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!
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.
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!
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” -Epictetus
Just dropping in to wish all my family and friends in America a happy Thanksgiving! I was feeling a bit homesick this morning so I’ve taken the day off to cuddle with Alfred, read The Nightingale (almost finished!), and watch The Queen. We’ll be FaceTiming with my family in California later which is sure to lift my spirits. This year I’m feeling extra thankful for my sweet husband, Simon, who always makes me laugh with his naughty British humor and spoils me rotten. I’m also thankful for the incredible opportunity to live in Denmark, for our health, our beautiful home, and for the companionship of my grumbly pug. I am so thankful for all of you as well. Your thoughtful comments mean more than you know and I am eternally grateful for your friendship and readership. And now, we’re off to eat barbecue with our Danish neighbors! Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving!
A reader recently commented that she and her husband would be moving abroad and asked if I’d share a bit about my experience as an expat. I lived in Switzerland from 2004-2006 and my British husband lived in the U.S. for nine years, so while we were familiar with life abroad, Scandinavia has been something entirely new to us both. Below are some tips for expat living I’ve gathered from our experience thus far.READ POST
So after some thought (thanks for your input!), I’ve decided to head to Morocco next month! India solo seemed a bit daunting and Portugal is so close I can really go anytime. I’m flying direct from Copenhagen to Marrakech in late November and will have four full days to explore the city. I can’t wait to wander the souks and splurge on a beautiful rug or two! If you’ve been to Marrakech before, I’d love to hear your tips. Do you have a guide you’d recommend? Where should I dine/shop/explore…? I will be sure to share my Marrakech favorites upon my return!