Saturday, May 28, 2011

Babies, diapers and projects

I'm finally feeling like I have the time and energy to live beyond merely feeding and diaper changing; its a nice feeling.

Diaper update:
I've not gotten any more diapers made, but with the slew that we have from the hospital, diaper tree and gifts, we are set for another 2 weeks or so. Nonetheless, we have played with our cloth diapers and tried them out. Even with the kissuluves, size 0, it results in the monster bum, though the onsie will still close around it.  As for the one size that my friend Liz has made (and I've been working on), I can get them small enough, but the little guy is soooooo skinny it takes some doing.

To be a true one-size, I think we'd need to make our velcro tabs two sided so they can overlap and still attach. Otherwise, it seems to work great.

In other diaper news, about a month ago, I purchased the e-book from I read through part of it, and wondered if I'd paid too much. But today, I went directly to the "washing" section, read and have a plan.Totally worth the money, if only for that section. Sure I could of done the research via google, but with a newborn dominating my time, and recovering from a c-section (which going well, I think), it was worth the price to just open the document and read -- no research required.

Of all prep that I did for having a baby, I didn't acquire much in the way of nursing clothing. So, I'm converting a few tank tops into nursing tops... 

I've sewn ribbon from the shoulder strap to the underarm, added a button and cut the pieces apart. 

Babies --
Took me 2 hours to write this post, the little guy refuses to let me put him down, is fussy-fussy, and we have a guest over. Of course, we have a guest, and baby Samuel gets cranky. Ah, breaks my heart trying to figure out how to comfort him, tonight seems to be somewhat solved, but we will see.  We'd hoped to make it church tomorrow, but we will see how tonight goes. Luckily, the past few nights have been good -- solid 3 hours at a time. Can't ask more than that from the little man.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A week home and 9 days old

I knew life would change with a baby, and perhaps I even got the extent somewhat correct, but I was no where near on the details. Well, I was mostly off on the extent.  I never imagined how nursing every 2 to 3 hours takes so much time, especially when you have a child who nurses rather leisurely. He does not eat merely out of necessity, but seems to savor it. But then, maybe that is newborn thing -- he's the only one I have to observe at the moment.

He's a rather happy and content baby, which is nice. Perhaps payback for the long labor ending in c-section?  Naw, just the way of things, I think.  We've had a few "rough" spots, which really only means Mommy is taking too long to get around to nursing. Although, this morning he has been up since 5:30 or so, and if put down wakes up. It has made for a rough morning -- I wonder if he's hit a growth spurt or some such. He wants to eat every hour or so, is fussy, wants to be held.  Luckily, he's finally gone to sleep and is sleeping on Daddy's chest while Mommy gets a few moments of eating ice cream. Its amazing what I can do one handed, and Baby is small enough that I can comfortably carry him in one arm (as long as he isn't striving to look around, then his head will go wildly swinging and diving as he tries to lift and balance -- its very cute, but a tad dangerous for the holder).

Sorry no picture today. I need to get a comparison pic soon, as I know he will grow and suddenly he won't be my little baby any more.

Op -- there is he is, letting us know he is unhappy about something.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Birthing Babies

Up to this point, the past few posts have been done by Hubby, as I have been recovering from giving birth to Baby. It was a long and hard process, here's the story as Hubby told a friend:

Rachael went into labor at 2:00am on Tuesday morning.  Contractions reached 4 minutes apart, 1 minute long and painfully strong by 11:00am, so we headed to the hospital, only to learn she was only 1 cm dilated.  They evaluated again after 90 minutes and she showed some progress but was still less than 2cm.  They offered us the choice to admit, or head home for a while longer, so we opted to head home.  

We came back that night at about 8:00 - the contractions were getting a bit longer and definitely still getting stronger, strong enough to make her cry out almost every time.  But when we got back, she was still at 2 cm but they admitted her right away because she was definitely progressing and needed some help managing the pain.  When they gave her the pain killer, it knocked her a little silly, which allowed her to sleep between contractions - a real blessing and it let her gather her strength.  This was some crazy stuff, I couldn't really see straight and it made me all sorts of loopy. But I slept, bit time and it was beautiful.

They evaluated again at 1:00am and she had progressed to 6cm.  She got on a birthing ball at that point and the contractions were coming close together and quite hard as she went through transition.  Rachael asked to be evaluated again at about 3:45 when she started feeling an urge to push.  Sure enough, she was at 10cm so we got ready to push and the on-call Doctor was there.  The Doc examined through a few contractions and noted that Rachael's water seemed to be making it hard to get his head properly in the cervix, so we broke the water at about 4:00am. (can you believe that, 26 hrs of hard labor and the water hadn't broken!)

We pushed for about two hours, until Rachael was completely exhausted.  The doctor said his head still wasn't quite seated correctly, so the pushes weren't making incremental progress, but she was going back to square one each time.  With mom exhausted, we weren't entirely sure what to do.  The plan we hit on was to give her an epidural to allow her to rest between the contractions as well as relax some of the muscles in hopes of causing a re-alignment.  Hopefully once the head lined up, she would have some energy to push again.  

With the epidural she was able to snatch a few moments sleep at times, though she still had a lot of pain (a different pain, a sharp pain in each hip). It was very strange, with each contraction, I'd feel a sharp, sharp pain in the front of each hip. It might have been there with the contractions, but the pain of the contractions covered it? Who knows. It seemed to be giving her rest, but Samuel's heart rate was slowly descending.  First it came out of the green zone and settled at about 110, but then it slowed again to a new base at about 100.  That when the Dr talked to us and we agreed to go ahead with a C-section.  Because the epidural wasn't blocking the pain, she had to go under general anesthesia.  Samuel was born, healthy and crying strongly at 8:17.   8 lbs, 1 oz and 21 inches long.  

He's been doing well, clearing his lungs and passing lots of meconium.  Mom is also recovering well - she's gotten rid of the IV's and everything that came with the recovery from anesthesia.  Nothing but a mess of hospital bracelets now.  Samuel is also doing nicely - he's having a little trouble latching, but once he does, he seems to be a fairly good nurser thus far.  We'll be talking with the lactation consultant in a few hours to see what might be done to help him latch better.  

I'm having a hard time getting it through  my mind that baby has finally been born, he is before me, I'm nursing him, changing his diaper, talking to him, loving him and praying for him. Its beautiful, and I'm loving these moments. I let him fall asleep on me and waiting till he is totally out before putting him in the bassinet. No, a c-section was not what I had dreamed of, but it has all worked out okay. Baby is healthy, sleeping well, and is an aggressive nurser today. I've had amazing nurses who have cared for gently and kindly, a doctor who was willing to work with us to give me the opportunity to have what I wanted and has been gently encouraging me as I heal from what I didn't want (but at times the ends makes the means worth it). I am so blessed by friends who are rejoicing with me, a son who is already living up to his name (Isaac means laughter), and a Hubby who is so generous.

This has been one part of the continuing story of God's faithfulness and His good timing.
Such a technophille --  its the afternoon of having a c-section. I hold my new baby, hooked up to IVs  and ox-pulse monitor, etc, and yet I take time to check my email!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pictures of the baby.

Some numbers:
8 lbs, 1 oz.
21 inches.
30+ hours (in labor)

Everyone is healthy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sewing of all sorts

I'm on a sewing kick (and knitting has been set aside, perhaps this summer?). Diapers are a major project, and still in the works. Today, I got through putting together a wrap (for baby wearing) and two soakers.

I found my traditional sewing weights, the coasters, were too big for the pieces, thus my use of tomato paste cans. These were small enough to fit the little-bitty pieces. 

The red one is made from a cashmere sweater I bought at a garage sale last year... for a quarter! It did have a hole in it, thus the patch in the crotch. The yellow one is of fleece, from an old fleece I'd worn camping many, many times. Its a grungy yellow that won't wash back to the bright yellow it once was... so its been transformed. Since the sweater is stretchy, I made it according to the instructions, but the fleece isn't so stretchy, so I added elastic in the waist and legs. We'll see how well it works. 

My next project, amidst the diapers, is to make a pillow case for the monster pregnancy pillow. The current case is a major pain to get on and off, its fitted very closely to the pillow. 

Both pictures are the state after 5 minutes of struggling with the case. Another 5 and it was on, but its hard work and I get sweaty doing it. Somehow, putting a pillow case on a pillow shouldn't get me sweaty, I don't think.  I'm thinking a soft cotton in bright colors, from the $2/yd bin at wally-world. I think I'll need a good 5 yards or so, its a big pillow. 

Now, its only 8 pm, I wonder how I should use the rest of my evening?

Two days post due date...

I have to keep reminding myself that the 'due date' is an estimate that should more rightly be called a 'due month'. Here I am two days after my own calculated due date, and feeling quite impatient. All the 'false starts' are a tad frustrating as well. Message to my physical self:  "lets get this party going!"

Baby has filled the given space, and there isn't much more to be found. Its like a tug-a-war... he wants more space, but my belly won't get much bigger. At least I hope not!

Need a reference point.... here's one.

Seems like each evening Baby will try punching and kicking his way out, and I keep telling him, I need chemical signals, not physical ones. Hopefully, he will get the message in the next day or two (the sooner, the better, I think).

There has been an interesting change in Hank (the kitty). He seems 'protective' of me. He has always made sure to settle down where he can see both Hubby and I if at all possible, but of late, it seems he is always in the same room as I. He has always liked sleeping on my hair, and lately he hunkers himself down at the top of my very large pregnancy pillow.

He usually follows me when I'm up in the middle of the night, as well. Its a tad creepy sometimes, but nice to have the company who doesn't need any light to get around :P.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


With Mother's Day upon us, and I a soon to be a Mom, I can't help but reflect on my own mother and those who have mothered me. In that second category, there are lots of women, who, along the way, stepped in where I need mentoring, help or protection and nurtured me towards becoming the woman I am today. I think of Bonnie, Marta, Karla, and Lois who all served as friends, mentors and protectors. Thank you, ladies, and may God repay your kindness and investments many times over.

My own mother was an amazing woman. She loved God and loved people and communicated that very effectively. I never doubted her love for me, though perhaps that is because we shared a common love language (quality time). She served her family faithfully and keep the house running in a way that I've struggled to learn over these past 5 years of marriage. Unfortunately, she passed away 2 weeks after we got married, and I hadn't bothered to learn those home keeping skills (and family keeping) until then. But Dad has been wonderful about telling me about her and what she did, at least as much as he can remember. And his lovely wife (he remarried after Mom died) is so wonderfully accommodating about letting him and me talk about Mom, and who she was and what she did.

As a married woman, I've acquired a mother-in-law, which has been a fun endeavor. She is beautifully accepting of me, and encourages me in so many ways. She is generous with both Hubby and I and her love for us and for baby is clearly evident.

I have been blessed with so many excellent women friends and mentors, a Mom who strove for such excellence in her and those around her, and a MIL who strives to love us in very clear and evident ways.  I only hope that I can be the kind of woman who emulates these qualities.
Me, Dad and Mom at my wedding. Isn't she a beautiful woman? Her heart and spirit were even more beautiful!

Friday, May 06, 2011

I'm still here!

Nope, no baby yet... just staying very busy with getting ready for baby, catching up and getting ahead with school work and general laziness.



I've gotten a good bit of sewing in over the past few weeks. I cut out a slew of diapers from the fleece and made a crib organizer from three of Hubby's old shirts. I'm ready to get started with cutting the diapers from the PUL, but I've got to catch up on all that grading for school and getting some 'plan ahead' work done (like get the final for Biology written!). Baby is moving lots, and taking up tons of room, and everyone at school looks at me each morning and says "you're still here?". My students keep asking, "when will your baby be born?" as if I have the magic date that I've kept secret for all these months. Its quite humorous the questions they will start asking when their young minds get going.


Just yesterday, I went to pick up my 6th grade class from Art, and something made me laugh. The girls noticed that my belly moved when I laughed and so they laughed, which made me laugh all the more! This went on for 30 to 45 seconds, when I finally said to Ms. Art Teacher "I will just keep laughing and they will keep laughing, so I'm leaving. Send them on when they are ready". I knew none of us would get it together to walk nicely in the hallway if we all kept laughing!

And of course, we think Hank knows that something is up and changing... but we wonder how much he understands. He does tend to follow me around more, and stay close to me; its quite funny. He still hasn't figured out the belly and how to snuggle on my lap with it...

But the poor kitty sure tries!