Lillian was born full of personality. I didn’t get to spend a whole bunch of time with her before she was whisked off to NICU, but in the time spent with her she was quick to reveal some of her personality.
She stayed in NICU a full 10 days before we were able to bring her home. My husband likes to blame her being high needs on her NICU stay (and the around the clock care she received), but I know better.
She was born that way.
I remember reaching out to my online birth group, asking for help when she was around 3 weeks old. “My baby won’t stop crying,” I wrote. “I think she might have colic.”
I wasn’t offered much help, but I distinctly remember one of the mothers chiming in that “all mothers think their babies have colic.” I know the comment wasn’t meant in the sense I took it, but it was a huge blow to my confidence. Here I was, a concerned, sleep deprived mother, who now felt like a failure to my newborn, whom I was unable to console.
I never brought up colic in my group again, but there were many friends and family members who quick to suggest it. We had her checked for reflux a few times, and I changed my diet to eliminate any potential triggers. Nothing we tried ever seemed to help.
I am still amazed at how we got through those first few months. It was rough.
I remember counting down until Lillian was 12 weeks old, waiting for her colic to subside. It didn’t. The fussiness persisted.
We went back to the doctor, again, because I just wanted my poor miserable baby to be a happy, normal baby for once.
“She’s a D.B.,” the doctor said as he was looking her over.
“Uhhh, a D.B.?” I asked, with a wrinkled face.
“A demanding baby,” he exclaimed.
“So there’s nothing wrong with her?” I asked, searching for a deeper answer.
“Nope. Some babies are just fussier than others. We all hope for an easy baby. You got a fussy one.”
“Well is there anything I can do for her? How do I make her happy?”
“Just hang in there,” he said. “It will get better.”
Being told there’s nothing you can do but wait it out can sound like a death sentence. I’ve found talking to mothers who have not experienced high need behavior can be difficult.
I found this group on Facebook, part of The Fussy Baby Site, to be a big help in maintaining my sanity. Just reading the stories of other ladies made me feel like I wasn’t so alone!
While I know all babies are different, it’s great to have a group of mothers who can relate to the experience you are going through.
Lillian is 8 months old now, and we are slowly moving forward.
It hasn’t been easy, these past 8 months. I can count on one hand the number of nights I’ve had a truly uninterrupted night of sleep. I get touched out on more days than I can count. There have been lots of bad days. But the good days are so intense they somehow make it worth it.
Anyway, I am excited to share my story with you here on The Fussy Baby Site!
How did you find out your child was high need?
Image courtesy of Critical Moss under CC 2.0
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