Wednesday, June 22, 2011

cloth diapers and mostly pictures

So I made my first cloth diaper purchases and am prepping them to try out tomorrow (we're trying out flips and econobums after a ridiculous number of hours of research).  I only bought enough for maybe a full day, just to see how I like them, if it goes well then we'll get more. (I'll buy enough for 2-3 days so I don't have to wash them every day.) I have 4 covers and 8 inserts and really should mainly just need to buy more inserts. Inserts are like the baby cloth diaper equivalent of maxipads, they even make disposable options (which are crazy overpriced), so you usually can use the same cover without washing it every dirty diaper, just change the insert and put in a clean one, put it in the cover, snap the diaper on, and there we go. So far, I'm impressed with them, they seem thick and absorbant and soft, so hopefully it goes well. (Laundry should be easy while he is breastfed only because everything dissolves in water, so you just rinse in washer, wash, and dry, basically. It will get slightly more work when he's eating other food but we'll cross that bridge later.) I'm told that cloth wipes are just as easy but I'm trying to venture into just one thing at a time. The good news is that the resale value is nearly the same price as buying them new, so if this doesn't work out, I can resell them and we won't be out a lot of money, but hopefully it works out.

Now for pictures as promised:
 Unhappy baby 7 weeks old and one of my fave outfits (that we did not buy), too bad I waited so long to put it on him because he probably won't fit in it again.)

He's getting more hair and plenty of baby fat. Also, he looks more like my sister,dad, and brother than Joe or me. Hard to believe this is the same kid who earned us an extra day/night in the hospital for losing too much weight, don't think we have to worry about that anymore. (I'm a little worried that his pedi is going to say he's getting too big and stop feeding him so much, because I don't want to make him obese but I also feel like a hungry baby should be fed, blech.) I think he mainly looks like a healthy chubby baby but I know I'm biased.

I can grab dangly things! (Maybe on accident but it sure looks intentional.)

Another outfit I loved but it was a pain. Collars+neckless babies= annoying

And these would be the 0-24 month sunglasses. At first he was bewildered, then he turned his head and the sunglasses stayed plastered to the side of his head so the strap was across his face and that ticked him off.

And this was tonight:

Please disregard all the crap on the end table. All 3 of the boys in the family napping. Yes, Koda likes to sleep under the recliner when it's reclined, and yes, he's had it shut on him accidentally a couple of times, awhile ago, so he moves pretty fast out of the way when he senses movement. This is Lucas's favorite way to sleep though he's gotten a lot better about sleeping in the rock n play which hopefully won't give him a flat head.

Koda moved but made sure he'd still be in the picture, neither Joe or the baby even stirred (though i did turn off the flash.) Now I'm just hoping I won't be paying for their 3 hour evening nap in the middle of the night.) I did finally take the baby and wake him up with a diaper change (oh did that tick him off, not that I blame him but it was necessary) and fed him for a few minutes before he fell back to sleep.

Anyway, that is all for now. I may not have time to blog for the next couple of weeks because we need to get our house clean for my sister to come stay with our dogs while we are on vacation, plus getting ready to go on vacation is a bit daunting, so I may be MIA for a bit.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A kind of quick one

A couple weeks ago, Lucas started sometimes giggling in his sleep. He did it one day and has done it a few times since, but not that often. Today he's been sleepy (and when not sleepy, HUNGRY, guessing this is a growth spurt), and this afternoon he giggled in his sleep, and just now he did it again. I know it's probably gas or some other lame biological reason and not really that he's laughing, but I like to think that Olivia is visiting him in his dreams and they are playing. And since I like that thought so much, I'm sticking with it.

I need to post a picture of him that I took yesterday in his sunglasses. They are too big and ridiculously cute and he was pretty tolerant of them.

Please send good thoughts and prayers to my blogger friend Rebecca who lost her daughter Lily a week from today, last year at almost 23 weeks. She is pregnant with her rainbow baby, a boy, and is in the hospital with severe pre-eclampsia at 31 weeks. There should be a rule that rainbow baby pregnancies are drama free, but alas, the universe is far from fair.

And, I hate pre-eclampsia. I always get so frustrated when I hear of someone new who has it, especially early and/or severe, because we should have had a cure for it so long ago. Women and babies shouldn't still be suffering from a disease that has been around since the ancient Greeks. Olivia and so many other and women shouldn't have died because of it. That people still get sick, that there is still no cure, that there is not even really a decent treatment other than delivery...just makes me so frustrated and sad and angry.

Anyway, it's way past my bedtime.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's day 2011

Holidays are still as weird as ever.

Mother's day was pretty much a blur this year, just trying to survive and get a handle on things, but now we are settled and it's not blurry, so technically this wasn't the first holiday with our rainbow boy, but for all intensive purposes, it felt like it.

Joe had to work today, so I sent him a happy father's day email, and this afternoon found us in kmart looking at cards and trying to figure out presents before he got home. I ended up getting him a card from me and a card from the baby (I've given him a card from the dogs before Olivia). It definitely struck me, how much easier it is to do something like that. I think part of it is time and part of it is Lucas, last year there was no way I could have looked at father's day cards in the middle of a store without breaking down...this was bittersweet.  I imagine all the holidays will be. It's so nice to have Lucas to focus on, last year was all sadness and grief and what-should-have-been's, this year there's so much more with the sadness, but then there's still guilt for not being as sad, too. It's just a weird disconcerting mix.

Another thing throwing me off is our vacation in two weeks. It's at a family resort place a couple of hours away off the river, we've been going there with my extended family almost every year since I was preschoolish age. The last time we went there I was-towards the end of first trimester pregnant with Olivia. My days were spent napping, reading, lounging around while eagerly anticipating how fun the next summer would be with our baby. We didn't know the baby was a girl yet, but somehow in hindsight my plans were all for Olivia. Last year we didn't go, the thought of it was unbearable, plus Joe had a new job and I was in the midst of fertility treatments. This year we are going, and with a baby, but still, not how it's supposed to be...this year should have been with a toddler and baby and maybe we would have been so overwhelmed with two kids under 2 that we would have skipped it. And, there aren't many people left we know who don't know what happened (or never knew I was pregnant anyway), but over the years, we usually end up there the same week as the same other families and got to know them fairly well, there was so much talk about my pregnancy and babies and plans for the next year with them. So I'm wondering if they'll be there...will they remember I was pregnant 2 years ago and wonder what happened, will they ask my parents, will they forget her,too. and a million other thoughts.  Anyway, it's complicated, still.   I'm glad we won't be staying in the same cottage as we did two years ago, at least.I'm nervous about how it's going to go with the baby since the meals are at set times and he eats randomly and often and I'm not comfortable nursing in public- luckily he takes bottles just fine but I think it's going to be a lot more work than relaxing. We've debated not going, going for the full week, and settled on going for 3 nights. I'm still not sure about it, hopefully it will be easier than I expect.

Anyway, besides all of the conflicted emotions and missing our little girl as always, we are fantastic. Lucas has gotten to where he'll sleep from 9/10 until around 3. When he's finally changed and finished eating by 4-5, he's ready to party like a rockstar, staring at me with his big blue eyes wide open and ready to play, so he's still kicking my butt in the mornings a bit, but also I love every second of it and wouldn't change it for the world. He still eats a lot but everyone was right, it does get easier, MUCH easier, although I had a bout with mastitis which wasn't so fun (complete with fever, chills, weak, etc), luckily it coincided with Joe's days off so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  He'll be 2 months old on Wed which makes me sad, he's getting so big and growing up so fast, but also so excited for the milestones ahead.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Boys' night

Tonight I am headed to The Hospital (where my babies were born + high risk doctor is + support group is), to work on father's day cards/presents for the baby loss dads.  I wonder how many of the dads will shrug it off or even be annoyed about the reminder. Oh well. I'm looking forward to a few hours out of the house and talking to people. But I'm going to miss the baby like crazy and I'm anxious that Joe won't make sure he's breathing often enough.

A few days ago, Lucas was asleep in his swing (a rare moment, he prefers sleeping arrangements of the human variety and often wakes up if he finds himself asleep on a non-human surface.) Joe and I were watching the Whale Wars marathon on animal planet (that show is surprisingly addicting, if you aren't familiar with it, it's people on boats trying to foil Japanese whale hunters, a million times more entertaining than Moby Dick.) Anyway, I kept glancing over at the baby every 2 minutes, I'd stare at him until I saw his chest visibly rise or a foot move or some sign of life, then return my attention to the tv. I decided to take a nap and catch the rest of the episodes on dvr, and I asked Joe to take over making sure the baby was breathing every few minutes. He looks at me, looks at the baby, and frowns, "How can you even tell?" hmph. Lucas ended up waking up anyway and it was a moot point.

 But Joe's not quite as paranoid as I'd like him to be. Though he did admit to me he likes when the baby cries (especially in the car) because then he knows he's okay. That's one thing I hate, being in the car alone with the baby (especially when it's hot and it's hard to tell the temperature where he is). We have a mirror but its crap. And a baby breathing alarm that attaches to his diaper and supposedly goes off if he stops breathing, but after 15 false alarms the first time we tried that (our first week home), i gave up on it. so instead, when i'm stopped in the car, i reach back and nudge him until he stirs or moves (he always sleeps in the car). When both of us are in the car, I still usually ride in the back with him. Yep, me=crazy.

 But on a brighter note, I bought the Angelcare monitor system when I was pregnant and figured out how to install it in the bassinet. (We thought it wouldn't work because there's no solid surface under the mattress except a net and poles, until I read some suggestions of people who had put a box between the netting and mattress.) So last night I finally tested it out, first not putting anything in it to make sure it would go off when it didn't sense movement, it did. Then I put the baby in it and there's a movement indicator green light on the monitor that flashes every few seconds when it senses movement.  It worked very well, and I relaxed and tried to sleep with the baby in his bassinet next to me, and he slept for about 20 minutes until he realized he wasn't asleep on a human and protested the gross mistreatment. I'll consider it a success and work on gradually getting the baby to sleep there. But I've got to say, that's the best baby product ever. If we can get the other monitor to work right it would be useful too (like when he's asleep in the swing, etc.), but I'm a bigger fan of the angelcare because now that its set up, we don't have to mess with it except to turn it on. (The other one you have to mess with for every diaper change, plus the false alarms are pretty unsettling.)

So anyway, I'm feeding the baby before I leave and there is about 10 bottles worth of milk in the fridge and 50+ in the freezer, the baby is good with bottles and his pacifier, so they should be fine for a few hours. But I'm really glad to be not working because I'm barely comfortable leaving him with Joe for a couple of hours.

Everything else is going well, except I have an oversupply of milk that comes out too fast and makes the baby swallow too much air and so he gets gassy and uncomfortable a lot lately, poor little guy. We've tried a few things and mainly what has worked has been making sure he burps well (which is tough to get him to do) and lots of gas drops. This morning I gave him a drop after he ate and before he got fussy/gassy and it was our best nonfussy morning in a week. I'm curious to see how he'll be tonight after getting bottles. But we're kind of limited on solutions and apparently babies usually end up adapting eventually to the milk flow, so I'm hoping it will get better on it's own and we'll do drops in the meantime and if the bottles make it better, maybe mix in a few more bottles of pumped milk too. (For some reason, it's always worst in the morning and not very bad in the evening, my guess is because I'm not that great at diligently burping him at 4 am when we're both half asleep, and so by 7-9 am he's uncomfortable.)

The dogs, well Koda our husky, is getting much more comfortable around the baby. Yesterday I helped him pet Koda and Koda licked his foot. And he usually lays pretty near wherever the baby is. (I never leave the baby near the dogs unsupervised, even though I don't *think* they'd do anything, they are dogs and it's not worth the risk.) Rogue is afraid of him (especially when he cries) and pretty much keeps her distance, which works too, she takes awhile to warm up to anyone, so hopefully she'll come around but we aren't going to force it.

Lucas is awake so much more and we've started doing real tummy time. He's good at lifting his head up from the ground and he's starting to notice a bit of the world around him. (He's still pretty oblivious to the dogs, even when koda licks him.) He smiles randomly and has laughed a few times and looks around all the time. He also followed Joe with his eyes the other day when he walked away after talking to him. It's pretty amazing (and sad but mostly amazing), how quickly he's already changing.

Time for me to start getting ready to go.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Field of Cradles

We were lucky to participate in a preeclampsia awareness and memorial exhibit which just recently  opened to the public after lots of hard work from some very special people. From the website ( ) they created:

I Gave You Words / Field Of Cradles

About the Exhibit

Many of us have heard the word preeclampsia, but not everyone – even some expecting mothers – knows what it is. Yet, one in 12 pregnancies are affected by this life-threatening disorder for mother and baby. Any woman, regardless of age, race and even general health, can suffer from it. Worldwide preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and neonatal death. Because all pregnancies are at risk, the best defense against the worst outcomes is to ensure that all women understand and appropriately respond to the warning signs of preeclampsia.
This public art exhibit aims to increase public awareness of PREECLAMPSIA and its signs and symptoms by honoring and remembering the lives of the many thousands of babies lost each year to this condition.

23 families from throughout the USA have shared words about their babies and experiences with writer Susannah Pabot, herself a survivor of preeclampsia. Together with the families, Susannah created poetic messages that are displayed inside empty cradles on baby blankets. Side by side, these messages tell a story of the devastation left in the wake of preeclampsia, but also remind us that each tiny life lost was that of a little person who was here, who was loved, whose life mattered and always will.

The baby blankets were individually designed and knitted by Alyssa Fu and Eliza Squibb in colors the mothers associate with their babies. The cradles are designed by Rebecca Lee and produced with the generous assistance of Bud Saggal of Precision Laser Inc, Pawtucket, RI.

The exhibition's sound environment, which includes recordings of the poetic messages to the babies as well as three lullabies written for the exhibit by singer Amy Robbins-Wilson (, was composed by Ling Zhou. Members of the Brown and Providence communities read and provided voiceovers for the recorded texts.

Pictures of the cradle in honor of Olivia:

(I love how the blanket says butterfly along the bottom- very nice touch)

To see more pictures and/or slideshow of the exhibit with the music mentioned above, more information on pre-eclampsia, the exhibit schedule (which is unfortunately only on the east coast as far as I know), and/or to donate, please see the website .

(The pictures and text about the exhibit are not from me, hopefully they don't mind my blatant plagiarism.)