When you are pregnant, people tend to respond with a sympathetic wince when you tell them you are due on the 26th of December... As a mom of two, that's right, TWO December babies, I'll agree that at first glance, a birthday just days away from Christmas tends to be a little bit crazy making as the parent.
So when the ultrasound tech confirmed that the due date for baby number 3 was in fact Dec. 26th, my first thought was, "here we go again", and my second thought was "how can we make this happen early???!!!" In the end, Baby Hollis was born on Dec. 22nd, just 4 days after his big sister turned six on the 18th.
Cassidy was born during the hospital's annual holiday party.... I can remember imagining a very Grey's Anatomy scene going on somewhere beyond my hospital room as the quiet first few hours of motherhood set in on me. Babies and the quiet fragility of the first few days of life are very deeply connected to Christmas time for me. Don't even think about playing Silent Night for me... Instant waterworks, I tell you!
There is no better maker's muse (at least for me) than a bun in the oven. And since two of my children (the middle one not very far off with a February birthday) are Christmas babies, the season itself, a season so rich with gift giving and anticipation and planning, is very much a part of the making experience for me.
Not to get too literal, but making things (especially hand work, as in hand stitching and knitting) and pregnancy have some striking similarities. Both are steeped in anticipation and are simultaneously enriched by the waiting and wanting that happens during the making process. It is no wonder that the first things I made for our baby were hand knit, an activity that is much slower than most sewing projects can be (of course there are exceptions to that).
Each teeny tiny stitch of this first project marked a moment of quiet celebration for our special news. I can remember being at the swimming pool, with my two older kids, knitting a little hippo arm when the doctor called to ask if I'd like to know the sex of the baby. And just like that, we were having a boy. In a way, the making itself becomes the story telling of the moments leading up to that long awaited first meeting.
So much of story telling is about sharing in the anticipation with friends- the weekend trip to a friends' house for a weaving class where I finished the little striped hat baby Hollis wore on his first trip home.
During the same trip, I made a wall hanging - the very first thing I made for his nursery. And during the whole weekend, reuniting with friends and making new friends all while sharing in the joyful news of a new baby...
I have always had creative friends, but never so much as now. On your third pregnancy, one certainly doesn't expect a shower, so when all my friends at Finch threw me a shower...
The shower showed me again how wonderful it is when friends gather to welcome a new baby. Later when I sat on the nursery floor after the shower and folded and organized all the beautiful hand made things we were given, I couldn't help tearing up thinking about how much more excited I was for Hollis' arrival and how that was the real gift of the shower... the waiting and wanting so carefully knit together with the love and shared joy of my friends.
Every day that I take out a brand new hand made treasure to put on my little one, I am so moved by my friends.. that they took the time to so carefully make such beautiful things for him. Because Hollis couldn't be more special to me.
After all the anticipation and excitement and waiting leading up to the 25th, we hope you're finding a reason to savor the quietness of the last few days of this lovely year.
the Finch (Nicole and Family)
***A HUGE photo credit to the amazingly talented Alicia Bruce of Love Knot Photos who made all the above photographs. The inferior ones below are mine. ;)