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I Can See Somewhat Clearly Now

I sit here and type this latest entry while my husband takes the baby for a long, much-needed stroll. My arms ached from holding Julia and rocking, fighting with an almost 11-pound mighty, crying, and feisty opponent. The sweat dripped down my back as I walked back and forth in our small apartment waiting for the telltale weight and even breathing of a sleeping baby.

I finally waved the white flag.

Uncle.

Mama needed a break. And she wasn’t ashamed to admit it.

I would love to say that a lot has changed with our darling daughter since my last blog entry, but alas that would be a lie. Julia is still quite fussy most of the day, and I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass in good time. I wish I could pinpoint the exact date so I could circle it on the calendar and then proceed to draw big black x’s on the days leading up to this milestone.

But, I cannot.

One thing is for certain: I love Zoloft and I love the departure of my pregnancy hormones. I can definitely FEEL a difference in my demeanor, my attitude, my outlook, and my interaction with my daughter. Yesterday was my first solo day with Julia while daddy went to work. I would say it went rather well, although Julia was indeed a challenge. She fought no fewer than four naps, the longest lasting a grand total of 50 minutes. I got more blissful silence as I held her in my arms in the rocking chair, as she dozed on my shoulder. Fuck it. I don’t care. She was quiet, and at this point in the game, that’s all that really matters, right?

I have to be honest.

I’m jealous.

I’m insanely jealous of those moms who enjoy ‘easy’ babies. You know the ones. Those babies that are happy to be in any number of extravagant contraptions such as swings or bouncy seats who look up at you with absolute adoration, all the while smiling and cooing and just basically chilling the fuck out. You know, those mythical babies who only ‘cry when something is wrong’ and then they are blissfully silent once again.

Do they really exist?

If so, it’s probably best not to tell me right now. Nah, that’s okay. I know they exist in small numbers.

I guess I figured I paid my colicky, fussy dues with Julia’s big brother, but nope. I have also entertained the idea that perhaps I genetically don’t make babies who aren’t high-strung and high-needs and high-energy. It may just be my lot in life.

Sorry, James. I should have mentioned that back when I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test.

Perhaps the biggest ‘downer’ is that with such a fussy baby, I feel a tad bit isolated here at home. I’m not that mother who can just throw caution to the wind, say ‘fuck it’, and take her fussy baby out and about, only to subject everyone else to her fits of crying. No way. Why? Because, I don’t know about you, but that’s the furthest thing from enjoyable that I can imagine. I long for those days where I can casually stroll around a marketplace, an outdoor mall, visit friends, take in activities with a calm, interactive baby.

But those days aren’t today. And they aren’t likely to start tomorrow.

So, until then, I wait here at home. Thankfully, the sun shines most days, and the days pass one by one. Please tell me I’m not alone here. There ARE other fussy babies, RIGHT?? Even if you’re lying, leave me a comment and tell me you had one.

I’m thinking I should start a business. A safe place for other moms to bring their crying babies and nobody is allowed to pass judgment. Moms can feel comfortable with their high-needs, fussy babies in this place, and of course, we will ALL have the finest earplugs made today.

Who knows? This could be a niche market that no one else has thought of quite yet. I could be rich. Or crazy. Or both.

In any event, our feisty gal is five weeks old today, and I only have a few things I wish for: longer stretches of sleep (what new parent doesn’t want this?), more calm, mellow moments of interaction so I can truly GET TO KNOW her, and yes, I wish this gal would figure out the simple mechanics of sucking on a pacifier. We have purchased no fewer than five different brands and 20 different models. Do your parents a huge favor, Julia. Suck it.

And then in between the crying jags and countless hours spent bouncing around singing nonsensical songs to calm the baby beast, Julia does this:

See? I CAN SMILE!

See? I CAN SMILE!

And this is quite possibly what saves her.

And us.

4 thoughts on “I Can See Somewhat Clearly Now

  1. Everyone says bird is a “good” baby but there are days when all he does is scream at me, only at me, then become a flipping angel when daddy gets home and make me look crazy for being on the cusp of insanity. I haven’t had a colicky baby but there have been days where the screaming is constant (fuck you, teething. And go fuck yourself, reflux) and I’m ready to tear out my hair. Hang in there, mama! You have a beautiful little girl on your hands (and your shoulder) and soon enough her winning personality will show itself and make you laugh and smile and cry with joy! And sometimes still, with frustration. But you are doing great! Keep up the good work and keep asking for help when you need it!

    Ps. T-bird never wanted to take a paci either, but he’s been a hand chewer since an early age. I went with it because you can lose a paci in your bed at 3am, but your hand is always there!

  2. Having a colicky baby is probably one of the hardest things for a new mom. Not only is it physically draining, but also emotionally draining. Allow yourself time to yourself… I know you feel guilty when you ask for help, but sometimes you really do need a break. Hang in there momma! You’re doing great!
    This too shall pass (although I know that’s little comfort for you right now)

  3. Sounds like you are coping brilliantly considering how rough it is. Unless you’ve had a colicky baby, its hard to understand just how tough it can be. When you can be as real and honest as you are though, that’s got to help!
    Hey that comment about the pacifier was interesting – its really common (but not very commonly known) that colicky babies will resist them. The trick is when to use them – if you can get your baby very nearly settled and THEN try the pacifier, they’ll go out like a light at that point. I know that ‘very nearly settled’ might sound like climbing Mount Everest when you’ve got a colicky baby, but there’s some settling techniques in my book that can help. And there’s some blog posts on my website that might also cheer you up / give you a bit of moral support :)
    Hang in there, and if you’ve got any questions, drop me a line. I’m happy to chat or even just ‘listen’ if you need to vent to somebody who understands (inc that part about being jealous of all the ‘easy’ babies. ;)
    Take care,
    Jen Lester
    Author
    Survivor’s Guide to Colic
    http://www.survivorsguidetocolic.com

  4. Of my 5, the boys were the “Only cry when something’s wrong” and 1 of the girls was about like your daughter. The other 2 girls were somewhere in the middle. So good luck! And it’s true, when they smile it makes up for everything else!

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