Tuesday, January 19, 2016

nursery update: paint, cribs & art!

We've made some great progress in the nursery over the past few weeks. The room is our walk in closet/dressing room and frankly, I had serious doubts it would be large enough to fit two cribs much less a change table or glider. What a relief it was to see the space open up once Scott took out three huge clothes racks, my makeup table, a bench, a chair and two large dressers. In retrospect, we had way too much stuff in there. He also removed the bifold closet doors (to be replaced by sliders) and the door to the room (a white barn door will go up instead).

This is the room during the mass exodus of clothing (I purged 7 bags of clothes!):


And here it is after in all its newly painted two crib glory:


We chose Behr's Dolphin Fin for the walls, the perfect shade of light grey with no discernible undertones. It's soothing and calm. I love it so much, I asked Scott to paint the remainder of the house the same hue. Not sure when that might happen with twins on the way but a lady can dream.

(Side note: I cried when Scotty called me in to see the room after he had finished setting up the cribs and then I gave him the biggest hug. Seeing our baby boys' wee beds made everything feel so real for us. Can't wait to meet these little dudes!)


Last week, my good friend Christine came over to help put together an art piece using the Hygge and West Daydream fabric I've coveted for ages and a canvas from Michael's. Christine was extra careful to make sure the fabric was cut evenly and that the corners were stapled perfectly tight. Plus, she didn't staple my fingers once! I'm beyond happy with how it turned out (and grateful to have such a crafty pal). Every time I pass by the nursery I can't help but smile at this sweet addition to the room.


Next up on my honey-to-do list (thank goodness for Scotty!) is to hang up the grouping of art below, install a display shelf, a mini reading nook and the missing doors. I'm also waiting for two of these beautiful blankets to come in the mail. You'll have to wait to see which ones I picked (:


Oh! and we still need to pick up our West Elm glider, choose a lamp and an ottoman. I bought the patterned one below at Home Sense and am waiting to see how well it coordinates with the glider. With a $50 price tag, I'm hoping it works.


Wish us luck! After the slight scare we had this past weekend (you can read more about that on Instagram or Facebook), I'm not sure we have much time left before these babies' decide to arrive. Here's to hoping they stay put for at least another 3 weeks!

In case you missed it, you can read about the initial nursery planning here. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

my 7 month pregnancy update

Hello third trimester! Where has the time gone? Every morning I wake up and get a surge of excitement knowing that in less than two months I'll have these babies in my arms and our family will finally be complete after years of infertility. Life is good!

Here's the latest on all things pregnancy:

How far along... 29 weeks 5 days.

Eating... everything! Since I got a prescription for Losec, an acid reflux medication, my love affair with food has returned. And that makes me so damn happy. I want to eat ALL the food and sometimes I do just that (hello two dinners!).

Feeling... exhausted. I've had to cut back on my social activities these past couple of months. I can only handle walking Lucy and one errand/meet-up per day.

Names... we finally agreed on names after months of vetoing and making fun of each others choices. Sadly Milo, Cass and Arlo did not make the cut.

Cravings... so many! Ice to start. I am obsessed with eating ice. Even just writing ice makes me want to crunch on some. Add to that: chocolate milk, pomegranates, avocados, makimono rolls, Mexican tortilla soup, potato pancakes, clam chowder, coffee crisp chocolate bars, bacon, sweet potatoes, egg nog and steamed milk with chestnut praline syrup from Starbucks.

Weight gain... 26 pounds. Thankfully most of it's babies and belly.

Mood... pregnancy hormones have hit me with a vengeance recently, poor Scotty. And they are SO the boss of me! Overall I'm pretty upbeat, happy and excited but I've also had a couple of days where I've been in a slump, bursting into inexplicable tears multiple times. During these episodes, you can find Scott and Lucy hiding in the laundry room.

Anxiety... I mentioned to a former radio colleague that my anxiety has been rearing its ugly head. She had this brilliant response: "I panicked the entire 40 weeks and didn't stop until I was holding my healthy little baby in my arms. Then an entirely new panic set in. I remember a friend of mine telling me to trust. Just trust. And I clung to that... every time there was a weird pain, strange sensation and after every ultrasound. I know you are the kind of person that is doing everything right at this moment and I hope you can get some comfort from that."

    Favourite moments... at our last ultrasound, the technician, without being prompted showed us the boys in 3D. WHOA. Seeing them in 3D blew our minds and I uttered the word, "Wow!" about a million times. It was beyond cool. Both babies are healthy, super active, and are measuring a week ahead of schedule. (You can see them below, I think Twin B looks like me. The middle picture of them touching heads hits me right in the ticker box and makes me love them even more.) They both weigh about 3 pounds which makes me happy. Every time they move I get a wave of serotonin and burst of total joy. Love this part of pregnancy!

    Aches or pains... horrid restless leg syndrome keeps me up at night (or is that insomnia?) and my ribs feel like they're about to split apart but other than that I'm doing okay. Uncomfortable, but okay. I've been using Japanese mint oil on my legs and that seems to help, may try drinking coconut water too.

    Exercise... I'm still walking Lucy every day, but the distance has decreased from 7 km (in the first and second trimesters) to 3 or 4 km. I've also stopped going to the dog park and walk her exclusively in our 'hood now. Scott was worried that if anything happened it'd be hard for emergency workers to find my pregnant ass in the wilds of Buena Vista park. And he's right.

    Missing... eating copious amounts of sashimi! And oysters. And prosciutto. Also, being able to put on socks without looking like I'm rehearsing for an SNL physical comedy sketch (so awkward!). Missing my fully functioning brain, too. Pregnancy brain is very much a real thing. There have been days where I probably should've remained silent and used gestures and pointed at things to communicate. The stuff that comes out of my mouth is pure crazy talk and oftentimes beyond embarrassing.

    Excited about... seeing the little dudes at our next ultrasound on January 4! Plus, Scott started painting the nursery this week. Hope to have a nursery update posted soon!

    Seven more weeks, peeps (yep, 37 weeks is considered full term for twins). This pregnancy is flying by and we are so not ready. Insert maniacal laughter here.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015

    and so the nursery planning begins...

    ajennylindcribgrahamone alphabet_grandetuscanylinenaqua

    I've been bitten by the nesting bug. Big time. These past few weeks have seen me perusing the internet like a mad woman searching for inspiration for the boys' nursery (who am I kidding? I've had ideas and plans brewing in my head for years). The truth is I'm trying to focus my energy on my excitement vs. being scared shi//less about having two babies. And part of what gets me all kinds of excited is picking out decor for our little dudes. We're staying away from the whole themed/coordinating nursery and making their room, which is currently our dressing room, an extension of our bedroom. Since the two rooms are only separated by a door, the colours will remain in the same palette as our bedroom: grey, white, cream and aqua with perhaps a bit of black to ground the space along with some natural elements (wood and rattan). My goal is for the space to feel calm, fresh, modern and charming.

    Here's what we have so far:
    • We recently purchased two white Jenny Lind-style cribs and the Bookhou laser cut birch alphabet. I've had my eye on both of these items since we first started trying to get pregnant. I can't tell you how good it feels to finally get them! Plus, I love the juxtaposition of the vintage crib paired with the modern font of the alphabet. 
    • The swatch of aqua linen fabric is the colour of the existing roman blind in the room. We had it custom made with a black out lining by Tonic Living a year ago. It'll add a touch of colour to the mostly neutral space and keep the room dark enough for the babies to sleep for long periods of time (here's to hoping!). 
    • I spotted the contemporary yet classic Graham glider at West Elm a couple of months ago and tested it out this past weekend while in Calgary to see if it was a winner (read: comfortable & on budget!). It was both comfy and serendipitously on sale so we ordered it in this colour. If the glider hadn't worked out, we would've attempted this DIY rocking chair hack, which is both utterly genius and affordable.


    What I would most like to incorporate in the nursery is the Daydream fabric/wallpaper tiles designed by Julia Rothman for Hygge and West. I've been enamoured with it for eons but am not sure if I want it on one of the walls or as a throw pillow or crib skirt (neither of which I know how to make). Then again it may be most economical to buy just a yard of the fabric and stretch it on a canvas like my pal Christine did in her lovely nursery with some cool Ikea fabric. Thoughts?

    I'm digging this cloud pillow from Land of Nod and elephant basket from Zara Kids. This faux fur pom pom pillow also caught my eye as did these alphabet and pom pom bins. Every nursery needs a touch of whimsy, right?


    Here are some inspiration photos of nurseries which feature the Jenny Lind crib (can you spot the alphabet art in the room below?). I also like this nursery inspiration roundup. You'll probably be able to tell by these pictures that eclectic, modern, non-themed nurseries are my jam.

                                                       Nursery sources: 1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6.

    This is truly the fun part! A whole new room to work on. Plus, I have a very tight deadline so procrastination isn't allowed... this time. I'm hoping my next nursery post will feature a before and after of a painted room, so stay tuned.

    P.S. Any advice on what you feel is absolutely necessary to have in a nursery? Or what is essential gear for babies in general? I'm all ears (and frankly a tad overwhelmed by all the stuff that's available).

    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

    fall family photo session

    At the end of September, Scotty and I had photos taken by the creative, hilarious and down to earth Carla of carla marie photography whom I discovered through Facebook. The session was super fun! We wandered through Whitemud Park with Lucy at dusk, laughing, goofing around and kissing. Things even got a little steamy (sorry if we creeped you out, Carla).

    We're absolutely thrilled with the photos; I've probably looked through them a hundred times. Thank you so much Carla and a big thank you to makeup/hair artist Amber Ali who made me feel so dang beautiful! We're grateful to have pictures of us as a family of three before the boys arrive (I was four months pregnant at the time these were taken). Plus, it's been 4 years since we've had a professional photo session so it was high time, I say.

    It was difficult to pick which ones to share, I loved them all. Here are some of our faves...


    Makeup and hair: Amber Ali
    Location: Whitemud Park

    Monday, November 2, 2015

    the ultrasound results are in! we're having...

    Yesterday we met our family at Jumbo for dim sum and over shrimp rice rolls and ginger beef dumplings, Scotty opened the envelope from our ultrasound technician (which had been sitting on our fridge taunting us for well over a week) to reveal we're having boys! BOYS. <3

    There were joyful tears from our mamas and the biggest smile on my dad's face. He wanted to rush home to call his family in Croatia to tell them the news. Scott was beaming while my brothers were probably thinking, "Oh lordy, our sister's going to have two more guys to boss around for life." Haha. Jokes aside, the excitement was palpable! Side note: dim sum is a fantastic place to share fun news like this. No one noticed our raucous laughter and we could be our wacky selves without getting the evil side eye. 

    In addition to being excited, I also spent most of yesterday feeling a bit overwhelmed and in shock. I needed time to sit with the news. Had I harboured a secret longing for one of the twins to be a girl? Yes, I had. And I felt incredibly guilty for feeling that way. It would've been nice to have one of each, but I also know that when these two babies are placed in my arms I won't care about anything other than loving them and being the best mama.

    For the past five months, we've been referring to these two as the babies and now that I know they're boys, it makes this pregnancy feel even more real. There's no way around it, I'm going to be the mama of two boys early next year. Eeek! In fact, I've already named them because I had an inkling they'd be boys, now I just need Scott's final approval (we have, um, quite differing tastes when it comes to names).

    Are you the mama of boys? Or even twin boys? I'd love to hear your thoughts on parenting boys.

    P.S. Loved this post from blogger Joanna Goddard on having a boy. It's as if she plucked the thoughts directly from my head. Judging by the near 600 comments, many expecting women have felt the exact same way I have. Here's to being honest about our feelings!

    Wednesday, September 30, 2015

    the happiest news part 2: a look back, plus baby & belly pictures!

    // 13 weeks //

    Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my last post announcing our twin pregnancy! It feels good to finally let everyone know we are expecting and that our IVF journey was successful. I'm devoting the rest of this week to answering all of your texts, comments and emails (we've received an overwhelming response from the blog post and CTV story detailing our journey and are feeling the love!).

    Here's a look back at some important dates following our egg retrieval:

    June 16, 2015: We had our frozen embryo transfer today (FET). Compared to the retrieval and post retrieval recovery, this was easy peasy. I slow walked into the procedure room humming the Rocky theme song and I skipped out PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) with my bright fuschia lipstick still intact. The entire procedure took about 20 minutes in total. Those are our 5 day old baby blastocysts in the picture below.

    June 16 to June 25, 2015: The oftentimes dreaded 2WW, two week waiting period, before my beta (blood test). I relaxed and didn't stress, still drank my one cup of tea per day, meditated and used the 4-7-8 breathing method, walked Lucy two to three times a day, ate healthy 80% of the time with 20% allotted to gelato, had fun with family and friends, took my supplements, vitamins and watched bad reality television. In other words, I lived my life and kept busy. I am proud of myself for not testing early (some women take a pregnancy test every day following transfer but I do not recommend it because you'll drive yourself mad). Plus, the HCG in your body could give you a false positive or negative. I kept my sanity by waiting patiently to hear the results of the blood test from a professional. Patience is key. So try your best not to obsess. This article may help with that.

    First beta: 9dp5ft: 399 (I'm pregnant! Elation sets in.)
    Second beta: 11dp5dt 1146
    Third beta: 17dp5dt 13, 340
    dp = days past transfer // ft = frozen transfer // 5 = five day old blastocysts were implanted

    When I saw these numbers multiplying exponentially, a part of me secretly hoped it was twins.

    July 20, 2015: Our first ultrasound at 7 weeks! As soon as the ultrasound technician said the words, "This is Twin A and this is Twin B," we were both in awe. I burst out crying while Scott just kept looking incredulously from me to the screen and back again to me. Huge moment. So much to be thankful for.

    After we left the clinic, I couldn't get myself to go home. Instead, I wandered through the J.Crew outlet store (meh!), checked out patio umbrellas at Rona and then went to IKEA for a solo swedish meatball dinner (my guilty pleasure!). I was in a state of happy shock and thought I could process the news with some retail therapy. But I didn't buy a thing, go figure.

    August 6, 2015: First ob/gyn appointment. Dr. Chris Hoskins was referred to me by my friend Rosa. Unbeknownst to me, he is also one of the top ten ob/gyns in Edmonton. I quite liked the dude. Best part about him, aside from the fact the man is brilliant? He got my sense of humour, he had a sense of humour and a lovely New Zealand accent, too. Plus, he introduced himself and shook my hand. That makes him an instant winner in my books.

    August 12, 2015: Second ultrasound. I was having some localized abdominal pain and wanted to allay my fears. You should have seen Scott's face while watching the ultrasound technician showing him both heartbeats and wee little moving arms and legs. He was like a kid on Christmas morning. My heart almost burst from happiness. He's going to be such a great dad!

    August 29, 2015: Nuchal translucency ultrasound. This is a screening for chromosomal abnormalities. The results came back showing numbers equivalent to those of a pregnant 35 year old. So happy!

    September 21, 2015: First appointment with Monica Patt, an acupuncturist who works closely with infertility and IVF patients and also provides pregnancy care. I'm hoping she can help me with my anxiety, heartburn and migraine issues. My first session went well (I had fun and laughed a lot!) and I can totally see us becoming fast pals. Hope she's reading this (;

    September 23, 2015: Received a phone call from a geneticist at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women with the news my Harmony prenatal test results had come back with a low risk for Trisomy 21 (Down's syndrome), 18 (Edwards syndrome) and 13 (Patau syndrome). Sweet relief.

    // 16 weeks //

    September 25, 2015: 16 weeks of pregnancy! The realization this is really happening is slowly setting in, and the fears have left both my heart and mind. We are pregnant. IVF worked for us and I can't even begin to explain the joy, relief and gratefulness I feel.

    I am going to be a mama! It feels amazing to finally say those words after so long.

    If you're eager for little pregnancy updates and periodic twin news, be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook. I regularly post personal tidbits over there. And one more big thank you for your well wishes, love, encouragement and for following along. It feels so good to have you sharing in our excitement. xoxo


    If you're reading this and going through infertility, I get it. Infertility sucks. It's toxic. It cripples you. It hurts when your friends lap you. It's devastating to hear about babies and pregnancy and family. It makes you doubt your body, your sanity, your faith, your everything. If you ever need to talk, I'm here. You can email me at dajanaf@yahoo.com and we can meet at The Tea Girl and sit and chat. Cry too, if needed. In the past three weeks, I've met with three different women to talk about all things infertility and IVF. It helps to speak with someone who has gone through it.

    Resources I found helpful:

    Facebook groups (these are private closed groups, no one will see that you've joined):

    Wednesday, September 23, 2015

    the happiest news: we're all kinds of pregnant!

    Well, hi. Wondering what I've been up to since my Mexico post? I took the entire summer off from blogging to start growing a couple of babies.

    Yes, it's true!

    After struggling with infertility for several years, I couldn't be more thrilled to announce that Scott and I are expecting twins in the new year (insert heart and confetti emojis here)!

    It's been difficult to keep this news a secret and I've had to bite my tongue many times over the past few months. We're beyond elated and I'm not sure there are words sufficient enough to describe how we feel and how grateful we are (which is ironic coming from a lady who usually has so many words). Our hearts are bursting with love, happiness, excitement and joy and yeah, we're scared and nervous too but we'll figure things out, we always do.

    We're finally growing our family! And yet even as I type those words, it still feels surreal. Not a day goes by that I don't turn to Scott and say, "Can you believe we're pregnant, dude? With twins? I'm so excited for us." And then I usually start to cry, overwhelmed by all of the emotions that come with yearning for something for so long and then finally having it become a reality. 

    I’m almost 16 weeks along and my energy and appetite are s l o w l y coming back. The first trimester was something else (I had some pretty intense morning all-day sickness)! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have noticed that my food photos have faded to near oblivion over the past few months. That's because the majority of foods, with the exception of anything my mom made, A&W chicken strips, mangos and Bon Ton Bakery croissants, looked, smelled and tasted like roadkill. As someone who lives, breathes and sleeps food, it was rough going. That said, with every wave of queasiness and bout of exhaustion, I knew something amazing was happening in my body and that the IVF had worked. 

    We're incredibly thankful for the army of friends and family who stood behind us during this oftentimes excruciatingly emotional and unpredictable journey. You guys are the best cheerleaders a couple could ever have and we love you. 

    Thank you as well to everyone who left encouraging words of love and support on my previous blog posts describing our infertility challenges and our egg retrieval procedure. Your positive thoughts helped carry us through an emotionally, physically and mentally draining time. As I've said before, IVF is not for the faint hearted. But we did it. We totally did it. And did I mention I'm knocked up with two babies?! So crazy good.

    And of course a million thank yous to our fertility specialist Dr. Motan, nurse Heather, embryologist Ryan and the countless other staff members we came into contact with at the Regional Fertility Clinic. What a gift it is to help couples like us start a family. You are the loveliest people, you made us feel comfortable throughout the process, allayed our fears time and time again and even put up with my wacky sense of humour. 

    At the beginning of this journey, Dr. Motan had promised me twins and a 60 pound weight gain and he delivered. I'm hopeful the 60 pound weight gain is still negotiable. (; 

    I'm in Vancouver for the next five days for BlogPodium but more details are to come next Wednesday for those of you interested in the IVF timeline and seeing pictures of our babes and my baby belly (fully clothed, I promise). I started writing that post back in June when we had our frozen embryo transfer. Since then, I've been keeping all kinds of wonderful secrets that I'm now ready to share. Hope to see you back here in a week!

    Custom illustration by Mabel Garcia.

    P.S. Scott and I were on CTV Edmonton today discussing our infertility journey as well as revealing our pregnancy. You can watch the video here.
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