Wednesday, February 7, 2007

C-O-L-I-C

What's a five letter word for absolute hell? A devastating, heart breaking, guilt filled experience? The shedding of tears, frustration, pain, and utter exhaustion?

COLIC.

I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. It's been the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. It's causing a strain on my marriage, my relationship with Chloe, and my sanity.

Chloe and I left Ali with Dad today and went to the library. I checked out a ton of books written about colic. Chloe and I got some one on one time, and a little mini break. Afterwards we went across the street to the park. I met the nicest mom! She was there with her two girls, one of whom was only a few months older than Chloe. We chit chatted for awhile and when she asked if Ali was a good baby, I just smiled tersely and said "Oh yes, she's great!"

Yeah....not so much. I enjoy her the very most when she is sleeping, because those times are few and far between. The nights have been getting worse, and I am currently surviving on 2-3 hours of sleep a night. Unfortunately, I have NEVER been able to sleep during the day when it is light, no matter how tired I am, so I can't nap when Chloe and Ali are napping. Since my husband works graveyard shift, I am alone at nights. Which happens to be her very fussiest time.

The definition of colic is basically a baby that won't stop crying. It's easy to diagnose...as long as baby cries more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks...she has colic. It hasn't been 3 weeks for us yet, but so far 6-7 hours a day, 7 days a week, so I am pretty sure we qualify. The hardest part is figuring out the CAUSE of colic. So far I am unsure. Since I am partially breastfeeding, I thought it may be caused by allergies or some other gastrointestinal irritation. So I am currently on a dairy free diet. I'll try that to see if that makes any difference in her fussiness. We are also switching her to soy formula. If that doesn't work, we are going to try an allergy-sensitive formula. If THAT doesn't work..I'm not sure what we can do from there.

I had colic as a child. My mother said I screamed through the first six months of my life. Non stop. I put them through hell. Payback sucks.

The other hard part about colic is your child is inconsolable. Her screams are ear piercing, her face turns red, her tummy gets hard as a rock, and she waves her fists in the air in anger. I have tried every trick possible, going for drives, walks, slinging her, swinging her, shushing her, swaying, rocking, bouncing, letting her cry on her own, putting her on her tummy, back, side, patting, massaging, bathing, feeding, burping, changing, white noise, warmer room, cooler room, going outside, talking, singing, music, more light, less light, no blankets..yeah, you get the drift.

I am going through a bit of an internal battle. It's hard not to blame yourself when your child cries nonstop. You feel like a bad parent, you feel guilt-ridden, hopeless, helpless, and frustrated. You snap easily at others when they offer help, you become a recluse and stop answering the phone when friends call. You type out blog posts as fast as you possible can so you can finish before baby wakes yet again.

It's a roller coaster. But it will end eventually. The road is long and bumpy, but the end is in sight. And most parents who have been through it say that they have an insanely close bond with their colicky child. So hang on Ali, we'll make it through.

6 comments:

Megan said...

Oh JULIE. I wish I could be there to give you a huge hug and hang out with Ali while you get some fresh air. One of my friends here had a daughter with colic that lasted three months, and she said it was a total nightmare. Her one saving grace was that she realized her daughter would scream whether she was holding her or not, so she gave herself permission to put her down a few times a day to get some physical distance and get balanced and collect herself.

I am just so, so sorry. I really wish I could just hug your neck, girl. I will be praying for you and Ali . . .

Piper said...

Oh, Jules! Matthew had horrible colic for the first 3 months, then he was the happiest baby ever! It's so hard & you must feel so helpless. i wish I could be there to give you a break, girl! :)

Nikkie said...

Oh Jules that sounds so rough. I don' tknow what I'd do if I had a baby like that but you sound like the most patient mom and you know it'll end someday.

Meghan said...

Oh man, Jules... I'm so sorry your wee-est one has colic!

I, too, wish I could be there to give you a hand.

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