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.


31 Responses

  1. Oh Ann. An aghast JesusMaryandJoseph. Also, a God Between You and All Harm.

    Anyone who does that “But, how ARE you, really?” thing really needs to be made to eat this post. What a litany, you poor girl, one thing after another, that even the mighty Hairy stoicism and sense of humour can hardly withstand.

    That windscreen! Poor Harry.

    It’s going to get better. This is what is going to happen: BETTERNESS is.

  2. There was enough messing about with doctors and hospitals there to… well, too much of it, anyway.

    I’m glad to hear everyone is hanging in there.
    Also v impressed by your Latin:)

    • My first-year Latin exam mark was, apparently, a record for my classics department. A record low. Surpassed only by my ancient Greek mark the following year.

      I read my Virgil in translation!

      • I avoided Latin entirely and soldiered on with Ancient Greek, but I was the only one in my class who did. It is a harsh mistress.

  3. What a saga! I could have posted you a couple that I have left over, next time email me. (Though that is of course probably illegal so I couldn’t do that, Mr Policeman what is reading this).

    Anyway on the uterus inhabitant now news IS good news. Roll on next Monday.

  4. Oh god. The ass bullets. I had blocked them out (not forgotten. BLOCKED.) The last day of the ass bullets is one to celebrate in ways that should be unspeakable – me, I ate an entire bag of M&Ms (hey, some of us, not fans of sweets).

    I actually winced at the photo of the windscreen. Poor Harry. Poor you. I think you should ban Bank Holiday weekends in your house until 2012. Better that way.

    Conquered the Eyre Affair yet? Like/hate?

  5. You’ve brought back memories of the heparin/Lovenox bruises from my pregnancy… I hope you can find the “right” spots soon. Too much going on to even comment except that I hope things settle down a bit more into maintenance mode soon.

    And, very good news re: scan.

  6. Hi, Im Michelle Katys friend. I have set up a blog to talk about Keelan in the hope it may give me a release, and the chance to say to you all thanks. So here we go a huge thanks for all your help with the fundraiser and all your kind words. Thanks. xx

  7. Good grief, no wonder you have had no time for the internets! Poor Harry, Poor you.

    Good job that you have Thursday Next to keep you company whilst hiding in a book…like her! They are really great books, I wish he would write them faster.

  8. oh goodness, oh goodness me. You poor love. Gird your loins… we have four weeks until the next bank holiday!

    And ouch, that windscreen made me wince, poor Harry.

  9. somehow, out of all this, the most terrible thing to me is the news that kfc exists over there. i have maintained for some time that the people of kentucky — the fried chicken cooks in particular — ought to sue for defamation of character. yuck-ola.

    ahem. what a shit show on the pessary front. i hate lecture-y types like that nurse, but i’m glad she got you the goods. you, of all people, might appreciate how funny i, with my vag septum, found the “take one per vagina” instruction. my re did not see the pun, poor man.

    i kick endurance and patience in their respective teeth on your behalf, just as soon as i can get off this couch.

  10. Good god! Not sure exactly what to say. Shame hols blighted. Poor Harry!!! Thank goodness head ok. That was one almighty head butt!

    Impressed by your drug obtaining tenacity.

    Hope things (including uterine pain) calm down x

  11. Your son has an impressively hard head!
    Still crossing everything for you.
    I know all about the business of North Wales over the last 2 weeks, the world and his wife seems to have driven past our house!

  12. Oh the double-edged pessary of hope. But I’m so glad Pandora didn’t let the little bugger get away. And so very very glad that all of you Hairys are muddling, surviving and thriving in the midst of it all (knock on wood, not windows of course)…

  13. JesusMaryJosephAlexAndTheOtherGuy…

    As a general rule, I don’t get along with nurses. Lecturing silly creatures an awful lot of them are. The ones who aren’t angels, that is. Thank heaven for those ones.

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

    And a good swift kick to both of them.

  14. *Tears hair out on your behalf*

    *Bangs head on desk*

    *Wrings hands*

    Do you want your heparin back?

  15. Never a dull moment then!

  16. So, have you been able to track down your shipment of drugs? And the nurse! What is wrong with her??? Does she think there’s some sort of black market demand for progesterone somewhere?

    Poor Harry and his very hard head! I’m sorry the caravanning was not a relaxing trip that took your mind off the state of the contents of your uteri.

  17. Curse the nurse. You should have bitten her.

    That’s a very impressive crack in the windscreen! Glad Harry suffered no ill effects. Hate it when they hit their heads. In the last month, my son managed to fall on his face three times and crack the EXACT same spot on his forehead every time! Not sure the damned bump is ever going to go away.

    I’ve just finished reading the last Thursday Next book. They are good, aren’t they? My personal favourite was number 3 when she really gets into book world. Marvellous. I also really liked “Shades of Grey”, although he’s only on book 1 of that series and I don’t know when the next one will come out. Which is trying. Did you finish the Niccolo series? That’s pretty good going considering the chunkiness of all 7 of them!

    Hope the week goes quietly. And quickly!

    • Oooh I LOVED “Shades of Grey”! Think we’re in the minority though…

      • Really? I only know one other person who has read any Fforde at all, and I haven’t asked her if she’s read Shades of Grey and what she thinks. Anyway I thought it was a very clever and unusual idea and am very interested in seeing where it’s going!

  18. So glad that you all survived in one piece, sort of. Poor Harry and his head! I am so pleased to hear about your scan. Your med woes have just convinced me to order my meds today as I have 3 refills and need to wait 30 days before I can fill them again. What a lovely nurse to give you that lecture.

  19. Ouch.

  20. Durate et vosmet rebus servate secundis

    • Sorry. forgot my referencing manners, will be drummed out of Library Association with tail between my legs.

      Thanks to Virgil. I’m not that clever.

  21. I’m feeling sick myself, but it’s not pregnancy-related, just grossed-out-by-lime-pickle-related.

  22. I, too, am impressed by your Latin, and I am so happy you updated, and I am thinking of you all the time, all the time. My affection is as constant as Harry’s head is hard. (poor guy!)

  23. I cannot BELIEVE your windscreen! Poor guy.

    The rest, ugh, I am sorry. But glad for your scan and anxiously anticipating your next post.

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