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 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!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

My Baby Shower!

OMG, hi!! I am so sorry I have been so MIA-- I had the flu for about 6 days two weeks ago, and I had so much trouble recovering. It was scary to be that sick while pregnant, but thank God, everything was okay. It was the type A (whatever that means!? lol) flu, which I just laugh because I am the most type A person ever, so of course that would be the flu I get. Haha! But, thankfully, my baby shower was the following weekend after the horrible bout of flu. It just so happened to be a BLIZZARD, too, so I was super worried about everyone making it into town from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania! God had an eye on everyone and got them into town safely! 

Almost everyone was able to make it, despite TONS of cancelled flights and a lot of treacherous driving conditions. We missed my sister-in-law, Molly, and my nieces Audrey and Charlotte, but South Bend got so much snow people were snow-shoeing around town! My sweet bestie, Lauren, from Columbus was trying soooooo hard to get here. Her Friday flight was canceled from Columbus, so she re-booked for a super early flight from Dayton Saturday morning. That was also canceled! I felt so bad, but we TOTALLY understood! I just wanted everyone to be safe. More reason for people to come visit once Baby Boy arrives! 

Now, onto the best baby shower ever!!! Thanks to my mom and Anna for throwing it!!! 

How amazing are these blocks?! There was a plain wooden block at every person's seat. Then, there were a ton of Sharpies for people to decorate them with. And now we can display them in the nursery, and baby boy can cherish them/play with them forever!!!  People wrote little notes, too!  Check out my Instagram stories for more details and examples. 

This was the guest sign in-- sooooo creative, too!  Anna and Julie created this to match our green and yellow jungle-animal themed nursery. Each little balloon was signed, and then I just glued them down. Anna bought us this perfect frame for the display, too! We are hanging it above our little guy's crib, so we can always remember who was able to make it to his shower! 

How cute are these invitations Anna had made? The shower was at Cooper's Hawk Winery in St. Charles. We are wine club members, and we just LOVE CH! I have never had a bad meal. We literally go 1x or more a month! hahaha!  The service at my shower was impeccable! I highly recommend Cooper's Hawk for any shower or any meal! 

Julie made these bingo cards! The background is our bedding for the nursery!! She is soooo creative and talented.  A perfect game for opening gifts. 

CHECK OUT THIS MENU!!!  To die for!!! 

My mother-in-law brought chocolates from their hometown in Jackson, Michigan! SO good! 

The layout! Kernel's Popcorn in Geneva is the BEST. 

Anna taking care of everything for the set up! Thanks, Sis! 

My cousin Ashley's flight was canceled Wednesday night for Friday afternoon due to the impending snow! It was so crazy. She was able to reschedule, thank God. Then her flight was also canceled on her way home. She got a 6 am flight on Monday morning. She did so much to be here for me! I love you, cuzzie! Thank you so much! 

My sweet WAHS girls, Jackie and Lauren! 

My friends Jane and Julie live in the same condo building as my sis in Chicago! Love them! 

Cuzzie love!! 
Ashley, Beth and Lori! 

More cuzzie/aunt love. Caitlin, Aunt Leslie and Kara. These brave gals ventured from Findlay, Ohio and Cincinnati, Ohio to arrive in Geneva for the shower. It meant soooooo much to us to have them there. 

Half of the Pure Barre table!!! 
Taryn, Alex, Val and Ibby! 

Half of my FFC! 
Jenny, Andrea and Sarah! 

The other half of FFC!! 
Mandy and Kel!

My Wego gals!
Cat, Tara, and Jamie in front and Amanda, Lauren and Angela in the back! 

Baby Boy is already so loved. We are so blessed to have such amazing family and friends in our lives!!! 

Mike's mom, Joyce, his godmother, Jan, and his cousin, Stephanie and Aunt Jody! 

More family and friends! 
Megan and Jamie had harrowing travel stories, too!!! 
Megan's Friday morning flight was canceled from Columbus, so she DROVE TO PITTSBURGH from Columbus to fly out Thursday night to beat the snow. What an amazing friend! Both Jamie and Megan's flights were canceled at least once for their return trips. They are such incredible friends to be there for me from Ohio and Pennsylvania. I am so blessed. I've known Jamie and Megan since I was in elementary school! 

Photo op. mid announcement from Anna! hahah!! 

My dress is Pink Blush Maternity! I am obsessed with their website. It was $65 on sale, and it fits so well (this is a medium for reference). They are constantly having sales, and the styles are DARLING! 
It comes in four colors, too!! 
My shoes are my trusty Tory Burch ballet flats. You cannot go wrong with these for standing all day at work or being preggo. haha!

I cannot thank my mom and Ashley for getting to Illinois and doing sooooo much for the shower. 
 I love you both so much!! 

How stinkin' cute is that lion hamper?! Obsessed! Perfect for the jungle animal themed nursery!!! My girlfriends from high school bought me that and filled it with adorable onesies and books, on top of seriously 5 other huge gifts  (including the high chair and pack-n-play) they had sent to me. Too wonderful and generous!!! Love you, Brittany, Lauren, Amanda, Jamie and Megan! 

Loveeeeee this sign from Andrea!!! 

OMG, soooo great! Wine tee for me and whine onesie for babe! Thanks to Val and Alex for this! They also bought Mike a shirt with a pizza on it with a matching slice of pizza onesie for the baby!!! SO adorable! 

Thanks for the Bumbo, Angela!!! 

I had to show the back of this amazing dress. I got cups sewn in, just FYI--  you cannot wear a regular bra with it. 

Another back shot!! Had to show how pretty it was! Mike showed  up to help open gifts :) 
Obsessed with Baby's first swimsuit from Tara! 

Christmas onesies from auntie Jules!!! 

This Lollapalooza onesie is soooooo sweet from Mike's brother, Scott, and our SIL, Lidija.

This has a funny story behind it: every year since I have known Mike, we go to Lollapalooza with his oldest brother, Scott. Scott is a champ-- he goes all 4 days and totally outlasts us. lol! He is way cooler than me! This year we had tickets, but I had just found out I was pregnant a few weeks before the show. I knew there was no way I was going to be nauseous, in the heat of Chicago August and using porta potties at Lolla this year, so we had to act fast. We took Scott to dinner (coincidentally) at Cooper's Hawk on the Wednesday he got into town before Lolla, and we told him the great news! It was super early, so he was one of the first people to know. I had jury duty on Monday after Lolla, so that was my out to give my ticket to our friend Evan (even know everyone had figured me out with that excuse hahaha!!). So, this onesie means a lot!!! 

My sweet FFC crew!!!! 


My sis, who did sooooo much to make the shower perfect. 

Lip color on Anna:

Anna's earrings: 

Lip color on me: 

My earrings:

My sweet gals who traveled from Ohio and Pennsylvania, with numerous canceled flights, to be there for me. LOVE YOU!!!!!! Thank you so much!!!! 

A few snaps from the shower!!! How gorgeous is Taryn?!?!

My Pure Barre girls!! 
Olivia, Alex, Val, Taryn and Ibby!

Bentley loooooved the books from my high school besties and this great outfit from our cuzzie, Caitlin! hahahaha.

Ash and Anna-- who did sooooooo much for me for the shower. Love you girls so much. 
Ashley's dress: here. Down to 40% off $30 from Express!! That is about $20 for an LBD with amazing balloon sleeves!!!  It also comes in a merlot color (below). 

My amazing hubs. I love you! I can't wait to see you as a DAD!!! 

Megan and Jamie-- they braved the blizzard to get to Illinois for me!!! It meant the world to me to have them with us for the weekend. 

How adorable is this sign? We are hanging it in the nursery now!!! 

Before the guest book was created! 

Set up!! 

Everyone got to enjoy the wine for me!!!! hahaha!! 

The blocks before being decorated! 

Best sis ever!!! 

Anna's block!! 

Mike came with flowers!!! 

My shower was absolutely perfect thanks to my mom and sister and our friends and family. I can't believe how loved BBF already is. We are so blessed to have incredible family and friends in our lives!!!  Thank you so much for all the love.