Monday, February 23, 2009

Baby Readiness & Diaper Mania

I think we are just about ready for a baby now.

I've spent the last couple of months buying a little bit here, a little bit there. I've done almost all of it with my spare "spending cash", stretching a little further than normal on nail and hair appointments and other fun stuff to fit it in. We have a couple of big ticket items that are absolute necessities which haven't arrived yet, but they've been promised by grandparents so it's just a matter of getting them ordered and shipped.

The most fun thing to buy is diapers. I'm pretty committed to using cloth diapers. They are better on the environment, save money, better for baby's butt, and their so darn cute! I've bought a sampling of each type. Most people don't realize how much diversity there is in the cloth diaper world! I think most people still think "cloth diapers" and picture the big napkin things that you have to wear plastic pants over. But diapers can be so much more fun than that. Here is a mini summary of your cloth diaper options:

"Pre Folds" - these are what you get from diaper service. It's a napkin that has been sewed several layers thick to save you time. You do some diaper orogami, wrap it on baby's butt, and put a "wrap" over it. Wraps are mostly a plastic material but also come in organic options like Merino Wool. I've got 36 of these but they are infant sized. They say they can also be used as burp cloths, and I confess I've already used a few to clean up household messes. They say you should be prepared to go through about 12 a day.

"Fitted" - these are diapers that have already been sewn to fit like a disposable. They aren't waterproof so you still need a wrap, same wraps as the pre folds. I've got 6 of these made from bamboo and 2 made from hemp.

"Pocket" - this is where diapers get cute. Pocket diapers look just like disposables, only with velcro or snaps instead of sticky tape. The outer layer is made of a waterproof material, and the inner is a soft moisture wicking fleece. They have a pocket in the crotch area where you insert what I call a "stuffy". Stuffies look like maxi pads. They are thick and plush, and if you want you can put more than one per diaper for extra absorbancy. Lots of the pocket diapers come in adjustable sizes so that they can grow with baby. I have 6 of these and 5 more on the way (cuz I found a deal on ebay).

"All in One" - these are just like pocket diapers, only the stuffy is sewn in. These come in specific sizes and you have to be prepared for baby to outgrow them. I guess this is because the sewn in stuffy doesn't allow as much room for growth. I've got 6 of these too, but one has mysteriously disapeared.

I admit it, I'm obsessed. These diapers are so cute and fun. I almost can't wait to change them! I already bought the special cloth pail and pail liner. And the mini bags for the diaper bag. And I've got cloth wipes and special home made wipe fluid. And special detergent and stain treater. Erik's got the diaper bug too...last night he ordered some more because he thought we needed more hemp diapers for our stash (I think he bought 6 hemp fitted diapers + 6 extra hemp stuffies). Both drawers of my changing table are stuffed with diapers. One of the drawers is literally bursting.

My biggest stress right now is finding a day care provider who is willing to work with the cloth diapers. Like I said, I think most people envision the old fashioned diapers when you say cloth. I think we're going to have to go for a home based day care, and none of them are willing to talk to you until your ready to be a customer. I'm confident we'll find something, it's just a little stressfull knowing it will have to be a last minute decision.

I'm going to go check the mail now...expecting my ebay diapers soon...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Updated Due Date - Only 7 More Weeks to Go!

Last week I had an appointment with my midwives. After much debate, they have decided to officially move my due date up. This was all because of an ultra sound that was done way back in September, where the size of Speck's head indicated he was a little further along than the "11 weeks" that I was if you count the normal way. But with all of the doctor changes, that page had basically gotten lost and every time I mentioned it, they said "well lets wait till we get the records".

So, the records finally showed up and our due date is now officially April 4th. This is more along the lines of what I suspected all along.

Jami and I started planning the shower this week, which is on March 8th. I sent out the invites yesterday but I guess today's a holiday so they are probably still sitting in the mailbox.

The nursery is pretty much done. I ordered some diaper accessories to go with my nice stash of cloth diapers (a diaper pail, some cloth wipes, pail liner, etc.) So I've got two shipments of diaper related stuff on the way. Also, my company sent a very generous baby gift and I had a little shopping hay-day at Target online. I love getting things in the mail!

The only things I still need are the car-seat, the co-sleeper/bassinet, and a baby! Oh, and a name might be nice too...

In the last week I've really noticed that Speck seems to be getting bigger and stronger. According to all the baby status web sites, he should weigh around 4 pounds now. And you can tell it when he moves!! I wish there was a little window so I could see what he is up to...feels like he's rearranging the furniture or something. I'm getting better at identifying what body parts I can feel (when he is still that is). Fortunately, he isn't keeping me up at night so far. Either I'm a heavy sleeper or he is very kind.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Baby Weekend

Last weekend was a baby filled weekend for us. We watched a couple of baby related videos (the Penn & Teller episode on Circumcision as well as the Business of Being Born), we had brunch with a local preggo meetup group, and we toured the birth center where Speck will be born.

I got the P&T video from my Doula, Miranda. She lent me this along with a Men's Health article on Circumcision. It has been a couple of weeks since I decided to stop fighting with Erik on this topic, which was apparently enough time for him to be able to take in this new info without one of us getting emotional. It helps that the P&T video was hillarious. I was quite releived by Erik's reaction and think we are now near a decision on this topic!

The birth center tour was interesting. I'm glad we did it, because it was actually not quite what I expected. It is great and I'm still happy with my choice, it was just a little bit different than what was in my head and I'm glad that those differences won't be a surprise on the big day.

Erik took videos of the facility with his iPhone and sent a really cute email to our families (who are still a little concerned about the mid-wife). I thought I'd repost it here to share...


Hello family

Mom and Dad-to-be and baby Kubec had a fun day today. We met other families to be with upcoming births in March or April or May, and then we went to the University of Colorado Hospital, where we will be having baby Kubec:

This facility was built on donation from Anschutz. We we given a personal tour of the post partum, birth, and OR rooms of the facility. I am super excited after touring the facility. Floors 4 and 5 are dedicated to birthing, natal, neonatal, post natal, natal-natal-natal, etc. We will check in on the 4th floor, where triage is located. We will have an option of a wheel chair, and then we go to the 5th floor.

This is where the action will happen!

There are about 6 birthing rooms, 6 post partum "hanging out with the baby and family" rooms, and one operating room on this floor. On the 4th floor is the NNIC: the Neo Natal Intensive Care unit. There are an additional 2 Operating Rooms on this floor. We will have one of 4 midwives, a doula, and OB-GYN at the premises. The doula we will know, the midwives we will have met, and the OB-GYN we won't have met.

We are truly blessed!

The facility is state of the art and we feel that we are so lucky to have so many choices to commit to for our birth. We are blessed to have so much information and experience to draw upon. In the past 7 months, we have gotten to intimately know the medical and insurance industries. We have found a lot of inefficiencies and scary statistics.

In infant mortality, the US ranks #28: tied with two countries that are barely considered to be western: Poland and Slovakia. Yet we spend twice as much as anyone else on childbirth. We found some strange stuff as well too:

In Holland, there are something like 60% of births done at home. Yet their infant and mother mortality rate is half of ours.

The 'mother on the back position' is physiologically the worst position for a mother to give birth in.

There is a purpose for foreskin other than to donate to the tissue bank!

There is statistical evidence that doulas and midwives make birth go easier: lower deaths, lower emergency surgery, etc.

Of course, people die in childbirth all the time, and the US has a medical industry that is best when things are at its worst: premature birth, complications etc. 100 years ago, people would die from these things. Now, they don't (as much). There has been a cost, however. Births have gotten really expensive, and we are not as effective as many other countries that look at birth as more of a natural process than an automatic medical emergency.

We have learned that normally, there is a starting postion of the unborn baby that relates to is positioning. Ideally, our little guy should start facing opposite his mom and upside down and a bit to one side (preferably to mom's left). The baby begins to make his best corkscrew olympic dive imitation and squeezes the occiput (the soft spot on his head) into the cervical opening. This is assuming he is not coming breach, or forehead first.

A natural birth normally follows from here, but sometimes goes one of many other less travelled paths.

We want to give Gwen and baby Kubec the best chance for the common natural delivery, while being completely ready for consent we will give to facilitate the success of a birth that follows another path. Our doula, midwife, and google and can help us prepare for those paths as well, and the OB-GYN is right there should we need their marvelous skill set.

We have multiple paths to physically get to the hospital should a meteor crash into I-25, and I just put top of the line Michelin tires on our 4WD (Michelin has those baby commercials). So we are ready!



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Speck's Jungle Nursery

I can't believe it, but I am almost done with the nursery. All it needs is a rocker and window coverings.

The mural project went much faster than I had anticipated, even with all of the "extras" that I added on. It only took 10 days from start to finish to do the whole room, which includes painting the base color (which is a super light orange, in case you were wondering).

I am one of those people who just isn't good at creative projects. At first, I felt like I was cheating because I know that people are going to look at this and go "wow your so creative" and all I was really doing was painting by numbers. But then something changed.

As I was painting, I was thinking about how much I love the little guy growing in my belly and how I just wanted to do something special for him. And as the days went on and I got more and more into the project, I saw what it was like to be actually creating an art project because I wanted to. Not because someone told me to, but really just as a gift to my baby.

So the add ons kept coming, because I was having so much fun and was so inspired. I think that the end product turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! Here are some pictures (you can either view the slideshow or click the link to view at your own pace)...

Monday, February 2, 2009

3D Ultrasound

I haven't had much time to post this week because I've been in turbo mode painting the mural in the nursery. It's looking great and I promise to post photos soon.

In the mean time, we had a 3D ultrasound this week. It was amazing and so much fun. Here is a link to some of the many many photos they gave us (65 JPG images plus a video--but I didn't post them all!).