I've been quiet lately, I know. It's so hard to update when there is absolutely nothing to update about. Waiting, more waiting. I've been drowning in pregnancy announcements these past few weeks, and it hasn't been pretty.
How much longer do we have to be the ones sitting on the sidelines and smiling through blinding tears, watching someone else get to experience everything we've been dreaming about? Why are we being 'greedy' by wanting to give our kid a sibling? Why is the only news we ever seem to get always bad news?
As you can imagine, things have been pretty bumpy over here. I'm so tired, you guys. I'm tired of this whole thing. It's ironic; something that should be one of the easiest things in the world, one of the happiest times of your life, being something that leaves you terrified and so, so angry. You don't know what I'd give to be able to think about getting pregnant, and then.. ya know.. get pregnant.
I refuse to apologise for wanting to give my daughter a sibling. I refuse to apologise for fighting for this with everything I have, because we are not giving up on this dream. I refuse to apologise for feeling the way I do - because you know what? This is a shitty situation to be in, one that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, and it SUCKS.
When you think about all the worst case scenarios we've had happen to us in the last two years, it's almost laughable. It gets to a point where you've decided to be hopeful and to ignore things that have happened in the past, because 'it can't possibly get any worse!' - and then it does. And you're left there at the end, not quite sure what to make of it all. Is this all a sign? Am I cursed? It just feels like a bad luck streak that's never ending.
Tomorrow we have a scan and blood test, and I have this terrible feeling in my gut that we're going to end up having another cancelled cycle. I can't explain it; I've had twinges that remind me of cysts I've had previously - but yeah... it just feels like a bad omen. I'm crossing everything that I have and I HOPE I'm wrong! Wouldn't it be ironic to round out the year with more crappy news?
Anyway, I'll keep on keeping on, and I'll cope in the way that works the best for me. And if it means staying in hibernation mode, and focusing on my own little family for a little while longer, so be it.
After a cycle on the pill, we're gearing up to try again. This is going to be FET #7, all going well.
Nothing too exciting here: progynova (oestrogen) 3x a day, scan and bloods next week & then we see how everything is going.
If things look okay, we'll program in a transfer of one of the 4-day embryos. I asked if they'd grow them out, and they said no, they will do a morula transfer. I don't even have the energy in me to ask why, I'm just going with the flow this time around.
All of my questions and concerns and worries from previous rounds didn't have any impact on the outcomes, so I'm sort of going into this cycle fairly numb.. and with little to no expectations. Here we go again.
I've been having a bit of a break from social media for the last week or so, and it's actually been quite nice. I'm missing it a lot less than I thought I would, and I think it's been good for my emotional state.
Miss Toddler is now 2.5 years old. Where did the time go? It's bittersweet - this age is fun, but exhausting. I love seeing her grow up, but I miss the years that have already passed. She's growing up, we're getting older, and we've still made no progress on giving her the sibling that we've dreamed about for so long.
It also brings to light another not-so-great milestone; the fact that we've now almost hit the 2-year TTC/infertility mark again. It took us two years last time - but the difference then was that we found out we were pregnant soon after that milestone. This time, we're at 2 years and have nothing to show for it - except for the two miscarriages and a whole lot of wasted $$ on failed IVF cycles and procedures. It really hurts.
I always knew that it would be hard trying for a second child, which is why we jumped back on this merry-go-round as early as we did. But in my heart, I was desperately hoping that we'd paid our dues struggling for #1, and that we'd have a better time going for #2. Or, you know, be one of those couples who is lucky enough to have a miracle, or easily achieved, pregnancy the second time around. Hope is a dangerous thing sometimes. You want to be realistic, but you still always have the hope lurking under the surface.
It's hard having to explain to people where you're at in your cycle right now.
It's hard to be in a forced wait, when all you want to do is throw everything you have at this hurdle in front of you.
It's hard to have to explain why you're not excited anymore, or why you're finding it hard to relate to people around you.
It's hard to find people on similar journeys to you, and it's hard not to compare yours with theirs.
It's hard when you feel like a terrible friend because all you want to do is to protect yourself & get away from it all for a while.
So Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, with your excited TTC-ers, miraculous pregnancy announcements & beautiful babies, I think we need to steer clear of each other for just a little while longer, until I can build up my walls again to face the rest of the world. I'm a bit broken right now, but I'll be back.
We're somehow already halfway through a new month.. and I don't know how it happened, to be honest. At the rate this year is going, it'll be Christmas before we can blink.
So what have we been up to?
- In cycle news, I finally got a bleed a few days ago after the egg retrieval stim/freeze all. It took almost a whole two weeks to arrive, but it was a doozy when it eventually got here. Now I'm back on the pill for a cycle to ensure my ovaries calm the hell down. Frustrating, but what can you do?
- We've been outdoors! The weather has gone from Winter to Spring REALLY fast, and Georgia & I have been out with Spencer loads. She loves the backyard, it's hard to get her indoors again most days.
- Hopefully planning a few days away. We are all pretty burnt out over here with all the stuff that's been going down... so hopefully, if work allows it, we'll go away for a few days and have a bit of a break.
- Deliberating making our front room - currently a hardly used formal lounge - into a playroom for G. It'd mean a lot less clutter in the back room, and would give her a space to play in of her own. The downside? Getting rid of our lounges, figuring out a way to block off the staircase, and an Ikea trip for some storage cupboards for toys. This might end up being a bigger project than we thought..!
|Partners in crime!|
I've been beyond slack with my training lately - after pushing myself with spin classes & weight training at the gym and not seeing results (thanks, IVF meds!) I just needed a break. It's about that time for me to jump back into my workouts - so today's sponsored post was a great reminder of how simple it is to get your body moving again. I have a love/hate relationship with my treadmill, but it's just one of many options to get active.
Put your hand up if you want to lose fat! Okay, now leave your hand up, because that will burn a few extra calories for you today. Are you looking for something a little more effective (and a lot less painful) than waving your hand in the air all day? Traditional cardio machines can help you get moving, burn fat and be on the way to a healthier version of yourself. Not sure where to start? Here are three popular machines to get you thinking.
1. Cross-trainerThe cross-trainer (or elliptical trainer) gives you a full-body workout every time. By working the arms and legs, as well as engaging your core, this machine will really get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. It’s super easy to do interval work by adjusting the resistance or your own speed, so you can vary your workouts. If you have any joint pain which is aggravated by the treadmill, the cross-trainer will generally be a great option as its smooth, circular motion removes the small amount of impact many people notice when walking. You don’t have to join a gym to get the benefits of this machine (or the others further down, either!) – check out sites like www.fitnessmarket.com.au to view a range of elliptical/cross-trainers that could be perfect for your home.
2. Rowing MachineCompetitive rowers are known for their incredible aerobic capacity, so why not follow in their footsteps? Rowing machines are often overlooked in traditional gym settings, but they can be hugely beneficial for fat loss and cardiovascular fitness. If you jump on to give it a go, make sure you use your legs, then your core, then your arms and finally squeeze your back in one smooth movement. Rowing is all in the technique, and jerky movements are inefficient. Keep it slow and steady for distance rowing, or push yourself and try doing 500 metres four times, as fast as you can, with a rest in between each effort. Rowing is also a great method of cross training if you play any team sport or do a lot of walking or running!
3. TreadmillThe treadmill has got to be the age-old solution for getting moving and burning fat. It lets you perform the very basic movements of walking and running at a convenient place and time – and these are movements we were built to perform! Not only is it easy to add variety to this cardio classic (you can choose pre-set workouts, vary the incline or change your speeds up), it’s also super easy to multitask if you’re just planning on doing a simple walk. You don’t have to have any fancy moves to get a good workout on a treadmill – keep it basic and you can be enjoying feeling fitter, firmer and more energetic!
Steady-state or interval cardio training can be effective methods for losing fat and feeling fit. Just don’t forget to combine your efforts with a nutrient-rich diet! Are you a fan of cardio machines? Is there one that you swear by? Share your favourite machine or workout below!
Fitness Market - all images are my own. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.
Sorry for going quiet folks.. I've spent the last few days playing phone tag with my clinic to try and find out some more information about our new bunch of frosties.
So.. we had 8 embryos frozen at day 4. 4 were compacting morulas, 4 were early blastocysts.
No actual grading, they just had to make a fairly strict criteria for day 4, and all passed. There were no embryos left that they were watching - apparently there was a big divide between what was good/not good. The remaining discarded embryos were all significantly behind (2x 7-cell, 2x 6-cell, 8-cell, 9-cell, 15-cell with severe fragmentation) and wouldn't have caught up, so they were very happy with the 8 they did freeze.
The scientist I spoke to today was also the one who grew out our day 1's last time (who saw me sob hysterically through the transfer of our crappy last one left) and said compared to the embryos he had to work with last time, these looked way better. I'm trying to be positive that maybe future FET's won't have such poor results in the future as they have in the past. New clinic, new embryos, new chances.
Now I just have to wait for a period.. I'm still waiting, 10 days post egg retrieval -- and after that we can start our pill rest cycle.
It's one day past egg retrieval. I feel good.. scratch that - GREAT. This is quite possibly the best recovery I've had since starting IVF back in 2012. I went to bed sore, and woke up pumped. If I walk away with nothing from this new clinic, at least I've had a good run with healing.
I spoke to a doctor today from my new clinic, who understands my frustration with yet another freeze all - they get it, they understand, but they're standing by their decision. Their cut off is 20 follicles, and since I had 19 mature & still some left untouched during the retrieval, the risk is still too high.
So.. what now?
I wait for a period. Then go back on the pill. Then another period. And then another HRT FET cycle. More waiting! This whole thing feels never-ending sometimes. :(
As most of us know, day 1 doesn't tell us much - and our history has shown we lose a lot between days 1-5. The test will be what survives to Friday to become morulas.. but hopefully we'll have some positive news and a few to freeze then.
Written as part of Microblog Mondays @ Stirrup Queens
So after all the excitement and positivity, we had the shock of our lives at egg retrieval today. We were expecting 6-8 eggs, based on the scan & the blood test results from last week. In the end, we got 19. I honestly don't know how that happened, or where they were hiding, but 19. It was a pretty long egg retrieval.
The bad news? The high egg numbers combined with the size/swelling of my ovaries (and the sheer amount of fluid they retrieved) puts me at risk of OHSS. They also had several follicles that they couldn't aspirate because of the enlarged ovaries, so they had to leave them untouched. As such, they've ordered a freeze all again for this cycle.
Just when we thought we were clear sailing for a fresh transfer... nope. Once again, I spent my recovery time in tears - why do we keep doing this over & over, why do things keep going wrong? This whole thing is so frustrating.
I feel pretty rotten tonight, very sore and bloated, so they may indeed have made the right call on no transfer... but I'm still sad. It means more months of waiting around, more $$ on a frozen cycle, more time spent watching seemingly everyone around me get pregnant while we're stuck in limbo yet again.
I just wish we had a crystal ball that could tell us that there was a positive end in sight.
You guys, we're a-go for egg retrieval!