Thursday, September 29, 2011

Natural Hospital Birth - Section One Part Two

I have been reading “Natural Hospital Birth – the best of both worlds” by Cynthia Gabriel. In my first post here I talked about the first two sections of part one “preparing for your baby’s birth”. I will now discuss my thoughts about the last three sections in part one “getting attached to your birth plan”, “creating a supportive team” and “extra support for special circumstances”.

 Cynthia Gabriel discusses why we should get attached to our birth plan. She tells the reader that in most cases when someone says they are flexible it translates to most providers as being vague. In addition when you write a birth plan you can be specific but accommodate the unexpected. Also even if you are not able to fulfill your entire birth plan it is okay to be disappointed, she states that “isn’t always better to strive and fall short then to never strive at all?” (pg 22) I believe that is a very important thing for anyone making a birth plan to remember. That you can try to reach for your most ideal birth but it might not happen and that is okay. Also when this happens it is okay to grieve in some form over the loss of this.

 Cynthia then walks the reader through how you can create your own birth plan through three steps. Dream it, plan the whole birth, then write a medical birth plan.

 I had a really hard time with step one (which is why my post is so late). I pride myself on being a “feelings” person and being able to visualize or dream (daydreaming is one of my favourite ways to relax). However, with dreaming up my ideal birth plan I felt like something was holding me back for envisioning my perfect birth. It could be the fact that I have already experienced a birth and know the realities. Or it is the fact that I have attended a few births as a health care provider and realize the limitations that are set on hospital births. Either way I struggled to let go and allow my imagination to run wild. No matter how hard I tried most of what I could “dream” of was not that vivid. Though her questions did help some, I just could not get as vivid picture as what her case studies did. I finally came to the conclusions that most of what I was experienced were feelings. I wanted to feel safe and relaxed; I just didn’t want to be rushed. This was the main reason I chose a midwife. Everything is slowed down and the idea of why rush when everything is going good. To me I didn’t care where I was. So after going through the questions I have completed my dream birth (which I will probably come back to the further along in my pregnancy I get), the next step is planning it and then turning the plan into a medical birth plan.

 So to plan your birth Cynthia gets the reader to reflect on the aspects of the dream birth plan that can be translated to the hospital setting. For me I know that I want to wait to go to the hospital so my plan is to labour as long as possible at home (well in my case my sister’s home, as we live 2 hours from the hospital). With a midwife this is possible because of the fact she would come to me and check on my progress. When I do get to the hospital I would like it to be just me, my husband, and my midwife there. This way I don’t feel like I am being watched. I also love technology so I more than likely will have my Zoom and phone handy just to take my mind of the contractions (or pressure waves for those hypnobabies :D). I would like to try to birth without any drugs. I plan on educating myself on ways to work through the waves (just started my hypnobabies course).

 So the last part of making my birth plan is writing it down for my medical team. Cynthia ones again has a series of questions to help the reader develop their own plan (and shares a few of her client’s birth plans as examples). She also reminds the reader that you can be direct in your birth plan but polite. You can achieve this by focusing on what you want rather then what you don’t want. For instance I do not want to have labour augmented unless absolutely necessary (I have experienced a Pitocin drip and hated every moment an IV was in my hand). So instead of saying I don’t want my labour augmented unless medically necessary, I would rephrase it to say I would prefer to go into labour naturally. I am still ironing out my final birth plan and I think I will continue to until I go into labour. But these are a few of the things that I would like to see happen.

 - Labour to start on its own
- Have my membranes rupture on their own
- Allow my husband to be my coach
- Allow my daughter to visit briefly
- Use a tub or shower as pain relief
- For staff to offer non medicated options first
- Use massage and warm compresses to lessen the risk of a   tear
- I would like to use my Hypnobabies cd’s and techniques as much as possible
- After birth I would like to hold my baby immediately
- Please wait to clamp the cord till after it stops pulsating
- If possible hold off on newborn checks until after I have held and breastfed for the first time
- I will be rooming in with my baby and husband
- I would like all procedures to be done in husband’s or my presence
- I hope to avoid a cesarean
- If I need a cesarean my husband is to be present at all times
- I would like to have contact with my baby as soon after as possible

 The book then goes on to discuss surrounding yourself with a health care team that provides you support in reaching these goals. I don’t think this will be much of an issue for me as I have a midwife that is aware of my desire to have a natural hospital birth. However, I will still be giving her a copy to have so she is aware of my wants in regards to pain control; in particular my wish to use the techniques that are in Hypnobabies. But I feel this is a very good section for those still searching for a care provider or wants to make a switch. She gives several good questions to ask a potential care provider and how to find the one that is right for you and your family.

 The final section of part one talks about special circumstances which for me I just skimmed over as I do not fall in this category. But for anyone who is having twins, VBAC, or is a survivor of a traumatic event this is a great section to read. I especially think her VBAC section is a great read.

That is the end of part one of the book “Natural Hospital Birth – the best of both worlds” by Cynthia Gabriel. My next post on this subject will be focusing on part two “giving birth”.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Club - Natural Hospital Birth

I am reading the book "Natural Hospital Birth - the best of both worlds" by Cynthia Gabriel. I am adding a Mister Linky below for anyone that has or is reading this book. You can add your link to your blog post at anytime or it can be an older post about this book as well. It can be a review of the book, how you are planning on putting the ideas of the book into practice, really anything that is centered around this book. All reviews/thoughts do not need to be positive, if something didn't work for from the book that is ok. So here is the link!

Natural Hospital Birth - Section One Part One

In the first section of the book "Natural Hospital Birth - the best of both world" by Cynthia Gabriel it focuses about preparing for the birth of the baby. I will be focusing this post on the first half of this section entitled "You can do it" and "Feeling Safe".

My favorite part of the first section was where Cynthia talks about why some people choose a natural birth (including myself). The following quote sums up my feelings perfectly. I choose a natural birth because it is "letting your body follow its natural course in labor the same way that it had followed its natural course during pregnancy." (pg3) and just because I am having my birth in a hospital does not mean I should have to "sacrifice the body's natural process". (pg4) It wasn't till I read that sentence that I truly realized why I wanted a "natural birth", it was just something I felt. 

So  what is a "natural birth"?  I felt quite drawn to Cynthia's idea that a natural birth is a "birth with the fewest interventions possible to support the health of the mother and baby". (pg7) Cynthia goes on to say that in this book "natural birth" means "the most instinctive, self-directed, intervention-free birth possible." (pg7) This is what I was looking for, this is why I picked up this book. Cynthia acknowledges that when interventions are necessary it does not mean that your commitment to having a natural birth should be given up on. It just means that this one part of the plan changes. This is referred to as preventing the cascading effect of interventions, once you have one they figure you are up for it all.

Cynthia then moves on to talking about creating a safe environment so you feel you can labour. She does a wonderful job in describing the hormones that help labour (oxytocin) and hinder (adrenaline). Cynthia is very thorough in helping the reader understand the part fear plays in the progression of labour by giving three examples she has seen first hand as a doula (the nurse in me comes out because I really enjoy case studies). To me this makes perfect sense, no animal including humans would want to labour in a sense of panic. If you fear for your life would you want to put yourself in a vulnerable position? Now we has humans don't have to really worry that a predator is going to attack as we are giving birth. However, we still have an engrained sense to protect our young and our-self. Cynthia lists several ways to deal with the fight-or-flight mechanism that can be created labouring in a "strange place". She suggests things from trying to keep the area free of people who may trigger this reaction, to having a dimly lighted room.

Now how do I relate this to my birthing experience? Yes I am having a hospital birth, not really by choice but by circumstances. I live in a rural community where the opportunity to even having a child close to home has been removed. They call this "centralization of care"...I see this as making the patients come to the care instead of the care going to the patient. Also it has played a part in de-populating the rural communities...but I digress. So I have come to terms with the fact that I have to drive at least an hour to give birth to my baby. However I chose to drive an extra 40 minutes so that I can receive the care that I feel will benefit my baby and myself. I chose the extra driving time so that I could have a midwife attend my birth and to help facilitate my desire for a "natural birth". I hope that because I have a midwife and can labour at "home" (I will either be at a friends place or my sister-in-laws...still has to be worked out with those particular individuals) I will be able to create a safe environment to allow me to progress naturally through the first stage of labour. That way by the time that I reach the hospital my labour would have been well established and can progress from there. There is also a tendency that medical staff can get "antsy" in the first part of labour (which is not true of all medical staff, just my experience). Labour at the start is usually slower and medical staff like to see progress because you are tying up a bed. So for me I think it a very important part of my labour to not be in the hospital at this time, you can't offer me augmentation to help speed me through the slow part if I am not there. When I am in the hospital I will be reliying on my husband and my midwife to help me through not only the more difficult contractions and pushing. But to also ensure that I feel safe where I am there.

What did you get from the first two chapters? Did this section help you realize why you wanted a natural birth? Or did it just confirm what you already knew? 

I will be adding a Mister-Linky later today so that all the posts (whether you did several posts or just one) can be in one location.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The 20(ish) Week Ultrasound...

So today is my 20(ish) week ultrasound. Between the two guess dates (dating ultrasound Jan 3rd, my guess Jan 8th) I am either 20 weeks 2 days or 19 weeks 5 days. But who is keeping track right?

The other issue is I know that the tech may get to the all important question (well after making sure baby is healthy) do we want to find out the gender? Now it is never 100% sure (liability, girls are easier to be wrong blah, blah, blah) which is my main sticking point. I don't care about gender cause I can see the ups of both.

It would also be nice to plan what extra stuff we need and only have to "discuss" over one set of names...but what if they are wrong? You prepare for one gender then it turns out all the gender specific stuff you did was a waste. Or was it? I already have a DD. So most of the stuff I have already is pink, the desire to buy all the cute outfits is more "tamed" down. So I guess if it turned out to be a boy instead of a girl I wouldn't have all the stuff. While if it was a girl when it was suppose to be a boy I would have extra of some stuff. Or I could just buy gender neutral things for all the newborn clothes no matter what the gender. That way I can use them again no matter what the next baby is. Oh there are so many reasons to find out and just as many not to. Like the motivation in labour not knowing what your little bean is, it really does help especially while pushing. Sigh...

Too bad I only have a couple hours to decided...WWYD?
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Monday, August 15, 2011

My Pregnancy Homewook - become more prepared!

I am an RN, when I was in school I assisted in teaching two prenatal classes, and I have previously worked on a postpartum ward...yet I feel like I was not truly prepared for labour. I know all the stages of labour, I know what is suppose to happen when, but...this does not help DEALING with labour. With my first I thought I was prepared, oh how wrong I was. Now I don't think I had an awful birth experience, in fact it was quite nice. But it still nags at me that I never really gave the "natural" birth a good try. I had maybe a half an hour of painful contraction and I broke down and wanted an epidural (though a positive is we use walking epidurals which are better then the traditional epidural). Looking back on the experience I blame the fact that I was not prepared  to be dealing with the pain. I went to a traditional prenatal class (one run by the health region) and was quite bored (same material I taught a year previous) but felt I have done my duty and attended my prenatal classes...bring on the labour! 

I now realize that preparing for labour shouldn't be a passive act of just going through the motions, sign an attendance sheet and you are ready to handle any labour. You have to be an active participant. So this pregnancy I am determined to learn about different ways to help me fulfill my desire to at least try to find ways to have labour without resorting to an epidural. I won't say that I won't accept any pain relief but I do want to try.

So last week I was browsing through a bookstore when I came across  "Natural Hospital Birth - the best of both worlds" by Cynthia Gabrial. With a quick glance at the index it seemed to cover everything I was looking for. Part One covers preparing for the birth, part two is about giving birth, and then the final section was pulling it all together. I am really looking forward to reading this book and would love to share my thoughts about not only the book but how I want to incorporate the ideas into my labour. I am hoping to read part one and blog about it before moving onto part two. I haven't decided how I want to break up part two (as it is quite long) but I am thinking about doing posts divided into early labour, active labour, then pushing and after labour. Then the final post will be about how I am planning on bringing the techniques etc into my own birth plan. So hopefully if the nausea stays away (please see previous post) I will be able to do a total of 5 posts about this book. I may add a 6th section about the appendix in the book entitled "Common Medical Interventions and How to Avoid Them". Which sounds very interesting. 

Please feel free to post comments about your own birth experience or techniques you found helpful in your own birth!

- Cecette

Sunday, August 14, 2011

19 weeks (or 19 weeks 5 days) - pregnancy update

I posted before about my pregnancy "issues" (see here). By "issues" I really mean all day nausea. Now that I am almost half way there depending on which date I go by. My date is closer to 19 weeks while my ultrasound date says I should be closer to 19 weeks 5 days. This makes my due date some where between January 3rd-8th. But like most mom's will remind any pregnant woman this is just a guess date and not set in stone. So I digress...

So back to the nausea....I was very keen at the time of posting that I was determined to find a way to a way to "cure" my nausea. Well I can't say that I am nausea free but it has lessened some what. I no longer find that it is an all day thing (well not as intense as before) and there is just a lingering of nausea with occasional waves of more extreme nauseation. I have tried a couple things (along with my Diclectin which I am happy to say I am down to taking twice a day!).

My first attempt was the pregnancy nausea candies. Now these do taste good, but suspiciously like jolly rangers (which to this date I am not able to find anywhere! the jolly rangers that is...all I have found is lonely cherry flavoured ones stuck in the corner of a convenience store). I found that they were good to take the edge off my nausea (like when one of my more extreme waves of nausea sweeps over) but did not really cure that nagging nausea that I am tired of. So for me they were not the answer.

My second attempt was trying out a hazelwood necklace. Now I wanted something that was functional but also looked nice. So after several hours of googling places that sell the necklaces (and seeing as I needed within a week or so I decided to stick to within Canada) I found it at Hazelaid. So I have been wearing it for about a week or so and it has been over this past week that I have seen a decrease in my nausea symptoms. I don't know if this is just coincidence, a mind over matter thing, or maybe my nausea is going away! Either way I am happy that my nausea has lessened! 

So yes I can now tolerate the nausea much better then before. But I am writing this in an un-nauseated state. So the nausea is in the distant past and it seems that my memory blocks out how intense those nausea waves can be. Which means I am still in the search for a anti-nausea cure. If anyone has any suggestions please leave a comment I would love to hear what others have done to "cure" their nausea!

- Cecette

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Power of Blogher!

I received an amazing email this morning about a new post by Kim Rosas of Dirty Diaper Laundry. Like many posts I am reading right now (I will admit mostly out of jealously) it was centered around one of the biggest blogging conference, Blogher. I love reading about the parties, speakers, and especially the friends that were made (even if I couldn't be there).

But Kim's post really caught my eye. It truly captivated the qualities/dedication of the women who attended Blogher11.

Kim, a very dedicated breastfeeder, had to leave her baby at home while she attended the conference. She spent several (probably hundreds) of hours preparing for the trip by pumping. Which turned into well over a hundred ounces of breast milk (post here).

Her next problem was there was no off switch to her lactation so she would have to choose: deal with painful engorgement, pump and dump, or pump and store.

As most breast feeding moms can understand, the idea of dumping this amazing liquid is unimaginable. So she went with the store option. But what was even more amazing was she decided to find a mom who needed donated breast milk.

The more Kim blogged/tweeted about her goal of gifting her breast milk (through eats on feets). The more Blogher attendees wanted to participate. It was amazing to see how much support/participation there was building. It was a very moving blog post

At the end of her article she mentions that she might organize a second donation round at blogher12. Maybe I will be able to attend, if so I would seriously consider donating breast milk.

So what do you think about peer-peer breast milk donation?

p.s. Sorry about the long url link my droid won't let me put a link up to a word. I will fix it later. 
update: links added!
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Pregvit - my new best friend

It is recommended to all pregnant women to take a prenatal vitamin (most recommend to being taking them even if you are thinking you may become pregnant) because some of the most important development occurs in the first couple weeks. If you are not in the active role of "trying" for a baby you won't know you are in the 2 week waiting window (for those who actively try know this is as the point between conception and that positive result). I was one that I really really tried to remember to take my prenatal vitamin before conception (or at least folic acid) but it can be hard to remember (I even resorted to using a dosette, yes those medication holders that either the elderly or those on several medications use). 
For me the trouble really set in when I started to have extreme nausea and/or vomiting (it started a week before my positive result and has not let up yet and I am now around 14 weeks. Please see my first post on this issue here). I would try taking the prenatal vitamin in the morning and either I would get the nausea and then around an hour later have it come back up or I just felt horrible all day. Most days I would just get the pill to my tongue and would start dry heaving (sorry very graphic). I even tried switching brands (in fact I tried a total of 4 different brands) and time of day, what I ate and how much. Nothing seemed to help the situation. So most days my prenatal vitamin went to the way side and I was left with an extreme feeling of guilt. Finally at one of my midwife appointments I brought up my concern about not being able to keep down my vitamins (I felt very guilty and didn't want to admit that I was neglecting a very important part of keeping my baby healthy). She mentioned ways that we could alleviate the nausea but before I could try those remedies we had to find something that I could take between now and then. For me cost wasn't a big concern, I needed prenatal vitamins. So I mentioned to my midwife about trying an over the counter prenatal vitamins that splits the calcium and iron into two pills. This makes it easier on the stomach because you are not overloading your already sensitive stomach. I talked with the pharmacist and Pregvit came up. I had heard of it through nursing school (it was mentioned as a "new vitamin" for during pregnancy as you can get a Pregvit 5 for those with high chance of spinal problems like spina bifida) and through several chat forums I regularly visit. So I gave it a shot and wow it is quite expensive, for 30 pills it cost $36. But alas at least if it worked I wouldn't have to feel so guilty and that is worth the price. 
So I started it on July 7th and the first day was pretty good I felt icky but that was general "ickyness" it did not increase or decrease the feel but I will take that over what it was like before. So at least I can get the pill down and on average it stays down for at lest 3-4 hours before I find that I hit the inevitable "wall" where most if not all I have eaten comes back up. I have to say that I do feel lucky that I am still able to eat (yes even all this nausea hasn't completely turned me off food). I figure even if I do feel nauseated after I eat, what is the difference I am going to feel the same even if I don't eat so might as well keep something in my stomach to bring back up.
I have now been taking my new vitamins for almost 5 days now and am happy to report that I have only brought back up one pill and only missed one dose. Which is better then the average I had before taking when I was taking the over-the-counter versions. So hopefully this means I am on the road to taking my prenatal vitamins more consistently.

- Cecette
I have reviewed the vitamin supplement Pregvit on my own time without any endorsement or compensation from Duchesnay (makers of Pregvit). Everything is my own opinion and should not be taken as medical advise, what works for me may not be the case for yourself. So please talk to your midwife or Dr. before trying out this medication.                                                                                         

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Joy of Pregnancy...

My last pregnancy was almost text book (except for the major heartburn and slight anemia) right down to the labour and birth. This one not so much.. I don't have major problems (no bed rest etc) but I just don't feel that "pregnancy joy". Not because I am not happy to be pregnant. It is just very hard when every waking moment is filled with nausea or vomiting...or both. It is so bad that I am on day 5 of trying to finish this post. 
I am on the maximum dose of diclectin (when I remember to take it) and I have even resorted to a prescription multivitamin (pregvit) to help reduce the irritation on my stomach. I could go on another anti-nausea medication but I don't like the idea of being on so many medications (yah irony, seeing as I happen to be the one who hands out pills for a living) but it is mostly because I am pregnant. 
So what are my options??
I went on a hunt to see what else I can try out (I will also admit that I know very little about the "natural options" out bear with me if the small things amuse/wow me. :D)  The options I found included: acupuncture (and acupressure), physio (or chiropractic), reflexology, homeopathy, and aromatherapy. I have plans for trying out at least a few of these options and hopefully either one (or a few together) may help reduce this nausea. So with a little research I hope to have a post up about some (but hopefully most) of these options in the next month or so. It might take me some time as I have to travel to the city for most if not all remedies (which may be difficult between my work schedule). I will also disclose that I am not writing these posts as a health professional but as a pregnant lady who is at her wits ends of how to deal with her most annoying pregnancy side effect. Therefore do not take what I write as the gospel it is just what I experienced.

Lots of Bunny-Hugs

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fluffy Mail!!!

Just wanted to share that I got my flats from Granola Babies in the mail today!!! I have been fretting the whole week that I wouldn't get them in time for the flats challenge and was working out a back up (using receiving blankets was my next go to). But Canada Post came through so my prep in get under way....well almost....

I am writing this post quite frantically because I have to leave for work in about 10-15 minutes for an evening shift (so I hope there is not too many run on sentences). I wanted to make this challenge as close to realistic as possible and even though I only work 2 nights and 1 day during the 7 day challenge my pre-challenge shifts should get me quite tired. I hope this can give some perspective on a working  mom and dad and using/handwashing flats. Just so you have an idea I work 8hour shifts in a long term care home and home care. My run of shifts started last Saturday (may 14th) I work Evenings May 14,15,16,17; Days May 18,19,20,21,22; and then Nights May 23 and 24. Phew that was work just writing that out! So I will be on my shift 10 and 11 when the flats challenge start (nights too!).

Well I should get finished getting ready for work (oh my 5 minutes till I have to go whoops). Good luck to everyone that is taking the Flats Challenge and look for my posts at Granola Babies blog!

Lots of Bunny-Hugs

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I became a midwife today...

Well sort of....

I got a call from my father-in-law this afternoon (just under an hour from when my daughter and I had to be at a meeting about my sister-in-law's wedding shower/tea). The conversation went basically like this (this is most of what I remembered. Also FYI some of this content may offend some people, we are talking about a birth here):

FIL (father-in-law): you busy?
me: not really I have a meeting at 2:30...
FIL: (pause) I have a sheep lambing and I think she is having some trouble
me: (pause) you know I have only watched my dad pull calves but never done it myself
FIL: yah, but I called your MIL (said her name but don't want to use it) and she figured you could help
me: oh?
FIL: plus your hands are smaller then mine...

So it was agreed that I would go out to the farm and see if I could help check the sheep to see what was taking so long for her to lamb. So I packed up my daughter and didn't bother changing because I figured it might get messy.

My in-laws only have a few sheep, more of a hobby then anything else. The farm is run more on grain. Now I am use to growing up with cattle they are big but quite brilliant animals and they herd quite well. All of the above, I found out is not the qualities of sheep (sorry if I offended people who love sheep but they really do not herd all that well).

So I showed up at the farm my FIL is in the barn waiting for me. We then managed to get the right ewe into the barn into the right stall. (again a warning to those who do not like to hear about a birth this is not the blog post for you).

My FIL then managed to get the ewe on her back so that I could see what the problem is, I could see a tiny little nose and two hoofs, it appeared that the head was trying to come out before the feet which is a no no in delivering of lambs. My FIL wanted to know if I could see if the the lamb was alive so I removed the sac from around its nose and mouth...and it licked! So it was still alive at this point. 

So the next option was to see if we could get the legs "unstuck" you do this by slowly pulling on one leg of the lamb until you hear it release and then the other. It worked!!! The lamb came out quite easy after that and WOW was it ever a big lamb! Which according to my FIL was probably minutes away from dieing because the lamb was too big for this first time mom to deliver on her own.

We then trimmed the wool around the utter of the ewe so the lamb would be able to find a tit to drink from. Ewe and lamb were then united and she promptly started to lick her baby off. It was quite the sight too see (unfortunately I forgot my camera will try to take a picture of the lamb in the next few days).

So I wish everyone an early Happy Mother's day as I sit here in awe that I could help a first time mom deliver her lamb.

Lots of Bunny-Hugs

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge - why??

She is the biggest reason I cloth diaper in the first place, she is one of the reasons I am taking the flats challenge. Most of what I do these days is for her. 

The other major reason I joined this challenge was to prove to myself that even if I was less fortunate I would be able to provided this "luxury" for my baby. I know most moms in the cloth diapering world would not say that it is a luxury to cloth diaper. I agree with them cloth diapering is not a luxury, but affordable. However, this is something I hear more and more from people who say they can not afford to cloth diaper (usually followed by time constraints, and ease of use). Flats are affordable, and hopefully through this challenge I can prove they are not time consuming and easy to use even with hand washing (so would be cinch for anyone with a washer and dryer). 

I am also excited that Granola Babies is sending me a dozen flats in exchange for a couple blog posts during the challenge. So watch for my posts at Granola Babies blog!

So now that you know why I am taking the flats challenge you probably want to know what the flats challenge is!
Kim Rosas from Dirty Diaper Laundry (my absolute favorite blog) is holding a flats challenge from May 23-May 30 where you use only flat diapers for one week.

What is a flat diaper??
It is basically a flat piece of cloth that is made out of a cotton material (birdseye is a popular weave). You then do different folds to come up with an absorbent diaper which you then place a waterproof cover over top. A plus to this system is that they are cheap ($29 US from Granola Babies) or you can use towels or flour sacks from walmart. If you are really up for a challenge you can by some material from any place that sells fabric. Also, flats are the easiest system to wash because they are cotton. I have rarely heard of detergent build up or other problems that come with synthetic diapers. Not to say that those don't have there place, but if you are in a pinch financially flats are just what you are looking for. Plus once you fit them with a cute cover you are set (who doesn't like putting cute things on their babies?!)

So back to the challenge...
Here are the rules (straight from Dirty Diaper Laundry):
  • You MUST use Flats.
  • You MUST handwash them.  How is up to you.  (bathtub, sink, large wash tub, portable non electronic washing machine, or camp style washer (bucket and plunger- think churning butter)
  • You MUST air dry them.  (indoors or outdoors, makes no difference)
  • You MUST limit your number of covers in rotation to 5 or less.
  • You can use any detergent you want.  (Keep in mind that you still want cloth safe detergents)
  • You can still use your nighttime diapers but I ask that you try to make flats work.  Maybe try a prefold wrapped in a flat.
  • You can use disposable liners.
  • You CAN’T use a diaper sprayer.  I thought long and hard about this one, but at an average cost of 40.00 this is one diaper accessory that is out of range for many families.  Dunk, swish, flush, or scrape!
  • You MUST start the morning of May 23 and end the evening of May 30.
  • You MUST fill out a completion survey about your experience.  Results will be published here and can be republished on your own blog.
That is it! Doesn't seem too hard right?! So click on the link below to join the challenge! Even if you don't currently cloth diaper this might be your incentive to try it never know you might find out you like cloth diapering or even flats.
Lots of Bunny Hugs
(I can't seem to get the official logo working but I will update this as soon as I figure it out)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Toddler wearing - the first couple weeks

Well I have had a couple weeks to work with my new carrier the Beco Gemini. And I have to say this is a pretty cool carrier!

Since the weather is warming up here I have been walking to go pick Hannah up from daycare after work. This has given me lots of practice of having to put on the carrier. I have used it in both the front and back position (not facing out as she is too heavy for that in the front position). So here are a few things that I found out.

The Good Stuff!
It feels very durable and I can cinch Hannah quite close so my center of gravity isn't shifted too much. If I don't feel like doing a back carrier that is fine cause it works just as well in the front position. Also found out back carrier is not as hard as it fact I feel like quite a pro when other mom's see me swing Hannah on to my back with such ease (well, now isn't that just tooting my own horn :D...but with as much practice as I have been getting in I should be a pro at it lol)

My Not So Favorite Parts...
I am not in favor of the way the shoulder straps look when it is in back carry. I know this seems trivial but still a slight con for me. It seems to bulge a little and the outer edges seem to pop out (see the pictures I have attached). The other not so favorite part...the fact that I have to have it tight which causes some ummm fat distribution into some not so flattering ways. I have found that if she is in back carry I can pull a longer shirt out over top the waist band which hides some. After googling this topic it seems to be a consensus that most if not all soft structured carrier cause this "muffin top"/"fat redistribution" problem.

So here are some pictures from a recent walk over Easter weekend at the farm. Hope you enjoy!

Getting ready for the walk (I think I might need to cinch her in close...I think I did as the walk progressed)

 Looking at the sheep and the new lambs!

Playing in a big puddle!

Hannah is watching the farm dog jump into a Juniper bush...she thought it was quite funny.

If anyone has any tips on using the Beco Gemini I would really appreciate it! Especially if you see something in the pictures that could be improved by adjusting some straps etc.

Lots of Bunny-Hugs!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

toddler wearing - indepth pictures of my new beco gemini

Here are some pictures of my new carrier the Beco Gemini
 Here is the box it came in with examples of the four types of carries.
 Here is the colour I got!
 So here are some shots of different parts of the carrier, I haven't been able to measure the different parts of the carrier but hope to post that soon.

Here it is with the "hood" up

The "hood" down.

With the waist snapped in (I believe this is used for forward front carry when the baby is small).

The inside of the carrier.

Another shot of the inside of the carrier

The front of the carrier with the straps unbuckled

Here is a close up of the waist band

Close up shot of the shoulder strap (gives you the great option of crossing the straps in the back when you want more support)

Close up shot of on side of the carrier.

Close up shot of the clip from the hood to the carrier.

Another picture of the clip from the hood to the carrier.

Close up shot of the buckle on the shoulder straps (note the button, this is a two handed system so the buckle can not be taken apart with one hand.)

Chest buckle.
How the chest buckle is attached to the shoulder straps (it is adjustable just by sliding in up and down).

The waist band buckle.

Here is a close up of part of the waist band.

And finally, the convenient little loops to roll ends of the straps into.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of what the Beco Gemini carrier looks like! I have been able to use it a couple times (came in really handy when Hannah was sick and did not want to be put down). However, I haven't used it enough to give it a proper review. I hope to get a chance to soon, seeing as the weather is starting to get a little warmer here on the prairies. KMFX!!!

Lots of Bunny-Hugs!