Monday, January 29, 2007

Boy Gown

It was a very rough week, including 2 hospital visits and a trip to the perinatologist. This bleeding just won't stop and the dr's really can't tell us where it's coming from. The OB I saw yesterday thinks that the bottom edge of the placenta is just too close to my cervix. It's not placenta previa, but just the bottom edge. He says that I should be entering the time frame of when my uterus will grow enough for the placenta to move up and out of the way. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my dr and I hope to get her thoughts on this. I'm hoping that she will agree because on Wednesday she pointed to a spot that she thought the bleeding might be coming from, but she wasn't as descriptive with me as the dr yesterday. least I didn't understand her as well.

Despite all of that, I did manage to finish the boy gown. It's the same pattern that I used for the girl gown, but did the skirt in dc, not shell.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Good News

I have good news regarding the Emmazing Grace Foundation. This morning a very nice IRS agent called. She said that she doesn't typically make these types of phone calls, but felt a need to this time. She usually passes phone call duties off to someone else. She asked that I make 2 changes to the 501(c)3 application and fax it back to her. She will then approve the tax exempt status!! She confirmed it will be retroactive back to date of incorporation and should only take 2-3 weeks to receive the approval letter.

It's been a rough few days and this good news is much needed!

Monday, January 22, 2007

A night in the hospital

To keep my blogger buddies updated, we had a rough night last night. Not to get to graphic nor go into too many details, I had a bad bleeding episode starting about 10pm last night. After making arrangements for Hannah who was already asleep, we headed to the hospital. My perinatologist wanted me kept overnight for observation and after a "little" procedure this morning, she has gotten the bleeding to stop. It was most likely due from the combo of fibroids and lovenox, a blood thinner that I must take. I am on STRICT bedrest now. My husband is going to set me up with a little kitchenette (microwave, frig, and snacks) in our bedroom. It doesn't appear that this pregancy is going to be easy at all. Again, I knew it would be difficult, but we seem to keep getting hit with something new and different for any previous experiences.

I learned something, though. Keep an UFO for a quick trip to the hospital. I sat waiting to be discharged for 1.5 hours....could have finished the boy gown in that time. :-)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Squares and more...

Above are my 7" squares contributed to the family of little Aaron. Squares are being collected and will made into a comfort afghan for the grieving family. You can read more of the story and find how to donate here. To see other squares, visit the following blogs: MamaBear, Wool Windings, Ant

A few posts ago, I told you about Bev's Baby Project in Afghanistan. She just updated the photos and I deeply saddened to see some of them, particularly the one above. Notice the 2 toddlers without shoes and the snow on the ground. When I saw these for the first time last night, I wanted to jump out of bed and rummage through all of Hannah's outgrown socks and shoes. As I've slept on it, I'm somewhat filled with anger towards the parents of these children. Not to get into a huge debate here, but as a mom I would rip part of my clothing to wrap around my daughter's feet before taking her out in freezing weather. I'm not blind either. I realize that these such things take place in our great country and those anger me just as much, if not more.

As for the Emmazing Grace Foundation, we will be making another shipment in the first weeks of February. If you'd like to donate, please contact me. I'd like to give you my Mom's address. She took everything that I had here back with her a couple weeks ago since she had quite a big collection of things from Sue. She'll package everything for me and get it mailed off. This shipment will either go to Talledega or Huntsville. I'm going to contact each them next week to see what they are in need of.

Lastly, here are a couple of photos I snapped on Wednesday of our big ice event. My batteries in my camera had died and I snapped these on the way out the door on the way to the dr's office. Can you see the rust on the outdoor furniture? We have possessed squirrels. We moved here in Sept '05. We noticed it that year, but not to the extent as last fall. The squirrels eat the paint from the furniture. We have no idea why, but it only happens in the fall. It was horrible this year and we don't know how to deter this behavior. Besides, the damage is done now.

Oh, one more thing.....remember the pink gown I crochetted out of Caron Simply Soft? I found an easy booty pattern on Bev's site, but the CSS makes it too large to make the size of baby that would fit in the gown. Thus, I had my husband pick up some Bernet Baby, but the color doesn't match the CSS AND I can't work with it. I'm just not good enough to work with something that thin/light weight. Do you have a suggestion of a thinner yarn that I can use to make preemie booties? I need something that I can either order on-line or something that can be picked up from Walmart. Thanks!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Good News and the Bad News

So many people have emailed asking for updates on the pregnancy and/or say, "Keep me informed" that I guess I have decided to post an occassional update here.

Yesterday I had another appointment with the perinatologist. I see her every 2 weeks. Which do you want - the good or the bad first? Let's start with good.

Good news: Cervix is closed and long. Baby is measuring right on target. She actually did many of the measurements typically done at the 20 week ultrasound, including the head, chest, femur, 4 chamber heart, kidneys, etc.

Bad news: I'm contracting again. I had called in on Friday complaining about it, but she wasn't too concerned. I don't feel contractions or tightness, just a mild crampy feeling in my lower abdomen. Yesterday, via ultrasound she could see contractions and seemed a bit more concerned. She gave me a drug called Ventolin that is a smooth muscle relaxer. She didn't really want to give me anything saying that if she did it would "fill up my receptors" (or something like that). The explanation makes more sense in that if I take too much right now it won't work as well further down the road when it's really needed. Since I'm already in bed and drinking lots of water, she wrote the prescription telling me to only take it when really needed. It's very difficult for me to distinguish when "really needed" is. I seem to feel every little thing already while having nothing to do in bed, but think.

And, I'm finding it more and more difficult to remain optimistic. It's hard getting new bad news every time I go to the doctor. My perinatologist, although I think is the best around, is not very forthcoming with information.

Monday, January 15, 2007

What a mess!

This is completely off topic and has absolutely nothing to do with charity work. However, I wanted to share with you what kind of predicament we are in and how absolutely crazy some people are.

We hired a nanny and she started last week. I found her on Craigslist and met with her. Her lack of energy made me apprehensive, but I just figured that she was shy and would take some time for her to warm up to us. She is a 24 year old college student who plans to be a kindergarten teacher. She lives 2 miles from my house and our schedules matched perfectly.

Last week was her first week and towards the end I was feeling a bit unsettled with her. She was not fun-loving, energetic, etc. I never heard her play silly games with Hannah. My husband and I discussed this Thursday night. Saturday morning we discussed it more. I decided to take a look at Craigslist just to see if she had a current ad. Sure enough, I saw an ad matching the one I responded to exactly. It was posted on Wednesday. Being sneaky, I created a new hotmail account and responded to the ad. Bingo! It WAS her and she was looking for something "like immediately." This was Saturday afternoon.

I was obviously upset and we discussed if we should fire her immediately or keep her until we can find someone else. I frankly didn't want her picking Hannah up from school if she didn't care about Hannah.

Well, low and behold, Sunday morning about 10ish I received an email from her. It read....

"Hi Candy, for some reason I cant find you phone number anywhere so I dont know if this is your regular email, but I thought I would give it a try....seems we may have a little problem and I feel horrible..
Last year around this time I was sick and went to the hospital many times and they couldn't figure out what I had. They did a lot of blood work and it made me black out and hit a pole (yeah i know!!) it turns out I had gastrointestinal bleeding and i went to see a gastroenerologist and they put me on all kinds of meds and had a dr note for 2 months not to work or go to class. They wouldn't even let me drive so it was bad. That's the short version...its kinda nasty...

Last week at your house I don't know if you noticed but I was feeling very weak and when Hannah and I would go outside I would lose my breath and get really weak fast and I couldn't figure out why. I was having a lot of problems after I ate and it was getting bad. I was seeing blood again when I went to the restroom and that's what was happening before. My dad wanted my roommate to take me to the ER to check it out because last time it got bad before I knew what was going on. I spent half the night in the ER at 2 am sat morn and then all day yesterday with them giving me IV's because I was dehydrated, etc. The point of this is I don't know what's going to happen. Since I didn't have a colonoscopy last time they were talking about me getting one asap since this is the second time ive had this it could be something bad...I honestly don't know what's going to happen, but this is putting me under a lot of stress since I'm not able to go to class again until they tell me I can....
My dad was considering me going to his house because my roommate has to work this week and I don't want to be here alone...I really don't know what to do.
I apologize for the short notice, but I don't know if this is contagious....I have no idea what it really is and with you already on bed rest the last thing you need is to get sick. If theres anything I can do to help you find someone asap let me know bc I feel horrible because you are in a bad situation also..."

How much of that do you believe? She was in the ER until 2am Sat, but Sat afternoon she tells "the fake me" that she needs a job "like immediately." Plus, if you lose someones phone number (whether the dog ate it or whatever) and you know where they live, drive the 2 miles to their house. Oh, wait.....she was probably too busy making contact with the CDC reporting that she had contracted the next epidemic.

So, I can laugh about it now, but yesterday I was VERY ANGRY. She has left us in a very precarious situation. We have no family nearby to help. I'm on complete bedrest, up to potty and shower. I have made contact with Hannah's school and she will go fulltime starting tomorrow. I also signed us up with a nanny agency this morning. Maybe we can find some help ASAP!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gown is complete

Here's the gown. I wish I had taken a picture of it next to my hand so that you could get a good judge of size. It's pretty small and doesn't quite fit Hannah's doll. It's not fully closed in the back.

For those of you that crochet, I have a question. In the picture on Bev's site (see link in below post) the shells look smooth. The way I do them make them look more like ruffles. It's pretty, but I'm not sure if it's the correct method of making them. I think I may know what would fix it, but am not sure. When I turn the work, I pick up the loop on the opposite side, farther from me. Should I be picking up the loop closer to me so that my new row will always be on the front side of the dress? I'm not sure I'm making any sense. If not, I will try to take some pictures. My camera battery is dying, though, so need to get some more.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ouch! My Arms Hurt!

I started Bev's Heavenly Preemie Gown yesterday and boy are my arms tired. I worked for a few minutes on it this morning. I sure can tell I need to build up my crochet muscles. :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Vanessa's Big Heart Foundation

This is a link to a news article that I would like to share. Janie, the mom, emailed this to me yesterday. I met Janie about this time last year and later volunteered at their family day fundraiser last year. The Dale family is so very inspiring and kind. Take a minute to read their story.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Why I make bereavement items

I wrote the following this morning on another board where members are having difficulty overcoming their emotions regarding making bereavement items. Those of you that know me or have read my blog for a while know my motivation. But in case any of you out there might be struggling, here's why I do it....

Bereavement items are usually kept or the baby is buried with them. Particularly with micro-preemies, the only thing available for the baby to wear would be what has been handmade. You just can't run to the store (besides who would want to shop for burial clothing at a time like that) and find something to fit. Many also keep the items as one of the few tangible remembrances of a life that was so precious yet so brief.

In our case, we did not get to keep the gown that Emma wore. ((youcan see a picture of her in it at It's really a horrible story that I don't mind sharing, but will upset many so I won't. My Mom and I went to Strausburg and bought a doll gown that was smocked in pink roses right after Emma died. MyMom had brought both of her older granddaughter's smocked Strausburg dresses to wear home from the hospital so she wanted Emma to havethe same. I remember standing in the store, basically unable to function, trying to find some socks. The lady asked me why I wanted them and I couldn't speak. It was very difficult to do and I think of trying to limit that pain for other parents when I makeb ereavement items.

For me, having buried a daughter, making a bereavement gown is nothing compared to the pain I felt on 9-10-05 and the weeks and months since. Each time I make one, I feel like I'm allowing Emma to live on through me. I'm allowing her to touch the lives of others.

Emma was given a Threads of Love sock doll, 2 hats, and somebooties. They are framed, along with a tiny diaper and isolette name sign, in a memory box. I have several friends that had preemies that made it. Their remembrances from the NICU days are very special treasures. They remind them of just how tiny their miracle was and just how far they've come. I am not shy about talking about my daughter. It helps me greatly. I love acknowledging her life and I'm certain that many bereaved parents feel the same way. Thank you for allowing me to share her with you (and others that are reading). Hugs!

Monday, January 08, 2007


Bunting #2 and much improved! I added a little embellishment with a cross.

Editted to Add:
I forgot to say something special about the yarn I used. My MIL passed away in Feb '03, 2 months before Hannah's birth. She was a very talented crafter and could crochet. When we were home at Thanksgiving, I asked step-MIL if there was any yarn left from my MIL's stash. I was saddened to learn that it was all being stored in the barn. It was filthy, but I brought it home anyway. After asking around, Chris from Bev's Charity Challenge advised that I put it in panty hose and send it through the washing machine. Presto!! I all cleaned up beautifully and now I can carry on my MIL's legacy a bit by making some bereavement items with her yarn.

Friday, January 05, 2007

My First Bunting

My first bunting is complete. I finished it this afternoon. The more I worked the better I got with my stitches. They got more and more uniform. In the below picture (my apologies for the quality of the photo, I still haven't quite figured out my camera) I think you can see that about half way up things start to look a lot better.

The best-laid plans

What's that saying? The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry....well, that seems to be my life story. Yesterday, the cerclage was put in with some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the perinatologist feels that she got a good stitch, but my cervix was very short and already 1cm dilated. I'm only 12.5 pg and 1cm dilated!!! This is insane!!! My husband saw her after surgery (I was still out of it) and she sounded confident, but put me on strict bedrest. I'm not sure exactly what that means and I have a call into the dr. For now, I'm assuming it means only get out of bed for potty breaks and to stay laying down except to eat and such. So, there goes my optimism right out the door. This is going to be a long, hard battle.


I just switched over to the new version of blogger and want to see if this works.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's a start!

I've decided to start making an attempt at a crochet item. I first tried this angel and wasn't too successful. After several tries I got the head done, but then had trouble transitioning to the body. I think I'm just not good enough at reading patterns yet to make sense of what I should be doing. I had hoped that this was easy enough and that I could make several to send to Heavenly Angels in Need for their memory boxes. Oh well, I'll try again later.

Then, I found this bunting. I'm doing a better job with it than the angel. See....
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

There are a few mistakes like the big loop in the bottom righthand corner. I know what I did wrong now, though. I probably won't give this away with the mistakes. We'll have to see how it turns out.

What yarn do you prefer to use for baby things? This is Caron Simply Soft which I love because of the softness and price. However, I'm having problems picking up an extra thread when I pull through. It seems to unravel too easily. There may be something wrong with my technique so let me know if you have any suggestions.

Lastly, I'm REALLY missing my sewing machine. It's about to kill me. Mom is coming in today to help with Hannah tomorrow when we have to be at the hospital for the cerclage at 5:30am. We didn't go home for Christmas so this is a good excuse for her to come visit. Anyway, I have the bright idea for her to help cut out some patterns. She's going to flip when I suggest it, though. She thinks that I shouldn't be moving at all. The way I figure it is that if she'd cut some of the bereavement gowns out, I can sit at the sewing machine and sew. It's nothing different than sitting in bed. I can work on several things at a time and stage them so that whenever I have to go downstairs for a snack or something, I can press the seams. See...I have it all figured out. :-) I probably only have a few weeks' window to do something like this and then I really do need to be resting as much as possible. I also want her to help me pleat up some material with the pleater that Wool Winder gave me. Neither of us has ever pleated so it might be a challenge. I'm just about finished with the last dress that I pleated. Smocking is something else that I can do in bed. So, if I have a bunch of things pleated up, I can sew them together this fall.

Oh, Mama Bear, yes I have a laptop. I'll be on-line a lot. :-)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

To Afghanistan

These are 5 loomed hats (sizes 2-4T) headed to Afghanistan. Bev has a Baby Project. After a change in contact over there in the last month or so, it's kind of become a Child Project. When looking at the pictures, I cannot but be so very thankful that I was born/live in America. How very blessed I am!! Just as I didn't ask to be born in the most wonderful country, neither did these poor children ask to be born into poverty.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Did everyone ring in the New Year? I didn't. LOL! Hannah and I were sound asleep. Anyway, Happy New Year to ALL!!

As for crafting, yesterday I spent some time working on my crochet skills. hee! hee! I just can't stand not working for the babies over the next months on bedrest. I had to learn to do something that I could do in the bed.

I was frustrated and having a difficult time. I changed yarn and needles and found an online video. It made a BIG difference and I'm making some progress now.

I'm doing the chain, single crochet, slip, and double crochet. :-) Here are a few pictures. If anyone out there reading has any advice, I'd love it. Constructive criticism is always welcome. I wonder if things are a bit too tight.

Here's to 2007!!