Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free Fitted Crib Sheet Pattern - How To Make It Fit Your Crib Mattress


The crib sheets I make fit the "standard" crib mattress here in Canada. But you could make the sheets custom fit for your mattress.


I just measured Wyatt's mattress and it is 27.5 x 52.5 inches. It is 5.5 inches in height. Remember, the height is KEY in getting the snug fit. My key in this case was 8.75 inches... here is the math:


8.75 - 5.5 = 3.25 the material UNDER THE MATTRESS. Gotta stay put somehow!

3.25 - 0.75(seam allowance) = 2.5 inches ... The actual fabric on the underside of mattress.


Here is how I figured out how much pre-washed and shrunk fabric I needed for the overall sizing:


27.5 + 8.75 + 8.75 = 45 inches

52.5 + 8.75 + 8.75 = 70 inches


So the formula for you is:


(mattress height)+(how much fabric you want under mattress so it stays put)+(your seam allowance)= Squares at corner you cut.


Then:


(Your mattress width on top)+ "the square" = the width of fabric AFTER IT WAS WASHED AND DRIED.


(Your mattress length on top)+"the square" = the length of fabric AFTER IT WAS WASHED AND DRIED.


And that's your crib sheet!


Happy sewing!


Momma Melissa

Monday, June 22, 2009

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding. It's a personal choice but is also about how easy you can get the hang of it.

Funny how some babies do it so naturally and some do not. My Tressa was definitely in the "do not" category. We literally wrestled with breastfeeding for about 3 months before she and I got the hang of it. And when we did, it was wonderful! Very convenient and comforting for us. We still had our ups and downs but we hung in for one year. Lila was born without knowing how to suck her thumb. We were in the NICU for about a week while we learned to first "finger feed" then suck on a bottle, then breastfeed. Lila, like Tressa, was ravenous all the time but we had very little problems breastfeeding when we came home expect for having to breastfeed all the time. We were able to hang in there for a year as well.

And Wyatt, my poor little guy, he did not get that chance to learn at the breast. As you know, he could not even be touched at the beginning. Paralyzed, the only way he could eat was by receiving total parenteral nutrition or TPN through a central intravenous catheter in his umbilical vein. The goal was to get him off it as fast as possible so not to harm his liver. But is liver became enlarged, his bilirubin went sky high and jaundice set in. Yuck.

Eventually, Wyatt was able to drink my breast milk through a feeding tube. That took some getting use to! I had to pump and store it in a fridge right in the NICU because Wyatt was on a constant feeding program as part of his treatment. And my little guy had a real problem with reflux. He was affectionately called the "Prince of Puke" and the "Regent of Regurgitation." Once he was awake and off the breathing tubes, I could hold him and hold the tube to control the flow of milk by raising and lowering the tube. If the milk went in too fast, Wyatt would spew. Fun times, let me tell you!

I wasn't comfortable with tube feeding. I was warned that there was a huge possibility Wyatt and I would be tube feeding at home. Dr. S. and Dr. B respected my desire to attempt train him to breastfeed in the NICU while they were trying to get everything else that was going on with him under control. His brain scan had come back really bad and they weren't even sure if Wyatt had the brain capacity to suck on a soother. Despite these grim warnings, I could feel it inside me that Wyatt could do it. So, Wyatt and I worked really hard at learning how to suck on a soother. This picture breaks my heart; look how tired and sick he is here.

Wyatt needed to grow. Nutrition was the key and there could be no error in his receiving it. Unfortunately, no one told Wyatt or he was simply not listening. Wyatt's favorite game was pull the feeding tube out of his nose while the feeding pump was on and spray milk all over his crib. He could do it within seconds and always when Mommy or the nurses were distracted for a moment. These tubes were meant to stay in for a few weeks and were expensive. At first, the tube was taped on with cute surgical tape hearts. Latter, the nurses still gave him hearts, but there was more strips than hearts stuck to his face. After he was up to pulling it out 2 to 3 times a day, they started to put the daily disposable ones in. They don't cost as much.

From soother, to finger feeding, to bottle and finally to breast, Wyatt learned to eat and was able to come home. He had some very strange quirks though. He could not eat for more than 5 minutes for the first several months home. In fact, most times it was 30 t0 40 seconds before he was exhausted and needed a break. You can imaging how long our feedings would last. He also did not exhibit signs of being hungry. (Dr. B. thought that might be due to his brain being damaged in that area that controls that function, but I can happily say Wyatt now howls when he wants his food!) And to top it off, Wyatt did not want to be touched when eating. Football hold, cross-cradle, cradle, lying down, and the tailor positions? Forget about it! Very quickly we learned a variation of lying down with only my nipple in contact with him. Me with whiplash, bad back, and nerve damage. You can imagine how fun that was! After we were in and out of the hospital with feeding and not gaining weight issues, we eventually got the hang of it once we added "dancer hand" into the mix. Thank goodness for the lactation nurses and consultants in the Mother Baby Clinic at the D.E.C.H.!
Now that Wyatt is a year old I feel like patting myself and him on the back. Breastfeeding a child with challenges is VERY hard but definitely worth it. Breast milk is best milk but I don't knock a mother's choice for using formula. I had to "top up" Wyatt with a higher calorie formula to help ensure he would grow. We parents need to do whatever we need to do for our little ones!
So the question now is for how long should we breast feed?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Amazing!

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I'm so chuffed up with pride! You know his physio therapy people are going to be thrilled. Wait till Dr. S., Dr. B, the NICU nurses, Nancy, Peggy and the rest of the gang see this. Go Team Wyatt!!! LOL

Wyatt Showing Off His New Truck

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Boys and their toys!

Wyatt Playing "Where's My Baby"

video

Here is Wyatt playing a variation of "peek-a-boo" with me behind the curtain. My silly little monkey! He is doing great at walking around while holding onto furniture, windows and walls for stability. What do you think of his funky version of a crawl? We are trying to get him to put that knee down because it will help with his walking later. But as you can see, Wyatt is stubborn!

Oh, and please excuse the piles of kid toys and such in the background. Mommy was concentrating on having fun today. Funny how chores always wait for us?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Update on Wyatt's Bloodclot



Let's celebrate!

At the last meeting, the IWK heart specialist basically told me that he and the clot team at the IWK feel Wyatt's clot is probably scar tissue. It is still there, and it is approximately 5mm x 5mm. Huge for such a little heart. But if it is scar tissue, it shouldn't break and move. Probably? Shouldn't? As the specialist said, he doesn't have a crystal ball. But these people know their stuff so I will take it for what it is. Good news! And about flipping time too. YAY!!

The electrical workings of his heart is still another matter, but the specialist said the test he conducted was favorable. Len and I both need to have our hearts tested to see if it is more of a genetic thing. So basically, Wyatt is still on the list for the IWK heart clinics but he is not a serious case. Very blessed news!

Sorry for not posting sooner, by the way. I'm having serious issues with carpal tunnel syndrome and radiate pain. Unable to type for a long while. But Wyatt and I thank you, thank you, thank you for all the kind words and prayers.