First of all, to everyone (regular commenters and delurkers) who posted with kind words and well wishes for our new family, a huge and heartfelt "thank you". I'm exhausted and don't know if/when I will get to the computer next (although I'm trying to keep up the weekly Thursday photos, so I'm hoping for at least once a week) so the fact that there really are people out there who are reading this after I take the time to post is appreciated, and your warm words mean a lot when I'm struggling through the fourth feeding in a row in the middle of the night.
daddy and baby
Two weeks ago, on the 17th of May, my mom picked Yannick and I up in the wee hours of the morning and we drove down to the hospital for our scheduled C-section. Yannick was half asleep. I was wide awake and freaking out- I've never had ANY surgery in my life and was really, really scared of the unknown.
At the hospital we got put into a room and I had to change into a hospital gown. The nurses and residents came by and did their various tests, like blood pressure and stuff. I had to drink a small glass of a very salty liquid, I think it was to settle my stomach. About 2 hours after we were told to be there, they were ready to take me in. I had to walk to the operating room on my own while Yannick stayed in the first room and put hospital scrubs on over his clothes.
In the operating room I had to get up onto the table and wait for the anesthesiologist (sp?) to do the spinal epidural. The table was so narrow! I was so nervous about what was going on (literally) behind me that my back started cramping up, but blessfully it didn't hurt one bit and before I knew it my legs started feeling that funny full-yet-tingly feeling that my lips get when I'm frozen for dental work. They had me lie down and luckily pulled out a tray for my arm (the one that wasn't hooked up to oxygen and blood pressure monitors) so I wouldn't feel like I was falling off the bed, since they prop you up at a bit of an angle and like I said, the bed is REALLY narrow.
Once I was frozen Yannick was allowed in and he sat by my head and they raised a screen at my chest level. Yannick had our video camera with him and took some footage then tried to put the camera over the screen- I yelled! I was naked, spread-eagled and cut open on the other side of that screen- NO ONE needed to see that! The nurses promised they'd let him know when the baby was about to come out, so he put the camera away in the meantime. On my part I felt only a bit of movement and a lot of pressure, but absolutely no pain at all. The worst was the feeling like someone was sitting on my chest and I couldn't breathe in fully. I didn't really feel any tugging, but I did feel jostled around quite a bit, so much so that it was almost like being rocked back and forth. Before we knew it they said "the baby's coming!" and Yannick turned on the camera and we have video of our squirmy little guy coming around (the side, thankfully) of the curtain and being whisked about 2 feet behind us to a little station they had set up. Yannick said "he's cute!" and I said "he's got hair!" then Yannick left me to go over and be with our son.
In minutes they had him weighed and bundled up and given to Yannick. I'd been worried about this since Yannick has never held a baby in his arms. Ever. He only started playing with his sisters' boys once they were around 2 years old and has never held a newborn, changed a diaper, etc. And now here he was the only one who could hold our son while they sewed me back together. And he did it like a pro! He cradled our swaddled son in his arms and brought him right next to my face so I could see him and we were allowed about 10 minutes before they brought the baby to the nursery.
I'd wanted Yannick to stay with Jakob until they go to the nursery just to tell the nurses that we didn't want him to get any formula, so he left and my doctor kept on sewing me up. It felt the same as the delivery- just more tugging and pressure. About 5 minutes in I started to feel nauseous, and let the guy know. Within another minute or so I was ready to throw up, but they gave me some Gravol via IV and it kicked in right away. It probably took them about an hour to sew me back up and then I was brought to the recovery room a few floors down.
sweet dreams little one...
The recovery room didn't go so well. They told me I had to stay there until I could move my feet and bend my legs, which would normally take about 2 hours-ish. All in all, I was there for 5 hours. They gave me a shot of morphine for pain, then another one. I complained of feeling very itchy, and they thought it was the epidural wearing off, so they gave me some Benadryl...with another shot of morphine. The itching got worse and worse and I started scratching myself so hard I was cutting myself. That's when I remembered having a similar reaction when I was given pain killers after my car accident...and the reaction was to morphine. Great. I told the nurses and they gave me some drug that flushes all other drugs from your system. It worked well, except that it also flushed any traces of pain killers from my body. Next thing I knew I was literally sobbing in pain as I felt every single cut through my abdomen and belly. They gave me a shot of Demerol which worked wonders, and by an hour later I was pain-free...but still itching like crazy. Then they wouldn't let me go upstairs until the itching was under control. I don't know why they didn't give me more Benadryl, but in any case they FINALLY let me go upstairs to my room and see my baby. The itching took about 2 full days to go away, for the drug to leave my system completely.
I'd been scratching my face so much that I was swollen when I got up to the room and my poor family thought something horrible had happened. Luckily Yannick had been down a few times to see me in recovery and had told them what was going on, In the meantime my lucky son had about 20 visitors and everyone got to hold him and see him and lavish him with attention while his mommy was otherwise indisposed.
oh! the places you'll go...
The rest of the hospital stay was uneventful, if you don't count having a catheter inserted and being drained without painkillers an event, nor learning how to breastfeed an event, nor having lots of friends and family come by an event, nor taking about 3 full days before being allowed to enjoy solid foods (thanks for asking Deawn!) an event. But I'm not going to get into all of that. The most important thing was that we did it. We spent the first night in a semi-private room then got moved to a private which was wonderful since the other baby in the semi was a screamer. We figured out how to breastfeed and how to eat or sleep at the same time. We changed diapers. We went for walks down the hall and did "laps" to the elevator and back to get moving. And on Sunday afternoon, we got to come home with our son.
And now it has been two weeks. I don't know where the time went. The days blend one into the next as we count down the two weeks we have remaining to get everything we own out of this house and into the next one. I'm panicking just a wee bit, but doing what I can to hold it together and accept as much help from friends and family as possible to get things done on time. Right now the only thing getting me going through the long hard hours are the few moments a day I get to see Yannick and the knowledge that in 2 weeks we will be in our new home as a new family.
As you can tell, I'm still here and posting. Since this baby did not decide to come early, it looks like I will be having a C-Section tomorrow as scheduled. I don't know what time yet as they don't call until after 8 pm to let me know what time to show up at the hospital.
I'm still not "ok" with having surgery, but I have at least faced the facts that it is my only option, and is inevitable. The baby's stuff is ready, the play pen is ready, the living room is ready for us to hang out in until the move, and this morning we went to the notary and officially bought our new house.
By the way, it appears I won't get a chance to type up and post the house saga, part 3. I'm actually ok with this, since I'm feeling lazy. Long story short: -We made an offer, but it was so soon to the house being put on the market that they refused and wanted to wait. -A week later they called us to see if we'd want to make another offer. We said sure, but it has to be in before the open house that weekend, and it has to be within a certain range because we weren't willing to go higher. They said fine. We made the offer. -That Sunday night (AFTER the open house) they countered our offer with an offer higher than the price point we'd set. When we complained they said that they'd had over 18 visits at the open house, and that they'd be fools to accept a lower offer at that point. We got (rightfully) pissed and refused their offer without a counter-counter. -A week after THAT their agent called us again and asked if we'd be willing to make another offer. (I guess their open house wasn't as profitable as they'd thought). We said "No, we don't feel like making another offer. However, this is how much we're willing to pay. If your guy is serious, have him make us an offer at that amount". And...their guy did. So we bought the second house that we'd really wanted.
Now then, back to tomorrow. C-Section. Right. When you go to the C-Section "teaching" at the hospital they give you a little booklet you can bring home and go over. So while I go crash and knit for my last child-free day, I'll leave you with some excerpts from:
Your Guide to a Planned Cesarean Section Delivery
What should I do the day before my Cesarean Section?
-call the Family Birthing Center the night before to confirm the time of your cesarean section.
-the evening before your planned cesarean birth you may eat a normal meal. However, DO NOT EAT OR DRINK anything after midnight (the night before the surgery).
-take a shower with antibacterial soap. You must wash your entire body and hair the night before and the morning of your C-section. This is to prevent infections.
-Remove all nail-polish, make-up, jewellery and contact lenses.
-Leave any valuables at home. The hospital assumes no responsibility for any loss of personal items. Wedding rings can be taped to your finger if you are unable to remove them.
What should I expect on the day of my Cesarean Section?
When you arrive at the Family Birthing Center a nurse will prepare you for the surgery. You can expect the nurse will:
-ask you to change into a hospital gown and remove all undergarments
-give you a hospital identification band
-check the fetal heart rate, your blood pressure, pulse, respirations and temperature
-draw a blood sample for routine tests, as well as a urine sample
-use a clipper to remove the upper portion of pubic hair
-give you a medication to decrease the acid in the stomach
An anesthetist will come to speak to you. S/He will discuss the type of anesthesia and the procedure. You will then sign the consent forms.
What should I expect in the Operating Room?
-the anesthetist will give you a spinal anesthesia, which makes you feel pain-free over your abdomen and in your legs. It will allow you to remain alert/awake during the operation. You may feel pressure or movement during the surgery. This is normal.
-A small catheter will be inserted into your bladder to drain it of urine
-an intravenous catheter will be placed in your arm
-your abdomen will be cleansed with a sterile solution
-a screen will be placed over your abdomen so that you will not see the doctor perform the operation
-once your baby is born, s/he will be assesed and then wrapped warmly by the nurse. The baby will be brought to you and can be held by your significant other
What should I expect immediately after the Cesarean Section?
Your baby will be brought to the Main Nursery on X floor. Your significant other can stay with the baby at all times, or visit you in the recovery room for a short period. You will be transferred from the operating room to the recovery room on Y floor and stay approximately 2-4 hours. You will then be transferred to the Postpartum Unit. The baby will be brought to you and feeding can be initiated once you arrive in your room.
What should I expect will happen during my stay on the Postpartum Unit?
-you will have the intravenous for a minimum of 24 hours after the surgery
-the urinary catheter is usually removed 12 hours after delivery
-you will be encouraged to walk as soon as possible
When can I eat after my Cesarean Section?
-you will be able to drink fluids once the nurse has listened to your abdomen for bowel sounds. You will continue to have a fluid diet until you are passing gas rectally. Once you start passing gas, you can have a regular meal.
There's a bit more, but I figured I'd end on that note. (No pun intended).
We had a nice little weekend. Saturday was my last day of work (!) and afterwards we went over to Yannick's sister's place for dinner with their family and his parents for Mother's Day. It was the first time I've had lobster in about a year and it was SO good! I'm a lobster purist- I prefer it withOUT the garlic butter, and this time it was so sweet and so tender...yummy! I've had no appetite STILL these days, and I had already told Yannick's mom that I would share a steak and a lobster with him because there was no way I could finish one on my own, so when she plopped a whole one on my plate after I'd eaten about 1/4 of my steak I started offering up parts. Good thing I skipped the rest of my steak- I ate the entire lobster! Mmmmm
On Sunday we prepared a quote for Yannick's work then went over to the Montreal General to see his grandmother who was recovering from surgery. Then we went to my parents' house for a barbeque for dinner. My mom (rightfully) refused to organize it, so my dad had spent the day shopping. It was a meat smorgasborg! He got angus burgers, bison burgers, salmon burgers, shrimp burgers, lamb kabobs and balogna to slice and cover with maple syrup like my mom does. Not to mention bacon for the burgers. Thank god I reminded him to buy some salad and fruit- the only veggie's he'd bought were some monster tomatoes and onion to slice for the burgers!
My parents actually managed to find a "Happy Soon-to-Be-Mother"'s Day card, and got me a sweet gift - a breast-feeding night gown from Thyme Maternity with a matching little cover up. But what I couldn't believe was Yannick. On his OWN he went and picked out the cards for his family and my family, plus he got a card for my parents from the baby, thanking them for all the stuff they've done for us and given us. THEN he got me 2 cards- one from him and one from the baby!
I'll leave you with the cover of the card he gave me from the baby:
On the inside it says: Oh, well...at least you can say that raising me wasn't a boring experience.
big whack 'o baby knits & crochets and an extra-special fo
This is the temporary nursery. See, we will be in this house for a month before we leave for the new house, but during that month we will have ownership of the new house and will start moving stuff in. I will be staying here with the baby, who will be rooming with me in the spare bedroom since after a C-section there is NO way I will be getting in and out of a waterbed. Over the last week or so we have been getting the room ready, and after the showers were over I spent a lot of time doing laundry and setting up so everything is ready for baby to come home. Can you tell me what you spot in the photo above? No? Ok, I'll share with you:
(Note: with one exception, each item below only gets one photo, since this is a long, photo-heavy post. Any of my knits have, as usual, more photos in the FO gallery in the left sidebar).
In the dresser drawer you'll find this crocheted blanket and knit bib, both shower gifts from my lovely and talented cousin Robyn. In case nasty commenter Anonymous finds his/her way over to my blog...I DO love them. So shut up.
Folded on the chair you can make out this blanket, lovingly crocheted for our little one by my uncle's (Robyn's dad) mom Esther.
In the drawer, folded nicely under Robyn's blankie, is this carseat-sized blankie crocheted by my mom. Yes, she actually brought her yarn to the store to make sure it matched the green carrier/stroller that we chose.
On the back of the rocking chair you can see this huge blanket (its folded on the chair). My mom crocheted this especially for our little one. There was a blue ribbon woven through the smallest white edging but it came out in the wash and Yannick felt it was safest to keep it aside until the baby is older. This blanket got some major acclaim at the showers, and I believe people have already started putting in orders. I know this one is crocheted with Bernat Baby Coordinates and you wouldn't believe how soft and fluid it came out after being thrown in the washer and dryer!
By the way, all of the baby knits you see here (with one exception that hasn't been washed yet, the Baby Einstein below) have been tossed into the washer with some baby detergent and then into the dryer. Not a single one pilled or warped, and they all came out really soft and nice.
Ok, now some of this should be looking familiar. Yep, I finished the Entrelac Blankie. You can spot it folded on the chair with Esther's blanket and the breastfeeding pillow.
Project Specs: Pattern: none. Just regular entrelac 10 sts wide per square and kept going until I felt it was square. Yarn: Patons Decor in Rich Country Blue and Winter White Needles: 5.5mm Cast On to Bind Off: December 29 2006 - May 7 2007 Notes: I was going to knit a garter border but realized last minute that I didn't have enough 5.5mm needles to make it all the way around so I used the same size crochet hook and just did 2 or 3 rows of single crochet around, putting 3 sts in each corner st to ease better around the corners. Would I knit this again: yes, its fast, easy and mindless knitting
This is the Baby Einstein I knit up. I love how rustic it came out! I still need to wash it, as I only sewed the buttons on today, just so I could include it in this post. (Technically it is in the room, it's in the hamper).
Project Specs: Pattern: Sally Melville's Einstein Coat, Baby Einstein version, 6-9 month size from The Knit Stitch Yarn: SandesGarn Smart (as per the pattern) Needles: 4mm Cast On to Bind Off: April 16-23 2007 Notes: I was a little disappointed with one part of the pattern. I don't know if there was a mistake in my book, but for the body of the sweater, the pattern has you work X width around, then work the top halfs, from one edge right to the other. That's fine...except that the pattern doesn't add any room for overlap. What I mean is, once the sweater is folded in half to become a coat, there is no overlap for the button band. One side has button holes, the other side gets the buttons, but the edges meet perfectly. So when I tug one side over by about an inch to pull the button holes over the other edge to close the buttons, the neck and shoulders and sleeves get pulled out of place. I don't know if I'm explaining this right, but it isn't right. So since I could never have the coat close up to the top button anyways due to this error and how crappy it looks if buttoned all the way, I chose to sew down the top two sides as lapels instead. The yarn is scratchy enough that I don't need to worry about the baby wearing it alone and having a cold neck, there will always be at least a tshirt underneath. Since there is no finishing on the neck itself (in the pattern) I like the "finished" look my variation gives.
Would I knit this again: probably since the knitting was fun and easy, but I would check for a pattern correction or create an amendment myself first.
This cardi/hat set is in one of the drawers too (that counts as being in the photo!). I originally referred to it as the "Clown" cardigan and hat set since that is the name of the yarn called for in the pattern, but I have sinced changed that to the "Ice Cream" cardi and hat set ('cus of the colors) so if you look for it in my sidebar, look under Ice Cream.
Project Specs: Pattern: Clown Cardigan and Hat from a Marks & Kattens pamphlet, 9mo size Yarn: Regia Canadian Color sock yarn color 4733 (I think its "Ottawa") Needles: 2.5 and 3mm Cast On to Bind Off: November 20 2006 - April 11 2007 Notes: I turned it inside out while knitting so I had to adapt the shaping to be on purl side instead of the knit side. I like it better that way, but 90% of those who see it think it's inside out and prefer the knit side as the outside. Since the button band is picked up and knit on afterwards, thus leaving a seam, plus mattress stitch also leaves a seam, it is not reversable. Still, I don't care. I like the way it looks. And I LOVE the hat. Would I knit this again: Yes. For my child I'd knit the hat again. I'd knit the cardigan for a gift but in a different colorway.
Last, but not least, I bring you a knitted item that IS visible in the photo above. It is the piece of honor in the room, and I believe that until the little one is born it is my favorite FO of all time. Can you tell what it is?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you...
Didn't catch that? Ahem:
Yes, this is the blanket that my husband Yannick knit for our baby. Sit down if you need to. I'll wait.
For those of you that don't know the story, about 3 or 4 years ago Yannick's anniversary gift to me was that he would learn how to knit and make me something. After a bit of swatching he realized how much he hated knitting and had possibly bit off more than he could chew. Still, he took me to the yarn store to find something for the project. I let him pick the yarn since it would be flowing through his hands, and after some trial and error he settled on bamboo needles that allowed the slippery yarn to slide without being too fast. He practiced his knits and purls on some waste yarn, then we had to decide what the project would be. I had originally asked for a little "blankie" for myself, something small to have with me for when he couldn't be there. Once we saw how much he didn't enjoy knitting and how uncomfortable he was at it (even though his stitches looked beautiful) I offered to give him some chunky yarn and big knits, and said I'd be just as thrilled with a scarf. He refused. He wanted to prove he could "do it".
We decided on a basketweave pattern with a stockinette stitch center. He cast on himself, and got started. He used stitch markers for the first 20 rows or so, but found they got in his way and made messier gaps between the knit/purl transitions, so he abandoned them. He also abandoned the knitting many times over the years. We fought often about how he seemed to have forgotten my anniversary gift. Sometimes he'd work on it...most of the time he'd forget. Once in a while he'd come to the knitting meetups with me and work on a few rows, but then he'd get to talking and it would hang in his hands, untouched.
Then we found out we were pregnant. It wasn't hard to decide that this blankie should be for the baby, not for me. I threatened that I would keep my legs crossed and not let the baby out until the blanket was done. He'd work on it for a while, then a month or so would go by without any progress. He learned how to read his stitches and became such a perfectionist that he'd often call me over to fix a non-existant mistake. Over the last few weeks he got a burst of energy when he realized how close he was to finishing, then last week he did it.
He finished the blankie. On Monday morning I taught him how to bind off so I could wash it with the next load of baby clothes. He did it all: cast on, knit, purl, basketweave, stocking stitch, stitch markers, no stitch markers, bind off. He even refused to use the larger needle trick to make sure his bind off wasn't too tight- he didn't want tricks. He wanted to do it right like everyone else, so he went slow and made sure he didn't pull the yarn. The only thing I did for him was weave in the ends.
Thank you honey. Even with all the handknit and crocheted blankets our baby has, I hope yours is the most loved. Project Specs: Pattern: none. We made up a repeat of basketweave with a stockinette stitch center. Yarn: King Cole's Soft as Silk DK (I think it's now discontinued) Needles: 4.5mm Cast On to Bind Off: A long time.
Yesterday was my second baby shower. I had two because there were too many people to have in one place, so last weekend was one with my friends and my parents' friends, and this weekend was one with all of mine and Yannick's family.
I'm not going to get into all the gifts that we received, or into who gave what, because I truly feel that everyone was more than generous. I never would have expected half of the stuff that we received, and it is so heartwarming to realize how loved and how blessed this little baby will be (not to mention how spoiled!). You will all get cards in the mail, but if any family or friends are reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. You overwhelmed us, you really did.
I have some FOs to post, but they deserve their own post, so I will get to them later. Plus they're still in the dryer.
In the meantime I will leave you with a video of the baby gift that won the prize for being the most...um...inappropriate? wrong? Yannick and I couldn't stop laughing at it, and trying to figure out the thought process behind its design. Fun toy, or wince-inducing torture idol? You decide!
Not the most clear of photos, but that little face is our little stubborn child. I say "stubborn" because as of yesterday, the little one is still breech. Which means I am officially scheduled for a C-section. I'm not thrilled about this, but have reconcilled myself to it nonetheless. Luckily they do an ultrasound an hour beforehand, so if any turning does occur (which my doctor HIGHLY doubts) I will get a chance to deliver naturally. I know the next big question is "what's the date?" and I will share, but only on Monday as I am having a baby shower on Sunday and my mom wants to play the "guess the baby's birth date" game, and it really wouldn't be fair if any of my family who reads this knows the exact date. :p
Everything else, blood pressure, etc, is perfect. Not even perfect for me (which is borderline) but really perfect (120/80), so I'm actually doing better than normal. And I still have no pregnancy symptoms, in fact, when the baby isn't moving, I often forget I'm pregnant. I'm still wearing my same shoes, socks, undergarments, rings, etc... have only the occasional heartburn, rare back ache, no swelling, etc. I know, I know, I'm lucky. While we have had many scares (most of which were blogged about, like the amnio, hospital visits, etc) *knock on wood* there has yet to be anything actually wrong, and this has been, for the most part, an incredibly uneventful pregnancy.
Actually, I have been very lucky. I'm due in 3 weeks, I'm still working for another week and a half, still driving, going out, for as much as my life will change very soon, it hasn't changed yet. So I know I shouldn't complain if the worst I get is the need for a c-section. And I know I'll get over it, and it will be fine in the end, and I have tons of support from both family and friends to help me if I need it, and to get through the recovery, however easy or difficult it might be. But yeah, I can't help but be disappointed.
So I get 6 wks of recovery to look forwards to, while living among boxes in our old house for at least 3 weeks, then trying to move into the new one. At least I have that cute face too look forwards to meeting. You know how in Cabbage Patch Kids, because they are smiling, the eyes make that half-moon shape? Look at the bottom photo...I swear the kid is grinning, laughing or giggling, which, as anyone who knows me in real life can attest, is TOTALLY me (when I'm not being a moody little brat). I think I recognize my chubby cheeks. :)
It took 12 hours. But still...12 hours to a finished object is NOT bad. Plus there is a delay of at least 2 hours that was my fault for using the wrong needles. I had the correct size, but couldn't find my 4mm dpns and one of my circs was twisted and I had to keep bunching it up each round, making each row go reeeaaalllyy slow.
So voila- a completed summer sweater in a weekend. Le front.
Le front again. This is my favorite way to put it. There are supposed to be buttons but I like it better like this.