38 weeks!

5.22.2012

Pregnant life these days has gotten a little annoying.  Aches and pains and heartburn have now joined forces with false labor, something I know all too well given the experience I had with Adalyn's pregnancy.



My nightly "labor" started around 35/36 weeks with Adalyn and didn't stop until she was born at 39 weeks and 5 days.  This time I thought I might have escaped that wrath of nightly prodromal labor until I hit 37.5 weeks.  Ever since that point, it has been nightly and daily and excruciating.  The kind of contractions that actually make you feel like your pelvis is breaking.  The kind of contractions I've never gotten before until literally right before baby comes.



I try to remind myself during every episode that even if this isn't "it," this is all doing something, all making progress.  I don't have cervical checks with my midwife, but I feel pretty confident at this point that I am very dilated.  And baby is LOW.





So at least there's that.  The constant prodromal labor will make my eventual real labor easier and faster and I should be quite grateful for that!  I'm just ready.  Ready to be unpregnant, ready to be snuggling my newborn and so ready to find out what this little one is!



Trying to trust His timing, because I know it's perfect.  Trying to let go of my impatience, because I know it's worthless.  :)

Muslin/Gauze Swaddle Blanket Tutorial

5.18.2012


We've never done the summer baby thing.  Both our kids were born smack-dab in the middle of winter, so these muslin swaddling blankets that are all the rage weren't on my radar.


Well, I'll be honest, they were on my radar, but at $49 for a package of 4, I knew it was a frivolous purchase that I wouldn't get much use out of in ten degree weather.


In case you haven't heard of the muslin blankets, they're made of very thin cotton, perfect for summertime swaddling or nursing covers.  Aden & Anais blankets started this trend.


Since this baby is due June 3rd, we definitely get to experience all things summer + newborn.  I knew that meant I'd need some of these bad boys.  Both of my babies have loved swaddling, but the normal swaddle blankets we use are too thick for a 75-78 degree home (depending on who is controlling the thermostat, ahem).


When I first saw cotton gauze fabric, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it: make muslin blankets!  Now, don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure this gauze fabric is the same exact thing as "muslin," but it's not called muslin so whatever.  We'll pretend.  It's soft and stretchy and thin and awesome.  And guess what?  Only $3.98 per YARD.  Yeah.  Buy yours here in lots of fun colors!


I went with one yard per blanket, but in hindsight I'd go with 1.25 or even 1.5 yards each for a bigger blanket.  At that price, you might as well.


So...go ahead and pick and buy your fabrics.  Here are mine, gender neutral enough since we don't know what this babe is and I'm sick of yellow and green.



This fabric is supposed to be perma-wrinkly, so it's very forgiving and makes this project a breeze.


Trim off the raw edges.  The blue and black fabrics had selvage edges that didn't fray at all, but for some reason the white edges were frayed on all four sides, so for that one I had to trim all four sides.



Don't ask why I focused on my fat, swollen preggo hand here.  I make no claims to photography!


I didn't measure and cut my fabric out at all as I bought a yard of each so I wanted to take as little off the sides as possible, but if you're buying in bulk, you can choose what size you want your blanket to be and cut it down to size.  47 inches X 47 inches is a nice, generous sized blanket and great for swaddling, but mine are smaller since I only got a yard.  Once I have a newborn to test them on, we'll see how I feel about their size.


Now here is where you can be all accurate and technical...or not.  I went with the latter option since these are just for me.  Cotton gauze is not the easiest fabric to fold and measure well and it's not easy to iron, so I didn't bother.  You could fold down all four sides 1/4 inch, iron, and then fold another 1/4 inch and iron again.  I didn't.  I just winged it because, like I said, this fabric is forgiving.


So I folded it roughly 1/4 inch and then in another 1/4 inch and pinned every so often.  No ironing.




Since I had good selvages on two sides, I took an even shorter shortcut and didn't fold or bother sewing those sides.  No need, as they won't fray.


So then I sewed the two pinned sides.



Voila!  Instant, easy, gauzy, breezy, muslin swaddle blanket.  :)



Now, for the next option.



This one was easier and in the end, I liked it better.  The only warning I have to give is that I don't have a baby to test this on at the moment, so it hasn't been washed and worn.  I'm not sure how this one will hold up over time, so I'll report back later.


Like I said above, the white cotton gauze had 4 raw, frayed edges, and I really didn't want to mess with folding all the edges in twice.  Call me lazy if you will, but at about 38 weeks pregnant I'm taking as many shortcuts as I can!


So, I freehand folded each side in about 1/2 inch (whatever floats your boat will work, though - 1/4 inch, 3/4 inch) and zig-zagged all the raw edges up.  This theoretically should keep the edges from fraying and ended up looking super cute!  I chose a fun minty colored thread and I love how it turned out.


To start, I folded one edge and then the other edge up and started zig-zagging there (basically I overlapped sides to start off with).




Then I went around all four sides and did the same, briefly stopping close to the end of each side to fold up the corner of the next side, like so:



In the end, this option also appealed to me more because the blanket looks more reversible.  You can't really tell what side is supposed to be the inside of the blanket and what side should be the outside.


Here's a comparison of the two finished edges.



I still have the black cotton gauze fabric left, but I think I'm going to wait until baby is here so I can use hot pink thread if baby is a she and a fun blue or maybe gray thread if baby is a he.  :)


So...there you have it!  Not difficult at all, slightly time-consuming only because cotton gauze is a little tougher to work with but so worth the savings and the ability to choose your own fun colors!

37 weeks!

5.14.2012



37 weeks!  I love 37 weeks!  You're full term and you can finally start fantasizing about actually going into labor soon (it's all still wishful thinking, but at least at 37 weeks you know it becomes more common to have a baby).




I usually do my panicked last-minute shopping trip somewhere between the 36th and 37th week, so by this point I can usually kick back and relax for the last few weeks because everything is done.


As you can see from the picture above, this is going to be a big baby.  Maybe not gigantic, but if this baby goes much past 38 weeks, I bet I'll have a nine pounder on my hands.  This pregnancy is ending eerily similar to my first pregnancy with Ben, so I become increasingly more convinced it's a boy every day.


A sweet friend gave us her bassinet that you can see in the picture and I'm so excited to get to do that this time around!


Everything is purchased and washed and organized for baby and birth and I met with an OB today about my iron, who feels good about my hemoglobin level and gave us the green light to homebirth.  I feel like everything is falling into place and I can finally breathe easily!  Well, as easily as one can breathe when her lungs are being entirely squished.  :)



All set!


On orphans.

5.11.2012

This is the shortest blog post in history, but you simply must read this blog post by Rage Against the Minivan.  

Amen.

Nature is amazing.

5.02.2012

Not that I think there are many (any?) men who read this blog, but if by some freak chance you happen to be a man and you're reading this blog, I can pretty much guarantee you this post won't interest you in the least.  It'll probably have the opposite effect.



This pregnancy has been oddly different than my other two in that I haven't done, well, anything to get ready for baby.  Aside from the obvious prenatal appointments and trying to take care of myself, this one has just been so nonchalant.  I was thinking it was more that we really recognize by the third time that there's very little a newborn needs, but now I'm just wondering if I've got a case of delayed nesting.



I went through a case of organizational nesting back a month or two ago, but once fatigue set in, it was over as quickly as it began.  Then a few days ago, I woke up itching to rearrange our entire house.  I do this, you see.  While pregnant with Adalyn, I think we went through two rearrangements.



When I brought it up to my husband last night, I was met with a big, fat, "No way."  I can't say I blame the guy.  He's always bearing the brunt of my brilliant schemes in that he's the manual labor.



I was starting to get worried that I was so lacking in motivation now that this baby would come into the world and have nothing, not even a diaper in its name.  I hadn't bought a thing from our homebirth list.  I was just satisfied being fat and lazy pregnant and tired.



But nature kicked in, as she likes to do, and lit a fire under my butt.  Monday I started off with my famous list making, trying to document everything under the sun we could possibly need for this baby and this birth.  I finally got serious about names, ordered a few baby hats with said names (necessary, right?) and today stocked up on diapers, breastmilk bags, pacifiers, newborn onesies and pants, etc.



I just think it's so amazing the way nature (and God) has planned everything so perfectly.  I'm not an extremely organized person by nature (or at all), but when I need to get things done, somehow that's exactly what I have the energy and drive for.



Adalyn hasn't nursed much at all for the past four or five months.  I lost all my milk entirely in November because of this pregnancy, so the occasional nursing she's done since then has been for comfort only.  Then a week ago, she started asking to nurse.  All the time.  Morning, noon and night.  She's been quite persistent, and about a day after it started, I noticed I was starting to, uh, get baby's nourishment, if you catch my drift.  :)



How amazing is it that my little toddler could sense that?  Sometimes I'm so overwhelmed by the miracle of pregnancy and birth and the life-sustaining abilities we have as women that I'm just speechless.  This is one of those weeks.

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