Pay It Forward – Vote

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Samantha Chapman

samantha pay it forward My name is Samantha. I am 27 years old and from St Paul, MN. I hold a part-time job on the weekends and stay home with my 2 1/2 year old daughter, Evelyn, who was not cloth diapered. I wish I knew then about the benefits cloth diapering brings. In May 2011, we learned we were expecting baby number two, due in January 2012. At 20 weeks into the pregnancy, we learned our baby had a terminal condition called Potter’s Syndrome, where he did not have any kidneys. Despite his diagnosis and knowing he would not live, we chose to carry Gabriel Ray until December 8th, 2011 where we were able to share a precious 35 minutes together before he passed. This past June I found out I was pregnant again with my rainbow baby and shortly after learned that we are having TWINS! A double rainbow blessing! Now adding two, healthy baby boys to our family and mounding medical bills, finances are a bit tight. I plan to cloth diaper our twin boys who arrived 4 weeks early on January 23rd, 2013, and would really benefit from the diaper party as we are struggling with the expensive start up cost of cloth diapering and are a little overwhelmed at everything you need, and in our case, times two! If you would like, you can read more about our journey and our family at mnmom4life.blogspot.com. Thank you.

Jennifer Bono

jennifer bono pay it forward Hi we are the Bono Family, First off I’d like to say thanks for the opportunity for a chance to win a stash of cloth diapers. We are a family of 4. I’m Jennifer I’m married to Christopher and God has truly blessed us with two incredibly smart and handsome boys Sean who’s 5 and Anthony who is 1. After having done all the wrong things with our first son due to being younger, from birth planning to disposable diapers, we decided to take some classes for natural childbirth for our second son. Laura Kardos our Natural childbirth teacher cloth diapers and mention the benefits to cd a child instead of disposables. I’m definitely one to be frugal and so to save money and be more eco-friendly we decided to cloth diaper. Since I’ve started cloth diapering on my son Anthony it’s truly changed a lot of my outlook on smart ways to save. However it had its ups and downs since I was new to these diapers I have never learned about how to care for them. My husband was laid off of his job and the work environment he was in wasn’t very professional anymore. That has put our family in tremendous stress; also being at that job had affected him in a negative way. SO back to work I went! Being that I missed my kids every day I know I had to do this to provide for our family in Michigan’s poor economy. Thank GOD I chose to CD!!! After a couple of months my income just wasn’t paying for all our bills. Chris went and found a local job he could get back into for the time being so we could get back on track financially. I think then we felt like we were finally getting back on our feet. This had been about a year of us cloth diapering. I knew I should have educated myself more on different detergents and techniques but the stress of money and supporting my family pulled me away each time I tried. I thought washing diapers was close to washing clothes, I was totally wrong!! I found all my diapers were peeling and I constantly had to change a diaper that I just put on Anthony. We finally had some cash starting to save up and I thought well while I ruined these diapers after a year I could get some new ones for the next year and a half that I have until we start potty training. Unfortunately in October my father-in-law passes away of a severe heart attack and his body couldn’t recover. My husband lost his dad, I lost a close person to me, and my kids lost their world. Their Grandpa, He never once complained about having to deal with cloth diapers. It was our choice to CD and he picked it right up with us as he babysat for us! It was the most traumatic event as a family that we had to face. Having to take off more time off work to attend the arrangements, we began to fall further behind in our bills. There goes my diaper fund!! I feel as though my husband is our family rock! He’s always supporting us and working so hard through an extremely difficult time to provide for our family. He tries in any way to help with Sean and his homework or the piles of laundry I leave. He takes time out to make sure he plays with the boys and loves them as much as he can. The Grieving stages were and still are stressful on us. On top of all that having to change diapers through this every time my child goes to the bathroom is had. He completely soaks through his clothes and it’s a job to keep changing a constant moving toddler. Not to mention how embarrassing it is for me as a mom to not have my child in the best quality diapers and it breaks my heart. I always have a fear of a friend or family member come over and pick him up only to soak their clothes… makes me feel horrible for always asking make sure he’s not wet!! I don’t even want to get into overnight sleeping; I have to shove as many inserts as I can in one diaper so that he doesn’t wake up in a puddle or constantly changing his crib sheets. If anything I know my son would benefit the most out of a new stash of diapers, he would sure be a lot happier not always being soaked. Myself I know how to treat diapers now and have a couple newer ones that we’ve been happily using! HE loves putting them on his head to be silly and we have all his favorite colors. The stress of having to use these diapers for another year and a half would definitely be lifted off of me and my family. I am one who is always looking to pay-it-forward and help my amazing neighbors and friends when I can. Thank you to all who have read our story and voted! God has a plan for everyone’s life and even thought it hurts us dearly to miss the man we loved as Dad and Grandpa, our family is strong and can get through this. He will forever be missed and always in our hearts! The Bono Family

Jennifer Baker

jennifer baker pay it forward I’m a mom to 4 kids. Julie who is 8, Jayde who is 6, Jessica who is 14 months, and Jay who is 4 months old. Our little girl Jessica was born at 34 weeks weighing 3# 6oz. She had a short stay in the NICU lasting only 19 days. I thought that was a long time when I had her. When she was about 4 months old, we found out that we were expecting again. At 18 weeks, we learned that we were having our first boy. He was due to arrive in Dec. Well I went to the doctor in Sept and they told be I needed to go to the hospital ASAP. I didn’t know what to expect being only 28 weeks pregnant. One thing lead to another and my tiny little baby boy was born at 2#7oz. Jay had a long 61 day stay in the NICU. This was very hard as I had a 10 month old baby at home. We went through so much with trying to get him strong enough to bring him home. He missed a few holidays and a few birthdays. Splitting up time between the 4 kids was very hard.

Bringing him home presented a whole new set of challenges. When he came home, that meant double diapers and double bottles. He as so many specialists he needs to see. We go to the ped, eye dr, hearing center, ent, and soon to the developmental clinic. He has Rop which is a preemie disease of the eyes and also moderate hearing loss. Since little man was born so fragile, he is unable to attend daycare. Any sickness could land him back in the hospital. So that means, this mama became a sahm.. Going down to one income and have two in diapers is taking a toll on this family. I have hear great things about cloth diapering and would love to be able to do it! At least for one if not both of my babies in diapers. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s better for the baby! Since my little man had such a rough start at life, I want to be able to keep him healthy!

Seeing your baby so tiny, fragile and helpless is the roughest thing I have been through in my life. I don’t wish it upon anyone. Most people are able to take their baby home with them right after they have them I had to wait 61 days. There are even some mothers that have to wait twice as long. I consider myself lucky to have only waited 61 days. It was a long journey, but now he’s home!