17 Mar Conquering Colic
Posted at 00:58h
in Mommy Blog
Unless you have experienced colic, you really don’t know what it’s like. I remember reading about colicky babies and thinking that colic must be an exaggeration told by frazzled parents that couldn’t handle a newborn. I knew babies cried and I believed that some parents just couldn’t handle it as well as others. I had no idea that one day I would learn, first hand, what having a colicky baby was like.
When Hadleigh was born she was a very quiet baby. During those first two weeks, she cried when she was hungry or wet and that was about it. At around 20 days old, she started crying more. She would cry and I would change her, feed her, burp her, bounce her, swing her, lay her down, pick her up, bathe her, babywear her, and do anything I could think of, but she would still cry. Hours would go by and she would continue to wail as if someone was secretly pinching her.
I spent hours scouring the Internet for articles about the cure for colic and I tried everything from essential oils and Colic Calm to eliminating dairy from my diet. Nothing seemed to work and eventually I resorted to just begging her to stop. I would cry with her and watch the clock for the time when Brad would come home so I could get some relief.
When we took her to the pediatrician, I pleaded with him for a solution or some kind of magic serum to cure her. Unfortunately, no such cure existed and the only advice we got was to simply let her cry it out. The advice we received was easier said than done. When she would cry, feelings of helplessness and shame would build inside of me. It was as if her cry was the sound of our failure echoing over and over. I began to carry around insurmountable anxiety. I was afraid to go out of the house with her because I feared silent judgment from others when she would cry in public. I began to mourn the maternity leave that I wished I could have had and I let the guilt and anxiety consume me. I felt like no one truly understood what we were going through and I wondered if my life would always be like this.
When her colic peaked, at around 10 weeks old, I discovered a colic support group on Facebook. Immediately, I was immersed in posts written by parents that were going through the same thing we were. I finally had a place to vent about my fears and struggles! It was such a relief to talk with other parents and get advice from people that were actually living it. I would see posts from frustrated moms and dads that needed to vent, but my favorite posts were the success stories. I loved reading about the babies that “graduated” from the colic page and it gave me hope for Hadleigh. After reading the success stories, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. I resolved that there were going to be good days and there were going to be bad days, but I can’t let a bad day define me, my daughter, or the relationship I have with her.
Weeks passed until I realized that I started using past-tense terms to talk about my daughter’s colic. Just like a lingering cold, her colic dissipated so gradually we almost didn’t notice. Though, she is still “high needs” and I will never consider my daughter to be an “easy baby”, she cries for a reason now and she can often be consoled very easily. Hadleigh still wants to be carried or in the wrap for hours each day, but I can actually leave her alone in a bouncer or swing now.
When I think back to those first few weeks, I have no idea how Brad and I managed to make it through. What I do know is that we couldn’t have done it without each other. Going through this experience made me realize that I picked the perfect partner to have a child with. We were there for each other when we needed it most. When I was at my wits end and ready to give up, he was there for me. He always made sure I knew I was a good mom and provided me with the support I needed to conquer colic.