When I first found out I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to ‘wear’ my baby. But there’s so many different types of carriers on the market, I really couldn’t figure out which would be most suitable for us (babies are headstrong creatures and have their own preferences…trust me).
While we were expecting, we bought an ErgoBaby Original; I was pretty certain that a structured carrier would suit me the best because of my pre-existing back issues – one relatively minor, awkward fall during a roller derby practise followed by no treatment for a few years did a number on my lower back and pelvis. Then, of course, we had an emergency caesarean section – you really don’t want anything touching a fresh wound on your abdomen. I decided that a stretchy would work well, and I’m sure it would have, if I was more coordinated in wrapping it and Olivia didn’t scream every time I tried to put her in when I’d finally managed to origami myself into five metres of jersey.
Back to square one.
Cut to a month ago and we go to catch up with a couple of derby chums of mine, Dave and Jade. Two children at her feet and one on the way, Jade scoops Olivia out of my (tired) arms for a cuddle and pops her into a ring sling. Now, I’d completely discounted slings because of my dodgy back and a weird assumption that the over the shoulder nature of a sling would unbalance me – Jade has had her own back issues in the past, so when she offered to lend me the sling I was already changing my mind.
I’ve been using it since then, and it’s saved my bacon (and my arms) a couple of times. Notably for me, when I took the train into Adelaide for a physio visit and Olivia insisted on being carried and it meant that I had both hands free to push her pram around! The one time I forgot it was when I’d parked a short walk from my mother’s group last Thursday and the pram refused to unfold; so I carried Olivia, her nappy bag and my tote down the street and decided I really did need to get myself into gear and find my own sling.
Cue a sleepless night on Thursday; a certain someone was up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and once she drifted off I couldn’t quite get myself to sleep. I hit Gumtree and browsed around for a while, disappointed that no one is selling the chickens I want. Bored, I searched for ring slings and found an Oscha ring sling nearby for only $50!
We picked it up last night. It’s an older style but it’s in great condition and really comfortable, and the woman I bought it from mentioned it was her first, and the one that started her wrap collection. Right now I think I’m not determined enough to try and get myself into a woven wrap, though some of the designs could sway me one day…
In the interests of helping a friend expecting her first baby, we’re also organising a little get together so she can try on a few different kinds of wraps. Even though baby will get the final say, it gives her a chance to try and figure out what works for her first (and hopefully, she won’t have to get to her third carrier before that happens!).
The communities I’ve discovered since being pregnant really make me wonder how expectant mothers who don’t have anyone to count on get by; without the help of my friends, I’d still be trying to figure out what would work for me!
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