So I went back and re-read my original post and while what I said there about the topics this blog will cover still stands, I would like to add something to the “why I started a blog in the first place” category. After re-reading that I got to thinking and if I want this blog to help even just one person I need to be totally brutally honest about why I’m here in the first place. I mean, if I just wanted to shout into the void I could easily journal-and I do. (And if you want to make a journal similar to the one pictured above stay tuned and I’ll do a tutorial in the near future). But I have a purpose for shouting into the void known as the internet: accountability.
Here’s the deal: my life has not been perfect, or easy, or simple. A good percentage of my quarter century on this earth has been consumed by grief, stress, sadness, and complications. Things always seem to work out for me in the end, I’m not really sure why, but things often seem to take the long, bumpy, stressful, crazy road to working out. And in the past my methods of dealing with grief, stress, sadness, and mess haven’t exactly been the most healthy for me. I’ve chronically over-eaten for most of my life, was a heavy drinker as a teenager, actively injured myself (yes on purpose), and as an adult struggled with serious crazy over spending.
But this time has to be different. This time I can’t half a chocolate cake for dinner every night, or drink like I don’t care about my liver (or if I wake up), or hurt myself. This time I can’t go out and just buy things for the sake of buying things. To be honest my husband and I have too many things as we stand now. Every day I put more things up for sale on the internet in hopes of simplifying my life some. This time I have to face grief, and sorrow, and stress head on and not crumble under the strain. And so that is where the blog comes in. Of my various means of dealing with stress in the past, over-eating and over-spending are the two I still struggle with to this day. And those are the two things I hope this blog will distract me from doing. I’m hoping that by being accountable to my readers (however few they may be) I will be able to come through my grief without racking up the biggest credit card bill ever. In fact, I’ve even been applying for jobs around my town to help keep me busy. My thought was that if I had a job to go to every day, even if just for a couple of hours, that would be a couple of hours I’m not at home stuffing my face and thinking up things I “need” (like the treadle sewing machine I got my heart set on yesterday…).
So there’s your dose of honesty for today. Hope it wasn’t too shocking. :p
When I first came home from the hospital I couldn’t do much without help. And I got tired really easily. The pain medicine I was on didn’t help much either, it made me so dizzy and out of it I could hardly focus on a movie, let alone do sewing projects like I wanted to. But I still needed something to keep my hands somewhat busy, so I decided to pull out some crocheting to do.
I have an inordinate amount of yarn just lying around and I wanted a project that I could finish quickly and easily that didn’t need a lot of keeping track of what stitch I was on in the pattern (grief seems to completely destroy your attention span). And while looking for something easy like that to work on, it hit me: I should make baby hats! When the nurse brought Enoch to my room after my c-section she had him all wrapped up in a tiny blanket and under that he was wearing tiny clothes. It didn’t matter that he was 4 months early and was 10 inches long and weighed no more than 15 ounces, she had somehow found him clothes. Mind you they were nothing fancy, but the gesture touched my heart deeply. She knew that he was a person, and that he mattered, and that people wear clothes (they even let us keep the little outfit). The clothes in question were a tiny hat and something akin to an oversized sock that I refer to as a “preemie sleeping bag”. They were knitted in matching yarn, and had been donated by a local woman for use in situations like mine. And so in thinking about how touched I was to have my son brought to me in clothes I set about to make hats and preemie sleeping bags to donate to the local hospital.
I ended up finding a pattern in crochet that was perfect, and you can get it for free from here: baby hats. The pattern can be easily scaled up or down based on gauge, weight of yarn, or size desired, by doing little more than adding or subtracting the number of increase rows you crochet and using an appropriate size hook for the yarn you have available to you. And if you want to make a preemie sleeping bag, all you have to do is make it slightly wider than your average hat (add an extra increase row or two) and keep adding rows until it’s the length you need. I make mine about 12 inches long-I figure they can fold over any extra at the top if needed.
Last week I brought a gallon size ziplock bag of them (probably about 2 dozen hats) to the maternity ward where Enoch was born. They really appreciated it, and they hardly recognized me: they said I was looking a lot better and healthier. It was really good to do something nice for others and the repetition of doing the same crochet stitch over and over again was very therapeutic!
P.S. Here are a couple pictures of hat number 27-ish (honestly I’ve stopped counting). For this particular hat I used a skein of Bernat Softee Baby in the color “Pyjama Party” and I used a US size G crochet hook because this yarn is a #3 “light” weight yarn.
“Enoch’s Mom: A journey of healing through crafts, cooking, and love.”
So after reading that you might be wondering what this blog is really about.
Healing? (…from what you wonder.)
Well to be totally honest, I’m not sure I’m entirely satisfied with that tagline for this blog. I’m not sure it really encompasses the full scope of what I’m trying to accomplish with blogging. So instead of trying to rely on a one-liner to explain myself I’m going to write my first post about it and hopefully lay out the direction this blog is going to be headed also.
In January of this year (2015) I gave birth to my first born child-a son. Unfortunately for my husband and I our son was stillborn 4 months to the day too early in a bout of extreme pre-eclampsia that almost killed me. We named our son Enoch, a name I love and cherish as much as the biblical story behind it. As I began to heal from the emergency c-section my doctor used to deliver Enoch, I found that aside from the love and tenderness my husband and I share for each other, one thing that kept me from falling apart into a blithering ball of tears every day was crafting. I’ve always been a crafter, but after Enoch died I found that my crafting had also morphed into a kind of therapy. I found solace in the repetition of a crochet stitch, or hand quilting the small quilt I had begun for him while I was pregnant, or stitching a small cross stitch project. (All projects I’ll discuss further in their own posts.) I also found it to be healing to focus on my health through food: eating healthier and getting more vitamins were two biggies especially. In short it’s been crafting, cooking, and love that have, and continue to, help me through this hard time in my life. And that’s what this blog will be about: crafting, cooking, vitamins, good books I read, whatever helps me feel less crazy. And maybe, just maybe, this blog will become one of the things that helps me heal too, maybe it will even help someone else through a rough patch. But we’ll have to wait and see about that. Until then, I hope you like quilting and cookies.
Lizz (Enoch’s Mom)
P.S. Since I understand how crazy busy life is and how hard it can be to carve out time to do anything, (let alone read blogs on the internet) I’m going to try to keep my posts to under 500 words. You’re welcome. 🙂
P.P.S. Here is a picture of me, you know, so you have a face to the name.