Thursday, August 27, 2015

Confessions of a Babywearer: A Twin Story

While we would all love to believe that everyone has an easy time following the birth of their child, that isn't always the case.  Sometimes new families struggle to find their groove, and sometimes, they fall apart.  By working through the struggle, they will find their strength.  We begin a new series this week sharing the stories of strength and struggle that our families have experienced after birth, and the role babywearing had in helping find their strength.

I began my babywearing journey in an unexpected fashion.  During my pregnancy with boy/girl twins, I purchased a Moby wrap and registered for a couple of carriers.  I figured that it would help to have the carriers since I would be managing two babies, but didnt give it much other thought.  

After giving birth, I became completely consumed/slightly depressed regarding breast feeding.  I didnt expect to be hit so hard emotionally with my breastfeeding difficulties, but I ended up with a lot of tears and disappointment.  I hired a postpartum doula and she helped me figure out how to wear my twins.  During the stress of two new babies and breastfeeding issues, my marriage fell apart.  There was constant stress in our home and I often escaped by wearing my babies and going for walks.  I began joining pages on Facebook and learned about the many more beautiful options to carry my babies.  My depression (undiagnosed but quite real) started to improve as I browsed and purchased beautiful wraps/mei tais/conversion/SSCs.  It gave me somewhere to channel my emotions while feeling so overwhelmed and alone.  Wearing my babies gave me the closeness to them that we all needed.  Looking at wraps/carriers, learning how to use them, and fluff mail all gave me opportunities to feel connected, even though I spent most of my time cooped up in the house.  Slowly, I started to feel better as my focus shifted from something unsuccessful that was good for my babies (breastfeeding) to something successful for my babies (wearing them.)  When I went out in public, wearing them shifted the conversations with random strangers from them asking me if I was breastfeeding (something that I beg everyone to stop doing because that simple question can flood a new mom with emotions) to asking me about my carrier.  It made me feel better and helped me connect more with my babies.  Wearing them also gave me the confidence to know that I could handle raising them on my own.  It helped me feel like I could logistically manage the situation without compromising the bonding.  Now, as a single mother of 16 month old amazing twins who ask to go up,I look for more opportunities to wear them and hold them close.  In such a short amount of time, so much has changed.  I know that wearing them will only last for a blip of time in their lives, but the bond that was strengthened will have an ever-lasting effect.  

Thank you for letting me share my story and thank you for existing.  I didnt know anything about BWI during my pregnancy and didnt know anything about this whole world of babywearing, but it truly impacted my life in a positive way that I will forever be grateful for.  



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How do I Sign?

Research has shown that babies who live in households that use American Sign Language (ASL) learn to communicate earlier than those in talking households.  Because so many early tantrums are expressions of the frustration of babies and toddlers who can't seem to get anyone to understand what they want, many hearing families have begun to use ASL to communicate with their pre-verbal children.  One question I often hear from families using ASL with their pre-verbal children is "is there a sign for wearing, or up?"  We've asked Tiffany, one of our VBEs, to help us show a few words that may be helpful for parents wanting to use ASL with their children.  In this video, Tiffany will cover the signs for Up, Down, Front, Back, Wrap, and Sling.