Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Cloth Collection: One Month In

One month in.... I love cloth diapering!

Are you surprised? I was, at least a little. Here are some of my thoughts after going cloth for a month.

First, a confession: We still use disposables at night. I know, I know, I just need to find what works for us after that first pee-rash prefold incident in November, but until our disposable stash from our baby shower and diaper party are through, I'm in no hurry to find out what that is. For now, we're getting used to cloth during the day, finding out what we like, and getting into a wash routine.

Our stash

I was lucky enough to have a friend who was up for lending me a bunch of different kinds of cloth diapers, so we could find out what worked for us. I ended up purchasing the following from her for $35 (including a Christmas dipey she made for us, not pictured) to start our stash.

The top two, from left, are Kawaii newborn pocket diapers with velcro (hook and loop or aplix) instead of snaps. The top right is a Bumgenius Freetime all-in-one in Ribbit. Middle row far left is an Alva pocket diaper, middle is a Bumgenius 4.0 in Mirror, and right is a Bumgenius Elemental in white. Bottom left is a Kawaii pocket diaper (I donno what style) and bottom right is a Flip cover in Twilight, with which I use a prefold liner. 

It was a good start - about enough to get through a day (she gets put into disposables by 7:30 or 8 in case she falls asleep earlier than her regular 9 p.m. bedtime). The problem was staying up late enough to wash and stuff and pack them for the following day. Not long after deciding to go full cloth (at least during the day), I started adding to my stash. 

This was my entire stash for a few weeks, about a two day supply (not including nights) and has since grown even larger. Yes, cloth diapering is addicting!
I added four prefolds by Gerber (around $14.99 from Kmart) for the Flip cover (one is inside the cover in this photo), which you can see in the bottom row. Third row far left is a hand me down Goodmama velour diaper (not waterproof, so she only wears it around the house to air out her butt, $0), and next to it is the Christmas dipey our friend Jamie made ($4 included in the initial lot). Second and third row down the middle are Bumgenius Freetimes in Dazzle and Clementine, which I bought with a gift card through Target online ($38.50). Far right column, middle two rows are Awesome Blossom pocket diapers my mother-in-law got on Zulily and gave to us as a baby shower gift ($0). Second column from right are Kawaiis - the top two and the guitar print I bought directly from theluvyourbaby.com, where shipping was enough to double the price ($32.72 total), but the camera print I got from a lady on FB based in St. Jacob who goes by Tender Tushies Cloth Diapers. I got it for about $10 with shipping. 

I would have been happy with my two day stash shown here (yeah, right), but then I learned that my dad, who watches our little one while we are at work during the week, has trouble with the snaps. So naturally, I went in search for some preloved, aplix diapers to make things easier on him. I rounded out my stash with three preloved Nicki's Diapers all-in-two hybrids, five new, in package (NIP) OS Kawaii aplix pockets, one Jungle Roo pocket diaper with snaps (possibly a rebranded Alva?) and one Fuzzibunz Elite in black.

Since starting this post draft, I actually bought a new Bumgenius 4.0 in Marie and cut myself off to start the new year. With hubby's express permission (since we made a deal), I made an exception for a NIP Bumgenius Freetime in Harper, because her middle name is Harper. 

I am toying with the idea of posting each kind/brand of diaper at a time and reviewing them on this blog. That's the plan currently, but we'll see how much time I have to get to it. To be cont... 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cloth Diapering - Initial Thoughts

Because I received two cloth diapers at my baby shower, and because a friend was willing to lend me some additional fluff, we've decided to give cloth diapering a shot this week. What follows is the record of our experiences. Stay tuned to find out whether we have the stamina to stick with it!

Day 1

Jamie arrived yesterday with two all-in-ones, four (or 6, I can't remember at the moment) pockets with extra inserts and three covers with a stack of prefolds and a snappy clasp. Add that to our original two pockets, and you have a recipe for a cloth diapering trial. She also showed us how to put them on, and demonstrated some cleaning techniques. Amelia got to see her first baby - Lydia, who is just a few weeks younger than her - and it became clear that she inherited her mommy's need for attention as a young child. ;)

Anyway, it's only been a day, but here are a few of my observations so far:

The Good
  • Cloth diapers are hella cute! I find I actually look forward to diaper changes (how gross is that) half the time, so I can pick out her next cutest diaper. 
  • They seem to do better (so far) with containing breastmilk poopsplosions, and as many up-the-backers as we've had lately with Huggies, we really needed that.
  • I feel better about putting them on my baby, because they are soft and comfy. The only disposables I feel that way about are Pampers swaddlers, and they are hella pricey!
  • Washing them isn't nearly as gross as I thought and I actually look forward to laundry. Weird!
The Bad
  • I tried a prefold with waterproof cover on her last night (bc I'm not doing that to my dad during the day), and she only slept 5 hours (she had been sleeping 7-8 consecutively at night for the last week or so). When she did wake up, the prefold was SOAKED in pee. I read that prefolds are better than pockets for overnight pee, so maybe I did something wrong. If not, so far I find cloth to be inferior to disposables at night.
  • I experienced a little bit of staining during the first wash. I'm going to invest in some Tide powder, which I think will help.
  • My parents and my husband are hesitant about the change, so I'm not getting a lot of support thus far. Today is my dad's first trial with them so we'll see how he does. I already know the velcro ones are going to work best for him because he doesn't have a lot of feeling in his fingers and has a hard time with the buttons on her onesies.
  • As cute as these diapers are, I'm not liking the bulkier ones as much thus far. I am finding it hard to squish her into clothes that previously looked so cute on her. :(
Even though it looks like the bad list is larger than the good so far, my overall feeling is a positive one. I am going to stick with it for a week or two and see how we feel. If I continue liking them and can get my husband and dad on board (since we are his primary caretakers), we might just do this for real.

Bonus Observation
  • Poop and pee totally don't bother me, but when she starts vomiting up more than breastmilk, she will be her father's responsibility ;)
More to come as we get further in.

Spoiler: Her daily morning up-the-backer at Grandpa's was successfully contained by a cloth diaper. This is a good start, and saves Grandpa from a lot of laundry. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Birth Story (Welcome Baby Amelia!)

She's here!!

The love of our lives, Amelia Harper, was born at 9:42 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, weighing 7 lbs., 4 oz., and measuring 20 in. long. Mommy and baby did very well and are perfectly healthy and happy.

The Golden Hour with mommy, moments after she was born.
This is our story.

All day Tuesday, after my 38-week appointment, I cramped and contracted and thought things must be getting close. Wednesday, things quieted down quite a bit, and baby was moving slightly less. 

Uncle Brian came over to play games with David, thinking it would be the last time they would in awhile. He felt bad, like he was imposing, but I had a feeling that if anything were going to happen, that it would overnight. (Maybe it was bc Braxton Hicks were always worse at night, or I just had a feeling). I watched a "Bones" marathon on Netflix, fixed an easy spaghetti dinner and Rice Krispies for dessert. That was the only sign of things to come - restlessness - but nothing completely out of the ordinary. 

Little did we know...

Around midnight, we laid down for bed, and after a quiet day, I started feeling contractions. At first, I thought I was having digestive issues, so I went to use the restroom, but had no luck. Next, I took a bath. Usually, that makes me feel better, but brought no relief this time. Back in bed, I tracked contractions with an app on my phone, and noticed that they were about 2 minutes apart. I still wasn't convinced this was it, but told David that I thought we might consider heading to the hospital. David freaked a little, but we gathered our senses and packed the car to head in. 

After checking in, completely calm, they took me to L&D and hooked me up while David waited in the waiting room. I was measuring about a 3.5, basically what I was at my last doctor's appointment. By the time David was sent in, the contractions were getting much stronger, but they still monitored me for an hour to see if I would make any progress. I tolerated the pain fairly well, I thought, but David watched as they grew stronger and stronger on the monitor. Closer to 6-7 cm, I started losing it. The contractions were worse than anything I'd felt before and they were lasting about a minute and a half, with no down time between. I never "screamed" per se, but I moaned loudly with each breath, which I struggled to catch, and I'm pretty sure everyone in the entire wing heard me. The nurse who checked me in gave me some IV pain meds to bring me relief between contractions, but it really didn't work long. While I waited for the anesthesiologist, I kept yelling "I need help - I need help!"

Once that epidural showed up, things were a breeze. Soon after, around 5 a.m, the nurses had a shift change and a friend of mine from days past turned out to be my L&D nurse (the previous one didn't even say anything about leaving). By 6 a.m., I was more than a 9, and we practiced pushing. (Confession: It felt a lot more like a bowel movement than I thought it would :/) Since my doctor was off Thursday, they thought she would be delivered by one of two on call doctors, but contacted mine anyway to let him know. Initially, he said he could be there after 10:30 a.m. (his wife was busy and he was watching the kids). Right near the end, the two on call doctors were switching shifts, when I got word that my doctor was about 7 minutes out. I felt relieved because I really like and trust my doctor, but when it took longer than I thought it would, it became harder and harder NOT to push. Anything I was doing at that point felt involuntary. I thought for sure Renee (the nurse) would end up delivering her, but just then my doctor showed. 

Not long after, at 9:42 a.m., she was born. They put her immediately on my chest and David stared lovingly at her. I couldn't really see her face she was so close, but I looked at her hands and feet, and already knew she was perfect. While we were doing that, the doctor delivered the placenta and showed it to us, along with what was apparently an extraordinarily long umbilical cord (which was only loosely wrapped around her neck twice). He made some joke about jump roping with it. :) After that, he sewed up a few superficial tears and took off a skin tag I've had since birth, and then it was over. 

Before heading to recovery, we watched another nurse give her a bath, which she hated, and then we went to rest in one of the postpartum rooms. She also didn't like when my mom put clothes on her for the first time, but now she loves them!

The next two days in the hospital flew by, even though neither David or I got any sleep. We passed the time staring at our little girl, squeezing in intermittent naps, learning to breastfeed and watching seasons 2 and 3 of Friends on DVD. Thursday, both sets of grandparents, all three uncles and a soon to be aunt visited, as well as my aunt and uncle. Friday, all of my aunts and some friends popped in. 

The nurses at the hospital were great. Every time Amelia needed to eat, one of them came to the room and helped us. We really struggled. My body wouldn't cooperate and it was hard for her to latch on - that, and, my milk obviously hadn't come in yet. I wasn't sure she was getting anything. Apparently she was, though, with the help of those ladies. She even gained an ounce at the hospital, which they said was really strange. 

Saturday morning, we waited for my doctor to come in and discharge us. We were ready to go home, even though my doctor invited us to stay through the evening. We checked out around 1 p.m. anyway. It was a cool 75 degrees outside, even though the previous two days had been abnormally hot.

Looking back, I sort of wish I had stayed in the hospital as long as possible. We have the rest of our lives to be home, and this first week has been quite the adjustment. We've had several visitors, and my mom even took off a few days to be at home with us so we could get some sleep. But I have been battling some serious baby blues - like that depression you get after Christmas is over and everything goes back to normal - only I'm also running on a week of nearly no sleep. I feel lonely a lot, especially since David went back to work, and there have been bouts of hormonal crying, especially at night. Today, my dad stopped by to check on us a few times, so it wasn't so bad, but sitting here waiting for David to come home is depressing. That, and I think we hit a growth spurt last night, because she fed for 4 hours almost consecutively, and STILL had to take some formula to go down for a few more hours.

Amelia is as sweet as ever, and we're getting the hang of breastfeeding. We love our little angel face, who turns one week old today. Time is already going too fast!

Here is a proof of my favorite hospital pic by Mom 365 :) We bought this as a keychain for each of us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Early Maternity Leave

I had my 38-week appointment yesterday morning (38w, 3 days), and came home on early maternity leave.

Everything, for the most part, looked good - baby's size, her heart rate (a steady 155, as per usual), etc. I was even dilated a little past a 3 and 50-60% effaced. My OBGYN seemed pretty impressed, and said things were moving along nicely.
In case this was my last chance to take a photo of my pregnant self, at 38w3d.

He estimated her size and weight around 7 pounds (my fundus height was 36), but then he had me sit up, bend over and lay back down so he could double check. This time, fundus height was 38, and he adjusted his estimate up. I never did catch the number, though I understand guessing is not always very accurate ;)

One small hiccup - my blood pressure, which had been consistently fabulous this whole pregnancy, was a little high when the nurse took it, at 140. When my OB came in, he checked it again, and again, 140. He took it a third time, this time in my right arm instead of my left (after a few deep breaths), and it was 130, which he seemed comfortable with.

He asked me if I felt like I wanted to induce or go into labor naturally, noting that while my original due date was Sept. 15, her ultrasounds had her at Sept. 7, which is Sunday.

I replied that I thought it would be great to go into labor naturally, so he set another appointment for me on Friday morning to check my blood pressure, and sent me home with a doctor's note to start maternity leave right away. He said he figured my bp would normalize if I laid around and took it easy, but that they would check again on Friday, and induce if it was still high. I don't necessarily have a problem with that.

All day yesterday and last night I had some cramping and light spotting, which apparently is normal after a cervical check this far along. Overnight I didn't seem to notice, so if anything happened it wasn't too strong. This morning, I had a bit of bloody show, which is an encouraging sign of progress - but today, things are moving along quite slowly again.

This week is basically a waiting game, but I have a feeling that if we make it to Friday, we'll probably end up inducing. I trust my body and I'd rather go naturally, but at this point, I'm using up sick time without her, not to mention we're eager to meet her and bond with her and take care of her on the outside.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Maternity Preview

We had maternity pics with Korin today. She took our engagement photos, wedding photos, now maternity photos, and soon, she'll take our newborn pics.

Here are the preview photos she's already posted. I love them, but can't help but notice how huge I am! No wonder things are getting so uncomfortable.

Oh, and one bare belly pic just because.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

33 Weeks Update

Just a quickie update here. 

Went to the doctor last Friday (32 weeks, 6 days) and had a super fast checkup. Before I get to that, let's rewind a bit, since I've been an update slacker. 

At around 28 weeks, I flunked my one-hour glucose screen and had to take the 3-hour screen (not nearly as bad as people say it is). I actually thought it was a breese, and I passed - but my three-hour number was high. At least two of the four numbers have to be high for a gestational diabetes diagnosis. The doctor said that can still change at the pregnancy goes on, so we'll need to watch that a bit, but for the moment it appeared that we're in the clear.  

During that same appointment, her heartbeat was a strong 154-157, as usual, and she had moved into a head down position, where weeks ago, she had been lying transverse (on her side). My uterus was measuring a little on the small side of normal. Still, he felt around and estimated her actual size at around 3.5 pounds (normal), and told me for the umpteenth time that I'm still "carrying wide." (I understood that when she was apparently lying transverse, but what the heck does it mean now? I will never know.)

This time her heart rate was about the same; maybe a little closer to 157 because she was moving around a lot. She's still head down (in "go" position), and I'm still "carrying wide" but only gained a pound over the last two weeks, which he estimated to be her. He says she's about 4.5 pounds now (at basically 33 weeks), which he said was pretty big for her age, although from everything I've read online it seems to be in the normal range (really though, what do I know?).

I haven't had any Braxton-Hicks contractions yet, unless I have and I don't know that's what they are (I think maybe I had my first ones last night).

Only 7 weeks to go, and lots to do!

Diaper Shower/Co-Ed Shower Success

David's mom, dad and brother threw us an amazing Co-Ed Shower/Diaper Party at Brian's house on July 20 (32 weeks) where we got a lot of new stuff for Baby Amelia and had a blast with many of our closest friends and family members. Thought I'd recap some of it here with photos before this weekend's Wittman Family Baby Shower, which will be much more traditional, but fun nonetheless. ;) 

Both of these special events mean that our due date is coming ever closer, but at least we're getting things together and ready for our new arrival!

We got loads of diapers and wipes, in addition to a lot of great gifts, but this diaper cake was so adorable! Although it's summer time and lots of people couldn't make it, most of the people we regularly hang out with showed up, including a 7-week-old baby, and a 9-day-old baby. They were adorable, but mom and dad aren't ready to hold them just yet. ;)

We played party games - mostly the guys - involving babies in ice cubes (whose water will break first?) and tying your shoes with a balloon in your shirt, and encouraged guests to make Amelia a personalized toy block to play with when she's older. Marissa helped with a lot of the planning and was an amazing help, even though she just came back from a trip to Mexico the previous day (poor tired lady!).

Among a multitude of overly generous gifts from everyone in attendance, Athena and Bryan got us this awesome Doctor Who outfit for when she outgrows her TARDIS onesie. ;) Uncle James brought her a copy of one of his favorite short storybooks as a child, complete with a personalized note inside. 

All in all, we got a great start on her closet and things are starting to feel more real.

Go on, admire the craftmanship of these toy blocks ;)