Category Archives: Lists

Ovulation Induction

What is ovulation induction (OI)? It’s a form of fertility treatment that is reasonably non-invasive where you are stimulated to produce one to two mature eggs then given a trigger to release them. You then have timed intercourse (because we all love the scheduled sex amiright?!). I would probably consider this as the next step up from a clomid cycle where you are just given some tablets then told to do it like rabbits. Clomid cycles are also considered OI treatments.

This treatment is generally considered suitable for women who like me have no real great reason for not falling pregnant naturally, those who have low hormone levels or are not ovulating on their own, but have normal tubes and a partner with a normal sperm result.

So what happens?

Well for us this has been our plan:

Day of cycle What happened
Day 1 11 Aug Call nurses to advise AF has arrived
Day 2
12 Aug
Day 3
13 Aug
Day 4
14 Aug
50 Gonal F
Day 5
15 Aug
50 Gonal F
Day 6
16 Aug
50 Gonal F
Day 7
17 Aug
50 Gonal F
Day 8
18 Aug
Blood test
Result: change to 62.5 Gonal F
Day 9
19 Aug
62.5 Gonal F
Day 10
20 Aug
62.5 Gonal F
Day 11
21 Aug
62.5 Gonal F
Day 12
22 Aug
Vaginal scan and blood tests
Result: starting to O, have sex
Day 13
23 Aug
Pregnyl trigger 8.30am
Have sex
Day 14
24 Aug
Have sex
Day 15
25 Aug
Day 16
26 Aug
Day 17
27 Aug
Pregnyl again 8.30am to support
Day 18
28 Aug
Blood test

Then we are in that waiting period that all of us fertility challenged community know and love.

I decided to share our plan because a while ago Hubby and I tried to look at what this was and there were not a lot of people putting this information out there so I figured why not help 🙂

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Fertility update

[Fair warning: sweary honesty may follow]

It has been awhile since I have talked about our fertility or lack there of. In fact I don’t believe I have even mentioned it since the beginning of the year.

Basically after the fail in December we were in a bad place emotionally, we were low on funds and we were both in really stressful places with our jobs. It was all crap people! So we decided to talk some time off. My anxiety has been a bit all over the place this year. I have high functioning anxiety which means people at work think I am great and then when I get home I crawl into a shell and read a book or watch TV to bring myself down from the day. It’s my process, but it was getting to the point where often I had nothing left in the tank when I got home and couldn’t even get my shit together enough to cook a decent dinner. Way too many potato gem dinners later (how good are they though!) and adding in sporadic depression related eating tendancies and an expanding waistline I felt totally out of control (not good for either condition) and wanted to take steps to rectify it.

We’ve been pretty much just trying naturally and crossing our fingers for a bit.

Step one – Fertility treatment

I got our medical records from the fertility place we were at to  pour over them looking for anything that could have been missed. We have been trying for 5.5 years and no one seems to know why we are not pregnant. When I got them we noticed that it was marked “male factor infertility” umm WTF? Turns out that the initial sperm test in 2014 recommended immediate IVF with ICSI and stated there was little chance of a natural pregnancy – we were then made to try naturally for 2 years, one cycle with Clomid. This new information combined with the fact that a counselor never called after our last failure when I was clearly in absolute sobbing pieces to the nurse on the phone, the fact that the FS suggested an ovarian drilling operation that he had done just 4 months earlier (clearly not overly interested in us to the point where he had not even read our file before we cam in for our appointment) and the fact that I felt fat shamed after almost every appointment made us realise he was not the person for us. There was also a few teary hours and sadness over the fact we wasted two years and a shitload of money on this person.

So I took to some Facebook groups and asked for recommendations. Many of them came back recommending Monash IVF, I looked into it and some of their FS’s even consulted locally (for full treatments we would have to go into a city though). From the first appointment I was happier. She re-ran many of the tests, was quite thorough, Hubby’s sperm has improved. The only thing she mentioned weight wise was to concentrate on eating habits and to ensure my activity each week included 3 x 30mins of anything that makes me sweat that I enjoy which I thought was pretty okay. When she realised where we came from she told the receptionist to book as many appointments as possible local to us as it was silly to have us come all the way in. The second meeting we had with her she made a 3 month plan for us. We are doing Ovulation Induction for one month (we have started this now), if this does not work we are doing an IUI for one month, if this does not work we are meeting again in October to then move immediately to IVF. She doesn’t want to waste time or money which is so great. Then it turns out IVF is cheaper through this company even though their reputation is as good as the other place we went through so we can afford more rounds.

Final nail in the coffin for the old FS was when she gave us the Gonal F script I said to Hubby we would have to find a way to make it in to a place 30mins away to get it that afternoon, she asked why we would go there and I said because the other FS had said it was the only pharmacy that would stock fertility medication in our area. She said that was ridiculous and incorrect and recommended we call Chemist Warehouse (1 block from my work) – she was right – they were amazing and had it for me the very next day! I was SO F*#@ING MAD at the other FS. They gave us no option as they sent our scripts directly to that pharmacy, obviously they get a kick back from using them. We had to do all sorts of running around and leaving work early (using leave time or making up hours) to get our stuff from that pharmacy. HOW RUDE! I just couldn’t even.

Anyway… Hubby and I have talked about it and how mad we are. We are both very glad that we have moved on. I know people have got their miracles from the other FS and if we had we probably wouldn’t be as upset about these things, but damn it is a hard pill to swallow. So now we are going to move beyond our madness, I like this lady FS much more. I think she actually knows what it is like to have to watch everything you eat. We have decided to shed our bad experiences and concentrate on the positive journey we believe is ahead of us with this lady. I really liked that she asked both of us where we wanted our journey to go next and then gave us her opinion of what she would like to try, but then the ultimate plan of what we would do was made all together.

For anyone out there afraid to shop around, just don’t be. If you have any doubts or just want a second opinion on whether there should be anything else you should be testing just do it. Your current FS doesn’t even have to know you have done it. Try thinking of your FS as your employee, this really worked for me and it is accurate, you are paying them to provide you with a service.

I think step one has provided plenty of information so I will leave it here and work on step two another day 🙂

How are your journeys going?

 


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Back in January I talked about my goals to reduce our household waste. So I thought I would do a little recap and see where we are at.

We have been doing okay with this in general, though there are some areas we could improve in:

  • We have not been as good on plastic bags as I would like, but we are recycling them instead of throwing them out as we used to do. It’s mostly an issue because I ensure I go for a walk at lunchtimes and often do some household shopping then and I don’t always remember to go to my car to get the eco bag first. Definitely something I need to work on habit wise.
    Eco Bags
  • Meal planning has also gone out the window for us for the most part just due to different crazy life things going on. I try to do it in my head a bit, obviously this is nowhere near as good as if I were doing it properly though so I really need to make an effort with this. Not only is it better for reducing waste, but it is also kinder on our wallets and better for our health because when I plan we end up with healthy well rounded meals.

Things we have done include:

  • I have done research into some of the things we buy and try to only buy items that have recyclable packaging (harder than you might think – though the redcycle program at Coles has helped a lot).
  • When it comes to items like egg cartons which are recyclable I will also look for opportunities for reuse. For instance our library storytime sometimes uses egg cartons for craft. In fact I found a flower craft recently for Mother’s Day that I sent through as a suggestion that uses egg cartons. This will mean that all staff’s egg cartons will be donated for the next few weeks to be used to create Mother’s Day gifts rather than being thrown out or recycled.
    Image result for egg carton flowers
    There are so many fun crafts you can do with egg cartons that I am actually going to save that for another post I think 🙂
  • Though we do not want junk mail it seems to keep magically appearing so I use the elastic bands from them on my frozen veggie bags once open to reduce the chance of freezer burn and recycle the junk mail. It’s only a little thing I know, but I also feel that that thought and little effort if magnified by many certainly counts.
    I also found out that my girlfriend who lives 30 minutes further bush than me doesn’t get junk mail at all so I now keep them for her and she recycles them after use.
  • When we next needed rice I bought a 5kg bag. Every one that sees it thinks I am crazy and it does take up a lot of room, but I used to buy the 500gram packet so I am literally saving 10 plastic packages and it saved me a BUNCH of money!
    We may not have sugar in our house, but if you need a cup of rice I am definitely your girl
    Image result for cup of rice cartoon
  • At work I have noticed that I have naturally become a lot more conscious of recycling and providing opportunities for people to learn more sustainable habits. No matter how small the scraps are now (from cutting out or whatever) I will put them in the paper recycling bin. I have also gotten into the habit of checking the staff paper recycling next to the internal printer for scrap paper as this is always in high demand at the library.
    Our Council has business card sized laminated signs with a cute cartoon of a light bulb reminding people to turn off switches. I have ordered some of these to place above the switches in our study areas as people often leave these on. I have also convinced Council to add recycling bins into all the libraries and centres (gyms and pools) which is amazing!!!
    I also had a chat with the guy from Council who runs eco programs like creating sustainable gardens, building terrariums and composting at home. It started with me offering to promote his programs in the library particularly on our social media sites. He was super excited about this and we are now talking about him possibly running some programs at the libraries which is amazing because we get a whole new slew of programs whilst our resource output would be minimal and we would be collaborating and networking with a whole new area of Council so I am pretty excited about this possibility 🙂

It was great for me to discover that I was able to make a difference at work as well as at home.

What changes have you made or do you suggest I make?


Reducing waste

For the last few months I have been thinking on possible ways that I could reduce waste in general personally, at work and for our household. I have done quite a bit of research on this, because you know… librarian. Whilst I am dedicated to reducing our waste in a number of ways I wanted it to be something (at least to start) that does not require massive sacrifices every day.

This has been an ongoing project for me. We started with our home. Whilst we still have all the creature comforts we could ever need we did consider a lot when building. For starters the house was supposed to have a fancy architectural void from upstairs to down which not only wasted power as far as aircon went, it also wasted usable space and the extra windows meant extra cleaning as well. So it had to go. Our toilets and two of our outdoor taps run off recycled water which I am so pleased about (even though it costs more and often doesn’t work for hours at a time) and our mailbox out the front is built from leftover bricks we have from our home. As far as air conditioning goes we have ducted air con in our house that is separated into zones, so on hot (or cold) days we can set the air con to only be on in the areas we are using which is awesome!

Image result for literary eco bags

I have been using eco bags for shopping for awhile, but I have been getting pretty slack with them to be honest. I have been recycling the plastic bags at the Coles supermarket REDcycling point though when we do our grocery shopping so that is something. For my Australian readers that are not aware Coles have a REDcycle program. You can drop off empty bread, cereal and frozen food bags, plastic shopping bags and other flexible plastic packaging and it is sent off and used to build outdoor furniture for Aussie primary schools and pre-schools. I have been making a much better effort with the eco bags though. They now always go straight back into the boot when we unpack the shopping. My aim is to stop using plastic shopping bags altogether.

One of the other big changes we have made is to stop buying store bought toilet paper. We now have a subscription to “Who gives a crap”. They send a massive box of forest friendly world helping toilet paper every 16 weeks to our door. The toilet paper is great and we feel good about the fact that 50% of the profits go towards building toilets for people who have access to none. Find out more about them here. Just now looking at their site I have realised that they now do tissues and paper towels too!

who-gives-a

Food wise to minimise waste I have for the past 2 weeks written a food plan for the week and stuck to it. This means I do not buy more than I will need which minimises the amount of food wastage in the house. The last two weeks the food wastage in our household has been almost nothing. Such an awesome outcome. Is it a bit of effort? Definitely, but I think it is worth it too. The flow on effect is monetary savings and rubbish savings because we are not buying all the extra junk we do not need.

Hubby and I have switched to paperless billing and statements wherever we have been able to. We have been using prescription services like STAN and NETFLIX and borrowing movies from the library instead of purchasing DVDs which has saved a LOT of money and as cheap as this sounds it means we can have a wine and popcorn night at home instead of going to the cinema which costs like $80 at Event these days! We are also planning to swap to rechargeable batteries for all of our remotes etc. We don’t have many items that require AA and AAA batteries anymore, but it would be nice to be able to reduce the waste these create.

 

Future plans:

I would like to have a veggie and herb garden up the side of our house as well as a passionfruit vine and a lemon and lime tree, but those will have to wait for a little bit. I am also considering a compost bin as this would help reduce the grass cuttings from our massive lawn. Currently we are not able to mow our front and back lawn in the same fortnight as the cuttings will not all fit in our council bin 😦

I plan to buy items like basmati rice and vegetable oil and cleaning products in bigger packaging so there is not as much waste.

Image result for carrying bulk rice bag

Well maybe not this big, but you get the idea. Buying in bulk reduces the packaging waste.

I have purchased a reusable BPA free water bottle. This encourages me to up my intake of water as well as not waste plastic bottles or drink as much soft drink or juice because I always have water on hand.

Cleaning wise I plan to do some research (AKA hit the library books) to look at some more cost and environmentally friendly options. Already I have swapped to microfiber cloth which often means that many marks on the walls etc. come off with just some hot water and elbow grease which is grand!

I would love to hear any suggestions that you have. I am pleased that so far my efforts have in general saved us money because we have some very good uses for that 🙂

 


2016 in review

hindsight20

Well the new year is here. I had high hopes for 2016. In truth many wonderful things happened and were achieved in 2016.I feel that the good things are often overshadowed by the fact that I failed to get the thing I wanted the most, a baby. 2 failed transfers, much heartache and being filled with hormones which rival a sorority house whose cycles have synced on the day before AF hits left me a little jaded. I have decided to remind myself of some of the good things that happened in 2016 to get some perspective.

  • Hubby and I finally achieved our goal of our own home, whilst getting there was a long road (3 years since purchasing the land long and 9 years of saving long) it is totally worth it because we are both totally in LOVE with our home (I’ll post more on the house another day with pics).
  • My youngest nephew Coda was born.
  • Hubby and I have gotten even better with our communication. It’s the kind of open and honest relationship I have always dreamed of having. Whilst he is generally the suffer in silence type, he is opening up a lot more now which I love.
  • I celebrated 1 year in my role as Reference & Information Services Librarian in January (it will be 2 years tomorrow). Honestly I can’t believe I have only been here that long. It feels like forever and I have done so much in this role.
  • I was asked to act up in the Branch & Customer Services Coordinator role for the last quarter of the year. It was so challenging and I loved it. I really enjoyed all the work with the programming and promotions. If they ever develop a role for that here I will totally apply 🙂
  • I have developed a close group of friends at work. I am not someone who makes close friends easily and I decided last year to put myself out there more and got great results. The result is a group of friends I can count on, sound off ideas on, have lunch and sometimes dinner with, go for walks after work and to the gym with, go to the movies with, we even went bowling. This awesome group of people has made a huge difference to my work and home life and I have such a great time with them!
    I feel very fortunate to have met people like this in my workplace.
  • Hubby and I have learned a lot about DIY (seriously LOVE YouTube!!!). We have done basically all of our landscaping ourselves (Hubby much more than me), we have installed our own washing line and even learned how to lay bricks and built our own brick mailbox. The mailbox isn’t the most professional job, but it is the mailbox that love built and was a great bonding experience and we did much better than Homer did with that BBQ.
    bbq
  • I quit smoking! Something I have been wanting to do for the longest time. February  15, 2017 will mark one year since I have quit. Sometimes (rarely now) in times of stress or emotional upset (like 2 failed IVF transfers) I kind of want to reach for a smoke, but I have been so good. VERY proud of this accomplishment. I did put on weight after quitting because instead of smoking I would eat. To be honest I let myself do this because I truly feel that was the right choice for me. Now that I have been successful in quitting smoking I have turned my attention back to my food. I have yet to conquer emotional eating, I am SO bad for this!

 

So there is a lot of really good things that happened this year. Often it is hard to think about them when something that is so all consuming is constantly at the forefront of your mind. I could choose to give in to it, or I could combat it another way. Yes IVF transfers failed for us twice one of which was a PGS tested perfect lil man embryo, Yes I REALLY got my hopes up on the lil man transfer, Yes my FS doesn’t seem to be the most open and communicative. So Hubby and I have done a tonne of research over the past couple of months and put some things into action which I will talk about in another post coming soon 🙂


Inspiration boards – Front lounge

So awhile ago I started to put together images or rather inspiration boards for the different rooms in our home (OMG I have a HOME!). As you may guess I am pretty flipping excited about owning our first home. You may think that doing inspiration boards is a bit over the top especially because we are going to be pretty poor after the next few months. It will be so weird to see so little money in our accounts when we have been saving like crazy and had very healthy accounts.

Anyway I thought I would share with you my inspiration for our front lounge room. I have never had a proper lounge room before that was a separate area of the house. Here we go…

2 seater lounge

I’d like this in a 2.5 to 3 seater. I LOVE this fabric. The lines are great and the style is Ruby which is one of my favourite animated characters.

armchair

I love the armchairs too. Would love two for either side of the lounge either in a matching colour or something completely different like a turquoise.

bookshelves

We actually already have these bookshelves so this will cost us nothing. Have always loved these and can’t wait for them to be a feature in our home.

light

I love the look of this light and would love it for the corner of the room. It is a little expensive for my budget now so will wait for a sale or maybe birthday or Christmas.

rug

LOVE this rug and the tri knot pattern matches the pattern on my engagement ring and our wedding rings. Would be a great piece to really stamp our personalities on the room.

Because our place was built we had a lot of pallets hanging around and a few were really good quality wood. The plan was that I would use these to build us a coffee table as part of my “Try Something New” resolution. Unfortunately someone came into our backyard and took them. I still plan to do this project, but the plan now is to go for walks in our new neighbourhood and wait for someone to put a good one out for cleanup 🙂

coffee table

This is what I hope to end up with from the pallet. The larger pieces of wood I have already scored from offcuts from our build.

I plan to be quite industrious. There are a lot of off cuts around our neighbourhood currently due to everyone building. I am hoping I can save us quite a bit by knocking together some of our own pieces and you can get bottles of “trial” varnishes and/or paint for a couple of dollars so in all a coffee table like this might cost me $5 haha.


52 Books in 52 Weeks – Harry Potter cont…

Fair warning… it’s all about Harry Potter 🙂

41. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets

I won’t lie, the movie of this book is my least favourite in the series. Having now read the book I think the movie cheated it. There was so much more depth in a variety of characters that was erased from the film.

I really enjoyed this second book. Loved that Dobby threw Lucius down some stairs at the end and that the flying car was an actual character that was self-aware and had feelings and went wild in the forest. I also liked that nearly headless Nick was a much bigger character in the book than I expected having seen the film first.

I do love the relationships in this book and if I were in need of a family I would wish with all my heart that the Weasley’s were real and looking to adopt!

Great book, can’t wait for the next one 🙂

42. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

Harry-Potter-And-The-Prisoner-Of-Azkaban_novelI am loving how my appreciation of this series is getting deeper as I go on. At this point I am pretty much tearing through these books.

I love Ron attempting to use the phone and very much wish that was in the movie. I also found the character of Crookshanks very interesting, in the film he is just a cat, but in the books he is so much more.

Sirius and Lupin were some of my favourite characters from the films and Lupin was definitely my favourite Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher, so I am glad that my love for them was only made bigger by reading the actual book 🙂

43. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Goblet_of_FireOh Cedric, Cedric. He was such a good and wonderful person. Sorry, it’s all just so much more real when you are reading the book, you feel like you really got to know him and then… well… all the feels.

I love the Weasley’s rocking up through the fireplace and the Dursley’s just not know knowing what to do about it hahaha.

I did feel like a lot of the descriptions of Krum were quite negative, maybe it is just me, but that’s how I was left feeling about him which I think was unfair because there is nothing wrong with him.

There was more Dobby in this book, I was kind of surprised by that because Dobby didn’t show up at all really between the Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows. Poor Dobby. I actually really liked him as a character in the book. Hermione trying to save all the house elves that don’t want to be saved gave me a giggle too.

44. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-coverI have so many evilish feelings and thoughts about Umbridge. She really is the Antichrist! What a truly evil woman.

I have noticed (maybe because I know what is coming from the movies) that Rowling has little hints in earlier books of things to come which is pretty awesome. It certainly shows that she had this whole story and world planned out completely.

Fred + George Weasley Forever! Those boys are something else and I just love it!

I feel like A LOT was missed out from the book to the film and that makes me sad. For starters in the film didn’t Bellatrix “kill” Neville’s parents rather than just drive them batty? Why? St Mungo’s isn’t even shown in the films which means we never see loopy Lockhart again. Harry felt a lot of angst around the fact that Hermione and Ron were made prefects and he wasn’t, I thought it was great they were made prefects and interesting that this was not in the film.

45. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling

coverI think this was my favourite book so far. The back story into Voldemort was colourful, clever, well-rounded and very informative without giving too much away.The book is FAR better than the movie and I feel as though I have a much greater understanding of Voldemort now.

The way the characters are developed through this series is very well orchestrated and I can only applaud Rowling’s brain for that. Every character is so well thought out and carefully built and true to their nature in the way that they react and interact within the story.

Every chapter with adventures using the Half-Blood Prince’s potions book was fascinating and Harry’s internal thoughts and emotions whilst the story unravels are fascinating. Definitely my favourite so far!

46. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Deathly_Hallows

Nooooo….. it can’t be the last one already! I have read these way too fast!

I can certainly understand why they split this into 2 films, there is an immense amount that occurs in this book. In the final book of this wondrous and now quite beloved (for me anyway) series Rowling brilliantly and tear-jerkingly ties up all the little fragments she has planted over the years throughout the books. This final volume is an absolute triumph and this along with the Half-Blood Prince are absolutely 2 of the best junior fiction novels I have EVER read.

I laughed and shed tears reading this book. A favourite part was hearing Fred and George Weasley on the radio station ‘Pottermore’ hosted by Lee Jordan, I literally laughed out loud during this part of the book. I can’t for the life of me imagine why they wouldn’t have included this part in the first Deathly Hallows film instead of just watching them camp for the majority of it.

I adore how intricately interwoven this series is, the story of which spans literally two generations (more if you include the Dumbledore back story). I know I have mentioned my adoration of the effort that has gone into the characters, but honestly I don’t feel I can state enough how impressed I was with the development of the characters. Harry and Ginny’s relationship was so well done in the books, I really feel it suffered in the films (emotion fueled teenage looks non-withstanding).

Also the end fight scene in this was SO much better than the film. I always liked the film’s final fight, but the book’s was amazing!

I do truly wish I could have experienced the series without having seen the movies, but let’s face it there are so many spoilers around it wouldn’t have mattered. What does matter is that I have finally read them and loved them and now I won’t cause shock by saying “I haven’t actually read Harry Potter”

 

I couldn’t believe it when I was reading these books and the last book almost coincided with the passing of Alan Rickman. I was so very sad to hear of his passing, he was a spectacularly talented man and I am a big fan of his work

What are you guys reading???