Monday, January 11, 2010

NIP not WIP today.

Ok, so I'm nursing a new baby again which is... hard. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of nursing, it is good for mom and baby but I'm not going to sugar coat things and tell you how easy it as first, not even for a 5th time mom. C is cute, adorable and absolutely precious and as true as these things are every two hours or so I have to grab a glass of water, pull out my leaky boobs practice breathing techniques I don't even use for pushing in labor, and willingly let my baby suck on my sore nipples. Her perfectly sweet mouth is transformed into a device of torture, a pit of barbed wire churning around my tatas. Experts will tell you that it shouldn't hurt, that if there is pain it is because of a poor latch and can be corrected with proper positioning and getting the baby to get on the breast correctly and I've told women this as well. For the most part, I think that is true but there are times when mom and baby just can't get it worked out for a few weeks and for them it just isn't all rainbows and butterflies. This is me and C, the combination of my rather large nipples (TMI? Then don't read) and her tiny mouth plus this thing she has against putting her tongue forward have all combined to make this a difficult and painful two weeks of nursing so far.

But we'll get there. I had one other baby that gave me cracked and bleeding nipples and eventually we made it through and nursing became a bonding experience for us, special and easy so I have confidence that C and I can make it there too. When we do I'll be nursing her anywhere she needs to eat (for the torture sessions I prefer to remain at home at the moment) and doing so unapologeticly. Even in church. Since I believe that God made me to nurse my baby I'm not about to leave and go nurse somewhere else when we're there to worship- boobies nursing babies aren't a shock to God and if they are to the people around me, well, they are free to turn their attention back to God and leave me and my baby alone. Most of the time I won't be covering up and if I choose to do so it will be very special circumstances. I don't cover up for my dad, don't cover at church, don't cover around our friends... in fact, I can't think of such a special circumstance, interesting. I've heard all the arguments in favor of covering up but seeing as I believe breasts are for nursing babies and anything else is just a bonus I don't see me changing. Any man that is turned on (or grossed out) by a baby being fed has issues, that's all I'm saying.

And because I have a baby crying, a 6 year old needing some direction, a 2 year old needing a diaper change, an 8 year old "doing homework" that needs supervision, an 11 year old freaking out about a Greek test tomorrow, dinner that needs to be warmed up (thank goodness it is cooked thanks to wonderful friends!), a house in dire need of cleaning, laundry that needs to be folded and put away, dishes that need to be done, and a new lace pattern to try on that sweater, etc. I'm going to go now and just say: read this. She's obviously not as tired as I am and said it all so much better.

I wrote more about nursing in this post and now have a whole blog dedicated to nursing. A breastfeeding pub to support and encourage breastfeeding. We have lots of fun, share stories, give information, run an occasional contest and have give-aways. Visit The Leaky Boob for more!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Turning 2

Licking bright blue cancer-causing food coloring laden icing off a store-bought cupcake with a paper Winni the Pooh on a stick, Evangeline grinned at everyone around her and said "goon day." Thankfully, she has low expectations and eating crap cupcakes surrounded by her family counts as a good day. Granted, the child picks her nose and eats it and tells me it is good so perhaps the bar is just really, really low. I haven't showered today and our door was like the revolving doors of Saks 5th Avenue the week of Christmas. There were more people over at our place in one day than I saw for months at a time during my pregnancy. But Evangeline really didn't seem to care. She had a great time playing with her sisters, watching Winni the Pooh, and doing massive carb loading through out the day because I was too exhausted to try to get her to eat anything with more nutritional value than pretzels, cereal and apples. The friends here visiting looked at us with a mixture of concern and disbelief when we gave Evangeline one of her gifts (the others are waiting until the small celebration we are having for her next week which is just an excuse to buy me more time to wrap them), they just couldn't understand how a child-size broom was a worthy birthday gift. I think they thought we were setting her up to join in with the work around the house. She actually LIKES sweeping! I don't think they bought it. E was excited though and I'm not just saying that. I promise, a broom isn't her only gift. By my standards today was a pretty lame birthday but she seemed to enjoy it.

Happy 2nd Birthday Evangeline! We love you and are so glad you are a part of our family.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Weekend WIP, Belated New Year's style

How we manage to function at all right now. Jeremy and I have God, each other, and coffee. Friends and family too. And more coffee.

While most of the world was ringing in the New Year in their various ways; noisy, quiet, with crowds or just a few, I was sitting on my old IKEA couch watching "Hangover" with Jeremy and alternating complaining about my sore boobs and how tired I was as though these things were a surprise after having my 5th baby. There was knitting sitting next to me but that was a week ago, I forgot which project it was. Sometimes I even picked it up and knit a stitch or two but only if I had both hands free which isn't that often with a newborn around. I was also browsing craft blogs (I can do that one handed), particularly knitting blogs and making smart mouthed comments about the lists of FO that ran on and on. Don't they know nobody likes a show off? So you knit 13 shawls all of lace weight and on size 2 needles? And 24 sweaters, all adult size and nothing more than fingering weight with the exception of that one Noro on worsted? Then there's the spinning and dying you picked up leading to numerous cowls, mittens, scarves, and hats out of hand spun, hand dyed OOAK yarns. Not to mention that 10 new patterns they cranked out, the baby layette set a week for friends of friends having babies, the two pairs of socks per month and all manner of quirky toys, hot pat holders and cozies. What the...? Let me be frank here: You. Have. No. Life. These aren't people, they are knitting zombies. Knitting zombies that make me feel totally inferior and jealous. Blankety-blank zombies. They totally got to me! Those b*tches. (I know, I just said a bad word but I mean it all in the nicest way you can imagine.) All postpartum-y hormonal I decided I'm not going to make a FO list for 2009 because it would make my yarn buying habit look REALLY bad. Besides, I rationalize, I can't remember what I knit in the past year! Seriously, who can remember that? I can't remember what I was knitting last week. Ok, maybe I will this year because now I do strange things like TAKE PICTURES of not just my FO but my WIPs. And blog about them once a week. Holy crap, those knitting zombies HAVE gotten to me! Oooooh! Maybe I'm on my way to being a real knitting zombie too! They annoy me mostly because I'm insanely jealous. My brother reads this blog, I can totally see him shaking his head and laughing his ass off at me. Yes big brother, I know, I'm a total dork, NERD is screaming from every one of my knitting callouses. This is not news, anyone that knows me, really knows me is aware that I am a complete nerd. The point here is that I'm not making a FO list but I am making some New Year's Knitting Goals. I don't want to call them resolutions, to easy to let myself off the hook with "resolution" and it seems like I'd just be following a trend, you know, the trend of making resolutions every New Year? Check the title of the blog. Rebel here, don't do trends. Except maybe a little if I really like the trend and if I can somewhat claim to have started it. Like those people that say "I was drinking espresso before Starbucks was popular." I say "I was knitting before Ravelry was around," and "We cooked with couscous all the time before there was Food Network" and now "I make goals for the New Year, not resolutions." Just call me trendsetter. Or nerd.

I'm still working on my NYKG (New Year Knitting Goals- I'm starting that now so I can claim that I was doing it before it got popular) and ponder these weighty matters often between 3 and 6am every morning when C can't stand the silence of the house in the middle of the night and refuses to sleep. From this place of sleep deprivation I've come up with a few goals so far. I will share them so next year I can come back triumphantly with a FO list worthy of blog gloating. Oh yes, can you smell the faint hint of failure to come already?

NYKG 2010 (this is a WIP)
  1. Knit every day.
  2. Knit socks.
  3. Knit lace.
  4. Knit a shawl/kerchief for myself.
  5. Knit something for everyone in our family.
  6. Keep knitting fun.
That last one is the most important and if any of the other goals make that one difficult then I'll ditch them because knitting isn't my job and doesn't have to be something I suffer through. That defeats the purpose. So there you have it, my NYKG 2010. Sound impressive doesn't it? A bit like Y2K. Because that was so much fun.

So this weekend's WIPs:

I got this book put out by Sterling Publishing during this past year and determined I'd get a lot of use out of it. It hasn't exactly lived up to my expectations but that could be more on me than the book. I'm using it right now for a lace pattern I thought would look adorable on this sweater (heavily modified) for C. in Purewool in Coffee and Creama or is it Chocolate and Creama? Can't remember.

Honestly, I thought I'd have this set finished ages ago. This sweater *should* have taken me an evening, I thought. But in my stroke of postpartum brilliance I decided to use a different lace pattern.So I turned to my book and found this. Instant love. My new baby girl would look precious in this bellflower lace pattern. Never mind that I'm sleep deprived and a grand postpartum mess, a 17 stitch, 15 row lace pattern would be a perfectly reasonable goal with a newborn. K1, nurse, frog 2 rows, K3, YO, change diaper, P2, S1, K1, PSSO, bounce baby to sleep, frog back to start, etc. Oh yeah, lace should be a freakin' piece of cake at this rate.

I could have knit the sweater 3 times over with the number of times I've frogged this lace pattern. I still don't want to admit defeat but I am starting to think that the lacy scallops on the next page of the book would be a better option for this particular sweater. Having done them several times before successfully makes them even more attractive.

When lace is making you crazy because you are far too sleep deprived to keep track of where you are, what is one to do? I need to knit something, I'm comitted to really resting during my postpartum period for the best recovery possible and any of chance of that happening means sitting and laying around can't be boring. Feeling like I'm accomplishing something helps. What to do? Start an easy little gnome for a certain little girl that is turning 2 tomorrow. There will be more of these, they take all of 15 minutes to knit. I need to sew them up, stuff them and knit their hats. Bits and pieces of yarn from my stash, some Lamb's pride, Patons wool, and an unknown colorway I got in a grab-bag of wool scraps make up this one.

Requiring no pattern at all and thus a good knit while I'm nursing I started a simple wash cloth that will have a matching soap sack and a bar of handmade soap for a gift. Peaces and Cream dishcloth cotton in a flecked natural colorway. I liked it a lot and have no idea what I was thinking I would make with it but for $1.48/ball it made me happy to have it in my stash and now will be a perfect gift. Both are FOs now.

A WIP I started in November but has been hibernating since has finally come back out. A wrap/shawl/scarf for me, this is BFL dyed by one of my favorite indie dyers, Elliebelly (no longer stunning the world with her amazing dye work, sadly) in my favorite feel-good colorway ever, crayon. I picked the dummy clap because... it looked easy. People, sometimes you want something that is pretty but easy even if it is boring as all get out to knit.

Remember these? Yeah, so sad that they are still a WIP. They should have been done ages ago. I would feel guilty about it except the child these are intended for refuses to put any mittens on her hands, even to try them on. She also doesn't wear the hat and scarflet that match these mittens. It will be an adorable set that never, ever gets worn. Her hands were red and cold today so I pulled them back out to finish them so she can wear them during this cold snap even though I know she won't actually wear them. I'll just feel better having finished them so she could wear them if she would. Anyway, I'll get pics of the set when the second mitten is finally finished.

This last bit is yarn that I'm dying to have be a WIP. The problem is I don't have needles that deserve to work with it and I haven't found the perfect pattern. I'm going to try out another pattern or make my own but I want this luscious dusty rose silk (by Debbie Bliss) to become this for C. I know it looks kind of peachy in the pic, all my pics have long shadows and golden afternoon light thanks to holding a fussy newborn most of the morning. That fussy newborn would be much happier if I could get this yarn knit up for her, I just know it.

I feel hopeful that I'm already doing pretty well on some of my NYKG 2010, not that I've even thought about intentionally doing any of them at this point. Maybe I'll keep this up, maybe not. Not exactly a knitting zombie yet but I am a postpartum zombie for sure. KEEP KNITTING FUN! (KKF!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby love

That hat drove me crazy. I'm going to attempt another one, may create my own pattern since this one didn't turn out after 4 different attempts. Too small and a very strange fit. I jammed it on her head for a photo shoot anyway.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Another perspective

This isn't exactly about my birth story with Cosette but it does include some of our birth story. My good friend Linda attended the birth last week as support and birth photographer. I haven't seen the images yet (she took a lot, I'm sure she's wondering what she was thinking now) but I've seen other samples of her work and I'm sure they are beautiful. What I appreciate about this post though is another perspective entirely and not from camera. I am well aware now as as someone who attends women in birth that there are always several stories happening, not just the birth story from the perspective of the mother. Everyone there, while sharing in the same developing experience, is experiencing their own version of the story coming from their own already in progress narrative. These tales are beautiful to me and getting to hear them, even in small snippets is a gift that those who attended Jeremy and I in our births bless me with when they share. I warn you, this post may make you cry. It took me a few days to find the courage to read it but it was worth it. I hope you are touched by what she shares there and if you can, take a minute to leave her a comment to thank her for sharing such depth of her soul. I'd also love to hear what you think in the comment section as well.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A week ago today- SROM or the begining of a birth tale.

There are moments that we mark in red on the calendar of our hearts and minds and quietly observe them on our own when those events are revisited. Some of them are annual, some or monthly, some are weekly, some are precious and beautiful, some are painful and sad, some are a combination. All are important in an intensely personal way.

This was me a week ago today.

A week ago tonight at about 9.30 my bag of waters broke spontaneously as I was crossing the street with Jeremy and Evangeline following dinner with our neighbors, F and J. F had given me a hard time about not having my water break while we were there and I started having contractions with a little bit of regularity when dinner was over. Having had them off and on all day and the two weeks before, I didn't want to give them more than a passing nod of acknowledgment. I've been down this road before, you see, this could go on for weeks and weeks. We joked and I assured F that my water had never broken before either early in labor or as the first sign of labor. He promised me there's always a first time for everything! And indeed, he was right! Forty-five minutes later we were crossing the street when I felt a small gush of fluid. I wasn't sure right away that SROM had just happened but after a few more steps I told Jeremy my suspicions and by the time we got to the house I was pretty certain that I would get into the bathroom and know for sure. It didn't take long for there to be clear fluid running down my legs requiring a change of clothes. I was definitely ruptured. Contractions sputtered to a stop as I called the midwife to give her the report, I had checked myself (again) that morning (because I could- the danger of knowing just a little too much) and knew I was 75% effaced and 2cm but I hadn't felt the baby move since I ruptured. Because we had a scare not even a week before with low heart tones and I didn't have a doppler at home we made a plan to have a nurse friend come and bring a doppler so we could get heart tones. This was just for peace of mind, for my peace of mind. I felt like she was ok but I wanted to know she was ok. Sue came, bringing a doppler and set to work cleaning my kitchen after we listened to that beautiful swooshing train sound in my belly. Baby V was fine. I had woken up that morning pretty sure this was the day, I've had this with every one of my babies, I've just known when they were going to be born in the next 24 hours. All day long I felt like my body was trying to go into labor but was being held back. My FaceBook status twice reflected it: "Feeling like a car revving the engine" and even less poetic "You-know-what or get off the pot girlfriend. I'm going to dinner now." I couldn't swear on FaceBook for some reason but you all know what I meant. Having seen it before in myself and women I've attended I had a hunch that having my children around was keeping me from kicking into gear and so we planned to pack them up and send them on their way to our friends LKH and EKH where we knew they'd be safe, have fun and we wouldn't need to worry about them and I could get down to the business of birthing a baby.

With the girls gone I worked on getting in touch with Linda as we had planned for her to come and take photos of the labor and birth. Thankfully she checked her Facebook and saw the message I left her since her number was erased from my phone causing me to panic that we wouldn't be able to get a hold of her. She called and headed right out, getting to our place around 11 or maybe midnight. I don't remember because by the time she got there my contractions had indeed decided to get this show on the road and I was in early labor.

There is obviously more to the labor/birth story but I'll leave you with this. A week ago tomorrow I looked like this:

And today, we have this:

These moments are marked in red in the day planner of my heart for several reasons. They mark the beginning of the end of the journey of bring our daughter into the world, they speak of the healing of some very painful moments and relationships along the way, they remind me of dear friends both new and old that journeyed with me, they testify to my personal strength of surviving another HG pregnancy and the agony that caused as well as the labor and birth, they chronicle the love of Jeremy and I birthing together again, they are likely the last of their kind as we feel we are done having children, and they direct the eyes of my heart back to God, the author of it all. Moments such as these deserve the red marker, emblazoning them on my heart's memory forever. I hope you have learned to pause and cherish such moments.

WIP weekend, new baby style

Poor little Cosette has had a time with jaundice meaning lots and lots of time laying naked in UV light. Our heat has been boosted up considerably and the rest of us feel like it is the middle of summer. Only more dry. A lot more dry. This has given several of us time to sit next to our newest little one and knit or read while keeping her company in the light. I have to say my knitting has slowed down but like my blogging, I promise I have a good reason.

Daddy keeps watch while working on a belated Christmas gift for a friend, another elf hat ornament which is now a FO.

My WIP (one of them and the only one I photographed) has been frogged TWICE since this photo and it is just a simple little baby cap. Driving me crazy. I'm about to frog the body of it again and instead of following the pattern this time I'm going by my gut and see if I can figure out what is wrong. It will be an adorable little pilot style cap when I finally finish it (again) and is part of a set for Miss Cosette. Some of my other WIPs include gifts for the birth team and I'm probably going to cast on another pair of newborn pants just for something easy to knit.

No photos of any other WIPs though O and L both have things going. Jeremy just finished a great pair of pants for E that I'll photograph tomorrow to share, they are simply brilliant and lots of fun.

I've noticed on the blogs of other knitters, those far more prolific than I in their knitting and blogging, making a list of your FOs (finished objects) is the thing to do at the end of the year. Being the rebel that I am, I shan't be doing that. It would be depressing, I can't even remember what I've done and figuring it out sounds like work. So no, there won't be a FO list here. There wouldn't be much on it anyway. Instead, I'll leave you with a bunch of new baby photos.