Pairs of socks knitted in 2014

  • Roxanne's socks
  • Brian's Cascade socks
  • Shirley's lacy socks
  • striped Meredith socks
  • striped stranded #1

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Knitting update

One of the most annoying things (other than that whole pain part) about the contractions is that ignoring them makes it very difficult to concentrate on anything else. Not only can I not recall the last time I was able to read a book from start to finish, but I haven't been able to do much knitting. (As I hate frogging projects for any reason, if I'm worried that I'm going to mess up the project because I can't concentrate enough to follow the directions, I don't work on it.)

I did, however, manage to finish the last sleeve on Arisaig. But because I started it when my measurements were 34-28-34 and I'm now 38-38-38, it's going to live in the cedar chest with my lace shawls until after Shirley arrives and we see what my final postpartum measurements turn out to be before I finish sewing it up and add the neckband and ties. If it's meant to be, it'll fit me eventually. And if not, I had a lot of fun making it. But in the meantime, there's no point in getting frustrated that it doesn't fit me.

I'm also working on a different wrap cardigan in the Jade Sapphire silk/cashmere Brian bought me for my birthday last year. I hope I've got enough yarn to finish it, because I've only got 1200 yards and they've discontinued anything even remotely like that colorway.

And I won't post pics of it, because I do want it to be a surprise. A dear friend of mine has been going through infertility treatments, and having a rough time with side effects from the meds. So I knit her a little something as a reminder that she's in my thoughts and prayers. Loosely inspired by Snatchel, it should give her a good laugh if nothing else.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dumb things to say

Because I'm still having contractions and feeling rather peevish, I'd like to present a list of the top five stupid things that people have said to me since I've gotten pregnant with Shirley, as well as what I wish I'd said in response:

5. [Said by one of the nurses in Kansas as I was making a frantic dash down the corridor to the restroom:] "Is the morning sickness still bothering you?"
[Preceded by retching noises and the spontaneous creation of a large mess in the hall] "No--I always interrupt morning report to sprint to the toilet!"

4. [From one of the nurses at my current employer when the preterm labor started:] "When you go home, put your feet up and have a couple of glasses of wine. If the contractions stop after that, it's not real labor."
"Gee, I could have sworn alcohol was bad during pregnancy for some reason." (For a list of reasons why, look here, here, and here .)

3. [From one of the triage nurses at on a visit for preterm labor:] "You don't have any stretch marks--that's disgusting!"
"Does the fact that I had morning sickness for five months make you feel any better about my body?"

2. [From several close relatives, who shall remain nameless:] "You will call us when Shirley arrives, won't you?"
"No, we thought we'd just send a telegram."

And the award-winner happened at church Sunday night: "Have you had the baby yet?"
"Yeah--we just left a newborn at home by herself for four hours!"
(Although I must admit, I am choosing to be flattered that she apparently didn't think I looked like I still was nine months pregnant.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The weekly cervix report

I'm still having contractions. On the list of "discomforts of pregnancy," I'd say they're more fun than five months of morning sickness but less enjoyable than Shirley's regular attempts to head-butt one of my kidneys while simultaneously kicking the other. (Which tells you how I feel about puking.)

Fortunately, my ADHD tendency to "space out" has come back in spades this week. I say fortunately because that (and Unisom) have made it much easier to cope with the pain from the contractions. Unfortunately, my body has apparently trained my mind to do these little space outs without my conscious control. While it's been nice to be less aware of the pain (I'm telling you, not hurting does wonders for my mood!) it also means that I'm much less aware of everything else. At the end of the day, there are quite literally gaps in my memory of hours at a time because my brain apparently just wasn't paying attention. Guess it's good practice for when Alzheimer's kicks in!

Aunt Tig's birthday was Tuesday. Since she is one of the women named Shirley we're naming the baby after, we tried to use this to our advantage. "Come on honey, February 19th is a great day to be born a Shirley!" was spoken to my belly more than once on Tuesday, but she didn't buy it.

Because it was Wednesday, we saw the obstetrician again yesterday. And my cervix is slowly dilating--it's now a little over 1cm, which is more than it was last week. So these contractions are serving their purpose (make my cervix dilate so Shirley can come) but it's taking a loooooong time.

I'm not completely sure why, but the doc wants another ultrasound on Tuesday. And it's probably not going to happen, but I really hope I can call to cancel the appointment before then and say "The baby arrived, so I won't be coming in!"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In praise of Unisom

Well, I'm still having regular contractions every 5-10 minutes. And they still hurt. Between the pain, the near-constant nausea (even with Zofran on board, I've been living off clear liquids, toast and bagels) and the lack of sleep from the contractions, I've really been feeling like I'm reaching the end of my physical and emotional tether. My mood is gradually (who am I kidding?) rapidly getting bitchier, but Shirley has not deigned to grace us with her presence yet.

At the weekly obstetrician visit yesterday, the doc told me that while she was sorry I was experiencing so much pain and nausea, it looked as though it would be a while before the next stage of labor begins. She did offer to send me back to triage for morphine, but I declined. If all the hospital will do at this point is pump me full of drugs for the pain, help Brian shovel me into the car, and send me home to sleep it off, I think I'll pass. I can drug myself into insensibility at home, thank you very much!

While I don't have any narcotics, I do have a nice stash of over the counter sleep aids. So when we got home, I took a Unisom (it's safe during pregnancy!) and crashed for several hours. Although I woke up with an impressive hangover, six hours of uninterupted sleep definitely improved both my overall mood and ability to "tune out" the pain from the contractions.

I'm still not sure when Shirley will choose to show up, but I'd better stock up on sleep while I still can!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


It seems like I've spent a lot of time waiting over the last year. Waiting for the right church to call Brian. Waiting find out if I've gotten a job. Waiting for the strike to be over and some of the tension to die down at work. Waiting for the health insurance to kick in. Waiting for that "magic" 36 week mark to come so I can worry less about my daughter being premature. And of course, waiting for Shirley to come. (Much like I conceptualize Jesus' eventual return, I believe Shirley will come when she "feels like it.")

While I was waiting for bedrest to be over, my amaryllis bloomed. Isn't it pretty? I love the way their petals get that iridescent sheen to them, and I'm glad I managed to capture it on film.

I started the Arisaig cardigan in May with some beautiful laceweight yarn Brian bought me for my birthday. After I woke up one afternoon in August and realized that by the time I got it done, it wouldn't fit around my pregnant belly, I lost interest in it. So I put the sweater-in-progress (who am I kidding? The 3/4 of the back I had knitted) into storage.

(I just love the contrast between the openness of the lace and the ribbing. And this is with it un-blocked!)

Last month, I realized that by the time I got it done, either it would fit me or I'd only have to wait a month or two until it did fit, making it a fantastic project to do on bedrest. Now all I have left to do is finish the last sleeve before I block it and add a button band.

I woke up Tuesday at 0400 with contractions every 3 minutes. They didn't hurt really bad, but not only did they not change after my scheduled dose of anti-contraction meds, but I've never had contractions that frequently before. So I called the doc on call, and they said to get my butt to labor and delivery triage once more.

Where we wasted most of the morning waiting to see if the contractions were going to "do anything" to my cervix, meaning that it was really "real labor" this time. And of course, the answer was no. So we went home again with instructions to drink lots of fluids and follow up with my obstetrician Wednesday.

The doc took me off the anti-contraction drugs and told me "if the baby doesn't come by then, I'll see you next Wednesday." Then she went through the usual speech about if the contractions come so far apart for one hour, it was time to go to the hospital.

I pointed out that this line of thinking had caused me to fruitlessly loiter in L&D the previous day, and if it was all the same to her, I'd prefer to postpone the run to the hospital until the contractions were severe enough that they interfered with my ability to talk, walk, breathe, or otherwise function. (If I'm going to be having contractions no matter what, I'd just as soon make myself comfortable at home rather than be strapped to a monitor in a very uncomfortable hospital bed. When a nice hot shower and some pretty yarn don't do a darn thing to make me feel better, then it's time to call the doc and come on in.)

And after reviewing some other reasons for an immediate trip to the hospital, she agreed that this was reasonable.

And today? I've been having contractions every 5 minutes since about 1900 last night. They're gradually getting more intense, but it's a really slow process. At this rate, they won't meet my criteria for driving to the hospital until after Saturday's baby shower! It's a bit ironic that after waiting all month to be allowed off bedrest, now I'm waiting for "real labor" to happen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


If you've ever wondered when the best time to visit the zoo is, I highly recommend Super Bowl Sunday. It was practically empty!

As the doc said I could get off the bedrest if Shirley and I made it until the 3rd, I took full advantage of her momentary lapse of judgement. On Sunday, I made Brian and his sister Meegan (who graciously flew down from Oregon for several days to "watch my niece bake") take me to the zoo.

Why the zoo? Many reasons. First, I love animals. And the fact that zoos are comparatively cheap places to entertain oneself doesn't hurt anything. But mostly because it was the only place I knew of that has wheelchairs for rent. Since the easiest way to set off contractions is still standing up and walking, I figured it was best to celebrate my liberation from the couch with as little physical activity as possible.

I got to see a real, live polar bear! (Three of them, actually.) I've never been to a zoo that was temperate enough to have a polar bear, so that was a first.

And apparently when anteaters take a bath, they do it just like the rest of us:

The church is throwing me a shower on Saturday. Brian came home from church Sunday evening (we agreed that one outing was enough for the day) bearing many warm greetings from church members, most of which were polite variations on "keep your legs crossed until after the shower!" I'm still having contractions regularly, but there was no change between this exam and the one before it--we'll see what happens!