Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sebastian Joseph Fremeau is Here! And some #realtalk about labor.

This is the most joyous post I have ever written: our son, Sebastian Joseph Fremeau is here! He arrived at 3:20 am on April 7, 2018. He is the most amazing gift from God, and we just continue to thank God for Seb's health.  He was 8 lbs 1 oz at birth, and 20.5 inches long! 


The dogs have adjusted really well! ^^^
I didn't think it was possible, but I realized I love Mike even more now that he is Sebastian's dad. 


Admittedly, the labor and delivery was pretty awful for me (aside from welcoming the love of my life into the world!). I pushed for 4 hours, and during that time, I somehow re-injured an old herniated disc in my lower left spine. We didn't know this after delivery, and so when I couldn't feel from my knees down on both legs way after the epidural should have worn off, we automatically panicked. The anesthesiologists, doctors, nurses and physical therapists tried to figure out why a couple days later, I still had no feeling in my legs. The anesthesiologists wanted to rule out that it wasn't a result of the epidural, so I had an emergency MRI. Meanwhile, Mike was left to handle a newborn on his own and worry about what was happening with me. It was traumatic.

The doctors think this injury could have been as a result of where Sebastian was positioned and how they were trying to have me turn him (he was "sunny side up"). He came out with a little abrasion on his head, which has since fully healed! But otherwise, he is doing really well!!! 

After the MRI could determine I wasn't bleeding into my spine, it was a little more comforting. However, the prognosis was dire: I might not be able to feel my legs and feet for 6-8 weeks. All this was happening, and I was wondering how I could lift and carry my baby. I couldn't even stand or walk alone-- I had a bed alarm on my bed because the nurses had to walk me to and from the bathroom or anywhere. Ugh. It was a horrible experience. 

But, every day I have regained feeling in my legs and feet! I no longer have to walk with the walker we got from the hospital, and I can shower alone now, too! My right foot has so much feeling back that I could drive myself to physical therapy yesterday! Now, I am still waiting on the left to regain more feeling, but I am getting there! I can do the steps myself at home, too, but I still don't feel comfortable carrying Sebastian up and down them yet. Soon, but not yet. 

However, Sebastian is HEALTHY and adorbs!!!!! And that is what matters to me. I will heal!!! Now for the fun baby pics!!! 

My work sent this beautiful blanket. SO sweet, right? Go Wildcats! 

The new family pic! Dogs have been awesome with him. 

Last week, it was 71, so we did a little stroll around the block. (The stroller doubles as a nice walker for me-- haha!). Yesterday, it snowed! Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! But look at Bella's face-- hahahah!

Smiles for daddy!!! 

Very contemplative! 

He loves this Boppy Lounger. I highly recommend it!



I can't get enough of the smiles! 

Twins already! 


Tons of snuggles these days! 

No sleep but sooooooo happy! 
This cardigan has been sooooooo perfect for pumping and staying warm in these unseasonably cold days! Also, it's on major sale, and they've updated it for spring/summer, too!! 






Daddy in the hospital with Baby Bella Photography! I was getting my MRI at the time of these pics :(
But we will have more opportunities for family pictures!

One of my favorite pics!
Swaddle: here

Name blanket: here
 thanks to Auntie Courtney! It's soooo warm and soft. You can personalize it as the perfect gift, too! 





Hi, Sebbie! 

My favorite pic ever taken! His first smile!!! 

Daddy holding Seb right after he came into the world! 



Welcome home, buddy! 


Those wrinks!!! 

Blanket: here.  
Thanks to Auntie Anna. And it's monogrammed! 



Sweet, sweet Seb 



Bentley likes to get close, but not TOO close! 


We just keep looking at Sebastian and thanking God he is okay. We had a roller coaster of a pregnancy (did you catch this post?), so just having him with us is the biggest gift.  

Now, I need to get some sleep while he sleeps :)
xxoo
Mary

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Athleisure Weekend Look!

Hello from 38 + weeks preggo! How is that possible?! Where did the last 8.5 months go?!  Yesterday was the first day of my spring break, and Mike and I have been completing all the tasks we should have probably done months ago-- lol! But, it's good to check things off our lists. I am getting more and more mobile with every day thanks to my incredible chiropractor, Dr. Hart. I did laundry yesterday for the first time in about 4 weeks (Mike has done it all while I have been having trouble with the stairs, since our washer and dryer is in the basement). I *might* be nesting, as I found it totally necessary to wash all the blankets in our house and all the covers of the pillows on the couch. HA!! 

I wanted to talk about this go-to outfit I have been wearing on weekends since feeling better. (When I was in so much pain/immobile, I just stayed in my jammies all day. It feels good to get into some more normal, albeit athleisure, clothes again). This outfit was from last weekend when I made it out for the first time in 3 weeks (!) for something other than the OB, chiro or work. I went to lunch with my two girlfriends, Becky and Olivia, at Moveable Feast. IDK if you've been, but OMG, you must go!!!!! The food is incredible. I usually get their quesadillas and some sort of salad (current fave is the brussels/grapefruit/pomegranate). Then, I end it with their HOMEMADE OREO!!!!  You guys, it is lifechanging. FOR REAL. 

The best part of vests while preggo is that they don't have to zip! So, I can still wear non-maternity puffers with ease! Fun puffers of the moment:



Obsessed with the New Balance tennies. The comfort level is insane! I sized up to an 8.5 from my usual 8 in these rose gold/navy ones from J. Crew. The new colors of the New Balance 520 and 574 versions are adorable! 






Also, I died over these New Balance Glitter Punk shoes:





And, in case you have an extra $300 lying around, these Swarovski-encrusted New Balance tennies are the stuff of dreams!!! 



Real talk: I have gained 40 lbs+ in my pregnancy, and they have fit from the beginning until now. I literally just wore these to the chiropractor Friday at 38 weeks. Haha! 

I sized up to a 6 while I was pregnant because the Aligns do tend to run slightly big. I got a 4 before pregnancy, and they were just fine. They are super high-waisted, and they stay up over the bump. 

I can't explain to you how comfortable and SOFT they are!! You need a pair in your life, NOW.  I like the ankle length ones, but I also have the capris (21 inches). The full length ones (28 inches) are great if you're taller or like to wear them under your heels at Pure Barre, pilates or yoga. I am wearing the ankle (25 inches) length, and this is how they fit if you're about 5'6 like me. 


So, after my three weeks of harrowing pain, I got this in the mail from my mom. It's the most gorgeous color in real life! She has the same one! What a cute note, right??? It made me so happy! I haven't stopped wearing it since. More in this size just came out. Here are my faves:




Feeling sad that I won't be in Florida this spring break (for the first time, literally, in 8 years), but for the best reason ever!! I wonder if baby boy will wait until April 6 to make his debut? My coworkers think it will happen over break... we shall see!!!! 
xxoo
Mary

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pop of Color Blazer (non-maternity) + a 37 week Bumpdate!

Ahhhh!! Finally starting the post on a happier note! I can walk again! Without crutches and without the excruciating pain I had been experiencing for over two weeks. The sciatica is under control, and I couldn't be more grateful to God and the best chiropractor ever (shout out to Hart Chiropractics in Geneva-- omg, Dr. Hart has literally saved my life and made me be able to walk again).  My friends and family have been so amazing about checking in and bringing over treats to lift my spirit. I am so grateful.

Last I had written, two Saturdays ago, I had tried physical therapy for my debilitating sciatica. After the 2nd session, the physical therapist canceled the rest of our sessions and said there was nothing she could do because it was in my bones not my muscles. I left the PT bawling-- how could I make it through 4 more weeks of that pain? I couldn't walk, couldn't turn over in bed, couldn't get dressed, couldn't go up stairs, without Mike's help. Every step I took while teaching caused me to wince.

I tried a pregnancy belt (to lift baby up and to have my back stop swaying and crushing my sciatic nerve), I tried sitting on a tennis ball, I tried rolling it out with a roller, and I tried a pre-natal swimming class to get him to move (which ended up with me in tears because I couldn't find an elevator in the fitness building. What a mess!).  Then I got into a chiropractor. For a week, he tried everything. Without an MRI or x-ray, there's a lot of detective work that goes into figuring out low back/sciatic pain. I got a pre-natal massage (ended up having to stop because I got so light-headed/nauseous/dizzy) to try to work through the pain. Dr. Hart also taped me with Kinesio tape this week, which I think has helped, too! Something finally clicked on Wednesday this week. I finally could walk a little better, and I didn't need my crutches to get from my car into school. Things have improved little by little each day! I keep icing and stretching!

I am definitely not back to normal, but you guys, I truly was in such a bad place for two weeks with this pain. I have never felt pain like this in my entire 31 years of living. I do not wish this upon anyone! It was to the point where my OB was talking about bed rest if the issue didn't improve by Friday (yesterday), I had spoken to HR at work about beginning my maternity leave early, and I had been researching short term disability. It was so devastating.

The good news through this all was the baby was still moving and grooving just fine! He was not affected by my pain at all-- thank God!  Mike was (and continues to be) a saint. He helped me dress, shower, walk from the bed to the bathroom, get up our stairs, get in and out of the car, etc. He cooked and cleaned and took care of the dogs non-stop for all this time. I literally do not know what I would've done without him.

On Tuesday this week, I had a little fall after my chiro appointment. I sit on an exercise ball to help the pain, and when I went to get a refill of my cereal (lol), the ball rolled away, and I had no idea. I sat back down-- hard-- and fell on my back/butt.  I was home alone because it was just before 5 pm, and I called my OB. She wanted me to go to the hospital at Delnor (where I'm delivering) to labor/delivery just to be sure my water didn't break/to monitor the baby.

I drove myself over to the hospital (lol, I don't know why I didn't call any of my friends?! Wasn't thinking straight), and got checked in. They were all soooo kind. I couldn't even get my birth date or last name out of my mouth without bawling (I was so scared I had hurt the babe), but everyone was kind as could be.  They hooked me up to the fetal heart rate monitor, and baby boy was healthy as ever. Mike arrived shortly after, and they did an ultrasound to check the placenta (still totally fine), and they tested to be sure my water didn't break. It hadn't! Thank God all around. They wanted to keep me there 4 hours to monitor, so we did that.

Overall, everything is turning out okay. Just knowing our baby is healthy is getting me through. Also, knowing he is coming within the next 3 weeks is a gift from God. I can't wait to just hold him. He will be so resilient after all he has been through, too!


Now, to the fun stuff! The pop of color blazers that you need in your closet right now! I apologize for the mirror selfies-- these final weeks of pregnancy make it a lot harder to stay in normal clothes past getting home at 4 pm every day. It's always a good day when I'm in jammies by 4 pm. LOL


This blazer was purchased about 4 years ago from Nordstroms, but they have since released new colors! I love blazers in pregnancy, as I can still wear them open with a maternity tank underneath. This was perfect for a dress-down St. Patty's Day themed Friday.




This Missguided green blazer is under $60 and the same color/style as mine! 

My shoes are my go-to sparkly Tory Burch flats. They're still soooo comfortable, even 37+ weeks preggo! Also, these were purchased in 2012 (I know this because I was still living in Chicago! lol). 







My go-to gold monogram necklace: Moon and Lola. I have the gold script one (size medium), and then I have an acrylic one (also medium) that I love just as much. I also have the mirrored one (with my new monogram!), in a size large. Obsessed with Moon and Lola! 






My earrings are super old Stella and Dot (probably circa 2010, as I was still living in the city haha!). But here are some equally fab ones!






More blazers I am drooling over right now:

my all-time favorite of the moment: this. Peplum!!!! Currently 40% off! Down to $70.




I hope you are all having a great St. Patrick's Day!
xxoo
Mary

Friday, March 2, 2018

Gilded Dress-- Maternity and Non-Maternity Options!

It seems like every week I go to write a blog post, I have an ailment to share! haha! Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer! This week it has been debilitating sciatica pain. Shooting pains down my leg :( which is apparently quite common in the later months of pregnancy. I am 35 weeks pregnant today, and I just got home from the physical therapist. I have some exercises and stretches to try, but she basically said to stay off my feet as much as possible this weekend. Ah. It has been a very hard week! Teaching is not conducive to being seated :( but, it could be so much worse. I could have pain like this chronically, or it could be something worse affecting the baby, so I really need to just be grateful it's not like that. Any other readers experience the excruciating pain of sciatica? I feel for you! On a lighter note, though, I have a fun gilded dress to share from last weekend (pre-pain), and I will link non-maternity options, too! Let's get to the happier side of Belle On Trend: the clothes! 

These pics were taken right before we went to our favorite (chain) restaurant-- Cooper's Hawk
Have you been? The Mexican drunken shrimp and southwest egg rolls are the BEST apps ever! We ate sooooo much last weekend. I was starving-- haha! We had two pretzel breads, too, hahaha. I think the waiter was like, "this girl loves food". I hope he realized I was preggo and not just a hungry, hungry hippo. 

I got the gnocchi carbonara. To die for. Then we split the Reese skillet cookie. Amazeeeee! I have never had a bad meal there. You might remember my sister and mom hosted my baby shower there a couple weekends ago. We are wine club members, so we racked up a lot of points from the shower. We like to go about 1x a month for tastings and picking up our 2 bottles a month. Of course that has slowed down since July, but Mike can still imbibe with a free DD-- haha! 

My watch: 





My earrings are old, but similar options here:






The dress: 
only $37!  I am in a medium, for reference. 

Pink Blush always has sitewide sales! When I got this dress, everything was 30% off. I originally ordered it for my friend Olivia's "goodbye to my roaring 20s" birthday party, but it didn't arrive in time. If you need something in a hurry, I would spend the $5 for the expedited shipping. 


Bella wanted to be involved in the shoot! haha! 

My Toms booties:







My red lip:










More gilded dresses-- non-maternity! 




I wanted to thank everyone so much for the kind words about my last blog post.  I was so nervous to share the hardships of our journey with the "blog-o-sphere", but I am so grateful I did. So many friends from high school and college came forward to share their similar struggles or thank me for being open and honest. I do think it helps to know that other people have had trying times throughout pregnancy. Just know: you aren't alone if your pregnancy hasn't been as beautiful/effortless as the Bump's Instagram page, haha!!

xxoo
Mary

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Nursery Reveal and Some Real Talk about Pregnancy

Happy Sunday, you guys! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading. I am super excited to share with you our *almost* finished nursery! I figured I would get too busy/crazed in the next 5 ish weeks to photograph the final touches, but it's nearly done! We are just going to have our navy glider chair delivered in the next couple weeks, and it will be complete! 

I usually keep it pretty light over here on Belle On Trend, but I thought I'd open up a bit about our pregnancy journey. It has not been the easiest, and I think sometimes it's helpful to talk to other expectant moms/new moms about the journey. Sometimes going through struggles during pregnancy can feel like a super lonesome time because you might feel like you're the only one who has faced certain issues/any issues along the way. With that in mind, I wanted to just open up about what we experienced, in hopes of setting some other expecting moms/dads at ease. Additionally, I hated to bring people down with our not-so-great news we kept receiving, so sometimes I just kept it to myself. Our close friends and family were amazing and kept the positivity flowing! We just hated to burden anyone with our "unknowns". 

So... here it is!

We are due April 6, and we finally "graduated" from the high risk pool! Which is SO GREAT!!!!  This happened on Monday at our most recent MFM (maternal fetal medicine) appointment.  We had a couple of factors that kept us seeing the high risk doctor for the past 8 months. It started at our 12 week appointment, where the ultrasound showed signs of echogenic bowel. This means the bowel shows up "brighter than bone" on the ultrasound and can be an indicator of Downs Syndrome. Of course, this would be totally fine, but we would just want to prepare ourselves/our house, etc. for a baby with Downs. 

Fast forward a few weeks, and I underwent a slew of other tests to figure out why the bowel might be echogenic. What I tested positive for was called CMV-- cytomegalovirus. It is something that apparently 80% of people in the country get before they are 40, and if you're healthy and you get it, you might never know you have it. The problem lies in someone contracting it when they are sick (undergoing chemo, etc.) or pregnant. The scare was that CMV can be passed on to your baby, and it can cause deafness, blindness, or other worse outcomes. 

We were so devastated and nervous. I felt like I couldn't stop crying for weeks. I felt like it was my fault, too, because I was the one who had had CMV at some point recently. Again, more tests ensued. Our doctors kept telling us NOT to Google anything, but of course, we Googled. I just kept praying and praying-- it was such a rough time. I wanted to stay healthy and positive for the little guy growing inside of me, but I was sooooo worried about this CMV (something I had never even heard of before!).

Finally, in November, the specialist said that the baby was NOT showing signs of CMV, which was the best news we could ever hear. He wanted to keep checking, as the signs could still show up. Basically, I work with kids all day every day, I probably had CMV at some point and didn't even know.  You can literally get it from a cough in the air. But, for now, the baby was not showing any signs of it (like measuring small or spots on his organs or any heart issues).

At our next appointment, the doctor mentioned that the baby had a little echogenic focus on his heart. However, they insured us that this was really common and often went away! That was a scare again, but we trusted our doctors. They are amazing.  In January, they told us that his kidneys were a bit dilated, but again, they explained that this was super common (primarily in boys), and it would likely go away by our next appointment. We just kept praying.  With that, it could just require antibiotics when he was born and an ultrasound on him when he was out of me. But, they were very confident that we shouldn't worry. We definitely tried to keep that in mind and stay calm.

On Monday, we had our most recent ultrasound and FINALLY everything was normal!!! He is 5.5 lbs right now (and one of our friends did the ultrasound, which is so great because she's the best-- hi, Krista!), he is measuring a little big, but the doctor thinks he will be born at right around 8 lbs. He said the bowel looked totally fine, kidneys are back to normal, no signs of CMV in the baby, and he was not concerned at all with the heart. Thank. The. Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just wanted to share that in case anyone else was experiencing a harder-than-usual pregnancy. I can't even complain, honestly, because we are pregnant. I would truly endure anything for this little guy. But, I thought maybe it would help to share for others. Pregnancy is no joke, and it is the hardest and best thing that has ever happened to me.  I for sure have had all the possible side effects of pregnancy, so I am happy to share anything that might help! Haha! And, if you have advice for zombie-esque nosebleeds, please hmu!  As we approach the last month and a half of this pregnancy, I just wanted to be a resource for anyone else who needs it.  

And now, for the FUN STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!  The nursery!!!!!!! 

Here is a shot from the hallway door!!!  Mike and I painted the walls yellow and green over my Christmas break. This used to be our office, but we moved that downstairs (as blogged about here). 


This alphabet sign is from Homegoods! It was $19, but unfortunately you have to go to Homegoods to actually buy anything. Here are some similar pieces below:



We also found this elephant chair at Homegoods! It's sooooooo soft! I hope we can take the monthly baby pics in it, but he might not stay sitting in there since he won't really be able to hold up his head for a while, LOL.









This corner will have the navy blue glider chair in it once it arrives! But for now, we have that adorable elephant humidifier, and the little table that Mike painted with the leftover room paint! 


It was a plain Ikea night stand, and he turned it into the perfect addition to our little guy's room.




The little giraffe storage hanger is perfect for newborn toys! My friend Fran got us that! 


More fun giraffe options below!






Obsessed with these Ikea bookshelves/ledges, so then you can show off all your books! 

The giraffe print is another Homegoods find, but I will link equally adorable ones below!





Anna got this pennant sign made for our baby shower! How cute is that!!!???


The entire room was based around this Safari Rock themed bedding that Mike found. It popped up on his Amazon, and he was like, "if we have a boy, can we get this?!" and I'm like, "YES!!!!" Baby animals playing instruments?! What could be better!  He also got it on super discount-- the whole set for $80.  Our crib was given to us from Mike's best friend from high school! Scott and Jessica asked Mike if we needed a crib, as their youngest son was heading into a "big boy bed"! And it just so happened that that weekend they needed to have it out of their house, Mike had a U-haul to get his grandmother's piano from Jackson MI! Serendipitous. We are soooo grateful for Scott and Jess's gift! 





Those animal heads are from Target! They come in a bunch of different animals, too! 
That "I think I can, I know I can" sign was actually in my childhood room growing up. So cute, right?






The monkey with the balloons has everyone's names from the shower-- a guest book of sorts! My sister got us the yellow frame for it, too! 

Elephant night light-- Mike called that his "impulse purchase" when he was finishing up our registry the other day haha: 







Isn't this giraffe height chart amazing? My sweet cousins from Bethesda, Maryland bought us this!!!! It's beautiful, and a perfect addition for the jungle animal-themed room!




This lion hamper was from my besties from HS! SO cute!





The stuffed elephant in the left corner has our little guy's heartbeat recorded in it.  I surprised Mike with that for Christmas! 








Had to get the infamous Sophie the Giraffe
My cousin, Beth, got me that amazing May Designs baby book!! 





Measuring daddy-- haha!! 
According to his Match.com profile, he was 5'11 hahahaha! #inaccurate bahaha I love you, Mike! 

Our baby bag! Fawn Designs. I did a lot of research on the best/cutest diaper bag I could find. This one is gorgeous. Luxe leather, soooo soft, and an amazing design. You can wear it as a crossbody messenger bag or a backpack. I love the camel because it's not going to get dirty easily. 

Also, I will totally use this well past babies! I want to use it until BBF arrives for work! Haha. 




I know Mike wouldn't care if the diaper bag with pink with bows or sequined, he would still carry it, but I think this one is a nice compromise. 




My friends who recently had babies all raved about this Boppy. Loved that it was safari animal themed, too!  We also got the Boppy lounger, with recommendations from my friend and new mama, Jena! 





If there is anything else you are curious about that I didn't link, please ask below! I am so happy to share anything we registered for/bought for the baby or the baby's room. I have a bunch of girlfriends who just recently had babies within the last 6 months, so they have been my saviors!!! It really takes a village to figure it out. I am nowhere near "figured out", but I am getting a lot of amazing advice from my friends, so I would love to share it with anyone who might need it! 

Please feel free to email me or comment below with any questions! 
Mary.Fremeau@gmail.com
xxoo
Mary