Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Meet Hannah

Meet Hannah.

Hannah is a sweet six year old with an effervescent personality. She loves board games and her iPad, but her favorite person is her dad. Hannah has Cerebral Palsy due to a stroke she suffered while still in the womb. Her amazing parents recently discovered babywearing for their newest infant daughter and were surprised to find that it could possibly be an option for Hannah as well.

Hannah is 3 feet 8 inches and 35 pounds with unique muscle tone. Her arms and legs have high tone but her torso and neck have low tone and are very flaccid. She has a special wheel chair designed to help her stay upright and this chair is her main mode of transportation because most strollers aren't big enough and/or don’t offer the necessary support. The chair is cumbersome to deal with making family trips a challenge, like going to a corn maze or even the store.  
We had the pleasure of meeting Hannah at our last Babywearing meeting in Twin Falls, Idaho just a few weeks ago. Hannah's situation comes with certain requirements that had to be met in order for her to be successfully worn by her dad. She's longer than the average 2 or 3 year old that we would normally consider wearing, so the body of the carrier that we chose needed to be tall.  She also has a hip condition where the socket hasn't developed properly, this makes it a bit difficult to put her in the proper seated position but it also makes getting her into that position more important; so the base of the carrier needed to be wide enough to support her legs and hips. These are all reasons why we chose the Napsack Mei Tai as opposed to a Soft Structured Carrier. The bonus of choosing the mei tai for this family is that mom and dad wouldn't have to readjust the carrier every time they traded. Hannah's dad is easily over 6 feet tall and her mother is right around 5 ft. 
Another challenge was actually getting Hannah into the carrier, remember that low muscle tone? Wearing a child with little to no muscle control isn't such a big deal when they are only 7 to 10 pounds and somewhere around 20 inches long all curled up in a ball. You can hold them and move them with relatively little effort. Try multiplying that by 4 and stretching them out full length, this makes getting Hannah into a carrier a two man job.

Dad was a bit skeptical about wearing a bigger child, but after attending a meeting and receiving some instruction, he’s excited about wearing Hannah, although he doesn't show it. (We promise he is happy in that photo). The smile on Hannah’s face is why we work so hard to educate and bring the joy of wearing to every family.  She was so excited to be in that carrier and didn't want to get out. Shortly after that photo, Hannah's dad decided to try a back carry with Hannah's little sister, Hannah was not happy about this claiming that it was HER carrier. 
We hope to high heaven that this little introduction to babywearing will help this family be able to get out and do things they might not have been able to do other wise and make life just a little bit easier. 
Happy International Babywearing Week. 
Becky Swain & Jentri King


Jen said...

Aww, she looks SO HAPPY. Love it.

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Lucky Mae Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucky Mae Andy said...

I love the spirit of Hanna. When you look at her, you can see a life that sometimes people misses out. She so cute in that baby sling.