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UPDATE: month 1

UPDATE: month 1 | gracefulmommy.com

UPDATE: month 1 | gracefulmommy.com

Height/Weight

22 inches / 9 lbs 6 oz.

Routine 

We still haven’t managed to get into a steady routine yet. For the most part, Gracie sleeps, eats, plays, then sleeps again. I love wearing Gracie in the solly wrap or the ergo carrier. She loves both!

Sleeping

Gracie is now mostly sleeping in her crib. For the first few weeks, she slept in her Mamaroo at night and for naps. She seemed to like this better than her crib. She wakes up a lot to eat- but I find myself waking up to check on her anyways! She takes a lot of naps during the day. Sometimes she will sleep for an hour-2 straight, but sometimes it is only a 30 minute nap. Kinda depends!
Gracie likes sleeping on her back and swaddled in an Aden and Anais swaddle or Halo sleepsack!
We have been using the Sleep Sounder app on my phone for white noise. Gracie likes the SHHH sound or the ocean sound. It really does seem to calm her down though.

Eating/Feeding

The first two weeks of breastfeeding did not go the best. One night, I started getting horrible flu like symptoms and actually felt horrible. It was honestly worst than labor!! It ended up being mastitis- an infection caused by clogged ducts. After being put on antibiotics.. things have started getting better. Now, breastfeeding is going great. It definitely took a while for us to get used to everything. But now we seem to be getting the hang of it. Gracie eats at least every 2 hours. Sometimes I feed her sooner if she seems hungry.

Sizes

Gracie grew out of a few of her newborn onesies! But, they may have shrunk in the wash. She is still wearing newborn clothes and newborn diapers. She does not like getting her outfits changed!

Milestones

Gracie smiled! Daddy blew a raspberry on her cheek and she smiled! We both looked at each other in shock, and then she did it again! Watching her smile is so cute and melts our hearts!

How I feel

Overall, I feel good! It took about a week or two to feel sort of normal. Then, mastitis hit! I felt horrible for a few days. After that, I started feeling better :D. I am still in shock that I am a mommy! I keep looking at Gracie and I can’t believe she is really here!
Happy one month Gracie!
UPDATE: month 1 | gracefulmommy.com

5 tips for a natural birth

5 tips for a natural birth | www.gracefulmommy.com

5 tips for a natural birth | www.gracefulmommy.com

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!

1- BREATHE

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.

2- MUSIC

 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.

3- MY OWN BLANKET

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.

4- HYPNOBIRTHING

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

5- HELPFUL SUPPORT PERSON

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 | gracefulmommy.com

Natural labor and delivery story | gracefulmommy.com

 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 | gracefulmommy.com
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 | gracefulmommy.com

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 | gracefulmommy.com Natural labor and delivery story | gracefulmommy.com

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 | gracefulmommy.com