Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Life Lately: Needlepointing

via Unsplash

Long time no blog, yet again! The transition back to full-time work in the office as a new mom has, naturally, been challenging. It leaves relatively little mental energy for writing about anything really, or even for thinking about clothes and accessories (much less shopping for them). Though I do shop - a lot - for baby supplies, things for the household, and also for my very recently acquired needlepoint hobby.

I've long been curious about needlepointing because a few bigger bloggers out there that I'm aware of are very into it. I only started needlepointing around two weeks ago, and I've found that it can be a relatively straightforward hobby to jump right in to. It's essentially paint-by-the-numbers using thread, and the most basic stitches are quite easy to learn. 

Given how mentally and physically exhausted I get by the end of each day between commuting, work, caring for LB, and other house chores - I'm often too tired to even watch television and follow a story that way - needlepointing feels like a particularly suitable hobby for me at the moment. I find the repetitive motions comforting. It's also fun to feel like I'm creating something, even if it's only in terms of executing someone else's design or art. 

Please note that this portion of the post contains affiliate links that could result in my earning a small commission - at no extra cost to you - if you click and make a purchase. Thank you for your support!

Because many of the needlepoint canvases one might like to start with are hand-painted, it is a fairly expensive hobby. This was my first canvas, which I bought as a kit including thread, a project bag, and a seam ripper for $65. With that and a pair of embroidery scissors and a magnetic needle-minder, I was all set to get started. In this hobby, one will mostly be shopping from small businesses and/or directly from the artist who designed the canvas, so that's nice at least. 

In other news, I was recently able to discontinue blood pressure medication at a little over seven months after LB's birth. I'm told that, in theory, the lingering hypertension caused by preeclampsia should end by around six weeks postpartum. In practice, many patients end up on blood pressure medication for quite a long time after, sometimes for months, sometimes for years. 

I've made no significant lifestyle changes since LB was born, whether in terms of diet or exercise, and for the first four or five months I required significant doses of blood pressure medication to control my hypertension. After that point, I started to need less and less, until I was finally able to wean completely off very recently. 

It's good to be off the medication because while the side effects were manageable, they were also quite noticeable throughout the day. During the weaning off phase, I would often get sudden bouts of fatigue and occasionally felt dizzy. I also got a persistent dry cough from an ACE inhibitor I tried towards the end, and that can actually take weeks or months after discontinuing the medication to fully go away. 

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