Joining Ginny over at Small Things for her weekly yarn along,
This week finds me plugging along on various gifts. At this moment I'm finishing up my oldest girl's 2013 hat. I'm tiring quickly of hats...I'll be honest. But they are quick and easy. And this one in particular is super cute. I've enjoyed watching it take shape. Emma picked out both the color and the pattern. I hope she loves it once it's complete.
Not much is happening on the reading front. There just isn't enough time in the day. Not to mention, I'm trying to get my eight month old to sleep somewhere other than my arms. We are making progress...slowly.
Oy...I hope I can get all of my Christmas knitting done BEFORE the actual day.
Fortunately, knitting for me is calming. Not the fourteen gazillion projects part, but the actual process. I need more of it as if feels this season (in life) is pretty stressful. I take comfort in knowing my needles are there patiently waiting for me to pick them up and create.
I look forward to seeing all the wonderful knits being shared!
Joining Ginny over at Small Things for her Yarn Along this week.
Unfortunately, not a lot of new knitting has been going on. As of right now I'm just finishing up previous yarn along knits.
I visited my local yarn shop and they had all their Cascade 220 on close out! I got the green to make a hat for my little guy and the multi-greenish blue for a whale toy I'm knitting (more on that in coming weeks) also. Really, it's great yarn. And what a deal they were!!
As for reading, per several Yarn Along suggestions, I started "The Dirty Life". I haven't gotten far, but it's a cute read.
Looking forward to seeing all the current projects!
I'm knitting a hat again. This time for me...this pattern.
It's a quick and easy knit and I'll be excited to have a new winter hat for myself. However, the pattern called for wool-ease thick and quick...I'm not a fan. Next time I'll get a little crazy and pick out my own yarn.
So, last week I cast on a Botanical Cowl with a lovely yarn I purchased this past summer at a little shop near the beach. Oh my, it was/ is exquisite and though it's fingering weight (never worked with fingering) I loved knitting with it. The way the yarn slid effortlessly off and onto my stainless steel needles...what an enjoyable knit. But alas, it was 240 stitches long and I can't handle that amount of leisure knitting right now (remember the last two quick and easy projects). I had to frog it. I'll be revisiting it AFTER all the holiday knitting is over. And it will be MUCH shorter.
For now...hats. Hat knitting is good.
Here's a picture of last YA's finished project (on my very handsome hubby).
Not much on the reading front...other then perusing through all of your posts! Can't wait to see what everyone is knitting up!!
Joining Ginny at Small Things today for her Yarn Along... Things have been a slow go the last few months with my knitting and reading. But as fate would have it, my son is becoming more and more independent as the days go by, so I've found time to cast on a couple projects here and there. It feels good. The first is a beginner lace scarf that I actually started a while back, but I ended up frogging the whole bit. I cast on again with bigger needles (sz 10) and doubled the pattern to make it even wider. Now that I have a good deal established, I'm thinking I'll join it to make it a cowl. Here's the pattern. And just last night I cast on this hat for my hubby. I'm pretty excited with how it's going as it is my first hat and knitting in the round project in general! It's a great pattern...I plan on using it for my my little ones as well. As for reading...we picked up a couple knitting/yarn books that I'm enjoying flipping through. And "I'm Borded" by Michael Ian Black is so cute! We have an over abundance of that phrase in our house so we've really had fun reading that this week. For school, the girls and I are also reading "Little House in the Big Woods". A title I was never blessed with reading as a child somehow...I feel a little slighted. But boy am I digging it now! Happy knitting and reading!
As I sit here and reflect a week later on the birth of my son I'm in awe.
I'm in awe of God. His mercies. His promises.
I'm humbled by the strength needed to become a mother...no matter the birth experience.
And I'm amazed at how I could have never imagined the peace this birth (its highs and its lows) would bring me after my two previous.
I am truly blessed.
At 3:30 am, on my due date, I sat facebooking my midwife wishing her a happy birthday. And asking for labor inducing vibes.
By 6:30 am, that same morning, I was in early labor.
What started as just mild (but regular) contractions quickly turned into what was undeniably (no matter how hard I tried) baby day. I had full intentions of easing into my contrations. Making egg salad during the breaks and taking my oldest to school. But none of that would happen. I was feeling the tub calling my name. I was on the phone calling my husband home and my doula to meet us at the birthing center.
The birthing center is an hour away so as soon as my husband was home, we loaded up the girls and started up the road. I had no idea how hard it would be to labor in the car. My contractions took on a whole different personality as we drove. And with each one I would sob. It would start, rising up my bump, then wrapping around my waist and I would cry out tears of joy and fear and excitement and dread. I didn't know what I was feeling. As soon as I could name that particular surge so as to work through it accordingly, it would be gone and so would be the tears.
We got to Jon's mom's house to drop of the girls and then we made the last 10 minute drive to the birthing center.
As soon as my feet hit the parking lot pavement I felt relief and thought to myself, "Great! All that for this to stop right here and right now!?!"
But upon getting in and getting checked, I was 5 cm dilated. It was indeed baby day.
My doula had met us there, so with more time on our hands and managing fine at that point we went to the mall to walk around and grab a bite of lunch. This was fun for about 5 minutes. Then people wanted to stop and chat. Oogle at my hugness. And relive their own birth expereinces with me. Endearing. Well-meaning. But really annoying to this laboring mama! And I was in noticible labor at this point. We stayed long enough to buy some shoes, do a lap and me eat a reuben sandwich then we headed back to the birthing center to get in the birth pool.
When we got there I was almost 7 cm.
I have to note here that were it not for my doula and husband at this point, I would not have been able to embark on the journey that was quickly approaching. In these early hours, I doubted both myself and my decision to have a natural labor and delivery many times. But they were unceasing in their encouragement and patience with me. Even when I was ready to give up. When I was full of what-ifs, they stood idly by, giving love and a gentle touch when I needed it.
Hours went by and my head began filling with fears of a long labor just like I had with my girls. I was asking questions like what if he got stuck. I was terrified of breaking my tailbone like happened with Emma. All of this hateful emotion started welling up inside of me and at that point it was no longer a quest for natural childbirth, but a quest to squash any and every fear and insecurity I had ever had.
So went my labor...tub, toilet, bed...and lots of prayer in between.
These contractions spurred on thoughts of all the women who had birthed before me, both known and unknown. Past, present and future. I envisioned their strength. Their resolve. And I prayed Jesus would give me the same through the entire process.
My prayers coincided with my husband's. Though in the same room, I felt physically worlds apart from him...as that was how I wished to labor. But every word from his mouth. Every look from his eyes. He spoke a comfort into my being that only he can do. And I knew, everytime, we were as close as a husband and wife could be in those very moments. He was supporting me the way I wanted to be supported and we were both petitioning God at the same time for peace, protection and favor in the birth of our son.
Well into the evening and after my water had broken I was surrounded by five angels. Angels in my eyes and this side of heaven anyway. My husband, along with my two midwives and two doulas were there lined up by the birth pool cheering me with each contraction. Though I felt weak and ready to give up, they kept me going.
Hours went by and basically as things progressed my mind wondered whether I would ever feel the urge to push. I wondered if it would ever end and if I would ever see my baby.
I distinctly remember looking up and at the five faces surrounding me saying,
"This is the dumbest decision I have ever made."
I was given the go ahead to try a couple practice pushes and believe me when I say, if a laboring mama hasn't felt the urge, knowing which end to push from ain't easy to figure out. But when it happens, your body takes over. This primal and innate thing inside of you permeates from your core and you move when your body says move. You push when your body says push. You get out of your own way and you have your baby. It's go time and no time for second guesses.
When that feeling hit, fear was no more. Everything that caused doubt in me, everything that caused pain...it bubbled up in me and then it disapearred. It was not even a goal to work through contrations anymore. It was a goal to have them...scream, grunt, sigh, whatever, through them in order to get my baby out. Looking back, I can't believe it was me. Sometimes I wonder if it was me. Surely this person I'm referring to is someone else, because I'm not that strong.
Fifteen minutes of pushing and my son's head was out. I watched it happen. His hair floating in the water below me. I felt his head. And I pushed harder to get him into my arms.
At that point, without even knowing for sure, I said he was stuck.
The next five minutes were a whirlwind.
I was then on all fours in the water. But Collin's head had come to the surface...I had to get out of the pool to deliver my baby. On the floor, again I was on all fours. And his shoulder was stuck.
Tension filled the room and a once comforting and gentle midwife, she became all business, orders and authority. We had to move quick.
With each push she gently tried unlodging his shoulder.
Then I was on my back and again as I pushed, she pulled.
I had no time to be afraid.
I had nothing but fight in me.
God would protect us.
My baby was almost here.
And with one last surge, he was out. On my stomach. And coming around from the shock of such an abrupt entrance into this world.
I was helped to the bed, the placenta was delievered and I once again had my baby in my arms, him ready to nurse and me reeling from all that had just happened.
I can't begin to describe the emotion pulsing through my veins at that point. It was indeed scary. Had I not had the team in place that I did, who knows what would have happened.
But at the same time, it was exhilerating and joyous...he was here. We were ok,
So did I get the gentle waterbirth I desired? No
But did I conquer what I thought I could never do? Yes
And I have a beautiful healthy boy out of the deal.
Not to mention, I found Jesus in all of it.
God blessed me with an amazing support system and birth team. He claimed all my fears. He brought my son safely into this world. I couldn't be more thankful for this experience and for the people that journeyed with me in it.
In this last week, Collin and I have adjusted well to one another.
He is a voracious nurser, just like his sisters were. He is starting to sleep well at night. And we are enjoying figuring out what a family of five looks like.
This week found me busier than usual. I typically take my time on projects (as if you didn't notice from the year's worth of work-in-progress shawl), but with about a month to go before Nugget gets here, it is definitely crunch time.
Having said that, I did cheat a little.
Note, I did knit.
I am thiiiiis close to finishing my prayer shawl. It has been a learning experience for sure, but I'm pleased with it so far and I'm looking forward to it being a source of support and love during my labor. Once it is complete I think I'll move on to a slightly more challenging pattern and try to finish a blanket or vest for baby boo before he makes his debut.
Still using up my "stash" I decided to tear into a pile of thrifted 100% wool sweaters to make some diaper soakers. I'm kind of in love with these little things. I'm not new to sewing by any means, but I certainly don't consider myself a highly skilled seamstress either. So I always surprise myself when I whip up something new. My plan was to make two small and two mediums, but these look a little on the bigger side to me so I'll hold off until we know how big the boy is. I tend to have big babies anyway...these will probably be perfect and I can just go up in size from here on out. The sweaters I found were already felted so they are ready to go. I did wash them...and I may even choose to lanolize them in the long run as well. We'll just have to see. I'm new to wool when it comes to cloth diapering, but I'm looking forward to it's potential...I've heard nothing but good about it. I used this pattern to make the soakers.
So far it has been an inspiring read. And just what I needed in this 34th week of pregnancy. At this time (with all three pregnancies) I've found myself stressing more and more about things out of my control...instead of simply relying on Christ for my support. This book has certainly been beneficial in reminding me that almost anything can become an idol if I let and pregnancy/ childbirth are no exception. I can't wait to get more in depth with it.
Well, I look forward to seeing what all you have come up with this past week. Your projects and abilities always amaze me!! Thanks for visiting!
Joining up with Ginny for her weekly Yarn Along at Small Things
I looked back at my last blog entry and it was one year ago. Eeeesh!
So much has transpired in that year...for starters, the wee babe in the last post's picture is turning two in just a few days. And of course, we are adding another little one to our family in just a couple months. I am, in the matter of just a few weeks, going to be the mother of a newborn, a two year old and a five year old. That boggles my mind.
But I have so missed writing. In my days I find there is little time for it,and I'll admit I tend to overlook the moments I do have that I could be logging my thoughts, but I do miss it.
I asked my husband, if I loved writing so much and if I felt it was a calling on my life, why did I avoid it like the plague? And I've received my answer many times over ever since.
Because it is a calling, I feel, every time I sit to put pen to paper God pours out. By no means am I claiming to be filled with Jesus. I should be...I want to be...but I very much struggle to let Him consume me. It's a battle that I face daily. I hate giving up my control. But when I write, there is no controlling Him. He is there in all His glory and regardless if I'm the only one reading or not, revelation occurs. The words out there for all to see add a dynamic of accountability, which hunkering down and refusing to sort through issues and brain mess don't provide.
He speaks to me through prayer, through His word, sometimes even through me washing the dishes, but when I write, He not only speaks, but I listen. And that's a scary thing to experience...listening.
I often joke (even though I'm completely serious) how, if I am so unwilling to listen to my God, am I supposed to teach my children to listen to Him, or me, or anyone in authority?
It's a slippery slope I try to walk. But inevitably, He always brings me back around. He always finds my heart out in the darkness and He leads me back to light. Even when I desperately try to outrun Him, or stop writing, or taking up new hobbies to completely block out what it is He's trying to share with me at that given moment...He's there waiting to love on me.
A great example of this is recently I've been knitting a prayer shawl (never mind it's the same one I started a year ago) to cover me during this next birth. And I've said all along how as I knit, I would cover this shawl in prayer, but honestly I've neglected to do so. It wasn't until the other day that as I knit I actually let His Spirit guide me. And though it was less in prayer form, more in just continual concerns, requests, pauses, and even conversation, I left that shawl's progress with peace about everything I brought to Him.
Throughout this whole pregnancy I have been dealing with worry, fear and the what if's of past experience. My concerns have ranged from the what the rest of this pregnancy will look like, the birth, the pain and even afterwards with adjusting to not only three children, but now a little BOY! I repeatedly asked Jesus to give me clarity on all of it...to give me peace in all the emotions, the decisions that differ this time around and to surround me with help and wise counsel.
Outwardly I had stuffed all of this. And I certainly didn't write about it. But during this little knitting dialog that took place He promised if I would listen carefully and ONLY seek Him in all of it, then I'd be ok. My baby would be ok. Everything would be ok. Then He made me promise to journal my thoughts.
So here I am...I may not have been writing all of this before now, but He found me where I was and He gave me answers. He's still giving me answers...everyday I open to the perfect scripture or a friend emails excellent, godly perspective. A song touches just the right cord with me or I get those gut reassurances that can only be Him. It's been amazing.
So with each stitch of that prayer shawl (that I was supposed to be praying over) I was really hiding under it's gradual completion. However, it's still been the tool to bring down my walls, dispose of my pride and knit me closer to God's heart and His will for not only my baby's arrival, but my writing as well.
I'll look back at today's post and I'll listen. I'll trust. It will serve, just as most of my other posts have, as a reminder that no matter how long I wander, my Jesus is faithful. And He is my strength.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. " -Isaiah 26:3-4