Saturday, October 13, 2012


So, really, I don't ever update my blog. But that's Ok, because I've filled my time with other things.
I recently moved, and have probably 82 projects I want to do as a result. Its a house built in the 20's if I had to guess. It has cool exposed wood beams. The heaters creak when they turn on at night. I'm growing fond of the noises an old house makes. There is hot water, finally. We had to paint because the former tenants painted the place like assholes. Our bedroom once had a green, yellow and blue prism painted in the corner. It was the kind of thing that if I was hung over enough, I might actually look up at and puke. 

Lucky for me, I have a break coming up from work. I can do things like paint our kitchen the perfect shade of mint green, set up a drawing table for when Olyver goes to sleep and I'm feeling like drawing, and maybe actually getting my Etsy shop back up (that's my plan for now). Because I didn't take a normal maternity leave, I'm eligible for taking one anytime before my son turns 1 in December. I'm taking two weeks off to get a few of these things done, and we're going to visit Gerrad's parents in Texas. I'm trying to convince him we NEED to buy a longhorn skull while we are there visiting. I've decided I need more taxidermy in my life. 
It's raining for the first time in 80 days. For Seattle we had the most beautiful summer. I love October, fall is my favorite season for sure. I really need to spend a day out photographing all the trees. I drive past a graveyard everyday to get to work, and it's surrounded by the largest trees imaginable that are just starting to turn colors. It will look awesome when it snows. I'm so glad to be living where there are actual seasons again.

I'm scared of keeping Oly warm enough. He loves to be outside; going on a walk to the park, around the neighborhood, to the tea shop has become a daily thing for us after I get home from work. Now days are growing darker and the nights colder.
I feel like on my break I need to go to a good show, I'm due for drunken night or four. Nothing beats walking home at night when you know it's cold but you can't feel anything except the way you feel. I don't know if that makes sense but I miss those nights. I saw Russian Circles a few months ago. I miss abrasive music on a regular basis. My solution is I need to invest in a record player with nothing but grindcore and sludge-y metal records, and T. Rex's “The Slider” for good measure. (That's my plan for now too I guess). At least my son will have great taste in music.
I am tired, sleep sounds like a good alternative to continuing the most pointless blog everrrrrr . G'night.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Olyver Gray Meriwether was born on Sunday, December 18th 2011.

I knew that I wasn't going to get to choose which way he was delivered, and my due date grew to be an aspiration rather than an accuracy.

I spent a total of 47 days at the hospital. On day 44, the medical team decided that my blood pressure was rising too much to be controlled via increased medication, and I was induced.

My labor started with a foley induction, one without medication. It was painful, but afterwards I had a few hours of relative calm before my contractions became progressively worse. I had been induced at 6PM, and by about 3AM I started wondering how much worse things would get. I had a really hard time staying relaxed and breathing through my contractions, and my blood pressure was starting to dictate having an epidural. Sitting through my epidural was rough, but the relief I got from it made it worthwhile within minutes. I felt warm and relaxed.

At about 5AM I was given Pitocin and told I was 3cm dilated. I was also told that I had a small birth canal and that I might need a c-section. Shortly afterwards it was determined that Oly was reacting negatively to the Pitocin, and the doctor asked me to consider having a voluntary c-section versus waiting and possibly needing one anyway. She left momentary while I started to somewhat freak out about having to make a choice. We decided that I should opt to have the c-section at that point even though I was really scared. The doctor came back and said we definitely needed to do a c-section and that I no longer had a choice. I was wheeled into a sterile room with many doctors and was started on a stronger dose of medicine. I could feel everything that happened, although most of it was not very painful. At times I did feel pain, but even the parts that weren't painful were really incredibly scary. I was really glad I had Gerrad beside me because I was freaking out and I had someone to help placate me.

I was given morphine and was very out of it, but remained awake throughout most of the procedure. I awoke to Olyver's crying, his little arms and legs wiggling and kicking across the room. Gerrad accompanied him up to the NICU to regulate his blood sugars and breathing while I was put back together.

The first several hours went by in a blur; I was on a high dosage of magnesium to prevent seizures from my preeclampsia which made me feel really out of it. I called a few people and don't even remember conversations I had. I remember being wheeled upstairs to go see my son, I didn't get to hold him but I got to see him. He was determined to be healthy, I got to stick my hand through his little incubator and stare at him for a while.

I didn't get to hold him until the next day due to my medication and general well being. By day two I was able to walk, and I was sent home on the third day post delivery.

Olyver started to regulate his breathing and was taken off of his respirator by day 3. His blood sugars started to level out and he was taken off of glucose by the end of the first week. He continued to progress, but remained in the hospital for 38 days because he was having apnea and had trouble feeding. There were a few times that we were sure it was only going to be a few more days, only to have weeks pass.

Fortunately he's home now, and I'm still adjusting to life with a newborn. Sleep is a joke, but with that said it's really quite amazing having a son. He's unbelievably cute, and he's growing so fast. He's very expressive as you can see from the photos. :)

I have to go back to my job this week, I'm nervous about managing everything I have going on now in my life, but it'll be good to have the extra income. I think I'm going to be able to take a maternity leave towards his first birthday which is awesome.

I'm currently addicted to Instagram, you can follow me @jmikolaizik

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm going to kill my nurse.

Still hanging out at the hospital. It's been almost a month now. Needless to say, I'm sick of this place. It sucks spending so much time here. I can't sleep. I get more blood drawn than you could possibly imagine. I have tiny veins that are all becoming unusable, they normally have to attempt to draw blood from several spots in order to find any. I don't get to walk around much at all, so I feel like I'm slowly deteriorating both mentally and physically.
But I got these rad hospital socks... 

The doctors are trying to figure out the correct settings on my insulin pump. This has proven to be quite a challenge. They keep giving me too much insulin at night, which makes it necessary for my blood sugar to be checked every 30 minutes - two hours depending on the numbers. About a week ago I went back to sleep after having tested at 89 - a perfectly good number. I didn't wake up.
When I did wake up, I was hooked to multiple IVs pumping me full of glucose and I was super scared. I didn't know what was going on, I thought they may have been taking the baby because I couldn't feel my body. I started coming out of it slowly and as I started to speak, my words were slurred. I thought I had brain damage. It got better but nonetheless not the way you want to start any day...
 I have a nice view of the Southern downtown skyline...
 I'm learning how to knit. There is a volunteer who has been coming by weekly to teach those who are interested. I thought knitting was supposed to be relaxing but learning can sure be frustrating. I'm finally getting it down though. Attempting to make a scarf...
 Flowers from my mom...
 Tonight's sunset...
 A cute dress I got from Amber that I wore on Thanksgiving...
I've been able to focus more time on my Etsy shops... I'm waiting on a few supply orders but I have tons of new items that I'm posting soon. Hoping to make the most of my time here, the holidays are usually the busiest as far as sales go on Etsy.
Tomorrow I'm planning a brief escape from the hospital to go an look at an apartment in Ballard with Gerrad. I hope it's awesome, it'd be nice to find a place. Tomorrow I'm going to put up a fight for permission to leave, permanently. We'll see how that goes. It's stressful here, I'm not going to be able to pay any of my hospital bills, and stress is not good when you're pregnant.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A flight and a crash

Things were really awesome for a day, and then really not awesome since.

Last week Gerrad picked me up from work and we went to go check out a place for rent. It was in Wallingford, just a few blocks from Gasworks Park. It turned out to be pretty awesome, built in 1904 with wood paneling on the walls, a gas stove, 2 bedroom, and affordable. We told the landlord we'd take it, and left.

When we got to the car, he noticed my shoe was untied and bent over to tie it for me. He was on one knee and he pulled out an engagement ring and asked me to marry him. It was really sweet. He said he wanted to wait until we found a place. I said yes.

Fast forward a day, and at my doctor's appt. they noticed my blood pressure was elevated. I've been at the hospital since, and that was a week ago.

They diagnosed me with preeclampsia, which can be dangerous for mom and baby. My blood pressure has been under control for the most part since I've been here, but if it were to continue to raise to a dangerous level, the only cure would be an early delivery.

They gave me steroid injections to help with the baby's lung development in case of an early delivery. Right now I'm 29 weeks along, they're expecting me to deliver between 34-36 weeks but it could happen sooner if things were to get worse.

It sounds like they want to keep me here until I deliver. If they let me leave, I can't go back to work as they want me on some form of bedrest. 

We ended up not signing our lease because it's pointless to be paying rent for a place that neither of us will be living at until this whole ordeal is over with. I'm bummed, but just hoping that we can find another place closer to when I'll be leaving the hospital.

Hanging out at the hospital is not fun. I've been lucky to have friends and family visit, but when everyone goes home I'm still here with my thoughts and fears. I've been trying to stay busy. I spent a lot of time on my Coffincrafts page on Facebook, and doing various shop updates and etsy listings. I've been drawing here and there. I have a few books I've been reading and TV shows I've been catching up on too.

I miss a normal sleep schedule. Some nights they wake me every half hour to test my blood sugar because the steroids really messed with it. The last two days I've wanted to do nothing but sleep, which is difficult when you are always being monitored by nurses/doctors and are interrupted with housekeeping and engineers that make your uncomfortable bed function. I've been joking with the nurses about how much sleep I'm going to be finally getting with a newborn.

Hospital food is getting really awful. The first day or so I was excited because I had so many choices. Now I've eaten everything on their menu and it's not food that I consider healthy or optimal.

I miss my cats. One day I was jiggling around my pills in a little medicine cup and I thought of the perfect pet that could live with me in here... I ordered jumping beans online because they'll make me smile and keep me entertained without technically being an animal that will be confiscated. I intend to draw little faces on them to keep me amused. The things boredom will do to your mind, haha.

Trying to stay sane and stay pregnant...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall is awesome here.

This last month I've just been working a lot and doing what I can to stay healthy and rested. It's rare when I get a day off that I can spend with my boyfriend; we're going to be looking for a place these next few weeks and I'm really excited. We aren't set on a particular area, but my top 3 neighborhoods I'll be looking in are Ballard, The Central District, and U-district/Wallingford. They each have their pros and cons...
Ballard I'm not that familiar with but seems like a rad place that is located in between our jobs. The disadvantage about Ballard is that if traffic sucks, there's only really one way in/out and that will be awful say, if I go into labor and need to commute with a quickness in rush hour. However I like the idea of exploring a cool neighborhood that I'm not very familiar with and can afford a decent place in.
The Central District is super cheap, and it's really close to all kinds of things downtown/capitol hill and Gerrad's job. It's close to a few of my friends too and the hospital. It's a area where I've lived before, but it might be kind of a pain to take a bus to work (that's something I plan on doing).
U-district/Wallingford is affordable and would be almost exactly in between our jobs so it'd be convenient for both of us. I'm pretty familiar with the area but I don't know of a single place that I'd love to go to regularly besides the tattoo shop and maybe a few coffeeshops. It's a good option nonetheless.

I'm feeling the baby move more now which is an unusual feeling to say the least. It's kind of amazing to feel something move inside of you with the realization that it's another living being. Usually it's really cool but I feel the most movement when I lay down to sleep at night which can be distracting considering my bedtime is usually about 8PM on nights I have to work. Ugh waking up at 4 is not fun... 

A few photos to share what I've been up to this month, kind of a creepier vibe to go along with Halloween and the Fall weather.

This month the weather has gotten a bit more chilly; we found some awesome wilderness-print flannel sheets to keep us warm.

I went to Jimi Hendrix's grave site; it's located in my town. I took the photos of the rose and the statue while I was there.

The leaves are changing color and it's great to have a real Fall for the first time in a few years. Fall is my favorite season but in San Diego it's not like the palm trees changed color.

I've been making more jewelry as time allows, this is a new one that turned out pretty sweet but I'm in the process of designing a really rad owl necklace that will be huge and detailed. A skeletal version is on the way too. I'm pretty excited...

We went to Ivar's the other day and were feeding the seagulls outside. This particular one ate most of the bread.

My pumpkin I carved a week ago.

I made a treasury of little boy themed items on Etsy that I love... 

Happy Halloween too guys, I'm not going to dress up this year (boo) because I'll be working and I'm not fitting into the clothing/costumes that I could have otherwise.