Happy New Year

At this rate I’ll forget my WordPress password.

You last saw me standing on the ledge with my tattered anonymity clutched tight to my bosom, muttering hopefully about Having Time To Blog over Christmas.

I never learn.

To be scrupulously honest, I did have a reasonably unprecented amount of time to myself, but solely because I was obliged to spend it in a variety of assorted huddled heaps, swallowing as many opiates as I could lay my hands on. Cleverly, I had asked my GP for a course of progesterone to knock my interminably lengthy and tiresome on/off period on the head over Christmas; I took a grand total of two, completely forgot about the rest and voila! festive-red tsunami.

Judging by the fact that I was finally reduced to raiding the hoarded co-codamol and codeine prescribed after one or other of my miscarriages – the packets expired August 07 – I think this has been the worst pain that the deadly duo comprising my reproductive system have ever battered me with; apart from the times the pair of them have expelled, you know, actual human beings.

Christmas was… nice, in between the groaning. Harry has enjoyed the whole festive thing mightily, despite having had a hacking, vomit-inducing cough since November and looking like this

Injury by hairyfarmerfamily.

after one of his nursery Christmas parties. No matter how many times I pin people to the wall and minutely extole Harry’s spectacularly accident-prone propensities, everyone always looks surprised when they scrape him up pouring with blood. Harry wasn’t impressed with his visit to A & E; he resisted having his – deep – cut glued or stitched with admirable ferocity and had to make do with steri-strips doing a half-arsed job. Consequently, I think he’s now acquired his first life-long scar. Yippee.

What with that AND the latest lop-sided haircut I’ve given him in his sleep (scissors are hysterical item non-grata as far as he is concerned): Barnardos’d snatch him up for their next ad campaign like a shot.

Still, he had other Christmas parties to go to. I took him to one where he ran about so much and so happily that he inevitably began to cough – before vomiting copiously all over another child’s ride-on car. The shame was awful, despite the child’s poor mother heroically putting the revolting, dripping ride-on in the boot of her car and breezily assuring me that it’d hose off fine. I took him home in his vest and soaking trousers, lining the car seat – inadequately, as it turned out – with borrowed plastic bags. A quick sponge-bath for the pair of us, a change of clothes, and we were back at the village hall so that Harry could have the party tea he had been loudly mortified at leaving behind. He chewed everything, swallowed very little – and then promptly coughed again and deposited what he had eaten in the doorway.

At this point, he was down to his vest with vomit thickly populating his hair and we were running out of cleaning and swabbing materials to borrow, but he had just figured out how to use a tri-wheel scooter and was scooting delightedly around the village hall. Attempts to gently prise his vomity hands off this (yet another child’s) toy took a fair while and ended in tears.

The cough still wakes him up every morning and sometimes during the night – wretched fucking thing – but he hasn’t actually lost a meal since Sunday. Hooray.

 I was vaguely planning to do the obligatory year’s review, but it’s five to midnight, so I think I’ve missed the boat a bit. I dislike new year celebrations and have successfully infected John with my annual redatt-ivity regarding this particular over-rated celebration over the years, so the only thing keeping us from an early bed is the bloody fireworks that the local villagers insist on letting off every year. Paolo Nutini is on the Hootenanny, however, so it’s not all meh.

John is fast asleep on the sofa and I am watching the countdown with a jaundiced and weary eye.

5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Happy New Year, all.

On Cue

The red menace is attempting to get itself underway. It knows very well that today is our village fete and I am spending the entire afternoon stood in the middle of a facility-less field. If I am lucky, I will make it to this evening before the serious cramps start and the ominous knicker-staining becomes the ubiquitous trouser-soaking tsunami. If I’m not lucky, then really, neither is anyone else. No-one needs to see that.

I will now be spending Tuesday – *Monday is a public holiday in the UK – on a 60 mile round trip to have bloodwork done. I am not nervous about the needle; but I’m uneasy about what the results might show.

On Wednesday I am scheduled to have my everlasting, continually-tearing, over-enthusiastic-post-partum-stitching freshly-acquired-in-late-life hymen (some women would pay thousands for it, I’m sure) removed. I cancelled the previous surgery date because I was mid-period. Doh. A call is in to Philogynae, but I suspect I’ll end up getting it done anyway.

This month may also spell the (eventual) end of Harry’s protracted morning boob habit, as I fully intend codeining myself up to the eyeballs should I need to.  

That is all.

*Not every Monday. Damn fine idea, mind you, but just this one coming.


  • That sound you hear? Me touching lots and lots and lots of wood. Do not giggle.
  • Yesterday, I saw my counsellor. We discussed Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry and the Very Bad and Worrisome whole Wanting To Hurt My Own Preshus Self thing. Felt, as always, calmed and soothed afterwards. I am going back a little sooner than usual to explore ways of mentally embarking upon a journey towards a second (actually fifth, but you get my drift) pregnancy that does not leave me feeling guilt-racked – before we’ve even got going – about sentencing a fetus to an worryingly indeterminate stay inside my now proven Not-Exactly-Grade-A uteri.
  • Ethics of deliberately creating a life when you know very well that your faulty internal housing might choke it half to death and expel it early. Like, umm, last time. Dodging of bullets, etc. Discuss!
  • It came as a slight shock when she began to talk about which obstetrician I might usefully be referred to this time around, and mentioned that the Professor of Obstetrics at my regional hospital is a Riskiest-of-High-Risk-Pregnancies specialist. I am so used to being the only specialist on my idiosyncratic anatomy that I tend to think that I’m on my own with it. Which in many ways, I am, but I can’t deny that the prospect of buttonholing an eminent chap (I’ve googled the shit out of him already) who might manage me a little more aggressively this time around was… pleasant. If there is a next time, of course.
  • In related news, my period started Tuesday, exactly 2 hours after I wasted a pregnancy stick. This did not surprise me; not only did I have an unco-operative internal pH thing going on during my LH surge, we also missed the boat on the whole introduce-sperm-to-egg process. On the crucial evening John visited the pub with a mate and although he returned, as ever, keen as mustard to perform, this did not actually prevent him from rapidly falling unconscious asleep without having given of his all, so to speak. Given that I am far too fat to be even half-way comfortably pregnant currently, this was not a disappointment to me, but Hubby seemed displeased about it. I am currently having crampybastardshittyfuckcramps; they are obviously fighting for money in there again.
  • Hubby had, incidentally, got tipsy at the pub with an-embarking-on-divorce-proceedings pal, who is now sporting a brand new pierced ear, his first tattoo and a chunky studded belt. He has also just bought a motorbike, and is stoicly propping up the local pub bars chatting up the beer flossies. Bless the man.
  • I went to bed earlyish last night, exhausted and with racking period pain. I woke up at 2am having bled all over the sheet. Nice.
  • Apropos of the too-fat-for-pregnancy thing, I got on the scales last night, got into bed and promptly burst into tears. I have lost exactly nothing after more than a month of conscientious 3-times-a-week gym attendance. I am, admittedly, aware that I have not been eating at all healthily – a long succession of cakes and sinfully buttery-creamy meals I have cooked for friends – and that my thrice-weekly torture has actually prevented me from gaining the stone+ that I thoroughly deserved to, but still… depressing. I am eating up assisting John with the the last of his birthday cake


and then The Diet begins. I am only 4lbs off my heaviest-ever-including-pregnancy weight.  This is dreadful.

  • Harry’s Speech and Language Therapist came on Tuesday, had some useful suggestions for us, and seemed pleased that Harry has acquired – intermittently – a second word last week: ‘Out!’ He uses it to demand release from his highchair, although often also reverts simply to his generic ‘Iss! Dis!’ while struggling frantically with the straps. (We are still getting plenty of excited ‘Gis!’ despite the fact that they totally made him cry when they honked and ran at him this week.) She is chasing the Integrated Disability Service – that’s how it looks in my head, by the way – again to come and assess him. 
  • I have a boil-type thing in my ear, and it’s making my life miserable, particularly when I’m trying to sleep on it. I can’t see what’s happening – although feeling plenty – so I asked John to take a peer inside, with a view to lancing anything that presented itself. He recoiled backwards, emitting loud ‘urrgggghs!’ Useless.
  • I have still not bought John the whisky he requested as a birthday present, because I can’t be bothered to drive, park, visit the big off-licence, and pay for it with his money whilst toting a grabby-mine-giveitme-wantit toddler. Bad Wifey.
  • Harry has had a waily evening so far, which is a good indicator that he is going to go on to have a disturbed and screamy night. I’m guessing he’s under the weather, possibly with a gripy belly. I am upset by the fact that he is statistically likely to be experiencing pain, nightmares or is scared of something and cannot communicate these things to us at all. It hurts to know he has a comfort need I can’t fill properly.
  • Why, why are there no hexagonal/octagonal used summer houses on Ebay, within 30 miles of here, that no-one apart from me is interested in bidding on? I want one NOW. TODAY. Kthx.
  • The tortoise desperately needs cleaning out; the chicks are also getting off-puttingly smelly and need shifting into bigger quarters in the garage. These are tomorrow’s tasks. I will also have the insanely-heavy-periods-sufferer perk of putting Harry into the creche at the gym for an hour in the morning as usual – and sitting downstairs with coffee and a book.
  • Small Yay! for menorrhagia.

The Proud HFF Motto: Nunquam Paratus

In retrospect, my period should not have taken me by surprise last night at all. I wasn’t particularly expecting a pregnancy, you understand, despite copious amounts – too much, in fact! – of encouraging EWCM earlier in the month. I knew it would be along at some point. I just wasn’t expecting it right now. But I should have expected it, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I have fallen behind with the laundry, so I have no appropriate big baggy grey underwear or clothing to hand. And in the last two hours I have soaked a super-plus tampon, used the hell out of two nightime towels, stained my jeans and saturated two pairs of knickers. I am now wearing… wait for it… cream trousers. Coz they are the only clean and dry things I have that conceal my unshaven legs. And we’re leaving for the soft-play barn shortly!

Secondly, I am low on sticky-backed duvets (Nuts in May ™). I am convinced that my uteri lurk, malevolent and unpredictable, unleashing the tsunami on the exact day that I am least prepared for them. They do not generally bleed exactly in sync, which puzzles… just about everyone, because they should. Obviously one of my cervi is a retentive bitch. But occasionally they do gang up and organise their collective onslaught with exquisite viciousness. For the rest of the painting and decorating episode, they fight like cat and… ummm, cat, because they are two cramping, unhappy little uteri in a space that is only designed for one.

Thirdly, I had also started to sob at the least provocation. I will spare you a long list of random and ridiculous snivels, bar three.

1) Yesterday, Hubby, upon being scolded about leaving his socks in the hallway, balled them up and playfully batted them straight at my head. They hit me smack between the eyes… there was a second’s pause in which Hubby commenced his Shot! victory dance to an invisible audience at the far end of the hall whilst I stood frozen… and then I started to cry. Aghast and dismayed by this dampener to his celebrations, he cut them short mid-prance, and hurried down the hall to administer cuddles. His self-congratulation turned to self-castigation. I wasn’t going to tell him that I wasn’t hurt, merely surprised and weepy. Why should I be the only one here to suffer?!

2) Yesterday, I let Mrs Brahma out of her run and chased her down to the garage to meet her successfully incubated (and now teenage) chicks. She was far more interested searching for the partially decomposed and entirely flattened-by-car-tyre frog that she had joyfully discovered earlier on the driveway (Mrs Black had, in fact, stolen it at this point) and refused to give them even a glance.

I kept telling her she was a Mummy – and it made no difference! It’s as if she didn’t recognise her own eggs when she saw them again! Useless hen. I eventually got sad and frustrated and started wailing.

3) Harry would hardly eat again yesterday, so I cried with rather more reason. He’s only had a few spoonfuls of breakfast and lunch today, but has finished a small helping of supper. We had an improved thursday and friday last week, followed by an indifferent weekend. I’m sure it is reflux – in fact, I know it is – and I’m pouring infant gaviscon down him, but he is still barely eating half of what he did before, even on a good day. On a bad day, he manages maybe 20% of his normal intake. Yet his activity levels are as maniacally demented as ever, so unsurprisingly he lost 6oz last week (in spite of copious application of high-calorie tooth-rotting drinks and extra Mummyboob) – and I’m dreading what the scales will say tomorrow. I have another appointment at the GP tomorrow afternoon, but I have a feeling I will walk out unsatisfied, as Harry is undeniably lively enough in himself. But I’m completely depressed about it: his weight has slid rapidly from the 25th to the 9th centile for his adjusted age, and is plummeting from the 9th to the 2nd for his actual age. He’s never been a big baby, (although he did get delightfully buddha-like at Christmas-time)

 Harry Bathies by you.

but he can’t sustain this for much longer. I think I shall be obliged to tap my finger on the GP’s desk. Or cry. Again. That’ll work. That’ll make the bugger produce the magic healing wand that they keep in the desk for special patients fast enough.

Other news in the HF Family today: the Moreton show approaches, and I have not yet A) made my pot of jam, B) decorated my cake, or C) taken the photographs for the photography classes that I have entered. The cake is, fortuitously, 

judged on decoration only.  Except that I didn’t have a 6 inch tin, so I made it with a 5 inch one and added thick extra layers of marzipan without allowing time for them to dry…

the cake has suffered blow-out and is now fighting a distinct battle of the bulge. I’m not sure I can retrieve the situation with icing, either. 

Our collie-cross-leopard:

is in season, and next door’s dogs have noticed.

It’s about -10° out there with wind-chill, pissing down, and she’s not even here. Nevertheless, he has the air of a dog who is rooted to the spot by the weight of his balls.


Annnnnnnnd I’m back from the play-barn, and I’m officially in a mood. They had to either like my stubbly legs or lump them, because the cream trousers never made it as far as the car. I suffered a slight incident – my bath now looks like this–  during which I have, charmingly, lost a clot bigger than my thumb. And I have chunky thumbs. And Hubby let Harry drop his mobile phone in the bath (a different bath!) earlier, so he is conveniently uncontactable, having fucked off to farm for ‘I won’t be very long’, two hours ago. Grrrrowl.

Never Picnic on Yellow Lawn

There is still grave peril threatening my poultry. I glanced out of the office window this afternoon to see a dog fox on the grassy bank about 20 tiny feet from my lovely Brahma hens. And the reason I immediately recognised it for a dog fox and not a vixen?

The bugger was pissing up my shrub.

The audacity of it! Cocking its contumely bloody leg over my plant, before doubtless attempting to leave me henless. I nearly dropped my cup of coffee as I swelled with fury. A small shriek of indignation may well have escaped me. I galloped to the front door and erupted out of it like an enraged jack-in-the-box. I’d have booted him heavily up the arse if I could’ve got enough speed up, but I present a fair amount of surface-area wind-resistance these days, and I was therefore confined to roaring BANG! at the top of my voice. He took off like a rangy red ballistic missile heading for next door, and I suspect he will not be back to dine today.

There must be a local litter of cubs catalysing these daylight parental raids. I have no rancour towards the foxes themselves, as feeding your young is a fairly blameless occupation; I’d tackle a woolly mammoth sporting an extra helping of pointy tusk if it stood between me and my child’s starvation. But there’s any amount of other prey about at this time of year, so they can keep their damned dirty paws off my hens. Besides, there’s enough urine landing on that patch of grass to float a boat. Next door’s male labradors sprinkle everywhere conscientiously, our two dogs are both copious puddlers, and I know for a fact that when John lurches home from the pub full of beer and takes the dogs out for a bedtime pee, he sets them a good example himself in the long grass. The last thing we need is another bloody species joining in the fun.

Changing the subject radically, I went to the GP today to moan about the fact that my period has essentially lasted since the end of March. He blamed wild hormonal flux and promptly prescribed Norethisterone (Ahhh… hello again, ye initiator of IVF cycles!). He did ask whether I was still breastfeeding, to which I replied affirmative, so I’m puzzled to see that Dr Internet says they are mutually incompatible. I will have to ring him back tomorrow; if my breast milk goes bad then Harry will die of thirst: he regards all plastic teats with horror. The little man still isn’t any better: his congestion is becoming chronic and is thoroughly bringing the pair of us down. A 3rd tooth appeared over the weekend, and I hope that the imminent arrival of the 4th is all that caused tonight’s total meltdown. I am grimly expecting a long and interrupted night.

And to round off the day: I have just watched John despatch one of my geese, and it was most unpleasant. It has been on the cards for some time, as my previous bleating posts have chronicled, but my hand was finally forced today when the younger gander was savaged in the hut for the second night on the trot. We acquired our original breeding pair when Next Door’s gaggle had begun systematic executions of the young males, so I knew it was a choice between a quick death and a protracted one. Sigh. Why can’t everything just love each other?!

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