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.

More Waiting..

Another week is flying by, and there isn't much to report on the baby-making front. I have tumbleweeds blowing around my lady-parts right now, if all the temping and ovulation testing tells me anything. I'm still vaguely hopeful that something will happen in the next few weeks.. but either way, it's now been over a month of wasted TTC time, with no end in sight.
A lot of people tell me this is good, that I can mourn the baby that we lost while we 'wait'. I think what they don't understand is that we won't ever stop missing that pregnancy, that person; it certainly doesn't have a time frame on it. And anyone who tells me that waiting is a good thing... well, they've obviously never had a problem with conceiving before. It's one of the very worst things that anyone could say to me right now.
My FS rang me yesterday to touch base. She'd originally told me I likely miscarried due to my PCOS, so I had sent her a copy of the genetic testing to show her otherwise. She is going to send J & I forms to have genetic testing done ourselves, to make sure we aren't carriers for any problems; though she admitted it was very likely to have just been a one-off problem at the moment of conception with our son. I'd still like it done all the same, just for some peace of mind. She also still recommends using our last frozen embryo before we try anything else, because I was younger then than I was now. Sigh. Just another thing to stress about. Older eggs as WELL as dodgy ones.
In other news... Miss Georgia is starting to walk a lot more! What started out as a few steps here and there if we propped her up on her feet and got her started, has turned into her getting up off the ground on her own and walking across the room. It's completely gorgeous to watch and I am so, so proud of her. She still reverts to crawling when she's in a rush, but it's a huge developmental leap for her. All of the GP's said nothing to worry about until 18 months... looks like she's literally just a few weeks in front of that time frame. All in her own time, my stubborn wee girl. 
Seriously though, I am constantly amazed at this beautiful and clever little girl. The personality that I can already see shining through, her gentle nature with the cats and the dog, the way she figures things out in her own way. Add a perfectly sweet face to all of that and man, we got lucky in the kid department. Her hair is growing so long all of a sudden, though she still won't tolerate clips - it's a ponytail or nothing. Her eyes are still blue, and her skin quite fair. I love watching her grow up.

Pulling out grass and letting it fall back to the ground - loads of fun!

Reports & Frustration

We received the report back from the lab today - telling us what we already knew: a male fetus with Trisomy 21. So weird seeing it on paper, from the Children's Hospital pathology labs. Unfortunately, the report didn't say much more than that: a full trisomy. It doesn't specify if it was a one-off chromosomal mix up, or a translocation where the parents' genetics are involved. I've sent it off to my IVF specialist, to see what she recommends.

As for us, well, we haven't really got much to report. I haven't had a cycle, or even ovulated yet, so we can't even move forward with our last frozen embryo transfer cycle until that happens. The waiting around is really frustrating. Every time another day goes by, I realise how late it is in the year - and that our chances of falling pregnant in 2014 again are slim to none. Instead of having a baby in 2015, I fear we'll still be trying. :(
And this is how I feel about that:
My poor, teething baby girl. 

A Reason

The OB called with our genetic testing results this morning. Our baby had Down's Syndrome.

We were expecting that there would be some kind of trisomy issue, because of the way I lost the baby {my body co-operated; it was the foetus that passed} - so we processed that news okay. From the early days, we always said we were prepared to deal with a special needs child, that they were a special gift. A part of me is sad that we didn't get the chance to be those parents. But then the other part of me is logically thinking about the varied spectrum of medical conditions that could have come along with Trisomy 21; and assuming that's why the miscarriage happened. I'd like to think our baby went peacefully, without a care in the world & is with my Nanna now.

But we also found out the gender of our little one.. and it was a boy.

I was pretty composed hearing about the chromosomal issue, because we were all ready for this. But I wasn't prepared for being so sad about finding out the gender. The grief is still the same, regardless of whether we lost a girl or a boy - but I wasn't expecting to hear it was a HE. My heart is broken for all the things that he won't get to do, that he won't grow up with a sister who loves him, and parents who are smitten with him.

We've talked about naming him. We'll see where our hearts lead us with that decision; now, we're back to grieving & moving forward. We had a son, and we won't ever get to know him - but man, he was a seriously loved little baby.

Seventeen Months

And just like that, as if the last few months were just a blur, we're back to being our little family of three. I am so, so thankful for my seventeen month old cheeky monkey; without her, I don't know how we'd have gotten through.

My girl is getting so much taller now.. poor Teddy!
This month Georgia has:
  • Remained a perfect size 1, and continues to hate wearing socks or shoes. Seriously, is there a trick to this?
  • Stayed a similar weight, getting closer to 11kg and 77cm tall. She looks even taller than that, I think she's had another growth spurt in the last week or so.
  • Begun the process of dropping down to one day nap - noooooooooo! Mama is missing that afternoon sleep. :(
  • Started cutting her missing four eye teeth. One's cut, one's bulging, and the top two are lurking for now.
  • Stood on her own every now and again, and surprised us by getting from all fours into a stand by herself!
  • Walked well holding on to everybody's hands - and now does squats up and down. 
  • Begun to knee-walk to get to places. It looks so uncomfortable but we are all getting excited watching the new things she's trying out. 
  • TAKEN HER FIRST STEPS! Most exciting thing ever. She'll do a little bit of walking each day.
This is little miss independent - decided she'd take herself up to her bedroom for photos!
  • Chattered up a storm, though we still can't understand half of what she's babbling about. Too cute!
  • She's also mastered going up the staircase (gives me a heart attack but she's pretty confident.)
  • Says UH OH! Cutest thing ever.
  • Remained rear facing, but is getting harder and harder to stay still in her car seat. Nearly time for turning, I think.
  • Been such a beautiful and happy girl for us, and has made us smile every single day.
You can see all of Georgia's monthly pictures by clicking here.

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