Category: Pregnancy - His Porcelain Soldier
 
If you've never heard of  babywearing, let me introduce you to one of the best things you can do for your baby! It's not just one of the many fads out there. There is actually a science & health benefits for you and your baby behind babywearing. You can read more about the benefits here. There are many places on the web to read about babywearing, just hit "google."

I won't go into depth myself, because this post is meant to inform you of some of the different types of slings available. If you live in my area, I offer free babywearing classes to Moms and Dads (Yes, lots of Dads wear their babies too, including Dads like Brad Pitt!) (If you don't know what area I live in, you'll have to contact me privately.)

Here I will show you some photos of me wearing my favorite slings & I will explain what each of them are: 
 

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Here I am wearing a homemade wrap. This is a simple piece of material, cut a certain width & length. Those sizes vary. There are specific ways to "wrap" your baby and you need to learn them before attempting to do so. You can find wearing instructions for every type of sling on youtube, or attend a babywearing class in your local area.

This sling is good for wearing baby for long periods of time. Slings are like shoes. You wouldn't wear heels to go hiking. You'd wear hiking boots! It is the same concept with slings. You want to wear a sling that fits your activity. Though, wraps are very versatile regardless of how long you're wearing one.

They do have longer learning curves. So it may not be the best sling for a beginner. It can actually discourage babywearing if you try to start out in one, because of the learning curve. But some people have a preference for them, and anyone is capable of learning. It's really not that difficult once you learn how! And it's not difficult to learn once you become familiar with it.

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Here I am wearing my twins in peanut slings (I refer to them as monkey slings.) I'm actually wearing two different slings here. A peanut sling doesn't look like this. I just put one over each shoulder & crossed them in order to wear my twins at the same time. These are one shoulder carries and are good for wearing baby on your hip, rather than holding them on your hip & not having your hands free. Though, there are several different ways to wear a peanut sling. These slings are not good for extended wearing periods. They're for short wearing periods, a quick trip into the store, etc. I got my monkey slings on Hugamonkey.com. You can learn more about them there.

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Here I am wearing a Mei Tai sling. These are Asian inspired slings. They are similar to the way you'd wear a wrap, without the "wrap" part. If you're interested in the wrap and a beginner, this is probably the best way to start out. This sling is typically a square (or sometimes contured) shaped/cut material with four straps, top & bottom. You simply tie the straps around your body (see middle picture.) I am wearing one cut for an adult & my 1 yr old is wearing a mini, child version sling that matches mine, with her doll inside. These are good for little girls who want to be like Mom with their dolls (any sling is really.) This particular sling was homemade. And if they're big enough, even siblings can wear their little brother or sister in this sling. Here is my 10 year old wearing his little sister.

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Here is my contured Mei Tai sling. It was from an online boutique. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the website anymore.

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These are just my personal favorites, and I wear them all. There are Do's and Don'ts to babywearing! There are safe & unsafe baby slings and safe & unsafe ways to wear your baby. So it is important to be educated on babywearing through a class, online, or a babywearing friend!

Babywearing is as natural for your baby as breastfeeding, and it's origins go back thousands of years & to all cultures.

Thanks for reading!
 
As I lay with my cheek against the carpet and stare off into the carpet fuzz valleys... I'm taken back.

There was the night that I was so nervous I couldn't even bring myself to go into the store to buy a home test. I sent my cousin inside to get it instead while I waited in the car.

And then I didn't know how to tell him there would be one more... we already had four. But God had other plans in mind.

At that first prenatal visit I told the dr there must be more than one because I shouldn't already be so big! He laughed at me and said that I was just getting older.

I insisted that there was more than one. A Mom knows these things. He was certain that there wasn't. But he said he'd send me in for an ultrasound to check the dates, since I thought I was bigger than I should be.

I remember seeing the little flicker on the screen, just 7 weeks along... proof of life, even this young, a heartbeat so strong!

"Are you sure you only see one? Because I really think there's two."

"No Ma'am, from what we can tell there's definately only one here."

I got scared the next week when problems arose. This isn't supposed to happen when you're pregnant. I scurried to the emergency room. Could it be a miscarriage? It was looking so...

They wheeled me off in my bed to ultrasound to see if the baby was alright. She didn't say anything as she began typing her ultrasound findings in on the screen.

But I saw her type it... "Baby A"... and then on the other half of the picture, "Baby B"... Yes, I knew. I felt my heart skip a beat and was filled with overwhelming joy.

And then I thought, "why did Daddy have to fall asleep back in the room? I can't believe he's missing this!"

I joined all the online groups I could find. Just when I thought I knew it all about parenting, I realized that I didn't know a THING about twins! I had entered an unknown territory.

I gained a lot of friends who were having multiples too. Many of them were due around the same time as me.

And as the months passed by, I began to leave those groups one by one. I couldn't take the heartache as I'd watch another Mom lose one or both of her babies each week during our pregnancies. And then.... what if one or both of my babies was next? I couldn't even bear the thought... twins have high fatality rates during gestation. If people only knew...

Many online multiples friends began to give birth. And then I slowly watched their marriages dissolve. My heart ached. Was my marriage next? Something about having multiples is too much for some Dads. Dads are happy at the hospital. But when they get home reality sets in and they shut down. Moms become too exhausted and resentment follows. The "Daddy multiples plaque" hit my home too. For the first 6 months, I was a single mom of twins, even though Daddy lived with us. But his reaction was normal, as I saw all the other multiples Dad go into the same shut down mode. I was able to have more understanding for him.

At your birth I couldn't push you out fast enough... the agony.. and more agony after baby A was out & I realized I had to push all over again for baby B! I was so tired.

It was 8 long minutes in between your births. Baby A came out well and head first. But Baby B was having troubles. I was scared. Finally... out came two tiny feet. You weren't supposed to come out feet first. But you made it here safe and sound... both of you. I could finally breathe.

We took you home and I never hated one sleepless night. Change a diaper, feed, put to sleep, and then the other baby wakes...change, feed, sleep, switch...all night long...all night long, and then all day. People like to compare "Irish twins" to real twins, but there is no comparison to two newborns at once... none.

But I knew the miracles I held in my arms, and I would never take you for granted. I loved every sleepless night and I loved watching you grow.

Six months of total bliss with my babies and a rocky marriage, Daddy finally snapped out of it. He then fell in love with you too. How could he not? His only regret was all that he missed for the first 6 months of your life. It flew by so fast. But we survived it because he's a good Daddy and husband... and because he picked me for a wife. Sadly, many of my multiples friends do not have a marriage anymore. God kept us... God kept us.

I made you both an appointment today for your 18 month well child check. Time goes faster than I want it to. Where's a stopwatch when you need one?

Everyday with you is better than the last. You have little personalities of your own now, and you're really good at making me feel like the most important person in the world... you love your mommy so much.

As I lay here with my cheek against the carpet and stare at the carpet fuzz... I can't help but grin as you are both straddled over my back and bouncing & laughing. I don't know what's so fun about bouncing on Mommy's back, there's not a lot of bouncy cushion there. But what matters is that it makes you happy... because that makes me happy.

There is no greater feeling in the world than what I feel as I stare at the carpet fuzz.
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