All knocked up and no place to go

I'll be honest. I can't get out of this blogging limbo I find myself in. I don't really have much to say, and even on the rare occasion that I do, I don't know if I want to say it. There are feelings to be hurt, fragile emotions to shatter, and I don't want to be that IF blogger. I know I rambled on and on about this a couple of months ago, but I anticipated that things would change and I would grow into this new role a bit better than I have.

Oddly enough, I only want to talk about this pregnancy with IFers and "recovering" IFers. Normal pregnant and formerly pregnant women need not apply. Problem is - a lot of those IFers aren't interested, and I understand that. Nonetheless, it doesn't make pregnant blogging any easier. I'm on the cusp of either being completely open about it all and saying fuck it, or going AWOL for lengthy periods of time just to avoid the hassle.

That said, I'll just throw in my pregnancy-related update here. I had my first proper scan on Friday and saw Enid in all of his/her arms-and-legs-flailing glory. I've likened his/her frantic actions to a manic rope climb in gym class, and The Dude and I have been staging frequent reproductions in our front room to entertain ourselves. I have two photos to commemorate the occasion - one with rounded baby head and body quite clearly visible, and another featuring Enid as Skeletor. It ain't pleasant, but the closet goth in me enjoys showing my skeleton baby to relatives to freak them out.

So there it is. I'm 16 weeks today and slowly getting used to the idea that there might be a baby in my own personal fucked up uterus. I am not quite believing that it will result in a live baby, and certainly not a live, healthy baby, but there could be something flip-flopping around in there. See, pregnancy does not kill off the infertile inside us all. I have a feeling I will be harbouring dead baby thoughts well into any child's teenage years. Limbo is always going to be close at hand.


The big bang

Things have been a bit...dull here at BarrenAlbion lately. Trying not to be a Pregnancy Bore is hard work, and as many have noted before me, your life becomes very boring very quickly. I can't talk about ongoing protocols, recount an entertaining visit to get my cooter poked, or lament that I cannot get pregnant regardless of how hard I try anymore. I'm in a great position for which I cannot complain, but jesus if it doesn't make for a tedious blog.

So, in these desperate times I'm afraid I'm going to have to resort to my usual trick - talking about sex. Sex brings in the commenters. Sex makes the silent speak. Discussing it is pretty much this month's pathetic attempt to convince readers that despite what current blog content may indicate, I'm still just a cynical, messed-up perv.

This isn't about the hot, passionate sex I'm having every day with my husband. That is because such a thing doesn't exist, nor has it ever, come to think of it. Instead, this is about the hot, passionate sex I'm having every night with men other than my husband. No, this sex does not take place in reality, as in reality not many men dig chicks with bulging stomachs and back cavities. I'm not saying that that's not hot, because I'm sure due to me even typing "sex" and "back cavities" in the same post will yield searches like "back cavity shagging" and "hot bitches with back cavities" soon enough.

For the past few weeks I cannot escape having sex with irresistible men in my dreams. It's a chore, but someone simply must do it. These are not men I know in my daily life, nor are they famous men. Last night it was a dashing, dark-haired man wearing a 1920s style suit with a fedora. He was telling me how I would never love him, and I consequently shoved him up against the wall and uh, showed him that perhaps I did. At the very least, I liked him very much. At some point, Paul Rudd turned up but dream Pru just wanted to hang out with him rather than showing him her world. On reflection, dream Pru has issues because real life Pru would certainly consider any offers he made. Granted, my tastes tend to run more along the lines of the rugged sexiness displayed in a man such as this, but I'm sure Paul Rudd would be good for a sympathy shag. That's me being sympathetic to him by the way, not the other way round.

I have been waking up most mornings feeling horrible for having no sex dreams about The Dude. I know they say that in the second trimester you are horny as a horny toad, but I didn't think that would involve nightly dalliances with random men. The very worst thing of all is that in the dream I acknowledge to myself that I am married to The Dude, but I come to the conclusion that either he won't find out, or that the decision was made somewhere along the line to have an open marriage. Consequently, I go straight for the shag.

I'm hoping these dreams at least slow down a bit, or perhaps dream Pru becomes less of a slut. Dream Pru - go to the movies, have a nice dinner, go to a museum, but stay away from cocks that don't belong to your husband. I don't have much faith that this will be the case though, thanks to that evil bitch who keeps making me think of "Quills". I'm not a fan of the Marquis de Sade, but I do love a sexually repressed priest. Um, and this sexually repressed member of the clergy. Hester, you lucky bitch.

Yeah...umm...there is no hope for me, is there?


Flying toward that big, glowing disco ball in the sky

Because last week just wasn't bad enough, it also ended with the death of my beloved Desmond. Long-term readers may be familiar with my occasional references to the cantankerous yet lovable gay canary that lit up my life for just over three years. In case you forget, or if you never had the pleasure, a lovely picture accompanied by endless gushing by me can be found in this post.

Desmond, also known as Monty/Montague/Manch/Nutbug was fine when I left for work on Friday. He desperately wanted out of his cage to sit and gorge in his food tin, which he often did for hours on end despite the constant presence of a food container in the cage. I said goodbye to him as I always did, not imagining that he wouldn't be there when I got back. It seems he was a bit too quiet a few hours later, and when The Dude went to check on him he was lying on the floor of his cage paralysed. The Dude was always so fearful of picking him up as Desmond was so tiny and delicate, but he didn't want to leave him to die on his sandpapered floor littered with seed and Monty poop. A few minutes later Desmond died in The Dude's hand, with The Dude stroking his head.

The Dude told me when he picked me up for a doctor's appointment midday. He was hoping to avoid telling me until the end of my work day, but he couldn't keep it to himself. I cried, as I am always inclined to do, but gathered my composure before my appointment. I felt surprisingly fine for the rest of the day, until that evening when the finality of Monty's death hit me. Who would we alter song lyrics for now? Top 40 pop songs just don't sound the same when you're not injecting the words "Monty" "gay" and "canary" into them. Who would hop after us around the flat, then quickly fly away and hide when we acknowledged being followed? Most importantly, he would no longer be there to help himself to our plates of food, which he considered himself perfectly entitled to do. He had a particular fondness for salads and small dishes of sour cream in case you're curious.

I am well aware that many people cannot fully grasp the bond owners have with their pets, let alone an animal that appears so detached and uninvolved like a bird. Pre-Monty I wouldn't have thought myself capable of loving a small caged bird as much as a dog or cat, but it seems that I can. The curse of the IF-inspired purchase of a pet is that it will become your child. It doesn't matter if it is a cuddly dog that reciprocates your affection, or if it is a tiny bird with a bowl cut and a penchant for glitter and stilettos. Granted, in its lifetime that pet will be the most spoiled and well-looked after animal because of all the attention IFers readily provide, but it makes loss all the more difficult.

So, because even in death I still want to show off my favourite camp canary (may he rest in peace amongst all the seed and sour cream imaginable), here he is looking dashing in his food tin:


Oh, the places you will go!

There is a side effect of pregnancy that had never occurred to me before this week. When you are pregnant, for some odd reason you cannot be given powerful drugs to make you feel better. IF drugs aside, I am generally not the type to take a medication for every ailment. Ever since the 2-year numb snatch debacle of my early 20s thanks to some potent anti-depressants, I'm a bit wary of medicine, even if its primary goal is to make the bad stuff go away.

This enlightenment has happened thanks to a nasty infected cyst that appeared on my back about a month ago. I made regular GP appointments to sort it out, as the beast soon became inflamed, grew to about 6cm in diameter, and prevented me from moving in certain ways or laying flat on my back. Two week-long courses of antibiotics later, and the cyst remained angry and painful. I went to the GP again on Monday, hoping they would lance the fucker/burn it off/stab it with a butter knife, or undertake any measures possible to remove it. The GP lifted my shirt, recoiled in horror, then demanded that I have something done about it that very day. Thinking that they would drain it there in then, I felt much relief. That is, until he said, "Yeah...that's a bit beyond this office's remit. I'm going to call the hospital, and you'll need to go right to their A&E (Accident and Emergency, in Yankspeak, ER)."

Phone calls were made, letters scribbled in the illegible scratch that doctors are particularly fond of, and I headed to the A&E. After much waiting in a number of different rooms and being prodded by a handful of doctors and nurses at varying intervals , I was given a bed in the Surgical Ward about 6 hours after my arrival. At this point, I was thinking that this shit was getting a bit serious. Why would I need a bed if they were just going to drain it? Prior to all the waiting, I anticipated being back at my desk at work by 3pm. Oh, you silly, silly, stupid girl.

The main talks given to me by the people in the know ranged from draining it, which wouldn't require any anesthetic, to excising it under a general. I was with them for all of the options until the fateful words were uttered regarding the general - May increase risk of miscarriage. I explained to the main surgeon, Dr Asshead, that I wasn't keen on anything that put Enid at risk. It's a sensitive topic for any woman to ponder, let alone an IFer who has just finally released a massive exhale of relief at emerging seemingly unscathed from the perilous first trimester. The last thing I wanted was to leap back into that zone, which Dr Asshead did not appear to comprehend. Dr Asshead, in fact, was far too casual about the whole miscarriage issue, repeating often that it was just a "small risk". I calmly told Dr Asshead that though I understood this, it wasn't good enough. After Dr Asshead left in a huff at my rebuking of his general anesthetic idea, I cried for 45 minutes at the thought that this decision even had to be made. The Dude had to keep handing me tissues while the old crone in the bed opposite mine stared at me, deciding that was the time to start having a morbid fascination with my misery.

After even more waiting, Dr Asshead came back to say that he could try and do the procedure under a local, but he might not be able to get the entire cyst removed. He pushed again for the general, I said my piece again, there was awkward silence, and then he said in a huff, "Fine. Just sign the consent form for the local. I will warn you though, as we're going to attempt to excise it and we typically do that under a general, it will be very painful." I was wheeled into the operating theatre, where there was a team of about 12 people waiting. I think the last thing a scared person needs to see before being operated on is a group that large for something you thought was not supposed to be a big deal.

Dr Asshead told me to prepare for a small prick while he injected the local, and no, despite wanting to I didn't make any jibes about how I hear that all the time. He said the sensation was akin to being stung by a small bee. For a fleeting moment I thought that yes, it was sort of like a small bee sting. That was soon followed by the most excruciating, swear-inducing pain I have ever felt. Rather than a cute little honeybee with one stinger, my bee had suddenly morphed into a Great Dane-sized killer bee with 100 stingers, climbing into my infected cyst and having an epileptic fit. I stared at the woman whose job it was to pat my hair and tell me how brave I was being, though I desperately wanted to punch her in her cute pixie head and call her a stupid, elfin motherfucker for not warning me that hey...this shit is going to hurt like hell.

The agony continued to the point that I felt as if I was going to throw up. I could feel Asshead carving into the cyst, squeezing it, then carving again. I could feel the scalpel scraping under my skin and coming a bit too close for comfort to my spine. My entire body was tensed as much as it could be, and through my gritted teeth I was trying to continue the conversation Pixie Head and her cohorts were trying to have to keep my mind off things. I have always viewed myself as having quite a high tolerance of pain, but now I think that either this was the ultimate test, or I am just a big pansy after all.

After a few reassurances that it was almost done, the only thought I could muster aside from wishing death on everyone around me was that I hoped that in life I am not confronted with many things as painful as that procedure. Childbirth was of course what came to mind immediately, and I thought that if it is more painful than having a huge cyst excised from your back under a local anesthetic, the kid is just going to have to deal with living in the placenta forever.

Once I was back in my bed, I couldn't stop crying. I wasn't in too much pain, but the residual emotion of having been in so much pain was raw. The Dude was freaking out, thinking that it must have all gone horribly wrong and after a half an hour of sobbing and snotting, I was able to tell him that there was no way I could ever accurately put into words how agonising the procedure was. I tried not to think how effortless it all would have been had I been sedated, though I know that is a decision I couldn't have made without living in fear even more than I already am. One of the nurses, clearly a comedian, told me that she could give me some painkillers post-op. I perked up a bit at the thought of being able to move without wincing, when she looked at my chart and said, "Oops. Haha. You're pregnant. Nevermind." Haha indeed.

I'm back at home now, having spent a total of 24 hours in the hospital. I have to get my dressings changed by a nurse once a day, and it seems I now have a fairly deep cavity in my back that I hope will heal normally. Despite trying to convey the gravity of the situation to my family and dear husband, I am now subject to jokes about storing change in the cavity, and receiving emails entitled "This one's for the cavity".

To ease our minds, we whipped out the doppler last night to ensure that Enid was not adversely affected by her host's recent intense emotional and physical pain. She responded with a resounding, powerful heartbeat right away, reassuring us for at least another day that we're still in this. Once I was confident that Enid was still around, I told The Dude that this kid better be a fucking dream, making me go without sedation when getting a hole carved into my back. It almost makes me want to take pictures of the carnage, so that if Enid is ever an asshole, I can wave cavity pictures at him/her and shout about how my love for him/her surmounted my desire to be in as little pain as possible. Now that's parenting.


The world according to Zeus

After much ado, Miss Zeus Napoleon Dynamite Swearengen, now known as Luciana (Lucy) has entered the world. As you may know, my good friend Lumi over at Illumination, maybe was all kinds of pregnant for like, 300 weeks, and now she is not. It has been a hard old journey filled with 2 failed inductions, 15 hours of labour, cervical swelling, an eventual Caesarian, and one very anxious UK internet auntie-to-be.

Lucy was born on Thursday at 3.19am weighing 8 lbs, 15 oz and measuring in at 20 inches. I hear the boob-latching thing is going well, and Mom, baby, and The Boy are doing well. When I spoke to Lumi, she seemed in good spirits, if not a bit overwhelmed at all the drama in the past few days. I will say that there was no mention of either donkey balls or Joe Pesci, though I think I heard a few mutterings of "fuck". This is why I love the girl. She births a child one moment, and is back in shape and swearing like the Lumi we know and adore.

Lumi claims she will be up and blogging again soon, and she may even have a computer being hooked up at her house this very moment. We can but hope. Welcome to our little foul-mouthed world Lucy!


There is no such thing as drive-by immunity

It has been awhile since I have been tested. A few months ago I was besieged with numerous drive-by pregnancy announcements, culminating in a post entitled, "Everyone is pregnant but you". At the time, it seemed as if every single day of my existence was peppered with news of some person much older than me getting pregnant naturally, or details of random single women getting knocked up accidentally. I was approaching IVF time and all of the pregnancy talk being stuffed in my face led me to believe that the universe was preparing to bend me over the table and show me how cruel fate could really be.

Soon after the first batch of positive pregnancy tests, my office was visited by the woman mentioned here. Not content to have lapped me once, said ex co-worker decided to do it twice. Accustomed to the upset her visits usually caused me, it felt blissful to have this secret held inside, even if it was only in my head that I was saying, "Haha! I am now impervious to your abundant fertility bitch! Go on, get pregnant right after this one is born, I dare you." I was by no means convinced that a series of pregnancy tests with result lines of varying darkness would turn into a kid, but I relished the opportunity to feel almost even with this woman for once. I know she would be surprised that I'd turned the situation into a fertility competition, and I'm well aware that this imaginary victory I had concocted in my head meant nothing to anyone aside from me. For once, I felt virtually untouchable to the drive-by.

However, there is always a "but". A couple of days ago I emailed some close friends to tell them of Enid, and after the congratulatory emails came a story of utmost hilarity. It seems that one friend's sister-in-law, who is the wrong side of 40, is pregnant. Ha! Apparently it happened at the friend's house on New Year's Eve and was a complete and utter surprise! Ha ha! The best part is, I was there that night. No, not during conception (not that I'm aware of anyway), but at the party held earlier. Me, avoiding all the food but the salted crisps, waiting to go home so I could just go to bed. I was undoubtedly thinking about Enid, wondering if I was bleeding yet or ready to experience gut-wrenching cramps. Me, never a moment's thought away from how a pregnancy that was so difficult to achieve could go horribly wrong. Yet, it appears there are people in the world that are 12-15 years older than me that have a drunken grope 'n' poke on New Year's Eve and still end up with the baby. Not only that, but I'm willing to bet she's not always checking the toilet paper.

I can't quite figure out why this announcement is bothering me. I know it shouldn't, given that I'm not currently in the position to be jealous of pregnant women, but I still am. How is it that I could be resentful of women who got pregnant naturally when I couldn't, and yet I still am despite being pregnant myself? A better person would acknowledge that hey, pregnancy is pregnancy, regardless of how it was achieved. I, on the other hand, can never put behind me that I'm still not normal. I am hopefully on the way to getting what I want, but those women who spread their legs for penises not catheters will always be there, lurking in the background reminding me that baby or not, things will never be normal.


Again with the disclosure issue

Sorry to harp on about this, but sadly this is what my life is consumed of at the moment. The stomach is pushing itself to the point that I may have to tell everyone that I come in regular contact with about Enid, and I have mentally set up a sort of hierarchy of disclosure. It's getting very confusing in my head at the moment, with all the levels floating about and dates on which a variety of people can be told. The Dude asks me nightly when he is "allowed" to tell persons a, b, and c, and each time I have to work out where they rank before I give him the answer.

I know most of this could be avoided if I just wore baggy clothing, but that's not my deal. As a person with issues with her weight, baggy clothes make me feel even bigger. Don't worry, nor am I the type to wear too tight clothes, creating the blessed muffin top or spilling-out-of-her-shoes nastiness. I just like to wear things that are fitted, though that too makes me sound like a bit of a skank. Anyway, take my word for it, I am always appropriately and decently dressed.

My primary disclosure dilemma at the moment is how and when I should tell my work "friend" and Child Bore Extraordinaire. I've written about this woman before, and frankly I'm too lazy to dig through my 100+ posts to discover when, as well as what I have said about her. Suffice it to say, Child Bore believes us to be much closer friends than I do. She's not exactly what I would look for in a friend, and if I'm being honest, I find the effort needed to be friends with her taxing and unnecessary. She, it seems, feels differently, as I was one of the few people invited to her wedding last year, and she counts me as one of her closest friends. Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling the way I do, but then again, I know if I had it my way I would stay merely acquaintances.

I feel obligated to tell Child Bore before I tell the others in my small office, much as I really don't want to. First of all, I do not want her to think that it means something - that we are in fact close friends that share this sort of information with each other first. Conversely, I don't want to not tell her first and risk her being offended. I may seem ambivalent when relationships with others' are concerned, but I always have this stupid need to not upset them as well. The next issue is that she will surely freak out and want to share birthing and child stories with me. This is the main reason I would like to keep this pregnancy a secret until there is a birth...I don't want to hear it! I don't give a shit! It's bad enough that Child Bore launches into kid stories in nearly every conversation now, when she knows very well how I feel about kids. She'll view this as some maternal bonding moment, which could always drive the "friendship" into acquaintance territory knowing how I feel about it. Hmm...something to think about and attempt to orchestrate.

Anyway, I have more or less decided that I will email her at home before our next office meeting and tell her. I plan on being very strict about what sort of reaction I do not want, and I'll just have to hope she sticks to it. I figure this way, she knows in advance, but only right before the others, thus not putting her in close friend, "Oh, I've known for weeks" territory. My primary question is, for those of you that feel the same way about children as I do, do you just grin and bear it, or is there a semi-polite way to say, "Sorry, I honestly don't give a fuck what your child gets up to. Your child bores me and we have nothing more in common now than we did before"?
Just curious.

I think this should be the last disclosure post I write. I apologise for all of this whining I've been doing lately, I know it's horribly self-indulgent and not very interesting.

To veer into the land of bitter and cynical again, as if it is ever very far away, I read something irritating on Celebrity Baby Blog the other day. Don't judge me please, I know a lot of you would classify it as a guilty pleasure. I mean, what's better than reading about abundantly fertile people when you're infertile? Anyway, there was a little blurb about Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who I have heard of, but have no idea what she does. Wasn't she on Survivor years ago or something and was fortunate to extend her 15 minutes by marrying an NFL player? The article discusses how Elisabeth has a 9 month old now, and once said that she wanted to conceive again when her first was 6 months old. CBB deduces that if Elisabeth has stuck by her word to get pregnant at that precise time (because it is that easy), she must be 3 months along already! The humour continues when we all have a little giggle at how Elisabeth has to brush her teeth for a very long time so that her husband falls asleep, allowing her to stay away from his dangerous erect man parts lest she get pregnant. Ugh.

I had that problem once. I was all, "Keep me away from a petri dish, £5000, and a vial of my husband's sperm because you don't even want to know what craziness will ensue!".