Baby Knits

I’ve been knitting up a storm in preparation for spudlet’s arrival. I’m an avid knitter, something I’ve been honing my skills at for the past six years and little baby clothes are cute and satisfying to make. I spent quite a bit of time knitting things while I was staying with my parents over Christmas and still manage to get quite a bit done despite working full time. I also spin my own yarn, so some of spudlet’s new wardrobe is made from my handspun. I’m aiming for him to be the best dressed baby in Perth, come this winter. 😀

So here, without further ado are most of my completed baby knits. I have linked them to their project pages in Ravelry:

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This is a teeny tiny Tri-Peak hat. It’s an ingenious pattern with a really clever bind off to form the three peaks. I knitted it from some lovely German yarn I picked up in Sydney.

 

 

 

 

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This is a little sleep sack knitted from a very soft yarn (which was a bit of a pain to knit with to be honest).

I’m concerned it might be a little small for spudlet but I can always use it for a heat pack cozy or something. It has a button band at the bottom to make nappy changes easier.

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This is a cardigan called Purperium. I’ve knitted this in a bigger size than most of my knits so it might not fit spudlet until he’s 1 or so. It buttons down the side for something a bit different.

 

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This is one of my favourite things so far. It’s a teeny tiny pair of overalls and matching hat knitted from some of my handspun yarn. Despite the fact that this pattern is worked from the bottom up (which is just weird), I really enjoyed making them and I’m happy with how they’ve come out. I added an extra pair of buttons so it will hopefully fit a bit longer. The hat is adorable, I might well make another in this pattern.

 

 

 

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This little cardigan was the first thing I knitted for spudlet. The yoke and bands are worked from a small skein of lovely silky handspun. The body of the cardigan is a really soft cashmere blend yarn that I had leftover from a cardigan I made for myself a few years ago.

 

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This soaker (nappy cover) is made from some very soft malabrigo yarn. The ladybird buttons are so adorable! This wasn’t the greatest pattern of all time, but it should be useable.

 

 

 

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I call this the Goth Romper. It’s a cute little playsuit with buttons at the top and also at the crotch to assist with nappies. When following the pattern, it came out overly long. I managed to pick up stitches in the middle, unravel a few inches and kitchener stitch it back together. I’m quite proud of that. 😀

 

 

 

 

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This gorgeous fish hat was made for spudlet by the very sweet and extremely talented Julie. She’s really great at these fish hats in particular and this one is knitted from her handspun. It’s so delightfully soft, I’m sure it’s going to be adorable on spudlet.

Despite being a knitter, I love knitted and other handmade gifts! I know how much time and effort goes into them and I really really appreciate it. Thanks Julie! 😀

 

 

I’m not going to stop here with the knitting. I’ve also finished but not photographed a Turtle Butt soaker and I’m currently working on a Tiling Fish blanket and a Pepita body suit. I also have a Pinterest board of baby knits that I hope (rather optimistically) to make my way through. It’s a labour of love for me. I enjoy the process and I look forward to dressing up spudlet in my creations.

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Dad’s first kick

Craig felt spudlet kick for the first time last night. He’s tried to feel it a few times before but spudlet is notably bad for kicking on cue.

Yesterday I was at the dentist and spudlet was kicking harder than I’ve felt before. I’m not sure if he was reacting to the sound or vibration of the cleaning tool or something else. My lovely dentist said he was just saying hello. 😀

Funnily enough when Craig finally felt a kick, I think he was expecting a gentle flutter. Instead spudlet let fly a hefty thump to the vicinity of Craig’s hand. Craig’s response “whoa!” and he felt a few more after that too. Nice for him, but I was very tired and in need of sleep. It felt like spudlet was having a dance party in there which made it harder to relax.

Mostly it’s reassuring to feel spudlet moving but sometimes it startles me and sometimes it’s a bit painful, especially when he kicks low down. It feels particularly weird when he rolls. I’m sure that will get more uncomfortable as he gets bigger. I’ve started singing to him to soothe him and this is something I plan to do more of. He’s big enough now to be able to hear sounds so I’m hoping that by singing and humming to him now, I’ll be able to use the same methods to soothe him after he arrives in the outside world.

Angry Pregnant Lady

I know it’s a stereotype, but it’s one that fits pretty well at times. Pregnancy hormones definitely make my temper quicker to flare up. Indeed, some of my team at work suspected I was pregnant before I told them, because I’d been grumpier than usual.

Today I’m especially grumpy. I’m feeling very tired and emotional, there’s no particular reason. I didn’t get as much sleep as I could have last night and I had weird dreams. Also, we’re out of coffee beans which is sub-optimal. But I’m definitely more snappy than normal. What’s just as strange is that I’m aware I’m doing it, but not always motivated to do much about it. Probably due to the tiredness.

I get especially steamed by healthy looking young men taking the priority seats on the train and then ignoring heavily pregnant women and old people standing nearby. That shit is just not cool. Also by incompetence which is a pretty big trigger for me anyway.

Some strategies I use when I try to mitigate the grumps include:

  • having something to eat; low blood sugar can help set me off
  • get up and walk around, walk away from the thing that’s making me angry if possible
  • put on headphones and listen to (calm) music
  • find something I enjoy to think about briefly (e.g. what to knit next for spudlet)
  • if I’m at home I’ll often read a book to help soothe myself. This has always been one of my primary self soothing tactics
  • Relax spray from Perfect Potion. Aromatherapy FTW. Come to think of it, I should bring a bottle in to work

If you have any other suggestions for soothing the savage beast, I’d love to hear them. Yes mum, I know you like meditation. 😛

Pregnancy by numbers

Here are some numbers from my pregnancy so far:

Number of weeks pregnant: 23

Number of double strength Mylanta consumed (approximately): 45

Number of first names currently on the shortlist: 3 (no, I won’t tell you what they are)

Number of unwanted belly pats so far: 1

Number of completed items knitted by me for spudlet: 8 (I will blog about these soon)

Number of knits currently in progress: 2 (Tiling Fish and Turtle Butt)

Number of ultrasounds (chances to see spudlet): 3

Number of onesies acquired: I don’t know, lots! Mostly from op-shops

Number of times I have burst into tears in front of a medical professional: at least twice

Number of kg gained: 3 (give or take 0.5)

Number of months I’m planning to take off work: 12

Halfway

I can’t believe I’m up to the halfway point of my pregnancy (a little beyond in fact). Spudlet is now approximately the size of a rockmelon or pomegranate depending on which fruit based size chart you prefer.

His kicks are getting stronger all the time and he’s starting to weigh more heavily. I’m finding it harder to get up out of chairs and need to remind myself not to stay sitting for too long otherwise it’s painful when I get moving. I’m also starting to waddle a little.

I’m also starting to look a wee bit pregnant. I’m wearing a reasonably fitted t-shirt today and I can see the beginnings of a definite bump. I’m keen to keep my walking up and start doing some swimming to tone it a bit more. The fat is more obvious to me with a baby under it. Walking on the flat is still quite easy and comfortable (once I get going) which is a relief.

We’re starting to look at names and consider nursery furniture and decorations more seriously. We also have a student midwife who will follow us through the pregnancy. 😀

Reflux

As my pregnancy progresses, most of my symptoms have been easing off. One which has reared its ugly head recently though is reflux. This happens in pregnancy when the growing fetus squashes your stomach, but also because of the hormone relaxin flooding the system. Relaxin makes muscles loosen in preparation for birth, unfortunately one muscle that is typically affected is the sphincter at the top of the stomach. This is the one that stops stomach acid from flooding your oesophagus.

I’ve been having mild to moderate reflux for some weeks now, but it worsened around the time I left Perth. I had been taking Mylanta which is an antacid to help relieve symptoms and it was helping a fair bit. I was also doing the usual dietary things such as having smaller meals, avoiding chili (sob) and leaving plenty of time before dinner and bed. By a few days before christmas however, it was no longer cutting it. In addition to the considerable pain and discomfort, I was also getting concerned about the effects on my throat and teeth.

My next effort to control the reflux was Gaviscon. This was quite effective but absolutely disgusting to take. It’s a thick liquid, some of which floats on top of your stomach contents, helping stop the acid get to the sensitive throat tissue. Gagging it down was difficult and the floppy sphincter made me concerned about it coming back up too easily.

Finally after a bit of reading and research, I decided to give Zantac a try. The active ingredient in Zantac is ranitidine which inhibits the production of stomach acid. This means that it helps to prevent reflux rather than just treating the symptoms. It’s available over the counter and is a pregnancy category B drug. It’s pretty widely used by pregnant women and I had a chat to the pharmacist about contraindications. I also bought the generic brand after checking the ingredients.

Deciding which (if any) drugs to take during pregnancy is a bit of a fraught issue for many people. I know of plenty of women who will take nothing at all in case it could hurt their growing fetus. I prefer to take a risk-benefit approach which acknowledges that my health and wellbeing is also important, both to myself and to Spudlet. This is a  situation where my scientific training, research ability and effort to make informed decisions becomes very useful.  It’s good to be able to go to the doctor, midwife, chemist etc with specific questions having already done some reading on a given topic or topics. It means that I’m much likely to get useful, detailed information rather than general assurances.

I’m planning to make an appointment to talk with my doctor about reflux management when I get back home. In the meantime however, I’m glad to report that the Zantac is working beautifully and for now, the reflux is under control.

Christmas in Utero

I spent christmas this year relaxing at my parent’s place in northern NSW. It’s wonderful to have a chance to do very little and get plenty of rest before the crazy starts. Spudlet is getting stronger all the time and now I can feel him kicking when I’m walking around sometimes.

He’s a very well travelled fetus. At 20 weeks gestation, he’s already been to five European countries and three Australian states! This time I noticed that he didn’t seem to like takeoff, there was much wriggling. He was fine for landing though.

Spudlet had a few things under the tree. Mum and I had found some cute bits to hang above his crib, so we wrapped them for him. I got to unwrap them. We also found quite a few baby clothes at local op shops and a Target sale.  Enough so that I’ll need to send some home to be able to close my suitcase. My main christmas present from my family was a really nice rocking chair with footstool that will be perfect for breastfeeding. It’s waiting at home for me to get back. I expect to spend quite a bit of time in it over the next few years. 😀

My sister, her husband and my niece Lily who is one and a half were visiting as well for some of the time. Lily is very cute, she’s learning to talk and she’s good at walking and running. We taught her to say “hello baby” and wave at my tummy. It gave me a bit of an insight into what I’m in for, but she’s delightful so it’s mostly good.