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I Know I’m Not Alone

I Know I’m Not Alone

I am typically pretty upbeat and positive by nature. I have had to overcome a lot in the past decade, and I have spent some of that time feeling situational depression due to battling illness, surgery, dealing with body issues from having so many scars and a permanent ileostomy.  When I found out I was able to get pregnant, and subsequently carry this baby, I was over the moon! Depression wasn’t even on my radar at that time.

I Knew It Wasn’t Going To Be Easy

I am extremely high risk. I have a team of doctors and specialists across three hospitals that will be involved in bringing this baby into the world safely. Of course, I am a bit nervous, but I also have great faith and trust in this team to do everything to help bring this baby boy into the world, keeping us both healthy and happy.

Here’s where I struggle. I am supposed to be happy. I AM happy. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to feel baby move and happy to know I will hold him in just a few short months. However, what is happening to my body is bringing me so low. I am just not feeling overall happy, and I didn’t expect that.

 

A Complex Medical History

Without delving too deep into the graphic details, I’ve had 14 surgeries which have left my entire abdomen full of scars. I have numerous scars running up and down, diagonally, and across my torso. Drain scars, former ostomy scars- just scars, scars, scars! Following one surgery, I had a serious infection so my abdomen had to be re-opened, and I was put on a wound vac to help heal by secondary intention. That process left my tummy full of puckered and thick scar tissue. All this scar tissue causes adhesions. As my abdomen stretches, the scar tissue is stretching and tearing both on the surface and internally. It has been challenging to deal with. This, along with changes in my ostomy with my intestine prolapsing outside my body, has left me feeling depressed over all these reminders that my body isn’t quite the same as others.

Pre-Partum Depression

This pre-partum situational depression has hit me hard. I am struggling with my body and disease and with my hormones running amok. I have found myself in tears quite a bit lately. I am not writing to complain, NO, but to confront what is happening to me and to share this with others who may struggle with these same feelings during pregnancy or at any time. I know that this is supposed to be the most blessed and happy time of my life, so why am I feeling so blue? I don’t have the answer.

Crochet IS Therapy

During this time, my comfort and refuge is found in my craft. I am so grateful for a loving and supportive husband and the support of a fantastic family, but when I am alone, I find solace in the stitches and the repetitive nature of crochet to help distract and focus my mind on something other than these feelings and the pain from my scars.

Lately, I have been working on so many crochet projects for not only my little guy, but also for my sister-in-law who had a baby girl in January. My niece is the perfect model! These projects, alongside my work here at YARNutopia, has given me a deepened purpose, and these goals have helped me focus on more than the issues I am dealing with.

 

Self-Care

I know I’m not alone. I know that this is only temporary. I know this is a very small price to pay for bringing my baby into the world. I know I have support and love of an amazing husband, family, and community. I know all these things. I also know it is ok to feel. It is ok to be sad. It is ok to hurt. It is ok to ask for help. It is ok.

After spending a little time yesterday on self-care – I bought myself some springtime flowers to brighten my home, I did some retail therapy and bought myself a few feel-good things, I had my nails done, I took a long walk in the sunshine, a short drive and played my favorite music, and I talked for hours with my mom-I am happy to say that I feel a little better. Today has started off on a good foot and writing this has helped. Also, it has helped to be working on some crochet projects, and I went to brunch with Nate. Each day may present a challenge, but I am thankful be able to face each one in strength and resolve and overcome those challenges!

Share with us:

Please share your stories of pre-partum or post-partum depression or your struggles with feeling out of control. Share your stories of how crochet has brought you comfort during a time of need.

Thank you for letting me share.

Be love, Be light.

~Nadia

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Crochet Tutorial: Baby Hiking Sandals

Crochet Tutorial: Baby Hiking Sandals

Summer season is around the corner. Time to start getting that wardrobe ready. Here is a cute little addition for baby’s layette. These baby hikers can be made in any color and added to any outfit for just the right touch!

 

 

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

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Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make these sandals:

 

**You can always contact me via Facebook if you have any problems with the pattern. I am happy to help if you have any questions along the way.

***These patterns are copyright YARNutopia © so PLEASE DO NOT COPY, SHARE, ADJUST OR RESELL MY PATTERN. I wrote and tested this pattern myself, from beginning to end. It took a lot of time and work, and I would really like to have it remain “my pattern.”

***You can sell anything you make from my patterns, please just link back to my website YARNutopia.com. Thank you!

Teacher: Nadia Fuad
Video and Editing: Fuad Azmat (My Daddy)
Share your work on Facebook!
Add me on Snapchat: YARNutopia
Follow me on Instagram
Visit My Ravelry Store and add this to your Favorites!
Follow me on Twitter: @YARNutopia
Enjoy this video and subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more tutorials on how to crochet!
Leave a comment, and share with your friends!

Designed by Nadia Fuad
You *may* sell items made from my pattern, but please reference my website YARNutopia.com.
Please do not copy, sell, and/or post this pattern and claim it as your own.

Materials you will need:
Red Heart Yarns Baby Hugs in Bluie and Dolphin
Red Heart Soft in Guacamole
-G-4.25mm Crochet Hook (Find the hook I used in my video tutorial here!)
Yarn Needle
Scissors

NOTES:
-Use a smaller hook to make these smaller
-Use a bigger hook to make these bigger
-Watch the FULL introduction of the video tutorial for frequently asked questions and watch the full video for tips on how to make this smaller or bigger.
-These booties will fit up to a 6 month old baby.

Special stitches:
Ch(s): chain(s)
YO: Yarn Over
St(s): Stitch(es)
Sl st: slip stitch
SC: Single Crochet
HDC: Half Double Crochet
DC: Double Crochet
FSC: Foundation Single Crochet

Pattern:

If you have any confusion or difficulty with reading this pattern, please watch the video tutorial to have visual instructions.

Sandal: (MAKE 2)

Inner Sole:
With Bluie:
Chain 10
Rnd 1: 2sc into 2nd ch from hook. Sc in next 5 st. Hdc in next 2. 8Dc in last ch. Working on other side, hdc in next 2, sc in next 5, 2 sc in last stitch where beginning 2 sc are. Don’t join. (26 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in 1st st from last row, 2 sc in next. Sc 7, hdc in next, 2hdc in each of the next 6 stitches, hdc in next, Sc 7, 2 sc in last 2 stitches. Do not join – (36 sts)
Rnd 3: Sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next. Sc10, 2sc in next 2 stitches, sc in next 6, 2 sc in next 2 stitches. Sc 10, 2sc in next. Sc in last 2 stitches. Sl st to next st (42 sts) Fasten off, Weave in ends.

Outer Sole:
Same as Inner sole, but DO NOT fasten off. Go to Assembly Step Next.

Assembly Step:
Slip Stitch Inner and Outer sole together (See video tutorial for visual instructions)
Fasten off, weave in ends.

Front Toe Strap:
Count 10 sts evenly on the front toe of the sole. Work in BLO of the Inner Sole and the back Loop of the Slip Sts you created when attaching the two pieces (see video tutorial for visual instructions)

Row 1: Attach Yarn to first st, Ch 1, HDC 10 sts evenly across front of toe, ch 1, turn. (10)
Row 2: HDC2TOG, HDC in 6 sts, HDC2TOG, ch 1, turn. (8)
Row 3: HDC2TOG, HDC in 4 sts, HDC2TOG, ch 1, turn. (6)
Row 4: HDC2TOG, HDC in 2 sts, HDC2TOG, ch 1, turn. (4)
Rows 5-10: HDC across, ch 1, turn. (4)
Fasten off with a long tail for sewing.

Side Straps:
See video tutorial for location on where to put these straps. (Also see photos)
Attach yarn to side (where ankle would be)
Row 1: Ch 1, HDC in 4 sts leaving the rest unworked, Ch 1, turn.
Rows 2-6: HDC across, Ch 1, turn.
Fasten off with long tail for sewing.

Opposite Side Strap:
Do the same exact thing as the first side strap, just on the opposite side.
(See video tutorial for visual location)

Gray Straps:
Strap 1: FSC 11 sts (Start with long tail and fasten off with long tail for sewing)
Strap 2: FSC 15 sts (Start with long tail and fasten off with long tail for sewing)
Strap 3: FSC 22 sts (start with short tail and fasten off with short tail and sew in your ends to hide them)

Assembly Step:
Sew gray straps to sole of sandal (weave Strap 1 and 2 through the front toe piece)
Add Strap 3 and sew the front toe piece and side strap piece down OVER the top of Strap 3.
I show exact locations and visual instructions for this section in the video tutorial.
Add a button to Strap 3.
Weave in all ends.

Enjoy!!

This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia

The yarn provided for this pattern is courtesy of Red Heart Yarns

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It’s a…. Gender Reveal!!!

It’s a…. Gender Reveal!!!

It didn’t matter – girl or boy – we would still be filled with the same joy!! We are over the moon excited to announce that we are having a….

 

Thank you for sharing in the joy of this experience. We are so happy!!

My mom found the onsie on Etsy, you can see it here.

The tutorial for the baby booties is coming soon!!

~Nate and Nadia

Crochet Tutorial: Wiggles & Giggles Baby Blanket

Crochet Tutorial: Wiggles & Giggles Baby Blanket

Well, the time has come to start stocking up on a few nice essentials for baby! I made the Wiggles and Giggles Baby Blanket as the first piece in my baby’s layette! This design uses the double crochets to make a zig-zag design that creates beautiful rich texture. It also creates a completely different profile on the other side making this a fantastic reversible blanket and one that is sure to be treasured for years to come!

 

 

Follow along with this video tutorial to learn how to make this blanket:

 

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

**You can always contact me via Facebook if you have any problems with the pattern. I am happy to help if you have any questions along the way.
***These patterns are copyright YARNutopia © so PLEASE DO NOT COPY, SHARE, ADJUST OR RESELL MY PATTERN. I wrote and tested this pattern myself, from beginning to end. It took a lot of time and work, and I would really like to have it remain “my pattern.”
***You can sell anything you make from my patterns, please just link back to my website YARNutopia.com. Thank you!

Teacher: Nadia Fuad
Video and Editing: Fuad Azmat (My Daddy)
Share your work on Facebook!
Add me on Snapchat: YARNutopia
Follow me on Instagram
Visit My Ravelry Store and add this to your Favorites!
Follow me on Twitter: @YARNutopia
Enjoy this video and subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more tutorials on how to crochet!
Leave a comment, and share with your friends!

Pattern:

Designed by Nadia Fuad
You *may* sell items made from my pattern, but please reference my website YARNutopia.com.
Please do not copy, sell, and/or post this pattern and claim it as your own.

Materials you will need:
Get the supplies individually by clicking the links below
Red Heart Yarns With Love in the color Minty (1300 yards–4 Balls)
Red Heart Yarns Super Saver in the color Dusty Gray
-H-5.00mm Crochet Hook
Yarn Needle
Scissors

NOTES:
-Use a smaller hook to make these smaller
-Use a bigger hook to make these bigger
-This blanket is 36 inches wide and long but you can continue the repeat to make it as big as you want.

Special stitches:
Ch(s): chain(s)
YO: Yarn Over
BLO: Back Loop Only
St(s): Stitch(es)
RS: Right Side
WS: Wrong Side (Back Side)
Sl st: slip stitch
SK: Skip
SC: Single Crochet
DC: Double Crochet

Pattern:

If you have any confusion or difficulty with reading this pattern, please watch the video tutorial to have visual instructions.

Blanket:
Ch 133 or any multiple of 3+1

Row 1 (RS): DC in 5th ch from hook and next ch, Go back to the chain next to your first stitch, DC in that ch, (See video tutorial for visual instructions), This will be a diagonal stitch over the 2 DC you made, *Sk next ch and DC in next 2 chs, DC in sk’d ch, repeat from * across until 1 ch remains, DC in last ch. Turn.

Row 2 (WS): Ch 3 (Counts as a DC here and throughout), *Sk next st, DC in next 2 sts, turn work around to see the RS, DC in sk’d st, Turn work back to WS, repeat from * across until 1 st remains, DC in last st, turn.

Row 3 (RS): Ch 3, *Sk next st, DC in next 2 sts, DC in sk’d st working in front of the 2 DC’s you just made, repeat from * across until 1 st remains, DC in last st.

Rows 4-54: Repeat Rows 2 and 3 for however long you want then go onto the border
(Scroll down to see border instructions)

 

 

Do not fasten off

Border:
Round 1: Looking at RS of your work, SC around with your main color putting 3 SC in corners, sl st to first st.
Fasten off main color and change color

Round 2: Attach new color and SC around putting 3 SC in each corner, Sl st to first SC and Fasten off.

Round 3: Attach main color to any corner SC, Ch 3, [DC, Ch, 2, 2 DC] in same st, Ch 4, Turn work, Sl st in beg. Ch 3 st, Turn Work, Ch 1, 7 DC in ch 4 sp you just created, *DC in next 4 sts on Round 2 of the border, Ch 4, Turn work, Sl st in 1st DC of 4 DC grouping, Turn work, Ch 1, 7 DC in ch 4 sp you just created, repeat from * around putting [2DC, Ch 2, 2 DC] in corner and making your wave over the corner. Sl st to first corner when you get back around. Fasten off.
(It was very hard for me to explain Round 3 in writing, so I highly recommend seeing this in the video tutorial provided on YouTube)

Weave in all ends.

 

Enjoy!!

This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia

The yarn provided for this pattern is courtesy of Red Heart Yarns

The Cat’s Out of the (YARN) Bag!

The Cat’s Out of the (YARN) Bag!

It’s no secret that my battle with my health has been mostly an uphill one. Numerous surgeries have taken their toll on my body for the past ten years as I continue my fight. My Crohn’s disease has to be considered in every facet of my existence. My life, daily decisions, activity, diet, my body, and my future are ruled by this illness and how it will affect my daily living. After ten years, it is “Normal for Nadia” to be at the mercy of this condition. It just is that way. Like a habit, living with severe Crohn’s disease becomes part of my routine.

Doctor appointments, daily meds, regular testing, procedures, and so many details have worked their way into the fiber of my ordinary existence. Even getting married in March was overshadowed by the very real possibility that I may end up sick or in the hospital on our wedding day. It’s just the reality of living with chronic illness. Fortunately, adrenaline was my friend on March 17, 2018 and it helped carry my aching body through the day without incident! Our wedding was the most glorious day ever. Sure, I paid for it afterwards, but I would do all of that 1,000 times over just to relive that beautiful day!

Hardcore family planning

Nate and I always knew we wanted a family, we also knew that it would not be an easy path to having one. Several months after getting married, we sought help from my doctors to find out if I can safely support a pregnancy since I have such a challenging health history. I underwent a series of tests, some incredibly invasive (dignity be damned). A team of specialists were assembled to oversee my care if we were able to get pregnant. According to all these insane tests, there was no reason, despite my health battle, that I couldn’t get pregnant. We were so relieved! We were aware it would be very risky; the warnings from the medical staff came across loud and clear, but we have confidence in the high-risk team overseeing my care. They were very realistic but also reassuring. I was facing my 28th birthday, and although we weren’t aggressively trying, we weren’t being careful either. So, in early November–two days after my birthday–with symptoms that screamed that I might be pregnant, I went to the store and bought a half dozen pregnancy tests.

My internal dialogue was: “I just spent a small fortune on something I  am going to pee on. Who cares!??? I need answers!”

It all comes down to a (+) sign

It was a Friday afternoon, November 9th. My friend Sarah was coming to town for a visit, and I was planning on picking her up at the bus station in a few minutes. I only had a small window to privately check out my pregnancy suspicions. So like millions of women before me, I peed on the stick and nervously waited through the minutes that could change everything. I was pacing, nervous and fidgety. How do you distract yourself for those moments without constantly checking if you have your answer? If “a watched pot never boils,” does frantically fanning a pee stick prolong the results?! Because that 5 minutes felt like a flippin’ lifetime!

The test read (+) and I freaked out! I  called my mom on Skype immediately, and I was hyperventilating and crying and couldn’t get out what I needed to say. I completely freaked her out because she thought something tragic had happened. I couldn’t speak, and my dramatic reaction had her thinking the worst. I was able to show her the pregnancy test and get her expert opinion on what it was saying. (Like I didn’t already know, right?!) Were these tests saying what I thought they were saying?  Of course they were, but I needed Dr. Mom!!! She talked me through it and asked me what Nate said about it…

Oh. My. Gosh. Nate!!! I had yet to tell Nate! How did I not think of that?

She suggested that maybe I should have called him first! Oh my goodness, absolutely! I was a bit of a frantic mess. Where’s my coat?! I’m wearing it. Where are my keys?! In my hand! I had only a few minutes because Sarah’s bus was about to arrive!  I jumped in the car and decided to stop at his work! Woops! Was that a stop sign? Just kidding! I am grateful I didn’t receive a citation on the way to tell my husband!

We are having a baby… What do we do now?

Nate came out to the car and I had the test stick in a Ziploc bag. I told him I have to tell him something and without asking, he just said, “You’re pregnant.” I cried, I laughed, and I shoved the pee stick in the Ziploc at him and told him to look at it. We were so happy! He said he had a strong feeling. He knew. What emotions! So high, but then reality started to sink in like “What are we going to do now”? Even though we didn’t know what direction to take at that exact moment, we would figure it out together. We called my mom again from the car in the parking lot at Nate’s work. After talking to her, we knew I had to see my doctors first. We had to keep this quiet for a while. By all calculations, I was only about six to seven weeks along. Things were so precarious with my health and we wanted to make sure the pregnancy was viable and baby was healthy. We also needed to be sure I was fully healthy enough to actually support a pregnancy. On a scale from one to ten our emotions were off the chart. What ARE we going to do now?! GAHHH! WE ARE HAVING A BABYYYY!!

Game Face and A No Colon Surprise Party

Nate went back to work, and I had to pick up Sarah. How was I going to keep a straight face? How do I keep this from my best friend? Although I was busting to tell her to the point I was getting twitchy, I knew I couldn’t. I am the WORST at keeping a secret, God knows, and it was stressful to not blurt it out! I put on my best game face and decided to get it out of my mind (yeah, right!) and enjoy the weekend. Little did I know that the reason Sarah was really coming to visit was because my mom, Nate, Sarah and Nida were planning a surprise party to celebrate my birthday tied into a No Colon, Still Rollin’ – 10 years later party! WHAT IS HAPPENING!??? Saturday afternoon my entire family and all my friends surprised me and I couldn’t say a word to any of them! I ate three poop emoji cupcakes just from the stress of it all. Only Nate and my parents knew, and I couldn’t talk to them with everyone around! Again, ALL THE EMOTIONS!!!

Thank goodness for poop emoji cupcakes. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Well, it’s true! We’re pregnant.

I scheduled my first appointment and we had our first ultrasound. I knew going into this that it wouldn’t be easy. Nausea, heartburn, extreme fatigue, restless legs, extremely sensitive boobs that have grown 10 times their size, body pains off the charts, visits to the ER to check scary symptoms caused by adhesions from past surgical scar tissue, phantom sharp pains in my non-existent anus, my ostomy is shifting to the side as my tummy begins to grow, the scars on my tummy are being stretched, back pain, sciatic pain, vivid dreams and nightmares, itchiness, sleeplessness, aversion to certain foods, no appetite to ravishing hunger, even more profound vitamin deficiency (particularly folic acid and magnesium), chronic asthma symptoms to the point I need my rescue inhaler constantly and now a nebulizer, and more issues are plaguing me night and day, and I’m only past my first trimester!

But, it’s all worth it.

Especially at that very moment when we saw our baby on the ultrasound.

Suddenly, it all became real. We heard the heartbeat and we laughed and cried.

We called it our “little bean.”

We instantly fell in love.

Our baby is due in June 2019, and our hearts are so full.

What now, doc?

We had our first minor complication. There was a subchorionic hemorrhage (a blood clot) that was found on the ultrasound. The doctor said it happens in implantation, and unless I had excessive bleeding (I was only having some bleeding), not to worry too much about it, and it would be monitored.  I also had to cease a bunch of my medications. In stopping the meds, I risk some complications, but I have been managing things pretty well. One medication I can’t stop is my biologic injection. I am so worried about taking it, but I can’t risk getting sick to the point it would put me and baby in danger. My team has warned me over and over not to stop it.

I have to be truthful, I was contemplating stopping my biologic injection. The grave warnings from all my doctors have me reconsidering as I face having to take it this week. There is no evident risk to baby, but to me, if I stop, it would be very grave. I could become too ill and not be well enough to sustain the pregnancy, putting both of us at risk. Every doctor concurs. I do have to stop taking it at thirty weeks into the pregnancy to best insure that baby comes into this world the strongest and healthiest it can be. I am concerned without the protection of any medication to control my disease, my body won’t cooperate. I am hopeful. I am optimistic. I am scared. I won’t lie, I know what I am facing, and I know it will be worth it, but I also know this isn’t going to be an easy journey. Nothing this wonderful ever is. I have learned this lesson over and over in my life; I am familiar with how this goes. I am familiar with the bargaining process.

Now we are three!

We are now in the planning stage. I am almost 14 weeks pregnant, and have been following all the doctors’ instruction and am closely monitored. I am also chronicling my pregnancy on The Bump Phone App! According to the app, today our baby is about the size of a lemon! I have regular doctor appointments both with my standard team as well as a high-risk OB-GYN in Rochester, Minnesota at the Mayo Clinic. I couldn’t ask for a better crew of docs overseeing our care! They are so thorough. My last appointment with the specialist was two hours! We are in great hands, and we’re hopeful that things will continue to go well. I just pray that I stay healthy and strong for our little sweet pea. My heart is so full and all I want is to provide the best for this tiny baby despite my challenges.

Merry Christmas to Us!

We told Nyle, Nabeel, Samantha and Des over Thanksgiving. We also went to visit Nate’s dad and gave him a special “Grandpa” shirt.

We also told Nate’s brothers that weekend, too.  Other than immediate family and a couple close friends, we decided to wait and reveal our news to everyone else over Christmas! Our family and friends are elated, and some told me they “just had that feeling!”

Today, I wanted to share this with our YARNutopians now that our extended families and close friends received the news. Now, my crochet project list grows! Baby stuff galore! I already have some baby projects on our agenda! What an exciting year of crochet we have ahead of us! I hope to continue with our filming and projects as long as I can and will continue after baby’s arrival! We all have so much to look forward to in the New Year. Not only are we expecting a new addition, but my brother and his wife are also expecting a new baby in January! So many reasons to crochet! Haha! I am excited and filled with joy to share our news with all of you. Cheers to 2019! Thanks for being with us on this crazy and wonderful journey!

“You are so loved, little one.”

~Your Mommy and Daddy

~Nadia and Nate