Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Fairly Oddparents

I write this post quietly, trying not to awake the sleeping beast of Marlon Brando impressions that Mr. Devil Duck has been doing ever since The Idiot and the Barmaid asked us this weekend to be godparents to their new daughter. I'm like, "You want to find out what it REALLY feels like to have cotton balls shoved in your mouth, then by all means, keep it up Mr. Corleone."

We have the distinct impression that we are the most stable people that they know. We have this impression because we know an awful lot of the same people. I'm not 100% sure that it's not some sweet, misguided attempt to allow us to live vicariously as parents though them but being who they are, we'll take love for love and humbly accepted.

Mr. Devil Duck asked, "So does this mean we have to bail her out of jail and stuff?"

"Of course." The Idiot said, a little too quickly for my liking.

Neither Mr. DD or I have any religious convictions. I grew up in a pacifist church and took the best bits of their teachings to heart without hanging on to the concept of an overarching diety. Mr. DD is a true-blue British agnostic, raised by a mother who's white hot hatred for nuns was forged in the fire of convent school. (Where she was sent at 5 after calling her mother a "bloody old bitch")

Brits in general don't go in much for religion as a rule. They even describe themselves as a "post church society" and generally only end up in churches to be "hatched, matched and dispatched." Christening and godparents are nice traditions that they carry on regardless.

I suppose this means that I shall have to find a hat. (Hats! Love hats!)

Friday, May 26, 2006

What It Seems to Be

So....yeah. The blood test.

Being entriely unfamiliar with reproductive jargon, the fact that my progesterone level was at 36.3 doesn't really mean anything to me. Apparently, it means that I have "good quality ovulation".

This is undoubtedly A Good Thing. But in my mind, it's just one more thing that ISN'T causing the miscarriages. "It's almost like you WANT them to find something wrong with you," my husband said. Well of COURSE I want them to find something wrong. When something is obviously broken, you can fix it. When something is quietly broken, you don't know it until the next time you try to use it.

Of couse, it is entirely possible that I have been subject to garden variety bad luck, as are many women who experience failed pregnancies. I am a great believer in luck and I know that we haven't had much of it in the last 5 years or so.

Just keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I've found myself kind of mentally twidding my thumbs lately.

I have a lot of interests. I make silver jewelry, read a lot, listen to music, go snowboarding...but I've been reluctant to make any long term plans. It feels like everything is on hold until I manage to get my uterus to do what it's supposed to.

I don't like this feeling, because it obviously means that I'm wasting time. It's just kind of felt like there's nothing more I can do, nothing more I can get involved with until I become a mother. Stupid, really, cause it's not like I'll have much time to do anything else but BE a mother afterwards.

I don't know if this is something I've DECIDED or something that's sprung from a general feeling of life-standing-still-ness; something caused by our living situation being up in the air and the future being something that gets talked about often, but little evidence of it surfacing. Family crisis have obviously played a role; my mother-in-law's mystery illness has necessitated ALL of us to put our lives on hold until we know what needs to be done. I don't resent this, of course; you've got to do what you've got to do. But it's like proceeding, X-Files stylie, into a scary, dark room with only a high powered flashlight. Only, I don't get the luxury of a gun.

Just a bit of Monday morning malaise, most likely.

Mr. Devil Duck and I have had several encounters with Leila Mai this weekend. Newborn babies all kind of have this Yoda thing going on, (My mother told me I looked like a prize fighter until I was about a month old) so, you know, beautiful in spirit and newness, but physically kind of more like ET than angels. That said, the teeniness of her fingers and toes are just pretty damned precious.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Welcome to the World

The offspring of the Idiot and the Barmaid has arrived, amid wild acclaim. Leila Mai King, 6lbs, 3oz, after the shortest labour in history. 7 minutes, 1 push. We should all be so lucky.

So glad she's here at last! Can't wait to meet her.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cow for the Future

Have to admit to a purchase today.

My excuse was buying gifts for the still awaited child of The Idiot and The Barmaid, but saw this little guy and wanted him pretty bad. Bought his little pig companion for the baby in question. As well as quite a fun dummy.

My mother is always on the look out for Christmas gifts all year round. As she finds things, she'll squirell them away in her "Christmas Closet" for future use. It's dangerous, I suppose, having a "baby closet", as so much more emotional baggage goes along with it the longer the stuff sits around. But this is way too cute to pass up.

The REAL danger, I suppose, is of Mr Devil Duck and I getting so attached to this cow, that when a kid comes along, we have to buy another one to get dribbled on cause we can't bear to part with it. We're weird that way.

Delays, Delays

Every spring, without fail, some sort of lurgy delivers most righteous smackdown on my unwary ass. This year has been no different. I went to a conference feeling a bit under the weather and 3 nights of late night wheeling and dealing left me decidedly worse for wear.

This is one of those weeks. Tired of coughing, tired of sneezing, tired of the fever... just plain tired. I want to get back to the gym, to cycling to work and to being able to hack the whole Weight Watchers thing without going, "Ack, I feel awful, so therefore, I deserve cookies."

Had hoped to do the temperature thing this cycle as well, but as I've had a fever for nearly a week and a half now, I thought it might be a little silly to even attempt. The thought of the hormone level test will have to stay me for now; hopefully it will shed some light on potential causes of past pregnancy issues.

Mr. Devil Duck and I need to wait until July to start "trying" in earnest. ("What, like fucking?") As we have a trip to the States scheduled for Christmas, we need to make sure that I'd still be able to travel. Although this kind of puts a BIG ol' crimp in snowboarding plans, I think I'm ready to make the sacrifice. :)

The basal temperature thing worked pretty well the last time. It must be much harder for women with irregular cycles to try to track the damn things. Some of the things I've read on other TTC blogs look like advanced calculus. I'm glad I'm regular, cause I'm also absolutely abismal at math. I think I'd get fed up and go, "You know what? I feel horny. Let's have a shag and hope for the best."

I should actually be banned from reading other blogs about conception and birth. I'm a natural worrier and I know that I'm going to spend my entire eventual pregnancy in a heightened state of mild hysteria because of the 8 million things that can go wrong but most likely won't. I'm not sure if it's worse to be unaware that you're prone to hysterics or completely aware and unable to stop it. I'm in the second camp, unfortunately. I KNOW I shouldn't worry about stuff, but I have a highly developed freak-out complex which is happily countered by a husband who really, really doesn't. "It's okay," he'll tell me, "you're not dying. It's just gas."

I'm going to do my best to be as laid back as possible. I think the first twelve weeks will be a nightmare, no matter how laid back I attempt to be, just because of what's gone before, but after I manage to get past that milestone, I hope to cold-cock the little bastard part of my brain that will undoubtedly start blubbering about every ache and pain, questioning their normality. Otherwise, I think I might very likely spend 9 months in a padded cell.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Birth Day

A woman I know is due to give birth today. Actully little more than a girl; only 21. She's been induced, so now faces either hours or days waiting around the house for the baby to arrive.

This was one of the pregnancies that was announced to me around the anniversary of my first miscarriage and about 4 months after my second. It was like one week in which the world conspired against me to bring as much ironic misery as I could handle. Literally, within DAYS of eachother, 3 women I knew joyfully announced their good news.

This pregnancy was different however, as it was, in classic terms, an accident. Your average "oh, we don't need to use a condom, I'm on the pill, but oops, I've forgotten to take it for the last 4 days" scenario. This pregnancy, when I heard about it, made me livid at the stupidity of both parties, and outrageously jealous that this woman, who'd been trying desperately NOT to conceive had sucessfully manage to get herself knocked up.

It didn't help that for the first 5 months or so, she delighted in sharing her little discomforts with me over MSN, declaring more than once that being pregnant "sucked."

I've made my peace with her and her unborn child over the months, however. The first time she put my hand on her belly to feel little knuckles moving underneath, there was nothing of my original jealousy left, just a fervent hope that despite the situation into which this little person is going to born, that she turns out okay.

Looking forward to meeting her.

A Bit of Background

So anyone who's ever experienced failed pregnancies will know that if you want sympathy, you go to your mother, not to the doctor.

My first, incredibly drippy female doctor (I had a thing about having female doctors when I was younger, but at this point in my life, I feel that enough people have probably had a look at my goodies at one time or another, so the gender of my GP doesn't matter so much anymore. I am completely un-embarassable) was completely bored by the whole ordeal. As was the first A&E doctor who told me that I wasn't having a miscarriage when I obviously was.

"It's completely normal. These things happen all the time."

Of course they do. If statistics are to be believed, 25% of all pregnancies don't come to term. Often, they're lost before the woman even twigs that she's pregnant. But the fact that they're normal doesn't make any damn difference in the world to the hopes and dreams that have just disappeared. I don't want to get all melodramatic about how I felt about the miscarriages, but suffice to say I wouldn't wish one even on the woman who I hate most in the world right now. Frustratingly, it's also quite common for the medical establishment not to investigate failed pregnancies until you've gone through three of the damn things, which seems both cruel and unusual.

Before giving spawning another go, a few niggling pains in my nether regions made me decide that some internal investigation might be a good idea, just to rule out something physical, like Raging Womb Rot or something.

This is when I met BowTie Guy, an OBGYN surgeon who was the very first medical professional, who when informed about my previous reproductive troubles, said,

"I'm so very sorry. That must have been terribly disappointing for you."

He instantly earning my undying devotion and I consented to a hysteroscopy/laperoscopy to find out just what was going on.

Drippy female doctor, when I had first presented these niggling pains, immediately came out with the diagnosis of endometriosis, which is obviously something that women of breeding age don't want to hear in a million years, so on the day of the op, I prepared myself for the eventuality of being told that my uterus and ovaries were covered in the stuff and that Mr Devil Duck and I would have to start thinking about putting off buying a house in favor of foreign adoption.

Luckily, after emerging from a drugged sleep to the rather extraordinary pain of my entire body cavity filled with air (you'd be surprised how much this can hurt) BowTie Guy came in to visit my sorry ass with little pictures of a totally healthy set of ovaries and tidy womb.

"You've got irritable bowel syndrome." he announced.

"Well, at least you came by THAT one honestly." said my father over the phone later. I could almost hear him stirring the Metamucil in the background.

But it seems that my battle with medical professionals is not yet over.

I switched GPs, for a start. The drippy woman was not only irritating, but rarely ever around, so I had no kind of continuity in my health care at all. I picked instead, a youngish Asian male doctor I'd seen a couple of times and had always been impressed with his attentiveness.

During my pre-surgery consultation, BowTie Guy recommended that the next time I got pregnant, I should try progesterone suppositories as it sounded to him that I might have some kind of hormonal problem. When I mentioned this to my GP, he gave me the old raised eyebrow.

"I don't think that's necessary. I've read hundreds of journal articles suggesting that the link between increased progesterone and higher changes of carrying a pregnancy through to term are a load of bollocks."

I don't think he used the word "bollocks" but I was fairly sure he wanted to. Instead, he ordered a relatively rare blood test for some relatively rare genetic disorders that might be an explanation for miscarriages. Don't get me wrong, I like this guy and I genuinely believe that he wants to do what's best for me, but I couldn't help wondering,

"Well, he's an OBGYN surgeon and you're a General Practioner, so I can't imagine that with all of his years of experience in the female reproductive system that he'd be easily taken in by a load of bollocks."

At my post-surgical appointment last week, I went back to BowTie Guy and tattled on my GP. Again with the raised eyebrow.

"Right," says BowTie Guy, "the minute you find out that you're pregnant, you come to ME."

The fact that he charges 120 quid a consultation really doesn't enter into the equation.

He's ordered a baseline progesterone test to make sure that I'm not deficient in the first place. I'm supposed to go in on Day 21 of my cycle this month. With any luck, I hope that we'll stumble upon the source of the problem and get it sorted once and for all.

Anyhow, that's where I'm coming from. Hope I'm headed in a positive direction now.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

In The Beginning

So yeah. Trying to get pregnant.

I'm willing to bet that mommyand ttc blogs will eventually take up more square acreage on the web than pornographers, purely because there are a hell of a lot more of us than them. Yes, ladies, some day we will outnumber the photos of giant tits and double penatrations with our rantings about basal temperatures, ovulation, diapers and breast feeding.

I can't truly include myself among the breeding as I haven't managed to produce a sprog as of yet. My story is probably the same as a lot of others: 2 unsuccessful pregnancies, watching your friends and aquaintances produce vast and healthful broods like biblical baby barons of old, feeling like "why not me?" yadda, yadda, yadda. It's hard on the psyche. Doubly so when you hand over your papers and cross the border into 30, armed gaurds glowering from their watchtowers to make sure that none attempt the return trip. After my second miscarriage, there was suddenly a week when just about every younger woman around me felt obligated to let me know that she was expecting. I really had to resist the temptation to stick a fork in my head.

Should we have started earlier? Would it have made any difference? Probably not, although our quality of life would have been much, much poorer. We're not exactly rolling in cash at the moment, but babies rarely ever come when they're expected and you can always find the money somewhere. We're sure as hell more likely to find it now than 5 or 6 years ago.

So at any rate, my husband, Mr Devil Duck and I are going to give the whole procreation thing another go in the next few months and see if we can't manage to produce a little person of our own to fill with neurosis and hang-ups.