Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hello, My Name Is Abby, And I'm A Survivor Of Colic.

Hooray! I can officially say that we have survived Charlie's "Colic", whatever the hell that term means. For us, it meant that for weeks on end all of us endured endless hours of screaming and crying and a completely inconsolable baby most nights. I can remember nights that NOTHING I did to help Charlie worked, and I would pass him off to Mikan and go sit on the front porch and cry by myself. I so vivdly remember thinking that this would never ever end and all of us were doomed to a life of tears and screeching from Charlie. And the books and experts and even our own trusted pediatrician all said the same thing: "Eh, you just gotta wait it out. Good luck with that." And I remember thinking "NOOOOO!!!!! I cannot wait THIS OUT! This is a nightmare! I will never in a million years get through this, and there is no way I will still be alive to wait this out until 12 weeks, because the screaming is going to kill me." Only someone who has experienced colic can truly understand how horrifying it is and what a failure it makes you feel like when your sweet, tiny little baby has something so wrong that they just wail and scream and cry and NOTHING will work to fix whatever it is that is wrong. I cannot even begin to tell you the lengths we went to to fix "this"...$8/day formula, different bottles and nipples, sleep positioners, gas drops, softer blankets, different pacifiers, more cuddle time, less cuddle time, more naps (ha!), swaddling him, letting him sleep unswaddled, lights turned low, lights so bright that our house could have doubled for a landing strip, hot water bottles to sleep on, gripe water, baby slings. Oy vey. Mikan and I were like two chickens with our heads cut off, running in different directions saying "There has got to be something to FIX THIS, whatever it is." The level of panic when a certain remedy didn't work was insane, because that meant we were one step closer to admitting that there WAS no fixing "this" or magical cure to be had. And guess what? Turns out? We just had to wait for Charlie to come around and get over it on his own.

But now? Oh, now! Life is a relative Garden Of Eden compared to the last 3 months. Not just because Charlie is smiling...he was doing that in between the glass-shattering screams. But he is HAPPY! About 90% of the day he is actully content and happy! If I seem a bit gleeful about this, it's because I had gotten so used to his old ways that I just thought NO BABY IS HAPPY, AT ALL. EVER. Sure, he still cries and will even break out The Scream for old time's sake now and again, but unless he is tired or hungry or wet or cold, he is HAPPY! And he is such a joy. When I think of life before he came along, it seems like a foggy dream that isn't quite real. I can still remember what we did each day before him, but then I think, "What did we DO all day before him?". He has a personality that is distinctly his own. He usually refuses a pacifier, he is coming around to the idea of being swaddled, he giggles a certain way when I touch his shoulder, his absolute favorite person is Ella, and I have to work harder than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest to get him to eat. I knew before he was born that he wouldn't be a carbon copy of Ella, but I don't think I was prepared for how completely and utterly different he is from her, in most ways. I can already tell (and have had people tell me) that he is going to be a feisty one, that Charlie. He is constantly moving his legs and arms and almost never ever sits still, even while eating or falling asleep. We've joked that he got my temper and Mikan's ADHD.

Not really sure where I was going with this, except to say that it sure feels nice to be on the far side of the colic mess.

"Look me in the eyes and tell me you think I was once a screaming ball of nightmare. I dare you. My mom is a liar, I tell you."


ChippsFamily said...

Ahh he is so cute, Abby! I am so glad you are on the "other side". It was hard to see you like that, sister!


em said...

Such a sweet baby...I can not believe I havent met him yet!