Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Results Are In

I think the easiest way to show how my day went is through the power of email and phone messages:

9.03 am
Hi, this is a message for Eunice. It is Liz [WFI] here. Um ... I'm waiting for the results of my biopsy but I seem to have started my period today and I just wondered if that was normal or if I need to do anything.

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10.17am
Hi Elizabeth, this is Eunice I've got your message, don't worry it is perfectly normal to have a post coil bleed. I'm going to try and speak to Mr S. now and see if he's got the biopsy results. I'll call you back stand by your phone.

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From: Elizabeth [WFI]
Sent: 30 July 2009 11:35
To: Sisters and close friends
Subject: Update

Hello

I am sure you have all been on tender hooks all week so quick womb update.

Good news!

I've spoken to Eunice and she's got the biopsy back. I've got the all clear.

Eunice wants me to start to take the pills today. BUT (and this is when it gets shitty) to do this I would need to come in for a scan next Thursday morning to check how ovulation is going.

However then I am in Ireland then (flying out Wed arvo and coming back Thursday arvo for work, all booked can’t get out of it). Arghhhhh!

Eunice is going to talk to the doc about what to do and then get back to me, I am waiting ...

(The problem is, even if taking the pills is delayed by just a day then I would come in for a scan on Friday but then there is the possibility that everything kicks off over the weekend and I miss my window of opportunity)

Exciting but frustrating ....

Xx

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12.51pm
"Elizabeth, it is Eunice here I've spoken to Mr S. and we have a new schedule for you. I'll call again in a minute keep your phone wit .... beeeeeeepppppp...."

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12.53pm
"Eunice hi, it's Liz. My phone has chosen today to break on me. It isn't ringing and keeps cutting out. Um ... can I give you my friends number to call? [Hands over cousin / work experience gimp's number]"

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13.35pm
From: Elizabeth [WFI]
Sent: 30 July 2009 11:35
To: Sisters and close friends
Subject: It is happening

It is all go here!

Eunice called me back so:

Tomorrow morning I am going to go and have a baseline blood test and pick up my meds.

I take them for five days starting tomorrow.

Then on Friday 7 of August I have to test for ovulation.

If I get a positive on that day I need to phone the nurses and let them know and go in for a scan, but that is unlikely so otherwise I test for ovulation on Sat and Sun then on Monday 10 Aug at 9.30 I have a scan (what ever results I get).

So Paddy needs to be on stand by for some spanking the monkey action. If I look good to go Paddy will ‘produce’ and I’ll get my IUI done. If not then I go for a scan on Wednesday and see what happens ...

Exciting, exciting, exciting...

----------

I didn't have a particularly productive work day.


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Shuffling off this coil

This morning started off well.

I put my inability to sleep prior to Doctor's appointments to good use, and went for a pre-work swim.

Refreshed and reinvigorated I dressed scantily and went to work for an hour and then slipped out for a 'meeting' thus ensuring my young protege had no inkling of the seismic changes going on in my life.

As I walked to the hospital certain omens of doom started to present themselves. A cab was cut up by another driver and the cabbie in a voice that spoke of a heritage of cockney market traders shouted:

CUNT

Out of his window. I was the only pedestrian. It felt pointed.

Then it started to rain. When I had left work it had been sunny and it is no exaggeration to say that the dark clouds were converging directly over the hospital. In a film I would dismiss it as too much, in real life I shuddered.

Then yet another battle with the receptionist:
"Your name isn't down. Do you have a letter about the appointment?"
"No, I booked it over the phone, with Eunice"

Even the magic name elicited no response from the receptionist who continued to stare at her computer screen as though my name would magically appear and she could allow me across the threshold.

It didn't.

I maintained a calm exterior whilst on the inside my brain was imploding.

Mr S., the doctor I had the appointment, with strolled by. I grabbed him. He told the receptionist that, and I quote:

"It was probably one of those appointments I made in my head and didn't bother to write down."

Holy fucking shit!

But luckily he remembered rearranging the appointment and whisked me off.

Moments later he was elbows deep in my tunnel of love. The husband’s eyes glistened as he looked on. Whether it was with pride, or his eyes watering at my … um … capacity is debatable.

And he was quick on the draw, he whipped the coil out faster that I can remove a tampon. He held it aloft for a moment and, considering it had been bedded down in my uterus for six months (and one day), it looked pretty clean. This, he declared, was a good sign.

Allow me to stray from the narrative for a point of interest, the coil is not coil shaped. Instead it is Y shaped, or to use a not coincidental medical term, uterus shaped.

Where was I?

Ahh, yes, once again I got to make love to the camera and he checked whether it had done the job. And this is where the news is frustratingly inconclusive.

My womb lining needs to be 4mm, it is 4.1mm which he says is good enough.

But, he said it just looked a bit 'bright' on the screen. I guess from years of scanning women he knows the exact shade the lining will show up at and this was a bit different. So once again I get a biopsy marked as: Urgent.

He said I should get the results by the end of this week (which is NHS speak for next week) and then we can go on to the next stage.

The next stage was discussed in a meeting with Eunice afterwards. She talked us through everything, answered our questions, and took her time.

I won't go into it all now, but essentially assuming the biopsy comes back with the all clear there will be no faffing. I'll start clomid, which will bring on super-ovulation and ten days later they start scanning to see when to shove some of the husband's finest in my womb and we can, hopefully, start making babies.

I didn't ask what would happen if the biopsy results weren't good, that is on a need to know basis only. And I hope I never need to know.

As we left Eunice the husband turned, and said possibly the understatement of the year: "She's good, isn't she?"


Saturday, 25 July 2009

The Wagon

Things to avoid when you are trying not to drink alcohol:
  • A belated birthday meal with sisters and fine wines on tap (the sisters weren't on tap, just the fine wine)
  • An all staff meeting followed by canap├ęs, wine and beer ... or, oh, water
  • Karaoke
  • Specifically, Michael-Jackson-tribute-karaoke when you realise that (blasphemous as it is to say in the current climate) you still aren't a Michael Jackson fan even now he is dead and you certainly don't know tunes to any of his songs*
  • Observant, curious, teasing and, oblivious about your situation, friends
  • Having booze in the fridge that taunts you after a day at work during which you tried to catch up on the six days work you've just missed .... Mmmm, cold, fizzy amber nectar
  • A husband who makes no attempt to curb his drinking in sympathy because his swimmers have been given the OK (just OK note, he doesn't really have that much to swagger about)
  • A Friday night takeway cuzza with friends.
Now on a completely unrelated note, anyone want to guess what I have been up to since I got back?

And I've still not touched a drop o'booze since last Saturday. I am preparing my body to become a vessel. I'm getting fed up already.

*except Blame It On The Boogie. I rocked Blame It On The Boogie.



Thursday, 23 July 2009

But Of Course

At least I am now clear about one thing.

I recently wondered whether I was jinxed when it came to Doctor's appointments.

I can now categorically inform you that I am.

The Proof

Remember how Eunice called when I was away but then said just ring when I was back in the country.

This is why:

My appointment with Mr S to take out the coil was scheduled for Monday 27 July.

I booked this appointment six months ago, I got a text from the hospital a couple of days ago to remind me it was happening (complete with clinic number room, date and time).

But, it turns out, it can't take place on Monday.

Because Mr S. isn't in on Monday. Fair enough, people have holidays, it is the summer we must all adapt. But no, this wasn't a one-off glitch this was because (and this'll make you laugh, cause it sure as hell had me in stitches), he doesn't work on Mondays.

He never works Mondays.

Mondays are to Mr S what Sundays are to you and I.

So what, you may ask, was the receptionist doing booking me in for an appointment on a Monday?

I have no answer other than there are some higher forces at play. It is like fate and karma have combined forces to ensure that my womb never reopens for business.

But they didn't reckon on Eunice.

She's sorted me out an appointment on Tuesday morning.

I'll get the coil whipped out, a quick scan to see if it has done what it should have done and then ... well, lets see. I'm not banking on anything anymore.

(And no I can't be arsed changing my ticker - you can just add one day can't you?)


Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Typography

I am a sucker for interesting typography. Naturally all I'm interested in is the way the letters are formed, the kerning, the serifs (or lack of).

What's that?

You think I'm just immature and find it amusing when the foreigns sound smutty?

As if.

Look for yourself, here are a few I've snapped over the years.


Istanbul, Turkey


Istanbul, Turkey


Aachen, Germany


Brussels, Belgium


Today I got a belated birthday card from my work colleagues:


Orkney, Scotland

Which is nice.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Nuts and Good Heads

Ok, I am well aware this post may well be the equivalent of me inviting you round to my house with the lure a lovely dinner (or in this case an intriguing headline) and then subjecting you to a tedious slide show of holiday highlights.

So I shall try and keep the highlights short, and spare you the hundreds of pictures (well maybes just a few).

Highlights:
  • Nuts and good heads. By which I mean, you filthy minded fiends, peanuts and frothy beer poured the way only Europeans pour, they really do give good head on the continent (for more on this check out a post written from holiday posted on Fertility Authority)
  • Four hotels in seven nights
  • Hours on a rickety train through the Asturian, and then a few days later the Galician, countryside debating where we would build our dream home
  • Scrambling down to a deserted rocky beach and spending the morning, just the two of us and our books
  • Devouring three completely different, but each equally wonderful books. I thoroughly recommend: The Winding Stick - Elise Valmorbida, The Book Thief - Markus Zusak and The Thirteen Problems - Agatha Christie
  • Settling for a formica-tabled cafe for lunch as it was the only place we could find, and having one of the most delicious meals of the holiday
  • Stealing a glimpse at my blog and reading all the birthday wishes - thank you!
  • Getting a phone call from Eunice on my birthday. (To be fair it wasn't to wish me Happy Birthday - even Eunice isn't that good but she was reviewing my case notes and had a few questions. She clocked from the ring tone that I was abroad so I am going to ring her this week to find out what they are. But just to reiterate the astounding nature of this phone call - she was reviewing my case notes 13 days before my next appointment - I really feel like I am in good hands)
  • Mullet spotting - no one does business-up-front, party-out-back like the Spanish, it took all our will power to just nudge one another when we saw classic examples rather than point and laugh
  • Pimientos de Pedron - salty, fried nuggets of green that are a contender for my favourite food ever
  • Siestas
  • Bars, bars, hundrds of bars.
  • Borrowing bikes from the hotel and cycling to a nearby sandy beach - very Famous Five
  • Making it back up the hill from the beach on the aforementioned bikes, this was only a highlight in retrospect. At the time I thought we might die
  • Randomly managing to combine our holiday with Santiego's fiesta
  • Standing in the main square whilst a walking band (yes, the drum kit was on wheels) played Queen and witnessing 1,000 Spaniards singing "We are the sham-pin-ons"
  • And don't even get me started on "We Will Rock You"
  • Seeing an angel carved into an altarpiece that was the, well, spitting image of Maggie Thatcher's spitting image puppet (unfortunately no photos allowed)
  • Winning a mammoth game of Gin Rummy (first to 1000, and at times there were 200 points between us, but by the end I snatched victory 1004 to 992)
  • Not spending more than fifteen minutes bemoaning my lack of fertility.



Tuesday, 14 July 2009

An auspicious day?*

It isn't just the French who should celebrate aujourd'hui.

Today one of my friends is due to have an elective caesarean (her baby is in breech) but other than that all looking good.

Today another real life friend is supposed to have her IVF transfer.

Today my older sister is should be exchanging on both the house she is selling and buying.

Today my twin sister turns 33, which means ...

Oh yeah.

Its my birthday too.

I hope today works out as a brilliant day for everyone.

*details correct at time of going to press, this pop-up post was written in advance so that you lot don't pine too much whilst I'm away.


Friday, 10 July 2009

Two's company

The husband and I have a problem.

This problem isn't as a result of lack of intimacy, it isn't a reflection of our relationship, it isn't even infertility.

The problem is a result of a combination of being pretty sociable people and being utterly disorganised.

It means that in the 14 ish years we have been a couple, other than the odd weekend away, we have only had two holidays without other people - one of which was our honeymoon.

This is because we tend to wait for other people to suggest places to go and join them rather than pulling our own fingers out and planning our own break. Fairly typical are the holidays that we have taken since I started this blog:

Case Study A: A rented house in the south of England with 14 adults and 1 three year old, 2 two year olds, 1 one year old, 2 under ones and two in the womb and the dog.

Case Study B
: This had potential to be a couple holiday and indeed the first four days in Alba were. Then we carried on down to Rome where some friends lived and spent the remaining time with them.

Case Study C
: This trip was taken with two other couples, I think I booked the flights - which for me is pretty impressive - luckily there was someone else on hand to sort the hotel.

When we realised at the end of January we had six months of waiting we decided we'd have a holiday in July, just before the coil came out. You may not recognise the significance of this statement.

WE. DECIDED. IN. JANUARY.

We weren't told by anyone else when we should join them on holiday.

We had a good six months head-start on any normal planning we do.

Initially the plan was to see friends in Brussels and Germany. But then we had a change of heart.

This might be the last time we have the option to go away - just the two of us. The last time we get to travel hand-luggage only without a buggy, and enough nappies to soak up Lake Titicaca.

I'll be celebrating my 33rd birthday out there and birthdays really aren't the same without my twin sister so you have to appreciate it took a Herculian effort not to invite her and her husband along too.

Of course, I know it might not be the last holiday with just the two of us, I don't want to tempt fate. I'm trying to balance being positive with managing expectations.

But regardless, the plan for this holiday - in the north of Spain - is to chill out, and yes, relax, to just enjoy hanging out with the husband. And for once, if this holiday goes quickly it won't be that bad because it will mean the time until the coil is removed is reduced.

So we are off on holiday, for a week, just the two of us.

I'm taking bets on whether we are still talking by the end of the holiday.


Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The Appointment

INTERIOR. DOCTOR’S SURGERY – DAY*

A windowless putrid-yellow painted basement doctor’s office.

The FRENCH DOCTOR bustles in first. She is followed by a tentative MR and MRS WFI. They hold hands, Mrs WFI drops his as they sit on the chairs offered. Mr WFI subtly wipes the residual clamminess off his hands on to his trousers.

FRENCH DOC "So"

She glances at her notes.

"Now where are we?"

Mrs WFI produces an A4 sheet.

MRS WFI "This is my summary, with dates, of what has happened so far …"

FRENCH DOC "Ah but I have your notes 'ere"

Taps on an huge blue folder stuffed with letters, copies and coloured bits of paper.

MRS WFI (consilatorily) "I know, I know. I just thought it might be easier to digest on one sheet."

FRENCH DOC (reading) "Right so you have the coil to remove ze endimotrosis. You need to get the coil removed as soon as possible."

MRS WFI "Yes, I have an appointment booked with Mr S. on Mon …"

French Doctor leaps up.

FRENCH DOC "Vell we shall speak to him now and see what 'e says."

She leaves the room.

Mr and Mrs WFI exchange glances. Mrs WFI notices pictures on the wall. Baby pictures. She cannot tear her eyes away.

The French Doctor bursts back in

FRENCH DOC " 'e is on ze phone. What are you looking at?"

Her glance follows Mrs WFI’s line of sight.

FRENCH DOC "Ah yes, we have boxes of them, we just put a few out. To make people happy."

She resumes her seat and continues

"So, you need to have the coil removed, you should make an appointment."

MR WFI "Yes, we have that appointment on Monday 27th."

FRENCH DOC "Good, good. So now I see your semen analysis is …"

She tears through the file searching for the relevant letter.

"Izzz … normal. So ve shall try for three months with ovulation stimulation, and zen if that does not work we shall try the belt and braces approach of IUI. I shall speak to Mr S now."

Dashes out of the room, again.

MRS WFI "What the fuck? What the fuck?"

Rifles through her own batch of papers.

Mr WFI "I thought we were going straight to IUI."

MRS WFI "So did I. That is what she said before. And I haven’t bought the fucking letter that says that with me. Fuck. I don’t want to wait another three fucking months only to find my fucking diseased womb-lining has fucking grown back."

MR WFI "Its Ok we’ll just tell her. We .."

The French Doc storms back in

FRENCH DOC "Mr S. agrees with me. Yes, so we shall go with the belt and braces approach and immediately give you IUI straight away."

MR & MRS WFI "!"

FRENCH DOC "So. You shall have ze coil removed. Then three weeks after you shall have a scan to check the endometrium has not grown back. Zen we shall go with the IUI.

Do you know what IUI entails?"

MRS WFI "Well, I've read a … little"

MR WFI "Just run through it will you?"

FRENCH DOC "You shall have clomid, a very small dose to begin with 50mg. Then you shall be scanned until you are about to ovulate. Then you (indicates to MR WFI) will go to the lab where …"

The three occupants of the small doctor’s room pause to contemplate exactly what will happen in the lab.

FRENCH DOC "Zen it will be washed leaving only ze best swimmers. Which will then be inserted into your uterus. Like having a smear test.

Now you must call the nurses to book in your scan three weeks after the coil is removed, unless you have a bleed before three weeks. Have you spoken to any of ze nurses?"

MRS WFI (Blushing slightly) "Well I have spoken to Eunice."

French Doctor leaps up as though she has been stung, she runs out of the room.

Mr WFI "What is the crazy woman doing now?"

Mrs WFI shrugs.

The screen goes into soft focus as the door reopens and in slow motion we see a new woman enter, her dark hair bounces, her eyes glisten, she smiles and wounds are healed.

EUNICE (for it is she) "Elizabeth, good to put a face to the voice. We’ve spoken a few times."

Mrs WFI (Gapes) "er … um … yes. Hello, lovely to meet you at last."

Mr WFI’s pupils dilate at the homoerotic scene unfolding before him.

EUNICE "So just call me two weeks after the coil comes out and we can set up a scan and arrange your super-ovulation. All you need now is a blood test for HIV and Hep B and we are done. You’ve got my direct line? Just call me if you have any questions, or if you want another appointment to talk through the process."

THE END (OR IS IT THE BEGINNING?)

* And for the pedants, I know I haven't formatted exactly right for screenwriting, but when I did the husband said it was too confusing.

******
And over on Fertility Authority, read my rant about ignorant commentors on news articles about IVF in the UK.


Sunday, 5 July 2009

My Fair Lady?

I normally loath shopping for clothes.

A trip usually goes something like this.

I spend half an hour standing on a sweaty bus into town. Because I am not a sophisticated shopper who goes for 'investment pieces' the places I choose to buy from involves having to plough through crowds of disdainful 14 year olds to get to the the clothes. Once there I pluck an item from rack. Of course, thanks to the multi-national corporations that dominate the high street I have no idea whether the size on the label is UK, European or American. I take a punt, and am usually wrong.

Then there is the queue for changing room. The fight with changing room curtain, which I eventually lose and try and change in the shielded part of the room rather than in front of the gape.

As I struggle into clothes I discover. (Delete as applicable, one always happens):
  • My head is in the arm hole
  • I can't reach the zip
  • There is a nasty ripping sound
  • The item is a tent
  • The item is made for a Barbie doll
  • There is a smear of foundation all over the head hole - and it isn't mine
  • If it is a dress the top bit is too small and the bottom bit too big
  • The trousers are too long
  • There are too many straps and I can't workout which bit goes where
  • Someone in the next door changing room comes out wearing exactly the same garment and looks 20 times better.

Generally as I am trying to get back into my old clothes I'll catch a glimpse of my underwear clad self in the full length mirror, and spend five minutes pushing my stomach out, slouching and pulling faces. Generally trying to make myself look as vile as possible. I don't know why.

So I pull my old clothes back on. I get grumpy. Too hot and bothered to try anything else on and leave shops grumbling.

That is the normal MO.

However yesterday something unheard of happened.

I went in early to avoid the crowds, I only went to two shops. In the first I tried on and bought pair of trousers reduced in the sale. In the second I found a last dress. It was a dress I had seen before and liked but was too expensive. It was in my size and it fitted perfectly and it had 60% off.

It was only when I got home I realised why today was so different.

Turns out I was channeling Audrey:

Exhibit A: The Capri Pant

Exhibit B: The Classic Shift

My Fair Lady or Funny Face? I don't care, but I'm happy.


Wednesday, 1 July 2009

What's in a name?

When I got my first mobile phone my then boyfriend (now husband) was logged under:

Paddy2

Paddy being his name and 2 because chronologically he was the second Paddy I'd been out with and as I remained very good friends with the first they became known amongst all my friends, and to each other, as Paddy 1 and Paddy 2.

And there he malingered until a drunk friend got hold of my phone and changed his identifier to:

P Diddy

(She also changed her name to J Lo - this was back when the two bling-tastic celebrities were a couple, it is only now I ponder the significance of that change ...)

Then, more significant than a ring on my finger or the off-white dress and party, on the occasion of our nuptials his name changed again. This time to:

The Husband

(Yes, this nickname isn't just an affectation for my blog I do actually call him The Husband a lot, and he calls me The Wife - I know if it makes you want to puke think how I feel, I have to deal with it on a daily basis).

However, things turned nasty when he bought an i-phone without due consultation. Having to change his number whilst berating him for wasting money (ok, ok I was jealous and I lashed out) his phone name became:

Flash Twat

Meant in the most affectionate way.

Naturally.

On one occasion I lost my phone the husband rang it and discovered it along with 'Flash Twat' emblazoned on the screen.

Bizarrely enough, shortly after that I discovered the name had morphed into:

The Husband (Awesome)

And that is how it remains to this day.



So what about you? Do you have phone nicknames for your nearest and dearest? What do you use?

*******

Latest post on Fertility Authority dealing with the dreaded phrase: You're still young ....