Saturday, December 24, 2011

In which it is Christmas

Merry Christmas from everyone at the Orange Kitty Workshop! We will return to our irregularly scheduled blogging within the next week! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In which things go GUSH GUSH: A Birth Story, Part One

I don't know what it is, but I love reading people's birth stories. Maybe it's because everyone has a completely different experience, yet the outcome is the same: A cute little baby amid a torrent of various body fluids after so many hours of ridiculous pain. Anyway, here is the first part of my birth story and I'll try to keep the details about my various body fluids to a minimum.

So, the Thursday before I went into labor, I woke up at 5am to pee. Nothing new there, being 38 weeks pregnant and all. I rolled over to get up and OH HOLY CRAP the abdominal pain was incredible. I stayed half-slumped over the bed, feet on the floor, not sure if I should continue standing up or yell across the bed at my husband to wake up. But my bladder screamed, "HELLO, IT'S PEE TIME NOW NOW NOW" and I managed to quickly waddle across the apartment to the bathroom with no accidents happening.

I had quit work at 37 weeks because of bad pelvic pain. This was way worse and I wondered if I was in labor, but it was a super constant pain, not pain that came and went like I figured contractions would. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, so the thought that this might just be the beginning and I had somewhere between 12 and 24 hours of labor to go sent me into a ceiling-staring panic coma until my husband, R, woke up a couple of hours later.

R: Morning, honey.
R: Oh god where is the hospital bag should we go to the birth center now?
Me: ............Nah, I don't think it's labor.

I had thought the baby had "dropped" (that is, moved further down in my pelvis in preparation for birth) a few days earlier because I could suddenly breathe much better and my tummy sagged lower. But NOW she had really dropped, and the terrible pain was her head chilling out as low as possible without me being in labor. Thanks, baby. I spent the next couple of days in bed with my Kindle, with my husband bringing me meals (woot!), and by Sunday morning I felt well enough to be up and at my computer and got my own breakfast while my husband headed off to work.

At this point, I assumed labor was "near," but I wasn't sure how "near." Both my husband and I had a feeling that the baby would come early, but now we were only 4 days away from her due date and I was beginning to doubt she'd be early and figured she'd be two weeks late, just to piss me off and prove my instincts wrong. Around 2:30pm, I yanked out a half-square triangle quilt in progress, sat down at my computer, and plugged my camera battery into its charger for some super happy quilt progress picture time.

And then there it was again, the familiar pregnant urge to pee. Now, every single website and pregnancy book out there had a little passage about water breaking, and they all said pretty much the same thing as this article from

"Only a very small percentage of women experience the rupture of the amniotic sac before they go into labor, so chances are good you'll have plenty of warning (or that you'll already be in the hospital). If your water does break in public, it probably won't come as an embarrassing flood but rather a slow trickle (or a small gush) of colorless and odorless amniotic fluid. "

So I was completely unprepared for raising my butt an inch off my chair and having a huge GUSH of fluid suddenly blow up all over my pants, my robe, my legs, my chair, and the carpet. The lazy cats glanced up from their nap and blinked confusingly at me as I waddle-ran past them, screaming, "Oh no oh no what the hell, those FREAKING LIARS IT IS GUSHING EVERYWHERE."

In the bathroom I sat on the toilet, panicking and cursing every single pregnancy book and blog out there for lying to me. After a moment I crammed some towels between my legs and hobbled back to my desk to call the birth center. Somehow they managed to decipher my babbles of "Water broke GUSH GUSH yes I'm Natalie GBS-positive HELP" and calmly instructed me to come in within the next hour or so to get my IV antibiotics started due to me being Group B Strep+. I thanked them, slammed the phone down, then immediately picked it up again and dialed my husband at work.

R: Hello, Interlibary Loan Department, this is R spe-
R: .....Um, ok???
R: ..............!!! All right, I'll be back shortl-
Me: THANKS *slams down phone*

After hanging up on R, as I started wildly throwing last-minute necessities into my hospital bag, like my Nintendo DS and a canister of mixed nuts, a contraction hit me. It was unmistakable. Things were getting real.

R rushed home and, having not taken his lunch break, crammed half a rotisserie chicken down his throat as I continued to toss completely useless things into my hospital bag. I dumped about half a bag of cat food on the floor for the cats, not knowing entirely how long we'd be gone (they were very happy about this). As I started to head out the door, I paused for a moment; there was a thought deep in my mind that I simply could not put into words: "This is it. When you come back to this apartment, it will be with a baby. YOUR baby." I didn't let myself think it, but it was there. I knew my life was about to change tremendously, and I simply couldn't quite handle thinking about it at the moment. Also, my contractions were getting stronger, and feeling biting pain down near your nether regions kind of distracts you from momentary deep, philosophical tangents. We closed the door to the sounds of cats happily munching and headed down the hallway.

To be continued in, unsurprisingly, part two...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In which I am STILL STILL a small blog

Right, so I know it's already the 6th, but I'm jumping in on the small blog meet again. I have a feeling I'm going to be 6 days late on EVERYTHING for a while.

If you're a new reader, welcome to the Orange Kitty Workshop. Sewing things are kind of on hiatus right now as I'm the proud and tired new mother of a two-week old baby and two jealous but lazy cats. Bear with me and the OMG BABY posts for a while, though I hope to get some more sewing-project posts up somewhat soon. Really, the Orange Kitty Workshop isn't just about quilts, it's about EVERYTHING. Life itself is kind of a workshop, no?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

In which I remember to post on my blog after two weeks of craziness

Finally, things have calmed down a bit. Honestly, it's kind of like I stepped into an alternate dimension two weeks ago, and I just stepped back out, and I'm not sure how to get back to "normal" life plus Baby. We've had a super steady stream of family visiting and helping out since the baby was born, but now it's just the three of us, alone, and it's weird. It'll be even weirder when my husband goes back to work next week and it's just me and the baby. I've always dreamed of being able to stay home, but at the same time, I've held some sort of job nonstop since I was 18 and in college, so now it's strange to suddenly not have a daily schedule to adhere to. I don't NEED to be anywhere by 7 or 8am, I don't have to eat lunch between 1 and 2pm, and I don't need to make a list of groceries to buy for dinner on the way home from work. I am sure the comfort of adhering to a schedule not made by yourself comes back into play when kids are school-aged, and you HAVE to get them to school by a certain time in the morning and whatnot, but when it's just me and a newborn at home--there is no set schedule. I COULD try to make up something like, "Ok, I'll wake up at 8 and we'll take a walk at 10 and eat at 12" but that doesn't really fly with a two-week-old who may be screaming at 8 and dead asleep at 10 and damn if I'm going to wake her up just so we can walk around the block because my schedule told me to.

Basically this whole thing is a huge learning experience and the good thing is that I should have tons of time to sew when the baby is asleep (if I am not napping as well), so more "workshop" related posts should come soon. I mean, honest to (insert deity here), the day my water broke and I went into labor, I had laid out an unfinished quit on my bed and was preparing to take pictures with my new camera and write up a post about my progress. But then my water blew up all over my desk chair as I was at my computer and less than 12 hours later, I had a baby in my arms.

And in case you were wondering, Orange Kitty has no idea what the hell a baby is and mostly curiously keeps his distance. However, after a week of observing us taking nonstop pictures of her in her little bouncy chair, he decided to try to get in on the action. I think we have a jealous cat.

If I sit in here, you'll take pictures of me for people to coo over, right?!