It was strange walking into the community center this past Sunday in which the expo was being held. I had never thought I’d ever have a reason to be there. And yet, there I was, 16 weeks pregnant and attending the Birth, Bellies & Babies Expo hosted by the Maryland Birth Network.
We went specifically for the baby wearing and cloth diapering workshops that were on offer. And because it was free. Did I mention it was free? Well it was totally free.
Even though I can hardly believe it, we’re working on our baby registry (much to our parents’ delight,) and we wanted to know more about the diapers and carriers before we registered for such items. I’m really glad we went because when it comes to cloth diapers, you have a lot of choices. Including throwing your hands up in the air and deciding to just use disposables.
But ultimately, cloth diapering is the more economic option for us. Yes, there’s the environmental part as well which will let us be “those” parents if we wanted to be I suppose. But really for us, it’s a question of money. Where can we save money these next 18 years? Apparently with a little bit of initial capital, you can avoid spending over a thousand dollars on diapers by the time junior is potty trained.
Thankfully, I actually have a little knowledge of HOW to use cloth diapers on a squirmy infant thanks to my friends who had their baby over two years ago and used cloth diapers. And once you get the hang of it, it’s not bad. I actually liked the prefolds best (even though they are a bit more labor intensive than the pocket or all in one diapers.) It was sorta like wrapping a present. Except the gift wrap would eventually contain urine and fecal matter. But hey, when it’s your baby’s waste, it’s different, right?
The diaper workshop was very helpful. My husband has no experience with cloth diapers so for him to see and play with the sample diapers in a classroom setting really helped him form opinions about diapers. Now he wants to add a few all-in-one diapers to the registry because he liked them so much in the workshop.
After a quick lunch and some vendor hopping, we went to the baby wearing workshop. This was a little more overwhelming because everyone who attended wanted to try on all the different types of baby carriers. Which meant it got crowded. And there was only one little faux baby to use in the carriers to see how they felt with the weight of a baby in them. We never got our hands on the baby replica, and so I feel we didn’t really get to see which carrier would have suited us best. But my husband feels fairly confident that the buckle style carrier is best for him. So I guess we’re putting an Ergo on the registry.
Plus, I got to see my husband wearing a baby carrier. That was priceless.
We also got to talk to a couple of different doulas. I like the idea of a doula, but I’m not sure we can afford the out of pocket initial cost. There is a volunteer doula program at the hospital where we intend to give birth. The service is free, but the doulas are new and not full certified. So that’s another decision we have to make.
We also found out there is a service that will come to your home and encapsulate your placenta if that’s something you want to do. I’d known about it, again thanks to my friends who had their baby two years ago. The cost isn’t too prohibitive. I was quoted $250-$300. The benefits haven’t been researched by medical professionals really, but my friend felt the placenta pills helped her in her postpartum days with both her anxiety and hormones as well as milk production.
And just between you and me, I once watched my cat give birth. When the afterbirth was delivered, my cat ate it. Does that mean eating your placenta has merit for humans? I don’t know. But I’m considering it. And now, thanks to the expo, I’ve got the information to make that decision.
I would probably go again if there were going to be yet another expo before my due date. Just because I was so sick during this one. Yesterday I gave up and went to my general practitioner. He says I have tonsillitis. Lovely. I really wish I’d felt better the day of the expo. I would have done a lot more vendor hopping. But I’m still glad I went to this one.