Two Years of Co-sleeping

Don’t you love the way your little ones look when they are sleeping? I sure do. The calm sweetness radiating from them while they are asleep. And I love the way it feels when she’s right there, next to me. The whole night.

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I admit, I never thought I would become such a fan of co-sleeping. I never even really thought about it, before she came along. Of course, I knew I would let my children come into our bed when they would want to. I know I (and my siblings) used to go into my parent’s bed when I was little and had bad dreams or wanted to cuddle. That’s also why I came up with the idea of building our own bed that would be biiig- going from one wall to the other, so there would be enough room for children in there. But I never thought of having my baby there with me all the time. It just didn’t really occur to me. I guess I never even really thought about it. It’s such a common thing here in the west, that the baby is supposed to have its own bed, that it just didn’t come up in my head before that it could be otherwise. So we even had a crib prepared for Liv at home. It should have come into our room. Somewhere. Not that there’s much room left in our bedroom since the bed takes up most of the bedroom. But of course she should have been there in our room. In her crib. We just never got to put it together. :-)

It all started yesterday, two years ago.

But let’s go from the beginning.

After two days of labour, she finally came to see the world at 23:19 two days and two years ago. I was so exhausted by the time she was born, the doctor even had to ask me if I wanted to open my eyes, to see my girl. She definitely looked at me, with her big blue eyes. They left her with me for two hours while I was still in the birthing room, then they took her away for the night, so I could get some sleep. I was glad, to be honest. I really was tired. A few hours later, at about 6 in the morning, they brought her back to my room. I wanted to cuddle with her, have her in my arms, so I took her to my bed. And there it was. It just happened. She stayed there ever since. The baby bed in the hospital was right next to my bed and was the barrier so she wouldn’t fall down. But I put her in there only if I had to go away for a while. Otherwise she was in my bed with me all the time, even during the nights.

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When we came back home, she went straight into our bed with me. I couldn’t think of her being in another bed. Though, admittedly, this tiny creature seemed a bit more lost in our big bed. But it was great. It is great. I converted to co-sleeping ever since. Though, it was only after we got home that I even heard the term “co-sleeping” for the first time and found out that there’s quite a discussion going on about it in the world.

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Of course, everybody has to find their own ways that suit them and their family. This worked for us. For me definitely. It helped me (and helps me still) be more rested, since I didn’t have to get up to feed Liv during nights. In fact, I pretty much slept through most of her night-feedings.

It helped me be more calm about her. Less worried about SIDS and her stopping breathing and such. Whenever I would wake up in the night and feel worried, I could touch her, see and feel that she’s alright.

Also I definitely think that if something would have happened, I probably would have woken up soon after. It still happens that I wake up in the night moments before Liv even cries or asks for milk. (Yes, in case you wonder, she’s 2 and still breastfeeds, even during nights.)
So we got through the first few months without having to use breath-monitors that peep even when the baby is breathing (that was my experience the 2 times I tried to use it before throwing it away).

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I don’t really want to get technical and go into all the details and advantages of co-sleeping here. Other people have gone written about probably every aspect there is to say about it, and have done it much better than I ever would. There are, for example, wonderful and very interesting studies you can read up on the topics, like from anthropologist James McKenna.

All I want to do in this post is share my experience. Why? Because I was watching my child sleep during the day today and took another photo of her in our bed and it made me reflect how it came to be that she’s there. That’s basically all there is to this post. :-)

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I heard con-arguments against co-sleeping, that there’s the risk of crushing your child. I always wondered about that one. Personally, I think it’s a stupid argument (to use nice words here). Unless you’re drinking or on drugs, I don’t think a mother’s instinct would let you. Even in sleep, you are pretty much very much aware of the little creature beside you.

Also, since our bed is big enough, Liv always had her “spot” in it. Basically it’s as if she had her own bed, only right next to me and I can scoot and be right next to her and vice versa. Ok, now we don’t have it so differentiated any more as it used to be in the beginning. She’s just there, next to me. Or on me, haha, like when she sleeps with her feet (or head or other parts of her body) put up on me.

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I guess she will be in our bed as long as it suits us all. I guess sooner or later she probably will ask herself to go into her own bed or something like that. Until then… I’ll enjoy her company, her smiles in the morning, her cuddles, the fact that she still wants me to be around.

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My sister enjoying morning cuddles with Liv when she stayed for night..

I have to enjoy it as long as she lets me, right?

When Time Stands Still…

We have been ill a lot this last month. One could say the whole month, though technically it was not, of course. We’ve been passing it on one to another back and forth. I would use a sports metaphor here, except i was never too much into sports, least of all those collective ball games, so my mind goes quite blank when i try think of one.
When I think back to this past month, it seems like a blur of sickness and tiredness. And it brought us some very unexpected bigger grief than we would have imagined from it.
All of this month it seemed to me almost as if time stood still. It definitely seems like it on my working-table, which still has the same fabrics, patterns and tools on it, almost frozen the same position as i left it the morning on the day when i suddenly fell ill.
Even nature seemed to be frozen on the verge of spring, as if unsure if it was yet time to bloom or not. As if waiting for something. Something to happen? Something to come? Something to be put at the altar of sacrifice first, before it could begin? Something has to die before another life can grow? Is this not the way of nature?

But yesterday i felt a change. A shift in the wind (to use an almost Tolkien-ish metaphor this time.. ha, something I’m more familiar with than sports). To the better i hope. To health. To life. I saw nature waking up after all. The first tree starting to bloom.
Spring is coming. This is always a happy time for me. Especially since the birth of my little Joy-giver. She is the life after the winter. The little bundle of joy that keeps me on my feet.

And time will start moving again.

The Matching Asymmetric Winter Coat for Mom

It seems I am late -again- to write about a winter coat on the brink of spring. I could argument, that it is not THAT thick and I can still wear it in early spring-time while it gets warmer. Truth is, though, that I still have to find a way how to keep my projects up to date with this blog. Or at least with seasons. Not such an easy task with little kids around and a pregnant photographer :-)

Nevertheless, I am very happy to be able to share… wait for it… The Asymmetric Winter Coat! For mom. Matching to the lovely Asymmetric (Fairy tale) Daughter’s Winter Coat (and its matching Doll version)..

Tadaaa.

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Yes, you are right, it is exactly the one, I had my meltdown over. It has taken me rather a long time to make. Well, to fit, to be exact. Ok, I admit, most of the time it’s been hanging on the sewing mannequin, waiting to get some attention. And every time I would take it down to get something done I just got rather frustrated about not being able to find a way to fit properly and it quickly found its way back to sitting up there.

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The thing was (if you haven’t read the meltdown post where I mentioned it a bit), I used a pattern that was too big for me. Ever since my pregnancy with Liv my body is stuck somewhere in between sizes. My breast grew quite a bit, my belly has (even 2 years after giving birth) still some jelly-belly as I like to call it (though, I admit, I have not been working too much to get rid of it), and I grew overall a little bit bigger. Everybody used to tell me all the extra weight would go away when I’ll be breastfeeding. Well. I am still breastfeeding and it has not gone away on itself.

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And now there’s the never-ending problem with sizes. I take measures. They show me I’m some size bigger. But then it’s actually too big on other parts, where I haven’t grown much bigger. I always try to adjust the pattern beforehand. But I don’t have my new body-form that well “in hand” so I don’t always get it quite at first try.

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Well, like with this coat. Of course, I made a beta-version out of some extra old stash fabric I had at home which I wouldn’t really want to use for anything anyway, so it was perfect to be the trial version for my coat. Or so it seemed. I adjusted some problems there, but overall it seemed like it would be OK. It was not a too soft fabric, but it turned out still softer than I should have used, because when I cut the pattern out of the thick curtain fabric it just didn’t fit as well. And the most annoying thing of all- it didn’t fit on the back! The one place where it’s the hardest to make adjustments when sewing on yourself!
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To cut the story short. After some unsuccessful attempts to adjust the back, I finally sat down with it (after winter was already midway over anyway) for about two or more evenings, I basically ripped the whole back up apart, ripped the sleeves off again, and little by little made adjustments, until it finally fitted! Or at least, well enough for what I could still do with a pattern that was not exactly best, and for which I still had nerves left. After all, I still wanted to have a chance to wear the matching coats with my daughter, while it still fits her, after I’ve designed it that way! Anyway, turns out a bigger pattern is not always easier to adjust than a slightly small pattern..

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What is done is done. And this is finally done.

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These winter coats have been pretty much an upcycling project, which was pretty exciting. If you haven’t read about it in the post about Liv’s coat, then I’ll tell you again. They have been made out of curtain fabric from IKEA. We have those petrol curtains in our bedroom, and when I was cutting quite a bit off from them (because our bed is right under the window), my initial thought was it would make a beautiful winter coat for Liv. And since there was still some fabric left, I made a matching one for me too. Yay.

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Originally I meant to make a hoodie for me too, but there wasn’t enough fabric for that. So I left that away. I actually like it this way probably better anyway.

There wasn’t enough fabric for my sleeves either. So I took advantage of some faux leather, which was in my stash of fabric at home anyway and made them out of it. I really love the biker-touch it adds to the whole coat!

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For interlining (the middle layer), I used some flanel fabric I also had at home. (The same one, I used for Liv’s coat too.) The only new thing about the coat is my lining (ok, and zipper), because I didn’t have (enough) any matching fabric to go for that at home. But since linings are cheap, the whole winter-coats-project was really cheap! Yay! If I don’t count those nerves I had about fitting the back.

Didn’t turn out too bad in the end, I think. Even the back. I definitely have to buy some more of the curtain fabric to make another matching coat for Liv next winter! I never thought it would be so fun to be going around in matching stuff with my daughter.

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