Monthly Archives: July 2015

5 tips for a natural birth

5 tips for a natural birth |

5 tips for a natural birth |

Everyone has a different birth experience. Every birth is beautiful. It is a goal for some to have a natural childbirth and, for others, it’s the last thing they want. I wanted to have my baby without medical intervention for a few reasons. I know God designed my body to give birth and actually be able to do it with little pain. I read many books before I gave birth and did lots of research.

I have nothing wrong with epidurals and medication. In fact, I took medicine after birth to help with recovery. There was just something about giving birth naturally that intrigued and inspired me. I had to try it. I also wanted freedom during my labor. I didn’t want to be stuck in bed because of the epidural. Movement helps me relax and relieve pain. I knew if I couldn’t get up and move, I would be miserable.

These tips may not work for you, but this is what helped me have the natural childbirth I was hoping for! Here are 5 tips for a natural birth- if that’s your thing!


Cliche. I know. But honestly, breathing can get you through the pain. I have been practicing breathing for years because of my love for yoga. Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds and out through your mouth for 5-6 seconds. Try to make your exhale longer than your inhale. Do not do the Lamaze quick breathing. This is not relaxing at all and makes you run out of air.


 I brought my iPhone and my beats pill wireless speaker. The Album Leaf station on Pandora is what I listened to throughout my whole labor (even at home). This music will instantly give you peace. It also sets the tone for the room. When the nurses or doctor would come in, they would comment on how peaceful and calming it was. I don’t know about you, but I want my doctor to be calm. Whatever works.


There is just something about having something from home that comforts me. For me, it was this brown fluffy blanket. I loved this blanket and it kept me calm, cozy, and warm. But yes… it ended up in the hospital garbage can after labor.


If you are going to read any book before labor read Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan. Lifesaver.


My husband rocks. He helped make my labor and delivery smooth and peaceful. He made sure the lighting stayed dim in the delivery room. He set up the pandora station (see #2). He made sure there wasn’t a lot of people coming in and out of the room. He also got me ice chips.It can be your husband, your mom, a doula.  It just really helps to have one good support person in the room.

Remember you are strong. Your body was designed for this. You can do it.

“We have a secret in our culture. It’s not that birth is painful, it’s that women are strong.”

Laura Stavoe Harm 

In the end, we all want a healthy baby! These are tips that help labor overall, not just natural childbirth 😀

natural labor and delivery story

Natural labor and delivery story |

Natural labor and delivery story |

 She’s finally here! Our princess, Gracie was born July 1st, 2015 at 6:07 p.m.  weighing 7lbs 10oz. We are so in love with her!

Natural labor and delivery story | gracefulmommy.comIt was a week before my due date and the day before my husband Dave’s birthday. I starting feeling a little crampy, but nothing that made me think Gracie was coming soon. I walked around our house, bounced on a yoga ball, and just took it easy that night. I didn’t get much sleep because the contractions would come and go. They didn’t hurt too much, but the excitement kept me up! I mainly felt the contractions in my back.. which was different than I was imagining they would feel.

Finally, it was morning! I got to wake up Dave to wish him a happy birthday… and also tell him that I was feeling a little crampy all night. I asked him what he thought I should do and we decided that we would just wait to see what it all was. Because it was his birthday and there was a lot of excitement with the contractions, Dave decided to stay home from work (THANK GOODNESS!). We actually started packing our hospital bags just in case. The contractions were steady and I kept only feeling them in my back. I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I was afraid they would just send me home… or put me on medicine to speed up the process. So instead, I called my OB and asked if we could come see her instead. We put our hospital bags in the car not knowing that we would need them!
The OB checked on the baby and said… “are you sure your not feeling any pressure?”. I was surprised and said… “not really?”. Anyways, I was 4 cm dilated and was told to go straight to the hospital. WHAT?! Thank goodness we had a gut feeling and put our bags in the car! Did I mention this is all happening on Dave’s birthday? How exciting!

Natural labor and delivery story |
We got to the hospital and got all checked in. Everyone was shocked that I was in labor. They kept saying.. “no one is this calm”. In the photo above I was probably 5 or 6 cm dilated- yet still happy, in only slight discomfort, and ready to meet my baby! We got into the delivery room and met our wonderful nurses. It makes such a difference to have friendly nurses! I made it clear that, if possible, I wanted to have a natural birth with no epidural or pitocin. They were shocked and said they didn’t see that often, but they agreed. I labored for a few hours in a nice peaceful room- thanks to my hubby! He set up the room with dim lightning, calm music, a warm blanket, and little to no outside distractions.

Natural labor and delivery story |

A couple of hours passed with increasingly strong contractions. The doctor called in and said that I was stuck at 9cm and he would have to put my on pitocin. I had envisioned my labor and delivery to go a certain way.. and pitocin was not apart of that. However, I trusted the doctor and asked him if he could give my husband and I time to talk about it. During that chat, my body kicked into high gear, and I felt ready to push! The nurses checked and sure enough it was time! The doctor had to run in because the baby was coming fast. A few strong pushes later, our baby was born! It was an amazing experience to have a natural birth. I knew my body could do it and I feel very proud and accomplished!

The moment I held Gracie for the first time was incredible. It was just so new and shocking and exhilarating all at once. I couldn’t believe she was mine. Every part of the pregnancy and birth was SO worth it in the end. At that moment, a new chapter of our lives started.

 Natural labor and delivery story | Natural labor and delivery story |

What an amazing birthday gift for Dave! He will forever share his birthday with his princess.

Happy birthday Dave + Gracie!

Natural labor and delivery story |

Pregnancy Journey

Pregnancy journey: document your growing belly in a fun way |

Pregnancy journey: document your growing belly in a fun way |

Looking back through all of my pregnancy update photos, it seems as though my pregnancy flew by. I remember, though, that some weeks seemed to take foreverrrrr. I loved having a way to document my growing belly and my pregnancy journey. It was fun to get that striped dress out each week (okay, yes… I forgot a few weeks) and stand in front of the same wall while my husband snapped the photo. I must admit.. by the end of the 39th week, I was so DONE with that dress. I actually threw it out as soon as Gracie came.

I would definitely recommend that you need to find a way to document your pregnancy! There are so many cute ideas on Pinterest now of creative ways to capture your growing belly. I chose to do a simple picture every so often and edit it on my phone. I used the app Aviary to edit the photos. They actually have a baby stickers that you can buy and it comes with everything you need. My husband took the photos with my iPhone. Then I edited each photo with fun stickers from this baby theme.pregnancy journey- how to edit bump photos ||

I love having these photos to look back on my pregnancy. One day, I will be able to show Gracie how she grew and grew inside of my belly!