She is Two!

So much of this blog has focused on our efforts in adding to the family - but not today. Today it's all about my girl. My GROWN UP girl, who I swear I just gave birth to five minutes ago. How is she two already?!?

Her birthday is today, but her party was yesterday. She came downstairs to find the place decorated & best of all.. balloons! As a 1 year old, she couldn't care less about them - but this year, they brought her so much joy. She must have spent half an hour running around in her pyjamas that morning, chasing balloons around the house.

We had a fairly big party last year, where I went all out with a rainbow theme & we had fun celebrating with family, old friends & new friends from parenthood - but this year, we kept it simple.

I love it when gatherings are just... easy. Despite the actual chaos of cleaning house & preparing everything, the day itself was great. I'm lucky to have great helpers who could assist if we needed it, and hubby manning the barbeque - but all in all, I couldn't have asked for a better day for her! :)

She was very spoiled & I feel so lucky to have so many people around who love her and have watched her grow from a teeny tiny baby to this gorgeous, dramatic, opinionated, funny little girl.

Two years ago, this beautiful baby girl surprised us all by deciding today was her birthday. Two years on, and she continues to surprise us every day. I've never been happier than when I've been your mama, Georgia. We love you so much. xx


My period arrived this morning. The only good thing about that is that at least this BFN didn't drag out. 
It's a new day.. time to move forward & try, try again.

9dp5dt - negative

So this cycle has officially failed. I won't say I told you so.. but I knew from the minute we saw that embryo, that this wasn't going to work. You can say I was being negative, but honestly, I was trusting my gut.

I'm more disappointed than I thought I would be - especially after that inkling that it wasn't going to work. I guess we all secretly hope for a miracle, or to be one of 'those' stories you Google, about late positives turning into healthy babies. The never ending cycle of hope and disappointment.

So now comes the wait for the oestrogen & the progesterone to leave my system ... hoping that a period comes sooner rather than later - but with my body, who knows how long it could take?

It just makes me pretty sad that there will be no 2015 baby for us.

7dp5dt - still BFN

Last night, a bunch of us went for a walk - my parents, Georgia in the stroller, and me. 

It was pretty dark while we were out... but it was cool, so that was a perk. As we were walking down past the local primary school, I happened to get a feeling and looked up - and there was a beautiful owl perched right on the pole next to me. It was absolutely silent, and blended in with the darkness - so I'm not sure what it was that made me look up. For some reason, I had this feeling that it was a sign of some kind.

I did a bit of research after getting home, because I was curious. Symbolic meanings for the owl are:

  • Intuition, ability to see what others do not see
  • The presence of the owl announces change
  • Capacity to see beyond deceit and masks
  • Wisdom
  • The traditional meaning of the owl spirit animal is the announcer of death, most likely symbolic like a life transition, change
  • When the owl shows up in your life, listen and look out for the subtle signs that are around you. Your animal spirit guide is a great helper to be attentive to what usually goes below your radar, but is now of particular importance.

  • Well, I don't know about wisdom - but change? Change I can handle. We are 7dp5dt and all is negative, and we're now just waiting for this cycle to be over. It hasn't worked. I could use a change. 

    I was thinking about all we've gone through since we started trying for a second child. First, it was weaning Georgia & trying on our own (hoping to be one of those miracle stories that everybody likes to tell you about - you know, IVF for baby #1 and then SURPRISE! Natural baby for #2. Yeah. No.) Then, losing some weight while waiting for our specialist appointment. Seeing our specialist and making a plan. Letrozole & FET #1 bringing the best news ever - and then the saddest thing that's ever happened to me, finding out the baby had died & having a d&c at 11 weeks. Waiting for months for the miscarriage to be over, for my body to co-operate and get back to 'normal'. Letrozole & FET #2 bringing an even better surprise - and that happiness not even lasting more than a few weeks, when we found out that was a nonviable pregnancy also. Then having to do another full IVF stim cycle... the eager anticipation of a fresh transfer, maybe a new start - but nope, that didn't work out either, with progesterone being too high & the cycle being a freeze all, no transfer. Then waiting, more waiting - Letrozole failing to work, then Gonal-F failing to work, then an ovarian cyst needing birth control for a month. All this waiting, and sadness - and then we tried a Programmed FET with Progynova & Progesterone - and it worked beautifully. A picture perfect lining, a perfect 14 day cycle with a day 5 transfer... until we walked into that waiting room to find a less than ideal, sad looking behind embryo. And now, not surprisingly, a BFN. 

     It's just shit. This whole thing is shit. 

    And I'm feeling less than confident about our remaining day 1 embryos. I just want to stop all oestrogen and progesterone support and have a period - but then there's that little part of my brain {the stupid part} that says to hold on and wait, maybe I'll be one of THOSE stories on the interwebs who gets a late BFP and ends up with a baby. Maybe. Always a maybe. 

    If that owl was trying to give me a message, I wish it had been a bit clearer. I'm feeling so lost right now.

    5dp5dt - BFN

    I was starting to get hopeful - some shadows on the cheapy pee sticks, and some phantom symptoms that I haven't had in a while; pre-eating nausea, sore boobs, tiredness.

    Consider me smacked back to reality. Stark white BFN today on the First Response.

    I'm sure your first instinct is to tell me that it's just too early... and yeah, it is, especially with a lagging embryo. But in every single one of my positive pregnancies, I've had a line by 10dpo. Faint, but there.

    I should have been expecting this, but I still feel like I've been kicked in the guts.

    TWW Rambles

    My brain is a big old mess right now - so I'm resorting to bullet points to help me organise the chaos.

    • This TWW is dragging, like they all do. Today is 4dp5dt but I'm taking that with a grain of salt. You guys saw the embryo; even though it was a day 5 transfer, the emby itself was a lot slower than that. I suppose I'd be smart to keep this in mind when I start the pee-stick obsessions.
    • I'm still feeling less than hopeful. Hubby is being positive, as always, telling me I have a good track records of transfers working (but not staying) - but they were all proper blasties.
    • I have cheapy sticks to pee on this month. After wasting countless $$ on First Response tests over the last few transfers, I'm feeling frugal this time around. No expensive sticks unless a smidgen of a line shows up on an el-cheapo.
    • It's Georgia's birthday next weekend. My baby is 2. Am in total denial that this is happening.
    • This kid is AWESOME. She's chatting a lot more lately, and has the cutest little munchkin voice ever. She's learning her manners, and can say please ("thease, mama") and thank you, but will NOT say I love you. She laughs when we suggest it... cheeky monkey.
    • She's a total dare devil. Current favourites are throwing herself backwards in a free fall on the lounge and running at a million miles an hour. Gives us heart attacks constantly!
    • Speaking of Georgia, she's been in the wars lately. She's been fighting with her two year molars, and then caught a virus and has been sick as a dog for the last week. We're at the tail end now, but bronchitis and a round of antibiotics + a nasty cough has kicked our butts. The amount of times she's coughed so much, she's puked... ugh. We're all tired.
    • It seems like she's trying to pass her sickness on to us. Hubby is down, my throat is scratchy!
    • But I've been sick in three out of the four last TWW's after transfers... ho hum.
    • I'm an AUNTY! My brother and SIL have welcomed a little boy into their family. No name yet, and he's spending some time in the NICU for his breathing, but we're overjoyed he's here safely.
    • I can't believe that I would have been welcoming a little boy myself too. Makes me a bit sad that we won't have little boys running around and growing up together, but it just wasn't meant to be.
    Life here is good right now, for the most part. :)

    FET #4 - Transfer

    Today at lunchtime, we transferred one of our frosties.
    I wish I was more excited about today - I certainly was this morning! Excited and nervous and full of anticipation.
    You see, our embryos started thawing on day 1, back on Friday of last week. Despite asking for updates, we heard nothing back about their progress - except that today's transfer was still on. We were really hopeful to have one good blastocyst to transfer today, since they always said that no news is good news.
    I was upset the minute we finally walked into the transfer room. The embryo on screen was NOT a blastocyst, and today is day 5. My heart immediately sank. If that was the best one out of the three, we didn't have a lot to work with. Sure enough, the scientist told us that two hadn't made it, and that we were transferring an early blastocyst today.
    I'm no embryologist, but I don't believe that's an early blastocyst. To me, it's a morula, or even an 8-cell embryo, meaning it's 1-2 days behind in growth. They transferred it anyway, but I think it was a pity transfer... I don't see how an embryo this far behind could catch up.
    But... for now, it's done. We're pregnant, until proven otherwise! ;) And hey, at least we got to transfer something, right? Still, I was really hoping for a St. Patrick's day lucky miracle. I hope this little leprechaun sticks around; we'd really love to meet it.

    Elektra Thermo Pram Organiser: A Review

    Anyone with a toddler will have probably gone through the same thing we're going through right now: pram limbo.

    Imagine an almost 2-year old - fiercely independent, enjoying running around and exploring her surroundings at her own pace. All is good with the world... except that this new-found freedom has subsequently turned into loathing the confines of her trusty pram; the same pram that lets her mama lug around countless must-have items in the world's largest nappy bag.

    So what do you do when your kid suddenly hates the comfy recline of her pram, but can't last longer than twenty minutes without getting tired, or trying to run away from you? In our case, we downgraded to an umbrella stroller.. for some reason, she tolerates that a lot better. Unfortunately, a smaller stroller comes with less room for storage - no basket to store goodies underneath, and a very small weight limit for baggage, lest it tip over backwards, toddler in tow. Eep!

    We needed a solution, and I think we've found one. I've been lucky enough to play with the Elektra Thermo Pram Stroller Organiser this past week - and it came at the perfect time, that's for sure.

    It's a nifty little organiser that's made of neoprene, so it keeps things temperature controlled - would have been ideal in our baby days, with bottles and what-not. For now, it has two drink pockets {one for Georgia's water, one for my chai latte} and a whole stack of extra storage space, as well as a detachable pouch at the front, which was perfect for hiding my phone & keys.

    I had a play with it at home, to see if it would fit the bare essentials for an outing. I managed to squeeze in there my wallet, phone, keys, Georgia's dummy, a bib, two nappies, some wipes, and her HUGE water bottle. It stayed upright, and held everything well. But for the biggest test... how would it fit on the stroller?

    Perfect! The velco straps are easily adjustable, and it seemed to fit it very well. These two trips were short ones to the local shopping centre {no eating out} so as you can see, there is still room in there for her water and her lunch essentials.

    And it held that coffee cup beautifully! ;)

    If the day was longer and I needed more snacks, changes of clothes, etc, I'd still have to take my huge nappy bag - but for shorter outings {which is what we're doing a lot of now} the organiser is perfect for those essential items. We'll definitely be making use of this for our trips out and about in the stroller. You can purchase online via the website, and they'll deliver to your door - and it's a good price too.

    Want to win one for yourself? The kind folks at Elektra Bub have one up for grabs for Aussie residents. Enter below!

    Breathe Gently
    What new products have you found lately that have made life easier?

    Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary stroller organiser from Elektrabub - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

    FET #4 - Lining's Good & Transfer's Booked

    It's been a quiet few weeks around here - mainly because I've not had anything to update about! We had our first scan and bloods done this morning, and I've been anxiously waiting around for a phone call all day to find out what happens next.

    Good news: my ovaries are quiet, and my lining is nice and thick at 9.3mm - so the progynova did the trick. We were waiting on the bloodwork to check my E2 levels & progesterone, and they're all happily normal too. I can't actually believe things worked like they should SO FAR. I'm so happy.

    Our transfer is tentatively booked for Tuesday next week.

    I say tentatively because it all depends on my embryos. Tomorrow they'll thaw my day 1 embryos, a little batch of 3. The goal is to get one of those embryos to grow until day 5.. for Tuesday's transfer.

    So many things could go wrong. They could all not survive the thaw tomorrow. Or worse, they could survive... but then all die out the following days, leaving us with nothing to transfer.

    But I'm trying to stay positive... and so far, so good. Let's hope one of those embryos will be our BABY.

    CleverPatch: a review

    If there's one thing Georgia loves, it's creating pieces of art - which in toddler code, means scribbling all over everything in sight! I'd never heard of CleverPatch before, but after doing some research, I was really excited to see what they had in store for us! I loved that the website has free colouring in sheets, as well as the amazingly creative packs ready to purchase and get busy with! Georgia & I were sent four sample packs, each containing smaller kits, filled with artsy activities.
    This kiddo is pretty happy with the simple things - art paper & some twisty CleverPatch super silky crayons and she was all set for AGES. We have never had much luck with traditional crayons; they usually end up being broken in chubby toddler hands & in pieces on the floor.. these ones were brilliant! They felt as smooth as oil pastels, but without the messy aftermath.
    She also had fun creating some sand-art picture frames, with just a bit of help from mum with the glitter. :)
    It wasn't all fun and games, though. I tried to make a plaster of paris mix to create an impressions frame - but apparently toddler wrangling & setting plaster doesn't work well together... it was rock hard before Georgia was ready to use it! Ah well, lesson learned for next time. But after that one didn't turn out, we went on to create some adorable little pocket sized felt owl mirrors, and that was FUN! She's been walking around with them saying 'hoot, hoot' for the last few days, VERY cute.
    All in all, this is such a brilliant concept - and something the primary school trained teacher in me could really get behind. There are so many things still left for us to do... we'll be doing one or two activities a week for another month at this rate! The kits we received included naturals, Easter, Mother's Day - so many options to choose from, and we're looking forward to some fun with crafts for the upcoming holidays. Thanks so much for the fun experiences!
    Breathe Gently was provided with complimentary art sample packs from CleverPatch via Agent99 PR - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

    A Letter to my Son

    Today is March 4th. The odds are pretty good that you wouldn't have been born today - maybe you would have been late, or maybe you would have come early like your big sister did. In my heart though, your birthday will always be today.
    When we found out that we were expecting you, that our first IVF frozen transfer had worked, we couldn't believe how lucky we were. We couldn't have planned your timing any better if we'd been a regular old fertile couple - you were due just before Georgia's birthday. Two babies, two years apart; you were a dream come true.
    I remember being so, so scared in the early weeks of the pregnancy. I was scared when our hcg levels had a rocky start. I was scared when your daddy & I went to see your first ever ultrasound scan, and breathed easier when we saw your strong heart beating away. I was scared when my morning sickness started up, because it was so different to my pregnancy with Georgia. I was scared when that morning sickness would ebb and flow. Yep, this mama was VERY nervous.
    We had an amazing first few months together. When you were still a tiny little poppy seed in my belly, we found out that your Uncle and Aunty were also expecting a miracle of their own - and we couldn't have been happier. Two babies, growing up together, with a proud big sister/cousin there to spoil them. The day we went to our joint ultrasound and found out that our due dates were a week apart, that was a really special moment that I won't forget. You were both so wanted, and so loved.
    I remember hearing your heartbeat at home on the doppler, and being so totally and utterly mesmerised with the sound. Like with Georgia, I recorded it on my phone & would listen to it at night before I went to sleep. Those early weeks, before the movements registered, it was a sweet reminder that you were there with me. At 10 weeks, my belly had its first pop, and I took my first - and what ended up being my last - bump shot. Georgia and I would sit on her rocking chair and read books together before bed, and I couldn't believe that I was blessed enough to carry a second baby, to carry YOU.
    I wish I knew the moment when we lost you. I wish I could remember what I was doing, and that I could have said something, or did something, to show you how special you were. I was worried the days before, but wrote it off to being paranoid; after all, we'd seen you on the ultrasound, we'd heard your heart beating - a few of those milestones had been crossed. I hate that when I found out that you'd died, I was alone. I thought we were okay, and I told your dad to stay home and watch Georgia, that it was just a routine 11 week OB appointment. That moment changed me forever.
    When we found out the results from the genetic testing a few weeks later, my heart broke all over again. Not because they showed that you had T21, or Down Syndrome - because both your daddy and I would have fought for you, regardless of what your chromosomes looked like. No, kiddo, I was devastated because we found out you were a boy. I would have loved you equally and irrevocably whether you were a boy or a girl... but a boy. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
    I cried so much that day. I cried for you, because we had so many plans for you - so many things we wanted to show you, so many people we wanted you to meet, so many dreams for the future. I cried for your daddy, because he never got to bond with you - his first son. I cried for me, because you were no longer in my belly, and because I would never get to hold you anywhere else but in my heart and my memories.
    Our little family lost a piece of ourselves on the day you went away, and we won't ever get that back. You were our baby, and even though today is your birth day, you'll always stay our baby. I'm sorry you're not here with us today, and I'm sorry that we didn't get to meet you. I'm sorry you never got to know your big sister, who is the most amazing kid - she loves babies, she is happy and curious and sweet, and I know she would have been fascinated by you.
    We called you Noah, because that was the name we would have chosen to call you, if you were here. The name has roots meaning 'rest, comfort' - and I wish both of those things for you. 
    Thank you for choosing me to be your mama, if only for a short time. 

    FET #4 - HRT

    We have a FET timeline! I'm really glad to be feeling a bit more 'in the know' about how this is going to {hopefully} work.

    I've been on Progynova since CD2 - 1 tablet per day. As of tomorrow, I increase the Progynova to 2 tablets per day. As of Sunday, I increase the Progynova to 3 tablets per day. If the E2 levels are going well, we'll stay at that level of Progynova until the cycle is over, or if we get pregnant.

    There's a blood test and a scan booked for next Thursday, which will be CD14. If the lining looks decent then... we'll get a date set for our transfer. Man, I can't WAIT to be at that point, seriously. :)

    I found out today that our frozen embryos are frozen in batches of 3, 3, 1 and 1 - at day 1 stage. They hope to grow out at least 1 of those 3 into a blastocyst, but if there are problems with the thaw at day 1, they have the option to grab one of the singles out and thaw that too. We're aiming for a 5-day single embryo transfer, but if they happen to grow more than one out, they can refreeze those blastocysts. I don't expect any to be good enough to re-freeze... I'm just praying we get a good one.

    So that's that. Another week of Progynova and a whole lot of hope that this lining is growing nice and thick!

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