Jenna von Oy’s Blog: Miracles and The Best-Laid Plans of Babes and Births

06/18/2012 at 09:00 PM ET

We made it through celebrity blogger Jenna von Oy‘s pregnancy!

Best known for her roles as Six on Blossom and Stevie on The Parkers, von Oy is also a musician who has released two albums and is set to publish a book, The Betweeners.

von Oy, 35, wed Brad Bratcher on Oct. 10, 2010, and resides in Nashville with her husband and five dogs.

They welcomed their first child, daughter Gray Audrey, on May 21. She is now four weeks old.

You can find her on Twitter @JennavonOy.

Four days old… – Impressions Professional Photography

If you thought my blogs were long-winded before, this one really takes the cake … Consider yourself warned. :)

When one looks up the word “miracle” in the dictionary, the first three definitions are something akin to:

1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.

2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.

3. a wonder; marvel.

All of these can be, and certainly are, true. However, I think the shape a miracle takes can adjust with age.

For instance, as a child, my miracle was when Santa dropped off the EXACT gift I’d been begging my parents for, and even ate every last one of the cookies I’d left out for him.

As a teenager, it was when I BS’d my way through a 50-page paper on Greek mythology (using only Cliff’s notes) and still managed to get an ‘A.’ (Though I’d argue that a close second might be the time I was backstage at Disneyland and witnessed Mickey Mouse smoking a cigarette…)

As an adult, I might say a miracle is coming home to a clean kitchen that I didn’t have to lift a finger for, because my husband wanted to surprise me. But there’s something about becoming a mommy that obliterates every miracle that came before it and alters your perception of what that word truly means. All other supposed “miracles” abruptly pale in comparison.

On that note, I’d like to introduce our new little miracle … drum roll, please … Miss Gray Audrey Bratcher! Born on May 21st, 18 inches long, weighing in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and with a head of hair that would make Donald Trump pout! (I know Brad and I both have thick hair, but that one was still a shocker…)

She is gorgeous, if I do say so myself, but I might be just a bit biased. :) All I know is, she is the most stunning, magical, perfect thing I’ve ever seen. I am mesmerized by her, and I am madly in love in a way I never knew was possible.

Mommy and Gray – Courtesy Jenna von Oy

Before I go any further, I know there has been plenty of talk of the name we chose … some of it not so kind. I wanted to take some time to address this, as I think we tend to forget that just as words can heal, they can also wound.

For some background on the name “Gray” … No, we did not choose it because we thought that naming her a color was trendy. In fact, when Beyoncé announced the name of her daughter, Blue, I was a little bummed in anticipation of the comparison people might make. Since we’d chosen the name long before, and we already had our hearts set on it, we opted not to let outside forces influence our convictions.

Just as certain foods taste different from one palate to the next, names roll off the tongue differently from individual to individual. My husband and I happen to find the name Gray neither masculine nor feminine (it is a color, after all, so we thought it tough to place a gender on…). I’ve also met only one Gray in my life, and it happened to be a woman.

Personally, we perceive the moniker to be classy and slightly old-fashioned. As one PEOPLE.com reader stated, “It sounds literary.” We couldn’t agree more and love your choice of words!

Perhaps this doesn’t reflect the general consensus, but I can thoroughly appreciate that we all view the world through a different kaleidoscope. My husband and I have tried not to have our feelings hurt over the number of folks who made mean-spirited comments (for the record, no one likes to be berated or called an idiot for making a personal decision regarding their own child), but I think it’s fair to acknowledge some of the comments cut like razors. We are only human, after all.

Sometimes writing a blog can be a double-edged sword. It’s just too easy to speak ill of people when you don’t have to face them in person, and the Internet allows for blind expression. We understand we’ve opened ourselves up to public commentary and scrutiny, due to the nature of my job; sadly, it comes with the territory.

That said, I still truly believe whole-heartedly in the kindness of strangers … We can only say that we appreciate ALL opinions, good and bad, but hope that people will choose respectful ways to address that they aren’t fond of our daughter’s name, if such is the case.

And since the harsh words that have already been written have been captured in the Internet oblivion for all of time, I pray Gray takes it in stride, should she happen to stumble across them someday. My mama bear protective instincts definitely kick in on that one!

A special thank you to those of you who honored and stood up for our right to choose a name for our daughter that sounds beautiful to us … regardless of whether or not you agreed with it!

Gray’s birth announcement from MyPublisher – Impressions Professional Photography

And now, on to the birth story…

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and then Murphy shows up with his damn laws! As you may or may not be aware, my due date was June 11th. I’m sure you can imagine, with my proclivity for organizing, that I had my birth plan laid out WELL in advance. (Somewhere, I’m fairly certain God is chuckling at my ignorance!)

However, despite my mulish tendencies, I was viewing the whole process with a surprising amount of flexibility. I understand that no one can control the whens, whys, and hows of going into labor, so I’d wrapped myself around the thought that things might not fall in line with my ideals, and that I shouldn’t place expectations on myself or my baby.

I was feeling terribly proud of my open-minded outlook and was under the impression that I’d embraced my inner birth moxie and “go with the flow” attitude, until I heard the doctor utter the following dreaded words: C-section.

Now, I’ve spoken to many women who were thrilled at the prospect of a c-section, and some who even “wanted to have a zipper installed for the next go ’round.” I’m not shunning those of you who feel this way, nor am I suggesting you are less of a woman for it.

The beauty of it is, as with naming your child, it shouldn’t really matter what anyone else would choose for themselves, so long as you are comfortable with your own decisions. They are yours to live and breathe. But in all honesty, the words “c-section” were a disappointment for me.

I personally regarded it as my absolute last resort, reserved for complications that couldn’t be fixed any other way … and I was convinced there would ALWAYS be another way. I have very solid opinions about natural birth, which was the option I was really excited to work toward.

I do not purport to be an expert in the medical field, nor do I staunchly oppose one birth method in favor of another where everyone else is concerned. But in regard to my own experience, I felt connected to the idea of delivering naturally.

I didn’t base the decision on any current fad, or self-aggrandizing vision of martyrdom, and I certainly didn’t choose that method for bragging rights. I researched my options a great deal, and that’s what I was ultimately drawn to.

I want to be very clear about how personal these choices are, as I think far too much time is spent condemning other mothers for how they give birth or raise their children. I would prefer we spend our time building each other up instead!

I’m also in no way stating that c-sections are a bad thing. They are often necessary, as was the case with Gray’s birth. I have immense respect for everyone who goes through the birthing process, and each woman’s story is unique and beautiful in its own way.

I say all of this, as I realize that I am once again opening myself up to criticism, simply by relaying the tale of how Gray came into the world. My decision to share the story, despite the vulnerability it invites, has nothing to do with self-promotion or a need for validation. It is offered in the hopes of helping others who may be going through the same.

A week before delivery, while most folks were eager to tell me how “easy” and “great” a c-section would be (which really started to get on my nerves…), a friend let me know that she shared my struggles. It was such a relief to hear I wasn’t alone in my feelings, and I can only imagine there are others out there with similar insecurities.

My intention is to offer solace to them, as my friend offered to me. The truth is, having a c-section can pose internal conflicts and leave you with a sense of non-closure. Those feelings can be tough to reconcile, even when the surgery is medically imperative for the safe delivery of your child. Giving birth, after all, is a very emotional and draining time that each of us wishes to look back on with a happy heart.

If my story does not reflect your own experience or opinions, I hope that you can find it in yourself to be understanding and refrain from passing judgment. For those of you who are going through a similar ordeal, I hope my story gives you some comfort. Your feelings are valid, so please remember to be gentle on your heart!

My pregnancy was progressing perfectly. Every time I met with my OB, I was happy to hear what every mother hopes to hear … that things were normal, and there were no complications. My husband and I met with a doula, who we were thrilled to be working with, and we created a birth plan that involved a natural birth, immediate skin-to-skin contact, and a plethora of other choices that we knew had to be taken into consideration.

I’d gotten myself into a headspace where I was mentally prepared for “whatever” might happen. This meant I was even willing to entertain the thought of an epidural, if it came to that. I didn’t want to let myself down by creating self-imposed challenges or by putting myself in a position to fall short of my own expectations. It made more sense to me to prepare for a natural birth but be willing to bend if necessary.

That said, somehow, a c-section was never on my radar. The necessity of having one, especially since we received advanced notice of it, turned me upside down. I really had to restructure my thoughts about what my birth experience would look like, and I wanted to believe there was some way around it.

The idea of being helpless as my baby was taken from my belly left me with some feelings of inadequacy and disassociation. I was very concerned that I wouldn’t feel as bonded to my child because I couldn’t watch her pass through my birth canal, or do my part in helping her into the world. Those feelings were very consuming and arduous to work through emotionally.

Gray’s nursery sign – Courtesy Jenna von Oy

Here’s how it went down … At 33 weeks, I had a routine exam with my doctor, who was about to go on maternity leave herself. My belly wound up measuring at 35 weeks instead of 33, denoting that my girl was feeling a little bit ahead of the game! Knowing that she was about to take a leave of absence, my doctor suggested an ultrasound.

As our last one had been 13 weeks before, she felt it would be best to check the progress on everything prior to handing me over to another doctor. Secretly, Brad and I were just thrilled at the prospect of catching a glimpse of our little girl again! We expected everything to run smoothly, but it was during this ultrasound that I was diagnosed with oligohydramnios; I had abysmally low levels of amniotic fluid in my uterus.

On the upside, Gray was moving around in there like a champ, and all of her vitals were perfect. She was even practicing her breathing, which was a fantastic sign! The doctors told me to continue hydrating, to stay off my feet as much as humanly possible, and to do daily kick counts to measure Gray’s activity levels. They also began monitoring me more frequently, and doing ultrasounds twice a week.

I want to give some credit where credit is due here… First of all, my husband was a gift from God during this whole ordeal. He started making all of our meals, made sure I was resting, ran our errands, cleaned our house, and attended doctor appointments with me (while maintaining a full work schedule, might I add!). He was the best support system I could have asked for, and he deserves recognition for it and then some!

The other credit and high praise goes to my doctors — they were (refreshingly) unwilling to rush into anything, and were optimistic and honest. They never sugarcoated the facts, but they certainly weren’t alarmists either. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of that, as it kept me from worrying needlessly. I was able to continue getting full nights of solid sleep leading right up to the birth, thanks to them!

Oligohydramnios, it turns out, can reflect many different things. Evidently, it used to be that as soon as a woman was diagnosed with it, a c-section was promptly scheduled. It was thought to be automatically indicative of the placenta failing.

Fortunately, the medical field has a bit more information to go on these days, which was music to my ears. I wanted to keep Gray in there as long as possible, provided it was safe!

Obviously, 33 weeks would not have been the ideal time to deliver her, as she wasn’t full-term yet, and could afford the additional time for growth. I felt, as did the doctors, that the best place for that growth was in my belly, so long as everything else was working properly.

Thankfully, this was the case. Aside from the low fluid numbers, we were both healthy and progressing the way we should have been. From my understanding, oligohydramnios can often impede a baby’s growth process a bit, which clearly wasn’t the case with Gray! She was gaining weight consistently, and was even a little bigger than expected.

The only additional dilemma was that she was in the breech position. In and of itself, this may not have been an issue. However, the low fluid levels wouldn’t allow for the baby to turn on her own, nor were they significant enough for the doctors to turn her. We considered safe homeopathic methods that have the reputation of being successful, and consulted both our doctor and doula about them.

Unfortunately, none were viable options. The fluid levels thwarted any chance we had of helping Gray move into the correct position for a natural birth. This meant a c-section was inevitable and unavoidable.

During the four weeks that followed, my fluid levels fluctuated around the low end of average. During one ultrasound, in an amusing turn of events, a pocket of fluid was discovered that had been cleverly hiding itself under Gray’s bum. My little J. Lo was booty-blocking some fluid!

Alas, it was only good for a laugh, because it still wasn’t enough to help her turn. At my 36-week appointment, the levels started to nose dive. We still don’t know precisely what caused it, but it’s likely I was steadily leaking fluid the whole time, without realizing it.

Knowing that Gray’s vitals were still great, I was put on very strict bed rest over the weekend. As you can imagine, this was a tough request for someone who’s so type A!

I was also told to consume at least 96 ounces of water per day, to remain hydrated. I followed both guidelines diligently. In fact, my husband calculated that I drank four gallons of water that weekend! I was confident that my fluid levels would increase.

Daddy and Gray – Courtesy Jenna von Oy

Despite our efforts, come Monday morning (at exactly 37 weeks to the day), another ultrasound showed that my levels were unsettling. After consulting with a high-risk OB, and after a second ultrasound for verification, it was time to get Gray out of there.

I feel secure knowing that my doctors didn’t arrive at the decision lightly. I know in a time where c-sections are plentiful and have a bad reputation for being done without true cause, it may be easy to assume they rushed into it.

I’m confident this wasn’t the case, and I’m relieved to know that we did all we could do prior to delivering her that way. Natural birth is wonderful, and my preferred method … that is, until there are complications. Obviously, my first loyalty was getting Gray out in a healthy state.

I was sent over to the hospital immediately, and at 4:51 pm, my sweet little Gray was born! Before I even saw her, I heard one of the doctors exclaim, “Wow, those are some serious leg muscles!” and “Look at all that hair!” Sweet words when you can’t see your baby immediately, because they likely mean she’s healthy.

Hearing her first cry made me weep. Then the hard part came; the doctors were only able to put her on my chest for about 30 seconds, before whisking her away. Due to her early entrance, and because her breathing was a bit faster than they would have liked, Gray was sent to the transition nursery.

Brad and I had already decided, in advance, that he would go wherever Gray went. This meant he stayed with her as they wheeled her to the nursery, while I was left to be “put back together” like Humpty-Dumpty.

I’ll admit this was a devastating time for me. Not knowing if my daughter was okay was impossibly painful on my heart, and not having my support system right next to me wasn’t terribly fun either. It did, however, comfort me to know that Brad and Gray were together … I knew she needed his touch more than I did in that moment.

Once I was taken back to my room, the nurse told me they would wheel me up to see her as soon as I could wiggle my toes. I’ve never tried harder for something in my life! My frustration mounted each time I tried and failed.

Finally, after several hours, I was able to prove movement, and they brought me to see her. I wasn’t allowed to hold her yet, but at least I was able to touch her, rub her back, and hold her tiny hand.

Disappointingly, I started getting super nauseous after about five minutes of being in the warm nursery, and the nurses carted me back out.

I can’t explain how excruciating it was to leave Gray behind. All said, I was separated from my daughter for the first 17 hours of her life.

Not having the opportunity to feel her skin against mine for that period of time was shattering, and my insecurities and feelings of inadequacy returned ten-fold. I started wondering if our bond would be broken by my absence in those initial hours.

Part of me almost felt as though I’d never even given birth, since I wasn’t witness to any of it and had no baby next to me to prove it.

Worst of all, I knew I loved the baby that had grown in my belly, but I had very little recollection of the newborn version of her that went along with it, which made her presence seem surreal.

I can only imagine how difficult it is to have a child in the Intensive Care Unit; I feel deeply for those of you who have had to endure weeks or months without that bonding time. Even a few hours are far from easy.

We are blessed that Gray never wound up in the NICU; her breathing ultimately improved, and she never had to be put on oxygen.

In all honesty, I barely slept that night … I kept waking up expecting my little girl to be there. It’s strange how quickly that motherly instinct kicks in. Every half-hour, I awakened with the urge to feed my child!

By 10 o’clock the following morning, Gray was in my arms and breastfeeding. In that moment, all of the worries I’d had about any disassociation due to the c-section had vanished.

I was so relieved to discover that both the love and the bond were immediate and overwhelming. Those moments removed every trace of my self-doubt and sense of non-closure. It was an immense relief, and I started bawling on the spot.

Looking back a few weeks later, now that I have some perspective, it dawns on me that I still regard Gray’s birth as the most beautiful experience I could have had, natural birth or not. After all is said and done, the c-section is a part of her story, and that makes it something I view with intense love and appreciation.

It is a moving realization after so many weeks of being plagued by apprehension.

I hope those of you who may be experiencing some of the same concerns about an impending c-section will walk away with a changed heart … In the end, how your child comes into the world takes a back seat to the magic of having her in it.

Simply watching Gray breathe is so awe-inspiring, I am lost in her. I wish you the same.

Thank you, PLH Bows, for my fantastic hat! – Impressions Professional Photography

Until next time,

– Jenna von Oy

P.S. As always, please feel free to leave me comments here, or send me a message via Twitter!

Credit where credit is due: A special thanks to MyPublisher for the gorgeous birth announcements, and to PLH Bows for the sweet hat you see Gray wearing!

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Showing 303 comments

Sara on

I really love the name Gray Audrey. I think the two names sound beautiful. And your little girl is gorgeous. Congrats!

Emily on

She looks a lot like my daughter, who was born March 29!

Wonderful birth story…and I can relate to the c-section experience as well.

Congrats Jenna!!!

klutzy_girl on

I really love the name Gray Audrey honestly. It’s pretty!

And thank you for sharing your birth story. She’s adorable!

MJ on

So precious – what a beautiful blessing!

torgster on

Awww sweet lovely little beauty!

denise on

Just precious little beauty. Best Wishes

Shell on

Love the story! Love the name! I’ve had 2 c sections (my 1st was an emergency) my 2nd which was my daughter was at 39 weeks and she spent 12 days in the NICU, and at 3 days old she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. I understand what you mean when you said those 17 hours you couldn’t hold your baby hurts. I couldn’t hold my baby until she was about 2 days old.

Autumn on

Beautiful post! Gray is simply gorgeous!!!

chris on

Those cheeks are sooo adorable! What a sweetheart. I appreciate your honesty in your blogs. Your little girl is a treasure!

JacVan on

I could’ve written the whole part about your birth story myself for it so clearly echoes how my heart felt after hearing the words “C-Section”. I left our prenatal classes feeling more educated and thinking only this as a birth plan: “I don’t want to have a C-Section”.

Of course, that’s what ended up happening. Mine was emergency and the lack of time to prepare made the experience even more excrucating, but in the long run the goal of a pregnancy is a healthy baby and my 8-month old son is that!

We’ve taken some flack (publicly as well!) for the name we chose for our son as well. It can be frustrating at times, but his daddy & I love… That’s what counts!

Michelle on

What a gorgeous little girl you have! I can relate with the whole c-section thing. I had my heart set on a “normal birth.” I was in labor for 21 hours only to be told he was stuck behind my pelvis and would need a c-section. His heart rate kept dropping so we didn’t have a choice. I bawled like a baby when the doctor told me.

My son is 15 months old now and, while I am so ecstatic to have a happy, healthy baby, I am still a little disappointed. Also didn’t help that I didn’t get to see my son until 4 hours after he was born.

Just wanted to tell you that you are not alone with the whole c-section thing. Best wishes!

stormy on

I never heard of the name Gray and I agree with everyone else, together it sounds lovely.. What adorable cheeks.. GOD bless her..

Monica on

I also had my daughter at 37 weeks via c-section. She was breech and I had low fluid so your story was exactly mine. Except that my water broke and I went into labor on my own. We didn’t even have our hospital bag packed yet!

I was also very disappointed that I didn’t get the “real” birth experience and cried about it alot. I didn’t even read the c-section chapters in baby books because I knew I wouldn’t need one so I was completely unaware what to expect.

As I was crying to my mom about it she said, “All that matters is the baby is healthy, not how it came out.” As usual Moms know best and that helped me feel better and blessed to have a healthy beautiful baby.

When I got pregnant with my 2nd, my first question to my OB was about a VBAC as I still hoped for a “real” birth. Sadly, that didn’t happen because she was also breech so I ended up with another c-section and another healthy beautiful baby.

Congratulations on your daughter. She is very cute and I’m sure you’re thrilled to pieces with her. Trust your instincts and don’t listen to anyone else- especially the horribly mean people that post on this page. Which really I think is 1 person posting under several different names. Congrats!

Margaret on

When I first read about your babie’s name the only word I could think of was “sigh”…as is in a soft long sigh. So sweet and gental and awww. And then when I saw Gray’s picture’s, I said, “Gray, so sweet so gental so awww.

aviva on

Great post, great name, and what a beautiful daughter you have!

Carolyn on

What a beautiful and well written story! Huge congratulations to you Jenna, and your family on the birth of little Gray.

I, too, have had 2 c-sections for medical reasons. I understand the roller coaster of emotions you talk about, but to have your child safely in your arms is the ultimate in ‘Mummy moments’.

Best wishes for the exciting ride ahead… xo

Mrs. C. on

Jenna~
This was the most awesome blog entry I have read from anyone in a long time. I thought it was written beautifully! Welcome to motherhood! May you and your family always be healthy and happy! Congratulations!!!

Jan on

I taught kindergarten for over 30 years and never taught a child named “Gray.” However, I did teach a girl named Sarah who a few years ago legally changed her name to Gray because she loved the sound of it. Your Gray will likely be the only child with that name in her kindergarten class. Makes it much easier for the teacher!

momto3 on

What a beautiful story!! I can sense in your words the love you feel for your precious baby girl (and yes I absolutely agree with you she is BEAUTIFUL) Her name I see nothing worng with, it is interesting and unique, personnally I think it is lovely. =)

Enjoy everything about motherhood, I promise you it is going to fly by!! She is going to grow and change so fast, everyday there will be something new, so take advantage of every single moment with her!!!! Have Fun Momma=)♥

flower on

Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful story. Tomorrow I will be 30 weeks pregnant with my first and listening to your birth story was educational and like talking with a friend.

And, for the record, I *hate* weirdo names and do not understand why anyone would criticize you for the name Gray. It is beautifully classic.

I am so glad that you were able to reconcile all your conflicting feelings about Gray’s birth so that your little family is happy and healthy!

Andrea on

She is beautiful! Congrats! 2 c/s – both emergency. You just roll with it, as you said, because the ultimate goal is a happy, healthy baby.

lynn on

Beautiful name, Beautiful baby, Beautiful story. A heart warming story. I am sure it will help other moms. Thank you.

Beth on

I could read your writing all day. You capture the moments beautifully.

Also, I am SO glad you addressed the hateful comments. You explained the repercussions very well. I read a lot of replies on different sites and see other folks put these haters in line. I do too. So hopefully you will have changed at least one persons perspective and there will be one less angry post.

Take care girl, and keep blogging.

Yay Gray on

My son is Grey – would have been if he were a girl. Beautiful name, love seeing it on a beautiful girl!

Ronda on

What a amazing story! Your experience brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad little Gray is healthly and her pictures are so beautiful.

Note that the bonding process never stops. My daughter will be turning 14 in two weeks and while teeneagers don’t want to spend copious amounts of time with their parents, we still have our moments, enjoy every minute with her!

Megan on

Oh the cheeks! She is so sweet and absolutely gorgeous! I happen to love the name and think it sounds very dignified!

Jules on

Thank you for sharing your darling girl’s birth story. She is adorable. Her beautiful name suits her. I too had planned on a natural birth only to end up with a c-section. It helps the acceptance (healing?) process to hear the stories of other moms who have gone through similar things. Enjoy little Gray. Congratulations to you.

Anita on

Congrats Jenna, she is beautiful!

I know how you felt, I too was devastated when I found out I had to have a C section, but once my baby was in my arms, I was just grateful to have him with me and that he was safe and healthy!

When I found out that I wasn’t a good candidate for a VBAC with my second child, I was upset that I would need another C section, but once again, all that went away when I got to hold my beautiful, healthy daughter :)

Wishing you endless joy, enjoy your precious family!

Michelle on

Congratulations on the birth of such a BEAUTIFUL and precious little girl! I loved your post – it really reminded me of the birth of my daughter.

I, too, am very much a “Type A” personality and I had the whole “natural childbirthing” thing planned in my mind. Then at my last ultrasound, the doctor’s were thinking that she was nearly 13 lbs.! I was heartbroken to know I’d have to have a C-section.

I so totally can relate to that dissapointment, but then again, there’s nothing like having a brand new beautiful baby in your arms to wipe away all of the negative feelings!

BTW, I LOVE her name! It is quite unique and beautiful! :o)

Renee on

Jenna- love your writing, your honesty, and thoughtfulness! Gray is one lucky girl to have you as her mom. :)

I had the exact same low amniotic situation with my first daughter. 7 weeks bedrest and a c-section at 37 weeks. And like you, I had dreams of a natural birth with immediate bonding. And even though 99.9% of the time I am at peace with her birth, when I hear of natural birth stories I do get a little sad. But then I think of that song lyric from Oleta Adams that says, “I don’t care how you get here……just get here if you can”. And that helps with that tiny, insignificant .1% of disappointment.

At the end of the day, whether through hospital birth, home birth, adoption, c-section, natural birth, surrogacy……having a beautiful, healthy baby is all that matters! And Gray is just that! :)

Amy on

I absolutely love the name and I think it fits her perfectly! She’s such a beautiful little girl. Congrats!

Becker on

A beautiful story, thank you. I too have had c-sections (3 of them). My first baby was breech and would not turn, my second was early, and by the third, my doctor would not let me attempt a vbac. You are right: how she comes into the world is not nearly so important as the fact that she is here. And she is beautiful and healthy.

Please don’t let other people hurt you with their spite. The name you chose is lovely.

Anonymous on

This blog post is kismet. I had my 39 weeks doctor’s appointment today and there are concerns about the natural delivery that I had planned and I am devastated.

I have actually been surfing the internet looking for some other mom blog posts about this but I gave up and went to check out what was on people online – your post was the top story.

Thank you so much for helping me put it in perspective. Having my sweet baby boy here will overshadow any disappointment I have in how he got here. Thank you for sharing!

Jamie on

I LOVE her name!

With my first daughter, I too had a medically necessary c-section after many weeks of hoping for a natural delivery. Unfortunately, mine wasn’t planned and I had to be put under general anesthesia, so I didn’t wake up until 2 hours after her birth.

After drops in the fetal heart rate I was rushed into the operating room and woke up, not knowing if my baby had survived delivery. Thankfully, she did and we were diagnosed with Vasa Previa and Velamentous Cord Insertion. I felt many of the same feelings that you felt.

I had a VBAC three years later and now have two healthy daughters.

Lillian on

Jenna, this was one of the most thoughtful, compassionate, and nuanced blog posts I’ve ever read.

At a time when polemics and vitriol are tossed around like they’re no big deal, you’ve done a beautiful job of describing how off-the-cuff, mean comments can deeply wound — and how important it is to support people in their individual choices surrounding childbirth.

(We all love our kids, and we’re all just trying to do right by them — and since each person’s needs, circumstances, and experiences are different, such choices are going to vary wildly from person to person.)

Your candor and vulnerability are appreciated!

Gray (which, BTW, is a fantastic name) is lucky to have such a thoughtful and smart mom. You’re clearly going to be a wonderful parent and role model for your lovely daughter. :) Congrats to you and your husband!

Can on

This story was the first I heard of this baby name fuss, and I’m surprised that anyone would have a problem with a name like Gray. Sure, it’s a little on the unusual side, but it is also very nice. People can be mean. Forget them, Jenna. Go snuggle your baby. Her opinion is the only one that really matters now anyway.

KGurley on

She is absolutely gorgeous! :)

Candice on

Beautiful name…beautiful baby…beautiful story. I wish you loads and loads of happiness. <3

Liz on

You write so eloquently. I love reading your blogs.

My son is almost 3 mo now and I had trouble nursing him since he was jaundice and my milk decided to take 2 weeks to come full force. I struggled and cried knowing I couldn’t supply his nourishment.

Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous. You are going to be a great mom.

Congrats and thanks for sharing her birth story.

Aviva on

Beautiful, sincere, lovely post!! Your daughter is ADORABLE!!!

stacey on

i can relate, bcuz i had the same condition..fortunately we only had to induce a week early..i am so glad to hear that everything went well:-).. Ur daughter is beautiful:-)

Michele Hampton on

Hi Jenna:

Gray is absolutely beautiful! I also love the name! There is something about it that is just so refreshing. But we had the same criticisms when we named our second daughter Sasha. But we figured if Sasha ever felt she did not want to use her first name, she could always use Nicole as that is her middle name.

As for c-sections, I had two – one with my first and Sasha too. Our first – Amanda – came into the world via c-section even though I tried to go natural. Amanda’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her and she could not get down the birth canal. Therefore, out she came thru the “back door.”

When Sasha was coming, I just went ahead and scheduled a c-section even though I could have gone VBAC. Knowing when Sasha was going to be here made life a little easier, especially with everything going on at the time of her birth.

Alas, I thank you for sharing your experiences and your new little one! May God bless her always, as well as you and your husband!

elizabeth omalley on

She is beyond beautiful and a treasure,many blessings to you and your husband…and to the wee one : Welcome to the world Gray,wishing you joy,health and lots of fun !!!

Senora H-B on

What a lovely birth story. I appreciated that you were so candid about your feelings about having a C-section. I hope people are kind in the comments!

Also, love the name. It’s beautiful.

Holiday on

She is an adorable baby girl! Congrats!

I had to have an emergency csection at 36 weeks and my daughter was exactly 6 pounds. I had severe pre eclampisa and HELLP and was pretty close to dying. At that point I knew a csection was the only option and I accepted it although my first baby was an unmedicated an no medical interventions birth.

My daughter despite being a month early and small was fine. I was in the ICU for 5 days and only got to see her a few minutes each day.

There are so many unnecessary csections but then there are the true emergencies or problems that could be life or death without them.

Kristen on

So sweet to read about your darling little girl. She is absolutely precious in her pictures!

I just wanted to say, I shared some of these same feelings about a c-section. I welcomed my first child, Rhett, last September. Oddly enough, my doctor also went on maternity leave herself just before I gave birth. We’d never discussed a c-section.

The 2nd doctor brought it up at 36 weeks, because I had an excessive amount of fluid and a very large baby (he weighed in at 9lb 9oz). My water broke early one morning right at 39 weeks, and I was still planning and hoping for a normal delivery. But after 12 hours of labor and no real progression, I opted for the c-section.

You describe so many of the same feelings I had throughout the process, especially immediately after the procedure when Hubby goes with Baby :) Its refreshing to see you blog about the whole situation.

In preparing for my son, I hadn’t come across other women’s stories describing the journey. Like you, most people said “It’s so easy”, but that did nothing to quell my fears.

Sorry, this is getting pretty long, but I just wanted to say thank you for posting your story, your daughter is lovely, and I think her name is wonderful. Congratulations, and I wish you and your family the best!

Amy Hartzog on

I have a Gray and an Audrey :)

Jaime on

Awww. Gray is as lovely as her name. Simply beautiful!

Harley on

“In the end, how your child comes into the world takes a back seat to the magic of having her in it.” Very well said!

At the end of the day, what matters most is that you have your child in this world and that you love and protect that child to the best of your abilities until you leave this world.

Shannon on

I think that although Gray isn’t the norm, it is beautiful, especially paired with Audrey. I like the way it sounds, definitely an old-fashioned and romantic sound to it.

As for the c-section, I can understand your feelings about that. My first baby was also breech but we didn’t know until I was already in labor. So it happened quickly and I really didn’t have much time to think about it. My 2nd and 3rd babies were vbacs and amazing experiences. My 4th (and final) happened to be another c-section due to a low lying placenta preventing a safe vbac and unfortunately he, even at 38 weeks and with a steroid shot, wasn’t ready and ended up in the NICU and that is very hard. His lungs just weren’t ready, as is the case for most boys, and he was lazy about breathing :)

He came home right around his due date and I know the feeling of being away from your baby, it doesn’t matter how long, hours/days/weeks/months, it is torture and you ache for your baby. I think I cried a few times everyday for my baby and wanting him home. My brother had been in the hospital when he was a baby for 13 months and still required nurses after he came home and I honestly don’t know how my mom did it with two little girls at home and her baby in the hospital for that long. Oops, rambling :)

Your daughter is beautiful and so is her name!!!!

Melissa on

C-section scmee-section! A healthy baby is ALL that matters! Congratulations on a beautiful baby girl. You are blessed beyong measure. :)

LoveMyCrazyLife on

Love the name! Very cute! Loved Jenna on Blossom!

carmelcurly on

That was beautifully worded (though I must confess I scanned some parts lol.) Thanks for sharing your experience. She’s beautiful!

Emily on

Wow, your birth story is so similar to mine! I also wanted a natural birth, had a healthy pregnancy and a doula, but his umbilical cord was too tight and heart rate dropped! I agree, you do what you have to do in order to have your healthy baby in your arms, even if it means a C-section! Congrats!

lora96litdiva on

Beautiful!

Gray is porcelain-doll perfect and her name is lovely. I remember Gray as the name of Jennifer Garner’s brave and loving character in Catch and Release, btw. It sounds elegant.

Our little girl who is about to be nine months old (strong and healthy now, thank God) had to go to NICU for a week after a difficult labor that caused damage to her lungs. All is well now but it was impossibly horrible to be separated from her and only see her for about an hour each day. (PS The NICU is also kept incredibly warm and made me nauseated the first time and sleepy every time after that!).

Best wishes to you all.

WinterLightHomestead on

Actually, before even reading this article, when I saw the name Gray Audrey, my first thought was, “How pretty! Oh, I LIKE that name!” followed by, “So glad she went with a lovely name instead of one of those weird, faddish celebrity baby names.”

So glad that both of you are healing, healthy, and happy.

My third trimester and my son’s birth did not go well for either of us. My son was a NICU baby. I understand the torture of that.

ecpjll on

aww! I remember her!I loved her! she still basically looks the same. Hasn’t aged much. Beautiful daughter :)

Erika on

You managed to write yet another article which perfectly describes the joy, fear, and wonder which is motherhood. Anyone who has been through this can relate to what you are writing. I especially love the line about building each other up instead of being hurtful. Don’t crap on the sisterhood, people. We are all just trying to do this often thankless job with a little bit of grace and dignity. And considering how difficult it can be to maintain said grace when your own personal hygeine comes second (or third, or fourth…) and your toddlers delight in wiping their dirty dinner fingers on the back of your shoulder where you won’t see it for hours, we should all be a little more supportive.

Cari on

Thanks for sharing your story!

I had exactly the same issue when my daughter was born – severely low amniotic fluid, breech baby. I was on hospital bed rest until just before I hit the 36 week mark. Since I was also contracting, they decided it was time to pull her out via c-section (the one thing we tried desperately to avoid!) She, too, had difficulty breathing and spent 18 days in the NICU. It’s amazing that no matter what your disappointment in how they came into the world, the most important thing is that they are here and that ends up being all that matters.

Congratulations, mama!

Amanda on

Lovely story and your baby is beautiful. I had my baby naturally and my sister had planned on the same. When she was dilated to 7, she started going backwards and the baby’s heart rate was dropping w/ every contraction. She began having problems herself. Had she not had an emergency c-section her son would have died. Actually given all that was going on, the doctor said we’d probably have lost my sister as well. She was able to have a VBAC, and now has two healthy little boys. All that matters is that your baby girl is here and has two seemingly amazing parents. Congratulations to you.

maureen on

i like the name, its different… and teamed up with audrey as the middle name, very nice! and she is cute!!

Shannon on

Thank you so much for sharing your story!

First off, I love her name. Its classy, timeless, and just outright adorable! With my second son, I did have a natural birth, but he ended up with the cord around his neck. They removed it and placed him on my belly to hold. He started to turn blue and they whisked him away.

As with your story, the deal was that if problems came up, my husband would go wherever baby went. The little guy had to be put on an IV and oxygen in the NICU for 2 or 3 hours.

It was heartbreaking to be left in my birthing room completely alone for a few hours. It was like I hadn’t given birth :( As soon as my little bean was declared healthy, he was in my arms for the rest of the day!

Congrats to you and your husband. Enjoy every precious moment…before you know it she’ll be 2 and running around like a maniac!

Camila on

She is so gorgeous!! Congrats!! I also love her name, my grandmother’s name was Nellie Gray and I have always adored the name Gray as it is unique. I don’t have kids yet, but always enjoy reading your posts!!

Leslie on

First of all, Jenna, your name is beautiful! Jenna has always been on my personal top 10 list of girl names. Secondly, I think Gray Audrey is unique and such a beautiful name. Try not to let judgmental and mean-spirited people discredit your choice of names for your beautiful daughter. Her name has style and grace which is more than I can say for the naysayers.

Universality on

Hello Jenna: Your daughter is so beautiful as her name. You and your husband enjoy your beautiful ray of sunshine. Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful pictures. Many blessings to you and your loved ones.

Devon on

I love “unusual” girls’ names with a romantic, yet strong feel to them. I’m a daughter of a Philippa and a mother to an Avery…and if baby #3 is a girl, she will be Harper.

I have had two c-sections, neither truly desired, yet necessary with the information we had at the time. A “feeling of non-closure” is entirely accurate. While few of my fellow c-sectioned friends feel the same way, I feel as if I missed out on something that I may never get back. So thank you for expressing it so well for those of us in similar mindsets. And congratulations on your beautiful little girl!

Rachayla on

Congrats Jenna, you and your husband have one gorgeous little baby girl and as a mom of three kids with unusual names, I love the name Gray. I also had a similar experience as yours with my youngest child’s birth and I salute you and your courage to stand by your choices for your child.

Julie on

Your baby is adorable! I’m glad everything turned out well for you both.

Shana on

Jenna!!

I am so glad to read your blog again! I have been waiting (im)patiently to hear how you are doing! You are my favorite celebrity blogger and I look forward to reading your experiences as a mother.

My son was born via c-section, and I too was devastated when I found out that I wouldn’t have the “normal” birth experience. However, 22 months later I am so enamored by him and how amazing he is that I rarely even worry about how he came in to this world.

Being a mom is the greatest blessing! Unfortunately, becoming a parent means that you are now part of the parenting club, and some of the people in that club aren’t so nice. Just hold your head high and do what is best for your daughter and your family. She is gorgeous and the name Gray is beautiful and unique.

Many blessings to your family!!

Happy on

Congrats, Jenna and family! I was a serious “Blossom” viewer back in the day, and it’s nice to see you all grown up and happy. Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous and I applaud you for taking any negative statements in stride. Bravo to you for sticking to your convictions. Gray will have no problems adjusting in this ugly world as long as her mommy is by her side!

Lady Cat on

When I found out I needed a c-section so close to my first son’s birth, I cried on and off all day. He was breech (transverse) and he never turned; before then he’d been in the right position. I was lucky that I was able to hold him soon after his birth, and then nurse him within half an hour or so (wasn’t crazy about the “stitching up process”…ugh). He was (and still is) perfectly healthy, thank God.

My second son’s birth, I had 15 hours of labor (with no pain meds in my quest to try and avoid a repeat c-section) but 0 dilation. A c-section was again needed. Oh well. This son was taken from me hours after birth, transferred to Children’s Hospital’s CICU, and I didn’t see him again for 4 days (recovering at my hospital…my husband ping ponged between our hospitals). It was horrible.

Fast forward two years and one open heart surgery, one rare syndrome, one bladder surgery, two NF2-related tumors, and some hip issues later, he’s still here and he’s wonderful. Life never turns out how you plan. You’re right–each baby is a miracle.

I wish you and your family as much joy as you can hold, health, and longevity. Congratulations!

erin on

What a beautiful birth story and I love the name!

Melissa on

I love the name “Gray”, and think all of the thought and emotion that you two have put into choosing it is precious. I also think that it combines very nicely with the middle name, “Audrey.” Congratulations!

I have had 2 c-sections, medically necessary, and I do understand your feelings on this. I have actually had the comment made “that I didn’t technically give birth,” since I did not experience a labor or natural delivery. This from someone who last delivered a child in the early 70’s, when women labored together in large, sterile rooms and were given laughing gas for the pain…Oh, how times have changed, but not necessarily the mentalities to go with, sadly.

You have an absolutely precious and adorable little girl with an equally adorable name, and I offer my heartfelt congratulations and a welcome to this crazy club called “Mommy-dom” :)

Lourdes on

Wow! I can relate to your story in so many ways. I planned the whole thing, from A to Z.. I even day dreamed about how and when my baby was going to come to this world. Every time I went to the doctor and heard the words “everything is normal” I smiled and thanked God for it. I had the feeling everything that i had planned was going to happened the exact same way..

WRONG!!! … No natural birth, I had to have a C-section… I was past my due date, went for a check up, had a sonogram and the word C-section came out of the doctor’s mouth… my baby girl was too big (10lbs 6oz) could not fit thru the birth canal… went home that day, cried my eyes out, called the doctor a few hours later and told him “I’m ready for surgery” went to the hospital the same night .. the next morning got ready and by 2pm I was holding by precious baby girl.

Bonded with her as soon as i was able to hold her. Nursed her and until this day I thanked God she is here without any complications.

Had a 2nd C-section (planned) I didn’t care anymore, all i wanted was a 2nd healthy baby, & that’s exactly what i have..

You will come to terms with your frustrations, every time you see her beautiful face those “natural birth” frustrations are going to disappear … Be well & Congratulations … Your baby is beautiful

Melissa on

I named my daughter Poppy a few weeks before your daughter arrived; I loved the name and didn’t think there was anything funny about it…ay yay yay…most people love it, but there are definitely haters…just embrace it all!

Jade on

Absolutely beautiful baby girl! Love the name! Congratulations, Mommy :)

d on

“In the end, how your child comes into the world takes a back seat to the magic of having her in it.” Thank you for this line, I have been having a hard time dealing with the fact that my son came early through a very complicated and traumatic emergency c-section where I was cut open all the way down, I never got to see my son born or even that day, and it is 7 weeks later and it still really upsets me. Your line really makes me re-think that time.

Rebeckah on

Jenna –

I want to thank you for sharing your story. You expressed yourself so beautifully, and appreciate every word. I find it sad that you have to preface your experience because of cruel words. Each person writes their own stories, and should not be judged for their choices.

I personally have not experienced the joy of carrying a child or being a mother, however, after reading your story, I believe I understand. I do feel a kinship to you, as I was to share your anniversary. 10-10-10, it’s just too cute. Plus, I loved you on Blossom. But I digress.

Your daughter is beautiful. I looked at the picture and literally thought it was a picture of a doll, she’s gorgeous. I love the name, as well, just beautiful.

I wish you and your brag-worthy husband, and miracle daughter the best happiness and good luck, and really I wish you much love!

Maria on

She is beautiful! I had 3 c-sections and my youngest is now 21. I understand your feelings totally, but at the end of the day, I realized my main concern was to have a healthy baby and to be a healthy mom. Congratulations on you beautiful little girl!

CestLavie on

OMG, look at those cheeks! She’s precious.

Iris on

Loved your story and so happy everything worked out in the end. Healthy baby and healthy mama is the best ending ;] We were in the same boat. I was very much set on natural birth, decided on hypnobirthing and attending classes and read the books prepping the best I could.

At 36 weeks we found out baby girl was breeched. While I kept an open mind as well on the birth C section was not something I had thought of. We tried everything to help her flip but she was already getting too big.

My baby girl was born on Feb 15, 2012 and she is the most amazing thing in the world. In the end all that mattered was that she is healthy and thriving. ;] By the way I love your baby girls name.

momoftwo on

I had the same thing with my fluids they were off the charts low and I delivered my baby girl at 37 weeks naturally- the words c-section were never said to me. She was 5lbs 8oz and is now a perfectly healthy 2 1/2 year old. I know how scary finding out that your body is producing enough fluid for your baby and then the forced march to the hospital at 37 weeks to get the baby out fast. Glad everything worked out for you and your darling baby!

ps. I had another baby (16 months apart) and didn’t have the same fluid issues!

Monica on

Thank you so much for sharing Gray’s bIrth story. She’s beautiful! My son, Tommy, was delivered by c-section at 37.5 weeks because he was breech and I also had dangerously low fluid levels. Reading your story made me remember his birth 19 months ago. it wasn’t how I anticipated it would be, but once I saw his face and heard his cry all I could think about was my beautiful baby boy and all other concerns disappeared.

Best wishes to you and your family for Gray’s continued health and growth!

Angelica on

First of all Congrats on the absolutely beautiful little one! I love her name and little cheeks! Wow…your birth story is almost exactly like mine. I have an 8 week old daughter and had the exact same fluid issues and I also ended up with a C-Section. My fluid levels did end up returning to normal at the end but by that time it was to late for her to turn, even after the Dr tried an external and internal version.

It does leave you with a feeling of inadequacy, sadness that you won’t be getting your expected birthing plan, and fear of bonding. I am so grateful that we live in this time where we are able to have C-Sections and beautiful healthy children, but I definitely preferred natural. It’s nice to see someone experience the same thing and to know the feelings are normal.

Thank you for sharing your story!

Roberta on

I have one daughter. And just like you I wanted a natural child birth. I had witnessed two of my sister’s giving birth both of there labor’s went quickly. And my mom had three daughters all natural. So I went to all my class’s (even skipped the c-section one because I was not feeling well) and after 18 hours of labor and two hours of pushing my daughter’s head got stuck and her heart rate fell. I was told to quickly pick two people to go with me and was whisked off to surgery.

I went hours without seeing her. I felt so disappointed in myself and upset. The thought never even occurred to me that a C-Section would happen. I am now planning on having another child and am going back and forth debating C-Section again or trying the natural way? So afraid the same thing will happen.

Good Luck and baby Gray is so beautiful :) Love the name!!

Karen on

I personally love the name Gray. Gray was my Great-Grandmother’s middle name. I had chosen Gray to be the middle name of our daughter or Grayson for our son. I had twin boys, so Grayson it is! She is beautiful!

sat on

Best.blog.yet!!! I adore the name as well. period!

Dina on

At 36 weeks & 4 days, my water broke & after 24 hrs of being only 4 centimeters, my doc opted for a c-section. As my son was being removed from my belly, the doc says “as I thought, the umbilical cord is around his neck, TWICE”.

I had the baby stress test done 3 times a week before b/c 1 day his heart rate was slow the next too fast. He was 4.6 lbs & 18 inches & stayed a few days in the NICU just to make sure he was eating & gaining weight.

Broke my heart visiting him everyday & then leaving him behind but after a total of 9 days from the day of his birth, we brought him home & now on the 29th of this month he will be 1 year old.

Our bodies are truly amazing, my water broke to inform me that he needed to get out ASAP, & what about if he was a bigger baby? These thoughts always cross my mind.

Beautiful name and enjoy her every minute.

Greenie on

I just had to chime in and say how gorgeous I think Gray Audrey’s name is… if my comment can help to ease the sting of people who are negative about the name you chose for your precious child, then good. Also I think Gray Audrey is as gorgeous as her name! I want to kiss her cheeks! Good work, mama!

anne on

Jenna…what a beautiful baby. I should warn you, my dd is 5, and the obsession only grows!!! I love her more every day!! One small thought I wish to share. Having a medically neccesary c/s myself, it hurts to hear a vaginal bith referred to as “natural”. While of course it IS, it gives more weight to the hurt that those of us feel who have had an “un-natural birth”. I just wish the terminology would shift….vaginal birth or c-section. That’s all. Blessings to your new family.

Ella on

Your writing is exquisite and so is your daughter! She is an absolute doll and Gray is an elegant name. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I’ve never been so ‘caught up’ in a blog. You have a great gift and I look forward to your future blogs.

Kaylyn on

You are an amazing writer and I love your honesty. Truly, her name is beautiful – just like her.

Baffled on

How disgusting people can be! Shame on them! That said, your daughter is perfect! Your name choice is stellar and anyone who thinks otherwise should keep their mouths shut! Kiss her sweet cheeks a million times a day and never stop taking pictures! Congrats to you and your husband!

Wanda on

There are so many other terrible things in this world today. I am so sick of people who always have something negative to say about anything. Your baby name Gray is odd and beautiful. I don’t know you personally, but your baby is lucky to have a beautiful mother who loves her. Take care.

Brian Owens on

So proud of you and so proud to know you! What a beautiful little girl!

Just My 2 Cents on

Congratulations Jenna & Brad on the birth of your BEAUTIFUL daughter! She has such a gorgeous name for such a beautiful little girl.

I wish you all the best :)

kjc on

Jenna, I am so glad you addressed how hurtful posters can be on this blog. I truly hope it makes people think twice before making rude comments. Just because you are a celebrity (and even if you arent) doesn’t mean you don’t have feelings. I think as a whole, we all need to be a little less judgmental.

My babe was also an unplanned c-section after 20 hours of labor. I knew at the time we needed to get him out, so while disappointed, I didn’t think twice. I had a wonderful labor nurse who told me she had had to have one the year prior. She told me she still grieved not being able to have a natural delivery, but she knew it was necessary to deliver a healthy baby. My son is almost 14 months now, and I still think about how I lost out on having my boy placed on my chest so I could hold him during his first few moments of life. It bites, but I have a beautiful, healthy, crazy little guy who I just put to bed, and he is all that matters.

I ramble. Congrats on little lady Gray. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, personal story.

Seal on

Thank you for sharing your story. You spent far too long defending your position for fear of hurting others, you need not worry when you tell your own story with your own emotions and experiences. It was actually refreshing to hear someone talk about the emotional cons to having a c-section. Your opinions and your views are very valid and they don’t disrespect anyone.

What you got was a nice dose of motherhood, never again will you be able to plan and get what you wanted. Forever more life will always be a compromise and generally it will be you who does all the compromises. You just got a good kick in the butt start on it.

It is sad to hear that people hurt you and your family with your name choice. Personally, I would be thrilled if no one liked the name I picked for my baby then she could be the only one with the name. So even if the comments were rude and obnoxious, at least that means there will be less children with the same name to make her blend into the scenery. Thank you for calling attention to the rude behavior. Maybe some will learn that they should think before they type.

I hope all your hopes and dreams for your family for the future come true. And please keep writing, whether in blog or other form, your voice and perspective are a joy to read.

Tina on

Awww…Congratulations, Jenna & Brad!!! She is beautiful.

You write so well–your passion is tangible.

I’m so glad that finally a celebrity blogger has confronted people that think it’s socially acceptable to sit down & type, which incidentally is like speaking, nasty, hateful, judgemental things just because they are not physically face to face with their intended audience.

I’m really tired of being excited to read the comments of others only to mostly feel like I’ve been slimed by them–and they aren’t even directed at me. I can only imagine how the bloggers feel.

yikes on

Jenna you need to get a thicker skin – for the rest of your life you may hear unkind words about your child – it’s the way of the world. But you will also hear good kind and happy comments about her too. Those, of course, are especially sweet!

Your c-section experience was quite different than mine – so if you have a second child that one may be different too. My doctors were not as conservative as yours – and mine was 31 yes ago. I was high risk – I had already lost a full term baby and a miscarriage so I did know I was having a scheduled c-section (I had an unplanned c-section for the first one).

After the cuts the doctor handed my baby over to his Daddy who got to hold him first. Then the nurse put our son on my chest and kept him there for about ten minutes. Then they took him and daddy to the “weigh station”, checked his vitals (he was a bilirubin baby) and cleaned him up a bit and brought him back to me in the operating room and put him on my chest again.

Then I was wheeled out to recovery. The nurse there immediately helped me adjust my gown so I could nurse him. All went well and then I was exhausted and fell asleep. My husband took over and held him until I woke up and was ready to go to my room.

The staff was really wanting me to direct them as to how much I wanted to do and when. They were great. I had another baby 3 yrs later and it was pretty much the same thing only I healed faster and got out faster.

Best advice I can give you as a new Mom – believe in yourself!

Tee on

Jenna ~ compliments on your blog, I’m pretty sure it is the longest one I have ever read under celebritybabies. It is exceptionally written and I think conveys many emotions, experiences pregnant Moms to be go through before, through and upon giving birth. No offense to adoptive Moms either, I know you to go through a whirlwind of emotions and experiences as well. Same with those who birth babies for couples.

Anyway, Gray is adorable in every pic shared in your blog. I like her name, but I usually do like unique names and agree it’s the parents choice on their child’s name. I wish you and your husband and daughter a life of happiness and success.

Cinder Lou on

First up, congratulations to the three of you, and thank you for your story. Please don’t concern yourself with people who don’t like your baby’s name. It’s beautiful, your baby is beautiful, and their opinions don’t matter.

Erin on

Beautiful baby for a beautiful mommy! I love the name you have chosen and it suits her well. I love classic but different names. Thoroughly enjoyed keeping up with your blog as well!

sierramarie425 on

This is a great story, but I wonder why she felt the need to overly apologize and justify ad nauseaum about having a c-section?? It was necessary, not a voluntary choice because of cosmetics or convenience. She did what was best for her daughter and it was discussed thoroughly. I think the story would have been half as short if not for the ridiculous apologizing. I understand about the name, but geez, even that was alot! Congratulations on the baby nonetheless.

kate on

I love her name…I think it sounds very old Hollywood. Perhaps she will grow up to be an actress just like her Momma. Thank you for sharing your story. There will always be people that have negative things to say, but there are many more who feel joy just from reading your story. I got goosebumps reading about you being reunited with her and Gray latching on. Those sweet little angels are already so resilient. Gray knew exactly who you were and exactly what you purpose was; to love her and provide her all of her needs. What a tremendous blessing. It also sounds like you have such an amazing husband! So nice to hear such positive things about him too! May God bless all 3 of you with love, laughter and good health. Enjoy your sweet little angel and Congratulations! Take good care of yourself and Gray!

Teri on

I know how upsetting it can be to hear that you have to have a C-section. That happened to me also with my son. I didn’t have time to get used to the idea, as mine was done as an emergency during labor when my baby began experiencing signs of distress.

I want you to know that your story really touched me. The way your described your feelings about a c-section reminded me of exactly how I felt at the time. It is always the first priority to do what is best for the baby, and I am so thankful that my son was born healthy, but I too had feelings of disappointment and inadequacy afterwards. To know that other women go through this made me feel better.

Thank you for sharing your story. Your daughter is beautiful.

Summer on

Love the name Gray! Vaginal births aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Episiotomies and tears can extend to the rectum, causing lifelong problems…..babies can get stuck…bruised….. While you wanted your delivery to be a certain way, unfortunately you can’t write out a birth “plan” and expect everything to go exactly how you want it to. Labor and delivery is unpredictable. All that matters is that the mother and baby are healthy.

Carrie on

I love the name Gray and I’m glad you wrote about your experience w/ a c-section. I too had plans for natural childbirth, skin to skin immediately etc. My situation wasn’t quite as drastic, but my daughter wouldn’t drop. In hindsight I’ve heard mothers who have pushed despite this and managed to get their babies out, but I wasn’t really given the option after 2 failed epidurals (yes, I caved). I was so disappointed that I didn’t get to deliver her naturally. I’m considering #2 now and I really hope my doctor is supportive of a vbac.

Congrats on your beautiful daughter and keep writing on!

Deserae on

Such a beautiful girl! First rule of mommyhood–let what others think roll off your back! You know your girl and you know what is best, starting with her name.

I had the same feelings toward c-sections and ended up with 2 out of 3 kids being born via c-section. Not ideal but we learn quickly as parents that our kids run the show sometimes! :)

All the best to you and your family!

Leslie on

What a beautiful story! I had an emergency c-section at 35 weeks after developing HELLP syndrome and it was a blow that things didn’t go as I had “planned” (I was the one who didn’t even read the chapters on c-sections b/c it was never going to happen to me!).

I think in a way I had to allow myself to mourn the fact that I didn’t have the experience I had wanted. (Plus the drugs I had to have after the surgery didn’t allow me to nurse and my milk never did come in.) You are right though that at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that you are healthy and so is your baby.

We were blessed that our “preemie” weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces and never spent a second in the NICU. It’s hard to believe that my “baby” will be 10 this fall!!

Enjoy every second…it goes by fast!

P.S. I want to squeeze and kiss her little cheeks!

Erzsibet on

So adorable

Randi on

You are a beautiful writer. You really pulled me into your story and by the end I was crying tears of joy.

I love the name Gray, but really all that matters is that you and your husband love the name. Don’t worry about what other people think or what they say. They are bullies who are very brave behind a computer, but I highly doubt they would have the guts to say anything face to face. I know words hurt, but this is such a special time in your life and you should enjoy every moment of it.

Gray is absolutely beautiful, I love her cheeks. Congratulations!

Lola on

I personally LOVE the name Gray….congrats on your blessing Jenna & Brad!!! Thanks for sharing your story with us….

Kelly on

I can so relate to your story of trying to wiggle your toes. It was the most frustrating thing. I was separated from my first child for 4 hours and it wasn’t until I started crying that they finally brought her to me. The only reason she was in the nursery was because she was cold and they should have let me warm her up.

Thankfully there were no other problems and with my 2nd I had a fantastic vbac. I hope one day you can also experience the birth you had your heart set on. My c-section recovery wasn’t bad at all but with a toddler there was no way I wanted to deal with a c-section with my 2nd.

I think it’s great that you addressed the hateful comments on your daughter’s name. People would never say those things to your face but internet anonymity gives people a chance to voice their opinions. I think it’s a beautiful name and even if I find a name weird I would never take the time to comment on it.

I named my daughter a traditionally male name and I remember that others may think it’s weird every time I think another name is weird or too boring.

kate on

So happy about all the positive feedback here. At the end of the day, names and types of birth are far less important than a healthy baby. I have had three c-sections, and my second child died suddenly at the age of 20 months. When you go through the loss of a child, how they arrived and what their name is are very unimportant – mere moments in time compared to lifetimes of love lost.

Pamela on

I can honestly say that when my daughter’s name was chosen we received a ton of flack for it; however, I love it and most people that have met her and gotten to know her including our family have fallen in love with the name of Rhyder. I understand she will probably be picked on in school but guess what so was I for my name (and it is a “normal” name). Unfortunately our society has taken to bullying children and adults and this reflects badly upon all of us. I am sure that she will get picked on for more than just her same just as her sister and myself have.

Anonymous on

Thank you for sharing your birth story.

Jamie on

I absolutely love the name Gray…I may be a little biased as it is my fiances’s name. We have decided to pass it on although as a middle name. Congrats. She is gorgeous

Nicole on

Gray is the name of Jennifer Garner’s character in the movie, “Catch and Release”. I love that movie. It’s moving-sad-sweet-funny-romantic-clever all at the same time. There is a scene between Jennifer’s character, and Timothy Olyphant’s character where Jennifer asks Timothy what his favorite color is, and he replies “Gray”. See? Not so strange :)

Sarah on

What an amazing birth story. I love her name, it’s unique and her own.

Debi on

I can understand hearing the devastating words, you need a c-section. My story was a little different as I was overdue with a very large baby (10lbs 13.5oz) and after 24 hours of attempting natural deliver, he just didn’t want to come out. I too feared that bonding would be difficult, but I wanted it so bad in my heart that it became something that I had to do. Luckily we had no problems with that and I’m so glad to hear that everything ended up beautifully for you, despite the c-section. Like others have told me about my son, I now say the same to you: Gray came the way she was supposed to.

Congrats on your beautiful little girl and thank you for your wonderful birth story.

Nicole on

P.S. You don’t need to get a thicker skin. People need to not make rude comments, and remember what their mamas told them about “if you have nothing nice to say….” I don’t understand how people can be so hurtful…had you chosen another profession…say a veterinarian, would they have kept their comments to themselves?

I realize there are people out there in the world that are hellbent on being famous for something, but there are many more people that are just kids fulfilling their childhood dreams, like yourself. So, here is something else my mama told me…”opinions are like ***holes…everybody’s got one”…to that I add, “some just need to find themselves a proctologist”.

Leila on

I absolutely LOVE the name you have chosen for your daughter! I think it’s both unique and sweet, and if I ever have a daughter, I would like to name her Gray, too.

Speaking as someone who also has a unique name, I have to say that it’s nice to know people are talking to you (and not the girl next to you) when they call your name. So, I urge you to forget about the nay-sayers and instead focus on the gorgeous child you have brought into the world. Just think – when she gets old enough, she may be thanking you for that unusual name!

Congrats to you and your husband and may all three of you be happy and healthy. :)

Sally on

I love her name, and how well it flows together. I loved your story as well…you have a real knack for writing:) I also must say that Gray has some pretty yummy looking cheeks that must get kissed a lot! I love chubby cheeked babies:)

Chill on

I just want to say your lil girl is beautiful, and I too see nothing wrong with the name. My favorite part of your blog was In the end, how your child comes into the world takes a back seat to the magic of having her/him in it. This is so true and the part that I can relate to the most.

I would have done anything in this world to have ever been pregnant, but at 25 yrs old I had to have a hysterectomy and knew this would never happen. I however was lucky enough to be present at the birth of my son. I was there when he took his first breath, and even though sometimes I still catch myself wishing I was the one that gave birth to him in the end it doesn’t matter because he is my son and he makes my life better just by him being in it. Enjoy every second with your little one and dont blink because time will fly by!

Abbie on

That little girl is BEAUTIFUL!!!! And I will say it again and again, I lover her name!!!! Jenna I love your blog, I look forward to it every month!!!!

Mary on

Your daughter is so beautiful!

I can’t say I’ve been there, I had two natural births but my cousin who was against having a c-section, had to have one. I watched as it turned her and her new baby’s life upside down. The reason is because her daughter wouldn’t latch and nurse and I guess it had something to do with the c-section (?) looking back I think it was just her nerves making it harder.

Guest on

What a beautiful entry. It’s a shame we live in a society that decries bullying in schools, yet this same society feels entitled to bully via blogs and magazines. Same behaviours, different venue. I thought the name was a beautiful combination of modern and edgy with tradition. Your daughter is beautiful and obviously very loved. That is the only thing that should matter to anyone.

Jamie on

I think the name Gray is beautiful! I have a friend who named their little girl Greyson. I always look forward to your blog. it’s the most truthful telling of how things feel and work out. Don’t worry about what closed minded people have to say. As long as you & your husband love the name that should be all that matters. Best of luck to all three of you.

Halley on

I got crap for naming my son Lucas. Lucas! Its a completely normal name, but some people acted like I had two heads. People will always have something to say, dont let it get you down! Also, I have a cousin with the same name as your daughter but she spells it G-r-e-y.

My youngest son also required elevated monitoring, and weekly ultrasounds from 20 weeks on. I had a c-section with him as well. I’m proud to say he is 100% healthy and turning one in a few weeks! Congrats to you on your new baby girl!!

rij on

beautifully written!

people need to respect each other and their decisions good or bad. it’s their life and they have the right to choose which direction it goes.

I happen to love the name you have chosen. I agree with the reader who stated “It sounds literary”. the name has such a wonderful sound.

many blessings to you and your family!

Jaye on

My daughter’s middle name is also Audrey! I think that the name Gray is classic and beautiful. My name is Jaye, and as a woman I often get questioned about it, but I love it and don’t care what people say!

As far as the c-section, I also had one. I remember going to the epidural consult and the doctor saying one in five women get a c-section. There were five women in the consult and I guess I was the one! My baby was stuck between my pelvis and spine and was face up! While I only had her one day before her due date, she still hadn’t dropped and I had only been one centimeter for weeks! When she came out she had a line across her forehead from being wedged, and she was NOT a small baby! Over 8 pounds!

She is now almost eight months old and extremely healthy, but I still feel guilty for not having a natural birth. I know it was necessary, but I think that because natural childbirth is well, more natural, we are drawn to that more. Like you said though, all that truly matters is a healthy and happy baby!

Good luck to you and your beautiful baby girl!

Alicia on

Congrats on your beautiful daughter! :) I love her name and I really enjoyed reading your blog. It made me smile and brought tears to my eyes at the same time.

I had to have a c section too (my daughter’s heartrate was dropping everytime I had a contraction) I had planned on having a natural birth as well. Doesn’t matter how they get out, all that matters is that they are here and healthy.

Cherish all of these precious moments, they grow up SOOOO fast! Congrats again! :) Babies truly are miracles.

Looking forward to future blogs.

nita on

I applaud how you will not let others dictate to you how to raise YOUR child. Her name is lovely and your story is awesome. Like you i had 3 c-sections the 1st was not by choice my sons heart rate was plummeting and he was in distress so I had no other choice. The other two it was a safety issue. I had a lot of scar tissue and ran the risk on the same effects on them if i tried naturally. I believe that you are and will continue to be a good mother.

ps I loved you on blossom.

Someone You Know on

OMG…what a precious bundle…her hair…her cheeks…that hat…all beyond adorable.

Congrats and many blessings to Jenna and Brad on their gorgeous Miss Gray Audrey!

Kathy on

Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, had planned a natural birth and mentally prepared myself for it. After 28 hours of labor, I had to have an emergency c section due to the fact that my baby was stressed. They also put me to sleep and would not let my husband in the room.

It was the most disappointing feeling that still haunts me a year later. I am glad that my baby is healthy and I do count my blessings every day for her, but it is natural to feel disappointment and despair over something that: 1. You had no control over, and 2. You were in a completely different frame of mind of what to expect.

I cannot say that anyone will ever get over the disappointment as my sister in law had to have an emergency c section too, years ago and it still bothers her. It is a comfort to know that these are similar sentiments that other women have felt, and hopefully no one will judge you for this as you have every entitlement to own your feelings.

Take care and congratulations on you and your husband’s gift from God.

Hen on

Your birth story brought me to tears. I had 2 C-Sections and for me they were both physically difficult to recover from and heartwrenching to know it would be nurses and doctors to first comfort my crying newborn and not me or my husband. In the end I realize my babies were coming into the world in a way they were supposed to. It all happened for a reason (or at least I say that to make myself feel better). In the end, bottom line, I am thankful as I know you are too.

Your birth story especially touched me when you wrote about the pre-plan of your husband going with Gray as you are left in the OR. WOW! I see that as one of your first “selfless mom decisions/instinct”. A “you go with the baby no matter what” moment. You were so right that Gray needed him at that moment. It was a very powereful statement and I started to cry.

I am so sorry that the comments can get so mean on the web. Gray is beautiful! I’m sure everyone tells you this.. but looking at my now, 3 yr old, run, talk, play, engage and yes, be “Miss Sassy talk” every once in a while (LOL), I do miss the newborn age. Enjoy her, hold her, stare at her for every darn second! It is goes by in a flash.

Enjoy, Enjoy, enjoy and congrats to you and your husband.

Byrdgrrl on

Your story is touching. Having had a 35 week baby after weeks of bed rest, you do realize that while it’s not what you envisioned, the prize is the same. Children are our biggest blessing!

I like to think that no matter how in charge I have to be, they really do decide when and how for everything. My “baby” at 9 just had her appendix removed this past fall–the first Saturday after school started and a day that we thought was action packed with soccer, bday party and even a memorial for a good family friend. Needless to say–all plans went out the window.

Congratulations on a beautiful baby!

MA momma on

Jenna and Brad, she is stunning! Thank you for being so open and honest about your pregnancy and the birth of little Gray. Jenna, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, you have such a gift for this I hope you will continue to share your story, either through blogging or by writing a book about your experiences.

Normally, I read through all the comments before posting my own, but this time, I did not. I was moved to tears by your recollection of how Gray entered this world, and having had 2 c-sections myself, I connected with everything you said. The first one scared me, the second one, I took comfort in knowing the exact day of my daughter’s birth. I had two amazing ob/gyn’s and luckily never experienced any complications following each surgery. I don’t feel like I missed anything delivering my daughters the way I did and I look at them now, one will be 2 this weekend, and her older sister will be 5 next month, and the well of deep love fills up a little more.

Thank you again Jenna, and Brad, for sharing this part of your lives with us and I wish you all the love and joy (and angst, because there is plenty of that too) that parenthood brings!

envyofnone on

I was hurt for you when I read some of the nasty comments on the name you chose; some people have no class. You addressed it well in this blog, kudos!

Also, I totally relate to your c-section sadness. My first birth was smooth although my son had a slight injury. My second pregnancy resulted in a very large baby and I heard those dreaded words from my very-trusted doc at about 37 weeks: “I think we need to schedule a c-section for 39 wks.” My heart sank and I was very upset for several days. My husband was fabulous, pointing out that all we needed was for our son to be perfect & healthy, who cares how they get him out? As you know, it all ends well! Your angel is healthy and in your arms :)

j on

What a gorgeous baby girl!

After having delivered both vaginally and by c-section, all that matters is that the child is healthy. Enjoy every precious minute because they go by way too fast (my kids will be 16 and 12 this year)!

Jenn on

Wow, what a great story! And yes, 7 years after my son was born via c-section, your story has given me comfort. I felt all the feelings you felt!! And as a teacher, let me reassure you that there are many, many unique names in the world. Little Gray Audrey will be fine on the playground! ;-)

Erin on

Thank you so much for sharing!!! I am currently pregnant with my second baby. I can’t wait to see her little face in September!! But at the same time I am terrified of exactly what you experienced. I don’t say that with malice only that I am understanding of your emotions and that I am greatful that I’m not the only one who feels that a c-section isn’t my ideal.

My son was born at 38 weeks. I was induced because of low fluid and he was measuring too small. At the time the dr told me that I would be induced that day I was so excited that the words “low fluid” and “low birth weight” practically didn’t register. He arrived and as with your daughter was placed on my chest for about 30 seconds before they took him away to the nursery. My husband also went with our son leaving me to be stitched and wait. They wheeled me past the nursery but I could only look at him from the window. Finally he was able to come to our room and be with me. He was perfectly healthy, thank God! But having been through that the first time makes me scared for if it happens again.

Hearing your story gives me strength and hope. I can’t thank you enough for sharing. We are at 26 weeks and will start checking fluid levels at about 34 weeks this time around. Fingers and toes crossed my daughter will be delivered without complications, but hearing your story makes me more comfortable with the idea of a c-section and of things not going “according to plan.”

Gray is beautiful! Congratulations!!

lyn on

She is precious. I’m glad your story has a happy ending where baby and mom are both healthy. Thanks for sharing

Luci on

i LOVE the name. Very classic, and the little baby is precious.

Sarah on

Thanks for a lovely read! I ADORE her name and she is absolutely breathtaking! God Bless!

Melissa on

I think the name is perfect for her. Just becuase every one does not agree on something does not make it wrong. I believe that everyone disagree’s and that’s what makes this world a better place. If everyone agreed on the same things and everyone was the same than we would not be special in our own ways.

When i choose my daughter’s name I know some people did not like it, and that is ok. I don’t think everything has to be “normal”. It’s ok to be different. Everyone picks a child’s name for different reason. Some may see it to be to different for them or just plain funy. That’s OK. As long as the child is happy and healthy in the end, that’s all that matters.

P.S. I think the name is perfect for this bundle of joy!

Rhonda on

I didn’t read the article. It’s way too long. I just wanted to see the pics of her baby and she’s adorable! I love chubby babies and could kiss her cheeks all day. I also love the little dimple in her arm. Babies are just so precious.

Bre on

Thank you for being so real and so candid. Many celebrities act like they aren’t human. Your love, devotion, respect, and appreciation to your husband, family, and views are so refreshing. Thank you for sharing your story. Glad everyone is happy and healthy. You and Gray are both beautiful. God Bless.

Avanel Benjamin on

What a beautiful baby! Congratulations to you and your wonderful husband. Your story is so real and touching. I totally understand you with the C-Section part. I have three kids and they were all delivered by C-Sections. With my last one at only 24 weeks.

I know how you felt about the 17 hours of separation from your bundle of joy. I never got to hold my last child until he was a month, because he was so fragile in the NICU. My son was only 2lbs and 13 inches long. He ended up staying in the NICU for the longest two months I ever had. It was the hardest thing that I ever had to do by leaving him in the hospital. I never cried so much in my entire life.

Only a mother can understand another mother’s situation. Your story is very touching and inspirational. I LOVE her names. Gray Audrey. Thanks for sharing your story and your precious bundle of joy pictures with us. May God continue to be a blessing to you and your family. :)

Becky on

Being away from your baby is really difficult. My son was just born two weeks ago at just over 25 weeks. He will be in the NICU until late August/September and we are only allowed to hold him one hour a day, and that’s only if he is stable. Otherwise we can only touch his hand in the isolette. I’m happy your daughter is healthy and home safe with you. We are looking forward to the day we can bring our son home as well.

S. Long on

A beautiful love story – congratulations on your daughter – I adore her name!

lissa10279 on

What a beautiful story, Jenna. Congrats!!! I love Gray’s name and I love your writing style. Readers can really feel your emotions.

I was one of the women who was kind of happy to hear she would need a C-section as a result of medical complications –I say “happy” because, in my mind, I had no deep-rooted desire or dream to give birth naturally. I saw pregnancy as a beautiful thing and didn’t care so much about the “how” she came into this world … only that she did! So I wasn’t distraught from that shifted reality, but I can completely understand why a woman would feel that way — robbed of the birth she’d envisioned.

That said, I love what you say here: “In the end, how your child comes into the world takes a back seat to the magic of having her in it.” — SO TRUE. My daughter is 18 months now and her birth is just one quick snapshot now … hazed over by thousands of memories. When she looks at me and says, “Mama” lifting her arms for me to hold her … I don’t think about her birth — I’m just marveling at her existence … truly, babies are miracles. Enjoy every moment … they fly by!

Kandy on

I think it’s sad that your blog sounds so apologetic the entire time, and sad that others made you feel that way. You birthed a beautiful healthy baby girl – a miracle as you say. I ended up with a Csection as well – not at all on my radar. Had the same worries. My son doesn’t leave my side now.

There are plenty of women here to build you up – as all mothers should build up other mothers, and all women should build up other women. Congratulations – and your daughter’s name is beautiful. I agree the first thing I thought was it is quite literary (for some reason, I was thinking Jane Austen the minute I heard it.)

Very best of luck to you – ENJOY EACH MOMENT – they go much too fast.

KO on

Congrats to your family! Your daughter is beautiful and I love the name! I am currently pregnant with my first child at 23 weeks and your birth story brought tears to me! Your blog was amazing and you are going to be an amazing mother. I wish your family and you nothing my happiness! :)

Jeannette on

Congratulations! She is absolutely beautiful and I love her name!

Tina on

Congrats on your new daughter, she is adorable. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope you continue to blog here. I enjoy reading your entries.

I am happy to see that the negative commenters have stayed away. It’s easy to tell someone not to let other peoples words bother you, but not easy to do. I think you did the right thing by admitting that things hurt you. It has helped you let it go.

I am sorry your birth experience didn’t end up the way you had hoped it would. I had my first by c-section (last minute emergency) and my second and third by vbac. You have the right idea, all that matters is that eveyone is healthy.

Good luck to you, keep writng. I think the world if full of far more good people than bad.

Annie on

What a beautiful baby girl!! Congratulations

Samantha on

My son is names Grayson and I culdnt be happier with the name. Gray for a girl is beautiful!

Jen on

I too had my son taken away, he had inhaled some merconium (sp?) on the way out. I sobbed until they brought him back to me about 17 hours later. That was 21 years ago and it still feels like yesterday. God bless and baby is beautiful!

Kristen on

Jenna,

I’m so sorry that you had to qualify so many things in your blog post. People, and I find women to be some of the worst culprits, can be so cruel. Instead of just being able to share your beautiful daughter and her miracle birth story, you felt that you had to justify her name. It makes me sad. But as with all of your other posts you wrote so eloquently! :-)

You have a gorgeous daughter, and I thank you for sharing her with us. Enjoy all of the family bonding now that she is here!

P.S. I have to laugh at how long your post is. It is a perfect example for my dad to use when he talks about the type of people when it comes to descriptions – there are pointers and there are painters. You, my dear, are most definitely a painter!! I’m happy to be in such wonderful company.

Mel on

What a beautiful baby girl you have. When I read you planned on naming your daughter Gray, I thought it was a misprint because it wasn’t your run of the mill name. I must say, I wasn’t a fan, but I would never criticize a parent for choosing a name that they liked. After all, it is your child. The minute I saw the picture of Gray, I thought the name was a perfect fit.

Congratulations to you and your husband on your precious gift! Cherish her!

boohoobytch on

I don’t have/want kids but I experience miracles daily – especially the miracle of premature grey hair, stretch marks and little to no free time…I create miracles by traveling all over the world to take pictures of nature for those who will never have the chance to do so…why do mothers feel the need to act like them having unprotected sex and getting knocked up (let’s call it what it is) is earth shattering? anywho, congrats, she’s kinda cute

Emily on

Congratulations, Jenna! Thank you for sharing the stories from your pregnancy and birth. Your daughter is precious – enjoy the milestones that come fast and furious the first year! People will have positive and negative things to say about your parenting decisions for years to come. Just remember that you are the expert on your child and only you and your husband know what is best for your family.

Don’t forget to take care of and make time for yourself. It’s hard in those first months to even want to be away from your favorite thing in the world, but don’t feel guilty about taking a couple hours to see a movie or even just 30 minutes to go grocery shopping by yourself. It helps clear your head and reminds you how much you miss your little love.

Tamara on

I have LOVED reading your blogs. Each one is so descriptive and almost puts me in the “story” with you. It’s great to read how much you love your family and are so blessed with them. It’s beyond words to me, but somehow you put it all into perspective with just the right words to express how you feel.

Also, I LOVE your baby’s name. She is beautiful, just as you are, and it’s wonderful that you are so appreciative and protective at the same time.

Take care and ENJOY MOMMYHOOD! In December, my daughter had her first child, Skye Isabella, and I certainly am enjoying being a first-time Grandma!!! :)

JENN on

Oh My! I have tears in my eyes as I read your blog this morning. Your words capture perfectly the love a mother has for her child and the “do anything” in the world for her attitude that comes along with being a mommy. I too have a daughter and while my birth plan went as I wanted it to go, I have been involved in other births where it did not and my heart broke for those mommy’s.

My daughter is 4 now and I still have those moments with her. I cannot imagine loving anyone as much as I love her! My husband and I gave our daughter a very unique name and we still are criticized for her name. The nice thing now is she will tell people that she loves her name. It is hers and hers alone and it defines who she is :)

Kudos to you for being an open-minded mommy. I am a firm believer in letting other moms do what is right for them. I am frowned upon for only wanting to have one child. This is what I feel I can handle and I have no desire to have another child. She is my “one”derful bubba. My best friend wants a baseball team and we laugh because I get asked all the time when I will have another and she gets asked if four is enough.

Your daughter is beautiful with an elegant and beautiful name. Congratulations to you and your family!

Lori on

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

Ashley on

Thank you for sharing your story and those precious baby pics! I’m due in December and you definitely made me feel better if I need to have a C-Section. Enjoy every moment with your baby girl and I hope to read more posts from you!

Cheri on

Wow, what an awe inspiring story. I really enjoyed reading it. I have a daughter named Benjee and I’ve heard all kinds of comments and the one that offends me the most is when someone says, like the dog Benji? But she is named after my husbands father who’s name was Benjamin and died 10 years ago. To me that is beautiful in itself. I don’t care what others think as long as my husband and I are happy with it and I’m glad you also take the same approach.

I know it must have been heartbreaking to not hold your baby after she was born because the hospital I delivered at has Kangaroo Care which means skin to skin contact for at least an hour after the baby is born. That was the the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced and I didn’t want to give her up after that for them to get her cleaned up and me to my room. I didn’t want others to hold her, I just wanted her all to myself. It might sound selfish but it’s such an amazing feeling to finally have your child in your arms.

Congrats to you and yours and I wish you many years of happiness.

Shantell on

I can totally relate to this story. I had the same feelings of inadequacy when having my first child via cesaerean. But come round 2, some doctors will tell you that you have to have a C-section again since you had one the first time.

My second child was delivered without a C-section, and I got to experience birth both ways. I just had to get a doctor who would at least give me that opportunity.

Kristen on

Thanks for sharing your birth story. I appreciate your view on not judging other moms for their personal decisions. It’s so tiring to hear moms berate other moms when we’re all simply trying to do what we feel in our hearts.

Congratulations on your beautifully named baby girl!

Erin on

I too had a c-section with my first son and was also separated from him for several hours after his birth. I was devastated and felt cheated out of a natural birth.

While I tried to focus on the positive-the fact I had a healthy little boy- there were still a lot of painful feelings wrapped up in my birth experience.

Two years later I gave birth to my second child, completely naturally. (I had a wonderful OB who encouraged me to attempt a VBAC.) It was very much the experience I wish I had with my first. Nothing could erase my experience from my first (I wouldn’t want to anyways- it was still the best day of my life-the day I became a Mommy!) but it was definitely very healing.

Thank you for sharing your story. There are a lot of women out there who share your experience. All the best on this journey…

Gray on

I have to be honest. As a child I hated my name, Gray. People often thought it was a type-o and looked for a boy name Gary (I am female) and kids made fun of the fact that it was one letter away from “gay.”

But as I got older I started to LOVE having a different name! It was so refreshing not to run into a million people with my name, since most of my friends are Elizabeth, Ashley, Rachel, Samantha, or something equally popular.

I do believe it is more common than people realize. I constantly meet people who tell me about a male they know named Gray and I actually had a class with someone else (a guy) named Gray! That totally threw me off and I did NOT like it!

I was also kind of peeved that a celebrity named her daughter Gray, but not because there is anything wrong with it, but I have noticed it cropping up more and more in the past few years and I have always cherished the fact that it is unique and uncommon without being downright WEIRD.

I just don’t want it to become popular! 95% of the people I meet comment on how much they love my name and think it is so beautiful and the other 5% are just curious where it came from!

Be warned: Via e-mail everyone will think she is a boy. I constantly have to correct people that I am female and no, I did not invert my name, Gray is my first name.

It is also funny that someone remarked that it sounds literary! Ever since I can remember I have been told I have the perfect name for an author!

Congratulations on your little bundle of joy and here’s hoping the name doesn’t catch on too much!

anniebug on

Jenna-
I love your birth story. Your baby is beautiful, especially those cheeks!

Please ignore any ignorant comments on here. You are right about people using the anonymity of the internet to say whatever they want with no consequences. It seems there are also people on here who must have nothing to do with their day and post mean things just to get a reaction out of people.

I’m about to become a first-time Mom in three weeks and I worry about how I’ll handle all the criticism and “advice” from well-meaning friends and family and complete strangers. We all just have to trust we are doing what is best for us and our families. All the intolerance in this world is caused by people thinking their way is the only right way for themselves and everyone else.

Trust your Mom instincts and don’t worry what anyone else has to say. Thanks for sharing your story.

Lillian on

When I think of the name Gray Audrey, timeless treasure seems to come to mind. The name sounds very elegant and sophisticated. It’s a beautiful name for a very beautiful little girl. God Bless your family!

Jen on

Shantell is correct. V-BACs happened to two friends of mine – one had three prior c-sections and one had had triplets with a c-section, you just need an open-minded OB.

Mary on

What a great story, beautiful daughter and lovely name. I really enjoyed your blog. Thank you for sharing.

Crystal on

Jenna,

I admire your courage to share such a personal story.

First of all, Gray is a beautiful name and has meaning to your and your husband. No one can take that away. She is beautiful and a true blessing. Cherish that above all else.

I too had to have an emergency C-Section. When my OB told me this was the only option, my thought was as long as my baby is delivered healthy that’s all that matters. Today my beautiful baby girl is almost 5 and 1/2. Our bond is so strong, many people are amazed at how close our bond is.

It doesn’t come from how she came into this world, it comes from the love you give her. I can only imagine that you and Gray will have a wonderful bond as well. Cherish every moment with her as the time flies by incredibly fast.

Hugs to you, your beautiful Gray and your husband as you begin this new chapter of your lives. :)

Caroline on

“I think far too much time is spent condemning other mothers for how they give birth or raise their children. I would prefer we spend our time building each other up instead!”

I could NOT agree with this MORE, and I wish more women felt this way.

Congrats on your little miracle–as the mom of a 3-yr-old, I can tell you that feeling of awe at what you made never goes away!!

Krystal on

This story is beautiful! As a mother to an 18 month old daughter I can relate to it in so many ways. Thank you for sharing!

CanadianMommy81 on

Great blog posting, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your birth story.

Your daughter’s name is beautiful, sounds sweet and feminine. And the pictures are adorable, thank you for sharing.

I too have an unusually named daughter. It isn’t weird but it is different. Only a handful of people in the past two years have said something rude to my face. My usual reply is, “doesn’t matter what you think, her Daddy and I loved the name.”

I look forward to reading your next blog post on your road to Mommyhood. Enjoy every precious moment with your little one. Congratulations to the family!

Julianna on

I am in awe of Jenna. Her entry is refreshingly honest, sincere and candid. Gray Audrey (what an adorable name, so lady-like!) is a beautiful little girl; her picture with both her parents are heartwarming!

Alicea on

I could have written part of this blog. My dear son was born at 37 weeks via C-Section because past fibroid surgeries had weakened my uterus. He was instantly taken from the room and placed in the NICU (where he stayed for over a week) because of breathing issues.

I wasn’t able to see him until he was almost 2 days old and even then it was for only 5 mins before they whisked him away to a different hospital. My baby wasn’t even in the same hospital as me for the last day of my stay. I didn’t get to hold him till he was a week old.

When friends/family would visit, I would tell them that I hadn’t had the baby yet…that I was still pregnant. It was because it all felt surreal. I didn’t get to instantly skin/skin bond with him. I didn’t get to breastfeed him when my milk came in.

But…now he’s almost 5 months old and is thriving. Our bond is amazing and I’ve already forgotten any misgivings I had over his entry into the world. He’s my gem.

Have a great time raising that beautiful little girl!

NeeNee on

Jenna, you are a very beautiful, intelligent woman and are going to be an amazing mother! Gray is beautiful and will thrive as your daughter. I enjoyed reading your story so much and appreciate your concerns for everyone to be understanding and compassionate. In this world people can be so nasty and mean at times and there is really no need for that kind of behavior, it just shows lack of breeding and class.

As a mother of three and a grandmother of four, I can only give you the advice of following your heart as to how to mother your child, if people offer advice or other notions as how to raise a baby, take it in stride, use what you can from it to help yourself in your journey as a new mom. No child comes with instructions and there are so many other parents out there that think they have all the answers and will try to inject their beliefs on to whomever will give them five minutes of attention. Each child is a miracle and a beautiful journey and an experience that compares to nothing else in the world, and each mother and father should feel free to allow themselves to make mistakes along with the accomplishments and strive to raise a happy, healthy baby!

Sarah on

Beautiful story, beautiful girl!!

Just like the others that have commented on this blog, I also had an emergency c-section. Scariest half hour of my life. I didn’t get to see my little girl until about 10 hours after she was born. She went straight to the NICU and spent 6 long days there! She was born with Down Syndrome and had some breathing problems. Now she is a very entergetic 2 year old!!! The delivery was not what I wanted or expected, but I wouldn’t change her or the events for anything, it’s her story and my beautiful miracle!

I LOVE her name too Gray!! so elegant :) don’t worry about the haters!! they are miserable with their life and don’t have respect for other people and their choices!!!

Lauren on

We had similar experiences! My daughter (born in December 2007) was in breech position at 34 weeks, which was devastating to me as I’d wanted a natural birth. When I came in to do an ECV at 37+ weeks, the doctor said my fluid levels were too low to turn her and I ended up having a C section that afternoon. I, too, felt disconnected from the birth and it took me longer than expected to form a bond, but we got there. Oh, and my daughter’s name? Audrey Grace. :)

Denise on

Congratulations!! She is beautiful! I’m glad you are focusing on the positive aspects of her birth instead of the negative. She is here, happy and healthy and that is what counts! Don’t listen to the negative comments you may hear. You are setting a wonderful example for your daughter by concentrating on building people up instead of tearing them down!

auntieali1 on

Congratulations on your beautiful, and beautifully named, little girl!!

I’m so sorry that there were hurtful comments about such a perfect little baby.

I think when we’re pregnant, we spend so much time preparing, and thinking we’ll have more control than we actually do! But we focus on how we want things to be, and in the end, we just have to focus on what we CAN control – like how we react to the situations. It’s hard to not be sad that it’s not how we imagined. Add in a huge helping of hormones, and forget it!! Everyone deserves the time to digest the disappointment, and then are able to move on to the pure joy of a new baby.

I remember discussing my birth plan with my dr, and I had only a few things I wanted. I told her that my birth plan, when it came down to it, was simple: healthy baby, healthy mama. In that order. So my birth plan worked! ;)

Wonderful post – congratulations! Welcome to the amazing club of motherhood.

My great aunt used to say, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

Nonja on

What’s important is that you have a lovely healthy baby. Congratulations. :-)

Rachel on

I LOVE THOSE CHEEKS!!!

Lori on

I was also diagnosed with low amnio fluid with my daughter at 30 weeks. After 1 week in the hospital with iv fluids I was sent home to wait. I made it to 37 weeks but after 2 days of trying to induce I ended up with a c-section. I was upset but I wanted my baby to be healthy.

With my 2nd pregnancy there were no complications but I was having twins and the doctor thought it was too risky to try natural so I had a second c-section. The 2nd was easier than the first because I knew what to expect. I was also able to have the twins in the or trying to breastfeed while the doctor put me back together.

I wish you the best of luck, it is an incredible journey you have begun with Gray.

Katie B on

I love reading your blogs! What a very cute name! I understand what you went through and the feeling you had. I had to have an ememergency c-section and hearing those words devastated me. I felt like I was open to anything as far as my birth plan but I hadn’t really considered a c-section. In the end, I have a healthy 20-month-old daughter and that is all that matters! Thank you for sharing your story!

Dawn on

Gray is beautiful, Jenna & Brad. Her name, her look, and her story. Congratulations on her arrival!

Jenwantsitall on

I also had a C-Section with my first daughter. I was anticipating a natural birth and had no real information on the procedure for a C-Section before going in for the surgery. It was necessary for me because my daughter was in breech position, butt first, so there was no other choice.

I was able to have my other two children as natural births, so don’t lose hope for the future children you may have. In fact, when I hear about pregnant women now I always tell them to at least have a working knowledge of a C-Section so if they have to have one that it is not as scary as it was for me.

Your daughter is beautiful, and a not so common name is awesome.

paula fortes on

congrats on the birth of your beautiful baby girl. her name is sweet, and please, disregard negativity in others. this is one the the best moments of your life and don’t let envy spoil it for you. i have boys, and seeing her with the darling little hat just makes me ache for a little girl. treasure EVERY second of the first year, it is SO amazing, and it just flys by.

Jessie on

I love your daughter’s name! It sounds like a short nickname for “Grace”, which I also think is a sweet name.

You write just beautifully. I truly cannot wait for your book. Your words are poetic and I can sense the true feeling behind them.

I hope your dismay over people’s reactions to Gray’s name was short-lived. I can’t believe the ignorance some people have shown.

Congratulations on her birth, and I’m so happy she is happy and healthy!

pakhathaway on

“I want to be very clear about how personal these choices are, as I think far too much time is spent condemning other mothers for how they give birth or raise their children. I would prefer we spend our time building each other up instead!”

This quote is so dead on in my opinion. As parents we more so than not tear one another down instead of encouraging one another. It is a very personal choice and there are no wrong choices in my opinion just choices that are right for that family and in some cases choices that are made for the family by doctors. Thank you for your beautiful words.

B.J. (the girl) on

Beautiful baby! I can see why her momma is so enamored.

I have a 10 year old nephew named Gray so the name is all boy to me, but it’s an attractive name.

Meagan on

Congrats Jenna. You have a beautiful family. I love the name you have chosen for your sweet baby girl. Shame on anyone who says otherwise in a mean spirited way. I don’t have biological children yet but I have the same dreams that you did. I would love a natural birth but as an older mom (hopefully) I just want a healthy baby. I am one of those women who gets upset if things don’t go exactly as I plan. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think it will help me reset my expectations and become a little more flexible in the future when that time comes for me.

allison on

I make a conscious decision to NEVER read comments on these type of sites. People can be so mean when they are cloaked by the internet. Thank you for sharing your baby story with us; it is such a personal story and you share with such honesty (PS. I have always thought that Gray was a lovely name (and have even considered it for a future daughter I might have!)).

Chanda on

Love the name, and love the picture in the white hat even more. She is a doll.

JIS on

cute baby!!! Congratulations!

Anonymous on

Those cheeks were made for kissing!

NatesMama on

If you think your beautiful daughter’s name is perfect, then it is. And I think so, too. She’s gorgeous, and she actually *looks* like a Grey.

And I also had to have an unplanned c-section and for me the worst part was having to wait until I was in my room again before I got to hold my son. The worst. But once he was in my arms…oh, my. There is heaven on Earth, I tell you. :)

Jenna, congratulations to you and Brad on your perfect little girl. Enjoy every single moment.

Meghan on

she is so beautiful!!!!!!!! i loved reading your blog and I love your daughter’s name. What a beautiful little soul and so lucky to have amazing parents. I cried reading this!!!

Alissa on

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! You have certainly realized that you can’t please everyone- especially when it comes to being a mother! I never thought that women, and some men, would be so judgmental about such a personal relationship until I had my first child at 20.

I remind myself that the only people who can tell me if I am a good mom or not are my 3 sons, since they are the only people who actually have that parent/child relationship with me. Now that they are 15, 12 and 9 I hear some praise and criticism from time to time, especially from my oldest.

I too can relate to others not liking my child’s name….it was my brother-in-law…when my 2nd son was 5 years old!!!! It was way too late, and still unbelievably rude, to say anything at that point…and my 2nd son LOVES his name…and really he’s the one who has to live with it, so his opinion IS the only opinion that matters!

I hope you continue to blog…your writing style so refreshing to read!

Anonymous on

Nothing matters more than a healthy baby. How they arrive in the world is irrelevant next to making sure that they are safe and healthy.

steph on

Jenna,

I loved your story of the birth of your beautiful baby girl Gray, I too had a baby that went to NIC unit for irregular breathing after delivering natural. What a hard part to see your baby leave you. He’s 18 yrs now and I can still see that newborn being taken away.

I enjoy your blogs. Enjoy every day with her because before you know it she will be 18 and going off to college and you will wonder what happen to all that time. Best Wishes to you and your husband, I really enjoyed the praise you gave him cause so many ladies forget about that support of a husband or family member although they don’t look for it, it was nice you added it in the column.

All the best.

Seanna on

I completely understand what you mean about the heartache & frustration that you felt in being separated from Gray those initial few hours!!!

I had to have an unplanned c-section after 22 hours of labor. Not emergency, per se, just unplanned. Well because of the trauma and stress I went through that was then passed onto the baby, she ended up in NICU for the first 2 days & I was on so many drugs that I was incoherent. So I didn’t get to see my daughter for her first 12 hours of life, which was very, very hard. I know. Not anything major compared to what mothers of NICU babies have to go through, but very tough for me.

And, to top that off, I often struggle with feelings of failure for not having given birth “naturally” drugs or no drugs. Made me feel like less of a woman, somehow. So… all your feelings of inadequacy & frustration are completely understood. Not necessarily warranted, but understood by many.

By the way, you are a WONDERFUL, engaging, and emotional writer. Your words, humor, and love all shine through brilliantly! I will definitely follow you on Twitter & I wish you and your BEAUTIFUL baby Gray (LOVE the name!) all the best!!!

Anonymous on

Congratulations Jenna! Your daughter is beautiful! I have been reading your CB blog since the beginning and I appreciate you being so open with everything always! Lots of luck to You; Your Husband; and your precious daughter!

Cameron on

Gray is a lovely, sophisticated, old-fashioned name. Don’t let anyone tell you differently!

I completely understand your feelings about being seperated from your daughter after birth. My twins were born at 30 weeks. I couldn’t hold one for several days, and the other for over a week. It was torture. And since they were preemies and had medical issues, they stayed in the hospital for two months and five months respectively- in two different hospitals. Five straight months. Can you imagine? And he was in the hospital over an hour away, so we spent far less time with him than we wanted to.

I agonized about the long-term effects of the seperation. But four years later, he is sweet and loving, and 100% connected to us. There are absolutely no lasting effects from his difficult start in life, so don’t you worry one bit about those missed hours with your sweet daughter.

And forget c-section guilt. I had it too with my first child. And it was compounded by guilt over my inability to breastfeed. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. All the things I did right didn’t matter, I could only focus on the things I did wrong. And of course, 8 years later, he’s smart, healthy and happy. None of the stuff I obsessed over mattered at all. But that’s motherhood for you. No matter how hard you try, you’re still going to feel guilt over some perceived failure that won’t even matter in a week’s time. Just do the best you can- it will be enough.

Welcome to the club!!

zaidiesmomma on

What do we want?

– a healthy baby

How do we want to get it?

– in the healthiest and safest way possible, whatever that may be. It’s not only about US, for once.

Life is what happens when we’re busy making plans. Babies arrive ‘naturally’ in many ways, including adoption. All we need to do is open our hearts.

Tabitha on

I absolutely LOVE the name GRAY Audrey!! It’s beautiful! I really enjoyed reading your birth story thanks so much for sharing.

Christy on

Jenna, your baby is beautiful and so is her name. Don’t let rude people’s comments bring you down. I’m glad everything went well and you and Gray are both healthy. That’s all that matters.

itsbrad on

Beautiful child, beautiful name.

tuppertini on

I can totally relate to the c-section experience. After 18 hours in labor, my son’s heart rate skyrocketed to 352bpm. It was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. But the doctor did a wonderful job and I ended up with a beautiful baby boy (now 9 years old).

I had another c-section 2 years ago with my youngest son which I wanted to do VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesearean) but that wasn’t in the cards for us either and I ended up with another c-section, but in the end, both boys came out healthy and strong and I couldn’t be happier.

Congratulations on a beautiful little girl and I absolutely LOVE the name!

Grace on

What a gorgeous baby, gorgeous mama, and beautifully written blog!

brenda on

As a pediatric nurse, I appreciate your initial plan of a natural birth. But I’m glad you listened to your doctors and trusted them that a C-section was in your baby’s best interest. My first son’s delivery (vaginal) was dangerous and traumatic and he ended up in the NICU for 7 days. When an ultrasound showed my second son was breech, I was beyond thrilled to know I would get a C-section for his birth. A healthy baby should always be our main goal. Enjoy your daughter….love her name, by the way!

Linda on

Congratulations Jenna and Brad on the entrance of your gorgeous daughter Gray to the world. Best of luck and lots of love and good memories are wished for you!!

Jessica on

Congratulations!!!! Gray is beautiful!

Our daughter was born on March 4th and we named her Gray Lauren. I think it is a gorgeous name also. Very classy.

Marky on

Wow, Jenna, your writing is wonderful and you expressed yourself magnificently! Your baby girl is adorable and Gray suits her to a “T”! I’m sorry you had such a scary time, but the end result is adorable and worth every second, I’m sure!

As a former L&D nurse, and a mother of several children myself, I realized a about 15 years ago that mothers are bombarded at every turn by those whose claim is that the only “natural birth” is the one in which the baby is born vaginally without any meds of any kind, maybe ripping off all their clothes, screaming their heads off, threatening to do surgery on their husband or partner, and if you don’t deliver that way and breastfeed within 10 minutes, you have failed miserably to measure up.

It is sad that we, as mothers, friends, doulas, and midwives have chosen to do that to those who need the community of women to help them as they go through what is arguably the most amazing, and sometimes difficult,time of their life; becoming a mother, regardless of how that happens.

I’ve watched mothers whose child has miraculously survived when we (as the delivery team) thought the baby had less than a 10% chance of making it, agonize because they didn’t have the water birth they planned, just as an example. What was the primary plan, anyway? Wasn’t it to have a baby that was okay and alive? Some of you worried because you wondered if your baby would bond with you, if you didn’t have skin to skin contact for an hour immediately after birth. I understand that you would have been a bit teary for a bit, but I didn’t meet one of my daughters until she was 11 months old, and as soon as my husband held her, she laid her head on his fully clothed chest and smiled, after screaming incessantly on a 17 hour flight from Korea. She was home, and she knew it.

One of the things that got me through the pregnancies, adoptions, foster-parenting, great things and not-so-great times that happened while we were building our family, was the knowledge that none of my friends had any thought that one way was better than another in adding a child to our family; whether it was a vaginal delivery, c-section, adoption, foster, all my friends were encouraging and helpful, practically applauding each other, no matter as long as everything was fine. Today, it seems moms can’t wait to tell other moms how much better their own delivery was than their friends’ was, because friend#2 had an epidural, or a c-section, or it was 15 minutes longer before friend #2 saw her baby.

It’s so important that we get back to being positive and supportive, no criticism for decisions, or what may have happened because of situations out of everyone’s control, and as much as I am all for breastfeeding, if someone chooses not to, or can’t, they shouldn’t be made to feel like a failure.

What a joy it was to read Jenna’s elegantly written story, and to see all the encouraging, positive posts today. People stepping up and saying the kinds of things that make all the difference in how a new mother feels when she needs to know others understand her choices and her emotions, as well as sharing the joy she feels in being the mom of one of our newest little member of the community of women.

Julie on

Jenna, congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby girl. She has a beautiful name. People can be so cruel without even realizing it.

I wanted to let you know that I completely understand the heartache that you went through after your daughter was born. Not being able to see or hold your child for an extended amount of time after they are born is probably the worst thing that a mom can go through. My son was born at 31 weeks 5 days. I was hospitalized for 8 days before he was born. I was in labor for 3 days before I was told that I would be having an emergency c-section. It was a such an emergency that the doctors almost didn’t let my husband in the operating room. Thankfully they did because I was completely put under anesthesia for his birth. My husband was able to witness his birth and take pictures for me.

Since he was so tiny, 3 lbs 3 oz, and on oxygen he was taken immediately to the NICU, where he would stay for 5 weeks. I was on magnesium, to prevent me from having a stroke or seizure, so I was not able to leave my bed for 2 days. I only saw my son in pictures for the first two days and as you can imagine I cried every time I saw them. The first time I did get to see him was probably the best moment of my life. I can remember crying as my husband pushed my wheelchair toward his isolate. The first time I got to hold him was absolutely amazing.

Although nothing about his delivery went as I thought it would I was blessed with the most fabulous son. He is now 5 years old and you would never guess that he was born so premature.

Four years later I had another baby, a beautiful baby girl. I was given the choice to have a natural birth or a repeat c-section. After much debate I opted to have a repeat c-section. This time things went much smoother and I was able to see my baby girl immediately after she was born.

Enjoy every moment with your daughter, it goes so quickly. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Bugsmama on

Wow what an amazing story! I’m so pleased that she is safe and well. She is a beautiful little girl. As mama to an almost 1 yr old (how did that happen!! it’s gone so fast) I remember so clearly that time before delivery when you are thinking about how this baby is gunna come out and what your hope are.

I totally agree with Anne, one of the previous commentors, that the term natural isn’t appropriate when discussing delivery. In my pre-baby life I was a nurse and when doing consultations with women was always asked if they delivered vaginally or by c-section. I’ve always done this because if you’ve only ever had c-sections then that’s the natural way to have your baby right?!

C-sections can proved easy answers to tough questions too, my sister and I were due 3 weeks apart but my nephew arrived 8 weeks early via emergency c-section. When answering my then 3yr old nieces questions about how the baby got out of Mummy’s tummy my sister replied “Out the sun roof and mummy even has the line to show you”. Things did get a little confusing for miss 3 a few months later when my daughter arrived (via vaginal delivery), here was the baby but “why doesn’t aunty have a sun roof too?”

Congrats again on Grey’s arrival.

Katie on

Great story, Jenna!! Thank you so much for sharing this. Your little girl is so gorgeous!

I am currently 33 weeks pregnant and my son (who we are naming Grayson! So of course we love the name of your daughter) and I am getting more and more anxious for his impending birth! I worry all the time about having to get a c-section, I really don’t want one, but I know I have to do what is best for me and Grayson and if it comes down to me having to have a c-section, I will make peace with it.

Your story has helped me realize that even when things don’t go as you had hoped, you still come out of it all with a beautiful new life. Thanks again!

Sandy on

Beautiful name, beautiful baby, beautiful family.

Anyone who would say hurtful words in regards to a parents baby name choice, are just sad insecure people. They do it because misery needs company. Read past it and move back on to the positive. All you can do is feel sorry for those in such an unhappy place.

Kelly on

Congrats on your beautiful daughter and thank you for sharing your story! Your did an amazing job on your blog, and I wish and your family health and happiness!

L on

I think it is a fantastic name–I’ve actually liked it for awhile, and agree that it can be either masculine or feminine. Great post!

Michele on

Congrats on your new bundle of joy! She’s beautiful! I, for one think that it’s ridiculous that you had to defend the name of your child. No one should have any say in what someone else names their baby. People can be so mean spirited.

My daughter’s name is Artica Grae (pronounced GRAY). Believe me i’ve heard it all when it comes to her name, “When she’s an Aunt..she will be Aunt-Artica”. This is not correct obviously as the technical term is Antarctica…not Artica. Anyway, i get so many compliments on her name that I just shrug the negativity off. If you ever met her, you’d see she’s no Sarah or Melissa…She is most definitely an Artica :)

AmandaC on

I love her name, but I have always been a fan of different names. I have a beautiful daughter named Autumn and got a lot of looks and “are you sure” when we named her, but couldn’t imagine her with a “normal” name as everyone offered me ideas (instead of Autumn). And she is so unique, talented & different…just like her name!

Lyndsey on

I LOVE the name! We are picking an “untraditional” name as well and I just don’t care. I know my baby girl will be able to handle any of the “idiots” that come along to criticize :)

I love your stories and look forward to reading them!

Cherie on

Jenna-

“Just as certain foods taste different from one palate to the next, names roll off the tongue differently from individual to individual”

That was said so eloquently and is so true! I named my first daughter “Stone” 19 years ago & have been given “the look” or had to explain my name choice every time someone hears it for the first time. To me, her name made me think of precious, colorful stones & sounded very feminine to me. It was not trendy nor popular & that was on purpose. Others often criticized or questioned my choice & I always found myself defending her name. Since then, I have had three more daughters who all have unique names. What others need to realize is that naming your child is intensely personal & done with love. No one has the right to take that away from anyone else.

Rina on

Jenna, she is beautiful :) Congrats to you and your husband on the addition of the little sweetie to your family. I love her name. Its classy and timeless. Looking forward to seeing more pictures!!!

Jenny on

Your story made me tear up! What a beautiful birth story. I’m glad that your daughter was born safe and sound. She is beautiful. Please disregard rude people on here. It’s much easier to say rude things behind the anonymity that a computer provides.

thatspeachykeen on

Welcome to the world Gray! I think the name Gray is delicate and strong all at the same time, which are awesome traits for a little girl and grown woman to have. I love her whole name:) I have two daughters and two sons and picking names is so hard/fun, don’t listen to what anybody else says.

Kim on

Congrats! Your daughter has the cutest little chubby cheeks! She is just as pretty as her mommy :)

wendy on

Jenna,

Congrats to you and your hubby, Gray Audrey is gorgeous, what a blessing!!! I enjoy reading your blogs, you are an excellent writer and I can almost imagine you experience just by how clearly you describe it. I’m not not married nor I’m a mother yet but I truly like reading your blogs.

Keep Writing and I wish all the happiness for you and your family

Brooke on

Gray is a beautiful name! I have a daughter named, Audrey. Audrey is a classic name. I have always loved it. The 2 sound pretty together. Congrats on your baby!

gabrielle on

my son Shane was born on May 21, 2012 too! he was a BIG boy, 9 pounds, 14 oz! Congrats, she is a beautiful little girl with a beautiful name :)

Born in the year of the Dragon means infinite luck :)

Kala on

first of all, i have want to say congratulations on a GORGEOUS baby girl. shes already a heart breaker :)

second,i think Gray is a great name. would i name my child that? no, but that doesnt make it any less beautiful and its definitely unique.

Susan E. on

You of course know that if you’d named her “Jane” you’d have gotten rude comments about how plain that name was. A good parenting motto is “Thou canst not winneth” and that will be true with just about every choice you make for YOUR child. Or like the c-section, that wasn’t your choice (but that never stops others from judging).

Whenever I hear what someone has named their child, I’ve conditioned myself to automatically say “Why, that name suits him/her perfectly! How wonderful!” Notice I don’t have to lie, act surprised, or say anything I’d regret later. Because no matter how “different” the name sounds to me at first, soon the child becomes the name and the name becomes the child.

Congratulations on the birth of lovely Gray Audrey!

kate on

Beautiful Baby. Try to ignore the rude comments, even though its tough. I had my daughter’s name picked out halfway through my pregnancy – but didn’t share it because I knew people, not necessarily with bad intentions, would made negative comments “I had a dog with that name” “I knew someone horrible with that name” or worse. Once she as born, I noticed that, to my face at least, everyone was very positive. The internet makes it way too easy to spew all sorts of vile, negative things at people about their most precious gifts and the best times of their lives.

Enjoy your Gray. She will grow up way to fast. My Kelsey is almost 5, and I still feel like I just brought her home from the hospital.

Misty on

What an awesome blog, and a lovely baby. I wish you all the happiness in the world with her. :)

Jen on

Thank you very much for sharing your story :) My husband and I enjoyed reading it as we are 31 and about to welcome our first, a girl, in October. My birth plan is also to deliver naturally but we too are up to being understanding of such other events if they occur. Your daughters name is beautiful and we think it flows really well together! And much kudos to you for acknowledging the importance of positivity that should always be expressed from person to person as well as from one mother to the next. =)

Congratulations to you and your husband. She’s a very beautiful, sweet baby.

Rebecca on

Your story is truly admirable! I, too, had a scheduled c-section (my fluid levels were okay, but my baby was way too big) and understand exactly how you’re feeling. I went through the same feelings and really apprecriate you using your celebrity to talk so candidly and openly about your experience. Thank you! Best wishes to your new family!

april on

She is gorgeous, as is her name! It is YOUR child…..whatever name you choose,is YOURS to choose. No one has time for negative nelly’s. Wishing you much luck!

shelly on

beautiful baby, beautiful name! good for you for defending your baby girl already. too often, people feel comfortable hiding behind the safety of the computer screen and stating their (unwanted) opinions which are usually just plain rude and hurtful. best wishes to you and your family.

Lori on

Congratulations! Gray is beautiful and so is her name! I am a stranger to you and your husband, but I wish you joy and happiness as you experience the thrill of your darling daughter. Thank you for sharing your story, and hers.

Lara on

I appreciate the refreshingly honest tone of your blog. Currently going through a very difficult pregnancy, my high risk doctors are already talking c-section (a dreaded word to me as well). I am a Type A on BR as well, so I was really able to relate to your perspective. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and congratulations on your beautiful girl.

Stephanie on

What a beautiful story. Have been waiting for it for weeks now. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing such intimate details. When you said your husband left to be with her because she needed him more it made me so teary eyed. Congratulations and thank you for sharing!

Erin on

Jenna, your story is so refreshing, well written and heartfelt. The honesty you give is a gift to all of us, those that struggle with the same feelings after birth or even before with planning.

So many people don’t understand that just because the baby got here safe and sound, it doesn’t erase some of the painful parts of anyone’s story, especially immediate separation from a child. Mine is nearly 4 and when I think about those post partum hours we were separated, and my husband couldn’t text me from the nursery, I still well up.

Blessings to you and Gray, she’s beautiful and you can tell, based on how eloquently and thoughtfully you write, you will be an amazing, AMAZING mother to her.

Breck5 on

Those cheeks are off the HOOK!! I would munch on those constantly…so precious.

Cara on

I think you have a beautiful baby and I love that she has a unique name. May you and your family be blessed richly.

Jennifer on

Beautiful birth story! Thanks for sharing, it brought me to tears. Love those chubby cheeks and arm rolls Miss Gray has!

Kristin Coffey on

Look at those cheeks!!!! She is perfectly precious, and your blog post is fantastic. People in the public eye are still just people, and you are a great example of that. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your experience! I love her name, I think it’s classic and understated. So beautiful! Congrats again!

Stephanie on

I too, wanted to go natural but my baby boy had other plans. I had to have an emergency c-section because he was stressing out. They told me at 1:20 and he was born at 1:56. It was fast! I didn’t get to see him but only for a second because I was so very tired and they needed to get him to make sure he was o.k. He was great! (he was a big baby at almost 11 pounds:) I didn’t get to hold him until about 6 that evening. Only 4 hours after his birth but it seemed like a lifetime. I am glad my DR let me try to give birth as long as I could. She is a wonderful DR and let me know exactly what was going on. She wanted me to go natural as well but she knew I couldn’t. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl:) Much luck and happiness!

Jen on

Jenna, My heart breaks for you. I had a similar experience to you in that my husband and I were all prepared for a natural birth of our first child (we didn’t find out Catherine was a girl until she was born), but it wasn’t in the cards for us.

I had a birth plan written out and was mentally preparing myself for the labor and delivery. My water broke shortly after 3 am (10 days early) and by 4:30am I was checked into the hospital, hooked up to monitors and being prepped for the possiblity of a C-section. My baby girl had a strong heart beat until I had a contraction. Each time I had a contraction, her heartbeat was slow to rebound and the doctor made the call that they would take her by C-section rather than let her become distressed and complications arise. She was beautiful for the first few seconds I was able to see her after delivery, but because her respirations were a bit rapid she was whisked off to the special care nursery until they stabilized.

I was able to see her as soon as “I could wiggle my toes” I know what that wait feels like. It was six hours after her birth before I could see her and I had to spend the night away from her. They were the longest hours of my life. But I am happy to say that it was all worth it and I have a beautiful precocious 11 month old girl who is the love of my life.

Congrats Jenna. Enjoy baby Gray, she’s lucky to have you for a mommy.

hannah on

I love reading mommy birth stories!!!! Each baby is so unique and special and I loved reading your experience. I have been able to go natural with both of my kids and hope to with my next one due in September. Enjoy your sweet baby, they grow too fast and you don’t realize it until it’s too late:) Congrats again and best wishes.

Shannon on

Jenna, I LOVE the name Gray, but I am a bit partial as our daughter’s name is Grayson. Congratulations on the birth of your first child and I really enjoy reading your blog!

becki on

gray audrey is an absolutely gorgeous name. everyone will have their opinion but if you can say the name and feel your heart melt, you chose correctly. your story was so heart touching it brought tears to my eyes. they way you describe her coming into the world shows how wonderful of a mother you will be. motherhood is the best journey life has to offer so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Jeanny on

Thank you Jenna for sharing such a personal moment and your beautiful angel Gray with us. Both of my children had to be delivered by emergency c-section so I can understand the emotional roller coaster you were on. She’s a very lucky little lady to have such a strong and loving mommy who did whatever she had to do to bring her into the world safe and healthy and happy. May you have many many years of wonder and laughter as you grow together and maybe even your “natural” birth with other babies.

Angela on

Jenna,

Your daughter’s name is absolutely beautiful, as is she. Congratulations and I pray health and happiness for your family. Thank you for sharing your family’s story and your lovely family photos. Your writing is phenomenal; you painted such a clear, vivid picture! Enjoy your baby girl, she will grow and change so fast!

cc on

Thank you for the thoughtful, eloquent post. As a woman, mother and doctor who has experienced this from both sides, it is refreshing to hear your point of view with such candor. I truly appreciate that you have been honest about your disappointment, but give perspective on the ultimate goal, and I hope that it helps other women who experience the same thing to come to peace with their experiences.

As a mother who also had an infant with oligo and breech presentation, I can sympathize with the lack of control over the situation. As an obstetrician, I applaud you and will remember your emotions and experience every single time I have to have this discussion with my patients.

Regina on

Reading your birth story brought me back … it’s like you were inside my head!!! I had a similar experience with my first C-section. Congratulations, Jenna. She is beautiful!

Anonymous on

Congratulations on your little miracle :)

Cee on

I was having trouble adjusting to some other issues in my pregnancy, and this blog post is the first thing that’s really made me feel better about how I’ve been feeling. You’ve made me really understand that pregnancy is a time full of emotions that sometimes others- even our former, non-pregnant selves- may find hard to understand. I feel at peace and able to forgive myself after reading your beautifully articulated words. Thank you and best wishes to you and your beautiful family!

Susan on

While I was reading your story I kept remarking on how similar it was to when I had my daughter. I was induced at 37.5 weeks (for very different reasons) and wound up having a c-section. The nurse brought her over and let me say hi for all of about 30 seconds, then ran off with her promising to bring her to my room in about an hour.

It was the longest hour of my entire life, and each time someone would come to the door I would immediately hold my breath and hope to see them pushing in a bassinet. Well, one hour passed, then most of another… Finally a nurse came in and explained that my daughter had low blood sugar so they were going to admit her to the NICU. Then she explained that I wouldnt be allowed to go see her until the next day. I think that was bout the point that my heart broke into a million pieces.

I cried all night and kept waking up anytime I heard the other babies crying as they were being wheeled back and forth to their mother’s rooms. I finally got to go see her at about 17 hours old, and it was another 12 hours before I was allowed to hold her.

I felt a lot like you did; I felt like they had taken the baby from my belly and replaced her with this new one. I loved her, but it took such a long time before I really felt like she was mine. Even still, I cried for hours when they told me I was discharged and she wasnt. Our car had just broken down shortly before she was born so we could only go visit her once a day, usually for about an hour.

Finally, when she was 6 days old, I called to check on her and the nurse asked how soon I could be there to pick her up! She is now a happy, healthy two year old and has been attached to my hip ever since! :)

I’m glad you were able to make such peace with the way things worked out. You have a beautiful little girl to show for it! :) Congratulations!

Emily on

I think this birth story is beautiful, touching and so well articulated. I had a similar experience after the births of both of my children when they were also taken away immediatly after birth and I was left feeling lost and dissappointed. I wrote about it here on my own blog if you’d like to read.

Part 1: http://iamemme.blogspot.com/2011/05/oren-henry-birth-story-act-one.html

Part 2:http://iamemme.blogspot.com/2011/05/oren-henry-birth-story-act-two.html

Part 3:http://iamemme.blogspot.com/2011/05/oren-henry-birth-story-act-three.html

Congrats to the happy couple and their sweet little girl.

Glad all are healthy and well!

Kiwi on

Jenna,

Thank you for sharing such a beatiful and personal story. I also had a c-section for reasons beyond anyone’s control (my son was two weeks late and I couldn’t deliver)- and I can completely relate to what feels like an eternity from the time they take your baby until you actually get to see them. For me it was a few hours–but it was hard to wait at all. I think you have a beautiful daughter with a uniquely beautiful name and you will make an excellent mother.

Keep us posted.

Italia on

While my opinion doesn’t mean a whole lot…I really love the name Gray Audrey. As an educator you get so used to the common names that a unique one really stands out and I do think it sounds like a strong literary character that has yet to write her own story. Good luck!

anna on

Jenna, I had a friend from childhood with the name of Gray. I have always loved that name! I have read many of your blog posts and I must say that you are an exceptional blogger. I really enjoy reading your posts. Enjoy your sweet baby girl. They grow up far too fast.

Nell on

She is very, very lucky that the docs were able to catch the low amniotic fluid! When I was 31 weeks pregnant, I went into L&D not knowing why my baby boy wasn’t moving around so much anymore. It turns out I had almost no amniotic fluid and he had passed away. When I was pregnant with my last child, they monitored me closely and we almost lost my daughter for the same thing. Good thing the docs were watching me & they caught it. She was born early, like Jenna’s, but she made it through. I am really glad she had some good doctors who were able to catch the problem before something horrible happened!

B on

I always love reading your blog – we’re like two peas in a pod! It’s great to know there are other women out there with the same views, plans, and thoughts. I respect you for always handling yourself in the most classy way possible, despite how others comport themselves. Everyone nowadays seems to be looking for ways to get offended, and it’s so refreshing to see someone A) not apologize for things they don’t need to apologize for (such as your feelings, parenting choices, etc.) and B) still remain respectful and manage to avoid alienating others.

Motherhood should be a sacred and beautiful experience for every woman, yet the reality of new motherhood ends up being marred by judgmental, competitive women who think their way of parenting is the only correct way. These people will never be satisfied with how anyone else parents, so there is just no point in even trying. Props to you for quickly realizing this and choosing to do what’s right for your family, no matter who says what about your decisions! That can be difficult for a first-time mom but, like I did when I was pregnant, you prepared yourself and were confident in your abilities and decisions as a mother from the get-go so you got to hit the ground running!

Keep up the great work – I for one am looking forward to more from you!

Melissa on

Congratulations!!!

I too was diagnosed with oligohydramnios, but at 24 week. The next six weeks were a roller coaster of emotions and doctor visits, until my daughter was born at almost 32 weeks and 2 lbs 14 oz. Turns out my oligohydramnios was due to hellp syndrome.

It was refreshing to hear a celebrity pregnancy that was challenging and scary.

Guest on

Your little girl is Perfect, so beautiful!!!!! And I love the name!!!!

Tiffany on

I couldnt help but notice how much u wanted a natural birth and as a mother of 2 both natural birthed children I have to say I give u credit natural is great but I have seen the pain recovery of others which im told takes much longer from a c-section. don’t beat urself up over it both ways u give life to your child, are still painful and usually leave a scar.

Tiffany on

btw my 2nds name is Roman born a month earliy on valintines day went to the NICU for 12 days.we got a flock of crap about his name too

Mel on

Personally, I think Audrey Gray flows better, but Gray Audrey is cute too. I like the names a lot.

Brandy on

Oh my goodness, that is the most precious baby! And her name is beautiful. I think it sounds sophisticated and classic. Gray is my favorite color. :)

Jackie on

May God Bless Your Beautiful Family!

Carol Bishop on

Simply LOVE the name – so classy, so different – she will love it, believe me.

Kelly on

What a beautiful story. I totally can relate to the C-Section experience. I was in labor for 12 hours and progressed nicely. Dialated to a 6 and stopped. And then the baby turned. The only way to deliver was to do a C-Section. I felt like I had failed.

But in the end, I got a beautiful baby girl. I have decided now that any way that someone ends up a mother is the birth plan that they were destined for.

Love the name and the beautiful pictures. Your baby is very beautiful.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Anja on

Have loved you since “Blossom”- then “The Parkers”! Gray is absolutely gorgeous… and her name fits. She is a beautiful baby! Ignore opinionated haters! Congratulations to you and your husband. Enjoy each other!

Tracy on

Beautiful baby, beautiful name. You are a wonderful writer. I can understand your fear of the dreaded c-section. I had natural birth w/my first and c-section w/second. I sobbed when they told me I had to have a c-section for 2 reasons….I wanted the whole natural birth experience w/my daughter like I had w/my son & I also knew that having a c-section would mean a longer stay in the hospital. This meant I would be away from my 2yr old son longer. He survived. My recovery after the c-section was horrible. I don’t know why any one would opt for one if they had a choice. 15 hrs of labor w/my son was easier then my c-section recovery.

Claire on

Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on Gray – she’s beautiful! I had emergency c-section with my 2 year old, and I’ve felt guilty ever since – wondering if the reason I couldn’t nurse was because of the surgery or some other failure as a new mother. Now, age 38 and 33 weeks pregnant with my 2nd, I’ve already scheduled the c-section. This time, I’m taking a much more free approach – accepting the c-section (but still hoping for natural), and remembering that my daughter is healthy and happy despite things not going as planned.

karma mama on

Oh, Now that is a beautiful baby! Congratulations Jenna and Husband-
May the heavenly angels continue to bless you and your family.

Jen on

I think this is a lovely blog entry. You are so right to point out that we get so wrapped around birth plans and preconceived ideas of what something SHOULD be like, that we often prevent ourselves from appreciating what it MUST be like. I am a historian by training, but I have no nostalgia about living in previous eras of medical care…yes, women have delivered naturally for tens of thousands of years, but childbirth was the leading cause of death for mothers and babies until very recently. Thank goodness you had such wonderful medical care and vigilant doctors to help everyone know that Baby Gray needed to make her entrance a little early and in a non-traditional way. Congrats to the new family!

Justin on

I love the name, Gray Aubrey, as well. Also, I really appreciate the story of the unplanned c-section. Very informative. Thank you!

Maria on

sorry I dont actually know who you are-! but I wanted to comment as I had a somewhat similar experience with the birth of my son 2 yrs ago. Much much different things leading up to my c section- but I had been so so sure I would birth him at home naturally- even the thought of being in a hospital with any intervention was not on my radar! But I also ended up with a very necessary c section. I also had my baby for about 45 minutes after he was born and then he had to go to the nicu for a day and a half so same thing- such a hard time omg- when I Was waiting for him to come back and they had to transfer him to a hospital an hour away as the one I Was in was small and din’t have an nicu- and me just having a c section I couldn’t make the trip to visit him there- my husband went down- it was hard. But as soon as I got him back I breastfed and it all went well and now we are super attaced and I am with him almost always still- and I learned that while birht is important, and it would have been nice to have a natural birth, and the c section really changed my body, it is still not the most important thing- the most important thing is th health and wellness of the child (and the mom) and how you parent. so yeah I can relate! congrats on your baby whoever you are :)

laura on

Gray is a beautiful name. I had very simillar feelings after my c-sec,it is very common but rarely talked about, so I want to say thank you it takes a lot of love and courage to come forward with your experiance.
Even though we as mothers may feel bonding may not be as we expected, your beautiful daughter knows the love you have for her.

SoulFullMama on

Gorgeous little girl, and for the record,I love the name! When I was younger I always imagined that if I could have named myself,it is what I would have picked :D

Thank you for sharing about your birth. Like you, I am devoted tothe ideaofnatural birth, but more importantly, I am devoted to what is best for each Mama and baby.

Like you, I also tend to be typea, but by my 4th pregnancy, I have learned to go with the flow.I was prepared to be unprepared.However, like you I never imagined that anything would actually go “wrong”-so when my labor was going along just asmy last two had, but suddenly there wasthis huge horrible guh of meconium….well, it felt like ” no way this is actually happening to me!” I have textbook perfect labors?!?! hen ended up going to the hospital where initially baby only showed anelevated hear ate as the only other sign of distress. The lovely midwives suggested that maybe an epidural would be a good thing, since baby’s vitals weren’t particularly reassuring- if things suddeny got worse, we could do a c-section faster (without having to knock me out completely)As soon asit wasplaced ( it’s kind of ablur) I was given oxygen because his heart ratestarted dipping-tried chaning positions, and when none of that worked, we were about to headto theOR when the midwife checked me and decided that at 9 we could possibly deliver faster right where we were by trying to push.It worked, and he wasout in three minutes. He wastotally gray and had to be intubbatted.

At first I felt so grateful that they didn’t jump straight to ac-section-they gave me a chance to do it nautally, But then we found out hy so many do “jump” to ac-section, in the haste to get him out, he recieved an injury called Erb’s palsy as well as a broken arm-his humerus wass napped in half.

Praise God he is doing wonderfully. The palsy has improved to the extent that there is no reason to believe that itwill have any permanent effects. But it really showed me that while it is great to try to avoid c-sections…there really are times it is the best thing!!! I know my baby needed to eb born quickly, and now that he is doing fine I can live more easily with how things happened….but goodness, it really didn’t make me feel like they did me a favor by avoiding that c-section when i realized how muchit traumatized my poor little guy :(

Good for you for sharing your story.thank you

Mandee on

This story was absolutely beautiful! What a great mom baby gray has! Such a beautiful name for a beautiful little girl.

A on

She is simply beautiful!!!! If you like the name that’s your choice. Don’t let people make you feel bad about the name. The 2 names sound great together. Congrats!!!! She’s beautiful!!!!

Karen V on

Gray is a wonderful, sophisticated and feminine name for a beautiful girl. Congratulations to you and your family!

Bobbie on

Jenna,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful baby girl Gray and her birth story with us. Her name is darling and she can proudly carry it all her life. Her pictures are stunning and I am sure you are just smothered in baby love right now. Enjoy every single minute of it. People love to say hateful things. I can’t believe I wrote this, but to think that someone wrote something negative to you about your baby breaks my heart. If someone did that about my child I would fall apart.
May God bless your family,
Bobbie Welke

cjj on

pretty name, cute baby. altho’ Audrey Gray sounds better to say.

M C on

Congratulations! She is beautiful! Her name is beautiful! Your story is beautiful! And I hope that I can that eloquently tell such a story of a (hopeful) first born some day!

All the best to your new family!

jenny s on

OMG! She is adorable … congrats :)

Dawn on

Your daughter is gorgeous! Congrats! Love the name, your honestly, and willingness to share your experience with all of us. God Bless you

MKebea on

Congratulations to you and your family. Gray is simply beautiful. Both the child and the name!

K on

When you make a decision to name your child a “different” name, you have to realize you will get negative reactions.

We named our son, Django after two different musicians who we love. We decided not to tell anyone his name until after he was born bc we knew we wld get a negative reaction. We mainly received “what?” Now, when we tell ppl his name, we say it with excitement so it stops their negative thinking. That really seems to help. But it really comes w/the territory & IMO, it is better to take ppl’s negative reactions with a grain of salt & just be proud of her given name.

And when I had my c-section, I was in recovery & they asked me if I wanted to hold my son. I was in pain so I said “no.” To this day, I feel guilty abt not wanting to hold my son right away. I wished they wldnt have asked until I was out of recovery.

Congrats on your daughter, she is precious!

doodlbeug on

Congrats. Gray is beautiful and I love the name.

My mother told me “Always trust your instincts” Mother’s instinct is so strong and every time I haven’t trusted it something not so good happened. Until someone else told me that mother’s instinct is really God speaking in a mother’s ear. Now I listen to that inner voice and know where it comes from. Can’t beat it.

Connie on

Parenting and love comes from within and precious little Gray has that and she will definitely show it. What a beautiful baby you have. Yes, I dreaded those words every since the doctor told me I was pregnant and called him a liar. Thank God I haven’t experienced it yet, but I’m sure it was painful. It was painful to look for my daughter and have to wait because to me they were taking all day to clean her and bring her to me. I didn’t see her till the next morning when I was awakened by noise. She was sleeping so preciously that I didn’t notice my breakfast was there waiting to be rareness. Everyday for the past 19 yrs I get more and more proud and surprised by her.

Yes, you will ups and downs, but the beauty comes when they tell you on their own terms you were right. Its not the same hearing it from others as you hear it from your child. Its not the same when you hear it from when they are small. It means so much more when they have become an adult. It let you know they listened. Not because you made them, but because they wanted to and learned from it.

Thank you for your beautiful story and wishing you years to come with the growth of your adorable little angel God has blessed you with. Yes, I adore the hat lol. Thanks for the memories and have fun and a lot of yelling. She will thank you later. Just joking but let her know you will always be there when no one else is. ;-)

Connie on

One more thing her name is awesome!

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