Monday, 10 June 2013

My Stash Monday: Tami's Stash

by Tami Grosset

The story of my stash is the story of my motherhood!

Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury
I've been wearing babies or toddlers on and off now for 5 1/2 years. Now I come to type that out I realise that is quite a long time... no wonder I've amassed a reasonable stash in that length of time!

My first carrier was my faithful navy blue Moby wrap which was gifted to me at my baby shower.
Rory was carried in it everywhere and I loved the snuggly closeness we enjoyed. Nursing, for us, was not easy and I was frustrated by things not working as they should but all those feelings subsided as soon as I held him close to me in the Moby and we got on with other things.

Rory was born with hip dysplasia. At birth both hips were detected as 'popping' and we made our first visit to CHEO when he was 3 days old. Rory wore a hip harness called a pavlik harness. This did not stop us from wearing him. We wore him with his legs froggied into the carrier and the stretchy wrap easily moulded to his harnessed body. Since he wore a diaper vest under the harness, to stop the harness from rubbing on his papery newborn skin we were unable to do any skin to skin cuddling, nursing still wasn't working out but wearing him in our Moby did work and with our Moby's help we created a strong mama/son bond!

But my husband was overwhelmed with the Moby... so much fabric! When Rory no longer needed the harness (at 6 months) we popped into Milkface to see what carriers might work for him. The Ergobaby was the Daddy Choice. Whilst the hubster was at work one day I decided to give it a try and the Moby was never reached for again!

Although Rory was no longer using the hip harness he still was not 'cured'. His consultant at CHEO recommended a surgical procedure called an open reduction, followed by 3 months in a hip cast called a spica. I wore Rory to all his appointments leading up to the hospital stay. At one appointment we met an Indian doctor. He was excited to meet Rory and seemed very agitated by the Ergo. 'Did your orthopedic doctor tell you to use that?' he asked. I was sure he was going to tell me I was harming my baby in some way so nervously replied that no we hadn't been told to use it and was that ok? It all became clear that he had #1 never seen a case of DDH (developmental dysplasia of the hip) in India and Rory was his first case here in Canada and #2 that he believed there were no cases of DDH in India because of the ways babies are carried there, with a wide seat. He saw me wearing Rory in our Ergo and felt it was so unusual a sight (a western mum carrying her baby in such a way) that he thought it was a medical prescription for Rory's hips!

Whilst the Ergo did not 'fix' Rory's hips it did make it possible to live life with a spica-ed baby! He was not comfortable in his stroller and would not fit in a shopping trolley but that didn't matter. We went everywhere we wanted with the Ergo, we got the groceries we needed, we even went on a 2 week holiday to Nova Scotia and saw everything we wanted to see with our spica boy and our trusty Ergo!

When Rory came out of the spica and was given a brace to wear (24/7 for the 1st 3 months then just bedtimes thereafter till he was 3 1/2) we continued to use the Ergo to get around. It worked! Why fix it?

The only downside of the Ergo was the uncomfortable and tricky to get there hip carry. I needed something that would work for me as a hip carrier for church. Rory would want to see what was going on but would also want to rip the pages out of the prayer or hymn book! I found a fabulous Piccadilly print Scootababy at Milkface and it worked a treat. By wearing Rory on my left hip and holding the hymn book in my right we were good to worship!

Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury
The Scootababy was also great for quick pick ups and dashes to the store and appointments. On one chiropractic visit my chiropractor marveled at how stable and straight my back was whilst carrying Rory on one hip in the Scootababy.

At this time we were planning a trip to visit family in Britain. I knew I would be taking my Ergo but thought I should find a second lighter weight carrier to pack, just in case. I opted for a Freehand mai tei. It fitted my needs and my budget. I have to admit that I didn't love it. I think Rory was, by this time too large for an unpadded carrier to offer much support. It was a good carrier to keep in the car for emergencies though.

Rory was 3 1/2 and rarely worn when Rose arrived in the spring of 2011. As she grew so did my stash!

Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury
Since she was a spring/summer baby I felt our navy Moby wrap might be a little hot so I picked up a creamy beige Boba wrap. I loved it but rarely used it as that summer got really hot pretty fast.
Instead Rose lived in my Maya Wrap ring sling, which I loved so much I bought a second to keep at our cottage. My other fave RS was my Sakura Bloom which I loved for its beautifully light linen and pretty colours.

Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury
I also had a BabyHawk MT which I've always loved for newborns,
with their high ridged backs for neck support. The BH was really nice for a two shouldered carry but a lot less fabric than a wrap and swamped her tiny body less than our Ergo, which had by now been upgraded to a prettier organic version (our original black one again being kept at our cottage as Daddy's 'little something for the weekend!')

Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury
My first woven wrap joined the collection this summer; a Wrapsody Bali Breeze Iris, beautiful rainbow colours! I loved using this with a basic cross carry; simple and easy and could be pre-wrapped like a SW, so good for car trips etc.

Rose's first summer saw her in pretty much any of these carriers. Sometimes I selected the carrier based on what I was wearing (I like to colour coordinate!) or what we were doing. The day of our annual street party she appeared in pretty much every item in the collection. But it was the trusty Ergo that I wore her in for our street party flash mob! (You can see us in the second row, me getting all the steps wrong and Rose looking awesomely snuggled!) By this time Rose was between positions. She was too large to comfortably have her legs in the ErgoBaby carrier but too small to have her legs out. For a while I carried her with one leg in and one leg out which worked well. Of course many well meaning people told me 'one of her legs is trapped in the carrier!'

Rose's first winter had us wearing the Ergo covered by a Peekaru jacket. We were toasty warm and
spent every weekend on the ski hill watching Rory learn to ski.

The following summer I decided to try a stronger and longer woven wrap and picked out a KoaKoa linen wrap in black. It was fun to learn to wrap and back carry with this woven but I decided fairly quickly that I needed something a little more supportive. After meeting other woven mamas at OBG meets that summer I was able to work out which woven would work for me both support-wise and budget-wise. I knew I would never get an Uppy past my Scottish husbands fiscal awareness! Girasol was the wrap for me, my +12 month old and my budget!
Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury
My hanami Girasol arrived from Sustainable Sprouts in the summer of 2012 and I loved wearing it straight away. Its a size 7 and was buttery soft really quickly! I found the double hammock a flattering but tricky carry and soon discovered, with 'Carry of The Week' help that a reinforced ruck with a tibetan tie was easier for me and offered similar support and look.

When a night rainbow with tassled ends appeared on the FSOT part of the OBG FB group I snapped it up! I had a plan to have it made into a WCMT, which I had been drooling over secretly for some time! But once I had my hands on it I couldn't imagine sending it to anyone to take a pair of scissors to! I was scared! Eventually, many months later, I plucked up the courage and sent the night rainbow to TMD for a half buckle conversion with wrap straps and quilted waist. It has been my favourite carrier ever since and totally worth the heartache that someone would snip up my beloved wrap!
Photo by Jenna Sparks Bradbury

Last November my husband visited India on a business trip. I asked if he would bring me back a traditional Indian babycarrier, or failing that some fabric which I could use to wrap Rose. He brought me back the most amazing rose woven silk. I instantly fell in love with the fabric and I loved wearing the vibrant colours on the whitest snowiest days!
Photo on far left by Jenna Sparks Bradbury
The last carrier to join my stash was my home made WCRS made from a preloved Chimparoo, found in the OBG FSOT album. Using a pair of large red sling rings I made a gathered shoulder and it works so well for me. I often throw it in a bag or in a pocket in the car. It was stuffed in my carry on when we visited the UK recently. I often will be found using it to simultaneously get dinner ready whilst nursing Rose and have been known to carry toys and hats and gloves in it when Rose would rather walk and I need a spare hand to hold hers. I had always thought ring slings to be best for newborns so it amuses me that I am finishing my stash with a RS!

And so it seems that my stash, like my family, is complete! Some carriers mentioned above have been sold to new families to love and some are rehomed in the sling library collection, ready to help other families find the babywearing bug. There are a few which will always remain in my possession and I hope that one day I will gift some of these carriers to Rory and Rose for their babies. I'm certain they will be in good hands!

 ... although I may have to talk to Rory about babywearing safety rules!

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