Nursery Design Inspiration

Nursery Design Woodland Theme - Our Plans Have Changed Blog www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

1. Crib | 2. Print | 3. Crib Sheet | 4. Wall Decals | 5. Lantern | 6. Nightlight | 7. Curtain Tie Backs | 8. Mobile | 9. Fox Blanket | 10. Deer Hook | 11. Rug | 12. Polar Bear Teether

After browsing through my pinterest board for nursery inspiration, I discovered that I am gravitating towards designs that include woodland animals.  I think it could be made to work for a boy or a girl with the right paint colors and details.  Here are some of my favorite items that I’ve found so far.  This crib is from Ikea and a great price point.  I like the idea of using art prints for the nursery that aren’t decidedly ‘baby’.  This crib sheet is from Dwell Studio and is part of their woodland collection.  I like the idea of doing some sort of accent wall behind the crib and thought these pine tree decals could work nicely.  You can order them in multiple colors including metallics.  How cute would this little lantern table lamp look?  If that’s not your style, what about this bunny nightlight?  These antler tie backs are again, not baby items, but I think could tie the theme together really well.  I had a hard time finding mobiles that I liked after a quick google search, but this one seems woodsy and whimsical.  What does the fox say?  I truly have no idea what the fox says or where that came from, but I like this fox blanket for an accent.  Orange is one of my favorite colors (outside of grey).  To add another touch of whimsy, what about hanging a white deer above the crib or somewhere else in the room. If you have a little girl, you could hang necklaces or scarves from it or add a little tiara.  This sheepskin run from Ikea might be a fun texture to use for tummy time.  It’s from Ikea and would add a nice little lodge feel to the nursery, not to mention it’s soft and cuddly.  Finally, this polar bear teether from Bannor Toys is hand made in the USA.

What are some of your favorite nursery ideas?

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On Giving and Judging

I have lots of thoughts today.  Let’s start with judging.  It’s hard when you’re trying to start a family not to judge every family interaction you see around you.  It’s easy to see a glimpse of a stranger and say you would never be like that, or they’re damaging their children or not valuing them.  But, I think it’s really important to keep in mind that we make our opinions of people within the first 5 minutes.  5 minutes.  What if that’s the worst 5 minutes of that person’s day, week, year, etc?  Let’s just try our best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  We aren’t perfect.  We all make mistakes.

Now onto giving.  Whether you give your time, advice, story, material items or love, it seems that people begin to expect you to continue to give once you’ve started.  They believe they’re entitled to it.  When I started this blog, I did so to share what we were going through, to sort out my emotions, to bring more awareness to infertility.  I had also made it clear that once we reached a certain point in our journey, it would be a while before I shared the details.  Not because I don’t want to share, but because there are some things that should be done privately for a time.  Whether that be savoring the sweet joy of pregnancy or suffering through a failed cycle or miscarriage, we had decided to keep quiet until we were comfortable discussing it.  I’ve received some opposition to this.  People, including those close to me and strangers, think they have a right to know the rest of the story, on their timeframe – not mine.  We will share our story.  We won’t leave you all hanging, but we’re just not ready.

Let’s think about this a bit.  If an IVF round was successful, a positive pregnancy test would happen before 4 weeks, but that isn’t the end of it.  You have to then sustain a pregnancy.  Couples walk on eggshells until their doctors think they’re at a relatively safe spot in their pregnancy.   Most ‘normal’ people wait to announce their pregnancy until 12-13 weeks when the chance of miscarriage is greatly decreased.  You wouldn’t even know they were ‘trying’ unless they had shared that info.  If an IVF round was unsuccessful it doesn’t mean it’s just another month with a negative pregnancy test, it means that a fertilized embryo or embryos were placed into a womb and given all they needed to stick around, yet they didn’t.  Or, a positive initial pregnancy test could lead to a miscarriage, these are all very personal situations.  Even though we’ve been open about our story so far, it’s our story.  When we’re ready to share, we will.  Until then, please understand that we are dealing with a lot of emotions and it’s important to focus on us and our marriage.

We appreciate all of the support we have received and are continuing to receive.  Our story is to be continued…

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Maternity Fashions: Yay or Nay?

Maternity Fashions yes or no?  Our Plans Have Changed Blog www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com

I’ve been doing a lot of searching for maternity fashions, trying to keep my hopes up that I’ll need some of these soon.  The great thing is, it’s not like when our moms or grandmothers were pregnant.  People no longer need to hide their bump under moo moos and baby doll tops.  The bad news is that some of the trends that are working in regular fashion are automatically transferred into maternity fashions.  Do these same styles work for pregnant women?  I don’t know.  I have a memory from when I was a little girl being in the poconos at a store with either my mom or my grandmother and I saw a young, pregnant woman in a white t-shirt and a pair of overalls.  I remember thinking she looked adorable.  Well, I’m going through IVF just in time for overalls to come back in style.  WAIT…overalls are back in style?!  What??  I’m not even sure if this is good or bad.  Please don’t tell me scrunchies are coming back.

1.  Overalls – I’m not sure if this trendy or not.  My thoughts are maybe it could work with a tank or t-shirt for the spring/summer months.  In the fall/winter maybe put a sweater underneath with thick colored tights and ankle booties with a nice scarf.

2.  Horizontal Stripes – I LOVE stripes.  However, I’ve always been told horizontal stripes make people look wider.  Is that what a pregnant woman really wants?  Or, is it more about stripes being super stylish?  Personally, I would wear stripes, but I know there are women out there who wouldn’t.

3.  Leather-look Leggings – Chelsea Clinton recently wore leather leggings (I’m sure they were real not imitation) to a function.  Leather leggings/skinnies are in style recently.  I’m pretty sure you can buy a non-maternity, legit leather pair for $398 at Victoria’s Secret or something crazy like that.  But what about when you’re preggo?  H&M has an affordable imitation leather legging.  Is this style too bad ass for pregnancy or because you’re doing something as bad ass as growing a human could you for sure pull them off?

4.  Kimonos – I’ve noticed on Pinterest that many pregnant, stylish women have been spotted wearing shear kimonos over tanks/t-shirts with leggings or skinny jeans or over a simple dress.  Is a kimono the new cardigan? If it is, someone needs to tell me ASAP.  I’m the cardigan queen.  Seriously, I wear one every day.  The kimono looks like a dressy/airy version.

5.  Pregnancy Graphic Tees – I’ve never been much of a fan of graphic t-shirts.  However, I love this one for pregnancy and ones that just say ‘Preggers‘ and ‘Mama Bear‘  However, there are some that I find really tacky, like the ones stating for people to keep their hands off the bump or ‘my mommy doesn’t want your advice’.

6.  Bikinis – I think it’s great that bikinis are now acceptable for pregnant women.  I don’t own a single one piece or tankini and really don’t want to have to own one.  As long as it’s supportive enough at the top and covering high enough on the bottoms, I think bikinis are a go!

I personally think I would wear all of these items while pregnant, but I know there are some out there who would judge me for that, or judge others, or just wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing these clothes.  What are your maternity fashion must-haves and what would you avoid?

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Thank You

Saying our prayers TTC IVF Infertility Our Plans Have Changed Blog www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com Photography by Lauren Fair

 

Before we continue any further through this journey, it’s important for us to acknowledge all of the love and support we have felt.  To our family, our friends, colleagues, acquaintances and complete strangers: we cannot thank you enough.  There has been an outpouring of encouragement and love.  We don’t consider ourselves to be extremely religious people but I can tell you that I have never prayed more for anything in my life.  To know that all of you have sent your positive words, thoughts and prayers our way makes us feel so blessed already.  Whether we are nearing the end of our IVF journey, or this is just the beginning, I wanted you all to know just how thankful we are.  You have made a difference in our lives and our hearts.

Our one year anniversary is coming up in a little more than a month and this first year of marriage has been an adventure.  It’s not exactly what we expected.  Luckily we love each other so darn much that all of this has only made us closer.  We are hopeful that the two embryos we transferred last week have decided to stick with us.  We love them so much.  We feel like we know them and like our lives will be forever changed because of them.

Again, thank you for all of your support.  I’m a ball of nerves tonight and am hoping for the best.  I’ll be saying a few more prayers, because it can’t hurt, right?

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photo by Lauren Fair

What it’s Really Like

IVF TTC Infertility - Wishin and Hopin - And the dark side to infertility

This journey is hard.  It changes a person.  That may come off as slightly dramatic and maybe it is, but it’s the truth.  When I talk to people, I can hear my voice is different now.  I’m not the same woman I was before starting down this path.  What I’ve noticed is when faced with this journey a lot of people go one of two ways (not all, this is not intended to be a mass generalization, just my observation): obsession or depression, and sometimes both.

I follow a lot of people on instagram who have special TTC (trying to conceive) accounts.  They post pictures from each doctors appointment, they give specific stats about their eggs and embryos and every symptom they have after transfer, analyzing any little feeling within their body.  I do this too.  It’s so consuming, this infertility stuff.  Your days become scheduled around appointments and injections.  You become this crazy superstitious person who starts eating pineapple core and avocado because you read some study that says it could help.  You get laser acupuncture, which just seems like someone is holding a price scanner to your body.  But hey, they say it helps!  You look to your friends, family and support group for validation that your symptoms could very well mean you’re showing early signs of pregnancy.  You eat, breathe and live your infertility journey every second of every day.

When you first find out you’re suffering with infertility you go through a grieving process.  You don’t ever really ‘get over it.’  You just learn to go on.  You no longer have fun doing things you used to do because all you can think about is how you so desperately want to be a parent, yet can’t.  You feel like that commercial where you have a black rain cloud just following you around all day.  While you know it’s ridiculous and that you’re blessed beyond measure for the things you do have, you still can’t feel happy.  Most clinics have therapists/social workers who can work with patients as they go through their journey.  It’s because it’s needed, yet a lot of us won’t make that appointment.  I mean, we already miss a ton of work and a ton of personal/family functions, how are we supposed to squeeze in another appointment with another person that we will have to tell our story all over again to.  More people should make these appointments.

I find myself going back and forth between obsession and depression.  But mixed in, is this weird feeling….hope.  How can one be depressed and hopeful at the same time?  I can’t explain that other than to say if you’ve gone through it, you get it.  While being depressed that my body won’t work the way it was intended, I’m hopeful that with all of the steps we have taken that we will be parents someday (soon).

I’m currently 4 days past my day 6 transfer.  I will have 4 more days to wait before my next appointment that will test for very early levels of hCG (pregnancy hormones).  I’m confident.  I’ve been analyzing each little symptom and feeling I’ve had and it all adds up.  But even after friday’s appointment, that doesn’t mean I’m in the clear.  It’s still a long while before we can breathe a sigh of relief.  I hear from most IVFers that they walk on eggshells until after the first 12 weeks are over (when miscarriage rates drastically drop).  Regardless of outcome on Friday, we won’t be talking about it right away with anyone.  If we’re pregnant, we’ll need some time to keep that just between us until we’re at a ‘safe’ point.  If we’re not, we’ll need time to grieve and think and assess where we go from here.  I’ll be posting about other things (nutrition, nursery ideas, maternity fashion, etc.).  Just know that we’ll let you know when we’re ready.  I hope you can understand.  Thank you for supporting us, always.

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Sunday Dinner

Sunday Dinner - Slow roasted pot roast in beer, maple dijon gravy or roasted sweet potato risotto

 

After high demand for the recipe on instagram, I’ve decided to post what I made for dinner tonight.  The pot roast recipe is from The Kitchn.  I’ve altered it a bit.  The risotto recipe can be found here.  This one has been altered too, so here’s what I did.

 

Pot Roast

1 4-5lb. Beef Chuck Roast

3 onions, sliced

10 mushrooms, sliced

handful of baby carrots

1 bottle of beer

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

salt & pepper

olive oil

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron pot.  Pat meat dry on all sides.  When pot is hot, sear meat for 10 minutes on first side and about 5 minutes on the other side.  Move the roast to the crock pot.  Add sliced onions, mushrooms and carrots to the cast iron pot and add more olive oil if necessary.  Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add a few tablespoons of beer to the pot to deglaze and scrap up any stuck on goodness. Transfer veggies to crock pot.  In a separate bowl mix together remaining beer, dijon, syrup and vinegar.  Pour over meat and veggies.  Add salt and pepper.  Cook on low (if possible) for 10 hours.  I cooked it on high for 4 hours and it still fell apart.

For the Risotto, I was super tired by the time it came to make this, so I decided to use quick cooking rice.  I used beef stock instead of chicken and beer instead of white wine.  I typically make this recipe with red wine and beef stock, but switched it up tonight.

1 cup quick cooking white rice

1 sweet potato, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 cups of beef stock, warm

1 bottle of beer

salt & pepper

olive oil

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.  Toss chopped sweet potato in olive oil, salt and pepper and put on a lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, in same cast iron pot I browned the meat in, I add a few tablespoons of olive oil and bring to a medium high heat.  Add shallots and stir for about 2 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.  Add rice and stir to coat.  Add more olive oil if necessary.  Add in bottle of beer and stir continuously until bottle of beer is absorbed.  Add broth, spoonful by spoonful as the rice absorbs the liquid.  When sweet potatoes are done roasting, put into food processor and make into a mash/paste.  Add the sweet potato paste to the risotto and add the last spoonful of broth.  Mix together for a few minutes to make sure the sweet potato has spread throughout risotto.

To plate, put a small layer of risotto and add meat and veggies to the top.  If you’re like me and you love gravy, get a spoonful of the liquid from the crockpot and top your meal with it.

Voila!

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Dear Babies

Transfer Day - Embryo 1 TTC Infertility IVF www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com Our Plans Have Changed Blog

Transfer Day - Embryo 2 TTC Infertility IVF www.ourplanshavechanged.wordpress.com Our Plans Have Changed Blog

 

Dear Babies,

Today, I saw you for the first time.  You’re living, growing babies that still aren’t visible with the naked eye but I got to see you.  I feel fortunate because other moms wouldn’t get to see their babies this early.  I feel like we’re all meant to be – both of you, your dad and me.  I was emotional before and after the transfer, but during I was amazed at how science is making this possible for us.  All we need is for the two of you to stick around.  Get really cozy and stay for a while, say 9 more months?

On the drive home, I felt some twinges in my uterus which of course is far too early for you to be making your nests but it’s giving me hope.  Maybe tomorrow you’ll decide to stay, maybe it’ll take you a few days to make up your minds.  So we will wait and let you make your first decisions as our children.  It will hopefully be the first of many times that we need to hang back and let you navigate your way through new territory and watch you persevere.

I’ll get into our hopes and dreams in a later post, but for now just know that we love you, already.  We want you to stay.

Love always,

Mom & Dad

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