{Mommy Monday} DIY Toddler Flat Sheets

Today’s {Mommy Monday} posts is a guest post from the lovely Becky from Pierce’d Photography.
~*~
As the youngest sister in my family, I have received many hand-me-down items from the nieces and nephews that have gone before.  We have furnished our kids’ bedrooms and filled their closets with all sorts of previously-used family merchandise. So when my daughter came along, we were simply going to reuse the crib bedding from her big brother; even though in its array of pastels, no feminine color could be found.  Until, that is, my oldest sister passed along a green and pink bedding set that perfectly matched the paint in her room.My daughter is now a toddler and, even though she still sleeps in her crib, having a just-my-size pillow and sheet to cover with became her latest need.  With the risk of SIDS passed, we obliged but did not want to splurge on new toddler sheets that would only last a year at most before she moves into a twin sized bed.

Luckily for us, two of those matching fitted crib sheets were actually too snug for our mattress and were sitting quietly in the drawer, awaiting a new purpose. For the cost of an afternoon and thread, we were able to re-fashion those fitted sheets into perfectly sized flat sheets for our two-year-old.  This is a great project for garage sale finds as well.

Supplies needed: Seam ripper, sharp scissors, straight pins, matching thread, sewing machine.

Step one: Take out elastic and seams using a seam ripper.  Please note: this is the most tedious part of the process. Also, save both the elastic and any scrap material. These may come in handy for future projects.

Step 2: Iron edges of sheet so they will be flat.  May need to use starch or wrinkle releaser while ironing.



Step 3: Decide which sides you will keep and prepare to cut off remaining sides.  Pictured are two sheets.  The bottom one is the one I am using for this tutorial and the top sheet is one I already did.  For the top sheet, I cut off the two longer sides, which resulted in a long, thin flat sheet – we thought it was too thin.  So for this one, I am cutting off the two shorter sides so it will be a bit shorter and wider.

Step 4: Cut off two parallel sides so even with remaining edges.  Using another flat sheet as a guide, straight pin in a hem on each side.  My top panel was about 2.5 – 3 inches wide, and the other sides were about 1/4 of an inch wide. Hint: Once the top panel is pinned, match the edges by folding in half.  If you hold it up to light, you will be able to tell if your panel is even all the way across.

Step 5: Sew.

Step 6: Enjoy – just in time for bed!

For a coordinating pillow, use your scrap material plus another matching fabric to make a pillowcase.  Toddler sized pillows are easily found at most fabric or craft supply stores.

~*~
Thank you Becky! 
If you liked this post check out her other {Mommy Monday} post:
Go To Baby Shower Gift
and Becky’s photography blog:

 

Plenty of Projects

I’m really sorry about not getting posts up. 
In all honesty I’ve been really struggling with this being a mom thing. 
Don’t get me wrong.. I love it and I love my little guy, but it is HARD.
I don’t know if my little one has colic or is just having several growth spurts. 
He’ll be great some days and I’ll get the house cleaned, posts written, dinner done and start making plans for the future. 
Then, other days (like the past couple) he cries all the time. And, I mean ALL the time. We are assuming they are growth spurts because he is also hungry all the time on these crazy crying days. 
But, he is lovely and healthy so I am very thankful (even if he can rival me in screaming volume). 
But, enough excuses… onto the projects!
Etsy Shop
I know I’ve said it before, but I think it may actually happen this time. I should have my Etsy shop up with handmade party supplies by the end of October. I’ve been gathering inspiration, making lists, and collecting supplies over the past few months. I will be starting production THIS weekend! 
Is there anything in particular that you would like to see in the shop?
What type of party supplies do you look for when shopping Etsy?
Another Blog
 
Are you asking yourself, “Really!?! She can barely handle this blog!”
Well, you’re right… this is something in the long term project file. But, my {Mommy Monday} posts have been fairly popular and have (at times) received more comments and page views that my other posts. That is really exciting for me and I LOVE talking about being a mom. But, this is a party blog and I would like to keep its focus on parties. So, I am thinking about starting another blog that focuses on being a mom and more about my personal life.  

I’m completely stumped on a blog name…. suggestions?
Would you read a blog that was more about being a mom or do you think you’d just stick with the party blog?
Halloween
If you can’t tell from previous posts… I love Halloween.
It is my holiday to throw a party EVERY year. 
Three years ago I threw a Haunted Halloween Dinner
Two years ago I threw a Bewitching Ball.
Last year we had a Mad Tea Party
  Plans are now in the works for a Spirited Cocktail Party.
I’m currently pinning away Halloween ideas and beginning my menu planning. 
(Getting the newest Martha Stewart Halloween magazine sure did help get the process going!)
What are you doing for Halloween?
Do you have any suggestions for a 
“Spirited” Halloween Cocktail Party?
A Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up 
I read a LOT of blogs daily. 
Several of the bloggers that I read happen to live in Portland (where I reside). Some of these people I’ve been following their blogs for so long I feel like I know them better than my own RL friends. 
Weird, huh?
I’ve been thinking about the possibility of meeting a few of these bloggers IRL, but don’t want to come off as a stalker. Recently reading THIS POST from The Little Things We Do has inspired me to try to get a Portland Blogger Meet-Up organized.
Have you been a part of a blogger’s meet-up of some sort? If so, what did you do? 
 Are you a Portland Blogger who would like to be a part of this? If so, when would be a good time/place to meet? E-mail me!

As always… thank you for reading and sticking with the blog even with my recent sporadic posting. I’d love it if you would take the time to help me with my projects by answering some of the above questions.
And, if you have a project you need help on… 
feel free to tell me all about it!

Monthly Photos: One Month Old

I’m taking photos every month my little guy gets older. 
(Idea comes from Making it Lovely’s Monthly Photos of her children)
One Month Old
And my favorite one:

{Friday Finds} A Well Crafted Halloween

Here at A Well Crafted Party we get really excited about the start of September…
because, it means that we can start working on HALLOWEEN!
Halloween is my holiday. I love the extravagance and playfulness of this holiday.
I love the fact that it can lend itself to so many different themes!
And, I love posting about Halloween.
So, I thought for today’s {Friday Finds}
I’d feature some of the Halloween posts that I featured last year.
Real Parties
For some fun REAL HALLOWEEN PARTIES check out:
Mad Tea Party: An Alice in Wonderland inspired dinner party
Bewitching Ball: A Masquerade Cocktail Party
Costumes
Recipes
Activities/Crafts
I’d LOVE for you to share some of your favorite Halloween posts
from around the blogosphere in the comments!
Also, are there any types of Halloween posts you are looking for this year? (i.e. certain crafts, themes or projects?)

{REAL PARTY} Beer Before Baby Party

Well, I wanted to give you a recap on the Beer Before Baby Party that I threw for my husband a while back. You might remember me posting a few items about it in my
I was a horrible blogger and didn’t get hardly ANY photos. I was enjoying my own baby shower at a different location for the beginning of the party. Note: enlist a friend to snap pics at next party!
But, the party was successful and everyone had a really great time.
I’ll share what photos and details I did manage to get!
{Invitations & Favors}
The invitation stated that the party was an Advice Shower for my husband as well as an opening celebration of the beer my husband brewed in honor of our son.
The favors had labels designed by me with the title “Amber to Xander.”{Food Table}

We served small portions of “bar” food for the party. The menu included: Mac & Cheese, Rubens, Beer Sausages, Sweet Potato Fries, French Fries, Crudites and Guinness Cupcakes

{Activity}

For a simple activity we had guests write out their advice for my husband, a new father, on coasters. We now enjoy the coasters, and their advice, daily!

 We also asked guests to bet on the vital birth information. We still have this poster up in our apartment because we enjoyed it so much.



{Attire}

 

I thought it would be fun to make special attire for this party and I was right! These shirts were easy to make with transfer paper and my printer.




{Real Party} When in Doubt Go to the Library

“When in Doubt, Go to the Library”
from Harry Potter book 2
The quote above was one that helped to inspire the Library themed birthday party I recently threw for a friend who is studying to be a librarian. I posted inspiration for the party on a couple of different {Working on it Wednesday} posts. As I was pretty far in my pregnancy I did not create tutorials for many of the DIY projects in this party…. but, I will link to similar tutorials when possible and if there is something you see that I didn’t explain and you want to know more about it just leave me a comment!
The Invitation
The Dessert Table
The Sweets
The Cake

Centerpiece and Gift

Decor— We wanted to keep things fairly simple, yet still bring the library theme throughout the party so we used book pages and printables to decorate. I was given a few books that had water damage to deconstruct for the party. It was difficult to take them apart, but it helped that I knew the books were destined for the recycle bin otherwise. I used the pages for the table runner, paper fans, several strings of bunting and for the above mobile. I created the mobile without a tutorial, but with inspiration from an Etsy store.

Food— I decided to have desserts be the main attraction for the party. I served the desserts with wine, coffee and water. Desserts included: a layered birthday cake; chocolate mousse filled chocolate cups topped with a raspberry; “Shh-Kabobs” of angel food cake and strawberries with a dark chocolate drizzle; berry macaroons; marshmallow pops; cheesecake filled strawberries (not pictured); and lemon cake pops. I gave the desserts “literary” names and printed them with the same image from the invitation. 

The birthday cake was my first try at making a multi-colored layered cake. The colored layers came out beautifully and was quite nice to cut into…. I wanted to frost the cake using the ruffle technique, but at the last minute realized I lacked the proper frosting tip. I ended up using a round tip and feel like the tip, along with the frosting color, made the cake look like a brain rather than a pretty ruffled treat.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures from the party!

{Real Party} Elmo Birthday Party

Today’s {Real Party} Feature is from our frequent Guest Blogger, Jill! 
Enjoy!
~*~
How do you celebrate with a two year old? Everyone’s favorite – Elmo! Or as both of my children call him, Melmo. My daughter is now four, so bear with me. These are some old photos from “the ancient days before blogging.” I don’t have a step by step picture, but I do have a memory like a steel colander.
 

We rented a local community room, as our families have grown quicker than our home. Our local t-shirt store had the perfect shirt, thank goodness! The Dollar Tree (our everything’s a dollar) store is a great resource for cheap party supplies. That particular year, they had a package of Elmo face die cuts. I bought several packages, and used masking tape to add them around the room.

For a game, we had a “Pin the Nose on the Elmo.” This particular one is store bought. You can easily find coloring sheets of Elmo online. Open or save the coloring sheet into your favorite word processing program. Usually, you can find a template to print it as a poster. I recently did this using Microsoft’s Publisher program. If you want to “blow up” the coloring sheet to a larger size, use the program’s template for creating a poster. Then, pieces of the coloring sheet will print out, like a giant puzzle. For an easy route, plop your birthday girl or boy into the high chair. Use masking tape to affix the paper to the tray, pass over a red crayon and voila! Bigger Elmo, happy kid, and you can finally go to the bathroom in peace. Orange sticky back felt cut into circles would make perfect noses to pin on Elmo – no pins! Mason Jars make great templates for circles, and great mommy cocktail holders for when you’re up into the wee hours crafting!

Let’s face it, Elmo’s cute, but no one likes red icing. A local baker whipped this up, then put an Elmo themed toy as the cake topper.

Each table had photos of my daughter over the previous year. Cheap photo frames, again from the Dollar Tree, served as centerpieces for each table. There was a red Elmo balloon attached to a purple balloon weight (also available at Dollar Tree), and the balloons were flanked by the picture frames.The local party store also had red boxes with Elmo’s face on them. We used those, filled with sweets and toys.

Even with all this, the party really needed a stand out piece. I made an Elmo’s World back drop for a photo “booth.” All the kids loved it, and my daughter kept trying to hug Elmo. Here’s what it looked like:

Read on for instructions on how to make your own Elmo’s World Backdrop!
And here’s what you’ll need:

1 twin sized sheet or large section of material (Walmart’s twin sheets were cheaper than the material by the yard)
Print out of Elmo’s world
Template for a fish/favorite coloring page
Purple craft paint
Blue craft paint
White or glitter puffy paint
1 sheet orange felt
approx 10 sheets red felt (I used nine, but got 10 “just in case”)
1 sheet white felt
Sharpie
thin square sponge paint brush
Ailleen’s craft glue or hot glue gun
newspaper or tile floor

WAIT UNTIL YOUR CHILD IS GOOD AND ASLEEP, OR HIRE A SITTER.
Lay out sheet or large portion of material on hard surface. (lay newsprint underneath if you prefer.) Using purple craft paint, swirl a design along the top of the material/sheet. I used my print out of Elmo’s world as a guide, but I ran out of room to do many swirls at the top like Elmo really has.
Then using blue paint, draw the table, piano, whichever elements you choose to include. Use the purple to make scribbles in the outline of your details. Let dry.

* NOTE: I did this on the tile floor without laying down newspaper. I panicked when the purple paint bled through, but dish soap and water took it right up.

Now that you have the basics, it’s time to jazz it up. I started with Elmo.
Trace your hands onto one piece of red felt, cut out. Cut one piece red felt into two equal pieces, use as arms. OR if you want longer arms, do 4 equal pieces, etc. I used 1 red piece cut into two longer pieces for Elmo’s legs. (cutting down the middle of the longer side).
Take 4 pieces of red felt. Stack two pieces, and cut a rounded edge. (I used my pizza stone as a guide). Then do the same for the other two pieces. Now you’ll have a giant circular shape for Elmo’s body. Attach using glue to the material.

At this point, you can add the arms, legs and hands.

Then take two more sheets of red felt. Using another round object as a guide, lay them together and cut a circular shape. Then attach as the head.

Use the white piece to make two circles. From this, you’ll get the eyes. I used the sharpie to make the little black dots in his eyes.
Also from the white piece, cut a small circle to serve as Dorothy the Goldfish’s eye. I also used a sharpie on her eye.

Using the coloring sheet as a template, cut Dorothy from the orange felt. Use the remaining orange felt to cut a large circle for Elmo’s nose.

At this point, attach the remaining pieces using the glue. I just popped the felt goldfish on above the table and let her “float” there for a bit.

Then take the white/silver puffy paint and draw a circular shape around the fish. Leave the top open, and draw a straight line across to make the goldfish bowl. I added some extra paint at the bottom of the bowl to look like gravel. Some sequins would be perfect there! And if you use the craft glue, you can glob on a bunch and add sequins like you would add sprinkles to a cake.

Let dry overnight if possible. I hung it using some serious amounts of masking tape.

I wanted so badly to find a cd of Elmo/Sesame Street song, but didn’t. Now, hopefully, you could find something on iTunes, etc.

But most of all, remember that Elmo loves you very much!
~*~
Thank you Jill for sharing your party with us!  

X’s Birth Story Pt. 3

I’ve split my labor story into three parts. These are long posts…
if you aren’t into reading them all then jump to the end for pictures and quick synopsis!

Part Two: Tired and Gross, I love him the most
~*~
Part Three: Pushing Through and Meeting My Little Man


After two days of labor my midwife ordered an epidural for me. She said my body was giving out and if things didn’t progress soon I’d need a C-section. And, while I really wanted a natural child birth I wanted to avoid C-section even more. Surgery scares me. At this point I was rejoicing… I was tired and my contractions were happening faster and closer together. I couldn’t wait to get the epidural. But, wait is exactly what I had to do. After what seemed like a lifetime the anesthesiologist came in. I had to try to hold still through my contractions while she put in my epidural. 

My husband said that it was a scary needle. I didn’t see it or feel it. At one point the anesthesiologist asked me if it felt like it was in the middle or on the left or right. It felt like she was turning a dial in my back. I answered, “feels like the center.” Then my entire right leg felt like it was on fire. I screamed louder than I had screamed in all my contractions. She said, “well, I’m glad we didn’t put it there because there could have been nerve damage.” 

Gee, just what a girl wants to hear.

But, then all of the sudden it was bliss. There was no pain anymore. I felt a little numb and most likely couldn’t stand… but, I could feel my legs and was able to move myself with ease.  
I went from tired and in pain to tired and deliriously happy. I joked with the nurses. I called my mom and said, “epidurals are GREAT!” I think I might have even updated my Facebook status. I know I at least checked the feed. My midwife then checked me again and put an internal monitor on my son’s head so that we could better gauge his heart rate (it had been low most of the time at the hospital). 

She said that I should rest and told my husband to go get himself something to eat. I loved that she took the time to make sure he was okay as well. We had been laboring in the hospital all day and while we brought snacks for him we didn’t think about entire meals. My midwife said that it would probably be about 5 hours before time to push and that I should get as much rest as possible. She also said that because they gave me an epidural I would need to have pitocin to help my body continue with labor. I didn’t care at this point in the process, but had originally wanted to avoid that route. 

The next two hours were sort of a blur. I slept for about half an hour. I couldn’t feel a single contraction. The pitiocin arrived soon after my husband got in with his food and sat down. As they were hanging the bag they told him it would be a few more hours. Then, a minute later, my midwife and a bunch of nurses come charging in saying, “It’s time!” 

As my midwife was getting me ready to push she gestured to a team of nurses that came in and said, “They are here for the baby.” I replied, “How about that… I am too!”
Man, the epidural was amazing.


Because I had the epidural I had to give birth lying on my back. I was however able to have the bed angled so that gravity could help. My husband and nurse helped to hold my legs. I thankfully only had to push for 45 minutes. They asked me if I wanted a mirror. “NO!” 
I could feel my son coming out, but I didn’t have to feel any “ring of fire” or stretching of any kind. 
And, then, all of the sudden. He was here. He was on top of me. He was amazing and so expressive. He latched on to nurse without much trouble. And, we were a family.




One of the bigger surprises was how small my son ended up being. Throughout my pregnancy I was told several times that he was a big boy and I’d probably have an 8-9 lb baby on my hands. He was tiny… he just got big really fast after birth!

Later they told me that my body had only needed to relax in order to have the baby. So, I ended up not needing the pitocin (until after birth to avoid hemorrhaging since my labor was so prolonged). Maybe if I had been better about relaxing during contractions I might have avoided the need for an epidural. Maybe if I had rested in between contractions instead of cleaning my house during early labor I could have had a natural birth. Maybe, but maybe not. My nurses were impressed that I did without for as long as I did and they said I’d have no problems during a second childbirth going without the drugs. 

Synopsis: After two days of labor, a therapeutic rest and finally an epidural my son was born. He had to have an internal monitor to help better gauge his low heart rate. I only had to push for about 45 minutes! And, in the end… I loved my epidural. 

 My son— Born at 39 weeks and 2 Days
weighing 6 lbs 8 oz
20.5 Inches Long 

Thank you for reading my birth story. I’d love to read yours as well! Leave a comment, link or e-mail. 

X’s Birth Story Pt. 2

This is the story of the day (or, in my case, days) my little man came into this world. 
It is a story of things not going to plan.
It is not a pretty story. And, it is a LONG story. 
So, I’ll understand if you just want to jump to the end to see pictures and read the synopsis of how things went.
Check Out Part One: Laboring the Day Away
~*~
Part Two: Tired and Gross, I love him the Most
 
After 36 (or so) hours of labor and one dose of antibiotics I sat in the hospital and cried when I heard my midwife say that I was only dilated to 5.5 cm. Everything so far had been to plan. I labored most of my early stage of labor at home, I had no pain medication, I wore my own clothes and I even felt like I looked pretty. But, I was also extremely tired. My hand was sore from the IV used for antibiotics. My son’s heartbeat was hard to find so I was restricted to the bed several times throughout this process. I hated lying down during contractions… it was so painful! But, it was one of the only positions that they could keep a monitor on me to hear my son’s heart rate.
Five and a half cm was disappointing to say the least.
My midwife told me that I could choose to go home to continue labor (as I stipulated I wanted to do in my birth plan) or I could consider a therapeutic rest. I had stipulated that I didn’t want to be offered drugs unless it was deemed necessary. My midwife and nurses had been great with following my wishes, so I was surprised when she talked to me about the therapeutic rest. She felt that my body could not actually handle laboring much longer without rest and she was concerned about my son’s low heart rate. She said that I might consider a small dose of morphine and a antihistamine to help me rest. Otherwise I was still allowed to try to continue laboring at home and that maybe being in my familiar surroundings may help me rest enough to make some real progress.
After laboring for 30 + hours at home and not being able to sleep I knew that there was no way I’d be able to sleep at home. I didn’t want to have them take out my IV just so I could get it put back in later. I was extremely tired. I was scared about my son’s low heart rate. So, I went ahead and got the morphine and antihistamine. The dosage was low enough that I still felt the contractions, but they were much less painful. When the antihistamine kicked in and coupled up with my extreme exhaustion I was actually able to fall asleep in between contractions. I was also able to lay on my side and not be as uncomfortable as I had previously been. It was exactly what my body needed. In those four hours I was able to rest and I dilated from a 5 to an 8.

That is when things got GROSS.

I knew things were finally happening when my contractions went from being painful to being gross and painful. I threw up and my nurse jumped for joy. I started heavy bleeding and she gave me a high-five. I screamed a guttural scream and my midwife and a team of nurses came running in swearing to me that it must be time. 
Prior to this I had been laboring in the rocking chair, leaning against my husband, laying in the bed, and squatting. After I hit 8 cm I started laboring on the birthing ball, my hands and knees, on the toilet (sounds gross, but totally useful spot), and in the shower. The shower was AMAZING. When my back hurt my husband could put the water on my back. When it was my stomach that is where the water would go. I refused to leave the shower at one point when my contractions were super close together. 
Not flattering, but very true to life. I passed out in between contractions and my husband was sweet enough to grab a photo and text it to my mother. Note that I couldn’t go anywhere without one of those blue bags for when I got sick.
My husband was amazing in all of this. He rubbed where I needed rubbed. He was quiet when I needed quiet. He supported me both physically and emotionally. I couldn’t have imagined that I could love him more than I already did… but, during labor my heart grew to love him even more.

After many hours of laboring my midwife checked me again and I was only dilated to 9 cm. One cm in HOURS of very hard labor. At this point my water still hadn’t broken. I had stipulated in my birth plan that I didn’t want my water broken. But, at this point I was so tired that I just wanted everything to be over. So, when my midwife said that normally at this time they would suggest breaking the water. I said, “Do it.” She did it… but, there was no gush. There was hardly any water coming out at all. My son’s head was so far down that breaking the water didn’t really help things. It did however make labor ten times more painful. This is when I started shaking. But, I kept with it. After another hour my midwife checked me and found that I had actually swollen shut some and was now a 7.

If ever in my life I feel disappointment I hope that I remember what that moment felt like.

After countless hours of labor, my midwife ordered an epidural. She said I didn’t have a choice because my son’s heart rate was slower than they’d like and because my body was going to physically give out soon. She said I would end up having a C-section if I didn’t have the baby soon. And, I rejoiced. Waiting for the epidural was the longest wait I’ve ever had. I kept saying, “where is it?” My contractions were happening every minute and lasting for a minute.

The anesthesiologist arrived saying, “I heard you were trying to do this without me.”

Synopsis: After 30 or so hours of labor I had a therapeutic rest that included a small dose of morphine and an antihistamine. It relaxed my body enough to let me sleep and let my labor progress. Then, after many more hours of labor, I finally reached 9 cm. My water water was broken by my midwife with hopes of making things go faster. It didn’t work. So, two days after going into labor my midwife decided I had to have an epidural or I would risk my body not being able to handle the delivery.

**While my hopes were for a completely natural delivery I was not disappointed in myself because I felt that I did what I could. I believe that child birth is an extremely natural event… but, I also know that before some of our medical discoveries have come about child birth also had more risk of death and infant death. I believe that these medical advances are often overused, but if used correctly they can save lives. I was in pain. But, I could handle the pain. It was the exhaustion that did me in. I could feel my body giving up, the contractions were not actually progressing my labor, and my son’s heart rate was getting slower the longer I was in labor. So, I’m not in anyway disappointed with not being able to have a drug-free delivery. **

Check out the final part of X’s Birth Story: Pushing Through and Meeting My Little Man

 

X’s Birth Story Pt. 1

During my pregnancy I knew that I wanted a couple of things for my birth experience:
1. Avoid C-Section
2. No pain medication—I wanted to give birth to my little guy as naturally as possible
3. No Induction—I would be pregnant as long as needed to have him come on his own time
I, of course, knew that things didn’t always go as planned in delivery rooms, but I had my plan nonetheless. I kept reading wonderful birth stories where things go just as planned and I hoped my story would have that same happy ending. I prepared a detailed, clear, and concise birth plan and did my homework on pain management. 
But, just to warn you in case your avoiding these types of stories— 
things didn’t go as planned.
But, guess what… I got this amazing guy in the end. And, that was the point after all.

X about an hour after being born.

I’ve split my labor story into three parts. These are long posts…
if you aren’t into reading them all then jump to the end for pictures and quick synopsis!
~*~

Part One: Laboring the Day Away


X was due mid-August. I had hopes that he would come a little early because my mom was flying in from Oklahoma and I really wanted her to have as much time with her grandson as possible.

Brian and I had been taking walks every night for the last part of my pregnancy. I started having regular contractions (not too painful) on our evening walk about a week before X was due. They were about 8-10 minutes apart and painful enough that I had to stop walking during them. But, certainly not painful enough for me to think that it was time yet. I had one scare a few weeks earlier with really painful contractions, so these seemed fairly easy to me. 

I was told that if I tried relaxing in the tub and the contractions ended then it wasn’t “time.” So, I gave it a shot. And, after a long relaxing bath the contractions slowed to around 15 minutes apart, but they still continued. They continued all night long at regular intervals, but they never got closer than 8 minutes apart. They weren’t too terrible, but they did keep me from sleeping all night. I labored most of the evening in the bath, in the nursery, and the living room so that my husband could sleep. We didn’t want him missing work if he didn’t need to and things seemed to be going pretty slow on my end. Brian went to work on the 8th and my contractions were about 20 minutes apart and extremely tolerable. I was even able to get in a few naps.

The next day I went about my day as regularly as possible. I made Spaghetti with Meatballs and had a few friends stop by for lunch. I saved some for the freezer. I cleaned house. I finished sewing together my “hospital gown.” I went to our pool with another friend. All the while I was having a contraction every 20 minutes. They were still regular and FAR apart when my husband got home around six p.m. We ate dinner and went for our nightly walk. Around mile two of our three mile walk my contractions jumped from 20 minutes apart to 8 minutes apart and much more painful.
It was a long walk home.

The contractions SLOWLY continued to come closer together. But, they still weren’t at the 5 minutes apart lasting a minute for one hour stage. So, that evening around 10 we tried going to bed. I couldn’t lay down. The contractions were WAY too intense when lying down and they were happening about every 7 minutes. So, I let my husband (try) to sleep and I went into the other room. I bounced on my birthing ball, folded laundry and read Harry Potter. Around 2 a.m. my contractions were around 5 minutes apart and painful enough that I began to think I needed to go to the hospital. I woke up Brian and we ate breakfast, showered, and called the hospital to tell them what was going on.

At four a.m. we entered the hospital and my contractions were at 4 minutes apart. At this point in time I had been laboring for approximately 32 hours. I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours during this time. I was exhausted, but also excited because it was finally TIME. Well, that was until the nurse checked me and told me that I was only dilated to 4 CM.  They admitted me because I was GBS positive and was needing to have two doses of antibiotics before birth. But, my midwife warned me that after the first dose of antibiotics they wanted to see see a pretty big change for my cervix or I might be needing to head home to continue the early stage of labor. (She said this because I had written in my birth plan that I would rather labor at home than the hospital if I didn’t need to be there.)

Me right after being admitted… this was a smile of excitement that it was finally the DAY!
Me and the hubby…notice the smile has changed because another contraction was starting.

Synopsis: After 32 (or so) hours of labor I was admitted into the hospital with a dilation of 4 CM. My water had not broken. I was being hooked up with antibiotics to protect my baby from Group B Strep. But, my midwife warned me that they were looking for a big change in my cervix within the next four hours or they’d send me home to continue early labor. ( I had put that I preferred this to augmentation in my birth plan and knew that hospital stays tend to slow the labor process.)

The Story Continues:

Part Two: Tired & Gross, I Love Him the Most
Part Three: Pushing Through and Meeting My Little Man

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