Friday, May 29, 2015

Cloth Diapering Starting This Week!

I love big cloth-diapered baby butts! They are so cute!

I've started cloth diapering this week while I still have disposables so I can ease myself into it. I'm only doing cloth diapers during the day while I can really pay attention to potential leaking issues. So far no leaks, but I want to know what I'm doing before I go for an overnight.

The first thing I realized was very unexpected, and something only a mother can relate to probably. I realized that the diapers I had made with dark fabrics to hide stains....well, I'd rather have them be light colors so I can see exactly what baby's poop looks like. Yes, I never thought I would be talking about this, but you don't realize how important things like this are until you become a parent. 

Being able to clearly see this is a big indicator of baby's health, and this week it's especially become important because I'm thinking that our little guy has a dairy intolerance. I am going off dairy as of today to see if it fixes a lot of the things he's experiencing. It breaks my heart to see him suffering even a little bit. I thought if I ever had to give up dairy I'd do it grudgingly, but it is not how I feel at all. It seems like a small thing to fix the host of issues he has had this past week.

All this to say, if you are thinking of cloth diapering, consider getting a lighter inner fabric!

I am using pocket diapers that I sewed for him with Prorap diaper covers . So far I like this system. I'm into simplicity and the multitude of cloth diapering options are enough to give someone a panic attack, so I haven't given any thought to trying out any other types yet. 

I like the Prorap covers because they have great leg gussets, are in the perfect price range ($7.99), and have free shipping on Amazon. And of course, I like my pocket diapers because I sewed them myself and am a little partial to them. ;)

This is only the beginning of our cloth diapering journey, so I'm sure there's a lot I'll learn and will share later. I haven't even washed any of them yet.... Yep, there's a lot to learn!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I Gave Birth at the Hospital: The Birth Story I Never Thought I Would Tell--Part 2

The doctor let the Cervidil work overnight and by the morning I was having stronger contractions that I actually had to breathe through. I loved these contractions because they were natural and were my own body working. The pain was barely anything. In fact, it could hardly be called pain. It was more of a "sensation" and was what I was expecting for early labor.

My husband rubbed my back every now and then and helped me stay relaxed. We enjoyed ourselves and did things like playing cards to pass time as we waited for the doctor to come back and give me Pitocin (which I knew was when things would really get intense).

I was lucky because I was able to get to 4 cm on my own before they started the Pitocin. I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have been on Pitocin for any longer than I had to. Almost immediately, I felt the difference in the contractions. It was such a strong sensation and clamping down in my back, hips, stomach--everything.

I did my best to move around. I don't think I could have handled even one contraction on Pitocin in the hospital bed. I had to be moving. We tried all of our positions and techniques for relaxation that we had learned in the Bradley classes, but these contractions were not something you could relax through. It was simply impossible. Though I certainly tried...

By 6 cm, I was feeling the urge to push. It was horrible trying to stop myself because it was how my body wanted to respond to the contractions on Pitocin. It was like my body thought it was in transition already because of how intense everything was. I struggled for hours trying to hold back, but it was uncontrollable and I ended up pushing with almost every contraction. I began to get worried because my cervix was swelling because I was pushing without being fully dialated. At this point, I let them break my water because I knew things needed to get speeded up if I was going to avoid a C-section.

After they broke my water, they could no longer do cervical checks (because of the risk of infection and because I was GBS positive), so we no longer knew how I was progressing. After nine hours of being on Pitocin, and being unable to hold back from pushing, I looked at my husband and said, "I know I told you to talk me out of getting an epidural if I said I wanted one, but I think it's the only way I can stop myself from pushing and save myself from a C-section." I was perfectly rational between contractions and he agreed that it was the best course of action.

As much as I didn't want an epidural, I really didn't want a C-section even more (and you'd have to get an epidural/spinal tap for a C-section anyways). So I informed the nurse and she went to get the anesthesiologist. The whole staff had thought I was crazy for trying to do a natural birth on Pitocin in the first place, so I think they were relieved.

The anesthesiologist took so long to do the epidural that by the time he got it in place, I was complete and it was time to push just 30 minutes later.  I don't regret the epidural because I do believe it saved me from a C-section. Getting that relief to be able to stop pushing seemed to be just what my body needed to dilate those last few centimeters.

The epidural was also nothing like I had imagined. Of course, the pain immediately went away, but I could still move my legs and feel everything. I could feel my contractions and I felt everything while pushing--the only thing that changed was that the pain was gone.

Pushing was my favorite part of the labor and went by in the blink of an eye, even though my husband had to inform me later that it actually took three hours! I loved being able to "do" something and really work with my body (instead of against it as I had to do before). I loved being able to feel my baby move down the birth canal and when he finally came into this world--well there's nothing like it!

We were so lucky to have the doctor that we did, because he let me be the one to "deliver" the baby. I got to reach down and pull him up to my chest. We also were able to do delayed cord clamping (The hospital we were at was incredibly baby/mother friendly. They also never take the baby out of the room or remove them from your sight).

As I pulled my baby up to me, the first thought I had was "Woah, he is so heavy," but then I figured maybe I was just weak after all I had been through. The doctor had been telling me I was going to have a small baby, so when they said he was 9 lbs. 4 oz. I was amazed! I didn't believe my baby would be small (doctors are so often wrong!), but I thought he'd be in the 8 lb. range. not 9lbs.

All in all, I really was blessed with a good hospital birth, something I never imagined was possible. The Lord heard my cry and gave me mercy. I had a vaginal birth without anything done to me that would cause permanent damage (like an episiotomy). Even though I had to grieve my loss of the birth that I wanted, at the same time I was giving thanks for what I did receive.

In the weeks following, I let go of so many of my judgments towards birthing choices. I now see that all women who give birth are brave--whether they birth at home or have a C-section. Many births don't go as planned and those women need support, not judgment.

Yes, I am still passionate about home birth, and I want women to be educated so that they can fully know all of their options. I would love for the stigma around home birth to be removed. But...I also now know that on the other side of the coin, we don't need to judge the women who end up at the hospital or even choose to be there because that is where they feel most comfortable. Women should know their options and be able to choose.

We will of course try for a home birth with the next baby (if the Lord so blesses us). But my attitude going into it will be different. I won't think I "deserve" a homebirth. I know it will only be by God's mercy if he blesses me with one!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sorry to keep you in suspense!

I will finish my birth story...I promise! My laptop broke and although I also have a tablet for accessing the internet, typing on it is such a pain that I really couldn't imagine writing the rest of my birth story on it without a keyboard. But as of yesterday, my super smart husband took my laptop apart, replaced a part, and fixed my laptop! So I will return to blogging soon!

Honestly, these first weeks with a new baby have been busy, as you can imagine. Throw a week of food poisoning (salmonella) into the mix, and things got even crazier. But we finally have a routine down and I am looking forward to getting back into blogging and having an outlet for my thoughts again and being able to share a little bit of our ordinary life.