harry-nutted windscreen.)

So, yesterday saw me on the phone to the general gynae ward at my regional hospital. This ward have responsibility for out-of-hours reproductive medicine clinic patients – you know, they of the Leave-The-Piss-On-The-Floor fame.  They promised to get the sister to ring me back. She didn’t. Tried again. No answer. Etc and ad-infinitum. I eventually got through to a nurse with so-so english and explained my predicament about 3pm; she told me the pharmacy was now closed, and they couldn’t prescribe ward drugs from the trolley to outpatients. I began to wonder grimly if staging a top-volume nervous breakdown would garner me in-patient status, but someone on the gynae ward had already audibly beaten me to it – lending credence to nurse’s protestations of Busy Day. We agreed I should ring back in the morning and obtain an emergency prescription. I rang back this morning. I was told it could be several hours yet. I pointed out that I am supposed to take these things roughly 12 hours apart, and how long again? Several hours. I told her I was getting in the car now and in 31 miles time, I would be Arriving, damnit, and how difficult was it to obtain 2 bloody pessaries?

To her credit, she rang me back as I pulled into the car park with news of Drugs Ready For Collection. To her debit, she gave me – I kid you not – a 5 minute lecture with the drugs sat firmly on her knee, so I couldn’t depart precipitately, on just how the doctor hadn’t wanted to prescribe anything because I wasn’t inpatient and they had No Notes and didn’t have a clue who I was and she’d had to beg the doctor to prescribe it to help me out and if she hadn’t expedited it it would have taken until this afternoon and WHY had I run out of drugs and hadn’t I realised sooner that I was going to run out?

My patience was wearing decidedly thin by the end of it, and I arrived home in a worse stinking mood than when I left. That was some hours ago, and I am 1) still in a tremendous grump 2) worried about some particularly persistent hot pain in pregnant uterus, and 3) wondering if 4pm is too early for bed. 

I am continuing my experiments to ascertain which locations on my ample-and-increasing belly generate a massive bruise when injected with heparin, and which ones leave hardly a trace at all. No rhyme or reason so far.

All there is for me to do, is endure this patiently.

Sweaty donkey balls to endurance, and a hearty punch in the nose to patience.

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