Oh my heart. It is full to the brim. Our little Gracie. The past two weeks have been a dreamy blur. Nick and I are so in love with this little blessing!
After what felt like forever, we finally have our baby girl! Nine months (but let’s be real, it’s really ten) is a loooong time to be pregnant. Every woman’s birth story is so different and I wanted to share ours. Waiting to go into labor and give birth was the longest and strangest thing I have ever experienced. I was 41 weeks and 1 day overdue when Nick and I went to our midwives for a check up appointment and do an ultrasound just to make sure everything was ok. I still felt so normal. I kept waiting for contractions or any signs of labor to begin that whole week and nothing was happening. SO frustrating! Our original plan was to deliver at the Midwifery Birth Center attached to St. Joe’s Hospital, but come Monday the 19th those plans changed. At our appointment we were frustrated to find out I still hadn’t progressed at all and was only dilated to 1cm. After the ultrasound our midwife ended up telling us she just had a feeling and needed to trust her gut and advised us to go straight to the hospital. Baby girl’s heart rate had dropped a bit so off to the ER we went. Nick and I waited in triage for a few hours while nurses monitored the fetal heart rate. I have never experienced so much anxiety in all my life during those hours. It was so hard! For a while she was doing good and the hear rate was in the 130’s, but then it dropped and ended up staying in the 90’s and long story short I ended up having to get a C-section. It was scary, Nick did awesome, I was throwing up the whole time… But in the end t all worked out, I didn’t feel anything, and we had a healthy baby girl.
Gracelyn Love Vanderlinda was born November 20th at 12:08am. 8lbs 8oz and 19 inches long. What an experience holding my baby for the first time!! Indescribable. The doctors were unsure what exactly happened because her heart rate was perfectly normal and everything was healthy once she came out. I like to believe it was all God. Because, to be completely honest, even at 41 weeks the thought of going into labor and not knowing what kind of pain it would be and having to push her out with or without medicine… it still terrified me! I like to believe God protected me and blessed me with not having to go through any labor or contractions and I feel like I blinked and then boom, was holding my baby. Our birth plan didn’t go as planned and that’s OK because all that matters is getting your healthy baby out- whatever way is best for that to happen. I hope my story can be encouraging for any other mama’s who might be set on birth plans or scared of delivery or whatever the case may be! There is hope and all that truly matters is having your baby in whatever way is healthiest for you.
And now our sweet Gracie girl is here and we continue to swoon over her.
The first two days after were spent in the hospital. The hardest part was the aftermath of recovering from the c-section. I was beyond frustrated with my body because I couldn’t just move it or sit up and hold my baby like I wanted to! I had to rely on Nick and other family members for help more than I wanted to admit. I just wanted to care for my baby like I knew I could but I had to care for my own healing body and take it easy. But now, only two weeks later, I have been feeling really great. My c-section wound is healing well, I’m much more mobile and have stopped needing to take the pain meds. Win win!
Nick and I are madly in love with this precious little thing. It is still surreal that she is finally here. I sometimes just hold and stare at her and then tears flood to my eyes. I’ve never known a love like this for such a little being. I feel freakishly protective over her already and cry thinking about the inevitability that she will grow up! And then I bounce back and remain in the present moment and continue to stare at her, smell her, feel her soft-as-rose skin, and fall more in love with her. It feels like such a blessing to finally meet her and now get to experience the days with her.
Here’s a look at her first two weeks!
Pretty much just sleep, eat, diaper change, repeat. Plus… Lots of snuggles, family naps together, doctor visits, getting her jaundice looked at (and now it’s all under control, yay!) and just enjoying her overwhelming cuteness.
Only two weeks in and we’ve already seen her long eyelashes pop, and her eyes open so much bigger now! She makes lots of little grunts and noises and sometimes it sounds like she’s laughing. Even her cries are cute, it sounds like she’s saying LA LA LA. But the cries have already gotten louder- definitely noticed that haha.
So much cuteness! My phone is already just full of Gracie pics I can’t help it. It’s been a great two weeks with of course challenges and me getting snappy from being tired and hangry. I’ve had a few moments where the reality that our lives are forever changed sinks in pretty deep. Everything is different now but the change is good and I’m thankful to have Nick as my partner figuring it out together.
I have been thinking about time and while Nick is at work how I spend it. It’s too easy to get caught up and check social media multiple times a day and just be on my phone. I don’t want to waste time like that and not be present or intentional with what’s really important. I’ve decided to just do a social media check one day a week (not sure what day, we’ll see…) and spend more time blogging, reading, listening to podcasts etc. So if you love looking at my cute Gracie or like keeping up with whatever we’ve got going on in life then feel free to subscribe to my blog below! I’d rather post on here than go on Facebook all day long ;-)