Tuesday marks the end of my maternity leave so before starting work again I decided to take a trip to Dallas.
Ben and I are so lucky as parents, Tove doesn’t mind her car seat at all and she’s already a socialite at restaurants. She’s never been fussy or even attempted to make a scene so we decided to meet Taylor and her fiancé Blake for dinner on Saturday night at a restaurant called Haywire. It’s located at Legacy West in Plano and serves new American cuisine.
We had an early reservation and if the hostess hadn’t left us standing off to the side for 14 minutes while our table was ready I would have nothing but positive things to say about our experience. Taylor had booked the reservation and got us a perfect table upstairs on the patio overlooking the stage/courtyard area. We got lucky with the weather as well, so I wasn’t all hot and bothered 😅
We started with the “chefs 4” which included mini Elk tacos, queso, giant onion rings, and fried tomatoes. All of which was delicious. I’m normally not a huge fan of onion rings but man they were good.
For the main I got a lighter fare, the grilled Caesar salad and a side but Ben went for a bone in 18oz steak and he was VERY pleased with how it turned out. He was even picking the meat from the bone once he was ‘done’ eating 😅.
Next time I’m getting the snapper. Blake got it and it looked so good. Oh and definitely try the Mac and cheese at Haywire, it’s flavorful and the texture is on point.
This one hits close to home, in more ways than one. Not only did we consider having Tove in Dallas, but we also have family/friends still in Texas. Unfortunately rumor has it that Oklahoma is pushing for similar laws to go into effect here as well. This also hits close to home because like this post I shared on Instagram, there are so many reasons behind why a woman would ever choose to have an abortion.
I got pregnant in 2020 around the time Covid hit. Ben and I were SO EXCITED! Especially since all Ben has ever wanted in life is to be a dad. Having never been pregnant before, we immediately told our family the second I had taken multiple pregnancy tests and they all came back “pregnant”. When I saw the results on the pregnancy tests I cried because I was so happy and emotionally unprepared for what that feeling was going to be. We weren’t trying for a baby but I hadn’t gotten my period and well.. maybe the stars had aligned? So I scheduled an appointment with an OB, little did I know that I was about to be “Vanessa”.
I believe I was 6-8 weeks pregnant when I had my first appointment (this is the first time I’m writing about this and/or thinking about it since I pushed these memories into a “forget” folder in my brain.). Ben was at work so I drove to Edmond on my own and met with the OB for my appointment. Everything was normal until they went to listen for the heartbeat. I laid there on my own as they kept trying to search for one without avail. Something didn’t feel quite right. They told me not to worry because it was still early on in my pregnancy, maybe we were too early in fact and it just hadn’t developed yet. So I was sent to get some blood work/labs done next door and come back for my second appointment in 2 weeks. I left feeling very uneasy, but also had to share the “no news” with Ben that evening.
Was I worried? Hell yeah I was. But I had never been pregnant before and wanted to trust the doctors. However, a few days later I miscarried in the middle of the night in our apartment bathroom. It was a traumatic experience, but I am SO LUCKY that I didn’t need medical intervention. Or that I didn’t have to carry a “baby” to term who never even developed a heartbeat because I was past that 6 week mark. I am still grieving the loss from our first pregnancy, so much so that it totally robbed us of any joy our first trimester with Tove. In fact when I took the pregnancy tests and they came back “pregnant” I cried when I told Ben because I was so damn worried we wouldn’t be able to carry to term again. Plus I was so sick following the miscarriage and it continued well into my pregnancy with Tove. I was barely able to eat, I was violently vomiting all the time and had terrible IBS symptoms.. it was a nightmare. I cried so much in the beginning because I was scared to feel any resemblance of joy in case I got robbed again. We waited until the second trimester to tell our parents this time around and my mom told me “we are your family, you could’ve still told us” and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to share with everyone it was that I didn’t want to have to answer those calls or texts if I had another miscarriage. The aftermath was gut wrenching and emotionally draining and I didn’t want to have to share that with anyone again. Now imagine having to share with them that we had to have an abortion mid-pregnancy because our pregnancy was no longer viable. That’s definitely not something you want to share with the world.
Luckily we now have a beautiful HEALTHY baby, whom I was able to carry to full term but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t called planned parenthood out of fear because I didn’t think I could handle being so sick and losing another child. So to take away these rights from girls and women is so fucking ludicrous, and it hurts my heart for the ones who didn’t have as favorable of outcomes as we did. An abortion isn’t a quick fix or an easy decision, and I for one hope that my daughter will have the right to autonomy over her own body.
After a fight with PPD and a nasty struggle with PP anxiety I feel like I’ve finally managed to find a daily balance. I’m sure this is going to be turned upside down the minute I go back to work, but for now I feel like we’re navigating being new parents fairly well.
Tove has been with us a full month now and holy cow time goes by too fast when you have a newborn. They really do grow so fast and you can’t go back and rewind the precious moments. Plus all the hormones. It’s a trip. I feel like I’ve been on a trip since I went into labor.
She’s grown to 9lbs. Last we checked she also had grown to 23inches. Sooner than I want, I’m going to be her Mini-My and not the other way around 😭 she’s definitely becoming more of a chunky monkey.
She likes to stare at Tex and he gave her a kiss for the first time recently. Tove loves taking baths, the warm water really soothes her. We like to get in the bath together cause it helps heal Mamma’s stitches as well. She’s got a favorite pillow to lay on, it’s a down feather pillow and it keeps her warm. When we lay together though our temperatures both soar. She’s hot just like me.
Tove is wearing size 1 diapers now and is almost too big for her newborn onesies! She loves her breast milk and drinks 3oz in a sitting, my growing girl. She’s also started sleeping in longer stretches, I think we even got 5 hrs at one point!
She’s our little bird who peeps when she sleeps She’s definitely got good lungs and she found her voice screaming into both mom and dads ears.
The closer we get to our due date the more and more prepared I feel we are at home. Changing table has arrived from IKEA and we got a changing pad recently from Keekaroo as well. Plus after the baby shower so many of the items on our registry got purchased that the only thing left for me to do is mentally prepare for an unmedicated birth. I told Ben not to let me chicken out when the time comes and ask to go to a hospital just cause I want pain meds.
When we took our birthing class the instructor recommended we put together a few items to bring with us to the birthing center (which could also be brought to a stale hospital environment in case of an emergency transfer) so I decided to start working on an inspiration board today. I found some phrases on Pinterest but also drew from my own personal mantras and created some super simple affirmation cards on Canva.
If you want to see all 12 of them you can do so here. I’m no graphic designer but they are simple so you can use them as a template if you click the pen in the bottom left hand corner and change the phrases to fit your own birthing experience!
My boss asked during one of our meetings if I had planned on having a baby shower. I told her no, in Sweden it is not customary, and I’d never even attended one before. So Megan took it upon herself to encourage me to start my baby registry and host a shower for us! I’m so thankful she was willing to plan and host our baby shower with the help of some of my radest colleagues.
Not only were the cookies the CUTEST things ever, I loved the color and Tove’s name on them, but they were also delicious. I got to take home 4 of them and I ate them within 2 days… oops, I would do it again. Megan had 3 different games prepared for us as well, the first was a plastic baby you had to hold in your hand, not pocket, and whoever had the most at the end of the shower won.
The second game was to guess what baby item was in the paper bag. Not to brag but I won cause I got all the items correct- MOM TO BE POINTS! The third was different kinds of chocolate bars melted in diapers and we had to guess what type it was. I did poorly with guessing, needed my chocoholic dad to be there I guess.
After the games the ‘shower’ began and Ben and I got to open presents from all our friends who came. You can see Ben proudly looking and counting his babies at the start of opening presents.
So appreciative of all the useful gifts we received, we felt so loved during opening them. I will say Brit had the Spice Girls onesie custom made for me and Ben already knew about it but actually managed to keep it a secret for MONTHS.
My sweet colleagues had also helped blow up balloons at work and then set up the backdrop for photos! I handed the camera to Sabah and got photos with all our attendees 💕 sweet sweet memories.
Megan, the hostess with the mostest! Not only is she a mom of four kids, but she also runs two businesses. #GirlPower
Me and Michael! He was actually one of the interviewers when I applied for my current position. Now 1.5 years later, I’m his boss 😛 but only technically because I don’t believe he would let anyone be boss over him truly.
Sabah and I, another beloved colleague. Not only is she an immigrant like meeeee but she’s just a badass in the cannabis community as well. Love having her in my corner for support. Plus she’s pretty damn good at buying presents that fit me to a T!
Dream team from work… or as our group text says, Hoe$
Sierra, my assistant manager at work, and I. She’s been a favorite of mine for a while now. Not only is she such a pleasure to work with but I just adore the crap out of her as well. Like I would love to just go on a hike with our pups and drink margs after one of these days! I’m excited for her to get to run the show while I’m away on maternity leave.
Ben, Sierra, I, and Quez
Hannah and her son Avery.
Mady and I
Sweet Kyla. Another mom to help field my millions of questions!
Ben, me, Brit & Tobin. Our first OKC friend couple!
Forever my best friend! Was happy Ito was willing to drive up from Dallas to spend the night before with me and also attend the shower. Plus now my colleagues know I didn’t just make up having a best friend from Canada 😅
The only blood relative we had at the shower was my brother, Rob. Him and his girlfriend, Helena, drove up from Dallas; I felt so bad that they got caught in traffic coming up, making it a 4 hour drive for ~1 hr of the baby shower only to then drive back down. I really wanted Rob to come in person though because Ben and I met through him. My brother invited Ben to celebrate July 4th with Ito and I and here we are 5 years later about to have a baby!! We also asked my brother after the baby shower to be the god father, and he happily said yes 🥰
Happy parents to be.. the second one is when Ben realized our daughter’s due date was a month away.. lol jk JOKESSSSssss
So happy and grateful for those who decided to come celebrate with us! Had a great time and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
I got spoiled rotten this past weekend by my parents who came to visit. They cleaned our entire home AND my mom cooked a bunch of meals for our freezer meaning we can eat easily once baby girl arrives. Dad also helped Ben put the bases in both cars for the car seat. I feel like we are ready for her to come into the world any day now. Luckily we reserved Sunday for my Pappa!
We ate brunch at Cafe Cuvée in the Ambassador hotel in Midtown. Luckily they could squeeze us in because my dad had accidentally made the reservation for Monday morning.
Good service. Good atmosphere. I would definitely go back to eat here! Ito and I actually stayed at the Ambassador hotel for my birthday last year but we ordered champagne room service from Cafe Cuvée then instead 😝
Unfortunately my Mamma wasn’t feeling good, like at all, but I love this photo Ben snapped of my Pappa and I outside the Ambassador hotel. 🥰💕
Next year’s Father’s Day we will be celebrating Ben being a father & amy dad being a grandfather!
I wanted to blog/journal throughout this pregnancy but honestly haven’t had the extra energy to put into it. So many unwritten blog posts and topics to cover, I wish I was just pregnant full-time and didn’t have to work so I would’ve been able to do more. Here’s a photo journal instead from the second and beginning of the third trimester. A lot of these are just mirror pictures but I still love seeing the progress and changes over time ☺️
I guess I finally felt like I was ‘showing’ at this point. Comical looking back on it now, she was still tiny in there.
I got approved to wear a different uniform at work. Tights being the main perk! Also had to pick up some larger t-shirts and sweaters from work.. living leaf and loving life in this picture.
At this point I was transitioning into wearing maternity clothes exclusively. Note the same outfits in rotation in the following pictures 😅. Since I spend the majority of my time at work in uniform, or at home in some state of undress I didn’t feel like it was necessary to purchase a bunch of maternity clothes/outfits.
Dad (Ben) and I took Tex to a park in Norman and got some exercise on a day off. First time I started feeling a bit short of breath and a bit ‘weaker’ during our walks.
Found an old skirt from Monki that worked with my growing belly as well. Finally felt a bit cute!
Felt like I was properly starting to show at this point!
Ben and I goofing around and getting excited to meet Tove.
Still been able to rock the heels throughout this pregnancy! Ask me again in a few weeks, answer might change.
At work selfie, just cause I felt like the pregnancy glow people always talk about finally caught up to me! My skin cleared up and I think my hormones started to balance out after a full year of ups and downs. I do feel like I look older in this photo though.. already aged and she hasn’t even been born yet 😅
Out on the golf course with Ben on a lovely spring day. Had to document that I was carrying precious life!
At the beginning of April you couldn’t quite tell I was pregnant straight from the front or the back, but once I turned from the side it was starting to be like SURPRISE.
Tex has been a momma’s boy throughout this pregnancy, very needy of attention.
Beginning of May we got a visit from Ben’s parents. Decided to dress up for Mother’s Day even though it felt a bit like cheating celebrating it before we even had a child born into the world. I will say I have a new found appreciation for my own mother this year.
All back ensemble before meeting with our midwife and doula.
Ben outside the Birth Center where we have our clinic meetings with our midwife and her assistant.
Some presents from our registry started to arrive and I was WAY TO EXCITED to not get everything out of the box and set up immediately. Really in love with how functional the travel set we got from Maxi-Cosi is.
Since we haven’t moved into a house yet and will (hopefully) only be at the townhouse with our newborn for a few months into the fall/winter we decided to wait on buying a crib and decorating a nursery. Bassinet for the bedside seems like it’s going to work great for us.
Ben and I joke about our daughter getting his ASSets instead of the ‘plat arsle’ that runs on my side of the family.
Wanted to set up the baby monitor the second it arrived I was so excited. I always am with new technology but the Nanit comes with some awesome features so Ben told me to wait until she was born, that way we didn’t miss out on a few months of free perks. Damn my impatience.. but I got it back in the box without much fuss.
My Pappa was generous enough to order us a second Maxi-Cosi car base, that way we can drive both cars without the hassle of having to reinstall the car seat every time. We still haven’t gone to the fire station to get them installed properly, but it’s on the June to-do list.
This is one of my favorite photos from the pregnancy so far. Not sure why but it reminds me of photos from when I was a child at our summer house in Sweden. Maybe it’s the half nakedness outside or the warm colors. Either way this is very typical of me.. plus Tex is always nearby.
Another selfie because damnit I want to remember life before sleep deprivation and no time for make-up!
At the end of May, I felt like I really started picking up speed in terms of belly growth!
A less than flattering photo of me outside the birth center. Not sure if it was the weather that day or the shadows, but them under eye bags would not quit!
Learning to adapt to pregnancy life includes always having to lay on my side to be comfortable. Preferably with a pillow in between my legs as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up on my back in bed and forced myself to fall back asleep on my side. CANNOT WAIT to be able to lay down on my stomach again either.
Tex has been the biggest cuddle/snuggle bug throughout the last couple of months. I feel like the bigger my belly has gotten the more gentle he is around me and with me. He also has to have his face touching my belly if we are laying down together on the couch. He’s going to be very protective of baby girl when she arrives, I can already feel it.
My motto for this unmedicated birth and pregnancy has been “She believed she could, so she did.” I often wear the bracelet Ben’s mom got me a few years ago as a reminder on the daily.
More Tex + Tove bonding on the couch
Ben and I got back from Costco after buying some diapers and baby wipes and looked at each other, “It’s getting so real!”
I had my prenatal visit with a lactation consultant at Thrive Mama Collective. Was a very informative initial meeting and I am very happy with the level of care I’ve received since finding a network of midwives who have recommendations for nearly every aspect of my pregnancy. Shout out to Jessica Cheatwood for the time, knowledge, tips/tricks, and for guiding me through how to work my breast pump!
Hopefully there will be another photo dump from the last part of the third trimester as well.