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As promised, here is a picture of the 100-year old cradle, first slept in by my grandfather and his sisters on Blue Hills Avenue in early 1900s Connecticut, later reused and water-stained and poorly repaired, even later disassembled and stored in various basements belonging to my parents, and this year restored to glory by my dad and me (but mostly by my dad) so that my grandfather’s great-granddaughter can be rocked to sleep in it:
Our little one will be arriving any day now, and when she is laid down in this cradle (if we can bear to not hold her for one second!) she will be the fourth generation to be rocked to sleep there.
I agonized a little bit about how to make it comfortable, since crib standards have been updated a bit (!) since its manufacture; they are no longer built quite this low or this narrow, so there were no pre-made mattresses we could buy for it. Short of having a ridiculously expensive custom mattress made (which anyway would take many weeks), I bought a 3’x3′ section of 1-inch thick upholstery foam, a yard of pre-quilted cotton for padding, and a yard of the most beautiful, soft, 100% wool to go on top.
I brought all this home thinking I would have to do some tricky cutting of the foam, and sewing the quilted cotton and wool together so it all fits inside nicely, but good old Dad came up with a better solution. When he delivered the crib the other night, he spied the foam, folded it in half, and pushed it down into the crib. Voila, no cutting needed, because the slight extra inches on either side hold it nice and snug between the rails. Then my husband and I simply wrapped the cotton and wool layers around the foam, and voila, no sewing needed! It’s not perfect, but this way the layers can be washed individually if needed. Most importantly, I’m not beholden to whatever naive sewing mistakes I might have made if I’d tried to sew all this stuff with only one week left before my due date and an awful lot of napping to catch up on.
Anyway, our house feels nearly complete now. We have everything ready for the homebirth, and almost everything ready for the baby herself. I’m just waiting, waiting, for labor to start, going on my walks and drinking my raspberry leaf tea. Hopefully there will be news soon!