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She’s Here!

We had Ruby Lucille Carmella at 10:28pm on January 28th.  She weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and surprised us all with a beautiful head covered in blonde hair –not red like David’s or brown like mine.

Does the internet need another birth story? I’m not really sure, but I’ll add mine to the pile anyway.  If this sort of thing grosses you out, feel free to skip on down to the pictures.  On Wednesday, 1/26, I went to my 39 week midwife appointment and had an ultrasound because I was measuring large.  The ultrasound said that I was carrying a giant baby–9 1/2 pounds, they estimated!  My midwife offered us a c-section, which we declined, and then told us we could try induction that night and just go home if it didn’t work.  That sounded reasonable to us, so we were scheduled to start the induction at 9:30 that evening.  We checked into the hospital that night, feeling excited and hopeful that we might leave there with a baby!  This is where the avalanche of complications began.  The room with the birthing tub was occupied and I had to get an iv started and be monitored, since we were inducing.  I was disappointed, but okay.  Next, they took my vitals and my blood pressure, which had been normal that morning, was high.  I figured I was just feeling nervous and asked if they would take it again in a minute.  It was even higher.  Finally, after several hours and dozens of blood pressure checks, I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and my normal, healthy pregnancy was now high risk.  There was no “going home” option if the induction failed.

All day Thursday, I had mild contractions, but made very little progress, even after my midwife broke my water, which was a very weird sensation.  Early the next morning, they put me on an iv of Pitocin, which is a stronger way to induce labor.  This made the contractions way worse and much closer together.  I labored this way for about 11 hours.  Contractions were bad, but I was relaxing through them and David and my mom were helping me a lot.  The nurses were pretty sure I was close and set up the baby area and I was starting to feel like the end was in sight.  I was wrong about that one.  My midwife came and checked me and I was only 5 cm dilated.  You can’t push till you’re 10.  My blood pressure was still very high, so she wanted to increase the Pitocin and get the baby out soon to avoid a c-section.  At that point, I decided to get an epidural.  I hadn’t slept or eaten since we checked into the hospital and I was very discouraged to only be halfway dilated.  So I got the epidural and they cranked the Pitocin up as high as it would go.  The pain relief was instant, but short lived.  It gave me the break I needed, though.  At 6:30, my midwife checked me again and told me I could start pushing.  The epidural had worn off by then, so I was ready to start pushing and get the labor over with!  You guys, it’s hard for me to describe what pushing felt like, but it was pretty much the worst thing ever.  And it lasted for 4 hours.  It seemed like it would never end.  I kept asking, “Am I closer??!” and the midwife would say, “Well, you’re closer than you were last time!”, which is the worst answer, because it basically means no.  Finally, another doctor came in and told me that I had three more  chances to push and then I would have to have a c-section.  I told her I would need a new epidural.  On my next push, she was out.  I was shocked that it was over and immediately felt like it hadn’t really been that bad after all (although I now realize that it was, in fact, that bad).  The doctor put Ruby on my chest and I was surprised at how warm and soft she felt–not slimy at all, like I had imagined she might be.  David cut the cord, which reminded me of calamari, and after a few minutes, they took her away to get some antibiotics and be observed, since she had such a dramatic entrance into the world.  David  went with her and my mom stayed with me.  They were so great during the whole labor and delivery–they never let on how tired, frustrated, and worried they were feeling.  There was a lot of love in that room and it really helped me get through the hard parts.

David and I ate turkey melts and fries from the cafeteria that night and Ruby rejoined us around 4am.  We stayed in the hospital for another two days and were finally discharged at 10:00pm on January 30th.  I now feel mostly recovered and Ruby is doing great–she has already gained a pound (probably because she eats all. the. time.) and changes every day.  Transitioning from “couple” to “family” has been weird, wonderful, and overwhelming.

On to the pictures!

Brand New Ruby!

Tiny Feet

Funny Faces

Sleeping Beauty

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Still No Baby

Gosh, whoever writes this blog really needs to get her act together…

I have been a bad craft blogger because I have indeed been knitting, but I have no pictures or information to show for it.  Wouldn’t you rather see all the cute baby stuff on an actual baby, though?  Well, just a little longer and we’ll get to do just that.

Let’s talk about this “baby”.  No, she is not here yet.  My due date is just a week and a half away, so I’m officially on the “any day now” schedule, which basically means that I obsess about my cervix all day every day, so that’s awesome. 

This is what I looked like, back when I was a happy pregnant lady:

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I won’t show you what I look like now.  You’d just feel sorry for me, and that’s not what this blog is about.  Anyway, cute baby pictures with lovely knitted hats, sweaters, bootees and pants are coming soon.  And you’ll be happy to know that our baby will not be born bald, like I was, but WITH HAIR!  Will it be red?  STAY TUNED!  My apologies, but this is really the best I can do for a teaser.

Knits for the whole family (except David)

So, I have been secretly fretting over a rocking chair for the nursery for a number of reasons. First, I have heard that some babies do not like to rock or glide, so this purchase may be totally in vain, which brings me to the second worry, which is that comfortable rockers are super expensive (we will not discuss gliders because they are hideous), so I would feel a lot of pressure to use it regardless of the baby’s feelings about rocking, which could lead to many tortured hours of either rocking alone, or rocking with a screaming baby, niether of which are particularly good options. Third, it is hard to find one that will both go with the nursery color scheme (gray and yellow) and physically fit into the smallish space available for it.

So.

I was hoping to solve all of these problems by finding the perfect used rocker, this way, if it doesn’t work out, we can just get rid of it without feeling too guilty about the money. We went to my favorite place to buy used furniture: Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. I loooove it there, but I was not feeling confident that we would actually find a small, yellow rocker the first time out. But then, there it was! A SMALL YELLOW ROCKER!! So, for $55, we threw it in the back of the Prius (which can hold way more furniture than you might think, by the way), cleaned it up and put it in the nursery. I love it.

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Cute, huh?

Anyway, as the title of this post implies, I have been knitting.  I just completed my #1 absolute favorite thing I have made for this little girl and it’s funny because it’s such a plain and simple little top:

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Pattern: Seamless Baby Kimono

Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino

Modifications: Used buttons instead of ties and shortened the sleeves

First of all, the pattern was lovely.  Perfect car knitting because I could go for long stretches without referring to the pattern at all.  However, the real star of this pattern is definitely the yarn.  I have never used Malabrigo Silky Merino before and my oh my, the color and the drape and the softness is just a pleasure.  You know I’m biased toward this yarn anyway, but honestly, this was something special for me.

Second knit.  Don’t laugh, but it’s another pair of mitts.  I made this pattern for my sister for Christmas last year and liked them a lot and I had this festive red Malabrigo, so I made a pair FOR MYSELF, you guys!

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Pattern: Susie’s Reading Mitts

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Colorway: Vermillion

Modifications: this pattern is perfect as is. 

I love these.  I love that I can use my iPhone and change the radio station in the car (I am currently switching between Christmas music and NPR, so my car time has been sort of manic-depressive lately) and type and find my keys–all while maintaining hand warmth!  I know you know this, but isn’t it weird how uncomfortable frozen, chafed hands can be?  All swollen and numb, but somehow still ultra pain sensitive?  I hope to forget about that sensation over the next few seasons of glove wearing. 

Wish me luck.

Runaway (from the) Train

Ignore everything I wrote about the train last week. It was a mistake, you guys. First of all, I left my knitting in the car.  I know.  Secondly, it ended up taking us almost 19 hours to get from Maysville, KY to Philly, and that was after we DROVE for two hours from Lexington to Maysville.  And there was a crazy man across the aisle from us, who spend the first eight hours of the trip bathing his head and shoulders with cologne.  And the food? The food was an abomination. For dinner, we had pasta with marinara sauce mixed with corn.  This was how it came out.  Of the microwave, no doubt.

The moment I stepped off the train, my distended, pregnant body let me know in no uncertain terms that I would not be boarding again in two days.  Or ever.  So David’s parents graciously let us borrow their Suburban to drive home and driving was PURE PLEASURE.  I don’t know what I was thinking–David and I have been driving long distances together for almost 10 years now and we always have a good time.  Plus we had the added benefit of the in-laws XM radio, which has an all Broadway station.  I don’t think anymore needs to be said about that. 

So, I have no knitting to show you (see above), but we got a lot of very cute, handmade stuff at the baby shower (which was the point of the whole trip), but that will be for a separate, more light-hearted, post. 

In conclusion: I really hope no one booked train tickets as a result of my previous, stupidly optimistic post.  If you did, you have my sincere apology. 

This time FOR ME!

Happy belated Halloween!  Ever since David and I first got married and moved to our first apartment, I have wished for trick or treaters to come to the door by the dozen.  Unfortunately, things just never worked out for us.  When we lived in neighborhoods with lots of kids, it was not safe for said children to be out at night (we’ve lived in some rough areas), and when we lived in safer neighborhoods, there were very few children.  Well, I’m happy to report that our seventh home is a perfect blend of safe area and full of kids, so we had about 50 trick-or-treaters!  And, as an added bonus this year, Maxwell sat at the door watching these strangers approach us to take our candy and did not behave like a rabid killer!  There is hope for him, yet, people.

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 And look how cute we can make him look, when we put his head in a vice-grip and torture him with blindness!  And note also the presence of a very attractive human face on this blog!  All this anonymity just seems really silly to me at this point, so I’m ending it, starting with David.  This is what he looks like, Internet and he is not afraid of you or your spying ways. 

Anyhoo, the handsome man above and I are embarking on sort of an adventure this weekend–a train ride!  Yes, we will be taking a train from Kentucky to Philadelphia to visit the In-Laws and to attend our baby shower!  I’m not really sure how we decided to take the train–something to do with the expense of flying and the discomfort of driving 12 hours during one’s 3rd trimester (I can’t believe it, either).  There are only two major down-sides to travelling by train: 1. it leaves at 4:30am 2. it’s an 17 hour trip.  But the big positive?  Knitting time.  Also Dining Cart.  And Bathrooms.  So we shall see.  In preparation for this epic train ride, I have purchased yarn and plan to make a baby sweater–perhaps the February Baby Sweater, fitting since this little girl will most likely come a few days after her January 31st due date.  I was excited to see that Malabrigo is testing a superwash worsted weight yarn, but passed over it for the dk weight Silky Merino and it is beautiful. 

I smiled goofily while turning the hanks into cakes and kept saying to David, in the next room, “This is making me so happy!”  Weird, I know.  It’s like I have the opposite of pregnancy hormones.  I’m sure David would agree…RIGHT, DAVID?!  I also picked up a hank of regular Malabrigo Worsted in colorway Vermillion, because I was completely out after making those blue fingerless mitts. 

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And what did I make with the new yarn?  FIngerless mitts, natch. But these are different, because, unlike the last dozen pairs I’ve made, they are FOR ME! And while knitting them up, I couldn’t help but sing Rose’s song, the final anthem in Gypsy Rose Lee, which ends with Patti Lupone screaching several half-crazed repetitions of, “For me!” Pictures to follow.  Of the mitts, not my performance.

A couple things…

I made another pair of fingerless gloves.  This is only because I didn’t feel I had sufficiently proven my fingerlessgloveknitting prowess last fall, while preparing for the Christmas of Knitted Gifts.  And it is also because I have a special friend who I will be seeing soon at a certain baby shower (for me! OMG!) and I happened to have an extra hat from last year (it got a little crazy at the end, there), so I thought, what the heck, I’ll make some gloves and complete the set!  So I did.

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And, let me tell you, I am SO GOOD at making these now.  I think I can stop now.  Except that, somehow, I still don’t have any for myself. 

Pattern: Raspberry Mitts (Ravelry Link)

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Paris Night

Mods: I turned them inside out so that they are in reverse stockinet.  I just liked how they looked better that way. 

In other news, this fall has been disappointingly hot and dry–most days it hovers in the mid 70’s and just stays sunny.  Oh well, at least the dogwood tree is giving us a nice show, as always.

dogwood fall

Autumn Leaves, take 2

There’s a fear that’s been developing for the past two years, and now that I’m about to have a baby (in four months), it is rearing its ugly head.  I think my sister stole my good baby karma.

My parents tell me that my sister was a horrible infant.  She didn’t sleep, she didn’t eat, and basically behaved like those bad babies that hang out in the checkout lines at grocery stores.  Specifically Wal-Mart.  Anyway, she was so bad, they almost didn’t have me because they were apparently developing borderline personality disorders by the time she was two.  But have me, they did, God love them, and lo, my presence was a soothing balm to the household.  I was a Good Baby.

ERGO, the logic of the universe tells us that, when it came time to have our own kids, Sister Friend was doomed to have a hellion, while my biggest complaint would be that all the strangers complimenting my perfect children made me late for supper.

And here’s where things get worrisome: SHE had a Good Baby!!!  So now, I’m a little concerned.  At least, though, if I do end up with some screamy freak-out child, I will have someone to blame, and doesn’t that make things at least a little less unjust?

ANYWAY:

Yesterday was a great day for knitting! I finished up two projects which were languishing on the needles and even had time to knit a wee little plain baby cap.

I only have one picture to show you today, because the other stuff is downstairs, so obviously, that’s too far away.

But it’s a cute one:

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Does this look familiar?  It’s because I knitted one for my niece Ellie (soon to be known as “the good one”).  It’s the Autumn Leaves Cardigan from What to Knit when You’re Expecting, done in the (washable and cheap) Lion Brand Wool-Ease and with yellow buttons.  Awwww