moby wrap instructionsI can’t be the only woman that had a mental picture of the way I would look with children. For some reason, I always knew that I would be a mother. It was something I wanted for as long as I could remember. I guess when you think about something for so long it’s only natural that certain fantasies develop. Mine always seemed to involve sashaying around town wearing my baby. Hands free. Multitasking. Glamorous.

Damn you, media.

Seriously – I blame the media. There’s always one spread or another showing a gorgeous celebrity post-birth: skinny, giggling, holding coffee, and wearing her baby. How hard could it be? I would definitely be getting one of those wraps and wearing my baby, too.

I decided on the Moby, because it seemed to be the most popular and had a ton of positive reviews on Amazon. Also, it looked comfortable. I registered for it and was thrilled when it was one of the first items to arrive. I would have time to practice wrapping it and would be a pro by the time there was finally a baby to put in it.

I flippantly pulled the wrap out of its container. It was packed like a mini sleeping bag. I began to roll it out of its casing, and to my utter confusion and horror it stretched out to my bedroom door, through my kitchen and almost made it through my living room, too. To be fair, I lived in a floor-through apartment in Brooklyn at the time – but it was actually pretty big for city standards. There must have been 20 yards of fabric in this thing. How in the hell was I supposed to get all of this around my body? There should be a warning on this thing – “only attempt if you can make an origami swan with one hand.”

I brushed off the initial horror of the sheer amount of fabric that was in front of me. I figured, it’s the most popular wrap out there. If everyone else can do it – so can I damn it!  I began looking at the Moby wrap instructions.

Not good.

You know how Ikea has those weird instructions with no words that sort of make you feel like a monkey should be able to assemble your armoire – and three hours later you’re sweating and crying? Well, these instructions aren’t that bad. They’re so simple they sort of mock you. Yes, that’s how I felt. The smiling women on the simple instructions for the Moby wrap that I should be maternally pre-disposed to make work on my body were totally mocking me. The teddy bear I was using to take the place of my “infant” looked sad. Probably because he was hanging upside down by one foot. I decided if I was going to make this happen – I needed more help. Google would fix this – it fixes everything else in my life.

I went online and Googled “Moby wrap how.” A YouTube linked popped up so I followed it to the page. To my delight there were dozens of videos detailing how to get this thing wrapped around my body. I chose the one with the Dad. He doesn’t even have a maternal instinct working in his favor. If he could do it, so could I.

I quickly realized my assumption about maternal instinct is wrong. There is some super soothing massage-room music playing and this guy looks more at ease slipping his tiny infant into his expertly wrapped Moby, than I have ever looked about anything. I close my computer. I was going to figure this out on my own, damnit.

I started with the basic wrap. I gathered all of the fabric and attempted to cross it over my shoulders like the calm lady I had seen in the instruction manual. I was eight months pregnant and it was the middle of a hot New York summer. I immediately began sweating, but refused to give up. The frenzied wrapping began.

This way, too short!

This way, too long!

That way, I look like a fat hippy!

My baby wasn’t born yet and I was already failing at motherhood. I don’t like to fail, so I decided I was going to return the baby accessory from hell. I don’t even want to tell you how hard it was to get that thing back into it’s rolled state. I was broke and desperate for another carrier that I would be able to use – so I managed to figure it out.

I ended up with one of those carriers that looks like an ugly backpack. I looked like a linebacker in it, but my baby felt secure and comfortable so that’s all that really mattered. I still get a little envious when I see women who can pull off the baby wrap – but it’s not for me. I’m pregnant with number two, but I still don’t think it’s in the cards.

On Friday I got an email from my birthing center.

Hi Maria,
Just wanted to let you know that you won the Moby Wrap in the raffle!  Do you want to pick it up at your appointment on Wednesday, 2/20?  If that works for you, just remind us when you’re here!
Also- do you mind if I announce that you won the Moby on Facebook?  If you don’t want me to use your full name, I could just say “Maria G.”

The universe is clearly mocking me. Oh, well. Guess I’m trying again.

(photo:  Andrey Kozachenko / Shutterstock)