Last year was a tough year. Losing our first pregnancy, followed by the pregnancy later in the year - it really shattered us.
But this year? This year was even tougher. There was more loss, more disappointment, more frustration. If 2014 was hard, 2015 topped it. This year would have been the toughest one I've faced in my entire 31 years. It's humbling, really. But.. we got through it. I got through it. And that's about the most positive thing I have to say about how it has all progressed.
I'm following the same format as years gone by to keep it simple - (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014)
1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? Lost another pregnancy. Parented a toddler. Had our first overseas family holiday. Swapped IVF clinics. Lost my faith. Sent my little one to daycare.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I said I was going to be more positive.. and I think I failed. Being knocked down over and over again makes it pretty hard to do. I'll make another one or two, but I won't promise I'll hit them!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes.
The same thing I hoped for this time last year - a healthy pregnancy with no complications. A sibling for G.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Admitting defeat and asking for help. There comes a time when things get too hard, when the struggles are becoming a daily thing, and when my usual coping strategies failed. This year, I realised my limitations & took steps to look after myself - to support myself through a really, really hard time. Keeping it together and being the best parent I can be to my daughter is one of the things I'm the most proud of.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Swapping clinics! I really hoped that after so much disappointment, we'd get lucky this year with our new clinic behind us. It didn't pan out that way, but oh well. I also got to meet my sweet little nephew man. :)
16. What song will always remind you of 2015? Don't Be So Hard On Yourself - Jess Glynne
I'm too old for these questions now, I fear.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having a pregnancy stick around. Being able to watch G growing up with a sibling. Not feeling like the only person who's missing out on things.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? Summer dresses.
Happy New Year, friends. Props to you all for sticking around through what has arguably been one of the toughest years of my life, and for accepting the hard days along with me. Being able to blog, to share my fears and my disappointments, to help people realise that they're not alone and to be heard; that's a big gift, and it's one that I'll continue to utilise as long as I can.
Thank you for helping me feel less alone.
days worth of anti-anxiety medication stored in my bathroom to get through the hard times this season.
months since we've been trying to add another baby to our family.
different tiny presents that have been lovingly wrapped and stuffed in a Santa sack.
great grandchildren that my Pop has all up, keeping him busy on his first Christmas without my Nan.
batteries powering up our pretty indoor signs this year.
days since our real tree went up, and it's still looking as lush and green now as it was then.. the perfect tree.
secret Santa gifters in my family... and nearly all of them know who's gifting who. Secret? Ha!
pills of Letrozole finished, to try and at least have a natural-ish cycle on this month off.
ornaments on our tree to remember our wee ones, even though only one of them is here with us.
hours that hubby spent assembling Miss G's Christmas gift.. and it's delightful.
parents who are sad, happy, tired and everything in between this holiday season.
incredibly excited toddler, who is loving everything about the holiday season! :)
Having a small human running around really opens up your eyes to the ways that they learn. Our little miss isn't at the reading or writing stage yet, but she expresses her skills in a variety of different ways already - she loves movement, she loves art, and she especially loves touchy-feely activities! I can't wait until she's older, so that I can introduce her to the beauty of books! :)
People acquire different skills through different means, with experts noting there are seven styles of learning that have a differing success rates depending on the person. Most people tend to favour or react best to certain styles of learning, with visual, print and aural learners the most commonly recognised and catered for in education. But all seven ways of learning can be utilised to effectively impart information when it comes to teaching and training.
VisualUsing diagrams, pictures or maps, visual learners memorise through images, often seeing something in their “mind's eye”. They learn by seeing and watching demonstrations, with visual arts and media their preferred delivery. Listening to purely spoken information for extensive periods tends to make the visual learner restless and characteristics also include a vivid imagination.
To cater to learners of the visual variety, ensure your printed teaching or training materials not only contain text but also include graphs or diagrams. Companies like The Print Group can assist in designing, laying out and printing materials to suit. You can find out more about their services here.
AuralThe lecture is the ideal learning situation for an aural learner, where they can quickly grasp information in a verbal form. Great at following verbal instructions and excellent listeners, they can also learn by listening to tapes and reproduce sounds and syllables with ease.
HapticHaptic learners are the hands-on puzzle solvers of the learning world and piece information together easily. They tend to be good at art, have a penchant for doodling and involve a sense of touch in their approach to study. They learn best by exploring the world around them.
InteractiveA good group discussion is the key to the interactive learner, who likes to use others as a sounding board for their ideas. They often enjoy question and answer sessions and group workshops and they are willing to voice their opinion and listen to others.
KinaestheticIt's all about the movement for kinaesthetic learners, who prefer to be on the go rather than stationary. These learners respond well to music and like to try things out and manipulate objects. They gesture when speaking and tend to be quite active.
OlfactoryUsing the sense of smell and taste, olfactory learners often have strong memories associated with smell. Frequently able to identify scents, they find smell adds to their ability to learn.
Most people learn through a variety of tools, the key is to finding which ones work for you or the people you are instructing. When you tailor your teaching materials to suit the bulk of learners by including text, diagrams, and then verbal workshops with question and answer sessions, you can relay information effectively to a group.
I can't believe it will be Christmas in 11 days time.
Her grandparents bought her a beautiful new quilt and cover set for her big girl bedroom, which we ended up breaking out early when we upgraded her room. Her other grandparents have bought her a cute little bike with training wheels and tassels (!) which is pretty exciting. I think she'll love them all!
I have a confession to make:
I really, really love receiving flowers.
There, I said it.
So why is that such a big deal? Well, for years I was a staunch 'no flowers!' girl - they didn't last long, the cats would eat them, they need to be thrown out eventually.
Well, call me crazy, but I've changed my stance over the years. The first bouquet that changed my mind was the one my late Nanna sent me when she found out we were pregnant with our daughter - this particular beautiful big bunch of pink flowers (it's a girl!) was just so special. Since then, I've received beautiful blooms from my Mum, my Husband, and some friends - and each one is more exciting than the last.
There's something to be said for coming home to find a surprise on your doorstep, or to open your front door and receive a gift that you had no idea was coming - to celebrate the good news, and to commiserate with you on the sad news. It's pretty special.
As for my next bunch of flowers? Well, maybe he'll get me something from here for Valentines - or maybe I'll be surprised a little earlier. Whatever happens, there are some brilliant florists out there, whether they're your local vendor down the road, or one of the amazing companies which can deliver them right to your door.
Infertility is like being on an island, alone.
You desperately want some company on the island, for someone else to be there alongside you... but then, you wouldn't wish being on this island on your worst enemy.
A few special folks have visited you on the island and stayed a little while... but they've since moved on, while you're still stranded.
You're happy for them when other people leave the island... but you're actually a whole lot sadder than you let on.
Sometimes those visitors can forget just how lonely the island can be... but you can't forget.
People can see you on the island, they can wave to you and offer their words of support... but at the end of the day, they go back to their lives while you stay on the island, alone.
You pretend that you're doing just fine on your island, that you're okay with being there alone... but you're not.
The island has some wonderful things on it, things that you are grateful for... but it doesn't have the one thing that you want more than anything else.
You want so badly to get off the island and move on, like seemingly everybody else can do... but you're stuck.
The island makes you bitterly sad... but there's no foreseeable end in sight, so you grin and bear it.
My levels are FINALLY less than 5.
I'm officially no longer pregnant.
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm so bloody glad to hear those words.
This miscarriage was just a total disappointment. From the late appearing pregnancy test lines, to the positive betas, to the almost-but-not-quite doubling, to the hope... and then to the devastation of another early loss.
Since then, it's been wait after wait; waiting for hcg levels to drop, waiting to see what was going on, waiting for ultrasounds to check for retained products, waiting for a bleed. From the hope that we might be able to squeeze in one last FET cycle for 2015, to the disappointment of simply running out of time.
With all that said, it's done. It's over. We start again in January.
It's like déjà vu all over again. If I think back to this time last year, all we hoped for was a fresh start. We wanted to leave the pain and sadness of the previous year behind us and move on, and hope that the new year would bring us a baby.
In 2014 I was pregnant. Then I wasn't pregnant. Then I was pregnant again. Then I wasn't. In 2015 I watched two due dates come and go, with no pregnancy in sight. There was failure after failure, and our luck stayed the same. Then I was pregnant. And now I'm not.
So now, we're leaving the sadness of TWO years behind us... and maybe, just maybe, 2016 will bring us some good news.
So... doom and gloom aside, it's time for some positive news around these parts!
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Elektra Bub website for a great price - but as an extra special bonus, I have one mat of your choice (boys or girls) to giveaway here on the blog! All you have to do is enter your details via the competition widget below, and answer a simple question in the blog comments: Where would you take YOUR Cloud9 Nap Mat?
My beta levels were 9 on November 10th.
My beta levels were 22 on November 17th.
My beta levels were 25 on November 24th.
My beta levels are currently 17 on December 1st.
Still here. Still no answers. Still nobody making action plans for a d&c or using drugs, because the levels are too low to warrant them... so I have DEMANDED we start Provera and induce another bleed.
There's no time for a December cycle now. In fact, we'll be lucky to get in for a January cycle, since I'd need a baseline cycle after the clinic opens after the break - so in reality, we won't be looking at a transfer until February.
Waiting... my arch nemesis.