Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our Baby Girl is Here!

Miss Eloise arrived on September 24th, at 7:12am. She's 7lbs8oz over pure love! 19 inches long. I cannot wait to share our birth story, especially since I did NOT end up being induced and had this baby on my own, naturally. Still can't quite believe how it all turned out.  We are absolutely over the moon! Her nickname is Ellie. We've been calling her both...amongst other pet names, of course!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Controlling the Uncontrolable

On Thursday I saw my OB and learned that I'd made some slight progress since my last appointment with her. I was 2.5 cm (barely) and between 80-90 percent effaced. She "swept" my membranes in an effort to get labor going, and then asked me to whip out my calendar and schedule my induction.

She had told me about this possibility since day one. I have gestational diabetes and she would induce at 39 weeks. I'd heard it, but I'd never, ever really processed it, as in my mind, I would never see 39 weeks in this pregnancy.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to stomp my feet. But I didn't. I came in a little on the offensive that day. Ready to argue over the induction. Ready to refuse. I think my Dr. was startled at my defiance. She refuted the "information" I was presenting about increased c-section rates and harm to the baby and calmly explained how the induction works and why it's medically necessary.

I again argued that my gestational diabetes was completely in control and that the baby was not measuring large. She said her concern was my placenta. GD patient's placentas aren't as functioning as non GD moms and there is a higher risk of still birth beyond 39 weeks.

I argued that my non stress tests, meant to observe my placental efficiency were all passed in the minimum amount of time. Never once raising an eyebrow. She said that didn't really matter. The testing was only done to see if I needed to be induced sooner than later and was done twice a week because the passing of the tests "expired" after a few days.

I could tell she was getting a little defensive, I've been seeing this woman for 7 years, and I know she'd never seen me like this and she was surprised. I told her I trusted her and that after what I've gone through, with losing a baby, I didn't want to go against her advice. I leveled with her and explained that I just felt like this whole pregnancy was abnormal-and the one thing I wanted was a "normal" birth. I acknowledge there's no such thing-they are all different. But the whole-"it's time" moment, the laboring at home, the drive to the hospital-the will we make it? The craziness of it all was what I wanted. I wanted to feel like a normal pregannt woman.

I told her I was in no rush to have the baby. I'm not uncomfortable. I'm not tired of being pregnant. This last month has been the best month so far, as I feel like I can live a normal life and the worry and anxiety over a preemie has been lifted. I want my last week!

She said Monday. I twisted my head hastily and took a defiant breath. She just stared at me-right in the eye and said it was for the best. I begged for Wednesday-give me until then. But she repeated, Monday.

"I wouldnt' be surprised if you are in labor on your own by then. Don't stress". I realized she could be right. I still had a chance. A short window-but it was there. I hoped her "vigorous" exam was enough to get things going and I signed my induction papers for her.

I had my last non stress test right after that appointment and since I was early, I took the opportunity to "run" up 6 flights of stairs, in an effort to get things going. Unfortunately that created nothing more than a heaving chest and sweaty back. Almost every old wives tale has been attempted at this point.

Now it's Saturday night. Almost Sunday morning and I haven't a hint of labor. I made the mistake of reading more about inductions and more about the risks it brings to the baby, to me and more about the risk of cesarean. Now I can't sleep. Now I feel frustrated.

What a lesson this all has been for me. I don't entirely cast myself as "type A" but I do like order and I do like being in control. I've never felt more out of control as I have for the past year. I do know in my heart that the only thing that matters is a healthy baby in the end. I know that. But, man, it's hard not to want what you want.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gender Reveal Parties

I will admit that when I first heard of the gender reveal party-I thought it was the cutest idea ever. And then I watched one on video. And I thought, who in the hell would want to come to this party other than our parents and maybe like two curious friends? Do you bring a gift? Do you make your husband wear pink of blue? It all started to just seem strange and even a little narcissistic....

These parties now seem really popular, although I've never personally been invited to one.

I had a conversation about them with a friend and we were both laughing at how cute we initially thought they were, until we realized how odd it would be in reality. Then she sent me this article, and I laughed...a lot!


What do you think? Honestly, if you had one or have been to one and it was great more power to you. I think the idea is super cute. I just can't imagine it for myself.

On Becoming a Mom

No baby yet. I see the Dr. today to see where I'm at.

I'm starting to get a little anxious about being a mom. After what we've been through, this pregnancy was so incredibly wanted and this baby was prayed for so much, I never had a chance to worry about the whole "we're having a real life baby" thing. Now, as I'm nearing 39 weeks of pregnancy, I'm starting to realize this is actually happening and I have no idea what I'm doing. I realize I'm entering a new chapter of life that really has no end. It's intimidating and it's still shocking, even though it's been such a long road of anticipation.

These are the thoughts I have now: Will I be a good mom? Do I even realize what I'm getting myself into? Will I be a grumpy, mean mom? Will my daughter be a terror? Will we get along later in life? Will being a mom fulfill me?

The last question really had me thinking. I can remember being in college and meeting a girl on my dorm floor. She was severely anorexic and very unhappy at school. She was from a town not far from mine and we carpooled home once and spent a few times together before she dropped out of school. One evening we were on a walk around campus and she was contemplating leaving. I remember not being able to understand her at all. We were so different-- from our eating habits, to our goals. I kept questioning what she'd do if she left school. Where would she go? I was so goal orientated at that point in my life that I couldn't imagine giving up and just going home. She told me she didn't care about school. That all she wanted to be was a mom.

I cannot describe the level of surprise I felt when she said that. My forehead surely crinkled and my eyes probably rolled. What? A mom? We're 19, what are you talking about? She stood by her statement and said, she wasn't concerned about a job or a major but just wanted to meet someone, get married and become a mom. That was her life's goal.

I've never forgotten the conversation and as I grew older I met many more women who seemed to just be waiting out their early twenties in anticipation of a family life. Now I know and am good friends with many moms. I know a lot of stay at home moms. And they really are so fulfilled by motherhood. It's their life. I will admit I was slightly judgy of this when I first met them. I can remember thinking, "Don't they have a life?" I realize now it's just something you can't understand until you are there.  I started to understand it more as I fell in love with B, and wanted to spend all of my time with him. But, I still held on to other aspirations and saw having a family as a known "right" that I would get to eventually. It wasn't a goal, it wasn't an aspiration, it was just something I knew would happen and was waiting to want.

I'm glad that the time came where I did want it desperately, and as you know my sense of entitlement to a child was turned on it's head as I birthed a lifeless baby and saw all of my hopes and dreams crumble around  me. It wasn't until then that I saw what a privilege motherhood was and how scary it all really is. It wasn't until after Bremy left us that I realized how little my life felt in comparison to her. Having a baby may not be getting into a good school or doing well on exams, or landing a dream job, but it was a sense of accomplishment that was too unique to describe. And I felt it stolen from me. And now it seems I could want nothing more.

I'm glad I had time to write this post before our daughter is here, because I can't wait to see how I feel once I'm actually a mom. For all of the friends I have who are amazing moms and who feel such self fulfillment in their roles, I have a few who don't. Everyone struggles, being a mom is no joke, but I know a couple friends who don't seem to find the same level of joy in mothering as my other friends. It's a hard thing to write and I don't mean to judge-it's something we've talked about, but it's just reality. I'm curious to see where I fall in that spectrum. Right now I can't imagine my daughter not being the center of my universe and the biggest dream come true for me, but that's a big statement. And frankly, a lot of pressure.

This may be a whole different post, but there's also a certain pressure I feel to be so grateful for my daughter that I couldn't possibly complain about being a mom. People tell me that's silly, but it's the truth and I will admit to thinking that of others who struggled with infertility, etc. I guess I think that of a lot of moms. The complaining gets old (again, glad I'm writing this now so I can yell at myself later as I deal with all of the inconveniences of motherhood and need to vent).

I'll tell you that I am so incredibly glad that I feel so great right now and am not struggling with the last weeks of my pregnancy. I really didn't want to end up complaining about being "ready", when all I ever wanted was to be this pregnant. The truth is I feel amazing and at this point am in no rush whatsoever (other than to avoid inducement). I'm very thankful for this time. I'm on cloud nine right now and everyone around me can tell that I'm just in the best mood.

Luckily these motherhood fears aren't overwhelming me, they are just little thoughts that creep into my head as I see a mom wrestle her toddler out of a shopping cart, or stop and stare at the little girl screaming at a restaurant. That will be my child and I'll figure it out. I think it's only natural to have these thoughts. This post was hard to write, but I wanted to get it up before she's here. I cannot wait to hold my baby girl and I can't wait to be her mom.

Monday, September 17, 2012

37 Weeks!

How Far Along: 37 Weeks complete which means I turn 38 today. Is this reality?

Size of Baby as Relative to Common Household Fruit or Vegetable: Baby is the length of a swiss chard-about 19 inches and is about 6 1/3 pounds. 

Weight Gain:  30 lbs!----ugh!

Gender: Sweet little girl

Movement: lots of movement this weekend. Hiccups, little punches and kicks-but mostly little movements that I picture as nestling movements. 

Sleep:  Still sleeping well. Hard to believe but I'll take it!

What I miss: Nothing I can think of
Cravings: As always, sweets!

Symptoms: My swelling is down. Nothing new to report. 
Best moment of the week: My parents were here this weekend while B had to be away on a "business" trip. I use the term business lightly as it was really more of a fun trip. I was a nervous wreck-but we made it through and my parents were here to babysit me. My mom got to attend a Dr appointment and that was very special. She heard the heartbeat and stood by as my OB violated my cervix. It wasn't that bad, I just wasn't prepared for the vigorous check. Apparently she was trying to get things moving. She said I was "barely" 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. Hoping that means she's coming soon. We are ready and holding on to hope that I wont be induced. 
Worst moment of the week: Nothing too bad. I guess you could say the cervical check was not pleasant!

Again, I cannot believe I am still pregnant. I am so grateful for this time and have been in the best mood. I love being able to run errands, make dinner and clean my house. I wasn't the best at "taking it easy" but always felt so much guilt for doing any of the above mentioned activities so being "allowed" is really refreshing. I feel absolutely amazing and if it weren't for the fear I have of being induced, I would be in no rush to have this baby. 

I've been walking and trying to get things moving a little bit. Lost my mucous plug last night. Thought about not sharing, but this is my pregnancy journal so documenting it is important to me. The Dr. had assumed I'd already lost it at my appointment, so it was a little bit of a surprise. I hear it doesn't mean much as far as when labor will start, but I like the idea that it's just another step closer!

So many friends are anxiously awaiting the word that baby girl is on her way. I don't think anyone can believe I'm still pregnant!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear Baby,

I can't believe I get to meet you in a matter of days. It is so surreal and all of a sudden I feel so unprepared for you.

Daddy and I keep mentioning our "lasts" before you come. Was last weeks 49er game the last we will watch without you? Is this our last date night for a while? Is this the last time I'll be able to get my hair cut and colored and not be in a rush to leave? It's really hard to even imagine what life will be like. But I can't wait for it. Now that my restrictions are lifted, I'm in a much better mood. I've been cleaning and running errands and doing all the things I've been wanting to do in order to prepare for your arrival. Daddy and I had a spa day together-just mani/pedis but it was really relaxing and I love that he's not embarrassed to come with me!

Your room is just about complete and it's a very happy space. I've struggled with what to put on the walls, so that's still in progress but everything else is prepped and ready for you. You have been given so many clothes, it's ridiculous. Daddy's friend R gave us three totes full of girls clothing and other baby items that his little girl wore. We have 0-9months hung in your closet and we do not have room for one more item. Now that you are "full term" I'm wondering how big you will be and how long you will fit in some of the tiny outfits we have. As much as I love and appreciate all of your gifted clothes, mama has not been able to buy much! I think I've only bought you about 4 items of clothing. You'll realize soon how much restraint that has required on my behalf.

Your grandparents are on pins and needles waiting for "the call". So far I've felt nothing more than a couple slight cramps that don't last long. Otherwise, I feel fantastic. We are sleeping like champs and my energy is somewhat stable, although we have sneaked in a couple afternoon naps with daddy since he's been working really early lately.

I'm feeling anxious about your birth, about how it will all go down and how soon you will come. I really don't want to be induced and really, really don't want a c section. After all we've been through, I know I just want a healthy baby at the end, but I'd love to have an experience that I will remember fondly. The car has been ready to go for the past week. Cameras are charged, outfits are out, it's just a matter of time, now!

I'm so excited to reveal your name to our family and friends. So far daddy calls your by your nickname almost exclusively and I wonder if anyone will stick with your full name. I adore both, so I know I'll use them interchangeably. I hope you are healthy and strong in there and hope that you are getting ready to meet us. I can't wait to hold you and see your face!

All my love,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dreaming While Pregnant

I've had some seriously crazy dreams since becoming pregnant. I actually wrote a post about some of them, but decided not to publish as they were so hard to describe. In short, right before I lost our twin baby, I had a dream that I lost my cat ( I don't actually have a cat) and I made everyone I knew search for her. Another one involved "cheating" on B with someone I went to high school with. Probably someone I could not be any less attracted to. Still not sure what that one meant. Possibly a side effect of  the "pelvic rest" I was put on?

This past Saturday night, I had a dream that our baby was here. I did not dream of the labor, or the birth. I dreamed that I was alone, all dressed and carrying my bags through the halls of the hospital. I was cleaned up and had already had our baby. I entered a very large room, full of baby beds. It looked like the size of a department store floor. I went up to the nurse, who was standing at a hostess stand, and told her my name and that I was here to see my baby. I hadn't seen her yet.

She said she wasn't sure what bed my baby was in, but that she would let me know. I was frustrated, and decided to spend my time scoping out the beds until I found her. I made my way up and down the rows and then saw a baby who was falling out of her bed. The beds looked like the typical hospital cart type beds, but they had no sides to them. So this particular baby was falling out of the bed, her feet hanging off.

I tried to get the attention of a nearby nurse, but she didn't hear me. So I nudged this baby back into her bed and spent a moment gazing at her. She was a newborn, but looked very old and was wide-eyed. "I think that's my baby!" I said. But no one heard. The cart was only marked with a #17.

I marched back up to the hostess/nurses station and said, "I think that's my baby. In bed 17. Can you tell me if that is her?"

She shook her head and said she couldn't tell me where my baby was yet. I stepped behind her podium and got in her face. "Are you kidding me?" I screamed, "Have you ever had a baby? Why can't I see my baby? Why didn't I ever get to see her?" It was dawning at me at this point that I didn't have any skin to skin and had not even laid eyes on my baby yet. She shook her head, and said she didn't have any kids. And I stood smugly, as if I had proved some type of point.

Just then another nurse ran up. I had made a huge scene. The entire place was quiet. "Your baby is in bed 17" she said, her head down.

I rolled my eyes. Why hadn't I trusted my gut? I knew that was my baby.

I marched towards the bed, then started running and scooped her up in my arms. She snuggled me so close and her eyes were so wide. My heart melted into her. I'd never held a baby so close.  The tag on the cart now said my name and it listed her weight at 6lbs 6oz, but she was so much bigger than that. When I scooped her up, it was like I was holding a ten month old, or even a one year old. She was so long, her feet hit my thighs as I held her up. But it didn't seem weird to me. It only seemed strange once I woke up.

I can picture her face so clearly. She looked just like me, but her eyes were the bluest blue and were just so big.

I carried her to a hallway where B, my mom and dad and my Grams were waiting. My mom had brought a moses basket and insisted on putting her in there (we don't have one of those either). I kept refusing. I didn't want to put her down. We were all admiring her and loving on her in the hallway.

Then I woke up. As soon as B woke up I recounted the whole dream to him. Without pause he said, "You were dreaming of Bremy. That was Bremy in your dream. She's a year old now."

That thought hadn't yet crossed my mind, but wow I think he's right. Her face was so mature. It was definitely not a newborn I was holding. It was a one year old. It was my girl. I can still feel the feeling I felt when I held her in that dream and I'm so thankful for that feeling. It was amazing and I can hardly describe it. I cannot wait to hold our brand new baby girl, but this dream just made me realize how much Bremy remains with me.

There are some details that I've been thinking about. Her feet hanging off the bed? Bremy was born breech. And at one point, I could feel her feet hanging out of me. It was a horrible feeling. The number 17? I'm not sure. But at this point, it's my guess for this baby's due date? The 6lbs 6oz? Not sure about that one either. Wouldn't that be crazy if that was this baby's weight? The rest doesn't stand out as having a "meaning". But I wanted to document it here, just in case I think of something. I love analyzing dreams.

I didn't want to forget this dream so forgive me for all of the detail.

Monday, September 10, 2012

36 Weeks!

How Far Along: 36 Weeks complete which means we have made it to "full term" at 37 today!

Size of Baby as Relative to Common Household Fruit or Vegetable: Baby is the size of a crenshaw melon, about 18 1/2 inches long and should be about 6lbs

Weight Gain:  30 lbs!----ugh!

Gender: Sweet little girl

Movement: Movements were smaller this week, but I feel her a lot more when standing and especially when sitting up in a chair. 

Sleep:  Sleeping really well which is very much appreciated!

What I miss: Wine just sounded so good this week! Soon enough!
Cravings: Wine. Kettle corn 

Symptoms: So, so swollen. My feet and ankles are hardly recognizable. But other than that I feel amazing!
Best moment of the week: Successful cerclage removal and the fact that I'm still pregnant!
Worst moment of the week: The cerclage removal wasn't so fun but it was short and sweet!

Am I really turning 37 weeks? Is this seriously happening? I couldn't be more grateful and feel more blessed. I don't even know how to set goals anymore! I've reached all the short term victories I've set and feel awesome about that. 

My Ob has mentioned from the beginning that she would induce me at 39 weeks, because of my gestational diabetes. I'm a little bummed because my sugars have been great, and the baby is measuring normally. But I trust that she knows best, so whatever will be will be. So I suppose my next goal is to go into labor naturally and not be induced. I can't believe I'm even writing that, to tell you the truth!

It's really mind boggling to feel like its "ok" for baby to show up at any time. Truly amazing!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I ditched the stitch!

Today my cerclage was removed. It wasn't very fun, but not too bad. Luckily it only took about 10 minutes. No drugs or iv, just in and out which was nice. I actually kept the stitch. I did NOT think I would want to, but once I saw that it wasn't some nasty thing full of blood and flesh, I decided I wanted it. That thin piece of material literally gave me a healthy baby. I owe a lot to that sucker! I've included the picture at the end of the post. Feel free to skip looking at it, but honestly, it's not scary.

I got a little emotional on the way to the hospital. I packed up my hospital bag, baby bag, camera etc, just in case. B actually met me there as he had to get some work done this morning. So I was alone, on the familiar stretch of highway I've traveled so many times during this pregnancy. There weren't many cars on the road and as I was looking around at all the familiar landmarks, I realized how many times I'd worried so much on this drive. How many times I never thought we'd make it to this week. How many times I cried on this drive. And now, here I was. I was living the day I never thought would come. Getting my cerclage removed was something I had hoped for, but never really thought would happen. At least not the way it was supposed to!

We had great care at the hospital, and even though I had to see my very least favorite perinate, she was nice and seemed to get the job done with ease. She had a student observer with her, which is always fun, but hey, hopefully he learned something! I definitely had to squeeze B's hand as she dug around in there (that's pretty much what it felt like) but I just kept repeating in my head how lucky I was to be there. How the pain I was feeling was something good! It worked! I didn't make a peep. She checked me after the cerclage was out and told me I was 1cm dilated, cervix felt long but soft and baby was still up pretty high. She said they'd watch baby on the monitor for another 40 minutes or so and then we could leave.

Baby looked great and B and I headed to our favorite Mexican spot for lunch. I just got home and have tomorrow off. I have some work I'd like to do Monday and Tuesday, so hopefully she stays put for a little while. I'd love to get further along but feel confident she will be born healthy even if she comes tonight.

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it here, but as soon as I learned I was pregnant and then calculated the October 1st due date, I always had a feeling I would deliver on September 7th. No idea where it came from, if it's just because I like the number 7 or what. But that's been the feeling. So that's tomorrow. None of the doctors think it will be that soon, so I'm not counting on it, but we're just prepared for anything at this point.

I'd been nervous about what to expect from laboring this time around, but doctors have assured me that at this point  I will feel the labor and know when to come in. My Ob is still convinced I will go several more weeks and that she will have to induce me. They induce by 39 weeks with gestational diabetes. I really, really don't want an induction, so hopefully she comes on her own within the next two weeks. So crazy to think she could be here so soon. I still just can't believe it!

And here's the cerclage picture....hard to believe this little thing is what kept our little girl safe and sound!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baby Led Weaning

Have you heard of this? I first heard of it while pregnant with Bremy and when I read up on it, I realized I did know several moms who were practicing this method of feeding, but probably didn't know there was a title, controversy or much information about it.

I've always been very anti-rice cereal. I'm not sure where that idea got into my head, but I've always found it very strange that it's the staple food introduced to baby. To me it lacks nutrition  and only serves to fill up the baby. My mom asked why I was so anti so I actually looked it up and it turns out that there are many articles and doctors who agree. To me it just seemed like crap food. I wouldn't feed my dog that! Side note: we are crazy about what we feed our dog and did a ton of research on dog foods once we brought Maverick home.

Anyway, my strange self imposed "no rice cereal" craze led me to find the growing trend to let babies feed themselves from the beginning. The actual name of this method is called Baby Led Weaning. The idea is that you skip the baby foods and purees and feed your child solid foods that you yourself would eat, in appropriate portions and let them explore and feed it to themselves. The recommendation is not to cut up the food in minuscule pieces, but to let them actually eat and feel the textures of foods. Many websites list a lot of fruits and vegetables that are soft and appropriate like cooked broccoli, carrots, bananas and avocado. The recommendation is that you do not feed the food to your baby with a spoon, but let them handle the food themselves. The controversy is that it's a choking hazard, but there is no proof that it's more of a hazard than baby food, under appropriate supervision. I actually found information that spoon fed babies are more likely to choke, as they are basically being force fed, while BLW babies are totally in control. It is recommended that baby led weaning doesn't begin until 6 months, when your baby can sit up and actually move the food from their tray to their mouth.

The big positives to me was that babies who are fed this way, tend to end up being less picky eaters and also develop a healthier relationship with food and hunger. As someone who has constantly struggled with weight, I want to do what I can to promote a healthy relationship with food and I'm glad that there is research to support the BLW approach creates better lifetime health.

I know this isn't something that we will be experimenting with for many more months, but I've learned that this is just another topic that is going to cause debate among family and friends. I introduced the idea to B last week and read the basic concept to him. He was totally disturbed and said, "we are not handing our baby a chicken wing!" I showed him some examples of foods that are appropriate and told him he would see, it would work. I think I've at least planted the seed for him to consider it and hopefully feel comfortable with it by the time she's at this stage.

The topic came up while out to dinner with friends and I could tell they didn't know what to think. I think they thought we were kidding. Again-it's really no one's business and since I have not tried it yet, I don't feel comfortable defending it tooth and nail. This couple has three kids, and I know they did the typical rice cereal and baby foods, so I could tell they thought I was a freak. Luckily the topic changed quickly.

As with cloth diapers, this seems like another area where going against the grain will raise some eyebrows.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cloth Diapers: The Game Plan

While I've been "taking it easy" I've been spending a lot of time online researching cloth diapers. When I say a lot of time, I mean hours upon hours. Late nights, all afternoon, etc. I was obsessed for about two weeks. I've been very busy reading reviews, watching youTube demonstrations, researching prices and also looking for used diapers. I know that sounds strange, but there is a huge "underground" market of cloth diaper resale. I was shocked to see how much they go for. The best site to search is diaperswappers.com and babycenter.com's diaper swap group. It's easy to see which diapers are popular, and which diapers are not based on how fast things sell and how much they go for.

I also quickly realized that there are way too many brands and types of cloth diapers. Like, an unreal amount. Pocket diapers, all in one diapers, prefold diapers,all in two, hybrid diapers, disposable diaper liners, microfiber diapers, wool wraps. BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Kissa's, Goodmama's, Little Joey's, Bummis, Thirsties....just to name a few! It is exctremely overwhelming and easy to get sucked in. A great site to go to for reliable reviews is diaperpin.com.

Everyone on these sites mentioned how "addicting" it is to buy cloth diapers. I remember thinking how funny that sounded....

I've now spent about $250 and have a healthy little stash. Here's the plan:

Newborn stage: we have a ton of teeny disposable diapers that were given to me at my shower. Probably enough for about 4-6 weeks. I do plan on using them here and there while she is going through diapers like crazy in the beginning. I've heard to expect anywhere from 9-12 diapers a day for a newborn. Yikes!

I'll also use prefold diapers, which are the "old-school" cloth diapers. I have 24 newborn sized prefolds, 3 snappis (which replace the old school safety pins) and about 8 covers, or wraps. 7 of those wraps are thirsties duo wraps which get rave reviews. They are size one, and adjust with snaps to grow with the baby a little. Prefolds come in various sized. I bought the newborn sized clotheez brand which is sold through Green Mountain diapers (also a great resource for pictures and descriptions). They are not the cheapest, but they are the most recommended prefold by far.

Above is an example of a prefold diaper used with a snappi. You don't have to fold a prefold this way. You can also just trifold it and lay it in a diaper cover (see picture below). But, with a newborn, it's better to use a fold like this to contain newborn bowel movements which are going to be, for lack of a better term, "explosive". I only needed a handful of covers, as they should not get "messy" and are reusable between diaper changes. It's a really cost effective option!

Pictures from Green mountain diapers.

Above is a prefold, with snappi about to be wrapped in a thirsties duo wrap, which is just a thin waterproof cover. Again, the thirsties brand comes very highly recommended. Great reviews and I'm impressed with their quality and double leg gussets which are famous for preventing leaks.

I also have one newborn sized all in one made by bumgenius. She will grow out of this size very quickly, but it will be a nice cloth diaper to take out and about as you just throw it on like a disposable and remove it the same way. It's all one piece.

Post newborn:
We are doing a combo of pocket diapers and all in ones (and probably some larger prefolds too). Both versions are one size and have adjustable snaps to control the rise of the diapers so they can grow with baby.

A pocket diaper is two pieces. The outside cover is waterproof and the inside is lined with a sewn in cotton microfiber. The back of the diaper is open, creating a pocket, so that you can "stuff" it with an insert that is absorbant. They are then washed as two pieces.

 I purchased 5 pocket diapers from Alvababy which is a popular brand sent directly from China. They are about $6-$7 per diaper. It took about a month for them to arrive, but I am incredibly impressed with the quality. They are very comparable to the bumgenius 4.0 but about 1/4 the price. I received one 4.0 as a gift and will use that as well. I do plan on getting more pocket diapers as the baby grows into them.

I also snagged a "lot" of used BumGenius Freetimes. These are the newest version of all in one diapers and are extremely popular. They are bought within seconds on these swap sites, and are rarely seen for resale as they are favorites amongst CDing moms. I got 8 of these for $100, making them $12.50 a pop, which is a really low price, even for used diapers. They are all in next to new condition. The mom I bought them from prefers Bum Genius' Elemental diapers, which are really similar but made of organic cotton rather than the microfiber in Freetimes. I really hope we like them, but I know if we don't, they will sell very quickly for at least, if not more what I've paid. These 8 have snaps and I also purchased one brand new with tags velcro Freetime from another seller.

All in one diapers are popular because they are all one piece and there is no stuffing involved, meaning you don't ever have to touch the inside of the diaper, or stuff clean diapers out of the wash. You treat it just like a disposable, but you don't throw it away, obviously.They biggest con of all in ones is that they take forever to wash and dry since they are only one thick piece. Bumgenius came out with these freetimes in response to that concern. While they are one piece, the absorbant pads are only sewn in at the end. There are two and when the diaper is open, they separate and create flaps. So while in the wash and dryer, the diaper is able to get clean and dry more quickly as the pieces separate somewhat.

There are a ton of other highly recommended brands and types of diapers but this is where my research led me and also happened to be what I found for sale on the swap sites. My "stash" would have retailed for about $450, so I'm really happy with my bargain hunting. I was really picky about who I bought from, and also not in any rush to fill my stash. I found my deal on prefold and covers first, and then just hung back and waited to see if I could find any Freetimes or diapers I've heard are great. I'll admit, good deals were hard to find. You have to check throughout the day and be patient. But when you see what you want, you have to be willing to buy. I always negotiated the price.  Cloth diapering mamas know what their diaps are worth and shipping is expensive, but I'm pretty enthusiastic about reselling later to fund different and bigger diapers as she grows. I did take the advice of many cloth diapering moms and did not go crazy with one type of diaper. You never know what you will like or what will fit your baby. So I think this is a healthy starting point, and we will see how it goes!

Cleaning and "Accessories"
I have tried to do as much research as I can about properly cleaning cloth diapers. There are very mixed schools of thoughts on which detergents are safe and how to properly wash in a front loader. The great thing about prefolds is they are indestructible and don't need special detergent.  While our baby is nursing, all diapers will go directly into a lidded  trash can, lined with a Kissa's pail liner. The entire contents, including the pail liner will then be put into our front loader washer and will be washed according to some instructions I found that are specific to our LG model. Breast milk poop is water soluable so there is no need to rinse or spray these diapers. I hope to line dry when weather permits, but all of the cloth diapers are dryer safe as long as you are gentle.

Once baby is eating solids, we will invest in a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet so you can remove poop from the diaper before you put into the washer.

I've been doing a little research into disposable diaper liners. These liners make lifting poop out of the diaper easy and then you can just put it all into the toilet without spraying so much. I've seen mixed reviews on the liners,  but they are reasonably priced and may also help to preserve the diaper and make it last longer. I'll get back to you on that decision!

Since we will be washing cloth diapers, I figured we might as well do cloth wipes as well.  I haven't done a ton of research on the wipes, but there are different homeopathic solutions you can use on the wipes to help clean your baby. I plan on using very thin baby wash cloths in addition to thin flannel wipes like these, that my Aunt is making for us.

I'm not getting a ton of support from friends and family members in our cloth diapering quest, but B is on board so that's all I need. He's a little anxious about using the prefolds, but I think he will love the all in ones. Thankfully I have a couple cloth diapering friends who are great resources as well. I definitely don't feel like I know it all when it comes to cloth diapers, but I have learned so much over the past few months and feel much more comfortable defending my decision to anyone who dares to comment. My biggest motivator was the cost and the cuteness. Through my research, I also learned some pretty crazy things about the chemicals that go into disposable diapers and it just made me even more motivated to actually follow through and do this!

I'll be posting often with updates once baby girl is here!

Monday, September 3, 2012

35 Weeks!

How Far Along: 35 Weeks complete which means we have made it to the magic 36!! A huge victory!

Size of Baby as Relative to Common Household Fruit or Vegetable: Baby is the size of a honeydew melon and is about 18 inches long!

Weight Gain:  25 lbs!

Gender: Sweet little girl

Movement: More movement this week than last. It's so crazy to see so much movement from the outside. She is head down, way down according to my ultrasounds, and something-I think her leg is practically choking me when I'm sitting up. Other than that slight discomfort she's been very gentle on me. 

Sleep:  There is so much sleep going on right now it's unreal. I've never been able to take naps on a whim, but it's happening quite often. As for nighttime sleep, it wasn't that great this week as I was battling a horrible cold.

What I miss: Nothing to note this week. I was able to work a couple days and even ran a few errands!
Cravings: Chips and Dip--totally indulged at a labor day bbq with friends. 

Symptoms: Pretty much the same as last week. 
Best moment of the week: This week flew by which was probably the best part!
Worst moment of the week: I had a cold Monday through Thursday and it was miserable. I was so out of sorts and uncomfortable. 35 weeks pregnant + head cold = not desirable. 

I can hardly believe that we have made it to September and now, 36 weeks. It feels amazing and hard to believe. Now, I'm getting some jitters as she could be here so soon. While that was always a possibility, there's now a pressure to get everything "ready" and prepared. Her nursery is livable, but the finishing touches haven't been placed as I haven't been able to get to the stores I want to as I'm still moving a little slow and trying not to push things. All her clothes are organized and newborn cloth diapers are prepped and ready to go. 

Thursday is cerclage removal day. I am curious to see how it goes, how the pain is and what results from the procedure!