Posted by: ginki0 | June 22, 2013

Sew Ready

Yesterday afternoon while Smiley was napping, I took the opportunity to finish up my last pre-baby project. I had ordered some fabric on clearance from Denver Fabrics and it had been sitting there in my dining room with my sewing machine just waiting. Well, yesterday I went ahead and made the four new baby wraps I had been intending to make for quite some time.

I’m really excited, because it turns out that I was thinking ahead more than I remembered I was.
I thought I had ordered two kinds of cotton gauze fabric, but it turns out that one of my fabrics was jersey knit instead- hooray!

Let me explain.

I learned how to use baby wraps while Smiley was little. I had learned about them with Bugs, but I didn’t have the right fabric and so it hadn’t felt safe and I had abandoned it. With Smiley, a coworker gave me a Moby wrap and taught me how to use it. I quickly fell in love! Smiley loved snuggling close, and I loved having my hands free. It also felt totally safe and secure, and I never had to worry about him slipping out or the fabric unknotting. Well, Smiley grew as babies are wont to do, and after he was a year or so old, my back began hurting when I was carrying him. I couldn’t wrap him up tight enough to save my back, and as he grew heavier the pain only grew until it was unbearable. I was very sad that I could no longer “wear my baby”.

I did some research and found out that the Moby wrap, being stretchy and soft, is great for newborns but not for toddlers. There simply isn’t enough support for all that weight, which is why my back was hurting. Cotton gauze is better because it doesn’t stretch as much and therefore provides more support. It also breathes better, which is great for summer! However, it isn’t as soft as stretchy fabrics, and so isn’t quite as nice for newborns. I made my first two wraps then with cotton gauze and soon was back to wrapping Smiley. We began to experiment with side carries and back carries, which quickly became our favorite. I didn’t have to worry about lugging around a stroller, and Smiley’s little legs didn’t have to get tired, and I could have my hands free. Sometimes on hikes I would start out carrying no one, with both kids walking on their own, and end up carrying both, with Bugs (since he’s heavier) in a back carry and Smiley in a front carry. It was totally doable, and the versatility was unbeatable!

Smiley is old enough now that he doesn’t care to be carried much anymore. However, with this little one on the way, I plan on wearing my baby again! The jersey knit will be wonderful while he is little, as it is stretchy and oh so soft. However, I may use the cotton gauze some even while he’s little, just for the breathability. And now, I have seven wraps to choose from- three stretchy wraps and four breathable wraps, in four different patterns! Baby can spit up on my wraps as much as he wants, because while three or four are in the wash I can use the others.

The jersey knit wraps are super simple to make, too. All I did was fold my 60 inch wide, 3 yard long fabric in half, and then cut. It doesn’t fray, so it doesn’t even need to be sewn at all! 30 inch wide, 3 yard long wraps are a bit overkill and I will probably trim them down some, but I wanted versatility. I will likely use the wrap at about 7 feet long so that I can do a number of different types of wraps with it.

The cotton gauze wraps are also easy- cut them in half and hem all the sides. Ta-da! Cotton gauze is wrinkly, and so I will likely leave them at 30 inches wide, since in practice (wrinkled and not smoothed out) they are significantly less wide. The only thing left to do is mark the midpoint of the wraps so I have a good starting spot for wrapping.

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I was glad to have the wraps done, because last night we ended up going in to the hospital. I’ve been having prodomal labor for the last few days, but last night the contractions were regularly about four minutes apart. Four minutes being pretty close, we packed up the kids, dropped them at Grandma’s, and headed in. It was early, since I’m a little over 36 weeks along, but we were ready. However, over the course of four hours, the contractions stayed the same and I made no progress. Since technically baby isn’t full term yet (by 3 days) they weren’t going to do anything to further labor along, especially since they paced themselves out to every ten minutes or so around the end of four hours. However, since our little hatchling is 36 weeks, they weren’t going to stop labor either. So I went home, in limbo.

Frankly it’s rather annoying. I mean, I certainly don’t want any harm to my baby by coming too soon, but I haven’t done anything to hurry labor along either. It just started! And it was real. And I’m still contracting. They are less intense but still there, and though I am trying to ignore them, I think they are still regular. But if I were to go in, likely they still wouldn’t do anything. So I just need to wait it out. Meanwhile, they pumped me full of fluid with an IV to see if that would stop the contractions while I was at the hospital, and the poor nursing student (she was very sweet and tried very hard) blew the vein in my right hand when she was trying to place the IV. So my right hand is swollen and hurts whenever I use it. I feel like I am in limbo, when only yesterday we were excited about possibly getting to meet our last little baby.

So we’ll be here waiting, as long as it takes, until we can finally snuggle our tiny one. And on the bright side, it was a nice dry run for the boys. Soon enough, we will have three littles to snuggle close! It really is the waiting that hurts the most.


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