Mar. 20th, 2009 10:41 pm
Here's one to add to the list of Things I Never Imagined Myself Doing Before Having a Baby: Keeping a deathgrip on a toddler's ankle with one hand while wiping poop out of the crack of his butt with the other, all while he tries to dive head-first off the changing table.

And not a bit of poop got on anything. "Sometimes I impress even myself!" (Name that quote!)
I bought a diaper sprayer* way before Carter was ever born, but I only installed it recently when his poop got a lot more solid. It took a little time to get my spraying technique down, but now? I love it!

It literally sprays all the poop off the diaper, every bit. And so there's hardly any poop going into the washing machine now, and that is making a huge difference with my HE washer. I think it might not be such a big deal with a regular top-loader, but with the low-water washer, I can really tell a difference. I didn't realize how not-clean my diapers were until I started using the sprayer.

Doug says the washing machine no longer smells like a sewer after the diaper wash. I never thought it smelled that bad, but his nose is a lot more sensitive than mine. But now when I open the washer, I just get that slightly citrus-y scent of Bac-out, and not even a whiff of anything else.

If we have another baby, I just might spray the diapers from the beginning!

*A diaper sprayer hooks up to the water line coming into your toilet. You basically hold the diaper down in the toilet bowl and spray it off.
The Over-Parenting Crisis

A quote: In recent years, I've encountered a disturbing trend among my current mothering peers. While we no longer pore endlessly over the grout-cleaning tips and curtain-sewing patterns in Ladies Home Journal, we've replaced this pre-feminist housewifery-porn with postmodern parenting-porn in the form of Fit Pregnancy and PARENTS magazines.

We may not stay up nights worrying about how to keep our whites whiter, but you can bet we're losing sleep over why little Jasper isn't yet out of diapers. We may no longer feel the need to compare the firmness of our jello salad with that of the other women at the church potluck, but we're not-so-secretly frantic over why little Ella from playgroup can already tie her shoes when our own five-year-old Ruby can't yet do the same.

In other words, we may no longer be "professional homemakers," but whether we stay home with our kids, or work outside the home, we've turned parenting into its own, highly stressful, endlessly demanding, often joyless undertaking.

I think I missed the memo on that one, heh. I sometimes worry that I'm too laid back about Carter, that maybe there's something wrong with me because I don't worry enough about what milestones he's hitting, or even when they're supposed to be. Maybe it's because he was a preemie and I was never able to rely on the normal developmental charts. Or maybe it's because I'm just such a believer in letting kids do things in their own time, in their own way, which comes from my training in education.

At any rate, reading this made me feel a lot better!
The Chukwu octuplets were on the Today Show this morning, and the hosts said several times that when the babies first came home (7 survived), the parents were changing 70 diapers an hour.

I assume that has to be per day, not per hour. Or do people really change their newborns' diapers every 6 minutes around the clock?

Really, are those the only options? Aren't we defining those gender roles a tad early? Oh wait, I forgot -- I live in Texas.

On second thought, that's no excuse. Ugh. :-P

In other news, I am now officially 37. o_0
This is mostly crossposted from the baby blog, but I thought I'd embellish here.

FINALLY making some progress on breastfeeding, after four months... )
We've been home for about a week and a half now, and I feel like we're finally getting settled in. I'm amazed at how quickly I have adjusted to operating on very little sleep. Doug and I trade off as best we can, but I definitely take on most of the work since it's basically my job at the moment. Besides, I can't sleep for more than about four consecutive hours even if Doug is taking care of the baby, because I have to pump.

Breastfeeding is coming along slowly. We're still mostly pumping and bottle feeding. I have a scale and do pre and post weighs, but Carter seems to take just a third to half an ounce when he nurses. He'll then take two ounces from a bottle, so clearly we have a way to go. He's just not quite developmentally ready to take a full feeding by breast yet. He loves to nurse and works at it enthusiastically, but he doesn't yet have the strength to get a lot of milk. That should resolve itself in the next month or so. I hope it does soon, because all this pumping is getting old. :-P Still, producing a liter of breastmilk a day has benefits for me. I'm now 35 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight, amazingly enough. Today I'm wearing a pair of jeans I haven't worn in a couple of years!

But other than figuring out the sleep thing, having Carter home has been remarkably unstressful. I think part of that is because he was in the hospital for so long. We got to learn how to take care of him under the watchful eye of the nurses, and so we were pretty confident about being able to do it on our own. I'll also credit all of the reading I've done on attachment parenting; it's really helped me keep everything in perspective. Carter is a sweet and snuggly baby, and we're slowly getting to know each other. He's 39 weeks now, so almost term. If not for the pre-eclampsia, I could be waddling around now and waiting to go into labor. Weird, huh?

I've got a blog set up for Carter at http://carterlogan.blogspot.com/. I decided to put it there because I wanted to use the privacy options of blogspot, which are different from LJ. Pics and video will generally go there, and I'll try to keep crossposting to a minimum. If you'd like to watch it just let me know and I'll send you an email invite. :-)


Feb. 20th, 2008 08:23 am
I've been waiting a long time to post one of these ribbons!

I've earned this for six weeks of breastfeeding. It was six weeks ago today that an LC rolled a pump into the ICU so that I could start pumping for Carter. I was still hooked up to a magnesium drip, so those first bits of colostrum are unusable, but only a few days later I was producing milk for my tiny boy. And look how far we've come! He's only had a few ccs of formula in his life, and if I can help it, it will stay that way. He's doing really well nursing, and we're on our way to a great start. :-D
My Mac, which I've been carrying around with me for a couple of months and using to keep up with life outside the NICU, had a fall and sadly is no longer with us. I am currently using a laptop with serious power issues, and it has to be plugged in all the time -- sort of a pain. This has slowed down my emailing and surfing of the web lately, but I will soon have a new laptop! It will take it a week to get here, but it will be all lovely and shiny, and I can't wait.

If you're reading this, you may be keeping up with Carter's progress on his Carepage blog. It's been great to have it, but I'm growing annoyed with the site. It's designed for people who don't have the time, expertise, or energy to maintain a real blog, and so it's fairly inflexible. When we get Carter home, I'll start him a blog somewhere else, and let that one stand as a record of his time in the NICU.

So the rest of this post is about me. :-D )
Everyone knows how great breastfeeding is for babies, and I also knew it was good for mothers too. But two benefits have caught me by surprise: big boobs and weight loss.

Seriously, I am wearing a D cup for the first time in my life! And I'm almost 25 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight, with no effort whatsoever. In fact, since I'm spending so much time at the hospital, I eat out almost every meal. I'm not eating badly, but you know, I'm eating restaurant food constantly. And yet my jeans are baggy. It's crazy!

Carter is almost ready to start taking his feeds by mouth, and I now put him to the breast when they start his feed (they put breast milk down a feeding tube through his nose). We need to work on his latch and he has a ways to go before he'll have the stamina to get a full meal by nursing, but I'm hopeful that we'll get there eventually. It's really cool to see his little eyes staring up at me while he nurses, though. :-)

Pumping is going well. I'm averaging about 25 ounces a day now, which is good considering that I'm exclusively pumping and started out very sick. I've worked very hard to get that supply so high, so yay me!
I'm not sure how old I was when I became aware of what breasts were actually for, but it was probably early -- I lived in the country and had seen plenty of animals nursing their babies. And even though I had never seen a human mother nursing her baby, I knew it was something I would do from a very young age. That was in the 70s, and breastfeeding was really only starting to be popular again.

So along with all my other plans for this pregnancy, my expectations for breastfeeding were pretty much thrown out the window when I very suddenly had a c-section to deliver little Carter at 29 weeks. As soon as I realized he would be coming sooner than we had anticipated, I started asking questions about breastfeeding a preemie. The lactation nurse I talked to assured me that my milk would come in just fine, and said that breast milk was the best option for preemies, just as it is for full term babies. It's even more important because of the immunity it provides preemies and because of its easy digestibility by a premature digestive system. In fact, the milk my body produces for a preterm baby is chemically different than the milk I would have produced for a term baby; it's suited for his needs as a preemie. Cool, huh?

The thing was, I'd have to exclusively pump. Maybe for months. That wasn't exactly what I'd imagined when I thought and dreamed about breastfeeding my baby. )
I hope everyone who celebrates this one had a great holiday! We spent it in NC with my family this year (we alternate between mine and his in Colorado). My cousin Julie has a brand new baby and so wasn't there, and her sister was in New York with her partner's family, so there seemed to be quite a few of us missing! It was fun to watch my nephew ([livejournal.com profile] aidan_memoirs) open his presents, though, and to imagine that there will be a lot more little children running about next time I'm here for Christmas.

My family decided to only give presents to children starting this year, and to my surprise our own little pre-baby got quite a few presents! I feel like I've had a baby shower already, hee. Lots of cute little clothes and some baby supplies, including lovely books, and a sling and some cloth diapering supplies. My family passed the cloth diaper around with looks of curiosity on their faces, as if they weren't quite sure what to make of us for going that particular route! It's funny that I know so many people in Austin who use cloth diapers, but I think that may be a little pocket of environmentalism that is more unusual to find in other places.

I'm staying here for another week and a half to spend time with family while it's still relatively easy. Next time I come here it'll be a bit more complicated. ;-) I'm also hoping to help my sister get her baby room organized and ready. It's been fun to see her with a belly like mine and to know that these two little cousins will be born so close together.

Boo seems to be spending more of his time head-down these days. When I feel him moving around, it feels distinctly different in my lower abdomen, less like kicking and more like something big twisting and turning. Every now and then I get a weird pain higher in my body, like he's kicking me in the liver or something. He seems to get wiggly when I am even remotely hunched over, so I have started trying to sit in ways that give him more space. He has three more months to get bigger, so I think this is just the beginning of the two of us jockeying for space. :-P
I've really had fun knitting these wool soakers. They're pretty quick and easy, and it's given me a chance to play with color. I tend to avoid using more than one yarn when I knit, and it's something I really need to practice.

Argyle soaker )

Ravenclaw longies )

I've put a registry together for diapering supplies, since Babies R Us doesn't really have much in the way of cloth diaper stuff. It's at Wildflower Diapers. I'm waiting for the Bum Genius 3.0s to come out (apparently this will be in December) and I'll add a bunch of their AIOs to the list. But otherwise, I think that list is the rest of what I'll need to get started. Cut for more diaper talk... )

In other news, we're off to London on Tuesday night for our "Babymoon". It's likely the last international flight I'll be on for a while, so I'm going to enjoy it. :-)
Pictures here )

In other news, my sister found out today that her baby is a girl!
Ah, football. If only I found the sport as exciting as my husband does. It would certainly make for some great couple bonding time. Today is one of the most beautiful days we've had in months, and it would be a perfect day to go for a walk, for a drive, to the lake -- anything. But of course, it's also the day of some hugely important NFL game, which means we will be holed up all afternoon in a dark windowless room watching it on the big screen. No, I'm not forced to be there, but my time with Doug is important to me. I'd rather be in the same room with him, even if I'm knitting or surfing the internet the whole time.

And speaking of knitting, my Sheepy Pants pattern arrived today! I'm so excited! Sheepy pants are a kind of knit-it-yourself wool soaker. There's more info at that link, but wool soakers are basically diaper covers made of knitted wool. They're breathable (so better than plastic or synthetic covers) and surprisingly waterproof. Apparently you only have to wash them if they get soiled with poop, so they're really easy to take care of. And something very useful I can knit for Boo! I'm so excited. I have a stash of wool that I may well dig into tomorrow evening when my current project is done.

Which brings me to this thinky thought: Tomorrow afternoon we'll find out if Boo is a boy or a girl. )
I signed up to Urban Baby's mailing list a while back, and they send out information on really cool products. Like this diaper bag that converts to a bassinet, for example. How cool is that?
Mom came to visit this weekend, along with my Uncle Scott, Aunt Pam, and Cousin Ryan. Mom and Pam helped me turn the room with some scattered baby furniture into Boo's nursery. I was really amazed by the difference!

Video and pictures under the cut. )
I always thought I would use cloth diapers, since they're so much better for the environment and by many accounts, for your baby's skin and general health. When I lived in Arizona, I remember there was some controversy about the amount of water needed to wash cloth diapers, and that made me think twice at the time. Of course, now I'm back on the cloth diaper path, living in a new place and reading research that's ten years more advanced.

This post has a lot of great information about the benefits of cloth diapers over disposables and is definitely worth a read. The Cloth Diaper Blog is also full of information. Anyone reading this use cloth diapers recently and have any recommendations? I've been looking at all-in-ones and Pocket Diapers, but I'm really just getting started and would love some advice. :-)

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