Saturday, June 26, 2010

All things cloth

I toyed with the idea of cloth diapering when I was pregnant with Peanut, but when push came to shove I found the information overwhelming and became frustrated so I bought disposables and never looked back...until now. With news of twin boys and a toddler in diapers with no potty training schedule in sight, I decided to research cloth again. I was introduced to a wonderful website called Diaper Swappers. There's a forum, marketplace, and a seemingly endless supply of information about cloth diapers.

There are many varieties and brand names of cloth diapers and choosing the best one can be difficult. I decided to go with a stash that I found on craigslist to get me started. The stash was a collection of med-large Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers, inserts, and liners.

I stripped the diapers using Rockin' Green detergent (thanks to a friend that gave me enough to get started). Stripping means to get rid of any nasty build-up that may have been there from previous detergents and usage. I soaked them for 12 hours in my bath tub with 6 Tablespoons of detergent. After the long soak, I washed them in 3 Tablespoons with detergent on the highest cycle, with the hottest water. I then either machine or line dried the items, depending on the material of the item.

Lil Miss is going to be my test subject for this project until the boys come along. We started today at nap time. She woke up from her nap smiling and happy, but next to a yellow wet spot. groan...Apparently in my fear of the cloth diaper leaking, I overstuffed the pocket, leaving no seal around her leg. Hence, the yellow wet spot. The sheets are now washed and Peanut is sportin' her fuzzi bunz fluff. As you can see in the pictures, she's telling me that I forgot to put her pants on. ;-)

So the first day didn't go perfect, but it was better than I expected. Her little bum certainly looked adorable in all that fluff, especially when it was overstuffed. Granted, I won't be doing that again, but it was cute nonetheless. I've been reading that cloth diapering is a series of trial and error until you find the right one for your babies bum. I, for one, am willing to test out the product to save a couple grand a year!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Due Date

I received a phone call from our doctor yesterday evening. Of course my heart began to race (or maybe it never stopped from earlier). He was calling with more news that he'd forgotten to mention earlier. Our original due date was Nov 24, but they now think I was further along than previously believed. Our new due date is Nov 15th and they want to schedule a C-section between 37-38 weeks. I thought it was odd because when they were doing the ultrasound, the screen said 18 weeks and I thought we were only around 16-17 weeks. I just figured I saw it wrong since I was still in shock looking at the monitor. hmm...guess I need to pay more attention to those subtle little clues. :-)

I had a C-section with Peanut and I was hoping to do a VBAC. I was told originally that was completely fine because I have an "unproven pelvis". That just means that I never went through labor with M because she was breech with had a scheduled section so they don't know if a baby would fit.

Our new doctor, said there's not a lot of research of doing VBAC with twins and he wouldn't recommend it. Baby A is breech as of right now and he said that if he doesn't turn they would have to schedule a C-section anyway. So there you have it...our due date is November 15th, but we're looking more at the end of October to meet our new family memberS.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BIG, BIG Surprise!!!

I've been keeping quite a big secret from most people in my life. Primarily due to fear and uncertainty. Out first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. 4 years after this miscarriage, we FINALLY got pregnant with Lil Miss. The pregnancy progressed without incident except for needing to have a C-section because Peanut was breech. The big surprise came after she was born and we were told our baby had Down Syndrome. We were shocked and taken aback, but the love was never questioned. Her big blue eyes just melted our hearts from that 1st moment. Look at her, how could she not melt our hearts?

After this last deployment Bradley and I decided we should try to have another little peanut to add to our family. I was thinking it would take another 4 years, but God had another plan. After 1 month of trying and we got pregnant! I've been holding this secret close to my heart for fear of miscarriage and not knowing if this baby could have Down Syndrome as well. Not that having DS matters, we love the extra chromosome in our home, but there's been a slight hesitation nonetheless. I think only the parent of a child with special needs can completely understand this hesitation.

Today, we had our Level 2 ultrasound: the day I've been waiting for to make out news official! The ultrasound tech sat down and got to work. Almost immediately she said our blood work, the quad marker test, would be incorrect. I thought, "what does she see already?!?" Then she brought our attention to the screen...

Those are TWO little heads on the ultrasound screen. Two little boys are growing in my belly! Two little boys to make us run, run, run! Two little boys to make Lil M a very happy and entertained big sister. They are fraternal twins, so they are nt identical. Neither one of our little boys show markers for DS. It's still early in the pregnancy to check their heart health so that will be another factor to look at when we go to next month's appointment and ultrasound. This is something of particular interest to me since Peanut had a VSD repair when she was 4 months old. This is a HUGE surprise because twins don't run in my family or Bradley's.

God apparently didn't think surprising us with an extra chromosome was quite enough, so he blessed us with a whole other baby just for good measure.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wordless Thursday

Running a day behind this week cause of all the summer fun we've been having. :0)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thyroid Problems

With the beauty and warmth of summer also brings lots of heat, especially down where we are. Summer fun equals bike rides, swimming pools, sun screen, and relaxation! All that fun is also met with a sweaty and stinky lil' Miss MJ that require lots of pool time to cool off.

A little light bulb went off though when MJ was playing on the floor dripping sweat from her little brow...could this be the infamaous thyroid problems that are all too common in individuals with Down Syndrome? Just from prior research and access to care sheet guidelines MJ has been having her blood work done according to schedule: 6 months, 1 year, and then yearly. All of Peanut's screenings to date have come back normal, so I'm not overly concerned. But all that sweat got me thinking what the Thyroid actually does, how it works, and what other symptoms I should be looking for.

The Thyroid is part of the endocrine system and it's job it to convert iodine from the foods that we eat. There are 2 types of thyroid dysfunction: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Individuals with DS are more likely to experience HYPOthyroidism, meaning their bodies don't produce enough of the hormone. Symptoms of hypothyroid dysfunction include: decreased growth rate, weight gain, constipation, lethargy, decreased muscle tone, and dry skin (A Parent's Guide) Now some of these symptoms are also characteristics of DS, so that's why the blood work is so important.
To diagnosis hypothyroidism, doctors need to look at the levels of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine. When running blood work, if your doctor checks only the thyroid hormone level, it is likely to come back within normal range. However, when the levels of TSH are evaluated, therein lies the imbalance. Essentially, the hormone imbalance is actually caused by the hormone that tells the thyroid gland when to produce its money maker.

Treatment appears to be pain-free and easy, 1 simple daily dose of the thyroid hormone in pill form which can be ground up for little ones. Simple, easy, and no more stinky, sweaty, or tired summer time babes.

At your next check up be sure to bring along the care guidelines and make sure your physician is running the routine blood work that's specific to individuals with DS. You may even want to bring along an extra copy for Birth To Age 12 or Age 13 to Adulthood and have your Doc leave a copy in the chart for easy access next time around.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

39 seconds of pure goodness


Peanut is a 20 month old with Down Syndrome. She has been bear crawling as her primary mode of transportation for approximately a month. She crawled for a brief period of time, but modified it to better suite her into (what I call) a windmill kick crawl. She has modified methods of transportation due to her low muscle tone, which is a characteristic of individuals with Down Syndrome. Low muscle tone, hypotonia, can be increased through physical therapy (PT). When we initially moved to our current state, early invention recommended Peanut receive PT consultations once a month. This did not sit well with me, so I looked to other resources. It was a fight, but all good things are worth fighting for, right? After a lot of phone calls, some diligent networking, MJ was approved for weekly PT sessions.

Many, many THANKS to her amazing therapists (Krista and Shawna) who have worked with lil' Miss and are getting her where she wants to be. She is increasing her strength by leaps and bounds thanks to EVERYONE that loves her and supports her with every little step she takes!

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010