Dear Maternity Leave,
Tomorrow morning I leave you. 6 months we had together. 6 of the most interesting and 6 of the most boring. When I think back over the last 6 months, it simultaneously feels like a couple of weeks as well as a couple of years.
Despite having two babies, I’ve gotten the best sleep of the last 5 years. The stress, the heartbreak, it’s all gone. Sleeepless nights with screaming babies is nothing compared to that. The snuggles, the kisses, the love…I feel like I have it all.
But alas, it’s over. No more 2am viewings of the 6th season of The Hills. No more trying to juggle one crying baby and one sleepless baby all alone in Kohls. Instead, it’ll be packing up diaper bags and filling bottles for daycare, snuggling in the few precious hours between the end of work and early bedtimes.
I’m going to miss you, my maternity leave, but I’m also excited to get back to work. I’ll be working 4 days a week for the first 6 month back, and I will treasure that day with my girls and also for some respite, however small, from the constant juggle of work and family which is still so new to me.
I enjoyed some leisurely lunches with friends, some alcoholic drinks on summer nights that I haven’t done in a really long time, dyed my hair, and most of all, basked in the happiness that I searched for for so long. So farewell, maternity leave, so great it was to have you, to have the time to learn the ins and outs of motherhood, to bond with my girls. I’ll remember this time so fondly for the rest of my life.
Oh life. It has a-changed. Of course it’s to be expected, but it’s severely cut down on my blogging in a way I didn’t expect. I still have lots of pics, but not a lot of time to write anything but stream-of-consciousness, if that. And not much time to upload said pics. I’m debating switching to Tumblr (now that I’ve figured out what it is) but until then…
The cloth diapering routine is going swimmingly now. We switched to AIOs in May and dropped the diaper service (and prefolds and covers!) around the same time. I am the proud owner of around 48 Bumgenius FreeTimes which are just about as easy as disposables (except for the constant wash, dry and repeat cycle). Love!
At night we are still doing disposables. I really want to change to hemp doublers and the like but for now we have a routine and it’s hard to make yourself break out of it. We are however, using Bambo diapers.
We went through a ton of “green diapers” in an attempt to find the best one for us. During this time I lost a lot of trust in 7th Generation, primarily because of how greenwashed their diapers are. I cannot of been the first one taken in by their “brown” diapers – thinking they were “natural” (i.e. not chlorine bleached because they were brown). But in fact, 7th Generation actually DYES their diapers brown. What the heck?
In addition, 7th Gen diapers are not biodegradable or compostable, are not made with all-natural materials, and are not super absorbent. They are, however, chlorine, fragrance, and latex free.
I found this huge review of tons o’ diapers on Baby Gear Lab which ranked Earth’s Best as one of the best in terms of “green-ness” and affordability, but it never worked out well for us. They fit strangely on our girls and did not absorb as well as the reviews on Baby Gear Lab said. That, or my girls are heavy pee-ers because they leaked through nightly unless we changed the diapers again before we went to sleep. Which meant that we needed to wake them up, and who wants to wake a baby up? And…sure the diapers might be greener, but using 2 diapers (each) per night vs. one doesn’t seem very green to me!
So we ended up trying out the most expensive and supposedly most-absorbent disposable diaper on the review list, Bambo. But it’s also the only diaper in the world with the Nordic Swan Eco-Label (the official sustainability ecolable for the Nordic countries). The Nordic swan is a “voluntary license system where the applicant agrees to follow a certain criteria set outlined by the Nordic Ecolabelling in cooperation with stakeholders. These criteria include environmental, quality and health arguments. The criteria levels promote products and services belonging to the most environmentally sound and take into account factors such as free trade and proportionality (cost vs. benefits).”
According to Abena (the manufacturer of Bambo):
- Only wood pulp deribed from sustainable forestry is used.
- Zero chlorine is used in the bleaching process.
- No chemicals/compounds from the Substances of Very High Concern are used.
- No know substances that are harmful to health or the environment, such as:
*Organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT)
*Any chemical or compound that is known as locally irritating or sensitizing.
In addition, Abena says it adheres to requirements on resource consumption, placing criteria on factory emissions into the air, water and land, and they do not use an optical brighteners, skin care lotions, perfumes, essential oils or odor eliminators in their diapers. They have designed an AWESOME absorbent core (I can attest to this!) with less SAP (the gel like stuff that is responsible for absorption in disposable diapers) by using a new wheat starch absorber.
Overall, Bambo is 80% biodegradable. It supposedly is easy to deconstruct for easy composting, but who does that in reality?
The big elephant in the room is the price. I buy them off Amazon for approx. 40 cents each, whereas Target diapers go for about 6 cents each! Huge difference, but I am justifying it because we use only 2 per day (overnight). Besides, Earth’s Best diapers are about 30 cents each so it’s not THAT huge a difference.
Still, I would prefer to go cloth all the way, and as they get older I will probably go for it. I love that by using my AIO’s until the end of the year they will have paid for themselves. That means from 11 months old till they are potty trained, I will be saving tons of money by continuing to use these. Plus, I can resell them for probably half their original value after we stop using them. Win win!
So my crunchy life is filled primarily with diapers right now, and formula and breast milk. Such interesting stuff, ha! But I’m hoping we are starting off on the right foot and that I can teach my children about the choices they make in this life – the effects upon their own bodies, their own communities, and of course, the Earth. Fingers crossed!
Now, who am I kidding? I need Tumblr for the brevity, because I don’t have time for these long posts, but I can’t keep it short!
This past week was a poignant one for me, as nearly every other day was supposed to have been a baby date. Tuesday the 12th was a possible induction date, followed by 2/13/13, a date I’ve though about since last June as I thought it was such an awesome day for a birth date (I love the number 13!) Then Friday the 15th came, the day a c-section was scheduled for when the girls were both breech. And finally, Sunday the 17th – that magical 38th week mark that was our “technical” due date that we were given way back when. Our “official” due date, March 3rd, 2013, was never going to happen once we found out there were twins.
It’s so crazy to think about that this is the week these girls were supposed to come into our lives. They are 3 weeks old today, and it feels like it’s been months! They are officially out of the preemie size – both in clothes and diapers; I can’t believe it happened so quick. 3 weeks going on 30!
The cloth diapers from our diaper service were dropped off today and the Thirsties I ordered should be here on Wednesday! I’m very excited to get started and away from the disposables (7th generation) that we’ve been using. Even the few weeks that have passed have made me cringe with the amount of diapers we’ve thrown away.
I have a few wool covers I purchased earlier and yesterday I finally opened them.
I love Loveybums because they’re a family owned and operated business located locally – in western Massachussetts! Each diaper came with a little packet of lanolin, and I dissolved two pea-sized bits of lanolin in a small tub of tepid water, and then soaked the wool covers for 15-20 minutes, before gently wringing and using a towel to press water out of them, then hanging them to dry. The lanolin will act as a wetness barrier (sort of “waterproofing” the cover) so it’s important to do before using.
This is a great site on how to lanolize!
I prefer wool because it’s a more natural fabric, as opposed to the PUL (more plasticky fabrics that most diaper covers are made out of). But when I realized how few newborn covers I have, I went and ordered 8 Thirsties of different colors to fill out the rest of my newborn diaper stash.
I’ve heard great things about these – and hope they do the trick!