Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A New Baby Quilt

Even before we technically knew the gender of our youngest, I knew she was a girl.  I'm 2 for 2 in that department.  I was so sure of my feeling that I found this pretty blue flowered fabric one day and decided that I would use it to make her quilt.  I followed the idea from Young House Love because I didn't want to spend my time downstairs at my sewing machine.  I wanted to be able to make this quilt from my comfy spot on the couch binge watching The Great British Baking Show. Best competition show in history.  I think it's the lack of suspenseful music and horrifically long pauses before someone gets kicked off.

Ah yes, back to the quilt.  I bought 1/2 yard of the flowered fabric to make my binding and I found embroidery thread that matched the colors in the fabric and also bought a yard of quilted white fabric from JoAnnes.  After some reading, I learned that embroidery thread may not be the best idea for this because as the quilt is washed the thread can shrink or deteriorate faster than the rest of the quilt. I haven't had an issue yet but its something to think about!

I cut a piece of embroidery thread about the width of the quilted fabric and started in the middle for each line of stitching.  That way, I wouldn't have such a long long piece of thread to work with.  I just followed the corners of the quilted fabric so I had nice straight lines, and tried to keep my stitches approximately the same length. Once I got to the end, I left a couple of inches of the thread hanging off while I moved on to the next color.

After I finished the Great British Baking Show, I was left with this:

I was nervous about adding the homemade binding without securing the tails of my stitches first, so I ran the two quilt sides through my sewing machine with a tight zig zag stitch to take the thread down better.  I cleaned up the tails of thread, and sewed down my homemade binding (google search purl bee for a great tutorial on bias binding and finishing).
Homemade binding

I'm in love with how this quilt turned out.  It took a long long time with that embroidery thread, but it was pretty mindless work.

I've been keeping up with the same thing I did for my son and snapping her picture on it weekly to track her size.  So sweet!

Monday, August 15, 2016

My Second Hypnobirth

I gave birth 4 months ago already and need to make sure I write this down before I forget details!

I had another successful hypnobirth.  There, no detail spared, right?

Okay here's how it all went.  If you recall, I had an extremely successful, nearly pain-free hypnobirth with my son two years ago.  This time around it went differently but was still successful.

I had been having prelabor or false labor or practice labor or something for two weeks before my daughter was born.  Two weeks is a long time.  These surges (hypnobirth for "contractions") were not comfortable, I was not able to just "hypnobirth them away", and I couldn't seem to get relaxed through them at all.  I actually was pretty embarassed because these felt so different than my other birth and I felt like a newbie who didn't know what was going on again.  My poor hubby was on high alert for two weeks. Whoopsie.

My doctor had been sure to inform me at all my prenatal appointments of her patients that have birthed in the car on the highway; I was supposed to head to the hospital with surges every 5 minutes for an hour.  

I went ten days overdue (oooof!).  Then on a Monday night, I was awake, AGAIN, from false labor.  I sent my sister a text complaining how the baby would never come and how I couldn't handle another day of practice labor.  I fell asleep on the couch somewhere around 3, and then was up again at 6am with some very strong and very fast surges.  I took a quick shower and looked at the time; 20 minutes later I had worked through 5 surges.  Ooh boy.

So Dillon called his mom to come watch our son, and I proceeded to panic that she wouldn't make it on time.  In reality, it was fine. I had just been worrying about it for about 4 months.  She arrived at 7am, and we were out the door 10 minutes later.  I've seen beautiful videos or read beautiful stories of when mom heads to the hospital and says a tearful goodbye to her only child.  Nope, not me.  See ya kid. I'm not having a good time here.

Thank goodness we didn't run into morning traffic, the drive was uncomfortable enough.  Dillon went to park the car and I started walking through the hospital to the labor and delivery area.  Well now about 35 people came to make sure I was ok, and all I wanted was to walk slowly and listen to my hypnobirthing cd.  No no no I have to make polite conversation with "helpful" strangers.  But I survived and we got into triage, where I was dilated to 4.  I was informed that I could not give birth in the tub because I was over 41 weeks.  Grr. I think this really threw off my mojo, because when I got to our room I couldn't really relax in the tub knowing I had to get out later.

I got out after an hour or two in the tub and went to the bed, where I did give birth.  Unfortunately, I had to be flat on my back or else baby's heart rate went down.  Most uncomfortable position ever.  I also had Dr. Peppypants (a resident shadowing my Dr.) come into my room a few times and he did not seem to understand my calm, quiet atmosphere request.  Nurses literally rolled their eyes when he entered the room once and declared "WELL, HOW ARE WE FEELING???" like a cheerful little f*#&er when I was moaning.  He also touched me when I asked him not to and didn't even move a muscle.  Until my doctor said "you can stop touching her, she doesn't have an epidural".  Not the best for bedside manner.

Well this was not the peaceful & serene birth I had pictured and instead involved a lot more moaning and groaning and a few screams.  I believe it was because of the meconium in the fluid but they warned me that she might come out floppy and that they would have to take her across the room to help her if she was. I asked if they could just leave her on me to work on her and I could tell that they all wished that they could but they said the ultimate parent line: "we'll see".  I was able to push her out without too much fanfare and they had Dillon cut the cord and whisked her away immediately. They spent about 35 minutes working on her across the room, Dillon told me later it was much scarier than I realized.

So here I am, laying on the table, asking how cute she is and feeling great that my labor is over.  I should have realized when the NICU nurses, two residents, nursing student, and my husband were all watching the baby intently while I was quietly cared for my one nurse.  Also during this time, I could see that Dillon was turning very very pale and I yelled at him to go sit down. Someone brought him apple juice so he didn't pass out.

Our hospital bill lists "infant resuscitation" so wow.  They were giving her oxygen for awhile and then taking it off to see if she started breathing well on her own.  She recovered and is totally fine.  They brought her back over to me and we got all our cuddles and breastfeeding going.  I even got to shower before going down to the recovery floor.

She was 8lbs 10oz.  Not a little girl! She was born just after noon, so I had been at the hospital about 4 hours.

I had been really nervous about another postpartum hemorrhage but I was fine.  Incidentally, I had been so afraid of hemorrhage around 6 months pregnant that I couldn't talk about going into labor without crying. So I talked about it with my hypnobirthing instructor and we did EFT tapping release, and within an hour or so I was totally comfortable and no longer afraid of giving birth. Weird, weird thing to do but it totally worked!  This mind-body connection stuff is no joke.  (Do I sound like a crazy hippie yet???)

We had a much better recovery and now I realize just how rough it was when I had my son.  I was in rough shape.  It took me weeks to have the energy and stamina to walk through the grocery store.  This time I felt pretty good right off the bat.  Horay!

I wish I had another pain-free, unicorns and rainbows birth to tell you about, but I don't.  I would not call this birth pain-free.  I need to give myself more credit because even though I was moaning and uncomfortable I did have a drug-free, natural birth.  I still believe hypnobirthing is the way to go.  Here's what I would do differently next time: prepare myself to go with the flow.  When I learned I couldn't birth in the tub, I was devastated.  When I had to lay on my back, I was devastated.  If I had been more flexible and remembered that every birth is different, I might have felt a little better.  Also, I should have worked harder to get into the hypnobirthing zone while I was having practice labor.  I think I was very tired mentally and physically before my "real" labor even began.

All in all, I am so glad I had another natural birth. I just need to give myself more credit and let go of the idea that it was supposed to go a certain way.  And of course, I got a healthy little girl out of the deal.