Friday, April 22, 2011

1st birth class and Ina May Gaskin

Last night was our first birth class and we loved it. Adam and I drove to our teacher's home in a beautiful, rural part of Redmond to meet our teacher, Liz Chalmers of Birth Zone, and 10 other expecting couples.

Liz is a Midwifery student, mother of 4, and she loves Ina May Gaskin,*** I can tell it is going to be a great class and that I will already recommend it to all expecting couples. We are the only ones of the 11 planning a home birth, but about 6 others are planning birth center births, and about 4 or 5 are planning hospital births.

The first class was mostly introduction and general overview, of course, but we learned a lot and watched one of my favorite birth videos - Birth Day - about a Mexican midwife having her 3rd baby at home with her husband and two kids. I love this video and was hoping to find it online so I could watch it with Adam. It shows how beautiful and normal having a baby can be. It makes it look appealing, inspiring, empowering, and positive but does not lead you to think it will be easy or painless.

I am lucky to be a midwife's sister. My main childbirth educator has been Briana as I have learned from her on her journey to become a home birth midwife. It's like I have been taking childbirth education classes for 7 years! I have seen dozens of home birth videos, had access to her library of books, helped build home birth kits, and even attended a home birth all because my sister is a midwife. The exposure and education is a blessing and a gift she has given me over the years without necessarily intending to. Few women in modern society witness births or even hear much about them and I am glad I've had the opportunity to prepare long before I met Adam and we decided to have kids.
Art by Nikki McClure as shown on

***Speaking of Ina May, I just found out she will be in Seattle from May 4-8th. May 5th she is leading a walk in Alki, West Seattle on International Day of Midwives to raise awareness for safe birth choices and on May 8th she will be speaking in Town Hall about her new book Birth Works and visiting with people at the Birth Fair following her lecture. Check this website for the details. Unfortunately, Adam and I will be out of town in Chicago visiting family and celebrating our second Anniversary!! I recommend anyone in the Seattle area to go see her and support birth. You can even order a wonderful shirt with Nikki McClure's art (shown above) as a donation.
Ina May Gaskin wrote "Spiritual Midwifery," among other books, and is considered the mother of modern midwifery as she was the leader of the home birth movement in the 70's after inadvertently becoming a midwife to dozens of couples in her hippie love train as they moved from San Francisco to Tennessee to start a commune in the 1960's.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

baby hedgehog

I just found out my friend had her baby - a baby girl. I am excited to meet her.
It reminded me of the bib I sewed for her and I wanted to share it.
She said her baby "theme" was baby forest animals, and this is what I came up with: a velvet baby hedgehog. I don't think they live in the forest, but they are cute.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grandma's Shawl

Over the last few weeks, I have dedicated some time each day to finish lingering projects. It feels great to make progress on things I should have done 2 years ago :)
One of the projects I recently finished is this knit shawl. Last summer, my grandma started knitting a shawl and when she got stuck on the lace border, she mailed it to me to finish. I was excited she thought of me to help her since she was the first person to teach me how to knit (then I forgot, then I relearned from her knitting books). Unfortunately, it took me forever to work on her project because I had other more exciting projects I wanted to do. Once I took out a few rows and actually started knitting, I finished the shawl pretty quickly (2 weeks), considering I had had it for 8 months.

The pattern was simple and easy to follow; I had no problem with the "Bird's Eye Lace" portion. I would not knit this shawl pattern again (too much garter stitch) but I will DEFINITELY knit the Bird's Eye Lace again. It was easy to knit and I love how it looks - I think it would make an interesting throw blanket for a couch if made from a soft, worsted weight yarn (instead of this fingering weight).
I am not a fan of varigated/handpaint yarns - like this one - because I think they make a knit piece look "busy" and you loose track of the knit details. The yarn in general was nice, though. It is Malabrigo sock, which is a little pricey.
All in all, I'm happy with how the shawl turned out, I learned some good stitches for future use, and I finished a lingering project! YAY!

Monday, April 18, 2011

old baby blankie

About a month ago I found a cute, old baby blankie at the Goodwill.
It's pretty small (3'x2') and made of various flannel scraps. It reminds me of the flannel nightgowns I used to wear as a kid.
I bought it (for $1, hahahaha!) because I liked how it was already broken in.
Now our first baby can come out with a hand-me-down blankie as if it were the 6th baby :)
One of the flannel prints didn't wear well over the years, so I replaced 4 of the squares yesterday, washed it, and now it's ready to go!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Today and yesterday were devoted to Spring cleaning - deep, spring, cleaning.
After hours rearranging furniture, scrubbing the floors, and hunting down every last dust bunny, I have a spotless kitchen and bedroom...and a messy - though clean - living room (a bunch of things ended up without a home).
Here is our new bedroom arrangement. Nothing amazing, but a big step up from how it was previously. I'm excited to finish the black and white quilt I started - it will look nice in our "new" room. I am also going to finally make or buy a bed skirt.
In this space above our dressers, we are going to hang some photos from our wedding (finally!).
The newest addition to our house is the baby dresser/baby shrine where we can store all the little things we've been collecting and making for our coming baby. It's a really cute wooden dresser Adam saw at the Goodwill, thought I would love, and emailed me a photo to see if he should buy it - I said YES! It needs to be repainted, but it's fine for now.

It has been a productive and tiring weekend.

Monday, April 11, 2011

25 weeks

It has been a month since I've posted anything - though I have several half finished entries I intend to post in the next few days.
There are many things I want to document from the last month including a few pics from our 21 week ultrasound, family visits, finished knitting projects, etc. Stay tuned...

For now, here are some pictures of me in the 25th week of pregnancy: