Daily Archives: July 10, 2011

Owlet Update

I’ve been buried in galley proofs for the bird book, so that plus the having people around when I usually have the house to myself means I’m behind on journaling.

I had another prenatal last Wednesday. My OB approved and signed my birth plan, and is thrilled with it all. I was thrilled myself when we did the hospital tour a couple of weeks ago and found that I could throw out half of my rough draft birth plan because my hospital does all the stuff I want them to do as a matter of course. I asked about when she wanted me to go into the hospital when labour began, and she said that (a) since I had a relatively quick birth last time because of the premature thing, and that second deliveries tend to be quicker, that it might average out to around the same; so since I tested positive as a carrier for strep B (like 25% of the population!) and need antibiotics 4 hours before delivery at the very least to avoid infecting the baby, I should go in when contractions start, just to be sure. She was mildly concerned to hear about a bit of fluid loss I’d had the day before, was glad to hear it stopped and nothing had happened since, and said sternly that if it happened again I was to go right to hospital, because if the waters break after 34 weeks without contractions they have to evaluate and likely induce.

The only not as good thing this time round was that she had gone through all my tests and ultrasounds reports from the past 8 months, collated them (I have files going in two different places, so this doesn’t happen as often as it probably should), averaged them out… and has revised my due date again, which means I am now technically not at 36 weeks until this coming Monday. (36 weeks is the magic number at which I will be allowed to deliver at my hospital instead of being transferred to the neonatal one like last time.) And because the clinic now thought I was having a 35-week appointment instead of a 36-week one, they scheduled my next appointment for two weeks later, not one, which freaked me out mildly because I was sure I’d be having the baby by mid-July. But no; the next prenatal is scheduled for two weeks, at which point my OB will do a check for dilation/effacement, and then it’s an appointment every week till the baby is born.

Here’s the thing. Having been primed by every doctor I’ve ever spoken to over the past six years to expect a second premature birth, I’m hitting the time where I thought I’d either (a) have a baby already, or (b) be having the baby right nowish. So I’ve got this weird dual emotional thing happening. On one hand, I’m thankful that everything is going right and my progesterone/reduced activity/bed rest treatment are obviously working, since we’re a month beyond when the boy was born. On the other hand, I feel somehow as if I’m right at or already past my expected birthing date, so things feel late. I’m depressed and frustrated as a result, and also feeling guilty, because I should be thankful that this baby is going full-term, right? And everyone in my online July birthing group is having babies, which is wonderful, and I love running to the computer every morning to see who’s a new mum. But I’m a little sad, too, because I’m not one of them yet, and I’d been thoroughly set up to expect that I would be.

I’m so messed up.

Back to good news: My application to donate cord blood to the public blood bank for use in stem cell registry was approved. I was concerned, because my application got caught in the mail strike, but they called me two days before my 36-week mark (or what used to be), which is their deadline for application.

Prep-wise, things are going well in general:

    – Cloth diapers: Check. I love Kijiji; I scored a dozen bumGenius AIO organic diapers for $90, and then 38 (!) Mère Hélène prefold cloth diapers (a local make that has great reviews) plus a bunch of liners, bags, and accessories for just over $100. Both these are all-sizes, so we’re covered for the entire diapering era. The Mère Hélène came with pull-up nylon covers but I hate them, so I’ll be scouting for a few different Velcro-tab covers. (There’s nothing like paying a total of $200 for 50 diapers plus liners/accessories instead of the $2500 to $3000 we’d be paying for disposables. We live in the land of cheap Hydro, and you do at least an extra two loads of laundry a week with a baby anyway. And I don’t want to think about how long it takes a disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill. It’s funny how many people say we’re setting ourselves up for a lot of work; everyone forgets we did it for the boy when he hit the medium/large size, unless he was with a caregiver or babysitter, at which time we provided disposables for convenience. As for the time and energy used in taking care of them… whether we’re putting the time and energy into working to be paid to make money to buy disposables, or putting that time and energy into washing cloth, it comes from somewhere, and we’d rather do it this way.)

    – All the 0-3 mos baby stuff washed, clothes and linen: Check. (Also, all the baby clothes in storage/given to us sorted by age and washed, boxed, and put into the newly sorted/cleared out storage room downstairs. This was huge.)

    – Storage for the baby’s stuff: Check. Courtesy of the local grandparents, the boy now has a new dresser! We have moved the old changing table/bureau into the hall and now the Owlet’s clothes and diapers have somewhere to go, thank goodness. I was going crazy with bags and boxes in the hallway downstairs.

    – Baby bed set up in our bedroom: Check.

    – Car seat: Check.

    – Hospital bags (Mum’s, baby’s, and HRH’s) mostly packed except for last-minute stuff: Check.

    – New cell phone set up: Check. (Yes, the secondhand iPhone I’ve been using as a heavier, more expensive Touch is now a fully operational phone, huzzah!)

    – Current score in the attic: One staircase, one floor, three fully framed walls, one framed closet, one framed windowseat, one new window!

Goodness, we may be ready for this baby. So of course, she will not come for another four weeks now that she’s been apprised of her revised due date.

Recent Fibre Arts Roundup

Over May and June, I spun about 6 oz of beautiful BFL/silk blend that I’d been hoarding for over a year. It’s a Louet blend, and I ordered it one day at my LYS when the owner was scrolling through the listings on the wholesale website. I’d intended to order the Merino/silk, but she said, “Ooh, they’re coming out with a BFL/silk blend in a couple of months!” so I preordered that, then tucked it into my stash when it arrived and just loved the fact that I owned it. When I decided that I wanted to knit a lace cap for this baby (I swear, I do not know who I am any more) I knew exactly what I wanted to spin for it: the BFL/silk. Because really, it’s such a lovely fibre that chances are good I’d never use it for anything else because it would get worn out or damaged or whatever.

Anyway, it was a dream to spin. I started out with 2oz and got about 300 yards of laceweight two-ply, with which I am very impressed as I knit with it. I had angst while swatching before I spun this yarn, but actually casting on and doing the real thing has taught me a lot about how I knit and the kind of mistakes that I make. And also that using a nicer quality yarn makes the whole thing a lot more enjoyable.

Anyway, I have managed to complete two full repeats of the lace pattern to date:

I will admit that I unknit and reknit every row because I made at least one mistake each time, but I am very proud of what I’ve got so far. Three more repeats and I will have the top/sides of the cap; then a solid back is knitted and sewn on. I am resisting knitting it, though, because it’s a bit of a chore, and I don’t have the energy to focus on the pattern. It takes me about ninety minutes to do a full six-row repeat, including ripping back and reknitting, and with the amount of editing work I’ve been doing lately that’s been glomping what energy I do have, and the fact that there are two people home 24/7 who usually are not, the knitting is kind of low on the list of priorities. It’s hard to devote ninety minutes to something that needs absolute quiet and concentration when there are people tromping through your house doing renos and a small child asking you to fix things, fetch things down from shelves, make snacks, or read things.

I enjoyed spinning the fibre for this so much that I decided having a long lacy coat thing to match the cap would be nice, so I tracked down a basic diagonal eyelet lace stitch and am vaguely planning doing a basic long sweater with bigger needles than the BFL/silk calls for to make the lacework even more open, and sewing short pretty ribbons at the chest to fasten it. This was a thinly veiled excuse for spinning another 3ish oz of the BFL/silk blend, which I did with great enjoyment. The diagonal eyelet pattern is so very basic enough that I could do it while in the hospital if necessary (it’s certainly a hell of a lot less complicated than the lace pattern for the cap), and doing a back panel, two sleeves, and two front panels would be easy-peasy. But I mean, really? A long open lace light coat/ sweater thing? Totally impractical. It would be worn maybe once. Pregnancy is messing with my brain, I tell you. Well, at least I loved spinning it.

Other knitty stuff:

My Chaussons mignons:

My Page 81 booties, which, as you can see, were knitted at two different tensions, which created two different gauges, which in turn yielded two different sized booties. The solution to this is to knit a third bootie, which will either match the newborn sized one, or the 3-6 months sized one:

And now, other people’s knitty stuff!

Ceri knit the Owlet a lovely newborn hat from Manos silk blend, in my favourite Wildflowers colourway, and a pair of Canadian flag socks!

Jan knit a cardi, hat, and shoelet set in a lovely pale icy green for the Owlet. Those shoelets are also knit from the Chaussons mignons pattern, and are much tidier than mine:

I think that’s it.

I’ve gone back to considering weaving the Manos Clasica blanket again. It’s certainly more mindless than knitting, and once I’ve finished my second set of galley proofs early this week, I could warp the loom.