Sometimes, I write a post and I just know how a particular person will react. Every time I write about vaccination, for example, I know a certain doctor friend in New York who reads every day but never comments will suddenly unearth himself and pop in with some support. (Apparently, he also supports my grammar posts.) When I write about Zachary’s troubles, I know his grandmother will probably call or email shortly thereafter.
And I know that, when reading today’s post, Caroline will suck in her breath and exclaim, “Oh, we know about that,” prior to leaving a sympathetic comment. (No pressure, babe.) Because, she does know about that.
Yes, today’s post is going to be about the C-word. Not that C-word. The other one. The five letter one.
It appears that we have colic in the house. (Cue Caroline.)
When her youngest child had colic, Caroline would euphemistically refer to the evening as the “social hour,” even though it left no one feeling social and it lasted a hell of a lot longer than an hour. Ours begins sometime around 6:30 or seven and lasts on average two-and-a-half hours. Sometimes more, occasionally less. And, what does our otherwise sweet baby do during this time?
She screams. And flails. And sometimes throws up from her agitation. And screams some more.
There is little I can do to calm her, although every now and then while pacing with her I will find she suddenly stops. And I freeze wherever I am in whatever position I may be. I stand there with the silent, panting, wide-eyed baby for maybe five full minutes until she start squirming or screaming again.
I do try to calm her much of the time, although, to be frank, the screaming seems to have no relation to anything I am doing. She just seems to need to scream, so sometimes I pick up a book and read while I am holding her. If nothing I does makes any difference, I may as well get a chapter read.
As far as I can tell, the day is overwhelming for her, and she needs to let off some steam before bed. The colic does seem worse on days she gets more exposure to Benjamin, which makes sense, as I, too, find him overstimulating.
The one sure-fire way to calm her down is to put her in the Bjorn and go for a walk. Unfortunately, that also puts her to sleep, and she will then wake up the minute I take her out. It only delays the inevitable screaming, because I really cannot go to bed wearing a Baby Bjorn.
And, yes, I have tried skin-to-skin, burping, singing (as much as what I do can be called singing), walking, gripe water, rocking, and – every now and then – begging. I now understand why they give such stern warnings about baby shaking at the hospital. When moving into hour-three of the screaming, I can surely picture some desperate woman thinking, “Maybe if I shake this thing it will stop,” before some dim memory pokes through her sleep deprived brain and she ponders, “But what was it they said about shaking the baby?”
Fortunately, I have evening help, because there needs to be one person to put the boys to bed and another to hold the human police siren we affectionately refer to as the baby. But, when our nanny leaves and the boys are in bed, it is just me, a red-faced baby, and hours to go before we sleep…
Somehow I suspect Caroline isn’t the only one who can relate to this.