I've been reading some books lately, trying to figure out what is wrong with my
This week, however, has been a disaster. Nighttime sleeping has gone down the tubes. It takes me HOURS to get her to go to sleep at night. It something takes me over an hour to get her to take a 20 minute nap during the day. She fluctuates between wild smiles and raging unhappiness constantly. I'm exhausted.
There. I said it. I'm really fucking tired.
And then, while I was reading one of the books, I skipped ahead to the chapter on "fussy babies" and right there, in black and white:
Persistent low-intensity fussing, rather than intense crying, characterizes infants diagnosed as having colic... it is usually described as an unsettled, agitated, wakeful state that would lead to crying if ignored by parents... Even if they [parents] spend more than three additional hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks "feeding" them at night to prevent crying, these parents do not think their baby is colicky because there is so little crying... they had long and frequent bouts of fussing, which did not lead to crying because of intense parental intervention.
Folks? Josie definitely has colic.
I almost laughed out loud when the book characterized colic as having to spend more than three hours a day, three days a week, for more than three weeks, soothing my child. Three hours a day? I might spend 8 hours, 10 hours, sometimes it feels like 24 hours, soothing her. I rock her, feed her, talk to her, sing to her, bounce her around the house, let her nurse to pacify herself for hours in the wee hours of the morning. We try baby Zantac and probiotics. I cut out dairy, vegetables, chocolate, spices, soy, and I even try to limit my wheat intake, just in case.
All this time, I kept thinking that because she didn't scream and scream for hours on end, she couldn't possibly have colic. I know, though, that if I didn't do handstands to make her happy, she would spend hours out of every day screaming. As it is, I've had to come home from the movies because she won't stop crying. I never go anywhere without her. I'm dreading a dinner date tomorrow night (our first) with Josh because I know she is going to cry endlessly with my mother in law for those 2 hours while we are gone.
The relief that I felt when I read those sentences is indescribable. It makes no sense to me, why would I be happy to learn that there is no solution? Why would it make me feel better? But it does. I feel almost a sort of validation. I'm crying all over again writing this, but reading that chapter makes me feel like maybe it isn't my fault. Maybe it isn't what I'm eating. Maybe it isn't the antibiotics I took for the mastitis (my pediatrician's suggestion). Maybe it isn't my breastmilk (my mother's CONSTANT suggestion). Maybe it is, but maybe it is just colic.
Maybe she is going to get better soon, just because of age. She is turning 3 months old on Saturday, and although I dread the passage of time with a ridiculous intensity because I don't want my babies to get bigger, maybe, just maybe, things will get better. Maybe I won't have to sit here for 3 hours rocking her to sleep next week. Maybe she won't be up fussing from 1am until 8am. Maybe she'll show me her beautiful smile more often. Maybe I'll be able to play with Gabe for a while every day without holding her in my arms. Crazy, for that to sound like a luxury, but it does.
I love Josie so much, I don't even have the words to describe to you how having her in our lives makes me feel. I look down at her and wonder how I could have made this beautiful, perfect, sweet little creature. I press my face against her cheeks or into her neck and I cannot imagine not feeling her glorious weight in my arms all the time. It is like falling in love all over again. I thought my heart would burst with adoration when we had Gabe, but somehow I love her just as much. Somehow it feels like I love them both MORE. With this unsettling intensity that throws me for a loop daily. I want to swallow her whole.
It'd be nice, though, to be able to get a coffee with a friend without feeling tense. It'd be nice to not check my phone obsessively in the darkness of the movie theater. It'd be nice if she was just happy. If she felt well all the time. So for now, I'll be hoping for her to feel better. Soon.