You might be forgiven

for thinking there just isn’t that much knitting going on.

It is going on. But my. It’s looking boring. I seem to be in shades of grey. Miles of stocking stitch (query. Is it miles, if it’s a baby cardigan? Although, I discovered I was knitting size 12mth-18mth, not 9mth-12mth as I’d fondly thought, so it’s rather bigger than I’d initially anticipated).

There’s socks – in a sort of lilac. Ridiculously small needles, knitted during meetings (my team is based in the USA. I’m in London. It’s all done remotely, and I avoid putting the video camera on if I can help it).

There’s cutesy-pie baby jeans, which need unpinning from the foam mat blockers and sewing up this weekend.  They have been blocking for about a week and a half.

There’s been a hat, cast on in January 2016, unravelled down to the ribbing in December, and finally finished in a different pattern two weeks ago.  Could possibly stand to be blocked.

There’s an itch to cast on something new and shiny. So I used the last of my royalties from my book (it’s out of print. I can’t see a reprint happening any time soon. I think the print run was about 500, and it’s taken 7 years to sell them all. My last cheque was a whopping £32) to have a subscription to Rowan Magazine this year. I intend to Knit The F*** out of IVF.  We’re waiting on the arrival of referral letters for that – I will be phoning to chase on Monday.

There may yet be photos.



I just ran two miles

And the second was actually above marathon pace. Which is the first time that’s happened since the chest infection. Seven weeks to get back to form. Useful to record. 

Now, I’m not expecting Sunday’s 10 miler to be at this sort of pace, but I have vague hopes for parkrun next weekend. This weekend is stuffed: I have to be on the 9am train to London for a Guiding Thing. 


Ah Friday

I can’t say that it was an improvement on Thursday. Both days have had their challenges. Wednesday was a bit of a blur (but the washing machine got fixed) and Tuesday we sowed cress seeds at Scouts and Guides. 

These are from the packet which went out of date in 2012. They have sprouted in the interim, but I need to actually photograph them on the windowsill. A job for tomorrow (along with removing and burning the sawfly caterpillars which are merrily chomping their way through the roses. They may be cute but we will run out of leaves if I don’t do something drastic. Don’t want to use pesticides, so heat it is). 
Thursday was go to all the appointments day. The fertility chap actually deigned to see us, rather than delegating to a registrar. We got sent for more blood tests and got the referral for our nearest IVF clinic. I am enjoying a short break from bastard Clomid before the next round of hormonal upset. I had not realised quite how un-myself it had made me feel generally. It is now working out of my system and I am hoping for a return in confidence and to be less grumpy. We were waiting around, in total, for 2 hours and had about 10 minutes of face to face clinician time, including the vampires. I just made it to therapy on time. This was actually a useful session as we (finally) managed to stick to a non-ambitious agenda and actually got to the end of it. I have breathing exercises. 

Yes breathing for anxiety. I also have the explanation of why we need to breathe, and control it, when anxious. We have three brains. Dumb dumb brain is instinct, dumb-smart brain is emotion and basic tools, and smart-smart brain is logic and problem solving. In a panic attack, dumb dumb brain takes over. Produces heaps of adrenaline and cortisol. We breathe fast and shallow, or hold our breath. This only makes dumb dumb brain more inclined to panic. If we can breathe out, then instinct will force us to breathe in. If we can breathe out fully, we will breathe in fully. If we get enough oxygen in, dumb-dumb brain’s grip should loosen, and smart smart brain can get a grip on the situation and sort things out. In the middle of all this, dumb-smart brain has been overwhelmed by dumb-dumb brain, and is wibbling and needs smart-smart brain to give it a good talking to. But it can’t liaten until we get dumb-dumb brain to calm down. 

All quite exhausting to think about. So it is hardly any wonder that I nearly fell asleep during foot woo. However (TMI alert), I think it did something becauae I started mid-cycle spotting immediately after. She said that the aim in the first half of the cycle is to try and clear things out properly, and promote ovulation… them in the second half, to make a cosy home for the egg. Or words to that effect. 

Today I merely locked myself out of my laptop. It took two hours of trial and error (new helpdesk person, they all have to start somewhere) before I was back in. Not the best morning. Day never quite got going after that. 


And then…

A penny got totally stuck in the washing machine drain. The pump filter has bent (needs replacing, we found  one online for £25). The penny is stuck round the corner. In the process of trying, and failing, to remove it, I scraped three knuckles and bruised my right knee in the space of two minutes. That sort of injury speed takes skill. And I have it. 

This evening E & I went to see Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. It was brilliant. We got terribly nostalgic for our youth: and agreed it’s so much simpler on many levels now we’re no longer at university and ricocheting from one wrong man to the next… and fretting over whether to sleep with them (or not). And worrying about accidental pregnancy (we spent so much time worrying about that. Which is ridiculous). I am now on the hunt for a non pink toy iron and ironing board for my goddaughter’s 5th birthday. If any ironing happens in that house, I’m pretty sure her Dad does it. She also wants a sword, so I think we can safely say she hasn’t entirely succumbed to gender conformity yet. 

I had a toy iron. I rather loved it. Along with my lego and toy cars.  No one did any ironing in our house if they could possibly help it until I got to Guides and needed to iron my necker. Mum bought drip dry cotton and poly cotton shirts and whipped them out of the machine quickly. Even a 100% cotton shirt which isn’t a non-iron shirt can avoid the need for ironing if you’re quick in getting it on the hanger and on the washing line. It doesn’t work so well when drying them indoors, though. It’s the flapping about which is essentially in the process. 

The train home has aircon. As did the theatre. Which is wonderful. Because it was so hard to breathe in the heat of the centre of London I’ve had a decent dose of inhaler and a double espresso and I’m a bit wired. 


Oh yes

To add insult to the injury of taking Bastard Clomid… it’s made me moult, copiously, and my hair is noticably thinner. 

On the plus side: easier to epilate for  the summer. And I have Mr Dandy’s Hair Candy (contains sea kelp, dontcherknow) to arrange and tame what’s left. It has a slightly thickening effect. 


So of course, I went for a run

I paid attention to some salient advice about not driving myself nuts, and went out for a very gentle 8 miles. I haven’t done an in depth analysis of my heart rate (ie haven’t uploaded to Strava), but the Garmin (the fount of all knowledge) suggests my average was 169 BPM, compared with 188 for parkrun. And that is well within my tempo range (up to 180) so that I will take. 

I feel a lot better for it. Clearer headed. Less stressed. Less overwhelmed. Very, very, very sweaty. Did child pose on the nice, cool, slate (I wouldn’t have chosen it: I have a tendency to drop stuff, and it smashes much more easily on the slate tiles. Freezing underfoot in the winter, too) kitchen floor. Having your forehead on the floor stimulates the vagus which is good for rest, digestion and lowering cortisol. This is from a quote from someone who teaches at Triyoga in Cosmopolitan magazine, so it must be true. So. Post run stretches will include child pose. I miss living 100 yards away from Triyoga. I used to do Yoga Gently on a Friday lunchtime, and loved it. 

I think I was doing that class in the run up to Berlin Marathon… when I did, briefly, achieve conception. This is worth remembering and pondering; I was terribly fit and healthy, I was outdoors in the sunshine, and I was doing sane yoga. My current yoga teacher is a bit more strenuous (quite a lot of downward dog, but no leaping in and out of poses) and a grand giggle. Two sessions ago someone started snoring during relaxation and it didn’t phase her a bit. Remind me: I must take my eye bean bag in for the next session. 

Meanwhile, N went looking for numbers on the internet. Seems that the real damage kicks in somewhere around 40+ miles a week. So my gentle 20 isn’t going to harm. 

I need to run. I don’t need to run hard. You miss the butterflies, and the dragonflies that way. And, sometimes, the path is blocked by other users of the canal. 


Well, that was fun

Apparently, according to the foot-woo lady, my hormones are all out of whack and it is very very bad to go running because it will cook my eggs internally. According to N Clomid made me really hard to live with (I didn’t think it was *that* bad, but apparently not…). Clomid may, also, have prevented ovulation…yay. Six months of no gain whatsoever, but making life wretched for those around me. I wanted to cry by the time we’d finished a thorough 1.5 hour review. On the other hand – it was a very thorough 1.5 hour review. And, perhaps, with a bit less stress, and a bit more taking care of myself, we can sort it out.

Add in a rather wretched parkrun (it is very, very hot. I didn’t push. I still nearly collapsed, and my heartrate? Peaked at 203 BPM. Averaged at 188. Probably not very good for me. I flopped over into child pose at the end of it all (I’ve read that it’s very good for reducing cortisol levels: i.e. stress hormones).

Either I am very, very, unfit. Or it was really just too warm. I suspect a combination. This time last year, I’d run well over 500 miles. This year? I have just got to 200. I have reduced my running by 3/5. I’m not running as intensely, I’m not running as much. I have not yet spent more than 8 hours a month running (according to Strava). And yet I still get told off about it.  You go running. That’s terrible for you. You shouldn’t go running (poor N got told to not run, not cycle and not drink beer. Which basically hits 3/4 of his favourite things. The other thing being supporting Spurs).

This is the problem with infertility. You spend a lot of time being told it’s your fault. Your diet. Your exercising habits. Your weight. Your stress levels. You you you you you.

Except everyone who is telling you this imagines that they’re telling you nicely, and that they’re not telling you it’s your fault. But maybe if you do x, y, z differently…then you can get pregnant the way so many other people seem to manage so easily!

You know. All those people who are doing exactly the same as you are doing currently.

I think we can safely say I’m just fed up today. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.


I did something really bad…

I ran a charity fun run on Someone Else’s bib, and did twice the distance they’d entered for… I also ran half of it with one of my old colleagues who’d signed up with the Someone Else who dropped out on Friday, and we had a lovely time.  I had to borrow one of N’s running vests so I had something which vaguely fitted and which was charity appropriate (so I really wasn’t sure who I was…). It wasn’t timed other than on my Garmin (1 hr 6 mins – my fastest is 50ish mins), there were about 1000 people, and the medal was pretty nifty. I need to pull myself together and send over a donation – I had a really lovely time!

It was a very warm 10K  and my heart rate was ridiculously high (I am still not entirely over that chest infection – that virus is still working its way out), but all I wanted was to keep going for an hour. As it was, there were a few bits where I walked to attempt to keep my heart rate vaguely sane, but overall, I felt good, and I didn’t feel like I’d pushed too hard. I’m going to attempt 7 miles mid-week at a similar pace.


This similar pace would be a 10 min/mile. Quite a lot slower than my half marathon pb pace of 8:30 min/miles (or slightly faster). Quite a lot slower than my marathon pace of 9 min/miles. Right now: it’s not about speed. It’s about staying healthy, staying over 9 stone in weight, making sure I eat enough of the good stuff (and cake…) and keeping stress levels down.  And also feeling confident enough in myself to wear a bikini when we go on our sunny holiday in August.  I have High Hopes for this sunny holiday.



A Quick Five Minutes…

Another week, another terrorist atrocity, another frown, another squaring of the shoulders and some determination to Get On With It.

I’ve been baby knitting. With Rowan Denim. Which is great stuff – but the dye does leak horribly. So I’ve been leaving little fingerprints all over the place. I must go round with the babywipes.  The magic of the HOT wash to shrink the knitting is about to happen  (well, once I’ve knitted up some pale yarn to go into the shrink and then use as top stitch embroidery – it helps to have pre-shrunk yarn for seaming, and there seemed no point in swatching when I was casting on a mahousive 47 stitches in the first place), and then I shall have a black pair of baby blu jeans.

Running: I have been for two runs. They were exhausting, and slow, but I went. I shall go for another on Thursday. The advantage of working from home.

And: I think we managed to have a bit of a breakthrough on CBT. I have now twigged that I need to re-state what I’m hoping to get from the course at the beginning of every single session. The therapist has managed to remember my name two weeks running (that was very disconcerting. Not being remembered…), and we have accepted that simply saying ‘stop worrying’ and ‘push your worries to one side’ is not helpful. Learning about the mechanism of worrying, and the hot cross bun of panic has been useful. Worry diaries and thought diaries are also useful.

Oh yes. Still not pregnant. Have succumbed to foot woo (reflexology – first appointment on 17th June. If nothing else, it will be pampering and nice to do) and bought an Ava, which does at least reduce the difficulty of peeing on a stick at 6am. I am not good at anything that early in the morning, and the number of sticks I failed to pee on correctly (yes, it is possible) was getting to me. Plus. Yanno. Technology. It is utterly fascinating to see how my resting heart rate varies.