Thursday, 30 August 2012

So how are things with me and my sister?

I saw the womb-mate yesterday.

My pregnant twin sister. Who is now entering her eighth month of pregnancy.

Doesn't time fly?

For the first hour or so we chatted, mostly about me, 'cause that is how I roll. Not about infertility.

Just me generally.  What can I say? I am fascinating.

Every so often I'd remember that conversations are two-way so I'd throw in a question about her midwife appointment or work.

But I was absolutely fine.  Not even a twinge of jealousy or tears. Not a despondent moment.

Until, that is, she asked what she could do to make things easier for me when talking about her pregnancy (I hadn't even been aware she had been talking about it, it was still all about me). She also confessed that last time we'd met up her husband had kicked her under the table at one point.  She couldn't remember what she'd said but something that an infertile doesn't need to hear. I can't remember what she said so it can't have been too insensitive. Although now I am worried I'll have to have the whole spousal abuse chat with her.

Then I had a little watery eye moment.

If I'm honest though, the most upsetting point was when she talked about her weight gain over this pregnancy. Shame-faced she whispered what her scales were currently tipping at. Which just so happens to be that same as my target weight for which I am back at the gym trying and achieve.

Did I mention that she is eight months pregnant?

And we are the same height?

Now that is enough to make me cry myself to sleep.


Thanks for the problem letters.  I've got a couple lined up - but rather than spam your timelines I am trying to just answer one a week, on a Monday, but do keep them coming. They are so much fun to do!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Baseball Agony

Dear Aunty Lizzie

My DH’s best friend talks about his kid’s baseball team ALL THE TIME!  The kid is young (under 12); it’s not like he’s on his way to the Pro’s for f’in sake!!! How do I make him realize that the way Johnny holds a bat is not INTERESTING!!!

Thank you for your help,


Up to my ass in baseball lingo and I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!

P.S. Drinking doesn’t help because the guy will drink too and it makes the baseball talk WORSE!!!

Dear Ass Full of Baseball

There are a few different approaches you can try, and from the sounds of it you'll have plenty of opportunity to try each one as I doubt you'll find success quickly. This sounds like a deeply ingrained problem.

1) The passive aggressive approach

Every time he boast about his son's achievements say something along the lines of:

"You are so right to encourage him in sport - academic achievement isn't everything."

"How many home runs? Well, at least that must help with his counting."

"Hitting a ball must really help him with the aggression that he clearly can't articulate."

Of course the worry with this approach is it might stop Dad talking about baseball but he'll replace it with his other achievements to prove his son isn't a one-dimensional fool.

2) Blank the topic

When dad says:

"So Johnny is trying the Babe Ruth* grip this week"

(*see, I can do topical)

You say:

"Can you believe Todd Akin's** comments?"

(**This is practically satire it is so up to date)

He says:

"Of course, Johnny could be in the over 14's squad but the coach wants to keep him because he inspires his team mates."

You say:

"Have you seen the Bourne Legacy? I hear Matt Damon isn't even in it, how do they do that?"

He says:

"I think they are going to win the little league this season."

You say:

"What about them Lakers?"

He might get the hint.

3) Bribe the coach

Get him kicked off the team. You might find that the Dad isn't so keen to talk about his son's achievement's then. Although he might start talking about the court case he is preparing for to sue the ass off the coach.

4) Turn it into a game

You and your DH need to have a set of ten phrases each and the first one who can get him to say all ten wins. This won't stop him chatting all his baseball shite. But it will mean that you won't care so much and actually, as you try to draw him into saying the winning phrases, you will go balls-deep into the subject.

5) The direct approach

When he starts talking about the baseball team say, "I'm really sorry but I'm just not into baseball", but don't leave it there. It is likely that he will resent your comment, because he hasn't realised quite how bad his verbal diarrhoea is, so you go in with the zinger:

"I mean I know that  Johnny hit XX last season, and that his nemises is XXX, and that when X he always Y." (I can't even begin to make these stats up but you'll know).

Throw in seven or eight examples of what he has told you recently and he will only be able to conceed that he might talk about the team a little too much.

6) Move house and change phone numbers

If I am honest from what you've written about his obsession then this might be your best, and only, option.

Good Luck!


Monday, 20 August 2012

Blog Agony

Dear Aunty Womb-y 

I have been blogging for a while and built up what I thought was a good following from other IF-ers. But since I have gotten pregnant I feel like I have been ignored by everyone I hardly get any comments any more and it is like people think I was faking IF and I’m not one of then any more. It really hurts that they don’t care any more and makes me think the comments were all fake before.


Dear ...

... oh dear ...

... oh dear ...

You have projected an awful lot onto the natural decline in your comments. 

Most of us read blogs for support, to learn about impending treatments and not feel so alone as they struggle to come to terms with their infertility in what feels like a very fertile world.

When you get pregnant your readers are naturally going to melt away.

Some because they finding reading about pregnancy upsetting.

Some they just can't relate to your posts.

Others who could give marvellous advice when it comes to injections or dealing with in-laws suddenly can give no input, or sympathy, when it comes to morning sickness.

And yes, obviously, there will be people jealous at the "comparative" ease with which you got pregnant. (You don't give the name of your blog so I have no idea how long or easy it was, but whatever your story there is always someone who has tried for longer, thrown more money at it and / or suffered more as a result of their infertility).

This doesn't mean they think you are 'faking', simply that the nature of support they can give you has run its course. Don't take it personally.

My modus operandi is to comment less but still check-in during a pregnancy then slip quietly away once the baby is safely born and all is right with the world.  I could give you a very altruistic explanation for this. I could say it upsets me to read people apologising for being pregnant because they are conscious of their infertile readers, this is true to an extent but much of it comes from no longer having that common cause to relate to. I wish them well but it is time for both of us to move on: them to "Mummy blogger" territory me to the latest influx of new, barren recruits.

Best wishes,

Womb for Improvement

Hmmmm. This was a rather gag free post, feel free to send in a light-hearted problem.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

How to bring on a period

What is the most effective thing one can do to bring on a period?

Fair enough, ten points if you said "wee on a pregnancy test".

The second most effective thing you can do is ring your Doctor on a Friday and tell her that you stopped the course of provera six days ago, are supposed to start the next round after a week and period, but you haven't had a period and are worried about whether to start the orgy of drugs or wait.

Then she tells you to arrange a scan for the following week to see what is happening. Which you do.

Then on a Saturday, when the clinic is closed, that will be when you start you period.

Anyone want to guess what is going on with me at the moment?

I'm going to cancel the scan on Monday and start taking three provera pills a day for many, many months.

Which is nice.

In the meantime I am 'enjoying' my first period since February. (I'm not counting the bleeds after womb scrape one and two).

Monday, 13 August 2012


The first problem I was offered was way too much for a first-timer Agony Aunt such as myself; however if any of you fancy your hand at advising on how to deal with the mother-in-law from hell then give SLESE1014 a hand here.

For my first column I’ve opted for two yes or no questions, but I’ve not opted for the easy answers (which would be yes and yes).

Dear Auntie Lizzie

Perving on lithe male Olympic athletes - yay or nay? (assuming they and you are 18+...)


Dear Lusty Lady

You’re thinking about little Tom Diddly-Daley aren’t you? Body of a man, face of a petulant toddler.

I really think it depends on how you define perving. Appreciating the work that has gone in to sculpting those abs/ thighs/ pecs/ budgies that they are smuggling (Delete as applicable depending on your personal taste) is surely just good manners. If you find yourself rubbing against the telly and leaving it all smeary then, I respectfully suggest, you’ve maybe gone a tad too far.

However, it must be said the first thing I said when the Borwnlee brothers got Gold and Bronze in the Triathlon wasn’t a gasp of desire but a wail of “their mother must be so proud.” Which makes me think my libdo and I need to have a good, long, hard, um… chat.

But they’re legal, you’re legal. I’d rather you flicked the bean to a real example of physical excellence than 50 Shades.

Yours perving right alongside you


Dear Auntie Lizzie

My question would have to be drinking before 2pm, yes or no?


Dearest Booze Jockey

I’m going to assume you are talking about alcoholic drinks?

A resounding yes for this. If you can’t drink before 2pm then how can you have a drink at lunch time?

However, pre-12noon requires a lot more caveats - it is allowable in the following circumstances:

1) special celebration days (Christmas Day, weddings, birthdays, hen nights, Sundays) when you have a buck fizz (mimosa) with your breakfast

2) pre-flight if you are of a nervous disposition and you are taking off before the sun is over the yard arm.

3) when there is a major sporting event that is in another time zone. I have fond memories of going to the pub at 7:30 in the morning to watch England play in the world cup in 2002 in Japan.

4) at 11am when you kid has been screaming all night and a little tot of gin – or mother’s ruin – is calling. Just to calm the nerves. This is the daytime drinking I am particularly looking forward to.

I love you, you’re my best friend, *hic*


Yup, still loving this.

Next problems please, in comments or by email, names will be withheld on request. (

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Thank you for all your suggestions about what to write.

April asked if I got tickets to the Olympics. Nope. I tried but failed, although I did pop down to see some of the marathon on Sunday as it was a mere hop, skip and jump away from my house. (Shit wrong event).

Are You Kidding Me urges me to write a discourse on "why do you suppose that people of the British Isles find the word c*nt acceptable (ish) as a curse word, whereas Americans, especially women, find it the most horrible insult imaginable? " Personally I have never used the word "cant" as a swear word, mostly because an old teacher kept telling me there was no such word as "can't".

He was a right cunt though.

And with no obvious link Kelley at Magneto Bold too came up with the obvious solution. I should write about her. Though my humble blog could never capture her awesomeness / brain washing ability as to the nature of her awesomeness so you'll just have to pop over and see her for yourself.

Anonymous asked me to survey the postcode lottery in the UK that can make or break our funded IVF dreams.  Unfortunately as austerity measures take hold it seems to change almost monthly and I would hate to broadcast incorrect information.

Another Elizabeth from Bebe Suisse (add your own accents) just wants some brass nuts, which shows some brass neck. (No, I've no idea what I mean either.)

Newly pregnant (!) Emily suggestes a monthly challenge, but I'm crap at following rules so I can't do that.

Amanda wrote an incisive and incredibly funny comment (so she assures me) that suggested I take some photos but she is a far better photographer than me so I can't match that.

The (once) bunless oven suggests a 'Best Of WFI' post. So I gave her the cash I promised, but have to direct anyone who wants to read back to here.


My absolute favourite suggestion came via email from a mate. And I know you will read this and assume I just made it up, but I promise you it is genuine (and if it was a plant I would have made up a name and posted it as a comment on my own blog).

She reckons I should become an agony aunt.

I love this idea.


(Enough for capitals if not double exclamation marks.)

There is little I like more than imposing my own views on other peoples dilemmas.

So either email me at or post a comment with you dilemma and Auntie Lizzie will respond.

A few ground rules:

1) If you think my response is going to be: go to hospital, go to the police, or get out. Then do that don't wait around to be told.

2) The more trivial your dilemma the better. A point of etiquette?  A conversation about body odour? An addiction to the Olympics? I'm your girl.

3) On that note, don't think it needs to be infertility related. No one has a more rigid or fully formed idea about child/ baby care than someone who has never had one of their own.

So ... um ... go, go, go or I'll be forced to make up* my own problems.


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Vintage Womb For Improvement

Over the last year and a half so this blog's follower count has rocketed as I've gained supporters and well-wishers through my four rounds of IVF. For you I am all grateful.

But let us not forget the early adopters. Those people who forced themselves to read my blatherings as I went through long periods of non-periods whilst I was on Provera for six months here and six months there.

Well never fear new guys because you are in for a long boring, uneventful treat. Stage one of Provera has just been completed (ten days of one pill a day).  I now wait for a week, should have a period then I'm back on it with three pills a day for months.

I'm glad it is only pills not injections or suppositories.

Soooo ... anyone got any ideas what I should chat about?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

One Track

I am fucking loving the Olympics.

Forget my natural cynicism and the British tendency to be a bit too modest. “What this old thing? Oh we just dusted off a bit of east London we found at the back of our wardrobe and popped in a couple of running tracks. Do you like it? It was nothing really.”

However because I have a one track mind (fertility not sex – no, the two are in no way related in my experience) I can’t help but think about the competitors from a baby making perspective.

I wonder how many athletes have put their baby making plans on hold until after the games. Just a week and a half all the nubile, healthy, athletes will be getting down to it as soon as the closing ceremony begins. Although on a side note, rumours of Grindr crashing through-over use when the athletes descended on Olympic village did amuse me – they clearly have a lot of excess energy to burn off. (For those of you who don’t know what Grindr is don’t google it at work.)

Thirty–one year old cyclist Victoria Pendleton, is engaged to be married, and has already announced that she plans to retire after the games. I anticipate a pedalling of tiny feet in the not too distant future.

Although whilst I'm thinking about cyclists I am relieved to hear that Bradley Wiggins already has two children. Because after his Tour De France tour de force followed by yesterday's win my concern was less for his gold medals and more for his brass nuts. I can’t help but wonder what state his swimmers must be in after being sweatilly pressed into a cycling saddle for the best part of two months.

Talking of swimmers. Those blokes really do have some impressive ... muscle tone.


What’s that? Irrelevant to my infertility ramblings? Come on, I’m only human.

Maybe I do have a two track mind after all.