Introducing Boy J

Well Hi There!

I swear time is definitely more wobbly-wobbly-timey-wimey than any sort of constant.  The last six or seven weeks have just disappeared; it’s been a roller coaster, that’s for sure but I think we’re starting to find some sort of new normality.

I’d like to introduce Boy J, baby brother to Boy (now known as Boy A)!

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We’re doing fine!

 

These photos have all been robbed from Husband’s i-Phone as I didn’t take any in the first few days.

I had gestational diabetes whilst pregnant which meant my labour was induced at 38 weeks.  This went well and I’d got to 3cm in 24hrs so it was decided that they would artificially break my waters on the delivery suite to continue the momentum – this is all normal by the way for an induced labour.  This is also where we deviated from the text book.

During my pregnancy the scans had shown a lot of amniotic fluid, but the last scan had shown that the levels were normal.  When my waters were broken there was a LOT of water and the poor doctor got drenched.  Contractions started up beautifully but the baby’s heart rate was dropping by over 50% with each contraction.  This was not good.

When there’s a lot of water, the baby has more room to move about – think swimming pool versus bath tub.  Because there’s more room their head can come out of the pelvis more easily and as a result the umbilical cord can be flushed down into the space their head should be.  This is what happened.  Once the water had gone, each time I had a contraction Boy J’s head was being forced onto his umbilical cord and cutting off his life support.

Boy J was delivered by an emergency C-Section in the early hours of that Saturday morning.  As soon as I saw the heart rate dropping I knew what was going to happen but I will admit to never being so terrified in my life.  Not for myself but for the baby.  Husband has said he’s never been so terrified either.  We went from us plus a midwife and doctor in the room to more than a dozen, with my clothes being ripped off as I was prepped for surgery as I went down the corridor.  I have maybe two or three very vivid memories of those few minutes (all of how amazing the NHS staff were) then nothing until Husband handed me a baby and said it was a boy.  That first day doesn’t really exist for me.

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About three hours old. And seriously spaced out me.

 

Boy J had to go to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) on the Saturday evening so that he could be tube fed so that his blood sugars could be stabilised (the gestational diabetes puts the baby’s levels out of sync for a short period too, so their body has to learn what to do).  Again the staff were amazing and in less than 24 hours he was discharged from their care, back to the post natal ward and back to me.  I’d been told I could go home on the Sunday too, so late Sunday night the midwives sorted our paperwork out and we came home on the Monday.

Unfortunately the pain I was in got worse and worse to the point I could hardly walk.  I’d had major abdominal surgery so wasn’t expecting to be doing cartwheels, but I was immobile.  I couldn’t even pick Boy J up from his moses basket next to me.  I was also running a temperature, going hot and cold and literally counting down the minutes until I could take the next set of pain killers.

My wound had got infected and whilst my GP and the doctor I saw at the hospital thought so, a registrar basically said I was making a fuss over nothing, of course it’d hurt and sent me home.  That night my scar ruptured and I’ll spare you the details –  it was disgusting and made me want to throw up (and I’m pretty bomb-proof).

But again, the staff at the hospital were brilliant and spent a considerable amount of time draining it and sorting my after care out.  The lead consultant in gynaecology then did several follow up appointments and he discharged me a couple of weeks ago.  I’m able to drive again too now which is just amazing.  Living in a rural area my car isn’t a luxury – for the last six weeks I couldn’t even get Boy A to school.  My parents and siblings bailed me out with out any complaint.  In fact my Dad seems to miss doing the school run in the morning?!

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Boy A and Boy J on the Sunday

 

All in all, a bit of a rough ride but me and Boy J are doing fine.  Boy A adores him and we’re finding our feet!  I’m incredibly grateful for the amazing things the NHS has done for me and Boy J in the last few months, and for my amazing Husband and family who’ve maintained as much ‘normal’ as possible for Boy A.  There’s sweet FA sewing going on but that hasn’t stopped me living vicariously through all your blogs, Instagram posts and tweets!  At some point I’ll organise my space in the office, but for now I’m enjoying baby cuddles!

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Easy Sewing

Yesterday I wanted to do some easy sewing; something quick and simple but something that would also be useful.  With braxton hicks and baby kicks taking up pretty much every waking moment (and waking me up!) it was always going to be baby related.

Baby Blanket

I’d always planned on making a blanket for the baby as they’re one of those things you can never have too many of.  We have them strewn around the house and in the car when Boy was small and I doubt this time around it’ll be any different.  In fact I ordered the fabric from Plush Addict months ago, pre-washed it and then… Nothing.  I guess I got this weird idea into my head about tempting fate and all that, so it just sat there.

Until yesterday, when I used Jane’s tutorial for making a very simple baby blanket.  The only things I did differently were to round the corners (using a saucer to get the round) and slip stitching the gap closed, because I’m obsessive like that!  Oh, and use dimple minky because IT’S SO FLUFFY!!

Found on Pinterest – can’t find the original owner…

We don’t know whether we’re having a boy or a girl and to my mind, pewter grey and aqua would work well for both.  I like them too so that’s what I used!!  I was careful pinning this together because Minky is a knit and the polkadot is a woven so there was the potential for it all to shift around a fair bit.  The only other thing I did was to sew with the cotton uppermost.  There really isn’t a whole lot to say about it – but it was nice to spend a bit of time with the sewing machine, doing something quick and easy that I know will get used!

2015

2015

Wow.  2014 has been one heck of a year and I know I disappeared for a lot of it.  Growing a small person takes up a lot of energy – physical and mental.  Today though marks the beginning of the countdown to meeting them for me though.  I finished work today and have a couple of weeks annual leave before my maternity leave begins.  It’s a relief as I was having re-occuring nightmares about my waters breaking in the office!!

As my pregnancy with Boy was so short (our first scan dated him at 32 weeks), I always said I’d like to have one pregnancy where I do things properly.  The last nine months have felt like the longest period of time whilst also disappearing so fast!  Certainly the last couple of months have proven to be interesting and challenging all at once thanks to gestational diabetes.  I’ve spent more time up at the hospital than I ever have in my life, but I also know that the amazing staff there are doing everything they can to look after me and our baby.  I’m amazed by what they do and what they continue to do.  The NHS is an amazing thing.

I’m reconciling myself to the possibility of being admitted next week if our smallest person is still transverse (whilst they’re not measuring big, there is a LOT of fluid in my rather epic bump so they’re still summersaulting) and also induction at 38 weeks is pretty much guaranteed if they’re head down.  Whilst it’s nice to work to a time frame, there’s a certain amount of stress that goes with it as they are being generated by medical risks.  Plus, the thought of being on a ward for two weeks fills me with dread; I’m worried about Boy and Husband (who started a new job on Tuesday) and also being bored out of my tiny mind.  But the most important thing is that our baby and I come out the other side happy and healthy.  I trust my consultants and will do what they recommend!

I don’t have a ton of sewn items to show you, although I have sewn two things that get worn a LOT.  The first being So Zo’s maternified Dolore’s top.  As my maternity wardrobe is basically shades of blue and black, the fact that this top has purple and orange in it  and is made from Liberty jersey, means it just makes me happy every time I wear it.  Which is as often as possible!!  As it’s also two big panels of fabric it will see new life as a new top at some point in the future – something I think Zoe would approve of.

The other is my Papercut Patterns Milano cape.  I love the fact that so many from the sewing community helped me out when making it (Karen’s Bound Buttonhole e-Book, Madalynne‘s advice on redrafting the collar so it wasn’t flat, Emmie providing the horsehair canvas for said collar) and that it is so warm and fits so easily.

So one item that took less than a metre of fabric and an afternoon to make, another that took miles of fabric and a significant investment in time.  Both have filled solid gaps in my wardrobe and will continue to do so.

What this period of time, that has at once been so slow in passing but also going by in a heart beat, has taught me is that I expect ridiculous amounts from myself.  And of others.  I have high standards and I don’t intend to let these slide, however I do want to be less rigid.  I want to develop a little more fluidity into my life, grant myself and others some grace.  So I’ve chosen Grace as my word to focus on throughout 2015.  I like the many definitions of the word; from the balletic elegance of a dancer, a type of poise and presentation as well as the elements of mercy, patience and goodwill.  These are all elements I want to bring into my life over the next year and demonstrate to others.

Of course, I still have plans but I’m not going to be so rigid in their application.  If a planned make comes together or not I will not berate myself about it.  I’m not going to hold myself to arbitrary timelines or schedules.  The imminent life changes are going to make sewing and blogging time scarce and whilst there are things I would like to achieve this year on both these fronts I’m not going to hold myself to them mercilessly.

My main focus will be my family (which is where it should be), closely followed by my health and well being (some of which is vanity driven regarding my personal aesthetics) and after that will come my wardrobe.  There are a few things I want to try this year, and elements of my wardrobe I want to develop but most of these focus on returning to work.

Spending six months or so in a limited (three dresses, one skirt, one pair of jeans and a few tops) wardrobe have made me focus on exactly how I want to present myself to the world.  My beloved fit and flare dresses in prints are here to stay – I adore them and the fabrics they show case.  What I want to develop is my work wardrobe.

It doesn’t need to be vast but having re-visited Colette’s Wardrobe Architect series and the hiatus from my usual wardrobe means that I now have a very clear idea of how I want to present myself as a professional.  It includes a nod to vintage elements with quirky details and silhouettes that work for me.  If a top is fitted, the bottom needs some volume or fluidity and vice versa.  Think pencil skirts with flowing blouses (BHL Charlotte / Blue Ginger Doll Betsy paired with Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse) or wide legged trousers or flowing skirts (Sewaholic Thurlows / Hollyburn) with a fitted top (Sewaholic Alma / princess seamed shirt).  Yes, I appear to have a thing for Tasia’s patterns when it comes to my ideal work wardrobe…

Work Wardrobe

I also really really want a shirt dress just like Annabelle’s and have bought the pattern – it’s the tabs to hold the sleeves up (a detail I just love!) as well as my beloved fit and flare silhouette.

I do have some pre-work sewing loosely planned.  The above shirt dress that depending on fabric could work in both home and professional settings as well as Tilly’s Miette wrap skirt that will be able to cope with my body fluctuating for a while after birth.  Beyond that, we’ll see how the mood takes me.

I must send a massive THANK YOU to my Crafty Secret Santa (hosted once more by Kat) – I adore the fabric you sent me and the card is a piece of art.  Thank you so much for the evident time and effort that went in to your gift to me.  You’re wonderful x

I hope you all have enjoyed your Christmas and New Year celebrations and whilst I know I have been rubbish at commenting on blogs recently, please know that I enjoy reading what you’re up to and living vicariously through you all!  Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2015 and I’ll catch up again with you all at some point!!

A Bit (Lot) Stuck

So, I’ve managed to sew one garment since I last spoke to you and have taken no photos of it!  I’ve also cut out one pattern and got no further – the fabric is still a big piece of fabric.  So this is going to be a wordy rather than pretty post I’m afraid.

Basically – I feel a bit stuck.  I have all these plans of what I’d like to make (as you know from my last post) but I’m…  I don’t know really…  Confused?  Not sure?  Long story short – I’ve recently been living in my maternity jeans from five years ago and a couple of vest (singlet) tops and a maternity top that’s also five years old.  Don’t get me wrong – they’ve got plenty of life in them and they don’t need replacing at all but…

I like dresses.  I like woven dresses.  I like dresses that make the best of what I have and I’m not sure how to do that at the moment.  Don’t get me wrong – I adore being pregnant (and everything that it brings!) but I’m not sure how to express who I am through my clothes at the moment.  I’m also in that slightly odd transition phase where I don’t fit into my clothes anymore but don’t really look pregnant at the moment (although I’m told I’m starting to ‘pop’).

This leaves me wanting to sew but not having any real clue WHAT to sew!!  I’m in the middle of making a quilt but even that isn’t scratching the itch at the moment.  I want to sew something for ME so that I feel less casual and more put together if that makes any sense at all?

It’s a weird situation and one I wasn’t in when Boy was a bump.  I didn’t sew clothes then and having found out so late, a couple of pairs of jeans and a couple of tops got me through the few months when I did know about it (and went from not looking pregnant to looking very pregnant in a very short space of time) – I didn’t have time to get frustrated about what was on offer on the high street and quite honestly I didn’t project myself through my wardrobe in the same way!  I’m so grateful that I can do that through sewing but it’s a bit of a mind bender at the moment…

Sooo…  I’m getting used to the idea of (nearly) everything in a knit (I’m not a fan of the draped look although I know some people can pull that off brilliantly) as I still like to have some definition where I can.  Sewing knits is not a drama at all on my two machines either.  

So I don’t know what my problem is:
Is it what to sew?
Is it how to project who I am through who I sew?
Is it simply that I need to wrap my head around this transitional period and just sew something!

I think I’ll go with option three…

PS – Boy starts school on Thursday…  How on earth did we get to that stage already?!

Plotting and Planning But Not a Lot of Sewing… Yet…

I’m not even keeping up with my ‘one post a month’ target at the moment am I?!  But hey, tell you something you don’t know – right?  I promise I’ve had my reasons though, the main one being this:

Fidget

Meet Fidget, mostly known as ‘our baby’ if you ask Boy.  It’s earned the moniker as during the dating scan earlier this week they did not want to stay still and have their measurements taken, or give the sonographer an easy first appointment of the day!  Hence the face down, slightly blurry image!  Everything looked good though and the blood tests have come back as all being well.  We’ve also made it out of the first Trimester so are starting to feel a little less worried and able to share the news.  We’re hoping to meet Fidget in mid to late February.

I’ve been too tired to sew and the be quite honest, not even sure WHAT to sew!  Bed time has been 9pm for weeks, which basically means no sewing.  Sleep was the priority!  Instead I’ve been hoping, dreaming and making some vague plans – what to wear being one element.

I’ve had fun sketching in my Fashionary and come up with a few ideas that I hope will work in the coming 6 months or so as well as afterwards, and some may even have a longer ‘shelf life’.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Butterick 5860, which is a wrap dress.  I’ve got some fabric earmarked to make at least two of these as I suspect they’ll become my uniform at work.  I have a colleague who had the most chic and pulled together maternity wardrobe during her recent second pregnancy and is the inspiration for a couple of pieces in my planned wardrobe…

Staple Dress by April Rhodes but with the shirring falling just under the bust and with a bump accommodating adjustment.  This is currently in progress.  I’ve just got to get brave to make the bias binding from a very silky rayon.  I’m gonna have to face that soon as I need it for a wedding in just under two weeks!

Papercut Patterns Circle Top as this will work now and well into the future!  So far I’ve got a navy and a purple version planned.  These will be in solids to give maximum wearing potential and are in two of my basic colours.

Maria Denmark Day to Night tops (why do I always want to type Knight when writing about this top?!).  I’m going to use Zo’s maternity alteration on these as I need some tops to go with the maternity jeans I had when pregnant with Boy.

I’ve also found a gorgeous French company called Deuxieme Arrondissement which make some gorgeous maternity patterns.  I’ve bought two:  The Duo 13H and Robe Minuit.  I think the Duo 13H will be perfect for a wedding we’re going to in December.  They’re completely different to any other maternity patterns out there, and whilst they’re entirely in French, I have faith in my language skills…  They’re printed on lovely thick paper and I’m looking forward to using them!

I’ve also hacked Jamie Christina’s Mission Maxi and am wearing a maxi skirt from a slightly failed experiment as I type.  I basically used a double knit and whilst I compensated for the lack of stretch everywhere else, with my changing chest size, it was a tad snug up top!  So I lopped the top portion off to turn it into a skirt.  I will probably revisit though, armed with a more suitable knit and again use Zo’s tutorial.

Finally, I’ve bought Burda 7239 with the express intention of recreating a top I wore when pregnant with Boy.  It was basically a cropped wrap cardigan with a false top underneath it made of a very light weight cotton.  It was fabulous to wear and my only splurge on maternity clothing with Boy.  It came from Mamas and Papas and cost me close to £40.  I wore it to death.

What I also need to do (and this is going to have to be interspersed by other projects) is crack on with my Papercut Patterns Milano Cape.  This was also inspired by my colleague, but it seemed wrong and tempting fate to do too much work on it whilst trying and then in the early stages of pregnancy.  Call me superstitious or plain daft, but after previous experiences I didn’t want to be presumptuous.

As for Fidget – well not a lot planned there at the moment as we’re not going to find out whether they’re a he or a she until they make an entrance into the world.  We’ve also got the vast majority of what we need for the early months from when we had Boy.  He was also an unknown so all our early baby stuff is neutral!  I think I may have a go at adapting Dog Under My Desk’s Day Tripper bag to be a more fun changing bag as the one from the days of Boy is a very man friendly grey!  Oh, and I’d love to make Boy and Fidget matching quilts…

So, some ‘quick’ projects (I hope) and some more involved…  Time will tell if I manage to get even half of them done!