Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Under the sea!

We finally had our baby shower! It was so exciting getting to see everyone and showing off baby ;-) For the occasion, I made a 3 tiers cake "under the sea". Here is the results!

I am no cake artist... at the best, I have a few years of play d'oh-ing under my belt. And to make matter worst, I had a newborn to take care off and a very limited budget!


Since we had nicknamed the baby Tuna, the theme had to be under the sea! To decorate the cake, I made 3 amigurumi octopus, 1 sea turtle, 1 clown fish, 1 angel fish, a few corals and starfish. On top of the cake sat a huge Tuna that my sister made (because she helped me with the cake).

I made the layered cake on the Thursday. On the Friday morning, I covered them with fondant and started making the different creature. Once made, they were place to hide all the cracks and bumps in the fondant! (Hey I said, I am no cake artist). On Saturday morning, we took the cake over to my mom's house and assembled it.

The cake ended up being a bit crooked and way too big for the amount of people there, but it looked great!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Getting ready for the big day!

Our little Tuna is 1 month already! 

Time flies! I can't believe how much bigger she got in such a little time! She is finally out of preemie clothing and almost done with her newborn outfits! Depending on the brand, she is able to wear the 0-3 months! I know that 1 month is a short period of time, but in a way, it feels like she's been with us for ever. I can hardly remember what life was before her! And as a matter of fact, I don't care to remember it! I am perfectly happy with how life with my Tuna is!  Now this weekend, we are celebrating in style, her arrival in our life! We are having a combined baby shower/meet and greet! I didn't want a baby shower during my pregnancy out of fear of loosing her... Now she is one month and I could not think of a better time to celebrate this new life! I have been very busy baking her a 3 tiers ocean theme cake. I will post some pictures after the meet and greet!

Now like I promised in my last post, here is a quick review of the different brand of cloth diapers I use.

I use the newborn prefolds (24 of them) and 4 covers. The reason I bought this (as a set) was because of the low cost. It was just under 80$. I was not so keen on using prefold and thought I would prefer AIO. I was to say, I was surprise at how easy to use prefolds were. Easy to clean, easy to store, and easy to carry around. I had leakage problem the first few days, and it did take a while before I could fold it properly in the cover but now after less than 2 weeks, I could do it with my eyes close! I do have to say thought that 4 cover is not enough and decided to buy 2 extra ones. Also for extra protection, I add one Kushies insert inside the prefolds.

Pros: Prefolds are really easy to wash.
         Good value for your money.
          Not too bulky under clothing.

Cons: My husband still thinks its too complicated to put on.

Rainforest babies

In all fairness, I have to say the ones I have are hands me down! So Tuna is the third baby wearing them! I had never heard of this brand and I am unsure as to how easily available they are. I have to say, they fit great on my skinny baby (size small) and they are really easy to assemble. 

A cute colorful insert snaps on both ends. Unfortunately, they leak... they leak.... they leak.... I still use them, but only if it is for a short period of time.

Pros: Durable.
         Easy to assemble.
         Washes really really well.
Cons: Leaks!

Bumgenius 4.0 snap OS
Even though Tuna has reached the minimum weight, they are still too big. I did however used them a few times and can't wait to fully rely on them. Why? Because I love how the insert soaks in all the moisture and leaves the outer layer almost fully dry! However I do have to mention that they are bulky on little ones, they are a pain to assemble and they stain really easily. (My husband loves them once assemble. He likes how easy they are to put on.)

Pros: Keeps baby dry.
       The fact that they are OS is great!
          Have yet to leak at all!!

Cons: They are expensive!!
          They stain easily.
          Takes a little longer to assemble!
           Very bulky on the little one.

I will review the Motherease and Kushies cloth diapers at a later time!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cloth for me, cloth for you!

"My daughter is 3 weeks old, this week for the first time I used Pampers swaddlers sensitive. At first I was pleasantly surprised at the great fit the diapers provided on my daughter. I used 3 diapers over a period of 5 hours and a half, to discover in horror, my daughter's skin completely burned with blisters in area that had touched the diaper. I am completely outraged that such a trusted brand as pampers would have caused such damages on my daughter skin! I am now discouraged in using pampers diapers again for I have absolutely no trust anymore in your product. I am now left with 2 packs of pampers diapers which cannot be returned for they have been opened. I surely hope that P&G can stand behind their products quality. I would be more than glad to further this discussion. I also have pictures if needed. In the main while, I will make sure to inform my friends and family members about the event so that they can make an inform choice in protecting their child."

This is a copy of the e-mail I just sent to Pampers. My poor little girl is completely burned. It took less than 5 hours to do all the damage. It has now been 3 days and things are slowly getting better. We made the much awaited transition to cloth diapers. I say "awaited" because we had always plan to cloth diaper our kids. As a matter of fact my stash of Kushies and Bumgenius was one of the first thing we bought for the baby. Unfortunately Hudson was born much smaller than expected and instead of buying a newborn supply of cloth diapers we opted to use disposable. What a mistake!!! So on Saturday, we made our way to Serenity Birth Studio in Barrie and bought 24 prefolds of Bummies and 2 Motherease bamboo diapers. My only regret was to think my daughter was not worth spending this amount on newborn cloth diapers. After seeing the extend of her burn, I had no other choice and gladly invested in cloth!!!

Now off course this should not have come as a surprise! I had heard of incident with pampers diapers before, but I naively thought that by buying the "sensitive" ones, I would not face the problem. I was wrong!!!

Coincidentally, I myself do not use disposable pads anymore. I first heard of Lunapads through my sister (who had heard about it from our cousin). After years of unwanted rashes and infection, I made the switch to washable panty liners! Then this week I had just made the switch to washable pads as well! I have to admit it is less about being green then skin relief!!! That being said, I will try in the next few weeks, to do a review of each products (pads and diapers). But I should already mention that I am in LOVE with my Lunapads!!! and after 2 days, already have a favorite in Motherease!



Monday, November 7, 2011

A little by little

I never underestimated the life changing aspect of having a baby! So in a way I was prepared. Two weeks ago, Hudson was born! My life has been a Topsy Turvy of diapers, doctor's visit, sleepless nights and laundry washing... and I love it! 

What I was not ready for is how much love goes into all of these task! Even worst, how much it hurts to be sitting helplessly on the bedroom floor with a baby that for unknown reason won't stop crying. Last night for 4 hours, I tried to figure out what was wrong! It broke my heart to see her like that! I felt so useless as I was unable to figure out what she wanted!! I was not ready for that! In the end she fell asleep on daddy's laps... We will probably never know what it was... it will probably happen again... and once more I will be broken hearted. That is the real hard part.

So two weeks have gone by. Everyone is getting use to a new schedule. The first few days I was overwhelmed by breastfeeding. I took so much of my time. Hudson would nurse for 40 minutes every 2-3 hours... But after the first week I came up with an awesome plan!!! 40 mins x 8-9 times a day = a j-dorama a day! Time to catch up on the last 3 seasons! And I also decided to watch the Taiga dorama Yoshitsune (all 50 episodes)... I hope Hudson will forgive me to split my attention in half...

On Halloween, Hudson was 1 week old! Months ago, I had crocheted the Green Eito Ranger sweater for her as her first Halloween costume. But it was way too big. We still decided to take some pictures. Daddy carved a plastic pumpkin in honor of her first Halloween. He went to great length to carve a Tuna on one side and then a stylized version of her name on the other side. We used a plastic pumpkin so we could keep it for the years to come (kind of like those first Christmas ornaments).


In the past week, we decided to make imprints of her feet. The first attempt was a complete disaster! Plaster + Vaseline + 9 days old baby does not go well together. We had a good laugh still. 

Then yesterday we opted for the ink version. It was easy, not as messy as first thought and yield great results. We got the ink pad at Walmart for 4$ and the card stock at Dollarama. We made enough prints so that both aunts, and the 3 sets of grand parents could get a copy.      
Today Hudson is 2 weeks old. The weather outside is beautiful. 15 degree and sunny. The trees are still full of colors. This is not your typical grayish November! It truly feels like the calm after the storm. Hudson is finally sleeping, and soon I will go join her ;-)


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Senbazuru for Hudson

1000 paper cranes in hope of a healthy baby.
Pregnancy is a wonderful thing! But not always. Pregnancy, even when dearly wanted, can be traumatic, stressful and emotionally and physically damaging. Looking back, the only way I can describe my experience is by qualifying it of hell. 9 months in hell. It's a harsh thing to say and I truly wished I had some good memories about it, but the fact is that there was nothing to enjoy. The process was painful and leaves me with a bitter taste. Off course, if I had to redo it, I would. The end result, no matter how painful the journey is, is worth it.

I started bleeding at 5 weeks. I was told it was a possible MC. I went back at 7 weeks for an ultrasound and there it was a tiny healthy heart beat! But I kept on bleeding. I was diagnose with a large SCH that did not resolve until 20 weeks. So I bled and bled. I had to return to the ER, 4 times. Each time thinking it was an MC once more. But the heart beat remained strong. By 26 weeks, the morning sickness finally went away. A light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I could finally enjoy myself, but no one had prepared me to other side effect of pregnancy. At 32 weeks I lost the feelings in my right fingers. My vision started getting blurry in my right eye. At 34 weeks, I would get shooting pain in my back and hips when ever I tried to lay down. At 38 weeks, the baby moved to a transverse position. At 39 weeks, I was told of the risk of a cord accident if my water was to break... baby still transverse, flat pelvis and no progress at all. So we opted for a c-section. Many people would tell me you could still have tried for a vaginal birth and they are probably right, but after loosing our first baby, after going back to the ER 4 times thinking we were going to loose this one, you don't risk a cord accident so close to the finish line. For the last week of my pregnancy, I would lay all night unable to sleep in fear that my water might break. So for my sanity and for the baby's sake I was not going to get my very much wanted vaginal birth.

The first 1000 paper cranes.
But let's go back in time! After my first miscarriage, unable to come to term with it, I frantically started folding paper cranes. Keeping my hands busy, kept my mind busy. Slowly I started to feel better. I started folding the birds in mid-October and was done shortly before Christmas. This was my own way of honoring our angel baby.

Ayumi's 1000 paper cranes for Hudson
In February, as I learned of my second pregnancy, I kept the details secret from everyone. But one day in early March as I was on Skype with my Japanese  friend, she bluntly asked me if I was pregnant yet. I was very surprise by such a direct question. I could not get myself to lie and said that yes indeed I was. But that I preferred to keep it a secret. She asked me how many weeks I was, I said 7 weeks. She then went on to tell me how she had 2 months ago, just finished folding 1000 paper cranes in hope that I would be pregnant again! She had folded her last paper crane exactly 1 week before my conception date!     

That same evening, I took my origami out and started folding another 1000 paper cranes in hope of a healthy baby. I was 7 weeks and on bedrest. The doctors were telling me to expect a MC. I kept on folding my little piece of paper. At around 30 weeks, my husband started helping me. At 36 weeks we were done. They are now hanging, with Ayumi's birds, in the nursery. 3000 paper cranes of hope. 3000 paper cranes for our child.

Hudson has now been with us for a week. On October 24th, my husband and I drove to the hospital, we checked in, filled papers after papers. I had some blood test done and then walked myself to the OR. I sat on the bed in the middle of the brightly light room filled with nurses and doctors getting ready to deliver a baby. I sat there dumbstruck, thinking, is this really how baby are delivered. The anesthesiologist arrived. We chatted for a while, casual small talk... I keep thinking, this is weird, am I really going to deliver a baby? It looked nothing like what you see in movies, on tvs... My Ob arrived, he made a few jokes. I laid on the bed, incapable of moving my lower limb. My husband was let in the room and stood by my side. We were both quiet. I don't know what he was thinking about. As for me, I could feel the tugging and the pulling. I was listening to the sound my body was making. I couldn't feel anything. Was I really delivering a baby. The OB said, wow, she really was in trouble. It's a good thing the c-section was pushed ahead, she might not have make it to Thursday... I was staring in my husband's eyes. Then we saw a baby. They were washing her, padding her. She was not crying but she was moving. For a second, I wasn't sure who's baby that was? Mine? She was about 2-3 meters from us, we could see her well. The doctors were talking but we weren't listening. I said "look she's got your nose?". My husband said "yes, she does". He said "I can't cut the cord." The Ob call him to come and cut the cord, and he did. He came to stand next to me. They brought the baby over. She was beautiful. We got to spend a few minutes with her. Then my husband left with the baby and they started to stitch me up. I was in recovery for just under 45 minutes and then they brought me to my room. My husband was there waiting for me with our baby. The c-section was, after all not a big deal. 8 hours after the surgery I was standing, and resumed walking the next morning. Yesterday they removed my stitches and there is no scar to be seen (understitch). As of last night, I also was able to stop the painkillers. It's funny how fast you can fall in love with someone. It's funny how fast you can forget the last 9 months in hell. Hudson made it all worth it.

As I type this, she is peacefully sleeping on my laps. I wish we could just sit like this forever. She keeps us up awake for most of the night, but I just love these moments we get to share together.