Babywearing with Jess


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Will you have more kids?

 

You know it’s this interesting thing that happens at a certain stage in life, isn’t it? The question of you as a baby maker, being obviously that you only need to be a woman as the common denominator for the general public to feel it is of their concern to ask you.

I know I have child less friends who get asked this all the time and who rightly so get sick and tired of it. I know that the minute Josh was born, people where suggesting it was time we considered another! And I also know that we are not alone in feeling that pressure as I heard it often from others too.

 

 

 

Now we have the “two kids” package, the pressure this time round is less, but never the less the question still gets posed regularly enough that its of uncomfortable interest, “will you have more kids?” or “maybe time for another?”

Its asked in different ways depending I guess on your circumstances but the thing people over look quite often when they ask it is, despite modern concepts of contraception and control and planning over these events in our lives for some of us, it doesn’t always work that way.

Yep some people it is like that, planned, coordinated and executed, but not for everyone. When James and I first got engaged and people would regularly ask us about kids, very few of them knew we had been ‘trying’ to convince already for some time.  Every time the question was asked it was like a sting that my body hadn’t yet got the message everyone else was asking me about.

We had been ‘trying’ for two years, we got right to the point where the doctor said, “maybe you guys should consider IVF?”

The pressure I had put myself under and the disappointment I kept feeling at myself every time I did get another period, which was like a soul crushing reminder my body still hadn’t conceived, was getting too much. The ‘trying’ was taking the fun out of our relationship. It was all too much…

This was relatively early stages of our relationship still, we had almost been ‘trying’ almost since we began our relationship. We decided that we would just wait. Focus on other shit. Live life. If the issue was still the same in a few years’ time, we would look at our options then.

Effectively, we stopped ‘trying’. See this sounds silly, cause the only thing that changed was that we didn’t have the same pressure on ourselves, on the situation. It’s not like anything had effectively changed but sex was no longer scheduled or timed and well, I guess I don’t need to say more than it put the fun back into it…. 😉

It was two months later we conceived Josh but I didn’t realise for quite a while. Having PCOS means I don’t usually have regular cycles anyway, the fact I hadn’t had a period in three months meant nothing to me and I had stopped living in hope that a skipped cycle meant I was pregnant. Before then, before then we had kept stacks of pregnancy tests in the bathroom and I would take them all the time, but at that point I had put the concept from my mind.

It was actually a friend of ours who came over after work one evening with an aged bottle of rum which is usually a keen favourite of mine and he offer me a drink, “ohhh nah, thanks, I just don’t feel like it and I’m really tired, I’m gonna go to bed I think guys, I’ll leave you to it.”

He and James both looked up at me surprised and our friend said, “omg, what? Are you pregnant?” I laughed, “I don’t think so! I’m allowed to turn down a drink guys! It that so shocking?! I’m just tired!”

James too laughed, “it’s just that its 40-year-old Appleton’s babe! You love this shit!”

“Meh, not tonight. I’m good, thanks…” and I wandered off into the bedroom, too thinking, I really do love that shit, I just don’t feel like it… Maybe that is a bit strange…? When did I last have a period?

Needless to say, the next day I went and bought a fresh box of pregnancy tests. I did the first and it came back positive… I showed James and said, “no, I think there is something wrong with the tests, give me another one”.

Needless to say, the second one had the same result. Still not letting myself believe it, I said to James, “it’s gotta be something wrong with the packet, you do the last test!”

Entertaining me he took the third test in the packet and after me sitting in suspense on the edge of the bed for the two minutes it took him to return, I eagerly looked up as he walked around the corner, “well, one if of us pregnant and it’s not me!” he smiled. Showing me his negative pregnancy test, he put it alongside the two positive one’s I was still staring out trying to get my head around it.

We thought we had lost Josh when I had a placental abruption at 13 weeks, we didn’t. The placenta grew massive to reattach to the womb lining and he is now a full of energy (and testosterone!) four-and-a-half-year-old.

Between my boys, we had another pregnancy, a baby we call Jellybean. Who was our honeymoon baby, conceived when we went and eloped when Josh was 18 months old. That pregnancy ended in what is called a ‘missed miscarriage’. In between the time when we went for a scan, Jellybean had died and had no heart beat but my body hadn’t caught up with the message yet. I hemorrhaged in the processes of waiting for my body to miscarriage naturally and ended up getting an ambulance ride to the hospital and coming home with a tiny little box coffin with Jellybean inside.

Jai was conceived shortly after and again, despite some issues with bleeds and my massive concerns about losing him too throughout my pregnancy, he is now a full of beans and troublesome 20-month-old. Pregnancy after miscarriage in my experience is quite different. There are fears and concerns and doubts I never had in previous miscarriages the same, even with the huge issues we had early on with Josh. The threat of loss felt much more real.

And I had an amazing birth with Jai, don’t get me wrong, but I really don’t like being pregnant. It’s not a ‘mother earth’ time to me haha I gain shit loads of weight and my hormones go out of whack and symptoms of PCOS seem worse even though they are different. But as soon as Jai was born, James and I kind of looked at each other, “I know we only ever planned for two kids, but is this really our last baby?”

So, I don’t know. I am currently at the point where never having to be pregnant again is actually an incredibly appealing concept. I haven’t got to do things like open water diving in so many years because my body hasn’t been my own, I have either been pregnant or breastfeeding or both. Now with Jai close to weaning, the light at the end of the tunnel in that sense is close enough to catch glimpses of momentarily sometimes.

But I hate what contraceptives do to my body. I hate how they mess with my already normally slightly out of whack hormone levels and yep sure sometimes that stabilises, but at a different kind of balance than what my body considers normal and I find the issues of PCOS worse. Weight is more difficult for me to manage, all kinds of other symptoms I usually don’t struggle too badly with become facts of daily life again like they did through my adolescence.

Jai weaning himself off the boob and having days sometimes in between feeds now means my hormones are already changing balances and messing with me anyway. I think a lot of us overlook how much that affects us as the mothers when a baby or child is weaning from the boob. It makes our hormones jump all over the place too.

And sometimes I sit there on the rare occasion he still asks for boob and I get a tear in my eye and wonder if it might be the last time and I try to savour it as much as I can. Then I catch myself thinking, “would it matter if it is the last time I breastfeed?”

I know after all our battles, struggles and issues with fertility, James and I quickly jumped from, ‘two kids max’ to ‘whatever life throws at us’ but really… there are lots of benefits to just having two kids right? That’s why we always originally agreed on two, well that and we both come from two children nuclear families which probably does have a bit of bearing on how we conceptualise our understandings and expectations of family when we are getting to make the decisions.

But two kids means you’re not outnumbered by little people. We can still tag team and break them up when it gets too much, “you take one, I’ll take the other”. Travel is still somewhat affordable (but man, travel even with one kid is hard, I’m not sure my expectations of that argument still stand in my mind). You don’t need a different car – that one was like a fundamental two kid argument for us but when you really think about it, that one is ridiculous, we have changed cars several times over the last few years anyway.

And while I had thought before I had kids, one on one was easier, when you actually have a wee pack of children, like happens with friend’s kids etc, sometimes they can actually be easier to manage from the adult perspective. They entertain each other more.

But as I watch Jai at the age Josh was when he was conceived and see him finally getting to all those stages of independence, he plays by himself now, he likes pottering around the garden, he is more independent, more capable. He is interested in toilet training, he is trying to drop his day sleep. He runs and jumps and keeps up with his big brother. He is not a baby anymore, even if he is my baby.

They say you never regret having another child but you may regret not having one. And I imagine there is a shit load of truth to that. Because you bond with children, well you are meant to, and of course you wouldn’t regret that extra person to love.

I kind of expected that the threat of doing all these ‘lasts’ with Jai would make me more clucky, more keen to do it again, more set in my mind that whatever life throws at us is the direction I want to go. But strangely I am finding almost the opposite true for me, the idea this might be the last nappy I have to change, the concept this could be the last time I have to lie on an awkward angle to breastfeed my baby back to sleep… while heart moving and somewhat bitter sweet, it’s not making me miss doing it to the point where I want to jump up and start from the beginning all over again.

Its making me rethink just how much I want to in fact… so when you ask me, “will you have more kids?” well, guess what, I dunno… But maybe just realise often when you are asking a woman this, you have no idea of the context, journey or experiences she has faced on this exact topic when you do. You could be actually being really rude and hurtful, in fact, regardless of her journey, you are being rude.

It is her body, her family, her choices. How about we drop the expectations that we are all meant to do the same thing or plan for life the same way or even know what we want or what we are doing or need to explain that to someone else. Because this question of asking a woman about her choices around children, well it’s kind of like asking someone if they are pregnant… Just don’t. They will tell you if that want to talk about it. Otherwise you risk putting your foot in your mouth big time and really upsetting someone.


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One day I will appreciate this, but today is not that day… 

When I was heavily pregnant with Josh and got to that ‘oh man, I am so fucking over this’ stage was probably one of the first times I encountered this ‘enjoy it while you can’ concept from other parents…
“Get some sleep before the baby arrives”

“Enjoy it now!”

“Ahhh, I miss being pregnant…”

 

 

What?! Really?

Highsight is a funny thing isn’t it?

Sometimes the things, events, times, phases in our lives that we look back on fondly, were not experienced in that moment with the same glowing perception…

 

 

 

When I was pregnant with Jai and at that same stage (I felt overdue by months with that kid even if in reality he was born on his due date), I faced similar commentary and even internal pressure…

 

“Enjoy only having one kid!”

“Make the most of it now”

“Oh I miss my time with my big kid now I have two – enjoy it while you can!”
Again, what?! Really?!
Yes I do look back on those timed now with a different, rose tinted version of reality. When it comes to pregnancy, labour and that fourth trimester our hormones have a huge job to answer for! In fact, they literally help trick our brains into remembering things with a bit of a blurry haze – there is a reason you feel so forgetful when you’re pregnant!

 

But the same of “enjoy it while you can” is often given to mothers pulling their hair out in frustration while in the madness of parenting babies and children. Of course many of us appreciate these may be the ‘golden years’ with our kids – days which we will some day be looked back upon with fond nostalgia and potentially longing to relive them…

 

But it is hard to remember that in the moment sometimes…

 

It’s funny, at the moment while I am largely still physically incapable of caring for/being actively involved with my kids in the same way as pre-accident and I miss them and that role.

 

But as I do slowly start to get better and am taking ‘shifts’ of parenting back slowly there has been many, many times I am reminded of the benefits of perception and highsight.

 

So when I am in the moment, literally covered in food or another persons bodily fluids and someone spills a juice on the couch or someone is smacking someone else over the head with a train track – I’m actually not, in that exact moment thinking, “these are my glory days!”

 

No. Far from it.

 

But then I have to give my body a break and rest again – I am still healing, I am not yet through the ‘six weeks off’ which was ordered to me when I had this accident and shattered my rib cage.

 

And in the down time, in those moment, I often feel guilty.

 

Guilty I can’t do more to support my family and care for my kids at the moment. Guilty I don’t seem to find it as easy to cherish those moments with my kids in the moment somehow more…

 

Guilty I am not appreciating this ‘forced rest time’ I’m in at the moment.

 

‘Mummy guilt’, its such a pervasive thing we put on ourselves..

 

But I am reminded of highsight, that one day I will cherish these moments, all of them; the good and bad, the frustrating and heart warming, all with the beauty and benefit of highsight.

 

And also I am reminded to focus on being in the true authentic moment. Whether that be pleasant or painful – knowing that this too, like everything else, will pass and one day will be a rose-tinted memory that I look back on.

 

And I promise, I will at least try not to be a jack arse that ‘forgets’ the actual reality of being in these kinds of moments and feeling stuck and telling others who find themselves there to “enjoy it while you can”!

 

 

 

 

 


 

I have blogged on this topic before, if you’re keen to read further rants of mine on the topic, check out past post, ‘Savour it while you can’ here – https://babywearingwithjess.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/savour-it-while-you-can/


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Becoming a Mum: Josh’s Birth Story

 

 

To my beautiful first born,

 

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You in my painted pregnant puku!

 

As anxious first time parents, with no clue what lay ahead of us, your dad and I did all the things instructed to us by the doctor and the obstetrician. Except, I forgot to enroll us in antenatal classes which apparently something I overlooked the fact is like some kind of major priority that if you don’t do like as soon as a baby is immediately conceived seems to be like trying to find a ticket for some kind of amazing performer that everyone wants to see…

 

I didn’t realise there was so much demand for this or that there was like a time limit on me making sure we were booked into one. So when I was sitting with Aunty Cushla in her backyard (she was two weeks ahead of me when we were pregnant but you ended up arriving earlier and Hadley later than the doctors guessed so there is only a few days between you guys) and she said “at the first antenatal class…” I totally interrupted, “what?! Antenatal classes?! Are we meant to be doing those now?”

 

She laughed at me, “ummmm you were meant to book that at like 13 weeks!”

 

Panic ensued as we discussed the “limited ticket feeling” of leaving enrolling yourself in these kinds of services to the last minute.

 

“Why don’t you just call where I am doing them and see if they had anyone cancel?” she suggested.

 

I did and luckily for us, they actually had. So they had a free space for me and dad to go along to the same class Aunty Cushla was doing with Brenda at MAMA Maternity (the same place I set up the very first of my monthly Babywearing workshops with Brenda’s help). But because we had late enrolled, we missed the first class.

 

When Brenda told us the first one was about early signs of labour and that kind of thing and not to worry, we could make that one up when the next intake started as it would be a two weeks before my due still, it was like awesome, cool. Dodged a bullet AND it meant Aunty Cush and I not only shared the journey of being pregnant and doing pregnancy yoga together but also the antenatal classes which was pretty cool in itself.

 

So the antenatal classes finished for our cohort, I was 38 weeks pregnant with you and Aunty Cush must have just been overdue with Hadley. And Dad and I attended the make up class for the first session we missed at MAMA.

 

When they start these classes they had this process of everyone introducing themselves and saying when they were due. They went around the circle, everyone saying things like, “I’m due on 1st Feb”, “I’m due mid March” etc etc, it got to me and dad and we said, “I’m due in two weeks” hahaha everyone’s faces! It was hilarious that we had to explain we were just making up the first class and had already done the other ones, that we hadn’t actually left it THAT late, even though I did leave it late to enrol us hence why we had to make up the first session.

 

As Brenda started her talk about the early onset and signs of labour I kept glancing at dad… “what?” he whispered to me. “Nothing” I replied shaking my head, but every “sign” that Brenda listed as early onset signs of labour was something I had been feeling all that day…

 

Pain in lower back, check.

Twinges in your belly, check.

Feeling drop of weight into your pelvis, check.

 

I didn’t over think it hugely. We talked with Brenda as we left, she has seen a lot of pregnant mums in her time and she said to me when we were leaving, “I don’t think that baby is that far away you know, it looks like your bump has dropped quite a bit from when I saw you last week..” I made some joke about how I hoped you didn’t take too long because I certainly wasn’t very comfortable at that point!

 

Afterwards Dad and I went to a fancy restaurant in town. We had made it a bit of a ritual that after antenatal class we would go get dinner together somewhere nearby and just chat about everything we had heard and been told about. This we knew was our last time for that ritual so we wanted to go somewhere special knowing it could well be the last time we did that together before we became parents.

 

I had this massive craving for steak and ordered like the most extravagant thing on the menu.. The waiter was lovely and mentioned something about me being pregnant (it was kinda hard to miss, I was just blooming huge pregnant with you boys both!) and Dad told him, proud as punch, “this might be our last flash fancy dinner before we become parents! Our baby is due in two weeks”.

 

The waiter said to us, “I have a feeling this will be a night you will always remember!” and treated us like royalty. He was really lovely, helping me get out from behind the table when I needed to wee every two bloody minutes even. He went above and beyond trying to make it special for us and indeed it was.  

 

On one of my many trips to the bathroom I stopped, half to catch my breath, I felt like a beached whale trying to move around heavily pregnant, but also to look at the fish in the built in tank they had separating the men’s and women’s toilets. Retrospectively, not that I knew it at the time, that’s when I felt my first contraction.

 

My belly just felt really tight for a minute, like all my muscles tighten at once and I was a bit like, “oh that was weird!” started to talk to you and rub my hand on my puku and you kicked my hand almost immediately. I was thinking to myself, oh ok, you are just enjoying that steak as much as I did hey?! Nothing like iron to make you feel stronger!

 

As I slowly waddled back to the table and started my slow decent sitting down, I looked over at your dad and said, “you know some of that stuff Brenda told us about signs of early labour and stuff? I’ve been feeling some of those things all day now.. Like it couldn’t be early labour signs though if they are just like really mild and stuff though a…”

 

We discussed it and kind of dismissed the concept, thinking back to that idea of “when you are really in labour you will know about it”… Which to me translated to “when it hurts like shit, you will likely be having a baby”. And decided nothing hurt and you weren’t due for another two weeks so I was just probably experiencing some of those “your body is getting ready” symptoms and that’s about it.

 

So I guess that was my context for comparison, pain = labour. But it’s not always the case, in fact our perceptions of it being painful are so damaging for us all as it creates this fear and fear is the absolute enemy of labour progression, as we found out later when I was in labour with you first hand.

 

So while we were at the antenatal class, when we were at dinner, all the long drive home, I kept feeling these “tightening” sensations across my stomach. I was uncomfortable but no more than the days or weeks because being that heavily pregnant makes me feel uncomfortable and restless and urgh anyway…

 

Dad and I joked about the waiters comment about it being a night to remember and how funny it had been to see everyone’s faces at the antenatal class when I said we were due in two weeks when they all still had months and months to go.

 

As we giggled and laughed as dad had to help push me up the front stairs from behind when we got home because I just felt so heavy and huge, the tightenings I had been kind of ‘ignoring’ or downplaying in my mind happened a bit more intensely and I rested leaning against the door frame as Dad unlocked the door.

 

That time I was like, “yep no, that definitely feels different to the last few days but it’s still not painful..” kind of repeating to myself in my head “they said you definitely know if you are in labour” so if I’m not sure then you are just doing some kind of weird acrobatics in there right now and can you please stop cause it’s making me a bit nauseous and I really don’t want to vomit up that expensive as steak I just ordered and ate at that fancy restaurant!

 

Dad opened the door and we both went inside and he said, “I’m just going to pop down stairs and see if that load of washing is done” as he walked in. I made my way slowly to the toilet and sat down. It was a weird sensation, I kept feeling like I needed to wee but I couldn’t. Still I felt the need to sit there.

 

All of a sudden it sounded like someone poured a bucket of water in the toilet. I was kind of shocked, “did that come from me?!” Then it kind of just sounded like a hose running now and I was confused, I felt my urethra and was like, “no that’s definitely not wee” and then moved my hand back further and was like “oh yep that’s coming from me!”

 

My waters had broken.

 

“BABE?!” I screamed…

 

“just a sec” came the reply as your dad came up the internal stairs with a basket of stuff from the dryer, which included towels, “yeah?” he said as he popped his head around the corner.

 

“I’ll take one of those please”, I pointed to the towels, “I think my waters just broke…”

 

I am not sure what I expected but I had just been sitting on the toilet for five minutes feeling like I had done the hugest wee ever so I guess I figured, that’s gotta be like all the “waters” right? As soon as I stood up from the toilet it flooded everywhere all over the floor.. (the amniotic fluid isn’t like smelly or dirty or anything it is literally like someone was just pouring buckets of water on the floor)

 

Dad dropped the washing basket, tipped it on its side and started laying down towels on the floor, after he had passed me one to shove between my legs, so I could get out of the bathroom without slipping over.

 

I decided to have a shower, the nausea I was feeling kind of subsided and the tightening didn’t really change or feel painful at all… we talked about how maybe I was one of those 10% who have their waters break before labour commences so we should probably just chill out, as we had been told and wait and for me to try and get some rest etc.

 

I was uncomfortable but not in the way I expected, I was restless and couldn’t really lay down and sleep and I was excited, I wanted to be over this pregnancy shit and actually have my baby to hold in my arms. So I didn’t really sleep at all..

 

I laid down with dad for a bit, paced around the house for a while, bounced on a Swiss ball, I think I probably got in and out of the shower like 10 times…  there were a few times I felt I had to breathe through the intensity of it, but it was intensity I was feeling not pain, like tightness, like someone squeezing me around the middle (aka, muscles ‘contracting’).

 

When dad woke up in the morning, I was trying really hard to let him rest and not disturb him, I guess I had a feeling this was going to take a while, he was like, “shouldn’t we call the hospital? There was something about either going in when you are in active labour but wasn’t there also something about how long after your waters break that you need to be on antibiotics?”

 

“Ok I will call them soon” I replied. I was actually really calm and zen and chilled. I seriously didn’t even connect that those “tightening” feelings were contractions because everything I knew told me contractions hurt but these didn’t. I think if we had done nothing at that point, waited another two hour before we called anyone, well things would have been very very different that’s for sure.

 

Anyway we didn’t, we dutifully called the hospital. I was under the care of an obstetrician for being high risk (I had a placental abruption early in my pregnancy with you and lost lots of blood, we thought you weren’t going to make it but instead the placenta grew twice as big to reattach itself firmly again and everyone was convinced I had gestational diabetes because of excessive weight gain, I didn’t have it, I just get fat when I’m pregnant haha) so it was the hospital midwives who were our first port of contact.

 

“They were like, well if it has been 12 hours since your waters broke you should really come in for an exam…” this was where things all started to change. The tightenings I was having quite steadily and consistently at home walking around the kitchen became sporadic and less regular as we drove to the hospital, the internal dialogue of “maybe this does mean you are in labour? Are you sure those sensations aren’t painful?” started to mess with my chilled state.

 

On the initial exam, the one duty midwife examined me and said, “ok love, you are about 6 cm dilated and obviously your waters have broken”. When your “waters break”, what that means is the membrane holding the fluid around the baby have been ruptured, not actually the waters itself, they replenish to keep baby safe, so if your membranes break and you are leaking fluid, another part of your body is like we need to make more, so really, it just keeps coming… “I’m going to call your OB, we are just going to move you to a suite to monitor baby’s heart rate and that stuff ok?”

 

And we got moved through to a different ward. The next place we were put was a full suite. All women waiting for OBs I assume, which means many of them were considered “high risk”. Right next to us behind a curtain was a lady crying, her baby and herself were obviously distressed, the irregular heart beat of the baby was being broadcast really loudly throughout the suite.

 

Fear.

 

I felt fear. And you clearly did too because it almost felt like you immediately tried to crawl back up inside my puku. Like you were like, “no, this doesn’t sound safe”. I got a bit distressed myself, looking up puzzled at your dad I said, “Everything’s stopped. All those sensations, they have all stopped”. I rubbed you through my puku around the monitor straps they had me in and watched your heart rate on the screen. You were fine. Happy as, still chilled. But definitely no longer in the mood to be making your entrance into the world.

 

Just then the OB turned up. “Ok, well let’s take you for an ultrasound and exam hey?” she said. By this point, there was no zen left in me to be honest. “Ok…” and we followed her to another room.

 

She did an ultrasound, “well baby looks happy, everything is fine there”… as she went through her exam further she looked at her notes, “it says you were 6 cm dilated but your cervix is closed shut my dear. Are you sure your waters broke?”

 

Cue self doubt.

 

Yep I am sure that fluid came from me and I checked, no I didn’t piss myself.

 

“Go home” was the instruction, “the midwives should have told you to wait there a few hours before you came in initially.”

 

Well that information was kind of useless now. The damage had been done already. We were back to the start, but worse, this time with a big invisible timer…

 

We went for a walk down the road, we tried to distract me, there were still some tightenings but now I was calling them contractions because that’s what the midwife at the hospital had called them as we watched it on the monitor and with that change alone, my brain had started to change the sensation into something much more uncomfortable, potentially ‘painful’ even because that’s what I was told they should be.

 

But they still weren’t consistent or sustained like the way they were when I was feeling them that morning before we went to the hospital. I’m not sure how long I expected they would let me stay at home but I was just like, “ok baby is not ready I’m going to start getting ready for bed and have a shower and stuff” and dad answered my phone when I was in the shower, “It’s the hospital,” he peaked his head around the corner, “they say we have to come back within the hour as you are meant to be on antibiotics and starting induction now..”

 

My heart sank. I knew you weren’t ready. The questioning had already started though, the process and power felt like it was taken away. As I stood in the shower, savouring those moments of the water running down my back and leaning against the glass only able to see you moving around in my big puku not my feet, I murmured to you, “ok bud, here we go…”

 

Turning off the shower and getting in the car we were back in the car. Yes I was technically in labour, my waters had broken and I had got to 6 cm dilated but then it completely stopped and then after the shower before we left to go back to the hospital I felt more like you had moved down again, the twinges were slowly coming back.

 

INDUCTION

 

There is something ultimately unwelcoming about the sterile environments of hospitals. But driving to the hospital dad abd I were talking about how we knew you would be with us soon as we knew that even if you decided you didn’t want to come out, there was a time limit over us both because of the fact my waters had already broken the night before. We were excited to meet you.

 

While ultimately I did want as much of a natural birth as I could with you, my reasons for doing so were not martyrdom, they were recover time based. So the less interventions the less likely to need more interventions or so they say… but ultimately, as charted in my notes my birth plan consisted of “get the baby out me” so I was kind of teetering a fine line of “give me all the drugs” and “let me like ‘mother earth birth’ this baby”… You on the other hand were like, “oh crap, not this place again”…

 

Any progress we had made in the hours leading up to that again halted. They put me in a room by myself now, this would have been much handier on our initial visit but then I realised they wanted to try the gel induction first, so that meant we had to try and sleep in this room overnight. There was no way I was letting your Dad go home and leave me alone, he didn’t want to, to be fair but the nurse kept telling him to and in retrospect it would have been a better idea.

 

Anyway, your dad, despite complaining of the dismal conditions he was being expecting to sleep in, aka on the floor with like a thin hospital blanket and pillow, still managed to snore his head off the whole night. The midwife had used a gel induction which was the first attempt at trying to convince you out.. It did move you down but in my mind I had this mental image of like a cat with all fours on each side of the door frame as someone tried to push it into the bathroom for a bath… you were not that keen on moving…

 

And you were pushing right on top of my bladder so for every slight contraction that did come throughout the night I would feel the need to get up, step over your snoring father on the floor and go to the toilet. And then I would waddle back and climb into the bed and try and sleep but it just wasn’t happening.. At best I might have had an hours sleep or so that night so by the time they came back to see me and our progress in the morning I had been through two nights without sleep and I just as much as you, had a bit of a “fuck this shit” attitude.. Nothing was going to happen in this state, that much I knew.

 

When the next OB came into the room and examined me they were concerned about the lack of progress. They decided it was time to move me to a birthing suite and put in an IV induction. I had enough, I was so uncomfortable and tired and to be honest just pissed off. Interrupting the doctor I said, “before you touch me again or do a thing, call the anesthetist, put the epidural in now!”

 

The doctor and midwife and everyone was like “why don’t we just see how we go, wait a little bit…” I know they were thinking of shit like this can slow down the process more, she should wait blah blah blah…

 

I found some courage or empowerment or something but a voice that didn’t even feel like mine almost screamed out of me, “Look I haven’t slept in two days, I am fucking exhausted and this baby does not want to move right now. Call the fucking anesthetist now. I can rest for a bit, you pump me full of hormones which I know will make contractions more painful and intense I remember reading all this shit, the interventions have already stated and I want my fucking epidural NOW!”

 

The OB was like “ok, I will hold off but if the anesthetist can’t get here in the next 15 mins I am going to have to start the drip anyway”

 

When the anesthetist did walk in like 5 mins later my first thought was fuck she’s young and the second was, holy shit I don’t even care about all those scary risk shits they told me about just give me pain relief and give it to me now! I probably would have jumped up and kissed her if I hadn’t been so tired in all honesty.

 

Now this part I had researched, our antenatal class perspective was kind of aimed towards, ‘try and avoid interventions’ and there was limited information we took from it but we had also been to the hospital’s own workshop specifically about pain relief options and epidurals as well which was about the various options the hospital did have when it came to interventions and pain relief. Also obviously dad with his research chemist hat on had lots of questions about the specific mix of pharmaceuticals used in each option like he always does and asked like a million questions.

 

But also we had no long before had dinner with some friends, engaged at the time (you came to their wedding, just about five months later) he is an anesthetist and she an OB, so in terms of epidurals I had already had some clear idea of what I wanted if we were going down that road and when I saw we had a young anesthetist I thought of them and that conversation and had like an order in my mind of what I wanted and realised now was my best chance to get it.

 

She introduced herself and before she could even ask me any questions I said, “I want a self administered walking epidural. I just need a break for a bit, then I can have a chance to change my mind set and we can get this baby out. Just put the line in now and let me have a self administered one please.”

 

She chuckled a bit and was like, “well you researched your epidural options didn’t you..” but understood and respected my wishes and a self administered epidural was put in and the IV line for induction drugs just after. I pounded that little red button, made dad go find me some food and finally got to sleep for a few hours.

 

I have no idea of the doses of Pitocin or Syntocinon or whatever they were pumping into me but I know it must have been quite high. The OB would set it and I could see the midwife giving him a sideways glance then the charge nurse would come in and say, “oh no this is much too high” and turn it down. Just for the OB to come back half hour later and turn it up again and repeat the process. I just kept hitting that red button, my hopes of a vaginal birth just kept lowering, “well it was fucking useless getting that walking epidural then” I was thinking..

 

For the record, they may call it a walking epidural but it’s not like I could walk around, you still have a catheter in and are bed bound or at least I was, but it was lower dose and I could move my legs and move around more when the dose I had administered with the red button started to wear off. They would have to change the chemical mix if I had to have a c-section but the line would already be in so that part was done and all this faffing around and disagreement between the medical staff made me just shut off mentally.

 

I wanted to avoid c-section just because the recovery time is so much longer. That was the only reason. As I said from the beginning I was teetering a very fine line between wanting a ‘mother earth experience’ and a ‘just schedule me a planned c-section’ kind of birth plan and as I shut out all the noise and activity going on around me I guess I just accepted the fact that the longer recovery time really meant nothing and I was so over this process, which at that point, felt like it might never end. I didn’t realise it at the time but by shutting off my brain I was actually letting the cocktail of drugs they were pumping into me finally actually start to do something.

 

JUST CUT IT OUT

 

You were due on the 9th of Nov, 2012. My whole pregnancy I had this fear, this suspicion that you might be born on the 2nd of Nov, which is the date that Pa (my dad) died on in 2010. More than anything in the world I wanted you to have your own birthday, the last thing my Dad said to me was “don’t let me steal your thunder”… I remember in that moment looking at the clock, “you have three hours until we reach the cut off for this approach then we will have to do a c-section but I don’t want to do it yet, because I think we can convince this baby to come before that” – the doctor’s parting words rang through my head, in three hours, it would be the 2nd of fucking November.

 

I remember first looking up at the ceiling in despair, thinking, almost angrily, “you can fucking have my thunder dad but dont steal this kids day, dont fucking do that please – help me out here!”… Taking a deep breathe I looked again at the clock, the second hand seemed to slow down as I continued watching it and breathing really deeply. Then I looked down at you, still inside my puku and said to you “Ok bud, I know we were scared, but its all ok. I am ok, you are ok, this is a safe space ok? But we need to get you out, I need your help bubba. We really need you to come now, I don’t want you to be stuck with that date as your birthday. Please – work with me bub…”

 

I couldn’t feel anything before that point, as much as the idea of a self administered epidural is so you can still feel something and you don’t have the same high dose, my finger had been reaching for that little red button often. The only way to really tell before then if I was having a contraction was for me to be watching the monitor, but in those moments of really connecting with you I felt two things physically happen. First, not through the sensation of my belly but through my hands on my belly I felt a massive tightening – so huge my belly was moving under my hands and then I felt feet.

 

I felt your feet, push right up high in my womb, like you were trying to dive your way out! “Wow, those are some huge ones!” said the midwife breaking my concentration and drawing my attention to the monitor, “Oh there’s another!” she said without much pause for a break. “We might be calling the OB sooner than we thought!”

 

Shortly after the OB returned, it was my favourite from the team of obstetricians thankfully and as soon as he walked in, while looking at the clock, I cried out, “I can’t do this Tim. Just cut it out of me now, please. I know all the stuff we talked about but this baby can’t be born on the 2nd of Nov, I dont have any strength left. Just take me to theatre, please..”

 

By the time I had finished my rant at him, he was already gloved up and doing his exam, he said to me “Jess, remember how we talked about that ‘transitioning stage’, that’s what’s happening, you are feeling self doubt because we are at the next stage, you are going to have your baby soon. You’ve got this. James, come here, look…” and as dad walked around he said “I can see a head!” like it was the most shocking thing in the world! The doctor, Tim looked up at him and laughed, “yep well it wasn’t an elaborate joke, you’re going to have a baby. We are going to need you to push now Jess.”

 

The midwife, I’m not even sure of her name, but she was so amazing. She was right there in my ear saying to me, “We need to get your breathing in order, chill. Deep breaths ok? I saw on your chart you have been doing lots of swimming and pregnancy yoga, show me your breathing from some of those?”

 

Ok I thought, I knew this part from all that prenatal research, I knew that the pushing stage can take a while in many labours, I knew that if you were going to be born before the 2nd of Nov, I had a very limited time frame within which to literally push you out. But also, something happened in those moments when I was talking to you, you were ready now. No amount of artificial hormones or drugs they pumped me with trying to convince you it was time to come out had seemed to help that much, but me surrendering to the process and having a chat, a connected moment with you was all it took and then I could literally feel your feet trying to push downwards as well.

 

“I need to get on my knees” I declared. The epidural dose was wearing off and I was able to get up on my knees and leaning over the back of the bed with dad and the midwife supporting me. That’s when we really started to work together, I could feel you trying to push out every time I beared down. It was so amazing, like “holy shit this baby is actually trying to push his way out” that it gave me this like refreshed vigour and energy.

 

You were born 20 minutes later.

 

“You pushed like a demon!” said the OB breaking his normally very considered thoughtful ways of speaking. It was clear he was impressed at our efforts together too to get you out and into the world. You were born at 9.31pm on 1st of Nov, 2012.

 

You my beautiful first born where teaching me new things about connection and mind over matter and all kinds of stuff, even before you actually entered the world!

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I’m not sure who was more tired after that marathon effort, you or me! I certainly would have preferred more sleep than you did!

 

After you were born, Dad dressed you while you were checked over and I hemorrhaged and lost a lot of blood, probably because of all the interventions and cocktail of drugs I was given to try convince you to come out. No one really explained that those set of circumstances also meant my milk might take a while longer to come in and it was only my PCOS that was ‘blamed’ for that after the fact. If only I’d realised that maybe all you needed was to hear your mum, me, tell you it was ok and to come out now and for me to shut off my brain and surrender to the process I wonder if your birth may have been quite different.  I also realised after your birth, what a blimp on the radar the birth process was, even as drawn out as that, in terms of this journey of parenthood we had embarked on when you where conceived… In retrospect it wasn’t the birth I should have worried about so much but the three months of struggles we had ahead of us following that!

 

Like I say to you often sweet boy, thanks for making me a mum and thanks for choosing us to be your parents you smart clever little soul you are.

 

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Getting some vitamin D and skin to skin time with Dad the morning after you were born

 

 

 

Love you to the furthest quasar and back,

Mum x

 

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Cuddles at Birthcare

 

PS – Sorry it’s taken me 4+ years to write your birth story! Your little brother does get to be the first for a few things still, even if you are the eldest 😉 – Jai’s birth story was my first post on this blog and can be found here – My beautiful rainbow amazing baby’s birth story

 


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Welcome to Dana & Andrew – some team intro’s

Say hi to this beautiful family!!

Here is another team intro for you guys!!

As I’ve already mentioned, we have been busy drawing together some of the most awesome people we know to help us pull of this Why Dads Babywear project!

So next intro for you guys comes from Dana 💚 her husband Andrew is number five in our original Facebook series of 100 reasons from dads 😉

I actually meet these guys for the very first time when I was pregnant with Jai and had Josh with me hosting a West Auckland Parents Centre antenatal class. Andrew and Dana came in with Maddi who was a newborn at the time so he could be the “model baby” of how one might go about bathing and dressing a newborn

Dana Chandler-Brown is helping us with her “editor” hat on and like Zoe Crossley Woodman from The Sling Consultancy, has been helping me manage traffic and trollers for the last few weeks on my facebook page..

Because she has her own beautiful way with words, I will clear the floor to let her introduce herself to you…

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Hi I’m Dana!

I’m a freelance writer and lucky enough to “work from home”.

I loved carrying my son and had a range of carriers with him, I loved the sweet snuggles and for months it was the only way he would nap (thank God for Netflix!).

When my second came along (and 8 weeks early at that…) I struggled with feeling torn between the two kids, I felt like I had no time to bond with my daughter but was still unable to give my son the attention and love he needed. Baby wearing was the tool that allowed me to bond with, snuggle and inhale all that lovely newborn deliciousness, while still giving my toddler what he needed.

My wrap jobs are often far from perfect, my carriers will often have paint or dirt from the park on them, but they’re the most treasured tool I have in my parenting kit.

I hope that this project can help guide parents through the parenting journey which can be so overwhelming.

 

dana-and-andrew


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A F&*KING REAL LIFE BOOK!

So this is so absolutely crazy…

 

This time last week we were at the trampoline park celebrating Josh, our eldest sons fourth birthday…

 

This week, I am busy trying to sort all the final touches on this Why Dads Babywear project to become a FREAKING REAL LIFE BOOK!

 

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Who knew so much would come from an argument James and I had about my attempts to persuade and maybe change some perceptions of expectant fathers who I was trying to convince to come along to my workshops with their pregnant wives…

 

I am an independent Sling and Carrier Consultant, I trained through Slingababy Training School on the first ever Babywearing consultant course to be held on New Zealand soil! Lorette came out to Christchurch in New Zealand and 21 of trained together, taking the total number of consultants around New Zealand from less than 10 (who all had to go overseas to get trained) to almost 30.

 

Paid support services in the babywearing world are a really new development… If you want a good comparison, think about how much La Leache Leauge has done to support breastfeeding mothers all over the world for many, many years run by hard working, dedicated volunteers. Yet Lactation Consultants are something that has only been in New Zealand at least in the last 15 odd years.

 

This industry is very much in its infancy. The broad recognition of just how beneficial these parenting tools can be for all of our families is not yet mainstream again in our current society. Furthermore, it is incredibly common that I hear, “I’m just going to let my wife worry about that stuff” or “I am really hoping my husband will want to use the carrier too but I will have to try and convince him first…”

I had this vision of more expectant fathers coming along to my workshops.. I ranted and raved at James about how I think it might help with the struggle a lot of Dads feel when a new baby arrives. Perinatal mental distress well and truly affects both men and women and I think that maybe giving Dads more practical “roles” and suggestions might help.

I remember as a new mum for the first time myself, I really struggled. With recovering from birth, trying to get my head around breastfeeding and all the issues we had with that, with lack of sleep… He so desperately wanted to help often and he didn’t really know what his role in that could be.

 

I spent hours pumping breastmilk so James could give Josh a bottle as the feeding seemed like one of the key things I had available to share with him.. What a pain in the arse that was and why do we tend to equate that with the way new Dads have to bond with their babies?! I still hear it often talking with pregnant mums…

If we could give Dads the role of the “guardian of the knowledge” about slings and carriers for their families and empowered them to learn about more options, to try some things out, to learn how to use them with dolls and about safety and all that jazz I share and do with Mums at my workshops, maybe that would take a bit of the load of both people about to embark on this life altering shift together.

 

I remember so many times when James would get in the door from work when Josh was a newborn and I would be a crying mess in a rocking chair holding this baby in my arms, frazzled and strung out… He would just give me this look, like, “what am I meant to do?” and also a bit of “wtf is this crazy lady and what happened to that chick I knocked up less than a year ago?!”

 

If he had been empowered with information and felt confident to grab a carrier at that point, strap the baby to him and gone for a walk while I got to have a shower without anyone touching me or me freaking out that the baby was going to cry at any second, maybe that could have been a good approach to coping. It would have made him feel like he had something I could do and it would have given me a reason to hang in there until he got home from work so I could clean myself and pull my shit together.

Instead he would walk in the door, a little bit like a scared gazelle at the waterhole, not sure if it is safe or if an alligator is going to snap out of the water at any second and attack…

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am saying he didn’t have cause to be scared, he sure fucking did. It’s just that it didn’t help…

We did all kinds of classes before Josh was born, like antenatal classes, breastfeeding classes, birth massage classes, first aid classes… all kinds of things that we hoped would prepare us the first time round.. Often things I dragged him to reluctantly but all had at least something in them that helped..

Do you know what I wish I had prepared myself for most though?

Slings and carriers.

 

Carriers have literally saved our arse and our sanity sooo many times. Both of us. Not just me.

 

And so I had been reading and researching about perinatal depression and distress from a dads perspective, I did heaps of work and thinking and generally just lots of effort in and I had drawn up a mindmap of an outline for a infographic and a bit of a plan I hoped might help me cross that barrier a bit better.

 

And I took it to James and I was so chuffed with myself and I showed him, “what do you think?”

 

“This is good right? These are some great reasons why dads would babywear right?”

 

He scanned it for a second, put down the piece of paper and continued what he was doing, “hmmm” he grunted.

“Hmmm, what?” I asked.

“I dunno.. just hmmm I guess” he replied.

“Hmmm, WHAT?!” I snapped back, I was getting really pissed off already to be honest, “what the f#ck does that mean?”

“Its just, well, it reads like a mum who is trying to write from a dads perspective…” he replied, “you know?!”

“Well that’s cause I am a mum writing from a dads perspective, I can’t become a dad can I?!? Come on man, I just spent like 8 hours trying to get my head around this, give me more, tell me what am I meant to do then?! What’s your f#cking great idea hey? Are you gonna write something?”

“Just use less words!” he snapped back, “look as a dad I don’t want to see all your graphs and shit, just give it to me short, snappy, quick, you know..?”

“I get your point James but I don’t know what words to use! I am not a Dad. You are! Why do YOU babywear?” I screamed at him.

“So they don’t run off and cause shit when I have stuff to do” he replied.

“WHAT THE F#CK DO YOU WANT ME TO DO WITH THAT JAMES? PUT IT ON A F#CKING POSTER?”

“Oh yeah you could do that, it might make a good poster..”

 

I stormed out. I lost my shit haha

I went into the yard and had a cry and a sulk and then suddenly I remembered the photos I had just taken of him the day before with Jai on his back while he shovelled mulch into the wheel barrow…

It was like a light bulb, maybe it would be a good poster..? I wonder if I could get other “dad quotes” and do like a few of them…? I could ask around maybe, see if some other consultants or their families would be keen too?

 

And so I did.

 

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And holy moly what a ride!

 

Not only was he right and it did make a good poster (yep eat my words, apologize lots etc) but other people were keen to send me some pictures so I posted it to Facebook as an album. I hoped best case maybe we could get to like 30…

 

When we got home from the trampoline park there were already heaps of them being shared with me. I made more and more as they came and all of a sudden we were nearly at 50!

The next morning when I woke up and checked my phone while I hid from everyone with my coffee, it wouldn’t load Facebook at all.

When I turned on the laptop to check what was going on, all of these notifications where flooding in but they weren’t in English… When I tried to click on one to load it, the page refreshed, the notification counter went back to 99+ again and I couldn’t even find the notification I was just looking at any more…

 

“Ummm, James…” I called from down the hall, “maybe it did make a good poster… look at this…”

 

Another 12 hours later I was still getting flooded with them, I had already made so many! What in the world was going on….

 

“Babe, this rate I’m going to be making posters forever!” I said to him as I made yet another at the kitchen bench trying to also scoff my dinner and breastfeed the baby in a sling at the same time…

 

“Seriously?” he looked less than amused, “I did not turn down research gigs to watch the kids so you could make posters forever babe! And the point was less words! NOBODY is going to flick through 100 photos and read them all! And if you are not doing consults and workshops, how the f#ck are we going to buy extra lunch food for Playcentre next week?! I said make one poster, not forever make posters, come on babe, wrap it up. Move on.”

 

I agreed with him that a finite number, while also a great relief that there was an end to frantic poster making in sight as there was an end number, would have more impact anyway.

 

“Just call it 100 reasons if you think you have enough” he suggested.

Honestly I hadn’t slept more than a few hours each night in those few days. It was like a crazy high to watch the numbers and stats and shit jump and flicker around and see and receive ALL these amazing insights into these families who are just like me and the boys, lucky to have a really awesome dad in our family.

One that is hands on, that loves his kids, that views his role and modelling in their lives as just as important and equivalent (yet so, so different) to the role of the mother of their children.

Just being cool dads.

 

Thank you so much for giving me this honour of getting to curate posters of your photos and words and families and lives. I did nothing more than make a pretty template, stick my husbands words on it and posted it to Facebook.

 

You guys made this a celebration of fatherhood.

Thank you for letting me be part of it.

-Jess

 

Oh and if you haven’t already, please send us an email to whydadsbabywear@gmail.com preorders will only be shared with links on that address. It is impossible to find you all again but I am doing my damdest to try but if shot an email through I will know we haven’t missed you when we hand over that email address to someone else next week…

Just let me go make some more money first, before James steals my card again to “go buy groceries” – a line he likes to remind me often I used on him for almost five years before he got to say it back to me for the first time! (and the cheeky shit bought the most expensive f#cking vacuum cleaner in the shop, “just you know, cause I thought we needed a new one and I had your card when I was driving past the shop, you know how it is… I have to sort lunches for tomorrow…” my HUSBAND says to me with a smirk… talk about role reversal…)

 


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Two ways to make a DIY babywearing “doll”

So I have posted before about why sling and carrier consultants love using babywearing dolls, it makes it easier to practise, its not only safer but makes sure your attitude and general vibes to the process, which are in turn passed on to bubs, can be more confident and it helps when learning.

But I also mentioned, professional babywearing dolls are expensive.

 

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They are made to order and hand crafted. The have rotatable joints and weighted limbs and bodies. The are pretty important to us as consultants {for the love of God people, if you aren’t going to pick it up like a real baby, grab it by the clothes! I dread to think how quickly one of my dolls arms is going to be ripped off!).

But in saying that, I only in the last few months got dolls of my own. And I have been demonstrating and showing people tips and tricks with a carrier for much longer than that!

There are a number of ways to do so.

Obviously an actual real life child is an option. In my experience they can be a pain though. They have needs and desires and can be difficult and vocal hahaha all this is obviously what is normal with children but in a demo or practise setting, it can be a bit of a barrier…

So, while I have actually strapped a bag of potatoes to me to show someone a finish when the kids where in bed, I do recommend you use something at least with a resemblance to arms and legs…

 

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If you have a doll or teddy with a soft body it’s an option.. if you can find one that has some resemblence to knees and hips that’s even better but hey, work with what you’ve got!
My kids have a toy koala that is roughly baby sized and has knees of sorts and it’s feet even have some bean weightedness to them so that’s a good option for me… I have also used dolls, like maternity setting ones which are typically not that weighted.

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So there are a couple of ways you can make your own option… one horrified my children and husband and they all declared I wasn’t allowed to play with the kids toys anymore and get my own, which I did.. but I will get to that in a sec.. first a less permanent solution…

 

 

The Weighted Nappy trick 

So you have a soft toy or a doll that has hopefully some resemblance to arms and legs, hips and knees would be great but a soft body toy will work if that’s what you have…
Using rice or river stones or something similar to create some extra weight, put them in zip lock bags. I tap over the zip locks because I have had one “rice explosion” incident..  the doll equivalent to a poonami I guess! 😉
Then I use a cloth nappy, I’m sure a disposable would probably also work but the studs or Velcro on a cloth one, plus the fact you can take out some extra inserts or padding if you need, makes it my preferred option. Plus it means I get to use some of the cute nappies that Jai has outgrown too! 😉

Just stick your weighted bag inside the nappy laid on the floor and put it on your doll or teddy…

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You can take it off when your done and no one gets hurt… OR there is another option…

 

The full blown ‘decapitate, gut and stuff’ method 

 

This is the one that had my husband and kids looking at me horrified and telling me to stay away from the toy box.

 

I said to then, “the koala is actually a really good option are you sure I can’t make it weighted properly?? It will still be a cool toy just heavier… I’ll just unpick it’s throat, pull out some stuffing, put some rocks in there are sew it up again! It won’t even take me long!”

Yeah… they snatched the koala out of my hands haha Josh screamed, “get your own toys mum!!”  hahaha fair enough kid…
So I did.. while I am totally keen for having a menagerie of animals instead of somewhat creepy looking doll faces looking out at me from the plastic storage tubs, most of them are not quite as fit for purpose as the dear koala of theirs…

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So I went so a soft body doll option from Kmart.. These ones are actually a great option for me cause its “no sew”. The dolls heads are actually attached to the bodies with cable ties so it makes for a clean decapitation in that sense…

Just cut the cable ties and unthread it and you have a head less doll. Next gut it. you don’t need to pull out all the stuffing but I found it best when we go some rocks into the plastic bits of the arms and legs.. my kids actually thought this was a great activity to help me with when it wasn’t their toys I was decapitating so the dolls got rocks left right and centre really… we even weighted their heads a little bit!

Then we put stuffing back in. Into the plastic bits too, hoping to prevent a bit of rattle but that only really half worked..

 

 

Once your baby has stuffed arms and legs again and a bit of a bum, stick a bag of rocks or sand inside, similar fashion to the one used in the Weighted Nappy option and put it in the core of your doll, close to the bum if you can but you want to put lots of stuffing under and around it too or you will end up with a lumpy bummed or backed baby haha

Either of these is a great option of you have a wrap or sling and are pregnant and keen to try before bubba arrives… Another option of course is to check out a babywearing educator or workshops near you 🙂 – http://babywearingeducators.co.nz/babywearingeducators/


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Practising while still pregnant…

Slings & Carriers can be an incredibly useful parenting tool. When your baby is in the “fourth trimester” period as a newborn, it is common for them to settle best close to you.

 

Human babies are born with a biological need to be kept close to their caregivers. As a species, our young are born dependent on us. Carrying them close to us allows them to continue developing critically in that first transition from the womb to the world. Carrying them and using slings and carriers has actually made us develop to be smarter as a species, a long time before now.

 

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This can also be very draining and your arms do get sore… Even a little baby gets heavy when you are holding them for long periods of time! Wraps, slings and carriers can help with this transition from womb to world.

Slings and carriers can help make your newborn cry less, help you to bond with your baby and let Dads be more involved. They can be used in many ways to support breastfeeding. They are convenient and help provide a sense of freedom while also helping you meet your baby’s needs and desire to be close.

 

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More and more pregnant women are joining me for my workshops, like this morning, lovely to meet you Chloe 🙂 I love that more people are becoming aware this is actually a great time to learn and play, yes you have a pregnant belly, but newborns are little and curled up and options like a ring sling or a stretchy wrap are awesome to try above your pregnant puku with a doll.

 

I am also really keen to get some workshops set up on the weekends sometime in the near future as I would love to have some Dad’s and other support people to come along and be the “guardians of the carrier of knowledge” for their families..

 

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Having a newborn is overwhelming for everyone but Mum is probably trying to sort latch with breastfeeding, dealing with postpartum body, hormone and mind changes, struggling with lack of sleep and everything else. Babywearing is such an awesome way for support people to have a really active role and job for caring for tiny newborns. It would be very cool to share the use of this tool and the information around it as a way for support people and Dad’s to help bond and care for both mother and baby.

 

Slings can actually be used to help you “take a load off” while you are still pregnant! They are also useful for supporting hips both during and post pregnancy. While you are pregnant is also a great time to learn about safety and positioning and see a range of options that might help you to work out what could best suit you.

 

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Feeling empowered to use this parenting tool, before you are even holding your precious new bundle will help you to use slings and carriers to your advantage as soon as possible in your parenting journey. Also having the chance to see a range of options could help you to save money by choosing something you are comfortable using and like before investing in one yourself.

 


 

To see my event listings for workshops please see my Facebook page here or otherwise you can view my details of my Workshops and other Services here – https://babywearingwithjess.wordpress.com/my-services/