Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby quilt made with love.

Squares ready for assembly.
Over the last nine months, friends and family have been hard at work putting together a very special gift for Baby Saigh. It's a quilt made with individual squares by all those who love her! My high school girlfriends headed up this project, asking all of my family and friends to knit quilt squares. I don't come from a long line of knitters, so I hear it was a little tough to find participants, but a few people learned how to knit just to be a part of this blanket!

Brittany, Kelly and Sara
putting the quilt together.
Last night, my high school girlfriends came over to assemble the quilt. Each square is so different, and I love that there's a story behind each piece of this blanket. I hope that this blanket is something Baby Saigh will cherish and carry around with her. My friend Stacy said that some moms even sleep with the blanket before Baby arrives, to get their "scent" on it!

This idea came from my friend Stacy Anderson when she was pregnant with the first baby of our group... Calvin Anderson. One of Calvin's first photos was taken on his blanket... naked tushie and all:) I want to do the same with Baby Saigh!

Worker bees: Brittany, Stacy, Sara, Me, Britt, Kelly
and Julie (in NY). So much love in one blanket!
Below is an example of the email that was sent out to get the blanket started. Once all the squares come in, you can have a group of people assemble the blanket, or an individual, with beige or natural color yarn. This is such a special project and truly a labor of love. I'm so appreciative of everyone who participated!

Email example:

As you know, ______ and ______ are expecting! We would love to create a baby quilt to warm the little bundle. The way we will go about this is by asking each of you to knit/crochet a 4x4 square that will then be stitched together, to make a beautiful keepsake blanket. Baby Girl _____ is expected mid-August, but we'd like to invite all of you to begin knitting your squares now, as the assembly of the blanket will take some time! Please review the guidelines below. 

1. The finished blanket will be about 28" x 36"
2. The blanket will consist of approximately 63 unique squares of the same size- make as many as you can!
3. Feel free to choose yarn colors that call to you like - no need to stick to pastels/"baby" colors. The effect of various yarn patterns and colors is what gives each blanket its charm.
4. Each square should measure 4" by 4".  It can be difficult to sew together squares that are more than 1/2" bigger or smaller than this. If you have started a square that isn't measuring 4", it is best to start over and adjust the number of stitches.
5. Squares may be knit or crocheted, in any pattern.  However, in order to ensure that each square is sturdy enough, please use knitting needles no larger than size 9.  Squares knit with size 6-8 needles with a worsted weight yarn are the best (sometimes this yarn is labeled with a big "4" or "5" on the sleeve).  Baby-friendly soft yarns are best for tender skin, of course.  Many of us have had success with "Vanna's Choice Yarn," which can be found at Michael's and Jo-Ann Fabrics.  And, yes, it's THAT Vanna.
6. Please leave at least a 6" yarn tail at the start and end of each square, so that we may weave in the ends when we construct the blanket. If you already are familiar with weaving in ends, feel free to do this yourself.
7. Please submit all squares by ________ to allow for assembly!

If you have never knit before, we welcome you to learn for this most special project. The truly homemade, love-made textures that the contrasting skill levels (and now and then errant stitches) bring to the finished heirloom. Do not hesitate just because you are a beginner!

Please drop off or send finished squares to:
(insert name and address)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The night Baby Saigh almost made her grand entrance.

36 weeks pregnant and at Baby Saigh's
first Twins game. It was hot!
So last night was a pretty eventful Sunday. Papa Saigh and I spent the afternoon at the Twins game with my brother and his girlfriend Holly, and during the game I started feeling some contractions. I had been having irregular contractions all day, but now they were getting pretty close together. After the game, as we were dropping my brother and Holly of at their house, I started timing the contractions and they were about 5-7 minutes apart. They were the kind of contractions that made me feel like I either had to hold my breath or push, and my stomach would get so hard that you could literally see Baby Saigh's body outline in my tummy (so weird)!

On the way home, we stopped at Subway to get something to eat (it was too hot to eat at the Twins game). If I was going to the hospital to have this baby, I wasn't going to do it hungry! So many moms have told me that once you get to the hospital, they won't feed you in case you need a C-section... and I don't do very well hungry. I ate my sandwich between contractions, took a bath, called the doctor, and we were off to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, I kept telling Papa Saigh that I didn't know if this was the real deal or not. I wasn't in "excruciating pain" like you see in the movies, and my water didn't break. I had lost my "plug" early last week, was having back pain, pelvic pressure, and now my contractions were regular. Papa Saigh made me feel better by just saying, "Well, if it's not real, then we get to have a practice run." I love my husband.

In the hospital looking oh so "hot".  Lesson
learned: I will be wearing makeup for Baby
Saigh's birth.  Like my outfit?!  Woof.
When we got to the hospital, they admitted me, hooked me up to a monitor and asked a lot of questions. Our nurse Tracy was so great! The monitoring showed that I was contracting every 3-5 minutes. Since I am 36 weeks pregnant, the doctor on-call decided he wanted to get me to 37 weeks to let Baby Saigh "cook" a little bit longer. So they made the decision to try and stop the contractions. They made me drink two big containers of water in case I was dehydrated. Dehydration can cause your uterus to contract. After that, they decided to give me a shot of Trebutaline (a drug used to relax the smooth muscles). I HATE SHOTS, so this was a huge ordeal! I cried and tried to get out of it. Papa Saigh has never really seen me in a hospital setting, let alone in a "shot" setting. I freak out when it comes to shots! I'm alright when it comes to getting an IV, but when it comes to shots, I shut down. I've been like this my whole life. I kept telling myself how much pain I was going to be in when giving birth, and that this shot was nothing. I, of course, let her do it and, as always, it wasn't that bad:)

The shot made me feel like I had downed 10 cups of coffee, and left my heart racing (all normal side effects). I felt so weird! I had two more contractions, and then the meds worked. My contractions stopped and they decided to release me. Since the chances of me going home and having my water break, or my contractions starting up again are pretty good, they put me on bed rest until July 30th. They are very determined to get me to 37 weeks. The nurse said that every day we can make it past 36 weeks, is two days less in the NICU. Baby Saigh could be just fine if she decided to come now, but chances of having a perfectly healthy baby increase after 37 weeks.

So I'm at home... on bed rest. How boring. Hopefully Lil' Miss will stay safe inside my belly for a little bit longer and we'll get to meet her soon. The doctor said everything is looking great with the Baby, and she's been flipping all around since we got home from the hospital. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and concerns. Keep us in your prayers and we'll keep you updated on any changes!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dilated 2cm and 70% effaced.

AJ and I at Sara and Adam's wedding weekend (7/16/11)
in Wisconsin.  I'm a 35-week pregnant bridesmaid.
Today at the doctor, I found out that I am 2 cm dilated and I'm 70% effaced!  He also says it looks like Baby Saigh has "dropped" and she's head down.  I can not believe it and we are so excited!  But this could mean a couple things.  I could either go into labor early, or just stay dilated until Baby Saigh's due date.  If I don't go into labor naturally, my doctor is going to induce me one week early on August 12th.  That means, in 25 days our little bean could be here!  Maybe sooner.

My girls feeling little "LJ" kick at Sara and Adam's
rehearsal dinner (7/15/11).
I'm 35 weeks and 3 days today, so she should cook a little bit longer.  I have a feeling that all the activity from this past weekend's wedding festivities may have played a part in my progression.  Our friends Sara and Adam got married in Trego, WI, and not only was I outside in the 100-degree weather, I was dancing all night, swimming, etc.  After the ceremony (which was outside), Baby Saigh was flipping all over the place, and I was having false labor contractions left and right.  After an uncomfortable night sleep, I was back to normal in the morning, but had a few sharp pains in my lower abdomen on the car ride home.

As I sit here and type this, I've been having a LOT of strong false labor contractions.  They're uncomfortable, but bearable.  Every mom has told me that "I'll know" when the contractions are real.  We'll see!  Today was also the first day I've felt like I would actually miss having my little bean in my tummy.  I've been complaining every day about how I'm ready to be done, but I do think I'm going to miss being pregnant.  Weird how things change!

I'd love to hear all of your labor progression stories, so feel free to comment!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The things people don't tell you.

This blog post may be a little graphic for some, but let's get real... you're reading a blog about pregnancy.  So turn away now if you don't want to read about some of the fun little realities:)

There are things you find out when you're pregnant, that you just have to learn for yourself.  They are things you may have heard about in passing, but until they happen to you, you can't really understand it.  Let's begin...

1. You won't sleep even BEFORE the baby comes.

You're uncomfortable, you spend the night running to the bathroom, and all you want to do is sleep on your tummy.  I kid you not, I wake up at midnight, 2am, 3am, 4:30am, 6am and 7:30am to pee... even if I didn't drink anything before bed!  It's crazy and almost makes you contemplate wearing a diaper to bed (no, I have not sunk to this level... yet).  I'm sure this is just nature's way of preparing mamas-to-be for all the midnight feedings and sleepless nights to come.  But it's not just the hourly bathroom trips.  I haven't had a full-night sleep in weeks because I can't find a comfortable sleep position.  I have a body pillow that worked out great during the second trimester, but I have yet to find a comfortable sleep position in my third trimester.  My hips hurt when I sleep on my side, I can't breathe on my back, and with this huge belly my tummy sleep is out of the question.

2. Your hips and pelvis... OUCH!

I sleep on my hips because it's literally the only way, and that just KILLS my hips.  There are mornings I wake up and I have to limp to the bathroom.  As a preggo, the only thing I can take for the pain is Tylenol, so I'm learning to grin and bear it... kind of.  And we all know what nature is doing to our pelvis in the weeks before childbirth. Man is it uncomfortable!  I personally feel like I'm carrying around a bowling ball.  And yes, I waddle... everywhere I go.

3. Get ready for leaky bubbies... yuck!

As a mom-to-be who is planning on nursing, I know your breasts can leak while you're in between feedings.  But before the baby arrives?!  That was a shocker!  I've learned the hard way with a couple embarrassing "leaky moments", but now nursing pads have become my friend!

I know that all of these fun surprises are just a part of becoming a mom, and I feel so blessed to have a little bun in the oven.  I'm so excited for our little girl to arrive in about a month!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

34 weeks.

At the Britney Spears concert with the "tiniest
Britney fan". Thanks Auntie Lisa!
I have been so lazy about updating this blog!  It's been what... almost a month?!  Yikes!

I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant and a lot has changed over the last month.  Not only have I gotten a LOT bigger, but I've almost completely lost my belly button, picked up an amazing "waddle", gained some sexy swollen feet and ankles, and I'm averaging a couple hours of sleep each night:(  I really enjoyed my second trimester of pregnancy... when everything was "cute" and new.  But now, things are just becoming down-right UNCOMFORTABLE!

It's amazing how much your body changes when you're pregnant.  I think I literally can feel my bones and muscles stretching/cracking, and MAN does this little girl like to move!  A couple months ago, I could feel her little kicks, which feel like little "love taps", but now those "love taps" have turned into complete roll-overs, full body-stretches, and dance routines.  This week, I went to the Britney Spears concert at the Xcel Center, and Baby Saigh must have had a blast because she didn't stop dancing until the next morning.  I think I may have gotten an hour of sleep that night... woof!  At least she likes Britney... just like her mama!

Even though I've been uncomfortable, I'm still doing things I did before I got pregnant.  A couple weeks ago, my girlfriends and I went out on Lake Minnetonka, and I even took out the jet ski!  I didn't go over huge waves like I normally do, but I did go fast:)  Swimming at my family cabin has also given me a lot of relief, as it's the only time I feel weightless.

Baby Saigh and Mama on Lake Minnetonka
at 33 weeks.
My third trimester has also brought on a lot of fatigue.  I've learned to take it easy after work, but when there's so much to be done before Baby Saigh's arrival, it's tough.  I do have the best husband though, as he's done a lot of the cleaning and put our little girl's nursery together (I can't wait to post pictures)!  We did hire a cleaning service for the last couple months, and after Baby Saigh gets here, so we can just focus on our little baby.

Oh, and AJ also bought our family a little "gem"... or should I say "tank"!  We are now the proud owners of a Chevy Tahoe.  AJ was so concerned about Baby Saigh being protected when she's in the car, so he bought her a "tank".  Sounds like someone is already a little over-protective;)

For family and friends who are wondering about our "due date", the plan is to have me induced on August 10th, even though my due date is August 19th.  My "original" due date was August 10th, and my doctor says as long as my cervix is "favorable", he'll induce me early!  To be completely honest, having a date on the calendar is how I operate, and it will be nice for my work and family too.  However, if Baby Saigh has other plans, and feels like she needs to bake a little bit longer, that's just fine with us too!

We can't wait to meet you little one!