Friday, February 25, 2011

Going Green - and pink, and blue, and yellow...

Recently I've been inspired to switch to cloth diapers.  I cannot really say one thing in particular led me in this direction, but a number of things, such as: conversations with a couple of my friends who use them or plan on using them, the occasional comment from my husband about considering the cloth, a conversation with my mother-in-law on environment & our impact - all got me questioning why I am not doing what I can to reduce waste.  So I made the decision.  I was going to switch to cloth.  Better for the environment, cheaper in the long run (I think) & better for my baby.  I got quite excited about the whole situation but could not fathom why, as I knew this was going to be more laundry, stinkier situations & a bit of an adjustment.  Only the other day did it dawn on me that I will be setting an example for my little girl as she grows up, & this, to me, feels like a good start.   

Upon initial research efforts, I was overwhelmed.  So much information out there & how to know what is valid, who is right, & what will work best for me.  After exhausting myself on forums, websites, emails & such, I finally chose 3 companies to start with, companies that seemed to have goof reviews but sold their diapers for less than half the price of the 'big brands' do.  I realize the potential hazard of this situation, but am counting on the reviews I have read & going with it.  Not much a risk-taker myself, this is about the greatest extent of a chance I will take (for some reason purchasing used diapers from people I do not know scares me so & I cannot make decisions on impulse, so I decided to bypass this option).

When I finally chose a couple companies to order from (all Canadian, which makes me feel warm & fuzzy inside) I started to have a bit of fun.  I got to pick different colors, materials & patterns.  And the thought of receiving snail mail thrilled me (I conveniently placed my orders on 3 consecutive days & as a result received packages 3 days in a row, what a week!) I've developed a distaste for the overwhelmingness of technology lately which I am pretty sure amplified this feeling...but that is a rant for another blog at another time.

Once they all arrived I dumped them into the wash & followed what I thought were the right instructions...later to read (on the Internet of course) that some cloth diapers are not supposed to be washed together & need to washed several times to strip the oils & ensure they repel efficiently.  Then read that this doesn't apply for all diapers.  I am quite confused.

So yesterday I decided to make the plunge & started dressing my baby in these soft, colorful diapers, expecting all would go well.  After putting the pretty diaper on her, it appeared that she would be going up a size in clothes as long as she is wearing these, as they are quite a bit bulkier than the disposables.  The first one leaked (number one) through all the fabric (in the diapers defence - my way of convincing myself that I did not spend $200 on crappy diapers - I probably should have changed her earlier) the second leaked (number two) out of a number of corners (in the diapers defence, this was quite an explosive event) & Scarlett resorted back to disposables for the rest of the night out of respect to Scarlett's tush & my in-laws who were baby-sitting for a couple hours.  Not quite ready to get rid of the disposables (& will probably keep them for emergencies, travel & stuff) but I am determined to get this right.  Today is a new (hopefully leak-free) day.  In the event of any leaks maybe I can pray to the cloth Gods for a little help?
Leakage or no leakage, Scarlett seems sold on the cloth.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Top Ten Wonders...Answered

Looking back to the early days of the Wonder Belly Blog, I thought I would reflect on my top ten wonders from before Scarlett was born.

Top Ten Wonders (and Answers):

10: How will Willow (Wonder Dog) react to dropping in the ranks to a new family member?
It seems inevitable that the dog moves from the centre of attention to outside the circle when a baby comes into the picture. At first Willow wasn't really sure what to think about this newest addition, but definitely took interest.  He would be the first to jump if Scarlett started to cry, & if she kept crying he would come back as if to ask you to make it stop.  If it still didn't stop he would ask outside (do you blame him?)  More recently Scarlett has taken a particular interest in him & I noticed his path is often detoured to avoid her grabby hands on his way by.  As far as no longer getting the attention he used to, Willow has taken it pretty hard.  Whenever we try to talk to, videotape, take a picture of, play with, or do anything with Scarlett, Willow is always wedging his way between us & the baby.  He is constantly bringing his toy to Rodd, then me, then the baby in hopes that somebody - anybody - will play with him.  You would think with time, he would get used to it, but 5 months later, he still feels resented  just as much as ever.  When not attempting to divert your attention to him, he can often be found pouting under the table, a desperate whine coming from under his breath.

9:  Do we have everything we need for the first week or so?
Little did I know that the generosity of people in our lives would lead to not having to leave the house for 2 months after Scarlett was born.  We came home to a care package from our east neighbor & a set of "daddy doodie" & "mom's off doodie" aprons from our west neighbor (as well as balloons & banners) with everything we need to take care of our babe & more.  The gifts kept coming, even past Christmas.  Scarlett is equipped with a wardrobe to last her for her first year.  As I suspected the media makes us think we need way more than we do to survive.  

8:  How long before I send Rodd back to work?
Funny that I wondered this, it must have been an on-going argument between the two of us.  Rodd initially thought he would go back in December, but I think between the nursing frustrations & falling in love at first sight of his daughter, he was pretty easily persuaded to stay on paternity leave until after the New Year.  I was grateful, as he would have otherwise had to work nights on Christmas Eve, Day, & Boxing Day - good thing, I definitely needed him to help show off the kid to all our family.  Having him home with me was a blessing, & I soon realized how much it helped when he did go back to work on January 10th.

7:  How big will Wonder Baby be (more concerning, how big will his/her head be?)
Scarlett was born 7lbs 2oz.  That's smaller than average.  So why was it so hard to get her out of 'there'?  Turns out her head was, according to the nurse "a decent size for a girl of my build."  That explains why I pushed for an hour (during which the nurse kept saying "this much further!" showing me the same distance between her fore finger & thumb each time).  Meanwhile the nurse kept turning down my epidural - which initially only worked on one side anyway - from 6, eventually to 2 & I started to regain feeling below the waist. Regardless, it hurt.  A lot.

6:  Will Wonder Baby be an easy baby?
Turns out Wonder Baby is a pretty easy baby.  Don't get me wrong, she has moments, & a temperment.  But overall, no colick, & generally pretty happy unless hungry, tired or wet.  We feel pretty lucky & are even considering a second.

5:  How labour will go for me?
I should have just asked my mom.  She knew.  It went pretty much exactly as she told me - the same way it went for her.  In fact when I phoned her in the morning she told me she wouldn't be surprised if I had her by 5pm.  She wasn't too far off.  Apparently it went fast, although it didn't feel like it at the time.  Cramps started at 4am, contractions around 8am, we went to the hospital around 2pm, epidural at 5 pm & baby at 6:35pm.

4:  Who/what Wonder Baby will look like?
She looks like Scarlett.  There is definitely resemblance, but I am surprised, for some reason, how much of her dad is in her at times.  There is no doubt that she inherited the dominant round Thorson squishy head (that one was a given) & it looks like her hair is turning red, as mine was as a child.  Rodd's blue eyes & his animated expressions.  On the scale Scarlett is perfectly average (with a slightly oversized head, still) - not freakishly tall...yet.

3:  Wonder Baby's gender.
All girl.  More girly than her mother.  She has a high voice & squeals when she laughs.  Between you, me & the keyboard, I have to admit that she does look good in pink.  But I dress her in browns & reds sometimes just to make sure she isn't always all girly.

2:  Will Wonder Baby be healthy?
I'm pretty sure they don't come any healthier.  I'm quite proud of the fact (I may have mentioned this once or twice) that she scored a perfect 10 on both apgars, as well as an 8 out of 8 on the biophysical ultrasounds in the 1st 5 minutes.  With the exception of thrush (probably her mom's fault), reoccurring blocked tear ducts, a couple common colds & a reaction to laundry detergent, she's been thriving as a strong, bright & healthy little baby.  

1:  When will Wonder Baby decide to join the rest of us?
September 3, 2010.  Almost one week after her projected due date (according to the first ultrasound), however I initially thought her due date was September 4th, so I guess I was closer to right in the first place.  One more reason to listen to maternal instinct. Still it made a long week, especially accompanied by a very bad cold.  The doctor wanted to induce me on the 2nd, because of the long weekend, but I convinced him to bump it to the 6th (the monday), I didn't have to get induced in the end, thank goodness for that.  By the 3rd my cold was almost gone...but I tell you, it hurt to cough.  A lot.

So I thought that upon the arrival of Wonder Baby, the wonders would seize....however they only multiplied.  I realize how simple life was at one point, & although raising a 5 month old is still pretty basic, I realize the simplicity of a child is about to get a lot more complicated.  On the verge of mobility, I have the feeling the wonders (& their answers) have only just begun.