So. I have a memory. Baby E was three months old. My sister and her husband were over for dinner. Baby E started to cry and my husband rushed over to calm him down. E was not an easy baby. He cried. ALL THE TIME. My sister remarked that his soothing method seemed quite complicated, and expressed some sympathy for our situation. Eric quickly reassured her that it actually wasn’t all that bad. To get E to stop crying he just had to physically vibrate his rock n’ play a certain rhythm with an insane intensity and he would stop crying while he was doing that. This was one of those moments when you realize how crazy your life has become. It was absurd what we had to do to keep our baby from crying, but it seemed so normal. It was like looking at some other family. I started laughing at the absurdity of it all. With no sleep, I couldn’t explain to them why I was laughing. They thought I finally cracked.
I heard tales of crying babies. I had plenty of friends who had “the crier.” I was terrified of this happening to me. How could I possible deal with a baby crying for 3-4 hours a night?
Before both babies, I equipped myself with my preventative colic gear. Special bottles, gripe water, and anti-gas drops. Everything I needed.
When E was two weeks old, he woke up and started to cry. I was a little surprised, but it was nothing that I couldn’t handle. I swaddled him and put him down for a nap, but he would not sleep. I tried again an hour later. Nothing. The rest of the day. Nothing. The next day, E started to cry more. Everyday when I woke up I thought it couldn’t get worse than the day before. It did. I tried all my special remedies. When they didn’t help, I downloaded sleep book after sleep book to get him on a good pattern. I tried those 5 S’s. I shushed that perfectly swaddled burrito boy until I was blue in the face. I mimicked the womb, helping him feel comfortable in his fourth trimester outside of the womb. Nothing. I stalked the Mommy Forums. I tried a trick they suggested where you hold him as tight as you can to your chest and don’t let him move. Eventually, “they” say, he will feel so safe that he will fall asleep in your arms. Yeah. Didn’t work.
Everyday I had a new theory on why Baby E was crying. I was so sure every time that this would be the cure. I would call my mom and tell her “how obvious it was and how did I not realize this before?” I went to the doctor. Probably colic they said.
I felt so helpless to help my baby. I couldn’t relate to him because he just cried all day long. I couldn’t do my basic job, which was to nurture my baby and make him happy.
It was never-ending. I felt like after so many failed methods, and doctor appointments that nobody could help my situation. After all my research, help finally came. Doctor Ferber. I know his methods are controversial, but it was actually nothing in his method. It was a “when everything else fails” chapter. He said basically, when everything else fails, you have to consider a medical condition. There was nothing super crazy in what he said, but none of the other books had that as an option. They swore by their methods and if they weren’t working, then it had to be colic, which you can do nothing about.
I took him to a pediatric gastroenterologist. He was able to identify several things, including food allergies. Milk and soy being two of the highly sensitive ones. He gave us a hypoallergenic formula to use. He added in medicines for his other conditions. I was doubtful that any of it would work, but it was worth a shot.
The next day. Silence. He napped and he slept through the night.
E smiled the next day for the first time. After four long months, I finally felt all was well in the world again.