Category Archives: my life

IVF Heartbreak, Take Two

Hello, my loves. Sadly, Simon and I learned this week that our second IVF attempt failed. The call from the nurse was devastating, but somehow a teeny bit easier than our first round of disappointment. Perhaps, amidst the heartbreak, we’re growing stronger. I still have faith that we’re meant to have a baby, it’s just going to take more time. We’ll be transferring our last frozen embryo in a few weeks. Hopefully, third time’s a charm. And if not, we’ll start over at the very beginning with a new fresh cycle. I am trying to focus on all we have to be grateful for—our supportive family and friends, pug cuddles, our sunny apartment, and this blog and my sweet readers. Most of all, I’m thankful we ended up in Denmark, where fertility treatment is roughly a third of the cost it is in the U.S. (the main reason we’re able to keep trying). This weekend, we’re going to watch movies, have friends over for dinner, and just get hygge. Wishing you all a cozy weekend with the ones you love.

(above, a ridiculously cute cardigan for little girls)

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The Two Week Wait, Take Two

Unsurprisingly, I still have babies on the brain. We transferred one of our two frozen embryos and are now in the midst of the two-week wait. I begged the doctor to transfer both blastocysts (twins!), but they are rarely willing to transfer more than one embryo in Denmark. The transfer itself didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped (the doctor had a lot of difficulty and I cried the whole way home), so I’m not very optimistic, but maybe we’ll get lucky this time. Meanwhile, I’m still flagging all the cute baby clothes and accessories I come across online. Isn’t the crochet cardigan above as cute as can be…?! Below, I’ve shared some more of my current baby favorites.

Felt Sheep Baby Mobile

Floral Flutter-Sleeve Baby Dress (on sale)

Gingham Washcloth Set

Oxford Baby Boy Boat Shoes (on sale)

Pink Gingham Baby Overalls

Giraffe Nursery Bookcase

Toddler Pineapple Quilt and Play Mat

Patagonia Water Resistant Baby Girl Down Vest

Owl Laundry Hamper

Baby Chick Swaddle Blanket

Farm Animal Baby Socks Set

Stripe Baby Girl Dress

Whale Toy Basket

Elephant Fitted Crib Sheet (on sale)

Classic Cord Shorts (so Prince George!)

Eyelet Chambray Flutter Baby Top (on sale)

Star Cloud Mobile

Baby Girl August Floral Print Dress

Elephant Shaped Nursery Storage

Bow Baby Ballet Flats (on sale)

Whales Knitted Sweater

Organic Cotton Bubble Romper

Flamingo Swaddle Blanket

Patagonia Water Repellent Baby Boys Down Vest

Dover Dachshund Knit Toy

Eyelet Sun Hat

Gingham Baby Girl Swimsuit with Ruffles

Dottie Bookcase

Knitted Baby Leggings

Miffy Bunny Lamp

Elephant Swaddle Baby Blanket

Daisy Ruffle-Back Baby Leggings (on sale)

Turtle Nursery Toy Storage

Giraffe Crib Sheet

Pink Eyelet Baby Dress

Bunny and Carrot Baby Socks

Elephant Knob (so fun for a dresser or changing table…)

Glitter Jelly Baby Sandals (on sale, these are super cute too)

Jersey Baby Girl Play Set

Eyelet Ruffle One-Piece Baby Swimsuit (on sale)

You Go Girl Canvas Banner

Patagonia Baby Down Filled Jacket

Blooming Scalloped Baby Bib

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IVF Heartbreak…and Portugal

Hi friends. Yesterday, Simon and I got news that our first IVF cycle was unsuccessful. Needless to say, we are heartbroken. We had been so optimistic throughout the two week wait and were truly devastated when we got the call. The silver lining is that we have two frozen embryos from the first cycle, so our next attempt will be a frozen embryo transfer (no injections this time around). I’m trying to keep my chin up, but as you can imagine, it’s hard. At Simon’s encouragement, I booked a quick trip to Lisbon to distract myself from the bad news (#traveltherapy). I fly out tomorrow morning and am really looking forward to a bit of sunshine. Please let me know if you have any suggestions as to what I must see/do in Lisbon. I’ve never been to Portugal, but have heard wonderful things (feel free to follow along on instagram). Thank you again for all of your encouragement throughout our fertility struggles. Your kind comments and emails have given me such hope.

(image via)

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you’ve all recovered from last night’s bubbly. We spent the evening with our favorite Danish neighbors. The festivities commenced with a viewing of Queen Margrethe II’s televised speech (tradition dictates you drink every time she mumbles, drops her eyeglasses, or loses a cue card…bless her heart), followed by a beautiful three course take-out meal from Restaurant Cofoco. After a hilarious game of charades, we concluded the night marveling over the fireworks display from the balcony. Danes love to party and certainly know how to ring in the New Year with style.

2016 was a wild adventure and, while there were plenty of good times, I’m glad to see it go. The highlights in short: we moved from Chicago to Copenhagen and found our dream apartment, I celebrated my 30th birthday with my dear friend Jane in Vienna, traveled with my mom to Berlin and Paris, made a summer escape to Milan and Lake Como with Simon, and made solo trips to Stockholm, Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Marrakech. We also celebrated one year of marriage in Paris, made multiple trips to London to see family, underwent fertility treatment, and built an amazing network of international friends here in Denmark.

In 2017, I hope to slow down a bit. Perhaps I’ll be pregnant and spend time nesting. I haven’t set strict resolutions, my hope is to simply be mindful, be patient, and be grateful. I hope to hold more dinner parties, blog more often (let me know what kind of posts you’d like to see!), read more books, and perhaps explore another country or two. If I am so lucky to become a mother, that would be the greatest gift of all.

What were the highlights of your 2016? Any resolutions you care to share? Wishing you all a happy, healthy 2017 full of friendship, love, and inspiration. Cheers to new beginnings!

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The Two-Week Wait

Just popping in to update you all on our IVF adventure and wish you all a belated happy holidays. On Christmas Eve I had my egg removal (what a trip, more on that later…) and on Tuesday they transferred one beautiful, little embryo back into my uterus. We now wait two weeks (surely the longest two weeks of my life…) to take a pregnancy test at the fertility clinic. Simon has been spoiling me rotten (he adorably brought Madeline to the egg removal and read it to me while I recuperated…) and I’m just doing my best to stay stress-free. We are so excited and feeling very optimistic. While it was hardly your typical Christmas, it was a memorable one indeed. I hope all of you had a cheerful holiday full of family, friends, and delicious treats. Below, are some fun baby items I have my eye on. If we get a positive pregnancy test, I fear I may go on a bit of a spree! Above, a must-have baby bear suit.

Giraffe Shaped Wicker Basket, $79 (on sale)

Blythe Oval Crib, $899 (other colors available)

Andy Warhol ABC’s Book, $13 (also available here)

Starry Globe Nightlight, $16

Bunny Booties, $23 (on sale)

Textured Polka Dot Rug, from $149

Bunny Nursery Mobile, $112 (on sale)

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Preparing for IVF

Yesterday was a very exciting day in the Taylor household—Simon gave me my first IVF hormone shot! After waiting for nearly six months to begin due to my thyroid, we are thrilled to have finally embarked on this crazy assisted conception adventure. For those of you who aren’t familiar with in-vitro fertilization, the “short protocol” that our Danish clinic recommended requires roughly two weeks of hormone injections, an egg removal procedure (they put you under for this in the States, but not in Denmark – wish me luck!), fertilizing the eggs with the partner’s sperm in a petri dish, and, lastly, insertion of one fertilized embryo (sometimes more) back into the uterus. We’ll freeze any extra fertilized embryos for future Taylor babies! My egg removal is tentatively scheduled for Christmas Day (merry merry!), though we won’t know if I’m pregnant until mid-January. The shot last night didn’t hurt at all (and I hate needles), so I’m in good spirits and feeling cautiously optimistic – there’s about a 50% success rate for women of my age. Below, for those that are curious, I thought I’d share how I’ve been preparing for our IVF adventure. (Image: Elephant Pull Toy)

#1 Research. When we got the news that it would likely require IVF for us to get pregnant (there were reproductive issues with both myself and my husband, go team!), I immediately ordered books on the (then very foreign to us) topic. I loved Zita West’s Guide, as well as It Starts With the Egg. Learning the basics helped me come to terms with our situation (I have always wanted lots of children and was pretty devastated) and feel slightly more in control. (Image: Letterpress New Baby Card)

#2 – Meditation. I finally bit the bullet and subscribed to Headspace. My goal is to meditate for at least 20 minutes per day. After just a few weeks, I’ve already seen improvements in my stress level, which is very important for successful IVF. (Image: Cloud Wooden Baby Gym)

#3 – High-protein diet. Studies have shown that high protein diets lead to higher IVF success rates. I’m trying to eat more plant and lean animal proteins. I’ve said goodbye to alcohol, caffeine, and my beloved Danish pastries (RIP). (Image: Crochet Beet Baby Rattle)

#4 – Sleep. I’ve always been a sleeping pro. Studies suggest 7-8 hours are ideal for IVF success, so I’m aiming to be in bed by 10:30 and up by 6:30. (Image: Elephant Night Light)

#5 – Self-care. I’ve learned to take it easy on myself and find healthy ways to cope with disappointment. When I found out, after nearly a year of our unsuccessful trying, that a close relative got pregnant on her first try, I dissolved into a puddle of sobs on our bathroom floor. The world just felt so brutally unfair. Everywhere I look on Facebook and instagram all my fellow bloggers have babies or are announcing pregnancies. I’ve unplugged more recently, not because I’m not happy for them, but because it’s helped me not to compare myself and to trust my own journey to motherhood. My recent solo trip to Morocco was a wonderful, restorative escape. (Image: Monogrammed Ruffle Baby Bib)

#6 – Vitamins. I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins for over a year now (we’ve been trying for quite awhile…) and am of course keeping up with them. (Image: Bear Nursery Mobile)

#7 – Hydration. Because I’m at high risk for hyperstimulation, it’s extra important I stay hydrated throughout the IVF process. Simon also thinks that drinking water is the cure to every illness (headache, cramps, life…), so he is always bringing me water whether I’m thirsty or not. (Image: Letterpress New Baby Card)

#8 – Acupuncture. I’ll actually just be doing this following the embryo transfer as there are no issues with my egg quality or quantity. Several women I know that have had successful transfers have recommended acupuncture and I’m looking forward to giving it a try. (Image: Jenny Lind White Crib)

#9 – Exercise. It’s rather cold here in Copenhagen, but I’m trying to get out and keep moving. I’ve taken some long walks with my Danish neighbor and her baby and they always leave me feeling happy and energized. Exercise also obviously improves sleep and lowers stress, which, as mentioned, contributes to successful IVF. (Image: Dino Wall Decor)

#10 – Reading. I’ve found I’m much happier and less stressed when I’m reading a great book. I’ve stocked up on some fun reads for the next few weeks. First up, A Man Called Ove. Our doctor told us to “Just take the shots, enjoy your lives, and try not to overthink things. Leave the rest to us.” I love this approach. We’re confident we’re in good hands. (Image: Polar Bear Rocker)

I would be happy to answer any questions and would be delighted to hear any tips you might have in the comments below! I really can’t thank you enough for all your support!

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