|In her papa's moccasins & mama's hat|
The night before Ediza was born, I was stripped down to bra and panties, up on a ladder, tucked in a closet painting trim - the most horrid of all painting tasks. I must have been a sight to see, trying to avoid getting paint on my big round belly. I didn't want to risk ruining one of the few things I had left to wear. The due date was just days away, but even though the midwife had a gut feeling the baby would be early, I could still be pregnant for a couple weeks. Both Lukas's mom and my dad had let us know they thought Sunday the 14th would be the day. So we were working on holding on a little longer, at least until the next day, to avoid the "I told you sos".
We settled in to watch some TV and I started having contractions. They were noticeable enough that I opened up the timing app on the iPod, but irregular so I wasn't getting excited just yet. I decided to see what would happen if I took a shower and they seemed to peter out so we headed to bed. As I lay in the dark and Lukas fell promptly asleep the contractions came back. This time they were more intense. I waited to see what would happen and then I heard an internal "pop, pop, pop". For a moment, time felt like it slowed down as I processed the following distinct thoughts. Hmm, I wonder what that was. Oh, I wonder if that was my water breaking. That could be my water breaking. I shouldn't get it on the bed if that was my water breaking. And then I rolled off the bed - easy to do when "the bed" is just a mattress on the floor - and I successfully managed to avoid getting the bed dirty.
"Dude," I called to Lukas to wake him up. "My water just broke." That got me a groggy response of "What should we do?" I requested some towels and the phone to call the midwife, Michelle. Since the contractions seemed to have stopped at this point, Michelle suggested starting to fill the birth tub, having something to eat, and trying to go back to sleep. We were to call her back when the contractions were 1 minute long, 4 minutes apart, for 1 hour. Lukas worked on filling the tub while I timed the contractions that started back up. The tub was full and the contractions were irregular but sometimes close together at 3 minutes apart. It had only been half an hour or so, so Lukas headed back to bed.
"If it's still like this in 30 minutes," I told Lukas, "we'll be calling Michelle back." Infamous last words? Just 15 minutes later I was hollering to Lukas, "I think we need to call Michelle." Lukas got back up and we timed things for a little bit longer before calling her. At this point, the contractions were only two minutes apart.
"Did you say two or three minutes?" Michelle asked when Lukas reported my status to her. And when he confirmed he had said two she responded with, "I'll be right there." I set up our free week of Pandora so I wouldn't have to listen to annoying commercials while in labor and then we waited for Michelle to get there. By the time she was there, the contractions were coming fast and hard and I had just thrown up for the first time - the little bit of food I had managed to eat earlier. I needed to pause for each contraction, making our conversation disjointed. I was glued to my spot on the couch and when Michelle asked me to go pee, as it might help things along, I told her I didn't want to because it might bring on more contractions. Oh, the insane logic of a laboring woman.
When I was finally convinced to go to the bathroom, instead of walking - because that would be too hard if a contraction came - I crawled from the couch all the way there. This had Michelle laughing.
At some point, Michelle checked my dilation and we learned that while I was laboring hard I wasn't nearly as far along as we thought. With this information in hand she headed back out into the night to get her full kit. It turns out she had thought it was all in the car, but left so quickly that this wasn't the case. It felt light ages before she returned and Lukas reported later that he started to fall asleep as we waited and I labored. I had no knowledge of that by this point though.
My memory of everything that comes next is just in snapshots.
I labored in the shower. Oh the warm water felt so good. I let it hit my side as I stood with my head resting on my arms on the tiled wall. I swayed my hips side to side and hummed/sung to myself. Some times I would need to pause for a contraction, but I challenged myself to see if I could keep humming through them and that seemed to help.
I worried, irrationally, that I wouldn't have the opportunity to use the tub.
Through everything, I was surprised at my ability to give direction when they needed to find something. I would just call out the location of things.
I labored on the bed while Lukas worked at lowering the temperature of the water in the birth tub. I would later learn that the hose from the shower, running through the house to the dining room, had hopped out of the tub while Lukas was trying to add cold water. The floor got soaked and that was the reason we ran out of the towels I had set aside earlier. At the time I couldn't understand how we had gone through so many towels. When Lukas couldn't get cold water to come from the shower, he resorted to the spigot out front. All the while, I labored in the bedroom completely oblivious to this except to know that I was waiting to get into the tub.
I couldn't be bothered to wear my robe from the bed to the tub when it was finally ready. Instead, I walked there buck naked while Michelle trailing me with the robe. Oh, the warm water felt so good. I closed my eyes, hardly opening them again. I moaned and groaned and Lukas tells me I made the most annoying sound in the world - per the movie Dumb & Dumber. He also let me know - later - that during a contraction Michelle came to check on me just as I was wiping water from my face. I flung the water off my hand, right into her face. She wiped her face and just rolled with it.
My sounds must have changed because at some point Michelle was asking me, "Are you pushing?" I could only respond with, "I don't know." "Because it sounds like you're pushing." And she told me it wasn't time yet and that if I felt like I had to push then I should blow air between my lips instead. And I became the queen of blowing raspberries in the air.
Then she was telling me I could push if I wanted and so I did. And I should hold my breath and push and put all energy towards pushing with each contraction. And so I did and for a little while things were quiet as I couldn't moan while holding my breath and pushing at the same time.
Then Michelle was telling me that I had been pushing for an hour and wasn't making more progress so they wanted to move me from the tub. I had no concept of time and was truly surprised to hear it had been an hour. As we moved from the tub to the bed I noticed, through my half open eyes, it was starting to get light outside.
And then the baby was crowning. I was told to stop pushing, wait for things to stretch, just breath. But oh it hurt so bad. I whimpered, "owie, owie". And then I screamed at the top of my lungs. "Ok, a little push." But at this point I had no concept of little. "She'll be born with the next one or the one after that." I screamed and her head was born. Then her body, all arms and legs, wriggled out. She let out her first cry, just a momentary startle and then she was quiet, just looking around. Michelle helped me bring her up to my chest and I instantly forgot about all the pain and only had eyes for our baby.
All night, Michelle was trying to get me to drink some water. I could only tolerate the barest sips and tiniest chips of ice. But once Ediza arrived, I wanted to drink everything that was offered to me. And suddenly I realized I was hungry too. The best sounding thing - an ice cream sandwich for my horse throat.
Ediza Louise was born at 9:35 in the morning August 15th, with her hand up by her face - just as she seemed to be in every ultrasound picture we saw of her. She was bright eyed with a cone shaped head and a little tongue that darted in and out, in and out. She was perfect.
Last night, we moved the bed back into the bedroom from living room where we had been sleeping for the past few weeks. This fixer-upper home we've been living in hadn't seen all that much fixer-upping until your impending arrival gave us a deadline. Suddenly, it became clear that we could probably use the second bedroom as something other than storage and while we're at it, let's make the layout better. And so the garage has been nearly finished and the bedrooms torn apart. This room we've moved our bed into, with one coat of sage green on the walls, will some day be yours. But, we hear, babies don't really care or need much space and so we've appropriated it as ours for the moment.
As I work from home these last few days, I look around me taking snapshots in my mind and a few with the camera. This is what life looks like now, I think to myself. This is what our life looks like right before your arrival. It's messy and there's already way too much stuff. It's full and busy and slow all at the same time. How will you fit in?
I saw the midwife today and we listened to your little heart beating. It sounded so distinctly like a heart beat this time when before you had sounded more like a rapid, swooshing ocean. The room for you inside my belly is so rapidly shrinking. Today you couldn't swim away from the doppler like you usually do. But you still are great at kicking back when the midwife pokes my belly.
We're another day closer to your arrival. When will that be?
I remember, 20 weeks ago now, when I first felt the effervescent pops in my belly that let me know you were there. It was like I had a sparkling secret inside me and even though my body had already begun to change, if you didn't know me well you probably couldn't tell. These days... well there's no denying it, as one woman at work stated emphatically, "You're having a baby!" Under my stretched skin you push out with your legs and feet and bum, trying to make more space. After my shower in the evenings, I can sit on the couch and watch you dance in my belly.
On this, the first day of August, I'm finishing up my work to prepare for going on leave. I've ditched the hour plus long commute in favor of working from home these last few days. When I made this decision weeks ago it felt super indulgent, but now it just feels right. I cannot imagine another week of bus to muni to work and then the reverse to come home. Each step gets a bit slower and my discomfort only seems to increase. If only the entire world was a swimming pool. There I feel almost normal again and I move without hindrance, except when it comes to flip turns I no longer do. This week, between the preparations for your arrival and finalizing all my work, I plan to get in as much time in the community pool as I can.
To do lists will be ever growing and probably won't slow down with your arrival. We try to anticipate what it will be like when you get here, but mostly that is unfathomable. Instead, we are eager and excited and slightly nervous - the prototypical first time parents. If the past eight months have flown by, these last few days will really fly.
This is not my first geranium dress, but it does earn a very special first place in another way. It's the very first thing I've sewn for our baby. And it certainly feels special done up in this nani IRO double gauze fabric. I bought the fabric ages ago to make myself an Everyday skirt after I made the first (and currently only) one. That would have been fun and maybe I will make something for myself with the leftovers but...
Sewing for baby is where it's at right now! After years of sewing for friends' babies, there's a little girl just kicking away in my belly and I get to sew special things just for her. It seemed right to use this special fabric for her. It's soft and cozy and just perfect.
For the first time I tried snaps instead of buttons. I experienced the same oh no, I hope I don't ruin everything feeling before setting the snap just as I do when stitching and opening a button hole. But I LOVED how they came out. Lukas helped me pick out the correct color of snap. Seeing the sunshine-y yellow on the backside makes me smile every time. Thankfully, I was able to add in the interfacing even after the back was sewn up because in my eagerness, I'd totally forgotten that step.
Working in the double gauze was new and a bit tricky for me. The fabric is light and airy and a bit slinky. My pins wanted to slip right out unless I to extra extra care with placing them. As you can see by the slightly wobbly bodice seam line. My hope... once there's a baby filling out the dress all wobbliness will be hidden.
I used the wrong side of the double gauze as the lining for the bodice. This way it matches the underside of the skirt and I thought it was a fitting pair to the right side. Anything else would have either competed with the sweet simplicity or required a fabric purchase. (not that I'm against fabric purchases)
Pattern :: Geranium Dress by Made by Rae
Size :: 6-12 months
Fabric :: nani IRO Poncho in Double Gauze
|almost, but not quite, everything...|
|morning walk dress :: tank-style jersey dress|
In April I flew across the country to attend a training for work. It was a quick trip with two full days of learning, but the evenings were my own. I booked my flights so I would arrive while the sun was still up and I wouldn't have to navigate the city in the dark. The elderly woman sitting next to me on the plane was flying out to bury her husband at Arlington. Scattered throughout the plane were members of her family and her daughter sat next to her making sure she was taken care of. Her eyes light up when talking about her grandchildren and great grandchildren. It meant so much to her that they were coming with her.
On Friday night I scrambled to find a Seder for the first night of Passover and ended up at GWU Hillel. I was nervous to be going by myself and so was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I think I am finally far enough removed from the undergraduate life that any social awkwardness is gone. There wasn't a need to fit in or get approval and I was just comfortable to be myself.
The pictures below are from Thursday evening when I walked and walked and walked. Down to the Mall and then from the Washington Monument to the World War II Memorial. The place was crawling with class trips and groups of young adults playing softball and kickball. The key (although I don't think I was ever in any sketchy areas) for being a woman traveling alone - walk like you know where you're going. Head forward, eyes up, confident. This actually got me stopped twice by people asking for directions. Ha!
|the view from my hotel room - Washington Monument just peaking into the picture|
|Security at The White House|
|My belly was still small enough I could lay on the grass to get this shot.|
|World War II Memorial|
|World War II Memorial|
|World War II Memorial - view across the reflecting pool towards the Lincoln Memorial|
|This little girl was having fun striking poses while her mom wandered around taking pictures.|
|washing out the pilot - his last flight|
It's been some time since I've made it a regular practice to post the daily goings-on. I miss it, though I have been recording a couple lines a day in my 5 year journal my sister got me for my birthday. That's a fun practice at the end of each day and good time to reflect about what made that day different - especially when they all seem so much the same.
:: I was excited to travel to DC for a training for work. And just as excited to head home. Loads of learning packed into two days.
:: love feeling the baby kicks and choosing not to believe how much bigger and rounder my belly is gonna get.
:: waking up a 4am is no fun, but I'm working on better dinner prep so we can head to bed earlier. Here's to lots of cooking preparations this weekend.
:: looking forward to having friends over for dinner tomorrow.
:: happy to have started the garden and hoping to share pictures of it soon. (4am wake-ups are making that difficult).
:: I more than ready for the weekend!
Mini Book Review: My Pantry by Alice Waters
This book is filled with practical advice... now I just need to find the time to follow through on some of it's suggestions and recipes. I like the simple layout and it's straightforward approach to building a pantry. But I do think it could have benefitted from some vivid photos and less dense text.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
|Blueberry Park Mini Swap|
After signing up for my first Instagram quilt swap I tried to wait patiently for my partner assignment email to come. I busied myself with finding inspiration for the person who would have me. And then I waited and waited...
Welcome to my stop on the #quiltnon2016 weekend of quilting fun! Here I'll share with you a tutorial for the fancy fat cat 6" block.