I’m still here

but I disappeared up my own fundament with Things I Must Complete a couple of weeks ago, and am unlikely to find my way out before the middle of next week. Big wedding up on our hill this weekend. BIG wedding, although a wonderfully rural and unpretentious one. I have had a long to-do list, primarily a self-inflicted one, and have just this minute completed my last wedding favour (on a day when Harry has rewarded my mother’s long stint of doting care of him by copiously projectile vomiting in not one, but two car interiors) and I am, as they say, pooped.  But I am quickly running to you for advice before I crawl away to bed, because I am experiencing a sartorial sticking point with John.

John’s taste in shirts and ties runs to Sudden, and I have, as you can see, endeavoured to consult his taste while shopping. John is chauffering the bridesmaids, Bride’s mother, father and Bride herself to the church. These two facts have collided somewhat, and John feels that his customary flamboyance is not quite de rigueur when ferrying the VIPs du jour.

I have quietened the look down with an uncharacteristically plain tie, but he still feels that the flowery shirt, which I bought specially for this occasion, is simply too much when worn with his suit, which, when extracted from wardrobe hibernation, admittedly does appear to boast a louder pinstripe than I recalled it having. I have duly bought him another, stripey shirt, which pleases me much less. My heart is set on flowery, and I think he could get away with it.

What do you think? I mean, he won’t listen to you, either, but at least I’d have the satisfaction of knowing that A) I was not alone in my Flowery/Pinstripe advocacy or B) I’m not good at this Dressing business.

This, btw, is my hat box, and my hat fills it. There will be a short eclipse of the sun, totality in the UK south Midlands, shortly after lunchtime on Saturday.

Yes, I will give you photos. 🙂

Tooth & Nail

Oh Christ, I am dreadful at this blogging business. I write SO MUCH stuff. In, you know, my actual head.  I natter relentlessly away to you all, just as if you are sat, trapped, in my car passenger seat. Driving back from the Harry-activity du jour is generally when I construct my best mental rants, on the basis that I am not subject to the inquisitive barrage of back-seat barracking. (A barrage! I rejoice! When, that is, I am not devoutly praying for increased depth of topic exploration. ‘Why’s that, Mummy?’ is pretty much where Harry is happily stuck, currently. And I understand we may be here a while yet. I am not impatient, precisely, merely keen to progress.)

ANYway. Things are sounding a little more hopeful on the Harry-education front, and I have been talked down from my ledge a little. I had many lovely, useful, kind, help-proffering comments, none of which I have replied to, although I have meant to and still mean to, because A) I am disgracefully inept at time-management and B) we have been on holiday. To – to Harry’s great joy – Legoland and the seaside.

I yield to no-one in my enthusiasm for lego, but the seaside – featuring, as it usually does, sand – is not quite my bag, even with glorious weather. Harry comes by his sensory oddities genetically when it comes to icky textures. Both my father and I, although not dirt-shy per se, will adopt pained expressions and proceed to trample the weak in an urgent effort to find soap and water when we are coated with something sticky, gritty, slimy, profoundly wrong, etc. Harry does prefer his sand at tool’s length if possible, but is such an enthusiastic constructor of what I will loosely term buildings, that he no longer minds the grotty textural trade-off, and he and John are as happy as… well, sand-boys. I do love watching the sea, but I think that it joins the land in a thoughtless and badly laid-out fashion; some sort of wooden decking arrangement along the whole English riviera & Jurassic coastline would suit me better.

I am back home, however, and currently taking fright at the dwindling timescale on a number of self-inflicted projects, chief among them: the need to drop, say, half a dress size? before the wedding, with marquee reception next door, of Harry’s godmother at the end of the month. And, because I am the neighbour from hell, I am pinching their marquee afterwards for Harry’s birthday party. My dress is an eBay purchase

 and arrives, I think, tomorrow. I will let you know when I try it on if the nervousness, dieting and 3xweekly gymming needs to upgrade to outright bloody panic. Preliminary – and belated – measurements suggest my bust and hips – those mighty bulwarks of English womanhood! –  are probably vaguely compatible, if currently a little snug, but that, disappointingly, I have the stomach of a woman two whole dress sizes bigger. *gnaws nails*

And speaking of gnawing nails, I have spent this evening (once I had finished making fimo pirate treasure coins for Harry’s party) (I told you my projects were self-inflicted) compiling a summary list, shown below, for Last Chance Saloon Consultant, whom I see in a week’s time.

And those of you who remember how ‘really depressed’ my latest miscarriage rendered my Professor, might be amused by her recent advice to recurrent miscarriers. Leastways, I tried to laugh, but couldn’t, quite. There is a heap-big-important fertility conference happening in Sweden currently, and the take-home message so far, judging by the headlines, has been keep your chin up and brush your teeth – but, after reading the articles, I am gnashing them too much to comply.

Ann’s Woeful Reproductive Summary:
1 premature IUGR birth RIGHT uterus (unplanned conception)
2 chemical pregnancies LEFT & RIGHT uteri (Frozen cycle IVF [L] & unplanned conception [R])
1 miscarriage at 7 weeks LEFT uterus; normal growth, no heartbeat (Fresh cycle IVF)
2 miscarriages at 8 weeks LEFT uterus, normal growth, normal heartbeat (partial IUI cycle & Fresh cycle blastocyst IVF)
2004       6 cycles Clomid
5 out of 6 cycles regularised to sub-40 days
LH surges detected during menstruation
Serum progesterone tests ‘indicating ovulation’ 2 days before menstruation
?2005     IUI cycle – Unsuccessful
Miscommunication between medical team
Dominant follicle on RIGHT ovary, but sperm replaced in LEFT uterus
Downregulation successful, accompanied by frequent arrhythmia
?05/06   IUI cycle: pregnancy LEFT uterus
Delayed response to Norethisterone
1st downregulation attempt unsuccessful, had to repeat
Eventual downregulation accompanied by arrhythmia
Sub-optimal response in LEFT ovary to gonadotrophins
Cycle abandoned part-way (as we were aiming for LEFT uterus pregnancy) but still conceived
6 week scan normal with heartbeat
8 weeks scan normal growth, no heartbeat
Medical management of miscarriage
2006       IVF cycle: pregnancy LEFT uterus
Down-regulation successful, accompanied by arrhythmia
Sub-optimal response to Menopur
Continual bleeding & cramping, beginning at 5 weeks pregnant
Embryo growth appropriate up until 7 weeks but no heartbeat developed
Miscarried naturally (?9) weeks
Re-admitted (?3) days after loss of pregnancy sac with severe cramping pain
No retained products / obvious infection
2006       IVF frozen cycle: chemical pregnancy LEFT uterus
Down-regulation unsuccessful: 20mm follicle at baseline scan
Eventual down-regulation accompanied by arrhythmia
Continual bleeding & cramping from 5 days after embryo transfer
Jan 07     Unplanned conception: Harry, RIGHT uterus
Slight bleed at 9 weeks with very strong cramping that week
Continued to cramp & bleed at decreasing intervals and with increasing severity throughout pregnancy
CTG & home doppler detecting fetal distress/decelerations
Premature vaginal delivery: 33 weeks
IUGR: 1.7kg
NICU: Fully ventilated
SCBU: 4 week stay
Mar 10   Unplanned conception: RIGHT uterus
Chemical / 8.2mm sac seen
Mar 11   IVF blastocyst cycle: pregnancy LEFT uterus
 Antagonist cycle
Good response 300iu Gonal F
No arrhythmia
Developed OHSS ; severe symptoms for 12 hours
40mg heparin / 150mg aspirin daily
Normal growth; heartbeat stopped 8w5days
Medical management of miscarriage
 Heavy blood loss, +++ large clots; IV fluids
Fetal tissue cytogenetics ordered
Re-admitted 4 days following loss of pregnancy sac with full labour contractions – LEFT uterus only
No retained products
24hr-cyclic severe cramping pain LEFT uterus for 8 days following re-admission, gradually decreasing
Raised white blood cell count, but I’m fairly sure no infection present
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