Metaphorically, I Look Like A Fat, Drowned Chihuahua

Still here. Still haven’t changed the duvet cover. Still twinging. Still sicky. Still stressed.

But, on the bright side, the bleeding is darkening and tailing off; the pain isn’t getting any worse, at least, and John is turning out to be surprisingly domestically adept when he is given no choice. He’d even washed and dried Harry’s school uniform since Tuesday ready for his afternoon nursery session today, which made me narrow my eyes a little in thoughtful contemplation of future division of household labour.

I believe I mentioned something rash about going for another scan today; I have no better news than failure to bring you. I spoke to a markedly less sympathetic nurse on the phone who, after eliciting that I was not doubled over in agony or standing in a bloody puddle, told me that I would do better to come in for a viability prognosis after the bleeding had stopped altogether. When I politely demurred, she told me flatly that they had no appointments – this is a gynae A & E – until next week.

It is my usual practice, when thwarted by the NHS, to instantly, and with complete absence of any type of qualm, throw money at the private sector. I rang my local private ultrasound clinic, only to discover that they do not work on Fridays. Bugger. The only remaining option would be to drive many miles to another clinic, a much more expensive one, in a location I don’t know, alone, when I am supposed to be sitting down doing nothing. The risks didn’t seem to outweigh the benefits, quite, so I am sat here calculating just how many hours of weekend I have to get through until 3pm on Monday.

Not, of course, that Turbo’s continued survival at that point will mean a great deal in terms of prognosis. Julie will perhaps correct me if my memory is adrift here, but I remember reading some years ago, somewhere in the depths of her wondrous archives, that her husband Paul had once spoken words to the effect that: even the most reassuring scan can only ever tell you what has happened. Past tense. How true. Because, of course, I am now simply sitting here under the suspended sword of Damocles, waiting – and shall continue to wait for the entire undetermined length of this pregnancy – for the next crucifying haemorrhage, for the sharp, harbingering cramps.

It’s a shit of way to spend a few days. Weeks. Months, if we’re lucky.

I knew this was a strong possibility when we embarked on this cycle, but a little part of me was stupidly, illogically optimistic, and was clinging fast to the unquenchable, refulgent spark of the It’ll Be Alright This Time hope. I have been thoroughly fire-extinguished, and am sat sodden, shivering, deflated and depressed  – and in a stinking bad mood to boot – in the spreading puddle of my hopes for Uncomplicated and Straightforward. I don’t think my fur is ever going to look the same after this.

*** Updated to add***

In a return to my previous Champion Doppling form, I have just picked up 8+4 weeks Turbo on my doppler, chugging away determinedly at 175 bpm still. Probably IS wearing a tin hat.

The day comes when they have to declare

I hopped nervously onto the scales this morning, and noted grimly that I had gained Shriek! pounds over Christmas. (There are three Imperial Groans in a Shriek, and roughly two Shrieks to the Ululation. 4 Ululations to the Shitload. I reckon a Groan = 2lbs.)

I’d half expected to gain more: my eating has been pretty profligate since *thinks* well, since Harry became poorly with ‘flu in the middle of December, I suppose. I become, under stress, a person with alarmingly embiggened food entitlement issues. As the ever-inspiring Cecily said recently, it’s easy to slip into “I deserve” behaviour. And it really is soooo, so sweet and easy when there’s festive biscuits, chocolate and cheese under your nose, morning, noon and – literally, because I spent a lot of ’em awake in December – night.

Stepping off the scales, I started furiously planning my assault on Mount Weight. Againagainagain. John has been nagging me to cancel my gym membership, as I’ve not been since I returned to part-time work back at the end of summer, and I was feeling grimly satisfied that I’d continued my haemorrhage of £30 a month for bugger all, after all. I was busily calculating how long it might take me to get back down to 13 stone (an Ululation+a Shriek away and my self-imposed maximum weight for beginning a pregnancy -or I will end up trampling on my own boobs when I walk waddle at the end of it) when it dawned on me that my reptile hindbrain is running (figuratively. Even my inner lizard feels podgy) before my higher thought processes have finished deciding whether to walk or not. Againagainagain. 

 Here’s the thing: Nice Consultant, having had a damn good rummage about in my innards, peered closely at everything, blitzed a wee bit of endometriosis on my left uterus, performed a polypectomy (benign) in my right uterus (that was the ‘synechia’ seen on scan, I expect and hope) and taken two biopsies that came back showing proliferative endometrium with no sign of atypia (the letter said atopia, mind you) has pronounced the Harry-Housed Uterus Of Doom, attached to my one decent-ish ovary, fit for purpose – and would like us ‘to try for a baby now.’

I stared miserably at her, sat in the plush surroundings of the local private hospital (as the NHS kindly gave me a surgery follow-up appointment in late March) and tried my best to explain to her why I have such deep-rooted misgivings. I am darkly convinced that the blood supply to my right uterus is borked. I’ve never, in the 25 years I’ve been suffering this shit, had a proper bleed from that uterus, pregnancy excepted; primordial brown-black gunk is all I ever get. (That thud you just heard was likely my father slamming the laptop lid shut in hasty recoil, btw.) My right-uterus pregnancy with Harry was successful only in that he survived with what appears to be very minimal brain damage. I started spotting at 9 weeks, and had increasingly heavy episodes of bleeding every few days, eventually accompanied by contractions. His heartbeat on the doppler was terrifying to listen to, because, every couple of hours (I spent a lot of time listening. A lot.) it would stutter, hiccup, and decrease from its gallop to a throttled set of slow – very, very slow – thuds. It was a while before Harry obliged me (and vindicated my slew of worried phone calls to my midwife – ‘your own abdominal sounds, I expect, dear’) by performing this particular trick in the presence of medical equipment operated by someone with an MD, but when he finally did, Consultants Were Urgently Summoned. Ultrasounds Were Ordered, Stat.

I had over 20 scans during my 33 week pregnancy with Harry, and was in and out of hospital like a fiddler’s elbow, but at no point was a cord or placental abnormality spotted, and I wish I’d had the presence of mind to ask for my placenta to be properly examined after birth. Harry gradually fell away from the growth charts, and was born with symmetrical IUGR. He became very unstable shortly after birth, required fully ventilating, and had atypical seizures accompanied by massive desaturations in NICU. He did not, evidently, manage to dodge all the bullets. But you know all this.

I blame my right uterus. I blame the crappy endometrium. I blame my faulty housing. It seems so inescapable to me that evidence indicative of a poorly oxygenated child, added to evidence indicative of a poorly oxygenated uterus, should equal CONCLUSION in the eyes of the medical world. How is it just me that thinks this?

And it is just me, you see. Everyone around me thinks I’m wrong about the uterus, and I am marooned by my fears, painted into a corner alone, bleakly conspicuous as the one who is expected to do all the bleeding if I am right and they are wrong, and it all goes totally tits. I am defensive, bewildered and afraid.

John has never shared my view of Right’s poor performance, stoutly citing the tally of my 3 miscarriages in Left. As far as he is concerned: only one uterus has produced a living baby; quod erat demonstrandum.

VIP Consultant was of the opinion, when we last spoke, that Harry’s difficulties are probably co-incidental.

In response to my expressed worries, Nice Consultant reassuringly (in manner. Not, regrettably, in effect) told me that the biopsy on Right is clear, and that it was a ‘lovely looking uterus!’ before she began talking about aspirin and heparin therapy and those bloody awful progesterone lard torpedos. I didn’t have the mental wherewithal to ask her explicitly while I was there, but I suspect that she would not countenance performing an expensive and quite major procedure – IVF – when there is no medical evidence, apart from my dark forebodings and probably-brain-damaged son, that it is required. Ethically grey, I think.

And, as John does not forget to point out, I swore I’d never have IVF again, in any case. I responded inversely to downregulatory drugs and gonadotrophins half the time, and it was the hormonal shock of chemical menopause that started my pesky heart palpitations in the first place.

 Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. I am under no obligation to believe either my doctors or my husband – only pressure, of an oblique and partially self-imposed sort. If I let myself, and myself alone, take this risk – because I want another child – in the face of what I believe to be great danger, then how could I avoid great bitterness and blame to myself if my child is born severely brain damaged, or dies?

And then, of course, there is the fact that I appear to have some type of auto-immune or clotting disorder, which has, thus far, declined to be identified by blood test. My first-ever pregnancy went so very, very heart-beatingly well (right up until the point where it abruptly, unfortunately and probably-chromosomally didn’t)… and all my subsequent pregnancies have been distinctly troubled affairs, a fact which I brood upon, darkly.

I am having a lot of dark-brooding type thoughts all round, in fact, because I have a lot of reasons not to have another child. The chances of my carrying a baby to term are, we know, pretty much zero. My terror of prematurity is fairly profound. We’re not rich (and surrogacy, although a logical suggestion, is not the solution for me.) John and I are both sporting a shocking amount of grey hair lately. Harry’s behaviour, although in no way his fault, often puts our relationship under strain. Coping with a newborn as challenging as Harry, as well as looking after Harry himself, would be… an utter impossibility. My forebrain backs wildly away, waving frantic *jazz hands*.

I am firmly of the opinion that when the archaeologists dig me up in a few hundred years’ time, the fancy-pants futuristic bone-mineral-density-type scan they do of my skeleton will reveal a tree-ring of complete devastation caused to my frame by sleep-deprivation, fear and stress during that time of pregnancy and early motherhood. I dread future baby sleep-deprivation to my very marrow, because prem babies generally aren’t restful. With colic, reflux, hole-in-heart, alarming apnoeic-distress episodes at EVERY nappy change due to (what, with hindsight, was fairly sodding pronounced) sensory processing disorder, and it’s unsurprising I was so battered, that, on a couple of occasions I actually hallucinated, which was interesting and un-fun.

And, when Harry was 2 or 3 months old and breastfeeding for England every two hours, my immune system fell through the floor and I came down with the most God-awful illness; flu symptoms, multiple cold sores all over my lips, tongue and up my nose, searing 40 degree temperature… I can remember, for the first and only time in my life, wanting to die. I wasn’t remotely depressed: I just felt so spectacularly wretched in my very febrile state that I thought that I was, in actual fact, really dying, and as the inevitable was happening it might as well get a move on and stop prolonging the agony. And I couldn’t even get anyone else to have Harry, because by that stage, he was disdainfully refusing a bottle. Emptying stomach=hurts=MOAR BOOB, MUMMY! It was quite a low point, and I am pretty sure I said I’d never do it again.

I am so horribly distressed. Harry would, I think, love to have a sibling and I would likely grieve that loss of his in later life as much as my own. Being an only child has its own peculiar set of benefits and penalties. But I just can’t bring myself to step off the edge, and commit. Commit to that Right Uterus of Doom – as opposed to the Left Uterus of Slightly Higher Numerical Doom But Markedly Better Blood Supply. Everytime I try to think about it seriously, I have a nasty mental wobble, feel quite sick, start sweating and hastily push the whole idea right to the back of my brain.

The back of my brain, where the podgy reptile lives. Lizard Hindbrain has, without consultation with higher authority, ordered the repro-friendly vitamins that Nice Consultant demanded, in the loveliest possible way, we both take. (I thoroughly enjoyed John’s expression when she told him she expected him to take Well Man Conception vitamins, but my smile sank out of sight when I discovered these particular vits were £10 a month. Each!)  Plus, Hindbrain also ordered some easy-dosages of the low-dose aspirin that I am supposed to be taking already, and aren’t. Hindbrain has also had a major re-arrange of the bedroom over Christmas to facilitate the path of multiple night-time trips to the ensuite. Hindbrain has even managed – and this was quite clever of it, working unsupported – to book an IUI cycle, commencing February. And today, it seems, Hindbrain is keen for me to quickly lose some weight.

I am still bewildered. I am still afraid. I have experienced 6 months of clomid, 2 IUIs, 2 IVFs, 4 miscarriages, a stressful pregnancy, a premature and dangerous birth and serious worries, first, about Harry’s survival, and later, his health – and withstood it, as people generally do when they have to, because being entirely overwhelmed by events is seldom a valid post-Victorian option. 

I know what lies behind and I know what might lie ahead. And the ground I’m standing on right now looks pretty damn comfy, thanks. But I’m 36 next month, so it’s now, really now, or… not. There’s nothing to gain by waiting. Refusing to choose is also a choice.

For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No. It’s clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him; and saying it,

he goes from honour to honour, strong in his conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Asked again,
he’d still say no. Yet that no – the right no –
drags him down all his life.
CP Cavafy

Riddle

If a tree falls over in the woods hCG level falls below 5 and there is no-one to hear it no blood loss, then does it make a noise have I actually, properly, fully miscarried yet?

I stopped bleeding almost immediately after my scan: I did not lose any further clots. My HCG, by now, will be nothing.

Oi! Clever people! Over here! What happens to the pregnancy sac? Does it hover about in there like a determined gatecrasher, turning a huffy back on the designated cervical exit, until my next period? Or do I magically re-absorb it? It seems you can still be a learner, even on your 4th miscarriage, your 5th pregnancy, and your 6th baby.

I’m… ok. Just ok. Not my chirpy self. I am mithered about the ubiquitous array of Worrisome Stuff with one or two Irksome Added Extras; I’m still giving a fair imitation of SleepyMcSleeperson, plus I have an ominously swollen tonsil this evening… but the feet are still moving forward, I am taking a little more time in my day to relax, and I have lost three pounds this week.

A small ‘Yay!’ would be appropriate to crow aloud about this last item, as it was Difficult… if you are sat alone, and feel like crowing, that is. If you’re on the bus, best not, eh?

*************

Corymbia lost her beloved husband this month. She has young children left fatherless.

Twangy’s much-wanted and adored baby had no heartbeat this morning.

Sadness.

Delayed Eviction

Thank you for your lovely words and kind wishes.

I’m still here. I feel tired, wretched and poorly, and haven’t the energy to do anything after Harry-wrangling except stare listlessly at the screen before heading toward another early bed, into which I collapse like a mighty tree-trunk afflicted with Dutch elm disease, oak leaf roller moth, red band needle blight, great spruce bark beetles, AND savage axe-wounds.

I saw my lovely consultant in her lunch hour yesterday, for which I had to pay, as my pregnancy was officially Nothing To Do with her NHS clinic, which evidently has a waiting list of Horrendous. I haven’t had a bill yet, but I feel she’s worth the dollar.

‘That’s really NOT fair!’ she exclaimed, when I told her it was all over bar the shouting. I nodded vehemently.

I wasn’t really expecting to discover anything on the scan. I didn’t seem to be very far along, I’d been bleeding and cramping heavily, and my peesticks had gone awful faint. Strictly speaking, reading them within the recommended time window, I was absolutely and totally un-pregnant.

Consultant has never scanned me before, so I have to give the lady full credit for the lightning-like speed with which she oriented herself, and instantaneously announced that the pregnancy was ‘definitely, 100%’ located in my right uterus.

‘Score one to me,’ I remarked, drily, marking on an imaginary scoreboard.

(It’s doing exactly this sort of thing that earns me a reputation for being exceedingly odd.)

I have an 8.2mm sac still in residence in Cameron, albeit empty of any sign of life; the several areas of echogenicity previously flagged up as likely adenomyosis were obstinately lurking in there too. Blair has produced its usual decidual reaction and, despite the heavy bleeding to date, there’s a helluva lot more of it to come. Awesome.

Consultant thought that Cameron looked like a ‘fabulous’ uterus, especially now she is significantly increased in size post partum. I was obliged to pull a face and inform her that my son might vociferously disagree with her.

Back in the office, she announced that – and I can’t do justice to her wonderful accent and exclamatory intonation – ‘I have made my decision! I would like to put you on heparin and aspirin. Straightaway! From now!’

‘Oh! Erm. Good? It’s just… there’s this thing with my heart… I keep getting palpitationy arrythmia thingies which are probably nothing at all but they’re a bit… worrying. Is that going to be… ok?’

Cue much quizzing on what, actually, WAS the nature of the matter with my back-to-frontness – which I couldn’t answer, because I don’t know if it flows the wrong way around, is completely flipped, or just tangled and twisted around a bit. She said that a cardiology opinion was requisite, both in terms of how my heart weirdness is likely to affect – or, likely, not – my general health, but also in terms of conception, pregnancy, and my forthcoming laparoscopy. Once I’d seen a cardiologist, I should start anti-coags. I told her that my GP seemed pretty relaxed about it all, but that I was sure he would refer me if I really twisted his arm, whereupon she told me in no uncertain terms that he couldn’t possibly object, ‘he won’t even query it!’, that a cardiology workup was absolutely necessary, that I should look on the internet to find the best cardiologist locally and ensure I was referred to him, and that there would not be a problem, at all, with my GP.

I held my tongue. An appointment with my GP’s a tough gig.

I asked about our recurrent miscarriage investigations, which were done back in 2006. She scoured my records – I began to feel as if I was really getting my money’s worth around now – and elicited that my Factor 5 Leiden has never been done. My lupus has, but she arranged a repeat of the thrombophilias in any case, to be taken once the pregnancy has fully departed.

‘Lovely hormones!’ she remarked, peering closely at the screen. God only knows what ancient test results she was looking at, but my mood swings and chaotic ovulation would dearly like to call her out on that one.

She insisted, once she had seen my stubborn resident sac, on taking a beta HCG, despite my assuring her that it would be quite ridiculously low. If I had to put money on it, and judging from my intense study of the pseudo-science of peesticks, I’m guessing it’ll come back around the low teens. In any event, if it comes back below 50, I get to avoid a 62 mile round trip in order to repeat it. 

We talked about weight – again – and I explained that her scales had been pretty optimistic, to the point of actual inaccuracy, and that I actually had over two stone to lose. Bless the woman, she looked absolutely crushed with vicarious disappointment, and said lots of nice, encouraging things. I never got around to telling you that I’d had an absolutely lovely letter from her following the previous clinic appointment that had incensed me so much (upon re-reading that post, I see that I expressed myself about as badly as usual. My frustration was predominantly directed at NHS incompetence and my own sad inability to shed the pounds. I was, not very far beneath the indignation, crossly aware that I must, to my own detriment, have somehow snuck under her FAT! PATIENT! radar first time around, as opposed to falling a tragic victim of moving podgy goalposts.) emphasizing that there was now an increased anaesthesia risk (heart) and that she was absolutely confident I would be shedding the required weight in jig time. She said it all again, and was as sympathetic about the horrors of excess tonnage as a woman with a fabulous, gym-honed body can be, but let us stop this comparison woe. We agreed that Ann must diet.

So, I left, feeling rather thrown by the clinging sac and – particularly – the prospect of daily injections for rest of my child-bearing life. I’ve self-injected as much as the next addict IVF veteran, and needles hold no fear, precisely – I refused to use the cartridge-thing to depress the plunger, in any event – but I’m not precisely grinning about the prospect, either. However, I accept I’m presenting a reasonable case for pre-gestation anticoagulant therapy, what with 3 out of my 5 pregnancies being Surprise! ones – and I’m puzzled, in retrospect, why I wasn’t prescribed them during my troubled pregnancy with Harry.

Speaking of Harry, I arrived at his nursery to find that he was just as savagely grumpy and Totally-Coming-Down-With-Something as he had been during the morning, only now with an extra helping of exhaustion. He ended up a screaming thrashing heap on the floor 3 times between the school door and my car, located, due to School Fabulous’s nightmare parking, half a street away. Grappling with his struggling form in the middle of the road, in full view of about 25 waiting minibuses and taxis, I became horribly aware that the wanding of my cervi an hour before had provoked… tsunami. Convinced that I had just visibly miscarried the fluid equivalent of a entire bloodbank all over my trousers, I made a herculean effort and rammed a loudly-grieving Harry highly unceremoniously into his car seat before scurrying into cover in the driver’s seat. Surreptitious investigations revealed that I had, in fact, merely expelled a large quantity of ultrasound gel over my clothing instead.

Two hours later, I lugged a sleepy, hot, hysterically distraught and sensory-overloaded toddler down to the GP. He had some cream promptly prescribed for his eczema, which had flared horribly overnight; the school nurse had rang me to discuss the awful state of his lacerated back (Harry had attacked himself with determined nails earlier that morning) as I left the hospital, which didn’t improve my sense of self any. I then immediately presented Harry with books he hadn’t seen for a while to keep him quiet while I discussed the Heart Thing in peace.

It failed. The book ploy, the discussion, everything. Harry screamed so loudly I could barely make myself coherent, and threw himself around the room in protest. GP, as I fully expected, thought that my heart was Fine, and I was Fine, and heparin would be Fine, and my palpitations were almost certainly just Fine muscle spasms. I explained – I think I explained – that it was bugging me, and Consultant wanted it Looked At. He said he would ‘write to the heart people’ to arrange for me to be hooked up to a heart monitor for a bit – I assume, days? – and see what the machine made of my palpitty things, which are pretty frequent. He said ‘they might want to see you first’.

Gah. I know when I’m outmanoeuvered. And I probably AM merely another manifestation of GP’s ubiquitous Worried Well.  Harry was heaving on my hand with all his might, trying to remove me from the room, so I let him take me – returning only to grab a prescription for hefty amounts of codeine, which GP handed over like an obedient lamb. We came home. We both went to bed.

I picked Harry up from School Fabulous today – which he loves with all his toddlery heart – to find his little classmate lay motionless, unresponsive on the nursery floor. Some members of staff and his mother, a friend of mine, were crouched over him; she was calm, but I saw her pallor. I enquired, briefly, if I could do anything to help. She told me no, they were good, but that she wouldn’t be able to make our coffee date next week. An ambulance was on its way. The last I heard from her, 4 hours later, he was still in Resus.

I keep seeing his tiny, still form lying on the floor. His mother’s stricken face. As with so many of the things in this life that I wish I’d never seen, it reminds me that my own burden is not, comparatively, very heavy at all.

What Are You?

If you are going to be rendered unwell, are you most likely to

A) have a clear diary in which to groan at leisure,

B) have a ticket to a special event which you are keen not to miss, or

C) have a ticket to a distant special event, for which you have arranged to stay with friends.

.

In pre-visit dialogue with your kind and understanding friends, are you most likely to reveal that

A) You have the most dreadful snoring problem that you do hope won’t keep them awake,

B) You have simply poisonous wind which you do hope won’t induce vomiting incommode them too much, or

C) You are likely to lose your pregnancy in their house.

.

During aforementioned stay with friends, are you most likely to need a loan of

A) Money,

B) Clothing, or

C) Opiates.

.

During debilitatingly heavy bleeding and cramps, are you most likely to

A) Take to your bed and cease to function,

B) Take the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and operate on limited service, or

C) Take a little more than the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and take no notice. Pain is weakness leaving the body.

.

Apart from your reproductive system, is the body part most likely to be causing you added anxiety and concern your

A) Skin,

B) Bowels, or

C) Heart.

.

During the loss of your 5th pregnancy and 6th fetus, are you able to comfort yourself with

A) Chocolate and bed rest,

B) Alcohol and daytime TV, or

C) Neither, because you must start a savage diet and also own a toddler with a busy schedule.

.

Would you be most likely to miscarry

A) At the weekend,

B) During the week, or

C) On Mothering Sunday.

.

Mostly ‘A’s

You are a delicate, lovely flower.

Mostly ‘B’s

You can tough it out against adversity.

Mostly ‘C’s

You are a leathery, hardy veteran and prime agricultural marriage material to boot.

Death Of A Thousand Cuts

I was looking down the menu in the Italian restaurant last night, searching for a pasta dish. All I could see was pizza upon pizza; absolutely dozens of the buggers.

‘Not much fucking variety!’ I moped to myself, before vaguely looking around and noticing that there were a fair few Pizza Express signs. Above the door, for instance, and on the top of the menu.

I had a pizza.

Towards the end of the night the cramping ramped up, and I was unsurprised to find significantly increased amounts of bloodloss – God alone knows where from – when I got home shortly before midnight, to find John vicariously suffering from the pregnancy sleepies; he had to be prodded awake to hear my Pain! Blood! news – and duly provided me with warm feet and a cuddle, which was pretty much all I was after at that stage of the day.

Because most of my body definitely reckons it’s pregnant: my boobs ache, I can barely keep my eyes open, and I’m vaguely frisky. Very vaguely, John. Yesterday morning’s peestick – I am a neurotic and compulsive peesticker – was significantly darker than the one I photographed. This morning’s was somewhere between the previous two, but I’d downed an unaccustomed amount of fluid the night before.

I was absolutely horrible to Harry this morning. The poor little lad did nothing wrong except try to get my attention when I was half-awake and unhappy, and I was totally fucking rotten to him and pushed him away from me and called him a Name he doesn’t understand.

God help me. I sobbed and sobbed in shame. 

I have to do better than this. In fact, I hope I never sink so low again.

John came home at breakfast and enquired how I was. I don’t think the Pain! Blood! conversation sank in properly last night and he was quite sad when I explained it was going tits. He’s always had a better opinion of Cameron than I have, and he really rather wants another child.

I took Harry into town after breakfast to buy him a new book – an airport and aeroplanes one – and have his passport photos taken in a studio, after I wasted £4 in a booth yesterday trying to persuade a tray of snakes overtired toddler to stand still on the stool, don’t touch the curtain and look at the blank wall while Mummy kneels on the floor preventing topples.

Harry and I have no passports currently, a fact that disconcerted me enormously when my mother fell ill abroad recently. Running away somewhere is my stock reaction to miscarriage, and while we cannot afford a holiday in the slightest, I expect we might end up somewhere once John has finished lambing. This is assuming the cost of the preparations themselves do not bankrupt me. £8 in the photobooth. £7 for Harry’s studio shots. £77.50 to renew my passport. £49 for Harry’s first passport. £8 to have the Post Office check the documents. £3 to have them sent back on special delivery. Plus whatever it’ll cost to send the fat bastard envelope containing Harry’s birth certificate, our marriage certificate, photos, completed forms, and Uncle Tom Cobbley to them by special delivery in the first place.

Bah.

This evening, the pain has died down to a grumble and the blood loss has tailed off to a brown trickle again. My second, IVF  pregnancy stretched on for weeks, bleeding and cramping from very shortly after transfer, even growing as far as a normal 7 week-sized fetus, but without ever developing a heartbeat. I was off work for nearly 8 weeks with that one. I was a mess.

Do. Not. Want.

I know what I want. I want to be warm, magically 5 stone lighter, sat with a good book and a nice snack, on a balcony, looking down a Mediterranean hillside, watching the sea twinkle in the morning sunlight. There are fishing boats. John & Harry – who behaved impeccably on the plane – are somewhere stage left doing Fun Stuff, and laughter can be heard floating up the hill.

Freeze frame.

Frightful Conformity

Thank you so very much for all the hand-holding, finger-holding, toe-holding, tea-making, wheelbarrow-bringing and shoulder massage. I’m in the middle of it all somewhere, feeling loved.

I trudged up the stairs last night, laden with cold and feeling strangely calm about it all before immediately receiving a jab in the solar plexus when I went to the loo; there was a fair amount of pink staining, which had turned brown by this morning and is continuing. I am reasonably sure that this is emanating from Blair, not the pregnant Cameron, and could be something or nothing, but I have decided that it bodes, nevertheless.

The lovely Thalia, who has kindly rescued me from embarrassing myself with science before now, sensibly asked how I can differentiate between the two.

My didelphys is fairly pronounced: my uteri are more polarised than the two shown lined up neatly side by side in the above picture; they are tilted further outwards. (Rookie wand monkeys struggle horribly.) They are entirely unmistakable in terms of identifying which one is complaining – they seldom kick off badly, together, as it happens. When they do, I am completely pole-axed by it.

It was probably 3 or 4 days ago when I first experienced a quite distinct and familiar cramp in Cameron, my right uterus. I can’t fully describe it, but it’s the 5th time I’ve had it, and I’ve been pregnant every time. I managed to ignore the sensation for a day or so, but a particularly insistent twinge at bedtime led me to rummage around for a pregnancy test. I wasn’t expecting a positive, and left it on the side of the bath pretty casually. When I next glanced at it, I mentally remarked on the evaporation line that had appeared. By the time I had finished faffing about at the sink, I had absent-mindedly put together that one doesn’t GET evaporation lines until the things are DRY.

I suddenly hunched over the darkening thing, eyes wide in horror, before erupting out of the bathroom, expostulating loudly. I thrust the peestick at John and flounced back into the bathroom – possibly in order to re-enter the pre-test reality if possible. I have a peculiarly vivid memory of John, who was dozing peacefully when I burst back into the bedroom, holding the test under the lamp and peering closely at it in bemusement whilst being at least half asleep still.

I’ve felt particularly hormonal this last week or so, and I knew from charting LH surges that a period was due, but hadn’t turned up yet. Neither of these factors are odd in themselves, and hadn’t factored themselves properly into my brain until after I had tested, whereupon I realised it was all in frightful conformity.

Cameron was definitely the twinge-ee alright, for a good few days.

Of course, Blair has now started cramping like a git – hence the staining. I have No Idea what this means, and there is No Way of foretelling. I can’t be faffed with all the quantitive beta stuff: it’ll either be, or it won’t. I have a scan pencilled in next Tuesday.

And now I am off out to a restaurant, where I will be required to Smile and Talk.

Arse.

%d bloggers like this: