2013… Year of KindaCrunchy

It was one year ago that I first purchased a lot of random used cloth diapers and decided to jump in.

Who would have thought that that one decision would lead me on a whole new journey.   That one decision led me on a path that changed me as a mother, wife and friend.

It was a very slippery slope. First my random lot, followed by a few prefolds and some cheap pockets.  Then I found the swap pages on Facebook and decided to try all the diapers.   In February I tried my first WAHM made fitted diaper and went to the dark side of cloth.  Stalking diapers on hyena cart and trading HTF prints.

Then of course I decided I would like to take my love of cloth to a whole new level and open my own cloth diaper store (online).  I haven’t been able to do as much as I wanted to with it yet, but I hope to grow it in the near future!

It wasn’t until August when I found the babywearing world that I was able to , slow my cloth diaper addiction down.  Babywearing, especially with 3 kids, has been a life saver. It has also introduced me to an amazing group of new friends.

What’s to come this year?  Well I’m starting off by focusing on my health here, and then attempting to balance it all a little better.

The bad part of cloth diapering.

Here is the bad part of cloth diapering.  I’m going to tell you so you know going into it what you’ll have to deal with.  The thing no one tells you when you actually do your diapering research.

It’s not the mess.  Disposables are far more likely to leak or succumb to poop explosions.  Technically you are supposed to remove fecal matter from dispoables as well as cloth diapers (except in cloth you can throw it into the wash until you introduce solids).   You STILL have to change diapers regardless of whether you use cloth or disposables.

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It’s not that its harder.  Fasten one side, fasten the other. That’s not rocket science is it?  Then do laundry… well shouldn’t all of us know how to and actually do laundry on a regular basis?

The bad part of cloth diapering is the RUDE comments people make when you make this choice.  This choice that is better for the environment, keeping over 2500 diapers per child per year out of landfills (did you know they take 200 years to decompose?)  In addition to that, you are supposed to remove fecal matter from diapers before throwing them in the trash in order to prevent the spread of disease, but not very many people do that. So most people using disposables are therefore spreading disease.   It may take more water to wash a cloth diaper,  but there is far more water used during the manufacturing process of disposables.

This choice that *can* be more economical.  Sure the initial investment can be more.  $80 – $500 to make a full-time cloth diapering stash depending on the type and brands you choose to use.  It costs around $1000 per year per child in disposables.  Except with cloth you can reuse them for subsequent children. The part that rarely gets brought up is RESALE value of cloth diapers is quite surprising.  There is no return on investment for disposables.

(I say *can* because there are those, like myself, who tend to get carried away with cloth diapers and buy and sell to the point that they have no longer made a savings.  If you are the type that is ambivalent about diapering, you WILL save money)

This choice that is healthier for your children. The chemicals found in diapers are potentially DANGEROUS and here. Production of these diapers is self-regulated, meaning that there is NO ONE for these companies to check in with or meet safety guidelines for before putting this product onto the shelf.

This choice that is so much fun.  Picking out different prints by mood, event or season.

This choice that is all-around positive in every way. Why do people feel the need to criticize it?

I don’t set out to make my disposable diapering friends feel bad for making their choice.  (I started using disposables with my first two children). Some people don’t like the idea of washing diapers, I get it.  It’s cool with me, we all have our own set of priorities. Some people have the motivation, will, and priorities to use cloth diapers, and some don’t.  It doesn’t make any of us right or wrong for making our choices. We make them in the best interest of balancing our family needs.

Ideally though, I’m going to say it.  Cloth Diapers are better. (When I say ideally, I don’t mean anyone should risk their sanity or compromise on their own set of priorities to cloth diaper, but I do mean that anyone out there who can should at least research it and learn about it before you discard it as an option)

***This post was written in response to someone coming into my home, looking at my diaper stash and telling me “They make disposables for a reason you know! They are simpler, easier and way less messy”.

Video

How to rock a prefold!

This is a basic beginners video about prefold diapers. I go over different types of prefolds, as well as several different folds, and which covers work best.

**I did not mention that prefolds can also come in bamboo, hemp, zorb and other materials, but you can fold them all the same way**

7 Types of Cloth Diaperers

Before I made the move to cloth diapers, I assumed there was only one type of person that cloth diapered. I basically thought they all lived in shacks in the forest, raised animals, grow their own food, and were generally way less lazy than I was.

Well, I was very wrong.  I have discovered there are MANY types of cloth diaperers, and I am going to outline several of them here for you today.

The Frugal Mama

This type of mama will create a minimal stash of prefolds and covers.  For her cloth diapering has no bigger value than saving hundreds of $$Dollars$$ a year.  She is the cloth diaperer many of us initially thought we would be when we made the decision to try out cloth ourselves.  These are the women we are talking about when we sway our husbands into believing that cloth diapering will save us money!

The Mainstream Mama

The Mainstream Mama will do all her research before making the choice to cloth.  She will select one brand of cloth diapers and buy a whole set.  She may enjoy cloth diapering, she still saving money, and is still passing for a relatively sane person.

The Dark-side Mama

So, there are some mainstream diaper brands that create an exclusivity to their brand.  Some of their prints or colors become HTF (Hard to Find) or HSA (Highly saught after).  This creates a collectors mentality.  All of a sudden if you like them, you want ALL of them.  You must have every version of that diaper ever made so your stash is complete and so other mamas who see your stash will be jealous!

The Bat-Shit-Crazy Mama

This type of mama is even crazier than the dark-side mama. She has been sucked into the world of WAHM (Work at home Mom) diapers.  All of a sudden her calender revolves around diaper stockings, which leads to diaper stalking.  She watches auctions and usually will pay more than any sane person would ever consider appropriate for ONE single cloth diaper… BUT they are so adorable.  This type of mama usually owns babylegs so she can show off her baby’s bum more often than not.

The Hog Mama

The Hog Mama is a little bit of everything. Her stash is actually about 5 stashes because she can’t decide which ones she likes best, but having one or two in each brand doesn’t make sense.  The Hog Mama has the potential to be the most dangerous because she may lose all grips on reality and end up having her stash worth enough to get a divorce over.

The Earthy Mama

These Mamas tend to choose fitted diapers or prefolds and cover them with beautiful wool.  Soakers, shorties, longies and skirties, and these bottom pieces probably cost more than their own clothing. They know that their diapers take the least amount of time to decompose and are made with all-natural fibers.

The Super-Crunch Mama

This Mama is the ultimate in ecological cloth diapering.  She may even make her own diapers.  She is what I envisioned when I originally heard about cloth diapering myself.  She may even hand-wash her diapers, make her own cloth diaper detergent, and hangs them all to dry.

 

Which one are you?

Birth (Third of Three) First Homebirth

Surprise surprise!! After almost 7 years of begging and pleading with my husband he agreed that we could have a baby in the future. Low and behold, 2 weeks later I got a positive pregnancy test.

Three to four months into my pregnancy I made the decision to switch to cloth diapering. Through talking to ladies in the cloth diapering community I ended up being more educated in home-birth. I started following a few pages that advocated for home birth and it really opened up my eyes.

By the 6 month mark, I decided I wanted to have a home-birth myself, and spent some time warming my husband up to the idea of it. Eventually he got on board and decided to support me to have what ever type of birth I wanted.

We started to prepare for a home water birth. I was fairly confident going in that I would be successful due to my experience with my 2nd birth. I did have a few moments of doubt though. The thought of being trapped at home with no immediate pain relief was both scary and motivating.

At 37w I started all my typical labor induction methods and pretty much gave up by 39w. At 39w 2d I woke up and then my water broke. I had actually JUST gone on one of my Facebook pages to rant about how my husband could sleep in as my water broke, so one of the first things I said to him, after I said “Um, did my water just break”, was “Guess you don’t get to sleep in today, huh?”.

Throughout the day I walked, baked banana bread, walked some more, drank a special labor tea that my midwife gave me, and walked some more. My best friend came over as well to hang out with me during my labor. She traveled over 17 hours and came several weeks earlier than she had planned to make sure she would be with me for this birth.

Finally around 6pm things started to get regular. This meant contractions every 2-3min. My midwife came over to check me at 6:30 and decided I was now in active labor. A few contractions later we decided I should get into the tub, and one or two contractions after that my photographer showed up.

I felt so strong through this labor. As the contractions came I could feel my body tense up, so I would just close my eyes, breathe and concentrate on relaxing my body. It seemed to work and make the pain manageable. That was until a monster back-to-back set of contractions. I made no noise, but tears sprang to my eyes afterwards. Not necessarily from the pain, but from the reality that this was happening. I worried about if I was in THIS much pain now, how much worse would it get?

Then I felt the need to change position, so I went from sitting in the pool, to kneeling in the pool and leaning over the edge. About two contractions later I started to feel “pushy”. My midwife checked me (it was 8:08pm) and said I was only 6cm. She also called her 2nd attendant to start making her way over. One part of me was very scared that I was only a 6 and in this much pain. Then I started to feel nauseated.

My husband brought me a movie popcorn bucket in case I needed it and rubbed my back. I was prepared from a long haul. The next contraction though, I WAS pushing and I couldn’t control it. My midwife decided to check me again and ended up breaking my second bag of waters. Immediately she started asking for towels and a time on the clock. We knew it was a matter of minutes before my baby made her arrival so we called my four year old son into the room. He had been looking forward to watching the birth for weeks and was very excited that it was finally time!

A couple more pushes and out shot my 2nd daughter into the water below me. It was 8:14pm only 8 minutes since I was 6cm.

I was able to grab her myself to lift her up out of the water. She reached up to me instinctively, and I was able to bring her right up onto my chest while we dried her off and snuggled as she took her first breaths.

Everyone was overjoyed. I called my Mom, who was standing at the door, into the room while my baby was getting checked out. My midwifes assistant arrived a few minutes later. After I delivered the placenta, my Dad, sister and daughter were also invited into the room.

When they weighed her and told me she was 7lbs 5oz I was in shock! My son had been 9lb12oz, and my first daughter was 8lb9oz. I never imagined I would have such a tiny baby!!

It was my ultimate birth experience and I felt like I was on top of the world. I couldn’t be more thankful to my support team for helping me achieve this.

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Birth (Second of Three)

June 24th 2010 I found out I was pregnant with my second child. During this pregnancy I was extremely sick for the first 4 months. I had started out at my heaviest weight ever and ended the pregnancy at the same weight.

For some reason I really wanted a girl this time. The want was so strong that I cried almost every day for a week prior to our gender scan. I can’t explain why the want was so strong, but it was real. When I went to our gender scan, and a little baby vagina appeared on screen, I lost it and sobbed for joy.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I started my typical labor induction routine. After a week of it, I gave up for the most part. At 38w5d I ate some labor cookies that I had made. They are actually quite delicious if you don’t mind a bit of spice.

During this time my husband was working about 6 hours out of town, and was ready to come home whenever I went into real labor.

The next morning I woke up to my show. Nothing else happened that day. Sunday morning I had contractions again for a few hours and then they petered out. Finally Monday morning contractions got regular and I felt confident that this was the beginning of “real” labor.  Around noon I went to get checked at my midwife’s office.  My own midwife wasn’t due to return from her vacation for a few more days so I saw a student who was being overseen by another midwife in the practice.

I was told that I was 4cm and not really in active labor. She told me I could walk around days like this, so I would just have to wait and see. I went home to relax and see what would happen. I was trying to figure out when my husband should come home. We decided that regardless he should start making his way home.  I spent the afternoon with netflix laboring through contractions until around 5pm when I decided the tub would be more comfortable. I called my mother to come over to help with my son so I could concentrate on labor. She came over and sat with me through contractions and kept the little dude occupied. Around 6pm I noticed they were getting more and more uncomfortable so I called my midwife student again to tell her what was going on.  I wasn’t making a lot of noise so she told me to get out of the tub, relax for an hour, have something to eat and call her back.

As I got out of the tub, the pain became more and more intense. My sister and my brother-in-law both showed up to help with my son so my mother could accompany me to the hospital. I tried to eat something but just couldn’t do it.  I called her again and she finally agreed to meet me at the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital (at 7:45pm), the midwife ran into us in the parking lot. She had seen the chair my Mom had wheeled out for me and was encouraging me to walk.  I was in so much pain that walking ANYWHERE was out of the question for me.

After I was wheeled upstairs, the student checked me and was quite surprised to find out I was already 8cm. I was so ecstatic about reaching 8cm without any pain management I shouted “I’m in transition!! I can DO this!”.  I  At this point my husband was just getting on the ferry and about 4+ hours away as it was also snowing out.

A few minutes later they decided to break my water and I immediately was feeling the urge to push.  I had never felt anything so intense before.  I knew I was getting close to the end. As intense as the contractions were, the breaks between them were like little moments of heaven.   I had called my husband and my best friend Sarah to let them know how far along I was and that I was starting to push soon.

As I started pushing, I started to worry what kind of tearing I would experience this time.  3rd degree tears with my son were aweful and this time I didn’t have any pain medication.  In the heat of the moment I decided to just push the baby out and worry about the damage after.

A few pushes later, at 8:36pm they placed my daughter on my chest.  I sobbed like a baby myself. Then I was elated.  I couldn’t believe I had just pushed a baby out of my vagina with no interventions what-so-ever!  I called my husband and cried telling him that she was hear, and then cried again realizing that he was not yet.  After that his phone died and I would just have to wait until he arrived,

Then I remembered…  I asked my midwife “Ok, give it to me straight… What’s the damage down there?”.  I was fearing the worst.  She examined me and said that she thought I could probably use ONE stitch.  I lost it!  I couldn’t believe that not only had I done it med-free, I had given birth and only required ONE stitch.  I started saying “I feel like freakin SUPERwoman!”.  I probably repeated that phrase a dozen times, and then a dozen more when I was able to use the washroom unassisted.

By 10pm everyone had pretty much cleared out of the hospital room, and it was just me and my little girl waiting for my husband to arrive,  It felt like he was taking so long that I started to call hospitals and police services for the communities on the way home to make sure he hadn’t been in an accident.  AT 1:30am he arrived just as I was being patched through to an RCMP detachment.  Turns out he was just driving slower to stay safe because of all the snow falling.

Immediately that night I knew I wanted to do that again, but my husband had only agreed to two children.  I would have some work to do if I wanted to have another one!

Birth (First of three)

After many attempts and eventually giving up for a while, I found out I was pregnant with our first child on August long weekend 2008.

Fast-forward to April 2009. I was coming up to my due date and had been trying every natural labor induction method I could find.  April 12th at 2:30am I woke up to an odd feeling.  I couldn’t quite place it, but decided to make a dash to the toilet where my water broke.

I called my husband who was still out playing poker that evening to come home because it was really happening!

He was home in record time!

We headed to the hospital expecting to be parents that day, but unfortunately the baby had other plans.  My labor did not progress at all that day. I even headed out to my parents house for Easter dinner.  When we got home I walked, bounced, timed and WILLED the baby to come… nothing.

Finally around 4am contractions started to get uncomfortable, so we headed back to the hospital.  When my Doctor came in to check me at 8am I was still about 3cm, so he decided to give me an epidural and augment me.  This was not part of my plan, but being that it had been so long, I consented.

The next few hours were pretty boring. My family arrived and came in to visit, my husband played on his phone, and I didn’t really feel like I was in labor anymore.  I was still able to walk, although my legs didn’t really work well, so I decided to stay in bed.

Around 11:30 I started to feel some really intense pains. By 12:00 my Doctor came back to check me.  3cm STILL!!  My Doctor looked at me and said “Looks like we’ll be having this baby by knife!”.  At this point I started crying from the pain.  My Doctor looked at me funny and I said quietly “I’m not crying because of the c-section, I’m crying because I’m in pain”.  He called in the OB to give me a quick consult before we headed down for my c-section.  Then he turned up my epidural to help with my pains and left the room.

When the OB arrived 30min later, he decided to check me as well, and I was now “10cm and ready to push” he said.  They called my doctor back to the room, and set me up for pushing.

When they told me they were going to turn off my epidural, I panicked.  I did not want to go back to that pain.  Then they said I could push whenever I was ready.  With no patience left, and the fear of pain approaching, I decided to feel my stomach for contractions and push with them.  I pushed for two hours before my son started having heart decelerations.  At that point I was told we needed to get the baby out faster, and we were going to try a vacuum assisted delivery.  After all 3 suction attempts it was all up to me. I had to push like a meant it or resign myself to a c-section. I chose to push.

At 3:13pm my precious 9lb 12oz som was born. He left behind him a trail of 3rd degree tears that took weeks to heal, but I loved him more than anything.

 

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