Tula Carried Archives - Baby Tula Blog

Tula Carried Archive

Carried to Connect: Kristen’s Story

At Baby Tula, we are always amazed at how the carrier we created to help our own family now helps so many families in various ways. You share your stories and we learn of so many poignant journeys that embody our motto: Keep Doing What You Love. It’s these moments, simple and grand, that we celebrate with our community. We chatted with Tula community member, Kristen of Reaching You who shared how Tula Baby Carriers helped her continue to be the mom she had always wanted to be.

As a child I’d say I was about as normal as they come. I didn’t have any major setbacks or limitations until I was 17 and I experienced the loss of my legs. And while that was a tragic and heartbreaking loss for me, my biggest concern was how I was ever going be a mom without my legs. From a young age I knew that someday I would be a wife and a mother. It’s something I dreamed about forever and I didn’t want losing my legs to change that.

Thankfully, I was fortunate to get back to regular life rather quickly. I was driving, working, and going to college within a year after the loss of my legs. But for years after I wondered HOW I would be a mom. HOW would I safely get a baby in and out of the house or a store while my hands were pushing my wheelchair? HOW would I get a baby from the living room to the kitchen, or the bedroom, or the bathroom while I was pushing my wheels?! I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold them in my arms, carry a carseat, or push a stroller. And I didn’t want to depend on my husband or someone else to care for our children in all of these ways. I wanted all of us to live as normal a life as possible…complete with taking simple walks around the block.

Just before my first child was born I was blessed with a few different baby carriers to try. Some our son didn’t like, and some I didn’t like… But we kept trying and I found a couple that we were okay with. Sadly, with as much as I was wearing him I really wish we wouldn’t have had to settle with something that was just good enough because my son never really liked being worn. For us it was really about function. When I found out I was pregnant with my second child I started to consider the Tula Baby Carrier.

My best friend had been using one and it often came up in our conversations. Personally, I never understood how it could be that different from the other soft structured carriers I’d had and tried. But when I came across a jaw dropping print on one of the newly released Tula carriers, I decided to give it a shot! I’d recently found out I was pregnant with my second child and it was the first thing I bought for her. As soon as I started using it I often switched back and forth between it and one of my other carriers to simply figure out all the differences. It wasn’t long before I was grabbing my Tula Baby Carrier over and over again. Sometimes I wish I had one in my car for when we are out, and one for my house for when we are home. It has really changed my whole babywearing experience and given me a much better perspective. I’m so grateful!

My daughter really likes it too. I can’t tell you how often I have put her in there because she wanted to be held and I need to make dinner, or clean the house, or work!! I work from home most days, and recently when she was sick with a bad cold the only way I could work was wearing her in my Tula. She needed to be upright to sleep and my Tula really saved the day!

Here are some quick points about what I like about my Tula Baby Carrier:

  • The fabric where the baby sits is thin, and there aren’t any pockets or anything else on the back fabric. So, I can rub her back, she can feel my hand and I can feel every part of her little back as if there is only a shirt between my hand and her back. I found this very helpful with my little one who responds very positively whenever I touch her face; rub her belly, or her back. It soothes her instantly.
  • I really like how soft and padded the straps are. They seem to absorb more of the weight. Honestly, I often forget it’s even there! (Which is really nice.)
  • My baby seems to be very comfortable in the Tula Baby Carrier. She wants to be worn more than my son ever did and I really think it’s because she likes it more than all the other carriers we’ve tried. It’s nice because I feel like we have benefited from our babywearing relationship more than my son and I did. With my son, babywearing was more about function than anything else. Usually he wasn’t ever in one of our carriers unless he needed to be.
  • The Tula Love community on Facebook is awesome.
  • The range of options they have is incredible as well! I really love so many of their prints. I can’t wait to have some of my new mommy friends try it out. Not surprisingly, I’ve gotten the most compliments on my Tula carrier too.
Carried to Connect: Ashley & Tyson’s Story

Ashley & Tyson – Parents of Quadruplets

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At Baby Tula, we have seen, first hand, how babywearing can benefit families in countless ways; from basic tasks getting completed to helping a baby and caretaker create a lifelong bond. You share your stories and we learn of so many poignant journeys that embody our motto: Keep Doing What You Love. It’s these moments, simple and grand, that we celebrate with our community. Here, we share the encouraging story of Ashley and Tyson, of Gardner Quad Squad, who faced IVF challenges to welcome their FOUR little girls.

Give us a fun fact or tidbit about each of your daughters.
Indie – Very Independent! Always breaks away from the crowd to do her own thing. Our oldest by seconds. She was the one at the bottom of the womb holding everybody in. We called her the plug!
Esme – Our most outgoing and social baby. She has her own hashtag #esmefaces because of her unique and funny faces. She’s probably our sweetest as well and best at sharing!
Scarlett – Scarlett is our mischievous one. She usually has her cheshire cat smile going. She’s sneaky and quiet. She loves to sing. She’s also very particular like her daddy; loves to collect all the same toys, puzzle pieces, etc.
Evie – Our emotional one, and our baby by seconds. She’s also always been our biggest, and currently holds the title of bully in the household. She can be a little rough, but at the same time can be so sweet. She’s all emotions either way!

What was it like when you found out you were having quadruplets?
So exciting and terrifying all at the same time! There were moments when it was surreal. Luckily we had a strong grasp on our faith, and that led us through a very high risk pregnancy and NICU stay!

When did you first discover babywearing and/or baby carriers?
One of our high school friends did a little fundraiser for us up in Oregon and raised enough to buy 4 Tula’s for us. We were so grateful and blessed as they literally saved our lives on so many occasions, and made it easy when taking the girls out into public for the first time!

Were you already planning on babywearing before finding out you were having quadruplets?
Ashley knew about these for a long time, but we didn’t know if we could afford them. They were always something we knew would be beneficial and make life so much easier!

How does babywearing help you with quadruplets?
Being parents of quadruplets, and working from home, you never stop moving! If dinner needs to be made or laundry done, and the kids are up, it makes our lives so much easier to strap them to our chest and back as we get our chores done! Also when going out into public places, having quads can be a little overwhelming and scary at times because you want to keep them close. Being able to babywear has made doing normal things for a not normal situation possible!

What has been the biggest surprise raising quadruplets?
Their personalities. They are so different, even the sets of twins. It has been amazing watching their little personalities grow and develop!

What are you most looking forward to watching your daughters grow up?
Each day you get to explore the world for the first time with your kids who have never explored it before. It gives you a different perspective on life. A real perspective.

What advice would you give to other new parents of multiples?
Keep your faith in each other. Ashley and I do this together. Everything together. We are a team. We rely on each others strengths, and know our limits. When you have someone in you life you can trust completely, it makes anything you’re dealing with feasible!

Thank you to Ashley, Tyson, Indie, Esme, Scarlett and Evie for sharing their story with us! To learn more about their family, you can follow their blog: http://gardnerquadsquad.com/ or Instagram.

Carried to Connect: Katie & Christina’s Story
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At Baby Tula, we have seen, first hand, how babywearing can benefit families in countless ways; from basic tasks getting completed to helping a baby and caretaker create a lifelong bond. You share your stories and we learn of so many poignant journeys that embody our motto: Keep Doing What You Love. It’s these moments, simple and grand, that we celebrate with our community. Here, we share the empowering story of Christina and Katie, of Baby Bailey Mama Drama, who faced IVF challenges to welcome their little girl.

HOW THEY MET

Before Kennedy, Katie and I started out as a couple in love. It was 2012. We met online through a dating website. We were so embarrassed to tell anyone we met online that it wasn’t until this year we finally came out with the truth. Some of our friends had already suspected we met through the internet, but we never confirmed it. Instead we had so many confusing, made up stories of how we met. It was hard to keep straight what story we had told people.

The first time we met was at a park by my house. I walked over there after I finished work at a restaurant I worked at in town. I made her a milkshake before I got off of work to bring with me to the park. I wasn’t sure if there was chemistry at first. It wasn’t until our next meeting that I knew Katie was the one. She showed up with flowers on my doorstep and that is when I knew. After that, our weekends were spent taking turns driving an hour back and forth to each other’s houses.

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THEIR IVF JOURNEY

Katie and I started our Reciprocal IVF journey thinking we would make our dreams become a reality. I had always wanted to have kids but Katie didn’t want kids until she met me. She told me she wanted to carry my egg so we could both be a part of the process. We agreed this would be the best way to have children. As we embarked on our baby journey, we came across the saying, “her bun, my oven.” We thought this was an easy and clever way to explain how we wanted to make our family.

After our first IVF appointment, we already had in mind what we wanted. We wanted to implant two embryos and we hoped to have one boy and one girl. We also wanted to implant two embryos and hoped at least one would take. We never imagined implanting two embryos would cause problems later in our journey.

Our first round of IVF was exhilarating. We were so excited during the entire process. The day we received all our shots in the mail was like Christmas morning. We couldn’t wait to get started. It’s a long process of medications before we have embryos ready to implant. I mapped out who had what shot on what day and if we were supposed to take it in the morning or evening. In the beginning, it was mostly me who did all the shots. This prepared my body for an egg retrieval. Meanwhile, we started looking for a sperm donor online. It’s hard to pick someone that will play a genetic role in your child’s life. We tried to find someone who resembled Katie as much as possible but also had similar interests. This sounds easier said than done.

The day of egg retrieval was terrible. My body was in so much pain. I was told many women feel moderate pain but of course I felt intense cramping. The pain continued after my surgery. It hurt to stand up, walk, and go the bathroom. I wasn’t focused on the pain though. All we could focus on was a phone call to see how our eggs fertilized. We were told we wouldn’t get a phone call until the following morning. However, Katie got a phone call from the embryologist later that day who asked if he had permission to open our second vial of sperm. The eggs weren’t fertilizing and he wanted to try the second vial. We both went into panic. What if our eggs didn’t fertilize? What if our dreams were crushed? The dreams of us holding a little boy and girl in the hospital vanished from my head. My heart sunk. We were left wondering what happened until the following morning.

The next morning we got the phone call we weren’t hoping for. Out of the 13 eggs that had been retrieved, only 2 had survived. The embryologist had to perform rescue ICSI on the two remaining eggs and hoped they would fertilize. He informed us of the low percentage of eggs that survive this surgery so late after retrieval. Immediately after our phone call, we starting searching the internet for any information we could on surviving embryos from this procedure. We found more sad stories than happy ones. We hoped these two embryos would be our miracle babies and our dream could still come true.

The following day, we got the news we didn’t want, one of our eggs didn’t make it. We still held onto hope for our last remaining egg. I was still giving Katie shots of progesterone each night preparing her body for our embryo. Every night we went to bed wondering what would happen tomorrow. This process had lost its excitement.

Sadly, we got the phone call that our last egg didn’t make it. The news was devastating. Day after day we had been holding out hope that we could still have a healthy baby from this procedure. We were left feeling empty inside. We broke down crying on each other after we got that last phone call. We didn’t know what to do. All we could do was cry.

I turned to the internet for answers again. I had come across another option, embryo adoption.

Embryo adoption seemed like it could be the choice for us. What I liked about embryo adoption was that we could get 3 embryos and we could get our money back if it didn’t succeed in a pregnancy (if your health/age/history qualified, which we did). Unfortunately, this process is so expensive that money played an important role. We would have to borrow money from my mom to even do this procedure. We also considered that Katie’s body was ready for an embryo. We were still doing progesterone injections each night, not sure of our next decision. Our time was running out and we needed to make a choice. This could be our answer.

We moved along with the process of embryo adoption. We signed papers. We went back to our clinic for implantation. That morning we sat in the waiting room of our clinic. We weren’t smiling. We sat, staring at other couples in the waiting room wondering why they could have their dream and we couldn’t. Our names were called and we were walked back to our exam room. We sat, waiting. We didn’t even speak to each other. We were both consumed with our thoughts. Our nurse walked in. She was our nurse from our previous procedure and wanted to be with us during implantation. We had grown close with her and she was devastated as much as we were when our first round of IVF failed. As soon as she walked in, I burst into tears and she hugged me. I looked over and Katie was crying too. This was supposed to be a happy day so why were we both so sad? After talking with our nurse who consoled us, we decided to try IVF one more time.

We tried to stay positive but this time we were cautious more than ever. Katie looked to the internet for support. She found many blogs about IVF and other fertility stories. We both found this helpful. Hearing from other people who have gone through we went through was comforting. They had success and we would too. We looked into more detail when it came to a sperm donor. I found out as much as information as I could from the company after we narrowed our decision down to three donors. We were going to choose the right donor this time. The last donor we chose had problems during fertilization. This would not happen to us again.

We did the same needle routine. We prepped our bodies with shots. Egg retrieval day came again. I was in pain, again. After, we waited for that phone call the following morning, again. We were relieved when we didn’t get a phone call the day of egg retrieval as we did during our first round of IVF. The next morning, the embryologist called with great news. 18 eggs were retrieved, 9 went through ICSI the day of retrieval while the other 9 were left for regular fertilization. In the end, 11 embryos were fertilized!

Embryo transfer day was so exciting. It was like Christmas again and we could celebrate! We sat anxiously in the exam room eager to have our two embryos implanted. We watched the ultrasound screen as these two little flickers of light were implanted into Katie.

Just as we had our minds filled with excitement again, we were faced with turmoil. Our second embryo miscarried. It was a morning I would never forget. Katie panicking and crying in the bathroom with blood all over the floor. I tried to stay strong and hopeful that we didn’t lose both babies. We were able to get an appointment with our IVF clinic that afternoon. The work day dragged on, followed by an hour and half drive to our clinic that seemed to take forever. What a relief it was to hear our one baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound. The huge blood clot we saw on the ultrasound sitting next to our tiny baby was terrifying. Our baby was still so small and the blood clot was four times the size of the baby. We were told the blood clot could take over the baby and end the pregnancy. It was unlikely our baby would survive.

However, the day came where our pregnancy had progressed enough to transfer to an OBGYN and leave our fertility clinic. We knew the risk of losing our baby was still there. Yet, we had gotten far enough along to transfer to another doctor. It was hard to not feel a little bit of happiness.

Luckily, our baby got bigger and the blood clot kept to itself. We spent the entire pregnancy very cautious. I know parents worry but we were beyond worried. We worried about every little thing. We tried not to talk about all our fears because it wouldn’t ease all our worries.

As Katie’s pregnancy progressed, we started to feel little moments of joy. I remember feeling Kennedy kick for the first time. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t believe a little baby was inside there. A baby we both created. It was an amazing moment. All my worries and fears faded in that minute.

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IT’S A GIRL

Finally, Kennedy’s birth day was here. Kennedy had been facing the wrong way the entire pregnancy so we scheduled a Cesarean section. We scheduled it for her estimated due date. It was a date we had memorized already and we felt it was meant to be that day. We checked into the hospital to only find out Katie shouldn’t have drank orange juice earlier that morning. It was frustrating, yet comical, that the day we were so anxiously awaiting for would now be delayed. We went from having a planned Cesarean at noon to have a Cesarean at five o’ clock that evening. We had to leave the hospital, go home, and wait around the house.

After we checked back into the hospital everything seemed to happen fast. Before I knew it, it was time to go in. I had so many worries going on in my head that day. Luckily, it wasn’t long after I heard crying. I was walked over to see her and it was amazing. I can’t explain how it feels to see your daughter laying there. It was overwhelming. This little girl you had once seen as an embryo. This little baby was created in a tiny dish. She was amazing and she was a perfect product of us. I just couldn’t believe this baby was ours and she was actually here. I felt a huge relief. I was no longer thinking about the pain from fertility procedures and needles, the mental pain I felt when our first round of IVF failed, or all the money we had spent on the process. Kennedy was all I could think about. We had our family now and our dream had become a reality.

In the days following after Kennedy was born, I thought back on our process when I held her. It’s amazing to think she started in a dish and grew into this baby. I can’t believe what science has allowed two moms to do. I feel she is the perfect combination of me and Katie and we both got to be a part of making her.

LIFE AFTER BIRTH

Katie and I have so much love to give Kennedy. We were already worried before she was born, but after she born, we worried about new things. Now we would watch her sleep, worried she would stop breathing. We worried over how she was put in her car seat. We worried about her weight gain. We were just permanent “worriers.” Even now I realize the worries will never go away. Being a parent means you will always be worried about your baby (no matter how old they get).

We spent thousands of dollars making Kennedy. This is nothing compared to what some couples have spent to have a baby. Once we had Kennedy, the money spent just became a number and nothing else. There are so many options now to becoming a parent. Whatever road you chose to go down, be positive. Be there for one another. Having a baby has created a tighter bond between the two of us. We are now a strong team and teamwork has become a key part to our marriage. Teamwork was something that still needed improvement in our marriage before Kennedy was born. However, the process to create Kennedy tightened any weak areas in our marriage.

To every person out there who had done IVF, it truly changes who you are. The journey we go on is like no other. I am so happy we decided to try again because if we didn’t, Kennedy wouldn’t be here. I do still think about the “what ifs” with embryo adoption. We almost went through with it and I wonder if we would have two babies by now. I wonder what they would look like and how they would be quite a few months older than Kennedy is now. I think about our little boy or girl we lost who was supposed to be here with Kennedy right now. I think about all the tears, worries, and stress in this journey. I think about all the joy we will have now that she is here. I don’t know how it feels to be a mother who has a baby the male/female way without any labs or doctors helping you make your baby, but I do know the feeling you have seeing a baby you once saw a picture of in a dish. That feeling is the most amazing feeling I will ever have. I am so grateful for the help of science and for being alive in a time that has a process such as this. Reciprocal IVF made our dreams a reality.

We started our Instagram account to help TTC couples and LGBT couples. When we were struggling to make our family, we sought out Instagram accounts and blogs of families who were undergoing fertility treatments to help make their family. Reading blogs and following many families on Instagram gave us hope for our family and got us through our toughest times. The online community we have found has been incredibly supportive in our journey. It’s amazing to find others who are feeling the same emotions you are during a hard process. We hope we can help others too.

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BABYWEARING EXPERIENCE

Babywearing has been amazing for us. Even before Kennedy was born, we knew we wanted to wear her. For me, wearing Kennedy has been really special. Since I didn’t carry Kennedy, it was nice forming a bond with her through baby wearing. Katie and Kennedy instantly had their bond through pregnancy as well as through nursing. When I wore Kennedy, I felt close to her physically and emotionally. It’s so nice to wrap your arms around your little one and feel her head against your chest. Baby wearing also made it easy to leave the house for walks or go out and about. It was easy to grab the carrier and go. Kennedy loves observing the world safely from being strapped to us. When she was a few months old, we found that when we took her to new places not in a wrap or baby carrier, she had a hard time adjusting and it resulted in endless crying. In the carrier or wrap, she felt safe. She was calm and could still see what was happening, but knew she was safe next to her mom. Even now, at 7 months old, she still adjusts better being in a carrier when going to new places. Having her in a carrier also allows to get so many things done. It’s so nice having your baby on you so you don’t have to worry about what they are doing while you get some housework done. Kennedy also cries when we aren’t holding her so the carrier allows us to carry her and still have both hands free to work. The Tula is supportive so you don’t even notice you have a baby on you!

There are so many types of wraps and carriers out there it’s hard to choose which one to get! We started off with a few, but later heard about Tula from a friend. After researching the Tula, we decided we wanted to invest in one. The back support we felt from the Tula was unbelievable! Our backs had a hard time adjusting to carrying weight on the front of us for long periods of time. The Tula took the weight off our backs. As Kennedy grew older, the Tula still showed the same support. Kennedy also loves sucking on the sides of her Tula. We also use the Tula ring sling. The ring slings are beautiful. We can still keep Kennedy close to us. Currently the ring sling is nice to have because Kennedy can sit on the side of our hip when we walking around. We feel like we are showing off the beauty of baby wearing when we wear the ring sling. Both carriers are amazing. They both keep you close to your baby and connect you instantly. Which carrier you decide to wear really just depends on how you want to wear your baby or where you are going. We enjoy both 🙂

Thank you to Christina, Katie, and Kennedy for sharing their story with us! To learn more about their family, you can follow their blog: https://babybaileymamadrama.wordpress.com/

Carried to Connect: Emma’s Story
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For Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we want to honor the families facing the difficult journey of childhood cancer and #GoGold to raise awareness. We’re connecting with real families, who have found babywearing helpful during their fight against cancer, and we are sharing their stories on our blog. Today, Emily shares her daughter, Emma’s, story. Continue reading to also learn how we are supporting childhood cancer awareness with our fully printed Tula Baby Carrier, ‘Beacon’.

It was October 8, 2015, a routine 11 month follow up for my daughter Emma James. I mentioned her easily bruising. She had bruises all over her legs, arms, torso, and even on her head. She had been extraordinarily clingy and whiney the previous month. Her pediatrician put in for a complete blood count. I got a call 4 days later stating I needed to rush Emma down to Rady Children’s Hospital for further testing. Her platelets were at 26,000. I had always used a carrier with Emma. She was always very clingy, and wanted to be close to me. Little had I known she probably didn’t feel well, or was having bone pain that I knew nothing about. I wore Emma those first 11 months of her life at home while cooking, cleaning, walking, or running errands. I couldn’t get anything done without having her attached to me.

On October 13, 2015 we were admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital to begin treatment for AML M7, a very rare type of cancer especially in children. Emma’s diagnosis doesn’t have a favorable prognosis. The type of leukemia she has/had is very aggressive and acts quickly.  The goal was to put her into remission as fast as possible then move forward for a bone marrow transplant. She needed at least 3 rounds of chemotherapy each lasting at least one month. The chemotherapy was intense and harsh. We knew we would be inpatient on the oncology unit for least 4 months and that is if it went smooth.  They started treatment almost immediately.

Emma had co slept with us (Justin and I)  so when we were admitted I had to attempt to put her in a crib to sleep..hospital policy. The only way I could get her to sleep in that hospital was with a carrier. I would have to pace our little room, or do squats with her in the carrier. I can tell you I probably did 70 squats a day/night trying to get her to sleep in the carrier. Then I would gracefully sneak her into the crib after she had passed out. I was still breastfeeding Emma at the time. Her appetite would come and go throughout the months but she breastfed for mostly comfort while inpatient. She could breastfeed in the carrier. It was so handy when the staff would come in and I had some privacy while she would continue to breastfeed in the carrier. She had a lot of nausea and vomiting after her 7-10 day chemo infusions. I could breastfeed her in the carrier. I could take her on walks in the carrier. Whatever we did in that hospital I was chest to chest with my baby. With so many strangers coming and going out of our room, and people poking her, causing her pain… she always wanted to be close to me. I was her comfort zone…inside that carrier was her comfort zone.  If it wasn’t for babywearing during those long months I don’t know what I would have done.

We were inpatient at the hospital for 8 long months. Emma almost didn’t make it. She was basically unresponsive for a month in the ICU. The chemo they had given her to wipe out her bone marrow before transplant was so harsh, it caused her liver to fail. Her kidneys were on the verge of failing. She had tubes coming out everywhere.  She didn’t speak any sounds, open her eyes, or touch me for an entire month. I would try to arouse her, sing to her, talk to her. I remember going back to the basics to try to get any kind of response from her. I got in her bed and would try skin to skin contact. I would lay her next to me and put our chests together like she liked it for months. Thanks to the grace of god and the amazing hospital staff they saved my baby. She slowly recovered, had to relearn how to walk and talk. We spent another month or two at the hospital getting therapy and waiting for her counts to come up.

Emma is about to turn 2 yrs old and is 6 month post bone marrow transplant. Her counts look great. We are working on putting some weight on her. She’s running around outside of the hospital happy as a clam, exploring and into everything. She still loves to be in a carrier, even though she has outgrown our current one. We cherish every moment we have with her and pray for her health and happiness daily.

Thank you to Emily and her family for sharing Emma’s story! We hope you will join us this month and #GoGold to help conquer Childhood Cancers. For every ‘Beacon’ Tula carrier sold, we will donate 10% of proceeds to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation so they can continue funding the fight against childhood cancers. Help by purchasing a Tula ‘Beacon’ Baby Carrier, or donating directly to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

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‘Beacon’ expresses the connected love, care and hope that surrounds each child and family facing cancer: each element coming together to offer strength and support. ‘Beacon’s’ geometric pattern, in a bright yellow gold color, covers the body panel, waistband, and shoulders straps. ‘Beacon’ is lined with light gray canvas and comes with a light gray hood.

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Carried to Connect: Hazel’s Story

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For Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we want to honor the families facing the difficult journey of childhood cancer and #GoGold to raise awareness. We’re connecting with real families on this difficult journey, who have found babywearing helpful during their fight against cancer and sharing their stories on our blog. Today, Lynn shares her daughter, Hazel’s, story. Continue reading to also learn how we are supporting childhood cancer awareness with our fully printed Tula Baby Carrier, ‘Beacon’.

After Hazel’s 9 month old routine baby well checkup resulted with an abnormal anemia blood test, we headed to Rady’s Children’s Hospital to get a compete blood test done.  On August 3, 2015 We were called almost immediately to report back to Rady’s to the hematology/oncology floor. Hazel had extremely low platelets, low hemoglobin and blasts in her blood all signs that lead to a leukemia diagnosis.  It wasn’t until August 13 that Hazel was diagnosed with AML, acute myeloid leukemia. 

Hazel is our younger of two daughters and I have owned my grey zig zag Tula Baby Carrier since my older daughter was 8 months old.  Having a toddler running around and a baby meant much more babywearing! Hazel always ran on the bigger side which was great because I was very comfortable putting her in my Tula at an early age and she enjoyed being in there. 

After Hazel’s diagnosis, we spent two months in the hospital from August through October with a one week break at home. Hazel underwent two rounds of heavy chemotherapy. On her worst days she was tucked in tight in our Tula as I held her, rocked her, and kept her close to my heart.  She couldn’t yet walk so I would carry her in the hallway and the children’s garden for a change of scenery. Many nights she would not fall asleep unless I walked the halls with her in our Tula. To entertain her, my husband would put her in the Tula and ride the oversized tricycle around in the Children’s Hospital garden with her, while dragging an IV pole around. 

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In November 2015, after another high dose chemo regime Hazel underwent a bone marrow transplant, it was supposed to be the best way to get rid of her cancer for good. Everything went as well as it could and we were home in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, in January of 2016, we were told her Leukemia had returned. Since then most of her treatment has been in clinic with a few overnight stays as they are trying to get her back into remission with the least amount of toxicity. That means we are back and forth a lot to the hospital and clinic and now Hazel is 22 months old and is bigger so she is now into the toddler sized carrier. She has a voice and an opinion which is often “hold me” and “mommy’s milk time”, both of which the Tula can and does help me with.  Once in remission Hazel will undergo a second bone marrow transplant in hopes that this time it will work and she can live a long cancer free life.

Since Hazel’s immune system is very low due to treatments we cannot go many places that ordinary toddlers can go. If I need to run an errand and have no option but to have Hazel with me she goes in our Tula, facing me with a mask on for the least risky option of her acquiring germs. We fortunately have been able to sneak to the zoo a few times but again Hazel cannot walk around or touch anything so into the Tula she goes to be safest from germs, mold, bacteria, etc and has a perfect view of seeing the animals.

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Our Tula got us through very hard times and we have also celebrated many happy times in it as well.  We are thankful to have such a comfortable, well made carrier that keeps Hazel safe and protected in  ❤️

Thank you to Lynn and her family for sharing Hazel’s story! We hope you will join us this month and #GoGold to help conquer Childhood Cancers. For every ‘Beacon’ Tula carrier sold, we will donate 10% of proceeds to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation so they can continue funding the fight against childhood cancers. Help by purchasing a Tula ‘Beacon’ Baby Carrier, or donating directly to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

‘Beacon’ expresses the connected love, care and hope that surrounds each child and family facing cancer: each element coming together to offer strength and support. ‘Beacon’s’ geometric pattern, in a bright yellow gold color, covers the body panel, waistband, and shoulders straps. ‘Beacon’ is lined with light gray canvas and comes with a light gray hood.

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Beacon, our fully printed Tula Baby Carrier, supporting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.