Reflections of a babywearing consultant and mother

Four years ago today I had just been discharged from Ward 8 of the University Hospital of North Durham, also known as ‘labour ward’ or the delivery suite.

Four years ago today I had just been discharged from Ward 8 of the University Hospital of North Durham, also known as ‘labour ward’ or the delivery suite. I had been there since 11am after being sent as an emergency by my community midwife following a routine 33 week appointment that morning. I had spent the previous evening and most of the night in agony. My bump tightening and feeling very sick. I had barely slept. I couldn’t eat. I felt, as the ‘On this Day’ feature of Facebook tells me, “like death warmed up”. 

Today it is Mother’s Day and I am blessed to be the mum of two beautiful boys and a loving husband. They have spoilt me rotten today.

  

Baby C thankfully did stayed put. The tightening’s continued and I spent most of the next 5 weeks on bed rest before ‘nesting’ kicked in at 39 and a bit weeks. Isaac was born at 40+5, a Born Before Arrival birth in just 18 minutes, he has been a whirlwind ever since. He is my carried baby. He is the one I carried from 8 hours old. Carried when he couldn’t feed, carried when breathing difficulties associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea meant he couldn’t breathe, carried as he recovered from countless chest infections and medical procedures, carried following surgery and carried to keep him close when he was scared. He is a definite ‘mummies boy’.

  

But Henry, carried for the practical reason of walking the dog is just as loving. This morning, he came downstairs, got a bowl, filled it with Special K and milk and carried it carefully upstairs to give me ‘breakfast in bed’. Nobody told him to do it, he came into the bedroom silently. I didn’t even know it was there. Unfortunately by the time I did it was inedible. But that isn’t the point. He did it for me, because I am his mum, because he loves me. He might be a true boy, rushing about at 100 miles an hour. Off without a second glance when we get to the school yard each morning but he knows I am there. From the little quick kiss that he plants on my forehead then walks away, or the hand he puts on my lap when he thinks no one is looking, they are his way of saying that I mean something to him. He made me a mother. He and Isaac have shaped my very being since the minute they were created.

 

Without them I would not be me. I am not just Henry’sMummy (my username on many a forum) or Henry and Isaac’s Mummy. I am Rachel but being Henry and Isaac’s mummy is a very big and special part of me.

Without them I would not be me. I am not just Henry’sMummy (my username on many a forum) or Henry and Isaac’s Mummy. I am Rachel but being Henry and Isaac’s mummy is a very big and special part of me.

The day before Isaac’s attempted arrival I had completed my first every babywearing consultation. I had finished my Trageschule Foundation course just 28 hours before. I had travelled nearly 600 miles in 4 days, completed a 2 day course and then a 90 minute consult (it was during that the pains started). And do you know what? I wouldn’t change it for the world. I completed my last consultation just 11 hours before he was born and restarted them just 3 weeks later.

I had finished my Trageschule Foundation course just 28 hours before. I had travelled nearly 600 miles in 4 days, completed a 2 day course and then a 90 minute consult (it was during that the pains started). And do you know what? I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I am honoured to be a carrying or babywearing consultant. I am honoured that so many Mother’s and Father’s let me into their homes, or come to mine, let me hold their precious bundles, their miracles of creation, carry them and show them how to do carry them too. Whether they are their biological children, the result of IVF, surrogacy or adoption, they are all special, they are all unique. Each family is unique. Each set of circumstances unique. I have completed hundreds of consultations since then. Thousands of hours are spent dedicated to helping each family, before, during and after their appointment. My own children are often the ones to suffer, while I answer the phone or an email. They want me but I know others want and need me too. It is a balancing act that I am still mastering.

  
 Four years since I qualified as a babywearing consultant I have gone on to complete 3 more consultancy training courses, I have grown my sling library, I have stopped teaching, I have become solely self employed with all the ups and downs it brings. I have shown strength I didn’t know I had. I have cried tears of joy and sadness. I have spent sleepless nights worrying about families and hoping that I have made their lives just a little bit easier. I am truly thankful for the life that my children have allowed me to lead. Without them and their need to be carried, I would not have found slings. I would not have found the mamas who shared their knowledge with me, I would not have found something I have a passion for and a belief in. Thank you to my boys, my husband and the hundreds of families who have asked me to help them. Thank you to my Mum, who is the reason I am here.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone. I hope you have enjoyed it. I hope you have been spoilt and I hope you have many, many more to come.

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