Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cloth Diapering

I've decided to be a brave mom. We're going to cloth diaper. Before you laugh, you should do a google search on cloth diapering. Cloth diapering is NOT the same thing that it was when my mom used them on me. No more diaper pins, mixing chemicals to clean with, rubber pants. It's a whole new ball game. We're planning to start using them once Emma's out of the "newborn" phase (somewhere around 10lbs or so).

A major concern that makes me want to cloth diaper is that scientists are proving that the chlorine in disposable diapers contains carcinogens. Another huge factor is financial. We will be saving SO much money using cloth. Have you priced disposables lately??? We'll have only one income after this summer and every little bit helps. Besides, I'll be a stay-at-home-mom and will have the time to devote to the extra wash.

If that hasn't convinced you that I'm not crazy, try this. Let me briefly run-through the process of cloth diapering. You use prefolds (the cloth diaper that touches the baby) and a diaper cover. Basically, you fold the prefold into 3rds (there are several methods of folding) and place it in the diaper cover. The cover looks like a disposable diaper - the outside is soft and cottony, and the inside has a waterproof layer that keeps wetness off of baby's clothes. There are velcro tabs to hold it closed. Once the prefold is in the cover, you fasten it on the baby just like you would a disposable. You can reuse the cover for a couple of days or until it gets too wet/dirty and then wash it with the prefold diapers. Here's a link to a great website that shows you the diaper changing process step-by-step. Step-by-step diaper change.

When you take off a dirty diaper, you just toss it into a diaper pail that has a waterproof liner. We're using a rubbermaid trash can that closes and has a foot pedal to open. It's said to keep out smells, as does the pail liner (baking soda also helps).
Every 2-3 days you do the laundry. No big deal. When you travel, you use what's called a "wetbag" to hold the wet/dirty diapers until you get home. Of course, on vacations we'll use disposable - I'm not crazy! By the way, the pictures above show the diapers we decided on. Very straightforward and easy to use.

I'm sure that it will be a little interesting to get used to, but it's something that I really want to make work and am dedicated to. I've been doing my research, can you tell? Keep your fingers crossed that it's not to difficult of a transition for us!

26 Weeks

It's been a whirlwind of a week, yet again. Quite a few more pregnancy symptoms/side effects have set in. My morning sickness came back!!! It's not every day, but is pretty frequent. Earlier this week (and some last weekend) I started having episodes of exhaustion from doing something as simple as walking from the bedroom to the bathroom. I get so exhausted that I feel like I need to lay down - almost like I've climbed several huge flights of stairs. This is strange because I'm pretty active in general and often have people to tell me I should slow down my pace because I'm pregnant. It comes on out of nowhere - usually when I haven't done much physical activity at all. After the exhaustion comes on, I get a cold, clammy feeling and feel like I may pass out. It hasn't happened, but is scary.

I emailed my doctor about it and he wanted to see me right away. Basically, my heart rate has been somewhat elevated. They said that it's on the "high end of normal for a pregnant woman." The doctor that I saw felt like the symptoms signalled a thyroid imbalance. This makes sense because I was recently knocked down to a lower dosage of synthroid because my levels were too low. I was also taken off of Metformin, a medication typically used to treat glucose issues. It was prescribed to me because it's been shown to help women with polycystic ovarian syndrome to regulate hormones and ovula
te. The doctor told me that I should stop taking it before my next glucose test (which is next week) because it will give us a more reliable test result and because it wasn't serving any purpose now that I was already pregnant.

Anyway, the doctor sent me to my endocrinologist to have a thyroid panel done and said that if it wasn't my thyroid and it continued, I may have to go see a cardiologist because of the elevated heartrate. All of my bloodwork came back beautifully, so it's not my thyroid. I have another appointment on April 8th (Brad's birthday!) and will talk to the doctor again then. The episodes are definitely less frequent, but are still happening. I'm hoping that it's all normal during pregnancy. How the heck would I know?? It's ALL new
to me. I've heard from several women that they would get "winded" or out of breath easily, but this doesn't really affect my breathing. My endocrinologist, who is 2 weeks further along in her pregnancy than I am, said that she had the same thing happen to her. She went to the ER and was told that it was caused by 2 things: the baby pressing on her diaphragm, and her hormone levels. I'm hoping and praying that it's all part of being pregnant. Keeping my fingers crossed that my OB will relieve my fears and I won't have to go to a cardiologist, but I will if I need to.

Aside from the typical pregnancy ailments, we're counting down the days until spring break - one more week! No big plans yet. We have certificates for a one-night stay and breakfast at 2 different swanky hotels in Atlanta that I won at a silent auction. We're thinking of redeeming one. We need a break!

Brad has had an exciting week. He applied for a transfer within the county and received a call from the principal of a brand new "all green" high school in Dekalb - very prestigious. He went in for an interview and was accepted! Before you get excited, he decided to turn it down. We talked quite a bit this weekend and decided that it was just too much for this year. He would be the only art teacher and be responsible for starting th
e program from scratch, which terrified him. No supplies, no curriculum, no co-workers who knew the ropes and could help. Not only that, but he'd have to start back to school weeks ahead of pre-planning just to get the classroom set up. If Emma comes on her due date, he MIGHT have had a week at home with us. It's also a little bit farther of a commute - 30-35 minutes. He'd be making the same money, driving farther, and spending WAY more time at work (and thinking about work) than he does now. On top of that, he'd be missing so much precious time with Emma that he could never get back. It just seemed to make more sense for him to spend this next school year at a school that he's comfortable with and knows the ropes. That way he can spend his time with Emma and his new family, and less time worrying about work. He can always transfer next year. He's honored to have been offered the position, but knew that it wasn't a good fit for him right now. We're praying that he will get an even better job offer next year and can transfer then. I'm sure God has even better things planned.

I THINK that's all that went on this week. It's been crazy. Here's the belly picture, complete with Emma's glider, a shelf that Brad installed, and 2 memory shadow boxes that hold some of my baby things (baby shoes, pictures, music box, and diaper pin.) I plan to make some that match for Emma once she grows up a bit.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

25 Weeks

This week has been blissfully uneventful in Emma-land. She's been kicking away and keeping me up most nights. I'm getting excellent practice for functioning on little sleep - an average of 4 hours a night or so! She started to respond to my voice this week. She kicks whenever I sing along with the radio - so precious!

I've been suffering from a miserable sore throat this week. No other symptoms, but Brad has informed me that I have been snoring this week VERY loudly. That's surprising because, even as he will happily admit, I have never snored before. My mom said that sh
e started snoring at 6 months pregnant as well. My hope is that the snoring is causing the sore throat but, because strep throat is going around school, I'm going to schedule a strep test this week to be sure.

As many of you probably know, my Grandpa hasn't been doing very well lately. In fact, this week it was looking like we were going to lose him. He's very weak, can barely walk, and hasn't even been able to get out of the bed to eat until Thursday or so. His blood pressure has been incredibly low and he's been scaring us quite a bit. Luckily, he's in Thomson, where my Aunt Claire is a nurse and owns a home health agency. It's been such a b
lessing to have her so close and to have her medical connections for Grandpa. He's been getting 3 square meals a day and having his every need cared for. Not sure what we'd do without you Claire! He's slowly improving, but it's a day by day process. Please keep him in your prayers.

Here are the obligatory "belly pictures" for the week. Before anyone says "my GOD she's gotten fat!", I'd like to boastfully point out, I'm proud to be 2 pounds LESS than I was before I got pregnant! I know it won't last, but while it does, I'm going to brag!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Polka Dots

Today was a fun day. My friend Mary came over and helped me put up the wall decals that I ordered. I am really not very good at "seeing the big picture" when doing interior decorating, which is why I'm so lucky that Mary is! Here are a few pictures of the process.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

24 Weeks

I'm officially 6 months pregnant! I've reached the "point of viability," which means that if, for some reason, Emma were to come this early, she'd stand a chance of surviving. It feels good! It's been a good week. We've worked a little more on the nursery and gone to a few consignment shops and gotten some good bargains. It feels great to be this productive and to feel like we're most of the way "there." We only have about 3 1/2 months at this point before Emma arrives - we can't wait!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Nursery Progress

I finally got around to taking some pictures of the newest additions to the nursery. I put up valances, added a few decorative touches, and Brad put together a bookshelf. It's looking awesome, if I say so myself! I still plan to buy a few more crates to go in the bookshelf, and we still have a long way to go, but I'm pretty pleased and relieved to have so much done already. This weekend my artistic friend, Mary, is coming over to help me finish the walls with some decorative accents. I have NO artistic ability whatsoever, and Brad's not the best at interior decorating, so I'm glad to have the help! Let me know what you think!

Friday, March 6, 2009

23 Weeks!

Almost to 6 months already! It's getting harder and harder to believe as the days go by. I'm healthy and happy, and growing a healthy and happy little girl inside. Each day that goes by where nothing goes "wrong," still shocks me. With my last pregnancy, there were more days when things went wrong than went right. It was filled with so much sadness and this pregnancy has been filled first with cautious optimism and now full-fledged excitement and happiness. This baby is such a blessing to Brad and I and I can't wait to tell her that in person.

She's been kicking like crazy this week and you can finally feel it
from the outside! One night I was taking a long bath and listening to my ipod (turned up perhaps a little too loud!) and she started kicking so hard that I could see my stomach move! I screamed for Brad and he was able to see and feel her kick. It was SO cool! She's been doing it pretty reliably all week. It's so crazy to see your stomach move and feel her kick your hand HARD! On another happy note, my pelvic pain is SO much better! Still there, particularly when I overdo it, but a big improvement from past weeks.

We've gotten a lot more done in the nursery. I ordered valances and some accessories from that really pull the room together. Luckily, they match the bedding that I bought at Target months ago on clearance fairly well. I haven't taken pictures in
the last week, but will soon and will post them as soon as I do.

I ordered a "wall decal" phrase from an online company that goes over Emma's crib. It's a line from one of my favorite children's books, "I'll Love You Forever." It says "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
If you've never read it, you SHOULD! It's the sweetest story about a mom rocking her baby in a rocking chair. As he gets older he no longer needs to be rocked, but she still misses that time. As the mother grows older and is ill, the little boy (now a man) comes back home and takes his mother in his arms and rocks her in the rocking chair - a tear jerker!!! I'm posting a picture of her crib with the phrase on the wall. It turned out much better than I had expected - looks just like paint, even from up-close.

Also posting the mandatory 23 week belly picture. This week several strangers have been asking me when the baby's due. I guess that means that I've finally surpassed the "maybe she's just fat" phase! I'm still only a pound over my pre-pregnancy weight, but I'm going to be as big as a house. And damn proud of it!