Of all the variances between expectation and reality so far in motherhood, babywearing twins has to top the list.
I am literally laughing at myself (not with myself) when I recall the visions I had about how this would go: I’d just “pop” one baby on the front and one baby on the back and we’d breezily hit the hiking trails or the beach or the farmers’ market. I’d done research on the best baby carrier for twins (front-to-back Ergobaby, evidently) and the best baby carrier for travel, and of all the things I’d be learning in my new role as a mom, surely this did not seem like one of the harder ones.
And then reality intervened. The babies were just a few weeks old, and Jordan was colicky and screaming, and I had the idea that we could just “pop” them on and go for some kind of a soothing walk. Picture us unfurling the folded Ergobaby manuals with cartoonish exaggeration, and then following up in desperation with YouTube how-to videos, ridiculously insincere in their jaunty tone. That’s when David said, “This is a BAD idea!” with such tragic defeat in his voice that is became a family in-joke, a shorthand for every idea I had that sounded fun and festive on the face of it (“Let’s take the babes for dinner at the Grove on the Saturday before Christmas!”) but ended in failure and tears.
The infant inserts made everything more complicated to boot, with the babies so fragile and bendy seeming. But even months into their little lives, and many attempts later, the Ergos just seemed so cumbersome. It’s supposed to be a one-person operation, but I could never seem to get every strap in place without backup, and I literally poured sweat with fear that my ineptitude would result in a baby on the floor instead of tucked quaintly, serenely in place. No part of twin babywearing turned out to be the breezy, streamlined method of soothing and bonding I had in mind.
In addition to the Ergobaby carriers we got as generous registry gifts, I also picked up hand-me-downs from my sister in the form of a ring sling (which I wanted to love, because it was called Maya Wrap), and a Moby Wrap. But nothing seemed intuitive, and I never managed to get past YouTube tutorial stage.
Here’s where I say that you may (as you no doubt already have) feel free to roll your eyes at me in the privacy of your laptop if babywearing came naturally to you, and you think I sound ridiculous. That may be the case. I’m far from a babywearing expert — uh, that much should be obvious — but I can only tell you honestly that for me, there were physical obstacles that led to serious mental obstacles when it came to babywearing. And it was all bumming me out, and dashing those pre-baby visions of an active lifestyle motivated by fun and not fear.
But I wasn’t willing to give up yet.