November 13, 2013

Mind and Body Update

We're just going to go ahead and skip the "body" part of this because it's embarrassing to admit month after month that I'm not doing ANYTHING exercise-wise.  I find myself fighting a lot of long-time instincts to hurry up and get back to a certain size/weight, so I'm trying instead to just sloowwwww down and rejoice in the fact that I'm wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes, and that there is no rush.  I'm only 4.5 months postpartum, and I am not a celebrity.  There is no rush or expectation for me to look a certain way.

Eventually I'd like to get back into an exercise routine so I can not get so winded when I'm taking the stairs, but there's no hurry.  Because there are much more important things to talk about and focus on right now: the fact that I'm happy and feeling so confident!

You read that correctly: CONFIDENT.

Man, God has really been working on me in the last month and I just feel...freer. (That word looks really stupid ...MORE FREE. FREEDOM.  That's what I feel.)

I mentioned in an early blog post (that I'm too tired and lazy to go find for linking purposes) (probably about breastfeeding) how disappointed I was to not meet many of the expectations I set for myself while pregnant...mostly related to attachment parenting.  Breastfeeding didn't work out for me...I was too selfish about keeping my multiple blankets to try co-sleeping...and I was really awkward about babywearing for several months. But Michael and I both really wanted to try, so we started with the easy-to-use Baby K'Tan wrap:

Tiny 3-week old Z in the Baby K'Tan wrap
It can be very intimidating to start babywearing, and there is a whole other language associated with it: Woven. Ring sling. Mei Tai. Rebozo. Tails. Rails. Rucksack. Double hammock. Reinforced ruck. Tibetan tie. Nubs and slubs. Sleepy dust. FWCC.  Semi FWCC. Tied at shoulder.  Tied under bum.  Soft structured carriers. Crotch danglers. Wrap conversions. AND SO ON.

The babywearing community, just like any very passionate sect of the parenting community, can get really intense and judgmental, which can make it even more intimidating to start.  You'll see eye rolls and scoffs and snarky comments about "crotch danglers" and women who clutch their pearls at the thought of pushing their baby in a stroller. (I have a stroller. It's awesome.)

But the community can also be really really awesome! For example, I'm a part of a Moms group online that includes several babywearers.  As I got to know these women individually, I also saw that the babywearing community can be not only incredibly helpful, supportive, but also generous.  A couple of these awesome mamas loaned me some wraps to try other than my K'Tan, including a Ring Sling and a couple of woven wraps in different sizes (a Didymos Mermaid Indio and a Natibaby Notes), and those were super intimidating at first.

But with the help of YouTube, text/Facebook messages between the lenders and myself, and some awesome feedback from babywearing groups online, I'm getting much more confident!

Natibaby Notes, size 4. FWCC tied under bum.
In the ring sling at the pediatrician's office.

I've worn Z while vacuuming...

...and even experienced some of that elusive "sleepy dust!"

Didymos Mermaid Indio, size 6. FWCC.

As I got more confident in the role of Mommy, I got much more confident babywearing. The two are definitely linked.  There were times with those borrowed wraps that I just wanted to call it a day and give up.  But when it did work and I wasn't all sweaty and dealing with a thoroughly pissed off baby once was an incredible feeling!

Now I'm trying new carries when I can, and even getting brave and trying back carries:

Didymos Mermaid Indio, Ruck tied in front

I'm officially converted.  I love wearing Z, and I love experiencing the "babywearing high" that I've heard my mom friends talk about.  When I'm grocery shopping and wearing him in front, I talk to him the whole time. I ask him what kind of cereal I should get.  I tell him about how my day was.  I know it seems silly, but it's so amazing and natural to have him so close to me all the time when I'm wearing him!  He's close enough for me to kiss his head, and when he gets tired or overstimulated, he can just nestle down and go to sleep.

I feel confident and in control and close to my son all at the same time. Because I'm hands-free when I'm wearing him, I can actually get stuff done around the house (see above: vacuuming with baby). And he seems to really love it.  He fusses while I'm getting him wrapped up, but once he's secure, he looks around in wonder at the world around him and he's comfortable.

It's a glorious feeling. 

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