May 28, 2010

Jude Thomas

He's here! As of today he is 10 days old. He was born on Tuesday, May 18th at 10:44 PM - weighing in at 8 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long. He's far more beautiful than I was anticipating (so terrible, right?) and he's just has healthy as can be. We feel so blessed.

Our due date was May 10th, but that date came and went with no sign of him arriving anywhere near it. Of course, I was hoping he would hold out because my Mom was not able to come into town until May 16th. And wait he did. We scheduled our induction to begin on Monday night, May 17th. That evening, Jesse, my Mom and I had a nice dinner on the patio at a nearby sports bar and then we were off to the hospital.

By Tuesday morning I was dialated to 1-2 centimeters and we started pitocin at 8 AM. To my relief the doctor gave the go-ahead to start my epidural at the same time. So, in went the epidural and the contractions started and continued without me feeling a blessed thing. Ahhh. Modern science. What a beautiful thing.

By about 1 PM my water had broken on its own and I had dialated to about 5-6 centimeters. Seemed like I was well on my way. At that point we stopped the pitocin thinking that my body would naturally take me the rest of the way. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and we spent the next 4 hours regularly contracting, but not dialating any more.

At 5 PM we started the pitocin again. However, we began to see that as we increased the pitocin Jude's heart rate would drop. It seemed like we couldn't get the pitocin to a high enough level without it affecting Jude. So, after another 5 hours I was still contracting regularly but only dialated 5-6 centimeters.

At 10 PM my doctor came in suggesting that we do a c-section. After 14 hours of labor Jesse and I readily agreed. It was pretty clear that we just needed to get him out soon. So, my epidural was increased and I was given several other medications including some anti-nausea. Even so, as they wheeled me to the operating room I felt pretty crappy. I remember thinking that it was too bad I was going to deliver my baby while feeling so crummy from the inside out.

They moved me to the operating table and prepped me for surgery. Throughout the procedure I was able to be awake - just numbed from the chest down. The anesthesiologist was fantastic. He stayed near me and coached me throughout. He was incredibly informative, encouraging and reassuring.

Jesse sat near me and watched as they pulled him out. I could feel some pressure, some tugging and pulling, but no pain. And, eventually, I heard the beautiful cries of a healthy newborn.

The nurses checked his vitals in the operating room while I was being put back together. Jesse got to join them and enjoy those first few moments with Jude. I was feeling very sleepy and could barely keep my eyes open. I laid there with my eyes closed just listening to his cries and to the activity around me.

Eventually they asked if I wanted to hold him. I desperately wanted to, but I told them "no" in fear that I would just drop him. Thankfully, they didn't listen to me. As they put him in my arms I instantly perked up, and I was able to hold him as they wheeled me back to our room.

We stayed in the hospital until Friday, May 21st. We had fabulous nurses and enjoyed our stay very much. It has now been a week at home and we're getting the hang of it (feed, change, console, sleep, do-over) and enjoying it as much as we possibly can.

Welcome to the world, Jude Thomas. We're excited to be your parents.

**The photos were taken at the hospital by my good friend, Diana. I'm so happy with the way they turned out. Just perfect.**

May 14, 2010

A Quiet Nursery

Well, my friends, this is it. Pictures of a completed nursery that is readily waiting to hold and comfort the world's soon-to-be newest little boy (he hasn't arrived yet). The boy's room is a very tiny room in our very tiny house. This space used to be our guest room - just big enough to fit a queen size bed and a floating shelf that acted as a nightstand. Now, it's just barely big enough for a baby.

The above picture is what you see directly to your left as you walk in the room. Notice that the mobile ended up above the chair rather than above the crib. You'll see below that the crib sits adjacent to a slanted ceiling, and once the mobile was completed it hung too close to the edge of the crib. That's not good for either a baby or a dainty little mobile made from sewing thread and paper circles - so it found a new place above the recliner.

The bookshelf behind the chair is one of those 9-cube shelves from Target. I love it. The bins conceal pacifiers, swaddling blankets, receiving blankets, wash cloths and toys. The bottom three shelves (which you can't see) are open and hold several books.

This is what you see as you scan the room from left to right. Notice the snazzy little dresser? The first drawer holds disposable diapers, wipes, socks, shoes and hats. The second and third drawers hold neatly stacked jammies, night gowns and onesies sizes 0-6 months.

The lamp was purchased a LONG time ago at a thrift store in Cedar Rapids called Stuff, Etc. Anyone been there? It's fantastic! Anyway, I love it's classic style and when I picked it up I knew it would be perfect for a nursery someday. Recently it got a makeover in blue. I love it.

I've got two garbage cans next to the dresser - one for cloth diapering and the other for trash/disposable diapers. I decided against a conventional "diaper genie" and just went with two regular garbage cans. My sometimes too simplistic thinking concluded that it's all poop wrapped in plastic sitting in a can, right? So, we'll see if I regret that decision. Anyone have experience or thoughts on this?

The curtains were one of my last projects to complete. I whipped them up two weeks ago using the same fabric that my Mom had used for both the recliner and crib skirt. I had just enough fabric to do these (turned out to be the perfect amount of fabric, Mom! Who knew?). This was my first time using grommets for curtains and I was very surprised at how user-friendly they were. I picked them up at my local Hancock Fabrics, and noticed the directions were quite simple. I did swear just a little while trying to snap them together, but I think they gave me a wee bit more trouble because my fabric was home decor weight and I was trying to snap them between 2 or 3 layers. They would have given me no trouble at all had my fabric been any thinner. Anyway, I highly recommend this technique for curtains. I also like how they subtly complement my "circle" theme.

This is the wall that's on your right side as you enter the room. You've seen these shelves before - except at that time they had cloth diapers stacked on them. Now the diapers are concealed in bins. The far left contains the nighttime diapers, in which all the diapers hold two inserts. The middle has daytime diapers and the third bin holds the wipes, diaper cream and Vaseline. I don't love, love the bins, but they are practical because they can eventually fit onto the bookshelf seen in the first picture, when necessary. So, I decided to stick with them.

Also, notice that in the back there is a "real" door hanging there. Jesse and his dad were able to disassemble the god-awful pocket door that used to hang there and replace it with a beautiful new door in its place. For anyone who lives in an OLD house you understand the risk of taking on such a project. You see, in an old house you just never know what kind of weird stuff you will run into when you begin disassembling and rearranging. I have to say I was a bit nervous as he took this project on only two weeks ago. Thankfully, it all came together beautifully. And, I am one proud wife.

I threw together these little guys last night. I needed something on the right side of the room to pull in the blue and the fishies. So, I used some leftover circles from the mobile project and then just cut out some different sized fishes and glued them together. Good enough, I say.

And, lastly, the widest shot that I could get of the room. I'm standing near the recliner in this picture. As you can see we're just waiting in anticipation.

Nana arrives here on Sunday, so you're welcome to arrive anytime you want to, bud. We can't wait to meet you, hold you, kiss you and love you forever and ever.

May 8, 2010

Going Home

I have heard through the grapevine that it's important to have a "going home" outfit for your little munchkin when you leave the hospital. Up until about two weeks ago I had no idea that such a thing was important at all. Apparently, clothing your little baby, placing him in the car seat and taking the official picture is a moment that people look forward to . . . who knew? And, where have I been?

It's a good thing I have friends who would tell much such a thing before I go to the hospital. Had it not been for the good advice I would have had one poor, pitiful, naked baby in a car seat. Well, okay, maybe not naked . . . I do have a brain . . . but he wouldn't have been nearly as cute as he should be AND, God forbid, maybe not as cute as the other babies.

So . . . what's a pregnant lady to do? Well, make a couple of going home outfits, of course.

No, I'm not expecting twins. I just also heard that having a "back up" outfit was a good idea as babies are prone to vomit, poop or pee all over their clothing AND their mothers are prone to cry when said baby ruins his going home outfit. See? I have good friends who tell me such things. I'm very thankful.

The onesies are a newborn size that were handed down to me from my sister-in-law. I used the ever-useful freezer painting technique to paint the icons on there. Get it? A little "house" icon because he's "going home?" Oh, I know. I'm so clever! The whale? Well, it's not nearly as clever, but it went with the striped hat that I already had on hand - also another hand-me-down from my sister-in-law.

I made the little pants too. One is gray, the other is navy blue, although they look black. They're not my best work, but they will do. And, then, I used the pattern of the striped hat to make the gray hat. I don't usually do that kind of thing because I typically screw it up and then swear a lot. But, this time the stars were aligned just right and I figured it out! (patting myself on the back) Now, here's hoping it actually fits him.

May 6, 2010


Ahh, the mobile. How do you say that word, anyway? It's so awkward. I frequently use the "moble" or "mo-byle" versions rather than the "mo-beel" version. But, all of them are kinda weird, don't you think?

So, this little project has been swimming around in my head for a really long time - pretty much since I got pregnant - or maybe before. I'm not sure what took me so long to actually create it. I think I just kept grabbing all these different things and colors that could be added to it and eventually I wasn't sure if I liked it anymore. I definitely lost the vision somewhere in the mix and it took me a long time to come back around full circle. Aren't some projects funny like that sometimes?

Thankfully, I was saved by my good friend Lauren who talked me through the possibilities and we settled on a very simple version. It was exactly what I needed.

(Do you love how dramatic this story is so far? It's like my whole life is hinging on how well this "moble" turns out. That's funny.)

Anyway, my inspiration came from Pottery Barn Kids' butterfly chandelier.

And, here's how it turned out.

Yep, very simple. I spray painted two embroidery hoops and used them as the anchor rings. Then, I painted three curtain rings that my mom had on hand for the circles at the top. When it came time to put it all together, Lauren cut out the paper circles while I attempted to engineer the embroidery hoops to cooperate with one another and hang parallel. Had I been better at physics in school I may have been more efficient, but it worked out okay. Eventually, I hot glued pennies between the circles so that they would be heavy enough to hang straight, and then tied them all on using sewing thread. Worked beautifully.

Hopefully the little guy finds it somewhat amusing. I suppose even if he doesn't, I do. I like the way it flutters when the fan is turned on in his room. Not that I sit in there and stare at it or anything . . . oh, wait.

May 5, 2010

Auntie Love

Our little boy is one lucky fellow. He is already so loved by our family and friends that it makes me want to cry just thinking about it. We have received such wonderful gifts, and one of the most special is this little treasure that I've been meaning to show off for sometime now . . .

It's a bear that Aunt Marie knitted for him. Are you kidding me? It's so stinkin' adorable. I only photographed one side of it . . . the other is blue. And, she knitted it with the softest and cuddliest yarn that you ever did see. I love it.

Oh, and in the background you can see a sneak peek of his "going home" outfits. Those will be for another post soon.

May 4, 2010

A Belly and a Boppy

We've been just working away here over the last couple of weeks trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible. My sewing machine took over the dining room table again for at least the last month and has been faithfully churning out many projects.

I've got a couple of favorites to share with you from the last week. But, first, I must show you the belly progression from week 37 to 39. I can't really tell much difference, but maybe you can.

37 weeks

38 weeks

39 weeks

See what I mean? I'm totally protruding forward more and more everyday. The belly might be getting lower too, but I can't tell for sure.

Anyway, one of my projects was to create a boppy cover because who wants to spend $20 on a cover when you can make one yourself? Well, okay, a lot of people would, but not me. I made one with just a simple little design to match the nursery decor. I did some freezer painting and then sewed it together. Unfortunately, the pattern I used is no longer available online, but I just stumbled across this one . . . if you're interested. The only change I made was to secure it with velcro rather than a zipper. But, of course, that change would have made more sense with the old pattern than the one I linked to. Oh well, you still get the idea.

I'm so excited because Em will be making one for me and the little guy too - and I can't wait to see her version. Will they be freaky similar, or no?