Monday, 30 July 2012

Hanging Out With The Pregnants

With my friends popping out babies left, right and centre (mainly centre, that is just the way biology rolls) I figure I have three choices:

1. Spare myself the pain of hanging out with pregnants and kiddies by building new friendships with non-parents, whilst being aware that there is a high turnover rate within this new demographic as they quickly slip into parenthood.

2. Spend my days with the husband like a two-person penal colony with no interaction with anyone else.

3. Deal with it and ensure that I don’t sink into child avoidance by keeping my tolerance up with frequent exposure to bumps and babes.

I have gone for option three, with a vengeance.

The last three weekends have seen me spending significant time with newborns and pregnant ladies.

I think I am getting better.

Weekend one: I burst into tears the minute my pregnant friend (big up to Caroline No) and mother friend (Granine of the snarky comments) greeted me.

Weekend two: I waited until half way through our afternoon birthday tea whilst discussing my next IVF strategy with the IVF-enhanced and bulgingly pregnant wombmate and T, with her two tiny people, before I turned on the waterworks.

Weekend three: when we finally met our five-week-old niece (on the husband’s side) up in Dundee I got through the whole weekend without shedding a tear.

The last feat was made even more impressive by the fact my mother-in-law (and I say this with the caveat of being incredibly lucky with the in-laws because I think they are brilliant and adore them) kept saying “take note” or “remember that” to me every time my not-quite-sister-in-law extolled the virtues of epidurals or nipple covers. At one point though she clearly realised I wasn't convinced I would ever need to take note as she gave me a little squeeze and assured me that “it would happen”.

I wish I shared her confidence.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Don't Know Much About Histology

Look at the title of this post. What I've very cleverly done, you see, is taken the lyrics of a well-known popular music song and slightly twisted them to make them more relevant to my situation.

I know, it is this kind of comedy gold that keeps you coming back again, and again.

Except it isn't quite right as I DO now know something about my latest histology.

The verdict is that my womb is clean and disease-free.

Once I'd finished my victory lap around the Doctor's office she explained that she would still like to take the over-cautious approach we'd discussed; several months of overdosing on progesterone to suppress the my womb lining before I transfer any more frozen robot babies.

Her reasoning being that this atypical hyperplasia that likes to fester in my womb has been coming back time and time again so she just wants to make sure it isn't going to pop up again at an inopportune moment.

It is ironic that she described this approach as a 'belts and braces' one, whilst I was naked from the waist down and belts and braces were the last thing I was using.

I start progesterone in a few days for ten days, get a period and then start the long haul of a high dose progesterone-fest until about Christmas.

So ... er ... Happy New Year?

In other news Jane was interviewed by the Irish Times recently about living without children. You can read the article here.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Why Are We Waiting?

It is one thing to wait before repeating IVF because you don’t feel up to it. It is quite another to have the delay enforced upon you.

I am not sure when I would do IVF if I could choose of my own free will. Summer seems like quite a good time because as you lounge about in the sun you feel more chilled out and escape the bad weather blues (even though the masses of blood tests force you to wear long sleeves whatever the season).

This year that isn’t an option, not least because, as my Grand father-in-law noted Summer has yet to start.

Regardless of the weather it is all academic. The next frozen embryo transfer will not be happening this summer. My Doctor told me in early June that she wanted me to have at least two periods following the evacuation before we try again. It is now mid-July - two months since IVFgate and I can’t tick even one of those periods off my to-do list.

I also have the added complication of my womb lining. Honestly my womb and its shenanigans could fill a whole book ... or website. Oh wait, it has filled a website.

(This one.)

In addition to having two periods my doctor also wants to check there are no nasty disruptive atypical cells lurking in the womb lining and to this end when I had my second evacuation an extra womb-scraping was sent off to the lab to be tested. I am still waiting for the results.

The plan we are currently working towards is another long stretch of quite a few months on progesterone. Quite how long will depend on what they find but in real terms I am not expecting to do IVF this side of what would have been my due date Christmas, so I won’t be a mother before 37 at the earliest.

On the plus side though, despite the delay my eggs remain suspended as those of a thirty-five-year-old's. So the wait isn’t a problem.

Is it?

Saturday, 14 July 2012

I appear to have grey pubes

My head hair has always been dead straight.  I can walk in the rain. Straight. Hang out in high humidity ares. Straight. I even once tried curlers. Within three hours. Straight.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to the husband and noticed that he wasn't bestowing his full attention on me. His gaze kept shifting to my right temple. Suddenly he interrupted my no-doubt-riveting narrative to tell me he couldn't concentrate because I had a curly white hair sticking out of my head.

Since then I've found more and more alien-corkscrew follicles.

Look here is one:

At this rate I give it four years before I end up with a white puby do in the style of Tom Jones:

Though hopefully without the accompanying facial hair - saying that I do have one very persistent chin hair that requires me to be very vigilant about plucking, so can't guarantee I won't be sporting a full on beard by the time I'm forty.

Yup, only four years today until I'm forty. Or to put it another way Happy 36th Birthday to me!

On the plus side my actual lady garden remains untainted by white hairs - so at least the Doctors who get to fiddle around down there can still remark, with no irony, how young I look for my age.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Baby Boom

No one with a clitoris and a kindle can be ignorant of the publishing sensation that is Fifty Shades of Grey.

I’ll be honest with you I haven’t read the book, not because of any latent prudishness or high-brow snobbery but mainly because I read a review that said it was shite and I am currently engrossed in the Game of Thrones books. (Although despite my best efforts the husband is still steadfastly refusing to call me m'lady... or wear a codpiece.)

But I digress, you know what this Shades of Grey phenomenon means for us, right?

The next year or so will see a baby boom of epic proportions as fertile ladies get pepped up and randy. Expect a surge in kids born in 2012/13 called Anastasia or Christian*.

I wondered whether this was a blip replicated elsewhere in history and look what I found. See this graph of birth dates in the UK in the twentieth centrury. You can clearly see three peaks:

source: BBC 

Around 1920 – explained no doubt by all the men coming back from the First World War into the loving arms of their women folk.

Around 1947 – as above, replace First World War with Second.

Early 1960s – what could this be? Well, ladies – and you heard it hear first this is a result of my own research* – what happened in 1960?

The Lady Chatterly’s Lover trial.

When grot became mainstream.

So my dears, time to prepare yourself for more pregnancy announcements at work, home and Facebook. 

Still, at least instead of shedding a jealous tear when they announcement is made, or steeling yourself for asking pertinent questions about due dates and morning sickness, you can amuse yourself by responding to each announcement with a surprised: “Oh, so you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey then?” accompanied by a cheeky wink

*see, research: I found out the names of the book's lead chararcters.

* You’re impressed aren’t you? I haven't bothered to see if there is another widely accepted reason for this peak - why would I when I have come up with such an incontrovertible thesis?

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Conversations With Anaesthetists

I had my first general anaesthetic on the 24 of December 2010 - Nah, I can’t think why that date sticks in my mind either.

I was petrified so the anaesthetist made a real effort to chat to me about non-medical related stuff whilst he shoved the needle in my hand and we waited for the drug to kick in.

Having an general anaesthetic was a real eye-opener – well not literally, quite the opposite in actual fact, but the feelings were eye-opening. It was glorious. I woke from a dreamless, but somehow satisfying, sleep feeling totally chilled and relaxed and a general anaesthetic quickly shot up my narcotic of choice list. (Above wine, but still below lager and salt and vinegar crisps – if you don’t think salt and vinegar crisps are a narcotic you have never used them to eat yourself into a coma. Novice).

Since that day I have had seven more Generals – see first name terms now. To be factually correct; four were heavy sedations for egg collection but they are indistinguishable from the real thing to an occasional user such as myself.

I discovered that my first chatty anaesthetist was not unusual. Anaesthetists' training one-oh-one must be to help them develop conversational skills on a par with a hairdresser (I do not say this in a derogatory way, anyone who can work and chat to the general public at the same time wins my greatest admiration).

On the third or fourth occasion the anaesthetist ask me if I’d had one before. “Oh yes” I replied airily. “So you know the process?”. “Yes, you stick and needle in my arm, then we have an inane conversation until I fall asleep.” “Are you a talker then?” She asked.


I didn’t feel I could reply that the inane conversation I was referring to was from her not me, so I just nodded dumbly and then failed to live up to my self-proclaimed chatty self.

For the last op the anaesthetist started with the old favourite, "Where would you usually be today?" "Work" (I wasn't at my sparkliest conversationally), he extracted from me where I worked and what I do - which is more than you guys get - and somehow it ended up with me offering him a massive 10% discount on our products. At which point he said that it would be unethical to take up the offer and put me to sleep.

It was quite comforting to know that I had an ethical anaesthetist, because let's face it you are rarely as vulnerable as when you are knocked out, clad in a backless hospital gown and wearing paper knickers.