Thursday, June 30, 2011

9 Weeks Old

I thought I should post an update on Hunter since he is already 9 weeks old. It has gone by so fast. At 9 weeks, he has grown about 5 inches and weighs double his birthweight (14 pounds). He is completely out of his 0-3 month clothing. I can't believe how big he is.
Recently, he started opening his hands, grabbing for his bottle, making a high pitch "mommy I want my food" cry and sucking his fist. These firsts were so cute to witness. Since I didn't post an update before this, I should mention he has been smiling for a very long time. I believe he started between weeks 2 and 3. Now his smiles are accompanied by a wonderful set of cooing noises. When he really gets going, he lifts his chin, and his smile reaches ear to ear!

This is all so amazing, but it truly is going fast. I thought being at home with no work would slow the passage of time, but it hasn't. These years are going to go by in the blink of an eye.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

IMPORTANT: SALE On and Update of bumGenius Deluxe 3.0 All In One Diaper

Yesterday I posted a review of the bumGenius Deluxe 3.0 All in One diaper. As I said in the review, I did not know how this diaper would perform for us in the medium or large sizes. One of my followers commented on the review, and we got to talking about this dipe via email. After speaking with her, I have decided to try the next sizes up, both medium and large hoping that the stuffing issues along with the awkward fit that follows double stuffing will disappear. She also let me know one important detail about these diapers: THEY ARE BEING DISCONTINUED!!

She kindly instructed me that Cotton Babies has them on sale right now for $9.95 a dipe. That is a $6 savings off the original price! If you are interested in this dipe, I would head over to Cotton Babies right now and buy some before it is too late (they have free shipping in U.S.). Normally I would shop at Kelly's Closet, but they did not have the same price on the diapers.


Breastfeeding Not Going as Planned!

I guess this is technically another update from my "Breastfeeding Challenges" post. It has been almost three weeks since I saw the lactation consultants. Am I where I thought or wanted to be? Absolutely not!! Breastfeeding has definitely been a rough experience. Currently, I am only able to latch Hunter on once a day. The rest is pumping breast milk into bottles. I wonder if I will ever get to breastfeed exclusively. I also wonder if I have to keep going like this, how long I will actually get to give my son breast milk. I really want to make it to that one year mark, but I just don't know if it will be possible with almost exclusive pumping.

Anyone have any advice?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: bumGenius Deluxe 3.0 All In One, Aplix Closure

I thought this diaper was going to be one of my favorites for my little one as I said in my "First Impressions" post. I now feel a little differently than I expected. The bumGenius Deluxe 3.0 All in One is called an all in one (AIO) because it has the absorbancy sewn into the waterproof outer. It is truly like a disposable. I purchased one of these dipes with the aplix closure (like velcro) in the small size which is supposed to fit from 8 to 16 pounds.

This diaper ended up being huge in the rise on my son when he was 8 lbs, and he is a very long baby. I had to wait until he was almost 10 lbs before I could use it which of course cuts down its life. That really disappointed me. Once he got to 10 lbs, this diaper was one of my go to diapers because of its ease of use. Just put it on and go. It was lovely. Shortly after the honeymoon with this diaper, my son revealed he is a heavy wetter. I didn't think this would be a problem with this diaper since it still had a pocket that you could stuff extra absorbancy into. I found however, that it was a problem, at least for my son.
The pocket proved difficult to stuff because of the sewn in soaker. Also since this diaper is sized, I feel like the pocket is harder to stuff in the small sizes compared to stuffing the bumGenius 4.0 One Size diaper. I have a couple of those and they are a breeze to double or triple stuff. On top of that, once this diaper was stuffed with an extra soaker, it did not fit right on my little one and led to leaks both from the gussets and from the top of the dipe at the stomach. After finding this out, the only use for this dipe was a quick wear for 1, maybe 2 hours, very disappointing.
With the aplix closure, came a wonderful customized fit once my little one finally grew into this diaper. It does have its drawbacks though. The laundry tabs on this dipe have not held up the way I expected. They are not yet ready to replace, but they don't stay in the wash, and they usually attach to some other dipe in one way or another. I have had much better luck with my Rumparooz laundry tabs. This diaper also takes forever to dry. I do not dry in the dryer so that I can extend the life of my dipes. This diaper take about 24-30 hours to dry inside and if it is sunny, 4-8 hours outside (flipping inside and out in the middle of the dry).

A couple great things about this dipe are as follows. When it works, it is SUPER convenient. Also, the lining on the inside is super soft, and it keeps my baby dry and happy! I also love the waterproof material on the interior at the top right next to my baby's tummy. I think that definitely helps prevent leaks there. This diaper being a fitted all in one is also very trim and fits under my son's clothes very well. With AIO's, you have no stuffing or pulling inserts out of a pocket which keeps hands clean. The leg gussets in this dipe definitely keep those poo messes in too!

All in all, I am sad to say I would not purchase this diaper again. I love bumGenius as you will see with my review of their one size pocket diaper. This dipe just wasn't right for us with heavy wetting and all. Also, I must be fair and say that the next two sizes up might be better and fix the small pocket issues I was telling you about along with the awkward fit if double stuffed. This dipe is just too expensive with limited versatility for us. If we were to purchase a whole stash of these, at least 12 dipes in each of the 4 sizes would be a hefty price at $15.95 a dipe (x-small is $12.95). It just would not have worked out well!

If you really want to try this dipe, I recommend purchasing only one at first to see how it works for you and your little one also realizing it may work differently as he or she grows and you move him or her into the next size.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Minutes and Seconds

Every minute and every second for the last two and a half weeks seems like it was taken up by either visits from or visits to family and friends. It has been wonderful. Of course, with all fun during these early years of my son's life will come exhaustion for me. That is where I am at as I write for all of you today. It has been fun, but tiring, and I found myself happy to be alone with my son today. Even though the house could use a good cleaning, I decided I wanted a day for me (plus Hunter and I have a small cold that we picked up from a friend's baby).

So, I awoke this morning to a loving husband with whom I just celebrated my 3rd anniversary with. He knew I was tired and wasn't feeling well so he made sure I had a nap before he went to work. I was so thankful! After my nap, I fed the baby and bathed him. We played for a little while, and now he is sleeping. I decided I would catch up on blogging, and next I may make some cloth diaper orders. Side note, I am super excited because I think I am coming close to the end of building my stash. Kelly's Closet is of course running another wonderful deal: purchase $59 and get a free one size diaper worth $17 or more. I will definitely take advantage of this by purchasing a couple of dipes and some cloth diaper detergent that I am running out of. On top of that, at the end of the order I will have over 500 points built up so I can redeem a $30 gift certificate and use that on a couple more dipes. How wonderful!! Okay, I feel fulfilled enough to leave my tangent and continue.

I must say it was an amazing feeling to have someone close by to help me take care of the little one for so long, but it is just as wonderful to know I have the house all to myself again and no committments to visit someone else anytime soon. It all started with a weekends visit to both my mom's house and Seth's parents house. They live very close to each other. I went up on Friday night, had a bridal shower on Saturday in the area with Seth's side of the family and a birthday party for his niece on Sunday. All the while fitting visits with both sets of grandparents in between those events. We returned home to a busy week with my dad and his wife. They came to see Hunter for the first time (they live out of state) and stayed for four days. Almost immediately after they left, one of my best friends came to meet Hunter for the first time as well (also from out of state), and she stayed three days during which we visited another friend with four kids. After she left, my mom and her husband came down Saturday to visit. They decided they might buy a truck from Seth so we spent a while at the dealership that day. As they were leaving that night, Seth's brother came to stay the night because Seth was taking him to the airport early the next morning. That was a wonderful visit. That brings us to yesterday. Seth took his brother to the airport, and then my mom and her husband came down to finish buying the truck at the dealership. They ended up staying until late last night.

Like I said, all of these were wonderful visits, and I had a great time. I am just dead today. Seth doesn't get home until after 9 pm so I am sure I will take another cat nap at some point while Hunter is sleeping. I can at least say that I am getting some cloth diaper and baby laundry done. That reminds me, I can't wait to install our new clothesline, but that will be another post!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Update on the Feeding Challenges

For those of you that read my "Breastfeeding Challenges" post, here is an update. I went and saw a lactation consultant named Geneva on Monday after my blog post. She told me I have an oversupply of milk judging from the amount I had been pumping from each side every 3-4 hours when Hunter wanted to eat. That was usually around 3-4 oz a side. So she said Hunter was having a hard time sucking, swallowing, and breathing during a let down which was potentially causing some of the damage. Her advice was to pump about an ounce from the side I was going to feed on right before I put him on. She also showed me a different position to help with this which was to sit in a recliner all the way back and feed with him straight up and down on me. We successfully did this by ourselves one time yesterday. It is very hard because I have to hold him with both hands and plop him down on me often not knowing if it is going to be a good latch 1)because I don't have a free hand and 2)because I can't even see. I want to get better at this, but I don't want it to be the primary position he nurses in.

I saw Geneva again yesterday. She wipped me up a sling overnight. I thought that was super nice of her!! There is a whole learning curve alone on just the sling lol. Those things are hard to figure out, at least for me! Anyway, she helped me to get him on again and said he was doing much better. I should mention at this point we were only putting him on the right side because that was the least damaged of the two. No re-damaging occurred. I was thankful for that. Geneva did tell me that my little one was eating too much and that I needed to feed him 2 oz every 2 hours instead of 4-6 in a feeding every 3-4 hours. I wasn't sure about that part of her advice...

I also took advantage of the lactation consultants at the hospital. I saw them this morning. We got him latched on the left side which didn't hurt until the end of the food when there was a little bit of re-damage, but I thought it was a very good try. They taught me how to massage his jaw because it is a little tight. This massage is supposed to loosen it so that he can latch better over time. I will be doing that before each feed and randomly during play time throughout the day. They also said it was completely fine for him to eat that much. I found out he is almost 12.5 pounds, and he is only 6 weeks. So he is definitely getting plenty of nourishment. I was shocked because he isn't a chunky baby. He is just long. 5 pounds in 6 weeks...WOW! LOL.

So all in all, I am much more encouraged about this process. My goal is to get him on both sides several times a day with only a couple of feedings being expressed breast milk in the bottle. I don't want to cause any more issues, and I want this to get resolved sooner rather than later. It is going to hurt, but the more practice, the better we will both get...sooner. I just have to take the pain (not from bad latch going forward, but from nursing on damaged goods). That is the hard part, when to tell if it is a bad latch from the pain or just pain from the damage. But hopefully I will figure it out. I WANT I HAVE TO get throught this for my baby! I hope I at least see some kind of improvement in the next week. In the end, I know this will be so much easier than pumping!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Difficulty Breastfeeding

I knew from the moment I was pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. It was the best thing for my baby and me. I wanted it so bad. When we left the hospital after delivery, everything seemed to be going well. One and a half weeks later, I was hit with a huge disaster...Hunter had badly damaged one of the two working pieces of equipment. I tried to keep nursing on it...big mistake. I went to a lactation consultant. She tried to help and told me to keep nursing on it as well. OUCH!! On top of all this, Hunter was tongue tied so he got clipped.

After three days of pain after meeting with the lactation consultant, I decided to pump that side and nurse on the other. I did that for a couple of weeks until my other side started to get really sore from nursing all the time. Of course, the original damaged side still was not healed. So, I had to pump both sides. I picked up a cheap manual pump that took forever but did the trick. I used it for about a week and a half.

Then after four weeks of healing, I tried putting Hunter back on. He re-damaged it in minutes. Back to the pump I went. I was so discouraged and emotional, I decided to get a double electric pump to pump exclusively. That was this morning.

I have talked to so many people today, I now realize I can use the pump BUT I really should try to get Hunter back to nursing to keep up my supply since I want to give him breast milk for a year. So, I am traveling to the home of a different lactation consultant today. She has been so wonderful over the phone, and I really think she will be more patient and understanding. She has been doing it for 50 years. If anyone can help, it is probably her! I am praying I can get my little one back on.

For all of you who are wondering, my baby has been gaining weight wonderfully...I have been blessed with being able to pump 2-3 oz from each side at one sitting giving my baby all he needs and storing the rest. He is getting to be such a chunker.

I will provide updates for you all throughout this situation. Probably another post tonight if I have time. If I can ever make it through this, maybe I will be able to help another nursing mom with my story and some advice later.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefolds

I purchased the Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefolds size one. I paired them with the Thirsties Diaper Cover X-Small at first and am now pairing them with the Thirsties Duo Wrap. These prefolds are so flexible for folding and trim compared to my indian cotton prefolds. The Thirsties prefold is also absorbant. My son is a heavy wetter, and though these won't make it through past 2.5 hours, that is usually enough to make it through a daytime nap. I can't say that about the indian cotton prefolds. These did the trick, and the Thirsties Diaper Covers or Duo Wraps contain the messes. I definitely think I made the right choice in purchasing these for my newborn. With the size one, I am still able to fold down the back for a smaller rise and pull the edges around to attach to the front with a snappi. When I can't do that anymore, I will definitely fold them the way Thirsties suggests and tuck them inside my duo wraps.

I don't have one bad thing to say about these prefolds. They are trim, absorbant, soft, flexible. All the things you never thought you would see in a prefold. They dry well in the dryer, and I dry them in the sun as often as I can to keep stains at bay and save on energy costs. I NEVER reach for my other prefolds with these in the house (so glad my other prefolds were a gift). When these will no longer work as a diaper on their own, I have no doubt I will be able to add them to some of my pocket diapers for extra absorbancy so less diaper changes during sleepy time :-)
If you are looking to diaper your baby only in prefolds, I would recommend only purchasing these and pairing them with one of the Thirsties Diaper Covers or Duo Wraps. Need extra absorbancy, try sticking a hemp doubler or insert in with these. I never use my indian cotton prefolds with these in the house because of everything I mentioned above. These are a little more expensive than the other prefolds, but I think it is totally worth it. If I wouldn't have received the other prefolds as a gift and bought them instead, I would have been upset that I spent the money on them over these.

If you are looking to supplement your AIO/One Size/Fitteds diaper collection with prefolds, these are the way to go. They are going to be trimmer like your other dipes and way more absorbant. Plus, you can use them as boosters for extra absorbancy later paired inside your other dipes.
Did I mention they are naturally anti-microbial? Cha-Ching!!

If you have questions or if I missed something, PLEASE ask...I love these diapers and would love to talk more about them!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review: Thirsties X-Small Diaper Cover for Newborns

The Thirsties X-Small Diaper Cover for Newborns is a great cover! I paired it with the Kissaluvs fitted diaper size 0 for newborns and the Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefolds. Hunter was born 7lbs 5oz with a very skinny waist and very skinny legs. This cover contained even the messiest of messes especially when he was wearing the duo hemp prefolds. The double leg gussets are the cause of this great mess container! Never a blowout with this cover! It fit great under his umbilical stump too. On top of all that, this cover kept my baby looking trim and fitting well under his clothes even with the prefold on underneath it. That is saying something for cloth diapers :-)

This cover comes in aplix closure only I believe. They really helped me to get a great fit on my skinny newborn. Since I got the x-small size and only used this for the first 5 weeks, the laundry tabs and the closure itself held up great. I NEVER dried these covers in the dryer because I wanted to get as much life as possible.
I would recommend this cover for the first several weeks of a newborns life over any other cover (even other brands). I thought when I first received it that I might have made a mistake in purchasing it since I had the Thirsties One Size covers. I was wrong, this cover fit so much better under his umbilical stump than those covers did (it just didn't look like it when they weren't being used). I only tried the others once only to take them off and replace with this cover. This cover is cost effective and well worth the money. It is supposed to be able to fit up to 12 lbs. I will say that I have pretty much stopped using this cover at 5 weeks approaching 10 lbs. Hunter is a heavy wetter, and this cover does not fit over the diapers I am using with extra absorbancy. If he wasn't a heavy wetter, I have no doubt I could use these until he reached 12 lbs.

Feel free to ask questions if you want me to clarify a point or if I have missed something. I would be happy to answer!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Kissaluvs Fitted Size 0 for Newborns

This post is a follow up to the First Impressions post I wrote about these diapers. I have found the Kissaluvs fitted size 0 was my go to diaper for Hunter (born 7lbs 5oz) during the few several weeks! It fit under his umbilical stump well, and I have never had a blowout with this diaper. I paired it with the Thirsties x-small cover. One of the reasons I loved this diaper is because the leg gussets contained everything. Hunter's legs were very skinny, but it didn't matter with this diaper! He was also very skinny around the tummy, but again this dipe's elastic around the waist was so great, it didn't leak!

Hunter is now approaching 10 lbs, and he is still in this diaper. It is still a great diaper and is supposed to fit up until 15 pounds. I have undone the umbilical snap, and he is on the second to last setting of the sizes. I do think it will fit him as long as advertised, maybe not on a chunkier baby though.

I must say this diaper cleans really well. Hunter soaks it completely and has had tons of huge newborn poos in it, and it washes completely clean in my front loader. I was shocked since the soaker is sewn in. Also, the drying time in the dryer really isn't that bad. I stick these in with my wipes, prefolds, and inserts. After one dry cycle on "mid heat" "normal dry", I remove all of those things and put this in for one more cycle on the same setting. Since my front loader has sense technology, it doesn't run very long.

One of the things that I have noticed with this diaper that bothers me is it isn't as absorbant as I was expecting. It is cotton fleece. It was great when he was first born, but he is now 5 weeks and a heavy wetter. This diaper has to be changed every 1.5 to 2 hours with him or it gets so full the Thirsties cover just can't contain it, and it leaks (not the cover's fault). If Hunter is awake, I have no problem changing him that much, but I do not like to wake him during a nap or that often at night to change him. So I am no longer using this during naps or at night if I can avoid it. I have recently purchased some BabyKicks Hemparoo Joey-Bunz Premium hemp inserts so I am going to see if I can use them with this dipe as a doubler to extend its life and maybe get back in these at nap time.

One other thing I do not like about this diaper is how rough it feels if I let it dry in the sun. This diaper is super soft when you first receive it and remains that way for the most part (maybe 70% as soft) if you dry in the dryer. BUT, I like to dry in the sun when I can to save on energy costs and naturally bleach Hunter's diapers, and this dipe is so rough and tough on his skin when I do that. I have resorted to only sun drying these dipes once a week to keep the stains at bay, but drying in the dryer the rest of the time to keep them comfortable for my baby.

All in all, I loved this dipe. 8 out of 10 in my book due to my disappointment in the absorbancy. It was perfect for those first few weeks of his little life, and it is still a diaper I reach for often during the day. I would recommend this as your go to dipe round the clock the first 3-6 weeks (depending on weight and amount of wetting) of a newborn's life paired with the Thirsties x-small cover. If your babe isn't a heavy wetter, I'm sure it will be your go to dipe much longer than that! I cannot say enough about this diaper, and how easy it was to use! It is soft (most of the time) on his delicate skin, and I think Hunter even loved this diaper. It contains even the messiest of poo's, and will not leak if the baby is not a heavy wetter due to the increased absorbancy. Did I mention how trim this diaper is? If fit really well under his clothes, and EVERYONE has commented on how they thought I was using disposables because of how trim this diaper was (cloth diaperers and disposable diaperers alike). I will definitely be using this dipe on the next has held up well!

I think the price is really good on these dipes, and for first time moms, it takes the worry out of irritating the umbilical stump over prefolds. Having a boy and want to circumcise? There is plenty of room in the diaper to add a fleece liner for those first few weeks if you are using vasoline to keep pee off of that little wound. Just to clarify, a fleece liner would be needed if you are doing that because vasoline will cause repelling on your dipes, you don't want it right up next to them. Fleece liners are inexpensive as well, and you might reuse them later on if you want to keep the solid poo off your dipes and make cleanup easier.

Unfortunately, since Hunter is a heavy wetter, I will not be purchasing the next sizes up in this diaper. Trust me, it makes me sad to say that!

If you have any questions about my experience with this diaper, please feel free to ask!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Birth Story!!

Where to begin? Well it was a Tuesday, and I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for the morning. I went in, and my doctor could not believe that I hadn't had the baby yet. I had been 0 station, 80% effaced, and 1 cm dilated for 3 weeks. On top of that, at this check, the doctor said my baby had dropped even lower to a +1 station...must have been why I felt all that pain the night before.

He wanted to strip my membranes to get labor moving naturally in a couple of days, but since the baby had dropped lower it would have been very painful. He didn't want to attempt it for fear of sending me off the table. So he offered other options, wait naturally for potentially a couple more weeks, or get induced. Which do you think I picked. INDUCTION! I wanted everything to go naturally and to deliver at the natural birthing center, but I couldn't take being pregnant anymore!

Induction options were very slim...he couldn't break my water again because the baby was so low so we talked about Cytotec. It is a small capsule they insert to help women efface, but since I was already almost completely effaced, he thought it would send me into labor. No side effects for baby! So I said yes. I asked when the soonest was that we could induce. He chuckled and said that night. I SAID YES!

We traveled to the hospital that evening knowing that I had to deliver in Labor and Delivery instead of Family Beginnings, but my doctor said if there were no complications, I could do everything the same. Well, my nurse had a different idea. We got in, she hooked me up to an IV, and said I was on an all saline diet and couldn't get out of bed. What? I was sooooo mad! On top of that, she tripped over my IV and fell on the floor. I know it hurt her, but she almost ripped the IV out of my arm!

Praise the Lord that 1.5 hours after we arrived, she went off duty. Our new nurse was from Family Beginnings YAY! The first thing she did was remove the saline from my IV, tell me I could eat whatever I wanted, and tell me I could get up to encourage labor. By this time my first dose of Cytotec had been inserted so I got on the birthing ball with some minor contractions.

Around 11 pm, the contractions were getting stronger, but they were still pretty puny. My 2nd dose of Cytotec was inserted and BAM...15 minutes later I was having STRONG contractions 2 minutes apart. There was really no warning or build up like there would have been if the labor progressed naturally. These contractions hurt sooooo bad! All that would soothe me was my chocolate pop tarts LOL!

This went on until 3 am when they informed me I was 100% effaced now, but only 3 cm dilated. AHHH...I couldn't take much more...I wanted in the water, but they said it might slow my labor if I wasn't 5 cm. At 4 am they let me in the water, but I was still only 3 cm. From 4 am to 5 am, I went from 3 cm to 8 cm WOOHOO! The water helped me to relax and let my body do its job! At about 6:40 am I started to push in the squatting position in the water. It HURT, but the squatting position was great. Once the doctor could see the baby, he had me return to the traditional position in the water. Our baby boy Hunter was born at 7:23 am on Wednesday 4/27/2011, one day before my due date. He was 7lbs 5 oz and 21 inches long. He was so beautiful! I was in labor for a little longer than 10 hours and only pushed for 45 minutes. I still got to do the water birth and natural labor with no pain killers. I was so happy!

Below are some pictures of our little bundle for your enjoyment!

Hunter right after he was born.

Hunter smiling during a diaper change :-)

Play time!

Hunter right after his first big boy bath in the tub!