Guess what?

It bloody worked! Again! I’m still super paranoid something is going to go wrong, but let’s catch you up!

So last I spoke to you, I was about to go for the egg retrieval. Amazingly, we got 11 eggs this time around! I thought we were a shoe-in to get a great haul of embryos.

In terms of maturity, however, we took a bit of a hit. Only 7 were mature, and if those, 5 fertilised. I was pretty gutted when I got the phone call about this one – it was the exact same number that fertilised back in 2015, and while that round worked, I really wanted some extra back ups in case the transfer didn’t take first time around. So back to the waiting game. After 3 days, I got another phone call: of the 5 that fertilised, 4 were tracking well, and one was developing a little too quickly. As we still had 4 that looked good, that meant we’d wait for a day 5 transfer. So 2 more days of the unknown! Seriously, the waiting in ivf is possibly the worst part of the whole process. You wait to see how many follicles you have, then wait for how many eggs are retrieved, wait for maturity, wait for fertilisation, wait for day 3 reports, wait for day 5 transfer, then wait for the blood test! And after all of that waiting, if you’re lucky you wait for the ultrasound at 7 weeks, for that beautiful heartbeat. Anyway, look at me! Making you wait while I talk about waiting. Where was I?Oh yeah, transfer day! Once again, pretty smooth sailing, just like a Pap smear, and this time it was a grade 5AA embryo we transferred, that was just starting to hatch. Then again that wait. I wasn’t going to test. I was going to wait until the blood test this time, to be good. That lasted a whole 5 days. I tested at 5dp5dt (5 days past a 5 day transfer), and this was the result:Can you see it? Teeny, tiny second line! I didn’t want to get my hopes up, as there was a chance it might still be the trigger shot, so I thought if I tested again the next day and it was darker, that would tell me if it was real.So the next day I tested again…And then the next day, and the next day…Can you see where I’m going here?I’m still a little in shock, even a week after the positive beta test, but we’ve done it! I’m pregnant again!!I’m still completely on eggshells at the moment, and I don’t think I’ll be able to relax until I see that heartbeat on the scan (booked in for early Jan), but for now I’m pregnant!!The blood test came back at 339, which is apparently fine, even though it’s much lower than the result I had from Miss B – I’m guessing this one just implanted a bit later. So here we are! I’ve just hit 5 weeks, I’m bloated to hell but no nausea as yet (phew!).

Thought you’d like to know 😁

Love,Jane xx

Here we go again

I’m in the thick of IVF round 2 – I’ve had injections for the last week and a half, and had my second ultrasound this morning.

Everything’s looking great so far, I have 13 follicles all ready to go, so I’ll be taking a trigger shot tonight, ready for egg retrieval on Wednesday morning!

I forgot how fast everything moves with IVF – two weeks of chaos followed by two weeks of agonising waiting.

I’m really hoping we get a better result in regards to eggs retrieved – last time we had 15 follicles, but only 7 eggs. Only 5 of those fertilised, so it was a pretty steep drop off. My fertility specialist has said that this time around the sizes are much better – all 13 are between 17-22mm, whereas last time I only had 8 at that size.

We shall see, last injections tonight (thank god, I’m very much over being stabbed in the stomach twice a night).

I’ll update you as soon as I know how it’s gone, be prepared for a woozy post on Wednesday afternoon!

Jane xx

Screw it

I wasn’t going to post while all this was happening, as some of you who read this know me in the real world, but fuck it. Blogging helped hugely the last time, so why not give it another bash?

We decided a while ago that we were ready for number 2. Miss B is almost 2 herself, and we thought that might be a good age gap. So, 10 months ago now, we started trying again. All up, we had 8 months of regular trying, which was interrupted earlier in the year with me having to get my gall bladder removed. Note to readers: if you’re getting horrible pain and tightness across your chest for hours at a time, it might just be your gallbladder. Get the bloody thing out. 

Anyway. Off track already. Oops. We decided last month that enough was enough, the natural attempt to fall pregnant wasn’t working, and didn’t we have an embryo frozen for just this reason? A good quality one too – blastocyst, grade 5BA. Perfect! Let’s just do that. 

So. We were all teed up to do a transfer this month. It was a natural FET (frozen embryo transfer), so I wasn’t on any drugs, just tracking ovulation. 

Had a phone call from the embryologist the night before, the embryo has been defrosted and would be in the incubator overnight, ready for transfer in the morning. 

Day of transfer (yesterday), I got up nice and early and made the hour trip into the city to the clinic. A fairly uneventful drive apart form the last 10 minutes, which is navigating busy roads and awkward turns through the city. That’s when the fertility specialist called. I was 5 minutes from the clinic when she rang to tell me that the embryo hadn’t survived the night. 

Not quite sure how I managed to still reach the clinic, I was streaming tears and couldn’t concentrate on what I was doing, but somehow I arrived. I’d told the specialist that I wanted to talk to her about next cycle, so she kindly said she’d hang around for me (yesterday also happened to be a public holiday).

Long chat cut short, we’ve decided to try the whole IVF thing again. Back to the drawing board, so to speak. Thankfully we’re in a position to be able to roll straight into the new cycle, both time and money are currently on our side (well, still working out the money thing, but we’ll make it happen somehow).

So here we are again. Back into fertility treatment land. Thanks for sticking with me through my extreme absences on the blog – I’m hoping to be just as thrilling this time around, hopefully with an equally positive outcome. 

Hold on to your butts,

Jane xx

Catching you up

Well that didn’t work, did it? It’s been nearly a year since my last post, and all I can say is kids keep you very, very busy!

Baby B is now Toddler B, all 16 months of her, and we have a walking, talking destruction machine! Our skills at baby proofing the house have had to step waaaay up as she manages to get into pretty much everything unless it’s locked tight!

She started sort of walking around 10-11 months – a couple of steps here and there, but it wasn’t until probably about 13 months that she really took off. Now there’s no stopping her, and we’re heading closer and closer to running. I think the biggest thing you learn about babies walking is that they suddenly injure themselves a hell of a lot more than they used to! Little miss bumps and bruises. 

In terms of talking, we had “boo” from about 10 months, but it’s only been in the last few weeks that any other real words have kicked in. Within the space of about a week we had “uh oh”, “ta” (pronounced da!) and bye bye. So looking forward to seeing her progression with speaking, it’s ridiculously cute at the moment!

The other big news of the past 12 months is we bought a house! No, we didn’t suddenly find a small fortune to be able to buy in Melbourne, so we left! Not far, we’ve made a bit of a lifestyle change and headed to Geelong, which is about an hour’s drive from Melbourne, right next to the Great Ocean Road. Hello seachange! 

With property prices being what they are at the moment, and our wish list for a house being quite a bit more substantial than the 2br unit we could afford in the outskirts of Melbourne, it was a bit of a no-brainer. We bought ourselves a 3br, 2 bath house on a decent block of land in Geelong, where we’re 10 minutes from the foreshore and 15 minutes from Torquay. It’s pretty ideal!

The house itself was in original condition apart from an added dishwasher – it’s an exceedingly ugly orange brick veneer house, but it’s generous with room sizes and had a good layout. We’re slowly but surely changing, refreshing and updating. 

So really, that’s been my main focus other than B. Chances are this blog might head off more into the reno territory rather than solely baby stuff, but it might mean I’m back on here more often!

Thanks for sticking around, and I hope you enjoy the upcoming home posts!

Jane xx

The ups and downs

I keep meaning to do big, regular updates on progress and development of Baby B, but the longer the gap from now and the last post, the more that I feel I need to cover, and so the more I delay writing. It’s obviously not working, so instead I thought I’d just write about what’s currently going on, and hopefully that gives you some insight on how B is going. 

At the moment we’re in the midst of the 4 month sleep regression, which I thought was over about 3 weeks ago. I was wrong. B went from very nearly sleeping through the night (we had two occasions where she slept from 9pm to 7:30am, and I cried with happiness), then suddenly she was back to waking, and waking, and waking. 4-5 times a night, wanting a lot more night feeds, and just generally doing her best to exhaust me. The day sleeps have never been good, but they turned nearly non existent for a while. That’s been going on for the last 4 weeks or so, and it’s finally starting to get better. Unfortunately B has also discovered how to screech when she doesn’t want to go to sleep, and screams like I’m attacking her whenever I try to rock her to sleep. Great fun!
All of this means that for the past few weeks she’s been on me all. The. Time. The only way we get day sleeps is if she sleeps on my chest, and the rest of the time she’s getting increasingly clingy. Again, this is a phase they go through about now, but it’s a hard one to deal with sometimes. I’ve always been someone who needs their own space, and having endless days with a baby literally attached at the hip can be draining. 

On the merrier side of things, B is such a happy baby, she’s a joy to be around. Every morning starts with the biggest smiles, and follows on to squealing giggles when she finds something (a funny face, noise or work) amusing. She seems to be growing by the day, and I’m already missing my lovely little newborn. 

So, it’s hard, but so good sometimes. Some days I despair, feeling like I’ve achieved nothing, and haven’t done anywhere near what I could do as mum to baby B. Other days are so wonderful I want this time to go on forever. I guess that’s pretty common, this ongoing contrast of the highs and lows of motherhood. It does make for a bit of a Jekyll/Hyde version of me – hopefully I’ll get the hang of it all sooner rather than later!
Jane xx

Baby B: the second & third months

Here we are, almost at 3 months, and I’m still falling way behind with the blog posts. It’s amazing at just how hard it is to get things done when you have a baby! I mean, obviously I knew there would be tricky moments, but the oddest realisation in having Baby B has been that I can’t put her down! When she’s sleeping, no problem, she’s in her bed and out to the world. She hasn’t been much of a fan of daytime sleeps though, unless they’re on me, so again it gets difficult to do anything when you’re stuck on the couch with a sleeping baby sprawled over you.  

my current view as I’m typing this…

The last thing you want to do is move, as she might wake up. So you stay. And stay. And stay. And then suddenly it’s 5:00pm and you haven’t done anything you planned. That has basically been my life for the last 3 months!

Not saying it’s all bad – on the contrary, a lot of the time I don’t want to move because B is so peaceful, and I’m enjoying the moment. But sometimes I just want to sit on my own for a minute, or cook dinner, or clean up (who’d have thought it??). Making peace with my lack of mobility has been a big part of the second and third months of B’s life. 

In terms of her development, she’s now smiling!! Not just “about to poo” smiles either – full on grins, with the occasional giggle as well. B breaks into beaming grins pretty much after every nap, and these last until she starts to head toward tired-town again, usually about 30 minutes later. I live for those smiles, they melt me into puddles every time. 

We’ve also been experiencing some developmental growth spurts, which have been…interesting. There’s a book and app called Wonder Weeks, which I highly recommend. Basically some scientific types have looked into babies’ development of their understanding of the world around them, and have noticed that there seem to be certain weeks where this development occurs. For that week, they’re suddenly needy, cry easily, sleep badly, and are just cranky little beings. It couldn’t be more accurate for us: B is in the midst of her third growth week, and her 7-8 hour sleep stretch (I know!!) has just dropped to 4-5 hours, she’s screaming the house down from about 4pm, fighting naps like nobody’s business, and wants to be on us 24/7. I’m looking forward to the end of the week when she’ll return to her gorgeous, easygoing self. That said, it’s fascinating to read what she’s experiencing, and how she’s developing through each of these. 

In terms of B’s abilities, we’re having a lot more luck with tummy time – she hated it with a passion from the beginning, and would basically just scream face-down into the mat until we picked her up again. One of the women from my mothers’ group suggested doing tummy time on the change table (higher up, and easy to remember as it’s after every change), and within a week B was lifting her head up like a champion. She’s still behind some babies in the group (I’ve learnt there’ll always be a baby who seems weeks ahead of yours!), but she’s getting there. I’ve decided it must be because she has such a big brain – harder to hold up. Makes sense, right?

Otherwise, we seem to be settling into our days together, and each new trick makes for lovely moments and deeper connections – B now makes strong eye contact, reacts to us smiling at her, gurgles and “talks” to us, and has started grasping at toys. She’s also heading towards rolling – she can get herself onto her side, starting from lying on her back, but she can’t quite work out how to get her arm out of the way so she can roll to her tummy. I’m looking forward to seeing that moment!

In general, we’re doing really well. B is still a delight, and developing more personality by the day. That and more weight! She’s over 6kg now (13lb 7oz) – that was 2 weeks ago! Suffice to say my arm muscles are improving enormously!

Until I’m trapped by a sleeping baby again,

 Jane xx

Baby B: The first month 

Since I’ve been so ridiculously slack lately (something to do with having a baby, I think!), I thought I’d give an update of the last 2 months. I can’t believe Birdie is already 2 months old! It seems like no time has passed at all, and yet she’s already changed so much. 

To describe the first month in a word, hands down I would say “sleep”. Or lack of it. Baby B slept like a champion for the first 2 days of her life, then obviously decided that was boring. So she tried no sleep. Which meant I tried no sleep. Here’s a tip: it sucks. Don’t do it. The biggest reason for this was that Baby B didn’t like her bassinet. Hated it, in fact. From the copious research I did at 3am, this is very normal. Newborn babies have just spent the last 9 months surrounded by everything Mum – smell, warmth, feel. So it’s not surprising that suddenly being dropped into a cold, hard bed is not going to be their first choice. So Baby B would very happily fall asleep on my chest, but would wake as soon as I transferred her to the bassinet. This meant that as it wasn’t safe for her to sleep on me, I would stay awake all night, and then pass her to Mr Nester for a few hours in the morning. I was surviving on about 3 hours sleep a night, plus a nap in the afternoon if I could manage it. Something had to give, and it turned out it was me. I started falling asleep with Baby B on my chest. Each time this happened, I would wake with a start a few hours later, panicking that I killed the baby. Every time, there she was, still fast asleep on my chest. Now, I’m certainly not recommending this, as all research shows babies should be on their back in their own bed, but it was my only option for a while, in order to stay sane. Baby B loves it, and while she’s now sleeping a lot more in the bassinet (just a matter of time – from about 7 weeks she suddenly didn’t hate it so much), occasionally we still have a nap together, and it feels ridiculously natural. 

Other than the sleep, just watching Baby B unfurl over the first 4 weeks was incredible. They start their lives so squished up – squashed face, eyes shut tight, hands in tight little fists, legs and arms all curled up in a ball. Then, slowly, they start “opening up”. Their eyes start focusing (although sometimes in different directions – freaky stuff!), their hands open up, and their body stretches out. They very quickly stop looking like a newborn, and start developing their own little characteristics. It’s mesmerising. 

Baby B was a great feeder from Day  1, even if she did butcher my nipples in the process. It took about 2 weeks for my nipples to heal to the point where I wasn’t wincing in pain when she latched on, and I put the recovery down solely to Lansinoh and Multi-Mums compresses. They’re awesome. After those 2 weeks of hell, breastfeeding was suddenly a lot easier, and I actually started enjoying it. Apparently, so did Baby B. In the first 2 weeks, she put on only a couple hundred grans, back up to her birth weight. Nothing more, and the midwives who checked on me were starting to express a little concern, asking me how often I was feeding (every 2-3 hours) and if she took both breasts in a feed (no, there was so much milk she was full just from one side). I felt like a failure, until her 4 week check up, where she had put on another kilo! I was still only feeding from one side at a time, which was obviously sufficient.

In terms of coping with it all, we’ve been very lucky that B is not much of a cryer, which really transforms sleepless nights and days. I think a lot of this is just sheer chance, although we have been very on top of her grizzles, attending to her as quickly as we can. She spent most of the first month on either me or Mr Nester, and I think that security went a long way to reducing her discomfort. Also, I used a wrap a lot. I mentioned in a previous post that I bought a Hug-a-Bub wrap to use, and bloody hell has that been a good investment!! B loves it, and once you get the hang of the wrapping technique, it becomes such an easy tool when we’re out and about, or even at home if I want to get a few things done. I’ve cooked dinner with B strapped to me, cleaned the house, walked the dog and gone shopping. By far the best use though is at meal times. It means I can actually sit at the table with Mr Nester and eat, instead of having to eat in shifts so someone can hold the baby. It’s been invaluable for being able to feel normal again. 

Mood wise, I certainly had my off days in the first month. The baby blues are real: day 4 had me sobbing over nothing, really, but still I needed that cry. I had other days throughout that first month when I broke down, usually due to lack of sleep which just makes everything harder. I yelled at Baby B once at about 4am, when she’d been unsettled and crying since 11pm. I had to put her down on the bed as I was so frustrated, for a second I didn’t trust myself. Almost instantly though you check yourself, your better instincts kick in, and all you want to do is help the poor, squawking, helpless human. They are so reliant on you, which can be incredibly frustrating, but also overwhelmingly beautiful – all they want is you, and for you to help them because they can’t do it themselves. It makes my heart melt every time. 

So that’s Baby B, month 1. She’s just hit the 2 month mark now, which I’ll recap in a separate post, and I’ve also got a cloth nappy post in the pipeline (here’s a preview: I’m still using them, and I love them!!). Apologies again for the delayed update, I’m hoping to return to more regular posts now life has calmed down a little!

Jane xx