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We are so excited to announce that we are having a baby boy in June!

My OBGYN office offers a 16 week gender reveal ultrasound for anyone who wants to find out before the 20 week ultrasound, so we we that route and found out on Monday! The suspense was killing us–as of this Sunday (15 January) I’ll actually be 19 weeks pregnant, but our gender reveal ultrasound was bumped back due to the holidays.

Ries and I have always wanted a boy first so the rest of our babies could have a big brother, but when we first got pregnant, I felt like it was a girl and people oddly all referred to the baby as a she. We flipped back and forth for the past couple months, and when we went to lunch together on Monday before the appointment we both kind of thought it would be a girl.

Oddly, when we went back into the ultrasound room, I suddenly felt very strongly that we would find out we had a boy. The sonographer didn’t take long before she said, “I am positive of what you are having, I just have to find a good angle for a photo.” When she said that, Ries and I were both sure it was a boy given the, uh, you know, extra body part. She had a hard time finding a good angle to take the photo–he’s always been camera shy–but sure enough, it was a he!

The only wive’s tale that was true for us? The good old necklace test, which I believe in even more now. Over the past several years (even back when I thought I’d never have kids) four different people on four different occasions told me the same thing: boy, girl, boy, girl. So far the good old necklace test is 25% correct.

I figured since I haven’t said much about our pregnancy, I would answer a few questions I’ve either been asked or I think people might want to know.

Accident or intentional?

If you know Ries and I, we both harbor control freak tendencies (though I have far more than he does) and we plan just about everything, then after we plan everything, we plan Plan B, then Plan C, then Plan D, etc. As I said in my 2016 Review, we have actually been planning to get pregnant in Fall 2016 for probably the past three years. (This date was also influenced by getting out of the Marine Corps, having a job in the foreseeable future, our financial situation, place of residence, etc.)

We got crazy lucky and got pregnant in our first month of trying (I definitely thought it would take longer) but everything was intentional.

“How did you tell Ries?”

I actually took the pregnancy test a little early when Ries was at work because I thought it would be negative and I didn’t want to be an emotional mess that weekend because we were flying up to Boston for a friend’s wedding. I did the whole routine and thought I was hallucinating because there was a very faint second line. I took a photo of it and when the line was still in the photo, that’s when I realized, Oh wow. This is a thing and it’s finally happened to me.

I spent a lot of time searching Pinterest for creative ways to tell Ries and couldn’t find anything. We usually text each other on and off during the day, and when I wasn’t texting him he thought something was wrong. I thought about waiting until later in the week and retaking the test while he was there and letting him hold it (plus if it was a false positive we’d find out) but I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer and blurted it out via text message. (Insert facepalm emoji here.) He texted, “What’s wrong?” to which I responded, “Well, I’ve got some bad news. Which is that, I don’t know that I’ll be able to go on Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror, or Rock’n’rollercoaster. Because there’s a high likelihood that I’m pregnant.”

We retested a couple days later and it was still positive. Eeee!

“How do you feel?”

I’ll be the first to admit that this pregnancy has been kind to me and I haven’t been puking out of car doors. There was only one day I was really sick, and looking back I don’t think I would have become sick if I had not also had an anxiety induced migraine on top of being pregnant.

I definitely have fatigue and food aversions, but reading about a few other people’s early pregnancy experiences on blogs and social media, I feel like I’ve really been lucky. The heightened sense of smell was not great–earlier in the pregnancy I took a lot of showers because I could smell myself and it smelled far too similar to a middle school boys locker room.

I have a hard time with change and not being in control 100% of the time, so when my body goes on it’s own program and overrides these sensibilities, that’s more of a mental challenge. Pre-pregnancy, I was able to go several hours without eating and not be bothered, and I could also pack a lot of errands and check off a lot of to-do’s in one day, and I can’t do either of those things anymore. Early in pregnancy, if I didn’t eat frequently, every couple of hours, I would start blacking out–that’s improved a little bit in second trimester, but I still really have to eat. In first trimester, and still sometimes in second trimester, I could sleep ten to twelve hours and still needed to take a nap in the afternoon. I’m not working right now, so those things aren’t the end of the world, but I’m used to running the house and when I first started asking Ries for help, I really felt like I was letting him down. (He, of course, doesn’t feel that way.)


Honestly, I haven’t had that many cravings. There are things that I didn’t like before or never would have considered eating that randomly start sounding like the tastiest thing on Earth–donuts, Papa John’s pizza, nacho cheese Doritos, ramen–but after I eat a little bit or eat it once, it doesn’t taste as magical and then just tastes like junk food I don’t want to be eating. Maybe I’ll have more cravings later in the pregnancy.

Food Aversions?

Red meat, chicken (during first trimester), eggs (during first trimester), I even lost cheese for a while–basically anything that has fat or protein content was questionable during first trimester with the exception of peanut butter. I’ve gained a few protein sources back since then, but my ketogenic diet that I’d been observing most of 2016, Baby A threw right out the window. He prefers healthy carbs, thank you very much. Here’s to hoping we don’t have a picky eater on our hands.

“You guys will have to start thinking of names!”

Actually, no, no we won’t. Ha! Ries and I picked out most of our baby names back when we were just friends. It was Christmas 2011 and we were talking about how his kids and my kids would be friends and how he would make my very proper and feminine girls wear jeans and teach them how to do boy things like fish and shoot guns. So we kept three of four names from when we were friends–the only name to be cut was Io, because we didn’t want a girl to be associated with the Greek myth of Io (who is raped by Zeus and can hear a fly buzzing for the rest of her life as punishment from a jealous Hera.) But that name went somewhere better.

And what if we don’t have two girls and two boys or what if we have twins? We have back up names! We aren’t going to say what the names are, but I will say they are all a bit old fashioned–I think most are on the Top 200 Names in 1890. Come on guys, we’re both writers! What did you expect? Character naming is one of the best parts of writing something!

“Oh, looks like you’re going to have to knit something!”

Okay, fam, I love this little baby, but I hate knitting. It’s not gonna happen. What is a possibility is any sort of craft made for the nursery, sewing, or cross stitch/embroidery. I would not knit if I were in jail with a life sentence, knitting needles, and endless amounts of yarn. Bucket of nopes. (That doesn’t mean you can’t knit Baby A something! I like knitted stuff, just not the process of making it.)

Baby Showers

Right now, I think my mom is planning to host a baby shower in Indiana in April when we come up to visit for the weekend. If you want to get in on that, go heckle her.

As for Oregon, I’m still not quite sure on if I’ll get out to Oregon while pregnant. Because Ries just started a new job, he doesn’t have enough vacation days to make a trip to the PNW, and I’m always reluctant to travel without him, but even moreso while I’m pregnant. At the same time I know it will be more difficult to travel after Baby A comes, so I’m conflicted. I’ve got an eye on flight prices and I’ll keep my Oregon people posted.

I haven’t really thought about one in Augusta, but if you’re one of my Augusta people and feel very strongly about a baby shower, let me know and maybe we could arrange a trip back for the weekend.


I’m a bit overwhelmed about the whole registry thing and I was delaying working on registries until after we found out the gender, but now I don’t have an excuse. I’m starting out with fun things like Disney onesies and nursery decorations, before I work into the intimidating stuff like strollers and car seats.


I know very little about growing a human, and even less about what to do with the little human once he arrives. If you have any suggestions on maternity clothing, books to read, things to add to the registry, products with chemicals to avoid, etc. let me know! Yes, I just asked for the advice most people avoid. (Now I can’t promise that I’ll take all of the advice because some of it is bound to conflict.) We want this little baby to be healthy and happy, and while it takes a village to raise a child, Ries and I are down here in Alabama by ourselves, so we’ll listen to all of the texts, phone calls, emails, books, and research articles we can get!



-Amanda, Ries, and Baby A