Meet Teegan!

This post is WAY overdue. But that’s because things have been busy. In a really good way.  There are only a few things about Teegan’s birth that resemble Mila’s, otherwise, it was entirely different.

As for the similarities– Both times my labor started with my water breaking (this only happens in about 10% of births), and both times I had pre-term labor around 31 weeks but they were born term babies (Mila was born at 37 weeks + 2 days and Teegan was born at 37 weeks + 3 days). Other than that, they were entirely different.

I was really hoping to have another natural birth with Teegan like I did with Mila, but unfortunately he had other plans for me.  Teegan was persistently breech during the entire pregnancy, which meant a c-section for me. I had ultrasounds at every visit (since I was in the high risk ob clinic) and he never budged from his position. He was always head up and his head was always on the right side of my belly (it truly felt like a big, giant baseball).  One week before he was born they attempted to do an external version, which was unfortunately unsuccessful. I was hopeful he would still turn on his own, but he apparently wasn’t on board with that plan.

My doula told me that many women seemed to go into labor at times that worked for them which seems like a biological protective mechanism. She used the example of a woman not going into labor until her other kids were out of the house (at preschool or with grandma) and mom could actually focus on laboring baby-to-be. This made so much sense to me and I think that is exactly what happened with Teegan.  I was really hoping to make it through Thanksgiving and also was hoping I would go into labor when my OB was on call (so she could be the one to do my c-section).

We had a lovely Thanksgiving at our house (with a tofurkey and fancy, disposable plates and cutlery) and that night when I went to bed I was very thankful we had been able to enjoy the holiday. I joked that my OB was on call that night so it wouldn’t be a horrible night to have a baby.  Then, at 4AM my water broke. Since Teegan was breech and they needed to do an urgent c-section, we weren’t able to labor at home, and instead had to rush to the hospital.

The c-section went flawlessly, without complications (and I was fortunate that my OB really was on call and able to do my c-scection).  Unfortunately I felt extremely sleepy during the procedure because there was morphine in the spinal so I didn’t feel as present as I was when Mila was born. Luckily Jake took pictures.

Meet Teegan ()

Teegan was perfect at birth. He weighed 6 lbs, 10 oz. He latched on without any trouble. And about 3 days later we came home with our new little man. And now we’re a family of four.

It’s incredible.

Oh, and how did we pick Teegan for his name? The week before he was born, on our way home from the external version, we drove past the Hollywood Palladium Theater and saw the band Tegan and Sara on the marquee. I wondered if Tegan could be a male name. We looked it up and saw that it is about 50/50 with multiple spellings. Immediately we knew that it was perfect when we found out it means “Little Poet” since our little guy had been writing his own story during the entire pregnancy.

Welcome to our family, Teegan.

– Erica

(I have several other posts to come… somehow I have managed to start and finish a baby quilt since he was born 6 weeks ago).

Breech Baby Boy

I was really fortunate to have a beautiful natural birth with Mila. After an unpredictable pregnancy it was amazing to know I was strong and it felt great to be in control of how she entered the world. We were blessed with an incredible doula and Jake was a wonderful birth partner. My labor was only 6 hours from first contraction to Mila’s birth which is on the shorter side for a first pregnancy (this is probably because I had preterm contractions consistently from 31 weeks on).

I have been looking forward to another natural birth with this guy, but he seems to have different plans for us. In fact, he seems to have been in charge this whole pregnancy. I’m so curious to find out if that holds true in his personality once he makes his actual appearance in the world!

Mila was head down the entire pregnancy. In fact, they couldn’t even do accurate measurements of her head because she was so far down in my pelvis! This guy has been persistently breech. He has never once been head down on any of my ultrasounds (and because of my medical issues I have had ultrasounds at every visit this entire pregnancy, now twice per week!).  Also, I can see his head when I look at my belly so I know which direction he is.

We attempted a ECV (External Cephalic Version) this week where they gave me medicine to relax the uterus and then three ob’s actually manipulated him to move to a head down position.  It was painful but definitely not unbearable and nothing compared to actually giving birth. They were able to turn him three times, but then he immediately proceeded to turn head up again. His heart rate dropped each time after they turned him head down as well (but it recovered pretty quickly).

So, now I’m convinced that there is a reason he isn’t head down. It’s not that he doesn’t know he can go that way, he just chooses not to.

I would really like to avoid a c-section because of the medications I am taking for my lupus. The high dose, long term steroids interfere with wound healing, the immunosuppressants make me more susceptible to infections, and the aspirin makes me more likely to bleed during the operation.

I’m still hoping that he will decide to change his mind and go head down before his big arrival, but I think I need to start accepting the fact that this may not be how he enters the world. And that’s ok.

I have a c-section scheduled for 39 weeks although it’s not likely he will actually incubate that long (although fingers crossed, who knows what he actually has planned?!).  We will have a more emergent c-section if I go into real labor or my water breaks before then.

I’m still incubating and trying my hardest to rest. It’s horrible to have the nesting instinct and not be able to act on it…. I’m 36 weeks now!

36 Weeks (1)

– Erica

Three Years in the Making

In 2011 I went to the first Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City, UT. At that time everyone was making their own bags. I got excited and bought everything to make my bag, but unfortunately, never had the time to finish it. It has been sitting in a WIP pile for…. about 3 years (you can see my initial post here).  I finished it about a month ago and thought it was finally time to show a picture.

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It’s a very large bag but without anything stuffed inside it essentially has no shape. I don’t know that it necessarily needs more shape, but the picture definitely looks better with some pillows inside!

I used my serger on this project so there are not any exposed/unfinished seams which I love. It has a zippered side pocket which I also really love. I think this bag will come in really handy for overnight trips and weekend getaways (not sure how many of those are actually going to happen in the near future though).

And just for fun, here’s a 35 week picture. I’m hoping to incubate for 2 more weeks, fingers crossed!

Duffle Bag (2)

– Erica

Preterm Labor and Lupus

I was really hoping to avoid preterm labor during this pregnancy since I’ve been working hard at resting and incubating at home. Unfortunately my lupus has just been quite active during this whole pregnancy…

Last Saturday (a little over a week ago) I went into preterm labor at 32w4d. Luckily this was a already a few days later than with Mila. 32 weeks is actually a pretty important milestone in baby development but still means that baby would be in the NICU for several weeks after birth. Definitely not what we have in mind for our little guy.

I was admitted to the hospital and luckily things didn’t continue progressing. While here I developed several of my lupus flare symptoms (oral ulcers, pericarditis- inflammation of the heart sac- and some cystitis). My blood tests were also consistent with active lupus. So I received high dose IV steroids to calm things down (in addition to my other lupus medications). The hope is that if my lupus will calm down, then hopefully baby can stay snuggled in for awhile longer.  A few times a day things seem to get a little more active but then luckily they quiet down again and the overall trend has been improving.

One of my girlfriends sent me some yarn and knitting needles and I’ve started to make a baby blanket. I’m definitely better at sewing, but it’s really nice to have something to do to keep my hands busy. This is the start of my first try at a baby blanket– it is knit on point so it looks like a little triangle so far.

photoThanks to Craftsy and YouTube for instructional videos.

Unfortunately a few minutes after that photo, this happened…

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And little Mila? She’s having the time of her life at grandma’s house. I’m not even sure she misses us (although we haven’t FaceTimed with her because she has a history of crying when she sees people she wants to hug). My mom will be flying out tomorrow to watch Mila at our place once I get home. It’s such a blessing to have the generous help of family during this time.

I’m hoping to go back home tomorrow. It’s always a humbling experience being on “the other side” of the doctor/patient relationship.

– Erica

The last of my robots

This will be the third quilt I have made with Robot Factory (which is now out of print and practically impossible to find). The first quilt I made was for my nephew from the pattern Pow Wow by Cluck Cluck Sew and then I made a simple square patchwork quilt for the son of one of my girlfriends.

I had several half square triangles left over from piecing the Pow Wow quilt and I saved these pieces knowing that someday I would put them to good use.

I sewed these half square triangles together to make “flying geese” and then randomly pieced the squares together. I’m very happy with how it turned out. In retrospect, I am a little nervous about the quantity of white in this quilt since it is going to a little boy (and I am now realizing how messy toddlers can be!).

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Robots (2)

I decided to quilt parallel lines between the pieced blocks. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

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The back is pieced with every last bit of robot fabric I had left. I guess I’m going to have to find a new fabric for boy quilts!

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Now I just need to package it up and mail it off to this sweet little boy…

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– Erica

Pants, Pants, Pants.

This is not one of those exciting finishes that really warrants a blog post- but it does cause you to have that internally satisfied feeling when you are done. My husband bought some new jeans (and had some old jeans that we never hemmed) that needed some attention. So, I hemmed jeans, assembly line style….

Pants Pants Pants (1)

I finished these a few months ago but since I’m not very active these days (yup, growing a baby with lupus is hard work) I’m catching up on posting some prior projects.

As an update, I’m 31 weeks pregnant and just about exactly as far along as I was when I went into preterm labor with Mila. My braxton hicks have increased the past few days which is making me really slow down. Anyone tried to slow down with a 15 month old toddler running around? It’s pretty challenging.

I had to add this picture just for fun, because all posts are better with a cute baby picture.

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– Erica

My Hexies

In 2011 when we moved from Boston to Los Angeles we initially thought we would be taking a road trip across the country. So I had decided I needed a hand sewing project to keep me occupied. Laurie from Dresden Lane had just taught us how to do paper piecing and so I decided to do a scrappy hexagon quilt (my original post from 2011 is here).  Several people donated their scraps since I didn’t really have any at the time.

We ended up flying to Los Angeles instead of driving and so, three years later I haven’t made much progress on this project

Scrappy Hexagons(yes, this is all I have managed to sew together…)

It has been sitting on my sewing table for this entire time and I have to admit I’m a little  sick and tired of looking at the ziplock bag I keep the scraps in. So, I’m retiring it to my scrap bin for the moment. I’m not sure if I will ever pick up this project again in the foreseeable future, but it’s sure nice to have some space on my sewing table.

-Erica

Hair!

Mila is finally growing lots of hair. It is so long in front if we don’t put it back, it hangs into her eyes. We haven’t decided yet if we want to cut bangs or keep pulling it to the side. So, in the meantime, we’re putting it in little rubber band ponytails. I think it’s pretty adorable…

Ponytail

When I opened the package of little rubber bands we had an immediate mess. So, naturally, I had to sew a little pouch to store them. I went back to the same trusty pouch tutorial from Noodlehead that I have made multiple times.

Wide Pouch (2)

I got this material at one of my baby showers and I think it’s from JoAnn Fabrics. I love it!

Now I’ve started thinking about making pouches for all sorts of things… I think my nesting urge is starting to kick in.

– Erica

My Perfect Planner

I recently decided I needed a planner. I haven’t had a planner for many years. In college I LOVED my academic calendar. I loved making lists and seeing what was coming my way. Now, I have a small monthly calendar at my desk at work and the calendar on my iPhone. In general, I only use my iPhone calendar to send notifications to remind me to move my car on street sweeping days (to avoid accumulating expensive LA parking tickets), to send me birthday alerts, and to remind me which Fridays are pay day. Other than that I haven’t been overly consistent.

I also have not been able to transition to a digital TO DO list. I think I have tried every app available and I have never been able to stick with any of them. Because, let’s face it, there is really nothing more satisfying than crossing something off your list. And it just has to be done by hand.

I’ve been catching up on my blogs since I’ve been at home resting (and growing baby), and read IHeart Organizing’s blog post on printable planner inserts and started to get excited about going back to an old school paper planner.

So then, I started searching different blogs to look for reviews of the perfect planner (I mean, if I’m going to do it, I’ve got to do it right, right?). I came across several bloggers who love the Martha Stewart discbound planner. However, right now, the only one available is black leather and I wanted something more colorful.

So, I kept looking and found the Arc Customizable Notebook, which is similar to the Levenger Circa Notebooks  (but much more affordable). I love the discbound planners because you can change things around to be exactly how you want them. You can even decide how big you want the discs to be (which makes your planner thinner or thicker). And maybe my favorite thing is how flat it lies when it is open.

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I picked out a teal leather cover- and how great is it that it is quilted :) ? I got the 6 3/4 x 8 3/4 inch size which holds “half letter” size paper.

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The next thing I had to do is try several different pens to see if they bled through the paper or not. And, of course, the winner was my favorite pens/markers of all time. I originally bought these in Boston at Porter Square Books, but you can find them on amazon as well. They are called Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens — seriously, are the colors and the package not totally awesome?

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Unfortunately (or actually fortunately), they didn’t have any calendar pages available to put in my planner (I thought they would since it is the beginning of the academic year, but, nope). So, my awesome husband is helping me create custom calendar and planner pages to put into my new planner. I’ll update you on these soon. But just to warn you, they’re awesome. And they are exactly how I want them (since I have my own personal designer).

The ironic part about this all is that I don’t really have much to put in my planner since my main job is growing baby right now, but I know that will all change very quickly. And then I will be so happy to have my perfect planner.

– Erica

 

 

Officially Incubating

25 Weeks

I’m 25 weeks pregnant and am officially incubating full time. This pregnancy started out pretty low key. I hardly had any morning sickness (as compared to little Miss Mila), which is how I actually knew we were going to have a boy this time– always trust a mama’s intuition! Near the end of my first trimester my ob actually said to me, “You’re acting like a normal pregnancy”. It was one of the best things I could have heard.

But not too long after that, my lupus decided to start acting up. I started getting pericarditis (inflammation of the lining of my heart that causes chest pain), joint pains, mouth ulcers, fatigue and even started losing my hair (hey! you’re not supposed to lose your hair during pregnancy!).  So, I started taking high doses of prednisone. But after a month, things weren’t calming down. So back comes the azathioprine. I was less scared about adding all of these “don’t take during pregnancy” drugs this pregnancy since I took them while pregnant with Mila, but still definitely nervous about the fact it meant that my lupus was active. Second trimester miscarriages are much more likely with lupus, and pre-term labor is also very common with up to 50% of lupus babies being born prematurely. With Mila I went into pre-term labor in the middle of a morning clinic at 31 weeks pregnant. Luckily they were able to stop the labor and I went home on rest and she stayed in to grow until 37 weeks.

For the last month my ob has been suggesting I take a break from work and I have been resistant. I kept asking for a few more weeks to see if things would get better. But they weren’t getting better and I haven’t been able to decrease my medications. I was so exhausted. So, this week at my appointment, I agreed to make growing our little boy my full time job.