Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sewing Project No. 4: Cloth Nappy Wipes (and The Story of The Needle In The Finger)

Here are some cloth nappy wipes I sewed for Asher. They're loosely based upon some I bought online for Phoebe which were the best wipes we had. Now the ones I made are the best ones we have if I do say so myself. They're made with cute flannelette and cheap terry towelling. Oh my god, I had no idea terry towelling was so expensive. I bought this a while ago but I seem to remember the proper stuff was about $20 a metre!

These were super easy to make. I simply pinned the two pieces of fabric together right sides out. Then I drew around an existing wipe. Then I sewed just inside the line, cut out around the line and then did an edging zig-zag stitch around the outside.

I made most of these when I was about 8 months pregnant and one day I lost concentration and hit my finger with the needle. There was a bit of an impact and my finger felt a bit sore but I set about trying to sort out my machine which was erroring. I then realised that I'd bent and snapped my needle. I looked all over for the end of it but couldn't find it anywhere. I replaced it and finished the wipe I was working on. It then occurred to me that the needle could actually be in my finger. I mean I couldn't see it anywhere else and my finger was getting quite sore. My nail was slightly cracked and there was a red mark on the finger pad. I was sure I could see the needle through my nail.

I realised I had to get it looked at at some point. I had a shower. I found it very hard to put any sort of pressure on my finger, which was the index finger of my right hand. Very inconvenient. My mind was going nuts trying to figure out what to do. What if I had to go to hospital? Who would pick up Phoebe from daycare? There was some reason why Toby couldn't do it that day - I can't remember why now. Perhaps he was in Brisbane for a meeting or something. I made a mental list of all the people I could ask. Or maybe I could pick her up myself, take her to my sister-in-law's for dinner and then go to hospital.

I walked down to the local medical centre in the hope they could sort it all out there. They slotted me in and I was seen very quickly. The doctor seemed quite excited at the prospect of doing minor surgery. I told him I was hoping he could just pull it out through the pad of my finger as I was sure I could see and feel it there. I didn't much fancy the thought of him going through the nail. At this point I was convinced that it had gone in through the pad of my finger for some reason. But of course, it had gone through the nail.

He was sure he could puncture a hole in my finger and pull it out with tweezers but he sent me for an x-ray so he could see where it was. If it was too far into my finger he'd have to send me off to hospital. It was late afternoon by now and both hospitals are 25 minute drives away. It would not be convenient to have to do that.

I scuttled up to the nearest radiology centre after the receptionist phoned ahead to make sure they were quiet. I phoned my obstetrician to confirm an x-ray was okay and was assured risks were minimal and that if the baby was born at that stage with breathing problems they'd x-ray it anyway. Apparently the amount of radiation used to x-ray a finger is very small.

Armed with my x-ray I headed back to the medical centre. The doctor was sure he could pull the needle out if I was happy to let him try. I didn't want to go to hospital so I let him. He didn't half faff around getting stuff ready, during which time a nurse with four grown-up children tried to persuade me to have more babies. Eventually he jammed another needle in my finger to inject some local anesthetic and then set to work. In no time at all he triumphantly held aloft the end of my sewing machine needle and then insisted on popping it in a specimen jar for me to take home as a memento.
I was done in time to collect Phoebe but the drive to daycare was a bit tricky. I took great pleasure in presenting my bandaged finger to anyone who would care to listen and telling them all about my gory story. My finger was quite sore for a while but thankfully fully recovered by the time I had a baby three weeks later.

The moral of the story is, if you're going to sew whilst heavily pregnant pay close attention to what you're doing and don't also try to watch episodes of The Prisoner.

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