Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stuck between beginnings and ends

For the last few days, ever since the midwife told me that Taterbug was free to make an appearance any time, I've been stuck in a weird place knitting-wise.

See, several weeks ago, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and one of the things they worry about in mothers with gestational diabetes is Very Large Babies. A Very Large Baby is not on my list of Things I'd Like to Try To Squeeze Out My .... anyway. I've been balancing what I've read - that first-time moms are likely to deliver a little late - with what I know would be ideal, which is an early arrival. (Selfishly, once the kid is out, I can go back to a less restrictive diet, which I would like, because I'm tired of counting carbohydrates, eating so much darn meat and checking my blood sugar. I would have been an Atkins Diet dropout in days.)

So every morning, when I get up, I tell Taterbug that today is a beautiful warm summer day, and a good day to be born, and if the urge strikes, to go right ahead and come on out; there are all kinds of great things to see and do on the outside. I hoped maybe the friendly nudge from the alpaca would help, but I guess fiber-bearing animals don't induce labor. (Neither does spicy food, btw. I've eaten wasabi and Indian food in the past week, and, nada. If this persists, it's time for Ethiopian dinner. Who am I kidding? It's always time for Ethiopian.)

(Rock 'n Weave socks, STR in some colorway with the word "violet" in the name. Love it.)

Needless to say, Taterbug has not listened to me, which I think doesn't really bode well for the rest of our lives together, but so it goes. The Fool has started to have dreams about labor and delivery, ranging from the possible (slacker wife fails to pack bag for hospital, goes into labor, causes panic in household) to the bizarre (wife decides must use bathroom during labor, takes her uterus, puts it on a table, uterus pulses a couple times and squeezes out a baby while she's in the loo.) To help calm his anxieties, I packed a bag this week and promised I would not leave my uterus with him while in labor (or at any other time ever.)

In the meantime, I've been knitting. I wrote down a list of all my UFOs. There are 12. No, 13. (Actually, 12. I finished a hat this afternoon.)

(The Fool and I got it in our heads to knit fruit caps for all the couples in our childbirth class in time for the September reunion, where we all get to meet each others' babies and compare notes. Thank dog it was a small class.)

That includes a pair of socks that got stalled between sock 1 and sock 2, so that counts. There are four pairs of socks on this list, two scarves, a sweater, no, two sweaters, a pair of mittens and a shawl. And a lace curtain from Mason Dixon Knitting (worth another blog post on its own) that I started for a long skinny window next to the front door.

(Linen yarn. Fun to knit with.)

That's plenty of knitting to keep me occupied while I wait for a baby to show up. Especially because I've got other things to do as well.

But I'm having a hard time quelling the urge to start something new. I frogged a sweater the other day that had no relation to my real size. Let me put it this way: I tried it on and it was baggy on me now. I balled the yarn up and put it in a bag, ransacked my patterns and cast something else on, just a swatch, just to see if I could get gauge with this yarn. When I emerged from my yarn fog, I stuffed the whole thing back in the bag and I haven't looked at it since.

I. Have. Enough. To. Knit.

(Lucy Neatby's Sea Lettuce scarf with optional beads. I learned how to knit backwards at the fiber festival, and I want to see if that makes these short rows go faster.)

Realistically, with a new baby around, I know knitting time is going to be seriously compromised and I don't need new projects hanging over my head, especially ones that aren't garter stitch scarves. I'll be ahead of the game if I can finish the 12 projects on my list right now. That doesn't save me from wanting to cast on, oh, everything in Lisa Lloyd's new book. And I've been devouring the knitting magazine fall previews.

(Cabled scarf from Lisa Lloyd's "A Fine Fleece." Doesn't it need these mittens to go along with it? Wouldn't that be a great Christmas present for someone?)

(Amusing aside: I mentioned in knit group a couple weeks back that at Stitches Midwest, I'd like to buy some yarn, maybe Blackwater Abbey, and knit the Fool another Aran sweater for Christmas. Joy laughed out loud and said, 'You're not going to have time to knit a sweater for anyone for Christmas.'
'Yes, but I said I'd like to knit one,' I said. 'I understand there's a difference.')

(Socks with an unreasonable deadline; more on that later.)

I've stopped reading books on pregnancy and moved on to reading books on breastfeeding and child care, so I understand the deadline is coming up. I wonder if that's what's happening to my knitting, too. I'd like to shed all these projects already begun and move on to something new and unknown, just like how I'd like it if Taterbug would come out so we can all meet each other.

But Taterbug shows no sign of budging today, and so I've finished a hat. And then I'll knit a sock, and then I think I'll keep going down this list of projects.

(Cage blankets out of garter stitch acrylic for my friend Janice, a dedicated volunteer at the Evanston animal shelter, where Mab and Spoot were living before they met the Fool. Got one more on the needles; great way to use up yarn I bought at the beginning of my knitting career before I became a yarn snob.)


Julie said...

Is it wrong that this is so exciting?
No, not the knitting ...
Not that that's not exciting. (Don't hurt me, knitters!)
Impending babies are exciting.
I've decided to predict, to get on your good side, that the baby will be born Friday and will be born freakishly small, but when put in water will expand to the right size like one of those pills that turns into a spongy dinosaur. The baby will be neither spongy nor a dinosaur.
Rather than sending happy thoughts, perhaps you could start playing irritating music that would make Taterbug want to come out and turn it off. Or you could watch "The View." Or shop at Kmart. The possibilities are endless. My understanding is that Britney Spears' children were born after just two days of gestation so they could get away from her and protect themselves from the world.

P.S. I've loved those hats since you first showed me a picture lo so many months (years?) ago.
May I suggest the next project be to turn Taterbug into a Viking?
I'm going to have to learn to knit before I have any kids just to make those.

RobynR said...

I'm with Julie, Taterbug? Please come out on the 25th as I'd love to have another person to share my birthday with. Besides, I bet your mommy really misses having her body all to herself. Just sayin'

LaurieM said...

The waiting is the hardest part. I tried all the mythic methods to start labour with my first and nothing helped. He was 14 days over due.

You have my utmost sympathy and I do think you're smart to finish things up. part of the nesting syndrome I suspect.

You're almost there! This is the most significant turning point of your life. You are on the cusp of becoming... savour the moment.

David S. F. Portree said...


Did you try the sex method? Supposedly prostagladins in semen can trigger labor. It didn't work for us, but it was fun trying.

You could also try the C-section route. I found that to be very convenient, though of course no one was slicing me open. Go into the operating theater at the appointed time, 10 minutes later you've got a sprog nicely unsquashed by a punishing journey through the birth canal. And, as an extra bonus, you get to see what a uterus looks like.

David, age 46 (dad of Samantha, age 5)

Lanea said...

So close so close! If the Taterbug hasn't started coming yet, my crazy friend Mikele recommends eating frozen pizza, while it's still frozen.

I wish you the best, easiest of labors and the healthiest, sweetest babe.

Lorna said...

I loved your post Meg, and I can hear when Taterbug is 16 and starting to drive and date, you and the The Fool explaining HOW he/she got the name "taterbug" and embarassing the heck out of him/her.. LOL!

Glad you are feeling good, have a great perspective on both delivery and delivery of knitting UFO's..

Hang in there and enjoy every single minute - it is a blessing in every way!

Hi Taterbug! Looking forward to meeting you!

nectaryne said...


I am thinking of you during these last few days of waiting. I hear that starting a HUGE project, like cleaning the garage/attic, can induce labor naturally. Of course, neither of those worked for my two babes, but it might be worth trying!! Best wishes for you three on your new adventure.


Callie said...

Good luck! I'll send encouraging messages to your baby over the internet-waves! Life out here is really great and we'd love to have him in the world!

scienceprincess said...

Good luck, and best wishes for a safe and speedy delivery.

And Taterbug, we'd all love to see pictures of you, so you need to come out. And soon for your mom's sake :-)

Best wishes!

PICAdrienne said...

Make sure you have informed Taterbug, in very specific language, they possess a 40 week nonrenewable lease. It would be in Taterbug's best interest to not force the issue, but to vacate while you are still on good terms. Oh, and leave the place at least as good as you found it.

Then, finish up any knitting that could be postponing Taterbugs arrival, baby socks, sweaters, hats, blankets, you get the idea. After that, you stand a chance. :) (I have three kids, I am not just talking off the for nesting, let me see, I cleaned BEHIND the toilet tank).

That scarf and the mittens would go rather nicely with the Saxony socks if you ask me. My middle child (gestational diabetes child), really likes those mittens, but I think she liked the Let It Snow mittens better.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

Very Large Babies? Ack. Best of wishes on that one.

I love knitting fruit hats! They are the most welcome of all the baby gifts I've ever made. People ask for another when the kid grows out of the first size. Excellent choice, and much fun to knit!