Tuesday, 19 December 2006

long time coming

The ever thoughtful Jane did a post a while back about gestation that I really loved. Perhaps in part it is because I am nearing the end of this second and momentous pregnancy that I am thinking so clearly in these terms, but Jane's post really chrystallised for me some of the stuff about process that offsets my usual focus on outcomes.

My life is full to the brim with projects not yet fully developed, teetering on the edge of life outside the womb. Sometimes they are flawed from the inception and you need to find a way to let them go with honour and reverence and acceptance, like we did last March when our second pregnancy ended in miscarriage.

And like real life and birth, you just can't hurry the gestation along or you end with the equivalent of my mother's first birthing experience - a premature induction that saw her spend 36 hours in stirrups. Ouch. Or a project doomed by the visitation of the mozz. It's not my forte to be patient, I tend to want to rush to outcomes, but I'm getting better at it as I get older.

But letting things take their time can be painful too, as anyone who has waited out an overdue baby can tell you. My little sewing space is so overcrowded with fabulous ideas that sometimes I can't even move, let alone find the space to create. There are days when in my haste I'll embark on something I know is bound for disaster, just to take it off the books and get it out of the way.

The whole thing is so much worse because, to be frank, I'm very good at conception. I'm a first time every time kind of girl. When it comes to sewing and craft I can spot materials with potential from a mile away - I can draw you a map of the fabric districts of several major cities right down to the placement of the serving counters in dozens of my favourite shops. I store patterns and books and projects by the hundred, I have sketch books and tools at the ready.

I'm not quite so good on the follow through. I'm not being self-depreciating here, I know I produce a fair volume of work and a good deal of it meets my standards, but believe me when I say it isn't close to the scale of projects lined up and waiting. It is very crowded in here let me tell. And as I get closer and closer to the arrival of this baby I am wresting a rather compelling desire to wipe the slate and make way in that birth canal.


When we were in Thailand one of the many projects I conceived was this muslin blanket. I kept spying these wonderful soft light cottons made from double layer muslin that I imagined in a very simple pojagi style patchwork as a little blanket for wrapping a summer baby or draping over the pusher to keep the sun off a sleeper. And although blue is not my favourite colour, these ones were all so Thai and well coordinated that I started to collect them.

So yesterday I finally got my shit together and put them all together for my about to arrive summer babe. While the gestation period for this project can be recorded as close to 18 months, it was a very quick and painless birth. I did traditional closed Pojagi seams, so there is no right or wrong side and bound the entire blanket with straight cut binding made from another piece of two layer muslin. It has that slightly wonky home made look I always get when I work with muslin, but I'm very pleased. I suspect it will wear out before it loses it's charm, but I'm OK with that too.

12 comments:

crumpet said...

This is such a beautiful post -- it really hit home for me. Thank you.

ljmax said...

Oooo...I really, really love the blanket and your new blog template looks good too!

Janet said...

Love the wrap! well done for getting it done. Perfect for a summer baby. I know what it's like to have a zillion projects in one's head... most of mine tend to stay there. I call it my inner craft life.

shula said...

It's absolutely beautiful.

craftydabbler said...

Thank you for sharing the post about your miscarriage. A very good friend of mine went through two miscarriages and then a stillbirth almost two months ago. She lost her baby at 28 weeks. I was with her when she gave birth to him. It was an honor to be able to help her during labor, but I think it was even better afterwards for her to have someone to talk to about the baby, someone who saw him and saw what she went through.

If any of you ever finds yourself in this awful position, having a friend or a doula present can be so helpful. I'm going to get up on my soapbox a bit. Doulas are not just for homebirths or happy outcomes. Doulas are there for the mother, that is the doulas job, to provide physical and emotional support during birth and the post partum period.

I have rather strong feelings about it. No one should suffer alone.

Kay said...

Oh my, yes, the waiting can be hard! Patience, my foot. I've had two children, and I think that an obstetrician or midwife should say something like, "Your baby is due sometime between July 14 and September 2." That way you don't feel outraged when you go past your due date (as I did, twice!) -- "It's TIME! I want my baby NOW!" Those babies are all going to come in their own time anyway, aren't they?

Kelli said...

It is so nice when we surprise ourselves by changing our behaviors. I too am not so good on the follow through aspect. I think I need to get a sketchbook. That would help organize all of those thoughts/plans/scraps laying around...
I am wishing the best for you and your family this holiday season Sooz!
:)

kt said...

The blanket looks so cuddly! Just the ticket.

Thanks for the encouragement about beta...maybe I'll take the plunge for New Year's!

Happy Christmas!

Kate said...

Thanks for linking to your old post. I hope it wasn't too painful for you to revisit, or to have us commenting on it again. I have yet to face the challenges of even planning motherhood, but it still found its mark.

My grandmother's 4th baby was stillborn. While this is common knowledge in the family, she doesn't talk about it much. Sometimes when we've all had a few champagnes she'll tell us how she gave birth to it (i don't know boy or girl) 'in a pot' and then it was taken away and she never saw it.

She never says more than that, but you can tell it still hurts her all these years later, and that no matter how much she loves the family she has - six children and numerous grandchildren - she still feels the pain of that birth. I hope I never have to go through something like that, I wish that no one ever had to. But I wanted to say 'thankyou' for speaking up because, like you, I think that it's important for us (as women and as people) to give voices to our experiences. Worse than a nightmare experience is the isolation that often goes with it. Thankyou for sharing the realities of life with us, as well as the wonderful surface things.

VictoriaE said...

I love that baby wrap. Don't you just love watching people with their little kids in Thailand, I mean the ones who are happy and relaxed, babies swinging in tiny hammocks, I do.

craftydabbler said...

I just wanted to pop by and wish you a Merry Christmas!

sueeeus said...

Sigh. I wish that I'd seen your m/c post earlier. Even though it's not the first time for me, it still would have helped to know more about what to expect and what others go through. I'm glad that all is well with you now, and how exciting and wonderful it is that you are about to have another child! Best wishes to you. The blanket is very sweet.