July 28, 2011

The Onion really is an accurate news source.

Firstly, let's all knock on wood several times.

Ok. I haven't had a panic attack in a long while. Although I did get pretty anxious on the tour of the labor and delivery unit, and that's what prompted me to do this post on a 2009 article from The Onion. I was going to do it before the birth in anticipation of totally freaking out and losing my mind as I spent hours and hours in slow labor, but it turns out that super fast and intense labor doesn't leave you time or energy to freak out and lose your mind. So that's good.

I cut out the article two years ago and saved it in case I ever had to describe a panic attack to someone, which has not happened and even if it had I don't think I want to start collecting newspaper clippings. I know hubs doesn't want me to start collecting newspaper clippings. So I scanned it before realizing you can just read the article online. Whatever. Now I can throw it away and you'll all know what's wrong with me when I'm facing some sort of child-related crisis.

July 25, 2011

Finn's first.

One of the benefits of "popping" out August a little early is that I was then able to attend Finn's first birthday!

Check out his cute shirt made by his mommy!

July 22, 2011

0 months?

Love these stickers we got from Auntie Becky that you put on a onesie every month to document the first year. "Zero months" doesn't really make sense to me, but I just do what the stickers tell me. I guess I should have stuck it on him the day he was born, but I'm a couple weeks late. I've been busy sitting around.

I haven't made anything lately (surprise!), but *technically* I spent the last nine months creating a human. Also an entirely new, disposable organ. The nurse showed us the placenta. It was cool, but not as cool as the human.

July 15, 2011

Huh. Didn't expect to give birth the next day.

When I posted last, I was 38 weeks and one day and thinking, "gee, I feel like this baby might be early." And then he was born. Here is a short account for those who like to hear about births. The rest of you can gawk at this picture and just imagine that the angels sang a chorus and we were spontaneously transported to the hospital where he just appeared in the bassinet next to my bed.

August Robert Bernard was born at 1:11 pm on Saturday, July 9, 2011. I had woken up to pee at 4:30 am that day, but something was a little different from the usual mid-night run. Sure enough, half an hour later I was contracting. For some reason I was not convinced this was it. By 6:00 or so I was not a happy camper - yet still not convinced. Meanwhile, hubs knew what was going on and got into full I-better-get-as-ready-as-possible gear. He was setting up the bassinet, cleaning the kitchen, tidying the dining table, somehow all while comforting me as I began to writhe every few minutes.

By 8:00 I decided that we needed to go to the hospital even though I feared getting there and being told this was just false labor or that we should've stayed home because it would several more hours before anything important started happening. I wasn't sure that I could endure several more hours of this, or believe that "real" labor might be harder. And so I made my delirious way to the car, although now I have no recollection of how I was able to manage it.

I had been imaging how this car ride would go for a couple of weeks and figured I would be berating hubs for hitting too many bumps and making my whole achy belly jiggle. In fact, I noticed zero bumps - I only knew that I was undoubtedly going to explode and FINALLY I embraced that this is happening.

There was only one moment of bickering, and it was over where to park. Really, it was just that hubs was going to park in the ramp as we had planned and it was very suddenly clear to me that I would not make it from the ramp to the ER. Indeed, as I walked the ten yards from our metered car spot to the doors, I was wondering what would happen if I just collapsed in the driveway. I didn't though.

Fast forward through almost passing out at check-in and being wheeled up to labor and delivery triage... the nurses got me on a gurney and started doing stuff. I don't know what, but it was all just a horrible way to torture me while denying me the drugs I always said I'd *try* to do without but now desperately needed. Check number one: 4 cm. Check number two about 30 minutes later: 10 cm.

Suddenly they were all, "let's get her to a room!" But they didn't know which because there had been no time to plan. We stopped in a few doorways before settling on a room. The hurry to get me into a delivery bed was quite cinematic. And then I proceeded to push for four hours.

I think there are a few reasons for this... 1) we hadn't had a chance to call anyone and my mom and sister needed time to get there; 2) like so many first-timers, I had to figure out how to push when it was both the last and first thing I wanted to do; and 3) it had all gone so fast and was so intense that my body was already wrecked - it was definitely what they call "back labor." Which means unbearable, hip-bursting excruciatingness.

I won't detail the actual delivery, but will say that I did feel it all. At many times during the process I thought, "I'm never doing this again," and other such dramatic beliefs that trauma induces. I'm not taking it back so far, as you can clearly see that I have not yet achieved the forgetting they talk about.

When August came out, they put him on me and the only thing I remember thinking was that I've never felt anything so soft. There were cheers from the room. My head was otherwise white noise. He didn't cry, he just looked around like, "well, here I am." And he was so soft. Apologies for the ridiculous mushiness, but suddenly my existence meant something totally different than what I'd ever known, because a human being was made. From nothing. I'm still trying to understand.

7 pounds, 8 ounces
19 1/2 inches long
14 inch head cir.

Six days later we've come home and are doing all the things new parents do, and August is just doing his little baby things. Except for rolling over. He totally rolled from his front to his back at five days old.

July 8, 2011

38 weeks yesterday.

And here I am at the pool the day before with my sister's kids - Maxie using the "profundity of my rotundity"* as a nice place to rest.

*Quoted from an actual statement made by hubs on an earlier occasion when he ran into me because he had underestimated my new size.

July 6, 2011

The room is totally ready to not be used for like two months.

Tomorrow is 38 weeks! Translation: every moment becomes a waiting game. When will the real contractions start? Will I ever stop having night sweats? Am I ready for child-birth (um, no. Duh.)? Am I ready for parenthood? From a planning standpoint, perhaps. BEHOLD! The place where the child will eventually sleep but who knows when:

I admit that I might get real sick of green and yellow, but overall the room is a pleasant place to be. I can only hope the nugget feels the same. Because I'm not redecorating anything based on the whims of an infant. Unless he's going to help me make new pillows, curtains, chair cushions, and wall art. I hope he's a grateful baby. And a quiet one. And a clean one. Oh, God.

Apparently I never posted about the recovered chair cushions, or the last two pillows, or the wall hoops. So here are a few detail pics of that madness:

The chair *before* in all its pink, straw-textured glory...

The chair *after*...

Victory is mine! Seriously never thought I could pull off something like this with limited sewing knowledge and a tendency to rush through things. I did have some good advice though. The pillows...

Love making pillows. So easy and fast; and I'm going to keep making more and more because I've always wanted to have a "pillow room." Hubs knows this. It will probably be located under the basement stairs someday and I will lounge in there with snacks and a book and make people answer riddles if they must knock on my door. And finally, the embroidery hoops made with fabric scraps from the pillows and the crib bumper...

So I used two of the four crib bumper pieces between the hoops and the pillows. Now that I guess I've officially started "sewing," I'm wondering what to do with the rest. But really it'll probably be another five years before I sew anything again.

July 4, 2011

I get a lot of weird looks at the brewing supply store.

Cause I look like this:

Actually, people stare at me a lot no matter where I go. Creepy. Here's another angle for you:

You're welcome. That's from 36 weeks, which was actually a week and a half ago so now I'm *technically* full term. Wowza. Why would a lady giant with child be at a brewing supply store? Because hubs is crafty, too!

He's been brewing beer at home for maybe a year, sometimes with buddies who also work for the government - so they've named their endeavors "Red Tape Brewing." Eh? Eh? With that type of cleverness they could be journalists.

This is what's been creeping up the side of our house, trying to get in and fill our air with hoppy beer smell. Fitting that I should post this on July 4th; Independence Day. Poor hops have nothing left to climb, but hopefully they'll still yield enough flowers to get a batch out of.

Hubs has brewed his own recipe a few times with, I think, excellent results. I'm no connoisseur, having been out of the beer-drinking loop for the better part of a year, so perhaps any sip that hits my lips is like a sweet, sweet college memory. But really, I think it's just pretty good beer. And this is why I bring up the beer-craftiness going on in my house:

KEGERATOR. Built from a freezer, a home-made wooden tap collar, and whatever else goes into making kegs operate. I don't know. There's pressurization and tubes and the whole beer-making process is actually quite scientific and that's why I don't participate. I just go to the store and endure the glances of all the people who are hoping that they don't need to be judging me and if any of them talk to me they'll find that I have not been involved in any kind of unhealthy boozing behavior but that I do look forward to being able to have a beer once in a while. Except when that time comes I'll probably opt for a margarita.

July 1, 2011

Sm'Orr shower craftiness.

Once again I have to recognize my family for their generosity and general brilliance. My mom and sister threw us a shower last weekend, which was at my house and I totally recommend this because then you don't have to load all the stuff into the car to get it home. Here are the handmade gems bestowed:

It strikes me as very odd that our baby's room and some of his accessories have a bee theme - because what is scarier to a kid than bees? I guess the doctor. But bees are pretty scary. Regardless, illustrated bees are usually cute and so the theme remains and my mom cross-stitched one on a onesie. She also cross-stitched the Twins emblem without a pattern. Pretty impressed.

Every kid needs a blankie or three. You never know which one(s) they'll attach themselves to, but having a Patt-made blankie is a special tradition. Our friend has made one for all three of my sister's kids and, in fact, is making a new one for Laura because hers is just a tangle of threads at this point. So we must treasure the beauty of this knitting before it is bitten, yanked, spilled on, and generally loved to death.

Patt also made these super cute booties. You would think she weren't traveling the world for work or taking care of her own house and dog. Geez.

And my cousin Amelia, who is 13 (I think), knit this little blankie! Adorable; she probably spent hours and hours on this and I never even see her! But apparently she's getting a "babysitting license" this summer so that's going to have to change.

Becky outdid herself again by creating this amazing alphabet book out of a fabric letter set and a bunch of quilting prints. It's bound with just a ring and grommets. Chewable, droppable, throwable. She has pics of all the pages on her blog and they're worth checking out.

Aunt Dorothy did this cozy bear quilt. She couldn't make it to the shower but was very sweet to send something. She's been crafting for years and years and has done countless shows. I didn't realize she was a seamstress because I'm more familiar with her floral designs, but there you have it. Multi-talented.

And this one isn't from my family shower - it's from a shower with "the planner ladies:" the folks who got to know hubs while he was in grad school and/or their wives. Heidi, a domestic inspiration, sewed this plushy ball somewhere between caring for two young kids, recovering from cancer treatments, and probably making tortillas from scratch. She'd be an amazing women if she did half as much.

So I'm feeling a lot of love and support and am so grateful for the Bernard, Gray, and Orr families - plus all our friends who've been cheering us on all this time.

Stay tuned for the alien tentacles AND.....the nursery reveal!