March 22, 2011

{at 5 months...}

Me and Lukka are both very sick with a freak cold... He turned 6 months last Friday, and on the same day "acquired" his first cold. It's breaking my heart to listen to his little coughs and wheezy breathing, please pray for a quick recovery (for both of us!)

So, with any further ado, here's what little Lukka accomplished this past month.

At 5 months, Lukka...

... weighs 22 lbs 8 oz (taken at home).

... is still wearing 12 months clothing (hooray!).

... is still wearing large AIO and fitteds, and unsnapped one-size diapers (what will he wear next??).

... started sleeping for 6-8 hour stretches depending on the day. Slept for 10 hours straight 4 days in a row, OH BLISS!

... is still being exclusively breastfed. Planning on starting solids at 6 or 7 months.

... sits by himself! Still takes an occasional tumble, but is doing pretty good.

... puts E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in his mouth, bites with passion, but no teeth yet.

... is addicted to cups. Can't see a cup without wanting to hold it, lick it, analyze it.

... has amazing strength! His legs are chubby, but don't let them fool you! Once he gives you a good kick you'll understand...

... never wears shoes. Of any sort. Nothing fits his chubby feet.

... loves to moan and complain, doesn't like to be left alone. Is definitely a mama's boy!

... is getting more adorable and funny.

We love you baby!

March 7, 2011

{leaking diapers}

We have a long history of leaking diapers in this family. Well, not very long, since Lukka is only 5 months, but it sure does feel like it's been forever, with all the leaks we've had.

I've researched all I could about leaks, tried many different solutions, and I think I've finally discovered the culprit.

Some common reasons behind leaks are:
- over saturated diaper
- bad fit
- fabric that doesn't absorb liquid fast enough
- fabric pores clogged by residue (could be build up from pee, soap, rash cream, fabric softener, etc)
- unprepped diaper

February 21, 2011

{at 4 months...}

Friday Lukka turned 5 months, so I'm posting his 4 months update. I decided to post his monthly updates after the whole month has passed, this way I can write about all the new little things he did while he was at a specific month.

So, at 4 months Lukka...

{first hike. first Boba}

We took Lukka on his first hike yesterday. He just turned 5 months, and it was a trail with plenty of shade, so we figured it was time to give it a try!

We carried him on our new Boba Classic in Mist (green and gray). My husband carried him half of the way up, then half of the way down, and I carried him the rest of the way.

I didn't think to get a soft structured carrier till a few weeks ago. I had read reviews and even looked at prices, but didn't think it would be something this family would need. How wrong I was!

February 19, 2011

{the nightmare on akule street}

I finally decided to re-write the story behind the almost four weeks without posts. Let's hope it gets published this time!

Mid-November we finally moved to the North Shore. My husband has always bugged me wanted to move back to the "country", but since we got married (almost 5 years ago) it has been more practical to live in the city (our church, my work, our university, etc were all in Honolulu, plus the fact that I loved being in the city and that I never surf on the North Shore and rather surf "town").

February 15, 2011

{night time: a cloth diapering dilemma}

I know it's been almost one month since my last real post, I know, I know.

However, I did write a huge post on what went on with us this last month, but for some reason blogger didn't save any drafts, then gave me an error message when I hit "publish", and I lost all my work... guess it wasn't meant to be. I'll re-write the whole nightmare story some other time.

Today I want to write about cloth diapering through the night, which in this family has been VERY hard to achieve mainly because of our son being a very proficient "pee maker", and also because he is, well, a huge baby; but we did find some solutions.

February 14, 2011

January 19, 2011

{wordless wednesday: first geography lesson}

I took my family to the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites to see the USS Arizona Memorial, and there Lukka had his first geography lesson.

Yes, this is where we live. In a tiny land mass in the middle of the Pacific Ocean...

January 14, 2011

{how i wash my cloth diapers}

One of the reasons why my husband was skeptical about cloth diapering Lukka was the washing (especially poopy diapers). Well, like I told him, I'm going to be the one doing the washing and I don't mind, AND (I've said this before) it's for a good cause various excellent causes.

Here's what I routinely use for storing, rinsing, prepping, and washing dirty diapers:
  • a white plastic trash pail with a flip lid (bought at Wal Mart)
  • anti-bacterial pail liners (I have two white Kissaluvs bought from amazon)
  • bac-out spray (bought either online at the local Whole Foods)
  • charlie's soap (bought from amazon with free shipping to Hawaii!!)
  • a used tooth brush
  • a sprayer that hooks up to the toilet (also from amazon)
Here's how I use these things:

After each diaper change I toss the dirty diaper in the pail. If it's a poopy diaper I close it carefully and throw it in the pail as well.
Right when I started using cloth diapers I would immediately rinse the poopy diapers using the sprayer, but Lukka was smaller and slept more, now it's nearly impossible to rinse right away. That's where the bac-out comes in.
Bac-out is a live enzyme product, cloth diaper safe, that kills bacteria, and eliminates stains and odors. Sometimes I can't rinse the poopy diaper the same day (Lukka poops twice a day), so the next day I rinse out the poop, and spray the diaper, and the insert with bac-out, then scrub it a little with the tooth brush, rinse it and ta-da, the stain is gone. If it's a nasty stain, after scrubbing and rinsing, I spray it again with bac-out and let it sit like that, no rinsing. Bac-out comes in either spray form or in a regular bottle. The spray is more expensive, so I initially bought two, and now I buy the regular bottle and switch the cap for the spray nozzle.
I carefully planned to have a stash of diapers so I could do laundry every other day and not run out of diapers for Lukka. Right when we started I had a total of 8 diapers, and I had to wash them everyday, in the morning, so I could get them to dry in the afternoon sun (I had no dryer). Now that I have a full stash of about 25 diapers I can wash them every other day, and I can do laundry late afternoon or even at night, after Lukka is asleep (I only once went two full days without washing, and I'm committed to not doing this again).
We recently moved to the North Shore (of Oahu), and I now have a dryer in the apartment, but the lanai (balcony or terrace in Hawaiian) doesn't have direct sunlight, which means I can't really line-dry the diapers - bummer! more electric usage!
For the washing routine I usually run a quick wash with cold water, no soap. I do this so stains don't set in, and also to remove the bulk of pee. If, for some reason, I wasn't able to rinse poopy diapers by laundry day, I throw them as-is in the washer, and add a half cup of bac-out to this initial quick wash (breastfed newborn poop is water soluble, did you know that?).
Then, I do a longer wash, with hot water, and I add the soap. I usually use 1 1/4 tablespoons of Charlie's Soap.
It's important to find what soap and what amount works for you. I started with the usually indicated "half of the amount of manufacturer's instruction" and it wasn't working for me. The diapers wouldn't smell so clean after washing. So I played around until I found the right amount.
I always do an extra rinse (sometimes I do another quick wash on warm) to eliminate all the soap residue.
Then I dry everything in the dryer. The pocket diapers aren't really supposed to go in a very hot dryer, just the inserts, but I put everything in because I usually do this at night. I'd really like to line dry the diapers every single time, but for now I can only do it when I do laundry earlier in the day.
A great thing to know is that if you put stained diapers to lay in the sun, the sun will remove the stains! I used to do this at my previous apartment, works great!

Like I said, it's important to find out what works for you and your family. And always remember to try and keep water and electricity usage to a minimum, I don't think there's a need to rinse diaper a hundred times after each wash. But also remember, if anyone does need to rinse a bunch of times, it's still less water than what they use to produce a disposable diaper - however, washing diapers means you're the one directly responsible for using and paying for the water, so let's be conscious about our environment and wallets!

January 9, 2011

{at 3 months...}

I wasn't blogging yet on the 1 month and 2 months updates, so here we go, starting at 3. He turns 4 months in less than 10 days, so I'll post another update pretty soon.

So, at 3 months Lukka...

 ... weighs 17 lbs 14 oz. (taken at the doctor's appointment).

... wears 6-9 month clothing (but getting tighter and tighter pretty fast).

... wears most of his one-size cloth diapers on the medium setting.

... wears a minky blueberry one-size diaper, fully unsnapped with a microfiber insert and two hemp prefolds as inserts for night time (pretty bulky).

... no longer uses prefolds and covers (his pee is pretty acid, so he can't stay wet or else he gets red all over. i'm going to make some stay-dry fleece liners for him.

... is almost outgrowing his all-in-one ragababe diapers size Medium.

... drools constantly, everywhere, on anyone! (but especially on me!).

... is in love with his fingers. either has them in his mouth, or is licking them, or looking at them fascinated.

... is a talker. he is never silent. he's always "aahh"ing or "uhh"ing or saying "éu, éu, éu".

... laughs his toothless smile every time he wakes up and I say "bom dia!" (no matter what time it is).

... laughs pretty hard when we tickle his ribs.

... was sleeping 8 hours every night, but went back to waking up every 4 hours. :o(

... only goes to sleep at 1 or 2 am, no matter what we try or do. He's an owl.

... has to have attention ALL THE TIME! (I blame it on the full house! in a week everyone will be gone, and I'll be in trouble!)

He's getting chubbier, and cuter, and more adorable!

Love you baby Lukka!!!!

January 6, 2011

{Lukka's birth story}

Lukka's birth is starting to get fuzzy in my mind, so I decided to document it before all the little details are lost.

My due date was September 8, 2010, but everyone thought the baby would come out sooner because of the size of my belly. One day after my baby shower, 08/01/2010, I started to have strong contractions daily, and every day I thought "will it be today?".

My husband and I had been preparing for our baby's birth: we read (i.e. I read) a lot, we took Lamaze classes, we talked to friends, we bombarded my ob with questions, we had a birth plan laid out, etc. I felt calm (except for the rare wave of panic that hit me sometimes "will I be able to do this?").
I had decided to try and go with an unmedicated birth, but I wanted to be in the hospital in case of any emergencies. We got an aqua-doula (a tub) so I could labor in water (in Hawaii you can only have a water birth at home, in some hospitals you can labor in water).

Well, September 8 came and waved us goodbye, and still no Lukka. My parents had arrived late July to help us out, and in case the baby came early, so we were all hanging out, going on hikes, walking around, going to the beach, basically ALWAYS doing something to see if Lukka got some encouragement to come and see the world.

I wanted to have a natural birth, to go into labour spontaneously, so I asked my ob to wait the longest possible before inducing. I had been stuck on 2 cm for four weeks now, and having strong contractions constantly, which were obviously not doing their job of dilating me.
After 40 weeks, I started going to the hospital twice a week to monitor the baby, he was just cozy in there, lazy baby.

The doctor had scheduled an induction for September 17, and on the 16th she examined me and told me I was still stuck at 2 cm, and that my cervix was way up there still - this baby would not come out on his own before hitting 42 weeks. The next morning we were at the hospital, ready to have a baby, and I was a little disappointed in having to induce - I had really wanted things to start naturally.

I knew induced contractions were much worse than natural ones, but I still wanted to try and ride it out without taking anything.  I also knew that I wasn't going to able to eat solids because of the induction, so my mom made homemade chicken broth, we bought juices and apple sauce, and walked into the hospital with two bags of liquid food.

Getting ready to start induction
Day 1:
At 10 am they started the Pitocin drip.
At 3 pm I still felt nothing, just the same contractions as always.
At 5 pm I was already starving, and still no change.
At 7 pm I started feeling contractions, they were finally getting stronger.
At 8 pm I was still 2 cm dilated, in pain, but my doctor decided to stop the Pitocin so I could get some sleep and eat something solid.
I took a shower, had dinner, and by 1 am I was in (the most uncomfortable) bed.

Day 2:
At 5 am, after not sleeping much, I had breakfast, and the nurse re-started the Pitocin.
At 6:30 am, still no change. My doctor walks in and tells me this baby doesn't want to come out! If we just stick to the induction it'll probably be a repeat of day 1. So she breaks my water.
At 6:40 am, on the dot, I start having monster contractions. I wasn't ready, I thought it'd be a while for them to kick in. I immediately started doing my Lamaze breathing to cope with the pain.
At 9 am my parents (who had gone to our apartment for the night) walked in to find me sitting in bed, breathing through a contraction, feeling super nauseous.
At 9:30 am Patti Edwards brought in the aqua-doula, as she was setting up I started having back-to-back contractions where I literally had seconds between each contractions. My husband was helping me, coaching me to breathe, to focus on something else, but I wasn't able to rest in between contractions. This was getting hard, I felt like throwing up the whole time, but didn't.
At 10:30 am I got in the warm water. It really helped relieve the tension and shift the weight off my belly, but my contractions were seconds apart, and I was already doing the last level of breathing. I had no other way of coping with the pain if it got worse, and it was getting worse.
in the aqua-doula
At 11:20 am I was leaning on the edge of the tub, grabbing at my husband's fingers, shoving them on my face, and blowing imaginary candles. The urge to push was greater than my self-control, and I was having it with E-V-E-R-Y contraction, 5 seconds apart. When the world turned black for a few seconds, I knew I couldn't handle it anymore. I was out of breath, tired, and in such pain I was about to faint.
back-to-back contractions

The nurse checked me and said I was still at 4 cm, and that my cervix was still up there. I still had a long way to go.
At 12:00 pm they gave me an epidural, the pain slipped away, but I could still feel the contractions shaking my whole body. I was able to get in bed and sleep for a few hours.
At 2:30 pm I started feeling pressure on my butt, like I had to go to the bathroom. I told the nurse, who didn't want to check me because my water had been ruptured so the baby was unprotected, and they had checked me 2 hours earlier.
At 2:45 pm the pressure increased. I started to wince every time I had a contraction. I told the nurse, and this time she agreed to check me. Finally! I was fully dilated and my cervix was ready for action!
At 3:15 pm  I started pushing, and my back started to ache. I had back labor, where the baby's face is up, and his hard skull is pressing against the mom's spine.
At 4 pm I was still pushing. Basically I knew when to push on my own because I could feel the contractions. My husband and my mom were holding my legs, and my dad was filming. The pain in my back had increased, and it was getting very uncomfortable.
At 4:30 pm I asked for more on my epidural, which was no longer having any effect on me. I could feel the pain, and it was all on my back now. The anesthesiologist was in a c-section and wouldn't be able to come and help me. I had to suck it up.
At 5:30 pm I was still pushing, exhausted, and the baby's head was still stuck on my pelvic bone. The nurse said my doctor was going to come in soon, and that this baby might be too big for me, we would probably have to do a c-section. I wept internally, I didn't want a c-section.
At 6:00 pm my doctor arrived, took a good look at me, and said "OK Sophia, you can do this!". Well, she more like shouted this, full of enthusiasm. I was weak and exhausted and in pain, and I really wanted to give up. But I thought I could try one more time, the last time. So I pushed a few more times.
At around 6:20 pm I was screaming with each push, and I thought "this baby just has got to come out!" and I gave that push all that I had! I pushed so hard the baby's head went from my pelvis to crowning, and I got a third degree tear to go with it.
At 6:30 pm I pushed one last time, and Lukka came out all at once. I remember screaming because I was in such pain, because I was SO tired, because I was relieved, because my son was finally here!

Even in a daze of pain I ripped my gown down so Lukka could be placed on my bare skin right away. There was my beautiful baby, all gooey and crying, but I was in so much pain from the tear that I had no emotional reaction.
cuddling with Lukka right after birth
They stitched me up, which took 20 minutes, and I almost crushed my mom's hand to dust - the pain was even worse than pushing Lukka out.

When my husband had cut the cord, they had weighed and measured Lukka, and cleaned him a little, my husband gave him to me again. This time, the emotions were unbearable. I didn't cry, but there was a knot in my throat, and a love so deep and great for this little being that is just unbelievable.

I tried to breastfeed right away, and he was great at it! Latched on with no problems. This was our moment. I couldn't stop looking at him, stroking his little swollen face, kissing his still oddly-shaped head. It's the best feeling ever.
breastfeeding for the first time
Even though things didn't go exactly as I had planned, it was an adventure. And our greatest blessing entered this world with great health. We were truly blessed.
Lukka Nicodemus Gueiros Costa
born September 18, 2010
7 lbs 9.4 oz / 18 inches