Your Carrying Story – Tania
“I knew even before I was pregnant that if we were lucky enough to have a baby, they would be worn. I loved the idea of closeness, but also the practical aspect of being able to get around independently with a baby, as a wheelchair user.
I knew that, being a wheelchair user, a pram wasn’t going to be an option for me. Even the adapted versions I’d seen online didn’t look like they’d be right for me (and were hard to buy and hella expensive!). I also loved the idea of constantly having my baby in a hands-free cuddle. Babywearing was going to be both an enjoyable experience and a tool to help me be an independent Mum. But my journey with wrapping started even before my baby arrived!
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started researching carriers. There was a lot to consider to pick the right option for my needs. I knew I wouldn’t manage buckles or knots on my back with my chair. While watching YouTube tutorials, I came across belly wrapping. I was experiencing pelvic girdle pain, but not getting much help from the physio I’d been referred to. I decided I had nothing to lose, so ordered a one-way stretchy wrap in the hope that it would ease my pain. What a difference it made!
Wrapping got me through pregnancy and has been an amazing tool with my Squishy.
As I type this, Elise is 9 weeks old. Thanks to babywearing, we’ve been able to do everything other parents and their newborns can. I’ve taken Elise to have her injections by myself and we’ve been to London and Birmingham (nothing exciting, just hospital appointments for me). We’ve been out for ‘walks’ together and are looking forward to a big family get together in the park later this month. I can nip to the shops if we run out of milk, meet up with friends for coffee, take the train, the list is endless. Without my wraps, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house with Elise alone and I’d struggle to do basic things at home.
My baby wearing journey hasn’t always been an easy one. I was housebound during pregnancy, so I couldn’t get to a sling library. I’d ask for advice in Facebook groups, explaining that I couldn’t get to a sling library, only to have that very thing suggested to me. I wish I’d known about It’s A Sling Thing sooner!
When you live with a disability, hurdles and finding alternative options is par for the course. While I’ve had some frustrations on my baby wearing journey (and I’m sure I’ll have more!), I’ve also been able to make some wonderful memories in the short time Elise has been with us. Simple things that most people take for granted have been made possible for me, thanks to baby wearing and having the right mobility equipment.
My husband has seen how much Elise and I both love our wraps and decided he wants in on the action too! So as an early Father’s Day and birthday present, I bought him a buckle carrier. I love that he wants in too – babywearing feels like even less of an adaptation because of my disability as a result.”
Do you have a story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Your Carrying Story!