6dp3dt

Negative so far, even though I know I was silly for testing so early.

The first days after the transfer, I felt absolutely nothing. I was convinced that it hadn't worked, that maybe the embryo had stopped developing not long after transferring & that it was a hopeless cause.
Then yesterday (8dpo) I got a really achy back. Like a burning ache, quite low down. It continued on and off all day, and it was still there this morning when I woke. I also had a really heavy feeling, and weird looking boobs. (I can't describe this well - but they just seemed really... stretched out/veiny.)
Of course, that got my hopes up that something was happening... and then deflated again after I saw the blindingly negative stick this morning.
It's a big old suckfest, this TWW. 
I just really, really, really, really, REALLY would love a miracle right now. 
Maybe this is the bargaining phase of grief from all of the crap that's happened to us since last year, and residually from trying for Georgia. I've already been back and forth throughout the other stages - anger, depression, acceptance, isolation... so yeah. Bargain. I will do just about ANYTHING for this to work!  ;) 

Great Gifts for the Man in Your Life: Sponsored Post

We're at the start of the birthday boom around here. Georgia & my Mum share their birthday in March, my brother is in April, my Dad & Hubby are both in May - along with the inlaws too! Once this batch of birthdays are done, it's quiet for a few months until the end of July, when I'll be *gulp* 31.

I always tend to struggle the most buying presents for my husband. If I ask what he wants, or if there is anything he needs, the answer is usually 'nothing!' Drives me crazy, but that's how he rolls. And to be honest, I kind of understand where he's coming from... I'm at the point in my life where I don't really NEED anything, which makes me feel pretty lucky. That said, it's always a challenge to find the perfect gift - and hopefully these hints will help! :)

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Having trouble buying a gift for a man in your life? Don’t overthink it. The more simple the gift, the better it will be received. The only thing you can’t get a man is something complicated. If they don’t have to think about it for too long then they will love it. Below are a few great gift ideas for any man in your life.

Tools

Every man sees himself as the ‘handyman’. And nothing will stroke his ego more than providing him with brand new tools and equipment. One of the better things about buying tools is you can use them as suggestions. Suggestions of what you want him to fix or build. Try to go for a quality brand like Ryobi – they sell tools for just about everything you can imagine. So whatever your man’s speciality is there is something perfect for him. Who can say no to a new drill, or saw, or grinder, or … the list never ends.

Georgia also enjoys playing with tools outdoors - like father, like daughter.

Clothes Accessories

Men are pretty simple to buy for. They aren’t particularly complicated, but one thing they are is bad at shopping. New socks, nice ties, any accessories come as a welcome addition to a man’s wardrobe, a place where holes in socks are more common than matching pairs. It doesn’t matter who you are buying for, there is always going to be something he needs. It could be socks or a new tie, or it could be something a little more original, like cuff links or even a wallet.

Sports Collectables

Each and every man has a sport. It doesn’t matter who they are, they follow something. It could be football, it could be boxing or it could even be a video game league. Nothing would make your man happier than signed memorabilia. Not every man is a football fan and modern sports leagues are so diverse that he could be a fan of anything from medieval armoured combat to online multiplayer games. But it doesn’t matter what the sport is, there are collectibles to be found. Framed jerseys, signed cricket bats, game winning balls. The list is endless and easily accessible. Sports collectables are always a game winning gift for every man.

Experience Gifts

Sometimes a gift doesn’t have to be a physical object; an unforgettable experience can be worth so much more. Some men are hard to buy gifts for. For them a chance to do something they never would have thought of doing before could be just the thing they need. The list of experiences is nearly endless. You could take them on a hot lap in a V8 Supercar. Or send them parachuting out a plane. Maybe they would prefer something a little more relaxing, like a deep sea fishing trip. You can give the man in your life the gift of a perfect memory.
Catamaran sailing in New Zealand - an amazing gift experience back in 2004!
Men are pretty simple and that makes buying them gifts simple too. These are a few great ideas for gifts you can give the man in your life.

This sponsored post is in collaboration with Ryobi - all images are my own. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

4dp3dt

Only a few days into the TWW and I'm already going crazy. Nothing much to report right now... except I'm really fearful that this hasn't worked, already. No symptoms, nothing. I'll probably start testing from around 10dpo and see what happens. Man, I'd like to be able to surprise everyone - and most of all myself - with a pregnancy from this transfer.

For now, I'm just trying not to think like it's over already... though it's hard to keep those thoughts away! Come on, emby.

Five Reasons Why You Need Professional Movers: sponsored post

With the current property boom happening in Sydney right now, there will be loads of folks preparing to move home. We've done it several times with rental properties, and the packing and loading at each end can be exhausting. Even more so when you're doing it with several fur babies in tow! :) Hopefully these hints & tips will help make things a little easier.

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If you’ve ever moved house before, you’ll know how stressful it can be. Loading the entire contents of your home into a truck and rearranging everything in your new house can be a daunting task, and not one you should try to do on your own. Here are five reasons why you need a professional mover.

1. Experience

Moving house is the kind of thing you can only get better at with practice. If you’ve already lived in a couple of different homes, you should be able to recall how naive you were the first time you attempted to move. Even if you’ve gotten better at it over time, there are some skills only professional movers will possess. For example, do you have any idea of how to stack furniture in a truck so as to prevent damage en route to your new house? Do you even have access to a truck? A professional mover such as Your Local Movers will have the experience to get the job done right, and can ensure your possessions make it safely to their destination. To get an idea of what services are available from moving companies, visit their website.

2. Personalised Service

No two moves are the same, and professional movers can adapt their services to suit the needs of individual clients. Whether you want the entire moving process taken care of or you only require assistance with some heavier items, a team of professional movers will be able to help out as much or as little as needed. They can also take into account the conditions of both your current and future home, regarding things such as stair access and parking.

Evie says: I'd offer to help you out, but I'm WAY too tired.

3. Know-how

If you are unsure of how to arrange everything in your new house, a professional mover can inspect the property prior to unpacking to help you decide on a suitable layout. Deciding where to put everything can be one of the most difficult aspects of moving into a new home, but with a little professional help, the task will much less complicated.

4. Peace of Mind

The cost of hiring a professional mover can’t be compared to peace of mind. Knowing that your possessions will be taken care of by trained experts is sure to be a relief in the weeks leading up to your moving date. You won’t have to worry about the complex logistics involved with packing and unpacking, giving you more time to take care of other important tasks. Even if family and friends offer to help out, they simply won’t have the same skills and knowledge as a professional mover, no matter how good their intentions.

5. Safety

Not only is moving stressful, it can also be dangerous. The risk of injury is heightened by a lack of experience, and even something as small as straining your back while trying to a lift a heavy box can put you out of action for weeks, throwing your moving plans into disarray. There’s no need to feel as though you’re trying to avoid all the hard work by hiring a professional mover. They are highly trained in safe moving practices, and can eliminate the possibility of you injuring yourself. What with all the packing, cleaning and organising to be done, moving from one home and into another isn’t a task to be taken lightly.

Packing we're great at... lifting heavy boxes & gym equipment? Definitely a job for the experts.
Do you think you would need a professional mover if you were to move house? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This sponsored post is in collaboration with Your Local Movers - all images are my own. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

Fresh Flowers for Mother's Day: a giveaway

Mother's Day is coming up, which can be a difficult day for lots of people. I've posted about it before, and I'm very aware of just how overwhelming the day itself can be - but also how the simplest of actions can make all the difference in the world.

We don't often have flowers in our house. Not because I don't love them {secret fact: I DO love them} but because the cats tend to try and eat them, and I've always told people not to worry. My Nanna passed away a few years ago, and she's one of the few people who liked to sneak little bouquets of flowers into my life. I still remember coming home to a gorgeous bunch of flowers not long after we found out we were pregnant & shared the news with her - it's something I'll never forget.

The lovely folks at freshflowers.com.au are giving away a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day this year - for yourself, for your mum, for your MIL, or just for that someone special in your life who would cherish them. The lucky winner will receive a bouquet that will be sent to their desired address. Be sure to stop by and visit to observe the selection of Mother's Day Flowers at freshflowers.com.au.

All you need to do is enter by answering a simple question by COMMENTING ON THE BLOG - but please make sure you click the buttons in the image below too. :)

The question is: "What is the most memorable moment you have had with your mum?"

Win a bouquet of Mother's Day Flowers
*Prize value is $70.
*The prize can only be delivered to an address within the Fresh Flowers delivery area, which can be verified by clicking the 'Do we deliver in your area?' link, located at the top of the homepage.

This sponsored post is in collaboration with freshflowers.com.au - all images are shared with permission from their website. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

(Inter)National Infertility Awareness Week

It's pretty easy to feel alone in this whole thing.

Watching everyone else around you move on, while you're still waiting. More so, second time around, when you're overwhelmingly grateful for what you have, but yearning for what you don't.

I'm thankful that I have amazing people around me who do their best to offer support & places to go to if things get too much.

I'm sending my friends who are stuck in the trenches lots of love this week. We can do this.

After all... the best things are the ones worth waiting for.

FET #5 - 3 day transfer

I knew the minute my phone rang that it was bad news. No news is good news with my clinic... a phone call is the opposite.

The embryologists thawed my remaining five embryos on Thursday. Two died during the thaw. The remaining three embryos that survived, were left & checked this morning at day 3. Two showed very little development and were only 2-cell. One embryo was on par, so they decided to transfer that one early. The scientist said that if only one embryo looks good and is all that's left, there's no point in growing out to blastocyst stage - that it's better off back in my uterus, where it'll grow if it's good enough.

So with about an hour's notice this morning, we went in for a 3 day transfer. It was a pretty smooth transfer process.

Day 3 8-cell on the left, Day 3 VERY behind 2-cell on the right. Both transferred.
We are PUPO now... pregnant until proven otherwise. A day 3 transfer wasn't what we were hoping for; I don't have a lot of faith in them, but the good embryo looked pretty & they were confident with it. They also put back one of the slower embryos, but that was only because it had next to no hope of going anywhere. We'll just consider it to be there for moral support, I guess.

I can't believe our luck. It's gone from one bad thing to the next, and I am getting to the point now where I quite honestly don't even know what we've done to be so unlucky.

Today's transfer means that out of 13 eggs retrieved, out of 8 mature and fertilised embryos, we didn't even get a single good blastocyst. 2 embryos {3 if you count the slow one, which I don't} out of 8 made it to a transfer. Not the greatest results from an IVF cycle. We had better success with our first few cycles, pre-Georgia.

Driving to the clinic today, all I could think about is how unfair this whole thing is. Babies that aren't wanted, pregnancies that aren't wanted, good people missing out on getting the chance to bring a child/children home to their family. Why it's so easy for some people to get pregnant, why some people will never know the grief that infertility brings to others. Why us? It was a bit of a pity party for two.

The universe is all kinds of fucked up, that's for sure. All I know is that we're not done fighting yet.

We'll battle on... because the pain of giving up completely is WAY worse than the pain of infertility treatments.

FET #5 - Cancellation Limbo

I'm waiting on a phone call to tell me what's going on with this cycle. It's leaning towards being cancelled.... but there's a chance, I guess. It's not over until it's officially over.

Why would they cancel, you might be wondering? Well, I am CD21. I've had bloods every other day this week, three days in a row since Tuesday, and my oestrogen FINALLY started increasing on the ovulation sticks. Last night, it was high, but not positive. This morning, it was blazing positive. Things might finally be happening!!!

Until... they told me that yesterday's progesterone was already looking elevated. And today's ultrasound showed a HUGE follicle {potentially already a cyst} that was massive, about 27mm.

You know what sucks the most? THIS:

I have a picture perfect endo lining, at 10mm. I have surged, as I got all positive OPK's this morning. My saliva started ferning yesterday and looks textbook for ovulation.

But is it a cyst? Is the progesterone too high? Will they cancel a transfer now? I have no idea. I'm REALLY worried about the progesterone, since I have a history of it rising pre-transfer, which is why they have cancelled a few of my cycles in the past. I wish I knew why it was doing this, I really do.. but there's nothing I can do but wait for their call, now. I'm getting tired of asking for a miracle, but COME ON UNIVERSE!!

*$&*%$@#(*&%*(@&*(@

I am so flipping over this.

***********UPDATE***********'

We are a-go for transfer! Apparently the blood levels have stayed JUST in range for progesterone and suggest ovulation, so we're hopefully going to transfer a 5-day embryo on Monday next week.

FET #5 - Nerves

It's CD19. Nothing is happening. Bloods every other day.

I have this awful feeling in my gut... that this cycle is going to end up cancelled.

Please let my gut be wrong.

5 Tips for Cleaning Your House Like a Pro: sponsored post

As a stay at home mum, I always feel like my house should be cleaner than what it actually is. I mean, we have all the time in the world to clean, so surely our house should be spotless, right? ;)

Wrong! Time gets away from the best of us. Hopefully some of these simple hints & tips will help you as they've helped me!

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Do you have high expectations for your home’s cleanliness and hygiene? It’s easy enough to outsource the cleaning of a workplace to professionals like AMC Cleaning (check out their website for more information). But when it comes to our own homes, too few funds or a surplus of pride can prevent us from seeking professional help. Fortunately, making your house look like it’s been cleaned by experts isn’t that difficult. You just need to know a couple of their tricks.

1. Dusting

Dusting is the best place to start every time you want to clean your home. Why? Firstly, it gives you the chance to put things away, making rooms instantly tidier. Secondly, any particles that fall to the floor can simply be vacuumed up later on. Make sure you do a thorough job by moving items to properly clean underneath and around them. Be sure to also dust items that are permanently out on tables, entertainment units, and other exposed surfaces. Pay attention to skirting boards, cornices and architraves, as well as window ledges, doorways and light switch plates.

Georgia likes to help her mama with the dusting.. clever girl!

2. Bathroom and Toilet

The most important aspect of cleaning any bathroom is taking care of the glass surfaces. If mirrors and/or shower screens are streaked in any way, it instantly makes the room look unclean. Foam glass cleaners are an excellent way to clean glass without the streaks, or you can opt for the old-fashioned and environmentally safe method of vinegar and bi-carb soda. If you have a lot of built up soap scum on shower screens, try using an ultra fine piece of steel wool (you can get this from the paint section at your local hardware store) and gently scrub in circular motions. The simple mechanical action of this method easily outperforms harsh chemical treatments in most situations.

When it comes to cleaning showers, baths and basins, be sure to clean thoroughly around the bases of tapware and the drains. Ensure shower screen handles and frames are also spotless. With baths, ensure the sides and top are given just as much attention as the base. For toilets, it’s not just the bowl that needs cleaning but the lid and top and bottom of the seat as well. Clean around the seat fasteners as they are often overlooked. Clean the entire base, front and back, making sure you get right behind the pan to wipe away all dust and dirt.

Lastly, clean the floors, wipe down any marks on walls and doors, and dust window ledges, light fittings and extractor fans.

3. Vacuuming

Like dusting, the most important thing with vacuuming is to be thorough. This includes doing areas such as the inside of cupboards, doorways to outside areas (particularly the garage), lampshades and the one place most people avoid: under furniture. You don’t have to do this every time you vacuum, but aim to do it every three to four months. Doing a thorough job with vacuuming is important as you should always mop straight afterwards and you don’t want to be dealing with loose particles when you’re doing this.

 Trying her best to vaccuum - it's just a little bit heavy for her!

4. Mopping

Be sure to always mop your way out of a room to avoid walking over the wet area and creating footprints that are visible once the water dries. Like with vacuuming, do your best to get underneath furniture.

5. Kitchen

Kitchens are a veritable magnet for handprints, particularly if you have little ones. Start by cleaning large surfaces such as the fridge, dishwasher, oven door, cupboard doors and benchtops. If you have stainless steel goods, make sure you check your instruction manuals first as some surfaces have a protective coating that can be damaged by cleaning products. Next, work your way around all the appliances on your benchtops. To be really thorough, clean inside and underneath the microwave and conventional ovens. Wipe down range-hoods and extractor fans as well as the entire surface area of any bins.

If you’re aiming for a squeaky clean house, just take a leaf out of the pros’ book by applying some of the tips above. Your home will look sparkly and be more hygienic than ever before.

She also likes to help her daddy with the outside chores.
This sponsored post is in collaboration with AMC Commercial Cleaning - all images are my own. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.





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