5 Things Every Pregnant Woman Would Love to Hear

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“Wow, you just keep getting bigger and bigger!”
Someone’s got a muffin in the oven.
Are you sure it isn’t twins?
The way you’re carrying, I just knew it was a boy.
Looks like you’re having a girl!
You’re due in January? It looks like you’re ready to pop!
You don’t even look that big!
You look tired.
You look great!

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People feel free to comment and speak about a pregnant woman’s body in ways they never would to a non-pregnant woman.  Suddenly acquaintances, strangers, friends, and family members are talking to me about the size of my ass, belly, breasts, and general appearance.  

And these comments are all over the place.  To one person I look “small” and “great”.  To the next they wonder if I’m sure I’m not having twins.  Sometimes these comments feel judgmental and hurtful.

And then I wonder why they hurt. Why are these comments getting to me?

Part of it is the frequency.  Working in a yarn shop while pregnant has opened the floodgates on people asking the 3 Big questions: When are you due? Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl? Have you chosen a name? Every day I field these questions and what I have to assume are the well-intentioned comments that follow.  I’m excited and grateful to be pregnant, but after a while, this routine started to wear me down.  

Most people don’t seem to know or remember what a pregnant woman looks like at each stage. Add to that the fact that every woman’s body is different (we know that, right?) and adjusts to pregnancy in its own way, and there is absolutely to reason to make comments on appearance or comparisons to someone else’s pregnancy.

So, here’s the thing.

My body is doing this incredible thing we haven’t always been sure it could do.  It is creating and sustaining life, growing and changing just as it should.  Sure, my ass, belly, and breasts are bigger!  And sometimes I’m uncomfortable and not enjoying every minute of being pregnant. But that’s normal.

All of this is to say that I know you mean well. You’re trying to make conversation and show me that you’re interested and happy for me.  But I think there’s a better way.

Instead of remarking on a pregnant woman’s size, take a moment to share in the awe and the beauty of what her body is creating.  Say something that acknowledges what she’s going through while also complimenting her beauty and strength.

Next time you’re visiting with a pregnant woman, try one of these instead and see what happens!

5 things every pregnant woman would love to hear:

  1. Wow, you look fantastic!
  2. I’m so happy for you. Congratulations!
  3. Your body is doing amazing things.
  4. How are you feeling?
  5. You seem radiantly happy.

Any of these would put a smile on my face and start a more meaningful conversation.  

I am carrying a healthy baby in my glorious, round body.  When you think about it, pregnancy is pretty darn amazing.  We should all stop and revel in that, if just for a moment.

Yarn Along :: Kid Reads

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I’m still working away faithfully on my blue Cassis cardigan.  I’m pleased to say that I am now on the second sleeve so, with a couple more good knitting sessions, it should be off the needles this week!

That sweater is big and heavy now, so I cast on a little pixie cap for a friend having a baby this winter.  It’s much more portable and I’ve been able to knit it up quickly rows at a time. All that’s left is knitting the strap and choosing a charming button. Nothing like an instant gratification project when you’re slogging away on a bigger project!

Much like the big blue sweater, I am still working my way through Tell the Wolves I’m Home.  It’s such a great story told from the perspective of a young teen girl, although it’s definitely not YA material.  I’m enjoying the challenging questions and complicated relationships within the story as well.

G and I have been reading chapter books for about a year now.  Reading out loud together while snuggled up in bed has become a favorite part of my day.  We’ve worked our way through some childhood favorites, and have now found our way to Little House in the Big Woods.  She thinks it’s hilarious, what with the inflated pig bladder as a ball and the corncob wrapped in cloth for a doll.  I think it’s a good opportunity to talk about gratitude and being thankful for all that we have (including indoor plumbing and refrigerators).  I skip over the many parts where there’s an animal being butchered or hunted. We’re just not there yet.

There have also been a lot of graphic novels and comic books in our house these past months.  This is more the other mother’s territory, but I have found myself enjoying this Mouse Guard book.  It is beautifully illustrated, with quite the adventure set in a mysterious and often dangerous animal world.  There is some violence, which can be hard to skip over because of the pictures.  But it brings up good questions, and I enjoy talking through these things with the G.

Knitting: Vintage Pixie Cap from the book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies in Acadia by The Fibre Co. (Ravelry notes here)

Reading: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Mouse Guard Fall 1152 by David Petersen

What’s on your needles and on your nightstand this week?

Sorting the baby knits

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We were very fortunate to receive a bundle of handmade items for G when she was a baby. Hand-knit sweaters and booties; quilts and crochet blankets; hand-sewn gowns, jammies, and dresses; handmade toys.  Add to that this pile of things I knit while pregnant, and we had a lot of things made with love for our baby. It was a warm reception for a much-anticipated child, and we treasured each piece.  And, 5 years later, I still have them all.

I’ve been sorting through these and other baby items, remembering those sweet and sleepy early days.  I remember bringing her home in that yellow hat. I remember G fitting into this teensy newborn sweater. I remember her curled up in that blanket.   Precious memories, to be sure.

Now that we know we’re having a boy, I’m faced with the somewhat difficult task of sorting through the so-called gender appropriate clothing and making choices. Choices about what to use again, what to save, and what to pass along to another family.  The hand-knits and clothing sewn by Nana are particularly hard to make decisions around!

What do you do with these special things after your babes have outgrown them?

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Sometimes I can hardly believe these big kid feet fit into those wee booties. Sniff sniff.

W is for Warm, Wooly Wurm

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Sometimes I knit because I’m captivated by the construction or techniques used in a pattern. Or because I feel I need to learn something new to stretch my skills a bit.  But mostly I knit because I’ve fallen for a yarn or I’m smitten with a pattern.  It’s doubly wonderful when I’m really excited about the yarn and pattern being a serendipitous combination.

(This is all aside from the real reason I knit: so I don’t go completely nuts. Because I have to make things. Because I love color and texture.  But you knew this, right?)

This hat is one of the projects I cast on to take on our most recent trip.  I’ve had this yarn in my stash for a couple of years, and was waiting to come across a pattern that was just right. Every now and then I’d do a search on Ravelry, but nothing seemed quite right.

Then, in a middle of the night bout with insomnia just before our trip, I decided simple was best. Sometimes the challenge is to find an understated pattern that will let the yarn be the star.  I have to say that the Wurm hat really shows off a special yarn well.

Silly me, I thought I would finish this hat on the plane ride to Hawaii. While it is a fairly simple hat, the yarn is a sport weight knit on smaller needles than I’m used to for hats. The cushy, warm turned hem is lovely, but picking up those stitches on the airplane was a feat, for sure!

There was even a point where I thought about ripping this hat out entirely, as it wasn’t going to use a good amount of the second skein of yarn.  I’m the type of knitter who likes to use up all the good stuff, or as close to it as possible.  There’s no sense in having a golf-ball size of yarn around, unless you want to save it for repairs or stripes or scrappy projects later.  And I have plenty of leftovers, don’t get me wrong!

Anyway… I decided I had enough time and yarn invested in this hat that I wanted to see it through.  And on a cold, drizzly day like today, I’m oh so happy that I did. It’s warm yet lightweight, slouchy and cozy without being sloppy, and those colors? Well, they’re soft and pretty much perfect together.

Are you saving a special skein for just the right project? How do you feel about leftovers?

Yarn Along: 2 books + 2 wips

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Last week was a week of finishing.  I finished two projects. I finished one book.  It felt really good.

It took me a couple of days to find the right book(s) to sink my reading teeth into next.  Good thing I have a book-buying habit; I perpetually have at least half a dozen books waiting for me to pick them up.  At first I started rereading Baby Catcher, a memoir by a modern midwife. I read it when I was pregnant with G and remember really liking its positive approach to birth.  I’m a bit tired of the technical and often fear-based pregnancy and birth books, so I felt ready for some interesting narratives about births.

Then I also had to start some fiction to go along when things got to real for me.  I picked up Tell the Wolves I’m Home on my last book-buying binge at Powell’s, and I’m proud to say I’ve read all the other books I purchased that day! (the receipt was tucked away inside this one; always a fun reminder).  I’m only about 50 pages in, but I can tell you I’m already hooked on the young female protagonist and her journey dealing with the death of her beloved uncle from AIDS.  It’s set in the 80s, so you can imagine the complexity of the situation.

And on the needles, I’m still working on my Cassis by Thea Coleman.  This is one I started back in April, then set aside in favor of morning sickness and lack of knitting mojo.  I’ve been working on it in between other small projects, so it’s seen slow progress.  Over the last few weeks, the body has grown, and I only have a few inches left before that’s done.  Then it’s on to everyone’s favorite: sleeves!

And because I finished two projects and felt like I should have something smaller and more portable than a sweater on the needles, I cast on Henrietta.  This yarn from The Fibre Co. is incredible, and I haven’t been able to stop petting it since it came into the shop.

So, what’s on your needles and on your nightstand this week?