Friday, April 30, 2010

April (was) cesarean awareness month

Pin It This is not a quilting related blog entry.

Steiger was born via unplanned c-section a little over a year ago.  My water broke at 2 am April 9, I showed up at the hospital 4 cm dilated... and 12 hours later, despite all the pains progressing, I was still 4 cm dilated.  That's when they wanted to give me pitocin.  I had a room without a bathroom, so when they asked me to leave the bathroom I was borrowing, I couldn't get comfortable.  Mentally, I couldn't do the pit without an accompanying epidural, as I had heard too many horror stories... the shooting pain in my back and hip also made me think maybe there was something wrong to explain why I wasn't progressing.

There was.

Steiger was in the wrong position.  I had taken childbirth classes, but didn't know baby's position could so radically change the progess of labor.  (  Boy did I learn.

So I got the epidural, and again started dilating.  I was complete at midnight... just as April 9 was changing to April 10.

I pushed for nearly 4 hours.
In so many crazy positions.  The only position I couldn't do was standing unassisted (because of the epidural... which had mostly worn off during this time).  At 4:00 am I surrendered to having a c-section because he hadn't moved past the 0 station, and I didn't want him to go in to distress.  At 4:31, Steiger was pulled from the womb.

I have many thoughts on this subject, and a slough of links, but I'm not going to post most of them here.  If you're curious and want more information, comment or email me, and I'll get you connected with some good information.  You should know that I absolutely think a woman should be able to make her own choice with the next one, but in the interests of full disclosure, I am very pro-VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean), and will try to get the next one (not pregnant yet) out the right spot.

What I am going to do is tell you some ways you can help a woman who has gone through a c-section.  I was the first and only woman in my family on either side to have one... and was really not prepared mentally, emotionally, or physically.

Things not to say:  (especially to a woman who did not plan or want a c-section)

- Well, you'll never have to do that again.  

(That being labor.  I know for me personally, I would rather have 10 labors than 1 c-section... a nurse actually said this to me shortly after everything)

- At least you have a healthy baby. 

This is a sensitive one.  For some women, this can cause resentment to that "healthy baby" (it didn't me), and while it's very true, it's just not the best time to say it.  This means you're probably uncomfortable with the fact that the mama was disappointed and don't know what to say.  It's kind-of like saying to someone who has just lost a loved one, "at least he's not suffering anymore."  While that may also be true, it doesn't erase the grief/sadness/disappointment of the person.  A c-section, for many women feels like a tremendous loss.  Not nearly as grievous as the loss of a child (they can't even be compared), but still something to mourn.  Many of us have pictured the gooey baby on our chest moment for years.  Being strapped to a table, numb from the neck down, and cut open doesn't exactly fit our dreams.  A healthy mama matters too.

For the record though, Steiger was the most healing thing to me.  I adored him from the beginning.

- Well you won't have to worry about incontinence or hemorrhoids.

Again, this isn't automatic (do your kegals ladies), and there are plenty of other things we *do* have to worry about.  I am still numb on my stomach above my scar.  My scar still hurts on occasion.  I have greater placental problems and chance of uterine rupture for the next one.  My chance of a hysterectomy goes up.  I'd personally prefer the problems associated with vaginal birth, rather than major abdominal surgery.

I have many reasons why I will be doing everything within my power to have a VBAC for the next one... with the number one reason being that I didn't like being cut open.  I felt like a failure for months (still do sometimes).  I OF COURSE have the priority of a healthy baby over a vaginal birth, but in almost every case, the vaginal birth is what is best for mama and baby.

Here are some more reasons I want a VBAC:
- These
- Your husband isn't supposed to see your large intestine and uterus (in most c-sections, both are taken out of your body)
- I want a healthier/less-scarred uterus for future pregnancies.
- I want to hold my gooey baby to my chest immediately.
- I want the experience.
- I want to be able to pick up and hold Steiger after his new brother or sister arrives.
- I don't want to hurt when I laugh or cry for the first couple weeks following.
- I want to say "birthday" without feeling like I didn't give birth.
- I don't want to have to rely on narcotics to get through the first week.
- I want a chance for my milk to come in better (mine was late and didn't really establish until I wasn't in as much pain)
- I want a quicker recovery.
- I want to be able to sit up from laying down without needing help the first few days.
- I want to enjoy my newborn, without having the physical and mental drain of trying to heal multiple layers of tissue.
- I don't want so much blood loss (a normal amount of blood lost during a c-section is considered a hemorrhage with a vaginal birth)
- I only want to be cut open again if it is to save me or my baby... not just because of arbitrary rules/insurance regulations/bans/because I don't want to go through labor again.

There are more reasons.
But I've got a little man who took a whopping 1/2 hour nap to attend to.
And today was a 2 bath day at our house.  Because we're still working on eating our vegetables.

Things TO say:

I'm sorry.  
Your baby is beautiful.  
I hope you feel better soon.  
How can I help?

If you know someone who's birth ended in a c-section....Be extra helpful.  She needs someone to cook, clean, do laundry, and tend any other babes.  That is one thing I will always be grateful to my mom for.  She did all the normal life stuff for us, and I truly am so grateful.

This lady, Pam, writes a great blog about VBAC.  Go read it.  

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday: an experiment

Pin It Thanks to Jacquie's inspiration, and the link to the fabulous video she posted,  I did a little experiment.
It's going quite nicely, actually.  I even used some of the fabric I had that matched the stuff she posted (Alexander Henry's Fashionista stuff). :)

If Steiger takes a nap this afternoon, I'll get back to it... I'm excited though, because I've had this idea in my head for a few weeks (or months even), but I didn't want to pin all those curves!  (I really don't like pinning, and have terrible pins to work with anyway, plus they're dangerous with Mr. Busy Pants around).

Now maybe I need some more inspiration from her, because I keep starting new projects!

And thank you for laughing at/with me and my last post.  I've rolled $69.50 so far.  You'll laugh when I say that my husband said, "getting desperate?" when he saw the coins all over the counter.  He hadn't read the blog entry.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm getting desperate.

Pin It

Setting: Home, in the evening, repeated a few times over the previous months

Me: "Honey, I'm buying too much fabric; you need to tell me to stop."

Mr. Jay: "It's OK... if it makes you happy."

Me: "It does, but I have enough, and I need to quit buying more.  Please tell me to stop."

Mr. Jay: "I trust you; it's not like you're going to drive us in to the ground or anything." 

Me: /doubting his words as he says them

Seeing that I was married to a complete enabler, I knew I had to take matters in to my own hands.  So I made a deal with myself:

I could only buy fabric if:
- I sold something (a quilt most likely)
- it was for a commissioned project
- Someone gave me money designated for it (it is my birthday in a couple weeks)
- I earned it some other way (guest blogging/design, etc.)

I immediately got started on a project I could send out the design for, but I can't sew as fast as I want to shop!

And I got desperate.

Yes, I am that girl.

I haven't got it all rolled yet, but I will... and my itchy, clicky fingers will once again be satisfied.  I have collected this money mostly from the tips my husband has left me in the laundry over our three some years of marriage (he has a problem cleaning out his pockets).  I believe this satisfies the, "I earned it some other way" requirement.

In other news, here's a little peek at something I'm working on... you *might* see this show up in a certain bake shop soon. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sometimes simple is best

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When I saw this fabric, (Plume by Tula Pink) previewed, there was a friend of mine who instantly came to mind.  She recently moved in to a window-less office, with boring white walls, and wanted a wall quilt.

I have changed the design of this 4 times... finally deciding on a simple snowball block, with kona stone.  It was supposed to be done about a month ago, but I really couldn't settle on my lay-out.  I have to thank the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild for the virtual, inspirational help.

It's all basted (as you can see)... now just to quilt! :)

I like the back as much as the front.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hunky Dory indeed

Pin It
This is what I started with.

And here are the results of a couple nap-times...

(used this tutorial for the blocks)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

For the hexagon quilt-along

Pin It I have been loving 12 Days of Christmas ever since I saw Kate preview it way back in December.

I bought the FQ bundle as soon as Leah listed it at Burgundy Buttons.  And then a jelly roll.  And a layer cake.

I started cutting it up for this pattern.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who ♥ this line...

This is for the hexagon quilt-along.

Can't wait.

I've been sewing curtains, as promised to the hubs long time ago... but as soon as those are finished, I'm cutting in to this!

I thought I'd get a picture before I did. :)

One more thing...
Speaking of Christmas fabric, and Leah, she's having a giveaway!

Go see.  Her shop is great.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Molly's Bricks in Bloom

Pin It

Hooray!  My new Moda Bake Shop tutorial is up! 
Go see, and let me know what you think!
I'll be back later to fill in some more background, but for now, it's late... so I just wanted to say thanks for stopping by!

Some more pics for you. :)

Some ideas for boy-ifying this:

I have a couple boy fabrics that I think would work well for this, only the appliqué pieces wouldn't quite be as big.

The Aldo to Zippy would be great, perhaps using some of the letters from the alphabet panel to spell out baby's name in the middle section.

The 2D zoo, using solids and silhouettes for the center section (you'd have to make your own pieces, but since they are just simple outlines on solids, it wouldn't be too bad).

I also think the Wheels collection would be awesome... with little cars "driving" through the middle!

Some notes on the math, and using other collections:

The Oz bundle has, if I remember correctly, 6 greens, and 5 pinks, other than the big focal prints. 

The quilt top needs a total of 91 bricks (hopefully I did my math correctly there), so if you get 12 bricks from each FQ, you need a total of 8 (will give you 5 bricks left-over).  You might have to change the lay-out slightly with only 8 FQs, because the distribution of the brick sizes is not exactly even.  My lay-out used more medium and large bricks than small.

This quilt would work great with any fabric line that has large focal print pieces!

Monday, April 12, 2010

our little party

Pin It

Steiger had a party this weekend. 

I made a cake.  It was the first cake I've really decorated... not bad, I say... but,

We blew out a candle.

Steiger didn't quite get that this was his one chance to make a real mess... a bit anti-climactic.

He opened presents, and fought back when cousin Cooper tried to steal them.

All in all, a very happy day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

You say it's your birthday.

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Here you were on your first birthday.

Today is special, it's true, but really, we celebrate you every day.

Now to finish getting ready for your party tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

a quilt for Steiger's birthday buddy

Pin It
Living out where we do, when Jay is working twelve to fifteen hour days, can get pretty lonely.  As a result, I've connected with some friends via the internet.

I have a group of moms I chat with; all our babes were born in the same month.  We decided to do a little birthday exchange, and Lainey was Steiger's partner.

I mentioned it back here, and now, it's all done!  I can't wait to see pictures of Lainey and her quilt, but here are some I shot before I mailed it away Monday.

It's a simple nine-patch, done in Aviary by 3 Sisters, for Moda.  The solid is Moda Bella fig-tree cream.
I quilted it using simple straight lines, at a 45 degree angle.

I think she's going to LOVE it.

The back is solid, and very simple, so I decided to add a little personal touch.  They call her "Lainey-bug."

The only trouble is that I didn't decide to add the lady-bug until after it had been basted, and quilting had commenced.  Because I wanted to make sure it was secure, I stitched around it, quilting one random circle on  to the front.  I hope she doesn't mind... I figured her mama would think it was worth it, to get the lady-bug on there good and stuck!

There's not a lot of contrast, but the soft florals suit her perfectly, I think.

Meanwhile, I've been cleaning and re-organizing the house.  After all this time, Steiger finally decided to like his car-seat.

One final word --

Jandi, over at Jandi in Stitches is having a Fruitcake Giveaway!

Go see!

I ♥ Fruitcake.  Like I told you about here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

Pin It Tomorrow will be Steiger's second Easter, though he's not yet a year old...
Here he is on his first Easter.  We came home from the hospital that day.

I made a table runnner for this Easter. 
Fabric is Cherish Nature by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics; border and backing are Kona solids in Stone; binding is Nicey Jane Welcome Road in Slate.

I love it.  

It's kind-of reversible; I almost like the quilting on the back better actually.  

Steiger got in to my pile of blocks, and they got out of order, and I sewed the wrong edges together (the bottom row), but I didn't feel like ripping out the seam... so it stayed.

It's not too bad, and makes it less "matchy-matchy" perfect. :)

Here's Steiger from last night.  This was when the night was still good.  It went down-hill from there.  There wasn't much sleeping going on in this house last night.

Happy Easter everyone.  May you be filled with light, peace, renewal, chocolate, and sleep.


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