Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung


Life Things: Knitting, Sewing, and Blogging Plans for the next few weeks

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We are now 1 week away from my due date, so I thought it was the right time to talk about my blog plans for the next few weeks following Baby Logan's arrival.

Obviously, I won't be able to blog as often as I did with a newborn. As this is our first child, we have no idea what it is going to be like! Will it just be chaotic? Or will we at least have an hour or two of peace where we could have some personal time? Will I even feel up to sitting in front of the computer? 

Since there are so many unknown factors that could potentially affect this one-woman operation, I plan on posting once or twice per week, just catching up on the current WIPs/FOs. I plan on doing a lot of all-over-Stockinette projects and baby tube socks while watching the baby. I'll also have several sewing projects to share with you, as well as sewing pattern reviews! 

But I will definitely be posting things more often on my Instagram account: @candyandbagel. Taking pictures of my projects and the baby, spending 15 seconds on editing/writing, and pressing Send... THAT, I can do. :D  So in the meantime, definitely follow me on Instagram to keep in touch! 

My in-laws are coming tomorrow from Taiwan, and they'll be staying here until the baby's arrival, and fortunately, my MIL can stay longer to help us get used to our new lives :) 


Life Things: FAMILY. TIME.

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I have been very careful about sharing too much about my family life online and have been very good about putting on a brave face.

But I decided to write about this because I feel like this is THE time to ask for prayers and good vibes.

When I found out that we were expecting a baby, we arranged for a trip to Korea right away. My parents moved back to South Korea when I was in law school for better business opportunity so that they can finish supporting me and my sister through school. 

After I finished law school, passed the bar, and got married, finally almost ready to take the baton from them and do something for them, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.

At first, she didn't even want to tell us, but we knew she was going for a biopsy and when we didn't hear anything back from her, my sister and I assumed the worst. When she finally told us, we were actually relieved--because we've heard that Stage 1~2 breast cancer is relatively "easy" to cure.

She did the standard treatment -- chemo and surgery. All her hair and nails fell out but she survived through it alone. Neither of us could afford to go to Korea to see her. We prayed and wished her good life from here. But mostly, we thought that was the end of it. 

A couple years later, her cancer came back and has metastasized into her lungs. So she had another surgery, and managed with cancer drugs for a while. But deciding that the drugs weren't really working for her, she decided to try alternative, holistic medicine. It seemed to do really amazing things for her, her complexion became rosy, she became more energetic, she was more optimistic and happy.

We went to see her just 10 weeks ago, when I was 21~22 weeks pregnant. If I were someone else, a stranger, and met her for the first time, I wouldn't have known that she had any kind of illness.

Then about a month ago, she started feeling pain in her back.. She got prescription painkillers and without it it became hard to move for her. She decided to go try another hospital for scans. And finally, the new scan showed that her cancer was now in her liver and bones. Over last weekend, I got a text from my sister who now lives with her, telling me that mom has been admitted to the hospital and is in a lot of pain, painkillers aren't working for her, and doctors are telling my sister that she only has few months left in her. And my sister is now taking care of the paperwork for hospice care my mom picked out few months ago.

All of this is really hard to believe. I just saw her 10 weeks ago. She was supposed to come see us in a month for Logan's birth.. I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones or if I'm just still in a shock, I find myself feeling okay and still very optimistic most of the time. There are moments when I feel suddenly overwhelmed by sadness.. Then I feel the baby move slowly inside me, from side to side, as if he is telling me that everything is going to be okay. 

It's easy to forget just how mortal we are. Mom's illness did have an effect on my decision to have a baby, because of the realization that one day, I might not be here or my husband might not be here, and I liked the idea of leaving a piece of us somewhere in the world when we leave our physical bodies. Her illness also had an impact on other life decisions -- like work; doing things I love NOW rather than saving it for later; cutting out and not wasting one minute of my life with toxic relationships.

We sometimes complain about family drama and the madness of family obligations, but I just want to say, it's sometimes a blessing to be able to complain about having that kind of burden. Since I left home for college when I was 17, I never really lived with my parents after that. I was often by myself for the holidays, and with my husband's family also living in a different country with different culture, our holidays and birthdays are very quiet. We joke that we're lucky, because we get to sleep in and lounge around the house eating crappy junk food all day instead of entertaining other relatives, but at times like this, I wish I wasn't so far away from my parents. 

All I can do now is keep praying for peace and a miracle. And not losing hope. 

Life Things: 31 weeks along and counting!

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Finally, Month 8 is here! I cannot believe it! 

This month is getting really exciting for Marty and me. We started taking our Prepared Childbirth classes! Our instructor was so awesome that we decided to give other classes a try too. So we signed up for: Infant Safety & CPR (car seats, choking, cpr stuff); Baby Care Basics (How to calm a fussy baby, etc); and Bootcamp for New Dads (This one is for Marty only).

So far, I haven't had any leg cramps, any backache, and haven't bought any maternity clothes. Everything feels pretty comfortable now. After the class, I suddenly got this feeling: Marty and I are doing this together! I'm not alone! 

Why is that I felt like pregnancy and labor/delivery are "women's job"? I thought about all the pregnancy jokes (i.e. "I'm growing a human inside me! The least you could do is cook/clean/treat me like a queen!) and how it makes people think growing a human and delivering the human is the woman's job, whereas the men's job is to just make her feel comfortable and feel sorry for her.

But yesterday's class was an eye-opening experience. The instructor made all the men talk to us through the relaxation exercise, and sure in the beginning, we felt awkward and funny. But by the third time, we got all serious, and I was surprised to find Marty's voice soothing and encouraging. That's when I really realized that we're in this together. It really made me feel closer to Marty and it was really moving.

Today, I felt like I could finally enjoy this baby's presence and pregnancy. Yes, I should've been more thankful about how easy this pregnancy has been. But deep down, I resented feeling limited and felt like I could use pregnancy as an excuse to get out of things. I wasn't even fearful of the labor/delivery; because I just couldn't picture it in my head and felt like it was someone else's life. But after last night's class, I'm convinced that everything is going to be okay.

9 more weeks, and Logan is going to be in my arms. Wow. People talk about making something out of nothing... Making babies is truly just THAT. I cannot believe I met a boy, and the boy and I made a human being and it's growing inside me. It's still crazy. :D