February 25, 2011
Baby hats are so much fun to make, grab some spare yarn, even tiny amounts will make a little cap. This one was made from some bamboo yarn I received in a prize kit. The kit was to make a felted bracelet, with these weird “beads”. I think the yarn is put to a much better use as hats. I still have three more little balls to make another one, which I’ll make 4 stitches bigger so that it will fit a little while down the road when this one is too small.
This is Althea’s patented “superwoman” pose that she does when coming up for air after nursing. She rests a bit, does some burping (usually me not her for some reason) and then goes back to the buffet.
February 23, 2011
My little newborn is now over 5 weeks old, and definitely into her babydom now. If you had asked me over 5 weeks ago what was so special about a newborn, I would have answered that they were kinda small, and some are cute, some aren’t. But now that I have had my own newborn to experience, I understand more why women who have come up to look at Althea have such a misty look in their eye as they coo over how small and cute she is. They are remembering their own newborns, who may now be big huge grown people now.
I think I’m reaching a point where I’ve been sprinting for over 5 weeks, and its time to hit my stride and transition to endurance mode. I’ve been in “go” mode now, and haven’t had the time to stop, and acknowledge how much my life has changed. It’s been hitting me a bit lately, just how drastically my life has changed, and that it will never be the same again. Going to the store top pick up a few groceries now involves so many logistics, as to make it almost impossible. I did successfully navigate my first diaper change on a screaming infant in the grocery store bathroom, after which I got her back into her carrier, and danced her around the store until she fell asleep. Only to be shoved back into the (torture) car seat, which she hates. The realization of my new reality still hasn’t been fully grasped, as I’m still running from diaper change, doctor’s appointment, three feedings a night, tummy time, baths, and all the other elements that go into a newborn’s day. We try and get out once a day, which lately means going to the mall as it’s so cold out. This seems to help my mood immensely, and makes me feel like we’re getting something done. otherwise days can slip by with day time tv, nursing, cat naps here and there (Althea, not me) and diaper changes.
Overall I would say things are going really well however. We have so many good moments during the day, and I’m finding many things to enjoy. Althea seems to be developing something new each day, lately she has discovered her tongue! Mr. J and I are getting better as well as we master new skills such as putting a shirt on over her head for the first time. It wasn’t pretty, she cried, but she looked so cute! The next time was better! When she cries, the reason for it is usually obvious to me, and we can fix it pretty quickly (unless there is some reason why we can’t, like never put her in the car seat! She hates the car seat). Like every new parent, we really didn’t have a clue about what we were getting ourselves into, but hopefully we are figuring it out well. Only time will tell won’t it?
February 14, 2011
When I get a minute here, or Althea is busy napping on my lap, I fit in a little bit of mindless knitting on her baby blanket. It is just the right combination of mindless with a bit of mind. At the Boxing Day sale I chose 6 colours of Cashmerino Aran that complimented each other. The blanket is 12 squares, and every colour will be in each position (first, second, third etc) twice. Therefore when you pick which colour is next you need to make sure it hasn’t been already used twice in that position! So a bit of thinking along with the mindless garter stitch.
Once I’m done it will need to be sewn together, and all those ends sewn in, which will take a long time, but I do like how colourful it is.
Thank-you to everyone who has sent along their congratulations on the birth of Althea, I really appreciate it. I’m still finding a few minutes here and there to get on the internet, and haven’t had a chance to respond to everyone yet!
February 9, 2011
I’ve learned a few things about baby hats, now that I have an actual baby to experiment on! One thing I did correctly was make warm hats for when we are outside. She wears the pom-pom bobble hat when we go for walks together outside, and I just about die from the cuteness that is her. She also wears her green bonnet for outings outdoors, and I must get a photo of her in that soon! It fits her newborn head perfectly. What I didn’t realize is that babies are normally indoors, and need indoor hats! Althea needs to wear a little hat most of the time to keep her heat in, and as high as we have our temperature setting in the house, when it gets cold outside the house also cools down considerably. She has been wearing the little pink hat given to her in the hospital a lot, she is wearing it in the photo at left just as she is getting ready to be taken out of the bouncy chair. Demanding to be taken out is more like it! She goes for about 10 minutes before she is done! The hat is acrylic, and has ladders up the sides, but it does the job I guess.
The first thing I worked on when we got home was a little indoor hat, and I’m making another one from bamboo yarn as well. The little green and white cap is thinner, and a bit tighter than the pink one so that it stays on longer. Plus she looks like a cute little elf in it. Making hats from superwash is difficult, as you need to make them a bit smaller to start off with, as they stretch quite a lot upon washing. This is her natural pose after a feeding, and her little cheeks are all pushed up by her arm.
February 6, 2011
We’re slowly getting back into the swing of things now after the birth of our little baby girl on January 15th, Althea Elisabeth. She is just over three weeks old, and a little darling girl, we couldn’t feel more blessed. This may be a bit long, but it is overdue!
The birth story is a rather long one, and I’m already forgetting the details of it as I’m meant to. I had been having contractions on and off for around 5 days, and then Thursday January 13th I woke up at 4 am with regular contractions. They weren’t that bad, and were four or five minutes apart. By that evening they were stronger, 2-3 minutes apart, and over a minute in length, which we had been taught meant that it was time to head to the hospital! Once we got there we got into a triage space and I found out I was only 1-2 cm dilated! They sent us home, me with some morphine in me so that I could sleep a bit, with instructions to come back in the morning before that Doctor went off shift to be checked. At that point I was only 3 cm, and that was generous. I have a cervix that doesn’t like to dilate, the Doctor’s kept asking if I’d ever had surgery, which I haven’t. We went home again, with instructions to come back when things got “bad”, or “5th gear” which is difficult to hear when you are already of the opinion that the contractions were rather long, hard and close together. This was Friday now, and by the evening again things were getting really hard to hold it together, and I thought it could be “5th gear”. Again, how would I know, I’d never been in labour before!! We went back to the hospital, and lo and behold I was 4 cm, barely. We stayed in triage for a bit, and around 7 pm my water broke finally, which meant they couldn’t send us home again, the thought of which I found positivelyhorrifying. The contractions were now really long, and around 1-2 minutes apart. The funny thing is that 2 other couples from our birth class were in triage, and we were having moaning contests during our contractions.
Finally, we got into a delivery room, and when they started talking oxytocin to make my contractions stronger I asked for an epidural, as I was of the opinion that my contractions were already too strong for me to handle. The epidural was very well done, and I was able to sleep a couple of hours, waking up Saturday morning at 6 am fully dilated. Whoppee! The last 5 cm were easy! When I started to push I had to feel my belly to know when the contraction was, but then I could feel them much better as time wore on. The nurse was excellent, we went through a number of positions, some of which she had to hold the baby monitor on by hand, and even get down on the floor when I was squatting, and being very encouraging. I seemed to be doing very well until the baby got down to where she had to slip under the pubic bone, and then we stalled for oh, 4 hours. After 3 hours the nurse called for help, but by the time the other doctors got there, decided a vacuum could help, then went to get the vacuum (I was on the bed being very upset that they didn’t bring the *()*)^% vacuum with them in the first place, I just wanted the baby OUT) it was over 4 hours. The Doctors came back, and started to really ramp of the oxytocin, and somehow with four women holding my legs, yelling encouragement, me grabbing the bed with all my might, and pushing the baby with more than all my strength, with something else from somewhere else, our baby girl finally came out. When they asked if I wanted to feel her blonde head I believe my answer was “No just get her out”, but then I did reach down and feel her head which was good I guess. I may have been a bit tired, and not into the spirituality of the moment. Mr. J watched the whole thing from behind the herd of women, and declared it to be “rather amazing process”. He was impressed, and I didn’t poop which makes me happy. That could of been from 3 days not really eating however. Finally at 10:31 am our baby girl popped out rather quickly, and was whisked off for suctioning. Very fast she was back and on my chest and the magic began. She stopped crying immediately, and settled down quietly, then looked up with her beautiful eyes to me. Mr. J took a photo of it, and it will be the most precious memory of the whole experience. After some quiet cuddling she started to eat, and demonstrated an expert latch already.
The short list of names was Jessie, Molly, Ruby, and a few others we were debating. But when we met her, we thought she was so incredibly beautiful, and that she took after the German side of her heritage more than the English. Jessie was my Grandmother’s name, and was my top pick, but it seemed too cute for her. Somehow I remembered Althea, which never made it onto our list, but which I did like. To my ear the name sounds beautiful, a lovely soft name, with music in it. It means healer, and has many other lovely associations with songs, flowers, and literature. Mr. J liked that we can call her many different nicknames, even if we normally use her full name. Althea Elisabeth (after many grandmothers, great-grandmothers on both sides of our families) it was, but it wasn’t official until we left the hospital and made sure it wasn’t on the top 10 list of names.
I can’t begin to tell you how lucky we feel, and all the new joys that are in our lives now. The feel of her little strawberry blonde head when you rub your cheek along it, her many expressions, her coos and noises. At only a day or two old we learned she knows my voice, and I need to be quiet if she is hungry as she will wake up and look for food. This little creature knows us already, and we have the power to make her happy, secure, satisfied, and content. What a joy that is. So far we’ve made it through the first few days of getting my milk in, some jaundice, thrush, and a few other things which have meant that we’ve gone to many Doctor’s appointments. But 3 weeks in we’re doing well, and she is changing and growing like a strong little girl. Mr. J and I have screwed up in many ways, but she seems to forgive us instantly.