Downs Syndrome and Babywearing~Corrie's story #MyFriendsMyCommunity #howdoyouseeme #downsyndromeawareness #carrymyjoy
' I am actually currently working to become a Volunteer Babywearing Educator for the local Babywearing International group and my number one goal is to bring in more families who have a baby with Down syndrome'
I'm Corrie. I am the mother of three boys. Nolan (8) Ephraim (7) and Arden (3).
When asked while I was pregnant if I wanted any extra testing done I told them no. I was 27 at the time. I thought it didn't matter. Even if it did it wouldn't have changed anything. Not then and certainly not now.
I didn't find out that Arden had Down syndrome until he was in my arms looking up at me with those different eyes. I. Was. Terrified.
I knew instantly, but no one said anything. My husband didn't know, he just saw his beautiful baby boy and fell in love. For about an hour I was terrified and alone in a fog holding this tiny baby that was not the baby I had expected, trying to nurse this tiny baby, because I felt like it would make things feel more normal. Maybe if I could just bond with him, things would be okay. I didn't want to be the one to bring it up that he was different though. It felt wrong. And what it I was wrong? Finally my midwife came back and pointed out the markers. I was scared out of my mind. I wished I could disappear, hoped this was all a dream. Even though I had already known, I wanted her to take it back. I didn't know what Down syndrome was. I knew what it looked like, but I didn't know what it was.
He was in the special care nursery that first night and I was in my recovery room crying. It was so much easier when he was inside of me. His blood sugar was low, he was too cold, and he couldn't hold his head up enough to keep his airways open. My body could take care of him and keep him safe, if only I could just put him back.
) Someone close to me has been dealing with postpartum depression and I could sympathize, because of my beginning with Arden. Not knowing how to connect. Wanting your baby back where they belong. She asked me when I finally started to be able to connect with Arden and I thought about it and made the discovery that it was around the time I started wearing him.
I did some form of babywearing with each of my kids, but with Arden I had to learn all over. He had low tone, something that is common in Down syndrome. My stretchy wrap didn't offer enough support. I was afraid to use the Mei Tai I had. He still needed to have a hip ultrasound done to check for hip dysplacia (another one of those things with Down syndrome) and I was afraid to splay his legs in a carrier. But then I rediscovered the ring sling a friend had given to me. It was perfect. From there I got into woven wraps. They provided us with a good deal of support, which was great. I joined the local babywearing group. At my first meeting a Mom walked right up to me so excited to see us. She had seen me on facebook and was excited to meet Arden. She had a sister who has Down syndrome. It's like we're in a club. People who love someone with Down syndrome. It's a really awesome club that everyone should join.
In the meeting I met other babywearing moms and made amazing new friends who saw Arden as I saw him. As just another kid.
He started taking leaps and bounds in physical therapy and by 15 months old he was walking! I give 50% of the credit for this accomplishment to his big brothers. He had to learn to walk so he could keep up with them! But I give the other 50% of the credit to babywearing. It's not just a great core workout for me, but an awesome one for him as well.
Babywearing helped me to connect, and it helped him to be the strong boy he is today. The wild boy who is now three and going to preschool, in the same school his big brothers go to, with typically developing children as well as those with special needs.
Babywearing helps us still even at three years old. It helps his Daddy put him to sleep on nights I am unavailable to nurse him. It helps us sooth him when he is sick, and it helps me get him to take a nap on days when his energy gets to be too much for me to handle. This boy can get into some serious trouble! Babywearing saves my sanity.
My advice to other parents considering babywearing their child with Down syndrome... DO IT. Find a local group and join it. Meet all the other wonderful babywearers out there. I am actually currently working to become a Volunteer Babywearing Educator for the local Babywearing International group and my number one goal is to bring in more families who have a baby with Down syndrome. It has done so much for me. I want to help others get to experience the same thing.
Hello, my name is Bisi, babywearing consultant (SoB CIC), mother to two cheeky & very special kids (Joy and Joseph). Our 3rd baby has been christened Joy&Joe baby wrap slings! and we loveeee babywearing :)