Learning that Evelyn had bilateral clubfoot while in-utero, baby-wearing issues flew quietly under the radar. Watching the black and white screen as her bent feet locked across each other, my heart sank with fear as I wondered what else would be wrong. How we would tote our precious baby around fell behind: Are there other problems? Is this permanent? and, Will she survive?
The closer we got to Evelyn’s birth, the more we tread into the world of investigating baby items. We created a baby registry (which is quite the feat for those who have journeyed through pregnancy loss). Partially due to our neurotic nature, and partially as avoidance to the most pessimistic of pregnancy outcomes, we focused on reviews, checked prices, visited stores, and carefully crafted what would likely be the only registry we ever made. Watching friends tote their babies around, the dream of bringing our baby places while nestled in a loving cuddle was easy. Choosing the type of baby carrier, however, was monumental. The brands, styles, and types (depending on baby size) created a sea of choices, far too overwhelming for two adults new to parenthood. Choosing one that seemed to fit our needs, the realization of how it would not work for a baby with clubfoot remained obscured until now. As we recently attempted to carefully place her in what should be a comforting hold, disappointment filled our hopeful faces as Evelyn’s cries of terror pierced the otherwise quiet nursery.
Through the generosity of friends, coworkers, and those who were fortunate to become parents well before us, we inherited two other carrier styles, and with much persistence, Evelyn and I are happy to announce we figured it out today. She fell asleep instantly after initial tears of confusion as I wrestled her unbendable legs through the fabric. Snuggling close to my chest, she breathed a sigh of relief. So did I.
These small challenges present as huge obstacles for us, for parents of a child for whom we so longed. Our history with pregnancy loss has been difficult. Our pregnancy with Evelyn was arduous. And now, our attempts at typical baby activities has presented new challenges. Finding this solution is deeply satisfying. Symbolizing how Evelyn has shown us all along that anything is possible, our ability to wear her close to our hearts brings more joy than it probably should. Today, we won.