Sunday, December 11, 2005


Bogong moths live in caves in the mountains for most of the year. They’re small and dark brown and apparently are chock full of protein with a delicate nutty flavour. Now and then you see them braving it in the big city and dashing themselves against car headlights or street lamps.

One year they all went absolutely apeshit and every single Bogong Moth in the Known Universe came to Sydney.

Like some sort of evil entomological Schoolies’ Week, they came, they fucked themselves stupid and they made a big bloody pest of themselves.

One particular evening they started flying in through the window of my flat.

I closed the windows and they started crawling in through the ventilation shafts. There were hundreds of them.

At first I tried to scoop them up and throw them out the back door but soon the whirring noises and the furry wings and the way their feelers poked through the slats first closely followed by their brown Bogongish head began to freak me out and I turned on the vacuum cleaner and started sucking them straight off the wall.

Vaccuuming up live Bogong Moths is not something I’m proud of and would never have happened if C had been home because he is like St Francis of Assissi to invertebrates and what he can’t catch with an empty yoghurt pot and a piece of cardboard isn’t worth catching. In fact it’s probably not an insect at all, it’s probably a piece of cheese or a raisin or something.

The joy at learning that I had finally been struck over the head with the Preggers Stick lasted for 48 hours and then the Niggling Doubts started creeping in.

I tried to shut them out, I tried to say to myself…feel the queasiness….witness the extreme fatigue… but eventually they won.
Why should you be pregnant? The beta was wrong. It’s like last time when you were pregnant for a minute and a half. This time you’ll be pregnant for an hour and a half but it’ll still end the same way...ooh, what's that? Your period??

On the weekend I gave in and called the House Of Groovy IVF Love.

I’d like to come in for another blood test, I told them. I got my beta last week and it all sounded very good but now…

The Fertility Sister was calm. Of course, she said, you want to make sure it’s all progressing the right way.

That’s it, I said. Because the thing is I have Niggling Doubts.

I could hear the scratch of her pen as she wrote Nutter Incoming beside my name, but her voice was soothing.

If you want to come in and check that’s fine, she said, we understand. You want to put your mind at rest.

The problem with vacuuming up Bogong Moths is of course that you don’t actually kill them. Instead they rustle about inside the vacuum cleaner. Eventually you start to catch one or two, horribly mutilated, crawling out the nozzle.

Niggling Doubts are much harder to kill. Another beta will help, for now, but there’s no vacuum cleaner on Earth big enough to suck them all up.

And it’s not as if I could fry them up and eat them. Unlike Bogongs, Niggling Doubts have zero nutritional value.

And of course, as everyone knows, Niggling Doubts taste like shit.


javajive said...

i hear you! every time i go to the toilet or feel a cramp or twinge in my stomach i am expecting aunty flo to visit.
so today i found myself buried in various websites reading about how to eat properly, what not to eat, and what furniture you actually do and don't need for a nursery/corner of office as if that will validate the pregnancy more.
and it's barely five weeks!

Anonymous said...

Your first beta on for this pregnancy is robust, healthy, and round... 490 at only day 10 will double and triple beautifully.

By all means get another beta. I'm surprised you weren't automatically scheduled for an immediate followup beta test.

As for the feeling that your menses is approaching -- those twinges and pangs are signs of your uterus hard at work. Do you remember the films they made us watch in school about the origins of the Earth? It was as if the oceans were boiling over with one-celled life forms and the terra firma was molten rock building layer upon layer on itself to support life... that is what is going on in your womb, only it isn't going to take millions of years. Your body is working HARDER now than an athlete climbing Mt. Everest. The exhaustion will come really soon. The twinges and pangs are supposed to be there.

Normally I do not have this kind of optimism for early pregnancies, but for some reason I have faith in yours. I just can't fathom anything going wrong with a 490 on day 10.

Word verification -- hsxllnnt
It's Excellent.

Krissy said...

I second the scary optomists. But by all means, get as many tests as you think you can stand. There's no reason you wouldn't want to be reassured, and rest assured that your doctor's office only puts marks in the files of the crazy pregnant beyotches who DON'T want a beta every 10 minutes.

Normal Normal Normal.

One of the cruelties of life is that the early days of pregnancy feel EXACTLY like the days right before your period. Crampy, irritable, kinda tired, boobs hurt... But you can have all those (including serious cramps) and have everything be totally normal.

There is a person called getupgrrl, who you may have read, who had a saying: NBHHY

Nothing Bad Has Happened Yet

It was the perfect mix of hopeful and yet realistic.

Hey, guess what?? NBBHY!


I have high hopes for your test.

DD said...

I can't help being nervous for you as well. It's a catch 22 each time I see you have a new post, "Is it good or bad news?"

I feel relieved when I see it's just the Niggling Doubts, because it's better than Oppressing Pessimism.

Anonymous said...

Once again incredible writing for an incredible woman. Self doubt will never serve you so just stop. You are the only one that can. Stop! You are pregnant. Can't change the past but you can change your thinking. You are so inspiring and so talented. Be proud!!!

Calliope said...

have you tried the dysonl vacuum system? according to their website they can suck up even the most stuborn dust bunny. I wonder if you get more horse power it can suck up the niggling doubts.
I hate that you seem to be waiting for the shoe to drop - but boy do I get it. So glad you are going in for the 2nd beta. I just know it will be a ginourmous #!

Em said...

Good luck with beta #2. I am also suffering from a terrible case of niggling doubts. Anxiety bites.

Jamila said...

My niggling doubts set in immediately after hanging up the phone when I got my beta results. What if they gave me the wrong person's results? I immediately had to go buy an HPT. And then when I told my DH, he had to go do the same thing. I peed on sticks every day for the first week (and carried them around in my purse for reassurance) until I got the results from the second beta back.

The niggling doubts are a part of our journey, for good or for bad. At least we have the luxury of beautiful clinics who are used to our anxiety and will test our blood and shove wands up our hoo-has whenever we like.

I ditto the "NBHHY!!"

Word verification - auxow. Sounds like an exclamation to me.... "AUXOW!!! Look at those numbers double!!!"

Dramalish said...

Anonymous sounds like their heart is in the right place, but I think we both know how impossible it is to just *stop doubting yourself.*

Uh huh.

Instead, just know that scores of us have been exactly where you, and we felt the same same same thing. It's normal. You are not a "Nutter." Even women who don't go through IF (yes, I can't imagine their existence either) worry and stress their way through the first trimester.

Have you asked when they are going to do a scan??? So we can see how many superstars have stayed for the meet and greet?

I'm hugging you as hard as cyber-space will let me...

thalia said...

Yeah, you know the score. Normal, normal, normal. Except that your beta was actually abnormally good. So you need to do whatever you need to do to keep yourself sane, and don't worry about doing it. But you are definitely pregnant, no doubt about it. There's a big difference between 8 and 490. Um, 482 in fact. That's big.

Jacqueline said...

Yes, I remember Niggling Doubts all too well! This time last year I was about 7 weeks pregnant. I now have a 4 month old son.

Niggling doubts makes you completely typical. Yay! :)

Lut C. said...

That's quite a story. There was a mouse plague a few years back in my country, (though not in my area luckily).

Great post. You give me doubts of a totally different nature, should I quit blogging or just try harder to write good stuff. ;-) It'll be the latter, rest assured.

Try not to worry what the nurses might think (hah! from someone who feels the need to please her Dr.). If they give you a wary look, take off your shoes and let them walk around the block in them. ;-)

wessel said...

Maybe this will help kill a few Niggling Doubts, from the website at

Early HCG Levels and Outcome

There was a recent study (Homan, et al, Fertility and Sterility, Feb2000) that looked at the HCG level at 16dpo (13dp3dt or 11dp5dt). It found that, for a given HCG at 16dpo, the chance of a ongoing pregnancy at 20w was:

HCG Lvl. # Women Ongoing Preg.

25-50 78 <35%
50-100 95 35-64%
100-200 159 64-80%
200-500 220 80-95%
500-1000 87 95-100%
>1000 23 100%

You are off the chart with a beta of 490 at 10 DPR. Now, settle down!

wessel said...

Oh heck, it didn't accept my reformatting. But let's just take some numbers for fun. In the above table, if your beta was between 200 and 500 at 16 DPR, you would have an 80-95% of having an ongoing pregnancy at 20 weeks. But your beta was at the UPPER end of that level, at 10 DPR already, almost a full week before these levels were measured for the study.

Nadhirah said...

Hello Ova girl.

I've been a regular 'lurker' to you blog since a couple of months now.

I'd like to say, congratulations. :) I was so happy for you when i read your post. So happy that I told my husband.

We are also trying to conceive. So far, no luck yet. But we just started middle of this year.

I wish you all the best and may you be blessed with healthy happy babies. :)

spindleshanks said...

remember my five hpts. it's normal to worry and to rush to toilet to check knickers for blood every 10 minutes. and remember that it's normal and everyone - however they got pregnant - has the same doubts and concerns so don't think you're silly to worry. just rest assured that worrying won't make anything bad happen. xxx

spindleshanks said...

ps i'd forgotten all about bogongs. funny the things you forget.

heleen said...

I was going to give you the numbers, but I see Wessel already did. Those numbers helped me to settle down... We want more of those numbers! Believe in yourself girl, you're doing great!

LabiaLady said...

OG, welcome to the nutter club... the problem with being infertile and then getting a BFP is that the niggling doubts never seem to go away.

My current problem is that whenever I see/hear the heartbeat, I always think it's gonna stop just after I've heard it so that I'll spend another 4 weeks hoping and planning all for nothing...

It will now take all your strength NOT to go crazy.

The internets love and care about you OG.

Panda said...

haha - Bogan moths!

For about, ohhh, a month or so you are going to feel EXACTLY like your period is about to turn up. For about the next 8 months you are going to have Niggling Doubts, that not even the best Dyson vacuum cleaner in the world will be able to deal with. At 25 weeks I'm still checking the toilet paper.

Do what you need to do to put each doubt to rest as they appear. We're all rootin' for ya OG.

Sparkle said...

Good idea to have the blood test and reassure yourself. More than likely you have nothing to worry about - especially if you have the tiredness and nausea - in fact I read somewhere that that's the sign of a healthy pregnancy. YAY.

Gabrielle said...

I am currently high on endorphins after having huge gigantic doubts (none of these pesky little niggling doubts for me!) squashed by seeing a little heart beating at over 160 bpm in Baby G's little 2 cm body, and being told my beta is now over 70,000.

Get the beta, then get another one when you need to be reassured, then get another one for good measure, then get one for the road. Thanks so much for your message.

Mel said...

Hi Ovagirl,

Remember me? I wrote to you after your last IVF and told you that is was just a matter of time. And it was (and not much time at that - well done!)! At that time I was 6 days off my c-section to have my baby girl. Well she's here now and an absolute miracle. But get used to the worry. I now wake up in the night just to check her breathing. The Niggling Doubts never stop.

A little history to show you that you are so far off being a nutter. Yet. At 7 weeks pregnant I woke up and felt totally normal. All the symptoms of the previous days and weeks gone. We rushed to the clinic for an u/s. The heartbeat was there, good and strong. At 7 weeks 4 days pregnant I got some bleeding. This time it was the ER and another u/s. All well. At 7 weeks 6 days, more bleeding, another u/s. At 8 weeks 2 days....

When I transfered to an OB he soon realised that I was the Nervous Nellie type and I will be forever grateful that the man scheduled me for an ultrasound every two weeks through my entire pregnancy. From 30 weeks I had a weekly date with the fetal heart monitor as well. Talk about reassurance...but still I had the Niggling Doubts.

At 22 weeks I was visiting family in the US (I'm an Aussie living in the Middle East married to an American)and I didn't feel the baby kick for 12 hours. Up to the ER for a stint on a fetal heart monitor. All well but we'd sunk $2k into that little episode.

Every day of this pregnancy you will have a Niggling Doubt. At 36 weeks pregnant I hadn't been able to bring myself to buy a single thing for the baby. I still couldn't be sure she was actually going to be here.

At this moment my little miracle is sleeping in her moses basket beside me (yes, we finally dragged my huge pregnant body out to the shops to by the child a bed!). She has hardly been out of my sight for the last 7.5 weeks. I wake up in the morning and sometimes need to remind myself that the last year really happened. Then I see her and I know that it did. And it will for you too. You just wait and see!

Anonymous said...

My OB has marked my file MIA-PITA (mother is a pain in the ass). I don't care.

After numerous cycles at the same House of IVF Groovy Love, we finally cracked a beta of 615 on 16DPO. My response...

Follow up betas at 18DPO, 22DPO, 25DPO, 26DPO, 31DPO and about 10 ultrasounds.

We're now 24 weeks and just beginning to believe this one might go the distance.

Do whatever you need to do to "curb the crazy" . And join the groundswell of of MIAPITA's!!

Yidchick said...

Pregnancy is such a surreal, strange thing to happen to anyone that it leaves one feeling constantly in doubt that it could be true. If someone came from another planet, they'd be perfectly reaonable in asking: What? You grow people? Where?
No wonder you want extra reassurance. Good on you for listening to yourself, even if it is the Niggling Doubts that made you do it.
PS - Did I tell you how happy I am for you? Did I tell you your good news has been a wonderful balance to my hugescale melodrama? Did I tell you that if you have twins I already have the twin feeding cushion ready for you? No pressure :-)

surly girl said...

oh god, the worrying. i am a world-class worrier. and when i was newly-up-the-stick with small person i had crampy period pains and was utterly convinced i was going to get my period. small person is six next year, and motherhood just gets better.

hassle those doctors all you like - peace of mind is priceless.

elle said...

First off, HOORAY!!! Secondly, embrace those niggling doubts b/c, sadly, they are as much a part of pregnancy as weird uterine twinges and big boobs. I am 17 wks and still have them - it's the pregnant infertile syndrome. But remember - *important* - just b/c you are expecting something bad to happen doesn't mean it will. It could, gasp, all go very smoothly! I hope it does!

Em said...

The niggling doubts are ever present. I had loads in the first trimster and now I am paranoid they will find an abnormality at the next scan. It is so hard to just enjoy pregnancy but remember you do deserve this pregnancy. You have fought hard for it. The betas and the scans reassure for a while but there's always going to be doubts. It has taught me a lot about letting go and trusting (so hard!)in a Higher power.

Manuela said...

Gross! Gross! Gross!!!! BLECH!! Moths just absolutely DISGUST me for some reason... I shudder at the mere site of the word in print.

However, I'm delighted that the Groovy Love Sisters are there to put your mind at ease! That's just wonderful.

And... on a completely different topic... I was just HORRIFIED with what happened in Sydney over the weekend... was definitely thinking of you!! Hope everyone is fine...

mig bardsley said...

Doubts, faith, hope and miracles. Absolute BLOODY FULL ON PANIC! Closely followed by TOTAL IDIOTIC HAPPINESS. That's what babes are all about. And it goes on like that as long as you all shall live!
Enjoy :)

spindleshanks said...

what happened in sydney?

Vacant Uterus said...

They do. They do taste like shit. Absolute and utter shit.

May you have the pleasant taste of Bogong Moths in your mouth after this beta. Or maybe some tasty, like quesadillas. Anything other than Niggling Doubts. Sarge and I are pulling for you.

Larisa said...

I think the niggling doubts are just one more thing that is so unfair about IF. I think we will all be paranoid and doubtful.

It was such hard work to get where you are - the IF prevents us from having those "OMG - I'm pregnant - There will be a baby here in 9 months" pregnancies.

I can only send positive thoughts, and faith that your doubts are unfounded.

Urban Chick said...

ah yes, the calorie-devoid, foul-tasting, good-fer-nothin' Niggling Doubts

is it very irritating if i tell you that, almost 22 months post partum*, i'm still suffering from them? all that 'i don't deserve happiness' self-flagellation takes time to wear off

* ain't that a marvellous phrase? second only to post coital, and post prandial (although i always get those two muddled up)

p.s. have i said, or rather, can i say again how flaming thrilled i am for you? flaming thrilled i am!


zhl said...

I'm glad the Love Sisters took your doubts seriously. I hope they can give you a lovely tasting second beta.

Kyahgirl said...

definitely, have another test!
I remember after my amnio I was convinced my baby wasn't alive anymore because I'm sure it didn't move at all. I finally called the doc's office in a state of despair, they brought me right in for the doppler microphone show and let me listen to his little heart going crazy in there . I was embarrassed and apologized for being a nutbar and they were so good about it. They all understood. The people at the house of groovy love will totally understand your anxiety.
Just go.

p.s. I should introduce you to my sister Mary. When I went to live with her after high school I'd wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of the vacuum cleaner. There she'd be, vacumming up spiders. Even the harmless daddy long legs met their fate with the vacuum. The Wolf spiders were the worst, so big you could hear their footsteps if they ran across something on the floor *shudder*.