Gathered Birth is overjoyed to be collaborating with babywearing expert, Kelly Lunkwitz, on a Babywearing 101 class, starting this September! You can register for the class here, and learn more about Kelly and her services here.
Kelly also wrote (our very first!) guest blog post, and we’re thrilled to share it with you today. Wear all the babies!
When I say that I got into babywearing out of necessity, what I really mean is… to survive. Emma was only three days old when she stopped breathing. As a first time mom (or any mom, I’m sure) giving your three day old baby CPR to get her to breathe again isn’t exactly your idea of a “babymoon.” After several days in the hospital, every test the doctors could think of, and days of no sleep, I was sent home with a week old baby who was diagnosed with an “apparent life threatening event.” Translation? We have no idea what happened. In short, I was traumatized. To say that I couldn’t put my baby down was an understatement; I couldn’t stop listening to her breathe. And yet — life had to go on. I had to sleep, eat, and (eventually) shower. How could I possibly ever get back to normal? Enter babywearing. Wearing Emma “close enough to kiss,” and right on my chest was just the ticket to relieve my anxiety over her stopping breathing again. Over time and with lots of therapy, I overcame that PTSD and could eventually trust that she would not stop breathing; but the closeness we were used to in infancy became a useful tool while accomplishing other tasks. Once she was old enough and we were both comfortable for her to be on my back, I was able to rake leaves, wash dishes, fold laundry, cook dinner, and the dozens of other tasks that we have on a daily basis as mothers, wives, homemakers, and every other hat we wear. Wrangling a crazy toddler in a grocery store, or trying to convince a two-year old to lay down and take a nap were battles I chose not to fight. Instead, I wrapped her on my back if I needed a break, on my front if she needed extra cuddles… and somehow life got easier. Now that I’m a mom of three, babywearing is just as necessary for survival. I can take the four year old to dance lessons while wearing the two year old on my back for a nap, and nursing the infant on my front. When people see me — they always make the same comment, maybe you’ve heard it before too? — “You’ve got your hands full!” My response? With both arms out at my sides (because I’m babywearing, of course), “My hands are empty, and my heart is full!”
Kelly Lunkwitz is a full-time mom to Emma (4), Michael (2), and Ave (3 months), and owner of Carrying our Future, LLC– a baby wearing education, consulting, and product business in Media, PA.