The Babies!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baby Had a Bad, Bad Day

Patrick had a horrible day yesterday. He cried, he fussed, he screamed, he wriggled and fought the air with his little balled up fists. I have absolutely no idea what the problem was and, as I discovered, I had absolutely no idea how to resolve it except to wait it out. Which I did, but just barely.

With the exception of one one-hour nap in the morning and two or three fifteen-minute catnaps in the afternoon and evening, he was awake from 11:30 AM to 10:30 PM. That is a long time for a little baby to be awake. That is also a long time for a tired mama to be rocking, holding, feeding, cuddling and talking to a little baby. I fed him when he was hungry, changed him when he was wet, held him when he seemed to want to be held, put him down when he seemed sleepy, burped him, bicycled his legs for gas, kept him warm (but not too warm), checked his temperature (no fever), swaddled him, gave him a pacifier, moved him from downstairs (too much light and noise, maybe?) to upstairs, dimmed the lights, sang to him, hummed to him, stayed quiet… and nothing worked for more than five minutes to keep him calm. Finally, for no real reason I can discern except sheer exhaustion, he fell asleep (swaddled) around 10:30 and slept until after 4 AM. Thank god and whichever saint watches over frazzled mothers. Seriously.

It’s not just the crying that sends me around the bend-- though it’s certainly the main problem since I have such a low tolerance for loud noise-- it’s the constant physical contact. I’m not used to having my personal space invaded with such frequency. Yes, I know this is my baby and any idea I have of personal space went out the window when he took up residence in my uterus, but… still. Don’t get me wrong, I love to hold him when he’s calm and sleepy and warm. It’s soothing to have his little head nestled against my shoulder, his fingers clasping mine. That’s wonderful. It’s when he’s fussing and crying, when the arms are flailing about and the legs are kicking and he’s struggling to lift his head and manages to clip me in the jaw that I feel like I’m on the receiving end of a violent attack. It doesn’t seem like it should hurt, but it does. I feel like my body is bruised after yesterday. Swaddling helps a little, but he still manages to wriggle and twist and push against me so hard I have to hang on tight. It’s physically exhausting. Thankfully, my incision isn’t as tender as it was a couple of weeks ago because those belly kicks hurt.

I had my own little meltdown around 9:30 last night, holding him and praying he would go to sleep so I could get some sleep myself. It wasn’t long before he was sleeping peacefully and looking like an angel, but of course I had no idea that was coming when I was melting down. In that moment, after ten hours of constant care of a fussy baby with barely a break to feed the pets and myself, it felt like it was never going to get better. Ever. Like I was trapped in that nursery, in that chair, with that crying baby forever. Horrible, helpless feeling, that.

But today is a new day and so far, so good. He slept last night, I slept last night, the pets and I have been fed well before noon (as opposed to the 4 PM and 9 PM of yesterday), the sun is shining and Patrick is taking his usual morning nap (and waking up, it sounds like). I feel like I can do anything right now. Maybe even write something that isn’t baby-related.


Leslee (habanero???) said...

If that happens again, you may want to ask about reflux. Malea's colic was caused by severe reflux and it took about three months before we figured out what worked. For her, it was only Prilosec, and it was like we had a different child after that. The only thing I can offer by way of general advice is force your pediatrician to be proactive. In some cases, (too frequently, if you ask me) baby docs tend to take the wait and see approach. Nuh uh. Not good, not happening, no way. Make yourself heard, and switch docs if you have to. We did, and ended up with a ped who changed our lives. Good luck Kris, and although you've heard it many times, this too shall pass...even though it seems like it never ever will. It will.

Jackie said...

This dude has a theory about curing colic, based on a "missing 4th trimester" that infants are forced to live through on the outside. Maybe this article will help you out. This doctor found some tribe somewhere where colic doesn't exist, studied them, and compiled his findings. Worth a shot.

Good luck!

Jo said...

Osteopathy. Sounds like he's in pain a lot. Hopefully it'll help.

also, see if he improves if you cut out wheat/dairy/caffeine, then reintroduce slowly one by one.

If it's any comfort, while the colic days were hell with mine, and the sleeplessness, we got through it and went on to feed long term andit was worth it.