In hindsight, I am glad that I did not blog about Charlie’s colic in real-time. This way, I am able to squeeze it all into one or two posts.
I know that most moms will say that their child has colic at one time or another during their infancy. Let me make one thing clear: just because a baby is fussy does not mean they have colic. These words are not synonymous. Colic at best is uncontrollable crying that lasts at least 3 hours at a time, at least 3 days a week. It usually occurs at night. In some instances, however, a baby (and the parents) can suffer from colic all day long, all week-long.
At about 3 weeks old, Charlie’s “angel baby” status began to shift. He went from sleeping all of the time and waking up for feedings to the baby that cried all of the time, fell asleep for a short time and then needed food. I’ll break down a typical scenario.
Let’s start with a feeding…
Charlie would eat. The second he stopped feeding he started crying. I would change him, record how much he ate and drank, if he pooped and then swaddle him back up. The crying would last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, at which point he would either fall asleep or need to be fed again. If he did happen to fall asleep he would startle awake only to cry inconsolably. At most, he would get 10 – 30 minutes of sleep at a time, which meant I was getting about 5 to 20 minutes of sleep.
Getting Charlie to sleep was a task unto itself. First, we would turn the swing on without him in it. Then we would bounce on the birthing ball. The only way he would fall asleep was a combination of falling asleep in our arms while we bounced on the birthing ball. If we stopped bouncing too early we would have to start the bouncing process all over again. Once we got him to sleep, setting him down was like handling TNT. We had to be very careful not to jostle him in any way or he would explode. Then we would go bounce on the ball. Once he fell asleep, we had to transfer him into the moving swing or he would wake up. Honestly, we basically played defense for his first 3 months of life. It wasn’t until month 4 that we began worrying about creating bad habits. So, until that time, this is mostly how he slept.
His swing was our greatest ally
We went to the doctor multiple times a week. I called the doctor every single day. I was convinced that something was medically wrong with my baby. All he did was cry. He would not stop when we held him. We tried bouncing him on the bouncy ball, driving for hours at a time, putting him in his car seat on top of the dryer with a shoe tumbling inside. We tried Mylicon, Gripe Water and Zantac. Noise machines and lullabies. Nothing worked to pacify this child.
We tried everything...
Finally, the doctor proclaimed that we were one of the lucky families who had a baby with colic 24 hours a day. Truth be told, I was at my wits end with this kid. I wanted to return him or give him away. All I kept thinking was why did we have a baby when we have a perfect dog who is so easy to take care of? I’m not gonna lie, both my husband and I were not secretive about the fact that we loved Sherman, our dog, way more than we did our own flesh and blood.
Here’s a picture of Charlie that we took when he was one month hold. It pretty much captures what living with Charlie was like for the first 3 months. He was yellow and angry…
I was supposed to be born today, not one month old!
Luckily for us, his colic did go away. His system decided to settle down on May 29th, 2010, our anniversary weekend. It was the greatest present we could have ever asked for.