Friday, October 8, 2010
IBW - Day 3: Ann Marie's Story
My oldest daughter, Savannah, was the "perfect" child you read about in books. The easy, happy, content, long sleeping child. We knew we were absurdly lucky, and were happy with our good fortune. I spent much of my day with her propped on my legs so I could hold her and also have my hands. She was happy in this position, and happy to be put down when I needed to do so.
A few months later I still really needed a carrier for short trips so I didn't have to take out the stroller for a quick trip. The LC at my breastfeeding moms group at the hospital recommended a ring sling. I bought the heavily padded sling she suggested in a large so my husband and I could share. What I discovered was that now I couldn't get it tight enough to be secure. So, we used it a few times when it was necessary (the airport), but generally I was stuck with the stroller. But, as I said, she was the most laid back child in history, so she was content and we muddled along. When my oldest was 2.5 and I was pregnant with my second daughter, I announced that I was done with the stroller and she would have to walk from here on out. I began searching for a better stroller because I thought maybe my hatred of the stroller was a function of the specific one I had. I didn't find one I liked better before my second daughter was born, so I got a Snap N' Go for the car seat and figured we'd get a new stroller when she got bigger.
Well, she was born and wanted to be held by mommy every moment of the day. She would only fall asleep while being bounced upright on my shoulder in the burp position. She was almost a month old when I heard myself in an irritated voice tell my 3yr old, "you can't eat now, the baby just fell asleep, you'll have to wait." I realized this wasn't working. I began researching. After almost a month of research I had determined that there wasn't one perfect carrier, so I made a deal with my husband. I was going to get one carrier now, and then give one to the baby for Easter. I was going to get a Moby Wrap for around the house and long carries and a Hotsling for quick trips. I was so proud of myself. (this is more amusing when you know the absurd number of carriers that have come and gone since).
That Saturday, I was the first person in the room. I had my tiny crying machine and my 3yr old. I had my Moby. I was ready for help. They had me wrap her and said, "you're doing it right, she just doesn't seem to like it." Now what? I tried on a mei tai, and she fell asleep. She was asleep and I didn't have to sit still afraid to move! I could feel my left arm! I also found out they had another meeting coming up later that week. I was determined to be there and sort out the Hotsling. Well, at that meeting we discovered the Hotsling I got was too big which was why it wasn't working right. They lent me a mei tai. I took it home and decided I was going to learn back carries. I envisioned trips to the playground without trying to awkwardly watch a stroller and push the swings at the same time!
That was the beginning of a revelation for us. I found some carriers that worked for her. I found that when nothing else was working for Siobhan, I could pop her in a carrier and she immediately settled. That is still true now at 2.5yrs old. It helped her become secure enough to let go of mommy. It also was the beginning of having mommy friends. I had tried so hard to find some friends when my first was born, and I just failed. I was terribly lonely during the days until my husband came home. But through babywearing, I found parents who were accepting. They may not have been "just like me," but they liked me "just like I am."
Even Savannah, my oldest, finally got a chance to be worn properly.
Posted by Ann Marie