Though just slightly under 4 lbs, little Kenley came home to us this day last year.
And here she is today, giving you her best gummy smile:
She is truly a miracle!
We’ve just completed our first 24 hours of only cloth diapers and so far it’s a rousing success. No blowouts or leaks, and dad and grandma are totally on board!
When I started researching cloth diapers while I was pregnant, I was totally overwhelmed. There are so many different types of diapers: all-in ones, one-size, pocket, pre-fold, etc… Once I learned what the differences were then I had to decide which ones I thought we would like the best. How in the world could I imagine that? Additionally, we weren’t sure where we’d be living so I wasn’t sure if I would have a washer and dryer (in which case, Dy-Dee service was going to be the only option). Needless to say, the option of cloth diapers went out the window while the girls were in the NICU so I decided to shelve making any decisions until they came home. Once they came home, I still didn’t know which diapers to buy. Although cloth diapering will turn out to be cost effective in the long run, the initial investment is expensive so I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. What pressure!!
This is exactly why I decided to participate in the Changing Diapers, Changing Minds program offered by Jillian’s Drawers. First, let me just say that Jillian’s Drawers is such a great store and resource. If you have any questions about diapering, call or email them. They are so helpful and their customer service is truly outstanding.
The program came with a bunch of different diapers and I used the allotted three weeks to decide which diapers I want to use for Kenley and Kamryn.
Thirsties All-In-One: Right away, I liked this diaper the best. It had a nice trim fit on both girls and seemed to contain pee and poop with no problem. It even had a pocket for additional protection but it wasn’t necessary to use. One of the drawbacks, however, was that it came in four sizes, so I would have to purchase them four times over the course of the girls’ diapering life. And, over the course of the three weeks I found that it did leak every so often and it took a long time to dry. It started to lose its first place status.
Thirsties Fab Fitted: This is a fitted cloth diaper that you have to use with a diaper cover. It’s a fine diaper, but I’d rather use the all-in-one. They’re cheaper than the all-in-ones, but you still need to have enough covers to use throughout the day. And, again, because they’re Thirsties, they come in four sizes, meaning I’d have to purchase both the diapers and the covers four times.
Kissaluvs: I really like these diapers a lot. They fit great and do a very good job containing everything, plus they are so soft. However, like the Thirsties Fab Fitted, they require a cover. Also, one of the drawbacks is that you have to wash and dry them four times before using them and they take a long time to dry.
bumGenius One-Size Organic All-in-One: I’m not a fan of this diaper. Again, it takes four washes and dries before you can use them. Then, once you can use them they take forever to dry. If I only used this diaper, I’d need three sets just because the drying time is so ridiculously long. It’s very expensive and bulky and just not the diaper for us. It’s probably fine at containing poops and pees, but so are many other diapers.
Pre-folds: I wanted to like this style because they are so cost-effective. Plus, I’d have the option of choosing Dy-dee service if I liked them. Although they do a good job at containing waste, the amount of time I have to invest to get them to fit right on the girls is not worth it. Maybe if I only had one baby and had more time to devote to getting it just right, but I don’t. For me, the Snappi isn’t as easy as everyone seems to think and you still need to use a cover. Finally, they are hugely bulky on my girls, which makes them look funny.
bumGenius One-Size pocket diaper v3.0: I will admit that I didn’t think I’d like these diapers very much; however, they turned out to be a great diaper. Most importantly, I didn’t think I would be fond of the pocket style. After all, who wants to touch a wet liner and then re-insert the liner once they’re dry? Well, me apparently. There’s just no way around touching wet diapers and re-inserting the liner really isn’t a big deal. In fact, the removable liners make for a diaper that washes and dries quite quickly. Additionally, the bumGenius come with two liners (one “newborn” and one larger size), which allows for more flexibility as the girls grow. And finally, because they are one-size, they are more cost-effective. The snaps in the rise keep the diaper somewhat trim on my girls while still allowing room for them to grow. Plus, they seem to hold in poop and pee very well. This is the diaper I decided we would go with permanently. However, I didn’t buy the regular bumGenius 3.0, I bought the fleece version, (which is a limited edition and I can’t even provide the link because they’re all sold out), because I liked the fleece texture of the Thirsties and Kissaluvs diapers. Having used the fleece bG diapers for 24 hours now, I can say that I really like this diaper!
In the end (no pun intended), I decided to keep all of the diapers from the program. Although I decided to buy a twelve pack of the bG one-size, I knew I would need at least eighteen to twenty diapers just to get through one day. I liked the diapers from the program well-enough to keep using them; I even bought an extra diaper cover so I can get more use out of the diapers that need covers. Eventually, the girls will grow out of the newborn and extra-small sizes they’re wearing and I’ll decide if I want to buy more of the bG or try something new.
Every time I go out with the girls I am reminded of how lucky and blessed I am. The double stroller attracts attention to be sure, but even when I’m with just one of them people seem eager to tell me their stories. I’ve met a woman whose 23-weeker didn’t survive, another whose 4 year old boy had the same birth weight as Kenley’s, but clearly had a lot of physical and mental challenges, and today a woman told me that she’d been pregnant with twins twice and each time only one of the twins survived.
Today they are 14 weeks old and I’m still amazed that my nightmare pregnancy turned out two beautiful and healthy girls. Yes, taking care of twins is a difficult: it’s exhausting and I make mistakes all the time. But I am truly grateful for these two healthy, vibrant and thriving girls.
Inspired by my friend who does a weekly blog called Fragmented Fridays, I’m going to update you with fragments, rather than try to create a coherent chronology of everything that’s been going on. In no particular order:
Kenley: 3 pounds and is maintaining her own temperature, but is still in the isolette. Takes 2 bottles a day (25 CCs) like a pro.
Kamryn: 4.5 pounds and is maintaining her own temperature, but moved to a bassinet early this week. Takes 2-3 bottles a day (35 CCs) and does a very good job with them.
Both: Moved to nursery C last Wednesday night (7/29) and are doing extremely well.
Me: Ankles swelled up again (on my feet too much because of the move [even though I did very little] or on my feet too much because the house is much bigger than the apartment?). Still tired and trying to catch up on sleep. Sick of pumping.
Tom: Amazing but tired (from my point of view).
Both: Married 4 years yesterday and very happy to be in our new house. Anxious for the girls to come home.
You: Very supportive friend, reader, family member, packer, unpacker, and/or gift giver. Thank you!
By the way, if you live in the area and want to see the girls, just let me know so we can figure out a time. They’re going to be in the NICU for a few more weeks.
Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. With the girls still in the hospital and with the upcoming move (tomorrow!) I haven’t had time to sit down and write. I don’t have much time now, but thought I’d take a few minutes to post an update and some pictures.
The news with the girls is very very good. They are about to move (hopefully today) into nursery C, a.k.a. “the fat farm.” It’s the lowest level of care in the NICU and it’s where the babies go to fatten up so they can go home. Actually, they have to be more than fat to go home, but being in nursery C means they’re very stable and on their way out. In order to go home, they need to be able to suck, swallow and breathe at the same time, maintain their own body temperatures, not have any breathing apneas or bradys, take all of their feedings through bottle or breast, and be over 4 pounds. I’m so excited that they are getting closer to going home, though it’s going to be at least another 2-4 weeks (that’s just my guess).
They’re both gaining weight and Kenley is really starting to look a lot bigger. She is now 2 lbs, 7.5 oz and Kamryn is 3 lbs, 12.5 oz–a full pound and one ounce bigger than when she was born. They both are taking one bottle a day, though it wears them out and they often fall asleep before they finish. But they’re getting the hang of it, which is what counts.
As for us, we have been consumed by the move. We’ve been unbelievably blessed to have family and friends come over to help us pack. I’ve been amazed at the random acts of kindness that have come our way–the packing and the lifting and loading, as well as the package that arrived on our doorstep from someone we’ve never met (but more on that later). We’re so excited to be moving into a house and I can’t wait to post pictures of our new place. Meanwhile, here are some recent photos of the girls (can you believe they’re now 1 month old?)….
I love how their little personalities are starting to shine through. More next week…