Category Archives: Pregnancy

Cloth Diapers… What we Think… Before Babe…

As you may be able to tell by the name of this post there will be a followup to come, once babe is here and we’ve actually used cloth diapers. This is a pre-post about what we think now… I’m curious how our thoughts may change once we’ve spent time using cloth diapers.  Now I’m not here to say what you should do… I’ve done my own research – spoke to mommas, cloth diaper companies, found how to and multitudes of cloth diapering review videos, and sought out mommy bloggers posts on the subject to come to my conclusion to go the cloth diaper route. There is a lot of information out there and it’s ultimately up to you to decide what works best for you and your fam! …and let me say that I’m not about judging anyone for going or not going the cloth diaper route – what works for you works for you and that’s your bisnass 🙂

disclaimer: my independent research has lead me to cloth diapering and my research and discussion with the available service providers has lead me to the service provider mentioned below. All opinions express are my own based on my digging mentioned above. The service provider is providing me with a discount on our diapering service for mentioning them here in this blog post… but you’re in luck because down below they have a little something for YOU as well 😉 

Now, I’m not sure if I would be as keen to cloth diaper IF we had to launder said cloth diapers… we have trouble keeping on top of the laundry for just the two of us!… but I would still give it a try because after some digging it doesn’t appear as frightening as the first thoughts in my head about laundering dirty diapers. BUT we are fortunate to live in an area where Cloth Diaper Services are available… Cloth Diaper Service? Yes Cloth Diaper Service… they come to you and pickup your dirties and drop you a batch of fresh every week… Here in Calgary we chose Pumpkin’s Diaper Delivery as our service provider.

One of the main reasons we are choosing to go the cloth diaper route, for our family, is comfort for our babe and not unnecessarily exposing him to chemicals unnecessarily – less chance of rashes I’ve read and have been told. It feels like a good choice to use a reusable fabric product that isn’t put through a heavy chemical cleaning process. Disposables typically have gone through heavy chemical processing during the manufacturing process and have been found to release a multitude of chemicals that I would prefer to avoid… Seeing as diapers are on the babe for the first two years (two years? its not much longer than that is it?) a less harsh option wins out for us. There is the environmental impact side of things as well with disposables filling landfills, and the use of resources required to make them, but honestly it is the comfort and reduced chemical exposure that are top of the list for us.

There are different types of cloth diapers – I found this awesome video that explained a lot about cloth diapering which is great if you’re looking to go the cloth diaper route and you’ll be laundering them yourself!… but again do a few google searches and you’ll turn up a ton of info and of course lots of opinions on the topic and lots of varying experiences. But try not to get overwhelmed… once you go through it the first time there is a lot of info but it all starts to make sense pretty quickly. Pumpkin’s Diaper Delivery has what are known as fitted diapers, along with additional soaker inserts if you need.

Fitted Cloth Diaper

Fitted Cloth Diaper Snapped

Now fitted cloth diapers do require diaper covers…  I’ve purchased newborn covers with double leg gussets – double the protection for leaks at the legs!  The slightly larger one size covers are known to be a little large on new babes, and knowing that our babe is a little on the small side he’ll rock out in his newborn covers until he’s hefty enough to fill out the once sizers. Even though the one size diapers have a multitude of snaps for size adjustment they’re just too big for little babes. Pumpkin’s Diaper Delivery rents covers for all sizes but with so many adorable patterned and coloured diaper covers out there I’ve already started to build our one size diaper cover stash, in addition to the newborn stash of covers.

Patterned One Size Diapers

Patterned One Size Diaper

Seriously – the cuteness kills me! And there are a bunch of great companies making cloth diaper covers! It appears that covers typically don’t get dirty too frequently as they’re just the cover, so they don’t need washing with every diaper change… just when they get dirty… which of course happens… but I’m not entirely sure how often until the babe gets to work on that. After a few searches “how many cloth diaper covers do I need” the general consensus is 6 is minimum if you’re going to wash them every other day (newborns being changed frequently… every 2-3 hours there is more chance for the covers getting dirty, 8 is a good average number, and 12 should give you plenty extra to work with. I’ve got 10 newborn and 10 one size covers…

Newborn Cloth Diaper Cover

Diaper Cover Over Cloth Diaper

I imagine that diapers are stinky {just call me captain obvious}… but the diaper service delivers a diaper pail with their first delivery of diapers… the pail has a charcoal filter, which once the diapers are placed in should lock away diaper odour… at least thats my hope that any odour gets locked away… we’ll see how that one goes. There is also a bag inside the pail which the diapers go into – this is the bag that get dropped on our front step for weekly pickup… and they bring us a new bag full of clean diapers.

Cloth Diaper Pail

Cloth Diaper Pail Charcoal Filter

Our first delivery also came with two sizes of newborn diaper… as we won’t know what’s going to fit him best until he’s here and getting diapered up, though we suspect he’ll be in the smaller size… we also received a number of soakers that can be added into the diaper if he’s making lots of liquid.

Soaker and Cloth Diaper

What if we’re out and about and we need to do a couple diaper changes… where do the dirty cloth diapers go then?… I found out that diapers go into a wet bag – typically a sewn fabric bag with a laminated interior that seals in the moisture/smell. Pop in your dirty diaper, zip it up, toss it in your diaper bag, and when you get home drop the dirty diaper(s) into the pail… the diaper should contain the mess and the wet bag, if it gets soiled, just needs a wash and a hang up to dry… I’ve picked up two wet bags so that there is always one ready to go if one has just been washed after a trip out and about. I do prefer a sewn fabric zipped pouch over a tied up shopping bag, which would also work I’m sure.

Wet Bag

What if we’re travelling and we won’t have the ability to have our cloth diapers cleaned? I don’t want to tote around a week’s wroth of dirty diapers in a suitcase… Well if its just one week we could switch to disposables for a week, or well we could just wash the cloth diapers for that one week we would be travelling if we’re somewhere with washer/dryer access… either one isn’t the end of the world.

Cloth Wipes too!?… again in an attempt to avoid harsh chemicals that can also be found in baby wipes… a little warm soapy water, or some pre moistened cloth wipes in a holder and bam clean baby!… lol it’s that easy… right?… right!? We’re going the cloth diaper route so we might as well go cloth wipe route too as the wipes can just be tossed into the diaper pail to be laundered with the diapers! Pumpkin’s offers unlimited bamboo/cotton wipes… sounds good to me!  I was excited that they have non microfibre wipes as microfibre can be drying and rough on skin over time… think about if you’ve ever been cleaning house with a microfibre cloth and sometimes it seems to stick to your fingers… ew doesn’t feel good. I also picked up the Prince Lionhearted cloth diaper warmer, after my sister in law highly recommended having a wipe warmer… why not have the comfort of warm wipes… kinda makes me want to get myself a wipe warmer… too much?! well its true!…

Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer

I think it’ll be great to have a constant stash of wipes moist and warm and ready to do… and the rest of the wipes have been pre-rolled and stored in his dresser.

Diaper Stash

Now… why Pumpkin’s? I learned through speaking with the new owners of the business that they took over Pumpkin’s just a year ago! They are eager and passionate about the business, proud that they’re doing it well, and full of helpful information. Cayley even met up at a local coffee shop with me so that she could show me the diapers in person and how they work… seriously folks I’ve never changed a diaper in my life so it was helpful to get the low down on their product in person. The owners have had their own babies and laundered their own cloth diapers and they’re dedicated to their customers and making improvements as they learn and grow their business that has enabled them to move back to Calgary.  I love local, and this local business loves to give back to the community and support local. Pumpkin’s Diaper Delivery plants a tree for every child on their service, and they support Babies in Cloth which helps families in financial need diaper their children. They also support not just local but other Canadian businesses themselves! Their diapers are made in Alberta, and their pails, creams, and covers are made within Canada!

Pumpkin’s Diaper Delivery uses phosphate and LAS free detergents, and they do not use chlorine bleach for cleaning and sanitization. Their washing process is followed with a pH balancing rinse, so that the diapers and babe’s skin are the same pH, before drying with commercial grade dryers that wipe out any bacteria that may have made it through the laundering process. And although not required, but for peace of mind, they do frequent testing to ensure that the pH is right where it should be. Pumpkin’s also has a great deal of information available about their product and process throughout their website. A cleaning process not heavily laden with chemicals sounds good to us… check!

Money… yes money… isn’t using cloth diapers expensive? I thought it would be but you can make cloth diapering as expensive as you like or you can do it for the cost or even less than going the disposable route! Many others have already done the math so I’m not going to redo it here, the internet is full of cloth diapering math… My math {lacey math} shows we’re going to be about the same or save some than if we went the disposable route… even if it were to cost a little more I would feel okay with it to go the cloth route. And think about this tidbit… is $25 a week worth not having to spend every couple of days laundering cloth diapers at home, or going out to pick up disposables? The diaper service picks up your dirties and bring you clean diapers for about $25 a week!  Time AND money saver!

Now here’s a little treat for you!… when I was speaking with Pumpkin’s Diaper Delivery I also asked about something special to offer to YOU parents in their delivery area… If you are interested in service for cloth diapers from Pumpkin’s Diaper Delivery they’re offering 10% off your cloth diapering service when you sign up and mention the Feathering My Nest Discount, from now until December 2017! Yup who doesn’t love to save a little wherever they can!?

Pumpkin's Diaper Delivery Logo

Now tell me what have you learned about cloth diapering in your research so far and what were or are your assumptions about it going into it?… what do you think about cloth diapers? Have you used cloth diapers? How has it gone for you if you are cloth diapering already? Did you have a service or did you launder yourself? Lay it on me… I’m all ears to learn more!

And stay tuned after our baby bear arrives to see how this all plays out in reality! *wish us luck!*

xo

Lacey

Our Rocky Start…

Burning out at the end of September, after the home show, and breaking my hand at the end of October were just the signs I needed from the universe {lol} to slow me down… I had plans for November to instruct in home Christmas decor FAT Paint workshops, and to refinish all of the furniture that was filling the basement to sell at a pop up shop at the house in early December… By the time early December rolled around my right hand was just coming out of the splint… no November workshops were held and no furniture had been refinished for a December Pop Up Shop…

Instead Pickle and I began to gut the basement, after being in the house for 10 years it was time to finish the basement {OMG why didn’t we finish it years ago!?}  The majority of the to be refinished pieces of furniture were sold off, or donated for others to find on their own treasure hunting adventures… I’ll collect more pieces to relove. The forced rest of burn out and broken hand, and broken hand recovery, was really great… and oddly enough came at a great time… it slowed me down for a smidgen of time before finding out mid November that I was pregnant!

I am now 24 weeks and 6 days and I have only been feeling at ease since week 22… There were just so many weeks of ups and downs until week 22. I found out pretty much as early as you can find out that you’re pregnant and we were ecstatic, but the next day my doctor seemed overly cautious and frankly scared me into thinking that something wasn’t right – that it might just be a chemical pregnancy. I found out on day 28 of my clockwork cycle with an at home test… I was literally just pregnant. My doc sent me for a run of blood tests the following week to track my hcg levels. On the Friday they were 100, on the Monday 261, on the Wednesday 4hundredsomething and on the Friday over 1000… the number was more than doubling every 24 hours so all was progressing as it should!… I sat on the floor in the kitchen and cried when the nurse called with the results on the Friday… relief.

On about Day 6 of Week 6 I was still feeling very cautious but very hopeful. The initial anxiety caused by what seemed to be an overly cautious doctor was still hanging on but I tried not to dwell on it.

I was still quite slowed down throughout much of December as my recently freed right hand wasn’t completely back in action… my body just felt so very tired and I’d been falling asleep on the couch early in the evenings – basically I napped every evening before going to bed.  I hadn’t been hit with wicked morning sickness though, so I felt lucky. I found I would get generally queasy off an on… if my stomach gets overhungry (which it does very quickly now) then I find that it can be hard to eat… I’ve discovered a trick though when I wakeup in the morning… eat a couple dry crackers and it cuts the edge off the hunger queasiness while I get ready for the day…

I didn’t seem to ever have full blown morning sickness… The smell of cold food has always grossed me out and I’ve always had a very keen sense of smell… I mostly found that the first trimester brought with it a general light, all the time, queasiness and fatigue…  After I would get home from work in December I would grab a snack and snuggle under the big duvet comforter on the couch with my Pickle nearby… all is right with the world when I’m snuggled with my love…. I could just be still, chill, nap, and the queasiness would get lighter.

The dating ultrasound…  with the unnecessarily rocky start that I had due to the doctor being overly cautions with my initial hcg level I felt nervous going into this appointment. I just want everything to be okay. I hoped that with each test I would be able to let go of some of the doubt… I will always be in a state of waiting to confirm that everything is okay at the next test and the next. So for the test I worked on focusing on our weekend trip to Banff, for Chris’s Christmas Party, that we would be leaving for right after the appointment!

The dating ultrasound went great – all looked well and put my EDD at July 31 – four days later than initial calculations indicated… Banff was beautiful! A winter wonderland.

I ended up getting a stomach flu after we got back from Banff and was knocked out hard for a couple days… after this stomach bug beat me up “Morning Sickness” seemed to have kicked in a little harder but in all honesty it wasn’t that bad… I just felt more queasy all of the time.

On December 23rd the day of our annual Christmas Party I ended up in Emergency for some bleeding – we were scared to death… I got in and saw the OB that I’d seen two years previous when I had a cyst rupture… she was really great.  She said that things looked okay and that I was to come back the following day for an ultrasound and to enjoy our party that evening. The bleeding had stopped.  It was hard to relax and enjoy the party but I tried. We went back to the hospital on Christmas Eve for the ultrasound and it was confirmed that all was well… everything looked okay! Christmas was lovely and quiet, just the two of us…well three of us..  we were a little emotionally exhausted so we used the down time to rest as much as possible.

Just over 11 weeks… regular checkup with my dr… She said I could hear the heartbeat! I thought this would just be a quick checkup appointment!… I was so excited.. I recorded the heartbeat to send to Chris… he didn’t come to the appointment because I thought it was just a quick check in.  I was so excited after hearing babes little ticker that when I was out running some errands I popped into GAP and found some adorable babe clothes to put away for next fall and Christmas 🙂 And Michaels had a smoking deal on baskets so I picked some up for the nursery.

12 weeks 3 days screening ultrasound… everything on the ultrasound looked great but a protein in the bloodwork portion of the screen put babe as high risk… This wasn’t diagnostic but still we were devastated… worried… anxious… The delivery of the information was very grave and came along with apologies… and they didn’t charge us for our disk of images from the ultrasound which made it all seem just that much worse.  We booked the CVS appointment immediately, to follow up with a diagnostic test, and began the wait for the appointment the following week. We did stop in to see our family Dr to talk about the screen results and what it all meant… and then we took the afternoon after the screening ultrasound off from work and laid on the couch and tried our best to turn off our brains, check out, and watch movies… I went to work the next day but I wasn’t fit to be there. I spent the next number of weeks at work welled up fighting back tears.

13 weeks 3 days CVS appointment… ultrasound check complete… heartbeat good, everything looks good… Dr arrives to do the procedure and double checks everything himself via ultrasound then starts to get things underway… only they couldn’t complete the CVS procedure through the abdomen as the placenta is posterior, and then they couldn’t complete the test internally as I have a fibroid that had grown and misaligned the route… they just couldn’t make the angle to get the sample required. The next test would be the amniocentesis and it couldn’t be done for two weeks.

We booked the amniocentesis immediately… the two week wait began… The days following the CVS appointment I was bluer than blue. I was too nervous again and fearful to be excited about being pregnant…  Chris constantly worked at cheering me up with his hopeful attitude, reassurance, and love.

Early February at 15 weeks 3 days: Amnio appointment… this was nerve wracking… but it was the day. Chris held my hand and kept me calm. The Dr was incredibly nice and the procedure, surprisingly, went quickly with little to no side effects (other than frazzled nerves). The Dr described the procedure as he was doing it… starting with “you’ll feel a light scratch” which produced in my mind a much better mental image that I had developed independently…  we had the tech turn off the large ultrasound screen on the wall as seeing a needle enter into my uterus through my abdomen wasn’t something I was sure that I could handle… “halfway through”… “we’re done”… The Dr even showed us the tube of amniotic fluid that he had obtained… neat but ew but neat… I rested all weekend.

16 weeks… Monday, all day, I was on edge just waiting for the phone to ring… nothing all day. I could hardly focus at work… Pickle and I were sitting on the couch watching whatever we could find to distract our frazzled brains after the work day… then the phone rang… it was almost 6pm and it was the Family Dr calling… She received the results before the clinic who had done the procedure had called… she mentioned that she knows these things are hard to wait for so wanted to call me as soon as she could with the results.  The results came back and everything was okay with the babe! I made her confirm what she said… and then she let us know that we’re having a BOY!  Pickle hopped up from the couch, danced a jig, and teared up… I just sat there… I couldn’t cry… I was all cried out from the anxiety since week 12… but I could breath again. I felt lighter. And I also finally felt like making our official announcement with a little gentle nudge and reassurance from Pickle.

I did still have a concern past this test… the low pregnancy associated plasma protein detected in screen has been linked to issues in pregnancy such as growth restriction of the babe and high blood pressure for the mama… For the love of all that is sacred don’t google low papp-a if you have it… just talk to your Dr. because they know you, they know your case, and they will likely ease your mind about the whole situation. I made the mistake of googling and sent myself into a panic… a couple times… so we chatted with our family Doc and she made me feel much less panicky, but the general concern was still there in my mind.

Early in March we started looking around for the serious things… stroller and car seat… and we picked them up!… I still felt nervous about jumping in and getting these things (so early? but really was it early?) but Chris’s reassurance that everything would be fine calmed the ol nerves.

Week 22 doppler scan at the end of March to check the uterine artery… Waiting until 22 weeks was recommended as everything would be bigger and easier to see… The MFM Clinic had a new machine which helped to distract me from my nerves and gave us an incredible look at our sweet babes face! MIND BLOWN! It looks like a photograph of his darling little face… check out that sweet itty bitty button nose!

The uterine artery doppler checks the flow of blood between mother and babe… I was concerned that the placenta wasn’t functioning properly as potentially indicated by the low papp-a. After the scan they put us in a room where the Dr would come and chat with us about the results… He had good and reassuring news for us! The uterine artery doppler looked great! The placenta was functioning as it should, though we do have marginal insertion of the umbilical cord (meaning its attached near the edge of the placenta and not at the centre as is the typical connection point)… so we are relieve that it is functioning well, but with a small size of nerves though the Dr’s have not shown concern about the connection as things look to be functioning as they should… Babe was still measuring a little small but he had grown consistently since the last scan, which is good but it was recommended that we return in 3-4 weeks for another ultrasound to monitor the babes growth.  Our Family Dr had given us the heads up that we may be up for monthly scans as a result of the low papp-a… Monthly ultrasounds!? I don’t mind one bit… that just means we get to see our baby bear’s progress every couple of weeks!

Now I’m finally feeling like I can be excited, without fear, and we’ve been picking up some darling things for babe!

Just before I hit 27 weeks I’ll be switching over from our Family Doc to the incredible OB Dr. LeJour! I never did receive a call in regards to a mid wife after applying, though I hounded the nearest practice for weeks after I’d applied… BUT I have an incredible OB, and now we also have an incredible Doula that will be supporting us… Sacred Nest. We’ve signed up for our Birth and Babies class and I’m ferociously working my way through The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and Sweet Sleep, two great books from a dear friend.

Looking back now over the past 24 weeks I do feel sad about the rocky start and I wish I could have let go and enjoyed that early time more… but I was just so afraid. Until I had results saying all was going well I just couldn’t relax. I am so grateful that we’re past what has been one of the scariest chunks of time in our lives back to the most exciting!… Now I’ll be making up for that lost time savouring every little kick and new experience, and sharing about it along the way.

xx

Lacey

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