With International Babywearing Week coming to an end and Halloween just around the corner, I decided to dedicate a blog post to the folks who rock out a costume while wearing their baby. Seriously though, who was the first person to wear their babe in a carrier and invent some crazy unique get up to go with it? It's pure genius and so, so cute. Also, I dig when people have really witty, homemade costumes. Throw a baby carrier in the mix and you get extra points.
Below are just a few photos I've found on Pinterest, but there are so many fun ideas out there! Are you planning on wearing your baby while in costume? If so, what as?
Being a part of the BABS* Family Support Advocates (FSA) program is a great way to give back to the community. FSAs are scheduled for 24-hour on-call shifts, during which they may be called to support a new family any time during their hospital stay. One-on-one support immediately following birth is beneficial not only to mom and baby but the whole family. Breastfeeding success greatly depends on those first 24 hours immediately following birth--but it's hard for moms and partner to focus on this new (and sometimes daunting) task after birth, especially if it was long or complicated experience.
Molly Mendota, BABS Doula Supervisor, states in the recent BloomingFamilies announcement letter, "We’ve found that a newborn will often nurse well within an hour or two of birth, and then things go downhill. By the time the birth doula checks in a day or two later, the baby hasn’t latched, or mom’s nipples are hurting, and the stress level is high. Combine this with recovery from a surgical birth, or lack of family support, or any number of other factors, and it’s a recipe for a breastfeeding disaster."
The nurses at the hospital are fantastic, but because they often have so many women and babies to check on, it makes it difficult to provide continuous support for every family. FSAs provide the follow-up care needed after the birth of a baby. They provide emotional support and reassurance to mom and family. FSAs also do something simple, yet so important: help make sure babe gets fed and mom's milk supply is protected.
There will be an FSA training scheduled for mid-November (dates to be determined) at BABS. FSAs commit to monthly meetings and a minimum of two 24-hour on-call shifts per month (8am-8am). To be an FSA, you do NOT need to be trained as a doula, but you do need to apply and be accepted before volunteering. If you have any questions, please contact the Doula Supervisor, Molly Mendota, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave her a message at BABS, 812-337-8121.
*Bloomington Area Birth Services (BABS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping moms, babies, and families. There you can find childbirth education classes, breastfeeding assistance (at The BABS Lactation Center), exercise and activity classes, various prenatal and postpartum workshops, support groups, and parent-baby playtime. BABS also supplies new & expectant parents with resources and maternity items throughout their extensive lending library and boutique.
BABS is located at 2458 S Walnut St. in Bloomington, IN.
So…I’ve come to the conclusion that weddings are crazy awesome….especially when it’s yours. In that moment, you’ve got everyone you love surrounding you while you declare love to your honey. Plus there’s good music, dancing, CAKE, food, booze. Am I describing heaven? Maybe.
I got married last week. It was incredible….and also a bit of a whirlwind. Josh and I wed on a Friday night. It gave us all weekend to recoop, and that was fantastic. I was running errands the following week and stopped by BABS to prep for a prenatal meeting. At BABS, I caught up with Amy, my close friend and our amazing wedding officiant, as we chatted about the wedding. She said to me, “A wedding is so like a birth.” I thought that was interesting. She had mentioned it to me once before, but I didn’t think a lot about it. And now, with a husband by my side, I seriously began to wonder…is a wedding like a birth?
We (I) worked and worked at planning our wedding. Josh did have plenty of say when I came to him with questions, but ultimately, I was picking out the décor, creating a ceremony script, writing up a timeline for the big day, and figuring out what we wanted the wedding party to wear. SO.MUCH.PINNING.
And we had a great support team, full of people we were SO LUCKY to work with. Our bridal party included all of our best friends—it was so good to catch up and all be together again. Amy Beck, our officiant, made the ceremony intimate and personal. It was great to have a friend up there marrying us. And Mia Beach Photography and Brave New Productions captured all of our sweet and fun moments. Amy Sweet of A Sweet Design made sure everyone knew their shit that day—when to walk, what to say, when to cut the cake….it was so, so helpful. As the bride, you have an idea of how you want things to go. Amy calmly reminded me that even if everything didn’t go as planned, it would still be great. And….not everything went super smooth, but we made it work. In a way, my support team was very much like a birth team. Helping us understand what we wanted, advocating for us, and just making sure we had the best experience possible.
One thing my friends helped with: making sure I remembered to eat. I am so bad about this already, so on wedding day they knew they would need to remind me. Kels bought me a bagel for lunch and Amy ordered me chicken fingers during the reception (can you believe I did not eat one bite of the food for our guests?!) Thank goodness I did eat throughout the day, or I would have been a mess at the ceremony and definitely wouldn’t have made it past 11pm.
I know how important support from your community is after having a baby. I see many of my doula clients doing well postpartum because they have a healthy support system. We felt so loved and honored to have so many people we love present on our wedding day. We know that our relationship is about us, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without the love from our family and friends. So we decided to toast in our ceremony and asked our guests to support us as we raised our glasses—in happy times and in sad times, when our love feels new and when it feels old.
Our family members and friends helped an incredible amount with prep and tear down. It made my life a lot easier to say, “Maggie and Bailey, hang the pom poms,” or, “Mom, can you please load up all of this stuff and take it home?” I didn’t feel overwhelmed—it was a lot to take in, but I knew I could do it with the help of others. When planning for a babe’s arrival, I always remind parents to be honest with their support people and to not be afraid to ask for help. It’s not that we don’t think new parents can’t do it on their own…it’s that they shouldn’t have to!
My best friend, Ashley, kept reminding me that my wedding would go by so fast…like, practically flash before my eyes. And it did. As I sit here thinking back, I was very unaware of the time (unless there was someone saying, “Okay, it’s 5:00. Time for group pictures.”) I was up at 6:45 that day—I woke up because I remembered I left my grandfather’s vase at home and I wanted to have it present at the reception. And then, it was like it was 1 o’clock, and I was decorating with my bridesmaids. Then 5 o’clock—when we were on the golf course for pictures. I have no idea what time the ceremony started, but I don’t think it was on time. The ceremony, the reception, our small after party at Crazy Horse…and then it was 4am and I was in bed. Many women I’ve spoken with tell me how time is not a concrete thing in labor. ‘Labor Land’ is hazy and time is nothing. And once you do have your baby, all you can do is sit and think, “Wow. I just birthed another human being while everyone else went on about their regular day.” The same goes for your wedding day. I partook in this amazing commitment ceremony with the person I love the most, in front of all of the people in my community that I adore. J was putting a ring on it while other folks were getting off work, eating dinner, doing the same ‘ole thing. But in that moment, to me, it felt like the whole world stopped spinning. I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire night.
A wedding is a rite of passage. To marry someone is to be one. J and I had been living life together for almost 2 ½ years on our wedding day, so essentially, I didn’t feel different once we were married. Our roles may not change but our titles had. J is my husband and now I’m his wife. I am Mrs. Lindsey Maxwell! We may not be introducing a little one in our lives just yet, but this thing we have between us takes up a whole lot of room in our hearts. And to think there’s a love greater than that makes me feel like my heart could burst. I can’t wait for what lies ahead.