Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wipe Solution

I use cloth wipes instead of disposables. I make my own wipe solution that I use along with my cloth wipe warmer. I have found that cloth cleans much better than disposables and is more soothing to the skin. They are easy to use too. I just wash them along with my diapers. It's easy!

Here is my recipe for cloth wipe solution.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBSP baby wash
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 cup chamomile tea

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wooly Rounds Contest Giveaway

Want to win a set of 4 Wooly Rounds dryer balls? Wooly Rounds is giving away 4 wool dryer balls through Cloth Diaper Contests and Giveaways! Wool dryer balls assist in shortening dryer time, saving energy! Come enter to win! Contests closes 9/26.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shopping Trip

Today we practically bought out the local cloth diapering store near us, The Giggling Green Bean. We went for a demo on wool care and originally intended to buy a wool soaker to cover a prefold diaper for night time diapering. We got one Woolybottoms hybrid soaker and some lanolin and were put on the call list for when they get a new shipment! They only had one size xs.
We also got some cloth wipes for the diaper bag. We already have several for home use but wanted to continue to use cloth when out and about.

My birthday is coming up and so Husband got me a Mei Tai carrier for when Baby J is a little older. I love my Maya Wrap. It's so easy for nursing on the go, but I wanted
something more structured when he's bigger, plus Husband wants to wear him some and ring slings are too girly apparently. I had to pick out a "manly" print. I picked guitars.

We had checked out and were leaving when we passed a box full
of knit hats that were being
stocked so we had to check them out. Aaaaand bought 3. Now all we need is some cool weather!

On our way to checkout counter for the second time I passed some Baltic amber teething necklaces so I grabbed one for when Baby J starts teething. It was
a great day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Third Hand Smoke Danger

I recently read a small article about third hand smoke and babies and it makes me nervous! "Third-hand smoke is tobacco smoke contamination that remains after the cigarette has been extinguished," says Jonathan Winickoff, a pediatrician at the Dana–Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Bostonand author of a study on the new phenomenon published in the journal Pediatrics. Basically it's what's left over on the smoker's skin, clothing and surroundings. These things, including the smoker actually emit toxins.
Anyone who comes in contact with this third hand smoke are effected. There are 250 poisonous toxins in cigarette smoke and all are left on skin and surfaces. The developing brain is extremely susceptible to these toxins and make children and infants 20 more susceptible to these toxins.
Any child who is held by someone who has smoked has nicotine, among other toxins, being leached into their skin. Studies have also proved that it is transferred into breast milk by smoking mothers.
I believe it is important for every family to know the risks of third hand smoke. Opening a window or turning on a fan does not help. Neither does washing. Smoke has leached into the smoker's hands that
does not wash out. It also is transferred to infants. I'm super nervous because my mother in law just visited us and held Baby J. She is a smoker and each time I got him back from her, he smelled like smoke. Makes me sad...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Wanna Dance.

I started physical therapy for my knee finally. Monday when I went in I was able to bend it 16 degrees. Today when I left I was at 29 degrees. I really hope that this is a quick recovery. I'm so tired of having a stiff, unbendable leg. The therapist said he can feel scar tissue in there and worries that I may not be able to break it all down but I'm determined. Our goal for next week is 60 degrees.

Baby J is sleeping in my left arm and Husband is watching Star Trek so I'll just go into the story of my injury and how it effected my labor and delivery, my stay at the hospital and life as a mom afterwards.

I may sound a bit over dramatic but this has seriously effected my physical and mental health.

June 14, I was 36 weeks pregnant. I had my weekly appointment with my OB and was told that everything looked great. My cervix was closed, I was negative for the group B strep, everything great. We went home and I cooked dinner. Afterwards I began loading the dishwasher but was having trouble with my back and being so hugely pregnant. My husband came in and volunteered to finish the dishes. I grabbed a dish towel and went upstairs to throw it in the washing machine I had just started earlier. As I came down stairs I decided to clean up the grease from the stove that had splattered when I was cooking instead of sit down like my husband suggested. Right as I entered the kitchen, I slipped on a puddle of water (from our crappy dishwasher) and fell. I twisted my body so I would not land on my belly and felt my knee cap pop out of position. Laying there I reached down and noticed it didn't pop back into place on it's own like it had the last two times I had dislocated it seven years earlier. Unlike the last two times, the pain was excruciating. I began screaming for my husband. He immediately called 911 because he didn't know if I had also landed on my stomach and I was screaming hysterically. (I usually have a pretty high pain tolerance.)
Paramedics arrived shortly and started an I.V. They gave me a very small amount of pain medication and carefully put me on the backboard and carried me to the waiting ambulance. The ride to the hospital was terrible. Every tiny bump sent shooting pain throughout my knee and left leg. Once we arrived, they placed me in a room with a waiting labor and delivery nurse. She immediately hooked me up to a monitor to check on my baby and drew blood to check and see if fetal blood had mixed with mine. My husband arrived and sat with me. Nurses and doctors came in and examined my knee. They told me that they usually put patients under to pop the knee cap back in but since I was pregnant, that was impossible. Suddenly a new doctor walked in. Nurses tried engaging me in conversation, asking me about the baby. I wasn't fooled. I knew what was about to happen. The doctor yanked my foot and pushed the side of my knee and it snapped back in place. After the initial wave of nausea passed, I felt much better. The pain almost vanished. I was wheeled up to the labor and delivery floor for 3 more hours of monitoring. While I was there, the blood test came back. No fetal blood. My baby was fine. At 1:00 am I was wheeled out in a wheelchair to the car. I had no strength in my leg and my husband had to hold it up for me while the nurse helped me into the back seat. I sat lengthwise in the back on the way home. My husband told me he had called my mom to tell her what had happened and she would be on her way to our home the next morning.

The next afternoon, my mom arrived. We also had an appointment with my doctor so we could get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. My husband helped me into a rolling office chair and held my leg up as my mom rolled me to the stairs. Like the night before, I sat down and lowered myself down each step using my arm strength as my husband held my leg out. Once down, they helped me back in the rolling chair and we slowly made it to the car. They helped me into the back seat.
At the doctors office, I was given an immobilizing brace to wear instead of the ace bandage I had from the hospital. I had worn them before with the previous injuries so I knew what they were all about. I was not to bend my knee so the ligaments would have time to heal and tighten. We were given the referral and back we went to the car. The process started again. I was helped into the car, we came home and I used my upper body strength to scoot upstairs as my husband held my leg. I began contracting as I went up each stair from tightening my abdominals as I climbed so I had to take many stops. It took about 20 minutes to go up 13 steps.

Look how swollen my foot is!

Since going up and down stairs was so hard, I was banished to the top. Each time I had to go to the bathroom, I was helped into the rolling chair and my mom rolled me as my husband held out my leg. I was helped down on the toilet, they propped my foot up on a box and left alone. Afterwards, they helped me stand, get back into the chair and to bed. My husband went out and bought me a shower stool so I could sit down and take showers My foot was propped up on the box outside of the shower.
A few days later I was due for my weekly OB exam. Again each step brought on contractions. My arms were already sore from all the work and I was shocked and concerned about my lack of strength in my leg. I was never unable to lift it before. I broke down on the stairs and began crying. My husband cancelled my appointment and took me back to the hospital instead. After spending all day in labor and delivery, I was moved down to orthopedics for the night. My husband explained that he was unable to care for me at home. The next morning, the hospital social worker assessed me and ordered for me to be given a wheelchair and a walker. It made living at home so much easier.

I wore compression socks in the hospital to help with blood clots.

My husband was on a night schedule and left my mom to care for me when he was gone. It was much easier getting up to use the bathroom by dragging my left foot while holding myself up with the walker and slowly lower myself down in the wheelchair. I was able to keep my leg out straight using the foot rest.
My rescheduled OB appointment came up a few days later and again I scooted down the stairs contracting. At the OB office I was unable to give a urine sample because the toilets were too high, unable to step up on the scale and unable to get up on the table for a cervical exam. My OB mentioned inducing me at 39 weeks because my large stomach was hindering me from getting any better and was potentially dangerous due to the contractions from my excessive over-use of my upper body strength. I was prescribed Lovenox injections I had to take daily to thin my blood and keep me from getting blood clots.
Back at home, my mom and I would stay up most of the night talking and watching old sitcoms until my husband came home. We are best friends and night owls so we were having fun.

I spent some time confined to my bed practicing my prefold skills!

On June 24th we stayed up all night watching tv. I was feeling down and didn't want to go to bed yet so I kept insisting on one more show. Once my husband arrived home, my mom went to bed. I sat in the dark and started crying. I was thinking about what horrible timing this was. I was so afraid that I would not be well in time to have the baby. I would not be able to walk with him. I wouldn't be able to ride home with him because the car seat would be in the way. I felt like a horrible mom before I even was one. July 10th was my due date and it was coming fast. I finally managed to fall asleep right as the sun was coming up. 45 minutes later I woke up. The instant I opened my eyes, my water broke. I woke my husband and told him. He scrambled out of bed and woke my mom. She came in to see my as my husband started calling my OB and my doula. My mom helped me to the bathroom and helped me put on a heavy pad to help with the gushing fluid. They helped me scoot down the stairs and into the car. My husband loaded up my wheel chair and walker and off we went. My mom followed in her car. Once we got to the hospital they checked dilation, fluid and joked about my bum leg. My doula arrived and we waited. A few hours passed and my doula ordered pizza and snuck me some food. A nurse came in and said that my OB wanted to start pitocin to induce. I refused. I so wanted to labor naturally as long as possible. After 13 hours they checked my cervix again. I was only at 1 1/2 cm. My doctor gave me the choice of starting the pitocin or giving me some ambien and letting me rest for the night since I had only had 45 minutes of sleep the night before. I decided to get some rest and start induction in the morning. A few minutes later my doctor came in and suggested the Foley balloon catheter to open my cervix more. I agreed to it and instead of sleeping, I started active labor.
Still he did not come until 1:55 the next afternoon. I did not rest during that time. I was too anxious. Once I was at 10 cm, my doctor and nurse devised a plan for me to deliver. My husband held my bad leg up and out. My mom held my other leg in a bent position and we got started. After 1 hour and 5 minutes, Baby J was born.

After the birth I was unable to get on the toilet even with help so I had to use a bedside toilet, with the help of a team of nurses, watching. I had trouble being able to see and spend time with Baby J due to reasons I wrote about here. During my time in the hospital I experienced total muscle loss throughout my body. I had worked my upper body so much my muscles finally gave out. For most of the day I had to use a bed pan since I wasn't able to get up. It was the most embarrassing time of my life.
Eventually we were able to go home. I had to be separated from my baby and ride home with my mom while Baby J went home in our car. Once there, my husband converted the downstairs room to a bedroom and we stayed down there for weeks. I was no longer able to scoot upstairs. The hospital had given me a bedside toilet for home since all the bathrooms are upstairs.

Getting ready to leave the hospital.

We stayed down stairs for 3 weeks. I took sponge baths and we used the same technique with the walker to get me to the bedside toilet. My mom had to sit on the floor and hold my leg out while I did my business. Due to the Lovenox, my postpartum bleeding became severe so I was able to quit them. A physical therapist came to my house twice a week and helped me strengthen my leg. Finally, I was able to walk with the help of the walker, but was still unable to climb stairs. After a period of time, I was finally able to climb them. We moved back upstairs where I was able to to take my first real shower in over a month. I was able to use a real toilet. My therapist helped me get use to crutches. I was severely depressed because my baby was a month old and I had never carried him. I held him all the time in bed, never letting him go until I had to get up. I felt defeated. I felt humiliated and stupid. I felt like the worst mom in the world. I couldn't just get over it and carry him.
After lots of therapy and with the help of baby carriers I was able to get rid of the crutches and carry him. It took 6 weeks.

Using my walker, still living downstairs. My dad meets Baby J.

I feel better now. I'm able to walk fairly normally, although still legged. I can carry him. I'm just so frustrated that it has taken so long to get to where I am now. I hope so much that I will be back to normal soon. I want to shower without the stool. I want to take a step without killing my back. I want to give Baby J a bath by myself. I'm still so unable to do so many things...

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Yesterday (August 26th) my baby boy turned 2 months old! I can't believe he's already 2 months. Time has gone by too fast. I'd give anything to go back in time and enjoy him all over again. I wonder if I would do anything differently.
Some find the newborn stage difficult and overwhelming, and it sometimes is. But this has been the best 2 months of my life. Before he was born I hoped that I would be able to deal with everything. People make the newborn stage sound so horrible. They try to make you worry. Baby J has had his moments where something is wrong and I stay up all night trying to make it better, but I make myself enjoy it because so soon he will be bigger and working through his own problems. Never again will I be able to pace back and forth cuddling my baby, trying my best to make his
world right. I make myself enjoy every diaper change because all too soon he will be learning to use the potty. I enjoy every cry, every time I'm covered in spit up, every time I'm about to take a shower but can't because he needs me, every huge pile of baby laundry, every pile of diaper laundry and every time he smiles.

I will wear him close to me in a carrier because soon he will be too big and I will only be able to wear him in my heart. I will let him sleep in my bed because I don't want to miss one sigh, one cry or one breath he takes. I will not leave him in a crib, a million miles away in the next room because he's so tiny, he needs me. I will not let him cry when maybe all he wants is to be close. I will not put him down when he wants to be held. I make these promises to my little baby because I can. I can give him all of myself right now. I will continue to give all of me to him for as long as he will let me. One day he wont want hugs and kisses. One day he will want me to put him down. One day he will want to do it by himself.
I remind myself of these things every day when I'm tired. When he cries and I don't know why. When I've been alone with him all day with no help and when my head is pounding and my eyelids are heavy.
And when we finally lay down and Baby J begins to nurse, when the lights are off and he's falling asleep, when it's my turn to close my eyes and regenerate, all I do is stare at him, watching his tiny chest go up and down. One day it wont be so tiny.

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Poor Baby

My poor sweet baby had some shots today. Err.. yesterday. (It's 1:30 am). I almost fell apart when he got the first one and screamed. It was horrible. When we got home, he wasn't feeling good so we spent a lot of time cuddling. He started running a fever of 102.5 so he got some baby Tylenol (which he loved) and we skipped bath time since he hates that.
He's sleeping in my lap now but I don't want to fall asleep myself yet. I just want to watch him.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Smarti Pants Giveaway

Another Giveaway! Letters From Momma is giving away one Smarti Pants cloth diaper! Head over to read the review on this diaper and enter to win! 5 days left to enter!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Diaper Covers-Yes! Shots-No!

Yesterday my husband, Baby J and I went to the local cloth diapering store and got two new Thirsties Duo Wrap covers for Baby J! He's grown out of one of his Rumparooz covers. While we were there we looked at some carriers because my husband wants to wear Baby J when he gets a little older. I think I have him talked into getting a Mei Tai so we can share it! So excited! Love my ring sling but I think I'll want something else when he gets bigger.

Baby J has his 2 month doctor appointment tomorrow. I'm so nervous about getting his shots. We are delaying some so he wont get much but I am worried about him. I hate seeing my baby in pain. He's never had a shot before. He did really well with all the heel pricks in the hospital so I hope things go smoothly.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Shopping, Boobs, Old Ladies and Naps.

Husband, Baby J and I went out to eat and grocery shop today. Baby J spent the entire time nursing in the sling. I seriously need to get my knee to heal quicker because I was shuffling around like an old lady with a limp. (Sexy!) A couple of times Baby J had to be repositioned when he accidentally unlatched and I'm pretty sure I flashed a family of 3 in the toy department. I know I flashed a security camera. Oops. Now I'm home with my feet up chugging my Starbucks Frappuccino and nursing Baby J (again).
I can't wait for tomorrow because we are going to the local cloth diapering store to get Baby J a new diaper cover! He's grown out of one of his! My baby is growing up!! Not sure how to feel about this. Also we are on the look out for one of those stationary bikes so I can work on getting my knee to bend, The physical therapy place wont call me back so I can start going there so I'm gonna do it myself with what I remember doing the last two times I dislocated my knee.

I got to take a much needed nap today. Granted it was only 45 minutes but it felt great! My husband said he actually had to check on me to see if I was ok because I was face down in the pillow with one leg tangled in the sheets and one hanging off the bed. Not sure how I got into that position, or how I was able to breathe. Oh well, it worked.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm Clean!

Today the most amazing thing happened. My husband volunteered to watch Baby J so I could take a much needed shower! Lately, showers have become something I'd pay good money for. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how good it feels to be able to wash off sour milk, pee, drool, sweat and whatever else that has been clinging to me since my last shower. I'm definitely not a glamour mom.

Part of me is considering a water sling so I can shower with Baby J instead of wait for an
opportunity with my husband's hectic schedule.
The Sling Station has some great ones. Think of it! Showering whenever I want! I'd be on top of the world! Baby J hates being clean so we'd have our work cut out for us but mama would be happy! When I got into the shower, I was faced with a familiar dilemma. What should I wash first to make the whole showering experience fulfilling? Should I use shampoo and conditioner? I'm definitely using the poofy scrub thing. Did I just hear crying? I better hurry or I wont have post shower lotion time!

Did I just write a blog post about showering? Yes, I did. Moral of the story? Be thankful for the small things. And soap. Be thankful for soap.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Breast Is Best

I just read an article about breastfeeding in the form of a letter from baby to mom that is very informative that I think every mom should read.

Read it here at The Leaky Boob.

This totally made me cry. It also made me feel good that I've stuck with it even when it seemed like I wasn't making enough for him. In the first week, my husband kept asking if I wanted him to go get formula but I refused. I'd researched breastfeeding (I research everything) and read that it takes time. I'm glad that Baby J is attached to my boob almost all day, when others may get tired of it and give up, or take it as a sign that they are not making enough milk and supplement with formula.

I believe that breast milk is the best thing you can give your baby. I do not want to deny him of that and plan to be one of "those moms" that breastfeed into toddlerhood. I know what I'm doing is best, even when I'd like to be doing something besides nursing all day.

Picture by ProMom

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The Cure For Insomnia

Before I had my baby, I knew that it would be a lot of work and many sleepless nights. I felt lucky that I've always been an insomniac so it would be easy to stay up.
I did not however, take into account that I'd be wiped out during the day! I wont put him down in a swing or bouncy seat if he does not want me to (which is always) so I wear him. I believe it wouldn't be so bad if I could walk around normally but my injured knee is unable to bend so I have to put more effort into walking.

So in the middle of the night he thinks it's play time and so as not to wake up husband, I drag myself out of bed and we go into his room to rock in the glider and read books. He gets hungry so I hobble quickly back to bed and get comfortable to nurse, excited that I'm about to fall asleep again. A whole 30 minutes later he's back awake and ready to play again. Back we go into is room to read more books and rock. As I'm reading with one eye closed, I get a tiny hand in my face. I look down to a huge gummy smile and I can't help but laugh. After a while, he decides it's time to sleep again so I stagger back to bed.

We do this over and over until it's time to get up. I think parenting is the cure for insomnia.

Why can't I nap when he does?? Is there such a thing as daytime insomnia?

Baby J sleeping peacefully in his Maya Wrap ring sling.

Cry It Out

For years I've heard about the night time child training method of Cry It Out. The method was first named in Richard Ferber's 1985 book Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems. This method is often referred to as “Ferberizing”.

This is the idea that falling asleep is just another skill like any other and that babies can master this skill with a little help from parents.

The idea is that if your child gets used to having you rock him to sleep, or he always falls asleep while nursing, he won't learn to fall asleep on his own. When he wakes up during the night, as all children and adults do as part of the natural sleep cycle, he'll become alarmed and cry for you instead of being able to go back to sleep.

By contrast, if your baby learns to soothe himself to sleep at bedtime, he can use the same skill when he wakes up at night or during a nap.

Crying isn't the goal of this sleep training method, but advocates say it's often an inevitable side effect as your baby adjusts to sleeping on his own. They say the short-term pain of a few tears is far outweighed by the long-term advantages: a child who goes to sleep easily and happily on his own, and parents who can count on a good night's rest.

I never thought anything of it until I became pregnant and after becoming bored with researching pregnancy symptoms and 'what to expect', I moved on to parenting tips. I was overwhelmed with the many different parenting styles out there. One thing that caught my eye was the great debate over this Cry It Out method, often called CIO. I began reading about a human's natural sleep cycle. I learned that it is normal to wake often during the night even into adult hood. I know I often wake several times in the night. Then I started thinking about what I was reading. What is CIO doing to children? Research has shown that infants who are routinely separated from parents in a stressful way have abnormally high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as lower growth hormone levels. These imbalances inhibit the development of nerve tissue in the brain, suppress growth, and depress the immune system.

But why were they stressed? Imagine being brand new to the world, only having been alive for a few months. You wake to total darkness that is not warm and comforting like your mother's womb. How would you feel? Scared. Hungry. Confused. Take your pick.

The logical thing to do for such a young mind is to cry, your only known means of communication. --- And then no one comes. Or mom comes in and rubs your back for a minute or two, and then walks away, leaving you alone in the dark again.

I could assume that infants understand that crying during the day will get mom, dad or someone they trust to come scoop them up, cuddle them and feed them. I could also assume that they understand that when they cry at night they are being ignored. They don't understand why they are not getting what they need, especially when they are alone in the dark, arguably a scary place for anyone.

Why do I assume they understand this? Because they cry. Crying is their only means of communication and they use it! They don't cry to manipulate and get what they want. They cry to tell you they need something. They don't understand time. They aren't thinking “Oh it's 3:00 am! Time to bother my parents!” As Dr. William Sears, a leading pediatrician says, “an infant who cries is saying, 'I need something; something is not right here. Please make it right."

I was overwhelmed with sadness whenever I read in pregnancy and parenting forums and from friends and family that they were using CIO, and the “progress” they have made. I knew I could never ignore my crying baby and made a promise to respond to every cry my son makes, no matter how exhausted I am, because after all, I am not his mother when it's convenient for me.

My feelings about this was proven during my ninth month of pregnancy. I was 36 weeks along and slipped on a puddle of water in the kitchen, fell and dislocated my left knee cap (for the third time in my life). Instantly I knew this time was different. My knee cap did not pop back into place immediately on it's own like the last two times. It stayed out to the side and I laid on the floor screaming in a pain I've never experienced before. I halfheartedly tried pushing it back into place between waves of hot flashes, nausea and pain while my husband called for an ambulance. Once paramedics arrived, they started an I.V., giving me a very small amount of pain medication due to my pregnancy and wiggled me onto the back board. In the E.R., my knee was put back in place and wrapped in an ace bandage. After 4 hours of fetal monitoring to make sure my son was not injured in my fall, I was discharged.

Immediately I noticed that I was unable to put any weight on my left leg. With my previous knee injuries, I was able to walk with the help of an immobilizing brace. This time, I was not. During my ambulance ride, my husband had called my mom and told her what had happened. She came all the way from Texas to Colorado the next day to help out.

I live in a tri-level home. The only bathrooms and bedrooms are on the third level so that's where I was confined. I was unable to go up and down stairs without help. I could not walk. I was given a walker and a wheelchair to use at home.

I spent my days laying in bed chatting with my mom and watching tv. Whenever I had to use the restroom, her or my husband would lift my left leg and slowly turn it and lower it to the ground. Then they would place the walker in front of me so I could lean on it while maneuvering my right foot towards my wheelchair while dragging my left foot. I was wheeled down the hall to the bathroom where I used the walker in the same manner to get to the toilet. After lowering myself down, they lifted my foot and propped it up on a box. Then I was given my privacy to do my business. I was then taken back to my bed. Bathroom breaks were the only times I left the bed except for the weekly OB appointments which took both of them to get me down stairs and into the car.

In the middle of the nights when I had to use the restroom, I would wake up my husband, or call to my mom from the other room on my husbands nights to work to come help me. I relied on them for everything. They brought me my food and water, they both helped me onto the shower stool, undressed me and helped me shower. They brought me ice packs for my swollen knee. They asked friends and family to pray for me to get better before I gave birth. Everything seemed so much more difficult since I was so big.

One night I was sitting up in bed, in the dark while my husband slept next to me. I was angry with what had happened. Why did it have to happen now? Weeks before my first baby was due. I felt sorry for myself and began to cry. I thought about how helpless I was and that I was so grateful for my husband and mom because I had no idea what I would do if I didn't have their help. I couldn't do anything on my own. Then it hit me. This is what babies feel like. They are completely helpless. They need someone to change them, feed them and take them places. They need to know that they are important.

I didn't just get attention and love during the day. If I needed to go to the bathroom or have my water bottle filled in the middle of the night, all I had to do was ask for help and I got it. They did not leave me to cry it out and wait until morning. They were both physically tired every day from lifting my leg, pushing me around in the wheelchair and going up and down stairs bringing me things I need but they did not hesitate to help me whenever I needed it.

I know now, more that ever, that I will never leave my son alone when he needs me because I know what it's like to be as helpless as an infant alone in the dark.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Because it's fun to win!

Want to win a Mini Maestro Cloth Diaper?

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Cloth Diaper Crazy!


Before our son was born, after much research, we made the decision to cloth diaper. Before the research I pictured a piece of fabric safety pinned to a baby, messy clean ups and lots and lots of work. However, I knew that cloth diapering was becoming popular so I wanted to know what it was all about.
Boy was I wrong! Cloth diapering has come a long way! There are several different kinds of cloth diapers to choose from.

First are prefolds. They are a square piece of fabric made up of layers. The middle contains more layers making it more absorbent. They are folded around baby and fastened with a snappi or safety pins. This type of diaper needs a diaper cover.

Next are fitteds. These have snaps or velcro that fasten to keep the diaper on. These also need a diaper cover to keep clothing dry.

Contoured diapers are similar to prefolds but are shaped more like a regular diaper to fit baby. They are trim and do not need a snappi or pins. These will need a diaper cover.

All In One's are very similar to a disposable diaper. They are shaped the same way and fasten using snaps or velcro. There are many layers built into the diaper which take them a lon time to dry.

Pockets are similar to All In One's except that the lining inside have a pocket that allows you you control absorbency by stuffing then with absorbent inserts.

Covers are shaped like a diaper but do not have an absorbent lining. They are made with a waterproof material and fasten with snaps or velcro.

Diapers often are one size and can be made larger or smaller using a series of snaps.
They come in many different colors and patterns. During my research I read by many moms that cloth diapering is not only easy, it's enjoyable and slightly addicting to collect so many beautiful diapers! Aside from the aesthetics, they are great for anyone trying to go green! Nearly 92% of disposable diapers end up in landfills and are
estimated to take 250-500 years to decompose.
They also help prevent diaper rash because they are changed more often and are not filled with synthetic absorbent chemicals.

My baby boy loves his prefolds and covers. It makes mama and daddy happy too to be able to save money on not having to stock up on diapers we are going to just throw away!

Why We Co-Sleep

One aspect of attachment parenting that I was hesitant about was bed sharing, or co-sleeping. Before I gave birth I was a pretty heavy sleeper and tended to move around in my sleep. I thought that co-sleeping was too dangerous, at least for me.

On the day my baby was born we were wheeled out of the labor and delivery wing at the hospital and moved into the postpartum wing. I was exhausted after a 29 1/2 hour labor and in a good amount of pain after my hip went out of alignment during pushing since I was unable to use my left leg. (My leg was in an immobilizing brace after a recent injury that left me unable to walk.) All I wanted to do was snuggle with my baby. As soon as we were settled and we were practicing breastfeeding, nurses came in to check us out. They took my baby's temperature as they were taking my blood pressure, temp, oxygen level, etc.

Then the nurse proclaimed that they needed to take my baby to the NICU because he was unable to keep his temperature regulated. It was low and since he was premature he needed to go so they could do further testing. Whoa wait a minute. Premature? I argued that he was only 2 weeks early. Yes, but since he was so tiny, he needed to go. Sure he was small, but he was not tiny! My husband asked what made them think he was premature. According to the records, he was a month early. We argued again but it made no difference. They took him to lay under the warmer. The nurse said they were going to take some blood as well as the blood for the blood sugar test to check for possible infection. She promised she would let us know the results ASAP.

While I waited, another nurse suggest I pump some colostrum so he could eat in the NICU. My husband came back from feeding him and we waited. Hours passed and we heard nothing. I was told to eat and rest. I nibbled. I worried. I did not rest. Finally my husband decided that the waiting was ridiculous and called down to the NICU. They had had the results back for 2 hours and hadn't bothered to call us. My husband was livid. I was on the verge of a nervous break down. After fighting with the doctor on call for the NICU (and were told that we did not care about our son's well being) we agreed to let me hold my baby for one hour. If his temperature stabilized, he would no longer need the warmer. My husband insisted that what our baby needed was his mother, not artificial lights. They disagreed.

Guess what. His temperature regulated within the hour I held and nursed him, and stayed that way. The nurses acted like they were disappointed that they were wrong.

The next day our baby developed jaundice. He was required to spend 24 hours under bili lights and only held when nursing. We were not allowed to cluster feed. We were put on a 3 hour feeding schedule. By this point, I was suffering from sleep deprivation and complete muscle failure. I wasn't able to lift my finger. I could not rest, I could not sleep because I felt incomplete. I did not have my baby with me.

When we were finally discharged and I was laying in my own bed holding my baby, I stared at the bassinet in hatred. I did not want to let go of my baby. That first night I argued that since I was unable to walk, I would not be able to go get him when he needed me. I won and slept with him in my arms that first night and ever night since.

Once I was able to walk again, I refused to put him in a bassinet to sleep. I had become so attached to him and loved making up for the lost time. It has helped my milk supply tremendously to be able to nurse round the clock, even throughout the night.

We are still safely co-sleeping and plan to for quite a while. I've noticed I have new mama super powers that allow me to wake up seconds before he does. I sleep perfectly still and hold him close to me all night. I love it. I'm a co-sleeping convert.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Mom Is Born

Clearly what every new mom needs are more responsibilities. Among diaper changes, feedings, bathing and general all around taking complete care of another human being, I figure I should practice my new skill at doing everything one-handed, and that includes typing.

Before I gave birth, I did what most every new mom does: pour over pregnancy and parenting books. Many of which had me wondering how the heck people survived before we knew that sandwiches can kill you, babies can manipulate you and if you don't have 4oz of milk pouring out of your boobs within a few days of having the baby, then there's something wrong with you and you will have to formula feed.

I started my pregnancy journey intend on bottle feeding with formula, having the cutest crib so my baby will have a stylish place to sleep and having plenty of places to put the baby throughout the house for naps or when I wanted to get something done.
Then one day, when I was 6 months pregnant, I bought a book that had a parenting concept I've never heard of: Attachment parenting.
The more I read, the more it made sense to me and the less I thought about conventional mainstream parenting.

And then it happened. I made the decision to raise my baby with gentleness and respect. I didn't know how easy this would be until I first laid eyes on my son. This overwhelming love came over me that was almost suffocating. I swear I didn't breathe the whole time I held him, covered in vernix and screaming at the top of his lungs. Only when the nurses whisked him away to clean him up and check him over did I allow myself to take a deep breath. This began my journey of loving my baby and understanding (and fulfilling) his most natural and biological needs.