Abby and her Quilt Updates

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Weight: 2 pounds, 7 ounces

Today we said goodbye to my parents who have been helping us out since Saturday. Their visit allowed us to formulate a rough idea of what the coming weeks will look like, rest and recover as they chased around Lydia, and spend time alone with Abigail. They also helped out with cooking, cleaning and laundry. I don’t know what we would have done without them!

Abigail is continuing to do well. Within the past couple of days, she has begun to digest her milk! She is breathing very well on a high flow nasal canula, although she doesn’t like it and often gets caught trying to pull it out, and her feeding tube as well. Until today, Abby was kept in an isolette with humidity, to protect her skin. Today, our nurse informed us that her skin looks great (and has since birth) and they turned off the humidity. The only slightly unhappy news is that Abby was back on the bilirubin light, although we were warned that she would be. Her levels have climbed over the past day and she still has bruises from the labor and delivery. Both the bilirubin and bruises will go away as her liver continues to do its job.

Dan and I are pretty worn out from all the running around. My parents helped us make a massive grocery trip, stocking up on nonperishables for the next month so we won’t have to go out again. Today was also nonstop as Dan and I signed our lease for the apartment we are scheduled to move into this Friday. However, I have been able to hold Abby on three different days and Dan has gotten to hold her once. Those times are very special, although a little scary as she is so tiny and is connected to so many wires.

Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-My parents visit and all of their help
-A plan that is starting to come together
-Special times alone with Abigail
-Abby’s improved digestion and that she’s off humidity

Please Pray:
-that Abby will gain weight
-that her bilirubin levels would drop as her liver improves
-for continued healing for me as we are often on the go
-that Abby’s ultrasound tomorrow would show no bleeding in her brain

The rest of this post is actually a post I wrote the day before Abby was born, intending to post on September 11, which turned out to be her birth day. Rather than take the time to change it, I am posting it as written, even though Abby is obviously here now. (Time is a scarce resource around here these days)

Thanks to all who gave feedback on my quilt color dilemma a couple of weeks ago! I so appreciated all of your creative and girly ideas. Now it would only be fair for me to share my revisions and update you all on the quilt’s status. As a refresher, this was my initial design:

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But it was too green and not very girly. I had played around with the colors but was just stuck. My Mom and sister, Christina, sent me these color revision ideas:

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And many others made suggestions as well: make the sheep pink, lighten up the colors, use patterned fabric for the hills…I liked a lot of the ideas, but couldn’t incorporate them all. Here are some of the ideas that I had to give up on:

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1. I actually had this idea from the start, to put Baby’s name right there on the quilt. However, I also thought that maybe Baby would want to use this for her own kids someday (one could only hope), and so I decided to leave her name off of it just in case.

2. I think the quilt could have looked really cool with some patterned fabrics. However, I am new to this whole quilting thing and not extremely artsy myself. Just walking through the aisles of fabrics at the store was overwhelming. On top of that, I think it would have taken me ages to find fabrics that all went well together and I had an impatient toddler and eager-to-leave husband wandering around the store while I made my decisions. In the end, it took long enough just to find solid fabrics that went well together!

3. I think this picture with the bow on the lamb’s ear is very cute, and meets that girly need. But, what I don’t have shown in the picture, is that the sheep and sun are going to have “rag quilt” seams. I’m already nervous about sewing some curves and a friend a church suggested using the frilly external seam to make these curves less bothersome. So, the sheep and sun will have different textures and 3-D-ness already, and I didn’t think I could fit a bow in on top of that without things getting too busy.

4. I love the way this ruffle edge looks on the quilt, and I may still end up using it. However, with all of the embroidery, hand-quilting and stitching, and curves to navigate, I think this project is going to take me ages as is. So, while I may change my mind, for now I’m going to stick to the traditional binding.

So what am I going to do?

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1. First I took the collective advice to lighten up the greens. I’m actually not a fan of pastel colors, and was hoping to keep the blanket bright. However, I realized it didn’t take much adjusting to make the greens look more girly and to make them more compatible with other girly colors.

2. The second thing I did, that made a huge difference, was take out the orange and lighten up the sun. The orange was clashing with almost everything I had tried.

3. Next, I lightened up the black on the sheep to a grey. I had never thought to do this and it also made a big difference. I decided to play around with the colors on the border a little more as well.

4. Once I picked out new colors for the quilt borders, I added in some embroidered flowers using the same colors. This brought the pinks from the border into the quilt and seemed to tie things together.

So, here is:

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On the left you see the original design. On the right is the new and improved color-scheme. (The flowers on the real quilt will not look like a four year old drew them) The writing around the border will match the darker pink, and the writing on the hill will remain a dark green.

After I came up with a design that Dan and I both liked, we took a trip to Jo Ann’s and bought some of the first supplies. However, I realized, in the process, that it’s not always so simple to match fabric colors that are available in the store with a picture on a computer! So, I did my best, wrote down the fabrics I liked, but only bought the light pink and embroidery materials. I know embroidering that passage is going to take a very long time, so I’m going to wait before buying everything else. Only time will tell how the quilt will turn out in the end, but I’ll keep you updated as I make progress.

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AND to go along with an update on the quilt, I thought I might give a Baby update as well. I am now just past 28 weeks!  Reaching 28 weeks is a big deal because 90-95% of babies born after 28 weeks survive. However, a recent prenatal appointment gave us a heads up that Baby just might want to come early after all. So we’re taking extra precautions, making preparations for Baby to come early, and I’m handing over my “standing” responsibilities to Dan and Lydia while I keep off my feet as much as possible. It makes things a bit more chaotic than they were before, but we’re adjusting ok. Dan’s already taking over so much (laundry, dishes, cooking, Lydia’s baths, cleaning…) so I was mentally preparing myself for a slightly messier house, toys always all over the living room, and an unmade bed each day. It was to my own pleasant surprise Monday morning when I walked into our bedroom after Dan left for work and the bed was made. It’s the little things.

4 thoughts on “Abby and her Quilt Updates

  1. So love your blogs, Justine. And the quilt is going to be a treasure. The more you do it, the easier it gets (this from a x-stitcher, NOT a quilter!!!). Thanks for the specific praise and prayer requests. Love you all so much.

  2. Hi. You don’t know me and I don’t even think that I read your name…It’s probably there, but this is my very first time on wordpress. Abigail is beautiful! I am so glad that she is starting to digest her milk. That was a huge day for us. Our daughter, Gabriella, was also born early at 27 1/2 weeks weighing in at an impressive 1 lb 5 oz. She’s 14 now. She is almost a straight A student (darn Spanish quiz) and all of her A’s are actually A+’s.

    Gabriella received lots of help during her first few years of life- a teacher in our house 2 days a week, a teacher’s aid 2 days as well. OT weekly, Speech therapy to first work with her swallowing and oral adversions (she was on the vent for 28 days and didn’t nipple feed until she was 1 1/2 months old) and later speech. She had a nurse who came to the house monthly to measure her head (what a waste of time and money) and PT every other week. She also attended our NICU’s high risk clinic. She later started OT for sensory integration issues. She is very beautiful now. She doesn’t have that preemie look that so many of the older preemies have. She volunteers with our NICU Family Support Group, is running for class secretary, and is very uncoordinated. They say she gets that from her Nanny (grandmother).

    I wish you and your family the strength to see that you can get through this difficult time even stronger than before. You will get through this time and look back on it with a sense of love, not only for Abigail, but for the Doctors and Nurses who cared for her during her hospital stay with such kindness.

  3. Pingback: Snowy Day Projects | MI Taylor Family

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