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Cloth Diapers

Monday, September 9, 2013

I don't know what it is about landfills, but they bug me. Something about taking care of the Earth that we've been given...

We were not placed on this Earth to harm her, we were put on this Earth to be good stewards of it. Now, you can decide for yourself what it means to be a good steward, and whatever you decide you just go ahead and do. We all have our free agency. 

For me, I've decided one of the ways I can be a good steward is to reduce, reuse and recycle, even if at times it may seem inconvenient. That means recycling everything that can be recycled, and not just plastics and papers and metals and stuff that can go in the blue and green can...old clothes and things that I'm not going to use but that can be donated and someone else can put to good use...old clothes and things that can be remade into things if they are no longer fit for their original purpose...I love printing double sided on paper, and if it wasn't then to use the back as scrap before recycling it...I love composting, while smelly at times I love seeing it turn into black gold for my garden next year and then only having to take the trash out once every two weeks...I don't let the water run, hardly ever...when I can I hang the laundry outside to dry...I buy things in bulk and freeze them in reusable containers instead of ziplocks so that I don't have to throw a bag away...

For me, it brings me joy to try to reduce my "carbon foot print". And now having a baby, I was shocked at how hard it was to find things that were reusable. Everything, and I mean everything is disposable! Nursing pads (you could go through 2-6 sets a day, depending on how your body works), breast milk storage (depends on how much you pump, but that could be at least 2-3 a day), diapers (10-20 a day) and wipes (at least 2 for every diaper, and then a couple for faces and hands a day)...and that adds up to a lot of things being thrown away! Thrown away, sitting, in a landfill...not decomposing...for like ever. 

I don't know if I have a mental disorder, but it seriously hurts me to throw something away. So call me crazy, I want to use reusable things with my baby. I had to do a lot of research to find them, but I did. I found reusable breast milk storage, I found washable nursing pads (honestly, they are so much more comfortable and breathable than the disposable ones), and I found cloth diapers. 

Now cloth diapers was the hardest to research. There is a lot of information out there, some of it helpful and some of it not so helpful. So if you would like to know, here is what I found (so you don't have to go out and do all that research). 

 At the heart of a cloth diaper brigade, you have a cloth diaper and a diaper cover. 

They have really fancy ones, and for some reason they like to make it confusing.

 I like the idea of the more traditional method, just a diaper and a cover. Why make it so complicated when it doesn't have to be?

This was my favorite site for information.

Thirsties Baby

Out of all the blogs, and all the websites you can purchase from, this was the most concise, most informative, and unbiased.

Out of all of the diapers I got, my favorites are Gerber, they have the most fabric and are the most absorbent.

My favorite covers are here.

Yeah, sure, they stain a little. Many people have asked if it's sanitary...newborn urine and poop is water soluble, they're pretty darn clean. I keep them in a metal pail to keep the smell down, and I smell nothing. I have experienced just as many leaks and blow outs in disposables as cloth.

I also love my cloth wipes. Instead of buying expensive cloth wipes, I made my own. I think I used these? They looked like tea towels, they didn't have pre-folds. This is my go to site for different recipes for my wipes.

I use baby powder to help keep him dry, and I just keep up on diaper rash so I don't have to use a lot of diaper cream so that I don't have to buy special cloth diaper diaper cream.

I line dry them, the sun really takes out the stains.

Basically, I'm loving it. Most of all, I love not having to buy a lot of expensive disposable diapers and wipes.

The Birth Story: Jacob

For your entertainment (hopefully you get a good laugh or two), and for my memory...here's how we got Jacob.

His due date was Sunday August 4th. I had a doctors appointment on Thursday August 1st, where he checked me and said that I was dilated to 1.5 cm, and I was so excited! I thought for sure it was happening today, or tomorrow, or at the very least by Sunday his due date. I thought thank goodness this baby is going to come out on time!!! Thursday the contractions were so painful they woke me up out of a dead sleep screaming...I thought for sure I was having this baby.

---
Robbie has this weird wishful thinking thing that he does. If he doesn't want it to happen, it doesn't, and if he does want it to happen, it does and it happens when he wants it to. 

For example

The day he decided he was ready to have a baby (even though we had been trying for a few months now) was the day we conceived.

He wanted a baby boy, and what does the ultra sound show? A baby boy. 

We were at the doctor's office and the receptionist asked if we wanted our next appointment next Thursday in the morning, and Robbie said it would be best around this same time for him to get off of work so I don't have to drive myself...she said that was probably impossible...and then she gasped and said "will you look at that, you can come in at the same time next Thursday". 

You are never really ready to have the baby. There is always something else to do, some project not finished, emotionally and mentally are you ready to have a newborn? I was, but he wasn't. I was having contractions Thursday...Friday...Saturday...and Sunday...I was so uncomfortable and at my breaking point thinking when will he come out of me??? I thought I was going to have whip lash with all the starting and stopping these contractions were doing. I asked Robbie if he was doing his wishful thinking yet and he gave me the look of a guilty "no". So we talked, and finally he said he was ready...and so was I...

And Monday I went into active labor and had the baby. 

If he wishes it or wants it to happen, it happens, when he wants it to happen. 

Weird right?
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Anyways, I was so excited Thursday...then less excited Friday...frustrated Saturday...and completely depressed Sunday. I'd spent the last three days waiting, partly because that was all I could do my back was in so much pain, partly because I was afraid if I did anything I wouldn't notice I was in labor (completely bonkers, right?). So many people said exercise will get him out, and I would have loved to believe me, but my back hurt after walking for more than 15 minutes, and then I had to be laying down on my side for the next couple of hours...

By Monday I decided I was going to be as productive as I could. I couldn't wait like I had waited the last couple of days, I needed to keep myself busy somehow with what little movement I could manage or I was going to go crazy. Someone said (or I read it in a book) that most women get some sort of last stretch energy the day they go into active labor...well I did and just didn't realize it. I had been as productive as I could be sitting and laying down until Robbie came to get me at 1:30pm (I had planned to vacuum and do the dishes after we got back). I started having contractions when I got in the car, so just in case we grabbed my to go bag and my car with the car seat...I thought they would just go away after an hour or so just like all the other ones had since Thursday. 

2:00pm we're at the doctors and the nurse practitioner checks my urine, my blood pressure, his heart beat, my weight (in the past week I had gained 4 pounds...that's almost a pound a day! I was drinking so much water, I hoped it was all him and water weight, and not my thighs)...We waited for the doctor to come in, and at 2:30pm he checked the height of the fundus, and as I was scooting down and putting my legs in the stirrups so he could check me I had the weirdest feeling. I said "oh, I know I didn't just pee all over you. Was that my water breaking?" Sure enough, it wasn't broken all the way, but something had ruptured. I was dilated to 2, and my contractions still hadn't let up...in fact, they were getting a little stronger...

I was so excited. Depending on what the doctor said, we were going to asked to be induced on Thursday so Robbie could spend the weekend away from work and not have to worry about it...Well, no need to ask that now! He looked at Robbie and said "Take her to the hospital, it's time." This is when I started saying the crazy things. I looked at the doctor and asked "Okay, and they'll know what to do, right?"... he gave me what was for him a dirty look almost! He then smiled and said "Yes, they'll know what to do". I laughed and apologized...that was probably a little rude...but I was so excited and nervous...and ready...and not ready all at the same time. Oh my goodness. Here we go!

We get to the hospital and into a room around 3:00pm. They hook me up to an IV (and I cried. That was more painful than the contractions had been so far, mainly because I hate needles...and then I couldn't really move my hand. I hated the feeling), hook up the contraction monitor to my abdomen and find the baby's heart beat too. By now the contractions are getting stronger and closer together. I'm laying on the bed, and I can really feel it in my back. So Robbie starts to rub, and he doesn't stop rubbing until it's time to push. 

I don't know how long it took me to get to three, or any of the other centimeters...I wasn't really looking at the clock...except around 5:00pm when they scolded me for eating. I was starving, it was dinner time, and they expected me to finish what I had started without refueling??? They were crazy, and I was pissed...

But the contractions were coming so regularly now I wasn't in the mood to argue. By then my legs had fallen asleep and were numb just from sitting and laying in the bed, and I DID NOT LIKE NOT BEING ABLE TO FEEL MY LEGS. So I said no to the epidural, for some strange reason I wanted to feel every stinkin' minute of this thing. One of the nurses suggested standing up and leaning over/resting my arms on a table with a pillow on it, and that worked wonders. My labor was progressing very, very fast. Every time they checked me the nurses were like, holy crap you're at a ___ now when normally we might expect you to be a couple less. 

Standing up I was able to bear the back pain a little better. Robbie had to keep rubbing though, and every now and then put ice on my back. So of course in those hospital robes, in order for Robbie to get a good rub on, my rear was  being shown off to the world and I didn't care...until my dad and mom knocked at the door. They knocked in between a contraction, so Robbie stopped rubbing to go and see who it was...the contractions started while I heard my dad laugh and I yelled "What the hell is he doing here? Dad, go away!" Robbie came hustling back to my side to rub and through the closed door they told me they loved me and to be strong, and I said through gritted teeth that I loved them too...I did not want anyone else in that room besides my husband, because I had a feeling I was going to be showing off my body to everyone there and my dad did NOT need to see that (I don't know if he actually wanted to come in, probably not, but he just wanted me to know that they were there if I needed them). 

The other reasons that I didn't take an epidural (besides the fact that I knew I didn't like not being able to feel my legs) was one, because my labor was progressing so so fast...and second, because really the pain wasn't that bad. Everyone has said it is something to be feared, something you can't live through...but the pain really wasn't that at all. It felt concentrated in my back and in my pelvis and a little in my abdomen, and the pain was no more painful than a really intense workout (pain varying from 4-7 on a scale of 1-10) like running hills, how the pain is concentrated in your thighs and you think you won't make it to the top, but then you do and you're okay until you have to do it again, and again, and again, each time a little more tired but that much closer to your goal. 

I kept saying things like "this is all going to be worth it", and "I can stand this pain, I've gone through worse workouts, I can bare this". Robbie was fantastic, reminding me to breathe through the contractions (turns out you really do forget to breathe properly), rubbing me down (not just my back, my thighs and calves and feet and hips and neck etc) during contractions and in between them too, telling me every single time I made it through a contraction that I did a great job. Every kiss to my neck was comforting, I held his hand and leaned into the crook of his arm as I leaned over the table every contraction. 

Turns out my water hadn't broken completely. The doctor came in and popped it all the way (again, I wasn't looking at the clock, I have no idea what times any of these things happened). I didn't look because I had to be on my back lying down and the pressure of that baby on my back with the contractions was almost too much to bare, so I just closed my eyes and loosened my jaw and breathed deeply while water surrounded me. Holy crap, when my water really broke there was A LOT of fluid, it felt like someone dumped a two or three gallon bucket of warm bath water around me. Once he did that I was able to stand back up again, and they told Robbie to look for red blood and if he saw any to call the nurses in right away because that was a sign of distress. No red, just lots of water. It was so uncomfortable to have that stream every single contraction...and stream isn't quite right, trickle is definitely not right, it was like someone turned on the faucet for the entire contraction and then turned it down a little after it was done. 

One of the reasons I was progressing so fast was because I wasn't just having one contraction then a rest, then a contraction then a rest...I was having at least three back to back, and only a couple minutes of a break. 

Sometime around 8:00pm I was at an 8....and that's when the pain that I couldn't bare started. This was the pain that everyone talked about, the unbearable and agonizing pain that could not be compared to anything else on this earth. I screamed Earth shattering screams, and the contractions were so close together I didn't have any breaks. I got so hot I ripped my gown off and laid there butt naked. Several times the nurses tried to cover me up again with the sheets and I screamed at them to not put them on me, can't you see I'm hot?!!? I hit the guard rail with my hands so I wouldn't hit my husband, even though I really wanted to. I was so glad earlier when he was reminding me to breathe, but now it just sounded like he was bossing me around. I screamed at him if he told me to breathe one more time that I'd kill him, and I screamed don't stop rubbing!!! He said he didn't, and I screamed yes you did, and then he laughed after the contraction and said okay I did, I'm sorry. We tried to laugh during this whole thing, but it was really hard. During each contraction I really felt like I couldn't breathe, I was trying so hard not to scream and not to hyperventilate, but the pain was so bad and I really couldn't breathe...

I felt like I had to push. I thought that I was still at an 8 when I was at a 10, because they kept telling me I couldn't push...a part of my cervix was in the way. They kept saying they were waiting for the doctor and then I could start pushing. I screamed I don't care where the hell the doctor is, I need to push and I need to push now! During one of the contractions they pushed the rest of the cervix out of the way (I don't know how many people had their hands up in me, but there were quite a few...I'm quite done with people stickin' things into me, wherever they're stickin' and whatever it is). Once the cervix was fully out of the way they said I could start pushing even though the doctor wasn't there yet. They told me how to most effectively push, to pull my knees up to my chest, push my chin to my chest, hold my breathe to use my diaphragm to increase the pressure. During the contraction push 3 times, holding each push for ten seconds. The first time I pushed Robbie didn't say anything...that first push didn't go so well. I turned my head to see where he was, and told him I needed him. If he hadn't been there telling me to push, I don't know if I would have made it. I'm pretty sure he got offended at some of the things I said to him, even though I told him he couldn't. I'm sorry that I hurt his feelings, but really, the pain was unbearable, I lost my mind.

I was so happy and relieved that I could finally push I didn't scream any more, I didn't do anything but concentrate, and lay there. The pain was almost gone, the contractions now that the cervix was out of the way were only maybe a 4. Pushing just felt like taking the biggest bowel movement of my life. Once his head was through, they told me to relax...once his head was out the contractions stopped and I felt clean. They pulled him out, then put him on top of me...he was so ugly but he was the most adorable thing to me. I started laughing, and they took him to clean him up. He was so quiet, and wide eyed.

Born at 10:01pm, August 5th, 7 lbs 3 oz, 21 inches long.

I apologized to the nurses for my foul mouth (even though I think I only cursed three times? I still felt bad) and for yelling at them. They were so nice to me, telling me how I was not bad at all and how great I did. I got this weird feeling and told everyone that I wasn't sure if it was some strange last ditch effort, but I wasn't tired. I was just starving!!! The sandwich they brought me was the best tasting thing I've ever eaten.

All I wanted to do was get dressed...and eat...and sleep...and hold my baby boy. I thought it was funny that holding my baby boy was not first on my list...maybe because I knew I had just held him inside for nine months and this was the first time I was all by myself, and that as soon as my mom and mother in law left after the first week I was going to have him all to myself and it was probably going to drive me insane.

Nursing for the first time was crazy. Thank goodness for nurses who didn't even ask if they could man handle me, because if they hadn't I don't know if I would have figured it out. Every time Robbie said something, Jacob would pull off the nipple and look around for him. From that first moment he knew his daddy's voice.

The rest is kind of a blur. Sleep deprivation started right then and there. After the grandparents left, Robbie held him while we waited for them to move me. They said it was going to be soon. An hour later, they said they were going to move me soon. I told him to get his butt home, I'd be okay...my poor puppy hadn't peed all day and even though it looked like I did all the work I knew Robbie was exhausted too. There wasn't much he could do to help me nurse, which is what I'd be doing all night, so we figured he might as well get some good sleep.

I woke up maybe 30 minutes later to this crazy crying! It was the most noise I'd heard my baby make in the 3-4 hours he'd been born. I was so happy to hear him, even though I had no idea what in the world he wanted. We tried nursing, and it worked! Every time nursing didn't work it was the most frustrating and depressing thing ever, and every time it did it was the most joyful and fulfilling feeling ever.

We did have a scary moment that morning...I really didn't like my night nurse...I all of a sudden passed these huge blood clots (the size of a few large grape fruits)...She said I was fine, took my iv out and threw away the clots without showing them to anyone. I started to cry because I did not feel like everything was okay, I knew I was supposed to bleed but that was too much blood, and all clotted like that? I was scared, and didn't know what to do. I thank God that my pediatrician, and now Jacob's, came in not five minutes later, checked my baby boy (who was healthy as can be) and then asked me what was wrong. He went and told those nurses a thing or two. New nurses came in, gave me a shot to make my uterus start contracting (it was all out of place, and not shrinking like it should have). They had to stick another iv in me...I was okay after that, but for some reason that scared me more than giving birth, maybe because I had no idea what was going on. I was so glad Robbie was there.

We stayed one more night so they could make sure I was alright. Our pediatrician told us that they called him last night at 9:00pm to tell him Jacob had a jaundice level of 7. He said they didn't worry about jaundice until it got to be like 18...he made it into a joke, it was funny, I'm not doing it justice. I love that man.

I had nightmares about the pain of that last 8-10 centimeters. I just now (a month later) tried to remember the pain, and can't. You really do forget.

That first week was so hard. If my mom hadn't been there during the nights I don't know how I would have survived. It was like during labor, my brain was just so tired it wasn't functioning clearly. Even though I knew I had to breathe, I forgot and needed Robbie to remind me. My mom just took me through the steps...he's crying, is it a diaper, is it gas, does he need to be swaddled, is he hungry...even though I knew to check all those things, when he's crying, and you're exhausted, you just can't think rationally. And my mother in law helping during the day...how does anyone do this by themselves? I'm grateful for everyone who has helped...I didn't want to ask for help, but I really needed it, and I'm grateful for good family and friends who love and care for me. I hope to pay it forward.

Now every day is a new adventure. Every time I think he has a schedule he psyches me out...just kidding he tells me. Week number three was crazy! He was only sleeping for 2 hours, then eating for at least 30 minutes...I snapped at the end of the week...sleep deprivation really does some crazy crap to you.

I live for the four hour naps, showers, when he snuggles into me and when he smiles at me. My newest perfumes are newborn, spit up, breast milk, and the occasional leakage from the diaper.

I love being this little man's mom. It amazes me how much I love him. It amazes me how much I love my husband, and how great he is at being a dad and taking care of us. I don't know if he knows how much I love him, and how much I need him even though I've told him a thousand times. I wouldn't have been able to make it through any of this without him.

Life is pretty much amazing. I'm loving this new adventure.

He's my little monkey, I can't wait till he gets chunky!

And I can officially say I'm a stay at home mom! Sweet. 


So tired...
Hey grandpa!

Holding daddy's finger :)
I've got my eye on you...
Isn't nana just beautiful?


Great grandparents! 
First bath...didn't like it so much. But he loves them now...he just loves to soak :)

Indy is so protective. They are going to be best friends.
He's so handsome.

Sorry I'm not a big picture taker. It's the lack of a good camera, he doesn't like to be put down so I can't get a good angle, I don't look pretty and I'd like to get a few of me and him...and by the time Robbie gets home to help me take a picture if I did look pretty at one point in time it has far passed. But as each day goes by I get more and more productive, and I get better at multi tasking and doing things one handed (and better at doing things and being exhausted at the same time). So more pictures to come! And lets be honest, he's not so alien looking anymore :)

If you want to follow all my posts about my pregnancy in order, here you go.


 
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