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

Touch Wood

but I ate’nt dead.

I thank you all for you good wishes, which were much appreciated and evidently turned the tide of fate. I didn’t die, my heart did not embark on any further ridiculousness and the hospital scales weighed me half a stone light. Also: I am not borked.

Win, win, win, win. 

I explained to the anaesthetist that nausea was anathema to me, and that I would take pain over sickness any day. I think he listened; at any rate, my recovery was entirely nausea-free but I woke in pain on my left side, and promptly went back on my stated word by bleating about it as soon as I came round. I don’t know if he was still about at that point, as I was in no way able to open my eyes, move a limb, or identify voices yet, but if he sighed in exasperation, he would have been Perfectly Entitled to do so.

I was given a toasty hot blanket to cuddle to my tummy and heard Morphine SomethingOrOther ordered, and was requested to open my mouth for it, which I unhesitatingly did – resembling, I suspect, a particularly large and trusting baby bird. The two mouthfuls of opiate fluid helped to wash away the lingering sensation of the noxious-tasting gas – which the anaesthesia assistant had had the temerity to call ‘oxygen’ when she first lowered the mask over my face in theatre – but didn’t have a major effect on the pain, which solidified some long-standing suspicions that opiates don’t render me much specific assistance with abdominal ouch. (The Voltarol I later begged off the drugs trolley was considerably better value-per-swallow.)

I seemed to take hell of a time coming round; my ears started working pretty early on, but my eyes were very slow following suit, and apart from the odd squint around me, and demanding that I lose the hated bloody mask, I couldn’t really evince much interest in my surroundings until I was back on a ward (inhabited by several extremely batty and forgetful old dears and one who sounded TB-ridden) where I proceeded to gulp water, doze and complain fretfully. I felt like death warmed woozily over, but none of the nurses seemed to notice (once I had left the recovery suite, the standard of care fell noticeably, and John had the devil’s own job simply obtaining me a cup of tea) and given the loud nature of the surrounding dementia (although I’m sure I heard one lovely old soul shushing her visitors because I had lost the battle with my eyelids again) and the rampant coughing, we decided a badger colony would likely be a healthier place to stay the night than that ward, and I decided I was offski as soon as I’d seen my surgeon, wobbly or not.

The gynae team had a long day in theatre. Senior Chap, whom we have not seen since he came to congratulate me on being 8 weeks pregnant with Harry, and who has become even more internationally senior in the interim, was waiting for us when we arrived on the ward at 7.50am (20 minutes late!) to consent me, and tell me that they have a new Professor joining their team in the New Year who would have a particular interest in me – methinks I smell a clinical trial being dangled. It was gone 6pm when he came back up on the ward to give feedback to the 5 or so of us that had been in theatre that day. He explained that my lovely, glamorous consultant – whom I had barely recognised in theatre scrubs until she flashed me her usual kind smile – had done my surgery herself, as everything she encountered inside me looked… well, normal, really. Apart from there being more than one uterus, naturellement.

Which was… I dunno. A peculiar mix of relief and anti-climax. There was some endometriosis, apparently, but not a significant amount. Tubes, ovarys and both uteri look ‘good’. I am now a little concerned about just where my ute-busting period pain is originating from, and adenomyosis is my only remaining diagnosis. Which has been spied exactly once on an ultrasound – in the uterus that generally hurts me a good deal less than the other – before disappearing at the next one. To be fair, he had explained earlier in the day that adenomyosis wasn’t something they could see during surgery, but he made no mention of the bridge of tissue stretching across my right uterus, which they could easily have seen, so I’m assuming it simply… isn’t there anymore? Either that, or it was never there to begin with, although given that I did see clear abnormality myself on the screen, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t entirely the radiologist’s imagination.

We’re waiting on endometrial biopsy results, which I’m vaguely hopeful will highlight the reason – or, at least, confirm my asseveration – that I have never had any proper red blood flow from my Right, Harry-housed, uterus, the one attached to my better-functioning ovary, the one I’m scared stiff of conceiving in again. No photos: I (hopefully) get to see them in my official follow-up appointment, which is ‘the first available slot’ in my consultant’s recurrent miscarriage clinic. I feel instinctively dour about the likely wait. I can spy 36 years old approaching and am in absolutely no mood whatsoever to await the NHS’s pleasure, but neither do I have the £300 it will take to see her privately this side of Christmas. I suspect there will have to be fairly major raiding of savings accounts at some point, mind you.

So, here I am. Alive! Thankful! I’m fairly sore, still. I did have some referred shoulder pain from the gas – which, once I actually felt it, I realised I’ve already experienced on previous occasions without realising what it was. I have two holes bodged in me – one in my belly button, one over to the left and low down – which have stitches in, and feel uber-yuk, so I am simply pretending they are not there. I assume they are dissolving ones, as no-one has said otherwise, but I have no idea when or if I should get them wet – which will either make tomorrow morning’s shower interesting, or my subsequent trip into the outside world fragrant. I have stuff to do and places to go tomorrow morning, so I’m hoping I feel better by then – or, at least, able to lift Harry up, which has been impossible today. 

I’m tired, feeling fairly beaten-up, and reasonably confused about precisely what to do next. But I’m thankful to have options, and decisions to make.

And extremely thankful that I have a wondrous (talking!) small boy, who, if he is not finally permitted to open a door on his Thomas the Festive Tank Engine chocolate advent calendar in the morning, will likely chew my leg off in sheer rage. Hurrah for December 1st.

Robin vs Priscilla, Round III

She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when!’ ~ PG Wodehouse

Yep. I’m back on my ubiquitous Robin-of-Sherwood-meets-Priscilla-Queen-of-the-Desert topic again. Concerning which there have been too many posts, I know, but until I figure out which one of you bastards made me fat how to take responsibility for my sweet tooth, then I think I’m stuck here in porky-pig land forever.

In case you’ve been lucky enough to miss my previous angst: essentially, I started life terribly thin, got chubby, got chubbier, got thin, got awful chubby, got thin very fast, stayed thin for years, met Hairy Hubby, stopped smoking, got chubby, got married, got awful chubby again, had Harry, and have been firmly parked in the 14.5 -15.5 stone region ever since. My Gynae now wants to plonk me on an operating table and furrage about my reproductive bits (I have two wombs. Yes. You read that right.) in order to get a better picture of why I am so dreadful at staying pregnant, but I also have a back-to-front heart, so there isn’t a sensible Anaesthetist in the whole of Christendom who is going to perform elective general anesthesia on a woman with wonky cardiac structure and a BMI above 35.

The Wifey, they said at the end of February, must diet.

I was, in February, 40lbs in excess of a BMI of 29.9, which I must achieve in order to have a scalpel waved in my general direction. And I want this surgery, I really do. By the time March rolled round I had joined the gym, I was focussed, I was All Set.  Then I promptly became unexpectedly pregnant – and began to miscarry almost before the pee had dried on the stick. Oddly, this put me off my weight-loss stroke a little. Then came Easter, during which I fought a broadly-ineffectual rearguard battle in my consumption of  good old Cadbury’s glass-and-a-half, which ballsed it all up even further.

Anyhoo. The weekend before last, I got on the scales and burst into anguished tears, as I’d had a reasonably – I thought! – austere week that had cruelly and unaccountably translated into a whole gained lb. I spent a few sniffling, mournful hours trawling the websites of various purveyors of weight-shifting snakeoil and the shakiest of crash diets, but in the end, the common British sense (that I never seem to quite manage to shake off. Melodrama FAIL, every time.) prevailed: I texted my good buddy, and joined her at her Fat Fighters class on Tuesday nights. It’s a sensible, achievable, diet plan, and I augmented it with 3 trips to the gym last week.

Tonight, I was Slimmer of the Week (or would have been, if it weren’t for some pettifogging rule about losing for two weeks on the trot. Bah!) and was down 4.5 lbs. I have 32lbs of my 40lbs to go. 

I have shifted 3 stone in 3 months in the past by eating sensibly and exercising my arse off, so I have optimistically set my sights on hitting a BMI of 29.9 in time for her wedding celebrations on 3rd July, with surgery hopefully to follow shortly afterwards. It means losing 4lbs a week, every week, but short of something drastic keeping me out of the gym, I don’t see why I can’t do it. If I want another baby, success is my only option. Failure’s not.

*grits teeth*

On the topic of babies: big baby had his scheduled EEG today. I was lugubriously expecting a goat rodeo, but I took the laptop and a hoarded Shaun the Sheep DVD along, which transfixed him to such an extent that he made only token helicopter-in-trouble flailings when the electrodes were attached, and proceeded to sit, relaxed and slack-jawed, whilst I watched his brain waves play out on the technician’s computer screen.

This was indescribably peculiar to see. Naturally, the readings went mad if he physically shifted position, but at one point, whilst sat perfectly still, Harry smiled slightly in amusement – and one of the traces went haywire. At this point, I started having my usual blown-totally-away-by-clever-science ‘we put a man on the moon AND we can see into people’s heads with a length of wire, funky software and a dab of conductive gel!’ type thoughts.

Awesome. Truly. Now we just have to stew until mid-June for our next Paed’s appointment to find out the result.

At which appointment, God damn and blast my wretched fucking weight, I will be thinner. I will.

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.

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.

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.

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