A nurse who knits…

August 29, 2009

Delilah’s 1 week old today

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnnut @ 9:45 pm

I can’t believe my baby is 1 week old today.  It feels like last week was only yesterday…

We’ve had our share of challenges this week.  When we went to the pediatrician for Delilah’s first checkup, we found out she lost 12% of her birthweight.  I was nursing her for 45 minutes at a time constantly.  It turns out my milk hadn’t come in and as of yet, the supply is still low.  So the pediatrician had us supplement her feedings with formula.  The plan was I would nurse her for 15 minutes then give her 1 or 2 ounces of formula.  Unfortunately after the second feeding, she got smart and decided that it was much easier to suck from a bottle than my breast.

The next day, I frantically called a lactation consultant for help.  We went to Rochelle at Babies in Bloom. She was great. I got help with positioning and latch. We also got a supplemental nipple system which is basically a bottle with a tiny tube at the end. You feed this tiny tube alongside your nipple when you breastfeed. That way the baby still stimulates your nipple so your milk comes in and the flow is much slower so that the baby won’t get addicted to the bottle. And your baby gets fed. We did well with this but Delilah still had trouble differentiating my nipple from the bottle nipple. And I ended up with the dreaded scabbed, bloody, and painful nipples. My milk supply was really low so I started taking Fenugreek tablets and mother’s milk tea.

On Friday, we went in for our follow up appointment and we were set up with a nipple shield to help my nipples heal. And our homework was to work on latching correctly every feed and to continue pumping to up my milk supply.

As of today, my milk supply is still pretty low but much improved from earlier in the week. I’m going to continue with the fenugreek and mother’s milk tea. Latch is still hard but at least my nipples don’t look like they were gnawed by a bear. I am going to seek support for breastfeeding because I still think it’s the best thing you can do for your baby. I desperately want to continue and will try as long as I possibly can. I do have to remember though, in the end, it doesn’t matter so much what the baby eats as long as she eats. Of course breast is best but I can only do so much.

In case you were wondering, no knitting has occurred since Delilah made her entrance into the world. I just tried to post a picture of her but wordpress is not cooperating. Maybe I’ll get to do it tomorrow:(

August 28, 2009

Delilah’s birth story…

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnnut @ 2:02 am

So… I was kinda right with my last post.  But we’ll start from the beginning.  We named our baby Delilah Rose.

Delilah’s due date was August 15th.  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that date came and went.  Matt and I spent that day hanging out at Sunset Cliffs and we took the last pictures of my pregnant belly.  We were going to try to get one where I hold the starfish in front of my belly but never got to do it.  We were trying to hang out until sunset because it’s particularly beautiful at this spot but my bladder won and we ended up going to dinner at El Rancho in Ocean Beach.  El Rancho serves vegan and vegetarian mexican food that’s fairly good.  It needs some work in the service department but overall, a good dining experience.

Here’s what I looked like on my due date.

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The next week, Matt’s parents drove into town from Minnesota.  They drove a Toyota Matrix that we bought from them and stayed the week visiting.  We mostly just hung out together while Matt worked.  They had a flight on Saturday morning and left just 1 hour before Delilah was born.

Since I was 40 plus weeks, I decided that I needed to give my baby a “push” to come meet his/her momma.  (I didn’t know the sex of the baby until she came out.   I had been drinking red raspberry tea pretty much the whole 3rd trimester.  Red raspberry tea helps strengthen your contractions so your labor may be quicker.  By week 40, I still was having braxton hicks contractions but nothing that stopped me in my tracks.  So I decided to get some advice from my hypnobirthing instructor about natural induction methods.  She suggested long walks, sex, and just waiting.  She said that evening primrose oil taken orally and vaginally would help soften my cervix.  So… off to Henry’s I went to buy some Evening Primrose Oil.  I bought the big bottle thinking I might need it.  I ended up using only 4 capsules.

By Tuesday of last week, I still didn’t feel much so I called up Indigo Dragon in Encinitas for help. I scheduled an acupuncture session and a massage designed to help you go into labor. These techniques don’t work unless your body is ready for labor but I can vouch for the effectiveness. I scheduled my appointment for Thursday. I really wasn’t sure if I believed it was going to work. So Thursday, I show up for my first ever acupuncture treatment. Matt’s parents drove out to Encinitas with me and they explored the town while I got my treatments. I filled out some initial paperwork then Amy took me back to a very calming room where I disrobed. She inserted very thin needles into my lower back, shoulders, back of neck, feet and hands. None really hurt although I did feel a small pinch when she inserted the ones in my feet and hands. (These parts are more sensitive). I did feel some tightening in my uterus but nothing to write home about at this point. Then came my massage with Lori. She asked me how many weeks pregnant I was and she proceeded with the massage. I asked her to apply as deep of pressure as she could, and I basically got a deep tissue massage. Gosh that felt good! After it was all over, I relaxed for just a few minutes and stood up to get dressed. The second I did that, I felt a cramp in my back that made me stand still for a few seconds and catch my breath. “Gosh, could this be working already?”, I thought.

Matt’s parents came to pick me up and we went out for lunch at Q’ero in Encinitas. They serve Peruvian food. Very highly recommended by yours truely. The cramps continued thru lunch. I managed to drive us home as the cramps were noticable but didn’t stop me in my tracks. Yet. We got home and the contractions all of a sudden got stronger. I retreated to my bedroom with Waldo in tow. He saw that I was hurting and licked my face and just laid next to me as my cramps gradually got stronger. They were strong enough at one point that I called Matt to come home from work. The contractions were strong enough that by dinnertime, I actually didn’t want to eat. Actually, I did eat a cut up apple, but didn’t want anything more. At around 9 pm, the contractions stopped. I was both disappointed and relieved at the same time.

The next day, I woke up and had some breakfast. Then the contractions started again. I had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Biter that day and decided that I would wait it out until the appointment. I was contracting all thru lunch. Matt’s parents and I went to a little chinese restaurant that I love. I decided that if this was going to be my last meal, I’m going to have my favorite vegetable mu shu. After that, we all drove to the Dr’s office for my appointment. I was contracting pretty regularly and the girls at the office had me lay down in an exam room while I waited. Thank goodness. It was really hard to sit in a chair.

Dr. Biter walks in and sees that I am contracting. He says, “I’ll check your cervix and see where we’re at”. I told him that I was probably going to be closed but thinned out like I was last week. I had tried to check my own cervix the week before. It was 0 cm dilated but soft. But I had to really reach back there to find it and it hurt like the dickens. Dr. Biter did the exam and said that I was 1.5 cm dilated, completely effaced or thinned out, and the baby was really low. “I’ll see you tonight or over the weekend”, he laughed. I was sure that I wouldn’t birth the baby until later in the week. He offered to strip my membranes as my cervix was favorable to this procedure. As he said that, I had a contraction and begged him not to. He said that was fine and I would probably go into labor without stripping. I told him I was scared of labor and he really helped me by reiterating that this is the process that would bring my baby to me, that it’s normal, and nothing to be afraid of. He’s an awesome doctor especially if you believe in the power of birth and of womanhood.

We did a 4D ultrasound and biophysical profile that day to make sure everything was ok with the baby. The BPP is when the doc looks at baby’s movements, muscle tone, and makes sure that baby is “practice breathing.” My baby scored the highest 8/8 which was very reassuring. We saw some really chubby cheeks on this ultrasound which made us think the baby was going to be a boy. I told Matt we needed to decide on a name quick. Dr. Biter laughed when we said this.

Magically, my contractions stopped as soon as we left the office. We drove Matt’s parents around Encinitas and looked at the ocean at Moonlight Beach. I remembered that I was going to look at my contractions as waves. Each one would start, peak, and end. Then another would start but there would always be an end to them. We had dinner at the La Costa resort and headed home for sleep.

My baby wasn’t one to sleep at night and she kicked me contantly the night before she was born. I remember looking at Matt and Waldo jealously because they were able to sleep.

Around 5 am, my contractions started again. I went to the bathroom several times and at last noticed some bloody show. Contractions got stronger and stronger so I woke Matt up around 6:30. By 7 am they were coming regularly every 3-4 minutes and by 7 am, I was no longer able to talk thru them. I told Matt, we needed to go. He called Dr. Biter and they both thought that it would be a few more hours at home before I needed to go to the hospital. I said that I felt like I needed to go now but would wait until I was absolutely sure. By 8:45, I told Matt that we needed to go. We got dressed and threw the bag in the car and were on the way by 9 am. At this point, I didn’t even say goodbye to Matt’s parents because I needed all my wits to stay within myself. Poor Waldo was so confused. He tried to run after us according to Matt’s parents. He dug under the fence and was inconsolable. Matt’s parents got driven to the airport by mine.

We arrived at the hospital by 9:30 am. I listened to my hypnobirthing CD the whole way there trying to concentrate. At home I was able to cope by moving around and moaning but I didn’t have that option in the car. Matt said I was very quiet in the car. We got to the hospital and they led us to a room right away. The nurse had me get undressed then she hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor for a few minutes. Then she checked me. I was 3 cm. OMG…. She asked me about a birth plan and I replied that I was planning on a drug free birth but I was currently rethinking that plan. She placed an IV in my arm and told me that she would get things ready to make that happen as soon as I told her. She left Matt and I alone. I thought it was to get the anesthesiologist but I found out she called Dr. Biter and let him know that I was going to get an epidural. He told her that he would be right down to discuss this with me as it wasn’t my birth plan.

He showed up and gave me the pep talk of my life. I looked at him (I’m sure piteously) and said “I hurt.” He said that he knew and that I needed to ride my waves one at a time. My cervix was rechecked and he told me that I was now 6 cm. I changed 3 cm in the span of 30 minutes. He told me to get in the shower with Matt and ride the waves one at a time. I was stronger than I thought I was, he said.

I stayed in the shower for about an hour. Dr. B rechecked my cervix and I was closer to pushing. By noon I was completely dilated and ready for pushing. I pushed for 53 minutes until my baby girl was born. Here we are.
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I found out later that Delilah tried to come out with her head crooked and her shoulders unturned. Dr. Biter had to do some fancy manuevers to get her out. I also had quite a bit of bleeding and they ended up having to use my IV to give me pitocin. I also got some other drugs to control the bleeding. Delilah Rose was 6 lbs 14 oz, 20 inches long. Here are some pictures instead of words:)
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So we’re home now and adjusting to life as parents.  Our big challenge now is breastfeeding and finding time to sleep:)

Until next time…

August 21, 2009

I think its time…

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnnut @ 1:53 am

I’m having different cramping in my back than normal.  I’ll let you know if it’s a false alarm tomorrow.  I’m excited and a little bit scared all at the same time.

August 16, 2009

For all you Waldo fans out there.

Filed under: Dogs — yarnnut @ 6:34 pm

I was suffering a bout of insomnia last night and I looked through old pictures. Here are a few of Waldo that made me smile. Enjoy.
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Here’s what I do best…  lounging.
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Mom woke me up to play.
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See how big my ears are.  I can hear everything.
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Mom, Can I have a drink of water?
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I saved the best for last.

August 14, 2009

Still pregnant.

Filed under: baby,Crochet,Knitting — yarnnut @ 8:52 pm

The title says all. My actual due date is tomorrow 08/15/2009 so I’m not late. But I wish the baby would make an appearance already. I’ve been having braxton hicks contractions for weeks now. They aren’t uncomfortable but they sure make my uterus hard and freaks my husband out. The baby is really low. I feel like there is a bowling ball inbetween my legs. So hopefully soon. I did check my own cervix a few days ago and it’s still closed:( It hurt pretty bad so I won’t be doing that again until I’m actually in labor.

Everything is ready for the baby to come. Car seat is installed. We got a new car. Yes… we bought a new car. Matt and I decided to take the plunge and use the “Cash for Clunkers” program that the government is offering and bought a 2009 Toyota RAV 4. It’s a base model but has room for the baby and we don’t have to worry about the Jeep breaking down. The Jeep Grand Cherokee had very bad gas mileage but tons of room for the baby. I hated driving it because it has a very high center of gravity. I always felt like I was going to tip over when I drove it.

To qualify for the Clunkers program, you basically had to have an MPG of less than 18. Your car also had to be drivable, less than 25 years old, and you had to have insurance and registration of at least one year. We’ve been hearing that the government can pull the plug on this program at anytime even though they said that the money will last until at least Labor Day. So if you have a clunker and want to get $4500 for it, buy your new car now. I’ll have Matt take a picture with me in front of it so we can show our baby that we got the car for it.

I have been a good girl when completing projects. Finally here’s a picture of my Super Star Baby Blanket.
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Pattern: Crochet Superstar Baby Blanket by Bernat Studios. I got the pattern as a tear off freebie from Michaels. It’s available on their website.
Yarn: Snuggly Wuggly DK in green and white. This yarn was not very soft. Maybe it was the colors I chose because my friend Gabbies crocheted me a baby blanket with the same yarns but different colors and it was much softer. Hopefully it will soften up with a wash. I also did not think that this yarn was a DK weight. I got more worsted gauge but figured it didn’t matter as this was a baby blanket.
Verdict: I would crochet this again. But maybe use the suggested Bernat Softee instead. The day I picked up the pattern, all Michael’s had was baby pink and blue. I didn’t want to jinx myself by picking either color so I went with the green/white combo. I think they did have yellow but my baby has at least 2 yellow ones knit by me.

Here’s another project that I’m knitting.
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Pattern: Sweet socks.  It’s available as a free download on Ravelry.  Very simple sock that shows off my varigated yarn.  It’s mostly stockinette stitch with 2 cables running down the side. Enough to keep me from biting my fingers off in boredom.
Yarn: Panda Soy. I bought this yarn at the Adobe when I was in San Luis Obispo. The yarn is very soft but splitty so you have to be careful while working with it. The colors were just busy enough that knitting it in a lace pattern was too much. The lace didn’t show up and the colors weren’t right. This type of colorway is really suited for plain socks but this pattern is great for it. I’m still working on the other sock. I’m trying to avoid SSS or second sock syndrome.

Now I have been a bad girl. I’ve added to my stash. Shhhh… don’t tell Matt.
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This is some Elann Lara that I bought last week. I was seduced by the full bag sale. I bought a full bag of burgundy for $16 but couldn’t help leaving the site without buying the Tiffany rose as well. I’m going to knit a lacy scoop neck cardigan from Vogue Spring/summer 2008 but what to knit with the burgundy? hmmm…There was also a sale on some Filatura Di Crosa yarns on Elann a few weeks back and I did some damage there as well. But fortunately, I don’t have evidence, err… pictures of it.

I also took a tour of some LYS’s that I probably won’t get to visit for a while. I went to Needlecraft cottage last week and came out with this.
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Hopefully, I’ll get to use this for a baby sweater. If not, I’ll still use it for a baby sweater but for my friend who’s ultrasound says that she’s having a girl.
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I was very pleased with the Panda Soy yarn I bought at the Adobe that I snatched the Panda Cotton up when I saw it at the Needlecraft Cottage. These should be some fun socks to knit.

There’s a new shop in Vista called Clever Knits. It’s a cute little shop that opened in June. I went there on a Thursday afternoon and there wasn’t anyone in the store but the owner. She was super nice and answered a few questions for me. There are tons of sock yarns including Cascade Heritage Sock which I hadn’t seen until that day. She hosts a knit night on Tuesdays and has a few classes going on. If it wasn’t so far a drive from my house, I’d go there every Tuesday for the Knit night. Here’s a picture of my haul.
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The owner gave away a measuring tape with each purchase. But I walked away with two sock yarns. I love the Wendy Happy. Such a bright cheerful color. I’m going to use the Cascade sock to knit a Cookie A. pattern. Her patterns usually look better in solid colors. At least in my humble opinion.

Wow… I didn’t realize how late it was getting. I have to get ready for my OB appointment. I was really hoping that I wasn’t going to make it to this one but… I’ll probably post next after the baby is born. At least, I hope.

August 5, 2009

Blocking sucks…

Filed under: baby,Crochet,Dogs,Knitting — yarnnut @ 4:33 am

I love knitting lace.  I hate blocking it.  I’ve got tons of toys to make it more fun.  T-pins, blocking pads, blocking wires.  But I still hate it and put it off as long as I can.  I’m sure I have finished lace scarves somewhere that just need a good blocking to bring out the lace pattern.  But I digress.

I finished my Hanami stole on July 27, 2009.  So this is not so bad.  But I wanted to get it done and blocked before the baby came.  Because I knew once the baby came, this would have no chance of ever seeing daylight again.  Here are some pictures of the stole being blocked.
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This is a view of the cherry blossom side.
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Here’s what the basketweave portion looks like.

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Notice I used the blocking pads and wires. It took me about 1 hour to get the wires through the edge stitches. Does anyone have a method that is less laborious? I’ve heard of some people weaving a long piece of thread thru instead of blocking wires. That almost sounds worse. The only thing that got me through this exercise was the fact that the stole was going to look great after the block. Sorry for the poor lighting.  I usually like using natural light since my photography isn’t the best.

Here are the stats:
Yarn: Malabrigo Laceweight purchased at Yarning for You in San Marcos. I used two skeins. I actually have a little bit leftover. What to do with it???
Pattern: Hanami by Pink Lemon Twist
This was a very fun pattern.  The pattern is a 12 pager that gives you all the charts and many options.   Melanie tells you what to do if you want to make this all in basketweave or the cherry blossom repeats.  She also tells you a bit about her inspiration for the pattern.   She includes instructions on beading the shawl.  Since I am a chicken when it comes to embellishment,  I have no beads.  Although I’m sure the shawl is stunning when beaded.  My friend Margaret Ann, purchased beads for when she knits this shawl.  I can’t wait to see it. Hint, hint…

I also took some pictures of some handcrafted baby gifts. Margaret Ann gave me this darling hat that she knit out of this new yarn called Sublime.
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Waldo was not pleased with this hat on his head. Here’s another picture…
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I also loved the handwritten label that she placed on it.
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My other dear friend, Gabbies, crocheted this baby blanket.  I love the colors and she wove a ribbon thru the edging.P1020612
So cute. When the baby is finally born, I’ll take a picture of it wrapped in it. In fact, pictures will be taken with everything handmade within the first couple weeks. Look for baby pics…

Speaking of baby, I’m 39 weeks pregnant and trying different things to make the baby come. Today and yesterday, I ate spicy food. I’ve been walking every night but I’m going to start climbing stairs next week if my labor hasn’t started by then. My massage therapist showed me some pressure points to start applying pressure to. Matt doesn’t want the baby to come until after Thursday cause he has stuff going on at work. But it’s never going to be a good time for him. Things come up all the time and if we waited until he wasn’t busy, this baby wouldn’t be born until it was time for him/her to go to college. If anyone has any suggestions, leave a comment. I’ll be trying nipple stim/sex next week even if I don’t feel like it.

I’m knitting Sweet Socks. They are a simple pair of stockinette socks with two cables. Nice and simple. I’m using my yarn purchased on my last baby free weekend get away. Much better than the Froot Loops that I attempted to make. Sometimes, the yarn dictates what you knit. No picture yet though… I also finished my star shaped blanket that I crocheted out of Snuggly Wuggly DK. I forgot to take a picture so you’ll see that in my next post.

I’m also knitting a tunic from a Filatura di Crosa book, Summer 2006 that I purchased from Yarning for You. Elann had a sale on a whole bunch of yarn that was used in that book and I bought enough yarn to knit a sweater, that tunic, and a tank. So much for trying not to buy yarn. Sigh….

Well, this post has been long enough. The weather here in San Diego has been fabulous. Nice and warm at night. I can go out on my walks without a sweater! That’s almost unheard of since I’m always cold.