Monday, January 30, 2012

E - 4 Weeks

I had a knitting related post planned, I wanted to break it up a bit from all the baby related posts, but then I completely failed to take a picture of the little hat I made for my friend Ashley's baby, so that post went down the drain.  Perhaps Ashley would be kind enough to take a picture of little Miss Avery in the hat sometime.  But enough of my failings, on to the 4 week birthday of little Evelyn!

Photo by Madison Vining Photography

Somewhat knitting related, who remembers the silvery grey blanket I knit that won first in its category at the fair this year?  Yep, that one that Evelyn is on in the picture above.  Doesn't she look adorable?  Madison Vining took newborn pictures of Evelyn when she was 6 days old.  We had a fantastic time and I love, love, love all the photos.  Madison was a joy to work with and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a fantastic and patient newborn photographer.

Its already hard to believe she was that tiny.  I loved and treasured the super tiny stage.  I know she is still small, but I can already see the changes in her.  She slept so very well that first week.  Most nights we got at least one 4 - 5 hour stretch of solid sleep.  Great for mommy and daddy!  

 It took a while before she fit into her newborn clothes without them sagging all around her, but once she did I loved buttoning her up in adorable footed sleepers.  She hates getting dressed though and really hates if you want to pull her arms out to put them through sleeves.  But the end result of keeping warm plus being cute is worth the little bit of fussing.  We have her baby einstein play ocean all set up in the living room, but the only thing on it she is sure she loves so far is the mirror.  She finds mirrors fascinating.  I know that pretty soon she will be loving the rest of it and grabbing for all the hanging toys.  For now its mirror time and tummy time on the play ocean.

 On monday the 23rd Evelyn had her first play date with Little Rex.  Rex lives down the street and was born a mere few days before Evelyn on 12/30/11!  Rex is already trying to hit on her, the little snuggler.
Evelyn is excited for more play dates with all of her neighborhood friends.  Today she got to see Rex again as well as Emily, who is a bit older and wiser at 5 months and was pontificating on the ways of the crinkle toy for some time this afternoon.

We love, love, love the nap nanny!  Couldn't live without it.  When she was tiny and slept practically all day every day we just put her in the nap nanny in whatever room we were in.  That way she was always close to us.  At night she sleeps in the pack and play in our room, but during the day it was nice to have her close by.  And the incline seemed to help a lot when she was really stuffy in the beginning.  Riley and Ripley like to hang out near Evelyn and when she is not in the nap nanny they feel the need to keep it warm for her (something we are actually trying to discourage, but they are persistent).  We also love our Sleep Sheep.  We couldn't live without it.  Seriously.  It has helped out so many times when she was only borderline asleep or super fussy and walking alone wasn't doing it.  I highly recommend everyone with a baby own a Sleep Sheep!!

 Evelyn still loves to be swaddled.  I try and keep her unswaddled for a few hours a day so she will stretch and kick and have tummy time and such, but she is really happiest when she is all snug as a bug in a rug.  In fact, for a while I had take to calling her bug because I would tell her when I was getting ready to swaddle her that I was going to make her all snug like a bug.  Now that she is a bit bigger the Swaddle Me blankets that velcro are the absolute best thing.  Its so easy and she doesn't kick out of it like she sometimes does with a regular blanket.  She does still work her hands out of the top sometimes, she just really loves to have both her hands right under her chin.  Especially when she nurses!  She holds her two little hands together and its the sweetest thing.  It melts my heart every time.

This past sunday was baby dedication day at church so Evelyn wore a dress that was mine when I was a baby and an adorable little white bonnet.  She looked so darling.  And once again she was fascinated by her own reflection.

I am still getting up with her for every feeding.  I know eventually I might pump more and surrender a feeding or two to the bottle, but for now I love spending that quiet time with my little girl, even if it is really hard for me to pull myself out of bed sometimes.  Some days I wish I could just lay around all day and cuddle her.  I know that this time will pass so quickly and I want to savor it.  I took her to the doctor's office today just to weigh and she's 8 pounds even today.  She started out at 6 pounds 6 ounces at birth and I can tell the difference!  You won't think that just over a pound and a half would be that significant, but it definitely is.

I love my baby girl and I am enjoying seeing her little personality develop.  Its going to be a wonderful journey.  Now I better get some rest while I can because I know that tonight's portion of the journey will require at least 2 middle of the night feedings!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Knit Something!

Well, despite the fact that my right wrist has decided to not yet get over the whole carpal tunnel thing, I have knit (and completed) something!  I have a few things I have been working on, but I hadn't put all that much in to them recently.  But I finally sat down and knit on the same project from start to finish.

Ok, so its a small cotton baby hat.  And I didn't swatch, so its not as small as I had intended and I have started another one on smaller needles (although between the smaller needles and the less stitches I may have over compensated...)  So take heart, my knitting mojo has not gone away!  (Its just slowed down a bit what with all the distractions)

I'm excited for many things coming up.  Of course there is baby knitting, for both little Miss Evelyn and also for friends' babies.  Then there is the Indie Emporium Shop.  Have I mentioned that exciting news?  I think its going to be great!  And I was thinking maybe at some point I would get back to some of those projects I have in progress for myself.  The easiest to finish would be the chunky fingerless gloves I have been knitting to match my hooded cowl.  I have both of the gloves knit, I just need to sew up the seams and tuck in the ends.

Wish me luck on integrating the knitting, weaving, spinning, etc with the parenting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Pictures

So I did the all words post, here is the picture post to go along with it.  I was too intent on writing it all out to worry about incorporating the pictures.

Me and Evelyn in the delivery room.

All three of us, our first family picture.

Holding my baby girl in the NICU.  I hated that IV in her poor head.

My little glow-worm.

Ben checking on our little glow-worm.

Diva Time.


My clothes are all too big!!  At least I have my wubbanub.

Ok, I will try not to inundate you with baby pictures, but I can say there will probably be more soon because we had the fantastic Madison Vining here last sunday taking newborn photos.  She took a ton and the previews so far are amazing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Evelyn Elizabeth

Bear with me.  This will be long and detailed, but I want to have it for myself so I am not going to leave things out of edit it down to an easy read.

When I went to a friend's New Years Eve party and stayed up until 1am, I had no idea I was going to be woken up at 5am with my first contraction.  Well, the first one strong enough to wake me up.  A big part of me thought the contractions would stop.  They were irregular and uncomfortable but not out of control.  I fell back asleep between each one just to be re-awoken 10-15 minutes later by the next one.  I did time them, even though I was sleeping in between, just so I would know.  I didn't have the heart to wake Ben.  After all, we had gone to bed at 1am!  And my living room was full of company, also sleeping, so I just stayed in bed.  At 6 I figured my mom was up so I started texting her.  I was hungry so I snuck out to the kitchen to get yogurt and then ran a warm bath.  I stayed in there, re-warming the water, reading, texting and breathing through contractions until Ben eventually woke up at 8 or so.  Once I decided I was pruney enough from floating I got out and insisted Ben pack his hospital bag.  Mine had been packed for a couple weeks, but I added things to it, like make-up and a few more shirts.

My mom dropped by with a latte and a scone as an early labor pick me up and eventually the company sleeping in our living room woke up (it really was wonderful to have Kathleen and Amir here visiting!!) and we all sipped on early morning tea and coffee and discussed the day.  There was a whole list of stuff I had planned to get done on January 1st, so we got started on some of that.  They helped us un-decorate and take down the tree and even helped Ben get it all back up in the attic.  I sat on the couch during all this, wrapping ornaments individually.  Kathleen commented that I was the calmest person in labor she'd ever seen.  (How many have you really seen though, Kathleen??)  At this point I was still reminding people that it was entirely possible the contractions would stop.  They were still irregular and only slightly uncomfortable.  I was sad that the contractions meant I couldn't go to the aquarium with Kathleen and Amir as I had planned to, but at least I got to see them during their visit.  There were lots of hugs and well wishes as they headed on their way.

My mom came back with a big sack of groceries, including lots of things for me to 'snack' on during labor.  Who knew how long it was going to go on the way it was and we weren't supposed to head to the hospital unless they got to 5 minutes apart for at least an hour.  She brought kefir, saltines, greek yogurt, oyster crackers, etc.  It was great to have these things to keep me going, I could not have gone all day with out eating anything, but I also didn't want to eat anything that would sit heavy in my stomach and possibly come back up again in a very bad way.  Mom helped us clean the kitchen and get some things organized while I mostly sat in my glider/recliner and waited out the contractions.  I did manage to go take a nice warm shower at one point, which felt great but definitely took a while because I had to stop what I was doing every time a contraction hit.  At about 3 in the afternoon the contractions had become much stronger and I was pretty sure they weren't going to stop.  For the next hour the contractions were 4.5 - 5 minutes apart and became strong enough that I did get nauseous and throw up. We decided then that it was time to go to the hospital.  We fed the dogs and packed up the car.

The ride to the hospital was one of the worst parts.  The contractions were strong and the road was bumpy.  There was really no way to change position to ease the discomfort and I pretty much just had to hold on and not go crazy.  At least it wasn't a long drive.  About 15 minutes or so.  Once we arrived at the hospital Ben dropped me off at the ER, as we had been instructed by the nurse from our OB.  He parked and came back and wheeled me up to labor and delivery.  There was this odd pause between us checking in and being put in a room where they made us go sit in the waiting room and I was dry heaving and very uncomfortable.  I totally under estimated this whole labor thing.  I used to have a seriously high pain threshold, I totally thought I could handle it but the dry heaving was the straw that broke the camel's back.  The whole time waiting and even once they put us in a delivery room I would dry heave with every contraction.  Ug.

I'm not going to put a pretty spin on it.  I was crying occasionally with the contractions and I finally looked at Ben and asked if he cared if I asked for an epidural.  After all, I hadn't planned on having one, but I had pre-registered just in case and I am glad I did because apparently I am a wuss.  The lab apparently lost my blood, so there was a bit of a hold up on actually getting it.  The anesthesiologist was great and quick though once she got there and got everything placed perfectly and over the next half hour or so after she came in the contractions just melted away.  (Although while we were waiting on her I almost succeeded in crushing Ben's hand.  Or at least smashing his wedding ring in to it really, really bad with all my squeezing)  Once things were getting better and they let my mom back in the room (you can apparently only have one person in the room with you while they poke stuff in to your spine) I was downright hungry again.  The nurse, Bethany, was awesome and set me up with some orange jell-o and a lime double popsicle.  I devoured both, yum.  Then I worked my way through part of a half sprite half cranberry juice but eventually decided that was too sweet and just drank water like we were in the desert.

Eventually the hospitalist came in and broke my water.  The doc had the nurse ask if they could give me petocin to move things along but I said no.  I only wanted to use that as a last resort.  There was some debate as to whether or not my labor was progressing because the monitors weren't picking up much but when they went to try and put in an internal monitor the baby's head was already too well engaged and during all of that I jumped from being at a 5 or 6 to a 9.  Did I mention that during much of this time I was either dozing or playing on my phone?  It was lovely.

When I started pushing, just before midnight, I regained just enough feeling that I could totally tell where I was pushing and it was uncomfortable, but not screaming agony.  Eventually the doc (it wasn't my actual doctor on call from her practice that night.  There are 3 of them and I ended up really liking the one who was there) got there and after much pushing at 2:48AM Evelyn Elizabeth was born!  (My mother would probably like me to mention that I was still dozing between pushes for quite a while.  I was tired, you know?  Oh, and was I ever thirsty!   I had to have a drink of water between each push, almost right up until the end.  I felt constantly parched)  I only got to hold her for a few minutes while Ben cut the cord and then they took her away to be cleaned up and examined.  There was mucus in her lungs so they took her even farther away to work on her and Ben went with her and I have never been so worried in my life.  Tired and worried.  I had planned to try and breast feed immediately after deliver but that wasn't an option.  Apparently her O2 wasn't what it should have been so they put her on oxygen.  They only brought her back in to see me for another couple minutes before they took her away to the NICU.  Ben went with her again and I had to just wait and do all those other post delivery things.  They brought me food right away (peanut butter, crackers, and apple sauce) so I ate and I slept some, just waiting.  They didn't move me to a post partum room until 5am (and then they proceeded to wake me at 6 and 7 for different things).

I finally met Evelyn's NICU doctor at about 7:45.  She told me that Evelyn had a nasal cannula in but that they were no longer putting any more oxygen in it than one would find in normal room air.  They also put her on antibiotics because I had fever during deliver.  A fever of all of 99 degrees.  Very low grade and it disappeared immediately after deliver.  Because of the nasal cannula, I couldn't breast feed for at least the first day.  Because of the antibiotics she was going to be in the NICU at least 48 hours.  It was upsetting and hard, even though the doctor said she was doing well.  At least I was able to go down to the NICU and sit with her and hold her and rock her.  I had a few visitors throughout the day and went down to see Evelyn a number of times.  Only 2 people could be in with her at any given time and one of the two had to be Ben or I, so when family came to see her we traded off.  We also both tried to get some rest between visitors.

On Tuesday they took out the nasal cannula and we were finally able to try breast feeding!  (I had been pumping the day before)  It wasn't easy and they wanted her to eat on a strict schedule of 2, 5, 8 & 11, both am and pm.  She still had her IV in and they said they couldn't take it out until they were sure she was getting at least 15ccs at each feeding.  We had to weigh her before and after every time and the threat of delaying her release an extra day bullied me in to supplementing with some formula.  I really didn't want to, but I also wanted to take my little girl home.  That day and night were all about her feeding schedule.  I set an alarm to get up and go feed her at night.  I got to know the NICU nurses really well.  It wasn't easy, but we pushed through it and Ben was wonderful the whole time.

On wednesday I was hoping I'd get to take her home, but no luck.  Now she was jaundiced and they wanted to wrap her up with billi lights.  So while they had removed her IV, now I could only take her out of her crib for feeding and then she had to go straight back in to be wrapped up with the lights.  Once again both day and night were about her feeding schedule.  I was also discharged on wednesday.  We were able to stay in the room until midnight so we figured out what we would need for the night and Ben took everything else out to the car.  We grabbed up everything that was left and at just shy of 11pm trudged down to the NICU to settle in for the night.  At least they have recliners to sleep in.  It was a long night and not a very restful one.  During the 6:30am - 7:30am time when we were required to be out of the NICU we hung out in the l&d waiting room and cleaned up and brushed our teeth.  I felt kinda like a bum, trying to clean up in a public restroom.  And I was really, really tired.

Her billi count hadn't come down far enough, so once again we didn't get to go home.  They added a top light to her photo-therapy and we made sure after each feeding to get her back under the light as quick as possible.  We were required to go over to the Children's Hospital and take an infant CPR class that morning and then had a great 2nd appointment with a lactation consultant (we had seen the same one the day before).  In the afternoon Ben practically dragged me out of the hospital to go home and take a shower.  It was so hard for me to walk out those doors without my baby girl.  It was the first time I had breathed outside air since Sunday.  I refused to miss a feeding so we weren't gone more than two hours.  I planned to stay the night again but the doctor, the nurses and Ben all kept saying I needed to sleep so we went home at about 1am and came back Friday morning in time for her 8am feeding.  I felt so guilty leaving her there but I was tired and had a horrible hacking cough that I had been trying to hide for a few days at that point.

It seemed like a forever wait for the doctor that morning, but I was extremely hopeful.  I could tell they had bathed her the night before while we were gone and she had a little white t-shirt on when we got back in the morning.  That was her very first piece of clothing.  They had always kept her in just a diaper and a swaddle blanket.  The billi lights were gone and I got to feed her and rock her and just hold on to her.  From the time we got the news that she was being discharged (9ish or so) until the time we actually go out of the hospital (after 1 sometime) seemed to take forever!  There was a hearing test and a photographer to distract us while waiting on all the paperwork but the waiting still seemed to go on forever.  It was such a relief when they finally wheeled our little wagon full of stuff and our baby girl downstairs and we got in the car to go home, tired and happy.

So there you have our little story.  I know it was long and quite detailed (trust me, it could have been worse, I am brimming with details) but that was how our first days at as a family of 3 went.  We are glad to be home now.  We love our precious little baby girl, Evelyn Elizabeth.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On Radio Silence

I write brilliant blog posts in the shower.  Really.  They are witty and insightful and focused.  And then I get out of the shower and there are a million other things waiting to be done and I get distracted and those well thought out blog posts fly away like they were never even there.

I didn't blog as much as I wanted while I was pregnant.  I didn't blog as much as I wanted to about all of the exciting fall shows and things I was working on.  My blog is also having an identity crisis.  While I still want to focus on knitting and share what I do and learn and all, I may be transitioning to much more of a lifestyle blog because despite my best efforts, I am going to end up being one of those people who can't help but talk about their child and all that goes along with that.

I only gave one knitted Christmas present this year.  It was a pair of beautiful brown socks knit in Happy Feet in a garter rib pattern.  I have been working on them for well over 3 years, they kept getting put down in favor of much more instant gratification projects or deadlines for shows.  They were for Ben so they took much longer than if I had been knitting socks for myself.  I completely failed to get a picture of them finished, so maybe next time he has them on I can get him to pause long enough for me to take a picture.

By the end of my pregnancy I had swelling induced carpal tunnel.  It hurt to do a lot of things, especially knit with smaller needles.  I made some big airy cowls and then worked on a pair of fingerless mitts for myself to match the hooded cowl I made last year.  I bound off last night so I will post a picture as soon as I sew them up.  Stop laughing, mom, I will sew them up! (not let them sit like those two purses I knit and felted 5 years ago and have yet to sew the pieces together.)

I wanted to knit E a little hat to match that grey blanket but I kept putting it off.  I put a lot of stuff off, thinking I had 2 more weeks to prepare for E's arrival.  Boy was I wrong, but that's for another post.  My point is, I am going to try my best not to put so many things off anymore.  I hope to get E's birth story written this week.  It will be more for my own archival purposes than because I think you really want all the details.  And it will be long, so be forewarned.

Anyway, I hope you are still out there, taking a moment to read, and that I have not lost you all with such a long period of radio silence.  If I was a dj, I'd certainly have been fired ages ago.