I did this online survey for Amnesty International. But you don't care - you're here about the scan, right? Of course right.

We lost the smaller twin. The sac is still visible, but it hasn't really grown in the last ten days. SOB says it will probably collapse and disappear, or else cause a violent miscarriage which ends the entire pregnancy, although he did try to say that last bit in a casual and positive voice. The main thing, apparently, is to stay on all the medication, except not the clexane if I start bleeding in which case it might just be an idea to give him a bit of a tinkle and maybe even pop in, you know, as long as I'm in the neighbourhood and have some spare time.

Other than that, everything looks fine! The now-depressingly-named Twin B is growing steadily, measuring just as, but no further behind than ever before, heartbeat intact, etc etc etc. In fact, goshdarnit, I might as well post this ultrasound pic for you to view at your discretion.

We knew this was on the cards. And the fact is, a single, healthy baby was the most we were ever hoping for out of this cycle. We're still in with a good chance of that, although I'll admit my confidence has been shaken, and reduced pregnancy risks (casual remarks about imminent miscarriage notwithstanding) and a more manageable infanthood are good things, better things, and that's what a singleton is. I'll be very grateful if we can have just one.

But let's save it for another day. We just lost a baby, you see.

I know I've mentioned a few times that my symptoms are pretty weak - sometimes I have to stick my toothbrush a long way down my throat to bring on any morning sickness - but I've got one more to add to the list this week: tiredness.

I was quite concerned about my lack of tiredness, because it seems such a very common pregnancy symptom, but a revelation struck me as I awoke from my afternoon nap the other day and I excitedly started to share it with Mr Bea. "I think I've worked out why I'm not feeling tired!" I announced.

"Is it because you've been sleeping so much?" he replied.

"You knew," I said, crestfallen. "Why didn't you tell me?" He had the hide to answer by shaking his head in disbelief.

So yes, I have not been tired, but I have been sleeping more - a full night's sleep and an afternoon nap, which is great on the symptoms front and I love having the luxury - but the downside is it's not exactly getting my coursework done. And I have 80% of my assessment due in October. As well as a film festival. All of which is a very long-winded way of getting around to my point, which is that I've decided to delay the third IIFF by a week, until the 3rd of November which is a little late for Halloween, but not too much so never mind.

So! The third season of IIFF and the last for 2007 will still be Halloween, but the new date is the 3rd of November. Can't wait to see your entries, and I will be running the prizes again - audience choice, lucky dip, and the grand jury prize. So go! Go!

I was sitting around my mother's kitchen table just after this latest transfer* discussing the ins and outs** of what had gone on when my mother casually remarked, "Well, multiples run in your family, you know. On both sides."

I turned my hesitant gape into a light-hearted, "Do they?"

"Yes," she said, ignoring my increasingly anxious look. "Two of your great-grandmothers had triplets. Haven't I told you that story?"

"If you have, it's obviously slipped my mind temporarily over the last couple of days," I replied drily, and so she began.

Great Granddaddy was working out in the paddock on the farm when Great Grandma went into labour. The midwife was called for, and after some hours a young child was dispatched with the message: "It's a boy!"

"Good-oh," said Great Granddad, continuing his work.

Some hours later, the messenger-child returned. "Another boy!"

"Well goodness me," said Great Granddad calmly, without pausing from the job at hand. The third time the child returned with the news that another son had been born, Great Granddad paused briefly to reflect, and then put down his tools. "I think," he said slowly, "I'd better come see what's going on in there."

At this point, my mother's hearty chuckle mingled with my rather more nervous titter, but she soon sighed and a wistful look overtook her face. "Great Grandma P's triplets were girls," she continued, "but they all died at birth."

"Great, Mum," I said, rising decisively from the table. "I've really enjoyed this talk."

The truth is, I stopped secretly wanting twins when I was faced with the reality of actually having to choose that risk. Although that's not putting it quite accurately - I still secretly want twins; what I don't want is dead or permanently disabled twins, along with the knowledge that all would have been ok if I'd just been a little more patient and had them one at a time. At present, I remain unconvinced that either, let alone both these babies are going to make it to the point where I need to start worrying, which leaves me in this kind of blissful, yet ignorant stage of emotional limbo, kind of like how you felt when you only just started trying, and it hadn't worked yet, but you thought it probably would sooner or later. But even if they do both continue to develop and we end up facing the possibility of two at once, thanks to my Mum, I'll always know it could look scarier.

I went back to R.D.A this week. I may be taking on more responsibilities. But that's nothing! Karen has this whole teaching project going for barely literate rural women. And Blondie is doing what she can to make this case into a fair trial.

*For an individual person, sitting around a table is just as difficult as it sounds.


I just want to say a few things first. The initial beta was normal, but not exactly inspiring. The doubling time was slow. There was spotting. There was a general paucity of reassuring pregnancy symptoms. The embryos were measuring behind at the last scan, there was only one heartbeat, and it was ok but not exactly pounding. I had some very logical reasons to be cautious about today's scan. I want to make this clear upfront because...

...we have two heartbeats now. Yes. Hereafter I shall be known not as Bea, but as Little Miss Pantsonfire.

Now. Before we all start getting ahead of ourselves like SOB, who confidently just told me, "You're having twins!" and thereby nearly provoked me into an attack wherein I grabbed him by the collar and, glaring into his face from mere inches away, screamed, "Might be! Possibly! There's a chance, providing all continues to go well! Damnit man, I am only just past seven weeks, and the betas, and the spotting, and the fact that whilst one twin seems to be catching up to where it should be in dates, the other twin is looking significantly smaller and has, if anything, fallen slightly further behind than it was last week, except for the whole heartbeating thing, of course, good grief, man, where do you get this boundless optimism!" - let me add a few cautionary notes, viz., well, see above. However, I have to admit, I have started to entertain the idea that we might end up with an actual, live baby out of this. That's right - I am entertaining Ideas now.

SOB finished the consult by telling me I didn't need to come back for a good couple of weeks, but shortened it to ten days when he observed the panicky look on my face, so I have another scan next Thursday.

Thankyou so much for continuing to check in and keep tabs on me. I hope it's not too hard.

I have come to this conclusion: IVF is an emotionally traumatic experience. I know, but wait, I have more. No matter what the outcome of a cycle, it is bound to be followed by a sort of mini-nervous-breakdown lasting a few days to a week. If the pregnancy test is negative, this breakdown will happen immediately. If the pregnancy test is positive, the breakdown will be delayed several days. Either way, it will happen.

I don't believe things are fine in there. They may be, for all I know, but I don't believe it. Nevertheless, I am feeling fairly calm about stuff, and am content to wait til the next scan on Monday. I have finished with my inevitable post-cycle breakdown, you see.

I still wish I had pregnancy signs. There's something very self-indulgent about this, but I do want that fleeting bit of morning sickness back. I'm over the boob veininess - it's so 14dpo. I want something more up to date, more now; something that says, "Going on seven weeks," in bright, bold colours. And any time the spotting wants to stop, that would be just fine, too.

But I will wait, and I will do my good deed (carbon credits - haven't bought any for either of our flights yet) and I will continue ticking off the injections one by one (y'all clicked over to IVF Shootemup and perused the entire site minutely until you found my clexane video buried deep down in there somewhere, right?) until the next scan comes around - whatever news that brings. I have exited the breakdown phase and entered the Hum Drum. Long may it last.

Pitch in if you can help!

I wanted to collect every video of someone injecting/preparing an IVF drug onto the one site, in case anyone ever found it helpful. I've managed to contact most of the video-makers, but if you see yours there and want it taken down let me know. I'll be looking around for more, and if you know of one I haven't included, point it out! There's also a wish list to be taken care of, and added to.

Or, if you'd rather just add the little icon to your sidebar and leave it at that, well, I've got something for you, too:

And if you live in Ontario, Canada, check this out.

  1. Two gestational sacs
  2. With one heartbeat
  3. Measuring five days behind apiece
  4. And, according to Thursday's "fine" and "good" beta level, a doubling time now of 72 hours
  5. Giving an hCG level which I would consider worryingly low for a singleton, let alone twins

I can't say I'm feeling more confident this afternoon than I was this morning. On the other hand, better to have a heartbeat than not?

Next scan is in one week. Let's hope we still have a heartbeat then.

Only one more injection to go before scan day. I like to measure the time in terms of injections, because an injection only takes a couple of minutes whereas a day takes a whole twenty-four freaking hours. I can't wait to jab myself with that blunt, stingy needle. It's not that I'm excited about seeing a heartbeat - I don't honestly believe that will happen - but it sure is a relief to think this wait will soon be over.

Say there's this couple. They have always dreamed of a family with two children, but unfortunately they're infertile. If the world is overpopulated already, why are they trying to produce more babies through IVF? Shouldn't they "just" adopt ones which are already here?

Meanwhile, down the road, is a young, single, accidentally-pregnant woman who doesn't want to raise the child. Now, if the world is overpopulated she should have an abortion, but the same people who advocate adoption for the first couple are rarely so adamant about that. Instead, they think the young woman should have the baby and give it to the infertile couple, and then everyone will be happy (they assume, ignoring the complex emotional issues at play which are, after all, just tough luck for those involved) and, most importantly, the environment will breathe a sigh of relief. Another young, single woman provides the infertile couple's second child in the same way, and all is right with the world. Or is it?

Here's the thing: when these two young, single women grow older, find husbands and settle down, do they say to themselves, "Now, I've always wanted two children, and I've already had one, so I guess there's only one to go!" Of course not. They each have the two children they've always wanted.

So the world still ends up with six children (and we've narrowed our genetic diversity into the bargain). Where's the environmental gain? And without one, what's your excuse for not giving people what they want instead of what you think they should have?

First, a random thing: last night, Thalia came to me in a dream and told me I should enjoy more coffee. I obviously blog too much.

Secondly: beta the fourth is still pending. I decided to have it marked "non-urgent" this time - should be back by tomorrow. Curiously, having my blood drawn was just as soothing as it usually is, despite the lack of results. The act of having a sample taken, even though I hate blood samples so much I have only recently learnt to sit through them without fainting on the floor, seems to lower my stress levels independently of any gain in either a) reassurance from knowing things are going well, or b) ability to take action if they aren't. Did I mention Thalia appeared to me in a dream to bring me a message about coffee? It's possible I may be slightly unhinged.


I remember being... younger, I don't know, probably about twelve or thirteen, and seeing a brochure for an adults-only resort holiday. "That's terrible!" I protested to my mother. "What sort of people dislike kids so much they'd create an adults-only resort? I mean, that excludes the adults who have kids to look after as well!"

In her wisdom, my mother replied, "Your father and I love you dearly, but not everyone wants to see children and families around all the time. Good people, too."

I don't think I really understood until the infertility.

Just before I left for our latest cycle, I was invited to join a google group for young, childless expats living in Singapore. "We don't have an age limit," the recruiting member assured us, looking around the table at a group of maybe four or five. "To us, age is a state of mind. And it's not that we hate kids, or parents - in fact some of our members have had babies since they joined and of course we still let them come along - but we want to be able to go out and have fun without any talk of babysitting or nappies."

"Sounds nice," said the mother in the conversation, assuming that long-suffering face parents are so fond of displaying. On this occasion, however, it was ignored.

"It just seemed there were a lot of mothers' groups around, but nothing similar for non-mothers," Recruiting Member concluded.

So I said I was game, and I've even dropped in to a couple of events. It's nice. A safe place for an infertile. And, though my thirteen-year-old self may have found this surprising, the women aren't awful people at all.

Just this week, one of them sent out a request to the group for sponsorship. She's running to raise money for a hospice. It's a perfect good deed for us both.

News just in (beta the fourth): apparently it's "good" and also "fine". The nurse offered to read me the number, and for some reason, today, I just didn't want it. Heartbeat scan Monday.

Mr Bea just emailed me back about the beta asking what I've done with his wife.

It occurred to me, as I was waiting for the results of my beta this morning, that perhaps there's a purpose to all this loss. Some of those low positive betas were so small and so fleeting a normal woman wouldn't have noticed the conception at all, and even with Jester there are some who wouldn't have cared, and many who wouldn't have cared nearly so much as we did. So perhaps these brief little lives were given to us, as opposed to anyone else, to care for and love because Someone knew we would.

Then I threw up a little in my mouth from the overwhelming perkturdiness. As I tried to wash away the acid taste, I was called in for my results: fifty-three hours. I could want for better, but I'll take what I'm given and hope it's enough. Since I'm enjoying the illusion of control these constant blood draws are giving me, I'm going back on Thursday for beta the fourth.

Thanks for all your stories of hope, and encouragement to hang in there. And, er, if you've got any more where that came from, yes please.

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