January 18, 2013

A very special post by Heather

"All children are beautiful when they are loved."  ~Bertha Holt

This is perhaps the most difficult post I've ever written, not because I'm sad or broken, but because I know this isn't what you're expecting.  Usually our blog posts are about diapers, or maybe parenting, or a fun giveaway.  This isn't that post.  

In late July, we found out to our utter shock that we were expecting baby #3.  Why was I so shocked?  First, because I'm the ultimate planner.  Nothing happens without me planning every last detail.  Second, it took 3 years to conceive our son Colby.  We had medical interventions, lots of tests, months of temping and taking ovulation tests.  I honestly never thought that we'd get pregnant without these interventions.  But despite all of that, here we were.  


It took me a long time to get used to being pregnant again.  It didn't help that I was sick for 18 weeks.  Just as I was feeling better, I had some routine blood tests.  A few days later my doctor called.  

"Your tests show a high risk for Down syndrome.  We want to do an ultrasound and some more testing."  

Normal risk for any pregnancy is 1:700.  Normal risk for a 36 year old woman is about 1:300.  My risk after this blood test was 1:28.

No problem, those tests are never accurate anyway.  We scheduled a Level II ultrasound with a specialist and were excited to find out the gender of our little bundle.  

But not so fast.  During the ultrasound they found 2 markers for Down syndrome.  Our risk was now a life-altering 1:3.  

We held it together in the doctor's office.  Afterwards we went for a quiet dinner before picking up our kids.  Neither of us ate much and I fought tears for most of the dinner.  Down syndrome?  Really?  That night I lay awake long into the wee hours, pleading with God to make our baby be okay.  Just make him healthy, I begged.  

We went back to the specialist for a blood test called Maternit21.  It's a new test that can determine with 99% accuracy whether or not a baby has Down syndrome.  For most women, this is a perfect alternative to an amniocentesis.  After the blood draw, the wait began.  

We had Thanksgiving, where we bravely went ahead with my plans to do a gender reveal pumpkin pie.  I cried as I made the cheesecake with a hidden blue layer and solemn as I later cut it in front of my husband's entire family.

Then we all had the stomach flu.  It was miserable but took my mind off the wait.  Finally, 2 weeks after the blood draw, the genetics counselor called.  

"The test is positive for Trisomy 21.  Your baby has Down syndrome."

I would like to say I took the news stoically.  I did not.  I cried and cried.  My husband was home at the time, but missed hearing the phone call.  He came out to where I had been working in the garage and asked a question about something work-related.  But one look at me stopped him mid-sentence.  He got down on his knees and hugged me tight.  We stayed that way for several minutes.  Eventually he said something about it being okay, that we'd be okay.  That the baby was perfect the way he was.  That we'd love him just as we love our other two.  

The next days are a little blurry in my mind.  We met again with the genetics counselor, who politely offered to tell us about our options for termination (90% of mothers carrying a child with Down syndrome choose to terminate) or adoption (over 200 families are currently on a waiting list to adopt babies with Down syndrome).  We met with our regular OB and with our new specialist OB.  We scheduled an echocardiogram to look at our baby's heart (up to 60% of babies with Down syndrome have heart defects).  We stumbled through those first 2 weeks after diagnosis.  I read a lot on Ds, I joined the local support group, we secretly Googled pictures of babies with Ds when we thought no one else was looking.  

And gradually, it was okay.  We told our families, we started telling our friends, and the more we talked about Down syndrome, the more okay it was.  

I'm now 29 weeks pregnant.  The echocardiogram and a follow-up ultrasound have both shown that, so far, our baby is perfectly healthy (just as I'd begged for from God).  

If I go into labor on my own, I'll attempt a vbac.  If I don't go into labor, then on April 2 (39w2d) we will have a repeat c-section.  Both of my previous births have been cesarean, due to a variety of issues.

And the best part?  We're excited--THRILLED--to be having this baby.  I can't wait for him to be here.  Yes, there will surely be challenges, but there are challenges with every baby.  (Our son Colby cried for 4 months straight no matter what we did...oh, that was hard.)  And no matter what, this baby, Down syndrome and all, is a blessing. 


~Post written by Heather Hicks, owner of Cloth Diaper Outlet and the I Love Cloth Diapers blog

January 16, 2013

Trophy Tuesday: Win a Snap Duo Wrap and Sav 15% off them this week!

Have you tried the Thirsties Inc Duo Wraps yet?  Well now is the time!

This week you can enter to win a Snap Duo Wrap or you can save 15% when you order one at Cloth Diaper Outlet this week using code TROPHY at checkout!

Thirsties® Duo Wraps are easy to use and easier on your wallet! The adjustable rise of this wrap design means one size will last twice as long. In fact, only two sizes will cover your baby from birth all the way to potty-learning. 

Thirsties® Duo Wraps are a very trim fitting cover. They are the preferred wrap for trifolded prefold diapers and over trim fitted diapers.  For bulkier systems and/or for nighttime double stuffing, we recommend Thirsties® Diaper Cover, which has a roomier fit.

  • Machine wash warm or hot. 
  • Dry in dryer or hang to dry. 
  • Made in the USA, 100% polyester w/urethane coating - FREE of PVC, phthalates, lead, and latex
SALE:  Shop for Thirsties Snap Duo Wraps this week and SAVE 15% OFF at Cloth Diaper Outlet.

GIVEAWAY:  Enter to win a Snap Duo Wrap in the size and color of your choice (from available stock).  Enter to win via the Rafflecopter form below.

*Open to the USA & Canada only.  Winning entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reusable Nursing Pads: Softer & Better Protection against Leaks

You've made the switch to cloth diapers, but have you thought about switching to other reusable products for yourself? Switching to a reusable menstrual cup or mama cloth may sound intimidating, but let me suggest something a little easier. Try reusable nursing pads!

While I was pregnant, I had made the decision to cloth diaper our first born son. It was an easy decision and in my first trimester I was hooked! There was no changing my mind. We had chosen to cloth diaper initially for financial reasons and this of course meant wanting to breastfeed as well. Spending money on disposable diapers and formula was not something my husband and I wanted to include in our budget.

When my son was born, we began cloth diapering and I was successfully breastfeeding. I was soaking through disposable nursing pads with my heavy flow of milk. These pads were the "best" according to another mom friend and I continued to buy them because I didn't know any better. I had received an inexpensive pair of "washable nursing pads" as a baby shower gift and gave them a try once. They were extremely itchy against my skin and not very absorbent. I quickly threw them in the trash and continued wasting money on disposable pads.

Then I got to thinking, there has to be a better solution! If I'm using cloth diapers and washing those, why am I not looking for another option for nursing pads? I mean, the diapers were full of poop and I was putting that through my washer. My shirts were already stained with milk. It just made sense to find a reusable solution. Yes, I had tried that one set of reusable pads, but surely there had to be something of better quality. So I started researching and purchased a few different pads.

I was impressed by the softness against my skin, the lack of leaks and the cost savings! One package of reusable pads was about the cost of one box of disposable. It just made sense, both logically and financially. Not only could I wash them again and again for the whole year that I nursed my son, but I have saved them to use with future children. I worried they wouldn't work for overnight and they did! Sometimes after nursing, I would have to change to a clean set, but for the most part, I didn't have any issues. You couldn't see them through my shirts and they contained leaks while in public better than any disposable pad I had tried.

Before cloth diapering, we recycled, but didn't really now much about other green ways of living. Cloth diapering opened up a whole new world of greener living!

Cloth Diaper Revival 

January 15, 2013

Winner of our Wolbybug OS Diaper Cover Giveaway is...

Time to announce a lucky winner!

Last week our giveaway was for a Wolbybug OS Diaper Cover from Cloth Diaper Outlet!

According to Rafflecopter the lucky winner is Carrie C!  Carrie has already been emailed.  Thank you all for entering.  Please make sure to check back for our next great Trophy Tuesday Giveaway!