Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweet Feet

Any way you look at them... Adorable!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Zombie Baby

Joseph often sleeps with his eyes open (briefly) when he's in REM sleep.

It's kinda freaky.

I know where he gets it though - T.J. does it, too.

My boys are strange.

Five things you didn't know about Joseph

1. He only poops in clean diapers
2. Sleeping with Daddy is his favorite activity
3. His nighttime "routine" includes a feeding and diaper change every 2 hours.
4. He's almost outgrown his 0-3 month footed p.j.'s (::tear::)
5. He loves naked baby time!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cloth diapers revisited

I thought I'd give a quick review of how cloth diapering is going for us thus far.

We are currently using:
21 Kissaluv size 0 (KL0)
14 Green Mountain Diaper orange edge prefolds (PFs)
1 Kissaluv contour (KL contour)
2 Drybees all-in-one hybrids (AIO)
1 Happy Heiny pocket with a hemp insert from artsyfartsyfoofoo
3 prowrap newborn size
1 prowrap small size
1 imse vimse organic newborn size
1 pail liner
1 wet bag
2 snappis
40 cloth wipes

So far we can do laundry every 2-3 days - definitely can stretch 3 days, but it's easier and less funky in the pail to do it every other day. I like all of our diapers - we haven't had any "blow outs" and only a couple pee leaks - generally user error (not tucking the cotton inside the cover or forgetting to change him).

Prefolds: I prefer the PFs generally, as they seem more trim than the KL0's, but T.J. absolutely abhors them. I think mostly because he saw me put them on one time then attempted it on his own without me to help. The cons are that sometimes they seem so small on him, but they still fit and I should probably prep the next size up so I don't get taken unawares one day!

Contour: I also really like the contour, which surprised me, but obviously I only use it one time every few days. It's easier to get on him than regular pf's and very very trim. I don't think it's as absorbant though, and I have only had him pee in it so far, so I'm not sure how it'd do with runny breastfed baby poo.

AIOs and pocket: they are OK, but they are so costly compared to PFs, and I kind of like that I can tell right away if he's wet with fitteds by feeling under the cover. Definitely fast and easy to get on though, and I think Joseph sleeps better with them on because the inner fleece liner "wicks" moisture away from him.

I think I could use another cover, so I'm getting on the ball finally today and lanolizing the beautiful wool soakers that Tante Teresa made for Joseph. That'll give me another small cover to use, and wool longies as well.

We also ordered another pail liner and wet bag today, so we always have a clean one. So far we've been hanging them to dry, but then there is nowhere for the dirties to go! So that'll be remedied soon, and our floor will thank us, no doubt.

We have enough wipes to go three days as well (40) and you don't need more than 2 snappis so far as I can tell. I keep one in the diaper bag in case we switch to PFs while out, and one in the drawer or on him.

Our laundry is easy-peasy. In fact, it's way easier than regular baby laundry because it's a pain to fold all those bitty clothes. We do a "quick cycle" on cold with baking soda and vinegar, then a hot wash with detergent and an extra rinse. Then we toss them in the drier (hang the covers and AIOs and pocket) and we're done! I honestly don't know what all the fuss is about.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fun with Grandma and Grandpa

Joseph had a great week being fawned over by his grandparents (my parents). We went sight-seeing around Atlanta, but everywhere we went, Joseph was the main attraction!

I don't know if it was because he's the cutest.baby.ever, or because people rarely see newborns, or if they do, they are usually in car seat carriers covered by sun shades and blankets, but he attracted pretty much every man, woman, and child within 50 feet of him. The elderly southern ladies especially loved him, and I only got the "it's a little early isn't it?" comment once!

At the Jimmy Carter Museum:

Grandpa and Grandma with Joseph
Joseph snug as a bug in his Moby Wrap
Grandpa keeping an eye on Joseph
At Home:

Joseph and Grandpa playingGrandma looks like she's up to something...She gave Joseph a baby mohawk!Dad pacing with JosephT.J. exhausted from working long hoursGrandpa is serious about his baby gamesJoseph says "Don't leave me with these amateurs!"
We had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa M!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big Day!

We gave Joseph his very first bath in his little tub today! He seemed to like it reasonably well. At least, he didn't cry after we got the temperature right, so that's something. He is absolutely adorable in his little towel.

This evening I left the boys at home to run to the grocery store! I was gone exactly one hour, but that was plenty. T.J. did great with Joseph of course - apparently he didn't sleep at all, but T.J. knows how to handle him. It was nice to not have to worry about him for a little while, and my arms got a rest.

I also tried to take "newborn" photos of Joseph today, but I'm afraid I was too late. He's already "uncurled" and woke up immediately when I tried to position him. Darn it! But we got some cute shots regardless.

My parents arrive on Monday from Minnesota, so don't be alarmed if you don't hear from us for a while!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Update

No new pictures, sorry! I overdid things yesterday and put myself on bed rest today, so Joseph and I have been just chilling in bed, eating and sleeping! I'm feeling better, just following orders from the midwife and taking it easy. It was good timing, as Joseph seems to be going through his first growth spurt and eating every hour or so.

T.J. has been busy at work, so Joseph and I have been on our own all day and most of the night this week, which can get sort of trying. Poor T.J. has it even worse though, at least I can get a little rest in the afternoons when Joseph takes his "big" (1.5 hr) nap. His project wraps up at the end of next week, so hopefully after that he'll get a break and get to come home at a more normal hour.

This weekend I'm going to try and take some fancy newborn photos of Joseph and get to work on birth announcements, so look for cute pictures galore soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Green Feeding

Someone passed this great article on to me about breastfeeding:


Breastfeeding not only provides babies with optimum nutrition, but also helps reduce landfill waste, preserves valued energy, and helps prevent deforestation. Human milk remains the ultimate natural renewable resource and perhaps the most overlooked way of helping to create a healthier planet.

Human milk requires no resources for packaging, shipping, or disposal. The production and disposal of artificial baby milk products add to environmental problems by consuming energy and producing waste. The 550 million tins of formula sold in the United States alone, placed end to end, would circle the earth one and a half times. Each year in the United States, the production of artificial baby milk produces 86,000 tons of tin and 1,230 tons of paper labels which add substantially to the landfill waste.

Breastfeeding preserves valued energy. No energy is wasted producing human milk the way it is wasted when producing artificial baby milk. Precious fuel is used to transport the ingredients of formula and baby milk products. Energy is used for sterilizing bottles and refrigerating them.

The environment also pays a price for growing soybeans or raising cattle to produce artificial baby milk. Clearing land for pasture results in deforestation, which then results in land depletion and soil erosion. Growing soy requires fertilization and irrigation.

While breastfeeding is a wondrous act of nurturing between a mother and child, it also has an enormous impact on the global ecosystem. Breastfeeding not only grows a healthy mother and child but also grows a healthier planet.

Although we live in a polluted world, scientists agree that human milk is still the very best food to nourish our babies. This is further reinforced by reports in recent years of processing errors in the production of infant formula and the contamination of plastic baby bottles with bisphenol-A.

Human milk is not only the very best food for our babies, but it may even protect babies from some of the effects of pollution and contamination.

To find out more about why human milk is "green," that is, the healthiest and most ecologically sound way to nurture babies, or for breastfeeding information and support, contact La Leche League International at www.llli.org or call 847-519-7730. Since 1956, La Leche League International has been providing breastfeeding assistance through mother-to-mother support, education, and information.

Other great quotes:

"There can be no food more locally produced, more sustainable or more
environmentally friendly than a mother's breastmilk, the only food required by
an infant for the first 6 months of life. It is a naturally renewable resource,
which requires no packaging or transport, results in no wastage and is free."

"Breastfeeding is a very environmentally friendly thing to do."

"Breastmilk... the original RAW food."

"Breastfeeding leaves no carbon footprint."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Little O'Cutie Pie

We have lots of Irish Digs!

Hello, Ladies.


Welcome to my pad

Kung-Fu Baby - He can kill you with just 3 fingers

Is there a breeze in here?

Why yes, there is a breeze on my bum!

Joseph's Pediatritian Appointment

We went to the pedi yesterday for Joseph's 1 week appointment. He has exceeded his birth weight! He weighed 8lb3oz on their scale. Last Thursday he weighted 7lb12oz, so he gained 7oz in 4 days! Everything else checked out as well, and his newborn jaundice is pretty much gone!

I think Tante Teresa is right - this kid is going to be a bruiser! Who'd have thunk with parents like us!

Charlotte is coming today to weigh him with her scale and check us out, so it'll be interesting to see if there is a difference by the two scales.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Joseph is 1 Week Old Today!

Taking Daddy to work today

The Michael Jackson style is my favorite (one glove)

The Look: Blue Steel (almost - we just can't get it with the camera!)

Don't hate, I'm working on my tan!

Tiny toes

Pucker up, buttercup!

Mama is thrilled to not be sleeping!

I survived my first bath!

Wow - Look What I Did!

Wow - Look what I did!!! That is approximately 1.5oz of pure liquid gold. I am so proud of myself and my body, and amazed at what it can do for Joseph.

I am beyond thrilled that breastfeeding is going so well for us - it's something I really want to do and I feel lucky that it's working out. I attribute it to all the ice cream and chocolate I ate during pregnancy. Haha!

And if you think it's gross - I don't want to hear it. It's pretty much the coolest thing I've ever done after growing a baby, so keep it to yourself.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Joseph is so smart

He already knows how to do many things:

1) Trick daddy into changing a diaper only to immediately soil another
2) Look cute so mommy will take a bath with him, only to have a poo-splosion in the water
3) Detect the precise perfect temperature of dinner and then cry for attention
4) Give mommy "The Look" after eating so that she can do nothing but croon and shower kisses
5) Save all spit-up for when mommy has given up burping and laid him back down to maximize laundry accumulation. Especially proficient at this trick in the car seat!

Joseph is a very quiet baby, he rarely cries or fusses and loves to be held and worn by both mommy and daddy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Birth Story - Part 3

See part 1 here

See part 2 here

I went back into the house and to my bathroom to be alone for a few minutes to cry on my own, where T.J. found me. I asked him to get Charlotte to check me again. I was still 7cm. At this point, Charlotte was done fooling around. She laid out my options:

I could have her break my water to see if it helped. My waters had been "bulging" since I was 3cm, and it could be preventing the baby's head from engaging and dilating me the rest of the way. The risk was that the baby was mispositioned, and this would essentially end our ability to get the baby correctly positioned on its own. We also talked about the risk of cord prolapse, which would result in an emergency transfer, and meconium in the water, which may or may not necessitate a transfer depending on how much it was.

Or, I could go to the hospital - where they would break my water, give me pitocin, and probably an epidural at this point. Let me tell you that I *so* wanted to say "hospital". I'd just had a terrifyingly hard contraction on the stairs, and now faced even worse if we wanted to get things going. Charlotte was willing to let me keep going as we were, but she was against it. It had been too long, I was too tired, and she was concerned about my uterus being able to contract down after the baby was born due to the prolonged labor.

After discussing with T.J. and Laura, we chose to break my water at 12:30. I had a couple contractions on the bed after that, then a few on the toilet, a few in the shower, and then I got to go to the TUB! I was so excited to try the tub, everyone said how wonderful and soothing the water was, and how much easier contractions were. Um, yeah. Not so much for me. I'm sure that it really does work well for some people, but after 3 contractions there I thought I was going to die. So I got out and ran for the bed again before the next contraction hit - everyone else scrambled to move all the birthing supplies into the bedroom, and the tub they worked so hard to fill sat, unused. Le sigh.

The only thing I remember about the next contraction was blinding pain - it was, as I said after it finished, a whole new world of hurt. I was in transition. And then Charlotte was checking me again and I was ready to push! I think it was around 2 or 2:30pm, but I don't know for sure. Pushing was hard work, the contractions changed some, but generally it was just so much better to push than to try NOT to push, which I'd been doing for about 6 hours. I do remember thinking though that every part of labor sucked - pushing was no real relief.

We used the toilet for a few pushes, but that tired out my legs, so they set up the birthing chair. I really liked that. It was comfortable on my legs and knees, and I could rest easily in between contractions. They moved me to the bed for a few side-lying pushes, but baby's heart rate dropped a little (from like 150 to 110 - still quite high) so it was back to the chair.

Baby was crowning around 4pm, and shot right out when I misinterpreted a look from Charlotte after the head came out. She had told me when I started that at some point she would tell me to keep pushing, and I should push really hard no matter what. Once the head was out, I saw a look on her face that I thought meant the baby was stuck so I asked (cried? shouted?) "Do I keep pushing" and she said yes, so I *really* pushed and baby came flying right out! Laura actually said she missed it because she blinked. It was 4:09pm - 41 hours into labor.

Charlotte gave the baby to me, and I looked and saw that it was a BOY! I was amazed at how big the baby was. I still am. Not that I knew how heavy or long he was, it just seemed, well, unnatural for something so big to come out of me! He was quiet at first, but not in a bad way, and then he started crying. There was light meconium in the amniotic fluid, so Charlotte did a lot of suctioning in his mouth to make sure he didn't aspirate anything. He was all full of mucus, and was having trouble with his breathing normally, so they had the oxygen out for him, and stuck a tube down his throat to try to get it out. He was very pink though, and was breathing, clear lungs, good heartbeat - just not the kind of chest compressions they like to see I guess. He scored an 8 and an 8 on his Apgars. They focused on him for quite a while, checking periodically to make sure I wasn't bleeding out and to see if I was feeling contractions for the placenta. I'm not sure how long that took to deliver - maybe 20 or 30 minutes? T.J. cut the cord sometime before the placenta was delivered and after the cord stopped pulsing so they could work on baby some more.

After that things calmed down a bit. Once baby got the all clear, they wrapped him up and gave him to T.J. so they could check me out.

I was given some herbs to help control the bleeding, though Charlotte said I was doing fine. I felt really good, not dizzy or anything, so that was a relief. Laura reported back to me that T.J. was showing baby around his new place, which made us smile.

I was pretty much stuck on the bed so that Charlotte could stitch me up. I won't go into details, except to say that I'm glad she had anesthesia, because it was a LOT of stitches. Then I went to have a shower and they finished cleaning up the bedroom and remaking the bed for us. Charlotte and Melanie did the newborn exam (weight, length, etc... there was a whole list) and then they helped me try to nurse, but he was having none of that. Poor kid, he was pretty angry about the suctioning. He did suck on my pinky for a bit though.

Everyone got ready to go and left between 8 and 9 pm, and we were on our own! We called our parents finally to let them know about the baby, ordered some pizza, and settled in.

T.J. was so amazing through my labor. I can't believe I ever doubted his interest/ability to help me through labor. I've never been more proud that he is my husband than I was last weekend. The labor might have been worth it just to experience how he took care of me.

My birth team was incredible. I think we could even have used another person! It was amazing how much work went into it. I'm so thankful for all three of them for taking good care of us.

Birth Story - Part 2

See part 1 here

At that point they knew nothing was going to happen soon, so they brought my rocking chair into the bedroom for me to sit in and try to sleep, and everyone hunkered down for the night. I slept for an hour or two, just breathing through contractions before they picked back up again and I wasn't able to sit in my chair through them. I labored on my own for a few hours so that everyone else could sleep, finally getting in the shower around 3:30am. Then I woke T.J. for some more help. He went and got Charlotte and Laura, and I was "around 6cm". I think at that point Charlotte was adding on to what she told me to keep me from being discouraged. It didn't work. Labor was so painful, and I was so tired and sad, I truly didn't know how I could continue with things moving so slowly.

There was a lot of discussion as to whether the baby was properly aligned in the pelvis and what we could do to fix that. Charlotte and Laura had me lie on my right side to try and realign the baby in the pelvis. Charlotte also called her assistant, Melanie, at that point.

The side-lying position was really painful and difficult to breathe through. I'd also been feeling the urge to push, so Laura had me add in the "Eee" sound to help me cope with that. I was excited to see what happened after a couple hours of that, as I'd read about people flying through transition and just pushing the baby out. Not me - though I was 7cm! It took two hours, but heck, I was making progress! The sun was coming up, too, making it seem like things were possible again. It was about 7am - 32 hours into labor.

Now we all thought things were really going. There was a flurry of activity - T.J., Charlotte and Melanie were working furiously to fill the birth pool. Apparently it's 150 gallons (I think we filled it 120 worth), and our water tank is 30 gallons. Huh. So they would drain the tank, then have to wait an hour or so for it to heat up again. They started boiling water to add to the pool, which really amused me as "boiling water" is such an old fashioned birth thing. While they were boiling water, Laura and I were working on labor, doing pelvic tilts (good grief that HURT) to try and keep things going. And they were for a while, but then things slowed down again. And by slow, I don't mean they stopped or became weak - they were just more like 5-7min apart instead of 3-4. I still got pushy sometimes, but was mostly able to control them.

I suppose it was around 10:30 or 11am that Laura suggested another walk. I dreaded them, as they always made the contractions come stronger and longer, but I trusted Laura would do what's best for me - so we went. She was extra hard on me this time, insisting that I do squats and lunges instead of just allowing the contractions to work over me while I tried to relax. I was so exhausted by that point that point that I was quite whiny and I'm sure Laura was reconsidering this home birth as much as I was. I whined about having to do squats - I was 50lbs overweight darn it, and my knees hurt! I whined about having to do lunges, I whined when she wanted me to use the stairs to labor on the way to the apartment (lunging during contractions). Then I had 3 HUGE contractions and I wasn't whining anymore, I was crying, for the 3rd time during my labor. I really cannot express the despair and hopelessness I felt on the stairs. In fact, every time we have come home from an outing this week I nearly cry while going up them. I literally cry now just thinking about them. It was about 12pm - 37 hours into labor.

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