Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just because...

I don't want the circumcision post on the top of the page. lol. Honestly I'm worried about that post. I don't mind discussion but this is such a tender subject I'm afraid of insulting someone I care about.

So here's your daily dose of Connor spam:

A tough topic

This post turned in to a book, and I'm sorry. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, I tried to make each point easy to find so you can skim through the rest. It also reads like a term paper. I don't know why I took such a monotone approach to this.

Some friends and family members have discovered (either by seeing his diaper being changed or by outright asking) that we have decided not to have Connor circumcised. Now, many parents consider this a very private matter and they choose not to discuss it. I, on the other hand, am fine with talking about it to anyone who is curious about our choice. So, I thought I would share some of my research with you so that you can see why we made this choice. I am more than happy to answer any questions anyone might have, and I can expand on any of this information if anyone is interested. I really have done my homework on this because surgery on my infant son, no matter how minor, is a big deal to me and I wanted to understand everything there was to understand about it. I started to research it when I first got pregnant because I assumed we would be doing it, so I wanted to understand what was going to happen. Needless to say, what I found changed my mind.

I would also like to say that circumcision is still legal and common in the United States, and therefore it is up to each parent to decide what they should do for their child. The American Medical Association refuses to take a hard stance on the issue, and basically leave it that they don't recommend routine infant circumcision, but they think parents should research it themselves and make their own choice. Some of my views on the subject teeter on the edge of insulting those who choose to do it. But you see, I'm one of those kind of people who can disagree with someone and still love and respect them. Just because you might have made a different choice doesn't mean I feel you are a bad parent or that I don't love and respect you just as much as I did before. So please, if anything I say hurts anyone who is reading this, I offer my heartfelt apologies. My goal is to inform, not to insult.

Point blank, there is no medical reason for it. It is cosmetic surgery, plain and simple. Insurance companies (including private and government funded state insurances) are dropping it all over the country. I will attempt to counter some of the reasons you may often hear in favor of the surgery.

~The Bible says we should circumcise.

It's true that the Old Testament orders boys to be circumcised as their first covenant with God (Genesis 17: 10-14). However, the New Testament does away with this law. Here is a quote:

Galatians Chapter 5

2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

~I don't' want my son to be teased for being different.

Today, about 50% of boys are being left intact. (More or less depending on what part of the country you live in. Blue states tend to have less circumcisions, while the Bible belt tends to have more. Regardless of region, the numbers are dropping nationwide in every part of the country) This means that by the time Connor is in a position where others would see his penis (the locker room, with a girl, etc) he won't be "different." He will be just like half of the boys in his age group. It would be like teasing someone for having brown hair.

~I want my son to look like his daddy.

Connor won't look like his daddy in the first place. Just talking about genitals alone, he will be smaller and have no pubic hair. Of course that's not even mentioning the rest of his body, which is smaller, chubbier, and far less hairy. ;) If he ever does ask, I will simply tell him that when daddy was a baby, they thought it was good to cut off part of the skin on his penis. Now we know that we don't have to do that so I decided not to do it to him.

~I don't want my son to get infections.

The risk of urinary tract infections raises by less than 1% during the first year of life if the foreskin is left intact. After the first year the numbers are the same. We don't surgically alter any other body part simply for infection prevention. Ear infections are very common in babies, but we don't put tubes in their ears as a preventative measure at birth. We wait until there is a problem and then we treat it.

~If my son is uncircumcised, his future wife will get infections.

That's a lot of power to give to a flap of skin. I honestly don't understand the logic behind this idea, but I've heard some very intelligent women claim that it happened to them. What is more likely is that they were passing an infection back and forth between their partner. When one partner gets an infection, many times both people need to be treated even if they don't both show symptoms. The fact is that the labial folds on a woman are a MUCH better breeding ground for bacteria than the foreskin, and women should always urinate and shower after being intimate. Men need to keep themselves clean, whether they are circumcised or not. Yes, it's more important for an uncircumcised man to be careful with his hygiene because bacteria can breed inside the foreskin, but I wouldn't want to be with a circumcised man who didn't wash himself either.

Besides, 80% of the worlds men are intact. If they were walking infections, America wouldn't be the only country in the Western world so still perform routine infant circumcision.

~Uncircumcised men have a higher risk of cancer.

Yes, if I circumcise Connor he won't be able to get cancer on that particular piece of skin. If you cut off your finger, you won't be able to get cancer in your finger either. The comparison is sadly accurate. The foreskin is the only place on the whole body that is surgically altered for reasons of cancer prevention. It's true that some women who are predisposed to breast cancer and who have tested positive for several factors will have a mastectomy in order to prevent cancer. But these women, like I said, have a higher risk of breast cancer than the rest of the population. I suppose if there was a long line of penile cancer in our family that would make me weigh this topic more heavily.

~Uncircumcised men have a higher risk of contracting HIV

The study that suggested this idea is the basis of a lot of debate on it's own, and is not recognized by any major medical community. The first flaw is that it was performed in Africa, where poverty and a lack of information are undeniably at the base of the AIDS problem. Men who are of a higher social standing are more likely to be educated about safe sex, and they are also more likely to be circumcised. The fact that they have less instances of AIDS and the fact that they are circumcised are more socio-economic related than health related. Even if the study weren't so fatally flawed, I certainly wouldn't want my son thinking that he's safe from AIDS simply because he was missing a piece of skin. The simple fact is that AIDS is transferred by bodily fluids, not extra skin.

~I'm uncomfortable with the idea of cleaning under my sons foreskin.

The foreskin on an infant should never NEVER be forcibly retracted. At birth, the foreskin is attached to the glans (the head of the penis) by a tissue similar to the tissue that holds on your fingernails. By retracting his foreskin you are literally ripping his skin away from his glans. This can cause infections, adhesions, scar tissue, and later painful problems. Sometime between the ages of 2 and 10 (usually on the early side, and rarely as late as puberty) the foreskin will naturally separate and he will be able to retract it himself. He should be the first one to ever do this.

~I know someone who had to be circumcised later and it was horrible for him.

The most common reason for a pubescent boy to need a circumcision is because someone forcibly retracted his foreskin when he was a baby. Believe it or not, many doctors don't even know this because they weren't taught it in medical school. A friend of mine was told by her doctor to retract the foreskin of her infant. This is a problem with our health care, not with the male body. But like I said earlier, this can cause scar tissue and adhesions, which will prevent the foreskin from naturally disconnecting itself and will be very painful.

Another common reason is phimosis, which means the foreskin is too tight to retract even after is has disconnected. First, phimosis can't be diagnosed until puberty because it can be totally normal for the foreskin to wait that long to disconnect. It's rare, but it can happen and is considered normal. Second, the use of steroid creams can loosen up the foreskin and usually correct the problem without surgery. But still, sometimes it happens and circumcision is needed.

The last reason that is commonly heard is infections in elderly men who can't care for themselves any longer. This shouldn't be looked at as a problem with the male body, but as a problem with elderly health care in this country. If you don't clean any part of the body that isn't regularly exposed to air (the underarms, between the toes, etc) then infections can happen. If a man you know got regular infections in a nursing home or under the care of someone else, you should either educate that person in how to care for your loved one or you should fire them. This isn't a problem in countries where medical staff is trained in proper care of an uncircumcised man.

~Circumcision later in life is more painful.

It's true that any man who was circumcised later in life will tell you it is painful. But think of it this way. He was put under for his surgery, and he went home with pain medication. Babies are *sometimes* given an injection to numb the site (which takes away about 50% of the pain) and are sent home with no form of pain relief at all. Some doctors just give the baby a pacifier dipped in sugar water and call it good. Just because he doesn't remember it doesn't mean it's ok.

~Uncircumcised penises are dirty.

The care for an uncircumcised penis isn't nearly what some people make it out to be. Once it naturally separates from the glans, all he has to do is pull the foreskin back (it takes two fingers) and wash with soap and water. It's only one small extra step, since we would hope he will be washing his penis with soap either way.

~Circumcision is a simple little snip. It's not very painful and they won't remember it anyway.

While it's true that Connor wouldn't remember the surgery if we had chosen to have it done, the idea that it's not painful is very very untrue. Some doctors have started to use a local anesthesia, but even this is painful because it is a large needle inserted directly into the penis. Some babies scream in pain. Some don't make a peep and seem to be drifting off to sleep. Why the difference? Recent studies tracking brain waves show that the ones who seem to be calm are actually on the verge of passing out from shock. A needle and a pacifier dipped in sugar water are NOT enough to erase the pain. Studies show that even with anesthesia, the pain is only reduced by about 50%. If you're interested in how the procedure is done, you can click here for part one and here for part two. WARNING: This is extremely graphic footage of an actual infant circumcision. Please don't have the kids around and wear your headphones because the baby screams very loudly.

~Uncircumcised penises are ugly

First of all, penises aren't exactly pretty no matter what. Second, I think every part of my precious son is perfect, and I intend to leave him that way. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming...

I was going to do my controversial post today because I basically have it all typed out, but something MUCH more important has come up.

I finally got a smile on camera! Woot!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stuffy nose and internal battle

Nothing too exciting happened today. More smiles, but more fussiness too. His nose is a little bit stuffy, and he HATES it when I get out the drops and nose sucker thing. (Nose Sucker Thing is a technical term, btw.) But he has trouble eating with his nose stuffy, so he deals with it.
I'm arguing with myself over whether or not I should make a post about circumcision. Any moms on here who have spent any time at all on parenting boards know how heated this topic can get. Half of me wants to just leave it alone, but the other half of me wants to spread information to those who might not have gone looking for it on their own.

*sigh* Tough decisions.

Here's a picture of Connor taking a nap a couple of days ago. Don't worry, we only let him sleep on his tummy when we're right there in the room.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First smiles!

I haven't caught one on camera yet, but we are getting REAL smiles now! He loves to play with me in his crib, which is great because I can leave him alone for a few minutes at a time and actually get dressed and eat in the morning now. I lay him down and we play with his elephant for a while, he talks to the baby in his mirror, and watches his mobile. He just smiles and talks and it's awesome to watch. I was really starting to feel the blues creep up on me the past few days, but now he's giving me all of these smiles and it just melts away all of my problems!
This is the closest I've gotten so far:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baby signs!

I mentioned in an earlier post that we plan to use sign language to help Connor commuincate in the months leading up to actual first words. Baby signing is still fairly controversial. A lot of people will tell you that it hinders speech, that it will make a baby speak later and use less words because they depend on sign language to communicate. At first glance this makes sense, but the farther you dig into the research the more it makes sense to use sign language to start the learning process of how to communicate.

First, the big thing that people miss is talking while you sign. I'm not trying to teach him how to say "more" with his hands, I'm trying to teach him to say "more" in any way I can. A parent should NEVER use sign language instead of spoken words. The word should always be used with the sign.

Now that that's out of the way, here's the basic logic. At around 7 months or so, a baby understands the basic concept of communication. He will raise his arms when he wants to be held, he will point to a toy that he can't reach, and he understands much of what you say to him. He understands that people communicate ideas to each other through words and physical gestures. But if he is hungry, he has no way of telling me that. If his tummy hurts, he has no way to tell me that. If he's bored, tired, uncomfortable, in pain, etc. This is very frustrating for a baby, and it's the cause of a lot of crying at that age before they gain the ability to verbalize.

By teaching him a few signs (more, food, milk, play, diaper, mommy, daddy, etc) that he will use every day, we bypass that frustration. Now he can tell me what he wants. Of course I will constantly use spoken words and encourage him to do the same, but without that frustration in the way, he can pay more attention to learning how communication works and less time crying about not being able to get what he wants or needs.

To sum it up, babies who sign not only speak earlier than non-signers, they experience less frustration, develop larger vocabularies, become better readers, and even have IQ’s that are at least 10-12 points higher. There was one study that used finger signing (using letters only) with school aged kids who had trouble with spelling. Within months the spelling scores for the kids in the program went from D averages to B averages. Signing triggers different parts of the brain in order to work. Basically a baby learning sign language is learning how to learn.

Here are a few websites about baby sign and the benefits. There is a link to an ASL browser in the sidebar.

This is a really neat video of a baby signing. I can't get it to embed because blogger is arguing with me.

And, of course, a new picture of Connor in a super snazzy all-in-one diaper.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another theory

Connor's rash is almost all gone again. I came up with another theory on what is causing it. I really don't think it's regular diaper rash just because of where it is and how it looks. Plus switching to disposables gets rid of it. I really think it's his pee reacting with the soap because it's happening right where his diapers get the most wet. We change him at MOST every three hours because that's as long as he sleeps.

But like I said, I came up with another theory. We use cold water in our washing machine. That's it, just cold, no hot at all because it's not even hooked up. Well, cold water doesn't rinse as well as hot water, which means that no matter how many times I rinse, there could still be soap on them. Chris has extremely sensitive skin and I have a mild allergy to soap just like my mom, so this makes sense.

In any case, two women offered to send me some all-in-one and pocket diapers that their babies have grown out of. These are better because they have a layer in them that pulls the moisture away from the skin and they aren't as bulky so no wet fabric is touching his thighs. So we'll try these for a while and see what happens, and Chris will hook up hot water to the washer. In the meantime, I'll be going to the laundry mat to do an extra hot rinse with all of the diapers. We have a big enough stash so I only have to do laundry every 3 or 4 days, so this won't be a huge deal. They have a front loader there that will hold as much as I can carry. In a pinch I can even rinse them myself in the sink or shower, plus we still have disposables on hand.

Yes, I am insanely dedicated to cloth diapering. I know you all think I'm crazy, but these bumps in the road are worth it to me. Besides, you love me anyway. ;)

One more thing. I'm going to be selling the rest of his newborn clothes on craigslist probably tomorrow sometime. If anyone wants first dibs, I think I'm going to ask $25 for the whole lot. It's a Target bag full of boy stuff (onesies, rompers, sleepers, and sleep sacks), most of it was never even worn. I would just give it away, but I already gave away all of the gender neutral stuff and I really need a few more things in 3-6 month size for him. I have enough to get by until laundry day, but I really do need a few more pieces. So that's the only reason I'm selling them instead of just passing them down. If you want them or know someone with a newborn boy, these are some seriously great clothes.
Another bathtime picture:

One of his new cloth diapers:

Monday, July 21, 2008

One problem gone, another arises

Well, his runny nose is all cleared up. Call it first time mommy paranoia because it lasted about 3 whole hours and I was panicking!
The diaper rash has come back though. I'm at a total loss for what to do. Cloth diapers are supposed to prevent rashes, not cause them. At first I thought it was his urine reacting with the soap we make, since it has some harsh chemicals in it. (Borax, washing soda, and Ivory soap) So I stripped them to make sure all of the soap was out and I used a soap that's free of dyes and perfumes and that is recommended for cloth diapers by several websites and hundreds of moms. But yesterday it came back. The thing is, it doesn't even look like a rash. Rashes, whether diaper rash or a yeast rash, have bumps or spots, but this looks like a burn! I just can't make sense of it.

So, we're back to disposable diapers and I am so frustrated. I'm still looking for a cause, but unless someone comes up to me and has been through it and solved it with their own baby, I just can't bring myself to put him back in the cloth diapers. I'm really disappointed because, cost aside, there are so many reasons that cloth is better. Of course the cost is bothering me too, because the investment we made in the covers was fairly big considering they haven't even paid for themselves yet. In a month or so, if I still don't have any answers, at least I can resell them and make most of my money back. I was just really looking forward to cloth diapering him. But if he's getting a rash when he's never in a diaper for longer than a 3 hour nap, what are we going to do when he starts sleeping through the night?

Chris says this shouldn't bother me so much, and he's probably right. But something is hurting my baby and I can't figure out what it is. I've always relied on research to solve so many problems, and none of my research is telling me what's wrong here. I have a doctor's appointment for myself tomorrow, so if it's still there I'll bring him in to see if she can identify it. I also have a WIC appointment this morning, so maybe she'll have a clue. I am just ripping my hair out over this!

In the meantime, here's a picture I snapped of him in my arms yesterday. I was trying to catch a smile because he is REALLY smiling at me now when I catch him in the right mood, but every time the little green light came on to focus, he stopped.

Edited to add: I just checked my email (why didn't I do that first? I have no idea) and I have TWO moms from one of my message board offering to send me new diapers! Well, they're used, but cloth diapers are constantly being sold used because they're so easy to sanitize. So if it's my soap or something in the diapers, I'll know! Between the two of them, I'll have almost enough diapers to throw away the prefolds I've been using if they happen to be the problem! Of course, I'll be doing laundry every day, but it would be do-able! Yay!!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stuffy noses and PS3's

Nothing too exciting has been going on today. Connor was really fussy and last night he acted like he had a little bit of a stuffy nose, so we're wondering if maybe he caught the cold that I've been hearing about. Nobody in the house has it though. I asked his doctor about it on Thursday and she told me what to look for and when to panic, so we're just taking care of him the best we can and hoping we're wrong. With all of the fires that have been around here it's possible that he just got irritated by the smoke. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
Here are a couple shots from a little photo shoot we played with tonight. He's turning in to his Daddy already!

Friday, July 18, 2008

I think I got it...

Grandpa Bill feeding Connor at about 2 weeks old.

Ok, I think I'm done changing the template around here. I really liked the monkey one, but it was in the new blogger format which means I don't know how to change or add anything. This one is in the classic style so at least I can play with the sidebar.

Speaking of which, I've played with the sidebar. :) I added Connor's Amazon wishlist just in case anyone is interested, a great site for ordering cloth diapers and accessories, and a browser for American Sign Language because we plan to do baby signing with Connor when he's a little bit older. I'll have to remember to make a post on baby signing because it is really cool. We're all very excited to really start.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One month check-up

Connor had his one month check up today! Everything looks GREAT. He weighed in at 10lbs 12oz, which is almost a 2 pound gain! He measured 23 1/4 inches, which means he grew an inch and a half. All of his milestones are right on track or ahead of schedule, and he is healthy as a horse. (I've never understood that saying. Who says all horses are healthy?)

He has another appointment on the 17th of August, where we'll be getting the dreaded 2 month vaccinations. Vaccinations scare the life out of me, but I think it's still for the best. But if you know me, you know I'll spend the next month reading and researching every little thing they're about to inject into my baby!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Connor is just growing so fast, it's getting harder and harder to keep him entertained. He acts like he's frustrated at his lack of ability to really do anything. So today I did an experiment. I put blankets all around him in his excersaucer and sat down to see if he liked it. He LOVED it! Of course he still isn't even close to sitting up, so I had to be right there in case a blanket slipped, but it was a really fun time!
Tomorrow is his 1 month check up. I can't wait to see how big he is! I think I might just have to go against everything I believe in and buy a scale for the house.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The 411 on our diapering system

So I get a lot of funny looks when people find out we're using cloth diapers. I thought I would go ahead and take this opportunity to educate the masses on just how easy it is. Presenting: my cloth diaper tutorial. Featuring Snuggle Bear, Aunt Carolyn's afghan, a prefold cloth diaper, a Thirsties brand cover, and a Snappi.

First, I'll show you the tools:

This is a prefold diaper. It's the kind that your grandma (and my mom) used, and many mom's still use today as burp cloths.

This is a cover. This particular cover is Thirsties brand. Note the Velcro. Velcro is your friend:

This is a Thirsties cover open. Notice that the inside is shiny? It's Polyurethane Laminate, which is a highly breathable, yet water proof material. This means that after a wet diaper, I can simply wipe out the inside of the cover and lay it out to dry for the next diaper change. I have three different covers, but I didn't want this to last forever so I just used the one.

This is a Snappi. Snappi's have taken the place of pins.

This is the back of a Snappi. See the teeth? You'll understand how it works better in a bit.

Now to the fun part. Grab your prefold diaper and fold it in thirds. (Note, this fold is for boys. If you were diapering a girl, you would turn it sideways and then fold it in to thirds so that there is more fabric in the middle. With a boy I want more fabric up front.)

Fold the front up so it fits and pull the tops out a bit:

Lay down your baby. (I thought about using Connor for this, but first, he wiggles a lot. And second I'd have to go back and edit the pictures to retain his privacy, and that's a lot of work.)

Pull the front up and attach the Snappi. To attach a Snappi, you just hook it on to one side of the diaper, hold it tight, attach it to the other side, and then stretch it down toward the bottom. Now you have a diapered baby. You could really stop here, but since there is no waterproof layer, things get a bit messy as soon as the baby wets.

So, you add in the cover. This part is just like a disposable.

The only trick is you have to make sure all of the cloth is inside the cover. If any cloth is peeking through, the moisture will "wick" up through the cloth and get on your baby's clothes.

Ta-da! See how easy cloth is! If you are breastfeeding, all you have to do is throw the diaper in the diaper pail and wash every 2-3 days, depending on how many diapers you have. If you are using formula or if the baby is eating solids, then you need to get the poop off of the diaper before you wash it. (Breast milk poop is water soluble, so it washes away just like anything else. Formula poop will just smear and make a huge mess in the washer. Not cool)

To get the poop off of the diaper, you have two basic options. You can swish it in the toilet until the solids come off, or you can buy a diaper sprayer. A diaper sprayer is just like a sprayer that you have on your kitchen sink, but it's designed to attach to your toilet. I don't have one yet, but it's totally on my Christmas list.

Once your diapers are poop free, you just throw it in the wash with no more than half of the normal amount of detergent you usually use. You'll want to be picky about your detergent though. Some detergents are bad for diapers because they clog the fibers of the material and make them less absorbent. Click here for a list of safe detergents. You want to do a cold rinse (for stain removal), a hot wash, and an extra rinse to make sure all of the detergent is rinsed away. Fabric softeners are also bad for the absorbency of the cloth, so you'll want to skip those. Since I don't have hot water hooked up to my washing machine, I add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil as an antiseptic to make sure no ickies are lingering around, waiting to give my baby a rash.

Another stain fighting technique is the sun. If you hang your diapers to dry in the sun you are almost guaranteed to stay stain free. The only down side is that the sun can make the diapers less than silky smooth, so I always toss them in the dryer for 10 minutes to soften them up. Dryer sheets are also bad for diapers, so you'll want to skip those as well.

For more reasons to cloth diaper, click here or here or even here.

And just because I can't make a post without a Connor picture in it, here he is, very angry, after a bath in a Prowrap brand cover. He really does love the bath, he just hates to get out and get dressed.


Sorry to anyone who tried to comment and couldn't. The blog automatically sets itself so that only people with blogger accounts can comment! It should be fixed now. Please let me know if you have any problems by emailing me at

Monday, July 14, 2008

Big boy, eating habits, smiles, and cloth diapers

In just about 12 hours Connor will be a month old. I can't wait until his appointment on the 17th to have him weighed. His has grown SO much. A friend of mine has a baby who is 6 weeks older than Connor, and they are almost the same size. It's crazy.

He is really moving along developmentally too. He is holding his head up really good. He doesn't have a lot of control over it yet, but he is really trying. He's starting to play with his toys too. If we put a toy in his hand he will shake it around to make it make noise. If we put one near him when he's laying down, or hold it above his head, he bats at it. He's been doing this for about a week and a half now. He focuses on us and even follows us around with his whole head if we walk by. He's even really watching things across the room even though everyone says he can only see 18 inches in front of his face.

He's really starting to smile too. At first I kept telling everyone it was gas or sleepiness because I didn't want to get my hopes up too high. But I've seen a couple of them that were clearly smiles. His whole face lights up. It's really amazing to watch. He hasn't found his feet yet, but his hands are a constant source of entertainment.

We did end up moving to a bottle. Part of me is sad, but it was just too much for me mentally. I know that I could have struggled through it, but I felt like I was missing those first weeks of him that I would never get back and it was making me very sad. But now we're both much happier and he is obviously VERY healthy! We're using Enfamil Lipil with iron, and he almost never spits up with it so we got lucky with the first brand we tried. He eats like a champ too. He's up to about 4 ounces per feeding now, and he's eating at least every 3 hours.

We hit a bump in the road with the cloth diapers, but I'm pretty sure we're past it. We've been making our own laundry soap for over a year now, and I read somewhere that it was good for diapers. (Some soaps clog up the fibers in cloth diapers and make them lose their absorbency) Well, it looks like something in the soap was reacting with his urine and gave him a nasty burn-like rash on his thighs. Poor little guy. I stripped the soap out of them and we have a new laundry detergent now that I've heard good things about from dozens of cloth diapering moms. So, since he looks all healed up now, we'll be going back to cloth tomorrow.

Our birth story

I suppose this blog should start with Connor's birth story!

First, the stats: Connor Phoenix Allen Randles was born on Father's Day, June 15th, 2008 at 8:32am in Bakersfield, California. He was 9lbs even and 21.3 inches long. He had a full head of blonde hair, fair skin, and long monkey toes just like his Daddy.

I got to the hospital for induction on Saturday, the 15th of June (7 days past my due date) and they started the pitocin drip at about 10:30am. At about 11:30 the doctor came in and broke my water. The contractions slowly started coming as the hours wore on. At first they were really small, but they slowly got stronger and stronger.

By 9:00pm or so the contractions were one on top of the other with no break and I was stuck at 2 cm. The way the Dr. explained it was because of the surgery I had years ago, there was scar tissue on my cervix acting as a rubber band of sorts, keeping me closed up. He said that eventually his head would break it and then I would progress quickly. The constant contractions without a break and the picture in my head of a rubber band snapping was enough to convince me that an epidural was a good idea.

The anesthesiologist came in at about 9:30 and gave me the epidural. It was not fun, and took about 15 minutes to do. Once he was done I started feeling better instantly, but inserting the needle was really painful.

Once I got the epidural things slowed down a bit, but by about 4am I had gone to 5cm and I was ready to push by 6am. But, the epidural made it really hard for me to push because I couldn't feel anything. When I first got the epidural the nurse put a pillow under my right hip to stop the medicine from pooling in my back, which would make it stop working. Well, instead it pooled on my left side so I was feeling everything on my right, but I couldn't even lift my left leg. We got almost to the point of crowning when the nurse decided that we should let me labor a bit longer and just wait for the doctor. (He was the only one on call and he was pulled in to an emergency, so it was me and two nurses) The anesthisiologist came in and bumped up my epidural at about 6:30am and I went to sleep.

The doctor came in at about 8:00 and started me pushing again. Even though the epidural was stronger this time, (and actually working on both sides) he was able to get me in a better position and Connor was out in 3 pushes. He had a big bulb on his head from sitting so low for those hours, but it was gone within an hour or so. I ended up with 3 stitches but he isn't even bruised.

We got off to a great start with breastfeeding, but ran into some latch problems early the morning and the nurse encouraged me to give him a bottle because I was getting frustrated. By the next feeding the lactation consultant had come in and she got us back on track.

My dreams of a natural birth were out the window from the get-go, but I don't care at all. I don't think I could care less about anything now that he's here and healthy.

Can I keep up?

I'm going to attempt to use this as a way to keep family and friends updated on how things are going in our little family now that Connor has arrived. For now I'm going to be working on making things look nice, and hopefully I'll be able to update at least once or twice a week.