Monday, September 26, 2016

17 Weeks

How far along?  17w2d

Total weight gain?  Roughly 5 pounds

Maternity Clothes?  Yes maternity jeans all the way!

Stretch Marks?  No

Sleep?  Sleep has been kinda crazy lately.  My pregnancy apps warned me that I’d probably start experiencing very vivid dreams due to constantly getting up throughout the night & boy were they right.  I’ve had some terrible nightmares this week.

Best moment this week?  My first prenatal massage with my doula, which was awesome, and  not pregnancy related, we went on a little overnight stay to Lake Geneva for our 5 year anniversary and it was so fun.  Finally getting to spend an anniversary being pregnant, I never knew if I would get to or not.  Joe let me shop away so I got some stuff for myself and of course some stuff for baby girl.

Miss anything?  I mentioned to Joe yesterday that mimosas were sounding and looking really good as we passed people enjoying their brunch outside yesterday in Geneva.

Movement?  Nothing yet but I think it’s getting close!

Food cravings?  Did I already say mimosas?  Lots of sweets too still.

Anything make you queasy or sick?  Not a darn thing!

Have you started to show yet?  Yes, there is an official baby belly that is not food induced. 

Gender?  Girl

Labor Signs?  No

Belly button in or out?  In

Wedding rings on or off?  On

Happy or Moody most of the time?  Finally feeling less moody and happier in general.  That first trimester I was a royal bitch.

Looking forward to?  I’m really hoping for some movement soon.  It’s so hard not to worry when you go from seeing baby regularly via ultrasound the first several weeks of pregnancy to not getting to see her at all until 22 weeks.  I’m happy I got the Doppler even though a lot of people tried to talk me out of it.  It truly does give me some peace of mind & I know that if I have a problem finding the heart beat or I’m not able to, that I’m not an expert and I just need to try again later.  My next appointment is October 3rd, they’ll just be doing a heartbeat check at that appointment as well.  T-minus 5 more weeks til we get to have our 22 week anatomy scan.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

5 Years...

5 years ago on a beautiful September Saturday I got to marry this guy.  I seriously cannot believe that it has been FIVE  years already since we were married.  I remember that day like it was yesterday an it still holds its own as one of the very best, most fun days of my life.  Everything went great, I loved my dress, my flowers, my bridesmaids, and groomsmen, I was so excited to finally be marrying Joe in front of all of our wonderful family and friends. 

Since our wedding we have had so many great memories as a married couple.  We traveled hundreds of miles on the bike, we've cruised, we've built our first dream home, we've camped, we've gone to concerts, and we've also done a lot of just enjoying each other's company at home with our pup and our cat.  Not every day has been perfect or memorable, we live a normal every day life with a pretty boring routine, but that is what marriage is about.  We have stuck together through those mundane days and through the days when things have gotten crazy, hectic, and emotional.  

I definitely thought that we would have kids right away, but we got to enjoy five kid-free years together just being married, being able to go and do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, and now that is going to change, but in retrospect, I am really happy that we were able to do that for so long.  Now we are going to be starting a new chapter and a new human life will be put first before our own and I can't wait to become a parent with this guy by my side.  I know it will be so hard and such a challenge, but I think it will probably be one of the most rewarding things we will do together.  

Happiest of wedding anniversaries to my love.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Bucket List

Celebrate our anniversary!  Yep, our 5 year anniversary is Saturday and we are heading to Lake Geneva overnight and I cannot wait.  We have never done Lake Geneva before so we are both really looking forward to it.  Unfortunately the temps are still hovering in the 80’s & 90’s here so it really doesn’t feel much like fall, but I’m hoping once we head a few hours north we will get some cooler weather for the day.

Scary movie marathon!  I started watching all of the Jaws movies on Netflix last week.  I also want to get a night of Hocus Pocus in hopefully next week (even though it’s not really scary, it’s a MUST-do in the fall, several times over & over).  We also watched the Conjuring 2 this past weekend which was really good.  My other must-watch movies are the Halloween movies and What Lies Beneath. 

Eat everything “fall” flavored.  This includes Apple Cider donuts and these Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting!  Umm yum

Find a Halloween Costume!  I’m pretty sure I already have this one checked off my list & I cannot wait!  It’s seriously perfect, so cute, & it incorporates my pregnancy too.

Decorate for Fall!  This has also already been mostly accomplished.  I’ve got all my indoor decorations done which consists of some colorful, glittery pumpkins on the fireplace & mantle, a centerpiece for the dining room, and some fall scented candles.  I also have some mums out on our porch and I got one of those beautiful cotton wreaths that seem to be all the rage this year.  As a bonus for my readers, Restore & Sparkle is offering $7 off a purchase of $40 or more with discount code BabyRidley which is good now through DECEMBER 31st so you’ve got plenty of time to use this discount code!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Share's Walk of Remembrance & the Wave of Light

In honor of October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I am dedicating this post Share's Walk of Remembrance & the Wave of Light in support of infertility and pregnancy loss and shattering the stigma.  For a full list of blogger participants in our blog tour, please go to to Justine's Blog Ever Upward. 

Did you know that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage?  That is an alarming number in my opinion.  Pregnancy loss is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through and being an active participant in the TTC community for so many years I’ve seen more loss than I ever wish I did.  I’ve seen couples suffer multiple losses at different stages of their pregnancy and it’s truly so heartbreaking to watch someone go through.  You try to find the right words to comfort them, but you know deep down there is nothing that can be said.  The most you can do is send them love, support, and strength so that they know that they are not alone.

When we first stopped  pregnancy prevention a few months before our wedding in the summer of 2011, I thought conception would be easy, I thought a couple of months, maybe some help with ovulation predictors, nothing more than that, and bam, we’d be pregnant by Christmas.  Oh how naïve I was!  I had not the slightest inkling of what was to come for us over the next 5 years.  I had no idea the precise, intricate, and literal flawless execution of timing and detail that it took to make a baby.  Finally, after two years of trying, we knew we needed help and we hopped on the infertility treatment train (or should I say, roller coaster) thinking, once again, we’d get pregnant quickly. 

We did our first IUI in October of 2013 using Clomid to produce a nice follicle or two.  That round failed and we immediately moved on to injectables in December.  My nurse said it was more aggressive and I was all about that.  By this time we had been trying well over two years and I wanted it so badly, I’d do anything.  We were shocked to learn 14 days after our procedure that I was in fact, pregnant!   But, we had to be cautiously optimistic as our beta came back at 20, which is relatively low.  My nurse reassured me that she had seen many low betas turn into full-term pregnancies and ordered me back for more blood work 2 days later.  Our second beta came back at 50 and we were thrilled, our number had more than doubled in the 48 hour period and we thought maybe we were just on the slow end of things.

I was due back for beta #3 on Monday and then over the weekend, it happened, lots of bright red blood, and painful cramping the day before our test.  I tried to stay optimistic; at this point in our journey I knew very little about fertility treatment, miscarriage, IVF, all of it, I was just a rookie at that time.  I went in for beta early Monday and then had my worst fears confirmed a few hours later, beta had dropped below 0 and I was having a chemical pregnancy.

In the beginning I didn’t realize how much those few days of pregnancy would mean to me.  It took me two and a half more years, three fresh rounds of IVF, three frozen rounds of IVF, nine embryos with my own eggs transferred, a beautiful egg donor, two trips to Georgia, and finally one perfect donor egg embryo placed carefully into my womb exactly two and a half years to the day later before I would ever get pregnant again.  Only 1 of the 9 embryos of my own eggs transferred ever resulted in a pregnancy and that beta was an 8, hardly enough to even be considered pregnant at all.  I had always held onto that first pregnancy way back in 2013 as a sign that I would one day carry a baby to full-term.  I didn’t know that it would take every bit of effort and determination I had inside of me to get there.   Now we have our miracle baby girl on the way and we wouldn't change a thing about all of the effort it took to get us here.

I guess the point of my ramblings is that, whether you know you’re pregnant for 3 days or 3 months, a loss is a loss and everyone has the right to handle them and grieve through them as they see fit.  No one should ever feel that the loss of their baby is less significant because their loss happened earlier than someone else’s.  A baby is a baby and a loss is a loss.  I encourage you to share your story, as too many families grieve in silence. 

Don't forget to check out Laura's blog post from last Thursday and continue on the tour with Lindsey's blog tomorrow.

On October 15th please light a candle at 7pm (same time in all time zones) for 1 hour, there will be a continuous Wave of Light over the entire world on October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Also, be sure to share your photos to social media using #ShareWalk2046 and you Wave of Light candles using #WaveofLight and #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness

Monday, September 19, 2016

16 Weeks

How far along?  16w2d
Total weight gain? about 4-5 pounds
Maternity clothes?  Maternity jeans and leggings are the shit.  I'm on the hunt for some great skinny jeans since I wear them pretty much daily to work.  
Stretch marks?  No
Sleep?  Sleep has been good, but I get up a lot to pee!
Best moment this week?  The bump making its official appearance finally.
Miss anything?  Again, when you surround yourself with drunk people, you start to miss alcohol. And your fuse becomes a lot shorter the drunker people get.
Movement?  Nothing yet, but hopefully soon.
Food cravings?  Entenmann's Devils Chocolate Donuts...
Anything make you queasy or sick?  Nope!
Have you started to show yet? This week she finally popped a bit.
Gender prediction?  It's a girl!
Labor Signs?  No
Belly button in or out?  In
Wedding rings on or off?  On
Happy or Moody?  Feeling much happier than I was my first trimester
Looking forward to?  Doing some out of town shopping this week for maternity clothes, my first prenatal massage with our doula on Thursday, and our FIVE YEAR anniversary trip next weekend! Lots going on this week, but most importantly, I  can't wait to get out of town with Joe for a night  We are headed to Lake Geneva which we have never been to and we are both really looking forward to a night away in celebration of being married for five years!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gender Reveal

I never knew for sure if I wanted a gender reveal or not.  I tossed the idea back and forth before we ever got pregnant if I’d actually wind up wanting one or not.  Then when we found out we were expecting I knew I 100% wanted to have one & do something fun and different for the actual reveal. 

My original thought was the push pop confetti, I thought that would be a fun way for everyone to participate, but it just didn’t seem “big” enough.  I also considered popping the balloon, but I wanted something that I had never seen done before so I took to Pinterest and Etsy and found the perfect theme, “bows or arrows”.  If you know me, you know I have a slight obsession with all things southwestern themed, arrows included, so this was perfect.  The down side was that Joe is not a hunter and had never shot a bow and arrow before so I had to get his approval before making my final decision.  He was game and we borrowed a friends bow and arrow and Joe was able to practice prior to the party.

The best part about this theme was that I found an adorable Etsy shop called Charming Touch Parties that makes the cutest party supplies ever.  You can buy them in premade kits or you can customize your own which was the way we went.  They were so friendly and replied very quickly to all of my emails and questions.  They gave me lots of options and the quality of the products was phenomenal.  I loved every piece and you could tell they put a lot of time in effort into the details of each cup, rosette, & banner.  I also had my MIL make some really cute Rice Krispie treats with pink & blue feathers and almond bark that turned out awesome & a friend of mine gifted us delicious cake pops which were a total hit!

I ended up making a canvas to attach a black balloon filled with paint that Joe would shoot.  We did not know the sex prior, our friends received the results and they were in charge of filling the balloon on the day of the party.  We bought acrylic paint in pink & blue and all of the other supplies from Hobby Lobby a few weeks prior so that Joe could practice shooting the target.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  We set the canvas up in front of 2 bales of hay to catch the arrow and hung the “Bows or Arrows” banner on 2 shepherd’s hooks behind it.  It turned out so cute &  I love that we have the canvas as a keepsake that shows the splattered paint color, something that we will keep forever I’m sure. 

We had the party from 4-6 at my mom’s house (she just did an overhaul of her landscaping so her yard is beautiful compared to ours with 2 huge piles of dirt in the front yard) and did the reveal around 4:30.  It was one of the most exciting moments of this pregnancy so far.  Like I said, I was convinced it was a boy, so when I saw the paint color I was totally shocked and actually in tears which is not something I normally do.  I was really worried about what Joe was thinking.  I know that he is so happy that everything is working out after all we went through, but I was afraid he would be disappointed or let down a little bit.  Overall he was just shocked at the result as he said that his whole life whenever he pictured his child he never imagined a girl.  I know that she will have Joe wrapped around her finger and it will be love at first sight when she comes.

I’m so happy we decided to do the gender reveal.  With everything we did to get pregnant I just decided I’m going all out to celebrate as often as possible and keep everyone has involved as possible since they’ve been supporting us for so long.  We think with our second child we will try to not find out, but for the first one I’m so glad that we did.  Now we can break the bank buying bows!

Monday, September 12, 2016

15 Weeks

How far along?  15w2d
Total weight gain? I weighed 119 at my first OB appointment
Maternity clothes?  I have been wearing some jeans I got & they are the shit.  I'm heading out of town next week and hoping to pick up a couple extra pairs at Old Navy and H&M, I also have some maternity leggings that are awesome.
Stretch marks?  No
Sleep?  Sleep has been good, but I get up a lot to pee!
Best moment this week?  Already breaking my bank to buy stuff for baby GIRL.  My mom bought us our crib on Saturday and I love it! You can find it here.

Miss anything?  Not a thing really.  I do miss the occasional beer or glass of wine.  We went to a show this past weekend to watch a few bands and it kinda sucks being like the ONLY sober person there, but it's not a big deal.  Also, this was will call weekend for our wine club, I'm still an active member getting my 2 bottles every other month, I just can't indulge in them yet.  I'm going to have an awesome stock pile after baby arrives.
Movement?  Nothing yet, but hopefully soon.
Food cravings?  Sweets still as always.  I got the OK from my doc to have a hot dog whenever I'd like as long as it's cooked so after my appointment I went and got a coney dog (bbq & a hot dog) right away and it was delicious!
Anything make you queasy or sick?  Nope!
Have you started to show yet?  Yes, I have officially started to show a little bit, I still think its a combo of baby & food.
Gender prediction?  It's a girl!
Labor Signs?  No
Belly button in or out?  In
Wedding rings on or off?  On
Happy or Moody?  Feeling much happier than I was my first trimester
Looking forward to?  We don't have much coming up as far as doctors appointments or ultrasounds, but I did get a doppler from a friend that should be arriving this week.  My doc (midwife) said its perfectly fine and safe to use, especially if it's going to give me some peace of mind.  The rug for the nursery should also be here this week which I am so pumped about.  It's definitely going to be the focal point of the room.  I can't wait to see it.  

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Nursery Inspiration

By now you guys know my obsession with all things southwest and rustic so of course that's the theme of the nursery and would be whether it was a boy or a girl, but now that we know its a girl I can narrow down details like colors!  I am so pumped about my findings so far.  I've ordered the rug and the cactus lamp and my mom is buying the crib so we are set on some of the fun pieces.  

The rug is definitely going to be the focal point of the room.  We kept the walls white and put up the trim which looks amazing against the white and with our chestnut floors.  The room the baby will be in is one of my favorites because it has the most natural light in the entire house so it's going to be so beautiful, I cannot wait to see it all come together!  I also have a cute mobile and bed skirt (among other things) picked out as well!  This will definitely be the most fun part for me, even over buying clothes because I love to decorate and see a room come together!  

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

14 Weeks - It's a GIRL!

How far along?  14w3d

Total weight gain?  Maybe 2 pounds, every time I weigh I’m between 115 & 117

Maternity clothes?  Nothing really yet, probably going to need some jeans soon

Stretch marks?  No

Sleep?  Sleep is still pretty good, just getting up to pee a lot!  Other than that it’s not too bad.  This past weekend we camped overnight one night and I told Joe to get the tent set up as close to the porta-potty as possible, I only had to make 2 trips in the middle of the night so not too bad.

Best moment this week?  Finding out baby Ridley is a GIRL!  We are so shocked.  Joe decided about 2 days prior to the party that he needed to start mentally preparing himself for it to be a girl, I was still very convinced it was a boy so to both of our surprises, we were wrong & it’s a girl!

Miss anything?  I’m not going to lie, this weekend was a little tough.  It was a really busy weekend, I was pretty emotional after the gender reveal, and on Sunday we took our annual Labor Day camping trip, but I had to follow along in the car behind Joe and our friends on their bikes.  I’m not normally one to care or feel left out, but it was tough.  Going into bars, watching everyone else get seriously wasted around me, being tired, and pregnant was not as fun as I hoped it would be.  I did enjoy myself and overall I had a good time, I just had moments where I felt like I would rather be home. 

Movement?  None yet, probably another month or so I’m guessing.

Food cravings?  Lots of sweets.  I bought a ton of candy downtown Galena this weekend.  Plus we had cake pops and rice krispies at the gender reveal and cake and chocolate covered pretzels at a birthday party Friday, I was in serious heaven.

Anything make you queasy or sick?  Not a darn thing this entire pregnancy!  #yay

Have you started to show yet?  I have a small bump, it’s part baby and part food

Gender prediction?  Obviously my predication has been boy as so has Joe’s this entire time.  I’m not sure why I thought boy, or if I just maybe preferred a boy over a girl or something, but honestly I really did not have a preference, although I was in utter shock.  I will dedicate and entire post to our fabulous gender reveal party later this week with lots of photos! 

Labor Signs?  Nope, but we did hire our doula and we are very confident with our decision.  I’m excited to start prenatal massage with her soon.

Belly button in or out?  In

Wedding rings on or off?  On

Happy or Moody?  Feeling much happier than I was my first trimester

Looking forward to?  Making my first doctor’s appointment this week (missed my last one, SO unlike me) and hopefully being able to hear the heart beat again or at least schedule an appointment for one.  It’s been about 3 weeks since we last got to see her.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Early Fall Must-Haves

Ok, so it’s not officially “fall” until September 20th but I’m definitely ready for everything fall over here.  We had an extremely hot summer with not much break from the high temps & I’m over it.  I’m ready for some cooler weather, a sweatshirt, and a fire in my fire place!  So far it hasn’t been quite cold enough for that yet, but I know it’s coming and I think most of us are ready for it!

If you love fall scented candles this is the place to go.  From scents like Flannel Vest, Pumpkin Fields, A Walk in the Woods, & Tartan & Plaid, every single one just sounds like a festive fall dream.

My co-worker brought these in to work recently and they always remind me of fall; the perfect flavor to sip by the fire, or drink at work sitting in front of the computer and dreaming of sipping by a fire.  Either way, that chia flavor is a perfect transition into fall, you know, before the PSL takes over our lives.

I have worn my Toms booties to death and really wanted to get a black pair but didn’t want to spend the Tom’s price (sorry Tom’s) so I checked DSW where I knew I had some rewards and I knew I could find something and I came across these booties and love them.  I’ve only been able to wear them twice because it’s still too warm, but both times I had people stop and ask me where they were from.  I love the fringe detail on the laces too.  Super cute & comfy.

This super comfy sweatshirt-style blouse is the perfect transition piece into fall.  Paired with leggings or a cute pair of destroyed denim, I cannot wait to rock this top this fall.  

Fall Home Decor
I've been loving the Cotton Grapevine Wreaths I've started to see pop up.  They're perfect for the entire season of fall which I love and work well inside and outside.  I've had my eye on a couple, this one and this one, courtesy of Etsy.
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