Tuesday, 31 March 2009

More Lessons

What I learnt whilst babysitting for my nephews this weekend:
  • To make a 3 year old laugh: tickle him with really cold, outside-frozen hands
  • To make a 4 month old cackle and wriggle with laughter: smile at him and keep ducking around
  • How my sister got rid of her pregnancy weight so quickly
  • I no longer have house envy for my sisters tall and narrow 4 story town house, my little flat is great
  • If a baby's bedroom is on the fourth floor and you are in the basement kitchen you need a baby alarm to hear the cries
  • If a baby cries in his bedroom and you have even the vaguest idea he might be hungry it might be a good idea to take the bottle upstairs with you
  • If you are cuddling a crotchety recently awoken baby and nothing you can do will make him settle try clumping down four flights of steps with him to the kitchen to get his bottle
  • A fantastic way of getting a baby back off to sleep is to carry him down four flights of steps
  • Sleeping babies weigh more when you carry them back up four flights of stairs
  • There is nothing nicer than cuddling a tiny little baby as he softly snores into the bit where your neck meets your body
  • I still quite want a baby
  • Or two
  • A lot.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

A Damn Sight Better (or, A Sight For Sore Eyes)

So here it is. The detailed account of my eye surgery. I have held off telling it because I wanted to know what the results were first.

This is really only going to be interesting to folk who are considering eye surgery - and even for them I don't make any guarantees. But I want to go into detail because before the surgery all the accounts I'd seen seemed to make out that the op took a couple of minutes and within a few hours they were as right as rain - not so.

Friday 20 March
9.00am - Leave to get to the opticians in plenty of time for my 9.40 appointment, arrange for the husband to come and collect me at about 11.

10.50am - Have my 9.40 appointment which consists of the optician shining a bright light in my eye for about 4 seconds and telling me they can go ahead with the treatment.

11.10am - Sign lots of forms including a declaration that I am not an anxious person (apparently this isn't suitable for anxious people - I'm now feeling quite anxious). Also sign a disproportionate amount of forms for my bank to authorise monthly payments for the rest of my working life (in small interest-free monthly payments).

11.13am - The husband turns up - asks how it was, explain it wasn't - yet.

11.37am - Get called in to 'The Room', am given attractive paper shower cap to wear, remove glasses. The nurse in her heavily accented Eastern European explains what is going to happen - realise without the double senses of hearing and sight (lip reading) I can't understand a word of what she has said other than something about lying down here then going through to the next room. Consider asking to to repeat then realise that ignorance is probably bliss.

11.39am - Lie on couch, a paper blanket it put over my body. Start shaking, try to breath deeply. Wonder what the nurse thinks of this shaking, heavy breathing body hidden by the paper blanket. She puts some eye drops in, they sting for a minute. Then the anaesthetic kicks in.

Times now become more approximate.

11.49am - Doctor finally arrives. Asks me how I am, doesn't wait for a reply, pulls a bright circle of lights millimeters from my eys and asks me to look at the centre of the lights. Various eye drops, a bit stingy, but not pain on a HSG level. Some kind of contraption placed over my eyes feels like a wired metal hoop. Eyes can't blink, suction pad applied to the eye. Feel the pressure but no pain. "Keep looking at the centre of the light" I am commanded. Start to feel like I am in the Clockwork Orange - but without the Beethoven. Sight gets very blurred - clearly this is when they cut the flap from the top of my eye. I'm seconds away from soiling myself. Its done. Same gig, second eye.

11.55am - It is done. Thank fuck. Am led through to a second room. Shit, realise that was just stage one, i haven't actually had the laser bit yet. Wonder if I can make a run for it. Can't properly open eyes, what I can see through the tiny slits is a world that looks like it is melting.

11.56am - Am told to lie on second couch with my eyes closed. Spend the time trying to picture the scene around me. There is a lot of scrunching paper sounds and people walking around. Feels like ages before Doctor appears.

12.20ish?pm - Now I get to look at the green and red light. Flap moved aside. Very blurred. Can't see anything. Told to look at red and green lights. Can't, but do my best.

Lasers are fuck all like those you see in James Bond. Can't actually see anything. The sound it makes is an erratic zapping. Kinda like the noise those electric fly machines make as they pulverise the little critters. The smell, oof, like burning hair, vile. Can't work out if I can actually see smoke or that is just the blurred image. Zapping itself takes 24 seconds per eye. 24 seconds can seem like quite a long time.

Use my sister's coping methods - go through the alphabet trying to think of a different animal for each letter. Finish one round start again try to think of different animals. Get stuck on E - already used elephant.

Yes, I know, eel. It is easy now. But you try thinking of that with the smell of burning filling your nostrils and your eyes held open by masking tape sticking you eyelashes to your face.

12.40pm - Led pass the husband to a room where I can sit in the dark for 20 minutes. The husband makes to come with me. He is firmly stopped by the aforementioned nurse. "No, oddervise you vill talk". Zay haf ways ov making us not talk.

12.40 - 1.05pm - sit in room. Eyes shut. Bored, really, really bored. Top tip: take an i-pod or something.

1.15pm - And I am free to go with a batch of eye drops and a 'see you tomorrow'.

The rest of the afternoon is spent wearing dark glaases with eyes shut for about 98.3% of the time:

3.15pm - At home husband puts in eye drops. Vison very blurred starting to feel pain. Spend the time in a darkend room trying to listen to a talking book, remember my glasses/contacts/ability to see with increasing nostalgia. Shout through to the next room (several times) "I regret this", husband is being very supportive.

5.15pm - More drops. Crying. Wondering what I have done. Dictate a post - try to sound upbeat, am convinced it hasn't worked.

7.15pm - drops again. Still unbelievably blurry. Am sure I read that by the evening most people are actually fine. Pain gone. Sight gone.

9.15pm - As above, very worried.

11.15pm - Suddenly realise things are getting a bit clearer. More eye drops. Replace the dark glasses with special nighttime eye pads. Look like The Fly.

7.30am - cautiously open eyes. Blink. No pain. Sight not bad. Still a bit blurry but better without glasses than it has been since my age was in single didgits.

10.10am - Follow up appointment. Optician seems pleased. Eyes healing well. I'm a bit long sighted but this should settle in a few weeks. I'm just shy of being alright for driving - but again hopefully this will get better over the next couple of weeks - and I don't have a car anyway.

I can see! Sky is clear, images are sharp. My eyes still look like the husband has been beating me around the head and the sunglasses are still firmly on, but it appears to have been a success.

Monday & Tuesday
Vision went a bit down hill - a touch infected - but it has been getting better since.

Saturday (today)
Only have to take the drops for a couple more days. Red eye has almost disappeared.

8 days on and my eyesight has today been measured as 20/20 for the first time since I started wearing glasses aged 9 or 10. Before the operation I was minus 6.5 in both eyes, or less technically had to hold my alram clock so that it was touching my nose before I could read the tme without specs.


So yeah, I would recommend it - but it is scary so folk should go into it with their eyes open (geddit?!). I'm ecstatic that I had it done, waking up and being able to see without the specs-scrabble is amazing. But I wouldn't do it again (well apparently I couldn't even if I wanted to). And bringing it back on topic slightly, the idea of being able to get up at all hours through the night to look after a screaming baby and not have to faff about with glasses is brilliant.

So, if anyone in the UK fancies getting it done through Optimax if you go through refer a friend you get £500 off and I get £50 back - so email me.

Friday, 27 March 2009

You want more of me?

I don't like to bang on about things when they are way past being funny and are verging on the boring.



Maybe I am flogging a dead horse. But slowly words are being added to the lexicon and I'm going to continue to add as I think of them (or as you do). I don't know why but it amuses me. I've just added Nunnery, and self-important, see if you can figure out what they mean before you click back.

Anyway, that wasn't the point of this post.

I've had my second post uploaded onto Fertility Authority which is perfect for anyone who has come over to this site for ICLW (see logo to left if you don't know what that acronym stands for) and wants to know who I am and what is going on with me. It is also contains pretty much all you ever wanted to know about infertility but were afraid to ask (the website not the post - even I wouldn't make so bold a claim).

So nip on over and check it out.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

A New Lexicon: (continued ... kinda)

Initially I wrote my lexicon in two posts, but for ease I have amalgamated then here. But I didn't want to lose the comments so this is a bit of a non post, just read the comments.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

A New Lexicon

A while ago I did an A to Z of 'helpful hints for getting pregnant' and I asked you, my readers, to contribute. This time I'm being more ambitious - and I still want contributions - but I am developing a whole new lexicon.

Just as homosexuals in London during the 1950s had polari, the Eastenders have rhyming slang and the Scots have their accent. Now we too can have conversations that, to the uninitiated, are uninterpretable.

The failure of a fertilised egg to establish itself in ones womb, resulting in a chemical pregnancy.
Context: “I keep thinking that I might be pregnant but turns out I am anti-establishment”

Baron / Baroness
A wealthy infertile individual who, by the power of a lots of readily available cash, is able to skip waiting lists and receive excellent fertility treatment in no time at all.
Context: “It feels like in the time I have been waiting to get test results Jennifer Lopez has managed to get married and have twins, but then I guess she is a baroness.”

The tickley feeling you get in your breasts which you mistake for early signs of pregnancy, although usually you discover that it was just your period coming on.
Context: "I've got these amazing breaticles at the moment, do yu think it is worth testing or do you reckon I'm just pre-menstural?"

(With thanks to Amanda from down under who is responsible for Corymbia's Mutterings)

Congress (CON-gress)
When sex for reproductive reasons fails to result as a pregnancy.
Context: “The amount we were shagging on honeymoon I felt sure I’d get pregnant. Turns out it was one big congress”.

To remove a cyst from ones womb.
Context: “So the Doctor was scrabbling around my insides with the dildo-cam when he saw a growth on my ovaries, so I asked him to desist.”

To explain complex medical terms.
Context: “The Doctor was banging on and on about HSG this and IUI that I was totally confused so I told her I just wanted demeaning". [You will find most Doctors are more than happy to oblige, in fact many don’t even need to be asked].

An over-abundance of eggs produced by ones ovaries as a result in taking drugs to stimulate ovulation. Derived from the term eggs-hail.
Context: “Turns out they can’t do Interuterine Insemination this month because I exhaled.”

To receive a positive result upon urinating on an ovulation predictor kit.
Context: “Right I’ve done the foreplay so come on, do me”

To make fun of a gentleman’s inability to produce viable sperm from his testicals.
Context: “No I’m not going to the pub tonight I’m fed up of John and Fred taking the piss and gesticulating all night”.

An encouraging cry emitted by the male as he reaches the point of ejaculation.
Context: “That’s it, That’s it. GO-NADS”

Hedge fund
The cost in time and money you lot spend on maintaining the fluff down below prior for the inevitable poking and prodding by the medical professionals.

Context: "What with the recession we've had to make cut backs, but there is no way I'm giving up my hedge fund - a woman has to keep her dignity, whilst her feet are in the stirrups, somehow."

(Thank you Sir Xbox of Nappyrash for that one.)

The state of high panic a woman of reproductive age gets into when she hears her biological clock ticking in her ears.
Context: “Do you really want to marry him or are you just getting hysterical?”

Inability of a male partner to rise to the occasion, at a vital moment e.g. when all the signs are that this is a perfect moment for sex resulting in a pregnancy.
Context: “Last night everything was going really well, I’d done the foreplay and everything then the husband decided he was too important to actually do the deed.”

(Thanks my little Belge Gi Gi, particularly as I know how busy you are just now, no blog to link to but a big round of applause going out).

To see the insides of your uterus on a monitor during an internal examination.
Context: “So I was lying on the couch with my feet in the stirrups when the Doctor gave me an interview.”

To raise ones posterior, often with the use of a pillow, following sexual intercourse in order to facilitate the route the sperm has to take to reach the uterus. Much in the way a jack is used to raise a car.
Context: “As soon as he rolls off I jackass for 20 minutes or so.”

An expletive used by the cussing shy when they are particularly vexed following a doctors appointment.
Context: “I can’t ‘king believe it. The ‘king Doctor has decided that I can’t have ‘king insemination because I’ve produced too many ‘king eggs.”


Erratic movement by a woman of child-bearing age who, during her attempts to become pregnant suspects that she might be about to start her period.
Context: “Don’t mind her jumping up and down all evening to go to the loo, its just locomotion.”

Make love to the camera

To receive and internal scan by inserting a camera through the vagina into the uterus.
Context: “OK, just keep breathing it is time for your close up, so just make love to the camera.”

A period of hiatus in your baby-making activity whilst your man gets over any cold feet.
Context: "I'm on the menopause at the moment, but don't worry it is only temporary whilst I talk the husband round."

The kind of angry you get when you pee on a stick asking if you are pregnant, only to get a resounding negative.
Context: “God, I’m hungover this morning. I went nomad last night and ended up necking half a bottle of tequila – well, there was no reason not to.”

Collective noun for a group of women of child-bearing age, none of whom have children.
Context: "Look much as I like all these women I don't really want to join the nunnery, I'd much rather go out and get pregnant thank you very much."

Obstacle (pronounced Obstickle)
The ticklish urge to laugh whilst your Obs & Gynae is shoving a dildo cam up where the sun don't shine.
Context: "Once I got over the initial obstacle the doctor declaimed my ovaries ready for action."
(A late entry courtesy of the eponymous Overcoming Obstickles.)

A negative result on your pregnancy or ovulation test.
Context: "I did a great one liner this morning. Honestly, my husband and I had tears streaming down our faces ... honestly."

(Anonymous in the comments, I have no idea who you are, but I love it).

A mother who manages to time every thing to perfection, from their babies conception to baby's naps.
Context: "You can't even compete, she's at her optimum."


The sharp pain that a few (about 1 in 5) women feel when their ovaries pop out an egg.
Context: “Oh, sorry I can’t come out tonight after all, I’ve just had an overbite so I’ve got to go home and lie down for 15 minutes … with the husband.”

Periodic Table
List of dates, duration and severity of periods brought to doctors appointments when discussing infertility options.
Context: "I am a bit concerned I'm not ovulating regularly, look, I bought along my periodic table to prove it."

Irregular period that appear from time to time with seemingly no rhyme or reason
Context: "I periodically get really grumpy and a stomach cramps, but I can't plan for it cause I never know when it'll happen."

The use of provera to bring on a period.
Context: “I know I have polycystic ovaries but I’m fed up waiting for a natural period, it has been 83 days already, so I’m going to be proactive about it.”

The desire, often by a baroness (see above), to get their family done in one go by having quinns for their first, and last, medically-helped pregnancy.
Context: “It is quintesessential this pregnancy. Once they are out I’m having a tummy tuck, boob job and the doctor says he’ll throw in some collagen implants ready for my yummy-mummy exclusive in Hello!”

To look again at a problem.
Context: “I appreciate that you are simply marking off my inability to have children as unexplained infertility, but do you think you could do some research?”

Scantily Clad
Dressed in preparation for a scan.
Context: “I know I’m a bit scantily clad for work, but I had a Doctor’s appointment earlier.”

Inability of a male to rise to the occasion when he is required to produce a sperm sample in a clinical environment.
Context: “He was in there but apparently the chatter of the nurses in the next room and the low-grade pornography on offer made him all self-important and he wouldn’t produce anything”.

Sex Appeal
Begging ones partner for sex once the ovulation test has signaled a fertile moment.
Context: "I'm worried I won't get pregnant this month again because I have lost all my sex appeal."

Splash Out
To urinate on a premium brand ovulation or pregnancy test.
Context: "I had to make certain that I ovulated before the IUI so, rather than use the cheap internet-bought tests, I splashed out on a digital ovulation predictor."

Context: "If you want success in your quest for pregnancy you can't succeed."

Giving up tea as part of a health kick to rid oneself of caffeine during fertility treatments.
Context: "No, I'll pass on a hot drink. I'm teetotal now."

The desire to believe you are pregnant because your temperature does what looks like an implantation dip a week or so after you ovulated.
Context: "I told her not to give into temptation, but of course she did, tested, got a negative so now she is crushingly disappointed."

Temper Tantrum
An upset state of mind one gets into when, through charting ones temperature, one realises that you ovulated at a time when due to the movement of your partner / opening times of the clinic, conception is not possible.
Context: "The husband was supposed to be away for work for all week but I had a temper tantrum so now he has to do the three hour drive back on Wednesday night / Thursday morning."

Small examination or test.
Context: “The doc said that before he pulled out the big guns and went for the HSG or anything he’d give me some testicles, so he just took some blood samples this time.”

A couple who upon deciding to that they would like to get pregnant achieve this during the first month of trying.
Context: “Emma got pregnant sixteen days after stopping taking the pill, she’s always been lucky I should have guessed she’d be a unicycle”.

A couple who manage to get pregnant the first time they copulate without contraception.
Context: "As a couple we're unisex - we've had five kids in as many years, and that's about as often as we've managed to have sex."

Very irritable. The irritated state of mind experienced by an infertile woman when they start to experience the symptoms associated with the onset of a period.
Context: "I use to think her normal PMT was bad, but since we’ve been trying to have a baby she becomes a veritable nightmare on a monthly basis.”

The baseball bat shaped camera used to give and internal view of a womb.
Context: “I was lying there legs akimbo when she shoved a wombat up where the sun don't shine.”

Someone who is in the two week wait between ovulation and finding out whether she has managed to get impregnated.
Context: “She’s a waiter, I saw her buy a pregnancy testing kit at lunchtime.”

Otherwise known as unexplained infertility, it isn't male factor, it isn't female factor.
Context: "Yeah, 8 years and no kids, that couple definitely have the X-Factor."

A day when sex is assured as there are strong signs of a positive ovulation.
Context: “I can’t stay for a pint after work today I’m afraid, I’ve just had a call from the wife and she’s already done the foreplay and apparently it is yesterday.”

Zero Tolerance
The inability to cope with getting yet another negative result on a pregnancy test.
Context: “I don’t think I’ll bother peeing on a stick again, I’ve got zero tolerance for the result.”

So that's me spent.

But please, please add your suggestions, you are a creative bunch, so I'm sure you'll have some far better ones than mine (I was seriously scraping the barrel with some ... ahem ... nomad).

The rules are to use a common word or phrase but twist the meaning to be relevant to what we are going through, and bonus points if you can make the context work with both the old and new definition - even if it makes the sentence mean two completely different things.

There is a link to your blog in it. (And even if you discover this post way after it was written please keep adding!)

Friday, 20 March 2009

The eyes had it

I write this post Barbara Cartland-style.

I lie in bed, dark glasses protecting my peepers, whilst the gimp handsome, clever, wonderful, long-suffering husband, faithfully records my every word. I shall leave it to your imagination as to whether or not I am clad in pink chiffon.

This morning I had laser treatment to fix my myopic eyes. Currently some five hours after the event, I can barely open them and whilst I'm sure it will all be fine tomorrow, I still feel a bit scared. The husband is enjoying forcing eye-drops on me at regular intervals and is being quite, quite awesome. (I don't know what he's writing, but it definitely sounds like he's typing more than I'm saying.) I'll give you the gory details once I know what the result is.

All I'll say now is that pain-wise it wasn't as bad as either the HSG or having the coil fitted, but because it was my eyes it was a lot more traumatic. Now, what do you think it takes to get a cup of tea round here?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I Can Run ...

... But, it appears, I can't hide.

Despite defacing myself I am still besieged by tales of girls I once knew popping out progeny with gay abandon (or should that be heterosexual abandon?).

Today I received the "Old Girls' Association" newsletter. I told you I went to a posh school.

This was a school where academic achievement was thrust upon us and we were constantly told of the brave new world where, despite our double X chromosomes, we could become anything we wanted. Think, 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' but with a more English accent, less well defined chins and lashings of lacrosse. We were to become tomorrow's doctors, lawyers, scientists and "ooops I've just squandered a gazillion pounds of someone else's money" bankers. And to be fair some of them have achieved such dizzying heights.

But not so as you'd know it from the 'News' section.

It is stacked full with birth announcements. To be honest reading about girls I went to school with who'd had kids didn't bother me that much, I didn't get jealous, or upset. It just made me wonder what the fuck I'd been doing for the last 15 years.

Take this news about two girls who were younger than me at school:

XXXX is a GP, enjoying being a mum to her two girls and planning to return to work in 2009. She keeps in touch with XXXX who had her 3rd baby in March 2008.

Shit. I've been with my husband for, give or take, fourteen years and we've barely managed three pot plants and a lazy dog that we had to adopt because we couldn't have managed a puppy.

My particular favourite notification was that a girl a couple of years older than me had been awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace (I know, it is incredible). But this was only mentioned after sharing the news that she got married last year.

Because at the end of the day, girls, you clearly haven't achieved until you have found yourself a husband and squeezed out the next heir apparent.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

That last post

Just to be clear. I wasn't showing off and trying to make you all jealous with my last post. Rather I wanted to lay it all out, more to reassure myself that really I had plenty to look forward to.

This post is however a boast post. I've got nothing to say but I had to post something to haul you all over to check out my new template. Which hopefully means that if I do ever get pulverised on Ask And Ye Shall Receive hopefully they won't tear into me too much for having a standard template...

I know it still looks a little odd I don't know what happened to the colour on the Fertility Authority logo, and the links to the left look a bit pixilated so I'll have to redo them.


But look up, next to the url, yup I've got my own favicon which I've wanted ever since I saw Amanda's. It truly is the little things that makes me happy.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Looking forward

With the coil preventing any possible impregnation until its removal at the end of July (I’m currently on a 21 week wait) I have tried to plan lots of exciting things to help the time pass quickly.

Luckily I am fortunate enough to have the double benefit of a generous leave allowance and proximity to Europe.

So this is how I plan to fill my time:

March – 1 week holiday (next week) in London (Ok so I'm staying at home but it is still time off). I have a list of: five exhibitions to go to, two restaurants booked, tickets to a west end show, a couple of mates staying for a few days, staying over at some mates out of town for a night, a competitive cooking event planed – as well as countless dog walks and several lie ins and .... laser eye surgery. (What the fuck am I doing? Shiiiiittttt)

April – weekend jaunt with two other couples to Istanbul (not Constantinople), 4 days – two continents, a back-breaking Turkish massage and over indulgence in mint tea is all expected.

May – It has been a year in the planning but very soon will be the long-awaited birthday celebrations as my step mother achieves a landmark birthday. A whole weekend worth en famille in Spain. When it was first mooted I fully expected to be either pregnant, or a mother for this event, as I am neither I intend to be drunk for the duration.

June – hmmm, June is looking rather sparse – other than a doctors appointment at the start of the month to discuss protocols for getting me in the family way as quickly as humanly possible, once the coil is sprung.

July – Mainland continental Europe for a week. We’re going all 1992, inter-railing. Taking advantage of having friends we can stay with in Belgium and Germany and ending up in Berlin.

Monday, 9 March 2009

And the main headlines again ...

The government has announced a new stimulus package designed to increase the flow of eggs into the uterus' of women up and down the country. A spokesman said of the initiative, known as quantitative easing, that this "will encourage the circulation of eggs during a cycle, thus increasing the chances of coming out of this barren patch earlier than initially forecasted".

Meanwhile, the Sperm Bank of England has announced an all time low in interest rates as they fell for the sixth month in a row. The problem has been identified as a lack of perceived rewards for making deposits whilst there is still a high demand for withdrawals.

The Bank’s Governor admitted the news would be a "blow to consumers".

(An homage to the xbox4nappyrash school of journalism).

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Preparation for a friend's wedding


Saturday - Go shopping for dress. Get pissed off. Can't find anything I like. Get hot and sweaty in changing rooms, get blown about and rained on in the street. Give up. Decide I have a perfectly good dress at home, just need a few accessories.

Sunday - Choose accessories. Don't like anything I own. Find hat, goes with coat not with dress. Tear trimming off hat. Decide to retrim hat. Have nothing to retrim it with.

Monday - Dye hair. Spend as much time cleaning hair dye of bathroom surfaces as getting it in hair.

Tuesday - Leg wax & eye brow threading. World of pain. Wonder when I decided this was a good idea.

Wednesday - Try to retrim hat. Feel uninspired. Shout at husband - because he is there.

Thursday - Find shoes online that I think are really quite ugly, but for some inexplicable reason I HAVE to have them. They would be fantastic with my dress. Go to shop, they aren't in stock, get them to ring next shop, they aren't in stock, get them to ring next shop, they can't get through. Figure, the other store is the flagship store, bound to have shoes in stock. Cross London, discover they don't. What they do have is thousands of teenage girls doing Thursday late night shopping. Get angry. Go home empty handed.

Decide I have perfectly good shoes at home.

Friday - Exfoliate. Fake tan.

Saturday - Look in mirror.


Spend 27 mins scrubbing tangerine-coloured skin with a nail brush. This is true exfoliation.

Wash hair, intensive moisturise conditioner, moisterise, apply make-up, paint toe-nails, scrub palms again. Remember alcohol wipes are supposed to be good for removing stubborn stains.

Vodka on cotton wool doesn't have the same affect.

Write card. Charge camera battery. Get dressed.

Look at legs.

Get undressed.

Sit on edge of bath. One final scrub of legs.

Get dressed.

Good to go.

The husband's preparation:

Saturday (15 minutes before due to leave) - Pulls out same outfit he wore to our wedding two and a half years ago. The only things that have been washed since are his shirt and socks. (And for those of you wondering if I have missed another oft washed item I haven't - it is a kilt and he is a true Scot).


Gets dressed.

Good to go.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Its been just over a month (look at me trying to be all casual about it, ok, it has been 37 days exactly) so now I feel I've given it a chance and I can give and honest, unbiased, review on how I'm finding the coil.

We aren't getting on all that well. I assume it is doing the job that it was thrust up there for because there has been a pretty constant drip, drip, drip since about day 3 of it going in. It ebbs and flows, sometimes light, sometimes not. Bearing in mind that my acupuncturist always wants to know what colour 'my bleed' is I am considering investing in a pantone card 'cause someday we are talking an unattractive brown, others a bright, pert red. Which is nice.

But that I can cope with - each drop discharged from my womb is a sign that the lining from hell is being shed.

What I am not so much of a fan of is the other symptoms I am experiencing:

PMT - that'll be permanent menstrual tension. I have snapped more at the husband in the last few weeks than the combined total of our relationship combined. Even as I am doing it I know I sound ridiculous but I can't help but be really grumpy. I was watching a film and he just changed channels without asking, and yes I might have been on the lap-top at the same time but I can multi-task. And, admittedly, I had just been ranting about how shite and predictable it was - but that didn't mean I didn't want to see the end (turns out the geeky guy did end up with the ex-porn star babe, who knew).

Cramping - a mild, but pretty much continuous crampage going on. Not enough even to warrant pain killers but just painy - and constant.

Nausea - I'll tell you what, I am going to suffer terribly from morning sickness if this is what the tiny amount of progesterone delivered through the coil is doing to me. But morning sickness well, I figure that I'll cope because the outcome will be worth it. Gagging whilst cleaning my teeth in the morning is just getting tiresome now. When I feel like puking I want it to be a result of having a parasitic little embryo in my womb, not because I have a bit of plastic leaking progesterone.

Chubbing-up – is it psychosomatic, or has it genuinely increased my appetite? To be honest the 'cause doesn’t really matter the effect is pissing me off. For the first time in about 10 years I think I might have to go on a diet ... tomorrow, or the next day, maybe after the weekend.

Monday, 2 March 2009

To see, or not to see?

My eyes are both my best and worst features.

Best, because they have a clear blue clarity that could turn the Adriatic green with envy. (If not Ol' Blue Eyes himself).

Worst, because they are broken. They are not fit for purpose. Since I was 11 I have worn ever-increasing-in-strength glasses then contact lenses. Do you get it? I am really, really short sighted.

On Saturday I went to have a consultation with a view to getting eye surgery. The sales technique was truly awesome. There are a couple of different types which, from what she said, might as well be the difference between getting a chisel and mallet and cracking open the front of my eye or having a cool breeze, generated by the flapping of an angel's wing, skim my eye balls to fix my sight. Is there really any choice? I'll happily pay the premium, in a way I won't for branded rather than supermarket-own toilet paper.

So now the decision, do I do it? Should I have the operation to correct my vision?

I always find the best way to make this kind of decision is to weigh up the pros and cons:

Pros of wearing glasses
  • Makes me look clever (I always wear them when I going for an interview)
  • Enables me to see
  • Can be fashionable (depending on what Prada are doing that season – unfortunately these are a full-time wear regardless of trends)
  • You don’t hit a girl wearing glasses.

Cons of wearing glasses
  • I can’t wear them out when it is raining as they get covered in water
  • I can’t wear them out when it is sunny as it stops me wearing sunglasses
  • I can’t wear them out when it is too cold as the moment I walk back into the warm they steam up
  • I can’t look into the oven without them steaming up
  • Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses (this certainly proved true during my early teenage years - although in retrospect my boy's haircut, complete lack of self-confidence and acne may also have contributed. Things certainly changed when I got contacts, grew my hair, took medication to help my skin and learnt that boys, like rats, are far more scared of you that you are of them)
  • They smear really easily so you constantly have to clean them
  • I can't see well enough to put eye-make up on with wearing my glasses (which puts a physical barrier in the way of the aforementioned activity) or putting contacts in which defeats the point of wearing glasses
  • They are incredibly expensive to replace (my last pair with lenses cost £900).
Pros of wearing contacts
  • I look like you don't wear glasses
  • Means I can cut onions without them making me cry
  • Enables me to see.
Cons of wearing contacts
  • They can be painful to put in - especially if you put them in early in the morning
  • I'm not supposed to wear them for more that 8 hours a day
  • I'm not supposed to sleep in them (not even an afternoon nap)
  • I'm not suppose to wear them on the beach
  • I'm not supposed to wear them whilst swimming
  • They can rip in half in my eye and get lost somewhere in the socket (this happened to me last week - 3 days before the other half worked its way out - a key catalyst for Saturday's appointment)
  • If one falls out I'm stuck until I can find a spare
  • Ecologically unsound - I use daily disposables - think of the waste with all that packaging.
Pros of getting laser surgery
  • I won't need to wear glasses or contacts lenses
  • I'll be able to shave my legs in the shower with out first putting my lenses in
  • I will be able to see the clock at night
  • I won't have to pat the surface of my side table every morning to enable me to locate my specs
  • I won't have to ask the husband to locate my glasses for me when I know they are here somewhere but I simply cannot see/ pat them
  • I will be able to apply eye make up whenever I fancy (apart from after the first week of the surgery)
  • I won't have to check the weather to determine which facial apparatus I can wear
  • I get £500 off this treatment because I have been referred by a friend - who thinks it has revolutionised her life
  • I can spread the payments out over several years (i.e. the rest of my days on this mortal coil)
  • I can leave behind the memory of my childhood nickname - Everest - not coined in homage of the years I spent living in Nepal but a reference to a double glazing firm advertising heavily of telly in the mid 80's and accompanied by the trade mark tap on glasses
  • I'll be able to see from the second I wake up - all by myself.
Cons of getting laser surgery
  • It might not work
  • It might make my sight worse
  • It costs only slightly less than a small Hebridean island
  • I'm scared.
But, you can't have this surgery if you are pregnant or breast feeding so now does seem like an opportune moment. I always think about the constant leaping in and out of bed once I have a kid and the unnecessary complications having to locate my glasses will add to the faff. So it would be good to have my sight sorted prior to that.

So, on balance, I think I shall go for it. Have any of you had it? Any comforting tales of success you'd like to share?