introducing homehello: a review

This morning I was treated to a complimentary 3-hour home clean from a local company, homehello. I love dealing with brands who are easy to work with - and the process for booking a home clean couldn't be simpler.
When booking, you simply figure out what size your house is, and you'll be given a good idea of how many hours you'll require for a thorough clean. Add on any extras {window cleaning, etc} and your personal details and that's it; it's booked!
Our cleaner turned up spot on time with his own cleaning gear, and after a brief tour of the rooms we were wanting him to focus on, he got busy! Since we had a 3-hour window, I decided to stick to the kitchen and bathrooms, since they're the places in our home that tend to get the dirtiest, the quickest. If time permitted, we'd do a general vaccuum of the floorboards.

Unfortunately, we ended up with only two rooms done - kitchen & our ensuite bathroom. The cleaner was amazingly thorough, cleaning all appliances & surfaces.. and he really had his work cut out for him in our dusty bathroom - it looked amazing when he was done. But with all that effort, the 3-hours flew by, and we weren't able to get our other bathrooms done, or the floors started. I was really happy with the rooms that did get done, but I still have a lot more to finish up myself! :)

Here's some after shots of our sparkling kitchen:
And our master bathroom:
Loved: The website itself, very modern & simple. The professional cleaner. The beautifully cleaned rooms. Being able to relax while someone else helped me target the problem areas in my home.
Wished for: More time!!! Next time I'll definitely have to book a much longer session, so that we can get more generic cleaning things done.

If you're looking for a home cleaner in Sydney or Melbourne, I'd definitely get in touch with these guys & support a local business. Not a bad gift idea, what with Mother's Day coming up.... hint hint, fellas!

And best of all, homehello are offering a $25 voucher (a free hour!) off your first clean - so you can sample the service & take some time out for yourself. :)
Have you ever had your home cleaned before? Is this something you'd be interested in doing?

Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary home cleaning session from Homehello - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

Things I Didn't Know About Secondary Infertility

I thought I was pretty well versed in the emotional aspect of infertility. When gearing up to start TTC again, I'd hoped it would be smoother sailing. We would be more prepared this time, we knew our doctor and our IVF clinic & were prepared to go in guns blazing, and hopefully walk away with a little less money in our pockets, but another beautiful baby at the end.

Life tends to throw you curveballs though, and these are some of the things I've learned along the way.

You don't seem to fit in anywhere in infertility land.

You're not a first timer, and you now have a kid - so you don't fit in with the primary infertiles who are still coming to terms with not yet conceiving a baby without assistance. You have a child already, so how could you possibly understand the struggle? {Sidenote: I have been there, with our own case of primary infertility, so I DO know... but they don't know that.} You're also not one of those lucky folks who struggled the first time, but conceived naturally/easily the second time around - so people don't always get how hard it can be to be doing this all over again. Sure, they can empathise about the overall suck factor of infertility... but there's no first hand experience of having to re-live the worst time of your life all over again & with no end in sight. Add in the extra joy of the miscarriages & it just makes the whole thing a big mess. Thankfully, people don't have to walk exactly in your steps to be able to offer sympathy & a shoulder to cry on - that's something I'm always grateful for.

You feel like you're not allowed to complain.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I am so grateful for Georgia. Every day of my existence, I'll be grateful for our sweet, cheeky girl. She is my everything. But there is nothing fun about secondary infertility. It sucks. It really sucks. The idea of our family finishing here is so hard to deal with, when your heart is screaming at you that you just aren't ready to be done. Comments like 'at least you have one child' hurt - because we know that. We know we're lucky to have her. But damn it, we're allowed to be upset that we can't give her a sibling right now, and that our choices have once again been taken away from us.

You feel guilty all the time.

We're spending so much time, money, emotional effort into expanding our family - at what point do we stop and give it all to our existing child, instead of essentially throwing it away on a what-if? I don't ever want my daughter to feel that we're not satisfied because of her, that she wasn't enough for us to stop trying & focus on being a single child family. Is that what people think about us... will she think that of us one day? Or will she know that we want another baby not only for ourselves & our joy of parenting, but for her - because we both grew up with siblings, and because we don't want her to be alone when we're gone. I love my daughter with my whole heart, but I have so much more to give - does that make me a bad parent?

You spend your days pretending everything's fine, so your little one doesn't see the stress.

The one thing I refuse to do is ruin my toddler's childhood by pining away over the stress of infertility - which is easy enough, when she's little. We started back at the IVF game on her first birthday, when she was happily oblivious. Now, it's getting harder. When we found out that we had lost the baby at 11 weeks, after expecting all to be in the safe zone, it was absolutely devastating - and when all I wanted to do was cry and scream and wail, I had to pull it together, because I didn't want my little girl seeing her mama crumble. When we got the news that another pregnancy was ending, that a miscarriage was imminent, all I could do was count the seconds to her nap-time so that I could lose my shit without her witnessing it. When IVF cycle after IVF cycle got cancelled, or ended with me on the bathroom floor sobbing over another negative pregnancy test... it doesn't matter, because she will never know those things. But man, I've gotta tell you - keeping up appearances is exhausting.

You realise how hard it can be to figure out fertility appointments.

If you thought infertility and IVF was hard first time around, it's even harder with a temperamental two year old in tow. I don't like taking Georgia into our clinic, because I feel like it's a little insensitive to the women still trying for their first - but sometimes, it's a necessary evil. If I can't get a babysitter, or if my appointments are at crazy times, she has to come with me. Our clinic is a 30 minute drive away, so lugging her into the car and keeping her busy is work in itself.. and don't even get me started on how you manage her while you've got an appointment with dildo cam, or the million & one blood draws.

You're constantly comparing things.

We got lucky on a fresh cycle with Georgia. We got lucky after two years. Maybe we need to wait that long again this time around. Or maybe I need to wear the same underwear, or lucky socks, or jewellery, or have the same doctor doing the transfer, for it to work? You find yourself obsessively googling stories of successful pregnancies, of BFN's turning into BFP's after 12dpo... it goes on and on and on. And don't even get me started on how easy it is to start comparing yourself to others, because that's a whole other story altogether.

You expected it to be hard, but you didn't expect it to be THIS hard.

I'm not silly - I knew that we wouldn't be one of those miracle couples who got a surprise pregnancy second time around. Hopeful maybe, but I'm a realist: we knew it'd be hard going. But in all honesty, I thought we would have a second baby in a shorter time frame than it took with Georgia. Why? Well, because we were cutting straight to the point this time around. No faffing about with trying naturally, we'd jump straight back into the IVF and get this show on the road. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we'd have back to back miscarriages, or cancelled cycles, or multiple BFN transfers - or be sitting here, all this time later, with nothing to show for our efforts. It has been a very harsh reality check, that's for sure.

You need support. Like, a LOT of support.

I can't stress this enough. Infertility is an emotional rollercoaster, and secondary infertility is like getting back on the same rollercoaster, but without a safety harness. You just don't know what to expect. Having family & friends, and outside support if you feel you need it, is essential. It's part of the reason why I love the blogging community so much - you connect to so many people who make you feel less alone, even in the darkest times. To everyone who's helped, and is still helping - thank you. xx

What things have surprised you about your own journey?

8dp3dt

I was really starting to think we had a shot, if I'm honest.

The back aches continued, the appetite disappeared, and shadows started appearing. It's been two days now, and I saw shadows on several internet cheapies... and bright enough that even hubby could see them.

We began to get hopeful.

Unfortunately, the big guns at early detection, the FRER tests, showed negative yesterday at 7dp3dt and negative again this morning at 8dp3dt. And those are the ones I trust.

Shit. :(

Looks like another failed cycle.

6dp3dt

Negative so far, even though I know I was silly for testing so early.

The first days after the transfer, I felt absolutely nothing. I was convinced that it hadn't worked, that maybe the embryo had stopped developing not long after transferring & that it was a hopeless cause.
Then yesterday (8dpo) I got a really achy back. Like a burning ache, quite low down. It continued on and off all day, and it was still there this morning when I woke. I also had a really heavy feeling, and weird looking boobs. (I can't describe this well - but they just seemed really... stretched out/veiny.)
Of course, that got my hopes up that something was happening... and then deflated again after I saw the blindingly negative stick this morning.
It's a big old suckfest, this TWW. 
I just really, really, really, really, REALLY would love a miracle right now. 
Maybe this is the bargaining phase of grief from all of the crap that's happened to us since last year, and residually from trying for Georgia. I've already been back and forth throughout the other stages - anger, depression, acceptance, isolation... so yeah. Bargain. I will do just about ANYTHING for this to work!  ;) 

Great Gifts for the Man in Your Life: Sponsored Post

We're at the start of the birthday boom around here. Georgia & my Mum share their birthday in March, my brother is in April, my Dad & Hubby are both in May - along with the inlaws too! Once this batch of birthdays are done, it's quiet for a few months until the end of July, when I'll be *gulp* 31.

I always tend to struggle the most buying presents for my husband. If I ask what he wants, or if there is anything he needs, the answer is usually 'nothing!' Drives me crazy, but that's how he rolls. And to be honest, I kind of understand where he's coming from... I'm at the point in my life where I don't really NEED anything, which makes me feel pretty lucky. That said, it's always a challenge to find the perfect gift - and hopefully these hints will help! :)

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Having trouble buying a gift for a man in your life? Don’t overthink it. The more simple the gift, the better it will be received. The only thing you can’t get a man is something complicated. If they don’t have to think about it for too long then they will love it. Below are a few great gift ideas for any man in your life.

Tools

Every man sees himself as the ‘handyman’. And nothing will stroke his ego more than providing him with brand new tools and equipment. One of the better things about buying tools is you can use them as suggestions. Suggestions of what you want him to fix or build. Try to go for a quality brand like Ryobi – they sell tools for just about everything you can imagine. So whatever your man’s speciality is there is something perfect for him. Who can say no to a new drill, or saw, or grinder, or … the list never ends.

Georgia also enjoys playing with tools outdoors - like father, like daughter.

Clothes Accessories

Men are pretty simple to buy for. They aren’t particularly complicated, but one thing they are is bad at shopping. New socks, nice ties, any accessories come as a welcome addition to a man’s wardrobe, a place where holes in socks are more common than matching pairs. It doesn’t matter who you are buying for, there is always going to be something he needs. It could be socks or a new tie, or it could be something a little more original, like cuff links or even a wallet.

Sports Collectables

Each and every man has a sport. It doesn’t matter who they are, they follow something. It could be football, it could be boxing or it could even be a video game league. Nothing would make your man happier than signed memorabilia. Not every man is a football fan and modern sports leagues are so diverse that he could be a fan of anything from medieval armoured combat to online multiplayer games. But it doesn’t matter what the sport is, there are collectibles to be found. Framed jerseys, signed cricket bats, game winning balls. The list is endless and easily accessible. Sports collectables are always a game winning gift for every man.

Experience Gifts

Sometimes a gift doesn’t have to be a physical object; an unforgettable experience can be worth so much more. Some men are hard to buy gifts for. For them a chance to do something they never would have thought of doing before could be just the thing they need. The list of experiences is nearly endless. You could take them on a hot lap in a V8 Supercar. Or send them parachuting out a plane. Maybe they would prefer something a little more relaxing, like a deep sea fishing trip. You can give the man in your life the gift of a perfect memory.
Catamaran sailing in New Zealand - an amazing gift experience back in 2004!
Men are pretty simple and that makes buying them gifts simple too. These are a few great ideas for gifts you can give the man in your life.

This sponsored post is in collaboration with Ryobi - all images are my own. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

4dp3dt

Only a few days into the TWW and I'm already going crazy. Nothing much to report right now... except I'm really fearful that this hasn't worked, already. No symptoms, nothing. I'll probably start testing from around 10dpo and see what happens. Man, I'd like to be able to surprise everyone - and most of all myself - with a pregnancy from this transfer.

For now, I'm just trying not to think like it's over already... though it's hard to keep those thoughts away! Come on, emby.

Five Reasons Why You Need Professional Movers: sponsored post

With the current property boom happening in Sydney right now, there will be loads of folks preparing to move home. We've done it several times with rental properties, and the packing and loading at each end can be exhausting. Even more so when you're doing it with several fur babies in tow! :) Hopefully these hints & tips will help make things a little easier.

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If you’ve ever moved house before, you’ll know how stressful it can be. Loading the entire contents of your home into a truck and rearranging everything in your new house can be a daunting task, and not one you should try to do on your own. Here are five reasons why you need a professional mover.

1. Experience

Moving house is the kind of thing you can only get better at with practice. If you’ve already lived in a couple of different homes, you should be able to recall how naive you were the first time you attempted to move. Even if you’ve gotten better at it over time, there are some skills only professional movers will possess. For example, do you have any idea of how to stack furniture in a truck so as to prevent damage en route to your new house? Do you even have access to a truck? A professional mover such as Your Local Movers will have the experience to get the job done right, and can ensure your possessions make it safely to their destination. To get an idea of what services are available from moving companies, visit their website.

2. Personalised Service

No two moves are the same, and professional movers can adapt their services to suit the needs of individual clients. Whether you want the entire moving process taken care of or you only require assistance with some heavier items, a team of professional movers will be able to help out as much or as little as needed. They can also take into account the conditions of both your current and future home, regarding things such as stair access and parking.

Evie says: I'd offer to help you out, but I'm WAY too tired.

3. Know-how

If you are unsure of how to arrange everything in your new house, a professional mover can inspect the property prior to unpacking to help you decide on a suitable layout. Deciding where to put everything can be one of the most difficult aspects of moving into a new home, but with a little professional help, the task will much less complicated.

4. Peace of Mind

The cost of hiring a professional mover can’t be compared to peace of mind. Knowing that your possessions will be taken care of by trained experts is sure to be a relief in the weeks leading up to your moving date. You won’t have to worry about the complex logistics involved with packing and unpacking, giving you more time to take care of other important tasks. Even if family and friends offer to help out, they simply won’t have the same skills and knowledge as a professional mover, no matter how good their intentions.

5. Safety

Not only is moving stressful, it can also be dangerous. The risk of injury is heightened by a lack of experience, and even something as small as straining your back while trying to a lift a heavy box can put you out of action for weeks, throwing your moving plans into disarray. There’s no need to feel as though you’re trying to avoid all the hard work by hiring a professional mover. They are highly trained in safe moving practices, and can eliminate the possibility of you injuring yourself. What with all the packing, cleaning and organising to be done, moving from one home and into another isn’t a task to be taken lightly.

Packing we're great at... lifting heavy boxes & gym equipment? Definitely a job for the experts.
Do you think you would need a professional mover if you were to move house? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

This sponsored post is in collaboration with Your Local Movers - all images are my own. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

Fresh Flowers for Mother's Day: a giveaway

Mother's Day is coming up, which can be a difficult day for lots of people. I've posted about it before, and I'm very aware of just how overwhelming the day itself can be - but also how the simplest of actions can make all the difference in the world.

We don't often have flowers in our house. Not because I don't love them {secret fact: I DO love them} but because the cats tend to try and eat them, and I've always told people not to worry. My Nanna passed away a few years ago, and she's one of the few people who liked to sneak little bouquets of flowers into my life. I still remember coming home to a gorgeous bunch of flowers not long after we found out we were pregnant & shared the news with her - it's something I'll never forget.

The lovely folks at freshflowers.com.au are giving away a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day this year - for yourself, for your mum, for your MIL, or just for that someone special in your life who would cherish them. The lucky winner will receive a bouquet that will be sent to their desired address. Be sure to stop by and visit to observe the selection of Mother's Day Flowers at freshflowers.com.au.

All you need to do is enter by answering a simple question by COMMENTING ON THE BLOG - but please make sure you click the buttons in the image below too. :)

The question is: "What is the most memorable moment you have had with your mum?"

Win a bouquet of Mother's Day Flowers
*Prize value is $70.
*The prize can only be delivered to an address within the Fresh Flowers delivery area, which can be verified by clicking the 'Do we deliver in your area?' link, located at the top of the homepage.

This sponsored post is in collaboration with freshflowers.com.au - all images are shared with permission from their website. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

(Inter)National Infertility Awareness Week

It's pretty easy to feel alone in this whole thing.

Watching everyone else around you move on, while you're still waiting. More so, second time around, when you're overwhelmingly grateful for what you have, but yearning for what you don't.

I'm thankful that I have amazing people around me who do their best to offer support & places to go to if things get too much.

I'm sending my friends who are stuck in the trenches lots of love this week. We can do this.

After all... the best things are the ones worth waiting for.

FET #5 - 3 day transfer

I knew the minute my phone rang that it was bad news. No news is good news with my clinic... a phone call is the opposite.

The embryologists thawed my remaining five embryos on Thursday. Two died during the thaw. The remaining three embryos that survived, were left & checked this morning at day 3. Two showed very little development and were only 2-cell. One embryo was on par, so they decided to transfer that one early. The scientist said that if only one embryo looks good and is all that's left, there's no point in growing out to blastocyst stage - that it's better off back in my uterus, where it'll grow if it's good enough.

So with about an hour's notice this morning, we went in for a 3 day transfer. It was a pretty smooth transfer process.

Day 3 8-cell on the left, Day 3 VERY behind 2-cell on the right. Both transferred.
We are PUPO now... pregnant until proven otherwise. A day 3 transfer wasn't what we were hoping for; I don't have a lot of faith in them, but the good embryo looked pretty & they were confident with it. They also put back one of the slower embryos, but that was only because it had next to no hope of going anywhere. We'll just consider it to be there for moral support, I guess.

I can't believe our luck. It's gone from one bad thing to the next, and I am getting to the point now where I quite honestly don't even know what we've done to be so unlucky.

Today's transfer means that out of 13 eggs retrieved, out of 8 mature and fertilised embryos, we didn't even get a single good blastocyst. 2 embryos {3 if you count the slow one, which I don't} out of 8 made it to a transfer. Not the greatest results from an IVF cycle. We had better success with our first few cycles, pre-Georgia.

Driving to the clinic today, all I could think about is how unfair this whole thing is. Babies that aren't wanted, pregnancies that aren't wanted, good people missing out on getting the chance to bring a child/children home to their family. Why it's so easy for some people to get pregnant, why some people will never know the grief that infertility brings to others. Why us? It was a bit of a pity party for two.

The universe is all kinds of fucked up, that's for sure. All I know is that we're not done fighting yet.

We'll battle on... because the pain of giving up completely is WAY worse than the pain of infertility treatments.

FET #5 - Cancellation Limbo

I'm waiting on a phone call to tell me what's going on with this cycle. It's leaning towards being cancelled.... but there's a chance, I guess. It's not over until it's officially over.

Why would they cancel, you might be wondering? Well, I am CD21. I've had bloods every other day this week, three days in a row since Tuesday, and my oestrogen FINALLY started increasing on the ovulation sticks. Last night, it was high, but not positive. This morning, it was blazing positive. Things might finally be happening!!!

Until... they told me that yesterday's progesterone was already looking elevated. And today's ultrasound showed a HUGE follicle {potentially already a cyst} that was massive, about 27mm.

You know what sucks the most? THIS:

I have a picture perfect endo lining, at 10mm. I have surged, as I got all positive OPK's this morning. My saliva started ferning yesterday and looks textbook for ovulation.

But is it a cyst? Is the progesterone too high? Will they cancel a transfer now? I have no idea. I'm REALLY worried about the progesterone, since I have a history of it rising pre-transfer, which is why they have cancelled a few of my cycles in the past. I wish I knew why it was doing this, I really do.. but there's nothing I can do but wait for their call, now. I'm getting tired of asking for a miracle, but COME ON UNIVERSE!!

*$&*%$@#(*&%*(@&*(@

I am so flipping over this.

***********UPDATE***********'

We are a-go for transfer! Apparently the blood levels have stayed JUST in range for progesterone and suggest ovulation, so we're hopefully going to transfer a 5-day embryo on Monday next week.

FET #5 - Nerves

It's CD19. Nothing is happening. Bloods every other day.

I have this awful feeling in my gut... that this cycle is going to end up cancelled.

Please let my gut be wrong.

5 Tips for Cleaning Your House Like a Pro: sponsored post

As a stay at home mum, I always feel like my house should be cleaner than what it actually is. I mean, we have all the time in the world to clean, so surely our house should be spotless, right? ;)

Wrong! Time gets away from the best of us. Hopefully some of these simple hints & tips will help you as they've helped me!

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Do you have high expectations for your home’s cleanliness and hygiene? It’s easy enough to outsource the cleaning of a workplace to professionals like AMC Cleaning (check out their website for more information). But when it comes to our own homes, too few funds or a surplus of pride can prevent us from seeking professional help. Fortunately, making your house look like it’s been cleaned by experts isn’t that difficult. You just need to know a couple of their tricks.

1. Dusting

Dusting is the best place to start every time you want to clean your home. Why? Firstly, it gives you the chance to put things away, making rooms instantly tidier. Secondly, any particles that fall to the floor can simply be vacuumed up later on. Make sure you do a thorough job by moving items to properly clean underneath and around them. Be sure to also dust items that are permanently out on tables, entertainment units, and other exposed surfaces. Pay attention to skirting boards, cornices and architraves, as well as window ledges, doorways and light switch plates.

Georgia likes to help her mama with the dusting.. clever girl!

2. Bathroom and Toilet

The most important aspect of cleaning any bathroom is taking care of the glass surfaces. If mirrors and/or shower screens are streaked in any way, it instantly makes the room look unclean. Foam glass cleaners are an excellent way to clean glass without the streaks, or you can opt for the old-fashioned and environmentally safe method of vinegar and bi-carb soda. If you have a lot of built up soap scum on shower screens, try using an ultra fine piece of steel wool (you can get this from the paint section at your local hardware store) and gently scrub in circular motions. The simple mechanical action of this method easily outperforms harsh chemical treatments in most situations.

When it comes to cleaning showers, baths and basins, be sure to clean thoroughly around the bases of tapware and the drains. Ensure shower screen handles and frames are also spotless. With baths, ensure the sides and top are given just as much attention as the base. For toilets, it’s not just the bowl that needs cleaning but the lid and top and bottom of the seat as well. Clean around the seat fasteners as they are often overlooked. Clean the entire base, front and back, making sure you get right behind the pan to wipe away all dust and dirt.

Lastly, clean the floors, wipe down any marks on walls and doors, and dust window ledges, light fittings and extractor fans.

3. Vacuuming

Like dusting, the most important thing with vacuuming is to be thorough. This includes doing areas such as the inside of cupboards, doorways to outside areas (particularly the garage), lampshades and the one place most people avoid: under furniture. You don’t have to do this every time you vacuum, but aim to do it every three to four months. Doing a thorough job with vacuuming is important as you should always mop straight afterwards and you don’t want to be dealing with loose particles when you’re doing this.

 Trying her best to vaccuum - it's just a little bit heavy for her!

4. Mopping

Be sure to always mop your way out of a room to avoid walking over the wet area and creating footprints that are visible once the water dries. Like with vacuuming, do your best to get underneath furniture.

5. Kitchen

Kitchens are a veritable magnet for handprints, particularly if you have little ones. Start by cleaning large surfaces such as the fridge, dishwasher, oven door, cupboard doors and benchtops. If you have stainless steel goods, make sure you check your instruction manuals first as some surfaces have a protective coating that can be damaged by cleaning products. Next, work your way around all the appliances on your benchtops. To be really thorough, clean inside and underneath the microwave and conventional ovens. Wipe down range-hoods and extractor fans as well as the entire surface area of any bins.

If you’re aiming for a squeaky clean house, just take a leaf out of the pros’ book by applying some of the tips above. Your home will look sparkly and be more hygienic than ever before.

She also likes to help her daddy with the outside chores.
This sponsored post is in collaboration with AMC Commercial Cleaning - all images are my own. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

FET #5 - Tumbleweeds

Well, the Letrozole was finished up last week, days 5-9. Since then, we've had every-other-day bloods to check on how things are going.. and so far, not a lot is happening. I've never ovulated earlier than CD18 before - and most often it's a LOT later than that - but I always find myself disappointed that things don't happen earlier.

Mostly though, I'm not worried about ovulating late, since that part is out of my control. I'm MOST worried about not ovulating at all. I'm going for more bloods tomorrow, and likely again Monday or Tuesday, and if they can't see any surges in my hormones, I'll be requesting an ultrasound to see what's happening in there.

I just wish that I could ovulate. At LEAST a quarter of our TTC issues would be solved if I could just freaking ovulate.

Am emotional. And tonight, I'm raiding the leftover Easter bunny chocolate container.. just because.

The Queue

There's this thing that I've made up in my mind... I call it 'the queue'. It's an imaginary queue that you end up waiting in when you're infertile and you're trying to have a baby.*

(If ONLY it was as easy as lining up and waiting your turn!)

Created largely by my need to make everything ordered and logical, and because of my insecurities with infertility and what-not, it looks a little something like this:
It's stupid and irrational - and we all know there is no rhyme or reason as to why some people, even infertiles, get pregnant faster than others - but there it is. 
We were once that couple at the top, who got their baby - we made it to the front of the queue, we went through what we went through, and we were given our Georgia at the end of it. To a lot of those other folks still waiting in the queue, it was probably DAMN hard to watch us get there. But like most of them, we were in that queue before it was our turn, and we knew we would end up there again.
So... baby #2. To the back of the queue we went. Because it's only fair that way... lots of waiting people deserving their bubbas, so we'll wait. Plus, we now have this awesome little girl to keep us busy.
This time though, things went a little pear shaped. 
We got to the front of the queue again, a little speedier the second time around, but alas... it didn't go as planned. 
We lost the baby. And then we queued again, and we lost another baby. Rinse & repeat. And then we were back at the VERY end of the queue... and pretty bitter about it.
Fast forward all this time, and we're still stuck there in the queue. I wouldn't say we're at the end, and I wouldn't say we're at the front - there are plenty of folks out there who have yet to be blessed with a miracle of their own who I would very happily let jump in front of us, after all.
But man, I hate that we're back here again. And the hardest thing of all? QUEUE JUMPERS. Ah, the luxury of being one of those folks who can decide to get pregnant, and BAM. Two pink lines. Or, the lucky folks who go through infertility once.. and get blessed with a surprise/natural/easy pregnancy the second time around. Total pregnancy jealousy and envy, I have it - and probably will have it for as long as we're actively trying to expand our family. Queue jumpers make me happysad. Glad for them, sad for us.
Right now, we're feeling pretty alone. The moment where you realise that you're one of the last ones left. When seemingly everyone else around you has been blessed with a baby, or a pregnancy, in the time that you've been here waiting in the queue. When you're feeling like one of the last ones on this side of the fence, and where people have run out of things to say to make you feel better - not for lack of trying, but simply because they just don't know.
We're so grateful that the queue worked for us the first time around. We had our hardships and a terrifying time of wondering whether we would be childless - but once we moved to IVF, our journey was relatively smooth. Only a few stim rounds, a handful of transfers. I just wish that the queue had worked the second time around. I want more good news for us, and my other IF friends still in the trenches; for us to get to the finish line & hold a/another healthy baby in their/our arms.
And THIS, my friends, is what happens when you're feeling miserable & melancholy on a rainy Easter long weekend. Apologies for the less than impressive Paint drawings!
*Add hair/take away hair for same sex couples, of course. :)

FET #5 - Back to Basics

Despite the HRT protocol going so well last cycle {before the dismal embryo transfer, that is} we've gone back to a previous protocol this time around. My fertility specialist believes I have better results from when we do natural cycles - but of course, those don't exist for me. So in lieu of that, I'm back on the Letrozole/Femara, and we track via bloods & OPK's for a surge, and then time the transfer after that.

I'm more than a little nervous, if I'm honest. I'm scared that the Letrozole won't work, that I'll not ovulate at all on it - or worse, just form another ovarian cyst again. I'm scared that we won't get a transfer, and that we'll end up waiting around and wasting even MORE time. But I'm having a bit of faith in my doctor this time, and letting her decide how this cycle should go.

The one thing I am fighting for though, is to have all five of our day 1 embryos thawed. I'm not going through another frozen cycle, only to have one lousy embryo to transfer like last month. This time, I'm going to throw everything at it.. so I need to chase up the embryologists last week and make sure they're ready to defrost whatever's left.

Until then - we wait. The jury's out as to when, or if, I'll ovulate on the Letrozole. Monitoring starts next week. :)





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