post author: grace
Hello world! I'm sorry I've been a little MIA lately - it turns out babies are actually quite time consuming, who knew ;)
I've had quite a few people ask me to share my birth story, so I figured I would share it in a blog post for all of those wondering how the day went. I plan on sharing pretty much every detail, so if you don't want to hear all about labor, then I suggest skipping to the next post!
pREPARING FOR LABOR
I'm not going to lie, I had an incredible experience. However, this is not how every birth goes and it sometimes helps to have low expectations. I also believe it is key to go in open minded to how God will orchestrate the day. I had *hopes and dreams* but held them very loosely because I had never been in labor and did not know how my body would respond. So while I think it's awesome to have a birth plan, know plans can change. We ultimately are not in control and I believe it will save you a lot of heartache in the end. Preparing for labor, I read a ton of birth stories and saw a common theme - Mom's devastated that it didn't go the way they planned. It made me so sad because that's not what it's about. And if you make the plan ultimate, you miss the greatest joy - giving birth to LIFE! At the end of the day, you just want mom and baby to be safe and healthy. So if you are pregnant and expecting soon, having a plan is wonderful, but trust God's plan for you!
Okie dokie, here we go! At my 36 week checkup, my doctor started checking my cervix. Sidenote: NO ONE TOLD ME THIS IS UNCOMFORTABLE so I was completely unprepared. It was so uncomfortable that I thought surely I had not dilated past a 1. False. My doctor told me that I was between a 3 and 3.5 and 70% effaced. You hear this all the time, women can be dilated to a 3 for weeks and still need to be induced. However, when my doctor kept saying that 37.5 weeks is technically full term and that luckily she would be here for Christmas if I went into labor that week...I started to panic a bit. It also did not help that I bled quite a bit after my appointment, which is normal if it tapers off (I told you I wouldn't spare any details ha!). So after having a bit of a panic attack in the parking lot and feeling totally unprepared, I made sure my bags were packed and ready to go that night. I lost my mucus plug a few days later and the waiting game had officially begun. The last time I got checked I was between a 3.5 and a 4, so I was progressing slowly!
THE WAITING GAME
Well, Christmas came and went, and no baby. Blake's birthday is December 30th and he was selfishly happy he wasn't going to have to share HIS day with our firstborn. However, I had been having contractions on and off all day and that night around midnight we decided to go to the hospital as my contractions were 5-7 minutes apart. They checked us in, took us back to get monitored and we waited an hour. I was told that I was probably in early labor but it wasn't progressing past that so they sent me home. Nothing screams "this is my first baby" like a false alarm trip to the hospital. I felt like such a loser as I casually strolled out of the hospital. BUT safety first because you truly never know. The nurses were so sweet and reassured me I did the right thing by coming in, even though it felt like a total waste.
We made it to the New Year with no baby and I decided I would plan a "Grace day" and do all the things I would soon no longer be able to do with a baby - going to lunch without any interruptions, shopping, pampering, etc. I guess God has a sense of humor because the morning of my "Grace day," I woke up with contractions. I thought I was just having some cramping, which is normal in the morning towards the end, so I drank some water and got back in bed around 4:30 AM. I started timing them and they seemed to be progressing, so I decided to take a bath before heading to the hospital.
Once I got out of the bath my contractions were 3 minutes apart...YIKES. We called the doctor and they told us to get to the hospital quickly. We left our house around 6 AM and began the process. They admitted me after checking my cervix (I was at a 5 at this point) and timing my contractions.
We're having a baby today!
My doctor came in about an hour later, I was dilated to a 6, and she went over my options with me. She told me she could break my water to progress labor, give me pitocin, administer an epidural, etc. I casually looked at Blake and said "Let's enjoy the day, I'm getting the epidural." HA! I am terrified of needles and hated the thought of an epidural, but at that point I was ready for some relief and honestly, was a little terrified of waiting too long and not being able to lay still for an epidural if I wanted one later. I had an amazing anesthesiologist who was so good that I truly don't remember it hurting at all. Three contractions later and I was pretty much pain free. I could still feel pressure in my legs, which was encouraging because I wanted to have some feeling in order to push when it came time.
My doctor broke my water shortly after and then administered pitocin so I would keep progressing. I dilated a centimeter each hour and before we knew it, it was time to get ready to push.
The sweetest part about that day was feeling the presence of God in that room. We had worship music playing and Blake read scripture over me each hour. We invited the Holy Spirit in that room and wow did He show up. It was the sweetest day full of so much peace and joy.
I started pushing around 2:30 PM. The nurses were the BEST cheerleaders and made me feel so empowered that I felt like I could do this! They celebrated each push and kept encouraging me the entire time. Sidenote: Pushing is hard work. If you are pregnant or thinking about having kids soon, be sure to keep exercising. This will really help prepare you for pushing because it is exhausting and you don't get a break. Before we knew it, Asher was delivered by 3:23 PM. It.was.magic! I cannot even explain the moment you see your baby and hold them for the first time. It felt like I had known him forever and at the same time was meeting him for the first time.
Asher has rocked our world in more ways than one, and in the best way. Becoming a parent truly feels like an honor and is the most sanctifying thing I have ever done. It is not easy, but it is absolutely worth it in every way! My love for him grows each week which seems absolutely impossible. He is our greatest joy and we thank God for giving him to us each day.
Post Author: Grace
It's amazing how much life can change in just a week's time. On the second day of 2019, our lives changed forever when we met Asher. He has already had a tremendous impact and our hearts are so full. This list will no doubt grow much longer over the years, but in just seven days, here is a look at 10 things I've already learned since meeting our son.
1. Single moms are the real MVPs, I have absolutely no idea how you do it.
2. The nights are hard, but make the days so precious.
3. I can actually function on very little sleep...barely.
4. God gives grace for each and every moment. We don't have to have it all figured out.
5. Recovery postpartum is a real thing and takes time.
6. I never knew my capacity to love until now.
7. The enemy wants you to live in fear, trusting God is a hard lesson to learn.
8. Hormones are real and come with lots of tears. Cy it out, then be sure to treat yourself!
9. Secure that diaper tight or expect pee on everything. Ha!
10. It takes a village and I'm so thankful for mine.
Asher Bradley Santschi is here! He made his debut on January 2, 2019.
Asher and mom, Grace, are doing great. She and her husband are ecstatic to meet their happy and healthy son. They are so grateful to God for a safe and peaceful labor and delivery. Grandpa and Grandma Santschi are already in Nashville to meet their first grandchild and the rest of the family will get to meet this sweet little guy throughout the month. Everyone is so excited!
Expect more posts from Grace and Asher soon!
“And of Asher he said, ‘Most blessed of sons be Asher; let him be the favorite of his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil. Your bars shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be.’”
post author: grace
I'm back with more pregnancy tips. I know that this is probably does not apply to a good portion of you, but I've gotten some great feedback from momma's, soon-to-be moms, and women hoping to be mommies soon. So with that, I'm going to give the mom's what they want!
Today, I'm sharing what I have found to be my top four items for pregnancy so far. I am loving it and enjoy feeling my baby kick and grow, but it definitely is a sacrifice. Pregnancy is a beautiful gift from God, but it's also tough.
Anything that makes the process a little bit more comfortable, I want to know about! So without further adieu, below are my top four pregnancy items!
I didn't think I would need this as soon as I am needing it (I'm just over 20 weeks), but sleep is getting harder and harder. I have to sleep on my side now, and preferably my left side. This is simply not comfortable for me because I am a back sleeper. Oh how I miss sleeping on my back already! So, I caved and decided to invest in a good pregnancy pillow. I have chosen the PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow with Jersey Cover. I've read amazing reviews on this one.
It's coming for us ladies. And you all know what I am talking about....the dreaded stretch marks. While this is mostly hereditary, I do think that there are some steps you can take to help prevent these or ease the appearance as much as possible. I have loved using Bio Oil. It is super easy to apply, smells amazing and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. So far I have not gotten any stretch marks, but let's touch base in a few weeks to see if it still works as my body grows ;)
Okay, I feel like a total grandma saying this, but Tums have been a lifesaver for me. I don't experience a lot of acid reflux yet, but gas pain is no joke in pregnancy. Because there is not a lot of room in my belly anymore, I get horrible gas pains that shoot up to my shoulders! It almost feels like I'm having a heart attack and definitely scared me the first time it happened. Therefore, Tums has been my best friend because they really work to help settle my tummy. They have rescued me many times already!
Because this is my first pregnancy, I have not started wearing maternity clothes yet. They are still a little too big and don't hang right on my body yet. But trust me, I can't wait to experience the joy of maternity jeans. I don't think I'll ever want to go back. So for now, I have been using these belly bands from Amazon! They have been awesome for this awkward in-between stage of pregnancy. They don't ride up and are very comfortable.
Do you have anything to add to this list? I'm all ears and open to suggestions. After all, I'm only halfway thru my pregnancy and I'm sure there are plenty more unexpected growth pains and body changes coming my way.
Please feel free to share your favorite pregnancy must haves too!
Post Author: Grace
This second trimester has been my best friend! I feel more energized, more excited to exercise and much more like myself. It has been a dream compared to the first trimester, which was not a walk in the park. With that being said, I wanted to share my favorite Prenatal Fitness Programs!
I have been so amazed at how many options are available for pregnancy workout routines. It has really encouraged me to keep staying active throughout this pregnancy. There are so many options that are easily accessible and I believe these programs will be a major help to prepare me for labor and delivery.
Walking has also been amazing for my pregnancy. On the days where I don't utilize the prenatal fitness programs, I love to still stay active in some way. So, walking has been my go-to! I've even got Blake to join me and it's nice to get some uninterrupted quality time together before Asher arrives! Also, these Nikes have been amazing for pregnancy! Cute and super supportive.
So without further adieu, below are my top 3 prenatal fitness programs that I have been turning to during this pregnancy.
What have been your favorite fitness programs during pregnancy? Leave a comment below!
1. Tone It Up
Okay, I loved Tone It Up before I found out I was pregnant and lucky for me, they just introduced a new prenatal fitness program! Katrina Scott, Co-Founder of Tone It Up, is a few months ahead of me in her pregnancy so when she announced she was pregnant, they implemented this new program!
What I love about Tone It Up is they are SO encouraging. They have so much energy and joy, it's always fun to workout to their videos. Not only that, but it is the perfect amount of difficulty for my growing body. I feel like they really pay attention to how you are feeling, especially since Katrina is pregnant and leading the videos. Their videos get an A++ for prenatal workouts in my book!
⚫ TONE IT UP
My sister who is due any minute introduced me to Knocked-Up Fitness originally. This program is all about strengthening your core and preparing you for postpartum recovery. I really really loved this program during my 1st Trimester! The workouts are fantastic, but for what I am used to, they are on the lighter side. So for me, this was perfect when I didn't feel like working out but knew I needed to. I felt like I could get through the workouts without feeling like I was going to puke during them.
⚫ KNOCKED-UP FITNESS
I'll be honest, I was super hesitant to try the SugarySixPack Prenatal Fitness Program. This girl is legit and is in probably the best shape of anyone I follow on social media. But, when I saw that there was a 1 week free trial, I knew I had to give it a shot. I've been feeling great and knew I could push myself a little harder than I was in the 1st Trimester.
This program is only $12.99/month and to me is completely 100% worth it. I can go at my own pace, but every day there is a workout plan. Her workouts are anywhere from 30-45 minutes typically depending on your speed. The workouts are legit and I'm learning so much. She always starts with strengthening your deep core (super important for labor) and then leads into the workout.
I am sold and plan on implementing this fitness program throughout my entire pregnancy. I believe she is starting a post partum program as well so be on the lookout!
POST AUTHOR: GRACE
Naming a child - so many choices, so many opinions, so many names attached to people in our lives (past and present, good and bad), a name that fits a teeny tiny baby but also an adult. Isn't it funny how we don't think too much about names, their meanings, or how they were chosen until the day arrives to choose one that's going to be attached to another human being their ENTIRE life!
Will they love it as much as we do, will they wear it proudly, and on and on and on it goes.
When we found out we were having a boy, naturally names started popping in my head all hours of the day and night. I started testing every name I heard. Mostly, did I like the way it rolled off my tongue, how did it sound with the middle name we had chosen years ago (more on that in a bit) and did I like the way it went with our last name?
Santschi is already a bit of a tongue twister that requires spelling every single time we tell someone our name. The least we can do is give our kids first names that people can spell without much trouble, right?
We spent hours praying, pondering, and mulling over a bazillion options to choose just the right name for our baby boy. Blake and I finally narrowed it down to a few names we liked a LOT and then we sort of taste tested them. Trying them out in our heads, saying them out loud a bit, writing them, and, of course, getting opinions from friends and family.
It was tougher than I expected for us to settle on something together! We are both fairly opinionated and so it felt like a miracle when we both agreed!
So without further adieu, we have chosen to name our baby boy...Asher Bradley Santschi.
I'm excited to tell you why we chose Asher Bradley, what the significance means to us, and all of our hopes for this sweet baby boy.
Blake was really drawn to this name. I had heard it before and while I liked it, I wasn't sold on it at first. We had a couple of top contenders and it felt like one day we'd love a name and the next day not so much. Back and forth we went.
Blake begged me to give Asher a shot. He felt so strongly that this was the name and he loved the significance behind it. I sat on it for a couple of days and it honestly just started to grow on me. Now don't get me wrong, I thought the name was beautiful, I just wasn't sure that it was the name for OUR baby. But, soon the Lord changed me heart and I found myself becoming really excited about naming our baby Asher!
Asher is one of the 12 tribes of Israel and the name means "happy" or "blessed". I love the meaning of it because we honestly feel so happy and blessed to be experiencing the miracle of life. Children are a gift from the Lord and his name is so representative of how we feel about this new season of life.
We both love the blessing that was given to the Tribe of Asher in Deuteronomy 33:24-25. It's beautiful and it feels strong and full of favor.
And of Asher he said,
“Most blessed of sons be Asher;
let him be the favorite of his brothers,
and let him dip his foot in oil.
Your bars shall be iron and bronze,
and as your days, so shall your strength be.
We've always known if God blessed us with a son, we would name him after Blake's childhood friend, Bradley.
Blake and Bradley were best friends in elementary school. Tragically, Bradley passed away at the age of 10 after a yearlong battle with cancer. Five years later, when Blake and I met, he shared story after story with me about Bradley and their friendship. It was obvious how much his friend meant to him and we just always knew we would honor his memory by naming our first born son after him.
I've hoped and prayed for a chance to meet Bradley's mother and to share with her that her son is still in our hearts and we want his legacy to live on. It hasn't happened yet, but we are hoping for that special time with her during our next visit back home.
And there you have it! Asher Bradley Santschi.
We can't wait to welcome this baby boy in January. We hope and pray that he loves the Lord, is happy all the days of his life, and lives a life of strength and honor. At the end of the day, we want him to know how much the Father loves him and that he is a child of God. We pray he walks in that identity every single day.
Thank you for following along! I hope it's been encouraging and has given you an inside look to the heart we have for our baby Asher!
POST AUTHOR: GRACE
Gosh, I have been wanting to shout those words from the rooftops for weeks! It feels so good to finally be able to share that we are expecting our first little one in January, 2019.
I've dreamed of this day for as long as I can remember and I've been over the moon happy since the word "pregnant" appeared on that little white stick!
So buckle in and join me as I share a glimpse into what our world's been like the past few months. I hope you find it helpful, maybe humorous and, if you're pregnant too, I'm excited to share this amazing journey with you.
The "Trying" Stage
We've been married 5 years and have had any number of reasons why we wanted to wait to start our family -- my husband's graduation from college, moving to a new city, buying a house, opportunities to travel, saving, saving, and saving some more (have I mentioned my husband is a planner?).
Finally this was the year we decided to start trying to get pregnant. Yay! This is the exciting part right?? I'm going to be completely transparent here...I did not enjoy the process.
We were blessed to get pregnant fairly quickly, but the two week waiting time between ovulating and the start of my period each month, was a total mind game. I would think and pray and hope I was pregnant and then I wouldn't be. It didn't help that the week before I start my period is usually an emotional roller coaster anyway without the added stress.
Wanting that positive pregnancy test with all your heart and being sad when it's negative, is completely normal. I have several friends who have been trying for a while to get pregnant and it is super hard to stay positive when you've experienced disappointment month after month. I don't really have any good advice here except to allow yourself to feel those emotions.
Also, don't put things on hold waiting to get pregnant. I had a really sweet conversation with a friend about not wanting to buy new pants for fear of outgrowing them in the future. Her advice was to BUY THE PANTS! Enjoy life and when you do get pregnant, you won't care that you bought those fun pants that you can't wear for 9 months. Just use it as motivation for fitting into them after the baby ;)
The most helpful thing for me was to tell a few of the women I am closest with that we were trying and to have my heart filled by their love and encouragement along with a listening ear and an occasional shoulder to cry on when it didn't happen. Women should ALWAYS empower women. If you have empowering women around you, lean into those relationships. We are in proximity for a reason.
How I "knew" I was pregnant
My initial pregnancy symptoms were not at all what I expected them to be. I thought my breasts would be sore, that I would be nauseous or have major food aversions. It turns out....every woman and pregnancy is different!
The things I noticed the week I found out I was pregnant, was that I felt out of breath and I was very thirsty. I would chug a bottle of water and immediately want another one. Another oddity, I didn't want any sushi. I wasn't repulsed by it, it just didn't sound appealing and that never happens!
I hadn't had any of these symptoms before, so I had a slight suspicion that maybe just maybe...but again, fear of being disappointed kept me from getting inside my head.
Finally, after two or three days of a missed period (not totally uncommon, I've been late before) and these weird symptoms popping up, I asked my husband to pick up a pregnancy test.
I waited until the next morning to take the test -- you know, for the MOST accurate HCG levels. I purposely woke up early, before my husband, took the test and waited for those few agonizing moments -- I swear it felt like time slowed to a crawl!!! -- for the results. I was shaking as I waited and as soon as I saw "pregnant," I ran into the bedroom and woke up my husband. He was SO happy! We were SO happy! It was, by far, one of the most exciting day of our lives!
I didn't experience any noticeable symptoms until I was six weeks pregnant. I kept thinking..."Is everything okay? Will I ever feel sick?".
Luckily, I have 3 sisters and several friends who can share their experiences and advice with me and have all assured me, no two pregnancies are the same. Some have had great, fairly easy pregnancies and others have been sick the entire time. Woof!
So far, my symptoms have been the common ones. As soon as I hit the six week mark, and I mean to the day, I started feeling not so great. I had to keep bland food on my stomach all the time to keep from feeling terrible and I was SO tired. I also gave up coffee. The combination of no caffeine and wild hormones, did not help my energy level.
I had really weird food aversions -- like grilled chicken and spaghetti. Weird, I know. I also only craved junk food. I couldn't fathom eating a salad, which used to be my lunchtime staple. So I ate what sounded good because sometimes that was all I could do to keep going.
I gave myself plenty of grace and tried to keep in mind that my body is working overtime to grow a human being! Not an easy job. But guess what? I'm craving healthy food again and it feels so good. I'm also feeling more energized, so things are looking brighter.
According to my doctor, I really only need an extra 300 calories a day while I'm pregnant. Unfortunately, I'm not actually eating for two, whomp whomp.
Eating healthy can be a real struggle, but it's especially challenging when you have cravings and don't feel well. I feel like I'm getting back on track now and consuming as many good fruits and veggies as possible each day.
To be honest, I did not workout much the first few weeks. My energy was zapped and I just plain felt blah. Until one random morning, I woke up wanting to workout. It was incredible to feel like myself again.
I am trying to squeeze in four workouts a week now and, honestly, it looks different every day. Some days I just do cardio (a lot of power walking) and other days I do workout videos. Right now, I am loving Tone It Up's prenatal workouts and Knocked Up Fitness. Normally, I love taking walks outside, but this intense summer heat is making it hard for me to want to be outside at all right now. So instead I've been hitting the gym and utilizing their indoor track and a few light weights.
Trying to stay healthy for baby!
Boy or Girl?
Again, my husband is a big time planner so he wanted to know as soon as possible if we were expecting a boy or a girl. I, on the other hand, would have been just fine waiting until 20 weeks, which is when most people find out. But when we learned our insurance covered genetic testing at 10 weeks, I was totally onboard with finding out!
My husband thought we were having a GIRL and I was pretty positive we were having a BOY.
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for (or did you scroll straight to the bottom already? haha!).
Baby Santschi is...
Thanks for sharing in our joy! This is a dream come true for us and we're anxiously looking forward to meeting our little guy. I can't wait to see how God has uniquely knitted him to be our son.
I'm excited for you to join me on this journey and I'll be sure to keep you updated on my progress, and also on the products, the workouts, and the fashion that I love and find helpful throughout my pregnancy.
Stayed tuned! Next week I'll be revealing the name we've chosen for our little man and how we chose it!
Photography by Anna Godwin Photography. Check her out!
Location: Kansas City
In 2012, I moved to Kansas City to begin my career in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. For three seasons, I worked for the Chiefs as their sideline reporter, hosted shows, wrote for the website and covered all of the team's events. In 2015, I moved to San Antonio to work in the NBA for the Spurs and Fox Sports Southwest. I was a part of the pre/post game show, emceed events, and produced videos for the website and in-arena. After two seasons, I came back to Kansas City to work for an ABC station, KMBC, as their anchor and reporter.
My husband and I tied the knot in Nashville, TN in April 2017! We met while we were both working in the NFL. He still works for the Chiefs, so I continue to be connected to the team and of course, I'm at Arrowhead Stadium quite often during the season.
We absolutely love living in Kansas City! There's some amazing BBQ spots, great live jazz music, plenty of farmers markets, beautiful shops on the Plaza, plus, for a big city it has a small town feel.
In a nutshell, I'm a Texas transplant, University of Oklahoma graduate, former OU Rower, sports fanatic, avid quoter of The Office, book lover and wine aficionado.
Location: Nashville, TN
I moved to Nashville, TN from Dallas, TX in 2014 shortly after graduating college and marrying my high school sweetheart. We were originally only going to stay in Nashville for a year, but decided we couldn't leave just yet. If you've ever been to Nashville, then you understand why.
Nashville is known for its southern food, views, and of course country music. However, it's so much more than that. It's one of the greatest places to be for fashion. It's an up and coming musician playing for free at your local coffee shop. It's a melting pot of different cultures of people from all over. It is the perfect mix of southern hospitality and city life.
I am currently the Director of Business Development at Scout Nashville, which is a residential real estate company that exists to make the client experience simple, stress-free, and enjoyable.
In my free time you will find me trying new foods, researching fashion trends, hiking through the beautiful parks of Nashville, traveling, and now blogging with my sister-in-law!
We are two twenty-something year old Texas girls at heart who love exploring life in our new cities. We will be sharing our experiences and adventures, while reflecting on life lessons we've learned before 30. We'll also be talking about a number of different topics - travel, sports, fashion, beauty, and delicious hot spots around town. Hope you come along for the ride!
Sign up for our quarterly newsletter!