Hi, I'm Jenni, mama to 5 kiddos, 10, 6, 3, almost 2, and 3 months. We live in Jacksonville, Florida. I'm a certified babywearing educator and I have had a love for all things babywearing since I was pregnant with my oldest. I am passionate about helping families wear their babies close and making that accessible to all types of families. Before I became a mom, I was pursuing a degree in music therapy and through my education and volunteer work then, I got to know many special families with special kids that made a lasting imprint forever on my heart. These past experiences combined with my passion for babywearing brought me to asking Lift Me Up if I could volunteer and help them out with their mission. It's been my pleasure to help these amazing mamas serve this wonderful group of parents and children!
Meet Hannah Grace. She is a 28 weeker surviving identical triplet, and has 4 older siblings. Her triplet sisters Hailey and Hope passed in utero at 16w due to twin to twin transfusion syndrome and Hannah continued to fight to live. Her water broke at 23 weeks and after 5 weeks of hospital bedrest, she was born because of placenta abruption and fetal distress. She spent 68 long days in two NICUs, and is now home with her primary diagnosis being chronic lung disease. She's on home oxygen and monitors for her breathing. Read more of her story on Facebook at "Grow Hannah Grow"
Pumping is pretty much the bane of my daily existence since having Hannah at 28 weeks. I pumped at home when she was in the NICU, pumped at her bedside, and continue to pump now. This is so different for me compared to my other children who I was able to nurse. Pumping is hard work! I fill the start, end, and lots of the middle of my day with pumping. Now that she's home, it looks like this: big brother Joey comes to cuddle Hannah and watch her monitor while I pump.
Being a long time babywearer and babywearing educator, it is so strange to have this sweet little baby who is plugged into all of this very heavy stuff! I can't just throw her in a wrap when I wake up and go about my day. And often when we are out, because of all of her equipment, it is easier to not wear her if she's content in her carseat. As a result, I've used a carseat and stroller with Hannah more than I have with my four other kids combined! There's nothing easy about loading up oxygen and a monitor and heading to the doctor, which we do a few times a week. She rides in the carseat unless she needs me, then up she goes.
Some of Hannah's doctor appointments are rather rough on her little body, so we fix the sad baby with skin to skin snuggles under a ring sling or stretchy wrap.
My big kids like to move! We try to get out at least once a day for a walk in the melting hot Florida sunshine to wear out all the kids (and the Mama, too!). Hannah goes up in a sling and I carry her oxygen so that I can push her siblings, 21 months Robin and 3yo Emmy. And we march... I mean walk. There were the big kids around too, but they're too fast for a photo! Oh, and Ellie the puppy too!
Hannah's not so big brother Robin (21 months) has been having growing pains lately, and been asking for snuggles. Since Hannah can't be on me while I'm cooking (she's on her big oxygen tank in our bedroom), he often gets his needed snuggles in the evening while I fix dinner.
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Our organization would not be possible without awesome people like Jenni! We're grateful for her dedication to our mission.....want to join us?! Fill out our volunteer application today!
Posted on Sat, August 12, 2017
by Lift Me Up filed under