When we brought Colten home from the hospital back in October, Richard was changing Colten’s diaper for the first time at home and in complete exasperation said, “We are never going to be able to leave him with anyone! We are never going to be able to go anywhere ever again!” At the time, we were so tired and overwhelmed that this comment did not feel all that far-fetched. Looking back on it now, it is, (as Parker would say) – “hilllllaaaarious. And I often remind Richard of him saying this!
The remark was due to the constant stooling Colten was experiencing. That, combined with the medications he had been on while in the NICU, caused his rear end to be so raw and sore that the Wound Care team at Mott had to come up with a butt paste regimen for diaper changes. It involved a three-step process of a few puffs of a powder-like substance to keep the area dry, followed by a spray-on barrier liquid that needed a minute to dry and harden, followed by a thick coating of cream. Attempting to do all of that before more fluids oozed out was frustrating. And messy. Inevitably, as soon as the fresh diaper was going on, it was getting soiled. But you cannot really change diapers every few minutes so the “triple threat” regimen helped protect his bottom while he sat in his own, well, you know.
After we came home, we had to continue applying the “triple threat” until his bowels calmed down a bit and his skin built up a bit more strength. As the medications finished coming out of his system, we were able to reduce the frequency of application and finally got to the point where we would just do it once or twice a week. Thankfully. He still stools quite often, there’s just not nearly as much medication creating havoc on his bowels. But at the time, it sure did feel like it would never end and we would never be able to have someone else do the process. I had, however, bought latex-free (a latex allergy is common in people with Spina Bifida) gloves in preparation of someone else having to do it. Because I couldn’t exactly ask someone to spread cream on my child’s behind while he continues to stool out of it, and then not provide them gloves!
What does this have to do with running out of diapers then? Because of the agressive creams we had to use with Colten, we knew coming home we would not be able to use cloth diapers, which we’ve used with our other sons. Creams get embedded into the diapers and prevent them from absorbing what they need to absorb *(see endnote). We love our cloth diapers – a lot (we use Rumparooz brand, in case you’re curious). We think they’re adorable, environmentally friendly, super absorbent, and better yet – we don’t have to keep spending thousands of dollars on diapers with each child. Spend a few hundred on diapers and we’re set for multiple kids for years! So when we realized we would not be able to use cloth, the added expense of buying disposables suddenly became very real. However, we had a great many people give diapers to Colten/us when we first got home. Not a great many people – a crazy great many people – SO many that Colten just turned five months old and WE FINALLY RAN OUT OF DIAPERS! Can you believe that we had THAT many diapers?! A HUGE thank you to those that gifted diapers… THANK YOU!
We are out of disposables and Colten rarely needs creams… So yesterday I re-snapped some of our cloth diapers down a size and put them in Colten’s drawer by the few remaining disposables (set aside for slightly easier travel days when needed). And I smiled as I remembered that first diaper change at home four and a half months ago…
* Thanks to the recent information provided to us by the wonderful owner of Little Green Branches, a great eco-friendly baby & mom shop in East Lansing, we learned that we can actually use creams with cloth diapers if we put a thick enough liner down and wash the liner with our regular laundry, not our diapers! Yay! Also, a huge kudos to Little Green Branches as well for their professional diaper stripping service! No, this is not babies stripping out of their diapers – it’s a thorough cleaning process to rid diapers of smells, creams, and anything else “stuck” in the fibers. Highly recommend them!