Hibernation

I'm here. I'm hiding from the constant reminders that virtually everyone in my world right now is pregnant.
It just really, really hurts.

Halfway to Nowhere

October 15th is widely known as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Those of us who have lost a pregnancy or a little one remember EVERY day, but this is a special day/month all the same.

For me, the day is especially bittersweet.

I would have been exactly 20 weeks pregnant with our little boy, had he lived. We would be celebrating the halfway point, planning for the final trimesters & having another ultrasound. Instead, we're left mourning the son we didn't get to meet, and finding a way to move on without that person in our lives. You don't know how much I long for things to have been different.

Tonight I will light a candle for our baby. I will remind myself of how special he was and how HAPPY we were for him to be in our lives - and all of the hopes & dreams I had for him. I will remember my friends & their angel babies too, and send healing vibes their way. And most of all, I will hope. Hope for our family & hope for a miracle.

Sending so many warm fuzzies to those of you, near & far, who are also remembering on this day.

Incomplete

Oh hi!

I'm still here.. just drowning in a sea of pregnancy announcements, baby bumps & new babies. It's been pretty freaking hard.

To an outsider, I'm sure I seem just fine. I'll put on a happy face and smile when I'm supposed to. I'll try not to be the downer in the room, and I'll put my energy into Georgia, my family and running, and keeping busy to pass the time.

But some days, I'm so tired of pretending to not be bothered by it all. I AM bothered. I'm missing my tiny baby, I'm missing the pregnancy, I'm missing looking forward to a new baby coming home with me next year.

I'm frustrated to be waiting around again, when I 'should' have been halfway through a pregnancy and on the home stretch. I'm frustrated with people having the best luck in the world, and getting knocked up without a second thought. I'm frustrated with people who don't have to temp, to chart, to be poked and prodded and injected and inspected, just to get a shot at a baby. I'm frustrated when people who have no earthly idea what I'm feeling, tell me to be positive, or to be grateful for what I have.

As if for a second, I'm not thankful. I am. But I'm also walking around each day and feeling so very, very incomplete.

Teaching Your Toddler Expletives

It was shaping up to be another boring Wednesday evening. Dinner had been eaten {or pitched off the high chair}, things had been tidied up {and thrown back on the floor again} and we were settled in for Georgia's evening viewing of Bubble Guppies.
As is often the case with the elusive fickle toddler, this lasted all of five minutes before she wandered off to find something else to play with. Musical instruments? Nah. Building blocks? No way! Slightly irritating stuffed singing piggy? Yep yep yep!


Georgia was happily playing away, and I was happily taking photographs of her - she was in a great mood and was looking super cute in her summery outfit. It was then that I noticed she was REALLY paying attention to the pig - and I couldn't figure out why. Until she babbled something in gibberish, grabbed my hand, and passed me over something. She does this quite often; though it's usually clumps of car fur, or dust bunnies, or crumbs she's found on the floor, so I didn't think much of it. Until I opened my hand and IT WAS A SPIDER.

Yargh!

It was quickly smooshed {sorry, but we don't do spidies in this household} but not before I'd bellowed out a chorus of expletives, as Georgia sat there innocently watching me. You watch, she'll say those before she says 'Nanna' or 'Dog'. ;)

Wasn't until after she'd gone to bed and I uploaded the photos that I realised I had the whole thing on film - the only thing missing was my reaction, which is probably a good thing.

Luckily it was just a harmless house spider. When she gets bigger, we'll have to be having words about leaving spiders alone; Australia has too many dangerous ones that sometimes wander inside houses. She thought the whole thing was hilarious - my response to it most of all. This crazy kid, giving me heart attacks on a daily basis.

Anti-Food?

Georgia's always been a good little eater. She took to solids like a pro way back when, and she's been fantastic with food ever since. Other than not particularly enjoying avocado, she ate nearly everything we threw at her.

Until now. Toddler-hood. Ruining good eating habits since 2014.

Seriously, I think she'd live on a diet of cereal, bananas & pasta bolognese if she could. I offer everything. I disguise veggies in meatballs and sauces. I offer different fruits at lunch time, which get pitched over the edge of the high-chair. Vegetables get licked, and then tossed.

Please tell me this is just a phase? :)


Eighteen Months

My little toddler is 18 months old -- somehow, that seems way older than 17 months. Georgia is certainly not a baby anymore.

Aaaah, toddlerhood. Yep. This is life.
This month Georgia has:
  • Definitely become a proper toddler. Oy, the drama!
  • Had her 18 month check-up, and now weighs 11.6kg and is 82cm tall. Growing girl!
  • Been jabbed again, this time for chicken pox and measles. No more until she's 4. :)
  • Gotten her bottom two eye teeth in - top teeth and that's it, until the very last molars come.
  • Had yet ANOTHER cold. Hopefully we can get a break from the sickness now.
  • Walked! :) She officially started walking earlier in the month and I'm so thrilled for her.
  • Decided she's up, she's down, she's into everything. 
  • Continued crawling, especially if she's feeling lazy or if it gets her there faster. 
  • Chattered a little bit more. She now yells Oscar, awesome, shoe, bowl, and a few others. Slowly, slowly.
  • Decided she's not into food much, unless it's either bread or snacks. The kid is a fuss pot.
  • Begun the dreaded 'toss food off high chair' game, which drives us all bonkers.
  • Learned that if you throw a tantrum, you get attention - we're still trying to get used to this.
  • Continued rear facing, but only for a little bit longer. She's hitting the height marker now!
  • Kept us smiling. As always! :)
You can see all of Georgia's monthly pictures by clicking here.

What's Bugging Me

My positive mood has gone out the window. Today, I'm pretty damn grumpy & everything's annoying me. Like these:

"My friend tried for ages to get pregnant - then she got a surprise pregnancy when she wasn't even trying for #2!"
That shit may be happening to everyone around us, but it's not happening TO us. Please take your happy stories and tell them to someone else, because it's just not helpful right now.

"At least you ovulated!" 
Yeah, and while finding that out today, we also found out that my hcg was 0. What a waste of an egg.

"Not long to wait and you'll be trying again." 
Because we haven't already been waiting for what feels like a million years, and all.

"Maybe you should go and hang around some pregnant women; they say it's good luck!" 
Not going to happen. I'm struggling to even look at pregnant women right now, with the exception of a few close friends who are expecting. And unless they have a magic wand that can make my ovaries, my uterus & hubby's swimmers work, all it does is rub salt in some very raw wounds.

"Your last baby wasn't meant to be - this one must be it!" 
Really? Do you know that for sure? Because I'm fucking terrified of this next one NOT being it, and going through a fresh round of IVF all over again.

"You're such a strong person."
I don't want to be a strong person. I want to be somebody's mama, again. For once, I don't want to be the strong one. I want to be naive, and happy, and normal, and boring.

Obviously, this cycle was a bust. Just another reminder that my body doesn't do what it's supposed to do on its own. And on top of KNOWING it was a bust, I still don't have my period. So waiting, always with the waiting. I'm so over this.

The Pregnancy Quota

There's this irrational frame of mind that I seem to get into when it comes to getting pregnant.

You see, I think I'm a good luck beacon for other people. It happened with Georgia, and it happened with the last baby, and it is happening now as we're trying again. When you're public about TTC, you inevitably find yourself cycling with a group of people, maybe even in TWW together. You eagerly share symptoms, chat about how you're feeling, and hope for the best.

Well, nearly every time that's happened... there has been a pregnancy. It obviously isn't me, ha - but my cycle buddies get lucky - yay! And each time someone gets good news before me, I always assume my cycle is over, it's negative. Partially because of my useless history at conceiving, but partially because the pregnancy quota was obviously already full.

So what is this mystical pregnancy quota?

I guess it's something I've made up in my mind to explain the phenomena of other people getting pregnant, and us.. well, not so much. As in, if the two other people in your cycle get knocked up, your own odds are then pretty slim. As in, only a certain number of people can 'get lucky' at a given time. As in, if you're trying to get pregnant, come and hang out with me. {Even folks who needed IVF in previous conceptions seem to get natural miracles during my cycles. It's mind-blowing.}

You're probably reading this post and rolling your eyes. There IS no pregnancy quota, and the world most certainly does NOT revolve around me. But I'll tell you what, it sure does feel like it some days.

And I'd love to be able to throw that pregnancy quota out of the window, and prove it wrong. Just sayin'.

After the Storm

I'm still here.

It's been a long few weeks. Feels like longer than it actually has been, no doubt.

But I'm still here.

The overwhelming sadness is more of a dull ache now. The pregnancy is starting to feel like it was eons ago, like time is moving on & those happy months are fading. We're back to where we began... only I'm missing an extra piece of my heart.

I have a bit of a confession. After my hcg levels levelled out, after the pregnancy tests turned from positive to negative, I made a decision to use up my last dose of Clomid {from the pre-IVF days}. I took it from days 2-6 after the zero reading, and waited to see what would happen. I don't have a good history with Clomid; in the early days, I continued to have anovulatory cycles even while taking it. Lo and behold, it worked this time. Charts say I've ovulated. I'm 6dpo now.

Our odds of a natural conception are one in a million. If it were just me with the issues, I'd have a little more excitement - but we've got the two of us to think of. Either way, a TWW is always a wonderful thing around these parts. We don't get enough of them, enough chances to actually try for a miracle.

Whatever happens, it will be a good outcome. Getting a period and avoiding Provera is a win in my books - and if we hit the mystical natural conception lottery, well, that's a whole other story.

Either way, I'll be happy. We are moving forward. For now, this is my motto;

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears. 
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears. 
Get over your hill and see what you find there, 
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
-After the Storm, Mumford & Sons

The Great Thermomix Debacle of 2014

Remember earlier in the year, when I posted about hubby purchasing me a fantastic early birthday present? {See here.}
 My brand spanking new Thermomix TM31 in late March 2014
My, we have had some great adventures. Investing in the Thermomix definitely inspired me to get more invested into cooking; to making ingredients from scratch, and from baking things I would never have ordinarily tackled. I was pretty chuffed with my creations, and shared them with friends and family members - even had my parents convinced that, despite the hefty $1939 price tag, it would be a great investment for them. There were even talks with a group leader about joining the Thermomix team, to see if this sort of business would suit me. {After several phone calls, I realised that it wasn't my thing.}
Home-made creations - hot cross buns, pumpkin soup & freshly baked bread.
One of the main reservations that hubby & I had before purchasing the machine, was whether there was a new model in the works. This model, the TM31, had been around for a while - there were thousands of recipes and cookbooks available for it, and loads of folks raving about its reliability; those things told us it was a good product. That said, there were rumours online about a new model coming, so we asked our consultant about this .... and were reassured that no, this was it. We purchased ours in good faith that this was true. At the demonstration for my parents in late June, the same question was brought up regarding the new model rumours; and again, our fears were quickly quelled.
More baked goodies - cinnamon scrolls & a cream filled lamington sponge cake
Fast forward a mere handful of weeks, and guess what happens? A brand spanking new, touch screen, larger & quieter Thermomix model is gleefully released via the Thermomix Facebook page/website. For just $50 more, this new model has lots of new features that the TM31 doesn't have... and folks were NOT happy. Why?

Because the new model was kept a secret. Because people asked their consultants, or head office, about this 'rumour' and were constantly assured that this wasn't happening. Because the old model was not reduced, and they could have purchased the newer model for virtually the same price. Because the monetary value of the TM31 dropped almost instantly with customers selling theirs off to ensure they had the newest, shiniest appliance. Because the customer service team at Thermomix issued the same generic statements in regards to all complaints & questions left and seemed to have no compassion as to why their customers were frustrated.

I've seen so many scathing posts from folks online. Why complain, you have a fantastic machine - get over it!

Am I complaining about my machine? No. I love the things I've achieved with my TM31 and will continue to use it regularly in my kitchen. Am I impressed that I can now get this same exact machine on Gumtree or Ebay for almost half of its retail value? Not really. Am I embarrassed to have recommended the product to others, after the dismal way this whole release was handled? Absolutely.

There's something to be said for demonstration-only products. Word of mouth is so, so important. Yes, consultants can pull of a whopping great demonstration and try to sway people into purchasing - but I can tell you right now that the majority of sales come via consumers speaking with their friends, reading reviews online, and watching models in action - especially before committing to an almost 2k sale. I feel that Thermomix has used their existing TM31 customers {myself included} to pimp out their run-out model at FULL PRICE, and then slapped them in the face by introducing the new model with no warning, no remorse, and no care in the world that they've let people down.
Not just baked goods... we do eat healthy meals too, I promise. :)
What happens now? Well, Thermomix appear to have finally realised just how badly this product launch has gone - social media has gone viral with the entire mess. They've since released a free bowl/blade/lid set for customers who purchased from July 1st - so thankfully my parents fall into that category - but nothing else but a 'sorry' for other customers this year. 
I'll continue cooking with my TM31 and utilising it in our kitchen on an everyday basis, but I certainly won't be hosting any further demonstrations or encouraging others to purchase. A little integrity goes a long way, and I feel like the entire operation was focused solely on $$$ for the company, with next to no regard for their existing customers who have spent the last few months/years raving about what a fantastic product the Thermomix is. 
Have you been involved in, or witnessed, the Thermomix debacle? Would love to know your thoughts.





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