I don’t know how I didn’t think of this earlier, Nicolette & the baby wearing mamas from Babywearing Beirut, thanks for the reminder…it’s INTERNATIONAL BABYWEARING WEEK 2015! Yes there’s an actual celebration for it, and since I have recently become a blogger (yeah I learned that word last month), AND we are playing a new game today on the group in celebration of it, I absolutely positively have to write about one of the most crucial parts of my life as a mom, babywearing!
Sooooo I don’t know how it happened, but I fell in love with baby wearing a couple months after giving birth. My dear friend Melissa Kai Sawaya, her hubby Charbel and cute little 4 months old Jason came to congratulate us on having Kyra, and brought me a Yalla!Babywear stretchy wrap as I had been looking into carriers but didn’t know which to chose. She taught me how to do the FWCC and I practiced it at home for a few days. With the help of Joelle Farkh, the sweet company owner, I fixed some of the mistakes I had been making, and started wearing my baby out a lot.
In December 2013, 6 months after I got married, I had to have back surgery. I had a disc replaced with a prosthesis and it didn’t come without any complications. I spent months after the surgery stuck in bed, crying from pain as they had damaged some nerves in my left leg, and my poor husband and everyone around us, had to live through this with me. I had had a miscarriage due to some x-rays I got prior to the surgery (didn’t know I was pregnant) and was told by doctors that I shouldn’t get pregnant anytime soon, the medications I was taking in all cases would be dangerous for a baby, and the extra weight on my back would be too much for me to bare. I was devastated to say the least. I spent months having the darkest thoughts, thinking that I would probably never walk again, never have a normal life, and that I should leave my husband so that he could start a family with someone else. Thankfully, when there’s a will there’s a way, and with lots of support from my loved ones, and love from my husband, things got back to normal eventually. We were constantly worried about whether or not getting pregnant would set me back from the progress I had made, but I didn’t care. I wanted to have a baby. And so, thankfully 2.5 years into my marriage, Kyra was born.
So when I started wearing her, people would tell me “Ohhh watch your back” or “are you sure it’s ok to carry her?” and I would answer that wearing her didn’t actually hurt my back at all, on the contrary I would feel virtually nothing when she was on me in a wrap, a sling or my ergo baby (yes I’m addicted to carriers now). When she was really small, I barely felt any weight at all, it was actually lighter on me than having her in my tummy, and even now that she’s heavier, babywearing still makes it so much easier on me than carrying bags of stuff (since you take out half of your belongings when out with a baby). So now, I use the stroller to push the bags as I carry Kyra everywhere and I love it.
But aside from my back issues, I love babywearing for so many different reasons. When Kyra was a newborn, and colics or reflux were an issue, I would pop her in my wrap or sling, and she would fall asleep almost instantly. She threw up a lot less, and barely ever cried. When we went out, people looked at me funny because I would wear her while I had lunch, but it was the only way to get a bite to eat without her crying, and well I tried not to dribble anything on her head or used a napkin occasionally as a head bib :P. Babywearing had become an essential part of my life.
I was still too clumsy to nurse her in my wrap or sling, and when I moved to Dubai the stretchy became too hot to use, and so I bought the Ergo Baby. I can safely say this has been the most valuable purchase I have ever made, because it saved my sanity. Moving to a different country with a 2 months old had many challenges, but the biggest one I faced was going out in public with her, since I didn’t know how to nurse her in public, and with Dubai being an Arab country, my husband was constantly worried that we would get arrested if I tried, and so I spent the first couple of months at home, barely going out once a week. And since Kyra was a very fussy nurser, she could gather a small crowd around us every time I tried to nurse her in the cradle position, so the cover didn’t really work for us. I could however nurse her in an upright position in my Ergo as we walked around malls, had lunch, or just went to visit some friends, and the hood that came with it provided the privacy I needed to cover up as she nursed.
Another thing I absolutely adore about wearing my baby, is how protected I feel she is. When we’re traveling I know that no one can sneeze on her, and that with all the noise at the airports, I can hear her if she needs anything unlike with a stroller where she would be far from me. I love that I can protect her from overstimulation, and if she’s too sleepy or fussy, I simply nurse her and she falls asleep in a matter of seconds. This is the thing I enjoy the most about wearing her, because I know I can get her to settle and sleep wherever we are, without needing to be in a quiet room with dimmed lights, or having to push her in the stroller back and forth to get her to sleep.
I’ve been told often that I’m being overprotective, and that I should let her see the world from the stroller, but I’m doing what I believe is best for her, and right now even though she’s bigger, she is still the most comfortable next to my heart, and I can enjoy her being so close to me for a little longer. She has recently started to crawl, stand and cruise, and I know that soon enough she won’t want to be carried anymore and will want to go explore the world around her. I also know that soon she will get too heavy for me, and I will have to put her down, I don’t know when that will be, but the day will come as sometimes now it hurts to wear her for a long time. So far, we’re both enjoying it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I know that on me, she feels safe, protected and loved, and for that next to breastfeeding, babywearing is my greatest mommy love.
I’ve learned that however there are different types of carriers, and lots of ways to carry your baby, so I guess I’ll leave that for my next post to discuss it a bit further, because I truly believe that every mother should benefit from what babywearing has to offer and experience the special bonding that it brings. So, I’ll see you all next time hopefully, and until then, happy International Babywearing Week 2015!!!