Saturday, April 29, 2006

More than you wanted to know about my boring Saturday

You know those days when you just have to get out of your flippin' house, and even though you love your family desperately you just have to get away? Yeah, that was today. It was close to 70 degrees and the sun was blazing. I pondered taking Daughter to the beach (not that our Lake Erie beaches are too snazzy or anything, we're mostly talking about a strip of gravel at the water's edge), but eh, I didn't really feel like it.

So, since I've been feeling better pregnancy-wise, I decided to head out on my own. I wanted to wander around a craft shop, so I did. I got two jar candles at A.C. Moore ($3 each and they're almost as good as Yankee in my opinion) as well as some very pretty blue Patons Classic Merino to make a baby gift (my girlfriend is having her 3rd son in June). I got enough for a sweater and possibly a hat, per her request, and I was going to do a blanket as well. We'll see, because in addition I have to whip up something for my husband's co-worker, whose wife is also set to deliver in June. Does anyone know of a pretty baby blanket pattern (to knit) that's done in one piece, but is complex? I can't do a whole blanket of one repeated stitch...too boring. I need something with cables or different motifs or something.

Then I decided to mosey on to the grocery store. I haven't done the shopping in a month, and though my husband is pretty good at it, he always comes home without a few of the things on my list. Like the chewy Chips Ahoy cookies I've been asking for. Well, we've got 'em now.

I also got the cutest thing in the produce department. It's called a Salad Bouquet, and it comes in a plastic wrap like a floral bouquet, except it's various lettuces. They're organic, grown locally in greenhouses (in Ithaca, NY for those familiar with the area), and come with the root clumps still attached to the little bunches of greens. And they were only $1.99! I'm a sucker for clever packaging and display, so I had to get one. And it's delicious. I would have taken a photo but thought my husband would find that rather strange.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go inhale some cappucino chip ice cream. The baby wants some.

Friday, April 28, 2006


So my kid is obsessed with Elmo. When we watch Sesame she is marginally interested until that dorky Elmo's World music starts. Then her head whips around, she points to the screen and squeals, "Lolo!" I am a little disappointed as Elmo is my least favorite Sesame character, and I would be much happier if she loved, say, Grover or Ernie or Big Bird. However, I do love hearing her screech "Lolo!" every morning. It's totally adorable and I'll be a little sad when she starts pronouncing it correctly.

So I went to my OB appointment today and everything is looking good. We've had no bleeding to speak of since Tuesday and the babe's growth continues apace. I've gained 10 lbs. and my belly has suddenly "popped," though I don't know that it's obvious to the casual observer yet. The wee one's heart rate is 150, which is good, mine is 70, which is very good, and my blood pressure is normal. This is all great news because it means my medicine is controlling that aspect of the hyperthyroidism (heart racing/palpitations). I'm kind of hoping my next round of bloodwork will show that the medication is working wonderfully and I don't need to have surgery right now after all, but that's probably a pipe dream.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts, prayers, and good wishes. We appreciate it so much!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Breathing Right

I'm here today to tell you that Breathe Right strips WORK, peeps. Between my regular spring allergies and the pregnancy boogies, I've been having a rough time sleeping through the night. So I splurged (ten bucks for a box of 30 at Tarzhay). And I had an awesome night of sleep. It kind of hurts a little to rip the strip off in the morning (kind of like those pore strips we all used a few years back, remember those?), but it is totally worth it. I offered one to my husband to help with his snoring (which he vehemently denies), but he said "no thanks, breathe right strips are NOT sexy" if snoring is.

So I guess I'm not sexy, but at least now I can get oxygen to my brain all night long.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A buncha stuff

I am happy to say that the snow stopped before any could accumulate yesterday. And today temps are supposed to return to a somewhat seasonal 60-ish. It's not often we get snow quite this late in the season, and I think that's the last of it. This morning the sun is shining for all its worth and the rabbits and squirrels and birds are romping around's like that Disney movie, you know, the one they don't show anymore because it's racist. The one with Zippety-doo-dah. Song of the South? Is that what it's called? I know I saw it once when I was a little kid. Anyway, the point is that it's a beautiful day! Zippety-doo-dah!

It's also a beautiful day because...24 hours have passed with no bleeding. People, this feels like a miracle. Please, oh please, let it be over.

And, the babe has announced his or her presence to me via somersaults or something. I thought I felt movement a couple of days ago, but told myself it was too soon to tell, it must be gas, etc. But last night I was sitting here quietly and felt that unmistakable burble of baby kickage. Hallelujah. This baby can beat me up all it wants, as long as it's ok in there.

My only real 'problem' now (which is not really so much a problem) is that I have just about outgrown all my regular pants, but my maternity clothes still fall down. I'm not sure if I should order
a bella band or just make do for now. Last time I took a wide piece of elastic (like 1") and cut a buttonhole in one end and sewed a button to the other. That's how I fastened my pants during the in-between. I'm not sure it's worth the $25 for the band. Plus, my nose is really stuffy and my knees hurt. Wah wah boo hoo.

Mmmmm-kay, enough baby talk. I also have to report on my sockapaloooza socks - this is a crafty blog after all. Here they are in all their finished glory:

still life with socks and unshaved legs

first sock...some weird pooling

second sock...more weird pooling

Now I just have to get a Buffalo postcard and some fun stuff to put in the package, and these can wing their way across the country. Oh, and they will be washed and blocked first! I'm just hoping these will fit my sock pal...she wears the same shoe size I do, so I made them to fit my feet. You know, I was just thinking that I don't even know where to get a postcard featuring my fair city. I've never bought one before because I live here...huh. Maybe a bookstore?

Here's a tangent about that - we don't have any bookstores here. No, I'm serious! The area where we live is rather "blue collar," if you will. We're really close to all the old steel mills and this has always been a very working-class area (except for the gorgeous lake front mansions where all the steel barons lived). We have lots of other stuff, but not one single Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. I guess the bookstore companies believe people who work in factories don't read books. I'm not even sure there's a Waldenbooks in the mall or anything. It's depressing! I'll have to go to the ritzy "white collar" suburb where our parents live to hit a bookstore. SAD!! Luckily my OB is out there so I'll be in the area on Friday. I'll have to stop in to the B&N to seek postcards.

End tangent. Hope you're all having as beautiful a day as we are!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You have got to be kidding me

People, I am looking out my family room window right now, and the stuff coming out of the sky is NOT rain.

It is, in fact, SNOW.

I'm sorry Mother Nature, did you not get the memo? It's April 25. APRIL.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A word of thanks and a cry for (knitting) help

Many of you have left me very encouraging comments and/or sent thoughtful emails over the past 2 weeks. I want you to know I hang on every word and firmly believe your thoughts, prayers, and positive energy are helping me to heal. The weekend was very good - the pregnancy is feeling more "normal" and I think the only funkiness I feel is a braxton-hicks contraction now and again (I had them quite often with #1). At the risk of heading into too-much-information land, I'll say that the bleeding has slowed to a tiny bit of spotting over the last 2 days (holy moly do I feel like I'm jinxing myself by saying that). We go to the doctor on Friday. Please keep praying! Every day I wake up and thank God I'm still pregnant. That probably sounds weird, but it's what my brain is doing to cope.

I also want to say that I am trying hard to stay positive. In that vein I've been saying "NO" to google (as per Ruth's instructions!) and not looking up "bleeding during pregnancy." Dudes, THAT is a depressing search. I prefer to stick to the stories people tell me of very successful pregnancies that resulted in fat happy babies despite bleeding and other problems. Google-ing the problem only led to me weeping pitifully at midnight as I read sad, sad stories. Not a good idea.

Anyway, it's funny, but I feel in my heart that the baby is going to be ok. Maybe this is just a problem I'm going to have on and off throughout the pregnancy, or maybe the baby and I will grow out of it (my doctor says this is often what happens). But I have had one healthy, perfect baby, and we are at almost 16 weeks now. The risks are reduced with each passing day...which I suppose is why I do the thanking God thing when I wake up every day. I guess I just refuse to give up and get all depressed because I can't fathom not having another healthy baby. So. I pray and try to be positive.

End Pregnancy Talk/Begin Knitting Talk

I have a burning knitting question for those of you who have made Secret Garden (Alice Starmore, The Childrens' Collection), or who at least have the book.

Ok. I am making the 2-3 year size. I have just completed chart C, one time through. But I am confused by the next set of directions. It appears that you are supposed to repeat chart C for all sizes (confusing because you only repeat the other charts for the two larger sizes). BUT, you are instructed to work row 1 and eliminate the decreases. Does that mean you also eliminate the yarn-overs to compensate? Then it says to continue as set, completing chart C. Do you eliminate the decreases and YOs for the rest of the chart?

If you do that I think it throws the pattern off. You end up without the little "holes" in the design. But if you do the YOs without the decreases, you end up with too many stitches. Right?

Because then when you do chart D, the stitch count you want to end up with only happens if you skip the increases and decreases in chart C the second time you do it.

That probably doesn't make any sense. It's hard to explain. Am I just dumb? Is there something I'm missing in the directions? I can't find anything about this on the web, so I'm assuming it's me. If my explanation made any sense to you, please help!

**Edited to add: Thanks to the talented and patient Kathleen of WIP Insanity (she has lots of WIPS! It's insane! Whee!) I have the answer to my Secret Garden chart questions. As it turns out, I don't think it's a matter of me being dumb. Once the concept was explained to me, I realized it's just my pregnancy and stress-addled brain that was preventing me from properly analyzing the charts and instructions.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Food Network

I'm big into the Food Network. And now that I'm basically housebound and my butt is growing roots in the couch, I've been watching it more than ever.

If you're like me (ok, except for the housebound thing) and you love watching Food Network but also occasionally find yourself hurling snarky comments at the cooks or picking your jaw up off the floor after Paula Deen puts yet another stick of butter into a recipe, check out Armchair Cook.

I promise you'll just about pee your pants laughing.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


There has been knitting:

Sockapaloooza sock #2 just needs a toe!

Still plugging away on Secret Garden for Daughter (no major rush - it is for fall). I don't think I'm in danger of becoming a photo stylist anytime soon. Don't you love my creative use of the sugar bowl to hold the sweater down while I stretch out the pattern? Tres professional.

There has been ickiness:
I ask for your continued thoughts and prayers as I am still experiencing cramps and bleeding. At our last visit to the doctor (last Tuesday) the baby looked fine, but of course I've been reading stuff on the internet that scares the bejeebers out of I'm not yet convinced that everything will be fine. I am trying to pray, rest, pray some more, and have faith that there is a plan. Right now the only thing that seems to relieve the pain/pressure/bleeding is lying flat on my back. Which is not too swell since I have to somehow care for my 1 year old. My mom has been a trooper, driving the 45 minutes each way to care for us, but I'm on my own today and hoping to stay flat out as much as possible. Luckily Daughter is good at entertaining herself by playing on the family room floor.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


One day old

One year old

Happy Birthday, my love.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter

I want to thank you all once again for your supportive comments this week. Things continue to improve.

May you have a blessed, joyful Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I am so bored.

But bedrest is good for one thing - my sockapaloooza socks are almost done. I will have pictures soon (when I am allowed to stand up for more than bathroom trips).

Thank you all for your good wishes and prayers. There has definitely been improvement in my condition over the last two days. Hopefully this was a one-time fluke occurrence and everything will be boring and normal from here on out. Except for the thyroid surgery thing. Yeesh.

I credit my healing in large part to the Miraculous Medal given to my mother by her good friend (with instructions to pass it on to me). The medal has been blessed; I have worn it for the last couple of days and prayed a lot. Yesterday I changed my clothes and forgot to grab the medal out of my pants pocket, and I immediately felt worse and bled again. Today I pinned the medal to my PJs in the morning, my clothes after I got dressed, and now my PJs again, and I have felt great all day. There has been no actual bleeding since I got up this morning. I will wear this medal for the duration of the pregnancy. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be even better, and though I will continue to rest over the weekend, I could maybe return to light activity on Monday.

I miss holding my baby and can't wait to scoop her up and snuggle her again.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Thank you, Ann-Marie, for claiming the cross stitch kit. It's on its way to you as soon as I have your address.

I may or may not be around much this week. We spent last night at the ER due to some serious bleeding and cramping, and I am on bed rest until there is no more bleeding at all. The baby is ok, and there are professionals monitoring the situation, though no one seems to know what is causing the problem. My first pregnancy was completely uneventful (except for morning sickness) so this has come as a major shock.

Quite frankly, I'm frightened.

If you are the praying type, I sure could use some right about now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Free to a good home

Hey cross stitchers! I know you're out there!

I have here a Bucilla kit for a family tree counted cross stitch. Its official name is "Through the Years." The finished piece of stitching measures 16" X 18", and is on 14 count white aida cloth. I began this project about 7 years ago (I think I intended it for my parents' 25th anniversary), but I wasn't enjoying it so it got shoved in a bin and put away. All I did was a bit of the greenery and the
two hearts in the center of the design. The aida cloth is taped around all edges with masking tape.

The kit includes the aida cloth (with a little stitching already done), cotton floss wound on bobbins, silk ribbon, gold metallic thread, pearlescent blending filament and full color chart. There might even be a needle stuck in there somewhere...I'll have to check. I will also throw in the sterlite bin with handle that it's been living in for the last 7 years. All you have to supply is an embroidery hoop. And possibly a needle if there isn't one in there.

This kit has been kept in a non-smoking, clean home and is in great shape. It just needs someone
to actually finish stitching it. Plus, it's free, people. I'll even pay shipping in the continental US. Please take it off my hands so I can have more room in my craft cabinet. If you're interested please email me: momwhoknits AT yahoo DOT com. I'll need your name and mailing address, which I promise to delete the instant I finish addressing the package. Believe me, I don't want to stalk you.

sorry for the cruddy picture. what can I tell you? free is free, peeps.

see? fambly tree! Obviously, your family name goes in the middle.

all this...for free!

Disclaimer: If you decide you want this and I send it to you (free, remember), you can't send it back if you decide you don't like it after all. I don't want it so it's up to you to figure out what to do with it! Pass it on, sell it on ebay, chuck it...whatever. The same goes for if you discover I frigged up any of the stitching. I don't want to hear about it! Ok? Cool. Now please, please take it away. :)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

New and Improved: Now with Actual Photos!

The sun is shining! I took some pictures! And thank goodness 'cause this blog was getting a little boring to look at.

Sockapaloooza sock hangin' with some bunnies. It's coming along, and I'm much happier with this version than the last attempt. I knitted all that foot part through Walk the Line last night. Have you seen it? I mostly thought it was sad and, as my husband said, "man, this guy just keeps doing uncomfortable stuff." I thought it was extremely well acted, and kudos to Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix for learning to sing and play like that, but in the end I just thought June Carter was out of her mind for agreeing to marry Johnny Cash. He was a train wreck! And I know it worked out and they did love each other desperately, but it was a long, hard, hurtful road to get there. Yikes.

It's hard to take a photo on a beautiful day. The sun is streaming in the front window and it makes the rest of the room look dark. This is my (not so much decorated) dining room, which is currently home to my sweat shop, er, sewing stuff. I'm in the middle of two (identical and therefore boring) quilts for the shop that involve nursery rhyme-type embroidery on the main squares and a fiddly border of nine-patches. I'll show more when I get more done. It's really not a cute project so I can't say I'm too enthused, but I have big car repairs to pay for, and also maternity clothes, so I do what I'm told. Side note: I own the mechanical sewing machine in the upper left but definitely not the top-of-the-line embroidery machine at the bottom right ($7000, enough said). Side note #2: I don't bother to move my funky fiesta ware candlesticks and vase when I work. Which is dumb.

Speaking of maternity clothes...I love Old Navy! Look at this rainbow of fruit flavors:

These t-shirts are awesome! Only $9 each and they're nice and long so they actually cover the belly. I hate some of the styles out there that barely cover you up - and I actually like maternity pants with the panel, especially around the 8th month, so I need shirts that cover me and the top of my pants. Also, normally I am a pretty boring dresser, but I try to perk it up in the summer. And since I was pregnant all winter last time, I had to get all new stuff this time - thus the rainbow of new t-shirts and pants. I got jeans (super bargain at $25 or $30 since most maternity jeans are around $50 or $60), some denim capris, and bright pink cargo pants that button up or down to make capris or not, depending on the day. Fantastic! I'm returning a denim skirt (clownishly big) and some khaki capris as I think the fabric is not nice. They remind me of nothing so much as army pants - you know, the khaki uniform? Yeah, not so cute and feminine for summer. So instead I am ordering awesome shoes! It'll be like they're free, since I'm returning two items that are worth more than the price of the shoes. Right? Oh yes.

(Image swiped shamelessly from
These are Adventure Cross-Straps. I'm getting them in the color shown (yep, pale aloe...too lazy to photoshop those words out), and they are to replace my stinky old beat up Birkenstocks. Which I love and am sad to see go, but they are 'round about 5 or 6 years old now, they seriously smell when I wear them, and they look like hell to boot. So R.I.P Birks, and welcome to the summer wardrobe, Adventure shoes! I am hoping these will be easy to jam on my feet when I turn into Large Marge and I'm trying to corral Daughter as she runs off.

Speaking of stinky, I really must hit the shower whilst Daughter is napping. Have a great weekend, all!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Random stuff

It's so dark, gray and wet here today it looks like a fall evening, not a spring morning. I have recently come to terms with the fact that my moods are almost 100% caused by the weather and so today will be a slow, low-energy day. Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny, and Daughter & I ran errands. Then she took her afternoon nap and I was so productive! I got sewing projects cut out and ready to go, and I made two new throw pillows for my sofa. I even knitted a bit on my sockapaloooza socks before bed. I hope I have turned the first-to-second trimester corner and my energy will be coming back. I mean, yesterday I didn't sit down on the couch in a stupor even once...a miracle! Usually 2 pm rolls around and all I want to do is go to sleep.

So anyway, no photos because it's too dark, but soon you will see the fruits of my labor. I hope to get some more done this afternoon. Well, if I ever get moving, as it's already 11 am, Daughter will be waking up in about 20 minutes, I haven't showered, and the breakfast dishes are congealing on the table. The mornings just evaporate around here.

In exciting child news, we have a tooth! The first bottom tooth officially cut through on the 31st and its mate is on the way soon. Thankfully this has not caused any night-waking and/or obvious misery for any of us (so far). It's such a cute, tiny little tooth. I am so proud.

However, in questionable child news, I have discovered that my baby has no balance. I mean it, we stand her up and she just falls right over. We prop her against her little FP noisemaking, button-pushing table and she can sort of stand there for a few seconds but then - if we don't hold her or hover close enough to catch her - kaboom. She's down. And even when she is sitting, she flops over backwards much of the time. (To clarify, she is perfectly capable of sitting up for like, an hour...she just always ends up flopping down eventually, like when she gets tired.) We still have to put a pillow behind her to protect her head. Is this at all normal for a kid who's almost 1? I'll be checking it out with the pediatrician at her 1-year checkup. I mean, what can you do for balance? I don't know.

In financial child news, I discovered yesterday that Luvs (my favorite diapers) actually become cheaper than generic diapers if you buy a big enough box. We were shopping at BJs (like Sam's or Costco for those who don't know) with our free 60 day trial membership (yay free stuff!) and I compared diaper prices for like, 15 minutes. I'm sure the other shoppers thought I was crazy. But it's true, the 174 pack of Luvs cost less per diaper than the store brand. Shazam! I love a deal. And now we have enough diapers for the apocalypse. It makes me feel so secure to know we won't run out for a long, long time. I'm a dork.

Thanks for your thoughts and stories involving surgery and pregnancy, girls. I do appreciate it and would love to hear all the success stories you have about this issue! I'm nervous about it, and will have to do horrible stuff like "get my affairs in order" and probably sign a form saying that if something happens to my unborn child it isn't the hospital's or doctor's fault, but still I feel pretty ok. I think there are much worse situations that people have gone through.

Oh crap. Kid's awake in her crib - I have to take the world's fastest shower while she's still happy playing in there!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Some stuff about my pregnancy (or, More than you probably wanted to know)

Great thoughts on the baby/sleep issue, ladies. Thank you for your input - indeed, we are all different and our babes are all different, and some of us have had events take place that changed our original intentions. I just think it's important for women in general to support each other in their decisions (breastfeed or not, co-sleep or not, etc.) and not cut each other down. Though I would personally not allow my daughter to sleep in our bed, I don't disrespect anyone who can't imagine leaving a baby in a crib in another room. We are all different and our ideas are all correct for our own families.

Anyway. I am super tired, and frankly I'm getting tired of being tired. I go to bed around 10 and get up around 8, and that's a good amount of why do I feel like a limp rag all day? My husband keeps accusing me of being in a bad mood, but I swear I'm not. I just don't have the energy to talk much by the time he gets home at night. Bleh. Just. No. Energy.

We had a sonogram yesterday at the hospital, where they have super kick-ass equipment. It is simply astonishing to see so much detail on the screen at 13 weeks. The baby weighs about 2 oz and is only a couple of inches long, and yet EVERYTHING is there. We saw all the bones we needed to see - perfect little hands and feet, long straight legs, beautifully round skull, nasal bone (often missing in babies with chromosomal abnormalities), jaw full of teeth, spine, ribcage...and the little arms were waving and the legs were crossing and uncrossing. It is too early to tell the sex (we should hopefully be able to see that at our 18 week sono) but that's ok - this sono was primarily to determine whether or not the baby's growth and development are on track. They are, thank goodness, and the babe even measured up bigger than expected. Our due date has moved up one day (Oct. 10 now).

Why is this such good news? Well, besides the obvious (we all want our babes to be on-track and perfect!), I am extremely, severely hyperthyroid. The phrase my doctor used is "out-of-control." This started up right after Daughter was born (we think, though perhaps before her birth as she was slightly underweight and it would explain a lot), and I lost massive weight (40 pounds). I ended up about 20 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight (and I was not overweight to begin with or anything) by the time Daughter was 3 months old, which I couldn't believe was due to breastfeeding alone. So then I developed a very s-e-x-y goiter (just a swelling in the thyroid gland) which no one has really noticed till I point it out, but I think it's pretty obvious because I've been so thin.

Anyway, my thyroid has been producing about twice the amount of hormone it should, so I was put on medication in January to block the production of any more hormone. This medicine can pass through breastmilk, so we were a little paranoid about Daughter, but it doesn't seem to have affected her at all. Then, whoops, I got pregnant again when I really should not have been able to, but - pay attention ladies! - thyroid disorders affect all your hormones and that includes your reproductive system. So, whoops, I ovulated out of sync with my normal cycle and ta-da! So. We are very happy to be having a second baby...we always wanted another one and we don't ever want this child to think he or she was "unplanned." This was always the plan...just not quite so soon. Ideally, we would have taken care of this thyroid situation first, and then had another baby. But we are choosing to believe that God wanted us to have this baby now for some reason (perhaps later we would not be able to or something), so we are now dealing with some issues. The medication I am taking is definitely not considered ideal for a developing fetus. It can cause low birth weight and premature delivery. It can also (quite rarely) cause a goiter to develop in the baby. Scary! So my endocrinologist wants me to have surgery in the next 4-6 weeks to remove my thyroid entirely, which would mean general anesthesia, which scares the crap out of me.

Thus the sonogram yesterday. We needed to see if the medication and/or my condition in general is having any effect on the babe as of right now, and the answer appears to be no. Hallelujah. If the medicine is controlling my thyroid sufficiently (and it's really not) we could ride out the pregnancy and the baby will probably be born just fine. However, the safer option is actually to have the operation. According to the awesome specialist I spoke with yesterday, the anesthesia does make the baby sleepy, but as long as the blood flow is maintained and my body temperature stays up, there is almost zero risk. But it still scares the crap out of me.

So that is probably why I'm tired and not exactly bubbly and cheerful. It's really stressful feeling like you have no control over your body, and knowing you should not really have gotten pregnant right now, and praying all the time that things will work out fine. Exhausting, I tell you.

And that is also why you haven't seen much creativity happening here lately. I'm plodding along on my sockapaloooza socks, and staring longingly at the fabric and patterns I intend to use for sundresses for Daughter, and sort of ignoring the paid project I have to do; my brain and body are too wiped out to do much. It's times like this I wish I had a cook. And a maid.

Monday, April 03, 2006

catching zzzzzzzzzz's

Jeeeeeeezzzz...did you all read Dooce the last few days? And the comments? Holy crow. I have nothing crafty to show as the last several days have been all about MD appointments and broken car stuff, so maybe I'll talk about my daughter and sleep.

There are almost 500 comments as of right now (1:30 pm, Monday) on Heather's post about how they got their daughter to sleep through the night and how the process pushed her over the edge to the psych hospital admission...many of you have read back and know about that, I assume. I refuse to leave a comment and get into the fray of nastiness that's been going on since about comment #400. If you don't have anything better to do, go read some of the comments - but take several deep, cleansing breaths first because it'll probably rile you up.

I don't know how to make a baby sleep more or better. I breastfed Daughter from birth on-demand, I think, though I don't have the definitions of BF methods memorized. She was underweight at birth so I did have to be sure she was fed approximately every 2-2.5 hours during the day (yessiree, all we did was breastfeed in those days), but the doctor said I could let her sleep as long as possible at night. Here is what I did in the pm:

Daughter stayed up with us till about 10 each night, at which time I would change her diaper, wrap her up tightly, and lay her in the crib. She would generally sleep from 2.5 - 4 hours right off the bat, but would then wake for a change & feed. The poor kid had horrible reflux for the first couple months, so I'd feed her and then have to keep her body upright for at least 20 minutes. Usually during this time we'd fall asleep on the couch together and sleep for another 3 hours or so. When I woke up I'd carefully lay her back in the crib. Sometimes she'd sleep a few more hours, but usually she'd wake up within 1 hour for another feeding. At that time she would nap 3X each day, usually for 2-3 hours each time.

By 8 weeks she started lengthening the time she'd stay in the crib initially - I made it a point to ALWAYS start out by laying her in the crib so she would learn that was where she would sleep. As she gained weight she'd go longer during the night till we finally got to one middle-of-the-night feeding. Sometimes she'd wake up and cry a little bit, and we'd lay in bed holding our breath...but she managed to get herself back to sleep most of the time. One of us always crept in to check, though, as we were terrified of sids. We never had to let her "cry it out" or anything, which I guess was lucky, though Hub and I agreed if it came to that, we'd start between 3 and 4 months of age and no sooner (even the books we read advocated waiting until that point).

We'll see how it goes with the second one, but it seems that maintaining consistency with Daughter (always starting in the crib, keeping the lights off during night feedings, speaking quietly if at all, making diaper changes quick and uneventful, holding her till she fell back to sleep) helped a lot. There were a few nights when she cried a bit when put down, but by 10 weeks she could pretty much be put down awake and she'd go to sleep on her own, sleeping for about 8 hours, then 10, and now anywhere from 10-12. She still takes 2 naps per day.

The thing is, it's so irritating to a new mom when all people want to know is, "does she sleep?" Man, I swear. It's the RARE baby that sleeps anywhere near through the night from birth. By the time Daughter was 7 or 8 weeks, people - including, surprisingly, my own mother - were recommending books and methods to get Daughter to sleep more during the night. The thing was, I had accepted the fact that she would sleep through the night when she was ready, and I could only help her learn by doing the things mentioned above. Now, here is a disclaimer: I was not going back to work outside my home, so I didn't feel the push to get her to sleep through right away. Obviously, I needed and craved and desired more sleep for myself, but I leapt out of bed at Daughter's cries, and would have continued to do so for a longer time if I'd had to.

I will say that I would not continue to do this beyond 10-12 months, when weaning would take place. A baby of that age does not need to be fed during the night and is looking for comfort and attention. I'd certainly be trying to teach the child to comfort him/herself at that point. Mama does need her sleep and will be more effective at doing her job if she gets it. Also, it's just healthier for a child to have a night of uninterrupted sleep. However, this is MY point of view only (which is why I'm babbling about it here as opposed to in someone else's comments), and I feel terrible for the moms out there who are struggling with sleep issues right now. I don't know what advice to give so I cannot and will not give any. This is just a post about my experience with one child (and I'm sure I will be screwed when the second one comes as s/he will probably wake up 50 times each night and want to breastfeed till college).

But I am curious. Comment, if you wish, about what worked for you and your children. It's an interesting issue as every baby is different and every family is different.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

reason number twelve bazillion why my mom is cool

the Lorna's Laces I talked about yesterday

a better shot of the colors - gorgeous!

Thanks, Mom!!