Gracelyn Love Vanderlinda

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 First doctor appointment!

First doctor appointment!

 She is healthy and gaining weight!

She is healthy and gaining weight!

 Car rides! She has done great in her carseat so far and loves listening to the ocean while we go out.

Car rides! She has done great in her carseat so far and loves listening to the ocean while we go out.

 Breastfeeding has been going good overall! Sometimes are harder than others, sometimes it just hurts and we’ve had a few bad days, but we’re figuring it out together slowly but surely :)

Breastfeeding has been going good overall! Sometimes are harder than others, sometimes it just hurts and we’ve had a few bad days, but we’re figuring it out together slowly but surely :)

 Happy and milk drunk

Happy and milk drunk

 We went on our first family walk- two in one day! One in the morning to Starbucks and one in the evening to Wet Coast for beer. Lol, mom and dad love their drinks!

We went on our first family walk- two in one day! One in the morning to Starbucks and one in the evening to Wet Coast for beer. Lol, mom and dad love their drinks!

 I loveeee holding her in our kangaroo wrap! Her cute little face resting close to my chest is the best. Plus I can be hands free!

I loveeee holding her in our kangaroo wrap! Her cute little face resting close to my chest is the best. Plus I can be hands free!

 so many snuggles with dad. Nick was off work the rest of that week she was born. We got 8 or 9 days together as a new family of three and it was wonderful.

so many snuggles with dad. Nick was off work the rest of that week she was born. We got 8 or 9 days together as a new family of three and it was wonderful.

 The cutest little sleeper. We’re still nowhere near a routine or schedule, and sleep sometimes is challenging during the night. She loves to be held and sleep in mom and dad’s arms.

The cutest little sleeper. We’re still nowhere near a routine or schedule, and sleep sometimes is challenging during the night. She loves to be held and sleep in mom and dad’s arms.

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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.

 She loves her Wubba Nub!

She loves her Wubba Nub!

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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.

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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 ;-)


Nursery Tour // Love & Organize Your Space

Happy weekend friends & happy November! Ah, finally it’s November!! We get to meet our baby girl this month and could not be more ready! I feel like I am getting stir crazy over here… at 39 weeks everything feels a bit uncomfortable- the heartburn, the pelvic pressure, the crappy sleep- cannot lie that I’m ready for the next phase. I’ve had a good chunk of time on my hands and finished getting baby girl’s nursery all set up this past week. My third trimester checklist is all completed, the diaper bag/ hospital bag is packed, all of her clothes are washed, shelves/pictures are hung, and it feels like all we’re missing is the precious babe to make it complete!

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I’m very excited to share these photos for a little ‘nursery tour’, but also want to be encouraging that although photos can look very pretty, things do not have to be picture perfect for a baby. Over the years I have had ideas for a dream nursery and now that we’re actually having a baby and are adults and life is just expensive haha, it is OK that it’s not the reality. Nick and I are currently living with my parents and will be here for the next few months while we save money (hopefully enough for a down payment on our own home!) and stay in the downstairs area where there are two bedrooms (both meant to be guest rooms), a bathroom, laundry room, and living room area. We turned one of the guest rooms into baby girl’s nursery and are incredibly blessed for the space my parents have provided. It is more than enough. I suppose the only difference from a ‘regular nursery’ is that the guest bed stays in the room and half of the closet is used for storage for things other than baby.

ALRIGHT let’s start the tour!! I wouldn’t say we went with a theme, but instead kept things neutral with a lot of white and light grey elements. I love shibori indigo blue, and flowers so there are some pops of that too. I also love things organized and labeled so getting this room all settled has been very fun for me :)

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A sweet friend gave us this awesome bassinet to use (major benefit is that it all folds up and fits into a bag for traveling). This is where she’ll sleep in the beginning. We also bought a beautiful crib thanks to the financial support from family and grandparents, but are waiting to set it up because it will definitely make this room feel very tight. We’ll see if we wait and set it up until we move or not!

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Something I have already learned and want to encourage others of is this: Gladly accept help or items from other people! Babies are expensive and it can feel overwhelming to obtain all of the things you might need for your baby (especially these days with Pinterest telling you what you “must” have, or if your baby might not be exactly planned ;)) . We feel prepared and so much of that is attributed to all of the things people have given to us!

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I love having this little window ledge to help keep the dresser less cluttered. We’ve got our Hatch Baby sound machine, diffuser, wipes, and products we’ll probably use most. Can’t forget the cute little bear that I had as a baby and plays a sweet little song.

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I love this cozy corner. A little reading nook and breastfeeding station all set up. Glider/rocking chairs are super expensive so we just went with the Ikea chair we already had and purchased a new cover and furry pillows. Doing so made it feel brand new! It rocks a little and has a nice high back so our neck can actually be supported- win win!

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Organizing the Dresser

I’ve had this dresser for years! It was a steal from the old outlet store called Land of Nod (now I think it’s Pottery Barn Kids). We found these fun knobs on sale from Anthropologie- super simple change that makes a big difference! The top two drawers are for jammies, diapers, and extra wipes. The middle two are for tops and onesies and all her little accessories (shoes, socks, bandana bibs, headbands, hats etc.). And the bottom two are for bottoms and swaddle blankets/burp cloths.

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All of these pictures are old and special and have been in my family for a while. I love having that touch of vintage!

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Well that’s our little nursery! It’s not perfect and no space has to be to find love for it. We are making what’s available to us work and find joy in the process. Sometimes just revamping what you already have can make all the difference in the world! I love this room because of what it will be: a space where Nick and I experience the beginnings of bonding, caring, and cuddling with our baby girl. The best is yet to come!