Monday, May 9, 2011

Joe's story

Here I am, I have not fallen off the blogosphere entirely. Just been a bit preoccupied making a baby is all. That's Joey up there at 5 weeks. I decided to share the story of how this little guy made his entry into the world, mostly because I know there are some crazy labor and delivery story junkies out there, and this is a good'un. Plus, I'd like to remember the details so I can torture him with it when he's a teenager and really pissing me off. So here we go.

Joey was late. Uncomfortably late. In the last month or so of my pregnancy, I developed PUPPS which was quickly spreading all over my body. Unfortunately the only cure for this annoying ailment is to have the baby, so each day I spent pregnant was agony. No amount of hydrocortisone cream or baking soda baths would relieve my misery. I wanted. the baby. out. When the itchysonofabitch pustules started showing up on the bottoms of my feet - yes, I was walking on the itchy-ass rash, I decided to ask about induction.

On the baby’s due date, I went in to my doctor’s office for a regular exam and found that I was still not dilated. I burst into tears, so they decided to check the placenta to make sure it was still healthy and supporting the baby...supposedly to make me feel better. So I was hooked up to a non-stress test so observe the goings on inside my lady bits. During strong contractions, the baby’s heartbeat was dipping. After some initial concern, I was sent home and told to come back the next day for a follow up test. The follow up was unexciting, but I still insisted on induction. At that point no one wanted to argue with me so it was scheduled for the following week.

As my husband and I were leaving the house for the hospital, we commented on how sad it was that we were having our first baby experience without any of the labor panic that most first time parents have. We totally jinxed ourselves.

That evening I was given the first induction drug and tried to go to sleep. The next morning they gave me the pitocin and hard labor began. Over the next several hours I got my epidural, my water broke, and we watched the contractions on the monitor for a while. The doctor pointed out that the baby’s heart rate was “flat”, meaning it didn’t have the deep accelerations that it should have. It seemed only moments later when they went into panic mode and insisted on an emergency cesarean section.

Having never had any kind of surgery before, I was freaking out just a tad. I knew going into it that a c-section was a possibility, but I was really hoping for a natural birth. They said that it was a matter of life or death for my baby, so there was really no choice. All visitors had to leave the room and my husband was given his scrubs to put on while the nurses prepped me for surgery.

Before being wheeled into the OR, they gave me an injection of an antibiotic. Almost immediately, my face was itching and my throat started closing up. They pumped me full of Benadryl to pull me out of anaphylactic shock. Unfortunately, everything is pretty hazy for me after that point.

I dimly recall being surrounded by nurses in a bright metal room, feeling very drowsy. I had my husband and an anesthesiologist at my head, with a screen separating my torso so we couldn’t watch the gore. Then suddenly I was vaguely aware that there was a baby in the room.

The baby was covered in merconum. They said he had pooped in the womb at least twice, because the stuff was yellow instead of black. He had swallowed some of it but fortunately had managed to block it from getting into his airways with his tongue. The flat heart rate was because he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his torso. He had been squeezing it during contractions, which was cutting off his oxygen.

About an hour later, I was back in my room with the baby and a few family members. They were taking pictures when suddenly my husband said the baby’s face was blue. I called the nurse and within moments we had a swarm of medical-type people on the baby, sucking mucus out of his airways. After that, he was taken down to the NICU for monitoring, where he was kept for the rest of the night. I was still feeling the effects of the drugs, so I was slipping in and out of consciousness. My husband got to run back and forth between the two of us all night, making sure we were both ok.

After the blue baby incident, little Joey was gun shy about swallowing anything, including milk. He had a helluva time eating and gaining weight. Over the next few days we spent at the hospital he went from a birth weight of 8 lbs 1 oz to 7 lbs 2 oz. That’s 11 percent of his body weight lost over the course of 3 days. He spent most of his time crying, since he was constantly hungry, but he refused to eat. Lactation specialists and various nurses tried to help, but nothing worked. We finally had to use a tube and syringe to get a bunch of formula in him, just to satisfy his belly for the night. After we were released we saw a lactation “guru” and she finally got him to nurse. He’s been a lot better since, but he’s still not a fan of having anything in his throat.

At six weeks old, he finally got back up to birth weight. I was given the green light to have him circumcised at an out-patient urologist. The initial procedure went well, but that evening his bandage fell off and he started bleeding. A lot. He filled a diaper with blood and we took him to the emergency room. The ER doctor turned out to be a poorly trained monkey. He called an equally incompetent on-call urologist, who told him to apply pressure with bandages. I asked about stitches or silver nitrate to close the wound, but I was told they don't do that on infants (ahem, bullshit, ahem). They put cotton gauze on Joey’s wang, which stuck to the wound and made a huge mess. It was impossible to get to the area with Neosporin without pulling off the gauze and starting the bleeding again. We went home feeling super pissed, with a very angry baby.

The next morning we went to our urologist’s office, who was stuck in surgery all day. His nurse took one look at the mess and sent us to a different emergency room, where we could wait for our urologist to come meet us once he got a break from surgery. He finally showed up and put in a mess of stitches. He said the skin had separated and exposed several blood vessels. That wang got sewn up tight, but it made me think twice about circumcision.

Despite all the drama, Joey is a healthy, happy, wiggly, crazy strong little baby. He has a kung fu grip and has been holding his head up since day one. Which is quite something, since his head is so frikkin huge.

He's also cute as a button.

Big yawn.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grandma would be proud

Well, my new knitting blog is up and running. I've posted two patterns so far, one for the freakin cool gauntlets you see below, and one for a pair of baby legwarmers I've pre-emptively made for my pending spawn. I'm working on a baby blanket right now; that should be coming next week-ish. Blankets are time consuming, bitches. Also apparently Brittany wants arm-length gauntlets, so I'll have to work something up for that needy whore too.

So the blog is, and I've already been linked on one of those web-wide pattern clearing house sites that I like to stalk on a near-daily basis for inspiration. Knitting Pattern Central has posted links to both patterns. Not that it takes great talent to get linked there, but I'm still stoked.

In more good news, Brittany has recently emerged from the giant rock she was living under for several months (she got a new computer). I'm sure as soon as she gets a break from work she'll return to her number one priority. I'm sure.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Well, I said I wanted a pair for myself so I went ahead and made some. Screw it. I wanted.

These are made of 100% baby alpaca. The Andean trekker’s spawn, if you will. They’re so warm and soft it’s quite lovely. I went with a really pretty indigo blue color that doesn’t quite translate well on my shitty Fuji camera. The weight is very similar to worsted, but there’s a halo on it that adds some extra puff. I probably should have made these a stitch or two smaller than I did, but it’s not bad. Just roomy.

I opted not to make thumbs on this one. Just the holes. I did this because I didn’t want to take them off; I wanted to be able to just slip my thumb out and slide the gauntlet up my arm if I needed to do something like eat or pee. Laziness, but it works for me.

Anyway I pulled this pattern right out of my bottom. And because it’s a bit more complicated than stockinette stitch, I had to keep notes for the first time ever, so that I could make the right hand match the left hand. I’m not used to keeping notes. It felt weird.

So I wrote a pattern. My first ever, mostly because I hate patterns. But I see how they can come in handy now. I won’t post it here, because no one here really cares and I know it. And that’s okay. I’ve been thinking about that lately, and I have decided to start an actual knitting blog. That way I won’t bore you foodies, and I might tap into some kind of knitting underworld that I don’t yet know of. I know I like getting inspiration from other people’s creations, so why not give something back.

So far I’ve set up the bones of the blog but I haven’t posted my first pattern yet. I think my first will be these gauntlets because they are rad. I have been wearing them nearly nonstop for two days now. My next bit of selfish knitting will be a shorter pair that I can wear while knitting or hanging out at home. For some reason, full gauntlets feel too dressy when I’m braless in a pair of sweats.

If you want to follow me there, please do. I’ll be at knitpickyknits but I’ll still post here, mostly because I can’t abandon Brittany. She totally sucks at blogging.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thumbs up

My family recently nixed the typical Christmas gift-giving headache in favor of a white elephant exchange. Always a fun time, unless of course you’re the one to end up with the breast pump from 1986, or the Lionel Richie LP. Last year I went home with the home neck traction kit….literally, a neck brace that you attach to a ceiling or door frame and hope not to somehow disconnect your spine. Luckily for me, we also do “hostess gifts”, or more accurately, homemade or otherwise heartfelt little ditties for the women, while the menfolk satisfy themselves with whiskey and pay no attention. Personalized, hand-knitted items are perfect for this, so I'm set.

For my Mom this year, I opted to create a pair of gauntlets. I totally thought I had made up this concept (after years of cutting thumb-holes into my long-sleeved shirts) until I was looking online one day and found a plethora of patterns for these fingerless arm/wrist warmers. I very rarely use a pattern when I knit anyway, so I told them all to eff-off and made these up as I went along. …stealin' my idea.

These are knitted on the round, in a blend of 50% wool, 50% alpaca so they’re sure to be super warm and comfortable. My Mom is into the Rockabilly thing (whatever that is) so I chose red and black stripes with some cool vintage buttons that actually function. Yeah, I learned buttonholes. Yeah, I’m rather proud of myself.

I started with a straight-knitted black ribbing, then joined it together in the round leaving some overlap (for the button), and carried the red and black stockinette stitch up to the knuckles, taking a break to knit straight stockinette for a few lines to form the thumb hole, then joining it back up again. The very top is a repeat of the black ribbing. Then I picked up stitches on the thumb hole and knitted the short thumb on the round. The thumb is kinda shaped, with a few decreases thrown in there for comfort. Then I wove in all the loose ends and sewed on a cool black button. Done. Warmth for Mama, and she can still show off her rings.

Now I need a pair of these for myself, cuz my holey long sleeve shirts are decidedly unclassy.
Unfortunately I neglected to photograph Brittany's gift before wrapping it so hopefully she'll model it in front of a camera soon and I'll share. Cuz it was pretty rad too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Worst. s-i-l. Ever.

Yeah, I’m kind of an ass. My brother in law had a birthday in September, 2 days after mine so I’m sure to always remember it, and I totally dropped the ball on getting his present finished on time. Cuz I suck. In my defense, just going through the motions of propelling myself around with the use of my legs and feet was enough of a challenge for me in the first trimester, let alone finishing any knitting projects. I didn’t pick up the needles for like 2 months. It was weird.

But I finally finished the project a few weeks ago, right before a major computer meltdown (of course). And here it is. A totally badass guitar strap for my musically-inclined brother in law, who had been reduced to using a piece of string when he wanted to keep his guitar affixed to his person.

I got the underlying guitar strap from a pawn shop. I was prepared to pay some American dollars for it, but the nice lady gave it to me for free. Probably just to get rid of the hideous thing, which we found at the bottom of a box of mismatched golf gloves and pieces of velcro. If Trevor is ever to remove the lovely knitted cover of his new guitar strap, he will see various airbrushed, pastel-toned shapely women’s legs decorating the canvas. Similar to the lamp in A Christmas Story, only not as tasteful.

The cool thing is that the leather pieces on each side that connect the strap to the guitar are red rather than the usual black, so it’s a bit more interesting when they peek through. I knitted a sock-slash-slipcover using grey and dark blue worsted wool in stripes. It was knitted on the round so there was no seaming required, and the freebie guitar strap was just pulled right through.

And if he ever decides he prefers the 1980s style shapely female appendages to the stripes, he can always take the slipcover off and use it as a scarf. Bonus.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Turd Ferguson gets off the couch...but just for a minute

Lookit me, I did something productive. My pregnancy cravings so far have been incredibly boring and somewhat embarassing. Soup is the biggest thing, all kinds of soup. Including condensed, fresh and steaming from the microwave. And it’s summer. But when I feel kinda classy, I am ravenous for thai food. There’s a place near my house (proximity is a must at this point) that makes fantastic spring rolls, and I crave them fortnightly.

CK is not a big fan of thai food, which, yes, has put a burden on our marriage at times. I could eat it every day, but he gets saturated after our quarterly visit. Thus, I either do the take-out thing while he eats his own food, or we have to figure something else out. Like this homemade spring roll.

It’s not as good as the restaurant version. Appropriate zesty dipping sauces really make a difference there. I didn’t have enough energy to make peanut sauce after standing and chopping vegetables assembly-line style, and we were out of hoisin. So I had to make due with soy and some leftover wasabiyaki. Also, the restaurant version is rolled much tighter. I don’t know how they do that. I think I was nervous about puncturing the rice paper and rolled them too gently.

Aside from that, they were basically the same as the restaurant’s. Very simple, not fussy with the innards. Lettuce, rice noodles, a strip of baked tofu, and matchstick cuts of carrots (from the garden, ooh) and cucumber. I changed it up by adding a slice of avocado, cuz I live life on the edge. Cilantro would have been good too, and I’ve had it in other versions, but I didn’t have any.

This held me over for a few days, but I’m already feeling the urge to go back for their rolls, and maybe some fried tofu stir fry. I just can’t duplicate their fried tofu.

Hey, maybe I’ll stand in front of the stove to make dinner next week. We’ll see.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Spill the Bean with Bacon Soup

Alright, I have to admit that we suck epic proportions of blog. Honestly, we had much better intentions when we decided to join forces on this bitch. Brittany keeps contracting computer viruses (she’s such a slut), so she’s been rendered pretty much useless for now.

For my part, I can now officially tell the world (aka, our 3 readers) that I got all preggers n shit and the first trimester was a whore. Hence the completely non-entertaining rant about Kevin Costner. I’m sorry, I just hate that guy.

I’m hoping the second trimester means more energy and more home cooking cuz I’m getting real irritated with myself for wanting nothing more than canned soup and otter pops. Everything I read says I’ll feel better, but then I’m not all that normal. So far the Thundercat is a total bully fetus and is sucking my life force like some kind of high powered sucking…thing.

So stay tuned, please. I promise we’ll come back soon with more food, dirty shenanigans and hullabaloo. And I promise not to complain too much about how bad my boobs hurt and how many times I woke up to pee last night (it was a lot).