Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The cloth diapering challenge

I really wanted to cloth diaper these little guys. I was so determined that I didn't want any disposable diapers in the house and I tried to see if I could get the hospital to use cloth on the boys when they were born (they wouldn't).

I ordered cloth diapering service from Tiny Tots, learned how to do it, bought all the equipment, and felt very comfortable with my decision. I firmly believe it's the best option. It's better for the babies and better for the environment. I don't buy into the bull put out by the disposable diaper manufacturers that says the environmental impact is the same, if not worse, with cloth diapers. They say that laundering the cloth is as bad as throwing the disposables in the trash. They fail to mention that laundering the diapers can use less water and pollutants than it takes to just manufacture the disposables, and they don't include the environmental impact of packaging and delivering the cargo to the stores to sell them. They fail to mention that a disposable covered in a landfill can take at least 250 years to "biodegrade." They also fail to mention that disposables are now a possible link to rising rates of male factor infertility.

Oh, I'm making myself feel worse for using all these disposable diapers! Aack!

Dave refuses to use cloth diapers like Bum Genius that we'd have to launder ourselves. Maybe later in the game, but we are so busy with two babies that laundering the cloth would be tough, even though I'm very willing to do it.

Another option is gDiapers, though they are not the ideal option. These are sort of a combo between cloth and disposable. Dave is on the fence on these and won't decide as to whether or not to try them. Fortunately, we don't have a septic system and by what I've learned, and I could be wrong, our municipal sewage system is compatible with these diaper inserts. I don't know if our plumbing would cope, though.

We can also try 7th Generation diapers but their website has really ticked me off. Their fancy way of giving coupons is not compatible with my printer and I have to request for them to mail me printed coupons, which they send me one at a time, which defeats the purpose. I have heard that they have sent very good coupons and deals to other mothers of twins, but I have failed to reach the right people, I suppose. I don't think their website is very user-friendly, at least not to this user. I've read, too, that unless these are composted, they don't do well with biodegrading, either.

I have attempted to use the Tiny Tots prefold diapers on the boys several times over the last 2 months. They're super cute, even if they were super huge initially. I love photographing the boys in nothing but their cloth diapers.

Until recently, the cloth diapers were really big on the boys and practically engulfed them if I used the Litewrap covers. I tried without the covers but that was futile since they would soil through to their clothes and blankets without the added polyurethane covers. Also, with them being so huge, it was pushing the little guys' legs out too wide and making them so uncomfortable, not to mention added concerns about leg development (hey, I'm a first-time mom and it's my prerogative to be concerned about everything).

I tried again a few days ago and while they were still a lot bulkier than their disposable counterparts, they weren't so bad and no longer splayed out the boy's legs so badly. I used them all day and went through many changes, about one every hour or two per baby. I was pleased with how they are more absorbent with breastmilk poops, which made cleanup easier with fewer wipes. The boys seemed to be fine in them, too. By the end of the day, however, the boys had developed the worst diaper rashes I've ever seen. I was surprised, since cloth diapers are supposed to be better about these things and typically cloth diapered babies get fewer rashes.

I'm not giving up just yet, though. We still subscribe to the diaper service, though so far it has been a big huge waste of money. I'll continue for another few weeks and will try to cloth diaper starting one a day, then two a day, and so on and so forth, to see if I can build these guys little bums a tolerance to the fabric, which is more harsh than the disposable diapers. These cloth diapers aren't soft, by any means.

I hope someday that we can graduate to using all-in-ones and launder them ourselves. Actually, I am reading "Diaper Free Baby" to see about using elimination communication as an alternate method. I think I can do it with William quite easily; Ronan will be more of a challenge. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I love motherhood!

To all those that said, "you don't want kids, they're too much work!" To all those that said, "Are you sure you want children? They change your life!" To all those that said, "Just wait until you have kids..."

I waited. Boy, did I wait! Yes, they have changed my life. Yes, they are a lot of work, but not too much.


I've wanted children for as long as I can remember. I've always felt that I was supposed to have children and be a mother. It broke my heart in high school when a friend said she didn't see me having children, but rather being a favorite aunt. I like being a favorite aunt (I'm the only aunt to 5 of my nieces and nephews so that is hopefully a given). Oh yes, I have loved being an aunt for 16 years but I've been heartbroken at not being a mother. Now I'm a mother and it feels so good. So right.

At the same time, I feel for my friends that want children but still struggle to conceive. I feel for all the women who are going through the struggle of infertility and especially for those who have crossed that bridge into acceptance of living child-free. I realize that could still be me, had IVF not changed my life.

Dave is a great father and we are such a happy family.

I would write more, but Ronan needs me NOW!

It is work, but it's bliss.

What a week - or two!

The last week has been rough. Dave got the lurgy that has been going around at his work. Of course, everyone there has had it or has it and nobody takes sick days so they pass it around. Dave included. In a way they think they're heroes for sticking it out and getting the job done even though they feel like crap. Most of it, though, is that they don't want to waste their precious days off being home sick when they can use them for a better purpose, to travel.

With Dave sick it meant I didn't get much of a break from the boys. I'm not really complaining, it is just hard work and I've been very busy and very tired. Poor Dave, feeling as crappy as he did, helped in whatever ways he could. We were both too nervous to have him handle the babies because they are still under 2 months old. Our pediatrician warned us that if the boys develop a fever before they are 2 months old then the testing would be invasive and include a spinal tap, just to be safe. We'd rather be safe and keep these boys in a bubble, but since we can't do that, we just try to keep the germs away the best that we can. When Dave did need to handle them, he washed his hands well and wore a mask. Again, poor Dave. That mask irritated his skin and made it difficult for him to breathe, and he got very little precious time with his little guys.

The boys are 8 weeks today, though, and just days away from 2 months! Dave's also feeling much better now.

I'm finally feeling more like myself. When they say it takes at least 6 to 8 weeks to recover from a c-section, that is very true in my case. I still have a lot of nerve damage (me and my nervous system, joy of joys) and have odd sensations when anything touches below my belly button. I occasionally feel jabs of pain as the nerves remap. Fortunately, the area was numb due to the nerve damage until just a few weeks ago. That didn't mean I had no pain, but all the times the doctors and nurses had to touch the incision, I didn't feel it much.

The cloth diapering isn't going very well. That's another post to come, since it has been quite the story. Essentially, they were way too big for the boys until recently. Now that they fit, I was excited to use nothing but cloth diapers the other day and it went really well, at least until both boys developed the worst diaper rash I'd ever seen! I'm not giving up just yet. Once they've recovered from the rashes I'll try again, starting with one a day for a few days, then two, then three, and so on. If that fails, I'd like to try gDiapers. Dave still is adamant against using any cloth diapers we need to launder ourselves and he's on the fence about gDiapers. I'm also looking into elimination communication as an alternative.

We took the babies on their first trip to Grandma's house on Sunday. We were only there for about 4 hours but it took us all weekend to prepare. I caught up on laundry and Dave got the car cleaned and fueled. Dave packed our diaper bag as well as a car "spare" bag just in case we got stuck overnight (the car isn't in the best shape and doesn't have a heater). I bought some warm fleecy outfits for the little guys (with all the baby clothes we had, we had nothing that warm for 0-3 months). It took us 4 hours to get ready for the day and we got to her house an hour later than planned.

Jack and Chris were there and Jack took loads of pictures of the boys. I can't wait to see them. Jack has such a way about him that he, again, made me feel comfortable enough to bare pink parts and breastfeed in front of him. I just think that breastfeeding these guys is such a beautiful thing. I love looking at William's and Ronan's faces as they nurse. Dave took a lot of photos, too.

Daniel prepared us a nice lunch and we felt very spoiled. Before we knew it, it was time to drive home. It was a good dry run for Thanksgiving.

The boys have their 2-month pediatrician appointment soon and they'll get shots. I'm not looking forward to it. I'm sure it will hurt me more than it hurts them.

Feedings at night are getting so much better. I've now been nursing them throughout the night and they are actually sleeping a good 5-6 hour stretch (nearly 7 hours a couple of times) several nights a week. Sadly, sometimes they do their long stretches opposite each other. We are pretty strict about our night-time routine, though, and usually get that long stretch from 11pm until 4-5am.

I'm still tired.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I don't care how you vote, just vote. The democratic process works better when more people participate.