Friday, June 4, 2010

I've Seen the Enemy -- and it is COLIC

So, as some of you may (or may not know), my lovely, adorable infant son has colic. It's such an ugly thing. It makes him cry. It makes ME cry. It's enough to drive you flippin' insane.

Nine times out of 10 every night between 9 and midnight, I'll be found trying my best to sooth someone that is so utterly out of control I don't know how he breathes. It's maddening because NOTHING you do helps.

You can rock...
You can walk...
You can sing...
You can pat...
You can rub...
You can cry...
You can leave him lay...
...and yet, nothing works.

It's a screaming, kicking, crying, arm flailing frenzy for hours until he just eventually shuts off like a switch. By that time you're so emotionally and physically spent you collapse in a heap of "uungh."

I hold this child of mine up to my eyes and sternly ask WHY?

I've made whiney noises right along with him...of he can see how ridiculous this behavior IS. He just screams louder.

Seriously, nothing works. Those that have BTDT (been there / done that) know my woes. Nothing works.

Usually, I just take it and realize that it's a phase, it will pass. Day before yesterday, however, I was beyond spent. I was tired and emotionally drained because of this. It was one a.m. Yes... since 9:30.. the child had been off and on inconsolable. I was done. I was DONE!

I went to Andy in the other room, turned on the hall light and proceeded to just unload on him.

Yes, it was 1am. Yes, he was SOUND asleep.

So, I not only scared the heck out of him... I didn't CARE that I scared the heck out of him... I just ... OK.. imagine if you will Charlie Brown's teacher. With the whole, "Bwa wah wah wah wah" thing going on. Only from me, it was going at Mach 10 warp speed hyper drive which then scared him from his perfect serene slumber.

Yeah, that was me... like a little Yorkie barking my head off at the post man.

It was not my finest moment. I just needed a 10 minute break and for me to know that Ben was still (at least) being (attempted to be) comforted. I was so spent.

So, today, I'm just going online to my resource sites to try to find anything I can that will give me a glimpse of hope or some coping skills so that I don't sell this kiddo to the gypsies.

...and something that crossed my mind repeatedly in all of this are the people that live in the tree houses. Those tree dwelling tribes that you see on the National Geographic channels. Like... the tree houses shown HERE. Seriously, can you imagine having a baby with colic living in conditions like THAT? Heck, can you even imagine having a BABY living like that? Do you tie them to you at night so they don't wander out the door? Yikes! They apparently do something because they have children living there.

So, anyways, I went to the one source I go for anything concerning kids: I typed in "colic" and it organizes it's response in a Q/A format. Again, everything below is from My comments are in red immediately following.

My baby cries all the time. Could it be colic?
Colic is a term used to describe uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby. If your baby is younger than 5 months old and cries for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks (phew!), chances are he's colicky. "Chances are.." are you freakin KIDDING ME? Dude... there are no "chances" when it comes to THAT MUCH REGULAR CRYING.

How long will this last?
Thankfully, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Colic tends to peak around 6 weeks, then improves significantly between 3 and 4 months. By 5 months, your baby should be over it. By 5 months. The child is just over 2 months old... by 5 months. You mean that I will have THREE MORE MONTHS OF THIS BALONEY? Oh... beam me up NOW Scottie, Mommy is going to be arranging a three month vacation to Club-PSYCHO.

Yes, that's a long tunnel. In the meantime, learn how to comfort your baby as best you can and ask for help when you need it. Caring for a colicky baby can be very stressful, and you need to take regular breaks to maintain your own well-being. Have your mate or a friend or relative take over while you go for a walk or let loose with a good cry yourself when you need to. Yes, you have to cry to let it out or you will just implode. I do firmly believe this. Yes, it's a long tunnel. Yes, I did ask for help. Did you not see that I was barking at my husband who was sleeping peacefully?

Why are some babies colicky?
Colic is one of the great mysteries of baby life. About 20 percent of babies become colicky. Statistics suck when you're not in the percentage where you WANT to be. I want to be in the majority...

Some experts believe that long bouts of colicky crying are a physical release for overwrought babies. Your baby might be easily overwhelmed if he's sensitive by nature, for example, or if he's recovering from a difficult birth or was born prematurely and his nervous system is still developing. By the time evening rolls around, these babies just can't handle any more sights, sounds, or sensations, and they cry to blow off steam. Can't he just have a drink and watch the tube? Seriously, it's much more of a calming thing to do than to completely stress yourself out screaming at everyone/thing/sound/movement/second.

By the way, if you smoked during pregnancy or smoke now, your baby is twice as likely to have colic (though this risk is reduced if your baby is breastfed). I don't smoke. I didn't smoke. However, this is making me consider it! Ha ha! JUST KIDDING!

Should I take my baby to the doctor if I think he has colic?
Yes, it's a good idea to talk with the doctor about your baby's crying. She can rule out other potential causes, like intestinal or urinary infections, and help you determine the best course of action for your baby if he does have colic. Can I GIVE my baby to the doctor to "cure" the colic. I'll pick him up in a couple of weeks, mmm-kay? I need a "Colic-whisperer."

I've heard that colic in breastfed babies is caused by the mother's diet. Is this true?
Some breastfed babies seem to become colicky because of something in their mother's diet.

There's plenty of controversy about which foods are problematic, but dairy products are some of the prime suspects. If you're breastfeeding, try cutting back on milk, cheese, and yogurt for a couple of weeks to see whether it makes a difference. (Cow's milk protein can remain in breast milk that long, so this dietary experiment takes some patience.)

Other suspects include spicy food, wheat products, nuts, strawberries, cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower), garlic, caffeine, and alcohol.

To see whether one of these foods is making your baby uncomfortable, avoid them all for a few days. If your baby seems better, reintroduce one food at a time, allowing a few days between re-introductions. Are you freakin kidding me? It's like...don't eat.... for a FEW days... just to see if it makes your baby better. Pshaw! No MILK? No CHEESE? No YOGURT? Um... NO WAY! Strawberries? HELLO??? Have you not known that this is PRIME STRAWBERRY SEASON? I have a strawberry-banana smoothie (IN YOGURT) like...every other day! Caffeine? How am I supposed to function on 5 hours of interrupted sleep without it?

So, there you have it folks... I'm destined to be a nut-job until my son is 5 months old. Well, at least I have an excuse. What's yours?

1 comment:

5 Boys and a Princess said...

tovahmae1In Canada they have Gripe Water that is less then $2/ bottle and works miracles. I've heard you can order it on the internet as well (my baby is 7 but I have an emergency stash in the back of the medicine cupboard for sour stomach).