The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

>> Thursday, April 28, 2011

I didn't know I was going to turn into a cloth diaper lover. I wasn't sure about the poop situation, however, I also didn't know about Bum Genius cloth diapers. I'm in love with Cotton Babies. We are lucky enough to have a store in our great town, and I visit there about once a week. We took our "baby class" at Cotton Babies, a cloth diapering class, they made our car seat safe, and they hooked me up with the perfect (almost) nursing bra. Needless to say, they are amazing.

Back to cloth diapering. I received a lot of crap, pun intended, about Ryan and I using cloth diapers. We heard it all: "It's going to stink in your house", "You won't be able to keep up with it", and "Why would you even bother?". I may have listened to those Negative Nancys if I hadn't been educated about all the options out there for people who decide to use cloth.

Cloth diapers have come a long way. No more plastic pants and dangerous pins. They are actually super cute, easy to use, and easy to clean (especially if you breastfeed). We decided to use Bum Genius All-In-One (AIO) diapers. AIO diapers are similar to disposable diapers in the way they fit and are designed. They fit great and are secured using Velcro.

I love that these diapers can be adjusted to fit your baby so easily. Also, you can add inserts to make the diaper more absorbent at night. We bought 10 of the XS size for Emily to use first. I also bought two hemp inserts for night time use. We will switch over to the Flip System with Indian pre folds when she is big enough. We may actually buy the small size Bum Genius AIOs for Emily before beginning with the Flip System. We'll see. 

With ten AIOs, I do one load of diapers a day. I just start a load with six or seven diapers so we don't run out. I can't express how easy it is to use these cloth diapers. I also can't express how great it is to not waste time and money on disposables (not to mention the environmental issues).

I would also suggest using cloth wipes if you are using cloth diapers. It just makes sense and is also super easy. I plan on making my own wipes this month. Flannel is a great fabric to consider when making baby wipes.

Please don't be afraid of cloth diapers. They are seriously awesome.


To Grandmother's House We Go

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Bath Time!

Teeny tiny Emily has to take baths in the sink. She is not a fan.

It's a team effort to get the water temperature just right, scrub her up, have a towel ready, and try to console her through the process. I have no doubt our little sweetie will love water, how could she not, but it may take some getting used to.

This is the kind of picture that reminds me how lucky I am.

Finally, all snuggled in and content.


Emily's Birth Story (the short version)

>> Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I figure I had better get Emily's birth story written before she is 21. First of all, it was amazing. Her birth was amazing due to all the wonderful support we have in our lives... I'll get to all that.

After several, four, horrible experiences at The Woman's Clinic of __________, Ryan and I decided to seek out a midwife and have a home birth. We were already 21 weeks into the pregnancy and a little worried. Abby's sister had two home births with the same midwife team that delivered her, Abby, and two of her brothers. I quickly got her info, and Ryan and I met with her at Starbucks. We fell in love. Mary and Pita are a mother and daughter midwife team. Mary has delivered over 3,000 babies, and she has been doing this gig for over 30 years. We could not have felt more confident. Mary came to our home for all prenatal appointments. How cool is that?!? She has a holistic approach to health and is a firm believer that pregnancy is not an illness. Our thoughts exactly.

I will say that my pregnancy was wonderful. I loved every minute of it. Ryan and I feel lucky to have had such a great experience while I was carrying Emily. For me, enjoying the pregnancy was half mental. If you have the mentality that your body is made to create this life, you are more apt to not think of the changes in your body as an illness. I also think that getting up early, moving, working, eating well, and living life as normal as possible is so important. Our birthing classes reinforced the idea that pregnancy is natural. Our midwife, Pita, and her friend, Amber, taught our Bradley birthing class. It was a ten week series that set us up for the successful birth of Emily. (Off soapbox)

We wanted to have a non-medicated birth at home. I knew I would not be relaxed and/or comfortable in any other setting besides our house. I wanted to be free to move and labor however I felt most comfortable. I didn't want anyone checking my progress or filling my head with fear/doubts about my body's ability to give birth. Our birth team was behind us 100%. Not only that, but they love births. Everything about them.

OK, so our story. It was 6:15AM on March 29th. Ryan and I were slow to get out of bed that morning. We had been going full speed on the remodel. Our drywall guy was showing up at 6:30AM to finish up. Our house was, and still is,  EMPTY except our new room, new bathroom, and laundry room. I will refer to this area as our little "studio". My water broke on the way to the bathroom. I don't think anyone was more surprised than I was. I said to Ryan, "What do I do?". He replied, "Go to the bathroom." He is so logical like that. I called my team teacher, Jois, to let her know what was up. I then arranged for another teacher to cover my first period. The 3rd person I called was our midwife. Silly. She should have been the first, but I was in denial. I was actually in denial until after the birth of Emily. I'm just saying, I had a lot to do before Emily came into this world. Funny how quickly things change.

Once our midwife, Mary, confirmed that my water had broke and that our baby was coming very soon, Ryan went to work to tie up some loose ends. The drywall guy and I hung out until 11 when Ryan got home. I showered, checked email, and made a list of the things we needed to pick up. We had zero baby items. Due to the remodel that was to be finished in three weeks, all of the baby stuff was at my mom's house. When Ryan got home, we took off to: Costco, Cotton Babies, and my mom's house. My contractions had started around 10:30. They were 7-10 minutes apart and mild. I wasn't convinced that the sensations I was feeling were contractions. They were so mild. We just kept shopping, planning, and timing. Ryan was way more diligent than I was at keeping track of the contractions. Once again, he's so logical like that.

Pita, Mary's daughter and our other midwife, met me at my ma's to see how things were progressing and to check Emily's position. Emily's heartbeat was strong, she was head down, and anterior. AKA: Emily was in the perfect position to enter this world. Pita determined Emily's position by feeling her in my belly. It is so powerful. My OBGYN at the Woman's Clinic had not touched me at all in the 20-something weeks we had seen her. She didn't even measure me. Pita and Mary have such a gentle and healing touch. I cried, in the car, the first time Pita checked our baby's position after one of our classes. I cried because I felt so connected to our baby through her touch. I also felt an enormous amount of confidence and care from Pita. The passion these ladies have for birth is amazing. OK, OK. Back to the story.

Ryan cleaned up the living room and dining room after the drywall guys left. Joe, Ryan's dad, came over to help Ryan move in our couch, a rug, a chair, and some lamps for our birthing team. Thankfully, most of our furniture was next door in Joe's shop. I decided to make a fruit salad and get some drinks made for after the birth. My contractions were about 7 minutes apart and still mild. TJ, Ryan's good friend, came over with cigars and beer. I decided to call it a night at 9. The boys hung out on the front porch. I have to say that I still didn't think we were having our baby yet. I didn't want to be one of those people who jump the gun. Truth be told, I was planning on going to work the following day.

Ryan came inside to shower and snuggle into bed around 11. He woke me up after he washed off the stanky cigar to see how the contractions were coming along. We were to call Mary when the contractions were five minutes apart. Ryan got he iPhone out to time everything accurately. The contractions were between 4 and 5 minutes apart and much stronger. Ryan wanted to call Mary right away. I, however, wanted to establish a pattern before making any calls. Ryan called Mary. He's logical that way.

Nancy, Mary's intern, arrived first. She checked things out, got set up, made sure all the supplies were available, and waited for Mary and Pita to arrive. Pita brought twins who are 15 months old. They are adorable. Our midwife team knew Ryan and I wanted to labor alone. They hung out in our living room for the four hours I was in "hard labor". Pita came down to help me through two contractions while Ryan was filling up the birthing tub. The contractions were very manageable if I was standing and walking around. Lying down was a whole different situation. Ladies, DON'T LIE DOWN WHILE IN LABOR! Mary checked my progress once. It was the worst. It was the worst because I lost it mentally. By "lost it" I mean I mentally freaked a little when Mary said, "I can't tell how many centimeters you are, because the baby's head is right there."  Remember, I was in denial about the whole having a baby thing that night. The fact that the head was right there was a little startling. I also started to have a contraction... lying down. Once the contraction passed, I jumped in the pool. Ahhhh, sweet water relief.

I hung out for about twenty minutes in the pool. The contractions were getting more intense. I went through the transition part of labor quickly (thankfully). Ryan was with me the whole time. I can't express what a great birthing partner he was. I knew he would be great, but I didn't realize how much I would need him. I needed him to just be right in front of me, and I needed him to allow me to just hang on to him and look at him. He was an equal participant in Emily's birth. I couldn't have done it without him.

After about 20 minutes in the pool, I needed to go potty. Just potty. Much to my chagrin, Ryan went with me. I did my business, had a contraction, and then decided that I needed to really go to bathroom. I asked Ryan to give me some privacy, but Mary was in the bathroom before I knew it and checking things out. She asked where I wanted to have the baby. I suddenly had no idea where I wanted to be. Ryan stepped in and reminded me of our plan for a water birth. So, back to the pool we went. We were going to have a baby.

Now, this whole labor thing, for me, was totally mental. Ryan and I were so well prepared that we knew exactly what my body was doing and why. This is why I was able to keep it together. I also strive to be connected with my body and to listen to my body. I truly believe that a woman's body is made to give birth. I trusted that. While in the pushing stage, I could feel Emily coming down the birth canal. During the first contraction while pushing, I felt her come down and then go back up a little once the contraction had passed. I decided that wasn't happening again. On the next contraction, I pushed three times and then held her there using my kegal muscles. (Yeah for the birthing exercises we learned about in class.) On the next contraction I pushed three times and out came her head. The "ring of fire" was short lived and not at all what I was expecting. Instead of painful and horrible, it was reassuring and exciting: it meant our baby was seconds from being born. Her body came out right after and she was brought to my chest. It was 3:10AM, and we suddenly became a family of three. Ryan and I were in awe. She was amazing and perfect. Emily and I stayed in the tub for about 15 minutes. Our team let us have those first 15 minutes in private as a family. We could not have been happier.

Pictures were then taken, Ryan cut the umbilical cord, Mary took Emily to check her out and get all her vitals. Pita and Nancy walked me to the shower. I then got into my own lovely bed and watched as Ryan dressed Emily to keep her warm. Our team started the one load of laundry, packed up their belongings, and took off. Ryan, Emily, and I spent the next hour as a new family in our bed. Ryan called the grandparents. The four of them came over at 6 AM. They were all so amazed and in love with her. They were also relieved that the home birth went well. I guess parents never stop worrying.

Our midwife team came back to our home five times over the week following Emily's birth. Our Bradley instructor came to our home to give us a class on breastfeeding because we missed our last class due to Emily's early arrival. We were, and still are, impressed by the level of care we were given by our birthing team and our birth instructor. I can't wait to have another baby!


Sweet Baby Emily

>> Sunday, April 10, 2011

Photo by Cheyla of Breedlove 
I call her Emi. Ryan calls her Sweetheart. My mom calls her Emers. We are all in awe. I'm working on a post all about her birth and how wonderful it was. In the meantime, I wanted to officially introduce her after eight days of her not having a name. We have been crazy busy with baby stuff and getting our house put back together all the while trying to enjoy the family we have visiting. We still can't believe she was almost a month early. We had so much to get done before she came, but it always works out. She was ready to get here. We are so happy she is healthy and happy.

It has been such a joyful time for us. We can't believe how long we can just stare at her. More to come. Ryan has taken over 1,000 pictures. The hardest part will be to chose which pictures to share.

We are off to nap. Happy Sunday!


My Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP