When I was pregnant with my eldest daughter Ella nearly 9 years ago, I bought a Babylonia stretchy wrap in Belgium. I never really got the hang of it though and there wasn’t a great babywearing community either, so we quickly gave up and used the pushchair for everything.
In 2011 I fell pregnant with our second baby. This time round I was determined to give babywearing another go. When I went to the a Baby Show whilst l was pregnant, to check out all the latest things you might need, I bought a Close Caboo carrier.
I was so excited and looking forward to carrying our baby. Then I went for my 20 week scan.
We were very eager to be find out whether Ella was going to have a baby brother or sister.
And then we heard the words no parent should ever hear: ‘I am sorry, there is no heartbeat. ‘
It was really one of the worst days of my life as I had to tell Ella we couldn’t bring our baby home.
Three days later, I gave birth to Sterre, our second precious baby girl. Dreams were shattered and our arms were empty. Walking out of the hospital with a broken heart.
The Close Caboo and other baby related items got packed away, too painful to stay in view.
We found out from the postmortem that Sterre had triploidy, a chromosomal disorder which meant she had 3 sets of chromosomes instead of 2 and is incompatible with life.
After that, we started trying again, as I was desperate for a baby to hold. It took us a while and I fell pregnant again in the same month Sterre was conceived.
A rainbow pregnancy, a pregnancy conceived after the loss of a baby, is a pretty scary thing, with extra check ups to make sure all was ok.
All the emotions of grief that were still very raw and a pregnancy that was only 2 weeks out with Sterre’s, had quite an impact on me. Quietly praying that at the end of it, we would have a baby to cuddle and hold. At 37 weeks, I was signed off from the consultant and was allowed to have the home birth I wanted.
Everything went really well and our third daughter Lotta was born at home.
When I did the nursery run with her at 3 days old, I took her in the pram and she cried all the way there, so much that I took her out and carried her in my arms back home whilst pushing the pram. The next school run, I dug out the Close Caboo and we never looked back.
I loved the cuddles, keeping her close to my heart, breathing in her baby milky smell, carrying her in the carrier that I bought for her big sister, but that never held her close. It connected us in a way that I would have never thought it would. I discovered Facebook groups for babywearing and after a few months bought our first woven wrap, a Lenny Lamb Sunrise Rainbow, very apt for my rainbow baby. A few slings soon became many…
We attended monthly sling meets after moving to Cambridge and I enabled quite a few of my friends and family into babywearing. Babywearing quickly became our thing, together with breastfeeding. When I changed jobs when Lotta was 10 months old, babywearing became our catch up cuddles, the way we connected from being apart all day.
I carried Lotta all the way through my second rainbow pregnancy with our 4th daughter Arya. Two months before having Arya I attended a babywearing peer supporter course.
Arya was also born at home and has been carried straight away and again, like with Lotta I really enjoyed having her close. The added benefit of having my hands free to still be available for her big sisters is what makes me love babywearing so much.
Since I started babywearing Lotta, my dream was to one day do a babywearing consultancy course and help out other people carry their babies and hold them close.
My dream has become reality as I attended the Slingababy Baby-carrying Consultant course last year and now I can pursue my dream with the help of all my girls.
Our 5th daughter Clara was born just after Christmas 2017 and just like her big sisters has been subjected to lots of trying out of different slings. She is really the perfect demo baby and she’s got quite a few keen babywearing sisters too.
I am working as a baby-carrying consultant as you can see on this website and I also volunteer for East Kent Slings where I help lots of parents carry their children.
After losing Sterre, babywearing has helped me immensely connecting with my girls. It helped me keep them close to where we carry Sterre forever and always, in our heart.