Yes. Yes I did. I must be crazy, I know.
The fruits of my labor!
Where do I begin? Be prepared for a random and rambling post. I guess this is kind of a birth story, too. Of the "lite" variety. I'm not too keen on sharing all the gory details. I wish I could say I sewed something really awesome while I was in labor, like a tailored coat or something. But it was just these two pillows. But hey, I sat behind a sewing machine didn't I? I knew I had to finish them before baby Jane came or they never would get finished.
I started these two pillows the week I was overdue. I was desperate for baby Jane to come so I figured if I took on a project it might make her arrive. J painted our bedroom in the weeks before. Here is a before picture from my earlier overwhelmed post. We did get it done and in plenty of time, too. Now before you check out the after picture, I want you to know that nothing goes together in our bedroom. This is not a fancy "after" picture or anything. This is just how our room really looks. Why are master bedrooms always the last room in the house that gets decorated? It always seems that way. Everything is a mishmash of second hand finds and hand me downs. I like posting room photos, though. I'm always nosy about other peoples homes so I figure maybe someone is nosy about mine. J made that headboard after we finished the room.
It's funny how once you put a fresh coat of paint on something everything else in the room looks old and tattered. When we got the room back together I realized the sad, sad state of our bedding. From use and from having two cats that like to sleep on the bed. I wanted to get new bedding and I wanted something dark since everything else in the room is so bright now. Navy seemed like a good color to me. Or indigo. And navy should hide cat hair better. Yuck, I know. I looked in a few stores and online but couldn't find exactly what I wanted. So I made a plan to make a quilt. Don't laugh. I am going to make that quilt. When exactly I'll do it is the issue. But I will. I'm going to do all the bedding. These two pillows are the first piece.
I decided I wanted to hand quilt a simple running stitch. I sandwiched extra squishy batting between two pieces of cotton. Then I stitched the humble old running stitch in lines an inch apart. I used perle cotton in a gradient of blues. I didn't take too much care to measure or keep my stitches even. I kind of like the rustic, homemade look. When I make the quilt for our bed I'm going to quilt some of the blocks this same way. Not the whole thing, of course.
Anyway, now to the sewing in labor part. I finished the quilted fronts of the pillows on Friday. On Saturday, I woke up feeling weird. I kind of had an inkling that something strange was a-brewing but I didn't say anything to anyone because I didn't want to jinx it. I was scheduled to be induced the next night but I really wanted to start labor on my own. I had no impending signs of labor ahead of time other than the weird feeling. Not one single signal that baby Jane wanted to make an appearance. I cleaned that morning. That nesting instinct kicked in. I scrubbed bathroom sinks and mopped, believe it or not. And I felt an overwhelming urge to finish writing all my thank you notes. Then, after lunch, the real deal contractions began.
Now I thought I had prepared myself for contractions. I quizzed several friends and family members about their labor experiences ahead of time. Contractions were described to me as a tightening sensation in your belly, extreme pressure and the worst cramps of you life. I was ready for that. I thought I'd be able to handle quite a bit of that without needing medication. I even had high hopes that I'd be able to give birth without any drugs at all. Not that I was committed to that, but you know. I considered myself to be pretty tough. However *ahem* that was not the case. I never had any contractions like they were described to me. In fact, I never felt anything in my belly. Not at all during the whole process. I felt it all in my back. I had dreaded back labor. All I will say about contractions in your back is not fun. When my contractions started on Saturday, they started with a vengeance. There wasn't any warming up. They started off full speed.
When they first hit I started to panic a little. Which of course is what you shouldn't do. They hurt. Bad. I knew she was coming and I was banking on soon because of the intensity. I looked around the house and saw my pretty quilted pillow tops looking at me longingly. I knew that with our new incoming guest it would be a long time before they were finished. I was feeling pretty down on myself for not being able to handle the pain like I thought I would. So I decided to tough it out for a bit and sew. I cut out the backs of the pillows and sewed and serged both together late Saturday afternoon in the midst of my body preparing for imminent birth. I would sew a seam until I felt a wave of electric twisting and tightening coming on. Then I would pause, keeping my hands in place on the fabric and resting my head on the sewing machine until it passed. I realized at the time how ridiculous I must have looked. I said I was hardcore, didn't I?
The rest of the story is your standard hospital birth story. I waited around Saturday night until I couldn't take it anymore and headed off to the hospital. Once there I was told I wasn't far along enough. They gave me the option of going home or starting my induction a day early. I opted to go home which was incredibly disappointing at the time. But I managed a few more hours at home until my water broke in the early morning hours on Sunday. We were back at the hospital early Sunday morning and baby Jane entered this world screaming and squawking Sunday evening. And no, it was not a drug free birth. I gave up on that idea very quickly. My initial reactions (besides love at first sight) when I first laid eyes on Jane were; wow, she is big and there is no way I'm ever doing that again.
She was worth it all. Every bit of it.
And I'm quite pleased with the pillows, too.