Wrapping my Baby after a Broken Back

5th September, 2014 / Profile of a Babywearer / 1 Comment

Active Babywearing: wrapping yoga

“About seven months after my injury I discovered I was three weeks pregnant with my first child.”

Dani’s story: In April of 2013 I was on a climbing trip in Yosemite.  On the first day of the trip, we were bouldering in an area called candyland, and I had a freak fall off a tall boulder. I fell at least 15 feet, and because of this fall I ended up with three compressed vertebrae in my mid back along with many other bruised bones. The bones themselves took three months to heal, but connective tissue and muscles are still being healed, and my back still aches constantly. But I never stopped climbing, because it always made my back feel better.

About seven months after my injury I discovered I was three weeks pregnant with my first child. This was quite unexpected, and I briefly struggled with what to do. Seeing as I am single and still in school studying for a degree in Molecular Cellular biology, I realized that having a baby would be difficult.  I think my mind was made up from the beginning, but I had to consider all possibilities just to be sure.  Considering that many women before me have raised children under much more difficult circumstances, I decided to go through with the pregnancy. I realized that it would enhance my life. I would now have someone to share all my passions with (traveling, climbing, art, science, martial arts, yoga, etc).  I also realized that I would have the privilege of learning to see the world through the eyes of a child once again. It took me less than a day to come to this conclusion.  My boyfriend and father of my daughter supported my decision and decided to stay with me and raise the child together.

Pregnancy sucked.  No two ways about it.  I was anxious to meet littles, but hated the process.  I could smell EVERYTHING (including the hydraulic fluid on the escalator), couldn’t eat anything, was always nauseous, and had no energy. I had pregnancy sickness daily until month 7, but it never truly went away. On top of that I was still working and going to school. It was rough, but I was excited to meet my daughter. I continued to climb throughout my pregnancy. MadRock makes a pregnancy harness. It feels a little awkward, but at least you can climb. This helped my back significantly! Being pregnant and studying killed my lower back and stressed the muscles. Not to mention the hormone relaxin didn’t help any! So thankful that there was a way to continue climbing (even though I was limited to just top roping).  Between climbing and yoga I was able to continue working out and caring for my body and back.

“I came to realize that we women are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.”

Yet labor scared me.  It always has. I (like most women in America) was convinced that labor was a scary thing. Fortunately I had a wonderful support network and was able to get all the info I needed about delivering so that I could make informed decisions about how I wanted to birth. The documentary “The business of being born” was a huge help. At first I wasn’t sure if I could give birth without an epidural since my back still hurt so bad. But in the end I was more afraid of an unnecessary C-section. I came to realize that we women are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Also, my body knew what it was doing while building the beautiful little creature inside of me, so I trusted that it would know how to properly bring her into this world. Turns out I was right.

On June 22, 2014 I went into labor.  After 9 hours of labor and 6 minutes of pushing a beautiful baby girl entered the world with one hell of an appetite!  Although the labor was painful and the birth traumatic (she had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and wasn’t breathing along with defecting in utero) I am so happy to have delivered naturally. It was by far the most empowering thing I have ever done as a women.  I have now officially met the love of my life.

Keeping infant close in a wrap.

I always knew I wanted to wrap Roxanne and keep her close to me. I loved the idea of it! My dad had carried me in a backpack when I was little, and I loved it! The thought of wrapping a baby seemed so wonderful to me! Not to mention, so many cultures do it, so there must be something to it! I obtained a few hand-me-downs before I gave birth: a Seven Sling, a Maya Wrap (ring sling) and a Jersey wrap. I tried them, but nothing quite felt right. One day I stumbled upon the Wrap Your Baby facebook page, which led me to the website where I learned about woven wraps. The possibilities seemed endless! We could do back wraps, front wraps, hip wraps, and nurse in a wrap! After scouring the website I decided to get a Bali Breeze as my first woven wrap. This seemed logical since it was summer and hot here in NorCal, and it fit my budget. After ordering my wrap, I spent my time on the Wrap Your Baby website looking at as many tutorials as I could to learn the various ways I could wrap a newborn. I have been carrying Roxanne since her first week of life, and wrapping her since her third week of life (she got over being carried in a sling real quick), and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Everywhere I go, she goes. And she readily accepts new places because if she doesn’t like something, she can always just bury her head in my bosom where she feels safe.

Wrapped Baby at Ripley's Believe it or Not!

Later I came to realize that wrapping her was also better for me and my body. Since I am still recovering from my back injury, wrapping has allowed me to actually be able to carry Roxanne for great lengths of time. I can also carry her with me around town while doing errands without having to lug a heavy stroller with me (putting strain on my back).  Just holding her I tend to arch my back and within a short period of time I am in too much pain to hold her any longer. So when she’s fussy and wants to be close to me, I just wrap her up! Then I am able to do things around the house or around town and not worry about carrying her, maneuvering a large awkward stroller, or how I am going to nurse her. I already know.

Wrapping has allowed me to be close to my newborn in a way that would not have otherwise be possible with my injuries. I look forward to sharing everything I love with Roxanne, since she will be right there with me cozy and safe, all wrapped up.


Wrapping baby on back

Dani using the mirror at the climbing gym to get her baby wrapped safely and comfortably on her back.

Hanging Around with Baby on Back

Wrapped up baby adds 12 lbs to Dani's Workout!

Daddy wraps baby

Daddy benefits from wrapping baby, too!

You can learn to wrap your baby like Dani with a woven wrap.  To wrap like in Dani’s yoga and newborn photos (first two pictures), here is how to do a Front Cross Carry.

And to wrap your baby on your back like Dani does in this post, take appropriate precautions (make sure you have help or practice safely until you become expert), and practice the Double Hammock Carry found here.

Click here to buy a wrap. Thank you for your business! This is how I support my family. - Diana ❤️

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