FET #3 - Up In The Air

Today's bloods didn't go too great. I got a text from the clinic saying that the hormones are still low, and to continue on the increased 75 dose over the weekend, and then more bloods on Monday.

Obviously that doesn't bode well for us... so I rang the clinic and left a message, because I've been freaking out about this timeline since the get go. A nurse rang me back and I had a bit of a meltdown - she explained that there is no set time for all of this, and it would take as long as it would take.

She could tell I was anxious though, and I explained that it wouldn't normally bother me so much, except for this whole time-frame thing. She tweaked a few things and will get me in Monday morning for an ultrasound first thing, so that we can get a better picture about what's going on in there.

If I have a promising follicle, they might boost the drugs & do our best to get to trigger phase. (Which would have to be by Thursday at the latest, in order to grow out to a 5 day transfer, all going well.) If I have another cyst, or if there are no signs that the FSH drugs are working, we might cancel altogether. It's going to be a wait & see approach, that's for sure.

Still hoping for a miracle, but I've gotta say... my hope is wearing a little thin right now.

FET #3 - Stimming for OI

Things are still up in the air. I've been jabbing for a week now, and have had two blood tests in that time.

{If you're new to these parts, I'm doing an OI/FET cycle right now.}

On Friday, after 5 days of jabbing, the nurse told me the levels were 'low' and that if they hadn't shown a surge starting by Monday, we'd likely have to increase the Gonal-F dosage. Today, after 7 days of jabbing, the nurse told me that the levels were STILL 'low' (E2 was 131) and to increase the jab dosage from 50 to 75. We'll leave it a few days and then check the bloods again this coming Thursday.

I am FREAKING out.

It's CD10... and I'm nowhere near surging. We leave in 16 days. We'll need to leave 5-7 days for transfer, from trigger/ovulation... so the clock is really ticking here.

Please body, give us this miracle cycle. Pleasepleaseplease.

FET #3 - It's On!

Wait.. what?

Last I updated, we'd found out about an ovarian cyst buggering up my cycle. The plan was to wait 5 days and then go ahead and start taking the birth control pill.

Well, on day 4 I started spotting. I rang the clinic, who said it could be just spotting - or if it turned into full flow, to not bother taking the pill and to ring them. Lo and behold, the next morning: hello, AF.

(YAY?)

I mean, it's bittersweet. I'm happy she arrived, because it means that the cyst levels must have started dropping enough to instigate a bleed. But then, it was too late to start a cycle anyway, right? Maybe not...

My IVF clinic had me in on Day 4 to do a blood test, and to pay for a cycle. I started Gonal-F yesterday and will go in for bloods again on Saturday to see how things are going. I'm nervous that this is going to be a VERY tight squeeze (got to ovulate, trigger, and transfer, all before February 11th) but I have a bit of faith that this surprise cycle might be a lucky one!

Either way, it's out of my hands. I'm jabbing and I'm waiting and I'm being hopeful!!! :)

A Whopping Great Cyst

I have an answer about why my cycle has been so messed up - and typically, it's another worst case scenario.

So, you all know my period has been missing for quite a while now - and we're over two weeks late. Today was CD50. This is not okay for a cycle that's been using Femara + hcg + Provera. Yesterday, my OPK strip got dark & my clearblue test started flashing - what the heck? I called my clinic this morning and begged them to get me in for some bloods, to see if maybe I was ovulating late. Maybe, just maybe, we could potentially squeeze in a FET before our holiday after all!

But nope.

The blood test showed my levels were all over the place. My progesterone was high, but my oestrogen was also high - but I had no ovulating hormones present. The nurse rang me confused, and had me come in for an urgent ultrasound. She was expecting to see a follicle that had sprung up & was maybe needing a little help to release.

Instead, we found a juicy thick uterine lining - and a cyst the size of my ovary, totally swallowing that ovary. After seeing that on the ultrasound, I knew it was all over. I'm to start birth control pills now, and stay on them until after our holiday. There will be no cycle now until March, guaranteed.

More disappointment.

I know that everyone gets tested at some point in their lives. It sure fels like this is our time. It's been one thing after the other, after the others. First the infertility {again}, then the miscarriage, then the second miscarriage, then the failed IVF cycle, and now this.

How much more do we need to go through before it's our turn?


Amenorrhea & Acknowledgements

Still no period.

I've given up all hope of it arriving before our cut off date.. so I'm resigned to the fact that we won't be getting a transfer in for a few months now. It breaks my heart more than I can put into words - not only because I was so hopeful that this year would be different, be better, but because it means that our odds of being pregnant by our first angel baby's due date.. well, they're virtually nil.

The reminder that our baby's birthday would have been coming up so soon is starting to hit home for me. I'm sure the actual day will come and go and be just another 1/365 - but I'm preparing myself to have some tough emotional days over the next few months. I miss that little baby so much. It seems insane to miss something that was only with you for 11 weeks, but there you go. I feel like I've done a good job of rationalising the loss and moving forward, but it's still with me. And it still hurts.

I guess the difference between the first loss and the second is that I didn't really get to bond with that second pregnancy. It was over not long after it began, even though the actual miscarriage dragged out until just before six weeks. But our little boy, that was different. We'd had the chance to 'meet' him, we'd heard his heart beating, we'd watched that strong, pulsing flicker several times, we'd seen him wiggle on a screen.

The NSW government has brought in a special certificate, known as a recognition of early pregnancy loss {for babies who pass away at less than 20 weeks gestation} for parents who have lost their little ones. It's not an official birth/death certificate, but it's something that bears their name, should you choose to name them, and acknowledges the loss. I've applied for one for Noah, but I don't know that I should apply for the second baby. Other than our GP who ordered the beta testing, nobody really got to know that baby/hope of a baby, except for us. I feel like that pregnancy is remembered better in my heart.

I just feel so much older than I did this time last year - older than the calendar year that has gone past.

I was always resigned to the fact that our journey to parenthood would be a rocky one, but I had faith in the process and that we'd get there eventually. And we did.. eventually. I wouldn't change Georgia for all the $$ in the world, she was worth every cent, every heartache. It just feels that with every setback, or negative outcome, that faith is chipped away a little more.

Parsley Tea & Missing Periods

It's been a week since my last post, and my period is still missing in action. Since then, I've finished a course of Provera & nothing has happened. Nada. Not even a speck of spotting. It's driving me nuts.

Heard of any old wives tales for bringing on a period? Well, you name it & I bet I've tried it. Hot baths, white undies, running up & down stairs, cranberry juice, mangos & oranges, vitamin C supplements.. the list goes on.

I even brought out the big guns and tried parsley tea. I have friends who swear by it, and a few searches online brought up repeated websites advocating its use to bring about a missing period. Worth a shot, right?

The idea is pretty simple: chop up a whole bunch of fresh parsley, fill with hot water & steep - the longer the better. I do mine in the morning, and it makes about 1L of parsley tea, which I strain & then drink a cup of every few hours.

In case you were wondering, it tastes like complete arse.

I'm not a big fan of parsley at the best of time, other than a little seasoning... but let me tell you, after chugging this nonsense for the past two days, just the whiff of parsley will send me running for fresh air.

I've even tried it using dried flakes of parsley, which was just plain nasty.. and a LOT spicier than fresh.

I have a routine down pat now. First off... you need your glass ready to go, and a separate glass filled with cranberry juice - why? It's the only other beverage that seems to get rid of the parsley taste after you've had your tea. I hold my nose, chug down a few gulps, then grab a swig of cranberry. Rinse and repeat until you're done.

If nothing else, I guess parsley tea is good for your body.. but seriously.. I just need a freaking period.

Security

I've been having discussions with fellow mum friends lately, about the internet & all that comes with it. I've used this space for such a long time now, it's second nature to share posts without a care in the world. Without it, I wouldn't have met so many of you lovely folks, and some of my closest friends.

It's easy to forget that there's a dark side to the internet, though. That there are people who would use it for malicious purposes, or worse. That there are people reading who might be doing so for the wrong reasons.
With that said, I've decided to go back and edit a few posts about Georgia - not stop sharing her story altogether, but just adjusting things for privacy's sake. If you see a few things change, or a few pictures vanish, you'll know why.
Going forward, I think I'll limit her exposure here a little bit & see how we go.. or I may change the entire blog to being a private one. If I did that, you'd need to contact me, get an invite, and then log in to read - not a lot of work, but I know it may put certain folks off. What are your thoughts on that?

White Soda Swimwear: A Review

You guys, it has been HOT down here!

We've been plague by colds and sniffles and body aches over the last few weeks, but thankfully are on the mend now -- so it was perfect timing when we received a special package from White Soda just before Christmas.

It contained the most gorgeous swimwear pieces for Georgia - check these babies out! We're going to Fiji next month (!) and of course they'll be coming along with us... but we couldn't wait to test them out in the meantime.

First up, the Pink Lemonade Daisies Rash Top & Swim Nappy set. I love the rash shirts, since they offer that little bit more sun protection - and the daisy pattern is really simple and sweet.

Georgia loved running around the yard in this two-piece. The rash top is a size 2 and still has lots of room for growing. I was a little worried at first, as the swim nappy was a size 1 - but it's a VERY generous fit, and actually still a little baggy. 
 
This was the first time Georgia had used her sand & water activity table that she got as a Christmas present, and she was having a good time splashing around with it. Spencer couldn't help but join in. :)
And next, in all of its navy blue sweetness, the Soft Navy Heart Print One Piece.
This was a size 3, and I was a little apprehensive about how it would fit her. Surprisingly, it fit okay! I did have to adjust the straps, which were very easy to adapt to her level. And... it has a ruffle butt. :)
We decided to test out another new pool & Georgia wasted no time jumping in and getting herself completely drenched!
This kid is definitely a water baby - and she loved her new swimming costume!
So now that she's worn all of the pieces, I feel comfortable sharing my verdict with you all:
  • I love, love, love the fact that they're all UPF 50+ sun resistant, it makes me feel comfortable that she's being sun smart - and thankfully, with us having a giant outdoor sun umbrella to add extra shade, as well as lots of sunscreen, we're pretty set up in our yard. As for getting her to wear hats... well, that's another story. We're working on it!
  • The cossies all held up well in the wash - and the brand assures that they won't fade or stretch. They're also chlorine resistant, which will be good when we're off on holidays next month.
  • You're able to mix and match pieces, and there are plenty of designs to choose from on their website. I like the idea of swapping a short or a long sleeved rash shirt to go with the swim nappy/bikini bottom - or adding a rash shirt over the top of a one piece.
  • The sizing is a little variable, since we sampled sizes 1, 2 and 3 - and all fit in a variety of ways. The swim nappy we received seems to be the largest size available, so I'm envisioning it being a slightly larger make to suit toddlers who aren't yet toilet trained. Since Georgia is still wearing mostly size 1 clothing in everyday wear, and the 2 & 3 White Soda pieces fit her, I'd be favouring purchasing a larger size, just in case.
  • Hubby and I both agree - they are pretty flippin' adorable.
Breathe Gently was provided with complimentary swimwear pieces from White Soda via Piccolo PR - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

Welcome, 2015!

Hellooooooooooooo 2015!
I was really hoping you'd arrive with a bang and bring my period along with you - which is mysteriously MIA (no, not pregnant) - but apparently you've decided to start the year off testing my patience once again! :)
I'm not making any resolutions this year. I will keep plugging away at our little family, our home, and myself - but no goals, no let-downs. Just life, however it comes.
So.... where am I right now?
I'm now at CD38. This was a 'rest cycle' after our IVF retrieval in late November - and yep, as you've guessed, it didn't really work out being a particularly restful cycle. My specialist had me use Letrozole to make sure I'd ovulate & have a regular length cycle, which didn't work. By CD21, I still had no signs of ovulation - so with a quick scan and a very average looking follicle, I went ahead and triggered with Ovidrel, since I'd had it leftover from my previous cycle. A few timed sessions, and we hoped we'd have a regular old TWW after that. 
Except my temperatures never showed an ovulation pattern, even after the trigger shot. And when 14dpo came, and went, I tested - thinking maybe we'd beaten the odds, and gotten lucky? Nope. Everything is negative, which we expected. But where the heck is AF? It's now 16dpo - and she's nowhere in sight.
Provera it is.
I've started that, but I'm HOPEFUL my regular old period is just around the corner.. either way, we should know in a week or so. And maybe after that, we will have time to squeeze a cycle in before February comes - because we're going to FIJI mid-month, huzzah! 
I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Fingers, toes, and all other appendages crossed that we get to transfer before we go away. That's the only thing I'm really wishing for right now! 

2014: The Year That Was

I still remember the absolute joy I felt while writing up the review for last year. 2013 was one of the most amazing and incredible years of my life so far - and it's a shame that the year that followed was full of so much sadness.

I'm following the same format as years gone by to keep it simple - (2006200720082009, 2010, 20112012 & 2013)

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? Lost two pregnancies.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I had a whole lot of goals this year, and I managed nearly all of them! In particular, I smashed my reading goal (over 30 books) & took a gazillion photographs of Georgia. We knew that wouldn't be too hard!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Some online friends had their bubbas this year.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year.

5. What countries did you visit? Nowhere, how sad is that?

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? A healthy pregnancy with no complications.
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 30, when we celebrated Georgia's first birthday. June 19, when we found out we were expecting baby #2. August 11, when we got the devastating news that our baby had died. October 20, when we found out we were pregnant again. November 6, when we lost that baby too.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Just surviving. This was a freaking hard year. Seriously though, Georgia made some great progress with milestones this year & I'm so proud of her.

9. What was your biggest failure? The way that I coped with both the infertility and the losses. I've never felt sadness like this before, and I feel like I handled it terribly - it's only now, six months later, that I'm finally moving on from the miscarriages and trying to look at things in a positive light. That's a LONG time to be in the worst place in the world. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? We've been pretty healthy this year, thank goodness.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I didn't really 'buy' it, but my library card - I've been meaning to get one for years, and I've finally sorted myself out & am reading up a storm with it.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? Jason, as always. He's supported me through some of the hardest times this year, and has pulled me out of the dark places - all the while dealing with his own sadness. He's the most incredible dad, and such a good man. My family have also tried hard to support me this year, and I'm grateful for them.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? My own.

14. Where did most of your money go? Georgia. But we wouldn't have it any other way!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Georgia learned to walk! And run! And chatter, even if most of it is in her own language. Also, being pregnant, twice over. I was so, so excited to grow those babies, even if they couldn't stay with us for very long. We'll never forget them.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014? After the Storm by Mumford & Sons. Gives me hope.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

(a) Happier or Sadder? Sadder. 
(b) Thinner or Fatter? Thinner, but barely.
(c) Richer or Poorer? About the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I'd told my hubby how amazing he is more often.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being sad.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2014? With close family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014? I stayed in love, with my special ones. I'm so lucky to have them.
 
22. How many one-night stands? Loads ... with my bed and trusty pillows. :)

23. What was your favourite TV program? Game of Thrones, Homeland, Nashville, Outlander.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nope. No hate.
25. What was the best book you read? Gosh, I read SO much this year. Favourites this year included The Night Circus, The Tournament & The Storyteller. Plus, I re-read the Outlander series; love.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? No new discoveries, just enjoying my oldies - Sarah McLachlan.

27. What did you want and get? An amazing first year with my Georgia girl. :)

28. What did you want and not get? A baby. I would have been close to 30 weeks right now, or 13 weeks. Instead, I have no pregnant belly, and two big holes in my heart. 

29. What was your favourite film of this year? Gone Girl

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? This year I turned 30. It was a great birthday; I was 8 weeks pregnant, we got to see our little jellybean via ultrasound, and I was happy.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I wish that I could have had more good luck with the pregnancies, because I was so looking forward to a 2 year age gap. But you know what else was satisfying (and that I miss?) - thigh rolls. Nom, nom, nom.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? Lots of maxi dresses.

33. What kept you sane? Georgia. Hubby. Family. Mum friends. Online IVF/miscarriage support groups.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Nobody off the top of my head!

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Unfortunately, I'm still let down by our government.

36. Who did you miss? I missed my Nanna; there were so many times this year where I desperately needed a hug. 
37. Who was the best new person you met? Lots of new faces in miscarriage support groups, which I'm so grateful for. Sometimes, all you need is to chat to someone who understands, who's been through it before.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014. Patience is a virtue.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. “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 & see what you find there... with grace in your heart & flowers in your hair."

40. What are your resolutions for 2015? I want to be more positive. That's it. Positivity. 

Happy New Year, friends. I'm so sorry for this blog being such a place of disappointment and sadness, but it's been a pretty accurate representation of my heart & my mind. I'm ending the year feeling resigned, nervous but hopeful.. hopeful that 2015 will bring us the good news that we've been hanging out for.





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