I had never been around a lot of babies, but I was prepared to find advice and read books when I needed. Little did I know, I was in for a lot more than I could have ever imagined. I thought I was relatively prepared. I read books throughout my pregnancy, went to my prenatal classes and visited every baby website I could find.
The birth was nothing like I wanted. I took a breastfeeding course and read books on breastfeeding. That didn’t work out. While in the hospital, the nurses talked me into formula supplementing. Bad idea. I couldn’t get her to my nipples without her screaming. After a week of listening to her scream, bringing in lactation consultants and working hand in hand with my husband, I decided I’d had enough. I wanted to enjoy my baby.
Within a couple of weeks we started having feeding problems. Every time she would feed, she’d suck… and scream… suck… and scream. We could not figure out why she was upset when she ate. I eventually discovered, on my own, that the exercise ball worked to calm her down. It worked most of the time.
She always slept well at night. But napping during the day wasn’t easy and neither was feeding time. Most of the time my husband would walk in the door and I’d be in tears, begging him “can you please take her, I need a break”. I could never get out of the house with her during the day, so he’d get home and I’d leave for an hour or so after dinner.
Shortly after the colic began, my moods dropped quickly. I cried often, very often, and even threatened my husband on the way to work one morning. I told him that if he left me alone with her, I was going to swallow a whole bottle of Tylenol 3’s. I was lonely, tired, scared and emotionally drained; I needed help.
I went to my doctor and asked her to put me on anti-depressants. I had always been uncomfortable with the idea of anti-depressants, but felt the it was for my health and safety, as well my daughter’s. Things slowly improved after that. My husband stepped up and helped me a lot. We helped each other a lot. We could always tell when the other had had enough.
My mom was a big help too. She was able to take a day off here and there if I needed her help. I was also colicky as a baby, so she knew how it felt and knew how to deal with the stresses. I couldn’t have done it without them.
My husband and my mom were my two strongest supports. No one else really understood. You don’t understand until you LIVE it.
But she is 5 months now, still a very demanding little girl, but happier and thriving. I honestly feel lucky. Lucky that colic is something they can grow out of. Leukemia doesn’t just go away, having a sick child isn’t always temporary.
Lean on someone. Family or friends. And just keep telling yourself it’s not your fault and not their fault. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.