Cloth Diapering Part II

My journey into cloth diapering was a bit different from Beth’s. With our first daughter, my husband and I strictly used disposables. At the time, the thought of cloth terrified us. We were on a really tight budget, and buying diapers every week definitely hurt the bank account, but we preferred the convenience of it. We also lived in a town where the idea of using cloth diapers was very antiquated and not something anyone would really choose to do. So every week for almost 3 years, we bought diapers. Don’t ask me how much we ended up spending on disposing our daughter’s poop, because I really don’t want to know.

When I was pregnant with our second daughter, my husband and I struggled when friends and family would ask what to give as baby gifts. We had plenty of clothes from our first daughter, and we had all of the big necessities already. Then we thought about diapers. At first, we were just going to ask them to buy us disposable diapers if they wanted to give us a gift, and then we had the idea to research cloth.

IMG_0996The only cloth diapers we had any experience with were the prefolds with a cover, like my sister used, but my husband said that if he was going to have to change a cloth diaper, it would have to be simpler than those. In doing our research and asking around, we found Bum Genius 4.0s. They are a one size fits all diaper with pocket inserts. This diaper goes on like a normal disposable, just with snaps.

After receiving the diapers from our family, the only things that we needed to spend money on were a diaper pail, liner, a package of wipes, and a wet bag. All of these cost us about $100. The great thing about cloth diapers is that each time you use them you are getting a better return on investment. You get an even greater ROI when you use the diapers with multiple children. This link breaks down the math of how much you can save when you use cloth. When you use disposables you end up spending thousands more than with cloth. That is really expensive poop!

The only disposable items we use for our cloth diapers are inserts that you can flush when your baby has a dirty diaper. There are other options to do deal with messiness. I hear great things about diaper sprayers and we often say “Man, I wish we would have bought the sprayer.”

Overall, using cloth has been far less scary and gross than I anticipated. Poop is poop, and changing it isn’t glamorous anyway you do it. Just choose to diaper whichever way works best for you and your family. As moms, we all anxiously wait for the day when our last baby is completely potty trained.

Owning My Labor

One thing that Beth and I both think is very important in pregnancy is making it your own. Whether you’re a marathoner who proudly takes your bump on 5 mile runs every day or you’re stuck on bed-rest your entire pregnancy, embrace it and do what you feel is best for you and your baby. This goes for labor as well. I am a strong advocate for a woman’s freedom to choose her own delivery. Nine times out of ten it won’t go the way we plan it anyway. Know that you are strong and wonderful and, in the end, you get one of the greatest gifts.

My First Labor

mama bird box expectant mother labor ready for pregnancyI was in my early twenties when I got pregnant with my first daughter. My husband and I had only been married a little over a year when we found out we were having her. Needless to say, neither of us knew much about pregnancy or labor.

While I was pregnant I did not feel that I had a high pain tolerance, and the fear of delivering a baby put me in a state of worry throughout my pregnancy. I halfheartedly told myself that I would go as long as I could naturally, but really I knew I wouldn’t be able to go very long without an epidural. When I went into labor, the hospital kept sending me home because I wasn’t dilating fast enough. The snarky nurse kept saying,  “Oh. Very much the same. Very much the same,” every time she checked me. Hours later and still having the “Very Much the Same” ringing in my head, I began to feel the urge to push.  We went back to the hospital, and I was fully dilated! After 18 long hours of laboring at home, the first thing to come out of my mouth was “am I too late for an epidural?” I received my anticipated epidural and shortly after, we happily welcomed our Leni into the world. I received beautiful memories about my first delivery, but I often caught myself thinking, “I wonder if I could’ve done it.”

My Second Labor

Mama Bird Box after labor with Rosie Jump to a few years later to my second pregnancy. I was a few years older and had already gone through it all once, so (as many second time moms think) I was totally a pro. Only every pregnancy is different and this was no exception. Despite the differences, I definitely felt much more confident this time. I did a lot more research on my own and had a group of doctors who listened to me and encouraged me to listen to my body.

Through the years after Leni was born, I had a shift in how I thought about birth and decided to use a birthing center, which gave me no choice but to be confident in a natural labor. There was no turning back. This time around I felt myself more excited about the challenge than afraid of the experience. When labor began, I calmly laid in bed timing contractions. The quiet was nice in those first few hours. It was like the baby and I had a special secret; we were the only ones who knew what was to come. I went to my doctor later that morning, and they suggested that I walk, walk some more, and finish with walking; so walk we did! I was checked into the birthing center and thirty minutes later we said hello to our Rosie.

I’m so glad that I have two different laboring experiences. The greater significance, however, is that these birthing stories gave me two wonderful daughters; that’s what I value the most. I hope you feel encouraged to listen to yourself and say, “I can do this.” No matter what labor looks like for you, you get your baby in the end.