10/1/15 - 11/1/15 | NESHEAHOLIC

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cloth Diapering: What Works Best (for us)

Note: I will be writing a separate post on buying used diapers, where to find them, how to clean them, etc. Most of the diapers I mention below I purchased used or new from other moms. Very few diapers in our stash came brand new. Cloth diapering is much more cost effective if you purchase used and re-sell diapers when they no longer work for you. 

While I was pregnant I did a LOT of research on cloth diapers. I watched videos, read blog posts, and primarily asked questions and read through the Babycenter Cloth Diaper BoardBy the time BabyCakes arrived I had already purchased our starting stash and we began cloth diapering as soon as we got home from the hospital. What diapers we use have evolved as she's gotten bigger and more mobile. 

From birth - three months our preferred diapers were the Blueberry Newborn Simplex, prefolds with Thirsties covers or Workhorse fitteds with Thirsties covers. I never had leaks with any of these. The Simplex were easy because they were all in one to take off and put on. I liked these especially for night time because I could change them in the dark. They were also my preference when it came to diapers when we were out. But Simplex are the most expensive option so Workhorses and prefolds with covers were a larger part of our stash that we used more regularly. I don't do any fancy folds, I just pad fold my prefolds, so it's pretty easy:

At around four months I sold my newborn size Simplex for some one size Simplex. Those I still use now and should grow with her all the way to potty training in size. I also started incorporating BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers into our stash (not because I actually needed to, but because I had a bit of a diaper obsession at that point lol). I realized early on that the microfiber inserts that came with the BumGenius diapers made BabyCakes have a rash. But the fit of BumGenius was really good, so I tossed the microfiber inserts and started stuffing the pockets with the prefolds I had been previously using with covers. I also added some Blueberry covers into our stash and purchased larger Thirsties covers, as she had outgrown the small ones we started with.

Four months also brought a challenge for nighttime. She was sleeping longer and wetting through diapers at night. Through further research I found that nighttime fitted diapers were the way to go. I started with two Soothebaby fitteds, which I love and also added two Pooters to the stash, which I also love. We have only four nighttime diapers in our stash still, and that works fine for our washing schedule (every two-three days). I also tried Mother Ease Sandy's fitteds for nighttime but they didn't fit her well so I sold them off.

This diaper cover from Sunshine Cloth Diapers.

Our diapering needs didn't change again until very recently where we started to have more and more leaks, especially overnight. Every diaper we use at this point has an additional insert. I think I'm going to sell off my Blueberry Simplex in favor of more BumGenius pockets because they are easier to stuff. Right now the additional inserts I use are Thirsties Hemp Inserts or Charcoal Bamboo. This means we add an insert inside of the prefolds with covers, stuffed into the pockets, or laid on top of the all in ones. We also add an insert into her four night diapers.The only system we have that hasn't needed changing are the Workhorses with covers. Those are still sufficiently absorbent on their own. I reach for these when I am diapering her, but I keep pockets and all in ones around for ease at daycare.

Cloth diapering really is a game of trial and error to find what's best, but if you research enough you'll have a good idea on what works for most people, and what may work best for you depending on your preferences. 

As far as number of diapers, if you are starting at birth, you'll want to have at least 36 changes to wash every 2 - 3 days. You can have less if you think you can wash more often. If you are transitioning from disposables I would add one diaper to the number of disposables you use each day, and make that your starting point. 

Any questions?


Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Story: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. These are my stories.

Prior to getting pregnant the first time I thought the process was fairly simple: you thought you were pregnant, you took a pregnancy test, it read positive, and you were pregnant. A few weeks into my first pregnancy someone from my OBGYN's office called to tell me my blood work numbers didn't look like they should have. I asked "Am I pregnant?" and she said "You are not, not pregnant." What kind of answer is that? I thought. Since when was there ambiguity in pregnancy? To make matters worse, this was on a Friday before the New Year holiday so there was nothing I could do, or a doctor I could see until the following week.

About a week later I began bleeding. Bleeding is the last thing on earth you want to see when you are pregnant. Between the blood work numbers and the bleeding I knew what was happening. I was having a miscarriage. It was devastating. It felt so unfair. I felt so alone. My doctor told me that miscarriage was common, and it is, but that didn't make me feel any less of a loss.

My second pregnancy I was justifiably apprehensive about everything. I no longer had the privilege of thinking that when you get pregnant, having a baby is a guarantee. I went through the blood work process again and all seemed well. Then came the day women look forward to, the first ultrasound. I was going to get to see my baby and hear his or her heartbeat. I was very excited. The ultrasound technician didn't show me any photos, or let me hear the heartbeat, she just said that a doctor would be in with me shortly. Deep inside I felt something was wrong, but this was my first ultrasound so I tried to convince myself that this was routine. A nurse came in and said that my OBGYN's office was on the phone for me. My doctor told me that there was no heartbeat, and that I would come into her office the next day to talk about my options.

I ended up needing a D&C. I had to be put to sleep for my first time ever for the procedure. I woke up no longer pregnant. When I was wheeled outside the aid set my wheelchair next to a women sitting in a wheelchair holding her new baby. We were both waiting for our husbands to pick us up. She was leaving with a baby, and I was leaving heartbroken and sore.

Tests were run to see if there was any reason they could find why the baby hadn't survived, but nothing came back. Both pregnancies no reason was ever given for why I didn't carry to full term. That was probably the hardest part - not knowing WHY. During this same period of time I also lost my dog Sunny. It was one of the saddest time periods of my whole life.

This was hard to write, but I want women out there who have lost a pregnancy to know that they are not alone. That they have done nothing wrong. That they are allowed to hurt and to grieve.

I don't think much about those previous pregnancies now, except when I think of how very blessed we are to have BabyCakes. I don't know WHY I had those miscarriages, but I have to accept that it was my destiny, and that BabyCakes is the baby we've waited for all along.


Friday, October 9, 2015

One Year in the Life of Sage

This year has flew by, and brought with it so many wonderful times. All I can say is that I am blessed to have this wonderful little person in my life. 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Four Ways Life is Like Giving Birth

One of the most important things I learned in my birth class was to take labor one contraction at a time. Labor is hard, contractions are tough. When you focus on just getting through your current contraction it's a manageable process. If all you can think of is "When will this be over?" you will be miserable. Tackling each micro goal is the most pleasant way to make it through the process. The same applies to life. You have to focus and handle each hurdle that comes. Being weighed down by all the steps ahead of you at once is not helpful, and can stall your progress.

Four Ways Giving Birth is Like Life

It feels like you're getting nowhere. During the journey it can feel like you are making no progress, but you are. Each contraction, each tough step, is a step forward.

It's going to happen whether you like it or not. Once you are full term and in labor you are going to birth a baby and there is nothing you can do about it. Life will have its trials and tribulations. You can't stop that. Embrace them, work through them, conquer them, don't let them defeat you, because they are going to come no matter what. 

It's the hardest right before the reward. The contractions get harder and closer together the closer you are to bringing your baby earth side. The closer you are to reaching your goals the harder life is likely to be, but the reward is coming!

The end goal is the greatest motivation. Nothing keeps you moving forward in labor like the fact that you are about to meet the child you've been growing inside of you for more than half a year. When you are close to reaching your goals, you have to use that as fuel to push through until you birth your destiny.

Take life one contraction at a time. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Impromptu Breakfast Date with Myself

Sometimes you have to do something just for you. Not something for your job, or your family, or your friends, or for your future. Something just for you, to make you feel good. 

This morning I went on a solo breakfast date to Luna Cafe (if you're in Philly its on Market between 3rd and 4th). It's a place I pass daily on my commute. Occasionally I grab a breakfast sandwich to-go on my walk past it. Today I decided I would stop, sit down, and have breakfast. The food was good (I had scrambled eggs, wheat toast, bacon and an orange/ginger/carrot juice), the service was good, but even better was the time spent with myself. The thirty or so minutes where I just chilled. 

I had a late work event last night so I pretty much went straight to bed when I got home. This morning I had a diaper situation that required me to put BabyCakes in the bathtub, and start her laundry, so that ate into any morning free time I would have had. 

Sitting and eating breakfast was a great way to re-calibrate my day. Now I'm ready to handle the world!

What have you done for yourself lately?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Friday Favorites 10.2.15

NATIONAL COFFEE DAY: My coworkers and I have been brewing coffee in the office instead of buying coffee in coffee shops and that has been great for my wallet as I'm saving money on take-out coffee. The picture above is one we took in the office for National Coffee Day on Tuesday. 

SUSHI AND WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT COOKIES: These are the two greatest things I've eaten this week. If you are in Philly, Tiffany's bakery in the gallery has the best white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. They also have a great strawberry shortcake.  I would tell you where I got my sushi, but they were rude to me when I requested that they label each person's order (I was ordering for 5) so now they don't get my lovely free word of mouth advertising lol. 

#MorningMotivation: On My Twitter I've started posting a motivational picture each day. It helps me set the tone for my day, and hopefully it inspires others. 

PLAY YARD: We got this play yard and it has made life a lot easier. I can put BabyCakes in it with all her toys and know that she can play safely without getting into anything while I cook, clean, run upstairs, let the dog out, etc. Prior to this we were blocking the stairs and doorways with footstools. This is a much better solution. Here is a vlog from the day we picked up the play yard during our Popecation last weekend: 

I'm trying to begin a practice of being more thankful and mindful of all that is good in my life, even the little things. I am so very blessed, both big and small. My Friday Favorites series is dedicated to the small things that make my life happy.

What was your favorite thing about this week?


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why I Love October

This morning in the train station I noticed everyone was getting their new monthly passes. I thought "Wow, they are so proactive." Then I realized, with only one minute to spare before my train arrived, that it was October 1st and that I myself needed a new pass! I was able to grab one and make my train, thankfully. 

I love October. It feels like the official beginning to fall. October brings in the beginning of the holiday season. BabyCake's birthday is October 9th. My wedding anniversary is October 18th, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and my (30th) birthday. Oh my!

October brings in comfy sweaters, warm beverages, soups, hats, scarves, and an energy of possibilities.  

What are you looking forward to in October?
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