Friday, December 29, 2006

"I'm fat"

Been back home a few days after our Christmas break, been meaning to post, never quite gotten around to it...

Mrs T just came in to see what I was doing, and when I said I was about to update here she said, “Tell 'em I'm fat”. So there you have it, straight for the horse’s mouth, as it were. Mrs T is feeling fat. In fact, people keep telling here she’s “carrying neatly”, whatever that means.

We’ve gone and made our first major purchase for Flicker: a Bugaboo Cameleon in black and orange. It’s way, way too expensive (one of the most expensive things we've ever bought, behind only the house, the car, and the computers) but we just liked everything about it.

Not thought about a cot yet (eBay calling, I suspect) but we did discover over Christmas that the swinging crib Mrs T was in as a baby is still kicking around in a family friend’s loft. Be nice to see it in action again!

Flicker is dancing away like a pro. We’ve had a check-up with the thyroid specialist and he's happy with the way things are going. The only frustrating thing about the hospital is that they've lost another blood sample so Mrs T had to have a third test done, the results of which we still await.

A happy new year to anyone who reads this.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nearly bedtime

Should be in bed by now, and am over-tired. To post or not to post?

Oh, go on then; just a quick one.

  • Mrs T is into her last week at work! Today was her last Thursday for a year. She’s beginning to realise how much she’ll miss her colleagues and I expect next Wednesday could be quite an emotional day.
  • Flicker is still moving around pretty constantly. (Okay, probably not constantly, but that’s what it seems like at times.) One midwife mentioned that Mrs T “ought to be feeling the baby move at least ten times a day”. The first time she tried to keep count she’d reached ten before breakfast.
There’s more to say, I'm sure. But I really should be asleep.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... and we're off.

The countdown is well and truly under way. Mrs T has been marking off the days left until she finishes at school to start her maternity leave for a couple of weeks now, and we've reached just ten days to go! And, boy, will she be glad. School and pregnancy at the same time? Daft idea! It's just exhausting her.

On top of the school stuff, she's also been struggling with sciatica for a while, which is getting her down. I guess Flicker's putting some nasty pressure on a nerve somewhere. There's no point going to the doctor (says she) as he'll only give her some painkillers and she's determined not to take anything while pregnant. I've been trying to persuade her to let a Physiotherapist friend to try to work some magic, but she's not managed to get in touch with her yet.

Flicker's dancing is getting more energetic, and Mrs T really isn't sure whether she likes it or not. Especially as he loves to get going just as she's eating, and it makes her feel horribly queasy. I must admit, I don't think I'd be too keen!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tap shoes, please: size minus four months

Another week, another post.

I think I felt some movement on Tuesday night. I know I did this evening!

Mrs T had already noticed that Flicker often moves when he/she hears music. (A couple of weekends ago, I was playing in the house and she felt a lot of movement.) And on Tuesday night I was playing in a brass ensemble at the ‘end of term party’ for the orchestra I play with. While other groups were playing, I had my hand on Flicker and Mrs T kept saying, “there it was”, “did you feel that?” and so on. And I might have felt it, but to be honest still couldn’t be completely sure I wasn’t just feeling Mrs T's reaction to her feeling it.

Tonight, though, things progressed: I was cooking dinner when she called through “Come and see this!” I assumed she meant something on the telly, so wandered through — only to find her with her belly out and an amazed look on her face. “Watch!”

And sure enough, bits of her tummy were suddenly sticking out here and there. I gently laid my hands on, and undoubtedly felt it for myself at last. And then watched it some more. And loved it.

Flicker — you’re a dancer already.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Mrs T is growing.

In size, certainly. Only a couple of weeks ago people were saying she didn't look as pregnant as she is, but now there's less escaping it. She's bought one pair of smart maternity trousers which she's living in at work (and slobbing it in jogging bottoms the rest of the time) and a few nice tops that are designed to grow with her and we hope will see her to the end. Most of her usual blouses are somewhat stretched now (and she hates it when the bits between the buttons gape open, so many are relegated to the “can't wear for a few months” pile).

But there’s another thing that’s growing: her excitement about Flicker. She’s feeling him* move every day and is now, I think, beginning to find it quite reassuring. She’s still not keen if he’s too active when she's teaching, or eating, or trying to get to sleep, but I think I can understand that.
I found her looking at the latest scan picture the other day and she admitted she often stops and looks at it. She’s even chosen a colour scheme for the guest room.

On Saturday we went to a local “Baby and Toddler Fair”. I guess I was more keen on the idea than Mrs T, but we went along and pottered around for a while. It was pretty much as I expected - lots of local traders and organisations touting for business - and we chatted to some about baby signing and toddlers’ cookery classes among other things. Inevitably there was a small range of buggies and prams, so we had a good look at one and a long chat with the shop owner about the range. Although I’ve been doing a lot of reading about them, Mrs T has just let me get on with it as we're not planning to do any nursery shopping until the new year. But when we got home, she said to me, “Do you know what? I'm quite looking forward to looking at buggies now.”

When the time comes for the buggy shopping to start in earnest, I’ve found that one of the big online retailers over here has a big showroom which is actually pretty nearby, so we’re planning a trip to try them all out for size, weight, foldability, manoeuvrability, handlebar height, and of course style. It pretty much goes without saying that the ones I like so far are among the most expensive on the market. Do’h!
Can you guess which ones?

* Usual disclaimer: for “him”, read “him or her”.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Back to hospital again today for the repeat scan following last week. Flicker was still not in an ideal position but the radiologist* did manage to get the views of the heart he wanted. And then he got us a couple of pictures including this one which has a pretty good facial profile. According to Mrs T's colleagues, Flicker looks like me.


(* Last week I called this chap a "sonographer". Today I checked his name badge, and it actually says "Senior Radiologist". Not the faintest idea what the difference is, but I thought I ought to get it right this time!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Mrs T.

Home from work: 5:40pm
Asleep on sofa: 6:00pm
Awake enough to eat dinner: 7:00pm
In bed by: 7:30pm
Fast asleep: 8:05pm

What was that I said about her having more energy?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bits and Bobs

Nearly a week since my last post. I don't know. It feels like there's quite a bit to mention, so I'll do a "catch-up", but I guess I'll still forget some stuff. Now, where to begin..?

Flicker seems to be coming on in leaps and bounds. Since Mrs T first felt him move a week or so back, she's been feeling him several times a day and is beginning to get used to the idea. A couple of days ago he was kicking away while she was eating, which she didn't enjoy, but she's not so squeamish about the whole movement thing now. I don't think I have felt any movement myself yet. Mrs T has had her hands firmly on her tummy while she's feeling movement on the inside and assures me that it can only very rarely be felt from the outside. We're back down to the antenatal unit on Wednesday for a repeat scan so the sonographer can measure the heart, so we'll get a sneaky extra peek at him! (Or her.)

Mrs T
Transformed! Since she was allowed to up her Thyroxine she's like a new person. Well, she's back to feeling herself again. The extreme of tiredness that had so drained her is gone, and she's able to work effectively and have energy for other stuff as well. We've started going for evening walks (so she gets at least some exercise) and even went out socially with friends last night. The nausea of a few weeks ago is long gone.

The name discussions continue. Girl's names are less of a problem, as we have more common ground, but we're assuming Flicker to be a boy (unless proved to the contrary!) so are concentrating our discussions on boy's names. (Hence referring to Flicker as "him" earlier: it just sounds nicer than "it".)

The name under discussion the most remains the old family surname I mentioned previously, which continues to grow on me. What I hadn't realised is that Mrs T has been mentioning it to a few people to start to gauge their reactions. So I've now started to do the same, and have so far had only positive comments. (Having said that, we could tell that our friends last night weren't sure what to make of it.)

One of our nephews has a unique name, so I asked his dad how people have reacted to them, and to him. They've had "almost universally positive" reaction (I didn't ask about the 'almost'), and are sure they made a great choice. I told him about our possibility and he said he liked it. It's "very distinguished and proper old school", apparently.

Mrs T's reservations are generally about how other children would react. (And that, at a very young age, that they may have difficulty even saying it.) I do see what she means, and respect her opinion as a teacher of young children and therefore someone greatly experienced in observing children's relationships, but I also feel that you're an adult for an awful lot longer than you're a child. I'm trying to see Flicker not only as a baby and then a child, but as a person. (I'm sure she is, too.)

Still no 'active' preparations, but we've now started to consider redecorating the guest room to await young Flicker's arrival, and to properly look at out finances to see where we need to tighten things. We've made contact with the local branch of the NCT but are yet to book in to ante-natal classes. We've discussed nappies (aiming to avoid disposables apart from travelling); feeding (breast); prams, pushchairs and carseats (what a variety!); and much more.

Enough for now! I must try to post more often and then they wouldn't get so rambling. To bed!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Scan report

Today we had our 20 week scan. It's also known as the 'anomaly scan' and I'm delighted to report that Mr Sonographer could find no anomalies. Everything is tickety-boo, as I believe the phrase goes.

Spine - yes
Arms - two
Hands - two (fists)
Legs - two
Feet - two
Head - one (phew!)
Brain - all present and correct
Kidneys, stomach, miscellaneous abdominal organs - check
Face - hiding
Sex bits - didn't want to know
Placenta - positioned nice and high.

(God knows how he could make all this out from what mostly looked to us like random blobs around all over the screen, but hey, that's what he went to college for.)

The heart was pumping away solidly, but because Flicker wasn't being especially co-operative (ie, lying face down as low as possible) he couldn't quite get a clear enough view of all four chambers to tick all the boxes, so we're going back next week for another go.

Mrs T is feeling much more energetic since the new dose of Thyroxine kicked in, and is now allowing herself to get excited about the whole thing. It is exciting, isn't it?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Meet the family

When we first announced Mrs T was pregnant, a friend asked whether our cats were being clingy. At the time we hadn't noticed any changes, but a couple of months on we most certainly have.

We have two cats, sisters from the same litter, who were eleven years old in the summer. As kittens they loved each other and spend a lot of time together, but when we moved to our present home they each took their own territory and don't tend to like each other's company very much (unless they're ganging up against another cat in the garden). The both love Mrs T and like to be with her, but usually if one's in the room the other will tend not to come in. For the last few weeks, however, they have both been desperate to be her favourite. They will fight for the privilege of sitting on her lap and are now often to be seen sitting either side of her, even vaguely tolerating the other being so close, although always on the look-out for the opportunity to get even closer. In other words, yes: they have become the most hopelessly clingy cats in the world.

One thing they've never liked is children; quite what they'll make of Flicker we have no idea.

In other news, Mrs T told me tonight that she felt Flicker moving for the first time yesterday, and again today. Go Flicker!

And yet more "other news": I finally got around to contacting our IVF clinic today to let them know we wouldn't be needing their services after all. (We were booked in for an cycle in January.)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Half way!

Well, folks, we've made it to the half-way mark. Yay!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Looking ahead

We're trying not to get too carried away with looking ahead, as there's still some way to go before Flicker is due to join us, but we are beginning to make some plans. Our guest bedroom will become Flicker's, but we have no plans to redecorate it as yet. I guess we'll need to pick up a cot at some point (eBay here I come!) but apart from that the room is fine as it is to start with. (Future guests will mean we'll we'll have to decamp into the sitting room for the night so they get a bed.)

People ask whether Mrs T is planning to go back to work. Well, yes. But we do have what we hope is going to be an excellent plan. She starts her maternity leave in January (early for a march 20th due date, but better for school and for her) then takes a whole year of work, re-starting school in January 2008 part-time with a job-share. And at the same time I'm going to go part-time so we share the childcare between us. My work is flexible enough that it shouldn't be a problem, and I'm really looking forward to it. We have lots else to look forward to before we get that far, though.

I can hardly believe that this pregnancy reaches the half-way mark tomorrow. Time surely flies.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

First baby gift

Today we received our first baby gift: a special "BABY" bag containing two babygrows, some socks, and a "Baby on Board" badge for Mrs T to wear. All courtesy of one of my relations who had invited us and the rest of the family to Sunday lunch.

It was lovely to be together with family. Our hosts had invited us all specifically in celebration of our pregnancy; they said they wanted to do something for us ever since we told them the news. It does seem a bit early for baby stuff yet (we're not planning to do any baby shopping until after Christmas*) but it was very lovely of them to want to get us started! The babygrows look huge at the moment: according to Kaz Cooke's book, Flicker is only about 18cm long at the moment. (We will find out more detail about Flicker next Monday, when we have the "20 week" scan. And, no, I still don't want to find out the sex.)

We had another couple of "name" chats over the last couple of days, triggered by the fact that Mrs T read my recent post on the subject. I'm not sure she'd realised how much her suggestion had grown on me, but I was right to assume she'd pretty much put it out of her mind. Having spoken again, she's now been suggesting possible second names that could work with it, so it is certainly not out of question. It continues to appeal to me more and more, but we still have a few months before we need to make a decision so anything could happen.

(* although I do still keep looking at pushchairs online!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Daunting Consultation

It was a bit daunting to enter the consulting room to be greeted by a crowd of doctors when you’re expecting just the one. The guy in charge introduced himself as a Consultant Endocrinologist, and went on to introduce two Consultant Obstetricians, Registrar, a senior Midwife and a Student Doctor. I hadn’t realised that Mrs T’s was categorised as a “High Risk” pregnancy, but because Mrs T has a wonky Thyroid she’s had extra blood tests during pregnancy, and we were called in for this appointment with the Endocrine team yesterday.

She’s lately been saying “surely this tiredness can’t all be pregnancy”. Over the last ten years she’s got used to upping her dose of Thyroxine whenever she feels extra tired, but didn’t want to do so whilst pregnant before seeing a doctor about it. So she was really pleased to be told almost straight away that the last blood test had shown very reduced levels of the hormone so she should indeed increase her dose. Lets hope that the extra Thyroxine building up in her system soon starts to have the desired affect. Mrs T seems sure it will.

One of the Obstetricians then worked his magic with a heartbeat monitor, and we got to hear Flicker pumping away like a good’n. It’s the first time we’ve heard that and it was smashing. (Especially as Mrs T hasn’t to her knowledge felt any movement yet). And for him to conclude with “That’s fantastic” was excellent.

We’re booked in for another blood test in two weeks and a follow-up appointment with the team two weeks after that (to see how the Thyroxine levels are going). If things have settled down we’ll revert to being a low-risk pregnancy and our care will be back in the hands of the midwifery team.

Go on Flicker! Keep on pumpin’!

PS: As I've moved onto Blogger Beta, I gather that some users might have a problem posting comments. Sorry about that. (I understand that you can still sign in as "anonymous".)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Her suggestion, not mine!

Having mentioned names earlier, I popped to the library and picked up a couple of books of "babies' names" for us to peruse. I've been reading one for a few days, and even if I wasn't in the process of trying to come up with a name for our own child I think it would make really interesting reading. It goes into quite some detail about the history of names and the connections between them.

But the odd thing is no matter how many names I read about and consider, one keeps coming back to me. And the very odd thing is that Mrs T, who you'll remember favours traditional and popular names, suggested it. And you certainly won't find this one it in any book of names.

It is, in fact, an old family surname and has previously been used as middle name. We'd already thought we might well use it as a middle name ourselves if we have a boy but when Mrs T mooted the possibility of using it as a first name I was amazed. I wasn't sure at first, but the more I think about it the more it grows on me. The trouble is, of course, Mrs T has already started to go off the idea.

(Name edited out - see below.)

- Unique.
- Distinctive.
- Personal.
- Family connection.
- Works well with our surname.

- Unique.
- Shortened forms not ideal.

Note: I had originally revealed the name in this post, but have now removed it in case it helps us to be "found" later on if we do use it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

One thing at a time

Okay, so it appears to be true that pregnancy does funny things to a woman’s brain. We’d heard friends talk of having “pregnant moments” of forgetfulness, and Mrs T seems to be following suit. She’s forgotten where she’s put things, forgotten why she went upstairs, and more. But yesterday she was trying to tell me something, I changed the subject slightly and we started talking about that instead. Moments late she could not, for the life of her, remember what she’d wanted to say.

“That’s what happens to me at the moment,” she said, “I can only think about one thing at a time. I hate it; I don’t now how you blokes cope.”

I think I should take that as an insult, shouldn’t I?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Back to normal...

…As soon as we can work out what normality is in the first place. Mrs T’s “three days of no nausea” were just that: three days. Sunday evening she felt horrible again, and was extra miserable because she’d thought she was over this part. She still wasn’t too good last night.

We have started tossing names back and forth in an attempt to see if there’s any common ground. I can see it’s going to be quite a task. I grew up with a name that’s not exactly unusual, but isn’t common either. I was always the only in my class at school (probably the only one in my school, in fact), and have almost always been the only one anywhere else. I remember way back in primary school realising that when the teacher said “John” or “Matthew” or the like, two or three kids had to look up and see if she meant them. And even back then I thought, “poor kids, fancy having to share a name”.

I printed the lists of the top 100 babies’ names in the UK from the Office of National Statistics (boys and girls) and the two of us privately went through the 2005 list and crossed out those we wouldn’t fancy, then compared lists. There were a fair few we both left in, but the closer to the top of the list you get the more likely your are to be sharing a name with your peers, and I just wouldn’t want that. Mrs T’s favourites are much more clustered near the top.

The discussions will continue. For the next few months, no doubt.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Three clear days

No nausea for the past three days! Progress indeed.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Soooooo tired

Not a lot to report really: just wanted to check in to let you know that all is well as we reach the beginning of week 17. Mrs T's sickness is now coming in shorter 'waves' (rather than whole days as before) but her tiredness hasn't let up. She took one day off work last week, and has been pacing herself differently since. It's easier now that everyone knows she's pregnant.

I've had some lovely responses at work and at church. I wasn't at the church members' meeting last week, but have heard from several people that our minister (who occasionally comments here as "d") shared the news from the front. He was sharing "church family news", and listed the seven people who are pregnant at the moment. I'm told he left us till last and gave us a dramatic pause - and that the announcement was greeted by a cheer! Aw, shucks.

We're hoping that the tiredness pases to some degree soon. All we've read tells us that Mrs T should be beginning to 'bloom' and feel as healthy as ever during the second trimester. Is that really true? (I've also read that she should go through quite a randy phase as some point. Please let that be true...)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes

Tee hee. I said Mrs T would have some questions from her class, and I was right. Again. That's twice I've been right recently; I must be on a roll.

"Are you having your baby tomorrow?"

"How are you going to get your baby out of your tummy?" (To which she gave the inspired answer, "I don't know , Oliver, I haven't done that bit yet.")

And when she mentioned that the baby wasn't ready to come out yet, and had to stay in for a while yet because it wouldn't survive "outside", one child asked, "because it hasn't got any shoes or clothes?"

Don't you just love 'em?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cat's out of the bag


(Oh rats: I just typed a nice long post and blogger quit on me. I've seen others complain about that but it's the first time it's happened to me. Here we go again...)

Mrs T's first task today was to go around the school telling all the staff she's pregnant. She of course got a wonderful reception to our news, including our first "I knew it!". I guess there had to be at least one response like that. Apparently her colleague had noticed that Mrs T was getting "chesty" (which hasn't escaped my attention, incidentally). At the end of the day the children in her class were given letters from Mrs T for their parents, letting them know she would be going on maternity leave after Christmas, and that she will be sorry to leave their children part-way through the school year. A couple came straight back to the classroom with congratulations; one said she had to read it several times to check it said what she thought it did. I expect tomorrow she'll have a few more comments, and may have to answer some questions from the children, too!

I popped up to school early, partly to use the car, but mainly because I wanted to wander around and see what people's response was like. I had lovely greeting: many congratulations, several hugs, and one who jokingly asked, "how did you manage that?". I gently took her to one side and explained that when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much, they have a special cuddle...

There was a big meeting a church, so I guess the news will have got round there pretty quick, as we have phoned quite a few from church over the last couple of days.

We've been told by no end of people that we'll make "great parents". Quite what they base such an assessment on we've no idea, but it's very encouraging to be told such a thing!

Reactions (3)

I’ve been really enjoying these last few days, as we’ve started to let the news out and watched or heard people’s reactions. I had said to Mrs T that we’d need to be ready for people to ask whether it was planned or not, but she couldn’t imagine that people would be so presumptuous as to ask such a personal question. For once, I was right! I think she’s been really surprised at the sort of questions people have asked.

My brother (he of the “No WAY!” response) asked straight away whether we’d been ‘trying’ for long, and wasn’t satisfied with my (rehearsed) response of “sort of” and pushed for more. He specifically asked when we stopped using contraception, and I mistakenly let out “well, that was about five years ago” which surprised him. I’ve since persuaded him – I hope – that we were “open to the possibility” all that time, but just wanted to see what would happen. That is the gist of what we’re telling people, but in his case I expect he’ll try to get more details as time goes by.

Several others have asked about whether it’s “planned” or not, and our stock responses of “sort of” or “the time seems about right” seem to suffice for most. One friend I told last night said “It took you long enough!” to which I replied that we thought we ought to get to know one another first.

Award for the best questions so far go to Mrs T’s youngest brother. His first response to the news: “Are you just having the one, or are you going to have more after that?” which is perhaps getting just a touch ahead of us. (Though for the record I ought to mention that we won’t be planning to stop at one.) His next question floored us: he asked if was mine!

(He has since claimed it was a joke, and I think we can believe him.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Reactions (2)

My Mum's not up to driving too much at the moment and the two-hour journey to us would have been pushing it a bit, so I went across to collect her after work. On the way back we somehow got on to the subject of how babies are brought up nowadays compared to in her day, and though I was grinning inside I managed to keep quiet. It was half eight by the time we arrived home, so I didn't leave it too long before asking how she fancied being a grandmother again. I had predicted she would say "I want to cry!", and indeed that is exactly what she said! Hugs all round once more.

We were going to leave phoning brothers until the next day, but I couldn't wait any longer, so got straight on with it. First, my oldest brother. I chatted for a while, and he eventually asked, "to what do I owe this honour?" (for it's rare for me to phone just for a chat) so I told him. "No WAY!", he exclaimed. He was utterly gobsmacked. In fact he told me that just the day before he and his wife had been chatting about the family and concluded that they've "always known" that we would never have children. Nice to be able to surprise them! By chance they've been visiting my youngest brother so I was able to speak to him, too, in the same call. I think he was pretty surprised to, though less emphatically so!

Mrs T then phoned her brothers. I can't really recall what their reactions were so I'll have to post again later when I've spoken to her after the weekend (once the Mums have gone!).

Anyway, enough for now. We've had some interesting questions, but I'll leave them till later. For know, here's something I found on the wonderful YouTube (to which I have developed something of an addiction).

Friday, September 22, 2006

Reactions (1)

I often appear in amateur productions in our local theatre. With a full house that’s over 500 people who’ve paid good money to be entertained. And let me tell you this: I get nervous. My stomach and chest tense up, my breathing gets shallow, my mouth goes dry, the works.

So why was I feeling as nervous as that last night?

Because we were about to tell Mrs T’s Mum that we are pregnant.

Her train arrived on time and Mrs T went to pick her up from the station while I finished preparing the dinner. We chatted, drank (made sure she got a glass of wine inside her!) and had our meal then relaxed just as we would any other time. Mrs T and her Mum can talk for ever, and I wondered how she was going to bring the subject up. Would she just casually drop it in? Would she mention it in passing and see if her Mum picked up on it? No, of course not: at a slight pause in the conversation (they do happen occasionally) she said, “I know the main reason for this weekend is to celebrate T’s Mum’s birthday” (for that is what we’ve told them) “but what would you say if we told you we are three months pregnant?”

A short gasp. then silence. A lovely silence, full of excitement and disbelief. Hands clasped firmly over mouth, eyes wide and bright, with a glisten of tears. She eventually said “I don’t know what to say!” and we all stood for a hug. They both cried – with joy and with some sadness because of how much Mrs T’s Dad would have loved to hear the news.

And then we talked about little else until bedtime.

Mrs T also told her boss yesterday lunchtime. She’s been very tired (her Mum recalled it as “a tiredness like no other”) and her friend J, who’s just returned from Maternity leave, persuaded her to let the head know. She reacted well, too.

And tonight? My Mum’s turn…

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


We arrived at the hospital in good time, and once we'd found the clinic (having walked right past it once on the way from the car park) were checked in and had to wait our turn. The wait wasn't too long, thankfully, as Mrs T was bursting for a wee having filled her bladder as instructed.

The Radiologist checked our details (a little confusion over our records because we started at one hospital and have now moved to this one) and then got started. He found Flicker very quickly, and Mrs T breathed a sigh of relief once again. She'd got really pretty nervous during the morning and whilst waiting. Almost as much as she does waiting to see the dentist.) I was surprised to see Flicker's movements. I must have read about it but for some reason I'd just expected a much more static view. It wasn't moving a lot, but flexing arms and legs occasionally was plenty.

By now Mrs T was pretty uncomfortable, so he let her pop out to the loo, and then found Flicker again to take the measurements. We are exactly a week further on than we'd thought (so I must read Mrs T the next chapter from Kaz Cooke's book tonight).

I gather that an experienced Radiologist (and his badge did say "Senior Radiologist") would be able to tell the sex by now, but we didn't want to know so we didn't ask. I think we're assuming it will be a boy (the genes in my family seem to favour boys), but I'd still much rather wait and see.

Sorry about the poor quality of this picture;
our scanner is playing up so I've taken a photo of the print!

After the scan one of the nurses (midwives? I didn't check her title) went through the paperwork, gave us the official date based on the measurements (and no, we're not going to bribe her to change it - regardless of your comments), and talked us through what happens next. Blood samples were taken for various tests and we made an appointment for the next scan (6th November, if you're taking notes).

We asked about the future plans for the antenatal provision, and yes, there are changes afoot, but they're way too far away to affect us. Before they can close down the delivery suite they've got to build a new one elsewhere. All in all a very positive experience and we're pleased to have made the decision to use the hospital even if is a bit further away. (It's still only a 15-20 minute drive.)

PS: thanks for your comments on my last post, folks; I was beginning to think only Alli was reading!

Quick update

Just a quick update from work… Scan fine. Everything as it should be; saw that lovely heartbeat again and even some movement. Our date was wrong, but in fact we’re a week further on than we thought: due date now 20 March 2007 (so no chance of nine months maternity leave).

Will give more details from home this evening. And update ticker!


Another curious food thing: Mrs T adores apples, but she's hardly been able to eat them for a few years as they are one of several things that give her nasty heartburn because of a Hiatus Hernia. But over the last few weeks she's discovered that she’s able to enjoy them with no problems. It’s one of the few things about pregnancy she’s pleased about.

Scan today! God, I hope everything’s all right.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Looking ahead

Out to dinner with friends on Saturday (friends who know), and conversation turned to a couple of things that might affect us.

First of all, due dates. Our date calculated from Mrs T’s cycle is 27 March. On Wednesday we’re going to the hospital – our chosen one this time rather than just the nearest – for a scan, at which they’ll give us the “official” Expected Delivery Date (EDD). Of course we knew all this already, but what we hadn’t heard is that the Maternity Leave allowance changes next year: if our EDD is on or after 1 April 2007, Mrs T will qualify for nine months Maternity Leave rather than six. Here’s hoping that the official date is at least five days later than we’d thought…

Unfortunately the other thing that grabbed our attention relates to the hospital. We mentioned that we’d opted for a hospital other than our local one, and it seems we may be out of luck. NHS cuts are leading to huge reduction in services at our chosen hospital, including stripping the maternity care down to the bare minimum. When we go on Wednesday we’ll have to ask them what’s going on – and when. We may well end up at our local one after all. Another option is to travel in the opposite direction to an even better one that’s always been Mrs T’s ideal choice but is nearly an hour’s drive away rather than five minutes to the local.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Mrs T's gone off chocolate.

What is the world coming to?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Doesn't time fly?

Have I really left it over a week? I was hoping I'd be here more often with updates now that something exciting is actually happening.

I've been reading quite a bit. Our main reference has been Kaz Cooke's excellent Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth (published as Up The Duff in Australia and A Bun in the Oven in the USA). I've read through the whole thing - twice now, because I did it first time around, too - and I'm reading it to Mrs T a week at a time so she gets an idea of what might be coming up. (Mind you, Kaz has been saying "the nausea should be wearing off about now" for about three weeks now and there's not much sign of that happening so I'm not sure how much believe!). Each week she gives a brief summary of what should be happening to both Mrs T and Flicker, followed by extracts from her own diary of the week and then more details about some of the issues raised. We both get a bit squeamish when we read about how big Flicker should be each week, and how well developed.

I've also enjoyed Marcus Berkmann's Fatherhood: The Truth, which I bought for my eldest brother when he was expecting. It looked good so I've got hold of a copy for myself. I've nearly finished reading that to Mrs T, too.

Worst of all was the Royal College of General Practitioners' attempt at a light-hearted look at pregnancy, Emma's Diary, kindly supplied by the NHS in our pack of information when we registered with the GP surgery. The factual stuff is fine, but the 'diary' part is so awfully written and obviously contrived that it was painful to get through. Mrs T gave up. I can't say I blame her.

We're still keeping quiet apart from our few 'insiders', and I'm quite enjoying it now, though itching to let the cat out of the bag at the same time. And I'm very glad that Mrs T has now mentioned some people that she's actually looking forward to telling. Well, we are Godparents to their two. In fact we were out the other day at a restaurant when she whipped out a pen and paper to make a list. "Oh no," thought I, "not another bloomin' list." (For she is queen of lists.) But this one turned out to be okay, as she said, "Okay, who are we going to tell and when?"

Both Mums arrive next weekend and they'll be first to find out. Then, over the following week we visit or phone other family members and close friends, before going completely public at the end of the week. There are quite a few connection between Mrs T's school and our Church, and even my office, and we don't want to risk school finding out until Mrs T has formally told the staff, but once the news is out at school it's free to be shared anywhere.

And I for one am looking forward to it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Don't talk; just eat

Despite what I said earlier, Mrs T is actually managing to eat a full diet. It's just the thought of food that's making her feel queasy. This evening I started to ask what she fancied, and she couldn't come up with anything. When I started to suggest things, ("If I made X, do you think you might want to eat it?"), she just cringed and said "Don't talk to me about it; just make me something and I'll eat it."

And sure enough she did.

Smells and food

One of the more bizarre side-effects of pregnancy, according to some of the books we’ve read, is the increased sense of smell. What, exactly, is that all about? Mrs T can most certainly attest to it.

I mentioned earlier that I was doing all the painting in the utility room because of the fumes. She pops in occasionally to see how I’m doing and it’s clearly hard work: she has to hold something over her nose and looks like she’s about to throw up. (Perhaps she just doesn’t think much of my painting.) And thanks, by the way, to those who suggested that she should also keep well away from detergent, vacuuming, and pretty much all housework for the duration. We’ll have to see about that…

Her sense of smell is also evident in the kitchen. She’s rarely fancying anything much in the way of food, and even thinking about it makes her feel queasy a lot of the time. Thankfully I do most of the cooking anyway, but it’s been getting hard trying to find things she can cope with at the moment. (Porridge every morning!) It would be great to get through this bit.

She’s back in the classroom today, with a couple of stacks of biscuits hidden away for when she need to nibble on something. I hope she copes.

Eleven weeks tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ten weeks

Ten weeks today: we are officially a quarter of the way through this pregnancy!

Our Mums are both coming over to spend a weekend with us soon and we’re planning to tell them when they’re here. But that’s not for another three and a half weeks yet. How am I going to hang on? I’m bursting to tell people!

Mrs T, being fundamentally a much more private person than I am, seems less enthusiastic about sharing the news. I asked her, “who are you looking forward to telling?”, and she struggled to come up with anyone. I’m glad of a few very close friends who I’ve been able to confide in (and you readers here, of course!) as I think I might have burst by now otherwise.

Mrs T continues to feel – in her words – shitty much of the time. And inordinately tired. But we’ve kept busy: this weekend we’ve been decorating our utility room, which we’ve recently had remodelled by a local builder. She normally does a lot (okay, most) of our decorating as she’s better at it than me, but we’ve read that she should avoid too many paint fumes so I’ve been doing all the painting myself while she’s been sorting and reorganising all the kitchen cupboards in readiness for moving stuff into the room when it’s finished.

(Hang on: did she really read that about the paint fumes, or was that just a way to make me do my fair share..?)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Not Blob

I thought we might end up using 'The Blob" as an interim name, to avoid having to say "it" all the time, but no. Mrs T didn't like it. The Blob is now known as Flicker, after its heartbeat.

Seen the Blob!

Mrs T picked me up from work and we made our way to the hospital, and with a rare spark of efficiency we were seen at exactly ten o’clock and on our way out by ten past. Although we’ve opted to have our antenatal care at a different hospital, for this scan we were back at our local. It was odd to be back in that same scanning room where it all went wrong a year ago, but we took a deep breath and let the (same) sonographer do her job.

And there it was. Undeniably a blob. And in the right place. And then - a clearly visible heartbeat pulsating on the screen. (Well, I say ‘clearly visible’, but that was only once she’d pointed it out to us.)

When we came out Mrs T was desperate to empty her specially-filled bladder and we rushed to the nearest loo. (Okay, the second nearest. The nearest was out of order.) I waited outside, looking at the printout we’d been given and trying to make sense of it, and when Mrs T emerged she’d clearly been crying. There had been a lot of tension built up in her and the positive scan experience was a huge relief.

I’m guessing this is going to be an emotional time…

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"Booked in"

Good old NHS: Mrs T did say this afternoon that it feels like being on a production line at times. We turned up at the surgery at lunchtime for our first appointment with one of the community midwives. Once we'd overcome the first hiccup (our appointment was actually for next Tuesday but they managed to fit us in) we spent half an hour with Alli, a nice young girl who took us through all the paperwork to "book us in to the system". Yes, that's right, "The System".

As I say, she was nice enough but it was all a touch impersonal. Paperwork done, list ticked (literally) to confirm that she's told us all she was supposed to, wee tested, dates worked out. (Same conclusion as us, 27th March 2007, but we've already decided to tell people 10 April so we're not inundated with phone calls at the very end.) There was no "how are you feeling?", no "are you excited/nervous/etc?". Just facts and figures.

And that's about it for the "booking in" appointment.

When she was telling us about the first scan it was up to us to mention that Mrs T's GP had recommended an early scan because of last time. She had no note of that from our previous consultation. And, as a midwife she can't authorise it, as it needs a GP to arrange. So our "early scan" started to look like it was going to end up being the same time as everyone else's first one. In the end there was a GP present (not Mrs T's own) who was able to fit her in as an extra to his list and has arranged a first scan for us - for tomorrow at 10 o'clock! No idea how much we'll be able to see at 9 weeks 1 day, but all we want to confirm is that the embryo is where it should be. (Embryo? When does it become a Foetus?)

Me: excited, nervous, sad at times. Can't wait to be telling people.
Mrs T: sick of feeling so sick.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cravings? Not likely

Poor Mrs T has not been feeling well at all. I’m sure if food cravings would be likely to kick in just yet, but she’s not fancying food at all really. She is eating, but has to persuade herself to do so. And the nausea is pretty much constant.

We’ve not heard anything yet about the arrangements for the ‘early’ scan, which should be happening some time next week. It was over two weeks ago that we saw the GP, and he’s supposed to have referred us to the midwifery team at the hospital and arranged the scan, but we’ve no idea if anything’s happened yet. I’m hoping she’ll phone to find out what’s happening.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sharing Secrets

For a while I've been looking forward to the time when I can stop using a pseudonym to write this and start using our real names, but it seems that I may never get to do this. We were chatting about letting people know about the pregnancy, and Mrs T simply doesn't feel she'll be comfortable with people ever knowing about what's led up to where we are now. It's a shame for me, as I've been looking forward to eventually letting friends and family see all that I've been writing here, but clearly I'll need to respect her wishes.

Tricky thing to my mind is that fact that we'll now have to keep track of who knows what, as there are several versions of the story "out there". It would seem much more straightforward to me to simply tell all.

This weekend we've created another version: our independent midwife friend is here for the weekend with her husband and their gorgeous one-year-old, and Mrs T has confided in her. However, she's only shared part of the story, and I had to check before saying too much exactly what they knew and what they didn't. We've told them that the hospital admitance last year was a suspected ruptured ectopic pregnancy (ie, the truth) rather than an ovarian cyst (the cover-story), and therefore they know we've been trying for at least a year. But that's it. No five-year history; no IUI, no potential IVF.

I'm going to find this hard.

On a more positive note, we've chatted a lot this weekend about the pregnancy itself and about hopes and fears and lots else, and Mrs T is much more positive as a result. We're very glad to have our friend on board as a support and source of all knowledge. She has a wealth of professional expertise as a midwife and lactation consultant, and has a holistic/organic approach that we're very comfortable with.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Morning sickness

Okay, so why do they call it morning sickness? Mrs T has been feeling pretty nauseous for a good few days now, and it certainly ain't limited to the mornings! Still, we're told it's a good sign: an indication that the necessary hormones are being produced in earnest. (Although one book we've read suggests it's an inbalance of minerals that can can be sorted with good nutrition or supplements.) A couple of days ago she had no sickness - and of course worried that it was a sign of things falling apart again. Thankfully (?) the sickness returned the next day.

When we saw he GP the other day he did mention (after checking Mrs T's age, 36) that we'd be 'offered' some additional tests to check for any genetic abnormalities. We've spoken about this, and think it's unlikely we'd agree to any extra tests. Neither of us would consider a termination, so what would be the point?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Back to business

Well, now we're back from our trip, so I'm back online.

Having the time away gave us plenty of opportunities to talk about all manner of things - our hopes, our plans, our fears and so on - and I know there are a whole load more to talk about over the coming weeks (and, hopefully, months and years). One thing we discussed was telling people. Mrs T is really undecided about telling her Mum when we see her at the end of next week. On the positive side, it would give us an opportunity to explain the problems of last summer, when we didn't tell the truth about Mrs T's operation. On the negative, it would build up her hopes and, if things go wrong again this time, will mean she will always be wanting to know how it's going in the future. That's one of the biggest reasons we've never told anyone we were trying in the first place.

We've a really good friend who's an independent midwife, so we'd toyed with the idea of telling her. After all, it would seem silly to let the benefit of all her experience pass us by. I'm really pleased that Mrs T did, last night, phone and tell her. She wanted to speak to her before her appointment with her GP this morning, to run some questions by here and seek professional and personal advice. We couldn't hire her professionally, as she lives too far away and I can't imagine it would be good professional ethics anyway. (I'm also not sure we could afford her fee!) But she said to Mrs T "I'll be there! I'll block out some time in my diary and If at all possible I'll be there with you" which is simply the best news. She has, of course, been sworn to secrecy.

Mrs T's GP was good this morning. He's arranging blood tests for her thyroid function, as that will need more closely monitoring during pregnancy and, because of her history, arranging an early scan at about 8-9 weeks. He also confirmed that we don't have to have the baby at the nearest NHS hospital. Some will think it's an odd decision; we can see the hospital from our house so for convenience it's perfect. However, Mrs T simply doesn't want to use it. Thankfully there's another hospital in a town about 25 minutes away that's part of the same trust and we can opt to have it there instead.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Doctor's appointment

Mrs T was please to be able to make an appointment with her own GP when she phoned yesterday. She often has to wait a while before getting to see him, and isn’t keen on seeing anyone else if she can help it, but this time he could fit her in easily. In the end she made an appointment for next Wednesday when we return from a long weekend away celebrating our 12th anniversary.

We’d both been thinking about the fact that this pregnancy means we won’t be going ahead with IVF in January, but we won’t let the hospital know until things are a bit more established. Even if this pregnancy doesn’t stick we’ve demonstrated that we can conceive without assistance, so IVF simply doesn’t seem appropriate any more. Okay, so maybe it took us a long time to get here, but we can do it. Mrs T pointed out that it’s taken about a year both times: the first conception was about a year after our two attempts at IUI treatment, and this one is just over a year after the miscarriage.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Here we go...

4:30 am: I am barely awake when Mrs T comes back from the bathroom with, "Okay, you can get excited now".


Now she believes it.

We've now fished out all our books and leaflets from last time and started to read up on diet, nutrution (Mrs T's biggest concern, other than the understandable worries about what happened before, was "what should I be eating?") and much else.

A chart in one leaflet tells us our due date is around 27 March 2007. That seems a long time away, but I expect if things go smoothly (please!) then it'll be here in no time.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Getting used to the idea

It really is happening. Mrs T has been wary of admitting it, but it really is happening.

We’ve had a very busy weekend, with friends visiting and trips out, and she said last night that she was glad to have had something to take her mind off “what might be happening inside” her. She’s also mentioned that her lateness could easily be down to the stressful last week of term she’s just worked through. (I agreed that this could well make her late, but wouldn’t account for the positive test of last Thursday.) She didn’t seem convinced. But now we’ve got a couple of days further down the line (day 35 today) and her temperature is staying up with no sign of anything happening, she’s allowing herself to believe that it really might be true. At least, she asked me to pop into the chemist at lunchtime today and pick up another test kit. I’ll let you know tomorrow how it went.

She also asked me to tell one of our friends. Just one. Mrs T has not been going to church for some time now, her faith having taken a real bashing after all she’s been through, but she did ask me to ask this particular (from the list a while back) to “pray lots”. Said friend was suitably excited, but very good at keeping it under wraps as I told her the little there is to tell so far.

It really does feel great to be reporting things like this. At last A Nice Cup Of Tea can once again become “The Diary of an Expectant Father.”

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"Don't get excited..."

... we're Mrs T's first words to me this morning, as she came back from the bathroom with two pink lines on a test. Hey, come on now, MrsT: I've been getting excited for the last couple of days. No real reason to until this morning, as she's not technically even 'late' yet (we were expecting today to be day one of yet another cycle).


Of course it is very early, and we musn't get too excited yet. In fact, in the real world (I still consider blog-land to be outside of "the real world") we won't even be telling anyone for a while. Anyone who reads this here is privvy to a very big secret!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

One year on.

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of what Mrs T described last night as "The worst day of our lives" (which you can read about here). It also means I've been keeping this blog just over a year, as I started when we'd just found out she was pregnant. She soon became, of course, no longer pregnant, and to date this remains the case: it's day three today if I'm not mistaken.

I sometimes feel a bit lost in all this.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nothing to report. Wish there was.

I really would love to post here more often, but unfortunately there just isn't anything much to say at the moment. Well, there's plenty going on with the two of us, but this blog is intended to be about pregnancy - and our quest for that is still just ticking along. The first two posts I made, back in June last year, were bursting with excitement. We had an exciting secret back then: now it's just a sad one.

I'd love to be saying stuff like that again.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Round and round and round...

For some reason I had high hopes for this month. I know it's only the first month since our renewed commitment to doing our best to conceive, but things just felt right to me. But, hey, I'm just a man: what do I know about feelings?

Mrs T thought it highly unlikely that it would work out and she was right. She usually is.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter everyone.

I was surprised to be given a Lindt Gold Bunny this morning, as we'd agreed we wouldn't buy chocolate for each other this Easter. Mrs T soon corrected my misinterpretation, though. It wasn't, apparently, for Easter, but to celebrate the fact that "we've been like rabbits this month".

I'll take that as a compliment!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Treatment deferred

I spoke to the NHS funding co-ordinator today and explained that we'd had our initial appointment and wanted to postpone our treatment if possible. Thankfully, she didn't think it will be a problem. Mrs T had suggested this morning that we should be looking at Easter next year, but that would cross over into the next financial year so could be problematic, so she is going to see if she can book us in for January/February.

It's a weight off our minds. If it's going to be next year then we've time to prepare for it emotionally and physically. (Spiritually, too.)

It also gives us another nine months or so to keep trying naturally, so we really want to make the most of it. Although we've been pretty aware of Mrs T's cycle and our health, we've never got into the whole temperature-taking thing to predict the best days, and aren't quite sure how to best go about it. I'm sure there's plenty of guidance out there in the world of the internet, but if anyone reading has some advice for us we'd be grateful! (Even if it's just recommendations of a good source of information.)

Saturday, March 18, 2006


The appointment was indeed about two hours long, but was not, as I had expected, two hours with a consultant. We were welcomed in to a very nice calm waiting area (although we were assured it was normally very much busier than when we saw it) and soon called over to see one of the nurses.

She took us through the procedures. We're lined up to go through the "21-day long protocol" which starts with a blood test on Mrs T's "Day 2", then moves through a series of daily injections from "Day 21" onwards to first suppress the ovaries for a while then to stimulate them. Several blood tests are taken during this period and, when the results are right, we'd go in for her eggs to be collected and for me to supply a fresh sample. The two samples are then placed together in a laboratory to do their thing while we go home for a day's rest. The following day we go back in for up to two embryos to be placed back into Mrs T's womb. There then follows the anxious wait to see whether they successfully implant themselves and settle in for a pregnancy.

She went through things in some detail (although I now realise I'm still a bit sketchy on some of the details) and gave us a supply of syringes and swabs - and me a lesson in how to administer an injection (something I've never done).

What we hadn't realised is that we're actually booked in to start this for the April/May cycle. (Which, as Mrs T is on about day 26 would mean the first blood test later this month.) The nurse could tell this was all pretty daunting for us and suggested we'd be able to speak to one of the unit's counsellors while we were there. We said we'd like to if possible. (It's complulsory under UK law for all IVF clinics to have a free counselling service avavilable.) She also suggested - after Mrs T asked - that it might be possible to postpone our treatment to August-September, although we would need to check with the NHS funding co-ordinator.

The next part of the appointment was with a doctor. After filling her bladder, Mrs T and I went into one of their consultation rooms where Mrs T was examined to check the poistion/shape/alignment of her cervix to confirm that placing the embryos would be straightforward. All seems okay. There was some confusion at that point as to whether she should also have been having an ultra-sound scan, but she didn't end up having one done. (Although she will need to before we start anything so I don't know why they didn't do it there and then.) We were also expecting that I'd have to give a sample while we were there but they didn't ask for that either. The doctor also picked up on our anxiety (Mrs T was quite tearful at several points during the afternoon) and sat down and asked us if we were ready for all this. We explained that we had some reservations, and he was very reassuring and sympathetic.

Finally, we did have the chance to speak to one of their counsellors. (Luckily, as you normally need an appointment.) Jackie was excellent. She could only give us ten minutes (although I'm sure it spread to more like 20) but let us talk things through a bit and pretty well encouraged us to postpone things if we can. As Mrs T said, she doesn't feel emotionally strong enough to put herself through this at the moment and feels that she needs more time to prepare. She's recently bereaved and still grieving for her Dad; work is very stressful at the moment; and she's also not convinced her body's really had long enough to recover from last summer's trauma.

If we can put the whole thing off until next year I think Mrs T will be happiest. Failing that, moving it on until later this year - and arranging for her to take some time off work - would suit us pretty well. We need to phone and speak to the funding people on Monday to check what's possible.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Consent forms - lots of them

In preparation for tomorrow's appointment, we got all the paperwork out and had another look through it. We're still so torn over whether to go ahead with IVF. The physical side is daunting (for Mrs T - my bit's pretty easy!) and the emotional side is just so vast that we can hardly get our heads around it.

Are we playing with nature? Are we trying to play God? Why do we want children? Do we want children? What happened to our faith? Mine is still strong (I think) but Mrs T's is very shaky. As we discussed things tonight she admitted she doesn't know where her faith is anymore. The things she believes (or perhaps believed) about life and death, heaven and hell, good and evil, God or no God, haven't helped her cope with a series of tragedies (other things have been going on that are no longer recorded on this blog), and so now they're just clouding the issues.

Among the paperwork there was a series of consent forms we both had to fill in. I was all for not signing them until we'd talked it all through at the hospital tomorrow, but we did so. I guess we can always not hand them over. Let's have a look at what we've just signed:

  • consent for the IVF department to share information about our treatment with other medical personnel;
  • confirmation that we do not want medical students to be present at any point;
  • consent to the treatment itself;
  • an understanding that we would become the legal mother and father of any children resulting from the treatment;
  • our decision as to whether any cells, fluids, immature eggs, unfertilised eggs, or fertilised eggs may be used for research purposes (we said no to all options);
  • declarations of our current health and medical conditions;
  • a disclaimer confirming that the hospital is not responsible for any of our valuables while we're in there (yes, really); and
  • consent for the cryogenic storage of my sperm, Mrs T's eggs, and any fertilised embryos for up to ten years or until Mrs T's death if sooner. (I said they could keep them after my death. Mrs T thought it unlikely that she'd want to try to use them if I was gone, but I figured she might as well keep her options open.)
Quite a lot to think about, really.

One of Mrs T's concerns is purely practical: if we decide not to go through with it now, will we miss out on our one opportunity to have it funded by the NHS? Our consultant assured us that we could put it off if we wanted, but I'm wondering whether we may have taken it a bit too far (in signing up to consultation) for that.

If there's anyone out there reading this who is the praying type, please do pray for us tomorrow afternoon. The appointment is 3pm (UK time!). If you're not the praying type, then at least keep us in your thoughts, which may - or may not - amount to pretty much the same thing.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Unfortunate timing - again

Looks like we're going to miss Mrs T's most fertile time once again this month. Our co-ordination appointment - for the possible IVF treatment (we have decided to at least attend this appointment) is on the 16th, and we're supposed to refrain from making love for three or four days beforehand. Can you guess which three or four days would be or best for conception this month? Yep, you got it.

Mrs T also has a routine smear test coming up - in the same week. Quite why they couldn't do that "while they're in there" I don't know. The smear is arranged through her GP's surgery and the IVF appontment through the hospital in London; I guess it's asking too much that they'd be able to share resources like that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

IVF: a difficult decision.

As I suspected, it was just another long month.

More significant is the fact that we spent a good while together reading all the literature that the IVF hospital sent us about the procedure and the forthcoming appointment. We went rather quiet after reading it. I don’t think either of us had quite taken on board just how much medical preparation this could involve. Injections galore – and administered at home, too. Suppositories, which I don’t want to think about even though it wouldn’t be me who had to use them. Lots of appointments: Mrs T would certainly have to tell her boss what was going on unless we were able to time it to coincide with the school summer holiday. Lots of scans. Lots of worry. And, of course, no guarantee of a positive outcome.

Don’t forget this is all being considered by a couple who were uncomfortable about the level of intervention when we did two cycles of IUI treatment before backing out – and that was just a few tablets by comparison. (If you’ve not read the beginning of this story there’s a link on the right of the screen.)

Mrs T’s summary when we spoke about it afterwards was pretty straightforward: “I just don’t think I can do it.”

We’re yet to decide whether to go to the co-ordination appointment and actually speak it all through with someone. It may be that having been approved for NHS funding we can postpone it as long as we want (say a couple more years) while we keep trying to conceive without assistance. After all, the doctor we have spoken to at the hospital did tell us we were still young at 37 (me) and 36 (Mrs T).

I’ll let you know what we decide.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Same old, same old.

This is getting to be something of a routine now: we’ve reached day 32 and there’s no sign of anything happening. I’m beginning to suspect that Mrs T’s cycle is simply longer than it used to be.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Close call for the secret

Mrs T had brief moment’s panic yesterday evening. Our Pastor sent her an email to catch up and ask how she’s doing. I guess he must have recently read this blog because he finished his email with “good news about the IVF”, and I don’t think I’d mentioned it to him recently.

What he didn’t know (and couldn’t have known) was that Mrs T was sitting with her laptop on her knees looking at some photos… with her Mum. Mrs T’s not always one to look at emails the moment they arrive but for some reason she did on this occasion. She’s never hit delete so quickly! She’d not even read the email, but the letters “IVF” shone out like a beacon.

She’s pretty sure that Mum didn’t see. Well, she certainly didn’t say anything if she did.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

We have lift-off

It looks like everything's in place for IVF. We had a letter from the hospital today to confirm that treatment could go ahead as early as March/April if we want it. We first have to make a "co-ordination" appointment at which I guess they'll go through all the technicalities with us in more detail.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Where would we be now, if ...?

February has arrived. If my calculations are right then we would be at about week 38/39 now had things not gone wrong back in week 7. I guess a lot would be very different. For starters, we'd not be able to be keeping it a secret any more. It's still odd sometimes to be holding onto this whole thing as a secret from all our family and all but a very few very close friends. (Especially when I reveal all about us here!)

We have spoken about whether we'll do things differently if we're lucky enough to become pregnant again. Mrs T thinks she'd probably be a bit more open next time.

We had a letter yesterday from the London hospital where we're being seen for IVF treatment. It doesn't say much, but does give a pretty good summary of the "story so far" and at least confirms that the wheels are in motion. (I think that funding is still technically to be approved pending the results of the HIV/hepatitis tests that the NHS have made us have.)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Not this time.

She was right, of course.

It was day 35 when I posted the last update, but on day 36 Mrs T phoned me at work to let me know we wouldn't be needing to buy a pregnancy testing kit.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

An overdue wife

Hmm, According to my calculations, today is day 34 or even 35 and still no sign of Mrs T's period. Yet she is convinced she's not pregnant. I'm hoping otherwise.

If she is, the timing is extraordinary: I think it means we must have concieved on the day her Dad died. Of course, it could be the stress of it all that's making her late. (She's rarely this late, though.)