Welcome!Hey there! I'm Holly. A 40+ year old insurance-nerd wife, mom, beauty lover, and about a million other things in between. This is the place where I share about our lives, what I'm currently loving, books I'm reading, plus-size style, beauty recommendations, health + fitness endeavors and anything else I'm finding interesting at the moment. Thanks for stopping by!
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Category Archives: Pregnancy
I know it has been a while, but I wanted to pop in to announce that our sweet son Holden John Franklin finally made his appearance at 9:22pm on Wednesday September 28th. He was almost 2 weeks overdue and weighed in at a chunky 9 lbs 5 oz and was almost 21 inches long. We were so excited to finally get meet him! Remembering his first cry still brings me to tears three weeks later.
The name Holden comes from the Australian Car Manufacturer as well as the Literary Character, and seemed to be the perfect merging of both my and Garrett’s interests. His middle name John is for my father, who I was happy to see he definitely resembles, and Garrett’s grandfather. We think his name fits him to a tee!
I had a very eventful labor experience, and an unforgettable delivery (though aren’t they all, I’d imagine?) and I can’t wait to write about it soon. In the meantime we are just adjusting to life as new parents, snuggling our sweet baby, smelling his delightful little newborn head, and saying thank you every day that we got so lucky.
Things we are not really doing: sleeping. Eating nutritious food (hello apple cider donuts in the middle of the night! #breastfeeding) But I guess that can be sort of expected, right? 😛
Hope to be back soon with the birth story, and just to get back to writing more regularly – I miss y’all TERRIBLY. Toward the end of my pregnancy I felt a little superstitious about writing too much. I don’t know where that came from, but it was the main reason for my absence around here. That said, I wanted to say thank you for all of your positive thoughts for us throughout this journey. It’s been an absolute life changer and we are just so incredibly happy (AND TIRED. HAHAHAHAHA)
I’m having trouble writing about this pregnancy and I didn’t think that would be the case. I have things to say, of course. Many, if we are being frank. But they seem to be mostly vacillate between these awestruck feelings that can only be expressed in Pinterest style platitudes, or just your run of the mill debbie-downer complaints. Both are accurate, but both don’t seem to be blog-worthy you know? In an effort to document at least SOMETHING from this pregnancy, here is what’s on my mind 25 weeks in.
*The truth is, it’s been amazing. Nothing hyperbolic about it. It is literally unbelievable at times. He is moving around all the time and I am constantly aware that there is a human growing inside me. It feels less alien-like than I anticipated. I was sure pregnancy would feel like hosting a parasite, and let’s be honest: there are days when it does. But more often, he feels like a person and a constant companion. It’s weird to feel comforted by and in the company of someone when you don’t even know what they look like. It’s less like there is a freeloader hanging on and more like…a friendly ghost? You see…this is why I don’t write about this. 🙂
*I’ve also really been struck by the fact that while this feels like a monumentally unique experience in my life that is completely full of firsts, it is something that people have been doing since the dawn of time. And it happens so frequently that the regularity and urgency of certain symptoms can be aggregated into generic weekly emails that ALL PEOPLE going through this experience can read and relate to. I’m going to use the word relate loosely here though, because while I do find that my What To Expect emails are pretty on point symptom wise, they are also full of clickable links that are titled things like “How To Enjoy Sex After You Lose Your Mucus Plug” and I MEAN REALLY, BRO?????????
*On the more complainy side: Can I tell you that one of my pet peeves in life used to be people who would be knocked up and forgetful and then use “pregnancy brain” as an excuse. UGH all of the eye roll emojis! (And yes, I realize this makes me sound like a completely intolerant asshole, but hey — we all have our things and pregnancy brain was mine.) And now I’m sure you know exactly where this is going, and yes I am eating so much crow that it’s not even funny. Now in addition to being an intolerant asshole, I have realized that I am also a complete idiot lunatic who puts things like milk and raspberry jam back IN A CUPBOARD instead of in the refrigerator. The saddest part is that I won’t even notice for days. Or, maybe I won’t even notice at all and Garrett will find them. Old milk scavenger hunt! Awesome!
*Also, last Wednesday we got in the car after we both got off work and hopped right back into rush hour traffic to go out to the house of some our friends who were hosting our dinner/bookclub. They live about 30 minutes away but 5:30 traffic it took just about an hour and when we were about 3 blocks from their house when I looked over at Garrett and remembered that book club was actually the following night. WHOOPS.
*I think this sort of goes without saying, but I’m going to say it: The Plus Sized Maternity Clothes Market is EGREGIOUSLY UNDERSERVED. I haven’t had too much trouble shopping for clothes since my sizing is on the cusp, and I’ve only recently begun to wear exclusively maternity clothing, but HOLY SHIT, WHAT DO PEOPLE DO? Please take this million dollar idea and run with it, somebody — because I (and many other women, I’m sure) would give you all our money!
*Also, we have settled on a name which feels GREAT. We had a long list of names going for the first couple of months and they were all lovely names, they just weren’t THIS baby’s name. I’m not sure how to tell you that I knew that, but I just knew that this was a great name list if I was writing a novel, but my baby’s name wasn’t on it. And then one day Garrett threw out a name idea that we both kind of laughed at initially. But then all of a sudden it was like “Wait this could possibly be perfect.”
*For weeks we just let it simmer, and then one day we both just started using it, and it is totally his name and it is perfect and I am so happy with it that even the few dissenting opinions we’ve gotten over it are just rolling right off my back because DUH, IT’S HIS NAME — it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it. We’ve told all our family and some friends here and there and we aren’t actively keeping it a secret or anything, but I haven’t really discussed with Garrett whether I was going to put it on the blog before he was born (I should add that to the list) so I guess I’ll have to get back to you on that one. If you are dying to know (no one is DYING to know, Holly) I’ll give you a hint: It’s a foreign car manufacturer, which coincidentally will go nicely with his race car themed nursery. (Can you tell my husband is a motorsport enthusiast? LOL)
*And when I say race car themed nursery, I hope you know I mean that room in our house that is filled with crap, though this is where I note that I have favorited one set of race car prints on etsy. Yep, “race car themed nursery” right there. Someone alert Pinterest. 🙂
The objective this weekend was to relax and to decide on nursery furniture.
After two trips to IKEA, a trip to Buy Buy Baby, and helping a fellow dog walker save their dog from a rattlesnake bite while out on our leisurely Sunday stroll, I can tell you we only accomplished one of those things. Hey, at least we were productive? I guess I’ll relax when the baby gets here BAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.
With a baby coming, we are very much in the process of purging crap from our house: clothes, books, random things, furniture. It’s fun, but purging leads to re-evaluating, re-evaluating sometimes leads to reorganizing, and then reorganizing leads to buying more stuff. I’m sure Marie Kondo is shaking her head.
But we have actually been quite happy with our progress. We’re getting rid of furniture that’s never really worked for us, addressing house issues that have been “on the to do list” for years because we all of a sudden have a fire under us to fix them, and doing some major re-structuring of space. All of this is normal, I think, when you are inviting a new person (and the necessary amount of baby-related crapola) into your house.
People keep telling us, “Oh you don’t need that much stuff” which I believe in theory, but the truth is — baby’s need some stuff. So we started with the major stuff this weekend. We plan to go pretty low key with the nursery mostly because we have to – the room is SUPER TINY. I wish I had a picture to show you. Wow, ok so I just spent an hour scrolling through tons of old photos and apparently I have never photographed that room in our house?
Other thoughts I had while scrolling: I would kill for my 2012 body composition right now. Seattle is beautiful. Time flies and kids grow so quick. Dang, I’m sad we aren’t going to Maui this year.
Hmmm…Ok, I will take a pic of that room soon even though it is currently filled with crap. I’ll make that happen.
Anyway, a little refresher on our living situation: we currently live in a 3 bedroom house (master, guest bedroom and office) and we’re going to leave it that way because it works for us. But we also have an annex (with a door) off our master bedroom that used to be Garrett’s “man cave/game room” that is now going to be the nursery. (RIP Man Cave. Well, I guess it will still be a man cave, but just for a squishy little baby man.)
We plan to move in the next year, so we think this little space will work perfectly, for now, so we want to outfit that room, but also buy some long term things. To say the least, it has posed some challenges: There is no closet, few walls (one wall has a door on it, one wall has a sliding door on it, one wall has oddly placed light switches) so this weekend we busted out our measuring tape and found a solution with some furniture that we hope will work.
I was set on a double wide dresser/changing table with a hutch for storage, since there will be very little storage in the room, and a crib at a minimum. We have a pretty massive walk in closet in our bedroom so I don’t mind sharing that with baby, and the doorway to it is right across from the future nursery so I think we’ll just hang whatever baby stuff we need to in the entry there for easy access. But you still want other fold-able baby clothes and supplies accessible by the changing table, hence: double wide dresser and hutch.
Just the crib and dresser/hutch. We still have a glider to buy, and I may end up picking up that little nightstand-ish piece as well to keep by the glider just to store breast feeding “supplies” — I don’t know. This is all new to me. It’s the blind leading the blind here AND BUYING FURNITURE. Danger, Will Robinison!
Anyway, we ordered everything from the appropriately named Buy Buy Baby and now we just wait 4 months for it arrive. (WHO KNEW this stuff takes so long? :))
In other news this weekend I also had a small breakdown over unpasteurized cheese. I don’t miss alcohol really at all. But what I miss dearly are HOT TUB HOT scalding baths, and unpasteurized cheese. I may have shed a tear or two about it this weekend. Alone. While grocery shopping. Awesome.
I’ve found I am getting super good and shedding lots of tears about random things lately. We watched Draft Day recently and I cried during the first five minutes. For no reason, and couldn’t stop. (The NFL Draft — SO EMOTIONAL?) And a couple weekends ago I was so frustrated at how frustrated I was, I just cried about it. Seemed reasonable. Although when Garrett asked what initially frustrated me, I couldn’t actually pin point it. These pregnancy hormones are really no joke. 🙂
I spent most of Sunday crying though, because I had a sort of traumatic experience. We took Buster for a walk because it was a gorgeous day and as we were heading back to our car I noticed an elderly guy coming up behind us and carrying his dog. My spidey-sense sort of went off, seeing as people are usually walking their dogs, and right as I started to think that something might be up — he yelled to us asking if we had a car because his dog had been bit by a rattlesnake.
Everything happened so fast, but we ran to my car (score — pregnant and out of shape, I can still hustle!), I left Garrett and Buster to fend for themselves a bit, and we got this guy and his dog into my car and took off for the closest emergency vet clinic. The dog was howling and in so much pain, and the guy was just hysterical in the back seat consoling his dog and saying “Please Esther, don’t die” and the entire time I felt absolutely calm. But the second we got them to the vet clinic (Thank GOD it was open!) and the dog was in being treated, I just started sobbing and couldn’t get it together most of the day. Adrenaline + pregnancy hormones are a real combo.
We took a trip to IKEA later that afternoon to pick up MORE FURNITURE (omg) and I couldn’t keep it together there — every time I thought about sweet little Esther, and her scared owner it I just got so sad. It just went on all day, reliving it. I was just out! in the world! crying at the drop of a hat. JEEZ LOUISE.
GOOD NEWS THOUGH: Garrett and I did stop by the vet clinic later on in the afternoon just to inquire about the dog (she was a fluffy little Australian Shepherd type mix just about Buster’s size, so I was very worried) but they said that she was alive and recovering, and only paralyzed in her leg where she got the bite and that even that may be temporary. That made me feel a little bit better, but honestly I just teared up writing about this, so I’m still shaken. Again: Pregnancy Hormones, NO JOKE.
On a happier note, we assembled our new media stand from IKEA the same afternoon (and by “we” I mean Garrett). My own personal version of hell is a 40 page long instruction booklet from IKEA, no unpasteurized cheese, and no booze in a piping hot bubble bath afterward, so I just couldn’t really be of help. 😛
But in the meantime, I was able to perfectly captured Buster’s GIVE ME THAT TREAT IN YOUR HAND face while this was all going on. So that was a win. 🙂
So tell me a good story: What did you get up to?
Well it feels a little out of order to be telling you this when I haven’t even finished recapping our wedding but I figured it was high time to apologize for my two month hiatus and say: OH HEY! I’M PREGNANT!
It feels a little surreal to say that still, despite being 15 weeks into this gig, but it is getting more and more real each day. I’ve had a rough couple of months of intense morning sickness, which has led to basically abandoning my social life/workout life (and this blog, obviously since that’s mostly what I talk about here. lol) but I’ve turned a bit of a corner and I’m ready to get back to my life. (Which now involves GROWING A HUMAN. Sweet!)
We are thrilled, excited and of course, a little bit panicked, but I thought I’d pop on today and give you some of the fun facts. This might be a little long, but hey — I’ve got a lot of info to share. Indulge, me…
Our Due Date
Strangely enough, our due date is September 18th which, if you are paying really close attention (and I don’t expect you to be), will be our first wedding anniversary. That was a fun little coincidence! Although I’m sure this little nugget (if it’s anything like its stubborn parents) will show up WHENEVER THEY DAMN WELL PLEASE. 🙂
I’ve been joking that “There goes our long anniversary weekend!” but I promise you, I could not care less. We are so excited to meet this baby! In related vacation planning, we actually ended up cancelling our official honeymoon to Maui that we were going to be taking next month as well.
It sounds kind of sad, but we both wanted to save our vacation time for when the baby arrived, and plus — I was SO SUPER SICK over the last couple months that I just didn’t want to chance a five hour flight and thousands of dollars spent to be barfing into a toilet in Maui instead of California. Thankfully, I am no longer barfing with such awesome regularity, but I’m still happy we are saving that two weeks of vacation to add on to our maternity/paternity leaves!
How We Found Out
If you remember, in the last post I wrote here I was lamenting my mystery illness. HA! I had taken a 5 day Staycation and basically slept through the entire thing. My cold symptoms had subsided but I still sort of felt like I was dying. I think I said ” It’s hard to take on 2016 when the sheer act of making the bed makes you feel like need to get back in it.” Yep that’s pretty much what I told my doctor:
*I’m SO INCREDIBLY TIRED all the time.
*My heart rate has notably higher than normal, which seems weird.
*I’ve been feeling sick at weird times, but then feeling totally normal. The inconsistency has been strange.
*Every time I do a workout that I would consider “run of the mill” I come home and sleep for at least two hours.
*SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT.
And do you know what she said to me?
“Well, you are overweight, and it can be very tiring to be out of shape. Maybe you should try becoming active.”
And I think in that moment my mouth dropped open, but no words came out.
Finally I was like “Actually — AS I WROTE ON MY QUESTIONNAIRE THAT YOU ASKED ME TO FILL OUT — I am very active, but all of my symptoms lately have prevented me from doing that. I am VERY in touch with my body and my health and this is not how my body normally feels. Something is happening that is not normal!” And I think I even started to tear up out of frustration.
Her answer, “Yes, it’s why we recommend not having a high BMI. It can decrease your quality of life. So maybe you can even just try light walking. Perhaps start out just going to the end of your street. In the meantime I’m going to prescribe you an antibiotic, a cough syrup with codeine, allergy medicine and a steroid inhaler.”
I was annoyed, as you can imagine, and left feeling super upset. I filled my prescriptions just because I didn’t quite know what else to do in my frustration, and when it came time to do the pharmacy consult the pharmacist asked me “Are you expecting?” To which I confidently replied, “Nope!” and then she said, “Good because 3 of the 4 items you’re being prescribed can’t be taken if you’re expecting.” And then I was sent on my (not so) merry way.
That was a Thursday, and after that whole ordeal I came home (and took a nap, obviously!) and decided that I would read all these prescription instructions over the weekend and decide if I even wanted to take any of them. But on Friday morning I woke up feeling strange again, and something just told me “Maybe you should just double check that you aren’t expecting.” I had just started charting my cycle the month prior, in hopes to figure out exactly when I ovulate, knowing that information might be useful when we began to get serious about getting pregnant. I wasn’t even really in the habit of checking if we were pregnant, so it was not at the forefront of my mind.
Obviously when this happened it was a wonderful surprise — but a surprise nonetheless! And then a couple of weeks after we found out I read this article on CNN and honestly, it took every ounce of self control I had not to send it to my doctor in an email with a passive aggressive note saying TURNS OUT I WAS PREGNANT, NOT JUST AN OBESITY STATISTIC! #RAGE
But so far I’ve refrained. 🙂
How I Told Garrett
Anyway, it was obviously a happy/exciting moment, and I’m sure this would be the exact right time to consult Pinterest to find a cute way to tell my husband we are expecting, but instead I waited until I got to work that morning (after silently freaking out for about an hour) and then sent this:
So, you know, feel free to pin that to your idea board. 😛
It was the only pregnancy test we had in the house so I at lunch I stopped by Target and got some more and — well, six tests later (I know, I am insane) I felt sort of convinced that this may actually be happening. Of course, the subsequent ultra sounds have also helped. 🙂
How We Found Out The Gender
So because I’m old, ahem — Of Advanced Maternal Age — at week 10 it was suggested that we do a blood test that would be analyzed to screen for the most common chromosomal abnormalities. It took two weeks for the results, and I will tell you that was a long two weeks of waiting.
But because they are analyzing chromosomes, they can tell you if the baby has XX chromosomes or XYs, so we opted to find out with the other chromosome results. I had felt very strongly from the start (after having two crazy vivid dreams) that it was a boy. And when we got the results back (everything came back low risk) those dreams were right on point!
So coming September 18th of this year: Baby Boy Franklin. (Name TBD, obviously. WOW naming a human is hard!)
It’s been mind blowing, exciting, emotional and completely beyond anything I have ever experience, and I’m so grateful to finally be sharing the news here because it has felt like this giant secret that I was keeping while lying on the couch, and now that I’m off the couch again, I can’t wait to write about this journey.
15 days before I found out I was pregnant I wrote about my 2016 goals and priorities here. One of my guiding thoughts for the year was this:
“I’d like to spend the year doing relaxing things. Silly things. Celebratory things. Superficial things. Seasonal things. I want to spend my time embracing the awesome. Opening my heart and my mind. Learning new things. I want to stretch myself into something new, and at the end of 2016 I want to feel like I have shed a layer of sorts.”
I think this just may do the trick. 🙂