22w5d Diaper shortage? Oh NOES.

My friend sent me this article on Monday.  I know I should probably treat this more seriously, but the thought of moms worldwide in a panic about a diaper shortage makes me giggle.  It’s like when bread flies off the shelves at grocery stores before a hurricane.

Hmm, just had an alarming thought — am I just like the grasshopper who sang all summer??!  Sh*t.

Maybe I shouldgo get Baby Z some diapers.  And bread.

Diaper Shortage Possible After Plant Explosion

by AKIKO FUJITA
OCT. 1, 2012

As so often happens, moms are left to deal with the mess.

An explosion at a Japanese chemical plant this weekend has the spectre of a global diaper shortage.

The plant in the coastal city of Himeji, operated by Nippon Shokubai Co., is one of the world’s largest producers of acrylic acid, a primary ingredient used in disposable diapers.

Powerful blasts rocked the facility Saturday, as firefighters were trying to control a blaze at one of the tanks containing the chemical. One firefighter died and 34 employees and first responders were injured in the blast.

Acrylic acid is a key component of superabsorbent polymers or SAP, which absorb large amounts of liquid. Nippon Shokubai makes roughly 20 percent of the world’s SAP and maintains a 10 percent global market share of acrylic acid. The plant had been ramping up production to meet increasing global demand, especially from China, according to Japanese media reports.

Prior to the accident, the plant in the Hyogo Prefecture manufactured 460,000 tons of acrylic acid annually, supplying clients like Procter and Gamble, which relied on Nippon Shokubai for products it sold in Asia.

Roughly 4 million tons of acrylic acid are produced in the world, with the largest manufacturers in Germany and the U.S., according to Nippon Shokubai spokesman Akira Kurusu.

Kurusu said the company had already reached out to other producers to make sure their clients’ needs are met, but said he could not comment on whether the plant closure in Japan would affect global costs and supply.

22w0d Maternity Ward Tour

your baby’s the size of a grapefruit!

At about 10.5 to 11.8 inches and about 12.7 to 20.8 ounces, baby’s not just getting bigger, he’s getting even cuter.  At 23 weeks, baby’s really getting ready for her big debut, listening in on what’s going on in the outside world. And you’re getting ready too. Just remember: While having the nursery painted and stocking it with diapers is important, there are some other pressing things you should have on your radar. Namely, financials. Around week 23 is a good time to call your and your partner’s insurance agent to check how you’re currently covered and decide what adjustments you’ll want to make for baby. You might also want to start thinking about writing a will, if you don’t have one, or updating your current one. How’s baby’s savings account going? If you’re like, “what savings account?” that’s okay. But decide whether or not you want to start one for her. One study found that kids who have their own savings account are more likely to go to college, and another one estimated the average cost of raising a baby until age 18 to be over $226,000. Whoa!

(Source: The Bump)

Happy 23 weeks Baby Z!  Or should I say, Baby T?  (J and I are very close to finalizing Baby Z’s first name.  Hint: It starts with the letter “T”.)

This Wednesday, J and I did a tour of the hospital where I will be delivering Baby Z in 3.5 months (gulp).  At first we weren’t sure if this was necessary, but I’m really glad that we did do a tour because it definitely helped me/us demystify the whole birthing process – at least to some extent.  We saw the floor where we would check in when I start feeling labor pains, the triage room, the delivery room and the recovery rooms.  We also learned about additional fancy  amenities, such as massage therapy, lactation services and consultation, baby photography, and “intimate fine dining” (um, I’m skeptical on how fine hospital food can possibly be – is there a fancier way to make Jell-O?).

Honestly, the only amenity that I care about is securing a private room!  There are only a few private rooms available, and they can only be reserved immediately after birth on a first-come (or rather, first-deliver), first-served basis.  It’s not cheap…but I cringe at the thought of having to share a room (and a bathroom) with a total stranger immediately after one of the most traumatic and personal experiences in our lives.   Plus if we have a private room, J would be able to stay overnight with me and Baby Z in the hospital, rather than having to leave us at 10 P.M. when visiting hours are over.  Expensive?  Yes.  Worth it?  I think so.   I’ve already told J that immediately after Baby Z comes out, he is to BOOK IT to the reservation desk (pun intended).  Forget holding our baby or cutting his umbilical cord – just get mama her own bathroom!   Haha.

Random:  Out of the 3 other couples doing the hospital tour with us, J went to college with 2 out of the 3 couples.  This may not be weird anywhere outside of Manhattan, but in a city of millions of people where I’ve never even once ran into an ex-boyfriend who works right across the street from our apartment building in the past four years, I would have put the chances knowing 2 out of the 3 couples in a maternity ward tour as pretty slim to none.  I guess, though, that this says something about Manhattan and especially people in our age group (early 30’s) – while the average age of first-time mothers across the U.S. is 25-years-old, the average age for first-time mothers is definitely higher in Manhattan, at least from what we are seeing among our friends and colleagues.  In the past year or so, our friends have just started to have kids or talk about having kids – and J and I are still among one of the earlier ones to get pregnant.

In any case, I’m happy that Baby Z will be growing up with kids his age (and parents our age) – my friend and I are already plotting a possible arranged marriage between our children.  *Cackle*  What, did you think that I would trust Baby Z to make one of the most important decisions of his life – choosing a spouse – entirely on his own?!   That’s just ridiculous.  ;p