Thursday, 20 November 2014

It's been a while.

So, first treatment at the new clinic today. And perhaps a lesson in how far I have come, both literally and mentally.

I've mentioned before that I hate driving, and that this was some sort of weird mental block that happened after an IVF miscarriage.

Today I managed a long drive on the motorway, and didn't feel that old horrible feeling that I was somehow not competent enough to drive a car. In fact, I quite enjoyed it.

I actually figured out the section of the same motorway I'm particularly worried about is right next to the hospital where I've had all my losses diagnosed and three rounds of emergency surgery, and once I realised that it seemed like less of an irrational fear.

So, to the clinic.

I did the usual form filling, got shown into the scan room, and sat on the couch.

Hello stirrups, hello monitor, hello dildocam and KY jelly. I used to spend more time with you than virtually anyone else apart from my husband.

Anyway, I did the whole "taking your bottom* off and getting ready", but stupidly hadn't realised that one of the bits of paper was for modesty purposes.

People still feel alarmed about internal scans? Who knew? These days, I've got a big skin flap that I can practically throw over my head.

Hello ovaries, hello bladder, hello follicles. You're looking better than the rest of me.

Then I went and sat and sat and waited for my husband. Christ knows what he was doing... well, He does and so do I. But you know what I mean.

My husband also has bizarre baggage. Apparently the, ahem, "sample" room at New Clinic is not as nice as the state clinic - although, ironically, the state clinic had the most horrible areas for female patients than anywhere I've been to. Although New Clinic has car magazine for men to look at before they go into The Sample Room.

I feel less wound up about the whole thing than I used to. I read somewhere that patients who are more stressed do better, presumably because they are more likely to be doing the Fertility Olympics with vitamins, exercise, mung beans and so on - this probably makes a marginal difference.

The clinic asked me about drinking, smoking, weight and did an AMH test. It sounds stupid, but if fish oil, reiki, "relaxing", Wiccan rituals or any of the other shit I worried about the last time - or at least worried that I should be worried about - came into it, presumably they'd appear on the questionnaire. There was a card for a counsellor, should I need one, but not a feng sui consultant.

At the moment, I'm more neurotic about the traffic making me late for the Boy's childcare pickup than anything else.

* Weird English. Bottom half of clothes, not actual bottom or butt (or, in a phrase even more ripe for confusion, a 'fanny'. My husband presented me with a box of chocolates 'because you had to get your fanny out today').

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

I know because he told me

I was sitting in a meeting earlier, and became aware of two colleagues whispering.

I left the meeting and one came out after me.

"Oh, are you pregnant? Donald says you are."

"No, I'm not. Really."

"But Donald was just saying you were pregnant."

"No, I'm just fat."

(Which is enough to make people shut up, you'd think...)

"But Donald said you were pregnant and we were wondering about how you'd cope with another little baby on top of everything else."

"I'm definitely not pregnant."

Possible explanations:

* My stomach is a bit lumpy, partly from needing to lose a bit of weight, but also partly from my previous pregnancy losses and successful pregnancy, which they both know all about. But they forgot because they are stupid.
* I am a freak who looks pregnant without being able to get pregnant.
* There's something about planning an IVF cycle that makes people speculate, they know by some sort of telekinesis that something is up.
* Donald is a weirdo and a bit of a perv. He has form for spreading rumours about me being pregnant, so much so that a few years back I had to have a word with my boss.
* Donald has been conspiring to drug me and take me on repeated visits to an IVF clinic in the dead of night, so I am actually pregnant but have no idea and miraculously few side effects or symptoms. This is why Donald is so certain but I know nothing.

A few years ago I would be thinking 1 and 2, and possibly 3. Now I think a combination of 1 and 4.

5 is the only way in which Donald would be right, and it is just too disturbing.

I don't even like the thought of him checking out my body in any way, shape or form, which he clearly has been (and to make matters worse, I've just realised one of the buttons on the front of my dress was undone. Yuk. Suddenly a niqab seems like a good option).

Anyway, a few years ago I would have been sobbing about this. I think now I know who the people with the problems are, and it is not me.

Monday, 3 November 2014


It's been a bit of a strange time here, both as a nation and as an individual.

The "No" side won the referendum, but since then people have been joining the Yes parties en masse - over 2% of the electorate. Opinion polls show that a majority of people now back independence. Everywhere you go, people are talking about politics. We were promised more powers and there's a mood that they must be delivered and soon.

For me, I'm at a bit of a crossroads too. I was getting a bit fed up of my job and have a second interview with another company, but for reasons pertaining to childcare I'm not sure that it is the right path to take.

We're also speaking to a clinic about another IVF round, and need to call up and book an appointment.

Part of me is still torn about this as I'm worried about Huntington's Disease. But then if I am a carrier and the Boy has it, it seems sensible to have another child so the Boy is not alone. I know there's a risk that a second child could also have HD and the whole thing is a moral maze, but I think I just have to hope that everything will be ok.

One of the reasons we've decided to do a straight cycle rather than a donor one is that I could so easily only have found out about my Dad's HD after completing a donor cycle, which makes me think that any potential donor could have their own genetic flaws.

My parents aren't quite as bonkers as they were a few months ago, but my Mum keeps gabbling about HD being sent up into space, which is apparently "what they did with the disease the gay people get." I thought she was talking a lot of old nonsense, like the time she thought my frozen embryos were kept in my domestic fridge freezer.

Despite my initial skepticism, it turns out there is indeed a project to study HD in space but whenever she mentions any of this I get a mental image of my parents orbiting the Earth in a space station dressed up like Freddie in the "I want to break free" video, slightly bewildered but bickering pointlessly, and it I have to go and hide in the toilet until I stop giggling.

Anyway, we are at the point that we need to call up the clinic and do our initial tests.

I feel a bit under-prepared - or, maybe, that's the wrong word. I'm less obsessive about it than I was the last time. I need to start popping my folic acid tabs in short order (I should have started them before this), and I'll be cutting out alcohol and am doing more exercise. But I don't think I'll get to the stage of eschewing carbonated drinks or chilli, or doing any of the more dubious things I did the first time around. At least, I hope not.

So, lots of choices to be made, and things will no doubt change over the next few months. They're going to be interesting.