Without provoking any discussions of socialism and it’s merits or failings, I’d like to say that Finland does a beautiful thing for its mothers and babies. Every pregnant mother in Finland, since 1949, has received a maternity grant in the form of a large box filled with items needed for their newborn baby. Mothers can opt for a financial grant if they prefer, but 2/3 choose the box. What is in the box? See for yourself!
Snowsuit and booties, sleepers, rompers, onesies, overalls, and pants, socks, cloth diapers, towels and washcloths, swaddling blankets, hats, nail clippers, a book and a toy, condoms and breast pads, and even a mattress and sleeping bag that fits in the box, in case you need a place for the baby to sleep. Each year the designs and colors of the items change. You can see the individual pieces here, and read about the history of the program here too.
My friend Lisa sent me a link from Oh Dee Doh about this, and it just made me feel so happy – I can imagine how it would feel to get that package in the mail. I like to imagine the babies are grateful too, to be welcomed by their motherland as graciously as they are welcomed by their mothers. Oh that babies everywhere could be welcomed in such a sweet way.
Just found this tutorial on making sheets for the Alma Urban Mini Crib we purchased. It is smaller than standard size, and the only sheets I’ve found so far are the Alma brand sheets at $45-50 per two pack, and only available in white. I’d like a few more sheets and some in other colors. Thankfully, The Priscilla Home blog shows me how to make sheets. Looks like I might need an afternoon with Auntie Kristi and her sewing machine!
I’m sipping a glass of expensive wine. My fantastically compassionate husband said he didn’t care that the bottle that looked good to me (a 2004 Toscana) was $23. He recognized that at the end of a long and challenging day in the middle of a hard week, a woman who only gets a few ounces of wine should have the one she wants. It’s really, really, REALLY good.
I’m not even interested in writing about work or why I’m worn out today.
So moving on:
We went to the beach last weekend as guests of Gramma Avy and Poppy Steve (Avy’s new husband) to meet Steve’s kids and grandkids. The family shared a beautiful condo in Orange Beach, AL (or was it FL?) and besides sleeping a lot, I also SWAM (in the pool, not so much in the jellyfish-rich Gulf waters) and it felt A-MAY-ZING! Also, thanks to new step-brother-in-law Sam, identified the cause of Redbean’s occasional rhythmic tap-tap-tapping: hiccups. Once he said it was that, I thought, DUH! I just had not thought of it. Isn’t that crazy? Really, it’s an annoying feeling, but thankfully it never lasts long, and now that I know what it is, it’s kind of cute.
While on our trip, we used the gift certificate from Nona and Pawpaw (my parents) to purchase Redbean’s crib and the box was actually waiting for us when we arrived at home on Monday night. The mattress is on its way too thanks to Poppy Steve. It’s still in the box, probably until after my work trip to San Diego this weekend. But it’s here – we’re that close! And just in time, the knit baby blanket is all finished – picture soon. It’s just beautiful and completely squishy wonderful.
And in childbirth class, we practiced positions for labor.
*yawn* Time for t.v. then sleep, such as it is, when you have a giant belly to haul over every time you want to turn.
My mom sent me a link to a remarkable blog post today, at The Yarn Harlot. I know what you’re expecting – a knitting story. So was I. But it wasn’t – it was a reflection on birth. And it had me all teary on the bus this morning. I wanted to share a little here, and I encourage you to read the whole thing.
Nothing else compares to watching a woman move mountains with her own self, to watching her rise to a challenge and meet the moment with all she has, and that experience is only enhanced when she is supported by those who care for her, respect her, and want her to be empowered by the journey.
Zach just keeps saying “I hope it’s a cold winter…”
Double Breasted Seed Stitch Hoodie, lime green
Pattern. Those are not the buttons you see in the photo, they’re just place marker safety pins. I’m waiting till we know whether Redbean is a boy or a girl before I choose buttons for this sweater.
"Pebble" baby vest (I can't get the image to rotate)
Pattern. Those are little oval shaped wooden buttons on one shoulder and down the side. The sweater opens up one side so you don’t have to pull it over the baby’s head.
“Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
— Ina May Gaskin (Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth)
“Birth in the Squatting Position” is one video we watched in childbirth class so far. It was, as you’d expect from the title, one mom after another pushing her baby out from a squatting position. We’re three weeks in to our 8-week class with awesome instructor Susan Messina, and so far this video was one of my favorite parts of class. In my days working with midwives I saw lots of moms have their babies in this position, and I’m all for it. It uses all the mom’s efforts so efficiently, along with gravity, and opens the bones of the pelvis beautifully for baby to move through and out. Those slippery little tykes were popping out like chubby little bullets. Go babies!
I have to take a kind of annoying bus ride to get to class, but it’s long enough to make visible knitting progress so I won’t complain. Continue reading