Category Archives: Thyroid

Microblog Mondays: The Good Patient

I am usually a model patient.

The chief ultrasound tech at the clinic used to comment on it, saying, “Turia, you are a good girl. You take all your medications on time. You come in when you need to come in. You are a perfect patient.”

This always struck me as crazy, because there was so much on the line at that clinic. Why spend thousands and thousands of dollars to not take the right medications or skip monitoring or do the IVF trigger shot too early or too late? But I guess she had seen all of those and more.

This morning I had my second appointment with my new endocrinologist (who is just as competent and just as pleasant and just as organized as she appeared to be at our first meeting). We went over the bloodwork I did two weeks earlier, and she was very happy with the change to my synthroid, but a little perplexed as to why one other factor still wasn’t in the ‘normal’ range.

“It could be something totally benign,” she told me, “in which case it’s just indicative of either low Vitamin D or low calcium.”

At that point I had to admit that, despite what it said in my chart, I had largely stopped taking both Vitamin D and calcium back in the summer. I got out of the habit when we went to visit Q’s family and never got back into it. I haven’t even been taking a prenatal, even though I’m still nursing P.

I’m eating dairy again, but not huge amounts of it because of what I discovered when I was regulating my cycle before P. was conceived, so I’m quite sure I’m not getting the 1200 mg a day she wanted. And I know I should be taking Vitamin D because it’s a given that everyone in Canada is deficient without supplementation. My kids get theirs, but taking care of me had slipped through the cracks.

She was very good about it and suggested that we do another round of blood tests in three months to check everything was back to normal.

I was unbelievably embarrassed.

I’m still mulling over my goals/resolutions for 2018, but one of them was definitely going to be “take better care of myself”. I had thought to start small on this by restarting my flossing habit (which once was impeccable but has been far from ideal ever since P. was born).

I guess I better add “take your vitamins” to my list.

How’s your self-care? Where are your weak spots?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.



Filed under Microblog Mondays, MSPI, My addled brain, Nursing, Thyroid

Microblog Mondays: Unexpected Good News

Today I had an endocrinologist appointment, so I gritted my teeth, packed up P. and a whole bag of entertaining things, and hopped on transit after dropping E. at school.

When I got there, I found a large notice taped next to the check-in window which announced that my endocrinologist, for health reasons, was retiring.

A youngish female doctor is taking over his clinic.

I met her today.

She wants her patients to get bloodwork done two weeks in advance of the appointment so that she can have the results when she sees you. You can get the bloodwork done at ANY LAB in the city- no more waiting for an hour or longer in the hospital after the appointment to get bloodwork done.

She greets you! She makes eye contact!


I don’t wish health issues on anyone, but I am not going to be disappointed to see the last of my rude, condescending, bullying endocrinologist. I should have quit him years ago but inertia and the repeated assertions by every other doctor I encountered that “his bedside manner sucks but he’s the best of the best” kept me coming back.

In one classic closing punch, the new doctor commented that in December my TSH had been overly suppressed. She asked if the old doctor and I had had a conversation about it. I snorted. “He doesn’t do conversations.” Then we discovered that he had adjusted my prescription and forgotten to tell me to change it.

Good riddance.

Have you stuck with a rude doctor because they’re good at treating the issue?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.


Filed under Microblog Mondays, Thyroid

17 weeks

How far along? Seventeen weeks (missed last week’s update while visiting family).

Vital stats? Despite eating a ridiculous amount of food (especially cookies) over the holidays, and despite what the scale originally said when I first got back home, in the end, once everything returned to normal, I gained 1.5 lb over two weeks, putting me up 10.5 lb total at this point. I am officially ceasing to stress about my weight as things have really settled down in the last month. I also made a change to my synthroid medication (up to 0.137 daily) this week after seeing my endocrinologist. I’m glad I’m being monitored so closely by him (and even happier that he totally missed my ridiculous weight gain (still bloated from Christmas and it looked like I had gained 12 lb in the eight weeks since I had last been there) when I saw him on Monday because he loves to lecture his patients about weight.) Some websites say the baby is the size of a turnip. Others suggest a pear. These two foods are not remotely the same size, and a pear is smaller than the naval orange suggested for fifteen weeks. I give up with the food.

How am I looking? Still pregnant, but less pregnant than over the holidays (much of that was bloat and digestive slowdown rather than baby). I saw a friend up at work (work! I am employed!) on Wednesday and she said she felt I could still get away with just looking like I had too much pizza and beer over Christmas. I am still trying to hide it at work because I haven’t yet been able to meet with my union rep to talk about maternity leave options, and I don’t want to tell the chair of my department until I’ll be able to explain to him exactly what my options are so we can have a good discussion about what makes the most sense for the department, and for me, both in terms of when the baby comes and my future opportunities. I’ve been wearing my winter coat, unzipped, around the office a lot, or keeping my scarf on.

I think I have to buy new bras. I have gone up to the ones I wore while pregnant with E., which two weeks ago I thought looked huge, but I think the fact that I started this pregnancy weighing five pounds more, and the fact that I had been running before getting pregnant with E., means that I need a different band size. They’re just not comfortable.

How am I feeling physically? Pretty good! I am really loving teaching again and I can tell I’m doing heaps more walking on the  days where I teach (walking to transit, walking to office, walking to class, walking in classroom).

I am also enjoying the novel experience of feeling really really hungry without also feeling really really full, which is pretty much how I felt the entire time I was away.

How am I feeling emotionally? I am SO OVER having Q. and E. away. I enjoyed going home (but not home) for the holidays, but coming back to the empty house (except for the cats) was a drag. The wedding was today (Australian time) and Q. and E. fly on Monday, so it is not too much longer until I will see them.

I was definitely ready to come back home (real home). Both sets of parents are in fairly dysfunctional relationship dynamics at the moment. One set’s issues are hopefully temporary (largely caused by knock-on effects from health problems that can hopefully be resolved at some point this year). The other set’s problems are well established, but my sisters and I decided that their general pattern of contempt and negativity has been masked of late because we now usually see them with E. in tow and they clearly put on their best behaviour when he’s around. I think we all came out of that visit a little shell shocked, and I can say that they better stay on their best behaviour when E.’s around because there is no way in hell I’m taking him to visit that house if that’s what they’re going to model for him. It did make me extra appreciative of a) the close relationship I have with my sisters and b) the great marriage I have with Q.

I’m getting a little bit twitchy about the anatomy scan at the end of January but am ok generally. I was much more nervous this week about starting teaching again (for the first time since April 2014, and I haven’t taught three classes at once since the 2007-08 academic year before I started the PhD). I had all my usual anxiety moments- worried I would get the time wrong, or the classroom wrong, or the technology wouldn’t work, or I wouldn’t have enough material, etc. etc. I was also worried about the mad-dash taxi ride I have to take on Monday evenings at rush hour to get from one campus to the other in time for my next class, but we had a smooth trip last Monday and hopefully I can keep using that cabbie, because he was great. Once I actually taught I felt better, and by yesterday, once I had taught all three classes (which are very different- one lecture, one seminar, one language class), I felt like I was right back into the swing of things.

Movement?  Definitely. It’s not every day, but most days I get some reminder of the little alien inside, usually in the evenings when I stop rushing around and park myself on the couch with my feet up on a cushion and my laptop and a cat on my lap. Still more nudges and pokes than kicks, but I would say they’re getting stronger.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? At seventeen weeks last time around I had this to say about maternity clothes:

Still nope, and I can still pull off both my pairs of jeans without undoing them, so I don’t think I’ll be needing new jeans for a while yet. My black pants are becoming problematic though- on Monday they fit really well until lunch, and then I had to keep them undone for the rest of the day.

Ha ha ha! I think that mostly tells you that I was wearing jeans that were way too big before I got pregnant. I cannot imagine wearing non-maternity pants right now.

Also this:

The funniest thing is how much the size of my belly fluctuates depending on the time of day- it is enormous by the late evening once I’ve eaten dinner and chugged back the rest of my three litres of fluid.

Very true. The belly grows over the course of the day.

And this:

Were it not for the fact that I get out of breath doing things that normally I would take in my stride, I don’t think I would even notice that I’m pregnant!

Also very true, although this time around I have the wee little reminders of the other person inhabiting my body. I’ve noticed how I get out of breath much faster than usual this week, I guess because I’ve been doing more walking at speed to transit (as opposed to leisurely strolls to see the llamas where my mother lives).

On my mind? Maternity clothes still. I even went to a mall yesterday and tried on a bunch of stuff but came away undecided. I need to buy a couple of short-sleeved shirts that I can wear into the spring and wear now to work under a cardigan, but the stores don’t have a lot of spring stuff happening at the moment. And I almost think I could get away with teaching in a pair of dark skinny jeans with boots, but I could not find what I wanted- the skinny jeans were all REALLY skinny and if I wanted leggings I would buy leggings!

I’ve also started wasting huge amounts of time thinking about the car issue. Q. and I don’t own a car. We were starting to waver on this decision even before getting pregnant because with E. getting older he’s more fun to take places and if we had a car we’d do a better job of getting out of the city to do fun things (go to the zoo, go apple picking, etc.). Plus my sister who was in the U.S. is now permanently domiciled a little over an hour away. Getting pregnant basically was the last straw as the thought of grocery shopping in the winter with E. and an infant and no car is terrifying.

Basically I don’t think they make a car that does what Q. and I want. We don’t want a minivan or an SUV or a crossover. Q. wants all wheel drive. I wanted a hybrid, but I feel less set on this decision after talking to my sister about it- I don’t think it’s a deal breaker for me. Q. wants it to have a lot of get up and go because merging on the major highways in our area is really crazy and dangerous. I would really really love to get a wagon, because then we could take the cats with us (this is usually in a doomsday, flee the city scenario). Most of our driving would be in the city, so we don’t want a giant boat of a vehicle that is hard to park.

This week I’ve reached a major decision, in that there is NO POINT in buying a car unless we can fit two kids and their car seats in the back along with an adult occasionally. This wouldn’t be our day-to-day normal, but if we were going to visit my sister who is outside the city, I would want to have room to bring my sister who lives in the same city with us. And if MIL comes to visit (as she is planning to do this fall), we need space for her. I can’t see the point of buying a five seater car that really only seats four if two are in car seats.

If you know anything about cars or car seats, you know that this is probably going to be the hardest criteria to meet. I found a great website that is looking at how to fit three car seats into one back row. That’s not our issue, but he gives dimensions of current seats on the market, and, more importantly, he also gives the dimensions of the back rows of any given car model.

I have a couple of ideas for options (including changing up E.’s seat to the Harmony Defender, which is a forward-facing seat that converts to a booster that lets them stay harnessed to 65 lb while still being relatively narrow at 17″ across), but I can see this is going to be a big pain. It’s just non-negotiable for us though, so we will figure it out eventually, even if it means we spend a lot of time dragging car seats to dealerships and trying to install them.

Sleep? The baby is not always taking up residence on my bladder these days, so when s/he is elsewhere, I sleep really well. I am occasionally waking up too early in the morning, but I just go back to sleep. And I’m in a bad pattern of staying up later than I should be messing around on the internet (researching cars!) and then having trouble getting to sleep because I’ve been in front of a screen right up until bed time. Time to snap out of that one before the boys get home.

Best moment? Nothing pregnancy related really stands out this week. I enjoyed seeing almost my entire extended family on my father’s side for my Gramps’ 85th birthday party.

Other stuff? I have a midwife appointment coming up this week (on Wednesday). Hopefully my IPS results will be back, as I did the second round of blood work last Monday. I know it’s a moot point as far as the trisomies go because the Harmony NIPT was negative, but I’d like to get my risk factors for the neural tube defects, as if they’re good, I think I’ll be less twitchy about the anatomy scan.

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Filed under Me? Pregnant?!, Thyroid, Week-by-week

7w3d- still pregnant

Second ultrasound was today.

All was well. Baby was hanging out where s/he should be, heart was at 148 beats per minute, growth was spot on. It’s still a blob, but now a blog with a definite top half and bottom half.

I got pretty twitchy when the tech scanned for over a minute without saying anything, but then she must have realized I was starting to freak out because she popped in a “everything looks good so far”.

I don’t think you can ever fully recover from having an ultrasound where things didn’t look good. That moment of waiting for reassurance is terrifying.

Dr. B. is being cautious and has kept me on the entire chemical cocktail. I was hoping to escape the fragmin injections from this point, but no joy. My stomach is all sorts of interesting shades of purple and green and yellow.

I’m on the progesterone suppositories instead of the PIO shots, which makes Q. very very happy as he absolutely loathed giving me those injections. But the suppositories are gross. End of complaining. If it maybe helps, I’m willing to do it.

“How are you feeling?” asked Dr. B.

“Pretty sick, to be honest,” was my reply.

He gave me a HUGE smile. “Great news! That’s what I like to hear!”

I have yet to vomit (and I never threw up with E., so I’m hoping my perfect track record can continue), but I am very very very queasy most of the time. It felt like a switch turned at just past six weeks, when the pregnancy made it clear just who was in charge of my body (hint: not me).

The baby (called Kernel last week and Blueberry this week) approves of the following activities:
1. Sleeping
2. Lying down
3. Eating carbohydrates continuously or at least every hour, preferably while lying down

Activities other than the above lead to queasiness, cramping, and general feelings of not being well. The baby is particularly unwilling to have me do anything that requires a great deal of thought or concentration. Apparently that is too taxing. I vacuumed the house today and then felt like I was wading through treacle for the rest of the afternoon.

I don’t remember feeling like this with E., but I guess I am a) older, b) not in shape, and c) not souped up on a triple dose of prednisone to cope with the allergic reaction to the PIO shots.

In other pregnancy administrative news, I saw my endocrinologist (the rudest man alive) yesterday. After criticizing my clinic’s drug regime (he was horrified I was still on estrace and progesterone despite being pregnant, which I feel just demonstrates how little he actually knows about fertility issues) he eventually gave me a prescription that bumped up my synthroid dose, which is all I needed him to do. I have to see him again in two months if all continues to go well.

I’ve had one meeting with my midwife (the one who delivered E.) already. She was really interested in the diet changes that produced this result. She then asked me if I was planning to stay on the diet during pregnancy, as she was concerned about calcium if I wasn’t eating dairy.

I was just past five weeks at the time, so not feeling sick yet, and I said to her, “To be honest, I don’t think I’ll be able to stick to this diet if I feel like I did with E.”

Now, the idea that I might stay on my high protein/lower carbs, no dairy diet is just laughable. Blueberry has NO INTEREST in that plan. We’re already in negotiations about eating something other than crackers between breakfast and dinner. And Blueberry would really just like to eat potatoes for dinner.

Anyway, it wasn’t clear to me from the reports on the study that the PCOSers stayed on the diet when pregnant. They had lower miscarriage rates, but that could just be because their eggs were better quality to begin with and the embryos were healthier. We are still eating lots of meat but I am not beating myself up over the fact that I consumed an entire box of Triscuits last week. It is what it is, and this is either a good baby or it isn’t, and there is very very little I can do that would change anything.



Filed under Me? Pregnant?!, Midwives, PCOS, Thyroid

Reset Complete

This week was supposed to be the last week of my C25K program.

I’ve done well. I’ve lost eight pounds without having to watch what I’ve been eating too carefully (which puts me back at a weight that I can mostly live with, although I (of course) would like to drop another five). I’ve managed to shut up my Inner Critic even though she screamed at me, every run for weeks on end, that I was wasting my time, that I would never be any good, that it was embarrassing to be out there running for such short periods. I’ve only missed one run, on a morning where I woke up very uncertain whether I should run given I’d injured my ankle two days before (not while on my run, but while chasing a bus trying to get to the clinic). I put out my clothes, even though my ankle was niggling and my thigh just felt off, and figured I’d make the decision in the morning.

I woke up and it was pouring rain.

All right, universe. I got the memo.

I skipped that one.

Otherwise I’ve stuck with it, and it bothered me that I was going to miss out on finishing the program given today is the transfer and I won’t run while in the tww. I know it probably wouldn’t make a difference, but it’s just not something I’m comfortable doing.

So I mapped out 5K on my computer and planned to get up early today to run it. I just wanted to see if I could run it in 30 minutes. I’ve been following the program by time, not by distance, so I wasn’t entirely sure my pace was on target.

Then we went out last night to a work party and it was close to 1 a.m. by the time we’d gone to bed.

I put my clothes out anyway, but I didn’t set an alarm.

I woke up this morning at 5:50, tired and dehydrated. I can’t drink anything when I wake up because of my thyroid meds.

I decided I would run anyway. If I bombed out, I’d have an excuse.

I got downstairs and realized I didn’t have any socks. I remember putting socks out last night, so I must have dropped them on the way down. There was no way I could risk going back upstairs to find them- Q. and E. might sleep through one trip on our ancient floorboards, but three would be pushing it.

I found Q.’s laundry basket in the kitchen and pulled out a pair of (dirty, mismatched work) socks.

I got dressed and went outside.

It was blowing a GALE.

I ran anyway.

I ran my 5K.

I ran it in 28:42.

I’m not going to say I had a lot left in the tank, but I finished strong.

I guess I have to stop thinking I’m a mess.


Filed under 2.0 FET #3, Mirror, Mirror (Body Image), Running, Thyroid

Other thoughts

Thank you for all of your comments on my post from last night.  It is deeply helpful to know that I am not alone. For the same reason, I don’t think I can quit my birth club, even though I agree that perhaps it would be helpful to do so in the short-term. They are my friends. They sent us food and gave us a ridiculously large gift-card to Costco and found an Italian coin with Ceres on it and sent it with a card with a quotation from the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. They are good, kind women. It is not their fault some of them are pregnant. It is not their fault I am not.


The last time I was in at the clinic, when I wanted them to make sure there hadn’t been anything left behind,  I looked through my chart.

Of the two embryos they transferred, one was a 2BC (1AA being my clinic’s highest grade) and the other was still a morula but obviously so close to being a blast they knew it would make it (I can’t read the embryologist’s writing well enough to decipher the exact term he used).

The frozen one is a 1BB.

It’s a better quality embryo than either of the two we transferred.

I suppose that’s something.


I realized a little while ago that I’m not sure I made them monitor my thyroid during the FETs last fall.

Post-birth control, absolutely. During the IVF, for sure.

But I don’t know that I did anything during the FETs. FETs when I was taking six Estrace a day. Estrace that would throw out the thyroid.


I might have sabotaged those FETs.

Some days I really wish I could 100% trust that my f/s and my endocrinologist would stay on top of things.

That’s just not the way it is.


Something really weird happened at my endocrinologist appointment. I’ve been going there for six years now. He gets one of his medical student assistants to take my pulse, check my blood pressure, weigh me, and write down my medications at every visit. I have always weighed about four pounds more on his scale than I have at home.

I weighed myself at home the morning of the appointment. The result wasn’t pretty

At the appointment, his scale showed me as weighing six pounds LESS than I did on my scale at home.

According to his scale, I’ve lost two pounds since the last time I was in, when I was five weeks pregnant.

According to my scale, I’ve gained seven pounds in that time.

Given his scale is one of those giant ones with the weights and the sliding bar, I’m inclined to think that my scale is the problem. Which would be nice, obviously, but I just don’t feel that light, especially when I’m trying to do up my work pants after I’ve washed them.


We have more grandparents visiting us this weekend, and Q. came back from his conference in Europe very ill, and I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything right now and would love a weekend where I could sit in my pjs and read and hide and just decompress.

Oh wait. I have a toddler. I don’t have those weekends anymore.

Anyway, I am not good with Male Illness because I do not have enough sympathy. I do not disagree that Q. is really unwell. I just don’t cope well with the moping. So I was getting grumpy because I was stressed about my class today and I’d cleaned the whole house yesterday and now I was going to have to do the grocery shopping too and do all the cooking this weekend when we had guests over, and then I took a moment and remembered that for some women, probably a lot of women, this is their NORMAL life. Their husbands don’t cook, or clean, or do grocery shopping.  So I tried to stop being a grumple, but I couldn’t stop feeling like my head was going to explode with anxiety. I felt jittery, buggy, like I was souped up on caffeine or had eaten too much sugar.

And then I realized that my thyroid has probably gone into hyper-territory since I’m still on the same dose I was on six weeks ago, when I was pregnant and it was starting to drift into hypo-territory again. It’s two pills higher than my normal dose. Stands to reason my body would start to want a more normal dose right around now. I have a prescription for the new dose and will get it filled this weekend. That will hopefully help me calm down.


The spotting appears to have stopped.

I haven’t started the birth control pills yet, because I had to get through my endocrinologist’s appointment first, as it would have wrecked the blood tests if I’d started the pill a week before. But it appears that maybe, just maybe, my body has finally decided to be done with it all. It stopped on Tuesday, so this is the longest it’s gone thus far without starting again.

I’ll start the pill this weekend too. We’ve adjusted my thyroid so it should stay in line even on the pill.

My f/s gave me a prescription that will let me stay on the pill until we get back from Oz in mid-July, at which point we might do that last FET depending on the status of my dissertation.

I think I might just stay on the pill.

We’re not going to get pregnant on our own. Not ever.

And maybe a few months on the pill will help sort out my face.


Things are getting sorted with E.’s new room. We have the duvet cover (which is a much brighter true red than it appears on the website- it looks almost wine-coloured to me on the computer), and I’ve picked the fabric for curtains (my Mum is going to make them for me, and I’ve decided I don’t care how much it costs, I’m getting the fabric shipped over from the U.K. which may well be the only place I can find it). We have most of the furniture. I’m still undecided on paint. I need some time to go and get some samples and paint a few test patches on the walls to really see what looks best. I’m getting the mattress from one of two places and just need to figure out which one will be the best deal (as one will require a car rental to go and get it).

The downside to all of this organizing is I can’t spend hours trolling Etsy and Pinterest anymore, and I think that’s one reason I’m clenching my jaw so tightly it’s sore pretty much all the time. I need another distraction. Organizing the house is only getting me so far- I’ve already done my clothes, the linen closet, the cupboards and drawers in the basement, and my books. There’s still a lot more I could do, but I can only stand to do it in short bursts of frenzied activity.

I’m a little afraid of how empty I’m going to feel inside when we get E.’s room set up in April.



Filed under 2.0 FET #2, 2.0 FET#1, 2.0 Pregnancy, Anxiety Overload, E.- the third year, Grief, Loss, Mirror, Mirror (Body Image), Second Thoughts, Thyroid

Where I should have been

It’s been a month.

I hadn’t realized that, hadn’t realized just how much time had passed or what day it was today, until I was on my May 2011 birth club and the daily good thing thread turned into a pregnancy update thread and the woman who is due a day after I was posted a happy update with a belly shot announcing that she was at 14 weeks and into the second trimester.

I couldn’t breathe for a moment.

And then I thought about fourteen weeks versus ten weeks, and then I looked at a calendar, and then I realized that it was exactly a month.

I’m supposed to be prepping for a class I have to teach tomorrow, but instead I’m on here, trying to write things out so I can stop crying and concentrate on the rest of my life.

I’m not ok.

I’m so far from ok I can’t even begin to express it.

Most days I probably look ok to other people.

Some days I even feel like I’m ok.

Those are the days where I’ve managed to bury it so deep I don’t even think about it, when I keep myself so busy with teaching and the dissertation and home stuff and E.’s new room that I don’t give it any space in which it can come out.

The day after it happened, Q. gave me a card for Valentine’s Day. In it he wrote that while it wouldn’t be my happiest Valentine’s Day ever, it would be a better day than yesterday, and each day after that would get a bit better.

Grief isn’t linear like that.

I have mostly ok days.

And then I have days like today where something ambushes me and I can think about is I should have been at fourteen weeks, I should have been posting belly pics too.

I should be happy.

The birth club is a near-constant reminder of what could-have-been. One of them is due at the time I would have been if the first FET had worked. Another is due when I should have been if the second FET had worked. But the one who is due the same week that I was is by far the worst. She’s a walking reminder of what I thought I was going to have.


I think I need to break up with my endocrinologist. I’ve written on here before about how he is the rudest man on the planet (but apparently didn’t tag those posts with my ‘thyroid’ category because now I can’t easily find them). I’ve put up with his total lack of bedside manner, including the time, less than three months after E. was born, when he made me cry, because he is a good doctor. But I’m convinced there has to be another option out there. I live in a big city. He can’t be the only endocrinologist. And the appointment I had with him this week, where he AGAIN didn’t remember that E. was an IVF baby or that I am the reason we need IVF (and not my husband), where no one had written down on my chart that I’d lost the baby when I’d called them, so I had to tell the doctor who works with him, and then had to tell him when it became clear the other doctor hadn’t bothered to mention it, where he turned to the other doctor and said, “Well, it’s only the first miscarriage, so I don’t think we need to do anything too drastic”, and where the ONLY thing he said to me about the miscarriage, as he turned to leave, was “Better luck next time”, really should be the final straw. Surely there is another doctor out there who can monitor my thyroid while still treating me like a human being.


E., at lunch, out of nowhere: “Tell me again, Mummy, why there will be no baby in September.”
I tell him, the same thing I always tell him, that sometimes we think there is going to be a baby, but there isn’t. That babies are very small at first and have to grow and grow and grow before they can come out, and that sometimes this doesn’t happen.
E.: “I’m sad.”
Me: “About the baby, E.?”
E.: “Yes. The baby won’t grow and come out. It won’t get a name. I think it should have a name.”
We’ve never talked about the baby not having a name with him.
Me: “What do you want to call the baby, E.?”
E.: “Lobster lobster!”


I’m reading Lauren Sandler’s One and Only, a book about only children.

A month ago I was reading Siblings Without Rivalry.

That about sums it up.


Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, Friends, Grief, Loss, Thyroid

This week

Today I had a dentist appointment.

The last time I was there my usual hygienist wasn’t there because she was doing an IVF transfer.

I’m not going to lie. I eyed her up the moment I saw her, wondering if it had worked.

It hadn’t.

I told her about the IVF cycle. About the losses.

We talked for a long time about things.  She is feeling really beaten down. It’s her second round of IVF.  Her clinic does some things really differently, so we compared notes.

She has snowbabies, so I am hopeful something will come of that. She reminds me of me, circa late 2009. I told her how I’d given up before we did the IVF cycle that brought us E. I told her that if it worked, the pain and the heartache would be worth it.

If it worked.

Eventually she cleaned my teeth. I was due for x-rays and a check from the dentist. He said I’m clenching my teeth and recommended a night guard.

I am not remotely surprised by this. I am still holding so much tension in my jaw. I’m trying to work on it during the day, but I can’t control what I do while sleeping.


I went back into the clinic on Wednesday. It completely blew my one full day of work in the week, but the bleeding still hadn’t stopped and I wanted to be sure.

Two ultrasound techs did a scan and then my doctor did another. Eventually they decided that my uterus looked clean.

We did a blood draw and my beta came back at 18, so it is falling as it should be.

My f/s gave me a pack of birth control pills that I’ll start next week after I talk to my endocrinologist about my thyroid dose (I’m still on the elevated dose from when I was pregnant). We agreed that my body was unlikely to get its hormones sorted out without help.

I’m tempted to just stay on birth control pills until July now. We’re not going to do the FET until after we get back from Oz, and it’s not like we’re going to get pregnant on our own as a surprise. Maybe a couple months of bcps will help my poor face get sorted out.


My mother and stepfather are here. They’re helping me with E. as Q. left on Wednesday to go to Europe for a conference. (As an aside, I know I shouldn’t like Amazon because they destroy independent booksellers and they hide offshore so they don’t pay enough tax, but when your husband manages to leave his computer cable in his home city’s airport, it is really nice to have a website where you can order the right cable, ship it to his hotel, and have it arrive there before noon the day after he first called in a panic. Also I am superwife.)

Thursday my Mum played with E. all morning while my stepfather and I went to the wonderful land of flat-packed Swedish furniture. I bought E’s bed frame and his storage shelving unit and his mirror and his summer duvet and his little armchair and a step-stool for the kitchen, and I splurged on a $20 night table that matched his bed frame. But what made me stop dead in the store and do a happy dance is that the duvet cover that looks blood/wine red online is actually fire engine/brick red in real life, and it is PERFECT. Perfect and $25.

E. is having a nice time but is a little bit worried about all the changes. He misses his father, which is so nice to see after the ever-s0-long phase of Daddy rejection.


I am getting some decent work done on the dissertation. There is maybe a light at the end of the tunnel of my crisis of confidence. My supervisor has agreed to a timeline that requires him to read the entire thing in three weeks. If we both keep our ends of the bargain (and he should as my timeline works extremely well with his other commitments), I should be able to send the entire thing, revised to take his comments into account, to the full committee before we go to Oz.

It might really get done.


Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, E.- the third year, Grief, Loss, PhD, Thyroid

Future Imperfect

I am burying it, as deep as it can go.

I am shying away from conversations with people who know, because I don’t want them to ask how I am doing. I don’t want to be reminded of what has happened.

It’s when I’m reminded that I start to cry again.

The only place I’ll allow myself to engage with what happened is here.

Here I feel safe.

Here I can work through my emotions without interruption, in my own time, when I am ready.

I know I should probably be trying to process what has happened. I know it is not healthy to bottle things up inside.

My jaw is already sore because I’ve started unconsciously clenching it again.

I am so quick to anger these days.

I have so little patience for E., my most beloved son, when he gets silly or defiant and pushes my buttons.

I should be letting myself grieve, letting myself cry, letting myself do what I need to accept it, and, in time, heal.

I’m not ready.

The problem is it’s not just about this baby.

If it were just about this baby, this loss, I could stand to think about it, to confront it rather than hide it down deep, as far as it can go.

I’m not ready to engage with what I’m afraid this loss means.

A friend who had a miscarriage before she had her second son sent me an email where she told me that she knew how awful it was to have to replan a year when you hadn’t wanted to change the plan at all.

I feel like I’m not just having to replan the next year, but replan my whole life.

I’m so afraid that this loss marks the end of any chance we had at becoming a family of four.

I know, I know- we have one frozen embryo- a blast- waiting for us at the clinic.

I don’t know what grade the embryo is, and it probably seems premature to discount it.

FETs don’t work for me though.

Fresh transfers?

Three out of four blasts implanted (the two Day 3 embryos we transferred with that very first IUI/IVF conversion cycle in May 2009 I’m discounting because my thyroid was too high. They never had a chance.), although, of course, only one of them ever turned into a baby.


Zero for six.

And two of them, in two separate transfers, were exactly like this frozen embryo: a blastocyst that hadn’t quite made it to blast status by the time of the transfer, and was frozen on Day 6.

Late bloomers.

Late bloomers that did nothing in my womb.

I can’t see how this one is going to be any different.

And so, while it’s true that this loss does not, in itself, mark the END of our attempts to expand our family, I am so very afraid it marks the end of our hopes that we might succeed.

We’ll transfer that last embryo.

Of course we will. We won’t leave it alone in the dark.

Probably in the summer. We’ve reverted to our original plan to go and visit Q.’s family in the middle of the year, so we won’t start anything at the clinic until after we’ve returned.

But after that? When it fails? (I can’t even bring myself to write ‘If’ because of course it will fail. FETs fail with me. It’s what they do.)

I don’t want to look at what comes next.

By the time we are through with that final FET, we will have spent as much of our own money (or possibly even a bit more- I’ve lost count) on failed efforts to bring home a 2.0 as we did trying to bring home our first baby.

In December, Q. and I agreed that this would be our LAST.RETRIEVAL.EVER.

When we found out that only one embryo was frozen, and we’d had another terrible attrition rate (70%), I freaked out.

All I could think about was: one more chance.

Everyone told me to let go of the anxiety about the future, to concentrate on the current cycle.

I did.

Yet here we are again.

One more chance.

And not even one I believe in.


Filed under 2.0 IVF, 2.0 Pregnancy, Anxiety Overload, Grief, Loss, Money Matters, Second Thoughts, Thyroid

5w1d- Waiting for Beta

With E’s pregnancy I had four betas drawn- the first three were every 48 hours and then the final one was four days after the third. The clinic must be feeling good about this pregnancy as they only made me do two betas before moving me to the final one, which will be tomorrow morning.

I’ve had three days now without any documentable proof that the pregnancy is progressing without any problems. That’s proved to be more than enough time to completely freak out on any number of occasions. The worst by far was on Sunday when we woke up to discover that our basement had flooded thanks to the cold snap- a pipe had frozen and then broken when the weather warmed up. I spent about forty minutes helping Q. ferry things up from the basement before I realized I had started cramping. That earned me an automatic trip to the couch for the rest of the day, with orders from Q. to concern myself with nothing more pressing than keeping E. entertained. But when the cramping didn’t subside quickly and in fact only increased in strength the longer I sat there, my mood degenerated.

Logically, as I said to my saint of a sister who dropped everything to come over and help Q. carry all the things that were too heavy for me to lift, a pregnancy that could be uprooted by something as simple as carrying a few things up and down stairs was one that wasn’t going to make it. If it hadn’t been that, it would have been something else.

Logical, yes, but it didn’t make me feel any better.

By evening things had settled down a bit, and I remembered that I freaked out about cramping with E.’s pregnancy too (and probably right around the same point).

I’ve been a bit more on an even keel ever since.

It’s been stressful, however, to have to ‘out’ myself as pregnant. Not to friends or family- we’re not telling anyone who didn’t already know that we were in the middle of the IVF cycle until we hit twelve weeks (with the exception of our parents- we told them last time at the eight week mark and we might do the same this time if all goes well). No, it’s the medical practitioners.

First I had to email my GP’s office to request that they fax a referral letter to my endocrinologist. He requires a referral letter to be sent annually and he won’t let you make a new appointment unless this happens. I should have done this back in early December after I last saw him, but I dropped that ball during the IVF. In the email I had to say that it was a relatively urgent matter because I’d just learned I was pregnant and he would need to see me.

Then I had to call my endocrinologist’s office to see if my GP’s office had sent the referral (luckily they had). The receptionist started to book me for May, so I had to interrupt and say I’d just learned I was pregnant. Instead of May I now have an appointment tomorrow morning.

And finally my midwives called back to offer me care, and assigned as my primary midwife the woman who was my backup last time and who ended up delivering E. This made me so happy, but it meant another phone call, another appointment to schedule (this one is on the 15th, a week Wednesday).

Every time I got a little bit more nervous.

I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. If you want a midwife in my city, you have to call the second you find out you’re pregnant. And it makes sense to see my endocrinologist as soon as possible so he can raise the dose of my synthroid to make sure everything will be kept under control in the early weeks of the pregnancy.

These are good, sensible things to be doing. They are signs of a responsible pregnant person.

It still makes me feel like I’m waving a giant red flag at the bull of the universe, essentially shouting out, “Hey! Look! There’s an infertile who’s barely into her pregnancy and she’s making APPOINTMENTS like it’s just going to go along normally!”

Nothing bad has happened yet.

But it is so very hard not to assume that something will.

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Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, Medications, Midwives, Symptoms, Thyroid