Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cloth diapers and how to make one

I've wanted to use cloth diapers once we had a baby and was cringing at the cost per diaper (around $12-$18 per diaper, give or take). I know it would save money in the long run but my cheap ass puckered at the thought of my child crapping in an $18 diaper. That is when my search for an affordable cloth diaper began.

The old fashioned cloth diapers crossed my mind but they aren't fitted, which can lead to leaks and worse...stains. Yuck. They are definitely affordable (usually around $12 or so for a package of 10 or 12). Plus you would need to buy the plastic pants to go over them. I'm not sure how much they run but they aren't much.

The only other thing I could think of was to find a pattern and make my own. Problem solved! I found a great pattern at Mama Bird's Website. She has a basic pattern to use and instructions on how to make a fitted diaper, an all in one diaper and a pocket diaper. I've only made the fitted diaper (and made one addition of my own) but if I can find the right material (called PUL) I will try the all in one.

I decided I would do a step-by-step post on how I made the diaper but if you want to try to make one, I would go to her website. Her pictures are better. By the way, these pictures are in no way an attempt at photography. I haven't even cracked open those books yet. These pictures, to be quite blunt, suck. My craft room is in my basement and it has awful flourescent lighting. But, enough about that.

The diaper has two layers plus a soaker pad in the middle. I made the inner layer from a Good Will t-shirt ($.99 and I'll get about 4 or 5 diapers from it). The outer layer is flannel (I always check the remnant section for good deals. The remnant I used here cost me less than $2 and I'll get 2 or 3 diapers from it). I folded both fabrics in half and traced the pattern on to the t-shirt.


Now, both layers are cut out (I use pinking shears) and I've marked where the elastic goes.


I also marked where the soaker pad is placed. It should hit the two small marks and then it is centered in the middle.


Next, I cut out the material for the soaker pad. I use 6 strips of flannel. I always save scraps from sewing projects and now it can be put to good use. Also, I check the remnant section for ugly flannel to use. It's cheap and it won't be seen.


Ok, so I made two additions to Mama Bird's pattern. I added three layers of batting in the soaker. It should help it dry faster, especially if it's put in the dryer.

Photobucket This is what the soaker should look like...three layers of flanne on the top and bottom with three layers of batting in the middle.


Then I sewed the soaker together. I just did this to make it easier when it came time to sew it to the inner part of the diaper.

It obviously isn't even but it doesn't matter. It won't be seen and it's only purpose is to hold piss.

The soaker is placed in between the two markings I made earlier and centered in the middle.


Now it's ready to be sewn on.


Be careful while you are sewing and don't sew the diaper to itself like I did. You can't see it because it is a crappy picture.


If you do then you'll just use a seam ripper to remove the offending stitches and begin again.


This is what it will look like (or better if you are a better seamstress than I am, and you probably are) once the soaker pad is sewn on. I went around it twice, hence the framed in look.


Next, I cut the elastic for the leg openings. When cutting, you need to stretch it from marking to marking so that once it's sewn on it will gather the fabric. Make sure to cut for each leg. Duh.

Sewing on the elastic is probably the hardest part of this little project but if I can do it, anyone can. You kind of just stretch and sew at the same time. This is what one finished side looks like.

And with both sides finished. See how the sides are gathered up? That's what holds the poo in!


Then, I stitched on the ends of the back elastic. I'll sew this down once the diaper is sewn together.


Next, I pinned the two layers together, right sides together.


Now the two layers are sewn together.


I left an opening so that I can turn it inside out. It will be sewn up later.


This is the diaper right side out.


I then sewed the back elastic through both layers. Again, you kind of have to stretch and sew at the same time.


Then I sewed up the opening I had left to turn the diaper inside out.


Next, I cut the hook velcro (the scratchy side) for the tabs of the diaper.

Photobucket Here they are sewn on.


Then I cut the loop velcro (the soft side) for the front of the diaper.


Now that the velcro is on the diaper is almost finished. I decided to add one little feature though.

I decided to add fold over pockets/tabs/whatever to the tabs of the diaper to protect the velcro while washing. This way it doesn't get fuzzies stuck to it and it doesn't create a chain of diapers in the washer or dryer. First, I lay the tab on a piece of folded over flannel and traced it.


Once it's cut out I placed it on the inner part of the tab.


Sew around the round part of the tab but leave the straight edge open.


So now the tab cover thingy is sewn on and while in use it will look like this.


When it's time to wash the diaper, just flip the tabs over the velcro and wash.


Photobucket So that's it. It's really not hard. I've made three so far and it usually takes about 45 minutes or so to make a one. Seeing as how I'll probably need about 20-30 of each size (give or take) it's probably good that I start now.
Total cost for homemade fitted diaper: Around $1...probably less.
Now that is something my child can crap in.

P.S. Please ignore the chipped nail polish. That is the main reason I never get manicures. I'm terrible about taking off the polish once it starts chipping. I got my nails done for Valentine's Day. I'm guessing it'll still be on my nails come St. Patrick's Day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Moving on

Right after I found out I was pregnant I went to the library to get books on baby names. Courtney and I always argued on what we would name our kids. My names were perfect and his sucked. We needed help. My idea was to each make a list of names we liked for boys and one for girls and then we would make a final list using the names we both put on our original lists. We could each choose one name for a boy and one for a girl that would make it to the final list no matter what. Then after seeing the baby we would pick a name that "fit." I figured since we would have a hard time picking names, we should get an early start.

Yesterday, the library sent me an email to tell me my books were due.

So, after two weeks of collecting dust, I gathered them up and put them by my purse to take to the library today. I was ok with it. I know that someday I will go back to borrow them again. It may not be in the same capacity, but I will be back.

Today I got out a few books on digital photography. I have a Nikon D40 and am ashamed to say I mostly use it in "Auto" mode. I SO want to learn how to really use it. I was thinking about taking a non-credit class through the community college but am too cheap to pay for it. So, stay tuned for evidence of my tutelage. Or lack thereof.

I also borrowed some books on foster care. They didn't really have anything about the process or what to expect, rather books about the problems with it and stories of the children who were let down by the system. I got a few of the stories about the children. Orphans of the Living is the first book I started reading. I probably should have started with something a little more uplifting, but oh well. It's a good book. Sad to read some of the stories about these kids but knowing that I could make a difference in a child's life makes these stories more of an inspiration for me to do this.

I plan on attending an orientation on foster care on Monday, March 23rd. Courtney isn't sold on it yet. He really wants to have a biological child. But he said he would go with me to get more information. My plan is to adopt through foster care.

I am unsure as to whether I will be able to get pregnant again and if I even want to. I reserve the right to change my mind at any given time, but at this point I am ok with not getting pregnant again. Don't get me wrong. If I do happen to get pregnant again I would be absolutely elated but very worried. Because of my diabetes, I have to constantly stay on top of my blood sugar to ensure it doesn't get too high. In all honesty, I believe that because I didn't have perfect control while pregnant, is the reason I miscarried. In an effort to better control it, I wrote down every thing I ate, how many carbs were in it and how much insulin I used as well as when I check my blood sugar and what it was. Even in doing that I still had lows and highs. I only did it for about 4 weeks. I can't imagine doing it for 9 months.

A continuous blood glucose monitor would be a blessing (it is connected to me like my insulin pump is and checks my blood sugar every 5 seconds) but my insurance doesn't cover it.
My pump would let me know when my sugar was going to low or too high and basically keep it in that nice green zone. (The "fingerstick test" is what I do now when I check my blood sugar. I usually check it between 3-5 times a day.)Photobucket
This is the pump I have (but mine is a cooler looking purple). I would just have to wear another little port thingy that has a sensor.

Well, my insulin pump has the monitor in it so all I would need is the sensors to attach to myself but without insurance they would probably run about $300 a month or more. I just can't swing that. So, until the day that my insurance covers it or we are all covered under universal health care (HELLO! We are one of the few well-to-do countries to not have universal health care. It can and will work. If CUBA [Yes, Cuba.] can do it than so can we.) than I will not be able to relax while pregnant.

Ok, so back from that tangent...I have always considered adoption into my family plan but always thought we wouldn't be able to afford it. At least not without taking out a loan. With foster care we can help a child get out of a bad situation and provide them with love and security they may not have known before. And if the parental rights are terminated or given up, who better than the foster parents to adopt? Granted, we may be dealing with a child who has been abused or neglected or exposed to drugs or alcohol while in utero, but I think we can handle it. I think it's what we're meant to do.

I have a ton of questions to ask so I am really looking forward to this orientation. The next step after orientation is to fill out paperwork and register for training classes. Then there is the interview with a social worker and visits from the health and fire departments. All in all it should take between 4-6 months but could go by faster depending how quickly we get all the paperwork finished. Nothing is set in stone yet. We're still in the "consideration" phase of all this. Well, I know what I want to do. I still have to sell Courtney on the idea.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

WARNING! Not for pregnant women.


Rub it in, why don't ya?

I went to the doctor's on Friday. It was supposed to be a follow-up appointment to make sure everything was ok. I was supposed to hear a heartbeat. I was supposed to leave feeling relieved. Instead I left broken hearted and empty.

I did get another ultrasound. But, instead of seeing a beautiful little blob all I saw was some leftover tissue. They don't usually let you take home a picture of that.

My doctor prescribed me a drug called, Cytotec. It was designed to prevent ulcers but apparently it also makes your uterus contract as well. I was told to take two pills every eight hours for a total of six pills. My bleeding, which had slowed a little as of Friday, would get a little heavier and then taper off. And so it did. As of now it looks like it's almost done. Hopefully I'll be back to normal (hmmmm....define normal?) in a few days.

Anyway, after I filled the prescription and got it home I read the info on it. Interesting read, I must say. Not only is it used to prevent ulcers, but it can be used to terminate a pregnancy before the eighth week as well. That's two, two, two pills in one! I've heard of the abortion pill before but never in my life did I ever think I'd have to take it.

It's funny. When I was pregnant, time went by so slow. Now, it flies by. This past week went by so fast. I can't believe that this time last Monday I was in a self-induced sugar/pity coma. And here I am today. Feeling better but still using feeling bad as an excuse for eating stuff I really shouldn't.

My name is Kate. (Hi Kate!) I am a junk food junkie.

Today I went to Annapolis (about 20 minutes from my house) to go to the Cheesecake Factory. I ordered two pieces of cheesecake to go. I didn't eat it all but regardless, I shouldn't have eaten any of it. Sigh....I'm going to the gym this week. And no more cheesecake!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The day after

Yesterday was cold, dark and dismal. Today was warm (well, warmer anyway), sunny and still pretty dismal.

Yesterday was painful: emotionally and physically. Today was the same.

Yesterday I indulged (fine, OVER indulged) in food I avoided for the past 5 weeks or so. Today, I still indulged but threw in a few healthy items to make myself feel better about eating the bad stuff.

Yesterday I could hardly face the world. Today, I had to and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Yesterday the thought of being around other people's children brought tears to my eyes. Today, I had to go to work and be around other people's children and was surprised that they were the only things that made me smile.

Yesterday was hard. Today was too. Not as hard as yesterday, but hard nonetheless.

On a side note, can I just say how much I HATE HATE HATE maxi pads? I don't think I've worn one since I was a teenager and for whatever reason I don't think I'm supposed to use tampons while my uterus is on "self clean" so I am stuck using maxi pads. I feel like I'm wearing a diaper. And to top it all off, it leaked. So, and I'm not sure for how long, I've been walking around with a nice red dot on my butt. I probably should have bought Always or something similar but I didn't feel like having a "happy period" so I bought the cheap store brand. Serves me right I suppose.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Hello, My Love,

It's over. You're gone. It's 5:30 in the morning and I've been up most of the night with cramps. On my last trip to the bathroom I saw you. There wasn't much to you but I know it was you. Just a little blob. I just sat there and cried as I watched you circle the bowl. I knew it was all over. I can hardly see what I'm typing now through all the tears.

I just want to know what I did wrong. Did I not eat well enough? Did I not monitor my blood sugar well enough? What? What could I have done to avoid this? I know I shouldn't blame myself but I've got to blame someone and I'm the only one up. I didn't have the heart to wake your dad. I told him earlier I thought this was going to happen though. He let me cry on him for awhile and he told me it would all be ok. He told me we would have a baby in September. I told him he should probably start taking his vitamins again. He was wrong.

All I can think about now is that we have to tell everyone. I don't think I can do it. How can I break this to my mother? This will kill her. I think she wanted this almost as much as me. I knew we shouldn't have told anyone until 12 weeks. He wanted to share that news so he is going to have to share this news. I can't do it. I can't.

So, what next? Well, today I am throwing myself a huge pity party. I already called out of work. There is just no way I can deal with people, especially kids, today. Plus I haven't got more than a couple of hours of sleep. I plan on staying in bed most of the day with the exception of a trip to the food store to get WHATEVER I want to eat. I don't give a flying fuck about sugar, carbs, fat or calories. I don't care if my blood sugar goes through the roof. I might also have to make a pit stop at Maggie Moos for ice cream. I guess if there is a bright side to all of this, however minuscule, is that I can indulge in food now. I don't plan on doing this every day. Just today. I think I've earned a day off.

As far as trying to get pregnant again? I don't know. When I was crying on your dad earlier he asked me the same question and I gave him the same answer. I don't know. Can I go through this again? Not that being pregnant was hard. On the contrary. I just don't know if I can risk going through this kind of anguish again. What if I miscarry again? What if it's another 2.5 years before I get pregnant again. I don't know if I have it in me.

For now, I think it's just one day at a time. Cliche, I know but it fits.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hurry up and wait

Hello, My Love,

This morning was agonizing. I thought it would never be time for me to leave for my appointment. Plus, it was snowing and I was afraid they would shut the office down. I just kept looking at the clock and crossed my fingers it would stop snowing . But, finally, the time came and I left work to make my way to the doctor's. On the way, I talked to your dad and he surprised me and said he was on his way to the appointment and needed the address. Needless to say, I was very happy he was going to be there with me.

So, after all the paperwork, the weigh in, height check, urine sample, talking and all that routine stuff, it was time for the exam. I expected her to check my ta-tas and nether reigons but a finger in the pooper, I did NOT! Hello! Nice to meet you! I'm hoping that was a one time thing.

She started with an abdominal ultrasound and could definitely see a sac with a little blob in it. You were very small so she did a vaginal ultrasound to see if she could get a heartbeat. We could see your fetal pole but could not hear your heartbeat. She said that you were measuring small but it could be that I conceived later than I thought. She was also concerned that she didn't see the blood flowing around your heart. On the ultrasound there are different colors that show up where the blood flows and she couldn't get any colors to show up around your heart. But I definitely saw it flickering. As of right now, you are alive. Please stay that way.


My original appointment was supposed to be next Friday, the 13th and now I am going back for a follow up on the same day. I also had blood drawn today and am going back this Friday to have it drawn again to make sure my HCG numbers are doubling.

So now we wait. Again. I guess that's the way it's going to go for the next 7 months. If I'm lucky. I am part Irish....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bed in

Hello, My Love,

So, after a bit of a scare yesterday, I've decided to take it easy today. Let me back it up a bit so you know what happened. Your dad and I went to the mall yesterday to see a movie and spent a few hours walking around before it started. We had been there for about hour or so when I went to use the bathroom and saw more spotting and this time it was more red than brown. Still no cramping, but it scared me nonetheless. I figured it was from all the walking around so after the movie we went home and I stayed off my feet for the rest of the night. The spotting continued but did dwindle down and went back to brown by the end of the night.

Fast forward to today and it is now 5:10 PM and I am still in bed. Other than using the bathroom and grabbing some food from the kitchen that is where me and your dad have been all day. Kind of like John and Yoko but without the political message attached. Your dad hasn't been feeling too hot so he was planning on spending the day in bed anyway so everything just worked out this way. I had some more reddish spotting this morning but it's seemed to have stopped. At least for now. I just keep telling myself that I only have a few more days to finally see what's going on.

So what have we done all day? Well, there really isn't much to do other than watch tv. We've watched a marathon of To Catch a Predator. Those guys are such idiots. And almost every one says the same damn thing - "I was just coming over here to talk." Meanwhile, they have a pocketful of condoms and lube, a bag of alcohol and camera in their pocket. So pathetic.

I'm about to start our taxes online to get an idea of what to expect. I'm still waiting for the tax forms from my IRA and my money market account. I'm hoping that since both have taken a HUGE beating I will get a nice tax refund. Wishful thinking I'm sure. After we get all the forms in we'll take it to H&R Block to see what they come up with. Then we compare it to what we got online and decide which is the better way to go. We might get more with H&R Block but depending on how much they charge us it may make more sense to do it online. We'll just have to wait and see.

Back to our regularly scheduled Bed In.