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.

Happy Holidays

Thank you for sticking with me through the good times... and supporting me through the tough times.

I hope you and your families had an amazing holiday, whatever it is that you celebrate! :)

I'm Ready

I'm ready for 2014 to be over now... and ready for 2015 to start. Next year is going to be a good year. I can feel it in my bones.
I woke up this morning and felt hopeful. I have no idea why, or what changed, but I'm going with it. We've got our Christmas shopping done. We've taken Georgia to her first carols by candlelight, looked at pretty lights, visited family for the holidays.. it's been a great week.
Today we decided to book ourselves a holiday for next year. We've been to-ing and fro-ing about it for a while now, but I'm sick of putting things off 'in case' we get pregnant. The plan is this: we'll do a FET in January, and then go away in February. We're off to Fiji for 5 days - and I anticipate lots of chilling out and relaxing. We'll either be newly pregnant if we get lucky, or we won't be. Either way, we'll have something to look forward to. :)
I hope the positivity continues - it's nice feeling this way. 

Almost the Holidays

I can't believe it's Christmas in exactly a week. I can't say I've been much looking forward to it for myself this year, but I'm looking forward to spending it with family - and experiencing it through Georgia's eyes.

We have a delightful real tree this year - and she has been amazing! No toddler proofing this year, believe it or not ... she mostly watches it from afar. I can hardly believe it myself. As for the kitties, well, that's another story altogether. :)

We're going to be having a fairly quiet holiday season. Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas Day with hubby's family.

And then, just us. Our little family of three.

There are only a few things I want in this world. A happy and healthy life for my family & friends. Peace and tolerance. And to be a mama, again. To give my baby girl a sibling. And while I have very little control over any of those things, I'm going to try my hardest to make them happen.

Spending Christmas with this gorgeous almost-two year old {well, in a few months anyway} is going to be amazing.

With grace in your heart
and flowers in your hair.

Introducing Helpling: A Review

I recently had the pleasure of working with Helpling - a fantastic online company who works to pair independent workers with everyday consumers looking to invest in a home cleaning.

I've always been envious of folks who could afford a cleaner or housekeeper, since I assumed it was well out of our price ranger as a single income family. Plus if I'm honest, it also made me feel a little lazy, since I'm a Stay at Home Mum - shouldn't I have all the time in the world to clean my home? (Pffffffffffft.)

When I was contacted by the kind folk at Helpling and asked if I'd be interested in the gift of time with a cleaning voucher, I was more than keen & jumped at the chance.

Here's what I loved about Helpling at first glance:

  • The website is really user friendly - simply pop in your postcode, and follow the prompts.
  • The Helpling calculator helps you figure out how many hours of cleaning your home might benefit from.
  • The price of cleaning is set at $29 per hour, so there are no nasty surprises at the end.
  • It's really easy to select an appropriate day and time frame for your booking.
After booking, we received confirmation of our time frame & a note of who was coming to clean the house. In our case, we got a second email that notified us of a change in cleaner - but not having a preference for our first time meant that it didn't worry us. Good news is, if you have a good experience with a particular cleaner, you can request them again for future bookings. Our helpling for the day was a lovely young man.

So was I happy with the service? Well, just take a look at our bathroom and our oven - they turned out SPARKLING!
  
We have a fairly large home, with lots of open plan rooms and a LOT of cat fur... so a 4 hour clean would be about the minimum we could get away with. I think next time, I'd book an extra 30 minutes - as we just missed out on enough time to mop the floors. Of course, we made the decision to have the oven cleaned in that time frame, so our cleaner definitely had their work cut out for them.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience - and hubby & I are now talking about potentially doing booking a home clean once a month/six weeks just to do a thorough clean, in lieu of our spot cleans.
With the silly season already upon us & the New Year just around the corner, now's as good a time as any to splurge and indulge in a home cleaning - and the folks at Helpling have been so kind as to offer readers in Sydney a special discount code for 1-hour of free cleaning with your next booking. Simply enter the voucher code breath at the payment page of the website. I know we'll be using that again in the future!

And as a busy mum, if I had to ask for a Christmas gift.. a home clean to use at my discretion would be AMAZING. Just sayin'.
 
Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary home cleaning session from Helpling - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

Taking a Little Space

Waiting cycles suck, there's no getting around that fact. I naively thought that it wouldn't be too bad, what with Christmas shopping and the holiday season... but no, it still sucks.

I've been keeping myself busy, but things are always lurking in the back of my mind. My specialist had me take Letrozole again this cycle, to ensure that I ovulate and have a 'regular' cycle, even though there would be no transfer at the end.... but it's CD18 and nothing is happening. Negative OPK's, low fertility on my fertility monitor, and tumbleweeds blowing around my ovaries.

I'm really quite nervous I'm becoming resistant to the Femara, like I did with the Clomid... which doesn't bode well for future FET cycles, since that's what I rely on to ovulate and do natural cycles.

We'll check out what's going on in a few days, and make the call - to trigger, if anything's there - or to Provera if it's a pointless annovulatory cycle. It's just a bit rubbish that even a freaking REST cycle seems to be kicking me in the guts.

I've had to remove myself from a few groups I've been a part of, because I'm just not in the right head space for them at the moment. I'm also chatting with someone about some coping strategies for when things get tough, because we have no idea how long this particular journey will last for. It's not a cure, but it's nice to have my feelings acknowledged.

Is it 2015 yet? C'mon already! ;)

dish'd food store: An Aussie Product Talk

Anyone who knows me will know how much I love food, so I was thrilled to be chosen for the dish'd product talk. In short, I was able to head over to the dish'd website, grab some products to heat & eat, and tell you all about them. Don't mind if I do!
 
The concept is really simple: you pick and choose what you'd like to eat - whether it be meals for one, family mains or sides, party snacks, appetisers, or desserts.... or all of the above. Pop them in your online shopping cart, choose a delivery time & check out when you're ready. The service was fantastic: I ordered and chose my delivery day, and it arrived freshly packed and left on my porch - so you don't even need to be waiting around to collect it; all of your products are kept in a cooled box.
This is what we saw on our doorstep, and upon opening up our goodie box:

Everything was sealed and packed beautifully, with dry ice ensuring it stayed perfectly frozen. You can re-use their esky the next time you order with them. Ours is in our garage for now.
As for what I chose, well, I tried to pick an assortment of items. I wanted to try some things I'd eat, some that hubby would eat {seafood, which I'm not a fan of} and a few treats as well. Choosing options on the website was the hardest part. As I was adding items to my cart, I could always keep an eye on what my current order total was. Even better, I discovered that dish'd currently have a great promotion going for new customers - where if you spend $50 on their website, they'll give you another $30 of free credit to use, as well as free delivery. A little more bang for your buck! This is what we chose:
My hubby's jaw dropped when he was helping me unpack the box. So much food! And everything looked fantastic, and in decent serving sizes too. A quick run-down for you; there are two pizzas, two vegetable packs, two potato bakes, risotto, penne pasta, spring rolls & giant squid skewers, three different desserts {hello, gelato!} as well as some fresh pasta, and several single serve frozen meals. 
Having all those yummy dinner options in front of us ... well, what's a family to do but pick some to cook then & there?
First up: Ricotta, Spinach & Lemon Zest Mezzelune for Georgia & I, and Sea Bass with Spinach & Grilled Mediterranean Veggies for hubby. The pasta was amazing - the lemon was so beautiful! And hubby tells me the fish was great - but he especially loved the simple veggie side dish the most.




The following night, we sampled some of the individual meals - Prawn Pad Thai for me, and Thai Vegetable Green Curry for hubby. Oh, plus some Vegetable Spring Rolls for good measure.

Can you say delicious?? The spring rolls were so good, I could almost lick the screen again to taste them. I wasn't a fan of the pad thai, unfortunately - the sauce wasn't peanutty enough for my liking, but hubby scoffed down his green curry; and when I sampled some of that, I wished we had traded! ;)

And desserts! Can't forget desserts! Chocolate Fondants & Lemon Tartlets - both served with some cheeky icecream on the side - and both tasted fantastic. Tiny pockets of deliciousness. We also still have some mini gelato to try too. YUM. :)

   

We'll still be sampling our food products for a while to come yet, and are looking forward to testing them all out. I think pizza might be on the cards for tonight -- delish!

In the meantime... how would you like to win yourself a $50 voucher to spend at the dish'd food store website? Simply follow the prompts below with your favourite food product from the dish'd website & go in the random draw.

Please note: This giveaway is open to residents of NSW and VIC only.


Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary gift voucher to spend on meals from the dish'd food store website via Nuffnang - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

Twenty Months

This girl, this beautiful girl, just turned 20 months old.
It blows my mind watching her every day - seeing how much she is growing and changing before my eyes.
She's full of surprises. She's full of extreme joy and she's full of crazy temper tantrums. She's babbling at a million miles a minute, and has started repeating some words - mostly just chattering in her own little Georgia-language. 

She's a dancer, an animal lover, a drama llama, and I love her more than anything.

Storms

This quote really spoke to me over the past few days:


I'm starting to realise that it's not just about learning how to deal with infertility, or even how to deal with the grief of losing two pregnancies in the last six months.

It's about learning how to cope with life going on around you.

Life doesn't stop just because your heart is breaking. Life for everyone else can be amazing, full of hope and love and joy - and at the same time, has left you feeling very alone in a pretty dark place.

I see this every day.

I look at my daughter, who is full of extreme squeals of happiness & dramatic toddler meltdowns; she has a pretty great life, and we are so lucky to get to witness her grow older each day, learn new things, speak new gibberish, delight in the world around her.

I look at other women who I envy so much, who get pregnant when they want to get pregnant, who know no sadness or heartache when it comes to trying for, and carrying a baby.

I look at myself, back in previous years. I remember what it felt like to get that positive pregnancy test that stuck around, when I felt my baby growing inside of me, when I gave birth & our entire world changed.

Life can be really, really good.

But it can also be really, really hard.

I'm in a hard spot right now. This feels different to the years of infertility before Georgia was born. This is a new kind of hard. It's infertility, and it's grief, and combined, well, it's just hard. And that's okay. Hard is okay.

I've always loved storms. Watching the weather go from calm to chaotic to calm again, from the safety of your own home - it's therapeutic. I've watched many storms from my window. This time, the storm is in my own head & heart... it's chaos right now, but it'll be calm again eventually. I just wish other people could understand a little of what I'm going through, instead of constantly telling me to STOP feeling a certain way. This is my way. I'm working it out.

I'm just lucky that I have an amazing husband & a beautiful little girl to hold on to when the seas get rocky.

A New Cycle

Yesterday was CD1 - my period came on quite suddenly. My fertility specialist had warned me that after the egg retrieval from this IVF, I'd likely get a bleed quickly; something to do with the Lucrin trigger, and with not bothering with any progesterone support at all. It came right on time for a change.

This cycle I will be using Letrozole. Not so much for TTC, since it's blatantly obvious that we will never miraculously conceive a baby on our own - but for making sure I ovulate and have a short cycle that doesn't drag on forever.
I had a bit of a meltdown when I realised just how close to Christmas my next cycle will {hopefully} be - thinking about what would happen if it fell into the time period of when my clinic closes for the holidays. After thinking about it {okay... stressing about it!} I contacted the nurses to ask whether I could still go ahead with my next FET if the beginning of the cycle fell into the holidays. I mean, even if that did happen, I wouldn't be needing any monitoring or anything until January, when they'd be open again - so I didn't think that would be a problem.
Until I got a message back, that is. Their response went something like this: 'Sorry Aly, but it's unlikely you'll be able to cycle again until we're back open, so it'll have to be your next period after that'. 
Now.. I want you to imagine me LOSING MY SHIT. Got a visual? Good. It wasn't pretty.
After a few expletives and a bit of a meltdown, I ended up getting a call from the head of the FET team {which consists of the amazing scientists & embryologists}. She reassured me that she'd drawn the short straw of being there over the Christmas break, and that we'd definitely be able to do a frozen cycle, so long as I was willing to pop in for bloods and appointments with some flexibility. Absolutely! She's also going to be the one working my little embabies, so that makes me feel better. She said that they have a really positive success rate with thawing & then growing out day 1 frozen embryos, and by looking at our previous cycles, she was confident that we'd have a blastocyst to transfer. I really hope she's right. I'm glad she's on our case.
This morning I needed to clear my head. I've been in a funk since we had the last miscarriage and since the IVF cycle ended badly - so I set my alarm for 5.15am and walked down to our local park. It was pretty deserted, which I needed. Just me, some music, watching the sun rising. I ended up going for a bit of a jog around the track while I was there, which was tough but therapeutic at the same time.
It's been so hard to be positive and upbeat, but I've been putting on a brave face - but it is TIRING. I just have to have a bit of hope that there are good things around the corner for us soon. 

Hippo Blue: A Review

I love finding new Australian retailers, particularly ones that have lovely customer service. I came across Hippo Blue earlier in the year when looking for items for my daughter. At the time, I didn't end up purchasing - but when I was approached a few weeks back asking if I'd be interested in taking a look at some of their personalised stationery products, I was VERY excited!

I was hoping to receive a few different items so that I'd have a better idea of what the products looked like in person, but I received the personalised calendar planner on its own.

Don't mind the security blur on the images - but as you can see, it was made specially for our family. The monthly planner came with enough individual sheets to last a year, and they are unlabelled - so you can add in your dates whenever you receive them. It's also got enough room down the side to add in extra information that might not fit within the smaller squares.

I'm constantly telling hubby when we have things on, and he's constantly forgetting what I tell him - so this works well for both of us! This picture was taken before I filled it in with the dozens of Christmas & holiday things we have going on - but it's perfect for the fridge door. No excuses for not remembering what's coming up now! :)

It was very simple to use the website: pick your item of choice, choose your design & colours, add in the personalised text you're after & choose a font. After that, it's as easy as waiting for your items to be despatched.

The paper is lovely & I was really happy with the colours I chose - the only thing that could make it better would be if the sheets came on a pad of some kind, instead of loose sheets of paper.

They have lots of goodies on the website that would make great Christmas gifts, so check them out! What sort of items would you find useful to be personalised?

Breathe Gently was provided with a personalised monthly planner from the folks at Hippo Blue - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

IVF Round 3: Done & Dusted

Our IVF cycle has come to an end.

Egg retrieval yesterday was a bloody nightmare. I was in SO much pain during the four hour wait pre-op, and could hardly walk by the end. After four (!) attempts to find a vein for a cannula, they finally got me sedated {did nothing} and after an excruciating egg retrieval, I had 13 eggs retrieved. All was well, I was happy with that.
Unfortunately I had no response to pain medication after the procedure, and was shaking head to toe. They tried a few drugs, and ended up giving me Endone, which settled things down. After a little while in recovery, they got me up and dressed and finishing off my IV drip - and then I came over really nauseous. Felt like I was about to throw up, broke out in head to toe sweat, face as white as a sheet, and they had to wheelchair me back to recovery, as I was on the brink of passing out. That passed, and we tried getting up to go again - and it happened again.
As such, they admitted me upstairs to the ward for monitoring. I just wanted to go home, but they were worried - so after a few hours of being observed, and just a few more episodes, they let me leave. I slept well last night, and feel better today - just swollen and sore, but that's to be expected after egg retrieval.
We got the call this morning that we have 8 embryos that have survived. I was disappointed, and was greedily hoping for more, after the discomfort I've had the last few weeks of stimming. Knowing we were doing a freeze all, I figured the more embryos the better. Anyway... that said, from 13 we had 2 immature, and 3 that fertilised abnormally - so left with 8 that are in the freezer. The embryologist has frozen them in batches of 3, 3 and 2 for future growing with frozen cycles.
I've had so many people ask me why my clinic has frozen the fertilised embryos at Day 1 - most people are surprised they're not growing them out to day 3 or 5 before freezing. I still have my doubts about it all too, but it's out of my hands. It's done now. Our journey is over.
So... that's it. Feels so strange to have nothing to hope for or to look forward to. No transfer. No TWW. Just pain & discomfort for what seems like a whole lot of nothing. I'm already petrified those embryos will fail to thaw, or die off during the 5-day growing period, when the time comes to use them. There's just no relaxing on this journey.
Now we wait. 
If I had $1 for every time we had to wait during this journey, I'd be a millionaire & IVF costs would mean nothing to me.

Lowering the OHSS Risk

Another day, another frustrating development in this seemingly hopeless IVF cycle.

I spoke to my fertility specialist today. She rang to confirm the freeze-all and to answer a few questions that I had, which I appreciated. After egg retrieval, they will freeze any viable embryos that have fertilised on Day 1. No growing them out, no freezing at blastocyst stage - just bunches of early embryos. Apparently this is because the early embryos are stronger when it comes to thawing and re-freezing, but it worries me a little. At least with blasties, you know only the good ones have made it this far. The problem I can see with the Day 1 embryos, is that we could potentially lose most/all of them when they're growing them out at the time of transfer. Frustrating.

So once I have retrieval, I should get a period within 7-10 days thanks to the Lucrin trigger. That next cycle, which will be December, is a mandatory rest cycle, so no transfer. My FS has told me to go ahead and take Letrozole/Femara days 3-7 that month, to make sure that I ovulate and that it's a relatively short cycle. It's basically a month of 'just see what happens trying yourself' - ha, yeah, right! And then pigs flew out of my butt-crack. Then after my NEXT period, I can ring them and start the ball rolling for a FET in January. January! It feels like a million years away.

She also let me know that she's worried I will hyper-stimulate. Not because of my follicles going too crazy (they only saw 14 after all, which is well within normal range) but because of the fact that the E2 jumped from 686 to 8407 in just three days. As such, I had to drive back down to the clinic at lunch time today to collect an alternate trigger. Instead of the Ovidrel hcg trigger, I'm now taking a Lucrin trigger. She said this should keep me out of OHSS territory, so I'm happy she was looking out for me.

So the trigger is tonight at 10.30pm, and then I have one more day to wait - joy! Egg retrieval is booked for lunchtime on Thursday. All of our hopes lie in some good quality, mature eggs being retrieved - and a bunch would be nice, since we're freezing them all.

This is the only thing I have left to hope for, since everything else has been taken away... so please, please, PLEASE universe, give us a good haul. I'm desperate for our future baby to be inside one of these {very uncomfortable} follicles!

It's a Freeze All

Day 6: E2 was 495 & progesterone 4.4
Day 8: E2 was 686 & progesterone 3.6
Day 11: E2 was 8000 (!!!) & progesterone 5.3

Unfortunately, our cycle is going to be a freeze all. I was quietly holding out a little hope after the progesterone dropped - but obviously the boost in the follicles has resulted in the progesterone level jumping too. Bugger. BUGGER.

The ultrasound today showed 14 follicles, not that I anticipate anywhere near that number at egg collection - but we have a few more to play with, which is nice. I'm glad the E2 levels are matching the scan now, too. The wait is on to see whether those follicles will hold mature, strong eggs.

So we are triggering tomorrow, and having egg retrieval on Thursday. And then, that's it for the year. They'll freeze whatever they get... and we wait until January to plan any transfers. There will be no more pregnancy attempts in 2014. :(

Shit, I hope we get a few good, strong embryos from this. My heart just can't handle any more disappointment.

An Update

So just to REALLY mess with my head, I sent the clinic a message yesterday asking about the numbers, since I hadn't heard. Got this about Friday:
Hi Aly, Yesterday E2 was 686 and P4 was 3.6. Sorry you didn't get a message. (On Wednesday, E2 was 495 and P4 was 4.4.) 
So it's dropped again. Surely that means it must have been residual progesterone levels from the chemical pregnancy last month? And what does it all mean? I guess we'll find out on Monday.

Lost

Where do you go for support when you feel like you don't fit in anywhere?

I have friends who've gone through IVF, but are pregnant now - they've never had to struggle with low numbers or failed cycles. I have friends who have gone through losses, but have no fertility issues - so have conceived again quickly. I have friends who needed help falling pregnant with number one, but managed a natural conception for number two - and they have no idea what it's like to go through this for the second time in a row, for 1+ year, with no end in sight.

And then of course, I have friends that have never experienced any of these things - infertility, IVF, miscarriage, failed cycles... and they legitimately have no idea how to handle any of this. Or how to handle ME.

It's not something you just get over. Yes, talking to people can help - and we've done that, several times. If there was a way to just switch off and think about something else, don't you think we would have done that?

Suggesting we go on a holiday, or to leave things for a few months, or that taking a break might be a good idea... you have no idea how much that hurts. Do you think that if we jetted off on a holiday, things would get better? That I wouldn't spend that entire trip thinking about expanding our family? That I wouldn't be freaking out about the costs involved, costs that could be going towards more fertility treatment? That I wouldn't be watching Georgia playing on her own, and feeling disheartened that the age gap between babies is widening with every passing day?

Every day that we wait feels like a few months. I wish I was exaggerating. I blink and it's this time last year, when we had high hopes for baby #2, good vibes for our frosties, excitement at hopefully having a smoother time second go around. Somehow, it's been a year - and we have nothing to show for it but heartache.

The worst thing would have to be the comments about being grateful for Georgia. As if for one second I don't think of how lucky I am to have her. After the way our frozen transfers ended up, I feel like I need to personally thank the scientist who chose her embryo to transfer first. I don't know how I would keep going without her. But the implication that I should be happy with what I've got, and not be so sad about not conceiving a second child... well, that is totally unfair. Would you say that to a fertile person? Would you tell them to just be happy with what they've got, and to move on, or focus on other things?

I think for the most part I'm doing a pretty good job of putting on my happy face and getting on with things. Georgia won't ever know how much this hurt, because I will make SURE she doesn't see. Sometimes though, I need to be miserable. I need to cry. I can't fake a smile 24 hours a day. There are people out there who are also struggling to conceive - I'm not selfish enough to believe that I'm the only one going through this. I know. I just don't know where I fit in anymore.

I'm floundering around feeling completely lost. I'm trying not to lose total faith in this cycle, but already wishing the next few months away. The fact that March is coming up, our first little one's due date... that doesn't help.

IVF #3: Ultrasound Results

I swear, 2014 has been a complete arsehole. I am SO over this year, and I can't wait for it to be done. Dusted. Outta here.

We had a scan today. I have 7 measurable follicles, and a total of 13 smaller ones -- so a decent response so far. I was really happy with everything, and my lining was a thick & juicy 15mm. All was good. I was happy and positive.

Oh, until we got to the part where I'm probably going to have to freeze all of my embryos, because my progesterone is too high.

Wait, what?

Yep. My clinic has a policy of no fresh transfers when the progesterone is >5. Mine is 4.4 and it's only CD9, and still a good few more days of stimming drugs ahead of me.

I'm furious.

I was so preoccupied with worrying about having a poor ovarian response to the stim drugs, I never even considered progesterone would be a problem. I mean, shouldn't that be a GOOD thing? I was so hoping for a fresh transfer, since the only successful pregnancy we've had has been off one of those. And a freeze all means a) potentially losing lots of embryos that aren't suitable to freeze, and b) WAITING EVEN LONGER TO TRANSFER THEM. Because of the holiday season, we'll miss out on this year.

The thing I was most scared of, is happening. We're closer and closer to our baby's due date - March 5th.. & we're still not pregnant.

I'm just exhausted.

Our Antagonist Protocol

We're still in the early days of this new cycle, so I figured I'd give you a heads up on what we're trying this time.

If you remember back to 2012, our first two IVF cycles were long down-regulation ones: you take the pill, you take Lucrin/Synarel to lull your body into shut-down mode, and then start pumping in the FSH drugs to stimulate the bejesus out of your ovaries. (You know, if your ovaries decide to play ball.) Both cycles, I had low egg numbers - 5 at first retrieval, 3 at the second retrieval.
Obviously we still got REALLY lucky with that last cycle, since all 3 fertilised and we got our Georgia from there -not to mention our two frozen blastocysts that both implanted, but weren't meant to be. 
Our specialist decided we'd try a different protocol this time around - so we're doing an Antagonist cycle. This time, we skipped the birth control and down regulation, and just headed straight into stimming with FSH drugs on CD2.
I'm on 200 of Puregon this cycle, and added in 250 of Orgalutran (Ganirelex) which is to suppress ovulation. The shots are still no problem, though the double whammy stung a bit this morning & my belly is bruised already - and it's only been a few days!
We have bloodwork done tomorrow, but I don't expect to hear results from the clinic unless the numbers are really low, or really high. If average, we just carry on until Friday, when we do more bloods and our first ultrasound to see how the follicles are responding.

I really, really hope we get better numbers this time! :)

It's Over.. but it's Beginning Again

I'm relieved (happy? sad? devastated?) to say that yesterday at 5.5 weeks pregnant {in theory} the miscarriage officially started. Levels had dropped earlier this week, so I was waiting anxiously for something to happen. On Monday, hcg was 17 & progesterone was 10. By Thursday, they were < 2 and the bleeding started. I'm no longer pregnant.

This has been the longest few weeks of my life, honestly. I'm mentally exhausted. But I really am relieved. I know the baby has been gone for a while now, but I feel like I have a little more closure now that it's happened, you know?
The first time around, the actual loss itself was harder - being that much further along, having seen the baby's heart beating and bonded with them already. This time, it's a bit strange. Nobody wants to talk about it with me, I guess they just don't know what to say. But even though it's earlier, the disappointment is just the same. The hopes being crushed, well, that doesn't get any easier with time, or experience.

But... there's a silver lining to everything happening on its own, and not dragging out too long.
Today is CD2, and I started jabbing with the Puregon this morning. I've never done an antagonist (short) cycle before, so I'm really excited to just get on with things - no long down regulation, no birth control, just getting the show on the road.

I've never been happier to stick myself with pointy needles! :)

I'm hopeful that we might do okay this time around. Maybe one of these eggs can lead to our baby.

What Happens Now?

I never thought I'd feel worse than I did when we found out about our missed miscarriage earlier this year. Apparently, I can.

It's been twelve days since I peed on that first early pee stick, and saw a shadow. It's been a week since I had my official first beta. Full of hope, and excitement, and nervous trepidation. It's been a week since I started getting nervous, when the beta came in at 60. It's been five days since we learned that the beta hadn't doubled, and that things weren't looking good. It's been three days since we found out that the levels had dropped down, and that the pregnancy wasn't viable.

It feels like an eternity.

When we lost our last baby, the time between finding out and having the d&c was short. For 24 hours, I was a nervous wreck. Panicked because I had a baby inside me that was no longer living, that I would start to bleed and have to go through a miscarriage at home. Thankfully, that didn't happen and the surgery went smoothly.

When we found out that this baby wasn't going to make it, everyone assured me I'd start to bleed. I stopped all of the medications last week, my last progesterone pessary was on Thursday night. I've been expecting to see blood every time I visit the bathroom. I've been waiting for this to begin, so that it can end. Once again, my body isn't working. Nothing is happening.

I still feel pregnant. I have sore boobs, the same pulling tightness that I've had during my last two pregnancies. I have crazy hyper-smell nose, and my veins are popping out all over me. This is the most heartbreaking thing to be going through.

I just want to bleed. I want my hcg to drop to zero. I want this early miscarriage to be over, so that we can move forward with our next cycle before the year is out. This morning, I had yet another blood draw, and hopefully I'll find out the results of that hcg level tomorrow morning.

I'm still hoping. Not hoping for miracles, or that this pregnancy can be saved - but I'm hoping for a quick ending, and for the chance to get another cycle in before the year ends. Please, let this be over with soon.

'Where have all the storks gone?': A Review

It's no secret that times have been tough around here lately. I'm grateful for this blog, which became an infertility focused-one a long time ago, as it has introduced me to so many wonderful and supportive people, but also some interesting opportunities.

I was recently asked if I would be interested in reading & reviewing a book, written by a couple who went through their own infertility journey. The book was called 'Where Have All the Storks Gone? A His and Hers Guide to Infertility'.

It arrived on Friday, just after we received word that our pregnancy was non-viable, and to cease all medications. Not the brightest of days, as I'm sure you've guessed, but the perfect time for a distraction.

The authors, Michelle & Chris Miller (from Stork Parenting) are unique, in that they have written their journey together, but separately. It's refreshing to read a story from both perspectives, especially since it's not often you hear about how men cope with infertility. That's not to invalidate a woman's story in any way; it's just that an added perspective adds to the experience and gives a little more insight to their journey as a couple.

The book is a quick read - I started last night while in the tub, and finished it this morning while Georgia napped. It's easy to follow, the authors honest and likeable, and you'll soon find yourself following along for the ride. I won't go into details, because I don't want to spoil anything - however the book would be well suited for couples struggling to conceive, who might soon find themselves heading down the path of assisted reproductive treatments, like IUI or IVF.

I'm not giving too much away (as you can already gather this information by looking at the photograph on the back cover) but it was heart warming to see the family as they are today. But I have to say, the way the book ended was a little too cliché for me. It wrapped up really fast, almost glossing over the fact that the couple managed to conceive their last two children naturally and without any mention of fertility treatments. If I had a dollar for every person, and now every book, that implied that getting knocked up after IVF was easy... well, I wouldn't be blogging right now. That said, lucky them. :)

The lovely folks at Shelton Interactive have an extra copy of the book to giveaway to a lucky winner. Go ahead, get entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary copy of the novel to read at my leisure - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review or giveaway appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

No Miracles Here

So, if you were playing along, these were our betas:

14dpo: 60
16dpo: 86
18dpo: 76

This pregnancy has officially been deemed non-viable. I have to stop taking progesterone, and keep getting blood taken until we hit zero. I need to ring my clinic when I eventually (hopefully) start bleeding.

It's over, but it's not over.

Limbo, yet again - this time, waiting for another pregnancy to end. More fading pee sticks. More bloods taken from my already bruised and battered arms.

Please let this be over quickly.

Not the news I was hoping to announce

Well... I guess it's time to come clean.

That limbo I was talking about? It wasn't waiting to cycle limbo. It was early pregnancy limbo.

We started preparing for our final FET a few weeks ago, and kept it quiet from everyone. After the sadness and disappointment of the miscarriage last cycle, after bringing everyone down.. we decided to just do it on our own. We mostly expected it to fail anyway, because of our luck lately - but to our surprise, it didn't fail.

We got a positive, and were completely over the moon. Maybe this would be our rainbow baby?


Except, the sticks kept getting fainter, then darker again, and I started getting panicky. I had bloods taken at 14dpo, and my beta was 60. Not great, not great at all - especially when I knew EXACTLY what date my transfer was. My repeat was done yesterday, and my beta was 86. Progesterone dropped from 178 to 106 too.

My GP/FS are telling me to prepare for a miscarriage. I have to have one more blood test tomorrow, and if the numbers are still bad, we stop all medications, and wait to miscarry naturally. I'm resigned to this loss, it can't possibly be going in the right direction for a healthy pregnancy - but now I'm more terrified of NOT losing the baby properly.

I don't want two d&c's in a row. I want a natural loss, I want to stop the progesterone and have everything taken care of. I want my body to do something the right way for a change. This is two losses, two failed pregnancies, and both times my body has refused to admit that something isn't right. Does anyone have any advice on what happens after you stop the pessaries cold turkey?

So, secret is out. Once again, we were pregnant, and now we're looking at another pregnancy ending. There isn't a rainbow baby here. We have no more frozen embryos.

This sucks. My heart has shattered all over again, and it was barely glued back together from the first loss.

Limbo

I wish I had more to write about, but I'm still sitting here in limbo.

Hoping life will pick up soon, so we can get on with things -- I'm trying so hard to be hopeful that baby #2 might be in our future, but it's so hard to be positive when it feels like you're going nowhere & everyone else is leaving you behind.

In the meantime... Georgia is delightful. All chatter, all the time. Couldn't tell you what language she's babbling away in, though! She's toddling up a storm, is totally in love with her animals, and is just the cutest damn thing.

I promise I'll update more frequently when I have news. If you could send some good vibes this way, I'd appreciate it!
What's new in your world?

Reading up a Storm

One of my goals back at the beginning of this year was to read more.

I barely had time to pick up a book at ALL last year, what with the newborn days and Georgia growing up so fast... so I picked a goal of 6 books for the year. I figured that gave me plenty of time for me to get back into the habit again.

So far I'm at 26 books. :)

I've well and truly smashed my goal, and it's only October! Let's face it, I've had plenty of time up my sleeve lately.

I'm pretty proud of my efforts... especially since I completed fairly lengthy books in there. I've read all of the Game of Thrones novels, and they aren't especially short. I've also started re-reading the Outlander series, since they're close to my heart.

I still don't have a lot of time to read during the day, since Georgia keeps me busy. But every night after she goes to bed, I go up early myself & read. I also finally joined a library, which I'd just never gotten around to doing before. Having that 'me time' has been a good way to tune out when things get tough.

Have you guys got any good recommendations for me?

As you can see from some of those titles, my reading tastes are REALLY varied. My favourite kind of books are the ones that suck you in from the get go. :)

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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