Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cloth Diapering 101 - Part Two

Sizing Diapers

Many of the above listed diaper types are available in both sized and one-sized versions. Sized diapers offer a trimmer diaper but can only be used for limited periods. This can be more expensive when accumulating an adequate stash of diapers. One size diapers usually have snaps or Velcro across the front which allows one to adjust the rise of the diaper. They usually fit babies once they reach 10lbs so smaller newborns will require additional diapers until they reach this weight (prefolds and covers are perfect for this).

How many diapers?

Each baby is unique but newborns can be expected to need diaper changes 10 to 12 times a day. Most manufacturers recommend washing diapers every other day to avoid accumulation of odors and setting in of stains. Two to three dozen newborn prefolds and 3-4 covers are adequate for a newborn household which will wash every second or third day. Covers contain a waterproof layer on the inside which can be wiped off between diapering and reused until soiled.

Velcro vs. Snaps

As an expectant mom researching cloth diapers I was convinced I preferred snap diapers. They continue to look brand new after many washes and unlike Velcro they do not collect hair and lint in the process. As a mom to a newborn though, Velcro became a great feature. The Velcro allows the diaper to be adjusted at any given increment unlike a snap diaper which is preset. I personally am willing to give up a little in the looks factor and to clean Velcro in order to have well fitting diapers. A well fitting diaper is less likely to leak.

Personal Favorites

Newborn size – Chinese unbleached prefolds with covers. Preferred covers are ProWrap for price, durability, ease of cleaning, and fit.
Over 10lbs – Chinese unbleached prefolds with covers. Preferred covers are
ProWrap and Thirsities. BumGenius brand OneSize diapers. These are a
pocket diaper which come with two inserts.

I personally prefer diapers which are one-size (except of course prefolds which are sized but have a much larger range). I used FuzziBuns sized pockets and they were absorbent and worked well. Again, because of the limited time each of these diapers could be used and the fact that I would need to purchase more diapers as my son grows, I will stick with BumGenius OneSize in the future. The prices of the two are similar and one has a much larger life span.

There are other variations on the above diapers but they function much the same with only pattern differences. Knowing the above information though will make understanding these other types much easier!

Cloth Diapering 101 - Part One

We’ve been successfully using cloth diapers since Nolan came home from the hospital and the free pack of Swaddler’s ran out. I remember deciding early in my pregnancy that I wanted to use cloth but not be certain where to start. Looking online at cloth diaper retailers I was presented with a smorgasbord of possibilities. Here are some of my tips and tricks!

There are two main categories of diapers: those that require a waterproof cover, and those that have the waterproof cover built in. It really is a matter of preference and one type is not necessarily more difficult to use than the other.

Those Requiring Covers:

This is the simple foldable diaper of yesteryear. It is secured around the baby with either pin or Snappi.
Pros: very inexpensive even when cost of cover is added in, can be used with diaper creams or prescriptions, can be easily washed and bleached if
necessary, can be folded down and used easily on newborns
Cons: not as stylistic, must be folded on, can be intimidating for dads and daycares

Fitted diapers:
These diapers have been shaped like disposable and do not require folding. They are usually made of fashionable cloth and are fastened with either snaps, Velcro, or snappis.
Pros: no folding required, fashionable
Cons: not inexpensive and still require a cover

Those Not Requiring Covers:

All-in-one’s (AIO’s):
This is the diaper most like a disposable. It has a built in waterproof cover and layers of sewn in absorbency. If you want to add more absorbency it is simply laid into the diaper and not secured in any other way.
Pros: easy to put on, doesn’t require separate cover
Cons: more difficult to add extra absorbency (for night or naps), longer drying times which can lead to destruction of waterproof layer, harder to get inner most layers clean

These diapers are, in my opinion, the most versatile and preferred type. They have an outer waterproof layer and an inner wicking layer which is next to the bottom. Those two layers are stitched together and a pocket is left open to stuff absorbent layer between. When purchasing these diapers absorbent inserts are included.
Pros: Easy to add extra absorbent layers which are secured in the diaper, once stuffed the diaper is as simple as a disposable
Cons: require placing the insert into the pocket after laundering

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blog Name

Okay so I know the Blog name is a bit cheesy. Too bad!!! It's mine to name. Nolan goes by lots of names around here..... Nolan, Nol-man, No-man, and I'm sure there's more!

Since my life now pretty much revolves around him I'm sure this blog will too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The beginning...

So this is the start of Nolan. Without this story my blog name would be inappropriate and nonexistent. I warn you ahead of time it's the true and detailed description of his arrival into this world. Read at your own peril!

On Saturday October 24, 2009 I awoke at 6am and had to quickly go to the bathroom. I’ve heard of others saying your body knows to empty itself before labor and I thought about that for a bit and shrugged it off. I couldn’t get back to sleep very well and was restless. At 7:30 I suddenly felt like I had wet the bed and rushed into the bathroom. I was pretty certain that was my water but since the day before the I had measure no dilation and only 50% effaced I was confused. I was after all only 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. After a few minutes of trying to see if movement made more "water" release, I was certain it was my water. It was unmistakable. I walked out and woke Tim to let him know. He asked about contractions and I let him know that I had nothing more than usual yet.

I got showered and dressed in comfy clothes and we started talking. We knew the Dr.’s like you to call ASAP so they start timing how long since the water broke but we weren’t really comfortable being on their clock yet. We discussed getting up and active to get things going and calling the Dr. at a later time if labor hadn’t progressed. We went to Babies R Us and I had some light lunch. After lunch I tried lying on my side because the walking hadn’t really brought contractions on. Lying seemed to do the trick and I got some contractions all timing at 5 minutes apart. They were a little painful but only early labor contractions. We decided that we would call the Dr. at 8pm and tell them my water had broke at 4pm so they didn’t get too freaked out. Once we were admitted they would be monitoring us anyways so they exact time my water broke wouldn’t matter. Only that Nolan was doing well would be important.

Once at the hospital they confirmed broken water and got me in my room. My midwife was there for another delivery and came by. She actually started talking inducing in two hours and I expressed my dislike for that and stated I definitely wanted more time as long as Nolan was healthy (which she confirmed). Tim and I started walking the halls of the hospital. Once in the hospital, my contractions got a lot stronger but not closer together. We walked through the night until 3am and I continued to get stronger more painful contractions but not the pick up in frequency. They were always 5 min apart.

I was checked upon arrival at the hospital and was only 1 cm dilated. At 3am I was 3 cm dilated. The midwife commented that 5cm is usually considered active labor so the strong contractions I had been having pretty much had no effect and 20 hrs after water breakage I was not any closer to true labor. It was really discouraging as they could tell my contractions were intense but they just weren’t progressing me. My midwife stated she’d give me a bit more time and went home for the night. I was checked again at 9am and still at 3 cm. At this point I was pretty tired and wore out and just upset that all the work my body was doing was not bringing us closer to delivery. The midwife was contacted and they prepared me to get antibiotics, IV, and pitocin. That would mean I couldn’t be mobile as I had been doing. At 10am pitocin was started. It was upped pretty frequently. My contractions continued getting stronger and more painful and we really hoped it was actually dilating me too. It did not, however, bring contractions closer together as its supposed to.

At noon it was clear that I had been dealing with this for 30 hours, had no sleep, and was going to be bumped to the maximum pitocin dosage. I had an epidural placed so I could get a bit of rest and possibly make it through. I had the anesthesiologist give me a very low dose so I could feel my legs, move, and even walk. Basically I could tell what was happening it just wasn’t painful. Upon getting the Epidural my blood pressure crashed and there were tense moments getting it all aligned and me back to normal. Nolan was spot on vitals through it all. The Doc ended up turning my Epi down a bit more even to help with the BP.

I was re-checked at 3pm and after being on maximum pitiocin I was only 5cm dialted. The midwife and nurses talked a bit hushed and I was pretty upset. They weren’t really sure while the pitocin wasn’t bringing on the constant contractions. At 4pm the midwife came in and started to tell me options I had or didn’t have anymore. She stopped herself and checked me first. FINALLY I was dilated to an 8 even though contractions still were intense but 5 min apart. She manually stretched me to a nine. Helped get rid of the anterior lip which was pretty strong and then told me she’d give me a little more time to get fully dilated. I wasn’t going to be required to get a c-section afterall!! I was to call immediately if I felt pressure and they got the room ready for baby. Shortly before 5 pm we started pushing. I was able to hold my own legs and we pushed on the normal bed and did not modify it or bring up stirrups or anything. I could feel the contractions and feel how pushing was working. At about this time the epidural was also no longer strong enough to get rid of the contraction pain. I started feel the pain in addition to just the pressure and pushing through the contractions was nice.

I pushed for almost an hour and had a mirror in place so I could see it all. Nolan’s head came out on the third push of a contraction. Since usually I only pushed 3 times with each contraction I was a little freaked out and said “we can’t stop. I need to keep pushing.” His cord was wrapped tightly around his neck so they (Tim actually) moved it off so he could have delayed clamping and be on my chest. I got the go ahead to give a final few pushed and out he came. Everyone was laughing as he started peeing immediately. Nolan gave a small cry but didn’t full out scream and they ended up having Tim cut his cord and got him to the table next to me to clear out his mouth. He was born at 5:47 pm.

Prep on me began then. The afterbirth and placenta delivered easily and Tim and I were both intrigued to check it out. I thought I hadn’t tore but indeed I had a bad 3rd degree tear that took about 20-30 minutes of stitching. Nolan was healthy and happy and finally here almost 36 hours after my water broke!!