Wife, Mummy, Nurse: January 2013

31 January 2013

Nursing in Public {#BFBlogHop}

After Charis was born, it took a good six weeks before I was comfortable nursing in public.  My first time nursing her in public occurred August 29, 2010-at church.  Since I was no where near comfortable with breastfeeding, I excused myself and went into the entry way, where I could still hear the sermon.  If I had to nurse Charis during Sabbath school, I would take her into the 2 & 3 year old class and nurse her there.  I felt comfortable with the 2 & 3 year olds because some of them had seen their mothers breastfeed a sibling, and they had been breastfed themselves, plus the teacher was a girl who was just going into college.  So, thank you Emily for letting me barge in.

After a few months, I began feeling much more comfortable nursing Charis in public. At first, I still nursed her with a cover, but then I felt more comfortable {and less noticeable} nursing her without a cover.  Most assumed I was just holding a baby, instead of feeding a baby.

A few things you might want to consider leaving in the baby bag for those times you are out of the house and need to nurse your baby:

  • Nursing cover: in my opinion this is not necessary, but many women are more comfortable using it while breastfeeding a baby.  My rule is: Do what you are most comfortable nursing your baby.  If that means, you want a cover, then check out the Planet Wise prints from Diaper Junction; they're so cute.
  • LilyPadz: These are AMAZING.  I suffered from embarrassing leaks the whole time while Charis was breastfed.  I had a pair of these.  They use pressure to help control breast milk leakage.  When I remembered to wear them, I did not have any visible leaks.
  • Nipple cream, such as Earth Mama Angel Baby's Natural Nipple Butter:  This helped tremendously when Charis was first born, but even as her teeth came in, I occasionally had to apply some nipple ointment.
  • Water: To stay hydrated.  
Do you remember the first time you nursed your baby in public?
Are there any other products you would recommend? 
This post contains some affiliate links.

30 January 2013

Ribbed Lace Bolero, Homespun Yarn, and a Giveaway {Yarn Along}

Remember the Ribbed Lace Bolero I was knitting back in November?  My plan was that I was going to where it to my husband's work Christmas party, but Drew and I both had the flu the week prior, so my bolero went into hibernation since I did not finish it in time and I had Christmas gifts to knit. I did not pick it up again until this past week.  I'm almost finished with it and after it's finished, I'll be knitting a shawl for a lady from church.

Recently, the Butterfields were in town visiting our church and their daughter was wearing a shawl knit by her mother.  I was tearing it apart in my mind and told a friend that the shawl would be very easy to knit.  She then asked if I could knit one for her mother and that she'd pay me.  I told her yes.  When I spoke with Mrs. G. {the lady I'm knitting the shawl for}, she told me, "Rosaria crocheted the shawl for me after my husband died.  She said it took her three days to knit and while she knit it, she said she prayed for me."  Last Friday, I went and bought Homespun yarn for her new shawl. Hopefully, I will be casting on this week and finish it before February 10.  FYI, if you have not yet read The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Covert, read it; I read it within two days and there were many times I was convicted and cried over my own sin.

I recently won a book-Crochet So Fine, but the problem is that I don't crochet and don't want it sitting around collecting dust in our apartment.  I will be giving it away to a person who comments on this post.  Giveaway is open in the US only, the winner will be chosen randomly, and it ends Monday, February 4, 2013 at 11:59 PM.  Please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you.  Winner will be announced Wednesday, February 6, 2013.

What are you reading or knitting this week? 
Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.
This post contains affiliate links.

29 January 2013

Thankful For... {Gratituesday}

Charis' health.
I was more aware of her health yesterday.  Charis woke up with a low grade temp and was cuddly all day.  I loved the cuddles, but also look forward to her getting better.  We sang Psalm 103 during family worship because of the line, "Who forgives all thy transgressions, thy diseases all who heals..."

My husband's dissertation work.
Yes, I often wish he was finished, but I'm thankful he's been working on it and pray for the presentation he is giving Wednesday, February 6.

Fresh baked bread.
Tastes WONDERFUL with butter and honey.

25 January 2013

Getting Off to a Right Start {#BFBlogHop}

There are many different ways to help get off to a right start for breastfeeding.  The most important is: Be firm in your resolve to breastfeed and do not waiver, especially in the early days when your milk is coming in.  If you aren't 100% sure that you'll breastfeed, you'll be more likely to give your baby formula.  The Friday after she was born, I had not slept the night before because I was awake with a crying baby; when we got home, I desperately wanted to sleep, but knew that she needed to be held and fed.

Have a good support system.  I've written this over and over-my husband is a gem. He is wonderful.  He would get me pillows, water, food, books, blankets, whatever I needed in order to make me more comfortable.  My church family provided meals for the first two weeks; they offered to provide more, but my in-laws came down for 7-10 days and helped with shopping, cooking, laundry, etc.

A few things you can do before birth to help you get off on a right start:

Be around people who breastfeed.  This was not hard for me.  My mother breastfed us; it has always seemed normal for me.  Friends at church breastfed their babies.  If you breastfeed now, nurse in public; I'm not telling you how or what you can or can't show, but help make it normal.

Have a birth plan.  Include that you want skin to skin contact immediately after birth, which will greatly help your chances of breastfeeding.

Prepare freezer meals, to help lighten your load after your baby is born.

Consider delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital or Birth Center and read their Ten Steps for Successful Breastfeeding.

What steps would you add to help you get off on a right start for breastfeeding?
Join me at Sisters 'N Cloth for the #BFBlogHop.

23 January 2013

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL {Yarn Along}

This week, I am not knitting any new projects, just trying to finish old ones.  I finished through Clue #3 for the Jimmy Beans Downton Abbey Mystery KAL.  This week's clue was quick, easy, and boring, which meant it was relaxing to knit while watching Downton Abbey.  I'm looking forward to what we'll be doing where we did the provisional cast on; I hope we'll find out next week.

I'm currently browsing one of my Christmas gifts that Drew gave me-Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2012 Special Edition. Doesn't he know he's feeding my knitting AND Jane Austen addiction.  There are at least 5 knitting projects I want to knit from this magazine, including Walking to Meryton Bonnet, a Bonnet for Baby Emma, and Lydia's Tunic.  Have you purchased any of the Jane Austen Knits? If so, what did you think of them?

What are you knitting or reading this week?
Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.
This post contains affiliate links.

17 January 2013

I Breastfed and... {#BFBlogHop}

Before Charis was born, I had NO idea that being a parent was hard, and I even had an "easy" baby.  Charis cried when she was hungry, needed changed, wanted held, and was tired; she was not colicky.  Still, I was not prepared for the sleepless nights, the non stop nursing sessions when she was two weeks old, having mastitis, the piles of dirty laundry, dirty dishes, etc.

I nursed Charis on demand when she was a baby; I never considered putting her on a schedule.  I thought, "She's a baby.  Her stomach is so small.  Of course she's hungry."  I started-co-sleeping and babywearing-not because I believed doing these made me a better mum; I did them in order to survive.

I quickly realized in order to get more sleep at night, I could nurse her from a side lying position.  Frequently, I fell asleep, and she stayed in bed with us.  We didn't plan to co-sleep but we did it because it worked and I was able to feed her when she started stirring, instead of waiting until she was fully crying.

After my in-laws left when Charis was about 3 weeks, the piles of clothes started to increase, the dishes became a mountain, and I needed to get housework done.  I also wanted to hold my baby.  Enter babywearing.  I was given a Moby wrap at a baby shower and started putting Charis in it.  The Moby worked really well for us, until Charis hit 14-16 lbs, then we needed another carrier.  I bought a Boba 2G carrier on Ebay; it was a life saver.  With the Boba, Charis was able to go in front of me and on my back.  She would fall asleep while I was wearing her at church.

I did not enter motherhood believing I would co-sleep or babywear, but that's what worked for Drew, Charis, and me.  I'm also thankful for my husband because we did not argue over these things; he was open to them, and so was I.

Join me over at Sisters 'N Cloth for the #BFBlogHop.

16 January 2013

Neckwarmers, Downton Abbey KALs, and Books {Yarn Along}

I FINALLY finished the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer for my sister-in-law. I knit it with Tahki Donegal Tweed; it's a traditional Irish homespun tweed. I chose this yarn for bringing happy reminders to Jen about our trip to Northern Ireland Christmas 2010 for my cousin Helen's wedding.  I have only been knitting it over a year.  Actually that's not quite true, I started it November 2012, and it was hibernating sometime after 2011 Christmas.

Me wearing the neckwarmer.
FYI, I dislike self photographs.

I am participating in the Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery KAL. I chose Knit Picks Felici Sport yarn for the Dinner Gauntlets. If I knit this again, I will probably not choose self striping yarn.  This was my first time casting on using a provisional stitch.  I watched Season 3 Episode 2 of Downton Abbey on Monday.  I must confess that I cried because of what happened to Edith and reminded myself, "This is just fiction Sarah."

I am listening to one of my favorite books-Little Women.  There is at least one instance where it talks about knitting.
"It's bad enough to be a girl, anyway, when I like boys' games and work and manners! I can't get over my disappointment in not being a boy; and it's worse than ever now, for I'm dying to go and fight with papa, and I can only stay at home and knit, like a poky old woman!" And Jo shook the blue army sock till the needles rattled like castanets, and her ball bounded across the room.

So, I guess I'm a poky old woman.

I'm reading Pride and Prejudice, one of my other favorite books, but I only finished the first chapter.  I love the wittiness. I also feel very much like Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail when she writes, "I'm always in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are really going to get together. Read it-I know you'll love it."

What are you reading or knitting?
Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.
This post contains affiliate links.

15 January 2013

Thankful for Snow {Gratituesday}

Currently, we don't have snow in Maryland, but when I was in Pennsylvania over Christmas, there was a lot of snow. Usually, I complain about snow, but the more I thought about it, I was pricked because I realized I was sinning. I was complaining against God for sending the snow, and realized that snow is a reminder of the Gospel.
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lordthough your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. ~Isaiah 1:18
In Christ, my sins are forgiven, though they were once scarlet, because of Christ's perfect life here on earth, His death, resurrection, and ascension, I am viewed as perfect in God's eyes.


10 January 2013

Lessons Learned {#BFBlogHop}

Before my daughter was born, I had no idea that being a mother was hard. Rewarding, but hard.    People felt very free to give me suggestions-on sleep training, how often I should breastfeed, how long I should breast feed-even though I was not asking for their suggestions.  Thankfully, I did not listen to their "help" and proceeded to handle things as I had been.

Looking back a few things I learned:

  • Cherish the time you have your children.  Charis has grown up SO quickly.  
  • The 3 AM feedings don't last forever.  They were hard.  Here I had a baby who just wanted to nurse, sleep, nurse, poop, nurse, nurse, nurse. But now, I sometimes miss those.
  • Memorize Scripture.  During the early morning breastfeeding sessions, I often sang Psalms, especially 113:9-"He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!" 
  • When friends offer to come and help, take friends up on their offers to help cook, clean, do laundry, etc.  {This is the one thing I wish I had done; I was too proud to say yes, so instead I felt swamped a lot the first few months.}  
  • Don't hurry to have as many children in as short of a time as possible. Yes, I believe that children are blessings, but I also think that too often we as women, especially in the church, compete with each other over how many children we have, whether we home school, etc.  My ultimate blessing is found in Christ.  {This too I need to tell myself often. Ultimately, I need to look and see if my actions are Christlike.}  
What did you learn as being a new mother?
What would you tell yourself now?
Join me at the #BFBlogHop at Sisters 'N Cloth.

09 January 2013

Mini Shawl Update {Yarn Along}

Back in July, I wrote that I was knitting Charis a mini shawl for her birthday.  It was completely knit by her birthday, but not blocked.  I blocked it last night.  The results weren't perfect, but it's for a two year old, and she's not as picky as her mum.  We went walking today, and she wanted to wear it.

Pretty bow.
Made by Sugar-n-Spice Boutique.
Yes, she's my little thumb sucker.
In other news, my Knit Picks order came today!!  Now I just need to knit a swatch to check my gauge for the Jimmy Beans Downton Abbey Mystery KAL.  I'm also planning on participating in Luv in the Mommyhood's Downton Abbey KAL; except for hers, what we knit is up to us to decide.  I also found out that the project we knit in the Jimmy Beans KAL can count; so, I need to decide: Do I knit something else?  Or do I count the mystery project?  Decisions...

Drew and my MIL bought me Seasons 1-3 of Downton Abbey for Christmas.  I'm loved.  Drew has been watching it and enjoys it.  I have a good man.

What are you reading or knitting?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

03 January 2013

One Goal This New Year {#BFBlogHop}

Last year, I did not have many breastfeeding goals.  The only thing I hoped was...
It would be nice if Charis will be weaned before the end of this year, but unless something changes, I will not be forcing that issue
The last time I nursed Charis was July 17, 2012.  It was bitter-sweet, but I'm glad it happened smoothly.  This year, since I'm not breastfeeding, my goal is to not compare myself to other mothers.  I have a tendency to look down on other moms, especially if they don't breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months.  Yes, there are more benefits to exclusive breastfeeding, but it's not my place to look at them that way.  As long as they've made an informed decision, I'm fine with it.  I also sometimes feel like I'm less than a mother when I see that someone else breastfed for 2 1/2 years or longer.  Yes, their have been various trials in my journey breastfeeding Charis, but I thing I ultimately did what was best for her and me.

What are your goals breastfeeding this year?
Join us for the #BFBlogHop at Sisters 'N Cloth.

02 January 2013

A Few Knit Christmas Gifts {Yarn Along}

My brother received a Cashmere neckwarmer-though I did not use cashmere.  I knit it with Berroco Peruvia  Quick yarn, which I enjoyed knitting with; it's a bulky, soft yarn. The pattern definitely NEEDED to be blocked once it was completed.

My dad received the Sweeney Todd Scarf.  Last Christmas, my dad saw a scarf on one of my friends that his wife knit.  I asked what pattern she used and the length.  I only knit about 36 inches because my dad likes shorter scarves.  This pattern would be great for a new knitter, knitting his/her first project.  I used Peace Fleece Worsted yarn to knit this.  The smell of the yarn reminded me of my Granny's knitting room, the yarn is a bit scratchy, but softens up nicely after I using Eucalan wool wash. Peace Fleece is one of my favorite yarns, and it does no break the bank either.  If you have not knit with it, I highly recommend trying it out sometime.

My sister told me, "If you're knitting Christmas gifts again, I want a hat."  I asked her, "What color?"-thinking she'd say black.  She surprised me by replying, "Gray."  I decided to knit the the Mod Cables Slouchy Hat, because it was posted on Life in Cleveland, and my sister lives less than an hour away from Cleveland.  I told Saundy if she wanted it to be slouchy to put the hat over a plate, spray it, and let it dry.  I don't know if she's done that or not.  She was pleased when she received it;  I was told, "I have two other hats and they don't fit well.  This one actually fits."

That's me wearing the hat.
I did not get a photograph of my sister
wearing it.
What are you knitting or reading?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.