Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My second home birth after cesarean- The birth of Azalea "Azzie"

October 1st-
5pm- Extremely frustrated at the idea of being 5 days past my "due" date. That night before I had several hours of contractions, mildly intense, every 10 min, and thought for sure I was in early labor  but at roughly 7 am that morning everything stopped, so I was a little grumpy. I reluctantly called my midwife and let her know that I would be there at my 7pm appointment and agreed to meet with Greg to be adjusted.

7pm- I melted down at my appointment. There was cervical change, I was a good 4cm baby was at 0 station and cervix was favorable for labor BUT no contractions... I was so frustrated! I also expressed my fears to them. After a 29 hour labor and hard recovery with Asher I was a little less than thrilled at the idea of going through all of that again...

7:30pm- Went down and got adjusted by Greg. It felt ah-mazing to have some of the pressure in my back released and my pelvis put back into place after weeks of being in pain. Why didn't I get adjusted sooner?!

8pm- Hour drive home... I focused on releasing my fears of giving birth again. I focused on the joy not the pain and knew that no matter what she was coming out so I needed to just let go and deal with it. I felt much better when I got home.

9:15pm I ate half a PB&J some cottage cheese, and a little vitajuice and headed to bed. I was exhausted from the day.

10:45pm Hubby and baby come join me in bed. I was less than thrilled, I was finally sleeping soundly and they came in and took over the bed... I kicked them out. As I was trying to go back to sleep I started having some of those same annoying mild contractions roughly every 10 min and I stayed in a half sleep state through them for about and hour and a half.

October 2nd- 

12:30pm I decided I could not sleep anymore. I felt sort of yucky so I decided to take a shower.While in the shower contractions intensified slightly but were still 9-10 minutes apart and not unbearable.

1:15am I decided to call Jill and let her know I was having some mild contractions and that I AGAIN might be in early labor. She told me to either rest up or shower I told her I was already ahead of her and that I would let her know if anything changed.

1:17am- AS SOON as I hung up the phone the next contraction hit me hard... I decided at that point to start timing them when I could...  the next few contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and HARD to bear. I felt wet and when I went to see why I found lots of cervix and bloody show.

1:45am(ish) I called Jill back, I told her she needed to come.

2:30am- Jill arrives, At this point my contractions are very hard and I am hollering mildly through them. They were getting bad and the tub was just finishing up. Jill asked me if I wanted to be checked. I said yes. I assumed at this point (seeing I was only in "active" labor for roughly an hour) I expected to be at roughly 6 cm dilated. Jill checked. I was at 8! 8!!!  I could not believe what she was telling me! How the heck was this going so fast?! Jill instantly called Amy, " You need to come!"

2:40am- I got into the birth tub. the water was a little too cool so we started boiling water to add to it.  I found my sweet spot against the heating element in the tub and the next few contractions were bearable and had a little more of a break between them. I enjoyed the short rest period.

3:10am- Amy arrives (I'm convinced she sped... tisk tisk) and my contractions start hitting hard again. Really hard with very little break in between. I told Jill I was feeling a bit pushy and I could feel Azzie's head half a finger away from the opening. There was a tiny bit of cervix left but that was gone in the next contraction.

3:23am I could no longer control myself. I was pushing. Contractions felt almost back to back and the pain of her coming down and out was intense! I could not help but scream. First she crowned, then her whole head... a small break ( which I FORCED myself to try to breathe and not scream through) and finally the last push of relief.

3:33am Azzie was born. It took a little somersaulting to get her up and out seeing as she had herself all wrapped up in her cord, but she was lifted up to me and I greeted my new baby girl. I was over flowed with joy and relief.

3:36am- I stand up to get out of the birth tub and head to my bed and my placenta "falls" out... *splash* Well that was easy....

3:40am- I begin to spend my golden hour with Azzie. She still had lots of vernix, a tiny bit of hair, a beautiful face... pure perfection. Within minutes she was latched on and nursing! She has quite a strong suck reflex for someone so new! while I was enjoying my new one the midwives began clean up and occasionally came in to check my bleeding and uterus. Only 1 1/2 cups blood loss! A huge difference in comparison to Asher's birth where I lost 3 1/2!

4:40am- Midwives came in and began to check up on Azzie. She wieghed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce and 19 1/4" long. 10 fingers, 10 toes, perfection!

Aiden helped cut the cord and investigate the placenta. He was fascinated with the entire thing. :)
Asher somehow managed to sleep through the whole ordeal... After the midwives were done checking out Azzie, she went to meet daddy while midwives checked me... NO tears! I barely had any swelling! I was able to use the bathroom with NO pain. This momma then soaked her bottom real quick in an Epsom salt bath and cleaned off any ickies. I came back to a freshly made bed. and the midwives made their leave around 5:45 am.

I am still in shock at how quickly and smooth this birth went and how good I still feel. After a previous 29 hour, prolonged labor, tearing, and blood loss, Azzie's birth was more than what I could have hoped for!

Birth Stats-
Total time in Active labor- 2 hours 10 min
Total time pushing- 8 minutes
Time till delivery of placenta- 3 minutes
Total- 2 hours 21 minutes

Wanted to get this written before any more of the details faded! Now I am off to continue enjoying my babymoon.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Vintage Restoration- Restoring and Re-upholstering an Antique Settee Part One: Cleaning up the bottom and bands

As I sit here, overdue, WAITING for my baby to come I have been finding ways to pass the time. So this past Sunday I decided to take my trip to the local antique/this-and-that type store to walk up and down their stairs and to see if I found anything appealing. As I took my laps around the three story store I came upon this BEAUTIFUL piece of furniture...

Well, beautiful to me that is. All the detailing and the beautiful vintage look... I looked at the seat and saw the tag,

"1890's Settee- $55"

$55!!! For this!!! I was so excited I could barely control myself. I instantly saw so many gorgeous possibilities!

When I got to the desk, I kept my cool, and proceeded to knock down the price to $49.50... YES!

Now, don't get me wrong, it needs some love.... Well a lot of love. The bottom was destroyed. The banding was unraveling and falling apart, and it had quite a few "repair" jobs done to help "try" to support the springs, but I was not detoured. 

I brought it home and began to investigate.

Unfortunately there were no manufacturer markings or dating of any kind, but that's okay. Name or no name it is still a beauty. I took off the old cloth bottom, tore out the old banding, removed the MILLIONS (and no I am not over-exaggerating) of upholstery tacks and released the springs that someone had wrapped in wire and thought it wise to try to tack them to the side of the wood... *smacks forehead*

It took me roughly 2 hours but I got her all cleaned up.

The bands were literally turning to dust and tore all to bits so I decided it best to just tear it all out and start fresh. A big plus was the springs are in excellent condition, no rust! The underside burlap fabric is also in great condition...BUT I found one major flaw that will need to be repaired before I can re-band... See that middle piece of wood? 

At some point it popped out of the bottom and some one decided to just nail it to the bottom of the frame versus shim it back in between the frame.
*Again, smacks forehead*
So I will be removing that middle piece and replacing it...

As for the banding, instead of spending my hard earned money on new banding I decided to use some heavy duty canvas I had laying around. I measured the bottom of the bench and the thickness of the old banding and then cut it out of the canvas doubling my measurements so I could fold it for double thickness.

I zig zag stitched through the double layers for support and strength. I had 3 long pieces, and 6 short pieces to do... took me roughly 45 minutes to do it all. 

Tomorrow's goal (If I don't have a baby that is) will be to remove the center wood piece and replace it and re-band the bottom of the piece so the springs are back in their original positions, and I can begin the fun part of tearing off the old fabric, trim and nail heads... :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm having an auction!

As some of you may or may not know.... I am currently 33 weeks pregnant with our third child! Yay!
After two sons we are excited to be expecting our first girl, Azalea (middle name to be decided). We plan to call her Azzie for short after my great-grandfather. You also may or may not know that my second child was a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after C-Section) and born at home with midwives. All of our local hospitals have VBAC bans so the only way to birth normal ( if you are healthy and able to) is to do so at home. The downfall... paying out of pocket. Insurance companies love to give the run around and make people work for their benefits when it comes to home birth, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and hold an auction to help cover my remaining costs. (Roughly $1900) I am working on some AMAZING one of a kind pieces to put in the auction and I have some wonderful mama friends that are helping out and donating things as well like a diaper from Jessica- Tags and Rags, Cute up-cycled pants from Kelly- WearLoveWashRepeat, A wetbag from Liz- Luna Mama Designs, a Hypnosis Fear Release for Pregnancy from hypno-birthing guru Sharon Gourlay and many other mamas who will be named soon that are doing their best to help us out by donating items for auction. I am so excited to host this auction and hope I can raise most if not all the money I need for Azzie's birth.

Auction dates
Starts 8-18
Ends 8-24

Don't miss your chance to catch some amazing items! :D

Sunday, July 28, 2013

DIY Nursing Shirt- How to Make a Discreet, Up-Cycled Nursing Top for Breastfeeding in Public

Have you seen/read/heard the poem "Embarrassed" by Hollie McNish? It has become viral on the Internet but if you haven't seen it you can watch it here. In her poem she talks about how mothers are made to feel ashamed for feeding their babies in a public setting. They are made to feel as though breastfeeding is an act of seduction or perversion instead of the simple act of JUST feeding a hungry baby the way BILLIONS of humans have been fed before. Many mom's do not feel comfortable nursing in public and some feel that that a nursing cover or blanket draws extra unwanted attention... so what is a mom to do?

My answer was discreet nursing tops- Tops that pull up and pull down. The only flesh exposed is that which is in your babies mouth. I like this because I 'personally' found it more discreet than nursing covers and less revealing than just pulling my whole shirt down. I purchased a few of the store-bought, "designer" tops which were a bit expensive but a nice splurge and I wore layers and struggled to fish my clothes around and keep them straight. Then I had an epiphany, why not just make some cute nursing tops? They couldn't be that hard to make could they?

Guess what? It's not. Actually I made one in roughly 25 minutes. It came out super cute, it is more functional than layering tops and I spent no money making it. I just used a couple of tops I had laying around that were in the pile to be given away. So raid your drawers, visit a local thrift store, pick out some cute tops (or a dress), and get sewing!

Here's what to do-

First pick two tops.
I chose a stretchy, brown tank to be my top shirt and a cute, lacey, tank that has been sitting in my donate pile because it was way too small and short for my undershirt. Stretchy material works best for the top layer.
Take the undershirt and cut it in half.
Cut off the straps 
and cut the back in half so it opens up.
Hem the bottom. To hem all you need to do fold the bottom up a half inch and then fold it again. Press with an iron to help keep folds straight and pin it.
Use a simple strait stitch to sew the hem. 
Because of the material of my undershirt I did a second layer of stitching to ensure a good hold.
Tada! The under layer is done! Now to attach it to the top shirt. 
First, turn the top shirt inside out with the front of the shirt facing towards you.
Lay your undershirt right side down on top of your top shirt.
Pin the shirts together along the armpit seam. 
Since my undershirt was smaller than my top shirt the seams do not line up perfect, but that is okay. 

Place a pin facing along the top shirt's side seam so you know where to stop sewing.
Pin the left and the right sides this way.
With thread that is an "exact, to close" match to your top shirt, sew the two shirts together along the armpit seam. Try to sew along or as close the top shirt's hem line as you can.
When your two shirts are attached along the armpit seams, place a pin sideways at your side seams to mark the bottom of your undershirt. Your side pins will hold the undershirt in place.
Flip the shirt outside right, and sew along the side seam, directly on top of the seam. 
It is SUPER important that your thread matches your shirt!
Stop at your sideways pin.
If you stayed along the seam you won't be able to see the stitches! :D

Repeat on the other side, then flip the shirt inside out again.
You will see your seam on the inside.

Trim along the seam on both sides. 

You now have an under layer!

Flip your shirt outside right again and enjoy! 
In roughly 25 minutes you made yourself and up-cycled, discreet, nursing top!
If you want to add an extra touch (and your shirts are the same size) You can take the bottom of the undershirt and add it to the bottom of your top shirt for extra length and a layered look.

Nurse on mama! (and don't be ashamed to do it in public!)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

DIY Fabric Labels

A super simple, step by step guide to making your own fabric labels!
(These instructions use Microsoft Word and Paint)

Supplies Needed-
An inkjet Printer
1 Package T-Shirt transfer paper
Ribbon (Your choice of thickness, polyester or cotton works best)
An Iron
Fray Check (optional)

Step ONE- Create your label.
First select your business image or logo (All text works best but you can use a simple image/decal as well)

Here's mine-

Open your Image in Paint-
If you want to make a single sided tag all you will need to do in this step is reverse your image. 
You can do that by going to the top right corner under rotate, click flip horizontal.

If you plan to make a double sided tag like me, you have a little more work to do. 

You will need to rotate your image one more time to the LEFT. Save as Image 1.
You will then have your 1st image that looks like this.
For a single sided tag- ( You can now move on to Step Two)

For a double sided tag  it should look like this-
 For double sided (folded tags) we can start on the other side
The other side can include your website, care instructions, or just be plain, the choice is yours. I personally wanted to put care instruction on the other side of my folded tag.

Open up a new paint and have a blank canvas that is roughly the same size as your previous image-

Open up a text box and type in your care instructions, add your website, or what ever you want the back of your tag to say. You could also insert another image.
To open text click on the A in the upper left hand corner, then click on your photo. I suggest using size 8-9 font and an easy to read text like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.

Just as before flip your image Horizontal, then flip it to the RIGHT. Save as Image 2

Your final back image should look like this-

Step TWO-
Open up Microsoft Word
Go to Page Layout>Margins>Narrow.
This will allow us to put as many labels on our sheet as possible.

Go to the top left again- Insert>Picture>Image1
For double sided labels add your second image- Insert>Picture>Image2

Now we need to make sure our labels are the proper size. 
Click on your image to select it.Click the tab that says 'Picture Tools' format.
On the far left adjust your size to fit your ribbon. My ribbon was 1.5 inches wide so I made my images 1.3 inches tall.

Hold the Ctrl key and hit A this will select your images. Hold the Ctrl key and hit C. Click to the right of your images, hold the Ctrl key once more and press V.  

(Crtl A= Select all, Ctrl C= Copy, Ctrl V=paste)

Copy and paste your images until your page is full of labels.

Our labels are ready to print! Do a test run on regular paper first to be sure your labels are the right size and are what you want then print out onto your t-shirt transfer paper. Since we already took the time to mirror our image all you need to do is hit print! :)

Once your labels are printed, cut your strips and iron them to your ribbon following the instruction that came with your transfer paper. 

When the labels are cool cut them out and fray check the ends so the ribbon does not fray apart. 
Allow them to dry and store them until ready to use! 

Enjoy your labels!!!