In November 2020, Kate was 12 weeks pregnant and feeling excited but also very anxious. Kate had experienced two miscarriages over the previous 12 months and was desperately hoping to carry this baby to full-term.
At her 12-week appointment, Kate and her husband were told that they were at a 'high risk" for Trisomy 21, in fact they had a 1 in 34 chance. For Kate and her husband, this was a beloved and very wanted child and they made their wishes clear that termination was not an option they would even slightly consider.
Fast forward to May 2021, when Charlie was born and spent his first 33 days in NICU for breathing and feeding support. He has grown into very much a people person and brings much joy and laughter to his family of 5. But it hasn't been without some curve balls along the way. We met with Kate, a huge supporter of our HipSurfer, to understand how the HipSurfer had helped her family to navigate challenges and make her life a little bit easier.
Why choose the Hackerlily HipSurfer?
Kate said that she originally started searching for a hip seat online as Charlie wasn’t a fan of a traditional baby carrier. Kate knew it was something she needed, because she had pre-existing back issues and needed something to help as Charlie grew bigger.
Charlie has low muscle tone and carrying him on her hip as he got heavier was a serious challenge. He was still not walking so it was important for Kate, to find a way that was safe and sustainable for her body.
The Hackerlily HipSurfer appealed to Kate, as it was an Australian small business and preferred to support local, over the many other overseas options. The look and features of the Hackerlily HipSurfer were also factors that made her place her first order.
The HipSurfer - making life easier with a little one:
Kate was surprised with how comfortable it was and how well it distributes the weight of Charlie. She shared how she often got comments when wearing it. People were intrigued and impressed that it was carrying Charlie’s weight so well and they love the pockets. She shared with us that it:
- helped her back, hip and wrist pain immensely
- was super convenient for the daycare and school run
- the pockets were "genius" for storing keys, phones, spare nappies and wipes
Kate purchased the HipSurfer when Charlie was just 2, but she wished she had had it from 6mths of age and also wished that it was around when her girls were little too. She shared that it's been a "game changer for my comfort and pain when cuddling and carrying my kids."
The HipSurfer as a comforter:
Kate doesn't just enjoy the comfort that the HipSurfer provides when carrying, she's also found that the HipSurfer has been a great comforting tool. When Charlie is sick or tired and just wants cuddles, she can do that for longer which helps them to both feel calmer and more comfortable. Charlie loves being close but having the freedom to look around him. He calms down when upset if he sees Kate putting on the HipSurfer. For Charlie, the HipSurfer means cuddles!
The versatility of the HipSurfer:
"I cannot recommend the HipSurfer enough. It’s biologically normal for our kids to want to be close to us and this tool makes that so much easier. It’s more comfortable and more sustainable for our bodies and we get to love and cuddle our kids. It's one of my top baby items!"
Kate refers to the HipSurfer as a "staple" in her day-to-day life. Wearing it at home, at daycare, at school, at sporting activities and more. She is even considering getting one for her car as she gets so frustrated with herself when she forgets to put it in the car before an outing.
Around home she uses it when Charlie is tired or upset and needs cuddles. She finds it helpful when she's cooking or cleaning (precautions taken of course) as it leaves one hand free.
Charlie is only just starting to take supported steps. He scoots on his bottom to get around, so Kate will continue to use the HipSurfer "for as long as it is comfortable to support my mothering journey."
Claiming the cost of the HipSurfer through the NDIS:
The HipSurfer isn't just recognised by parents. It's also something that could be funded. Kate discussed the HipSurfer with her Physio and OT, and they then encouraged her to claim through her core consumables funding as they deemed it was a way to sustain Charlie's support and also encouraged his participation in the community. When Kate put the invoice through via the NDIS app it was approved.
Recommendations for other families considering the HipSurfer:
We asked Kate to share her thoughts with other parents considering purchasing the HipSurfer. Kate said, "The HipSurfer is such a fantastic and useful parenting tool and I wish I could have had it from the start of my parenting journey almost 8 years ago."
Kate recommends that to make the most of your HipSurfer, you should make sure it’s easily accessible. Kate keeps hers near the kitchen or the lounge room so it’s only a few steps to grab it and 15-20secs to put it on when she needs it.
Advice for parents who have children with Down Syndrome:
The HipSurfer supports children with low muscle tone which is very common in Down Syndrome children. Kate has shared the HipsSurfer with all of her Mum friends, particularly those with kids who also have Down Syndrome.
Celebrate T21 is an organisation that Kate's family have worked with. They connect families with organisations including Down Syndrome Australia, T21 Mum Network Australia and 321 Pregnancy Care.
Kate shared her vision with us: "We dream of a world where no family should feel isolated, unsupported or pressured to terminate based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Together we are working to rewrite the narrative surrounding Down Syndrome in our community." At Hackerlily, we feel privileged to be a part of making the lives of families easier with our HipSurfer. Every parent deserves to enjoy those precious early years of life and we hope that we can make those close moments, even more special.