Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What's In A Gluten Free Mom's Hospital Bag

Seven years between pregnancies means that I don't remember much from my first pregnancy and preparing for a baby.

There are some things that are instinctual (i.e. Babies need diapers), but then there are other things I have forgotten (I.e. What will I need at the hospital?).

What I have on my list/in my bag so far:

Pyjamas - loose comfortable, button up front pyjamas. I know they have gowns, but I also remember that the gowns weren't as comfortable as my pj's and a button front would have been helpful for breastfeeding.  On second thought, pj bottoms will be a hassle (especially after a c-section), so a nightgown that allows for easy access for breastfeeding and for those many Doctor/nurse assessments would be better.

Extra Underwear - Honestly, I don't remember how many pairs I packed or went through last time. I keep reading in posts about the hospital providing disposable underwear, but I don't remember this.  I also cringe at the word disposable, so 4 or 5 loose fitting underwear that I don't mind getting stained have made their way into my bag.

Heavy Flow Pads - Yep, for that lovely post partum bleeding.  I'm a Diva Cup kinda girl, but after giving birth tampons and Diva Cups are a no-no as I recall. To be honest, I sewed up some pretty awesome reusable post partum pads but have chosen to start using them when I get home so that I don't have to worry about laundry right away.

Nursing Pads - Not sure if there will be much leakage in those first few days, but I might as well be prepared.  Again, I have reusable ones and will forgo the disposables altogether. 

Warm socks - hospitals can be cool, and I get cold feet...so again, I'm prepared.

Comfortable Shoes - 7 years may have passed between the birth of my children, but that isn't enough time for me to forget about how swollen my feet were...and how difficult it was to squeeze my Sasquatch feet into my shoes in order to get to the car.

Shower Shoes - If I'm allowed to have a shower I will jump at the opportunity - but not without something on my feet.  (I'm a bit of a germ a phobe).  I love love love my crocs, so these double as my loose fitting footwear and my shower shoes, helping me to pack a little lighter.

Toothbrush and Toiletries - this is a given. Who doesn't need to clean themselves up a bit after their super human efforts of delivering a child into the world? Again, to pack a little lighter, I have my shampoo bar that doubles as a face and body cleanser.

Nursing Pillow - I had this packed...but then I decided to avoid the hassle. The hospital is well stocked with pillows so that's my plan.

A bag for baby - with an outfit to go home in (a few sizes b/c who knows how big or small this monkey will be), a blanket, hat, a few diapers....

Camera/Phone/iPad - no explanation necessary, right?

The car seat!- It's installed and ready to go, because I fully expect that when we leave the hospital we will be sleep deprived already and installing the car seat takes a few more brain cells than we will have available to us at the time. Besides, who needs that extra hassle when you just want to get home with baby?

Gluten free snacks - Of course a Gluten Free Mom's Labour journey has to include gluten free provisions! I wasn't gluten free 7 years ago when I had Son #1 (although I should have been and didn't know it). I've been told that my hospital has GF meals...but really, it's hospital food and my expectations are low.  I have a stash of GF granola bars in my bag ready for this hungry momma, and I'm fully prepared to beg family and friends to bring me a decent GF meal.  

What am I missing?  It's been 7 years and my brains a little foggy these days, so really, tell me what I'm missing :). 

The count down is on though, and with 2 days left before I meet my heavy-weight babe...I'll figure out (the hard way) before long what's missing from my hospital bag.  Sounds like another blog post to me!

Friday, May 27, 2016

DIY IPad Tablet Cover

If you sew but don't have a dedicated sewing room, you might be able to relate to what I'm going through right now.  

I have had so many projects in mind to tackle....but since that requires my sewing machine to be hauled out of storage and set up, these projects have been stock piling. And now that I have the sewing machine out, I just can't seem to stop sewing.  Everything else seems to be on hold until I get a good chunk of these sewing projects out of the way.

Baby on the way also means that I know that this will be one of my last opportunities to work on my beloved SINGER for a few months at least.  

I have a mental checklist of items to sew.  The priority right now is baby/maternity items.  And while an IPad cover may not seem to fit into that category, it really does.  

You see, I use my iPad for everything...pictures, note taking, email...everything. I even have a handy dandy keyboard stand for it to make it a little more versatile (it's amazing). Planner that I am, I realize that a trip to the hospital to deliver baby must include my iPad.  Because it's rarely not in use, I never bought a cover for it.  With the impending delivery trip on the horizon, I felt the need to prepare for the protection of my  beloved iPad.  A cover was added to the sewing checklist.

It took me less than an hour to sew this up from start to finish.

I didn't measure and I didn't follow a pattern.  I also didn't think to take pictures to show you how I did it.

I used a piece of 8.5" X 11" cardstock as my only measuring tool other than the iPad itself.

I used an old skirt for the fabric and a piece of insulbright for the inner padding.

Inner & Outer Fabric
Using the 8.5" X 11" cardstock I 'measured' and cut 2 pieces of fabric that measured approximately 22" X 9".  

I also used the 8.5" X 11" cardstock to measure and cut an outside pocket for the cover.  I lined it up along the bottom hem of the skirt (so that I wouldn't have to hem the pocket and cut around the cardstock.

Then I used a piece of the cut fabric measuring approximately 22" X 9" laid on top of my insulbright padding to measure and cut one matching piece of insulbright padding.

Prepping the pocket:
By using the hem of the skirt I saved myself to the work of hemming the top of the pocket.
I didn't bother hemming the bottom of the pocket either. Instead, I turned the edge over and pinned it. Then I laid it on the outer fabric where I wanted it placed and sewed across the bottom of the pocket (right side), which doubled as hemming the bottom edge.

Next, I laid out the pieces in the following layers:
1. Outer fabric, right side down.
2. Insulbright padding, shiny side down.  (I used this padding because it was what I had on hand and I thought it might add a little waterproofing to my cover.  In hind sight, I wish I would have used another padding because the insulbright is a little crinkly and the sound bothers me a bit.)
3. Inner fabric, wrong side down.
4. Pin the layers along the sides down the full length of the unfolded fabric (the full 22").

Next I sewed the zipper onto both sides of the top of the layered fabric (the edge measuring 9".  Then I flipped it right side out and top stitched the fabric onto the zipper.

Velcro on the Pocket
At this point I realized that I wanted a closure on the pocket.  I found some Velcro in my stash and sewed it on to the inside top edge of the pocket and onto the inner fabric of my cover.  It would have been better if I had done this before sewing the pocket on to the outer fabric, but I'm glad I thought of it before sewing the sides up.

I decided after sewing the sides to add a handle to my cover.  This meant using my seam ripper to open a small hole in the side seam and then back sewing over the handle.  If you're making one yourself and know you want a handle, I recommend placing your handle in the seam BEFORE sewing the sides to eliminate this extra work.

Sewing the Sides
With the cover turned inside out, line up your edges with the zipper placed at the top.  Pin the layers together so that they don't shift while sewing them together.  Now simply sew down each side of the cover making sure to catch all the layers in the seam.  You also want to make sure that you OPEN THE ZIPPER BEFORE SEWING THE FINAL SIDE.  The zipper will be super tricky to open if you miss this step.

Voila! A padded, pocketed, handled iPad or tablet cover ready to tote my iPad and charger to the hospital for baby's delivery.