A nurse who knits…

September 30, 2009

Milestone

Filed under: baby — yarnnut @ 11:23 pm

Delilah smiled today.  I cried she was so cute.  Too bad I didn’t have a camera.

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September 16, 2009

Breastfeeding sagas…

Filed under: baby — yarnnut @ 11:57 pm

Breastfeeding Delilah has been an absolute nightmare. Since her birth, I’ve been attempting to breastfeed. So far, she’s not successfully breastfeed. She’s been getting pumped milk thru something called a supplemental nursing system or SNS for short. It looks like a bottle with a little tube attached to it. The tube is fed into her mouth while she sucks at my nipple. The idea is that she gets some milk from me and stimulates my nipple to make milk come in yet still gets supplemental milk or formula to ensure that she doesn’t lose weight. This method has worked extraordinarily well. She’s gained 1.5 lbs from her low weight of 6 lbs. Delilah’s been seen by her pediatrician and evaluated by 3 lactation consultants. The ped and the first 2 lactation consultants couldn’t find anything wrong and told me that it was just positioning and latch.

Then I went to a La Leche League meeting last Thursday. What an eye opener! I highly recommend that anyone who is pregnant or having trouble breastfeeding attend these monthly meetings. You’ll get support with breastfeeding, parenting, birthing, etc. Quite an impressive group of people and very knowledgeable. One of the group leaders has been volunteering for the organization since the before the birth of her first child 36 years ago. I received a lot of encouragement and the name of a very knowlegeable lactation consultant named Ann.

I met Ann on Monday and she spent 3 hours evaluating me and Delilah. It turns out that my positioning and Delilah’s latch was good. It was Delilah’s sucking that was off. And the cause was a condition called tongue tie or ANKYLOGLOSSIA. It’s a condition where the tongue’s movement is hindered by a tiny piece of membrane. There are varying degrees of tongue tie and it causes problems with breastfeeding. Other complications include speech problems and dental problems.

I called the pediatric ENT that she recommended the next day and made an appointment to clip the tongue tie. After discussing it with my hubby of course. We got an appointment for today and she had her upper and lower frenulum clipped this morning. It turns out that tongue tie is hereditary and my husband had his upper frenulum clipped as a child. He was never breastfeed so his mother didn’t know about it until he had dental problems. The procedure itself wasn’t so bad but I cried almost as much as Delilah did. The doctor numbed the areas with lidocaine and made the snips in the appropriate places. She cried only as long as she was restrained on the table. After my lactation consultant handed her to me, she stopped crying. Blood loss was minimal.

So… we tried breastfeeding. I still have to use all my tools like the nipple shield and the SNS. She has the compensatory behaviors that she used while she had the tongue tie and Ann gave us some exercises to do to strengthen her tongue and get her muscles moving like they are supposed to. We followup with her next week.

I’m hoping that this experience gets better really quick. Breastfeeding so far has been a monumental task requiring a nipple shield, SNS, multiple bottles, pumping every 2 hours to increase my milk supply. Ann had several principles for me to remember that I’m sure will help moms who are having breastfeeding problems. They are:

  • Feed the baby
  • Protect the milk supply:  this means taking herbs to increase supply and more importantly pumping.  You need to move milk to make milk.
  • Rest
  • And consider resolving the underlying issue.  In our case, the tongue tie.

If you are having BF problems or know of someone who is, tell them not to give up.  Breast feeding is lost to our culture and has so many advantages.  Help is available.  Go to La Leche League meetings.  Utilize lactation consultants.  If you can’t hire one yourself, they are available at most hospitals.  Lactation consults are offered to every mother.  Take advantage.

Of course, no knitting has happened.  BF has been all consuming.  If anyone has any experiences with tongue tie or difficult breastfeeding, I’d love to hear your story.

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.

July 27, 2009

Still waiting…

Filed under: baby — yarnnut @ 6:03 pm

The little one is officially “term” now meaning that I’ve basically completed 37 weeks of pregnancy and the baby can come at any time now.  Yeah!!! The little one has decended into my pelvis so I feel that heaviness when I stand up.  Getting into a sitting or standing position from lying in bed is a bit of a struggle now since I feel so big but I’m still enjoying my pregnancy.  I do have “false” contractions pretty much constantly now but they aren’t uncomfortable.  I’m not really anxious for the baby to come yet.  Still enjoying feeling the baby move around.  Although he/she does throw some pretty powerful kick to the ribs every now and then.

Pregnancy has been very kind to me.  The only pregnancy symptom that I’ve experienced was heartburn.  And one or two Tums took care of that.  Now that I’m having some false labor, I do feel some back cramping but a walk or a back rub takes care of that.  Here are some of the reasons why I love being pregnant.

  • Feeling your baby kick/move is amazing.
  • I marvel at the changes in my body.
  • I’ve been taking much better care of myself in terms of eating good food.  It is harder to eat as much and honestly I think I eat less than I did pre-baby.  This baby sits on my stomach making me fuller much faster.  So the food I do eat has to have lots of nutrition packed in.  In fact, I’m surprised that I managed to gain my 20 pounds.  But I guess your body just knows what to do to make your baby healthy.
  • People are nice to you.  People in grocery stores help you with your groceries.  Strangers ask you about your baby.  Since I don’t know the sex of the baby, I get tons of predictions.  I know some women feel annoyed when others ask about there pregnancy or people want to touch their stomachs but I find it fun.  Maybe it is because people didn’t think I was pregnant until I was about 7 months along.  But now, I get people saying that I look beautiful pregnant.  When I wasn’t pregnant, the only one who told me that was my hubby.  For me, pregnancy is a big self confidence booster.
  • Taking walk on these warm summer nights with my hubby.  It’s our alone time where we have fun talking about anything.  His favorite topic is house buying.  Mine is baby clothes.   The baby likes it too.  I feel tons of kicks/tickles when we walk.
  • I get to knit/crochet baby things!

Things I don’t like about being pregnant:

  • Fatigue: enough said.  Now that the baby is very active especially at night, I’ve adopted a vampire sleeping schedule.  But I’m just grateful that the baby is kicking and moving.  A little sleep deprevation is worth knowing that my baby is ok.
  • heartburn
  • Lack of clothing choices.  I have 2 pairs of pants that I like to wear and a pair of shorts.  I have more options with tops but I just don’t feel like I should buy anymore especially since my pregnancy is almost done.
  • Waiting: Although I’m not chomping at the bit for the baby to come, I do want to know what the baby will be like.

I am still knitting and crocheting constantly.  My Hanami stole is literally at the finishing gate.  I have a few more stockinette rows before I can bind off.  I think I’m going to meet my original goal of having this project done before the baby makes it’s appearance.  I am making a crocheted blanket that is in the shape of a star.  It’s green and white and also almost done.  I started on a pair of socks using my souvenier yarn from SLO at Stitch N Pitch last Sunday but didn’t like the yarn/pattern combo.  The yarn was just too busy colorwise for the Froot Loop pattern which is available on Knitty.  You couldn’t see the Froot Loops.  So I’m knitting a very simple pattern called “Sweet socks” by Jenn Nevitt.  It’s mostly stockinette stitch with two cables running down the sides of the sock.  Very simple but I think it suits the yarn much better.

Well, time to go grocery shopping.  I need to have something for lunch before I go into my weekly doctor’s appointment.  I’m making some roasted veggies on the grill for dinner tonight.  Potatoes, corn, asparagus, mushrooms.  Yum… gotta use those in season veggies that are available right now.

June 29, 2009

Back from SLO…

Filed under: baby — yarnnut @ 2:23 am

Matt and I had a great weekend in San Luis Obispo. Tons of pictures to show off. In case you’re wondering, the belly is in full force. The song, “she’s a brick… house”, goes off in my head every time I look at these pictures so be kind:)

We drove up on Thursday and stayed at the Cliffs in Shell Beach which is south of San Luis Obispo. Nice little beach town but tons of fog these past 4 days. I don’t think the fog burned off at all on Friday but most days by mid-afternoon, the sun came out to play. Every room had a balcony and we had a view of Avila Beach from ours. Our room rate included a full hot breakfast and wine/cheese hour in the afternoons. Unfortunately we didn’t partake of the wine except for one day. Don’t worry, I had small tastes of wine. Just enough to wet my tongue.

I purposely picked Thursday so that Matt and I would arrive in time for the world famous San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market. For those who have never experienced the farmer’s market in SLO, it is unlike any other farmer’s market you may have gone to. For one thing, it’s huge! It takes over Higuera Street which is in Downtown. Of course, farmers come to sell their vegetables and fruit but other vendors come to sell stuff like food and skin products, clothes, photography services. People also perform at the farmer’s market. We saw a choir from the Philippines who were participating in a singing competition, a belly dancing troupe, and a rock climbing wall. Matt had never seen anything like it.
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Me buying some extremely sweet organic peaches that I promptly gobbled up.
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Matt eating an extremely large shish kabob.
San Luis Obispo is also home to “Bubble Gum Alley”. An extremely unsanitary sight that will delight children of all ages. I don’t know when this started but my gum from 15 years ago is up on that wall somewhere. Just don’t ask me where.
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The next day, Matt and I wanted to take some belly photos so we headed to the most logical place. Wineries. LOL… We stopped off at Eberle and Peachy Canyon wineries in Paso Robles but we got the best pictures on the side of the road next to a clearing with trees planted to look like hearts. We did pick up some wine in case you were wondering. Great wineries, both of them.
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Baby Double’s debut at Eberle winery.
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This one was taken at Pismo Beach after all the winery business. We waited for sunset.
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One of the few pictures with both Matt and I.

So of course, I couldn’t leave SLO without checking out the LYS.
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It’s called Yarns at the Adobe and it’s the cutest little shop ever. Right across the street from the Mission Church. I couldn’t believe it, there were at least 5 LYS’s in SLO county. They weren’t there when I lived there. Of course.
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Here’s what I walked away with. Two skeins of Panda Soy. I’ll make socks with them. I’ve decided to buy sock yarn on vacation trips so I can remember the trip.
You can tell it’s a college town by looking at it’s list of classes. LOL
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One last fun thing that Matt and I did was have dinner at the Madonna Inn. It is one wild pink trip. I will not give you my opinion but will let you make your own when you see the pictures.
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This is the world famous waterfall urinal in the men’s restroom. The women’s restroom is not as entertaining.
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This place is covered in rock. Color scheme was pink, pink, and more pink. With some cream and gold mixed in. A full band played big band music that night and people got up and did the tango,swing, and other ballroom dances. Matt and I resolved that for our 5th anniversary we were going to be able to come back and show them how it’s done.

Well, enough pictures. I was going to show you some knitting content but that can wait until next time. Way too many pictures for you to digest. Have a great week!

June 13, 2009

My first EPS sweater

Filed under: baby,Dogs,Knitting — yarnnut @ 11:50 pm

Of course, it’s for my baby. I wanted to knit it in a small cute size first where it wouldn’t bother me to frog it if necessary. I knit on it for about six days and this is what I came up with.
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Here’s the stats
Yarn: 1 skein of Berroco Comfort in green. Love this yarn. Especially for baby things.
Pattern: EPS which is found in a number of Elizabeth Zimmermann books. Kinda difficult to come up with numbers if you’re lazy (which I was) or math challenged. I finally sat down and made up a size for my baby. Hopefully, it fits. It’s about 15 inches in circumference. Arm length 5 inches. Yoke depth 3.5 inches. My gauge worked out to 5 stitches/inch.

For those of you who are Waldo fans, here are a few pics of him modeling the baby sweater. It barely fits him.

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Here’s Matt holding me up so you can see the detail
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Blurry pic cause I was moving
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This is what I really think of this sweater.

As for my next projects, I’m still working on the Hanami stole. I am using the Malabrigo Laceweight in pink. (this stuff is crack for the lace knitter.) I’m so glad I have two more skeins in purple to make another shawl. I am also going to start some Baby Moc-a-socs. Aren’t they adorable? I also have the Itty Bitty Hat book by Susan B. Anderson. So many cute hats but I think I’m going to have to start out with the Marshmallow Bonnet. Do you think it will work for a boy? I have some leftover Cottonease in Almond that I think would look super cute. I guess if it’s too girly and I end up with a boy, I can give it to one of my co-workers who’s having a girl.

I went to the grocery store today and got some pregnant comments. One little girl who looked about two years old, pointed at my belly and proclaimed to all that were listening, “Baby in there!” She was so cute beaming ear to ear. One thing that I wish I did was take more belly pictures. I was taking them from about 15 weeks to 20 weeks. But unfortunately, I wasn’t really showing so I stopped. All of a sudden, I popped out at 24 weeks and now my waist measures 36″ at the belly button. And of course no pictures to record my transformation. A journal with waist measurement and pictures would have been a nice thing to show my baby. So… Now I’m looking for a professional photographer to take some tasteful pictures of my belly. I hope it’s something that my baby will appreciate later. Has anyone else done this before? If you have and you have a suggestion for a local San Diego photographer, please leave a comment.