Posts Tagged ‘maternity’

Welcoming: Juniper Inês!

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It’s been quite silent around  here, and with good reason. I’ve been snorting the newborn smell like a crack addict. Miss Juniper Inês finally made her way here last Tuesday at a whopping 9 pounds 9 ounces. My biggest monster yet. We were all surprised at her girth and the speed with which she arrived.

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Tuesday morning I started feeling quite achey. Felix woke up two hours before his usual and came upstairs to cuddle me. It was like he knew I was in pain and needed someone to hold. Not minutes after he climbed into bed with us, my water broke. It was 4:30 am. There was an audible pop. I sprang to action, saving the sheets. Chris was more than pleased. I was pretty proud I was able to get out of bed that fast at 40 weeks pregnant. No small miracle there.

I had a feeling I didn’t have much time. Yet I still took a shower. I needed a shower.

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Chris got the kids dressed and fed. I grabbed the last-minute items like our bluetooth speaker and iPad. We dropped the kids off at the neighbors and drove off to the hospital at about 5:30. Driving to the hospital seemed like an eternity. The contractions were about a minute apart at this point. They were hurting at this point. I was in pain, but I knew every contraction was my body doing what it was born to and one step closer to meeting my little girl. To be honest, I was getting excited.

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I decided before I got pregnant that I would deliver Juniper naturally in a hospital. I’ll admit I didn’t do much of any reading or practicing on the subject. I mostly talked to friends about their experiences and listened to what worked for them and I came up with a plan that worked for me. More than anything, the mental preparation got me excited to labor rather than dread it. Each contraction was a painful celebration.  Strange, I know.

We arrived at the hospital and were admitted just before 6am. I was in pain and I wanted to get the show on the road. The nurses had no idea how far into labor I was. One insisted to make sure that my water had in fact broken. I’m thinking, “DUH. I’m in pain and this isn’t my first rodeo, can we get a move on?!?” She checked. To her surprise I was dilated just past an 8. She literally ran out of the room and didn’t stop running after that. They rushed to action. Nurses asked me if I was okay with the attending doc delivering the baby. I was fine with it, but deep down inside I wanted my midwife to be there. Just before I started pushing, there she came. She was ready. I was ready. So was June.

June clawed her way into the world about 4 minutes after my midwife showed up, 36 minutes after I was admitted into the hospital. In June’s haste she snagged on my femoral artery and I started bleeding out. Chris could see what was going on, but everyone kept their cool and eventually a suture kit was located and the bleeding was under control.

I’m glad I had planned on having her naturally. By the time I got to the hospital, there wouldn’t have been enough time to get an epidural and I would have been clueless and likely afraid of doing it all on my own. Instead I was under control and afterward I had the most amazing high. I was on top of the world, my body had done something so hard and I survived!

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I had a hard time visualizing myself using hypnobirthing CDs; so before I delivered, I compiled a playlist of my favorite dance-y songs. If I were to visualize myself doing anything, I wanted to visualize dancing and rocking out through the pain. The nurses and midwives got a kick out of it. The midwife told me something along the lines that it was one of the happiest, upbeat deliveries she’s experienced. And it was a happy experience! If you’re on Spotify, you can listen to the playlist right here.

Chris was the best cheerleader I could have asked for. The fact that the entire labor was under 2 hours probably made the experience that much better, but I’m so glad I went natural with this one. Throughout this week I’ve kept thinking how our bodies are such amazing things. We can do some seriously hard stuff.

Juniper is an amazing little babe so far. She’s eating and sleeping like a champ and she’s already given us huge smiles. She looks just like a darker-haired version of Penelope. It’ll be so fun to see how they’re similar and different in the coming years.

I can’t believe I’m already a mother of 3. I still feel like college graduation was just weeks ago. It’s unreal. I’m so grateful to have these kiddos in my family!

From a work standpoint, her timing couldn’t have been better. I hired a calligrapher to help me manage the coaching aspect of I Still Love Calligraphy. Erika has been instrumental to my mental health these last few months. She’s taken on enough of the workload that I’ve been able to create new content for the course while still staying involved in the teaching process.

Each Monday and Friday we sit at the computer and attack the uploads from students. She’ll go through the work and leave feedback. I’ll review Erika’s feedback and leave additional comments if any are needed. Instead of sitting at the computer for 12-14 hours on these days like I was previously, I’m spending around 4-5 hours at the computer these days. But last week, Erika was out of town on a much-deserved vacation with her husband. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up if I were to have Juniper. The little Miss was so thoughtful and arrived on Tuesday, leaving me plenty of time to rest before Friday’s workload came along.

Maintaining work hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Chris is at home helping me with business and family, so making sure I get sleep before these big days isn’t so much of an issue. Juniper has been a very well-behaved baby, so I can just snuggle with her if she’s fussy and finish my work just fine. It’s been a huge blessing to be able to work while growing this family of ours. Taking time off would have been a necessity if I didn’t work from home and at a desk. It’s been nice to take it easy while still be productive. That newborn phase can be so joyous, but frustrating when you have the energy to get a million things done but can’t because you’re ‘stuck’ feeding a baby.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a fabulous thing to be ‘stuck’ doing. But it’s nice to feel productive while giving her the attention that she needs.

 

Sewing: Maternity and Beyond Silk Kimono

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When in LA earlier this summer, I found the most gorgeous silk print for $5 a yard. I snatched up two yards for the sole purpose to make a kimono out of it. After seeing Leanne’s amazing kimono (tutorial here), I’ve been on the hunt for the right fabric to make one. The stars aligned!

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Because of the nature of the print, instead of only using a yard to construct the kimono, I ended up needing all two yards and even then I barely had enough to match up the patterns symmetrically.

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I wish I took a photo of the front, but the patterns match up perfectly along the front as well for the perfect balance.

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Between the the print and the silk, this piece took significantly more time to cut than to construct. Instead of just measuring out the pieces and cutting directly on the fabric as it instructs in the tutorial, I made pattern pieces so I could get perfect placement of the print. It also proved to be helpful when cutting the layers of silk out as the pattern pieces and weights provided stability while cutting.

I was stoked Leanne published her measurements for her pattern pieces. I ended up using those measurements exactly to put together the kimono. It’s sort of a one-size-fits-all piece, so I figure it would work well. And it did!

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It’s the perfect layering piece without adding warmth to my outfits. The fewer layers I can wear, the better!

I didn’t mean to have such an annoyed look on my face when I took pictures today, but 99% of them came out looking like this. Perhaps I’m a little impatient to get this little one out of my belly and into my arms? I’m hoping this weekend is the weekend. Thursday would be perfect because it’s my grandma’s birthday. And that would be pretty sweet for the two of them to share a birthday. I share a birthday with my aunt, and it’s pretty awesome.

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Outfit details:

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Was that a contraction I just felt?!? Oh don’t get my hopes up little one!

Style: Raglan Maternity Top

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My midwife says that I could go into labor at any time. I’m thrilled with this news as we’ve experienced a little heat wave in our neck of the woods lately. As I keep mentioning, I just can’t wait. We don’t have everything in order just yet, but we’re getting closer. I still need to sort through all the little miss’s clothes and blankies. I may end up making a few new pieces for her. I’ve had this design for itty harem pants in my head for some time and I need to actually make them!

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Not long before making the wiggle skirt last week, I busted out this maternity top. I used the same pattern here as I did in my long sleeve version blogged here, but I ruched the sides. The side ruching helps the top duck under my belly just a little bit, so it doesn’t quite have a tent effect.

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Putting this piece together was easy since I had the pattern already cut and ready to rock and roll. The ruching adds a little different detail than my other version. I like that it goes high on the sides (like many popular tunics these days) to elongate my legs. Since I’m rarely wearing heels (save for Sundays, I can wear heels for 3 hours of sitting no sweat!), I want that extra length, but I also want the behind hider of the tunic. It adds a teensy bit of drama to an otherwise plain tee.

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I may or may not have been feeling a contraction when I took this photo. I’m looking forward to lots of long evening walks in the coming days.

Outfit details:

  • earrings: thrifted
  • necklace: handmade by my dad
  • top: handmade
  • leggings: c/o Agnes & Dora
  • shoes: Sole Society

 

 

Maternity Style: Making Do + Last-Minute Additions

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I grossly under-estimated how large my belly would get at the beginning of this pregnancy. In fact, the only shirts that fit me now length-wise are Chris’s shirts, and a couple of printed shirts I bought last month. It’s hard to mix those printed shirts with the very loud printed leggings that I have in my wardrobe.

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I’m thankful that I have Chris’s wardrobe to help me muscle through these last few weeks (only 4 left! EEP!).

To help with the shrinking wardrobe, I made myself a little straight skirt that goes above the belly. The cooler temperatures are allowing for some over-the-belly action for my clothes, which is so helpful. Right now there’s so much pressure below the belly, I don’t want waistbands hanging around there if I can help it.

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To make this skirt, I used a really thick ponte knit and didn’t hem any of the raw edges. I’m that lazy.

I took my hip measurement (which is the same as my giant belly circumference at this point) and sewed up a rectangle with open top and bottom. After fitting, I tapered the top on either side just a little to contour to the top of my belly. And slipped it on. It literally took me less than 10 minutes to make this thing. It’s nice to have more church-appropriate clothing in my wardrobe for the next few weeks. I’ve been squeezing into my dressy clothes and feeling so uncomfortable during church! Being uncomfortable = ornery, so I tend to snap at Penelope and Felix more than they deserve. Chris has also born the brunt of my snappiness, too.

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See how happy I am? It’s because I’m wearing something that fits! YAY!

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Anxiously awaiting the arrival of Miss Juniper, but until I get to meet her in person, I’ll just sit and watch her turn flips from inside my belly. The girl is going to come out a gymnast, she’s so active!! YAY!! I’m counting my blessings with all this uncomfortable activity, though. My younger sister broke my mom’s ribs in utero.

Outfit details:

necklace: forever 21

top: Chris’s

skirt: handmade

bracelet: THP shop

shoes: c/o Sole Society

Style: Chevron Maternity MuuMuu

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Only 6 weeks left until I meet miss Juniper. I can’t wait to finally hold this little girl in my arms and sleep on my stomach.

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With this being the last (at least we feel like she’ll be the last), I’m hesitant to make or buy any full blown maternity clothes. I broke down a few weeks ago while in Arizona because I have a shockingly short supply of basic tees that fit my figure at this point.

Now that I’m in the home stretch any motivation to make anything maternity specific has gone down the drain. I thought I would sew a lot more for myself with this pregnancy, but I don’t want to cut into my favorite fabric for something that I might wear for a month or two!

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I found 5 yards of this chevron fabric at a thrift shop not long ago. Since I have so much yardage and pink and teal chevrons aren’t really my go-to colors/patterns, it wouldn’t hurt to make something maternity out of it. The fabric is a summery dream. It’s lightweight, opaque  and very breathable.

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I basically made a gigantic muumuu with a teal tie for some structure. I did a little pleating around the shoulder, but they get lost in the busy print. I figure with how loosely structured it is, I could possibly get some use out of it after baby comes along and I still need a little extra room around the middle.

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I sewed it late the night before flying out to a calligraphy conference a few weeks ago. I tried it on, but it was very late and dark. When I ended up wearing it for the conference I kinda felt like I looked like a chevron whale, when I was hoping for a more grecian goddess look. It doesn’t matter, because at this point I just want something that doesn’t constrict my ribcage, go under my belly or makes me feel like it’s 1000 degrees everywhere I go. This certainly fits that bill.

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With less than a month and a half to go, I bet I’m going to get a lot of use out of this dress. The fashion police can’t convince me to do otherwise.

Outfit details:

  • earrings and shoes: Aldo
  • bracelets: handmade and vintage
  • dress: handmade
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