Baby Bradshaw – Week 34

I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve had as bad a sweet tooth as I have right now. I made sure we didn’t order any Girl Scout cookies because I do not have the self control to stop myself from eating a box of Samoas in a day.

We finally made some progress on the nursery: the crib is painted and assembled, and I made the pom pom trim curtains and bought a curtain rod. There is still a lot left to do, but now that the painting is done we can move forward. I’m a terrible decorator, and I don’t want to spend a ton of money on the nursery, but I do want it to be a nice space for Baby Girl (and me, because I’m sure I’ll spend quite a bit of time in there).

My baby shower isn’t until next weekend, so I’ll be 36 weeks by then…the weekends after that I anticipate will be spent filling in the nursery and baby supplies. And probably obsessively cleaning the house and making lists, because that seems to be how I’m coping with the stress these days.

Physically, things are pretty much the same. Many nights it’s hard to breathe, and I’ve started getting some intermittent sharp pains and more heartburn. With just five(ish) weeks left I’m definitely feeling like I’m ready to be done being pregnant.

Baby Bradshaw – Week 33

Wisdom from my OB this week: “Pregnancy is a great time to get a new mattress.”

A good night’s sleep is a distant memory, and I guess my OB could tell at this week’s appointment. I keep telling myself that it’ll just make the transition to having a newborn easier, but I can’t help but be sad thinking that my days of sleeping through the night are over, potentially forever.

I’ve been much hungrier lately, but my attempts at eating are thwarted by the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any room for food. I try to eat small snacks and calorie dense foods, but balancing that with eating healthy is difficult since fruits and vegetables typically need to be eaten in larger volumes to get an equivalent amount of calories. So I just do the best that I can, and continue to count down until the end of March.

I put an appointment on my work day calendar at 8am that says how many days I have left of work, and it’s actually really comforting to see them tick down – even if I am not at all prepared for maternity leave or being a mom.

The nursery is currently covered in plastic sheeting while Chris sands and repaints the crib. He calls it a murder room, which is horrifying, but I have to admit it’s not too dissimilar from a few scenes in American Psycho. Once that’s done we’ll be able to assemble the crib and really get started on prepping everything for baby. I’ve been putting off stocking up on baby things because 1. I haven’t had my baby shower yet and 2. I didn’t want everything piled up in common areas, since I find clutter stressful right now.

No swollen feet yet, but my hands are definitely puffy enough that I can’t wear my wedding ring anymore. My face and body look very different to me, but Chris says I look the same (apart from the belly, obviously). I still haven’t weighed myself so I’m not sure how much I’ve gained, but I am starting to feel it in my arms and legs which is a bummer.

My skin has cleared up dramatically thanks to a new skincare routine – maybe I’ll document that in a separate post. My hair is also back to normal, no more oil slick by the end of the day!

 

Lessons Learned from My First Quilt

To be fair, this wasn’t my first quilt. But it was my first in a decade, and my first time quilting and binding (someone else did that for me last time and I just did the piecing). So technically, it’s my second quilt. I’m a liar.

  1. Don’t skip the ironing. Where I sew, it’s not convenient to leave the ironing board out all the time and it’s a pain to put it away and set it up frequently. However, I can definitely see the difference in pieces of the quilt where I took the time to press the seams correctly not only for piecing but also for measuring and cutting.
  2. Gather everything you need for the whole project from the start. This quilt took much longer than it should have to finish, and I attribute that to a combination of pregnancy and lack of preparation. The pregnancy I couldn’t have done anything to change, but I easily could have been more prepared before I started the project. Between the two items below, I ended up losing a lot of momentum and I’d leave the quilt for days or weeks without working on it.
    • I didn’t have backing or binding and ended up using a white flat sheet for both. It was super wrinkled (and I was too lazy to iron) and ended up being difficult to work with.
    • I also didn’t have a walking foot for my machine, and had to order one online as I couldn’t find locally.
  3. Use the right tools. Because I’m pregnant, I wasn’t able to use a spray baste product and ended up using straight pins. Next time I’d make sure i have the curved safety pins as I think it would have made the process easier, faster, and delivered a better end product. I ended up abandoning the pins after I’d quilted a few lines because I was tired of getting poked.
  4. Take your time. This is pretty obvious, but I do feel like I rushed some parts of the process and the end product suffered as a result.
  5. Make wider binding. I read several tutorials on machine binding a quilt and while they all used 2.5″ strips for binding, I personally need to use something wider in the future. I am still not a very precise sewer and I struggled with keeping the binding straight when it was so narrow.
  6. Read, read, read. Read the pattern, read the sewing machine manual, read the pattern again. Read tutorials, several times, and for different processes. Read until you comprehend not just the steps, but why you’re taking those steps.
  7. Just do it, no fear. This was, for me, the most important lesson. It’s easy to put off trying something out of fear of failing, or because it may not turn out perfect. I can’t tell you how many crafts or recipes I’ve bookmarked or pinned on Pinterest and never tried. With this quilt, I found a roll of fabric strips on sale for $7, used a white sheet from Walmart as the backing (probably another $7) and got started. I figured that if it turned out horribly, I hadn’t wasted a lot of money or fabric, and I’d learn a lot along the way. And guess what? It’s not awful. If you look closely it’s easy to see the mistakes, the puckers, the less than ruler straight lines. But from a bit of a distance, it looks great. The only way anyone becomes an expert at something is by first being an amateur. 

 

Baby Bradshaw – Week 32

Has it really been 9 weeks since I last did a weekly post?

I stopped writing these because they started feeling redundant…I was still pregnant, week after week, getting more and more tired and uncomfortable. New symptoms weren’t developing in the same way as they were in the beginning, and pregnancy really started to feel like a waiting game more than anything else.

In the beginning, I fluctuated between excitement about being pregnant, and being distracted by how sick I felt. My mind was completely consumed with the pregnancy, and it felt like my body was changing rapidly. Around mid-November, I started to feel bored with pregnancy. I was about halfway through my 40 weeks and I was staring down the barrel of another 4.5 months. It seemed like forever.

The strange thing is, even though it didn’t seem like I was experiencing new symptoms, the last nine weeks is when my body visibly changed drastically. I went from just looking like I put on a little weight, to being obviously pregnant–and dealing with all the comments that come with that.

Now that I’m about 7 weeks out from Baby Girl’s arrival – I find myself totally focused on the baby again. I’m constantly making lists, reading reviews and articles about babies, and probably talking about it nonstop. I don’t really sleep anymore, and I’m uncomfortable 75% of the time. Sometimes I’m so tired of being pregnant I have to hold back tears. But overall, I’m OK. I am not living in pain, and I’ve been keeping the anxiety in check.

This week I made an effort to buy real groceries and cook some meals, and I have to say it feels really good to be excited about cooking again. For months, food didn’t interest me. Every night would be a battle of Chris trying to convince me to eat dinner and me not wanting anything and insisting we just go to bed instead. Orange Jello is still the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I wish everyone could experience joy akin to what I feel eating orange Jello while pregnant. It is a revelation.