I've been thinking about blogging about our EC journey, but so far have not. Why not start now?
There is a lot of info about EC out there, if you want more info, you can google "elimination communication." I'll post some links some day when I have a moment! :)
So Hannah is turning one in a couple of days, and we have been doing EC for almost a year! I think it’s been the most interesting part of our journey so far! We'll start with a little retrospective.
When I was pregnant, I read about EC, and at first, didn’t think that I was interested in doing that. Whatever I read at first just didn’t spark my interest. Then I read about it again, and it suddenly hit me that my choices were to learn about EC or let my baby sit in his/her waste for periods at a time! Being pregnant with my fist, it was all so abstract, and I had no idea what having a baby in the house was going to be like (really, NO IDEA WHATSOEVER!!!) and this was when reality kind of sunk in. Why would I let my child sit in pee and poop? So I decided to do EC and bought the book by Ingrid Bauer and went to a few websites. I think I stumbled across MDC, but didn’t really know what online forums were about until later.
I got a ton of disposable diapers as baby shower gifts. I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, because I wasn’t planning on using diapers. I thought, “I guess I’ll just use them at first.” I was given a diaper genie, which I would never have used, even if I’d used disposables the whole time. I returned it! I wanted to have some cloth diapers, but no one gave me any and I didn’t buy any. I was planning on doing EC from the beginning.
I didn’t have my baby at home, as planned. I did get to labor at home, though! But we went to the hospital 32 hours after my water had broken, and I chose c-section when I got there. (Short pause for a moment of grief.) In a way, I did start the process of EC in the hospital, because I was fanatic about having her diapers checked and changed frequently. I couldn’t do it myself at first, and that made me so sad! I didn’t even think about holding her over a potty, since of course getting myself to the potty was quite painful and difficult. I think in a way I thought I wasn’t going to actually get to do EC. It was a pretty jumbled time. (Having just given birth and all!)
EC really played a big role in my emotional healing after the c-section. When Hannah was four or five days old (I can’t remember, and it’s not in my journal) I was changing her diaper, and she had an explosive poop that went all over the wall by the changing table. I was so excited! I knew she was telling me she didn’t want to poop in her diaper! Oh, it was incredible, really! I realized that even though our first few days together were nothing like what I planned, and not at all what I had wanted, there was no reason we couldn’t do what I had planned from that moment forward. That really helped me out of my funk! It must have been the fifth day, because I was definitely in a funk the morning of her fifth day. Anyway, it was great! Soon after that, I held her over my sink, made a sss-sss sound and she peed. Awesome!
I had read that newborns pee tons, and wasn’t up for trying to catch all the pees. I offered her potty-tunities throughout the day, but for the most part, she peed in her diaper. I had her in disposables most of the time. I did buy two cloth diapers when she was a week old, a prefold with a cover, and a fuzzi-bunz. I used those when they were clean, to save resources rather than to help me with EC. She did love to poop in a fresh clean cloth diaper! Although more than half the time she pooped in the potty.
Before I had those two cloth diapers I used a receiving blankets sometimes instead of a diaper. My friend came over and held her, and took the swaddling blanket off of her to look at her, and was shocked to see no diaper. She asked why, and I said that I had wanted to use cloth diapers but I didn’t have any yet. She was telling me the blanket was wet, and I told her that’s why I put a blanket on her. I thought it was kind of funny!
I bought some of the cheap prefolds at Target, and they are great for one pee! I fashioned some kind of belt from the waistband of a pair of pants, and used that set up some of the time. I found the prefold with the cover to be quite cumbersome when offering potty-tunities. Up until about 3 months, I used the disposables quite a bit, too. Probably 75% of the time. Then one day, I just couldn’t put them on her anymore. I had one package that I hadn’t opened yet, that I ended up donating. During the transition away from disposables, I used to keep one in the diaper bag. It was nice to know that if I ever got frustrated or whatever, I could just put that disposable diaper on her. I think I did a few times. Our first summer was kind of hard in the “getting out and about” category. It was hot, and I was sleep-deprived and exhausted. I only wanted to schlep around a couple of dirty or wet diapers, so that’s what we did. At some point, I stopped carrying an extra dispoable diaper around!
I need to stop for the moment, there’s so much more I want to write!