Tag: Childbirth Education
Cloth Confession #4
“Get me a REAL diaper”
When we began this journey to cloth diapering my biggest skeptic was my husband. He could wrap his brain around the fact that it would save us money but that was about it. We started off with just 4 diapers so we could get through the majority of the day and then use a disposable at night or on days when I didn’t do laundry in time. I thought after months of discussion and convincing that Thomas was finally on board with using cloth as our main type of diaper, but apparently I was wrong.
I work 3 half days a week and was getting quite frustrated when I’d come home to find that Thomas hadn’t put Olivia in a cloth diaper while I was gone. It was alway an excuse like “they weren’t stuffed” (we use pocket diapers) or “the pants I wanted her to wear didn’t fit over the cloth”. I never knew diapers could cause such an irritation between parents. What was funny to me was the fact that he never once complained if I was home and changing the diapers. So finally after a long stressful day I snapped (looking back it may have been a tad of an over reaction but it worked so….)
I’m pretty sure I yelled something along these lines, “IF YOU DON’T START USING THE CLOTH DIAPERS I’M JUST GOING TO GO SELL THEM BACK….NO WAIT I’LL JUST GIVE THEM AWAY SO IT’S A REAL WASTE OF MONEY”
Well that got my point across and Thomas suddenly stopped complaining about the cloth diapers. We ordered a few more to add to our supply and can now do laundry every other day. Things seemed to be going much better but I was still skeptical that Thomas was completely on board. I didn’t want to be forcing him to do something he really didn’t want to. Then this morning a wonderful sentence came out of his mouth.
Thomas started a diaper change for Olivia without realizing I hadn’t stuffed the diapers yet after last nights laundry. I figured I he’d just grab a disposable and we’d put her in cloth later, but mid-change he hollered, “Honey can you get me a REAL diaper I only have the cover”. Success! He then told me how he is glad they’re all clean today because the skirt he wanted to put Livy in would be too big if she were to wear a disposable.
I think today has proven that my husband is the true cloth convert of the this family not me. 🙂
My first birth of 2013 is in the books! Baby Grayson was brought into this world by loving parents Adrienne and Ryan on January 16th. This 7 pound 3 ounce bundle of joy sure did take us all on a crazy (and fast) journey. Here are just a few of the images I was able to capture as this family’s doula and photographer.
I’ll be honest, when I got the text at 6:30am requesting I head to the hospital I was a bit hesitant. Adrienne was only at a 2 and was not have very strong contractions. At this rate it was looking like a long day ahead. Then I realized if I waited any longer traffic would be horrible. So I jumped in the car and headed off…just in the nick of time.
I arrived around 7:30 to find Adrienne and Ryan laboring beautifully on the birth ball. The nurse was telling them they were cleared to walk for a while and in about 30 minutes she’d be back to start the pitocin since Adrienne had not made any progress since the night before when she was admitted for minor complications.
We headed out the door and before we could make it 5 feet *splash* amniotic fluid everywhere! The simple motion of walking ruptured her water and set things in motion.
Back in the room things progressed quickly. I hardly had time to take any photos since her contractions picked up in intensity. Another exam revealed in less than 2 hours dilation had progressed from a 2 to a 9. With more control than most first time moms (or any laboring woman for that matter) have, Adrienne fought through 30 minutes of rough labor.
Before long she was ready to push and Grayson made his arrival at 8:57.
I can only hope the rest of my births for 2013 go as smoothly and beautifully as baby Graysons’.
Congratulations to the wonderful family! Thank you for letting me be a part of this special journey 🙂
Labor is a beautiful thing
Labor is defined in many ways
Cloth Confession #3
I keep waiting for the smell…
While trying to figure out if I should cloth diaper or not I read a lot of discussion boards aimed toward cloth mommas. A common concern I saw was that the diapers after a time would start to smell like ammonia or they couldn’t get the poopy smell out.
**Side note have you ever done something kind of strange and thought, “wow I’ve turned into a freak…well other moms must do it….ok this isn’t so weird”**
I now find myself constantly sniffing my daughters diapers while hanging them to dry, while stuffing the inserts, and while putting them up (now the side note makes sense right?). I guess I’m washing them correctly or I’m just lucky! 3 months in and still no smell…maybe it takes longer to develop? Honestly I’m stumped on this one but excited at the same time that I don’t have to deal with a stinky baby or unpleasant diapers 🙂
Speaking of cloth diapers! I am co-hosting another “Intro to Cloth Diapering” Class with Joyful Baby Planning!
Saturday January 9th @4:30 Allen Birthing Center 406 W. Main Allen, TX 75013
RSVP on Facebook today!
Welcome Maddie J
I am always honored when students from my birth class ask me to be a part of their labor and birth. No matter what the role, attending births is a passion of mine. For Karen and Adam my role was to document the birth of their first child, Madeline (aka Maddie J), through photos. What I ended up capturing was much different.
The following is shared with permission to give others a glimpse inside an amazing labor that has changed my life forever.
12/21/12 – Karen’s due date and surprisingly the day she actually went into labor. She texted me at about 8:30 that morning to let me know her contractions were getting more regular but still pretty far apart.
The day went on with no major updates. Finally I got the call at 9:30pm. They were headed to the hospital! The last thing Karen said before she hung up was, “I don’t think I can do this”. I was so excited to get to the hospital to watch her prove to herself that she could!
I arrived about 20 minutes after Karen and Adam. She was dilated to almost a 7 and contractions were less than 3 minutes apart. A text-book perfect labor!
I love watching first time dads try to figure out labor. Adam was so enthusiastic and so nervous at the same time, it was heartwarming to see. Everyone in the room could tell he was ready to be a dad. Once they were in a rhythm, I couldn’t help but smile. As their birthing instructor I would love to take credit for their amazing labor skills but there are some things that can’t be taught. Like how whenever Karen’s breathing would start to speed up and she’d start to get tense, with one phrase, “breath from within”, Adam could relax her completely. It was truly beautiful.
Time went on and Karen moved to the tub (side note: hospitals that offer birth tubs are amazing and I think all others should follow suit). Signs starting pointing towards transition, I got excited and starting reminding them about what they could expect…”the hardest shortest part, the hardest shortest part”. Everyone was braced and ready for contractions to pick up but instead they began to taper off.
I learned, even before my own labor, that you never put a time stamp on when you think things will happen, so the hardest question to answer from a laboring woman is, “How much longer?”. Being reassuring without making promises is tricky when it comes to birth. All you can do is tell mom that her baby will come when ready. Another thing I’ve learned this past year in this field is that there is a connection between mothers. I had been in her shoes, the feeling that labor is never going to end, the exhaustion hurting more than the contractions. Honestly one of the most surreal moments of my life so far was when Karen said, “I can’t do this much longer”…. I looked her straight in the eyes and for a moment the room was silent, “You already have done it. You’ve got this and your daughter will be here soon.” Karen smiled, nodded her head, and had a new resurgence of energy. I have said things like this to other laboring moms but this was different. I was not the medical professional in the room, but I believed it with all my heart. Maddie was on her way and I knew her mom was going to have the perfect birth!
Karen moved to the bed to try to get some rest but contractions were picking back up. They were closer together and last longer. Finally the moment we’d all been waiting for, the urge to push! Without even being prompted to or being checked to see if dilation was complete Karen started pushing and Adam starting tearing up. He later described his emotions to me as incredible, that he couldn’t believe her body just knew to do that. He could not stop talking about how amazed he was by his wife strength both emotionally and physically.
The room got excited and cheered Karen on. Then before we knew it nearly 2 hours had passed. Baby’s heart rate was dropping every time she engaged in the pelvis. Progress had stopped. The midwife checked Maddie’s position and found she was too high for a forceps delivery and thought an epidural would be a good option so they could try to reposition her and avoid a cesarean. Hospital protocol required everyone but dad to leave the room so it was out to the lobby for the waiting game.
Another hour went by and finally Adam came out. They could not successfully reposition Maddie and had to take Karen back for an emergency cesarean. Adam sat down looking so remorseful. This is not how you’re supposed to feel at your child’s birth. He hadn’t even gotten to see his daughter yet because of minor complications. They had told him everyone was fine and he could come to recovery in a few minutes. “This is the worst thing that could have happened,” he said. My heart was filled with guilt. I knew once he got to hold his sweet girl and see Karen again he would bounce back, but until then I felt like I had to do something. We talked things through and by the time the nurse came to take him back I think he had begun to process the fact that they tried EVERYTHING possible and their cesarean was 100% necessary.
After some bonding time Adam brought my camera out to me and told me their midwife had taken it into the operating room and was able to get a few shots of Maddie just minutes old and photos of the first time he got to meet his daughter!
I left the hospital at 8:00 Saturday morning still not sure how to feel about everything. I didn’t want Karen to be angry at me. I didn’t want her to feel like I led her on when I told her she could do it. Then I got this text…
“Hey…Thanks again for all of your help. Karen’s spirits are high and we are perfectly fine with how everything turned out. We got to experience the miracle of a natural labor and it was AMAZING!! We would love to talk in front of your next Bradley class or even multiple classes and provide some useful information.”
Things don’t always go according to plan, but focusing on the positive aspects even in negative situations will take you a long way. I cannot thank Karen and Adam enough for letting me be a part of such an important day in their lives. Congratulations you two and welcome to the world Miss Maddie!
Oh Those Lovely “Mommy Wars”
The following Facebook status was written this morning by NaturallyBorn, an online community of moms and dads looking for and giving support to others. Of course when it comes to parenting boards there are bound to be disagreements. Giving your opinion on how you raise your child(ren) is one thing but flat-out bashing another parent who is doing their best is uncalled for.
The term “Mommy Wars” used to be reserved for Stay at Home vs Working Moms, but now it seems EVERYTHING a parent does is under the microscope. In today’s society parents tend to think,”if you aren’t doing something MY way….you’re wrong”. We are supposed to be the example for our kids, not the ones who teach them how to judge and attack others. You can be passionate about your parenting methods without disrespecting others choices.
Please follow NaturallyBorn’s hint and stay out of the conversations if you have nothing nice to say!
Cloth Confession #2
If you diaper right you won’t have to deal with leaks…as much!
A big opposition I hear from people when talking about cloth diapers is that they “leak more”.
Leaky diapers are a part of parenting. Disposable or cloth, it is inevitable. Don’t believe me, ask any parent what happened around 8 weeks old with their kids diaper. The most common answer will be something along the lines of “oh the blow out!” or “you mean the poopy diaper that goes up the back and get in their hair?” Yes, it will happen and there is nothing you can do about it except be prepared to clean it up. Cloth diapers have also changed A LOT in recent years! They have gone from a piece of fabric you pin together and put a plastic cover over to convenient, snap together, absorbent, and cute diapers that moms and babies love.
Maybe we got lucky, but since we’ve started using the cloth diapers we’ve had one leak that was totally my husbands fault (don’t tell him I said that). I’ll admit, you do have to use your brain just a tad bit more when using cloth diapers, but it is worth it. In the case of our first leak, my husband decided to use only 1 insert instead of 2 (we’re using pocket diapers) and we were out of the house a little bit longer than anticipated. If you plan ahead your baby…and car seat…should stay happy and dry.
Preventing leaks also requires you to care for your diapers properly; washing and drying does require a couple extra steps. Once you establish a routine it really doesn’t take up much time during your day and will prolong the life of your diapers saving you even more money!
Confessions of a Cloth Convert
After receiving more car seat bases than diapers at my baby shower, I had a very funny/frustrating conversation with my husband, Thomas, that went something like this…
T: so how many diapers will we need?
Me: a lot
T: how many is a lot
Me: I don’t know! Babies use a lot of diapers
T: what do you think the average is?
Me: I don’t know! all babies grow at different rates they all potty train at different times…there’s no way to know how many diapers we’ll need
T: what if we buy too many then?
Me: I don’t know we’ll just buy as we go.
T: but I want to know how many to stock up on a head of time
Me: well we’re not going to know a head of time
T: I don’t like not knowing… I’m going to keep track
Me: ok you do that
T: no really! That way for the next baby we’ll know how many to buy
Me: but each baby is different
T: well it will give us a starting point!
Fast forward 14 months and Olivia has gone through 1840 diapers and counting!
When we hit the 700 mark for size 4 I knew something had to change. We had considered cloth diapering before but had never bought any. Our main concerns were poopy diapers, hassle of laundry, and initial cost.
After hosting and attending a Cloth Diaper Class by Joyful Baby Planning and Parenting I finally took the plunge! We have now been doing a mix of disposable and cloth diapering for 2 weeks and have had quite an adventure already. In a new routine post I plan to call Cloth Confessions, I will share my experience and tips when it come to making the switch. Hope you enjoy!
Cloth Confession #1
“Dump the Chunk” is not that bad!
When one of my previous bosses began cloth diapering I was initially grossed out when she told me her diaper service would pick up weekly and only asked that they “dump the chunk” before boxing up the used diapers. The thought of having to go to the toilet and hose off or dunk the diaper after every change sounded like a waste time and a sanitary hazard. Low and behold it’s a breeze. I now change Olivia in our master bedroom instead of her room so I can quickly get up, chunk, and flush. I think one advantage to converting so late is that her bowel movements are mostly solid so I really haven’t needed to do much work. The phrase “it’s different when it’s your own” is so true! I don’t think I would be comfortable cloth diapering another persons kid (or diapering at all for that matter), but with my own don’t mind one bit!
Newborn Sneak Peak: Mila
This weekend was a busy one! Between births, classes, and car trouble I had the joy of doing a shoot for 3 week old Mila and her big sister Chloe. Here are just a few of my favorite images.